MFB03: Picnic Prank

The girls lost no time in organising a picnic at a convenient clearing in the Great Wood, not far from the castle, and invited the woodland creatures of the area to join in the festivities. The morning dawned bright and full of promise, a lovely spring day with hints of the approaching summer, and they set out at an easy pace to the spot that some Hares had recommended, laden with baskets full of sandwiches, pies, and cakes.

Edmund had asked the Centaurs to bring some old horseshoes for a game of pitch, in which all but the smallest creatures participated, and Susan gave nosegays to those who played particularly well. Lucy suggested having three-legged races and got on famously with Mr. Tumnus, who — now that Lucy had grown several inches — was the perfect height to be her partner. Peter, however, asked a rather bashful Hedgehog to be his partner, since the young creature (his name was Pricklebriar) was rather awestruck by the royal children, having met them for the first time. Of course Talking Hedgehogs are much larger than the common ones found in our world, but even so he only came to Peter’s knee and the Dwarfs had to use a clever trick to tie them together. They were so unevenly matched that it took them twice as long to finish as any of the other pairs, but all of the onlookers shouted encouragements and Peter was so cheerful with Pricklebriar that the Hedgehog enjoyed himself immensely, and talked for years afterwards of how he had run a race with the High King himself. And Peter’s siblings were delighted to see their brother laughing and joking like he hadn’t done for quite some time.

The best part of the picnic was when they all sat down on blankets (or on the grass, if they preferred) and passed around the puddings and roast potatoes and flagons of light, fruity wines, chatting merrily as they ate as much as they wanted, while the Trees stood by eating loam. And afterwards, when they had washed up at a little creek, some started to tell stories of Narnia from before the White Witch while others stretched out for a little nap, and the voices of the storytellers wove their way into the dreams of the nappers, and honeybees droned busily around the flowering shrubs and trees.

Peter threw himself on the ground next to Susan, who had befriended some baby Rabbits and had them in a heap on her skirts. With Mrs. Rabbit’s permission, she passed a kit each to Lucy and Peter, and they marveled at the softness of the tiny creatures’ fur and stroked them gently until the kits fell asleep in their hands. Edmund had taken off to explore the area, and his brother might have felt anxious for him except that two Panthers and a small Bear had gone with him. So Peter settled down to listen to an Oak Dryad reciting a poem about the wedding of the River-god’s daughter. That is, he fully intended to listen to the story, but his head began to droop and his eyelids grew so heavy that before he knew it, he had nodded off.

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He awoke to the sound of Lucy’s muffled giggles and smiled even in his semi-conscious state.

“What’s so funny, Lu?” he asked, yawning and rubbing his eyes.

Lucy giggled again, more loudly this time, and he heard Susan mutter, “Oh, Edmund!” in a slightly exasperated yet amused voice. He opened his eyes at the mention of his brother’s name and was rewarded to find Edmund’s beautiful brown eyes peering into his own. They sparkled with mischief as he attempted to suppress a giggle (in vain) as well.

“What? What’re you all laughing about?” Peter asked again, still groggy but with the presence of mind to get up slowly so as to not startle the sleeping Rabbits. His youngest two siblings, however, burst into full-blown laughter.

“Here, Peter,” Susan said, handing him her little silver mirror (a beautifully crafted piece with lilies on the back, a gift from some Red Dwarfs the previous Christmas) which she always kept in a pocket of her dress. He took the mirror and was startled to see his own reflection adorned with a purple-black handlebar mustache as well as a pince-nez. It only took a moment for him to realise what had happened, and he was on his feet in a flash, chasing his brother across the clearing and then into the woods.

It was a well-matched chase: Edmund was lighter and more nimble, which allowed him to weave through the underbrush more easily than Peter, but he was also out of breath from laughing. Peter was heavier and slower but had more stamina. It was a mad dash as Edmund ran through the forest, not caring which direction he took and leading them through briars and bracken and at one point a bog. But finally, with a kingly roar and a tackle worthy of an Oxford rugby player, Peter caught Edmund by the waist and wrestled him to the ground. They tussled for a few minutes before Edmund lay pinned on his back, unable to move under his older brother’s weight but also laughing helplessly as Peter scowled at him with the dark scribblings still on his face.

Of course Peter was not truly angry with his brother; he had merely given chase because it was expected of him. It wouldn’t have been sporting of him to not pursue the younger boy and at least threaten to thrash him within an inch of his life. So when he found himself looking down on the face that — to his mind, at least — was the most beautiful in the world, in both worlds, perhaps in all the worlds that ever existed, and saw his brother laughing heartily, he could not help but join in. Remembering the image he had seen in the mirror, he demanded, “By Jove, Ed! What did you use?

“Found some… berries,” Edmund gasped, breathless. “Brought some back, but… you were sleeping… Couldn’t help myself!”

Peter still had his brother pinned to the ground, straddling him, and was struck with the sudden urge to lean down and kiss his lips, now a lovely shade of coral from running. His pale cheeks were also flushed from his exertions, rivaling those of Queen Susan or any other beautiful lady at court. Peter nearly lost his head and gave in to his desires, leaning down towards those slightly parted lips, but at the last moment he diverted his face to rub it against Edmund’s as if to transfer the stains that his brother had impishly drawn on him.

“Aigh! Augh! Peter! Stop!” Edmund protested, half laughing but also half alarmed at the sudden and intimate contact.

“I should give you such a thrashing,” Peter growled with mock ferocity, “for impugning my royal dignity! ’Tis hardly seemly for a king of Narnia to behave in such a childish and… irreverent manner!”

Since Peter was sliding his upper lip against Edmund’s cheek, his words came out slightly garbled, but that was the least of the younger boy’s concerns.

“Hi! Help! Peter, you’re scratching me!” he cried, struggling to push his brother off of him.

“What? Oh, sorry,” Peter responded, immediately pulling back and running one hand over his chin. “I didn’t bother to shave this morning since we were getting ready to leave…”

“You have a beard?” Edmund said in amazement, reaching up to touch his brother’s face.

“Just a few whiskers is all,” Peter admitted, feeling a thrill travel along his spine as Edmund’s fingers stroked his blonde stubble. “It’s not a proper beard yet, you know…”

“I say,” the younger boy breathed in awe, “what does it feel like? Can you tell changes in the weather like the Badgers can?”

“Of course not! It’s just… well, it’s like any other hair — it’s just there. You don’t notice it much yourself,” Peter answered self-consciously. The gentle touch of his brother’s hand had awoken his base desires, and their closeness only made things worse. He disentangled himself from his brother’s supine form to sit back on his haunches, allowing Edmund to sit up and brush the dirt from his clothes. Peter could not take his eyes off of Edmund’s slim hands as they moved over his forest-green tunic, but he recovered himself before his brother could notice his intense gaze.

“We should head back before the others start to worry about us,” he said, standing up and brushing off his own clothes, glad that his tunic was cut large enough to hide the evidence of his helpless impropriety. “But I should like to wash off this mess first.”

Edmund nodded in agreement, somewhat abashed, and followed his elder brother through the woods in companionable silence. Their tracks were easy to follow back since they had crashed pell-mell through the underbrush, and soon they could hear the sounds of the picnic, where Susan had persuaded the Centaurs to pose riddles to the rest of their party.

“Go on, I’ll be there in a minute,” Peter said, turning aside towards the trickling stream.

“Wait, I’ll help you,” Edmund offered, pointing out, “You won’t know if you got it all without a mirror.”

Seeing the sense in that, Peter led the way down to the water where he dipped his handkerchief and proceeded to dab at his face where he had seen the marks.

“Did I get it?” he asked, but Edmund frowned.

“It’s not coming off,” the younger king told him, stepping nearer to look more closely. “Here, let me have a go.”

Peter let him take the handkerchief and patiently bore his rough scrubbing.

“You’re too tall for me to reach,” Edmund complained once. “Sit down on that log so I can get at it better.”

While Peter complied, Edmund wet the handkerchief again and resumed his ministrations. Peter grew more alarmed as his brother’s frown deepened.

“What is it? Won’t it come off?” he asked anxiously.

“Well… the black stuff has come off, but it’s stained your skin purple underneath it,” Edmund informed him. “I’m awfully sorry, Peter… I don’t think it will wash off. I wish I’d never thought of such a prank…”

Edmund bit his lip in chagrin, and although Peter was embarrassed at the thought of spending the rest of the day — perhaps the next few days, even — with the silly marks on his face, the crestfallen look on his beloved brother’s face bothered him more.

“Don’t worry, Ed,” he said. “I’m sure it’ll wear off in a day or two.”

Edmund looked somewhat relieved as he asked, just to make sure, “You’re not mad at me?”

Peter shook his head. “No. I mean, I wish you had left off with just a mustache or so, but I know you weren’t trying to leave a permanent mark. It was just a prank that got a little out of hand. Actually, a pretty funny one—”

He broke off as Edmund grabbed him about the neck and squeezed him with genuine gratitude, taking advantage of the fact that he was sitting down.

“Thanks, Peter,” he whispered in his ear. “You’re a brick! And I promise I’ll never pull a stupid stunt like that again as long as I live!”

Peter could not stop himself from wrapping his arms around Edmund, pulling him even closer — holding him so tightly, in fact, that he winded his slender brother.

“It’s all right,” he murmured back. “I could never be mad at you, Ed… not really. You’re my brother, after all… my only brother…”

He was reminding himself of that as well, sensing strong, carnal lust rising within his body again but unable to stop hugging the one who tested the limits of his self-restraint.

“Ow, Pete! Let go,” Edmund managed, then drew in great draughts of air as his brother hastily released his stranglehold.

“Sorry… I didn’t hurt you, did I?”

“No,” Edmund laughed. “It’d take more than a bear hug to hurt me! But I do wish we could get that stain off of your face… Maybe some soap will do the trick.”

“Maybe,” Peter replied without much hope, but suddenly Edmund cried out.

“Oh! I have it! I think I can get it off!”

“What? How?” Peter asked, startled to see his brother place a corner of the handkerchief into his mouth.

“The berries — they stained my fingers when I was picking them, too,” he explained, removing the handkerchief and using that corner to scrub Peter’s cheek again. “But they came clean when I licked them! If we use spit, maybe it’ll come off…”

Peter saw that the reddish-purple stain was transferring on to the handkerchief.

“It’s working!” the younger king said excitedly, then stuck another corner into his mouth.

“So you’re going to clean my face with spit?” Peter said, beginning to laugh. “By Jove! Wait till the girls hear about this…”

But he soon had to leave off talking since Edmund began to work on the mustache in earnest, and then on the spectacles that he had drawn around his older brother’s eyes.

“If I’d known how much work it would be to get it off,” he grumbled, mostly to himself, “I wouldn’t have put it on in the first place!”

Peter mumbled something in assent but was distracted by having Edmund’s slim waist between his hands. He had placed his hands on his brother’s hips to support him while he worked on his face, but in truth Peter had dreamed of doing so for many months. Now he reveled in feeling every movement, every shift in position, as Edmund bent over him with intense concentration. His face felt as though it were being rubbed raw, but he was more troubled by a growing pain much lower in his anatomy which, to his shame, grew ever stronger as Edmund continued to wipe at his skin, using his own saliva as a solvent. It was both torturous and exquisite at the same time.

“Great Scott!” Edmund exclaimed in frustration as he worked on Peter’s brow. “It’s really thick here — I must’ve slathered it on. Hold on—”

And so saying, he bent his face to Peter’s and daubed some drool directly on to it with his tongue. And Peter, unable to move or avoid what his brother was doing, was unmanned. His grip on Edmund’s waist tightened as his body trembled uncontrollably and he gasped aloud.

“What? What is it?” his younger brother demanded, knowing only that he had been squeezed in a vice-like grip.

“Nothing. I… You just startled me,” Peter replied, panting for breath and far redder in the face than even Edmund’s scrubbing warranted. “Are you… about done?”

“Almost. There’s just this little bit here,” Edmund answered, distracted by the task at hand. While Peter tried desperately to regain his composure, Edmund succeeded in removing the last traces of the berry’s ink, and after Peter splashed his face with the cold water of the creek again, both kings rejoined the picnic party.

The High King was exhausted for the rest of the day, but his siblings and friends attributed it to his having chased Edmund for so long in the woods.

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  1. the-great-dragon

     /  2017/02/02

    Oh my gosh, I’m blushing so hard rn. 😀


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