BBC Merlin: Devil May Care Chapter One

After a spontaneous fishing trip ends in disaster for Arthur and Merlin, the boys find themselves in an ancient under sea temple in which Arthur finds a mysterious cube. Little does he know that this cube will be the first small stones that start an avalanche that's the biggest adventure of both his and Merlin's life. A tale of friendship, adventure and mystery. Angst/Hurt/Comfort/Friendship

“We are going fishing!” Arthur declared as he swaggered into his chambers, where Merlin was wobbling precariously upon the summit of a stack of chairs.

“We are?” Merlin said over his shoulder, clutching desperately to the curtain rail that the chairs piled were by. 

“Yup. Umm…what are you doing up there?” Arthur asked and went to stand at the foot of the mountainous tower of furniture, looking up in puzzlement at the odd sight.

“Fixing the curtains,” Merlin replied and wobbled again, “like you told me to.”

“And you didn’t think to bring them down instead of constructing a death trap?”

Merlin looked from the curtains to Arthur and back again, a sheepish grin plastered on his face.

The mound of chairs quivering dangerously and suddenly, with a snapping crash, the tower collapsed, sending a surprised Merlin flying to the floor and narrowly missing Arthur who only just managed to step out of the way in time.

“Ow.” He groaned from a pile of tangled limbs, elbow and knees.

Arthur sighed and made his way over to the wardrobe, which he proceeded to open and fling an assortment of clothes out onto the floor over his shoulder.

“Pack all that,” Arthur ordered, pointing to the pile of stuff, “and then go pack your own things.”

“Where did this come from all of a sudden?” Merlin inquired, going over to the heap of clothes and sorting them into organized piles.

“I just thought a fishing trip wouldn’t be a bad idea.”

“You don’t have the patience for fishing!” Merlin teased.

“Don’t be an idiot.”

“Don’t be a prat.”

Arthur threw the smirking Merlin his best scowl that he saved exclusively for his manservant. 

“Anyway, there’s a heap of fishing rods and tackle waiting for you outside and a cart by the gate. Go put it all in there and pay the stable boy.” Arthur said, digging a few coins out of his pocket and tossing them to Merlin.

“You mean we’re going today?” Merlin asked, puzzled, as he crammed the clothes into a rucksack.

“No time like the present as they say.” Arthur called over his shoulder as he strolled out the door.

Once Merlin had packed the rucksack he slung it over his shoulder and made his way to Gaius’s workshop where he dumped it by the door and went in.

Gaius was fumbling around with an assortment of jars and bottles that held a formidable looking luminous green liquid that hissed and bubbled every so often. He barely noticed Merlin walk into his room; too absorbed in the potion he had concocted to see his nephew.

Merlin harvested the floor of his room for the clothes that were strew everywhere and somehow managed to find enough to fill his own rucksack. 

“I’m going fishing with Arthur. I’ll see you in a few days.” He said to Gaius as he heaved the rucksack onto his shoulder and made for the door.

“Huh? Oh, yes. Bye.” Gaius mumbled distractedly as he tipped a red powder into the brewing potion and it flared up with a cloud of purple smoke.

Merlin grabbed the other rucksack by the door and, hunched over from the weight, he staggered down the hall to where the heap of rods and tackle waited for him. Once that was also in his arms (the ropes trailing along the floor and tripping him up) he made his way at a snails pace through the corridors towards the gate.

When Gwen found him she mistook him for a pile of fishing gear, which wasn’t far from the truth.

“Where are you going, Merlin?” She asked brightly as he poked his head out from in between a box of maggots and a rod, seeing her.

“Fishing trip.” Merlin explained, grinning and shifting the heavy load from one shoulder to the other.

“Oh, really? Bring me back a fish wont you? Umm…I mean bring back a fish. You don’t have to bring me a fish. Why would you bring me a fish? I wasn’t saying that you had to bring me a fish!” Gwen mumbled and began to blush.

“I’ll bring you back a fish.” Merlin promised, oblivious as always to her flushed appearance and mindless ranting.

“Thanks.” Gwen mumbled, blushing even harder and scuttling away down the corridor, Merlin watching her go with affectionate amusement. 

When he got outside to where Arthur had told him a cart would be, there was sure enough a roofed cart and horse waiting for him. He dumped his load in the back and flipped a few coins to the stable boy who ran off, grinning gleefully.

He waited in the cart and after a while Arthur appeared with a big, round man who was quite clearly a fisherman. Arthur looked approvingly at the heap of fishing rods and tackle. It seemed that Merlin had done something right for once.

“Hello there! You must be Merlin.” The big man came up to Merlin and began to enthusiastically pump his arm up and down with an iron fist, “Brun’s the name and fishing’s the game.” He said in a Welsh accent, grinning toothily, finally releasing Merlin’s hand.

Merlin nursed his throbbing hand in the other and smiled thinly, staring with fascination at Brun’s odd appearance that consisted of a bushy white beard, weathered face and tiny spectacles that were perched on the end of his long nose, teetering precariously on the edge.

“I’d like to get there before dark, Brun. I don’t want to be late.” Arthur said, looking at the sun that would soon be setting.

“You know this all reminds me of this one time when my sister, rest her soul, was so late she missed the party completely and after a talk with old Tom, old Tom’s a friend of mine, she found that she had lost her leg. Interesting story really about how I met old Tom. It all started out in the year 1254.” Brun said, spreading his arms into the air and getting blank faces from his two man audience, “Me and me old mate Lenny were out in one of our boats, just minding our own business, when suddenly out of nowhere this jellyfish appeared. Stung poor Lenny to a pulp and I didn’t come off much better myself, but there you go. But that’s all beside the point really so back to my sister. She was talking to old Tom and found she’s lost her leg when-“

“Brun,” Arthur said before he could go on, “We really need to get going.”

The man swiped his floppy hat off his balding head and held it to his heart before shoving it back on and scurrying around the cart to the reins.

Arthur sighed and went round to the other side of the cart to find a seat. Merlin clambered into the back of the cart and nestled himself between a box of worms and a rod, poking his head out between Arthur and Brun through the canvas that covered the front of the cart.

“So where are we going exactly?” He asked as Brun shook the reins and the two horses began to trot along.

“Nowhere special. Just Brinkwell where we’ll stay for the night.” Brun replied.

“Brinwell’s by the sea right?”

“Yeah, if you want to catch some proper fish you go to the sea.” Explained Brun, “I’ve got my boat docked at the harbour there.”

“How long till we arrive?” Arthur asked, putting his hands behind his head to protect it from the jolts and jostling of the cart as it rattled out of the castle roads and down a rough track.

“Don’t know. Maybe nightfall.” Brun replied, slapping the horse’s backs with the reins and clicking his tounge at them. 

“Right.” Arthur said and put his feet up on the rail board at the front of the cart. 

“You know, I went to Brinkwell with me old mother once. She really wanted to see the Red Lion inn. That’s where we’ll be staying actually. Nice place. Good beer. Got some pretty rum old duck though. Don’t get the duck. Me old mother ate and it turned out to have this garlic and beetroot paste inside. Horrid stuff I can tell you that. It almost looked like that jellyfish I was telling yer about earlier. Awful thing that jellyfish. Never did like the things and even less after that. Poor old Lenny was in care for months! And then of course the boat needed replacing. He jumped up and down rather a lot you see, scuttled the whole ship! And then there was this jelly swarm right below us. I don’t know how we got out alive but anyways, old Tom came along with his rum old net and caught us up in it like a pair of lobsters. Saved us from the jellies but it was a little too late for Lenny by then. We had to nurse him back to sanity with nothing but a box of snails and a meat cleaver!” Brun rambled.

Merlin and Arthur exchanged rueful glances. Was this guy going to jabber the entire way to Brinkwell?

Unfortunately he did. He told them of all his old sea dog adventures that were not in any way interesting to ether of them and by the time they got to the Red Lion inn it was nightfall and Merlin had almost been driven insane from the stories the old fisherman clearly loved to share. He was more than ready to beat Arthur up for hiring the man’s boat and service…

Once they arrived at Brinkwell and found the Red Lion inn Merlin was yet again loaded with the huge amount of baggage and received no help from ether Arthur or Brun who were hungry and after careful consideration of the menu (missing out the duck at strict orders from Brun) they got themselves dinner and then paid for a few rooms. 

The End

4 comments about this story Feed