June 22nd, 1949
New York City, USA
Sitting in the passenger-side of the front bench-seat to the right of her American boyfriend's Mercury-8, Susan Pevensie was lost in thought, reading the latest of Lucy's, her younger sister, letters. Lucy was telling of how one of the boys she knew from school had tried to court her and hadn't been listening to any one of Lucy's attempts to tell him she wasn't interested.
Smiling, Susan remembered another young boy – young man now, she corrected herself – who hadn't listened to any of her own rebuttals seven years earlier. She laughed.
"What's funny?" a suave American accented voice asked.
She looked at her dark-haired boyfriend, his deeply tanned and chiselled face was looking back at her instead of keeping his eyes on the road. "Keep your eyes on-"
Susan never finished. Instead, she became aware that the passenger-side door of the car was suddenly caving in and that she was being sprinkled by thousands of tiny shards of glass as she was thrown violently towards the drivers side of the car.
She impacted her boyfriend with a dull thud, then everything went mercifully black. She was not aware of what happened next, but in the years that followed, Jake would swear to to anyone who listened that just before Susan went through the drivers-side window, she had vanished.
October 20th, 3018 TA (Third Age)
As awareness returned to Susan, she had quickly realised she was no longer in the United States. The car and her boyfriend were gone, as was the street of New York they had been driving along. The air was fresh and the ground beneath her was soft. Soft ground? She opened her eyes.
All around her, was forest. Nearby, a fast flowing river could be heard as she lay prone on her back looking up at the forest canopy. Tall grey trees rose high above her, looking very much like firs and birches. It was like nothing that existed on Earth.
"Where am I?" Susan asked herself. Taking her time, she gathered herself together she sat up, discovering she was still wearing her blue heels, loose fitting knee length flowery skirt and white blouse that her mother had had shipped over to America from England; it was now caked in dirt and what looked to be dried out blood.
This place was stunning, but it wasn't Narnia; she knew because Aslan himself had told her and her older brother the last time they were in Narnia that they could never return, having learnt all that they could from the country, but also because she remembered Narnia like the back of her own hands and it had no forest like this one. The closest forest she could think of was the Western Woods that contained the lamp post and wardrobe leading to Professor Kirke's country estate – a pale comparison to this. She smiled as a bird chirped nearby.
The question arose in her head as just where she was if it wasn't Narnia. A thought came to her with a fleeting memory of having been flung about in a car and then a sudden darkness as if she'd hit something or someone. A car crash. Was this Aslan's Country? The place where all good Narnians went after they had died.
Was she dead? Susan didn't feel like it, and then she remembered the slight tug on her she'd felt when reading Lucy's letter and ignored as simply cramp. No, she wasn't dead. She'd been pulled from her world just before she should have died, but that also meant she could never return. If she did it would be to the time and place she left.
After the moment of upheaval, she felt her emotions simmer down into a deep sadness. The only place she could be with her brothers and sister was now in her memories. They were alive, and in that world they would think she was dead. Then something hardened within her. She decided, right there in the solitude of the forest not to mourn them. Perhaps if they' had such a traumatic experience themselves they might find their own way here and be reunited.
She was Susan the Gentle; kind, loving and quiet. It was one thing she'd learnt from her time in England: Woman were meant to be seen and not heard. She'd taken that lesson to heart after numerous attempts to speak her mind while around the mean and become, as one of her old friends put it, interested in nylons, lipstick and invitations. It was then she'd moved to the States and not seen her siblings in years.
She wiped her face with the back of hand, discarding her useless footwear and started heading towards the sound of the flowing water. It didn't take long before she reached a wide river that cut through the heart of the forest. She felt as though she was being guided somehow. Before her, a small creature appeared, looking somewhat like a butterfly, albeit a large one. It kept on fluttering ahead of her for a short distance and waiting till she met up with the creature again. She tried not to dwell too much on her siblings, but it was unavoidable. She was being led by this butterfly in much the same way the robin had led the Pevensies to the Beavers on their first trip to Narnia.
As she proceeded down the river, she felt the dark soil seeping around her feat and between her toes, but it didn't stop her. She didn't know how long it was she'd been walking, but eventually she reached a break in the forest.
Before her was a rough dirt footpath leading away to her right and to her left a ford, where a tall, slender white robed woman with long dark hair, atop a great white stead was stood halfway across the river. Next to her, was dusky brown horse with a very familiar rider with short dirty blond hair. It was her brother, Peter, looking very out of place in wrecked formal looking pinstriped brown trousers and an extremely dirty white shirt. Held at the ready was a broadsword. He said something to the woman to his right then glanced over his shoulder, a frown creasing his forehead. He'd seen her. "Stay back, Susan!"
Beside him, the woman was looking back they way she'd come. Susan could see that she held a young child protectively in the nook of an arm, and in the other she held high a longsword. A moment later, she could hear the sound of more horses approaching.
Emerging from the trees on the far side of the river, came nine black lightly armoured horses; their riders wrapped in deep black cloaks and hoods. Susan could only see the riders boots, also black, secure in stirrups; their their faces hidden, seemed to only be a dark void that allowed no light to escape. Instinctively, feeling a chill down her back, she backed off wishing she'd had her bow with her. At this distance, the riders would be easy pickings if she aimed right.
"Give up the halfling, She-elf!" The lead rider called out, his voice sounding like a low hiss, more serpentine than human as all nine riders drew long dangerous looking swords.
The woman glared back defiantly, as both she and Peter pulled back to Susan's side of the ford. "If you want him, come and claim him."
The lead rider let out an inhuman screech, urging his horse a fellow riders into the water, gaining ground on Peter and the woman. About halfway across, the lead rider stood up menacingly in his stirrups. "Give us the halfling," he repeated.
The woman looked upriver, a dangerous gleam lighting her eyes. "Nîn o Chithaeglir, lasto beth daer," A deep, but soft masculine sounding voice was carrying through the air. Susan was now able to get a better look at her. She wasn't human, not entirely anyway for she had pointed ears. So too for that matter did the young child, who also had the same ears and was bare-footed. He looks like he's on death's door, she thought. It was no wonder she was holding on to him so protectively. The young woman, was maybe only couple years older than herself. "Rimmo nˆn Bruinen dan in Ulaer! Nîn o Chithaeglir, lasto beth daer, Rimmo nˆn Bruinen dan in Ulaer!"
At that moment, the ground rumbled and Susan noted the water level start to noticeably rise. Then came the sound of rushing torrent amid which she could vaguely see the watery forms of horses with white frothing mains. The riders, who were still in the ford were quickly overwhelmed; their horses drowning in the river as it carried them and their riders away.
It was then that she collapsed.
Elvish: Nîn o Chithaeglir, lasto beth daer, Rimmo nˆn Bruinen dan in Ulaer!
Pronunciation: Neen oh Hee-THIGH-gleer, LAHST-oh behth dire, REE-moh neen Broo-ih-nen dahn een oo-LIRE.
Translation:Waters of the Misty Mountains, listen to the great word, flow waters of Loudwater against the Ringwraiths!