Where is he? How long does it take to get a chair mended? Lazy excuse for a…hang on what’s that? Arthur had been asking himself a few pointless questions when suddenly he noticed an out of place bit of material on the spotless stone floor of his chambers. Getting up from his perch on the windowsill he strode over to the floors obstruction. He bent down and picked the object up. It was a sock. One of his. It stank.
Grimacing at the abhorrent aroma of the sock he flung it into a corner for Merlin to find later. Speaking of which where is he? He asked himself again, wondering where his servant was. He had hoped to do a bit of battle practice that afternoon but he had given Merlin his sword to polish and now, as Merlin was nowhere to be found, he didn’t know where it was. Well I’m probably going to have to go and find that shirking friend of mine, he thought leaving his room and strolling the castle corridors like he owned the place, which he did.
He checked the carpenters, all over the town, everywhere in the castle and still not having found Merlin he turned to the court physician’s quarters in hope that he might be there.
“Gaius? Is Merlin in there? I need my sword.” He said, rapping his knuckles on the door.
The door opened to reveal Gaius, his eyebrow raised to mountainous heights.
“No. He’s not here. But your sword is.” Gaius said and went away to some unknown region of his office to fetch the sword.
Arthur wondered where on earth his friend could be. He defiantly wasn’t in the castle.
He would probably have to comb through the town again with an eagle’s eye. He took the sword from Gaius, sheathed it in his scabbard and set off back to the town.
After his fruitless search of the town he returned to the castle somewhat worried. It was dark now and it wasn’t like Merlin to disappear for so long. He wondered if Gaius had also noticed Merlin’s absence so he made his way back to the doctor’s chambers. He went in to find the old man pouring over an assortment of jars, test tubes and bottles.
“Arthur? Are you ill?” Gaius looked up, concernedly.
“No, no. I just wondered if you’ve seen Merlin since this morning because I haven’t. I sent him of to the carpenters to have my chair mended and I haven’t seen him since.”
“No. I haven’t seen him since this morning.”
“Oh…well do you have any idea where he is?”
“Have you tried to town?”
“Was the first on my list.”
“Strange…oh well I’m sure it’s nothing. He’ll be in for work for tomorrow. Don’t worry.”
“Good night sire.”
Arthur left, thinking that maybe Merlin had gone for a walk or something. He walked down the corridors admiring the magnificence of the pillars. He had lived in the castle since he was born but the beauty of the place still fascinated him and he marvelled at how detailed and precisely the stonemason had created the pillars and columns.
He shook himself. He was beginning to think like Merlin, appreciating the smaller, less significant things in life that nobody else cared for. On second thoughts maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing, Arthur smiled to himself as he closed the door of his room behind him.
Merlin was not sure were he was. This was partly because he had not opened his eyes. He felt that if he moved a single muscle then he would throw up. Ever since he had woken, whether that had been minutes or hours ago he didn’t know, he had felt a horrible nauseating feeling that his brains had been spun into mush and the rest of him had been trampled on by several large horses. The last thing he remembered was Benjamin casting a spell and a gale of cold wind icing him over and then he had been here. But where was here?
Carefully he flickered his eyes open, only to shut them again as he felt his stomach churning. Well this was no good if he couldn’t even open his eyes!
He tried to access where he was by feeling the ground with his hands that where by his sides. He was on his back, or so he thought, and on a cold, hard stone floor. The floor was smooth and wet with definite patches of moss here and there. Also there was a smell of dampness and old things that reminded Merlin of one of Gaius’s really old books. It wasn’t a bad smell but it wasn’t a good one ether. It was quite warm and humid in this place, wherever it was.
Once again he attempted to open his eyes and succeeded though it made him feel sicker than ever. Blinking with queasiness he looked up at the ceiling. What he saw astonished him.
The roof wasn’t very far away but it was clear that it was far away enough to belong to a large room. It was made of huge stone slabs of about six foot by six foot and was of a greenish grey colour, which was mostly because of the moss and shrubs that were growing from it. It also looked pretty old as there were cracks and missing slabs that led up and up into darkness. He wondered where the light was coming from for there was light in the room. Dull, shadowy and with a greenish tinge yes but not pitch black.
He considered sitting up but it felt that if he did he would probably faint with the horrible headache that was consuming his cranium. It felt like somebody had taken a large rolling pin to his brain and relentlessly bashed it for hours and hours on end. Groaning he closed his eyes again. He wondered how long he had been unconscious because he was in a completely different place to where he last remembered being. This was all the doing of that strange boy, Benjamin who had cast a spell on him. He must be a powerful sorcerer indeed to have done whatever it was he did as Merlin felt like he would rather die than continue feeling so queasy.