Lucy didn’t dare meet Peter’s eye that evening at supper. She listened to the boys and Uncle Bert talking about some new kind of fishing gear. She felt rather uneasy. Peter hadn’t said so much as a word to her, not even in greeting. She hadn’t meant to make him mad, after all.
‘’So Lucy, are you enjoying yourself here?’’ Uncle Bert’s booming voice reached her ears.
‘’It’s a bit early to tell, Uncle Bert, as I haven’t been here very long yet. But I’m sure I’ll find my stay very pleasant,’’ she answered politely. Uncle Bert nodded and went back to talking with Peter.
‘’Are you alright, Luce?’’ Edmund whispered over the table, a rather worried look on his face.
‘’I’m fine,’’ she whispered back. She noticed Peter looking at them before turning back to Uncle Bert.
After dinner they all went and sat in the living room, where Uncle Bert turned on the radio and started to read his newspaper. Peter, Edmund and Lucy weren’t exactly sure what to do or say- as Uncle Bert didn’t seem to want to talk to them. However, they thought it rude to just walk away- so they just stayed there and sat.
Peter was actually feeling guilty. He wasn’t sure what to think of this whole Narnia thing. He knew that he and his siblings had always believed in it- but he couldn’t remember actually being in Narnia. He remembered playing battle with Edmund, while Lucy and Susan had cheered for them- but he couldn’t remember actually fighting in one. Still, he hadn’t meant to make Lucy cry. She was his little sister, after all, and he loved her to bits. High King Peter the Magnificent. He gasped as the voice resounded through his head. It was so very clear- it seemed like someone had said it out loud. But nobody in this room had a voice like this. The voice was deep, warm and clear, a voice that could comfort you, but also a voice that could scare you.
‘’What is it, Peter?’’ he heard Lucy ask. He blinked, then shook his head. It must have been his imagination.
‘’Nothing. I’m fine,’’ he answered curtly and then bit his lip when he saw her wince. ‘’Sorry, Luce. I didn’t mean it like that,’’
She gave him a weak smile, ‘’that’s alright,’’
‘’What are we doing tomorrow?’’ Edmund attempted to change the subject.
‘’I have no idea. How about we go for a cycle ride and then a picnic?’’ Peter suggested. ‘’I’m sure Uncle Bert wouldn’t mind, would you, Uncle Bert?’’
‘’You kids can do whatever you like,’’ Uncle Bert murmured from behind his newspaper. ‘’Except break the place down, that is!’’
‘’Ooh, thank you, Uncle Bert!’’ Lucy said, her eyes shining with delight. The two boys sent each other glances. To be able to do whatever they liked- splendid! A thousand ideas rose in their heads. Camping outside, sailing, fishing, anything!
The next morning Lucy awoke from a rather horrible dream. She had dreamt that she and Edmund were in Narnia, happy and contented, and then Peter and Susan had come with an army and proceeded to destroy everything. She had awakened just as Susan was shouting: ‘’this dratted imaginary land. Because of this Narnia place I wasn’t able to pass my examinations! Now I’ll never have a future!’’
‘’Good morning, Lucy,’’ her brothers greeted her as she came downstairs for breakfast.
‘’Morning,’’ she said, sleepily.
‘’You okay?’’ Edmund asked, taking a soft roll from the basket.
‘’Fine. Just a bad dream, is all,’’
‘’What about?’’ Peter asked, chewing his bite of blueberry muffin.
‘’Nothing special. I can’t remember the details,’’ Lucy said, rather uneasy. She didn’t want to talk about Narnia to Peter.
Edmund, who noticed Lucy was feeling rather uneasy, offered her a muffin.
‘’Thank you,’’ Lucy took the muffin and quickly bit it in, avoiding Peter’s stare.
‘’So, do we know for sure we’re going out on a picnic?’’ Edmund once again changed the subject.
‘’I think so. Lucy, is that alright with you?’’ Peter asked. Lucy nodded, ‘’Do we know where we’re going? Or not yet?’’
‘’I was thinking some nice place in the countryside, some field or so…’’ Peter suggested.
‘’That’s a good idea,’’ Lucy agreed. ‘’We could each take a sack and put it on the back of our bicycle. I’m sure Janet wouldn’t mind making packed lunches for us. She makes splendid food!’’ she took another bite of her chocolate chip muffin and grinned at her brothers.
So that’s what they did. Janet, who was the cheery, chubby cook of Uncle Bert’s, made them some splendid packed lunches, with the most delicious sandwiches Lucy had ever seen and after asking Uncle Bert about the countryside here, they rode off. Laughing and singing, they spent the whole morning cycling through woods and fields, seeing beautiful landscapes all around them. Lucy couldn’t help but think of Narnia, and all its beautiful landscapes. She remembered the tall woods, covered in snow and the magnificent hills. She remembered the beautiful beaches and the warm blue seawater. She couldn’t help but think of this with a bit of sadness. How horrible it would be if they could never go back. She missed Aslan so much! How she longed to run her fingers through his silky mane, hear his deep, warm, comforting voice and talk with him about everything and anything. She remembered the large wave at the end of the world, and how Reepicheep rowed to the top and disappeared out of sight. She missed him too.
‘’Lucy!’’ she heard Peter call. She looked up and nearly rode into a lamppost. Seeing that lamppost made her miss Narnia all the more, because it was very near the first thing she had seen when she first went to Narnia.
Peter and Edmund had stepped off their bicycles and unpacked their baskets.
‘’I’m coming!’’ she called back, mounting her bicycle and riding over to them.
Edmund watched Lucy step off her bike and lift her basket. Peter rushed to help her. He smiled to himself. He had guessed Lucy was thinking about Narnia on the bicycle. She had that dreamy look on her face. He tried to ignore the feeling, but he really missed Narnia too, and every day that was passing, he missed it more and more.
‘’Look at this feast!’’ Peter called out. Lucy clapped her hands in delight.
‘’Janet is really the best- isn’t she?’’ she said, and the boys nodded in agreement.
There were sandwiches with egg and bacon, cucumber and smoked ham, tomato and cheese, salmon and lemon. There was a large plate with chicken drumsticks and Janet had even added a nice salad with her famous salad dressing. There was a large bowl with strawberries and a smaller bowl with cream and a note which told them not to eat too much of it. There even was half a chocolate cake!
Soon they all were heartily tucking into that delicious food. When they had enough, they packed the rest of the stuff up and rode on. It was slowly turning darker when they turned and rode home. Sore, but contented, they put away their bicycles and went inside for supper. The delicious aroma of beef floated to meet them as they opened the front door. Uncle Bert, as usual, was sitting in his armchair, reading the newspaper. He looked up from his newspaper when he heard the children coming in.
‘’Good evening,’’ they replied.
‘’Well- how was your ride?’’
‘’Splendid!’’ Peter said, eyes shining.
‘’Incredible,’’ Edmund agreed.
‘’Beautiful landscapes you have here!’’ Lucy remarked.
‘’Ah yes- we do have beautiful landscapes. Can’t say I’ve seen a lot of ‘em myself, but what I’ve seen is sure… beautiful,’’ Uncle Bert nodded.
‘’What are you planning on doing tomorrow?’’ Uncle Bert asked, when they had all finished the large supper. Feeling very full indeed, Lucy replied, ‘’I have no idea. What do you think, Ed?’’
‘’Fishing?’’ he suggested. Peter brightened up, ‘’Yes, let’s! I saw the best fishing place today- with a wooden bridge we could sit on… and Lucy, there’s a part in the water that’s not very deep- so there won’t be fishes. You can go swimming... well- paddling there and you won’t scare away the fish!’’
Lucy thought about it a minute, ‘’Well- I do have two new books mother gave me before they left- I would like to read those and I can get a bit of a tan as well. I know that’s considered unladylike, but who cares,’’ she finished, with a toss of her head. The boys looked at her admiringly. They were very glad indeed to have such a sister. They liked Susan as well, but they couldn’t do very much with her- since she grew up and all. She never wanted to do rough games- or play ball or go hiking anymore.
‘’Very well, then- that’s settled. Should I tell Janet to make you packed lunches again?’’ Uncle Bert asked.
‘’Oh yes- thank you Uncle Bert,’’ Lucy said, her eyes shining.
They sat around in the living room for a while- playing a game and then left to go to bed, Lucy said good night to her brothers and pushed open her door. Her eyes widened in shock. For guess who was sitting on the bed?