Merlin’s Story

AN: This is just a beginning to a story line I’m working on.  Trying to get some feedback to see if I’m going in the right direction with this or not.  I could sure use some input from some talented writers out there.  I’ve never tried this type of writing before. This is a beginning from an old free verse poem I wrote once   I thought I might try and develop this into a novel. 



Laying deep within a dark, dank cavern...
                                          denied freedom...
is a very ancient beast, his eyes,
                                                 all seeing,
peer out into the darkness,
                             gathering visions...
     the birth of a gifted child,
the savior of all humanity...
                                         or the destroyer...
depending upon the path he follows.
Two sisters of magical heritage...
vie for control in the guidance of this child.
the child has grown enough
              to begin upon his path
                                 and choose his destiny.
The ancient beast watches quietly within his prison
waiting until this boy makes clear his chosen path...

The Awakening

“Merlin!! Wake up!!”  Suddenly, he's back in the cottage, laying in his cot, the sun just beginning to rise in the east.  Was he dreaming?  It  didn't feel like it was a dream, but it must have been  “ Merlin! Get Up! The cart has to be readied for the festival!”  His nana tells him. Ah, the festival a long awaited event each year.

As he gets up one image keeps intruding into his thoughts, that image in the pool revealed to him by the woman in the lake.  Should he tell nana about the dream?  He can't get the picture out of his head, as he prepares the cart for the trip to the festival, hopefully they'll sell enough of the harvest to watch the tournament. 

Nana eyes him curiously, he seems distracted today, “Merlin, get the goat hitched to the cart, unless you plan on pulling it all the way into the village yourself.” Bringing him back to the present, he trudges off to catch the goat, and get him tethered to the cart, filled to the brim with potatoes, corn and sacks of grain they've harvested from the fields and thus they begin their journey to the village....

The ancient beast, softly exhales a smoky breath
and centers on a vision of the boy.  "Merlin, soon  we will meet"
"Glynnis, you have done well" he says to himself as the vision fades...

Soon they arrive at the festival grounds, the hustle and bustle of people from all over the countryside are hawking their wares.  An old man white bearded, with a cheerful face walks up, "Glynnis, it's good to see you., is this Merlin?" as he looks towards him, "my how he's grown!"  Nana eyes the man suspiciously, "Yes, he has grown much, what brings you to this event, Dorian? Is the king here?"

"Yes, he's officiating over the tournament, the prince is competing." Dorian smiles, "But if you ask me, I think he's still bit too young." Glynnis laughs, "You've always been a bit protective where the prince is concerned, old man."  Dorian turns towards Merlin, "So young man, has Glynnis been treating you well?" Merlin blushes, surprised to be the center of attention all of a sudden. "Yes, Master Dorian."  "Master?" Dorian laughs, "Just call me Dorian, boy I'm no Master." 

"Glynnis, I think you've done this boy proud, he's quite well mannered.  But don't you think it's about time he came to me for his teachings?"  Glynnis scowls, "I'm afraid he's not ready yet, Dorian."  Merlin looks on thinking "What teachings" but he keeps this to himself for now.  Glynnis and Dorian move off down towards the marketplace, conversing leaving Merlin to tend the wares in her absence.  He hopes she returns soon, he'd like to be able to watch the tournament, and be able to see the king and his son, at least from a distance.

A vision creeps into his mind, again
A reptilian eye and a deep voice rumbles in his brain
"Soon you will have chosen your path."
"Then I will again be free."

“Daydreaming, are we?” Startled back to the present, Dorian stands before him with a look of knowing as if he could see into his mind and read his thoughts.  “That boy, has been like this for days now, “ his nana says as he looks from one to the other of these two who seem to know so much about him, yet tell him very little.  “Nana, can I go, walk around for a bit?” he asks, hoping she’ll let him at least try and get a glimpse of the King and the Knights as they prepare for the upcoming tournament, he’s never seen the event, though it’s been done every year.

“I suppose, but don’t stay away too long. I need you to help with the produce we’ve brought to sell.” As she looks past him to a customer walking up to the cart.  Smiling, he turns to rush off towards the knights’ tent area, as she says, “Don’t stray too far!” He rushes off as his grandmother begins to entertain a potential customer.  Colorful tents line the pathway to the tournament grounds, as he walks along he watches in awe as knights are practicing their art all around him. He's watching a knight practicing with the mace on a practice, as he bumps into someone. "Ugh!" with a sound of clanking, "Watch where you're going knave!" a young golden hair boy says, as Merlin turns to apologize. "You'd best find your master!" the young man shouts at him.

"Sorry, but I have no master, I'm from the forest village. Just came in to sell our harvest, at the festival." stepping back a bit. "Well, you should learn manners! Do you know to whom you are speaking?" the golden-haired lad's expression appearing angry, screams at him. "No, sir I do not, but I'm Merlin Southerborn, at your service."
"That's better, pleased to meet you Merlin of Southerborn, Prince Arthur in your presence" The prince then whispers, "You really should bow to me, Merlin." with a smirk on his face and gives Merlin a wink.
The Meeting

Well, he's met the prince, a bit uppity at first, but after a few moments of conversation, he wasn't really that bad a sort.  He must be close to my age, thinking to himself.  Merlin moves on towards the tournament grounds to see if any events have begun, before he has to return to the stall with his grandmother.  He certainly doesn't want her to get mad now, not if he wants to be able to come back and watch some of the tournament.  

Arriving back at the stall in the marketplace he's surprised to see the hustle and bustle around the cart, they'll be sold out in no time! He rushes to assist his grandmother in packaging and preparing orders for the crowd of customers, "I need a break" she says, "you handle things for a bit." As she takes off down the line of stalls, glancing back at him with a bit of an uncertain look on her face...

He didn't even have time to ask her if they'd be able to stay and watch the tournaments. Oh well, I'll ask her when she returns. He turns back to continue to fill requests of customers, one asks for a farthing's worth of grain, another a schilling's worth of corn and on and on they go until the group has dwindled down to only a few, and still his grandmother has not returned.  The supplies are almost gone, hopefully a few more customers will come by and he'll be able to go look for her if she hasn't returned, before then.

Lost in thought once again, he's brought back to the present by a very loud "Ahem!" Standing in front of the stall, is the prince! Stunned Merlin stammers, "Y-your M-majesty, forgive me." as he bows low, "how may I be of service?" Arthur stands there regally, with a slight grin, and a twinkle in his eye, "My assistant has been injured, and I need someone to assist me in preparing for the tournament, and I thought of you Merlin of Southerborn" he says.  "I am afraid that I must say no, your highness, for I have no experience is such matters."  "Nonsense! Poppycock!" They both jump, there before them stands both Dorian and Glynnis, "You'll do fine, Merlin." both say almost simultaneously.  Am I dreaming?  Is Nana actually going to let me assist the prince? "Thank you, Dorian" I appreciate the suggestion you made to me after my assistant got injured." the prince replies.

"Might I ask, your highness, just how did your assistant get injured?" replies Merlin.  "He got kicked by the horse, his own fault, he knew better than to stand by his tail." the prince responded.  "So will you assist me, today?  If you do well, I will need a personal servant for a time until mine has recovered, and I'd like to have you serve me for that time." he turns to Dorian and Glynnis, "provided it is approved by the two of you, that is."  Merlin looks first as Nana, then at Dorian to try and see if he can read their expressions, but they're both closed to him.  "Well, let's see how it goes today, and then we'll discuss it after the tournament." says Glynnis.  "Glynnis, I'll be nearby to make sure he's safe, you know I'm the resident apothacary at the castle." 

to be continued..

For Short Story Slam I nominate Chim's World of Literature's 

Thank You everyone for the votes!