Title: Blue Heart
Disclaimer: I do not own the Chronicles of Narnia.
Note: The answer to challenge 2: Blue. I'm back! I hope everyone has had a good Easter! This story is basically told backwards. It starts at the end and winds its way to the beginning, but (hopefully) in a clear and easy manner so people aren't confused. Read it the way I have it posted, but feel free also to then read it backwards. =D
There were two conflicting views that people held about "old widow Windmore", as Susan Pevensie Windmore was often called behind her back. The first view, held by the dry-thinking adults that included her own grown children, was that Mrs. Windmore was an eccentric old woman who delighted in telling fairy-stories to children instead of complaining of her arthritis like they thought she should. In fact, she acted more like a child than a widow of seventy-four, growing sillier and more addled as the years passed.
To the young children who knew her, though, Nana Susan was the kind lady who baked cookies while she told wonderful stories of dragons and knights and talking animals. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren bragged about her stories to their schoolmates, and most of them thought that the best part of visiting Nana was sitting nearby as she mixed cookie batter, all the while sharing her tales. And Nana Susan told them the stories until they grew too old to love fairy tales and became dry-thinking adults like their parents.
One little boy, the younger child of Susan's oldest granddaughter, loved his Nana's stories more than any other child who had ever heard them. He wanted to be just like High King Paul or King Edward in the tales, fighting giants and hags; he wanted to dance with fauns like Queen Lillian. He wanted to bury his face in Aslan's mane, just as Queen Sarah had done.
And, unlike the other children, he was canny enough to notice when Nana Susan slipped up in her tales. Sometimes King Paul became Peter, or Queen Lillian became Lucy. Sometimes Edward was Edmund, and sometimes Queen Sarah was 'I'. The young boy, bold like his great-great aunt, was the only one to ever ask Nana Susan if the stories were real; and he believed her when she sat him down next to her on the living room sofa and solemnly told him that, yes, the stories had really happened.
The boy looked up at his Nana with wide eyes as she told him how she and her siblings had found Narnia, had lived there for many years. Though he was very young, he still saw that Nana Susan had tears in her eyes when she told him that she had stopped believing in Narnia when she got older, just as his own older sister no longer listened to Nana's tales. The little boy matched Nana Susan's smile when she told him how, when she was old and grey and alone, she had believed again. When silence fell, he spoke up with the innocent question of a child. "Can I meet Peter and Edmund and Lucy? Please, Nana?"
His Nana's eyes went sad again and she twisted the braided bracelet that was as much a part of Nana as her stories and her cookies. "I'm sorry, love, but they went to be with Jesus in Heaven a long time ago." She smiled as his head drooped, embarrassed at having made his Nana sad. "It's alright. I know they're happy. And I have my memories of them. See, I even carry their memory on my wrist." Nana Susan held out her arm so the boy could see the faded ribbons that made up her bracelet: one gold, one green, one a startling, entrancing blue, braided together and fastened with a small, silver clasp in the shape of a lily.
The little boy had always wondered about the bracelet as much as he had wondered about the stories, so he eagerly asked what his Nana meant. Susan smiled, one gnarled finger gently stroking the ribbons in turn. "The gold ribbon is for Peter."
"The High King!"
"Yes, High King Peter, who was called the Magnificent. Oh, how the color fits him; and not just because his hair was as golden as Aslan's mane. His heart was pure gold and his smile lit a room like the sun. He was born to be a king, and he never disgraced his crown. I could not choose a better color to represent my older brother."
Susan then fingered the green ribbon. "I remember Lucy with the green ribbon because she was always so full of life. She was more at home in the woods and fields of Narnia than she ever was at our castle at Cair Paravel. And she never lost that when we returned to England; she was always running, barefoot and carefree, through the grass. She would laugh and the birds would seem to laugh with her. Oh yes, Lucy was life."
Nana Susan's hand stilled a moment, fingers hovering over the last ribbon. It was a lovely shade of blue, which the boy would later learn was called indigo. Now, though, he watched, curious, as Nana Susan's eyes fixed on the ribbon. When she spoke again, her voice was soft. "This…this is a very special ribbon."
The little boy frowned at the bracelet. "For Edmund?"
When she did not continue, the young boy decided that he should prompt his Nana with a question. "Why is Edmund's ribbon blue?"
Susan's gaze turned into the distance, to the memory of her beloved little brother and the color that had defined his life. The creases near her eyes crinkled as she smiled. "Because blue is his favorite color."