Author's Note:Narnia is not mine, nor the Wood Between the Worlds, the magic rings, Susan’s horn, and many other elements that will come in later chapters. Please don’t sue me.
Rated K+ Suitable for more mature childen, 9 years and older, with minor action violence without serious injury. May contain mild coarse language. Should not contain any adult themes.
It wasn’t as hard as you might think for Evan to convince his father about letting him come to London. Dr. Buckston, in fact, was in London visiting Daisy and Evan was to come and join him in two weeks anyway as soon as he finished his schoolwork (and now you see why Evan was in the study, for he’d never dare enter while his father was home, and the maid and babysitter were rarely to be found).
No, convincing his father was easy enough, especially since Dr. Buckston was in such a merry mood spending time with Daisy. It wasn’t even hard getting Avadis and LilyWind onto the train after dressing Avadis in some of Evan’s father’s clothing and hiding LilyWind in a briefcase.
And the whole trip Avadis, LilyWind, and Evan traded stories about their own worlds. Evan told Avadis and LilyWind about airplanes and trains and travel, though he said he’d much prefer wings like LilyWind, and LilyWind told Evan about all the fun games stars played with elves when Taivas the Great SkyStar still shone (though Avadis really did the talking because no ordinary boy can hear well enough to listen to a star).
And Evan told stories about Narnia like he’d told Gabrielle and Graham on rainy days the summer before, and Avadis told of shooting contests he and his friends would have if they couldn’t settle an argument. LilyWind told of the tricks she played on BeechFire, the star that she loved in Ensveria (and if you’re still reading this book, you better go ahead and learn now that girl stars are named after flowers and boy stars after trees).
“But a lot has changed since Taivas faded,” said Avadis as a tear trickled down to the end of his nearly pointed nose.
“Who – what is the SkyStar?” asked Evan.
“Of course, you wouldn’t know. I’m sorry,” said Avadis. “He was the Light of our Ensveria; shining in the sky always, never leaving us to darkness like we have under the rule of Arróg-non. By his light we found the Great Tunnels of Tesserack and used them to travel all around our world.”
“There was never night in Ensveria?”
“Not until the goblins came.”
“Is Ta – Taivas a fairy, I mean a star like LilyWind or BeechFire?” asked Evan.
“Many say he is. But whether he is or isn’t, he’s certainly one of a kind; some say he’s pure magic, that he’s not living at all. I just know that without him our world is doomed,” said Avadis. And though all three enjoyed hearing and telling stories, the conversation had grown sad and quiet and they were all a little relieved when the train stopped in London.
Before he’d left home, Evan found the location of the train accident in a newspaper article amongst his father’s vast collection. It was just outside of London, and Evan convinced his father to let him find his own way to Daisy’s so he didn’t have to bother with it. “We’ll take- I mean, I’ll take a cab father,” said Evan.
“This must be it,” said Evan when the cab dropped them at an old abandoned station.
“For certain,” said Avadis, “I can feel something inside me that says we must be close.”
“You said they found the rings in a hole right?” asked Evan.
“LilyWind, see what you can find,” charged the elf. In a moment, LilyWind returned and led them to a hole just about thirty feet from the old train track.
“Here’s the hole, I know it!” cried Evan.
“And here’s something else,” said Avadis, “a tunic of some kind.”
“Yes, is there anything else there?”
“Inside, I don’t know what these are.”
“Of course, I’m sorry Avadis. How foolish of me. This is a wallet and th-” Evan began to jump up and down, “Look! A green ring! We’ve found what we’re looking for.
“Hurry, what must we do?” asked Avadis.
“Put it on I suppose,” said Evan. “Though since there’s only one I think we must all be together and holding on. Let LilyWind into your pocket and let’s go!” With that, he slipped on the ring and the elf and boy clung to one another tightly.
“What’s wrong Evan?” asked Avadis.
“I don’t know, it’s not working.”
“Just like in my world, the green ring Graham had was broken as well.”
“Of course!” said Evan, with his proud voice again as he slipped the green ring in his pocket. “You said they left a ring in the Wood. That is the kind of ring we must find.” And presently, they were searching for another ring.
Finally, in an instant, without a flash or sound, Avadis saw Evan then didn’t see him then did again. Evan quickly explained that he’d found the yellow ring and the moment he touched it, he was sent to the Wood Between the Worlds. He used the green ring (thankfully he’d put it in his pocket) to come back for his friends, and though it altogether took about five minutes for Evan, it happened in less than a second for Avadis and LilyWind.
“Was it frightening?” asked Avadis.
“Not at all,” said Evan. “Are you ready?” And in a moment they were all three standing next to a puddle in the Wood Between the Worlds. “This is my world’s pool,” said Evan, “and I must remember that it’s the one with the spot of bare ground on the bank (for long ago a different boy had marked the pool with his penknife, but that’s another story).
Even though the three friends looked around in different directions, each saw the same – there were only trees and pools as far as their eyes could see.
There were a great many more trees than pools, and the leaves made a kind of canopy overhead that gave you a very safe feeling. Not a bit of sky could be seen through the canopy, but a very bright light pushed its way through and gave a kind of green glow about the whole place. Everything looked so clean and so real that Evan always said afterward, even when he was old, that nowhere ever felt as out-of-doors as the Wood Between the Worlds.
“Now what do we do?” asked Avadis.
“We must find the other yellow ring and find your world’s pool,” said Evan.
But before long they had seen more pools than they could imagine and no rings at all and presently both Avadis and Evan felt like they simply must relax because they were getting so sleepy and why should they be in such a hurry to leave such a wonderful Wood anyway.
“Graham was right,” said Avadis, “truly this is a place where nothing happens.”
“And yet, I would have it…” Evan gave a great yawn, “no other way.”
Now you can’t understand how close the adventure came to ending at this very point because you’ve probably never been to the Wood Between the Worlds. And even if you have, you’ve certainly never spent as long as Avadis, LilyWind and Evan spent searching for something that you weren’t sure you’d ever find.
So, at this moment all three of them lay fast asleep on the cool grassy floor of the completely silent Wood. And for how long they slept no one will ever know. Evan argued later that it was only moments, though Avadis said he felt it must have been a hundred years. What matters, though, is that they woke.
“Hullo, friend or foe!” shouted Evan, “I don’t care which you are, just that you keep your pest away from me while I sleep.”
“I know not whether I’m friend or foe, and I know not this pest you speak of now,” said Avadis, “but if this is the way you meet for the first time, I doubt you have many friends at all.”
The two of them would have argued for a while longer, except that LilyWind had also awoken and drawn their attention to the pest between the boy and the elf.
“Wait a moment,” said Evan. “What is this? The little creature has something tied to him.” And Avadis noticed the small furry creature and the ribbon wrapped round him which held a yellow ring. The two of them almost startled each other to death when they shouted together, “The ring!” as they remembered who they were and why they’d come into the Wood.
“This can’t be the ring that brought Gabby and Graham to the Wood,” reasoned Evan. “Why would they leave it here purposely and in such a silly manner at that? No, I seem to remember something about this little guinea pig from a story I read, but that doesn’t matter now. We should find the other yellow ring hope it lies near the pool which leads to your world. What a stroke of luck this fellow awoke us!”
LilyWind was off in a flash and in only a few moments she returned to lead Avadis and Evan to a pool where a yellow ring set nestled on the grassy bank.
“It must have slipped out of Graham’s pocket when they went into the pool,” said Evan as he knelt down and collected the ring.
“Let’s hope so,” said Avadis, “We don’t want to find ourselves entering a world which none of us knows anything about.”
“Yellow for coming to the Wood, green for leaving,” Evan said as he slipped yellow ring in his pocket and the green ring on his finger. LilyWind flew sharply to Avadis and into Evan’s father’s coat pocket, as the three of them entered the pool and headed on to Ensveria.