Moonrose

Epilogue

Deep in the forest, by a tree engraved with a quite particular symbol, a serpent winds its way through the weeds and ferns. It could blend in perfectly, were it not for the trail of greenish blood it left in its wake. It's hisses, formerly the terror of any world, are now nearly silent, both out of injury and a need for quiet passage through the woods.

The snake travels along its path, stopping every few minutes to try and ease the pain in its side. It is not used to cuts and wounds marring its scales. The damaged skin catches on the leaves and twigs sometimes.

Once the woods begin to thin and the ferns no longer provide quite so much cover, the serpent raises itself up on an aching tail to its full height. Slowly, the scales melt away and the beast shrinks in size. The green skin morphs into green cloth, and a fair woman emerges.

Limping along, the lady in green robes makes her way through the forest toward the city. The time has come for her to move her home to a safer place. Perhaps there is more safety in the north. The Giants of Harfang were old friends of hers; perhaps she could regain her strength in their country and then build a new Underland, one to not only rival the old, but to completely eclipse it. The Moon World (those silly creatures called it Tanssi Kuun in their tongue, but the lady thinks Moon World suits it much better) would have been a good place to gather strength until her real Underland could come to fruition, but now the Harfang Giants would simply have to do.

One of their cities in the North, ruined now but she has seen it in its glory days, might prove a suitable spot for beginning her new kingdom. Perhaps this time she could even go deep enough into the earth to take the gnomes as her subjects. Her earth-goblins were destroyed by that troublesome Rose and her makeshift army.

But first, she needed to rest, and there would be no rest here in the city. The Green Lady glides through the crowds that choke the streets, but it is nowhere near as easy as usual. She nods to the familiar faces that she was so careful to incline to her words and even stops to trade pleasantries with a few of her closer acquaintances. They served her well when she needed dear little Rose contained, but now she must leave all these carefully forged connections behind.

A new beginning awaits her, when her strength is returned. She will yet be Queen of Narnia.

The thought comforts the lady as she enters her temporary abode and packs only her necessary belongings. This means only her precious mandolin and her magic powder that aids her in twisting the words of others. These items too have served her well, but they will yet serve her again.

Carefully and quite gently indeed, the lady picks up the mandolin and picks up the powder, tucks them away in a purse that looks much smaller than it is, and sets out, telling all her gossip mills along the way that something has come up and she simply must visit some old friends, but she will be sure to visit them again when she is able.

Her new beginning is nigh.


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