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Earth to Narnia

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Eustace had to call the Consulate right away. He had never saved their number, thinking he wouldn’t need it, and he cursed himself. Eventually he dialed 999, sitting up in the figurehead, and waited to hear the voice of the person who would save him. The phone rang and rang. He hung up and dialed again. This couldn’t be right! It was 999! He’d never called them before, but surely they should always be available to serve the citizens. Then the dial tone was interrupted by a cool voice that said, “You are out of range. Enable intra-world roaming. May not be available in all worlds.” Intra-world roaming?

Eustace felt his phone slip from between his fingers. He turned to watch it, as if in slow motion, only to see it soar over the edge of the boat and spiral towards the water below. Damn. He supposed he could ask Lucy to lend him her phone, if he didn’t tell her what it was for. He went to find her. She was busy with that older boy, Cas-something, learning about the sails or some such rubbish.

“Can I borrow your phone, Lucy?” Eustace stretched his mouth into a facsimile of a smile.

Lucy looked over at Eustace. “What do you want it for? We wouldn’t have phone service here.”

“Just wanted to take a picture of the ocean,” he lied.

Caspian looked interested. “What does that mean?”

Eustace ignored him as Lucy looked down and patted her pockets. “Oh wait, these are Caspian’s clothes. Maybe it’s in the pockets of my normal clothes, in my cabin?” She smiled at Eustace and turned back to the mast.

Eustace slunk downstairs to the cabin, hoping not to encounter Edmund. He was annoyed again by how unfair it was that Lucy got the biggest cabin to herself. Eustace was most definitely not a feminist, but he thought it was very bad form to coddle Lucy in this way. Her cabin, of course, was unlocked; she was far too trusting, Eustace thought, for a girl staying on a ship full of strangers. Her damp clothes were hanging from the rafters. It was easy to see even from here that her phone wasn’t there. It wasn’t in any of the drawers, either, as far as Eustace could tell; most of them were full of Caspian’s clothes and scented with a spice Eustace couldn’t recognise. He happened to glance at the cabin he shared with the other boys as he left. Maybe Edmund had his phone in there. Eustace checked to make sure the coast was clear before ducking into their cabin.

Edmund wasn’t inside. Eustace breathed a sigh of relief and looked around the cabin. Edmund’s things were folded into a neat pile under his hammock. Eustace got down on hands and knees to investigate. There was only a t-shirt and shorts; apparently Edmund had lost his shoes in the sea. Eustace picked up the shorts to investigate and—yes! There was a phone in the pocket. As much as Eustace didn’t like his cousin, he had to give him credit for having an Android rather than an iPhone. Eustace took the phone in hand and turned it on. It had a password, of course, but emergency calls could be made without one, so he reached for the button to call--

“What do you think you’re doing, pest?”

Eustace nearly dropped the phone before realising it would look better if he wasn’t holding it and set it on Edmund’s shorts. “I wanted to know if you have the same kind of charger as me. Since I didn’t bring mine.” He kept as straight a face as possible.

Edmund didn’t blink. “And you brought your Earth-to-Narnia plug converter, did you?”

“I still don’t believe that we’re in Narnia,” Eustace said haughtily. “But I don’t want your bloody charger anyway. I’ll be leaving now.” He pushed past Edmund but stopped when he felt something cold and hard against his neck.

“I don’t know what you’re up to,” Edmund hissed into Eustace’s ear, “but I’ll be watching you.” Eustace was shoved forward by two hands on his back, and he could do nothing then but run, panting, to the ladder and then up to the deck.