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Story Spider Scheme [Narnia Oneshot for the Halloween Challenge]

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by devilinthedetails, Oct 14, 2020.

  1. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    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.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2020
  2. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2016
    Oh Edmund, defenetly in character for him to try something like this, as it is for Lucy to much braver than anyone expect her to be, or for Peter to be annoied at his brothers percieved childishness. Nice story :)
     
  3. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    @Anedon Thank you so much for commenting!:) I definitely think it's in character for Edmund before his time in Narnia changes him to pull a prank like this so I knew it had to be done when he was in that sort of spiteful stage, and you're right that Lucy is always braver than people expect her to be since people seem to underestimate her and her courage. She becomes Queen Lucy the Valiant for a reason. And I do love the fact that Peter is annoyed at his younger brother's immature, childish behavior in the Narnia books and movies since it feels like a very authentic big brother type of reaction, so I couldn't resist including that attitude from Peter in this story. It was nice to be able to sort of explore their sibling dynamics here, and I'm so glad you enjoyed the story!
     
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha and Anedon like this.
  4. amidalachick

    amidalachick Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 3, 2003
    This was a fun read and a great use of the prompts! You capture the atmosphere brilliantly, as always. I could totally picture the dull gray rainy day, and Edmund sitting bored by the window.

    I completely sympathize with Edmund and his feelings about the news here!

    And then the prank. [face_mischief] I am weak for sibling antics and pranks. Loved Edmund deciding which one of them would be the most satisfying target! [face_laugh]

    [face_laugh][face_laugh]

    Great work! =D=
     
  5. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_laugh] Oh yes this is so realistic and in character: the gloomy day, totally over the nonstop bad news :p Peter's indignation, Lucy's prank, and Edmund's sarcastic apology very much in character
     
  6. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    That is decidedly Edmund and very realistic and true to character (for all of them). I am with Lucy in that spiders don't die in our house, just get moved back outside.
     
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  7. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    @amidalachick As always, thank you so much for your kind comment! :) This story was a fun one for me to write, so I'm so happy that you found it a fun one to read and that you thought the use of the prompts was great. I felt like going for more of a humorous than spooky take on the prompts this time.

    I really wanted to capture that atmosphere of a rainy, gray day trapped inside so it makes me so glad that you could get the very real mental image of the dull, gray weather outside and Edmund sitting bored by the window.

    Like you, I can definitely sympathize with Edmund's feelings about the news. For Edmund, it would always be the bad news of World War II, and so often today, it also feels like there is nothing but bad news to hear. So that can make it tempting to not want to listen to the news at all especially on such a gloomy weather day.

    Sibling antics and pranks are definitely so much fun to read and write, and it's awesome to know that you loved seeing this spider prank of Edmund's and Edmund plotting who would be the best victim for his prank.

    I do love Edmund's capacity for snide remarks so I couldn't resist showing that off here, and I'm so happy you loved that line about Susan developing a sense of humor[face_laugh]

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha As always, thank you so much for commenting!:)I'm so glad that you found this realistic and in character. I could definitely relate to the rainy day feelings Edmund is experiencing since we have gotten some gloomy, rainy days this autumn, and Edmund being sick of bad news is totally my mood this pandemic. And I enjoyed writing Peter's big brother indignation, Lucy's courage and compassion, and of course Edmund's sarcastic apology because Edmund's sarcasm is always fun to write[face_laugh]

    @Kit' Thank you so much for commenting!:)I'm glad that you found this rang true for Edmund and the other Pevensie siblings. And I'm with you and Lucy in thinking that it is nicer to transfer the spiders outside than to kill them inside.
     
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  8. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Jedi Grand Master star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2002
    I think Edmund ended up being my favorite human character in the Narnia Chronicles -- he starts as a self-centered, antagonistic boy and matures into King Edmund the Just -- "just" suggesting "justice," which isn't always about being fair, but about what's right for everyone involved. That can get complicated. Maybe it takes an outsider to do a good job of it.

    While he's not a terribly nice character here, I can understand his feelings of being left out -- I think it's sometimes harder to be a middle child than the oldest or youngest. You're not sure where you fit in, and you don't want to be just like your siblings. (Reminds me a bit of Raphael from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles -- he just needs to be different from the others, and that's not always a bad thing.)

    This story is a nice bit of character establishment, Edmund before the events of the first book. It sounds just like something C.S. Lewis would have included in his novel.
     
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  9. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    @Seldes_Katne Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment!:)Edmund will always have a special spot in my heart because of his journey from this self-centered, bitter boy into this mature person who understands the true meaning of justice and I think tries to balance justice with mercy. I remember in Horse and His Boy he says even a traitor may mend, and in Voyage of the Dawn Treader when Eustace apologizes for his behavior after being returned to his human state from a dragon, Edmund is quick to acknowledge that Eustace wasn't as bad as him (Edmund) when he (Edmund) first came to Narnia. So that to me shows a merciful and humble spirit. And I think of how even though he couldn't see Aslan when Lucy could in Prince Caspian he is the only one of her siblings or Trumpkin who votes for following Lucy and taking her word that she has seen Aslan. He even says if I recall correctly that they at first made the mistake of not believing Lucy when she first entered Narnia and told them about it, so they should do the fair thing of taking her word about seeing Aslan in this circumstance. I always thought that really demonstrated how Edmund had evolved into a fair-minded person.

    In this story, Edmund is still in his disagreeable state, but I do think even in his disagreeable state, Edmund's feelings can be sort of sympathetic and relatable in the way you mentioned. It can be hard to be the middle child, feeling that you are bossed around by your older siblings but also that you don't get the attention that sort of comes with being the youngest, so it can be an uneasy position where you struggle to find yourself. That is where I think Edmund is as a character before he enters Narnia. He is in the position of trying to find himself. Then as a result of his time in Narnia, he finds his true self--his best self--and is capable of overcoming his bitterness to become a very admirable, just person in every sense. So I really appreciate everything C.S. Lewis was able to achieve with Edmund's character journey, which is a wonderful testimony to people's ability to grow, change, and find redemption.

    And I'm so flattered that you felt this was a nice bit of character development and that you found it to sound like something C.S. Lewis might have included in his novel, since that is a huge compliment to me. Thank you again for your thoughtful comment!
     
  10. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Well, aren't Peter and Susan just sticks in the mud, surely forming in the weather outside?

    This was a fun read, devilinthedetails. I enjoyed the scene you set for Edmunds boredom and the character aspects for all four. The older brother and sister are simply too serious minded for such a dreary day and he is just wanting to have some fun.

    It is also nice to have such innocent and sweet wisdom from Lucy about spiders being friends and work they do to help us humans. Excellent work.
     
    devilinthedetails likes this.