Title: Spider Scheme Fandom: Narnia Author: devilinthedetails Genre: Family; Humor Characters: Edmund Pevensie; Susan Pevensie; Lucy Pevensie; Peter Pevensie. Summary: On a rainy day at the professor's manor, Edmund is bored and creates trouble with a spider. Author's Note: Written for the Halloween Challenge from @Kit' using the words "spider," "panicked," and "cackle" as my prompts. Spider Scheme Edmund sat, breath fogging the glass, at the window in one of the manor room’s the professor had set aside for their use no doubt so he wouldn’t be disturbed in his research by the sounds of their play. Not that there was much playing to do, Edmund thought with a snort, when the sky was heavy with slate gray clouds and rain drops the size of pebbles were plummeting to the ground in sheets. It was the sort of weather that in a book would have presaged something exciting or horrifying, but in the drudgery of real life only meant oppressive boredom and unrelenting doom. There weren’t even any dazzling forks of lightning to watch splitting the sky or any claps of thunder to count the time in between to calculate how far away the storm was. Not that there was much point in bothering to calculate how far away the storm was, in Edmund’s dour opinion. As far as he was concerned, the storm had been raging right over the manor where they were stuck as a consequence of the war–everything nasty in Edmund’s life seemed to be the fault of the war–for hours and would continue to darken the air and dampen the dirt around them for hours. The wireless was on, but it wasn’t playing anything interesting, of course. Susan, being her unbearably responsible self had set it to a news channel. Edmund had no desire to listen to the news. There hadn’t been any good news since Father left for war, and Edmund was sick of bad news. Scowling and sulking at the window, he noticed a spider spinning a cobweb on the windowsill. The spider weaving its white web was more fascinating to watch than anything else in the room or outside the window, so Edmund found his attention fixated on the spider. Staring at the spider and the web it was so diligently creating to hunt flies and other insects had an almost hypnotic effect on Edmund as the newscaster’s voice continued to drone from the wireless, relaying bad news nobody except Susan wanted to hear. Eventually an idea for sparking some excitement flashed across Edmund’s mind like the lightning the storm outside was missing. He reached out a hand, hid the spider between his fingers, and rose from his window perch. As if stretching his legs, he ambled around the room. Beneath his innocent mask, he tried to decide which of his siblings would make the best target for the prank he was presently plotting. Peter would be a choice dull as the gray weather outside. He wouldn’t scream or leap in the air if Edmund dumped the spider on him. He would just brush off the spider and ask in his most withering big-brother tone why Edmund couldn’t behave for one day. Lucy might squeal amusingly, but she also might burst into tears. Then Peter and Susan would scold and might even order him to go to bed without supper, adding to the woes of a day that had been miserable enough already. That left prim, proper Susan as the best victim of his prank. He slipped behind her and dropped the spider on her neck behind the dark hair she had pulled back. He was barely a step away from her when she must have started to feel the spider crawling across her skin. She shrieked, piercing Edmund’s ears, and, obviously panicked, slapped at the spider with her palm. Her swats missed the spider, however, and it continued its journey across her body. Edmund cackled at the sight of her distress and ineffectual swatting. As the spider began to travel down Susan’s arm, Lucy, proving to be braver than Edmund had assumed, leaned over to pluck the spider from Susan’s dress and set it gently on the floor, exclaiming, “Don’t kill it! Spiders are our friends! They catch and eat other bugs!” “You could’ve given me a heart attack.” Susan clutched at her chest as if she might collapse from shock. Edmund’s cackles died as soon as the spider was removed from Susan and placed on the floor. “It was only a joke,” he mumbled, gaze falling to the woodland scene of frolicking forest animals depicted on the carpet beneath his feet. What a foolish carpet it was, he thought spitefully. Animals didn’t dance like that. Why anyone would bother creating such rubbish was a mystery to him. “It wasn’t a very funny one,” Susan snapped. “Apologize at once.” “I’m sorry,” Edmund answered in a sarcastic tone that said he wasn’t, chin lifting defiantly. He was tired of staring at frolicking forest animals anyway. “When will you grow up, Ed?” Peter’s glare boiled Edmund’s skin like some vile mixture in a witch’s cauldron. “Sometime after Susan develops a sense of humor.” Edmund stuck out his tongue because he couldn’t think of a cleverer retort and stomped back to the window in a huff to do some more gazing out at gray gloom.