3: The Empress
Lucy is thrilled by this adventure. Everything about it is new, except the sea - and she has always loved the sea. Every morning she wakes up to the sound of the sails flapping and ropes creaking, the slap of waves against the hull. She has fallen asleep to those same sounds, of course, and they fill her dreams as well, but they ring differently in the morning light. At least, she thinks so. There's a damp scent in the mornings a little like the smell of fresh turned earth but fiercer, and it lies over the ship, muffling the wind and waves but making the snap of ropes sharper. Lucy thinks the ocean, too, prefers to wake gently, relishing the dawn in silence.
Afternoons are brighter, even on cloudy days. Dawn Treader's golden prow competes with the waves for sparkles, together throwing reflections so many ways that the ship sails in a cloud of light. The sailors go about their work singing, or tell stories. These are always of adventures, at least half tall tale, each man trying to outdo the last, and their endings are often lost in shouts of laughter. Lucy climbs all over the ship, scrambling up the rigging as easily as the sailors, for the sheer joy of it, and no one tells her no. (Though Caspian cringes when she balances on the yard, and Drinian asks her to please not chat with the man on duty in the top.)
Evening smells of smoke, the rich full scent of the galley mingling with the tongue-coating sizzle of the oil lamps and the sweet-sharpness of the men's tobacco. Lucy goes about with the life of the ship in her throat and her mouth and her nose while the sun dips toward the horizon, sinking down onto Narnia in a glory of fire. The winds calm - Drinian tells her she imagines this, but she is certain of it - to farewell the day in proper splendor. On cloudy days the pressure of smoke is so great she climbs the rigging to escape it; watches the sunset cradled by the ropes and rocked by the sea.
Even the storm does not bother her overmuch, though she is as sick as anyone of the relentless rain and of being ordered to keep to her cabin whenever possible (for even a queen must obey a captain on his own ship, she knows). She interprets the order to mean she should stay off the deck, and so twice daily makes the pilgrimage through the fury: from her cabin to the galley, where at least she has company, and back again. She does what she can to cheer the company, for she has little else to offer, and even manages to coax her brother out of ill humor one evening when Edmund comes belowdeck questing for a dry shirt and quips that it's 'a jolly adventure, eh?' She replies that the storm can't be that bad if his sense of humor is still dry, and he laughs and leaves without the mythical dry shirt.
"Mother Nature shows herself in her original wildness" - Banzhaf, 41