The suggested categories are:
a. an emotion
b. a color
c. an adjective
d. an element (fire, earth, air or water)
e. a Creature or Animal (must be mentioned somewhere in one of Lewis's Narnia books).
From Lady Alambiel I have: amusement, emerald, adorable, water and Centaur. Here's the story I made from them.
Disclaimer: Edmund and Peter Pevensie and all the characters and situations in the Chronicles of Narnia belong to C. S. Lewis and not to me.
BELOW THE SURFACE
I kept my eyes closed and pretended I didn't hear.
Still I didn't move. I had been for a long swim earlier that morning. Since then I had been comfortably napping on the beach. I had no intention of stopping now.
"Peter. PeterPeterPeterPeterPeter. Peeeeter!"
I groaned and opened one eye. "Ed?"
My brother stood over me, fresh from his diplomatic duties, the picture of kingly and sartorial perfection. "You were expecting perhaps the Tisroc (may his breakfast coffee be served cold forever)?"
I closed my eye. "I'm asleep. Go away."
"Now that's no way to talk to your favorite brother."
"You're my only brother." My eyes were still closed. "That means you're also my least favorite. Especially now."
"I thought you'd at least be glad to see me after all this time."
"It's been three hours."
"Yes. Aren't you glad to see me?"
"Ecstatic. Now go away."
I pushed myself up to one elbow. "Great Lion, Ed, you're thirteen. Don't whine."
Edmund smirked at me, knowing I was well aware he did it just to annoy me. "Got you to stop faking sleep anyway. Having fun?"
"It was a fine morning." I pretended to glare at him. "Till now."
"Must be nice to just loll around on the beach all day and let your brother do all the work." He heaved a martyr's sigh. "I suppose–"
He broke off at the sound of giggling. I sat up, and we both looked out to sea.
A little way off, waist-deep in the water, were two girls who looked roughly our ages. They were both dark haired, fair faced and slender, sisters it seemed obvious. The younger's eyes were a warm brown, but the eyes of the elder were emerald green and bright as gemstones.
I scrambled to my feet. "Good afternoon, ladies," I called to them. "Forgive us for not seeing you there."
Edmund bowed but narrowed his eyes. "Where did they come from?" he asked, voice low. "They're not Mermaids. Mermaids don't wear tunics like that. Neither do Nymphs."
"We don't have anyone from any of the islands visiting, do we?"
Edmund shrugged. "We always seem to have some delegation or other visiting, not to mention merchants and travelers of all varieties."
I bowed as well and raised my voice. "I do not believe we have had the pleasure of meeting you ladies. I am High King Peter, and this is my brother, King Edmund."
The two girls looked at each other, amused.
"Yes, Your Majesties," said the elder. "We know who you are. Our uncle has told us all about you."
I smiled. "Your uncle? And who would he be, I pray you?"
The younger one batted her long lashes at Edmund. "Guess."
He gaped at her for a moment, and then cleared his throat. "Ummm, is he from Archenland?"
The girl giggled and shook her head.
"Not Calormen?" Edmund ventured.
Again the girl shook her head, and her sister looked at me. Her eyes were so very green, surrounded by black lashes that sparkled with water droplets. She gave me a coy little smile.
"Will you not guess, High King?"
"I uh–" I coughed, no doubt looking and sounding like an idiot. "I do not know, lady. We yet have very few humans in Narnia. Have we had the pleasure of meeting your uncle?"
"Oh, yes, Your Majesty. Many, many times."
I glanced at Edmund, puzzled, and he shrugged.
"Forgive me," I said, "but I do not know who he could be."
Once more the two girls giggled, and the elder leaned closer to her sister, half whispering. "They are adorable when they are confused, are they not?"
"And Uncle says they spend a lot of their time confused," replied the younger, dark eyes sparkling with mischief.
My face turned hot and Edmund frowned, and both girls giggled again. Then the older of the two pushed back a lock of her lush wet hair, uncovering one ear.
I don't know why I hadn't seen it before. They were softer featured than their uncle and fairer complected than most of their kind, but the look was still there. "Of course. You must be Pippa and Epona. It is a pleasure to meet you both. Your uncle speaks most fondly of you."
"And of you, Your Majesties," she said.
With the slight bow, the two girls came up together onto the beach, the sun glistening on their broad, wet backs, water dripping from their black tails and down their long slim legs.
Edmund grinned. "'Uncle' didn't tell us you would be coming. We would have come to welcome you otherwise."
"He told us we are to be presented to you and to the Queens this evening at supper," said the younger. Pippa, if I remembered correctly.
"And," said Epona, "he said we should stay out from under everyone's hooves until then. Forgive us for interrupting your nap, High King."
"Not at all," I assured her. "My brother already saw to that. May we show you around Cair Paravel? I believe you have not been here before."
Epona looked as if she might accept, but then Pippa tugged her arm and whispered something into her ear.
"Forgive us," Epona said, "but we must go now. Our great-grandam always tells us we must never wear out our welcome. We are most pleased to meet Your Majesties."
"And we will see you tonight," Pippa added.
Then, both with another graceful bow, they galloped away, their hooves leaving dainty prints across the sand.
They were truly a beautiful sight as they ran, hair and tails streaming behind them and their light laughter floating back to us on the wind. Neither of us said anything until they disappeared beyond the rocks. Then I nudged Edmund with my elbow.
"What happened, Ed? I thought you were supposed to be the clever one, the one who could always see beneath the surface."
He scowled at me. "How'd I know they were half horse under there? And what has 'Uncle' been telling them about us?" He turned and stomped through the sand towards the Cair. "Oreius!"
I loped after him. "Don't be mad at Oreius, Edmund. Whatever he told them, I'm sure he was just horsing around."
Edmund glanced back at me, smirking, and then his eyes widened.
"What was that, High King?" said a deep, humorless voice.
I froze and then turned to the Centaur General standing behind us, his brawny arms crossed over his chest. How did he manage to move all four feet, in horseshoes no less, without making a sound?
"I just, uh . . . " I smiled thinly. "We met your nieces just a minute ago. I didn't know they were coming to visit."
"They are my cousin's fillies, to be exact, though they do call me uncle. I hope you and your brother did not use such . . . unfortunate turns of phrase around them."
"Oh, no. Of course not. Right, Ed?"
Edmund huffed. "Just what have you been telling them about us anyway, Oreius? We're not confused most of the time. Why would you say that?"
"Perhaps," Oreius said, stone faced, "I was merely horsing around."
Edmund and I both cringed, certain we were about to be assigned a visit to the points of the compass just as a lesson in Centaur etiquette if nothing else, when I heard the sound of hooves and two now-familiar giggles. The fillies came up on either side of Oreius, linking their arms in his.
"It worked, Uncle," Epona said, again with that coy little smile. "They didn't know we were Centauresses."
"They thought we were Daughters of Eve." Pippa wrinkled her nose playfully at Edmund. "He even thought we were Calormenes! Really!"
Edmund and I exchanged incredulous glances.
"O– Oreius!" I sputtered. "You put them up to this?"
"A good lesson for you both, My Kings," the Centaur said gravely. "I wanted you to always remember there might be something unexpected beneath any surface."
Then, to my astonishment, I saw a glint of humor in his eye.
"Or maybe I really was just horsing around."
Author's Note: Anyone who is interested is welcome to leave me a review with a list of words based on the above categories. I can't guarantee I'll write stories for all of the suggestions I get, but I might. :)
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