Pale yellow paint peeled on the walls. The sparse surroundings were made of a low, sagging twin bed with a blue covering, an old bedside table, and a handsome wardrobe in the corner next to the door.
I looked around at the guest room. Grandfather had left me the old mansion in the English countryside, and this was the only room I hadn't made a use for yet.
Really, I didn’t even remember the old man, though he remembered me. I wondered why, out of all of his twenty-something great grandchildren, he left his life works to me.
Curiously, I wondered what lay behind the wooden doors of the wardrobe. As if entranced, my feet moved me toward the closet.
I reached out and touched the brass knob, which felt cold in my fingers. Once my hand had the handle gripped tightly, I turned it.
I froze. No, surely this couldn’t be it…
I’d heard tales from grandfather when I was a little girl about four children who had come to stay with him during the war. They’d traveled through a wardrobe to find a magical world with talking animals and creatures of one’s wildest imagination.
I scoffed. It was just a children’s tale, to warn people away from being just too curious.
As usual, my curiosity won out. I pulled the door open and winced as it gave a loud, cringe-worthy screech.
Fur coats hung from hangers. I gave a faint smile. Nothing wrong or inordinary about this room.
I sighed and closed the door. I’d heard stories from mother about the English countryside being fun and exciting, but so far I’d just seen grass, grass, and more grass, but occasionally a train or two.
I turned away from the cupboard and walked to the doorway, the wooden floorboards creaking and moaning under my weight.
I turned into the hallway and saw my suitcase sitting right behind the entrance to the mansion.
I quickly walked to the bag and wrapped my gloved hands around the leather handle. I huffed and looked up the stairs. Where would I sleep?
There was the master suite, but it didn’t feel right to use that room. Not after Grandfather had used it.
Something clattered down the hallway. Briskly, I set down my bag and rushed up the stairs.
The clatter sounded again through the open door of the room with the wardrobe.
My breath caught in my throat as I reached the doorway. I peeked around the doorway and saw a woman wearing a white gown that glittered with every step she took. She had white hair and an icy crown atop her head. I quickly calculated that she was about six and a half feet tall.
“Oh, my,” She said. “Hello? Is anyone there?”
Despite my will, my feet betrayed me and moved me into the room. “Who are you, and what are you doing here, in my house?” I asked angrily. Who was this woman to just walk into my house?
But deep down, I knew who she was. An evil witch who had been wrongly made queen over a land called Narnia. Four children had destroyed her along with the Narnian legend, Aslan.
“Why, I just happen to be the queen of Narnia.” She said, holding her head high.
“I don’t think so.” I said. “You’re not a queen anymore. Aslan and the human children killed you in the Great War. Queen Susan and Lucy, and King Peter and Edmund are the rulers of Narnia. And you have no right to be here.”
“Why, whyever not?” The White Witch asked, clearly offended. “Didn’t your parents ever teach you hospitality is an amazing thing in life?”
“They did.” I shot back. “But being hospitable to people doesn’t include housing a potential danger. You may have lost your magic, but you are still just as much as a threat to me, and I won’t let you harm any-”
A wave of cold fear washed over me, paralyzing me. Every inch of me was frozen and trembling in fear.
What did you do? I wanted to ask, but my lips betrayed me.
Then… there came a terrifying noise. The White Witch was laughing, a ragged, horrid laugh. The noise bored itself into my brain, causing my head to throb and ache in nearly unbearable pain.
“You really don’t get it, do you?” The witch asked. “Since you were cold to me, the gods of the old have decided to take turns taking revenge on you.” She leaned close to my face, our noses nearly touching. “And don’t worry, it’s just getting started.”
As if on cue, my hands moved straight out in front of me. The fear containing me released, but the skin on my hands rippled and bubbled. This was even worse then the paralyzing fear.
“Please, no!” I cried out, hoping the gods above would cease punishing me. “Please, I promise I’ll be a good hostess!”
I breathed a sigh as my skin returned to its normal pigment and texture. I turned to the White Witch and saw her fuming. It seemed as thought smoke would start coming out of her ears any second now.
“No.” She said, her hands tightly gripping her skirt. Her skin looked even more white, because she was pressing her lips together, and she was shaking out of her anger. “You were supposed to be dead!” She looked up. “Kill her! I demand it! She has not obeyed the rules of hostessing!”
She scoffed and gritted her teeth. “Well I guess I will just have to kill you myself!” She pulled a shimmering silver dagger from the folds of her skirt and raised it high above my head. I was forced to my knees from some external force. “Granddaughter of Digory Kirke, I hereby sentence thee to death!”
My heart beat so hard, I was surprised it didn’t thump out of my chest.
She raised the dagger higher still, then sent it slicing through the air. Her long, elegant swipe stopped the dagger point an inch above my chest.
“White Witch, we sentence you to imprisonment on the Bermuda Triangle.” An invisible voice boomed. “We will revisit this topic in four months’ time.”
I breathed a sigh of relief and tried to slow my ragged breaths. Of all people, I’d never expected to be saved by people of the moon, the sun, and the stars.