A/N: Poor Susan... the only one left. I wrote this with her angry at being left behind, but then I rewrote it, because I don't think there would be room for anger, with all that grief. Let me know if I made the right decision?

The Broken Wheel


A deep black thundercloud blew across Susan's mind, hiding the sunlight and turning everything into night. When the cloud burst and the tears began to fall, she wondered if they would ever stop, if there would ever be a tomorrow, or if she would stay locked in this night forever. Part of her never wanted morning to come.

She read the telegram again, even though she had memorized its contents a few hundred read-throughs ago. She sat in one of the hospital's uncomfortable, plastic, waiting chairs, and sobbed as she read the telegram again. She had no need of it now, now that she had seen with her own infallible eyes what the telegram told her in fallible print. She was the only one left. And they had taken day with them to wherever they had gone, leaving her alone with night.

The hospital people had only let her see the faces of her dead family. They said the rest would be too horrible. She knew they were right—the train crash had mangled their bodies beyond recognition—but being told she could not touch or hold her family in her arms was awful to hear. She had managed to remain calm and identified them all. Yes, that was her mother, her father, Peter, Edmund, Lucy. Sweet, beautiful Lucy had been too much. That was when night had descended on her like a pack of wolves, merciless and frightening.

Everyone left her alone, secluded in her corner, with no company but her tears, and no comfort in the night. She wished for Peter to come put his arm around her and promise once more to protect her. She wished for Edmund to give her his wide grin and his grave assurance that all would be well. She wished for Lucy to squeeze her hand and tell her all she needed was a good laugh. She wished to hold her parents in a warm embrace and never let go. And she wept all the more because her wishes were daytime wishes, and now, there was only night.

Dimly, somewhere in her shadows, she heard footsteps stop near her. Through her tears, she saw a weary paramedic standing sheepishly before her. She wiped her face with her handkerchief, but as more tears kept falling, it seemed a silly thing to do.

"Are you Susan?" the man asked in a low, soothing voice.

"Yes," she choked between sobs.

"I'm sorry," he said. She said nothing, only cried harder. "Was the golden-haired boy your brother?"

"Peter," she whispered, "yes. And the other one is—was—Edmund." The man nodded, wringing his hands.

"I was the one who found them," he said finally, "and Peter, well, he was still alive, see, and he thought his brother was too, and he asked me to make sure the other one—Edmund?—was safe, so I told him it was alright, and—look, you don't want to hear this. I'm sorry. I wouldn't have come over here, except… Well, what I'm trying to say is, he asked me to tell you something. The last thing he said, he said, 'Tell Susan I forgive her'." He rested a hand briefly on her shoulder as her sobs redoubled, then he turned and walked away.

Susan whispered over and over to Peter, telling him she forgave him too, wishing she could see him one more time. But as if the paramedic's words were shafts of sunlight breaking through the turbulent clouds, the tears slowly ran to a stop. She knew it would be a long time before all of the shadows dissipated completely, but there was a part of her that hoped for tomorrow. She remembered Peter's golden hair and his golden promises, Edmund's shining eyes and his shining heart, Lucy's bright smile and her bright faith, and she remembered dawn. She smiled as the last tear slid down her cheek and Night turned into Morning…