After snapping us back to reality I felt Polly’s body lying lifeless in my arms. I gently put her down on the floor and heard Guy coming into the room.
‘What happened?’ He said and bent down next to Polly to check her pulse.
‘The Writingdesk Conundrum was there. We were too late, he took over Hamlet’s body and attacked Polly. She hit her head and passed out. I brought her here as fast as I could.’
‘What did you do with Hamlet?’
‘Nothing, I tried to save Polly.’
Guy shook his head and had to strain not to scream at me.
‘Go back and make sure you get Hamlet.’
‘On my own?’
‘You want to take Polly’s body with you?’ Guy responded in a smirking voice while he lifted her and walked out of the room.
I kicked against a wall and swore because it hurt. Stupid Guy, acting like it was my fault Polly got hurt.
A deep breath took me back to Hamlet’s castle. The place was in ruins and there was no sign of either Hamlet or any of the other characters from the play. I sneakily looked around, looking for clues where he might have gone, but there was nothing.
‘Guy, I just came from Hamlet. The Writingdesk Conundrum is gone. How’s Polly doing?’
‘Not well. She’s not responding to anything, it doesn’t look good.’
‘Shouldn’t we take her to a hospital? We can’t let her die!’
‘Just back off, Poe. I need to work here, just go and make yourself useful.’
‘I don’t know! Find that goddamn Writingdesk Conundrum!’ Guy angrily turned away and continued doing all kinds of medical things to Polly.
A bit in shock about Polly’s state and pissed off at Guy I went to my bedroom and slammed the door. I sat down on my bed and dropped my head in my hands. Polly really couldn’t die. I got dizzy thinking about all the things that could go wrong. What was I supposed to do if she didn’t make it?
Suddenly I noticed that people were huddled up against my window. Everyone was staring at my misery and there was even a small video camera taping everything for future generations. I got up and closed the curtains so they couldn’t see me anymore, but as soon as they were shut out they started screaming and knocking.
‘Shut up!’ I shouted back.
‘What happened to the girl?’
‘Could you bring me into Twilight? I want to meet Edward!’
‘Bring us Superman! There’s a big hole in the sky!’
A rush of voices streamed over me and started I felt my blood boil.
‘I said shut up. Just leave me alone!’
‘We want the girl back! Did you hurt her?’
The knocking got louder and louder, it wouldn’t take them long to hit through my window. The noise was excruciating, their voices were like high pitched pains. I couldn’t take it anymore and jumped up from the bed:
‘Just shut the fuck up!!’
Everything went calm and surprisingly cold. I had unconsciously closed my eyes and tried to open them now, but the whiteness of my surroundings felt too bright. I put a hand in front on my face so my eyes could get used to the color. The whiteness turned out to be snow, very familiar snow…
‘ Goodness gracious, me! Poe! What are you doing here? You know you are not allowed here anymore.’ A very strange person stepped out from among the trees into the light of the lamp-post. He carried an umbrella, was a man from the waist upwards, but his legs were shaped like a goat’s (the hair on them was glossy black) and instead of feet he had goat’s hoofs. He was a Faun.
‘I know, Mr. Tumnus. I think I got here by accident.’ Poe said like a little boy.
‘Are you in trouble, boy? Let’s get inside and have some tea.’ He gave his umbrella to Poe so he could hold it over both their heads and they walked off, making sounds with their footsteps in the crispy snow.
Once inside the cave, Mr. Tumnus started boiling water and gave Poe a blanket to stay warm under. It had been a bad winter in Narnia.
‘So tell me, Poe, why did you come back?’
‘The world is falling apart. I’ve created a breach between the real world and the fictional world, together with this girl Polly, and we need to stop it. There’s this Writingdesk Conundrum, he’s evil, and he hurt Polly. She might not make it and I don’t know what to do anymore. There was all this noise, all these people were screaming and knocking and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I got so angry and suddenly I was here. I know I’m not supposed to be here, but please don’t tell Aslan. I can’t go back yet.’
Mr. Tumnus gave me a cup of tea and sat down next to me. His little goat’s feet dangling in the air and his tail waving from left to right.
‘Dear child from Adam, off course I will not tell Aslan. But you know he would understand that you would come back in a time of need. Besides, you’ve noticed the cold. Aslan is not even around, it is the White Witch you should be afraid off.’
‘I’m not afraid of her.’
‘Always so stubborn. Now tell me slowly of your troubles, I might be off service to you. I might not be the smartest animal in the forest, but I am your friend.’ He smiled warmly and I explained my whole story once again.
I had been in Narnia many times. When I was young I used to love the books and as soon as I was conscious enough about my powers I visited as often as I could. Off course the story had to stay in the right order, so I never met any of the children. The narrative always followed them around and their curious nature would have led to a story disaster. I was not one of the chosen children of Adam and Eve, so I was to stay out of the way of anything important. But staying out of the way wasn’t one of my strong suits and after I accidently came into contact with the White Witch. She tried to seduce me with candy, spice and everything nice, but nothing worked. She got so angry at this that she tried to freeze me into a statue, which backfired and killed all her reindeer. With this I messed up the entire first book, without her reindeer she would never meet Edward and the story couldn’t continue the way it was supposed to. Aslan had to come back in secret and banished me from Narnia. He knew I was from the real world and explained to me that changing a story was a very dangerous thing. I guess I didn’t really get the message.
‘So If I understand correctly, this rip between our worlds is opening because of your visits?’
‘Not just my own, It’s because me and Polly visit them together. I think it’s something about too much power being unleashed in the process.’
‘This could mean the end of both our worlds, Son of Adam. What can I do to help?’
‘I don’t know. Guy says we can stop this from happening, but I don’t know how. Especially not without Polly.’
Mr. Tumnus stared gloomily ahead. He seemed to be thinking while his hoofs were clacking against one another. The sound started to annoy me.
‘Mr. Tumnus, please stop that. Could you give me some advice? What should I do?’
‘It is all too clear boy, if they say you can stop it, then go back and stop it.’
‘But how? I need Polly.’
‘Just be brave. Maybe try to find a lion in your world that will fight for you.’
He made me laugh and for some reason I felt a little less cold. I threw off the blanket and gulped down the tea in one go.
‘Thank you for your inspiring words, Mr. Tumnus. I think I know what to do know.’
With big steps I walked out of the cave, into the snow. I followed a path we had made with our footsteps to the lamp-post and from there on to the trees. They got thicker and closer together. I felt some prickly needles, but they soon turned into soft fur. My knee knocked against the closet’s door and I slowly opened it from the inside. I stepped out into the room where we never went. It had no windows which made me feel better. Outside of the door I heard voices. One made my heart jump and without any caution I ran towards Polly. She got a bit scared, but when she recognized me, her face lit up. I hugged her like crazy and she started laughing.
‘Seems like you missed me.’
‘I’m so glad you’re alright.’
For one short moment everything seemed all right. We stood there, smiling, just being happy, when Guy interrupted with:
‘You guys should see this…’
He was standing at the window, looking out over the road leading to our house and the road was filled with extraordinary people. Frankenstein’s monster was scaring people, some oompa loompa’s were performing one of their dances and a knight tried to fight a reporter with a camera, screaming it was a monster. We exchanged a troubled look while Humpty Dumpty fell of a small wall.