4      Narnia?

 The following night Jack dreams he is in Narnia.

His brother's favourite storybooks from when he was a child

It ain't Narnia

 The faun began to change

Art : Paul

“Let’s play a game!”

Opening his eyes, Jack saw the person speaking was a faun. Sitting up in amazement, he spotted an old-fashioned lamppost towering over the crowd of shy woodland animals, nymphs, centaurs and others Jack could not name, but was sure Dan knew. When he realised he was in Narnia and the faun was Mr Tumnus, Jack grinned like a loon. Dan was mad on Narnia when he was young, had all the books and films, and everything. Jack could not wait to tell him.

“Hard to believe, but once upon a time, before Lady Sylvie, it was always winter, always winter yet never Christmas.” The faun’s voice was gentle, face kindly with sparkling brown eyes and little forked beard. “Now it is only winter when it is Christmas, and never Christmas without snow.”

The game was hide-and-seek. Everywhere Jack hid, Mr Tumnus hid too. It was like he could not bear to be parted and it got right on Jack’s nerves. What did he think he’d do, he wondered irritably; run away? It was a bit of a shock to realise that was exactly what the faun thought. This was no dream. No wonder it felt real.

Without a word, Jack tore off through the woods. Wherever he stopped, there was Mr Tumnus, huffing and puffing. A fixed grin plastered firmly on his face, while he mopped his brow with a huge linen handkerchief. After running off a few more times, the faun’s patience wore thin. He stomped around, furiously accusing Jack of not being his friend.

They were in the deepest part of the forest, where the trees grew so thick there was no way through. As Jack wondered about somehow dodging past the faun, something happened to glue him to the spot.

The faun changed. Muscles bulged, growing in every direction under skin, now hard as leather. His face twisted into a leering devil-mask. Eyes glowed hot like coals. Teeth lining his cruel smile were as long and sharp as his long, sharp horns. He stomped a cloven foot and pointed a jagged claw.

“Come here boy!”

With the demon’s eyes burning into him, Jack could not resist. Despite himself, feet shuffled forward, one step after another.
from Chapter 2     Happy Thoughts

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Thomas the Rhymer