Sigh, O Narnia
by Patrick Hueller
Friday, January 27
Jedi Knight Ryan said, “I can’t believe you didn’t get your light saber or your web shooter yet.”
The only thing he could think of is they must have got lost in the mail. That’s what he said. He said, “I hope they didn’t get lost in the mail. That happens.”
This time I couldn’t wipe away my wet eyes before they became real actual tears.
Jedi Knight Ryan said, “I bet they’ll still turn up, though.” He said, “They were probably brought to the wrong address by mistake. Whoever has them will probably send them to you soon.”
He kept using that word “probably,” and it made me feel a little better.
He rubbed the top of my head and said, “Tough break, kid. Life can be....”
He used a word before that that you are not supposed to use. It made me feel surprised and good at first but then really bad again. I really started to cry.
Jedi Knight Ryan said, “Jesus.” Then he said, “Jedis don’t cry.”
But Luke Skywalker cried when he had his hand chopped off and he learned that Darth Vader was his father. I knew Jedi Knight Ryan was just saying that to make me feel better. Knowing this just made me feel worse, and I cried even harder. He used a few more words you are not supposed to use and then he took off the necklace with the ring on it and he put it around my neck!
He said, “Here. You’ve earned it.”
When Mom and Dad came home, Ryan patted me on the head again. When they went upstairs, Jedi Knight Ryan turned to me and said something else.
He said, “Well, it’s sigh-oh-Narnia for me, kid.”
I couldn’t think about it too long, though, because I wanted to think more about the ring he gave me. The whole time I could feel it pressing against my chest under my shirt.
Friday, February 3
Friday Night Date Night stinks again. Jedi Knight Ryan isn’t my babysitter anymore. My parents said they tried to call him but he left. I asked them, “Where?” but they didn’t know. It wasn’t until later that I really thought about it and figured it out for myself.
The new babysitter is a girl and she’s really old and she calls my figurines toys. She asked about them but I only had four figurines left and I didn’t feel like talking about them, especially when she said, “Toys are supposed to be played with, not kept in boxes.”
These aren’t toys. They’re figurines. But I didn’t tell her that because she didn’t get on her knees and she didn’t say they were cool, and she talked slow and loud at me, and people like that can never understand.
Plus I wanted her to leave. I could feel the ring pressing against my chest under my shirt. What if it fell out like it did that one time Jedi Knight Ryan was wearing it? It was my ring, not hers. She was wearing earrings and this big pin on her sweater so I figured she’d try to take my ring if she saw it.
Finally she left the room and I wrote Jedi Knight Ryan a letter. I wrote, “I don’t have my light saber or my web shooter yet.” Then I wrote, “I don’t know what to do with the ring.”
The person who has this ring must have a mission. But I didn’t know what that mission was.
I wrote, “Will you write back and explain my mission?”
I put the letter in an envelope and wrote “Narnia” on the back. Then I put the ring on my finger so I was invisible and the new babysitter wouldn’t see me and I went downstairs and saw I didn’t need the ring because the new babysitter was snoring on the couch. I put the envelope in the mailbox, and when I got back inside the new babysitter was still snoring.
Saturday, February 4
I spent the day looking out my window at the mail box. Finally the mailman showed up. I watched him take my letter out of the mail box. He looked at it for a while. Then he smiled and put the letter in his pocket instead of his mail bag!
I thought about it and thought about it. The only reason he would do that is because he’s stealing it. That made me think of the light saber and the web shooter and how he must have stolen them, too!
The more I thought about it, the more I knew that I needed to get these things back. Then I thought about how this must be my mission. I put all my figurines in my backpack and I put on the ring to turn invisible. I went downstairs without making any noise and I slid by my dad as he walked up the stairs.
But then right before I got to the front door Dad asked, “Where are you going?” Which means he must have been able to see me!
I said, “Nowhere.” Then I said, “Outside.”
He asked, “Why are you wearing your backpack?”
I said, “I don’t know.”
He said, “Automatic pilot, huh? Yesterday I put on my suit to mow the lawn.” Then he laughed.
I didn’t know what was going on. Especially since all I could think about was, “How could he see me?” I watched him turn and go the rest of the way up the stairs.
I need to think about this more before I go on my mission.
Monday, February 6
I thought about it and thought about it. The only way Dad could see me is if he’s a ringwraith. Ringwraiths are the only ones who can see someone who’s wearing the ring. It was last night I thought of it and after that I didn’t sleep at all. I just kept slipping the ring on and off my thumb until I came up with a plan.
First I had to get out of the house and that was easy enough because it’s a school day. I told Mom, “I want to ride the bus.”
She said, “You never want to ride the bus.”
But I said, “I do today.”
She asked, “Are you feeling okay?”
She put her hand out to touch my forehead and I almost let her because it had been so long since she did that. But then I remembered I was wearing the ring so she shouldn’t have been able to see me. Which means she must be a ringwraith too!
I backed up and said, “I have to go.”
Then I went to the bus. Except I didn’t go to the bus, not really. I hid behind a tree on the side of our house.
I waited for the mailman as long as I could and told myself, “Don’t fall asleep.”
But I was so tired from not sleeping last night that I fell asleep anyway. When I woke up, I wondered if the mailman had already come, but he hadn’t, because I saw his truck down the road and I saw him walking to a neighbor’s house, and I ran to the truck. At first I was going to sit in the seat next to him since I was wearing the ring and he shouldn’t be able to see me.
But then I thought, What if he’s a ringwraith too?
I saw that the door in the back of the truck was open and I jumped inside.
* * *
That’s where I am now. I’m hiding behind all the boxes so the mailman can’t see me, even if he’s a ringwraith. It’s completely black in here except for when he opens the door and takes out a box.
After he closes the door and we start moving again, I think about Jedi Knight Ryan and Narnia and the light saber and the web shooter. I take off the ring and put it on again, over and over. Doing all this takes my mind off the dark. It also gives me courage to finish this mission. If I ever want to see my light saber or web shooter or Jedi Knight Ryan again, I know I have to do this.
But then I think, Maybe we’re not going to Narnia.” You get to Narnia through a magic closet, not by riding in the back of a mail truck.
When the truck is moving it’s dark and shaky and loud and it sounds like it’s thundering outside.
I think, I’m not going to Narnia. I’m going to Mordor. Then I think, My mission is more than just to get my light saber or my web shooter. It’s to destroy this ring once and for all.
I twist the ring on my thumb and hope it will protect me. Then the truck stops and the mailman opens the door and the light is really bright and the noise goes away.
I think, It would be so easy to jump out and run away and forget all about my mission.
I still have four figurines, and I could hide the ring somewhere, and that way I wouldn’t have to destroy it, and I wouldn’t have to go to Mordor and everything would probably still be okay.
All of a sudden I’m angry with Jedi Knight Ryan for not taking me with him to Narnia. I think, Why did he have to give the ring to me? I’m just a kid.
But then I remember that we don’t get to choose our missions. I don’t know why Jedi Knight Ryan went to Narnia but he must’ve had to go. Because there’s no other reason to go on a mission except to change the world and make it better.
Now that I’ve come this far I know I can’t go back to where I came from. Maybe when I destroy the ring Mom and Dad will stop being ringwraiths. Maybe they will go back to normal like that king who is under an evil spell and is all cold-looking but then goes back to being good and warm-looking.
I hope we get to wherever we’re going soon. There aren’t many boxes left to hide behind.
This will all be so much easier once I get my light saber and web shooter.
Copyright © 2016 by Patrick Hueller