Subject: Traditional
Posted on: 2020-08-14 12:47:22 UTC

The hyena cub bounded back and forth as they came around the corner. “Lunch time! Lunch time!”

Ilcharheen smiled down at Alfajiri. “Yes, I’m ready to eat, too.”

Alfajiri froze and pricked his ears forwards, left, right. “What’s going on?”

Ilcharheen stopped and looked around. “What? I don’t see any—” But that was the problem. There were no other students in the hallway. “Oh, this doesn’t feel right.”

Alfajiri lifted his nose into the air and started sniffing, loudly. “Someone’s here, though. No . . . not a someone . . .” He suddenly raced off, nose to the ground, trailing something down the hall.

Ilcharheen’s eyes widened, and she took off after her friend. “Don’t leave me alone! What is it?”

Between snuffles, Alfajiri muttered, “Don’t know, new smell.” He sniffed his way into an open classroom door.

Ilcharheen caught up and had one brief moment to see Alfajiri’s ears prick up and his head whip around, before the door slammed shut between them. She stared, paralyzed for a moment.

“Ilcharheen?” Alfajiri started scrabbling at the other side of the door, the scratching of his claws muffled.

“Alfa!?” Ilcharheen lunged forward and grabbed the knob, but it was locked. She turned it frantically, then started pounding on the door. “Alfa!” She looked up and down the hallway, hoping for someone to help, and not quite getting her wish.

The veiled woman was right behind her. Through the veil, Ilcharheen could see the woman’s eyes: a beautiful, powerful blue, radiating a sense of wonder and ancient mystery.

Ilcharheen had grown up in the Calormene Empire. She had been raised to distrust eyes like those.

The eyes of the lion.

Ilcharheen found herself gasping for air and shrank down against the wall, helpless before her culture’s greatest boogeyman. “Aslan!” she shrieked.

“Wait, really?” asked Alfajiri through the door.

“No, not him,” the woman said, reaching down towards her. “Not him at all . . .”

~ ~ ~

I don’t think I’ve actually described Ilcharheen yet at any point. We can just stick with standard Calormene features: black hair, brown eyes, dark skin, patterned robe (feel free to skip patterning for time’s sake), pointy-toe shoes.

And she is indeed becoming Tash, the Lucifer stand-in of Narnia. Because when hS used Aslan as an example, my brain immediately went, “But what if, instead of that, the opposite of that?”

—doctorlit has a weird fascination with Tash, honestly

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