I have, for the benefit of the readers who said it was too difficult to read, revised this chapter. Here you are!
This is something I've been wanting to do for quite a while. It was inspired by a line in the book...
"...[T]hey often came back to her in her dreams..."
She was standing at that cliff's edge again... Eustace was pulling at her...
"Eustace! No! Aslan! Help! Eustace!" Jill Pole tossed and turned in her bed, screaming and crying.
...she wrenched her arm out of his grip, causing him to lose his balance and fall...
"Jill!" A small girl padded softly over to the other girl's bed. "Jill! Wake up!"
...fall... fall... fall...
...and that horrific scream...
Jill, with one last gut-wrenching shriek, sat bolt upright in her bed. "Eustace!" She gasped, panting as though she had been underwater for a long period of time.
Then she saw the other girl, who looked very frightened and concerned, as she always did when this occurred (which was often).
"Thanks, Jane," she said softly to the girl who had awakened her, then turned lay back down, turning over onto her stomach.
"It's all right," Jane replied, pulling back the dingy curtains of the room they shared at the boarding school, "it's time to get up anyway."
"Oh bother," Jill muttered, then tumbled out of bed. She went over to the mirror and washbowl. "Gah!" she exclaimed. "I look awful!"
"You- you cried all night," Jane put in timidly.
"Did I?" Jill was remorseful. "I'm sorry you have to keep putting up with this, Jane."
"It's all right," Jillian repeated, "it's better than getting stuck with Ermentrude Brown. Besides, I know what it's like."
"You do?" Jill looked up from the washbowl, her face dripping.
"Yes," Jane went on, folding back the bedclothes and not looking at Jill, "it's nearly always the same. I'm standing at a cliff's edge-"
Jill started violently and peered more closely at Jane. "And then?" She prompted, almost eagerly.
"I fall down." She ended simply.
"Oh." Jill returned to the mirror, trying to wash away the remains of the tears, and to take down the swollen red of her eyes. "I hate boarding school," she said suddenly, vehemently.
"Well, it's better than the Experiment House," Jane pointed out; she and Jill had been the only two to be sent to a boarding house together after the horrible Experiment House. They were no longer in a "mixed school".
"Well, we should be getting to classes," Jill concluded finally, after having done her best to make herself presentable, and donning her school uniform.
"Yes." Jillian agreed simply, likewise arrayed.
That day in classes, Jill's mind kept straying back to her dream- or rather, her nightmare. She had been having quite a lot of them- all the same. The time when she had been at the cliff's edge... that horrible scream Eustace had uttered... she shuddered.
She looked across the aisle at the others and wondered if they had dreams like hers. Probably not, she decided, looking at their placid faces.
She wondered if they'd ever even thought of having adventures like hers. Most decidedly not! She told herself with a shudder; mental images of these normal schoolgirls trying to accomplish the task (let alone believe that they were in another world) was... not pleasant.
But then, she reminded herself, I would have ruined everything too, if it hadn't been for Aslan... oh Aslan! Where are you, here in England? Where are you in my nightmares?
Abruptly, she became aware of all the class staring at her. She blushed, and wondered what the teacher had been saying.
"Miss Pole," her teacher said icily, "I don't suppose you would condescend to read to us the one hundredth page of Homer, like I've been asking you to do for the past five minutes."
Jill cringed, opened her book, and stood. As she began to read, her voice trembled slightly and her thoughts wandered to other things. I've got to talk to Scrubb, she decided.
Jill and Eustace did not go to the same school; the Experiment House, if you remember, had been terminated, and Jill and Eustace had been sent to different schools; but luckily the schools were not that far from each other, and so they still got to see each other quite often.
And today, Jill decided, she needed to speak with him.