BBC Merlin: Magic By Name Magic By Nature Chapter One

When Merlin is poisoned by a huge snake can Arthur save him in time....

 

The night was icy cold and Jack Frost was nipping at Merlin's nose. 
It was probably quite a strange sight to see somebody standing by a large tree, in a forest, at the dead of night and especially on a night as cold as this. There was a heavy amount of snow covering everything the eye could see and that was including Merlin, who had a dusting all over his dark hair.

Merlin had been waiting for what seemed like hours now. Arthur had told Merlin to wait for him while he scouted ahead to look for the monster they were hunting. He had been gone for ages and Merlin had not seen any sign of him. Many thoughts were going through Merlin's head but the most frequent were, "Where is he? ", " Has he forgotten me? “, " Is he dead? " Merlin was most worried about the last.
Merlin waited another half hour and when Arthur had still not returned he decided to try and find him.

As Merlin began walking in the direction he had last seen Arthur, the mist, which had been floating, about the forest floor swirled away mysteriously.

He had been walking for about twenty minutes when he realized he was lost. The fog that had been less dense near the tree had thickened by a great deal and Merlin couldn't see his hand in front of his face. It had also begun to snow (again) and he found himself shaking with cold so he tucked his hands inside his coat.

It was snowing, it was foggy, he was lost and there was a dangerous monster lurking about. Merlin would have shouted for Arthur at this point but there was something in the air that told him not to break the silence. He racked his brains for some form of magic that would tell him where he was or just help him out but nothing came to mind.

Suddenly something crashed into him knocking him to the ground.

" What the...MERLIN! "

Merlin opened his eyes, which he had shut tight. Arthur was on top of him, his sword at Merlin's throat.

" What were you thinking?! I could have killed you! " Arthur got up and didn't offer a hand down to Merlin. Merlin picked himself up and brushed some snow off his coat.

" Sorry. " he mumbled, even though he thought Arthur should be the one to be sorry. Arthur was about to speak again when suddenly a horrible, screeching roar came from some where making them both clap their hands over their ears.

" What was that?! " Merlin looked around.

" Oh I don't know. Maybe its the monster we're hunting?! " Arthur said sarcastically, rolling his eyes. The screech came again from a large copse of trees.

" Get down. Follow me. " Arthur whispered, signalling with his hand for Merlin to get to the ground. Merlin did as he was told and began following Arthur in a belly crawl towards the copse. Arthur kept kicking Merlin in the chin and shoving snow into his mouth. Merlin spat out the snow loudly.

" Shut up Merlin! " Arthur hissed over his shoulder. Merlin blew out a lung full of air in annoyance.

As they reached the copse Arthur stood up, but still kept low.

" Merlin come here. I want you to go in there, " he indicated to the left of the copse, " and I'll go in there. " He pointed to the right side. " That way we can surround it. "

" What?! You want me to go in there?! What if it's dangerous?! " Merlin had no intention of going into the copse.

" Who cares? It’ll get you first if it is dangerous! " Arthur grinned and gave Merlin a push into the trees. Merlin stumbled into the clearing. He looked around. The clearing was littered with several rocks of different sizes. He walked slowly forwards. There was no sign of the monster anywhere but Merlin had a nasty feeling he was being watched.

Suddenly there was a strange rumbling noise and the ground began shaking. Then suddenly a huge molehill kind of thing began pushing out of the earth. A huge snakes head burst out and began slithering down the slope of the hill. The head was massive, about the size of a grand piano and the body that followed it was the width of a tree trunk. The creature was a reddish orange colour but it's eyes where a horrible vivid yellow. Merlin stumbled back a few steps. The huge serpent cracked its tail like a whip and brought it down on Merlin like a ton of bricks. Merlin was crushed to the floor and he felt his leg break. He yelled out in pain and the snake screeched again in triumph. It's fangs (the size of Merlin himself) slipped out of their sheaths and began oozing yellow, syrupy venom. Merlin tried to roll away but his broken leg made sure he didn't go anywhere. Then, strangely, the serpent rose up to its full height and began to writhe and slash about in the air. It screeched again but this time in agony. Merlin caught a glimpse of Arthur stabbing the snake in the back.

His eyes wide with fear he tried again to get away but his leg stopped him. The great snake gave one last scream and fell. Unfortunately it fell over Merlin and as it still had its jaws open he ended up inside it. It was rank and sticky inside the snake’s mouth and a putrid smell was hanging about the air like a damp cloth.

Suddenly a small crack of light where the lips (if the creature had any) where appeared. It was Arthur. He was lifting open the snake’s mouth. He lifted it above his head, his arms quivering with the effort.

" Hurry up! Get out! I can't hold this thing forever! " Arthur's face was a picture of concentration as he shifted the monster's mouth from one hand to the other.

Merlin dragged himself out, wincing as his broken leg caught on one of the creature’s fangs. Once completely clear from the snake Merlin flopped down on the ground in exhaustion. His leg was killing him.

" Come on. We need to get you to Gaius. " Arthur looked serious. Merlin saw Arthur's mouth move but didn't hear anything. In fact he couldn't hear anything at all. But wait...he could hear something. A sort of ringing. The sort of noise like some one had just tapped a glass with a spoon. Merlin blinked. It was getting louder. What was it? Then, suddenly the corners of Merlin's vision began to black out.

The End

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