Lucy Steps Through
Lucy Pevensie was only eight years old, but she still knew a lot of things. She wasn't completely sure why she was standing on the platform of a train station with her two brothers, Peter and Edmund, and her sister, Susan, but she knew it had something to do with the War. Daddy had gone to fight people called the Nazis, who were turning Europe into a horrible and dangerous place. Even though fighting is a bad thing to do, Lucy understood that it was important sometimes to fight to save and protect the innocent and the good. What Lucy didn't understand was why the Nazis were dropping bombs on people's houses in London and making her leave her mother behind and go into the countryside. That, Lucy couldn't understand.
As her mother hugged her, Lucy thought that it didn't seem very fair. If it wasn't safe for her and her brothers and sister to live in London anymore, then how could it be safe for their mother? Lucy grabbed hold of her older brother Peter's hand. He was practically a grown-up like Mummy and Daddy anyway. As they stepped onto the train that would take them to their new home, the home of Professor Kirke, Lucy turned to wave good-bye to her mother and watched sadly as she followed the train down the platform.
The long train ride to the country ended at an empty platform. An old black buggy pulled up and a very stern woman got out. Lucy felt very small indeed under the woman's glare.
"Mrs .... Macready?" Peter stammered.
"I'm afraid so," came the reply.
Lucy felt even smaller upon seeing the Professor's mansion. As the others followed Mrs. Macready down the hail, Lucy stopped. A light had just flickered behind a nearby door. Suddenly, a shadow moved underneath it. Lucy gasped and dashed away to catch up with the others.
"The covers feel scratchy."
Lucy didn't like her new home. She didn't like the scary Mrs. Macready who had met them at the train station. She didn't like the dark staircases. She didn't like the way the floor felt cold and unfriendly underneath her bare feet. And she didn't like her new bed. The new bed was the worst of all, but it wasn't really the covers that upset Lucy. It was the fact that her mother wasn't there to tuck her in at night and tell her everything was going to be okay.
Susan tried to comfort Lucy, "Wars don't last forever, Lucy. We'll be home soon."
"If home's still there," replied Edmund.
This was too much for Lucy. She didn't want to think of her lovely home being turned into a pile of burnt bricks. Lucy felt tears in her eyes.
Peter smiled and tried to cheer them all up. "Tomorrow's going to be great."
But it wasn't great at all. It was just very, very, very rainy.
Inside, all four children were bored. Susan was trying to make them play a dictionary game. Lucy loved her sister, but thought that sometimes she could be a bit boring. Susan didn't seem to like outdoor games, but Lucy loved them. She liked running around and playing the games her brothers played. She wasn't afraid of exploring in forests or climbing trees or going to strange places.
"We could play hide-and-seek," Lucy suggested.
"Hide-and-seek's for children," Edmund said.
He was only a little older than Lucy, and always tried to act more grown-up than he was. Lucy didn't mind. She knew that Peter would play. Peter sighed and looked up into Lucy's pleading face. "One," he said slowly. "Two, three . . ."
Lucy darted away.
Lucy dashed toward the windows and ripped back a heavy velvet curtain.
"I was here first," Edmund said, snapping the curtain back into place. Hurrying down the hall, Lucy came to a closed door.
"Eighty-nine," Peter said.
Quickly, Lucy shoved open the door and went inside. The room was empty except for a large wardrobe that sat against the wall. She hurried over to it and yanked on the knob. Taking a deep breath, Lucy dived into the wardrobe.
Inside, it was dark and surprisingly cold, as if there was a wind. Lucy decided to hide deep among the coats, so she put out her hand to feel for the back of the wardrobe. It seemed to be a very big wardrobe, and Lucy had to really stretch and stretch and then she felt something ....
Lucy frowned. That was strange -- she had touched something prickly. Why would there be something prickly in the wardrobe?
She took a step forward. Crunch.
What is that? Lucy wondered. Feeling strangely colder, she crunched her way through the darkness. Lucy couldn't believe how big the wardrobe was and how cold and how prickly the coats were. Ahead of her, there was a tiny dot of very bright light. Lucy took another step into the impossibly big wardrobe. Slowly, the darkness around her lifted and everything was bathed in light. Then Lucy saw that the coat she had been touching was no coat at all but a green tree branch. She was standing in a forest ... and it was snowing. There was a lamppost in the clearing in front of her.
Something crunched in the snow behind Lucy. She turned quickly and saw a very strange creature. He had legs like a goat, and two horns growing out of a thick patch of curly hair on his head. He was wearing a red scarf and carried an umbrella in one hand, and a bunch of packages wrapped in brown paper in the other.
The creature and Lucy let out a scream at the same time. The goat-man hopped behind a tree. Lucy was frightened, but she didn't know what to do.
"Are you hiding from me?" Lucy asked.
The creature peeped out from behind the tree. "No . . ." he said slowly, "I was just ... I didn't want to scare you."