The Return to Narnia

concept story that sequels the 7th book (The Last Battle) from The Narnia Chronicles.

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The Return to Narnia:

 

By: Nathaniel Miller

 

Annexation of Series – Sequel to “The Last Battle” (Book #7 by C.S. Lewis.)

 

 

The house waited for a visitor, standing open and silent for these last seventy years, located in the middle of English countryside far from city of London. It was this home, many years ago, an adventure had began where four children named Peter Susan, Edmund and Lucy had stepped through a wardrobe into a fabulous land called Narnia.  The house, where they stayed, was where they were sent during the war, away from London because of the Air-raids. It was a famous house, known well far and wide throughout the country-side, owned by a kindly professor during the last world war.  They had no expectations of where they were to end up, or knew of the portal that would lead them to Narnia.  They had just been sent to their destination as arranged to discover the great things that lay inside this house on their own. Their own great adventures emerged.  

 

 

Now, seventy years plus years later, in the year 2005, the house is silent, the rooms are empty, the floors and roof has fallen into disarray. It has long since been abandoned over this time. It was once a beautiful, quite large multi-level Victorian home, with turrets on all four corners, making it look like a fairy tale castle. It had textured shingles on its now rotting roof and the walls a gingerbread texture colored a faded Fuchsia with purple trim.  The garden that precedes the home is thick, overgrown and wild. The house itself is an empty hulk with only the howling winds rushing through the broken out of the windows and down the drafty halls. The only thing left, other than the rotting floors, the half caving roof, is the wardrobe, dusty and abandoned. It, once again, is now the entry point that would intermittently open up a portal into Narnia, just as it had done seventy years ago. The magic returned after a very long absence and thought closed when the original four returned from their adventures from within.   

 

 

The house waited, it watched, and strangely it would have not long for company as four children played ball in the meadow nearby. These four children, named Rhiannon, James, Amanda and Dakota. They are here visiting in Britain from America, exploring the countryside and having a picnic with their cousins and family in the warm summer surroundings.  They were laughing and carrying on, not knowing of the strange adventure they would be starting or undertaking in a few hours. They had no idea what had happened before in the house nearby and none had even seen the half covered rotting house in the thick overgrown brambles. Their adventure only started when Dakota had thrown the ball a bit too high and over Amanda’s head. The ball bounced, and went over the rotted, dirty white picked fence that marked the outer border of the large garden that surrounded the large Victorian house.  She of course, chased the ball and almost ran into the fence. The young girl had luckily turned her body at the last minute in order to dodge one of the pickets that stuck out like a spear.

 

 

 “Here it is!” Amanda’s voice echoed, rather loudly across the meadow nearby where they picnicked. She had ran across the meadow, and had been running backwards to catch the ball that was missed, ending up in the overgrown garden. The young girl had blindly climbed over the rotting fence and retrieved the ball that lay upon a few brambles of an overgrown rose bush that covers a brick pathway of the garden. When she stood up, with the ball in hand that she turned glancing at the house, a strange look of fear and recognition appearing on her face. She felt something strange here, a magic that she could not identify which radiated from the crumbling walls. A strange wind whistled through the open windows and it had her full attention.  The young girl just stood there, staring at the large old home and did not turn away until she was joined by her two brothers and older sister. Her head turned and Amanda met their curious stares of her siblings after the oldest brother placed a hand on her shoulder. He had literally had to shake her to bring her out of her daydream that she seemed to be tied up in.

 

 

“What is it Amanda?” asked James, who had joined her with her older sister Rhiannon.

 

 

“Do you see that?” asked the young girl, pointing at the mansion in the darkened garden.  They all peered in the house, and each one felt a cold shiver ripple down their spines. The four children sensed something strange and mystical here.  Amanda had sensed the energy and aura around the garden and the house. She could see it as it pulsated outward like a heartbeat.

 

 

            “What a fine and interesting old house.” Rhi said, pointing at the building, and the overgrown garden, “I bet you this place has been here a long time.”

 

 

            “It does not seem to have anyone living here, not right now.” James corrected, pointing out the overgrowth in the garden. “You’d better come out of there before someone sees you.”

 

 

            “I don’t think anyone lives here as you say. Do you think anyone would mind if we take a look?” Amanda asked, glancing at the others. “I can bet this place has a lot of stories to tell.”

 

 

            “No, it might be no trespassing.” James said, “I don’t think we should. Uncle Charles and Randall would be pissed off if we ended up at the police station for trespassing. Why do you want to take a look, Amanda?”

 

 

            “I see a strange aura about this place, like something is pulsating here. A strange aura of magic seems to be swirling right here. I can’t explain it, but do you feel that?”

 

 

            “Yes Amanda, we all do.” Dakota replied gently, “I say we go take a look.”

 

 

            “Yes, come on, perhaps a little one,” Rhiannon said, “It wouldn’t hurt. After all I don’t see a sign that says anything about property or trespassing.”

 

 

            “Okay then, a short one.” James said, “We have to be careful though, we do not know what kind of pitfalls are in there. It has probably been empty a while and it has new wild residents living in it.”  The overwhelming feeling of adventure moved through the group as they stood there.  Amanda walked toward the mansion through the overgrown garden. Dakota followed her, climbing over the fence.

 

 

            “We can’t get through that.” James said, “Not unless we can make the path wider.”

 

 

            “There is way over there, I think. I’ll go see!” Dakota shouted, pointing to the fence that was broken out and a there was a large hole under a dark gnarled oak tree in the yard where one could pass under the branches.  He ran toward the oak with his sister and they waved to the group. James and Rhiannon walked along the outside of the fence.

 

 

            “Stay close, Rhi.” James instructed, “And be careful.”

 

 

Slowly they inched through a lighter part of the thick brambles, squeezing by the edge of the mansion in order to get by to the broken door on the far end. When the four stepped in the dusty old house, their footsteps creaked on the wooden floor. Slowly they made their way along, skirting passed the rotted holes in the floor and James having to catch Rhi before she almost fell through to the basement.  Peering down they thought they saw movement below them. They would have been right too. A hobo lay on the floor sleeping, taking refuge in this old hulk after a hard day of travel.

 

 

Inside the mansion’s interior, it is large and open, the first room they entered was the dusty old kitchen and large oak leaves hung from the ceilings. Thick spider webs cascaded down to the floor over a nearby doorway. The sink board was cracked and worn, mice scurried across the granite surface, and they walked carefully, they cut with a stick a hole through the curtain of spider webs and dirt over the door. They walked along toward the dining room, and their footsteps creaking on the floorboards.

 

 

“Watch it!” Dakota said, grabbing Amanda, pointing to a dark hole in the floor. They managed to make it to the dining room and turned, entering the front living room.  The room was empty, dusty and dirty. A large staircase is visible in main foyer and it is made of what appeared to be solid walnut. A hallway disappeared off to the left from the staircase. It is at this very moment that Rhiannon had a bad feeling, and her head turned when she heard what she thought was voices.  Whispering voices and she then heard a creak of footsteps from somewhere in the building.

 

 

“There’s someone here.” She announced, and she turned her head, scanning the room carefully. She thought she saw a shadow down a nearby hall.

 

 

“Everyone scatter.” James said, and all four went different directions. They peered around the corners, and only emptiness and some furnishings remain. The older boy watched and waited. After a moment, he motioned toward the stairs where they quickly climbed the steps, avoiding the broken stair steps. When they reached the window on the landing, a fair view of the overgrown garden could be seen through the opening and turning they made their way to the top floor. James, Rhiannon, Amanda and Dakota found themselves in the same long hallway that once Peter and the others had been in over seventy plus years ago. Slowly walking, their eyes are watchful of the floor perils that awaited them, navigating their way down the hallway. As they approached each doorway, James slowly opened each door and looked inside. Each room was large and had once been decorated spartanly, they found each room where Peter and his brother and sisters had once played hide and go seek. They found the green room with the many shelves, and the outline of the harp that once was on the wall. The shelves of the bookcases were empty, dusty, and had cobwebs everywhere. They trooped own the hall to the next room, opening the next door to an empty room with the wardrobe dominating the back wall, covered with a sheet.

 

 

“Well, nothing here.” Dakota said, and he turned to walk on. But they didn’t they stayed in the room and stared at the large wardrobe that dominated the rear of the room against the wall. Something about the wardrobe seemed different to them. Rhiannon walked toward the doors, and tried them, thinking they would be jammed. However, the door opened easily and two moldy mothballs dropped out. Each of them had a strange feeling here, as this house once had magic, this being the gateway found seventy years ago by Peter and the others.

 

Inside the darkness of the wardrobe, they peered into it starting at only the few hangars and two moldy rotting coats that remained hanging there like disemboweled skins. They did not hear the footsteps on the floor below until they heard a crash and curse echo through the foyer. They all heard the creak of the floorboards echoed through the house.

 

 

James put his finger to his lips. They could hear footsteps walking up the steps.  Dakota locked the outer door and they pulled the sheet from the wardrobe. They at first considered hiding under the sheet, but it already lay on the floor.

 

 

“Quick there is nowhere else.” James said, and motioned toward the wardrobe.

 

 

“What? In there?” Amanda asked.

 

 

“It’s the only place.” Replied her older brother, and they all entered the wardrobe that smelled of musky cedar. James closed the door, but not all the way, keeping it slightly ajar. They had common sense to not shut ones self up in a wardrobe. Together they all sat panting in the wardrobe, and behind them in the darkness, did not sense the portal that had opened there. Amanda stepped back, expecting to feel the back of the wardrobe, and when she did not, turned, to reach out as she stepped back further. The young girl felt the prickle of branches. She moved the coats aside to get a better look.

 

 

“What on earth?” She muttered, stepping further on and parting the branches with her hands. She pushed her way through the trees onto a path. Turning she stared at the trio standing there, her brothers and sister who watched through the door into the room outside. When she looked up, her eyes widened at the branches of trees that were silhouetted in a night sky. Dakota had turned when he did not sense his sister behind him and in the darkness he blindly groped toward the back of the wardrobe. He stumbled through the prickle of the branches and stood with his sister in the dark woods.

 

 

“Jim, Rhi!” Amanda said, “Come here.”

 

 

“Where are we, sis?” Dakota asked.

 

 

“I don’t know.”  Amanda replied

 

 

James and Rhiannon moved backward from the door, seeing the handle jiggle on the outer door. James put his hand to his lips indicating for Rhi to be quiet. He could see she was about to panic, and that would be the last thing he needed her to do at this critical moment.

 

 

“This way.” Jim whispered, and they backed quickly from the door. They felt for the back of the wardrobe in the darkness. When they didn’t, they too gasped, turning alarmed to stare at the thick branches of trees making up a barrier between the interior of the wardrobe to wherever they seemed to be going.

 

 

“Very strange, where did these trees come from?” Rhi asked and James shrugged. He squinted, able to see a light in the darkness ahead through the trees.  The young woman noticed the open airy feeling inside this wardrobe.

 

 

“This must be a totally enormous wardrobe.” She thought, and put out her hand.

 

 

Behind them, they heard a crash as the door was struck and turning they saw the grizzled face of a hobo who prowled the empty hallways of this old mansion.  Rhi let out a gasp as James covered her mouth as she was about to scream.  He stepped back and pushed her through the trees and followed her into the darkness. Both tumbled to end up on a dark path in the middle of the wood as the door finally gave way behind them, and in ran a grizzled looking hobo, dressed in rags. He had heard the whispers of the kids in the room, also having seen and heard Amanda and Rhiannon from the basement through the hole when he looked up. When he reached the doors of the wardrobe, he tore at the handles, slamming open the doors to peer hard into the back of the wardrobe, expecting to find the kids cowering in the back of it. The wardrobe was empty. They had all slipped away through the portal into Narnia.

 

 

Meanwhile Jim and Rhi got to their feet quickly and both turned their heads in alarm at the surroundings of the wood that spread out before them both. They glanced at each other in alarm.

 

 

“What the hell?” Jim stammered as they stood on the empty path among the trees of a great forest.

 

 

“W-where are we?” Rhi asked, and her brother met her fearful expression with a mere shrug of indifference. Her head turned when she saw the face of the hobo in the darkness behind them at the doors of the wardrobe in the spare room of the mansion they were exploring. She screamed. 

 

 

Jim turned and readied himself for a fight, and waited. The Hobo’s face showed astonishment, hearing the scream, and he stood his ground, lunging toward the back wall of the wardrobe to strike it with his hands in frustration. He did not see either of them.

 

 

They ran down the path toward the light, a short distance away.  They found Amanda and Dakota both standing next to a lamp-post standing in the middle of the wood, brightly lit. It was made of iron and covered with ivy.

 

 

“Are you two all right?” Amanda asked and both of the older siblings nodded in silence. James, of course, kept his eye on the path and the grove of trees in the distance, as-if waiting for the hobo who stood in the spare room, waiting for them to appear.

 

 

“Where are we?” The older brother asked, “This is very odd. How did we end up in the forest outside again?”  In the distance he could see the silhouetted form of the hobo who still stood inside the wardrobe, striking the back with his hand. They could hear his pounding on the wardrobe back for a few minutes before there was complete silence.

 

 

The four of them suddenly realized they stood in the middle of the forest, alone, and with no one around. As they listened to the sounds of the forest echo around them, the four had no idea that they had come to Narnia, the same way as it had been seventy years ago when Peter, Edmund, Lucy and Susan traversed the wardrobe in the house and found their way into this mystical country. They did not know where they were, or where they were going. Amanda suddenly stopped a look of fear crossing her face as she saw the silhouette of a lion in the woods, the glowing eyes and golden mane visible in the moonlight.

 

 

“Look out a Lion!” She shouted.

 

 

“Form a circle, Amanda step in the center.” James instructed, and they did so.

 

 

“He won’t harm you.” Another voice said, they looked again and a young woman with long blond hair appeared beside the lion.

 

 

“Greetings James, and Dakota, Sons of Adam, Rhiannon, and Amanda, Daughters of Eve.” Aslan said, regarding the four with his golden eyes. His voice was rich and gentle, something leaping inside them when they heard his voice. They also were surprised the Lion had spoken and already knew their names.

 

 

“W-who are you?” Amanda asked the young girl, “Where are we please?”

 

 

“You are in the new Narnia.” replied the woman, “This is Aslan. I am Queen Lucy. I bid you welcome, although I am a bit surprised to see other humans like us in this place.”

 

 

Amanda dropped to her knee. Dakota followed suit, followed by Rhi and James. There was an uncomfortable silence as they stood on the threshold and several times James glanced at his siblings. The young woman smiled at the four newcomers, acknowledging the courtesy they gave them despite they were strangers in this land.

 

 

“Arise.” Lucy told them and they rose to their feet, “Can I ask you all something? How did you get into this realm? I didn’t think it was possible after the last time aboard the Dawn Treader.”

 

 

 The young woman met each of the four’s expression with an amused twinkle in her eye. Lucy was perplexed, confused by their clothing. She clearly is unaware that it had been a few decades between the two instances that the gateway to this land had opened, allowing them to enter the first times and recently after the train wreck that allowed them to stay here permanently.
 

 

“We entered through a wardrobe. Y-your Majesty?” Rhiannon replied, “We stepped through the door over there and here we are. Are we dreaming?”

 

 

Lucy gasped aloud and Aslan glanced at her.

 

 

“W-what did you say?”

 

 

“We came through a wardrobe.” Rhiannon repeated.

 

 

“B-but that gate had closed when we returned.” Lucy stammered, “That was many years ago, during another time during World War Two!” James and the others had glanced at each other.

 

 

“It’s two thousand and five now.” James told them, “There’s no war going on like back then, only a skirmish in the Middle-East.”  Here the young woman and Aslan glanced at each other.

 

 

“How strange, it was nineteen forty, when my brothers, sister and I came through.”  Lucy mused, “I still don’t understand how they got here.”

 

 

“Just so you know, seventy years have elapsed since you came through.” James said, “Things are different since you knew them. A lot has happened in that time.”

 

 

“You will have to fill us in, it looks like. But it is nice to see another human for a change.” Lucy said, gazing at the four carefully, “How very ironic there are four of you. You remind me of my sister, my brothers and I, four strangers in a new land.”  James and Dakota walked toward Aslan who shook his thick curly mane.

 

 

“Come on, is this for real?” Dakota asked suddenly, “Where are we really.”
 

 

“Narnia, I told you.”

 

 

Lucy was reminded of someone else, a certain fawn who had started her adventures here in Narnia the first time she had come to this land. She sensed their confusion and misunderstanding of the surroundings they found themselves in.

 

 

“Come, this way, you can come and tell us of your adventures.” She said, “And what the future is like.”

 

 

Together the four front he future were led through the forest at a quick place, heading to the east. A short time later, they came to a grassy meadow and toward a large castle on a fjord. The castle, Cair Paravel stood in this new land, the same castle that had been destroyed after the original four had returned to their world. It stood as it had before on the coast, large, ominous, and foreboding. The sea crashed against the stone that surrounded it, and they walked along the path toward it. The group entered an arch that led into a large village.

 

 

“Just act casual.” James whispered, meeting the curious onlookers, staring at dwarves, gnomes, druids, and other creatures of fantasy. They all knelt seeing the lion who led them toward the large gates and slowly they walked over the large drawbridge.

 

 

“How can we… you know… walk with strange creatures like this?” Asked Rhiannon and James shrugged as they continued to walk onward beside their new found friends. Soon they entered through a great archway, past a portcullis from which they entered the grand castle of Cair Paravel.  Turning their heads, all four stared in wonder, astonished by the lush interior of the castle, the huge tapestries, and high pillared ceilings. The four soon came to a pair of large doors where on either side, two centaurs stood guard.

 

 

            The two guards raised their lances in salute as they followed Lucy and Aslan into the large throne room. There seated on the middle was Peter, a long beard and long blond hair, in council with his brother Edmund the Just, who spoke in low tones.  They saw Lucy and smiled.

 

 

            “Lucy.” Peter exclaimed formally, “Where have you and Aslan, been off to.”  He stopped speaking immediately upon seeing the four who slowly panned their heads, staring in surprised awe at their surroundings. The visitors all stared at the four thrones in silence.

 

 

 

            Amanda watched Lucy take her seat beside her brothers.

 

 

            All were speechless, stunned to see another human in this new Narnia.

 

 

            “Who are you?”

 

           

             James stepped forward, at the nod of Aslan and the others stepped up to stand beside him.

 

 

            “James Mitchell.” James said, bowing, “My sisters and brother, Your HIGHNESSES.” With that he bowed slightly at the waist. James motioned to his siblings who watched the three with grim look on their faces. They had to clear their throats before speaking.

 

 

            “Rhiannon.”

 

 

            “Dakota.”

 

 

            “Amanda…”

 

 

 

            “How is it that humans have ended up in this new Narnia?”

 

 

            “They came through the wardrobe that we entered, brother.” Lucy told him and he glanced at her in equal surprise of the others.

 

 

            “The same one we exited into our world again?’ He exclaimed, “How is that possible.”

 

 

            “That house had magic that none of us really understood.” Edmund said, staring at the four icily, “Somehow that portal has opened again.”

 

 

            “It’s not nineteen forty Peter.” Lucy whispered, and all three met her look with surprise. “It is what he said, two thousand and five.”

 

 

            “For every year, one hundred years elapses here.” Peter reminded her, making Lucy nod.

 

 

            “If I may, majesties, I can prove what I say.” James said and he took a step forward. Guards lowered their lances, preparing to charge.     He reached slowly for his identification, from which he withdrew a card, the size of a credit card. Aslan nodded his head as James glanced at him. He moved toward the courtier, and he handed him the card, walking with him toward Peter who sat in the center throne. The futuristic card seemed to glimmer in the light, made of a light aluminum titanium alloy and Jim walked three more steps before lances lowered in front of him.  The courtier walked it to Peter.

           

 

            Peter handed back the card, standing slowly and walking toward the Lion who stood beside the newcomers.

 

 

            “Can you show us where the gateway is?” He asked hopefully.

 

 

            “You can see Peter, but know this you can never return to a world you knew before,” Aslan warned, “You and your brothers and sisters are no longer living in that world you knew, if you return now, it would mean your deaths.”

 

 

            “I know Aslan, it was a hope for a chance to see about retrieving Susan, as she did not come with us after we died. If there is a hope that the portal can be used to allow my sister to come to Narnia and be with us.  I would always want that.” Peter replied, his voice hopeful.

 

 

            “These four are not bound by the confines of mere time, and space, also by the energy that be.” Aslan said solemnly, “They said the future, I don’t know if the magic can grant you what you seek.  What you ask and seek is harder than you know.”  The lion said solemnly.

 

 

            “But why do that, when I am already here?” A voice asked, and everyone turned to stare at the door.

 

 

            “Susan!” Lucy shouted, and she got up and ran toward the doorway, embracing her sister warmly. Peter and Edmund were at her heels, embracing her just the same with enthusiastic hugs.

 

 

            The four from the future watched with emotional silence, glad to see the tearful reunion of siblings, reminding them of how close they all were to each other.  Amanda was smiling as they stood there, as was Dakota James and Rhiannon. 

 

 

            The four from the future suddenly realized a cold, hard fact. They were trapped here, unable to return themselves through the portal that had brought them to Narnia. If they attempted to do so, they would be prisoners of the hobo who prowled with his friends the very mansion where the original four had come through.  They didn’t even know the way back home. Aslan glanced at them and he nodded solemnly.

 

 

            “I am aware and be easy, that you will be able to return any time you wish.” The lion said and James smiled. The older boy hatched a plan, and planned to stay and explore this new Narnia. It was a far cry better than the pesky cousins they were forced to endure back home. This was more of an adventure than meeting family in England. There was also another cold hard fact that was apparent too, that if something happened, their end was just as real too. He leaned over and he whispered to his brother and sisters who all agreed, they would stay for a while.

 

 

            Meanwhile, their cousins noticed their disappearance and had found the ball, abandoned near the fence line of the garden. The alarm was raised as they were missed and the police were called…   A search was raised of the house and the hobo arrested. But they were not found anywhere, not in their world. 

 

 

To be continued ---

 

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