Several things have recently come together to inspire me to write this post. First of all, you should know that, in general, I have not been the biggest supporter of fan fiction because
1. It is usually bad.
2. Or dirty.
3. And I’d rather invent my own characters and world instead of piggybacking on someone else’s.
In fact, I have gone so far as to write a scene describing it as such:
The leader of Emmaus University’s brand-new fan fiction club was named Mallory Stevens, and somehow I’d agreed to be the club advisor. “Can it be crossover fan fiction?” one girl asked us at the sign-up table on Club Day. “I have some stories where Harry Potter stumbles through a wardrobe at Hogwarts and finds himself in Narnia.”
“That sounds great!” Mallory gushed, while I inwardly cringed. “Are the Pevensies there too?”
“Yeah,” said the girl, flushing with pride, “I think Harry and Lucy are going to fall in love. Maybe. We’ll see.” She bared her teeth when she smiled, looking more than a little pleased with herself. I smiled back, but really, I was mortified that one of my creative writing professors would walk by at any moment and see that I was mopping the floors in literary hell.
But is that assessment too harsh?
Just last week John Green (whom I adore, and whose story The Fault in Our Stars was the inspiration for my novel) posted a video with his thoughts on fan fiction:
To summarize, he rather likes it because it allows people to explore areas the author didn’t without making it canon: “to write and write creatively without there being an authoritative voice about the story.” Fair enough.
And, let’s be honest, I already do this. Just the other week I posted this story, exploring life after The Last Battle. And then, last Monday, I wrote a whole post about how I think about the Narnia characters outside of just the books, including– and I quote— “Because I have the heart of a thirteen-year-old teenybopper, I often wonder about the love story of the king and queen of Archenland. There is so much teenage angst in it that it almost makes me want to write fan fiction. Almost.”
Writing and posting “Nine Names” plus thinking about Cor and Aravis plus John Green’s video all intersected in such a way that …
I have to admit …
this week, I chose to write some fan fiction.
I decided to try a writing prompt from fanfiction.net, one where I’m given 50 words/themes, and my challenge is to write one sentence about each. I liked this idea because it was different, intriguing, and because it was a challenge to write fifty tiny vignettes that somehow gave snapshots into a story and yet were not really a story themselves— not quite.
I am embarrassed, but without further ado, I present to you my Narnia fan fiction, which– to be honest– I hope is the last of its kind. 🙂
#01 – Comfort
In those early weeks at Anvaard, she’d nightmare and cry out in her sleep, but when she’d sit up in her bed, slick with sweat and heart pounding louder than the hooves of the 200-horse army of her dreams, he’d be there—silent in the corner, gentle but with a newfound ferocity in his eyes.
#02 – Kiss
He didn’t speak in those midnight wakings but would take her small, dark hand into his pale one and wait for her breathing to slow, and when it did, he’d press his mouth to her fingers and leave her, knowing she’d sleep soundly till morning.
#03 – Soft
He didn’t know that though her breathing slowed, her heart always beat faster.
#04 – Pain
Daylight was a different story: “At least when you’re sleeping, you quit arguing,” Cor muttered after yet another fight.
#05 – Potatoes
She stares at them warily—back home, they were flavored with garlic and onion and made her eyes sting—but next Corrin passes a big dish of yellow butter, and she’s grateful for these northern lands.
#06 – Rain
It was so dry on the other side of the desert that on the first night of rain, she marches straight out into it and laughs.
#07 – Chocolate
It takes Corrin twenty minutes to convince them to bite into the horrid-looking brown thing.
#08 – Happiness
There are nights they spend around the fire sharing poetry and songs, and when Corrin embellishes his stories, Cor and Aravis catch each other’s eye across the fire and smirk.
#09 – Telephone
“I’m only telling you what Hwin told me Bree told her he’d heard Cor mention to the king,” Corrin says, “but you can make of it what you will.”
#10 – Ears
Why do her ears and face get hot when she thinks of him talking to his father about her?
#11 – Name
One night he stays after her nightmare and hears her whisper, “Shasta,” before she smiles in her sleep.
#12 – Sensual
He didn’t tell anyone about his dream that night, especially not Corrin.
#13 – Death
He’s been thinking of his mother a lot and what she’d think of him now—even taller than Corrin and (secretly) enjoying his education.
#14 – Sex
The Queens of Narnia give Aravis her first exposure to late-night girl-talk, and the young Tarkheena is grateful they can’t see her blush in the darkness of the room.
#15 – Touch
Another argument; only this time, he closes his eyes and takes her hand.
#16 – Weakness
She didn’t want him to let go, but her pride made her withdraw.
#17 – Tears
“Just something in my eye,” Cor tells his twin, who would be merciless.
#18 – Speed
When she needs to be alone, she rides like a maniac up into the mountains.
#19 – Wind
The wind rolls down from Stormness Head like a gale, like a baptism.
#20 – Freedom
Only once has she gone to the border, staring southward across the desert, realizing for the first time that she had been in slavery there too.
#21 – Life
She returns to Anvaard with new purpose, a clearer mind.
#22 – Jealousy
When he sees Corrin and Aravis whispering on the terrace, he seethes, but when they hug before parting, it’s a night for the history books: for once, it’s he who knocks his brother down.
#23 – Hands
Aravis is small but strong, and she pulls Cor off of his brother, shouting at him while he shouts at Corrin while Corrin just laughs and laughs.
#24 – Taste
“Listen to me, you idiot!” she says, taking his face in her hands and shutting him up by putting her mouth over his.
#25 – Devotion
His response is … enthusiastic.
#26 – Forever
The two retreat to the garden to share overdue truths.
#27 – Blood
King Lune only rolls his eyes when he sees Corrin’s bruises the next morning; Cor apologizes handsomely to his brother without letting go of her hand.
#28 – Sickness
Joy floods the king’s heart, soaking the cough that sits in his chest like a sponge.
#29 – Melody
She grins when she hears the crown-prince whistling after breakfast, knowing she is the reason for the tune.
#30 – Star
“Your father says they are people,” she whispers to him while she stares at the sky. “Can you imagine such beauty?” He says, “Yes,” and he is looking at her.
#31 – Home
She was confused at first over where to call home; then she dreamed of the lion and knew.
#32 – Confusion
There is concern in all their eyes when the king mutters nonsense before it’s even dark.
#33 – Fear
“Something’s wrong with Father,” Corrin says, and it’s that tone of voice—serious, like Corrin never is—that scares Cor the most.
#34 – Lightning/Thunder
They hold each other through the storm, and when it grows late, neither wants to leave.
#35 – Bonds
“Let’s get married,” he whispers, “so that we can stay like this.” “That almost sounds like a proposal,” she responds, an eyebrow raised, intrigued.
#36 – Market
Aravis asks Bree if she should do some of their old-fashioned “raiding” for the gown, and he grins, remembering.
#37 – Technology
Lasaraleen sends her regrets, but also a present: a most interesting wind-up toy that reminds Aravis of her friend’s pet monkey; they hide it in Corrin’s room.
#38 – Gift
The king looks strong on his son’s wedding day, and he tears up as he tells her, “The lion returned him safely to me; today I give him to you.”
#39 – Smile
He will never forget the way she looked at him while he made his promise: all at once, he saw her as a child, a proud Tarkheena, a humbled princess, a future queen and mother, and he loved all of the girl she had been and was now and would be.
#40 – Innocence
They are awkward with each other that first night, but sweet; the future king and queen have a few things to figure out first before they can manage a kingdom.
#41 – Completion
She purrs like a cat as she curls into his side to sleep, and he has never been happier.
#42 – Clouds
The fog from Stormness is thick on the day they leave for their honeymoon in Terebinthia; Aravis wonders if it’s a sign, but Cor can’t fear the fog, not anymore.
#43 – Sky
“Their majesties are missing out on the good views, shut up in their cabin as they’ve been,” comments one sailor. “I think they rather like the views inside,” quips another with a wink.
#44 – Heaven
This is perfect, to discover each other while carried on the waves of the Great Eastern Ocean.
#45 – Hell
But the lion meets them with hard news on the island; to put it quite gently, King Lune has gone home to Aslan’s country.
#46 – Sun
How can it shine when his father is gone? “Because he is not gone,” she tells him, though he didn’t ask aloud.
#47 – Moon
“I’m not ready to be king,” he whispers on the deck that night as they return to Archenland.
#48 – Waves
The ship rocks gently as a cradle, reminding him that he is safe between those great paws.
#49 – Hair
When he returns to the cabin, she is sleeping soundly, her dark hair lying silken on the pillow. She doesn’t nightmare anymore, he realizes, then understands it’s because of him.
#50 – Supernova
The lion’s strength fills him like light, like brilliance.