“Excuse me?” Merlin said to one of the guards who were always vigilantly guarding the door, “Could you bring me some dinner?”
“Humph. What do you want…milord?”
“A roast with all the toppings, an extra jug of gravy, a basket of fruit (make sure there are some pineapples), and the biggest trifle the chief can make.” Merlin was purposely ordering a massive amount of food so that the guard would be a long time in getting it. The guard grunted and slouched off, “Show time!” Merlin stepped away from the door and let Arthur take his place. Arthur, brandishing a chair leg whacked the poor guard over the head and he fell to the floor groaning.
“Hide him in the wardrobe!” Arthur commanded and with Merlin’s help dragged the burly man into the closet. Once that was done the pair snuck out of the door, closing it behind them and scuttled away down one of the corridors. They had no idea where to begin so they had to peek through keyholes and listen at doors to see which one belonged to the king. Merlin was about to walk out from a shadow and listen at a nearby door when suddenly an arm flew out and whacked him in the chest.
“Heads up. Someone’s coming.” Arthur said, retracting his arm as Merlin subsided back into the shadow. A small troop of guards marched passed too intent on patrolling the halls to notice Merlin and Arthur hidden in the shadows.
“Come on.” Arthur hissed and slunk down the corridor, Merlin following. After a few more minutes of continuing like this they had both begun to give up hope.
“Look, were getting nowhere this way! We need to know exactly where he is or it’ll be morning before we find him!” Arthur pointed out, merging into a wall as a maid went past.
“Well what do you suggest?” Merlin snapped, annoyed that his plan was beginning to fail.
“Umm…question a guard?” Arthur looked sheepish.
“You mean threaten a guard.”
“That to. And would you look at that! A volunteer!” There was indeed a guard walking down the hall as he spoke, “Right, you distract while I ambush.”
“Wha-“ Merlin began to protest but it was too late as Arthur shoved him out in full view of the guard.
“Annoy him!” Arthur hissed as the guard stood stupidly in the hall, staring at Merlin.
“I’m sure you’ll think of something. After all you are an expert.” Arthur was obviously trying to keep a straight face but was failing miserably. Merlin scowled.
“Umm…hi there…” Merlin tried to grin annoyingly at the guard, standing like a startled rabbit in the corridor, but found it impossibility.
“You’re one of the prisoners…” The guard drawled. He obviously wasn’t very bright.
“Yeah. I felt like going for a stroll around the castle and then perhaps escaping later on.” Merlin acted, with an air of a person commenting on the weather.
“I…umm…I’m gonna arrest you!” The guard finally made up his mind and came charging at Merlin like a stampeding buffalo. Merlin smartly stepped to one side as the guard came hurtling past and Arthur clobbered him over the head.
“Nice work. Help me get him in there.” Arthur indicated a door, which he had expected earlier and found to be a broom cupboard.
I felt a slap around my face and I flicked my eyes open. In front of me was a blonde guy and behind him was that fellow I had seen earlier with the red scarf.
“I am Prince Arthur of Camelot and I demand you tell us where the king is!” The blonde was saying in a dangerous voice.
“Urghle…” I groaned. My head hurt. Another slap and the same question came.
“Where is King Argus?”
Not wanting another swat round the face I answered.
“He’s in his chambers.”
“Where’s that?” The one with the scarf asked.
“In the castle.”
“Well obviously!” The blonde cried, exasperated.
“Where?!” The scarfed one asked again.
“Next door to the right.” I wondered why they wanted to know where he was.
“Next…door?” The blonde gave the scarfed one a look.
“How was I to know?!” Scarfy shrugged. Blondey turned back to me, I got clobbered and then suddenly the light went out.
“What do we do with him?” Merlin asked.
“Leave him here. He’s out for the count.” Arthur said, sticking his head out of the cupboard door and gave the hallway the once over for guards, “All clear. Come on.” Arthur walked out of the door, Merlin following, and went to the door that the guard had described.
“Erm…what now? Shall I knock?” Merlin asked not sure whether to barge in or knock.
“Well you never knock for me!”
“Fine!” Merlin stepped back and Arthur kicked the doors open.
“Hands up! We’re armed!” Arthur shouted as they burst in. This wasn’t true. They didn’t have any weapon of any sort in their possession. The king, sat by his table, a fork half lifted to his mouth paused for a moment but then ate the piece of meat on the end of it.
“Oh…it’s…you…umm…who are you…?” The king said slowly as if he were thinking over each and every word.
“I am Prince Arthur of Camelot. That’s Merlin.” Arthur jabbed a thumb over his shoulder at Merlin.
“Oh…that’s…nice…what do you want…ooh my head…what’s going on?”
“I belive that your advisor, Mara, is a sorceress and has been using magic to control you my lord. We’ve come to help you.” Merlin said.
“A sorceress…umm…I…know…she…told me to send a letter…take over England…err…” The king’s face strained, trying to remember.
“Yes! Yes, you sent us a letter and we came to find out what was going on!” Arthur tried to prompt the king’s memory.
“What…what was I thinking…so stupid…” The king’s face lit up as he remembered, “This is Mara’s fault! I’ll exile her immediately! Where is she?!”
“I am here my lord.” Arthur and Merlin spun round to see Mara standing in the door, casting a long shadow across the floor.
“I accuse you of using magic and sentence you…oh…yeah…“ Arthur began but stopped, remembering that he was not in Camelot.
“Don’t listen to these trouble makers. You were right to send the letter. You want England. Don’t you remember?” Mara stalked across the room, staring intently at the king, muttering under her breath.
Merlin suddenly realised that the mutterings were some kind of spell.
“Stop!” He yelled and hurled himself at Mara, both of them crashing to the floor.
“What are you doing?! Guards!” Mara struggled furiously as Merlin pinned her to the floor. There came a stampede of footsteps and a group of guards burst in, swords drawn.
“Arthur, a sword over there!” Merlin pointed to a rack of weapons hung on the wall. Arthur dashed over to the rack and yanked a sword out as the guards bore down on him.
Mara took Merlin’s lapse of attention to wriggle free and she leapt up.
“You will die!” Her face an ugly picture of rage, directed at Merlin.
Merlin knew before she did it that she was about to cast a spell on him and instinctively ducked as a bolt of electricity flew at him at Mara’s command.
“Not today!” Merlin shouted back. He flashed a look behind him. Arthur was busy fending of the guards and far to occupied to notice what Merlin did next, “Semendea loftea mont!” he cried the spell loudly, casting his attention back at the sorceress before him.
“No!” Mara shrieked as the ceiling of the room began to cave in and fall onto her. Her cries died away and Merlin turned back to Arthur, no time to lament over the death of yet another sorcerer.
Three of the guards were on the floor and a fourth fell as Merlin watched. Arthur had a huge nosebleed and a long scratch on his face but still fought gallantly with the last guard until eventually he to joined his fellow soldiers on the floor.
“Where’s Mara!” Arthur jumped over to Merlin, searching the room tensely.
“Umm…she tried to kill me but her spell backfired…” Merlin lied quickly.
Arthur visibly relaxed and whipped a sleeve over his nosebleed.
“Bravo! Bravo!” Suddenly a bout of clapping came from somewhere. Arthur and Merlin jerked round, adrenalin making them jumpy. The king was clapping, a childish look on his face.
“Err…are you ok?” Arthur asked him, wondering if the effects of Mara’s magic were still present.
There was an awkward silence that was broken by Merlin.
“Well…we should be leaving. Got to get back to Camelot you know.”
“Oh yes! Of course! I’ll have a private guard and transport ready immediately! And…I really am sorry for this unfortunate incident. Please accept my humblest apologizes.” The king adopted a very serious face.
“Of course! I understand this was none of you’re doing.” Arthur stepped forward and shook the king’s hand.
“Well, I’m glad your back Merlin.” Gaius said, placing a bowl of soup on the table.
A few days after the episode of events in Scotland, Arthur and Merlin had returned back to Camelot and told their tale. A feast had been held in their honour and now Merlin was sitting with Gaius who was eating his own dinner. Merlin thought over everything that had happened over the past few weeks. Or was it days? It was hard to tell how long it had been, especially with the business of the shipwreck.
“So am I.” Merlin grinned back at Gaius, “So am I.”