“You have a traitor there, Aslan,” said the Witch.
“Myah have a myaitor myah, Myaslan,” Aslan said in a high-pitched, mocking tone, as if to himself. It was kind of shitty of him, and no one quite knew what to say.
“I — Have you forgotten the Deep Magic?” asked the Witch, collecting herself.
“Yeah,” said Aslan. “Sorry.”
“I must tell you?” said the Witch, her voice going suddenly shriller. “Tell you what is written on that very Table of Stone which stands beside us? Tell you what is written in letters deep as a spear is long on the firestones on the Secret Hill? Tell you what is engraved on the sceptre of the Emperor-beyond-the-Sea? You at least know the Magic which the Emperor put into Narnia at the very beginning. You know that every traitor belongs to me as my lawful prey and that for every treachery I have a right to a kill.”
“And so,” continued the Witch, “that human creature is mine. His life is forfeit to me. His blood is my property.”
“Okay,” said Aslan.
“What?” shrilled the Witch, her face contorted in a disbelieving mask.
“Fucking take him,” Aslan said. “Like I give a shit about some asshole named Edmund who doesn’t even live here. Eat all his blood you want, or whatever.”
“Edmund,” he said to himself. “What a gay name.”
“That was a totally unnecessary and homophobic thing to say,” Susan said, crying.
“Well, it is,” Aslan said. “It is a gay name.”
Edmund began to cry. “I don’t want to die.”
“Well, you shouldn’t have eaten all that lady’s candy or whatever,” Aslan said.
Edmund cried harder. “That’s not why she wants to kill me. You’re not even paying attention.”
“Whatever,” Aslan said. “This is boring. You’re boring.”
“Susan, Eve’s Daughter,” Aslan said. “These are for you,” and he handed her a bow and a quiver and a little ivory horn. “You must use the bow only in great need,” he said, “for I do not mean you to fight in the battle. It does not easily miss. And when you put this horn to your lips and blow it, then, wherever you are, I think help of some kind will come to you.”
“What kind of help?” Susan asked. “Can you be more specific?”
“Oh, I don’t know,” Aslan said, gesturing airily. “Inner strength, or a guy will come, or something.”
“There are no arrows in this quiv –” Susan began.
“You’re welcome,” Aslan said. “It’s kind of rude not to say thank you when someone gives you a bunch of gifts for no reason, Susan.”
“I miss Edmund,” Susan said, weeping softly.
“Me too,” Lucy said.
“whose Edmund,” came a voice behind them. “Can you not cry so loud.”
“Lucy, Eve’s Daughter,” he said, and Lucy came forward. “In this bottle there is cordial made of the juice of one of the fireflowers that grow in the mountains of the sun. If you or any of your friends is hurt, a few drops of this will restore them. And the dagger is to defend yourself at great need. For you also are not to be in battle.”
“Why, sir?” said Lucy. “I think — I don’t know but I think I could be brave enough.”
“Because you’re like fucking six years old,” Aslan said.
“I –” Lucy began.
“Fine, though,” Aslan said, visibly irritated. “Take your shitty dagger and join the battle, where everyone else has magic and spears, let me know how far you get before someone stabs you right in the lungs.”
Lucy didn’t move.
“I’m not kidding around,” he said. “Go stand in the front line.”
Lucy moved, trembling, to join the other soldiers.
“Does anyone else have shit to say about my presents I got them,” Aslan asked.
No one did.
“Wasn’t there another one of you or something?” Aslan asked. “I have a fourth sword and I feel like there used to be another one of you. Stupid-looking kid, with like a gay haircut or something.”
“That was Edmund,” Peter said through his clenched jaw. “He’s dead. You let the witch take him.”
“Well, what the fuck am I supposed to do with a sword,” Aslan asked him. “I’m a lion.” He looked at Peter expectantly.
Peter sighed and took the sword from him.
“Pretty inconsiderate of him not to be here when I got him a sword and everything,” Aslan said to no one in particular.
Susan began sobbing harder.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.