“He Gave It To Me Just Before He Died”
Generated at http://www.adammaxwell.com/lost-the-plot/writing-prompts-generator/ at 1:35pm on 3/18/17. 67 minutes. 954 words.
Raishe ran through the woods with only starlight to guide him. His legs pushed and his heart pumped, all he could hear was his own blood rushing. Were he familiar with the place he would’ve known it was too quiet and the stars weren’t quite right. He would’ve noticed the trees were grayer, more twisted, than the woods of his home, but his mother forbid him from going into the woods, so he never knew any better.
He only stopped when his legs gave out. It was then that he looked around. He didn’t bother to look back, home was no longer an option. He only hoped he could find shelter soon. If only he had a light… his pocket grew warm. He pulled out the silver his uncle handed him just before the poison took him. The little star was glowing. Brighter, he urged. It became as bright as a torch. He tightened the rabbit-skin shawl around his shoulders and started walking. There had to be another village somewhere.
“Guard it with your breath,” Raishe remembered Uncle Avlin saying as people screamed and banged on the door. But why? What was so special about a star cast in silver? It was magic, obviously, but it didn’t seem to be anything more than a touchstone, something to help a magician cast spells. Any witch could forge one, and usually for no more than a coin. “Tell me your secrets,” Raishe commanded. The light went out. “What? No! Light!” The star would not respond. He swore.
A few moments later he heard heavy footfalls and clanging. Men with bright red robes over metal shirts appeared. Knights? Where am I? Their faces were covered in beards and their skin was a pale brownish-pink. Humans? Human knights? Raishe watched them walk. He dared not try to hide, one move and their attention would turn right to him. Even after they were gone, he stared after them. His village was in the center of the kingdom, it was rare to find knights there, especially not with the war along the borders. And human knights? Any that did make it past the front would never make it to the heart of Arwann.
“Tell me your secrets,” he demanded again. He was risking his life for this star. Surely a human would kill any fairy on sight. The star did nothing. Raishe was still new to his magic. “At least tell me where I am!” Nothing. Perhaps it was not knowledgeable. “Light my way to a safe place.” This time the star rose out of his hand, lit up, and began moving away from him. He followed it, even as his body grew more tired and the night got darker. He needed rest, but the light did not stop.
It was the middle of the night with the light finally went out. Raishe grabbed it out the air and sat on the damp leaves covering the forest floor. He could see a fire in the distance, and men with emerald cloaks around it- many sleeping, a few sitting awake and laughing. One of them had a gold circle around his head. It shined in the firelight like a halo. Why was this a safe place? They were still humans! “I won’t go over there,” he whispered. The star burned his hand. “No! They’ll kill me. Unless you know how to keep me safe, I’m finding a soft pile of leaves away from here and going to sleep.” Light burst from the star, rousing the knights. They were on Raishe before he could get five feet. He found himself on the unfortunate end of a sword.
“Who are you, and what was that light?”
“I-It-I’m-uh-.” He floundered. Then he realized the knight didn’t know it was magic. And if he didn’t recognize magic, he could not possibly still be in Arwann. And if he were not already dead… he looked at his hands. They were a darker brownish-pink than the other humans, but undeniably a typical color of human flesh. Certainly not dark green. “It was magic.” All the men stepped back.
“You are a wizard?” The king asked.
“Yes,” Raishe asserted, having no clue what a wizard was.
“Perhaps Albion can be saved.” Albion? Raishe had crossed the veil to Lower Earth. But, how? The barrier between Lower and Middle Earth was sealed nearly one hundred years prior! “I am King Uther, your interrogator is my son, Arthur. Tell me your name, wizard, and I will allow you to serve me.” Strange names, but surely they would think a fairy name was odd.
Raishe remember one of Uncle Avlin’s stories about magicians who travelled between realms. On Lower Earth he used the name Merlin. “I am Merlin.” The knights all gasped.
“Forgive me,” the King said, “if I am wary to believe you. Merlin was a great wizard, but long dead.”
“And reborn. All great wizards are as phoenixes.” Uther opened his mouth. “Challenge me if you must, but if you cannot believe even my name, how can I serve your court? Your knights cannot harm me. If you are to continue to treat me with distrust I will simply leave.”
“No, great Merlin. Come rest by our fire.” Raishe couldn’t believe that worked.
The Knights of Camelot offered food and ale, but Raishe only wanted sleep. In the morning, he borrowed twine and put the star on a necklace. It seemed to be more than a touchstone, but he hadn’t yet figured why someone might kill for it. He did know, however, that it would be necessary as the King demanded magical tasks.
He planned to learn all the secrets of the silver star, and find a way back to his realm, but for now he left it as a necklace and shed his birth name for Merlin.
Thank-you for reading! I know it’s a little rough, but that’s part of the fun. I really liked this particular prompt generator, so any of you that need some inspiration should check it out. Any and all comments are appreciated. Also, yes, I realize this is quite different from “Biscuits.” I work in a couple of different genres, and I just got finished marathoning BBC’s Merlin twice this week with my Mama so… Merlin origin story. I’m thinking about taking this Camelot and using it for a sinfine? What do you guys think?