A Glimpse Into What is to Come
Disclaimer: I don't own much…hardly anything at all really. It all belongs to C.S. Lewis if it's not from my strange mind.
Chapter Twenty-Six: A Glimpse Into What Is To Come
Puzzled, we continued down the countryside until our feet were traveling under the soil of the little town. People walked passed us left and right, just as they would have in any other town. I kept my hood pulled over my head as we traveled for fear that someone may recognize me and I may not get as lucky the second time around. Emily traveled close to my side as Jacob led us through the masses of people.
Night time was quickly falling on the town and by the time they had arrived, the moon had been perched high in the sky. There were plenty of things that I intended to get figured out, but my eyes were failing to stay open. I trudged along, but with heavy eyes. The seemingly miniscule town seemed to stretch on forever as it took us to get to the dinky inn on the other side.
As we stood in front of the white, farm-house-looking-building with the words "Country Inn" scribbled on the front, Stephen let out a groan of aggravation.
"Please tell me that my inn doesn't look that ridiculous," he sighed, rubbing his temples as Emily and I watched chickens come scrambling out of the front door.
"Get back here!" a very uncivilized woman screeched as she came running out of the farmhouse, a messy apron and strewn hair, chasing the chickens.
Emily and I eyed the humorous scene before Emily looked back at Stephen and said sincerely," Yours was much better."
He looked at her, while I was still laughing at the scene of the woman chasing the flock of chicken, and smiled. From the corner of my eye, it appeared that she was smiling too. Not that I was any matchmaker of the romantic sort, but she had made him smile. Stephen just wasn't the smiling type and if she could get him to do that…perhaps I was overanalyzing it. It was mostly odd that they were even pretending to communicate with each other, another thing was that I could tell when people didn't like each other and those two definitely didn't start off the best.
"Anyways," I said, shaking the image of the herd of chicken out of my head," Let's check in, shall we?"
It took several moments for the woman to return to the inn and gather together all of her chicken into the back, but after she had she was rather jolly and helped us right away. The whole feel of this inn was much more…quaint than Stephen's. Stephen's inn was much more, well-run, but this one was much less frightening in the sense that the inn-owner didn't have a collection of sharpened knives laying around. She was able to aid us quickly and assist us to our rooms.
Nothing eventful happened that evening, but I remember being able to fall asleep very quickly. Stephen had offered to purchase another room for himself to prevent from any rumors being spread, but I assured him that no one would know of our existence here until possibly that next day. He had made himself comfortable on the floor by the hole in the wall that I assumed was passing as the "window" while Emily made herself comfortable on the opposite side of the tiny straw bed we were given. Whenever they claimed to be a "country" inn; they weren't joking. Even though the sleeping arrangements were harsh, sleep came fast; especially after such a long day of traveling.
The sun was shining brightly as I sat in the library in the castle, reading one of the old history books that I hadn't read in ages. There was nothing wrong. All was peaceful. Everything seemed to be on pause as I sat there, enjoying life. It had felt as though ages had passed since the last time I was allowed to sit down and read. After hours of sitting and relaxing, I got up from my perch in the chair and traveled back up the stairs to the second level. Servants passed, greeting me as "your majesty". I felt as though I deserved no such title, but the people would never call me anything other than that. Several moments later, I found myself at the doors to the royal chambers and without hesitation stepped inside.
The room was so familiar that I hardly put much thought into which direction to turn at certain places. I reached the bedchambers after traveling through Caspian's study and gazed upon our lavish bed briefly before my eyes traveled to the balcony, where my husband stood near the edge.
Slowly, not wanting to disturb him, I made my way to the balcony and just before I arrived; his head turned in my direction.
"Rosalie," he whispered softly, opening his arm for me to come closer to him.
Without hesitating, I stepped closer to him and wrapped my arms around him, embracing him tight. I looked at him and noticed that this was an older Caspian than what I had seen last when he had left. Granted, this was not a much older version, but he was still five to ten years older. I closed my eyes, enthralled in the moment of being back in his arms again. It seemed as though ages had gone since we had been together, though in reality only a matter of weeks had passed. Never did it cease to amaze me how much things could change in a matter of weeks.
"Caspian," I answered, linking my hand with his.
"I am proud of you," he whispered in my ear, the feel of his voice sent goosebumps down my spine.
"You shouldn't be," I answered, looking at him seriously," I have hidden behind the strength of others. Had it not been for them, I would have gotten myself killed long ago."
His hand rubbed my arm before he answered," Those things matter little, Rosalie. You know that. You know that one person cannot make it by themselves."
I met his eyes," Caspian, I've been spoiled. Whenever we fought back against Miraz, I feel as though I was more willing to stand up and fight. Look at me, ever since you've been gone all I can seem to do is hide behind-"
"Rosalie." He said sternly," Stop."
"It's true, Caspian. Look at what I stood up for back then. Look at me now." I told him just as sternly.
"You're on this journey now," he whispered, wrapping his other arm around me as I moved to the edge of the balcony beside him," Bad things happen to everyone Rosalie, but to us…it seems as though they have been much more frequent. I would not expect you to react in any other way."
"Rosalie, you're not invincible. You can't be fighting an adventure every day. What you're on now is just the beginning of what is to come, I can feel it. In no way could you have better reacted to Jacob for he would have killed you on the spot had you done anything else. Your friends were the ones who had to act for you, otherwise I would be one lonely king. That's why you must finish what they could not. You don't know how badly they wanted to join you, but how much they could not."
As I felt his arms tight around me, I took a moment to observe my surroundings. It appeared as though this was a Narnia either from the past or future. I could assume that it was from the future since Caspian's appearance was showing some small signs of maturity. I saw in front of me, a town that was still rebuilding. Telmar, obviously, had been through a rough battle for half of the town appeared to be missing. The castle had chunks missing from the outer walls and toward the top of the castle; it was no wonder that an intense battle had occurred. This must have been some sort of vision or premonition.
"What is this, Caspian?" I asked, after trying to put the pieces together in my head.
A soft chuckle escaped his lips," This is Telmar, Rosalie. This is your home after the destruction of Jacob."
I looked at him, confused once more," But-"
"This is what Narnia could be," he told me, cutting me off once more," Assuming that you finish your task. Assuming you carry on strong."
I was silenced quickly as my eyes returned to the Narnia rebuilding itself.
"This is the new horizon?" I asked him, watching as men and women both carried supplies to wherever their small cottage lay.
He nodded," This is what we've been working toward. This is what Aslan told us of just a few years ago. That vision that you and I have developed lay in front of us."
The sound of children's laughter from the streets erupted. I watched a herd of small children chase each other down the street, unafraid of anyone harming them. They were free, as they should have been.
"How is this possible?" I asked, still confused by the sight of it all.
"I've asked myself the same question many times before, but have concluded that this is the doing of Aslan," he explained to me with a sigh," I have been here many times before, Rosalie."
"But it must only be just a dream," I said, still watching with a warmness in my heart as the people worked with a certain merriness to them.
"It comes to us as what we call a dream." Caspian said, his voice such a comfort to hear," But it is a glimpse into what is to come. A vision, if you will. I thought for the longest time that it was only me whom Aslan was sending this to, but obviously we are now sharing the same vision."
"How many other times have you seen this?" I asked gently.
"I can't say that I know." He told me, his face obviously contemplating what he was to say next," It seems as though I have every night since I've been separated from you."
As he said that, there seemed to be a certain pain to his voice. His whole aura was not as happy as he normally was. Even though this was obviously an older Caspian, his whole personality was much less jolly. He seemed happy to see me, but there were still scars deep underneath the surface; I had know him long enough to be able to tell that.
"It's torturing you, isn't it?" I asked him, looking him straight in the eye," This image is burned into your head, is it not?"
After several moments of fighting with himself, he nodded," Yes, Rosalie. And that is why, I don't want you to get discouraged. This is what Narnia needs be. This is what we have dreamed of. Please, stay strong. I'm begging you."
The last sentence was a hoarse whisper as I looked up and could almost see a tear forming in his eyes.
"This is the most painful part." His voice still hoarse and before I could say another word, we were interrupted. It was as if he knew what was happening next, but that was rather silly for me to think because of course he knew what was going to happen next...he had lived this several times before.
"Mommy?" A small voice asked from behind us.
I looked at Caspian and could feel tears wanting to explode from my eyes. We had children, or rather, we were going to have children. I placed a hand on Caspian's cheek, trying to reassure him before I turned to see the child that stood in the doorway.
"Mommy!" The child exclaimed and as soon as my eyes met the little girl's, the tears came spilling from them.
She had the most beautiful long, dark hair that very thick and traveled down half of her tiny frame as she wobbled over to us. The little girl could be no more than two years old. Everything about her spelled out that she was the offspring of a Telmarine. The child threw herself into my arms and I spun her around. After several seconds, her eyes met my own and I saw large green ones meeting my own. She was so small, so delicate...so lovely. This was a completely different form of love at first sight...though I had never given birth to her yet; she already felt like mine. There was already such a strong bond.
Caspian came up behind me and tucked a stray hair behind the little girl's ear," She looks just like her mother."
"Hi!" Our child exclaimed, a large smile coming to her face before giggling.
"Hi, sweetheart." I said with a smile, trying to soak her in.
My eyes didn't want to stop looking at her, trying to take in the fact that I had a daughter…or was going to have a daughter. Soon, I turned my head to Caspian with a much more serious tone," Where are you?"
He seemed taken aback," Right-"
"No, I mean now," my voice started to crack," I want to see her for real. I want to hold her, but not in a vision. Where are they keeping you? Why did you leave me out in the dark for so long?"
His face turned much more solemn," Rosalie, I-"
Then, just as suddenly as I had asked him the questions, I saw him start to fade. His face as well as our daughter's started to become disfigured and contorted. I tried throwing my arms out to grab them again, but it was useless for everything was disappearing. Slipping through my fingers. It was as though I was being thrown away from them. Our surroundings started to blur quickly and I could no longer feel my daughters hands grasping onto me. Everything, in just a matter of seconds, was gone.
I had a mission. The future of Narnia was laying in my hands, but not only that...the life of my daughter lay in my hands and no one was going to stand in the way of that. Ever since I started, I had dragged my feet. Aslan gave me this vision to motivate me, to show me the danger of what will happen if I don't recover. The longer I took to find Caspian, the longer he would be tortured with the same vision I just experienced.
When I awakened, there was a loud boisterous crowd that could be heard from the streets below. By the looks of the light in the room, it was still either late in the evening or very early in the morning. It was quite hard to even think of drifting back off into sleep, first because of the events of my vision and second because of the loudness. Careful not to awaken Emily, I slid out of bed and traveled over to the window, where I saw that Stephen was standing as well. There were two of us that couldn't sleep.
As if he could sense me before I arrived, he said," Uneasy sleep?"
I rubbed my eyes as I joined him at the window," You could say that. How about you?"
"It's difficult to find sleep when a troupe of drunkards are running around making an absolute ruckus. Though, I should be used to it. I live around a troupe of drunks," he said and I smiled slightly.
My eyes saw a very large group of tipsy men drinking far too many bottles at one time just outside of the tavern that lay across the street. Their behavior was raucous and downright rude as they yelled all sorts of crude words toward the women, who were clearly aggravated with their behavior, but still forced to tend to them. Yelling was not only at the women, but other at one another. Bottles were thrown at passer-bys and anyone who merely looked at the group the wrong way. The sight was quite disturbing.
"That's not right." I said to Stephen, anger building within me at the sight of so many acting so barbarous in Narnia, though it should not have surprised me.
He looked at me," No, it's not. It's not like we can do anything about it without giving ourselves away, though."
My daughter's face came into view in my head again. Before, I was doing this because I had a husband, whom I loved dearly, and country, whom I loved just as dearly, that depended upon me. Now, it was different. I had a daughter who's life depended upon the result of my journey. My actions thus far did not spell out victory; I had drug my feet. It was now or never. Answers lay inside that tavern and I wanted them right at that moment.
"Come on." I told Stephen un-phased," We're getting our answers."
"Now?" he asked incredulously," Are you dense?"
I looked him right in the eye," I have a husband who is missing and who's life may be in danger. In fact, I don't even know if he's still alive. I'm ready to stop searching and start finding. There's a lot of pressure on me right now and since I haven't much of anything better to do; we're going into that tavern and getting answers. Follow my lead."
I decided to leave out the part about having children...he definitely wouldn't understand that. I don't know if I even fully understood at that point.
I didn't keep eye contact long enough to see much of a reaction from him, but the silence that hung afterwards was enough to tell me that he was quite thrown back by my sudden boldness.
"Emily!" I walked to her side of the bed and shook her abruptly," Wake up."
After several seconds, her eyes popped open and she flung herself up at the seriousness of my voice. She was always ready to go, it seemed.
"What do we need to do?" She spat out immediately, looking between Stephen and me with alert.
"We're about to figure all of this out once and for all." I told her seriously and she instantly threw herself out of bed," We're going to the tavern across the street."
"The tavern?" she asked quickly, rubbing her eyes as she steadied herself on the ground," As in the tavern from the ghost stories?"
Both Stephen and I had to chuckle at the sight of her; she had what most people would call "bed head". Emily's brown hair was rather long and almost all of it seemed to be pointed in opposite directions. As I walked over to grab my cloak, still chuckling at the sight of her, Stephen spoke to her.
"You may want to look in a mirror." He said as humbly as he could, trying not to offend.
"What does that mean?" She fired back, looking to me for some sort of answer," I'm just trying to get answers and here you are-"
"Emily, look." I told her, interrupting her tirade on Stephen and merely pointed to the beaten up mirror that lay against the wall.
She let out a horrible gasp and immediately went away at fixing her hair. All sorts of exclamations came from her mouth as she tried to fix her hair with what little supplies we had. Our supplies mostly consisted of her fingers and some lukewarm water left in the wash room. After a couple minutes, we were able to tame her hair, but I'm sure that there were still several knots tucked underneath.
We gathered all of our belongings, as I figured we would not be returning to that little room and then quickly scurried out of the room and to the lady's desk, where the pertinent smell of chickens entered our noses once more. I held my breath as I dropped the key onto her nasty, desk that was falling apart.
"I can't believe she calls this an inn." Stephen grumbled under his breath, looking disgusted.
"Not everyone can have a stunning business like yours." Emily said with some sarcasm as we exited the inn, after dropping some money on the desk as well.
He glared at her, but before she could say anything else; we were already on our way to go outside. I pulled my cloak hood over my head as we entered the rowdy bunch and weaved our way through. Halfway through, someone grabbed me by the arm and my heart started racing; how could anyone have recognized me?
"Why don't you take that hood off and-"
Before he could finish, Stephen had grabbed the man's arm and started to twist it backward," Get out of here."
The man let out a squeal and backed off. I looked up at Stephen through the hood of my cloak and looked at him gratefully. The man didn't argue much and muttered several other expressions about someone being too "serious". We paid little attention to it as we made our way into the tavern.
The inside of the tavern was just as crazy as the outside. Tables were overturned and brawls were breaking out left and right. Stephen and Emily stayed close behind me as I made my way through the mass of people. Periodically, I would look back to check where they were. As one could expect, at times they got lost in the crowd, but it only took a matter of seconds for them to reappear.
Finally, after seemingly forever, we arrived at the bar. Just as we stepped up, one of the men on the left started yelling at one of his buddies. There was one spare seat, but soon they were both tussling on the ground, beating the livings out of the other; leaving three seats at the bar.
I took a seat on the rickety stool, Stephen sat next to me and Emily sat on the end, both of them keeping a close eye on our surroundings.
The bartender came over, a rather large man who was balding. He wiped off the counter in front of us before speaking in his nasal voice," We got one thing, I take it yous a wanting that?"
"What is-" Stephen started, but I cut him off.
"We'll take whatever it is," I said darkly to the man, keeping my hood up.
I looked at Stephen, though he couldn't see my eyes, I was hoping he got the message.
Seconds later, the man came back with three tall, dirty glasses filled with some sort of brown drink. There was something floating in it, but I couldn't place my finger on what it was exactly. The man plopped them down in front of us before stepping away to tend to another new man that stepped in.
"I'm no stranger to alcohol, but this looks disgusting," Stephen grumbled to me and I looked over at the bartender, who was chatting it up with another fellow.
Swiftly, I grabbed my glass and walked over to a man passed out in the corner near us. Checking over my shoulder one last time, I dumped half the glass on the man and watched as he sprung out of his slumber and started yelling all sorts of things. I made my way back over to the bar and replied to Stephen.
"That's one way to take care of it." I said to him, still hearing the man yell in the back.
"A little rude for a woman of your rank?" Stephen asked, pulling the glass up to his mouth, just for one taste.
I shrugged my shoulders," I do what I have to. Plus, it can't hurt him too much."
As soon as the liquid met Stephen's mouth, he started to choke as he swallowed. I watched him gag on the brown liquid, and push the glass away from him," You had the right idea," he said through his coughing.
I smiled under the cloak, but before I could say anything the bartender was back in front of us.
"What's wrong with him?" he grumbled, motioning toward a Stephen who looked like he was going to be sick.
"Don't mind him." I told the man, though I could see out of the side of my eye that both Stephen and Emily were getting up with their full glasses, presumably looking for another passed out drunkard," Looks like you've got quite the establishment here."
The man looked at me strangely for a moment before saying," You look like you ain't from 'round here."
"I'm not, but I've heard a legend or two about this tavern." I replied," Couldn't help but stop by just to see what it's like."
The man laughed as he leaned back against the wall, wiping down a glass with a rag," Ah, so you heard them ghost stories, huh?"
My heart starting racing again. We were on the right track.
"You could say that." I answered, running my finger along the lip of the glass," Needless to say, I was a little surprised when I came to see a bustling business."
The man let out another chuckle as he finished wiping down the glass in his hand and picked up another.
"You want to know what I tell people that come in here giving me that story?" he asked, still smiling.
"I tell them that it's just one of them stories that the big guys in Telmar spread to make everyone scared. As you can see, there's nothing to fear. This town ain't be deserted for quite some time," he said to me, still laughing about the matter.
"Surely there had to be something more that happened," I pressed, still with a light tone to my voice to prevent anything from exploding into a big mess.
Suddenly, the door to the tavern was thrown open and men started piling in. The bartender's eyes widened as he watched the men come storming in. It didn't take me long to recognize the men coming into the tavern just by the sound of their voice. After they had come in, all of the drunks seemed to silence. At the back end of the crowd of men, was a face that I would recognize from anywhere. This tavern obviously had more signifcance than the bartender was telling.
The man leading the group of men was no other than General.
Then, I heard the bartender curse under his breath before whispering to me," You're right. There was something that happened before and we're about to relive it."
I looked and saw the scarred-face man stroll down the middle of the crowded room. It would have been much too obvious for me to try and run out now; I wouldn't have made it. However, the bartender grabbed my wrist quickly and said," Since you asked, I'll show you just what happened last time."
My heart froze.
I suddenly felt as though coming to the tavern was a bad idea.
A/N: Okay, so a lot of important stuff happened in this chapter. I hope you were able to pick up on everything, I did my best to make it clear, but I know that there are probably still thousands of questions. And I feel the need to apologize because I've been gone so much and because I feel like the quality of my writing went down for a couple of the previous chapters. I've been struggling with writer's block on top of all this, but I think that I'm starting to get back on track and will be updating much more frequently over the next couple weeks. Again, thanks to all of you who have stayed dedicated and I appreciate all of your feedback. You all rock :)