SAVE FOR THREE
Item One: A Drawing
Disclaimer: I own the drawing, but that's about it.
Uphold me according to Your word, that I may live, and let me not be ashamed of my hope," Psalm 119:116
When Lucy made the picture for Edmund, just before he left with Peter for Hartbee's School for Young Men, she had known that Susan was floating beyond her shoulder. In fact, the older girl had been doing so with affected nonchalance for a good ten minutes. Lucy was too thrilled by the strange surge of attention to question her sister on it.
She lifted her brush, pressing gently on the paper as she dragged it down, streaking black water and dripping into the shadows of the corner. It was a piece that screamed of the macabre- a shadowed, icy blue and dooming black cave. A wretched figure contorted on the ground, a broken hand reaching into light- the only light- for a small yellow celandine. In its rougher stage, the painting was still mostly a pencil sketch, making the gaunt figure all the more appalling as she carefully shaded it in with browns and greys. Wind picked up behind Lucy, blowing strands of hair into her face and threatening to bubble the paint as it dried.
"Beautiful day," Lucy grinned, tucking her hair back again and pinning her painting down with both hands before a gust blew it away.
"There are other places you could paint, Lucy dear," Susan suggested, frowning as a single hair escaped the grid-locked fortress that she had fashioned on top of her own head, "Less wild places."
"There are," Lucy agreed, "But I'd hardly want to paint there."
"Is that a left hand or a right hand?" Susan wondered, leaning over Lucy's shoulder to peer at the mangled limb emerging from the paper.
Lucy looked at it, too. She couldn't really tell.
"I can't really tell," she admitted, "Perhaps they've had it broken too many times."
"Lucy, that's dreadful."
The winds howled again, tugging at the paper like they wanted to snatch it away and look for themselves. Susan actually stumbled under the strength of invisible force, knocking Lucy's hand as she brought a dark grey onto the page- it jerked the paint in a crooked line, streaking a demonic smog across the figure's face.
"Oh!" said Lucy, hands fluttering over the smear, wondering if there was any way to remove it before it dried, but that momentary hesistation was enough for the winds, which carried the excess grey in paralleling streaks towards the northeast. Lucy stared.
"I'm sorry, Lu," Susan said contritely, "Maybe if we-?"
"It's fine," Lucy interrupted her. She knew she couldn't blame Susan, after all, but she still felt a little sore about the whole thing. "I'm sure Edmund will love it anyway."
Her older sister wrinkled her nose, "He likes violence a little too much."
"He's a boy." And a knight at that, Lucy's mind added, but she was careful not to mention it to Susan again.
"Well, you know," Susan began, sounding a little unsure, "If you were to brush that line there in tight little circles, and then brush at the bottom one up, it would almost look like-"
Lucy looked where Susan was pointing and squinted. She still didn't see it. "Look like what, Susan?"
"Here, may I?" asked Susan, holding out her hand. Lucy glanced between her sister and the painting, hesitating.
"Of course, it's a rather silly idea anyways," Susan finished, retracting her hand again and stepping away. "It's your painting after all."
"No- No." Lucy stood, pushed the brush into Susan's elegant hand, and guided her to the little stool that Lucy had been perched on. "Try it. I trust you."
Gingerly, Susan sat, correcting her feet in a proper way beneath the stool, her deft hands pinning the paper down, her left hand reaching with the brush into the same dark grey and then, on it's edge, adding a slight white. Lucy wanted to ask what Susan was doing, but had already said that she trusted her, and was still glowing with the way Susan had smiled at her for that, so she only watched.
And was amazed.
"Why, Susan, that looks brilliant!' Lucy gasped. "Just like stone! It might come off of the page!"
"It needs more definition," was all Susan said, clearly elsewhere in her mind.
Lucy stood behind her shoulder for many minutes as that elegant white hand drew colors across the paper, dabbing shadows where Lucy never would have thought to put them. The streaks that the wind had made quickly morphed into lighter rays of sunlight. The celandine glowed. The mangled figure seemed to grow desperate and needy, not just deformed. It was still Lucy's painting, but Susan had done something to it. It was animated now, and so was Susan.
Her legs, which had been tightly crossed under the stool, were now parted, planted, pushing her face closer to the page like a fighter's stance, a greyish blue was smudged under her jaw and a yellow beneath her eye like warpaint. She had pulled down her hair, loose curls waving down her back and leaping in the winds. A light had entered her eyes, brought her face to glow, red in her cheeks, intensity like a Queen commanding the painting to do her bidding. Lucy was entranced by her.
Lucy turned to find a handsome young man running lightly up the hill. He was very fashionably dressed, with a sharp nose and bright green eyes. Lucy disliked him on the spot.
Susan, startling at the sound of her name, jumped up from the stool and immediately began righting herself, putting a bright, unanimated, smile onto her mouth.
"Calvin!" she exclaimed, "Have you run all this way?" He finally reached them, taking Susan's painted hands and smiling. Lucy noticed that he was very careful not to let the paint on Susan's white hands transition onto his white gloves.
"I wanted to make sure you hadn't forgotten our plans for the day. It's nearly four o'clock. I have the reservations all prepared for dinner tonight."
Susan collected herself, "Dinner! Why, of course I haven't forgotten. I was just spending a little time with my younger sister."
"Your only sister," Lucy added, with her best court smile painted on.
Calvin only then seemed to realize Lucy was there. "Oh, hello."
"A pleasure meeting you, Calvin," Lucy insisted, "I'm Lucy Pevensie." She did not offer her hand, and Calvin did not offer his.
"Charmed." He turned back to Susan, laughing lightly. "But what have you got on your face? And your hair looks like it's been put through a tempest!"
Susan gently scrubbed at her face, embarrased.
"She was painting," Lucy said. "She's fantastic."
"A landscape?" Calvin smiled. Susan blushed.
"A sentiment," Susan corrected politely. "I was just helping Lucy a little."
"Well, let's see," Calvin peered around Susan and immediately blanched. Lucy had to give him credit for such a quick recovery time. "That's quite... tragedian. A little Monet influence. Very- Accurate depiction."
Susan was very red, and Lucy felt a little bad for it.
"It's just a silly painting," Susan said. "It's for our brother. He's going away to school this fall. He got a scholarship to Hartbee's School for Young Men. It's a very large ordeal and I just thought I'd help out, a little."
"No need to explain yourself," Calvin said grandly. "Boys love violence, you know."
"You don't seem to," Lucy offered innocently.
"Yes, well, I'm hardly a boy, am I?" Calvin replied, "I'm at University in Cambridge. Third year."
Lucy didn't know which was worse, the fact that her sixteen year old sister was courting a twenty-one year old dandy, or the fact that her thirty-one year old Queen was courting a twenty-one year old dandy. Neither option seemed very appealing to her.
"I think I'll just pack up and go home for the day." Lucy went to collect her little stool, placing the dried painting inside of her portfolio, in a separate pocket from her capped paints and brushes. "It was lovely meeting you, Calvin. Have a wonderful time tonight."
She turned to go, but was caught by a pair of elegant hands that were surprisingly strong when they tugged her against the soft form of her sister. Susan's painted hands stuck a little against Lucy's hair, and Susan's hair tickled Lucy's nose, but for the most part, Lucy glowed under the soft kiss that Susan hid in one of Lucy's dimples, and wrapped her arms around Susan's small waist.
"I had a nice time, today, Lu," Susan murmured to her.
Lucy nodded against Susan's chest. "Me, too, Susan."
Lucy walked home that evening as if in a dream, filled with a nostalgic happiness. The first thing she did when she entered the front door was to kick off her shoes and run up into the room that she and her sister shared, taking out a brush to paint the title across the back of the picture that Susan had brought to life:
And she signed her name in Medieval font across the bottom.
A/N: This story is all about the three items that Susan takes with her to America after chapter thirty of P.E- A drawing, a handwritten book, and a three-legged kitten named Wisp.
Next is "A Hand-Written Book." Sadly, this one doesn't start with Peter, but picks up on the boat to America. The final chapter is "A Three-Legged Kitten," in which Edmund is in a spot of trouble.
Just a head's up- "Calvin" is Latin for "Hairless." My little brother got me a baby name book for X-mas. ;D