Next blog will be about ” How to build your own Castle”! Relax, it’s not Pierrefonds Castle as a flatpack from IKEA!
Maria Thermann’s fan fiction “Merlin” (BBC series) sees the action set between seasons 4 and 5.
This piece of fiction is written purely as a fun writing exercise and was not created with the intention of any commercial exploitation on my part. The copyright for all BBC Merlin series characters & storylines remains with the BBC and Shine Ltd, the producers of the show.
The show stars Colin Morgan (Merlin), Bradley James (King Arthur), Angel Coulby (Guinevere), Richard Wilson (Gaius), Katie McGrath (Morgana), Rupert Young (Sir Leon), Eoin Macken (Gwaine), Tom Hopper (Sir Percival), Adetomiwa Edun (Sir Elyan), John Hurt as the voice of the Great Dragon Kilgharrah and Anthony Head as King Uther. Series 5 to be aired this autumn in the UK, trailer already running on BBC.
Part 6 was created on 1st August 2012.
The Honeymoon is over – Let the Questing begin!
If it hadn’t been for the ancient arrow slit, he’d be dead now! Only a few more lengths and Arthur would have made it to the top floor window, but the old flag had given way with a protesting screech. Arthur had only just managed to cling to the side of the tower. He watched the torn flag flutter down into the moat below, upsetting a couple of rooks on the way down.
“Lllleeeeeegggge Aaarrrgggguuurrr!” The taunts from the strange creature above kept coming, but Arthur continued his ascent, disregarding the monstrous head hovering above him. The thing looked like a cross between a boar and a Behemoth!
When he was only a few lengths from the monster’s head, Arthur clamped both his feet into an arrow slit and drew Excalibur. He pointed his sword at the creature, while the fingers of his other hand tested the tower’s surface for any kind of opening or crack that would give him some leverage. After a few moments Arthur admitted defeat. At this upper part of the tower, there were no more cracks or openings, where a strong hand could find leverage and pull up the body of a man. Clinging to the side of a tower while wearing nothing more than a boy’s hose and a lady’s scarf was bad enough, but being insulted by a woolly-headed monster at the same time was taking things a step too far. Arthur sighed and thought of Gwen, who’d probably be highly amused by the situation. He wondered briefly, if he’d ever see her again. Now that the sun was up, the force of the rays was beginning to take its toll and he grunted with the effort of holding on to the side of the tower. With the back of his sword hand Arthur managed to wipe a few beads of sweat of his brow and squinted into the bright sky. The silence from above caught his attention. The monstrous head had disappeared!
Arthur’s relief was short-lived, for the monster reappeared presently and hurled something out of the window. Arthur tried to duck but the missile hit him squarely in the face without knocking him off his perch. To his surprise Arthur discovered the thing was a makeshift rope, made from a couple of sheets that someone had tied together.
Surely the monster wasn’t trying to help him reach the chamber beyond the window? He hoped one of his friends was responsible for this rescue attempt. Had he found Gawain? The sheets dangled invitingly in front of Arthur’s nose. Half bemused by this act of chivalry and half suspicious it might turn out to be a trap Arthur grabbed hold off the makeshift rope, climbed up and scrambled through the open window. Strong paws grabbed his shoulders and pulled him into the chamber, where he landed with a thump on the floor. He sprang up and swished Excalibur through the air to dissuade rather than injure any inmate within the chamber, forcing the monster to retreat by a few paces.
A quick survey revealed the chamber was empty apart from the monster and a few items of furniture. The room was a shabby but comfortable lady’s bedchamber with a four-poster bed and some old-fashioned, carved chairs, chests and tables. On a sideboard close to the window Arthur discovered a plate with food. He sniffed it and found it to be fresh. In fact, it was a breakfast fit for a prince! There was a loaf of white bread and a hunk of goat’s cheese, a dressed crab and some radishes. With a pang he realised it was ages since he’d eaten anything. He tore a chunk out of the loaf and chewed the bread gratefully, before continuing his prowl around the chamber. The bed was unmade and now missing its sheets, the heavy oak door had been forced open and was hanging off its hinges. Occasional tables and chairs had been tossed aside; the floor was littered with clothes, shoes and the shards of a broken water pitcher. The rug on the floor showed a fresh bloodstain: this was the scene of a recent struggle!
“Lllleeeeeegggge Aaarrrgggguuurrr!” The monster was clearly determined to communicate.
Arthur couldn’t help but smile, when he saw the state his new-found friend was in. Apart from a torn mail shirt, dirty linen, hose and one boot, the creature was wearing shackles and chains, which had been tied around his ankles and secured to the oak beams of the four-poster. Arthur looked around, but saw no sign of socks or the second boot. He sidled past his woolly-headed rescuer and made for the door. The creature darted forward to stop him but was instantly pulled back by the limitations of the chain. It allowed the creature to reach the sideboard and window, but not the doorway, where Arthur stood surveying the room. Seeing the relief on Arthur’s face, the monster began to frantically wave its furry arms around, its huge paws first pointing at the window, then at the bed.
Arthur shrugged his shoulders. “Sorry, I don’t speak Behemoth. I’m not ungrateful, but if you think I’m going to release you, you must be even stupider than you look.”
The monster growled and tore at its chains, pointing at Excalibur. “Lllleeeeeegggge Aaarrrgggguuurrr!”
“No matter how often you repeat this, Friend, I’m not going to set you free. There’s a good reason why somebody chained you. It’s your striking features, my Friend! I don’t wonder the lady of the house tied a fine looking fellow like you to that bedpost over there. It’s not very chivalrous to interfere with a lady’s plans, so I’m bidding you good day and take my leave. Thank you for your help with the rope, though. Oh, I must thank you for the food, too.” Arthur said with bulging cheeks. He waved a cheerful goodbye and headed once more for the door. “Fine bread…thank the lady of the house for me, there’s a good chap. Oh, don’t bother seeing me out.” He grinned and turned to leave.
“Lllleeeeeegggge Aaarrrgggguuurrr!” The first radish hit Arthur right between the shoulder blades. The second caught his left ear. He wheeled around and faced the disgruntled occupant of the bedchamber, about to strike again. The monster raised its furry paw, aimed and had fired the next missile before Arthur could dive out of the way. The third radish hit Arthur squarely between his nipples. He squinted down at the angry red patch on his chest and took a deep breath.
“Ouch, that hurt! Stop playing with your food, will you?”
“Lllleeeeeegggge Aaarrrgggguuurrr!” The fourth radish caught Arthur on the nose.
“Now look here! I haven’t got time to play,” Arthur gingerly fingered the tip of his nose. “Behave until the lady comes back. No doubt she’ll know how to tame you.” When his eyes had stopped welling up with the pain, Arthur realised there was something strangely familiar about the beast. Where on earth had he seen that tattered piece of chainmail before?
“Lllleeeeeegggge Aaarrrgggguuurrr!”The creature threw its arms in the air and started to wail, when Arthur took one step across the threshold. Sinking to the floor, the monster kept pointing at Excalibur, before hugging its knees tightly and starting to wail. Arthur merely shrugged his shoulders, but the creature shot up, darted over to the sideboard and snatched the dressed crab.
“Don’t you dare!” Arthur raised his arms to shield his face. To his surprise no fishy missile arrived. He peered cautiously through his fingers and gasped.
Balancing on one leg, the monster had stuck the crab to its big toe and held its fishy foot up into the air! “Lllleeeeeegggge Aaarrrgggguuurrr!”
“Whatever next? Juggling? You’re quite the entertainer, aren’t you?”
By way of a reply his new friend hurled the crab at the wall, where it left a greasy stain before sliding down to the sideboard below and landing with a clang on the platter. The creature sank back to the floor and started to tear out its fur from an abundant supply on its head and bat-like ears, letting the tufts drift through the open window on a current of fresh air. Temporarily disarmed by the picture of misery before him, Arthur risked a step closer. The creature immediately lunged at him, grabbed his legs and brought him down, before wrestling Excalibur from his hands. The woolly-headed rescuer shot up and backed away towards the bed, holding the sword with the expertise of a man at arms. Instead of slicing his head off as expected, Arthur discovered the creature was swishing the sword through the air in a fashion that was as familiar to Arthur as his own daily gripe concerning the lack of attention paid to His Majesty’s bath water was to his servant Merlin. There was only ONE knight in all of Camelot who held a sword like that!
“No! It can’t be…Gawain? Is that you?”
“Lllleeeeeegggge Aaarrrgggguuurrr!” The creature dropped Excalibur, thumped its barrel chest and opened its arms to give Arthur a bear hug that squeezed the air from his lungs and left him gasping. It took Arthur a moment or two to recover. Holding him at arms’ length, the hog-nosed Gawain eyed Arthur keenly and pointed at the shackles around his furry feet.
“You’re right. It’s obvious when I think about it.” Arthur grinned from ear to ear. “Chained to a lady’s bedpost…that could only happen to you!” He struck at Gawain’s chains and Excalibur set the woolly-headed knight free. “Who did this to you? No, forget I asked. A knight of the round table doesn’t kiss and tell.” Arthur’s hand clamped Gawain’s snout shut, before the knight could utter another wail. “Show me, where have the trolls taken the others?”
By way of a reply Gawain grabbed Arthur’s hand and shook it solemnly, before dragging him through the doorway and down the spiral staircase at tremendous speed.
“Wwwwitcheeees, Aaarrrgggguuurrr.” Gawain growled, taking three steps at once.
“Please, let’s not have another lesson in Behemoth!”
“Who needs lessons? I’m fluent already!” Arthur panted after his friend. “Don’t tell me, my dollop-headed servant’s in trouble again.” They reached the final step of the spiral stair case and shrank into a dark niche. “Just wait until I get my hands on him! Merlin left me without a stitch to wear at that lake,” Arthur pointed at his inadequate hose. “You wouldn’t happen to know where the trolls left my breeches?”
Gawain snorted and put two fat, furry digits to what passed as his lips, urging Arthur to silence.
Two guards watched the entrance from across the courtyard. “What we need is a little distraction.” Grinning, Arthur pushed Gawain out into the yard, where the startled guards first eyed the creature with alarm, then with unbridled amusement.
“Bless me, they’ve certainly done for you, mate! Not up to the ladies’ standards, were you? Don’t take it to heart, Friend, rumour has it our leader Unding got his fine looks for the same reason!” The guards burst out laughing, pointing their fingers at Gawain’s bat-ears and wild boar snout. They came closer and tried to finger the tufty tips of his ears. Coyly, Gawain tried to evade their advances, covering his ears with his paws. Roaring with laughter, the men tried to tickle Gawain’s woolly chin instead, but he fought them off and they started to chase him around the courtyard.
When the merry gang came hurtling past his hidey-hole for the second time, Arthur stepped out of his niche and rapped the guards smartly on the head with Excalibur’s broadside, while Gawain finished them off with a left hook on the chin.
“I couldn’t have put it better myself, Gawain!”
A loud BANG like an explosion shattered the peace of the quiet courtyard. Gawain dragged the two guards into the niche by the stairs and raced after Arthur into the castle’s interior where the echo of cries and the clamour of battle threatened to drown out the tremor and noise of a second explosion.
…/to be continued…