Breathe

Hurt

Caspian looked around the room and noticed everyone had the same expression; fear. Except for Edmund would also had a look of pain. Caspian had no hope left and let it slip into his eyes when Susan looked at him. He was upset at himself for not showing her an emotion that would let her know everything would be okay.

Lucy had tears in her eyes and noticed Caspian had a look of guilt. Lucy went over to him and asked, "Are you okay, Caspian?"

Caspian said in anger and in grief, "Can you just take a guess Lucy? Of course 'm not alright. I've failed you and your family."

Lucy put an arm around his shoulders and said, "You didn't fail us. You've helped us Caspian."

Caspian pulled Lucy's arm off of his shoulder and said shaking his head, "Lucy stop trying to make me feel better. Sometimes it makes me feel worse."

Lucy gave him a confused look and said, "Everyone always needs reassurance Caspian. I don't understand what you're talking about."

Lucy got up and walked over to where Edmund was sitting in pain. Lucy gave him a sympathetic look and asked, "Are you okay Ed? You don't look well…you look rather ill."

Edmund was pale. Memories of Susan and Rabadash were running through his mind. He had a million emotions going on as well. He felt anger, guilt, sadness, pain, and fear.

Edmund looked at Lucy with emotionless eyes and said slowly, "I feel like I'm going to be sick." Edmund had sweat on his forehead and was shaking. He was clenching his stomach like it was going to burst.

Lucy gave him a reassuring smile and said, "Deep breaths Ed." She deeply breathed in and out so Edmund could mimic her breathing. Edmund took deep breathes the same as Lucy.

Caspian had his head against the wall and had visions of Susan and Demeterius playing through his mind. It made him feel as sick as Edmund. He didn't want to think about it, but it couldn't leave his thoughts.

Susan was drowsy while she was being carried. Her screams were making her head throb. She thought to herself she had to be brave and had to pull through. After five minutes of walking, she gave up kicking. The guard was holding her so hard, she felt as if there were going to be bruises on her waist from where his hands were holding her down.

When the guard walked into Demeterius's chambers, he was talking to Autumn. He smiled like a kid at a candy store when he saw Susan come in. The guard set Susan down and walked out of the room.

Demeterius walked up to Susan and kissed her lightly and wholeheartedly. Susan pulled away and asked, "What do you want?" She had tears blotted behind her eyes.

She wanted Caspian and her family. She wanted to be with them on their last day not with called out the name of a guard and when the guard came in he said "In about twenty minutes I want you to take the Kings, Queen, and Frederick to the execution chamber."

The guard nodded his head and said, "Yes my King." He walked out of the room and closed the door behind him.

Susan felt a pain in her stomach thinking of her family dying and her living. She especially couldn't imagine little Lucy. She asked, "What are you going to do to my family?" Susan knew she wasn't supposed to know of the plan so she played it safe.

Demeterius smiled and said, "Well my Queen with them out of the picture we can rule together with nothing stopping us. I will have them all hanged in my execution room soon enough." Susan felt the pain in her stomach worsen by going into more detail about how her family would die.

Demeterius looked at Susan and walked up to her seductively and said, "I want you and will always want only you. You are so beautiful."

Susan backed up away from him and into the wall of the room. She watched as Autumn walked out and yelled, "Autumn! Please don't leave me alone with him. Autumn save me." Autumn looked at Susan from top to bottom and walked out of the room.

Susan felt betrayed that someone could've helped her but passed out on the opportunity. She noticed Demeterius getting closer to her and he asked, "What do you mean by save me Susan?"

Susan said shaking her head, "I want to be with people I love, not with you." She regretted that she said that because that same look of horrifying rage went into Demeterius's eyes. She screamed and he threw her against the cold hard marble ground. Susan smacked her head off of the marble and the pain made her vision blur. She looked at Demeterius who was standing over her and the sight was black around the edges.

Susan felt tears well up in her eyes and felt a lump and bruise forming on her head. She got up and said her voice pleading, "I'm sorry can't you just let them live?"

Demeterius said, "No, they won't let us be together. That Caspian will never let us be together. He's manipulating your mind to make you love him."

Susan asked, "What do you mean manipulate? He doesn't have power over my emotions no man does." Demeterius pushed her to the ground again and Susan yelled "Stop hurting me!"

She kicked from under his feet, which made him fall to the ground and groan. Susan ran for the door, and he caught up to her and pulled at the waist-line of her dress and made her fall to the ground. He smashed his foot on her leg which made a cracking noise, and Susan screamed.

She thrusted her palm upwards at Demeterius's nose, and he put his hands to it. She got up and felt a pain shot up her spine when she walked on the leg that made a cracking noise. She limped toward the door and felt pain each step she took but was determined. Demeterius caught up to Susan again, but it wasn't hard this time. He pinned her against a wall and pulled out his sword.

Susan saw insanity and anger in his eyes as he looked at the sword and Susan. Susan started sobbing and said "Stop."

He cut across her stomach. She felt a sharp pain go across her stomach, and she screamed even louder again. She saw the blood come from her stomach and drip onto the white marble floor. Demeterius pushed her to the ground again, and she screamed again. She tried to scream a second time but all that was let out was a small croak. She felt Demeterius on top of her and everything went black.

Everyone in the cell heard the first scream, and they all knew it was from Susan. They heard footsteps. They all turned their heads to see three guards and Autumn. Autumn said, "My father said I should speak with them one last time." The guards let her in, and she smiled at them.

She said looking at the guards, "I need to speak with them in private. Before you go, gather all the guards and send them to the execution room. My father wishes you all be there to watch." The guards nodded and walked away.

She watched as the guards walked away and said, "I want to help you all get out of here."

Everyone's eyebrows pulled together and Caspian asked, "What are you really doing Autumn?"

Autumn sighed shaking her head. All she could think of was her father and Susan. "You know just because my father is like this doesn't mean I'm like him. I actually have a heart. It might not seem like a big one, but trust me it's bigger than my fathers. You all just have to do exactly what I say and no questions."

After Autumn told them what they had to do, she grabbed the keys outside the cell. She opened the door to the group. She unchained Peter, Edmund, and lastly Caspian. Her hands shook while she was unchaining him.

Caspian whispered, "Autumn you can calm down. Everything will be fine."

Autumn took the shackles off of Caspian and asked, "Do you want to get out of here or not?"

Without a second thought, Capsian nodded. "Of course."

Autumn stood as well as Caspian. "Then stop reassuring me. I'll miss it too much."

Caspian smiled at the ground. "So this is it?"

Autumn nodded. "I believe so. Can you please do me a favor and get out of here as fast as you can?"

There was a second scream to be echoed through the hall. Caspian cringed. Autumn grabbed his hands. They were cold. "Knock me out. It will make it seem like you all got out somehow without my help."

Caspian sighed. He had to do this. He kissed Autumn one last time. It was a farewell kiss. Caspian whispered, "Thank you."

Caspian closed his eyes as did Autumn. Caspian hit her on the back of the head and ran out to the family. Caspian said determined, "Let's go."

As they walked down the hallway, they all heard and third scream. Lucy grabbed Peter's arm tightly. Edmund was holding his stomach the entire time. He knew everything bad that could possibly happen to Susan was happening. They heard another scream about two minutes after that and it was louder. They were getting closer to the room. Caspian turned toward all of them and said pointing to a door, "This is the room that Autumn told us about."

Caspian ran into the room and found Demeterius on top of Susan pulling away the strings at her corset. He also noticed Susan was unconscious and he snarled. He kicked Demeterius off of Susan, and Demeterius fell backwards.

Edmund ran to Susan's side and started tying the strings of her corset back together. Caspian yelled at Peter ,"Take Lucy and Frederick to the horses." Peter nodded, grabbed Lucy's hand, and ran down the hallway as fast as he could.

Edmund noticed the huge gash across Susan's stomach; she was losing a lot of blood. Edmund yelled at Caspian, "She's losing a lot of blood."

Caspian took the sword from Demeterius's belt buckle. Caspian shook his head. "You dare not call me a prince no longer." Demeterius chuckled. Caspian kicked him back down and said between his teeth, "This is for Susan."

He swiped the sword across Demeterius's stomach in the same place Susan was hurt. But Caspian went deeper than his cut into Susan. Edmund yelled, "Caspian we need to leave now!"

Caspian wanted to finish him off but ripped off a bottom piece of fabric off of Susan's dress and tied it around her stomach.

Caspian picked Susan up into his arms and carried her down the hallways to find the way out. Caspian's heart was pumping fast, and he was scared. He ran down hallway after hallway and started to see things he remembered. He saw the door, that he opened before that sent them all back into their cells.

Edmund pushed open one of the big doors and saw Lucy, Frederick, and Peter all on horseback. Edmund got on a white horse. Caspian got on a chestnut horse and put Susan on the same horse in front of him, and she was riding side saddle. Caspian was gripping the reins in one hand and with the other supporting Susan's motionless body with the other. His hand was around her waist tightly to make sure he wouldn't lose her. Her head was supported against Caspian's chest.

They all rode their horses out of the castle and off the bridge of the castle. They were finally free. Frederick asked, "Can I come with all of you to Narnia?" All of them said, "Yes."

They rode out of Archenland city and Caspian kept yelling things at Susan like, "Stay with me. We're going home. You'll never have to see that monster again. You can make it." Susan was losing a lot of blood her corset and the fabric were a crimson red.

Every ten minutes, Caspian would put his ear to her mouth and nose to make sure Susan was breathing. When it was about five hours of riding Caspian felt Susan's breathing get slower. He was getting hopeless; they made it out but Susan might not.

About an hour later, Caspian heard a groan of pain come from Susan's mouth. He was happy she was still alive but upset that she was in pain. Lucy yelled at Peter who was in front of everyone else, "How much longer Peter?"

Peter yelled back at Lucy, "About two more hours!" Peter smiled that he felt the wind while they were riding. He would look back at Caspian and Susan and notice Susan unconscious every time. Every time he looked back, he would hope to find Susan's eyes fluttered open somehow.

Edmund was so happy to be back outside and feel sun and wind. He loved the feeling of the outdoors. He felt so cramped in the tiny cell and felt like they were never going to get out of it.

When they got to Cair Paravel, they saw their castle in the distance. They all laughed except for Caspian who was in panic and wanted to get Susan to a nurse right away. Lucy wished she had her healing cordial with her but it was lost somewhere, and she didn't know where it was. Caspian forced the horse to move faster, and the horse did.

It was twilight, and it looked beautiful on the beach. Eventually they got the gates of Cair Paravel and noticed army tents on the beach. The army heard horses and they all had their weapons ready like it was the enemy on horseback. When they saw it was the Kings and Queens, they all jumped to their feet with excitement. Some had tears of joy others were laughing and some were whooping with joy.

Caspian looked at all of them and smiled by their reactions and yelled, "My fellow Narnians I need your attention!" They all stopped what they were doing and listened to Caspian their King. Caspian yelled at them, "Calormen didn't kidnap us. I will tell you who did eventually. I want all of you to call off the war. Queen Susan is not doing well, so if you could make a path for us to get back to the castle that would be helpful."

The Narnians did exactly what Caspian said and made a path for the Kings and Queens to ride their horses through. Lucy smiled at every Narnian she looked at even though it was a fake smile. Frederick looked scared by all of the different looking Narnians. Lucy grabbed his hand, squeezed it, and said, "It's alright they're like any other person." Frederick nodded in agreement but couldn't help but stare at them.

Caspian rode his horse as fast as he could toward the castle. He got to the gates and noticed Trumpkin greeted them there. Caspian jumped off of his horse and took Susan in his arms again. He ran as fast as he could and noticed she was fading by her breathing. He ran into the castle and yelled multiple times, "Where are the professor and the doctor?"

Caspian ran to the healing room and placed Susan on one of the beds in there. He unwrapped the stomach wrap he put on Susan's stomach. He didn't notice how deep the cut was until now and felt queasy. Peter ran in with the professor and the doctor, the doctor was a female fawn. The professor said, "This cut is quite deep. I will need to expose Queen Susan."

Peter glared at Caspian. He knew he had to leave. Caspian kissed Susan's forehead and said, "I love you Susan. You will make it." And he went into the hallway of the room. Edmund and Lucy went into the healing room to support their sister with Peter.

Caspian couldn't help but feel jealous. Frederick sat on the floor outside of the room picking at his fingernails. Caspian started pacing back and forth and didn't know what to think of what was going to happen to Susan.

In the healing room, the Professor had two buckets of water. He went over to one to wash his hands and said, "King Peter do you mind removing Queen Susan's corset?" Peter shook his head and started to untie the corset. His hands were fumbling and shaking. He was frustrated as he tried to untie with his hands. Edmund and Lucy walked in and watched Peter.

The doctor was putting water on Susan's cut as Peter was removing it. Peter removed the corset and exposed the top half of Susan's body. Peter noticed bruises and the part of her arm that was cut. The professor walked over to Susan and said, "She has lost a lot of blood. It looks as if her blood count is very low."

Edmund felt a lump in his throat and asked, "Does that mean she's not going to make it?"

The Professor clicked his tounge."I'm not sure King Edmund…..but we'll try our best."

The doctor was still putting water on the wound and the Professor said, "That's enough water Gilda." She backed off to watch the Professor.

The Professor walked over to Susan with a needle and thread in his hand. Edmund wasn't much of a person with needles. In London, when his mother took him to the doctor, he would have to get vaccinated with a shot. When a needle came toward him, he turned pale and felt like he was going to be sick. A few times at the doctor's office he did vomit. He saw the needle and noticed Peter and Lucy looking at him. Peter said, "You know Ed, if it's too much you can go wait outside with Caspian and Frederick."

Edmund shook his head and said, "No, I want to be here for my sister." Peter nodded his head.

The Professor said while grabbing some more tools, "I'm just going to stich her wound up so it doesn't get infected or lose any more blood." Lucy, Peter, and Edmund nodded their heads.

Once the Professor started taking the needle to sew Susan's flesh together, Edmund couldn't take it anymore. He ran out of the room and vomited on the floor. Caspian had an astonished and sympathetic look in his face and asked, "Edmund what's wrong? Are you alright? Is Susan alright? I have so many questions."

Edmund was breathing heavily and said hunched over the floor, "I…don't…like … needles." Caspian laughed and hugged Edmund. Edmund was surprised by Caspian's reaction.

Edmund hugged him back and asked, "Why did you just hug me?"

Caspian said pulling away, "Being chained up keeps me from doing things like that. I didn't get to hug you whenever I wanted." There was a pause and Caspian asked, "So you don't like needles?" Edmund rolled his eyes at him. He laughed and said "Listen everyone the great King Edmund is afraid of needles."

Edmund rolled his eyes again and felt his cheeks get hot. He looked at Frederick, and he had a placid look on his face. Edmund asked, "Do you want to see your room after this?"

Frederick nodded his head. Edmund asked, "What's wrong?"

Frederick looked at him and asked, "What if Demeterius comes back with an army?"

Caspian chuckled and said, "I don't see a problem there."

Frederick said nervously, "Well his army outnumbers Narnia quite largely, and he might not give a warning when he comes."

Caspian thought about Susan and said, "Can we not think about this right? Let's think of what's happening right now."

In the healing room, when Edmund left, the Professor asked, "What's wrong with King Edmund?"

Peter laughed groggily and said, "He's not a big needle person."

Lucy smiled with tears in her eyes. She squeezed Susan's limp hand. "I'm sure Susan would be laughing hysterically at him right now."

Peter pulled Lucy into his chest and said, "She sure would."

The Professor kept stitching Susan until her wound was fully stitched. He bit the excess thread with his teeth and said, "She looks good for now." He paused and looked at Susan's body and asked, "Do you know of any other places she could have been hurt?" Peter and Lucy shook their heads and the Professor said, "Okay if you can…..wait a second. Her leg looks off."

Peter and Lucy looked at each other and back at the Professor. He felt up Susan's calf and said with a gasp, "I think her calf bone is broken." Peter gritted his teeth and cursed under his breath. The Professor sighed. "Okay…there is nothing we can do for that only I can break it back into place, and she can't walk for a few weeks."

The Professor looked up at Lucy and Peter. Their faces were appalled. "The popping noise from Susan's leg might sound uncomfortable I'm just giving you a heads up."

The Professor pulled on Susan's leg and just as he said there was a cracking sound. The Professor looked at Lucy and Peter who looked sick. He said, "Sorry." He backed up and looked at Susan's body again and said "Okay nothing looks wrong as of right now. So Gilda can you bandage her wound?"

Gilda nodded her head and put a long strip of white fabric over Susan's cut. The Professor said, "We have to dress her something more comfortable."

Peter rolled his eyes and said, "She always just loved wearing Edmund and my pajamas." He paused and as he held up a finger said, "Be right back."

Peter walked out of the door and the first thing he saw was vomit on the floor, and Edmund, Caspian, and Frederick sitting up against the wall. Peter said, "Ed you can go back in. Caspian you can't."

Edmund looked at Caspian and said, "Sorry Caspian." And walked into the healing room.

Peter ran down the hallways to his room. He noticed it was exactly as he left it, a mess with different suits on his bed for the ball. He pulled open his drawer and pulled out a pair of his pajamas.

He ran back into the healing room and noticed Edmund holding her hand. Lucy was holding the other trying to fight back tears. Peter said, "Well you can dress her in these."

The Professor smiled and said, "I'm going to leave. Gilda can dress her."

Peter was holding Susan's frail body up so they could undress and dress her. They got her into his pajamas and pulled Susan under the covers. The Pevensies slept in that room that night.

In the hallway, when the Professor walked out, Caspian ran up to him and asked, "Is she alright? What's going on?" The Professor gave Caspian a look that said not well. Caspian looked him in the eyes and said, "Professor tell me the truth and tell me everything."


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