Author: UpsiDownQuestionMark PM
In the world of great mystery, there lays answers to be found, but I never asked for those answers and I certainly didn't ask for the all powerful Merlin and his unknowing charge-Arthur-to come marching into my life. And Mother couldn't be anymore smittenRated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Romance - Chapters: 6 - Words: 16,901 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 6 - Updated: 09-24-11 - Published: 10-16-10 - id: 2856195
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I never thought it would happen. I mean I never thought it would happen, but my mother was getting a good deal for what she was going to sell. The thing she was going to sell was her most prized possession, something she coveted ever since she was my age. A vase. Don't ask why she's that ugly vase of hers, but she did. I was always telling her that she needed to get rid of it, whatever kinds of emotional ties she had to that piece of junk wasn't healthy.
My mom and I weren't on top of the important ladder. It was hard enough to find work being a woman in this day and age, but it was even rarer to find a widow and her daughter who needed work. We were woman we were needed at home. But that was the problem, we didn't have anything except each other to look out for. So getting jobs was hard. Mom had gone insane and decided that our old home and life held too many memories for her, she decided to pack up and move to Camelot. Woman here were expected to take care of the house and the kids, so that's where me and mom got jobs. But it still wasn't enough. We'd been reduced to selling the only items we own for food and another day at the Widow's Tent.
So this vase was our last hope and the man that was looking at it was taking his sweet time deciding if he wanted it or not. Mom handed him the vase telling him that if he broke it he had to buy it, and he reassured her that he wouldn't do such a clumsy thing. I was impressed by the way my mom took a stand to this higher man. He was draped in wealth and yet my mother treated him like any regular bum off the square. I had to compensate for my mom's rudeness.
"She means well, good sir." I told him when she went off fetching some water for the two of us.
It was a hot day, the winds were no help what-so-ever and the shade of our stand did nothing to stop the infuriating sun from burning our exposed shoulders My mom and I were known as the Square Sluts. It wasn't the wealthly's fault for calling us sure names because they were basically true. My mom and I barely wore enough clothes to cover our feminine areas and we had no material left for shoes. Men stared and woman swore, we didn't mind much; we had gotten use to it by then.
The elder man shook his head and smiled, "Well, at least she has a good partern like you to help her along." I glanced down, I hated lying to men, it was one of the few sins I wished I didn't have to commit, but if I was to reveal who I actually was and how I was related to the woman selling him his vase he would insult her for being a terrible mother. For not doing her job in finding a husband to help her with her family and then and only then he would huff and walk away, leaving us with no business and poorer then before; we needed this sell. It would pay for another day in the Tent and if we were lucky our food for the night. After this money was gone, well it was obvious that my mother and I would have to leave Camelot and find the whore train and wilt away in the worst sin of all.
Only a miracle now could keep us from that fate, I glanced back up to the man and he looked so fatherly. A man who knew what he was doing and how to handle sticky situations, he remained me so much of my own dead father; he gave me an odd sense of satefy. I stared at him for a little bit trying to figure out what/who he remained me of. He reminded me of my father, that was evident, but it was more than that. He had a presence and he didn't spit in my mother's direction when she showed him her oafish side. He had to have been raised in a poor home then, someone who could understand what we bums had to do to get money. Otherwise he wouldn't be at our booth.
I smiled at him for his comment and answered, "Well, sir, I'm very flattered, but I don't think that my partner would agree with you. You see this is our last item for selling and once you decide to buy or not we will be off to pay our debt. And I can assure you, sir, that this item is not worth a quarter of our remaining debt."
He squinted at me quickly before a long noise behind him spooked him away from speaking. It was horns, ones that could only be heard when the king was near. My head shot up, the king here? Why? Why would someone of such royalty want to come and visit the very butt of Camelot? Is it because he wanted to visit his new heir? Rumors of the seventeen year old boy pulling the legdendary sword, Excalibur,out of the stone were spreading like wild flowers. And the most recent rumor said that Arthur lived here, in secret with his mentor, learning about how to become a king.
Everyone liked to say that they knew Arthur personally, but they were just angry that they couldn't met him. He was a shy kid and his mentor was super protective-well, at least that's what I've heard. The horns would bring about another array of rumors and I couldn't help but playfully laugh at the sound. Rumors were what get Mom and me through the day, without them we would have to died of boredom long ago. The horns stop and my laugh was catch on the ear of our buyer. He turned to me with a serious face, " Why do you laugh at your king's escort?"
I crinkled my eyes at him and put a playfully smile on my lips, "I don't laugh at him, I laughed at the irony of my life. Here, me and my friend must scavenge and work our hands to the bones just to get a meal for the night. While my ruling king couldn't care less and all of a sudden here he is, strutting around his wealth while all I can do is look on and droll. I just love the irony of my life, that is all."
The old man's eyes brow lifted as he let out a hardy laugh. I smiled at him pleasantly and knew that whatever I had just said had won him over. "You're the most frisky girl I know." I sighed, yet another insult, and from a man of wealth. Where was my mind thinking that whatever kind of knowledge I had had the power to make this man over look my filth.
I held out my hands and whispered, "I'll have to take that back now, sir. I'm sorry for insulting the king, but I didn't. Not really."
The man looked at me with his old eyes and warm smile and I could hear my mother coming, but just then something strange occurred the man didn't hand me the vase instead he reached into his pocket and gave me a nicly proportioned sack that felt heavy in my open hand. I stared at it for a few moments before I was bought back to my senses when my mother grabbed the bag out of my hand. She, too, stared at it in wonder before she turned back to the old man who was strocking his new vase.
She smiled in her most lady-like smile which made her face the most beautiful I've seen it since my father died, it wasn't the ratidating warmth that use to be there when my father was around, but it was close. "Thank you, kind sir. We are forever grateful."
I opened my mouth to protested, I didn't care if this man was a kind soul I won't allow my mother to accept that money, not without something else to give him. But my voice was cut off by another, one I thought I would never encounter here in the butt of Camelot. "Father, whatever are you doing out here?"
There, only five feet away from our stand, stood the most famous man of all of England. Arthur. He was tall, poised, and called the man that held her mother's most prized vase father. I gaped at the man, stunned. For now I relieved why he looked so fimilar and felt so safe, he was my king. And I had insulted him!
I cried out in pain and throw myself to the ground near the king's feet, very careful not to touch him and begged for my life. "My lord, my kind, your holiness; why did you ever let me say such things again you? I should be beheaded, thrown into the deepest, darkest cage. But, sir, I beg you have mercy. I would have never uttered what I did if I had known who you were."
Arthur, the king and a lot of other bystanders looked at me, stunned. They were caught off guard, I was sure, but my mother. Well, she had experience when I came to my antics. "Child, what on God green Earth did you do while I was gone? Did you hit your pretty little head again? It can't be the sun. Stand up, we don't grovel to merchants."
I rose, but only to place my hand over my mother oafish mouth. "M-" In my haste to silence my mother, I almost revealed her and myself. I breathed deeply and started again, "Lenna, this is our king! We must pled our innocence. If we don't we could be killed."
My mother's eyes grow wide and her mouth when slack, I had an erg to knock her senseless for showing our king her unladylike side. But then she stood straighter and walked directly to the king. "If you have any intentions of placing a hand on me or my partern then you will have to first tell me why you feel so inclined to do so. You could have told us who you were and we would have treated you as your name makes us; like a king. But you decided to withhold that information, so you have no right, except as our king, to do anything of the sort." Mother turned back to me and nodded, "Come, Tillian, we have a bed to pay for."
She was about to stock off when another man appeared beside Arthur, he looked a touch older and a lot more tired. His hair was a dark black and his eyes were a stunning blue. He was slender and tall. He had broad shoulders and there was a definitive air about him. He's eye swept over the scene as if he was looking for signs that at any point we might try to kill his charge. Then he spoke with a hard edge voice that offered only annoyance. "Arthur, you were supposed to wait in the carriage. What if someone had saw you and decided; look there's Arthur I should kill him? Then where would we be?"
Arthur shook his head and rolled his eyes, "Oh, Merlin why are you so dull all the time?"
My mother stopped pulling me away from the scene and I stopped too. My mother had forever been interested with the realms of magic. Her great-grandmother had been gifted with the powerful substance, but it had been lost in the generations. My mother had spent most of her life searching for a way to tap into her magic, she says she can feel it, but I didn't usually believe her. One of the lesson she often scolded me on was the topic of the great wizard, Merlin. He could do magnificent things. I never believed in magic, but my mother did and if this man's name was Merlin, well you can be sure that my mother wanted to get acquainted.
"Merlin, you say?" She said slyly that I could only tell was sly. The men all turned to look at her as she smiled again beautifully. I sighed and called, "Lenna? Our bed?"
My mother shook her head like she was trying to rid it of a bad image. "Beds, we can afford in plenty, but to pass on a change to be in the presence of our king is a once in a life time change."
The king laughed and said nicely, "Well, I'm glad you feel that way because you'll be seeing a lot of me." Mother, Arthur, Merlin and I all looked at the king like he was crazy, because he was. If he thought that the royal guard would allow him down here once more he was insane. Arthur told him as much.
"Father, you can't be serious. You know, as well as me and Merlin, that you can't come here again. Sneaking off to buy a vase from street whores are bad enough-"
"Hey!" I declared angrily. I would be fine with the word slut because I believed and felt like one, but not once had I sold my body for money and I didn't like the idea of my king and future king thinking so. But Arthur continued on with his speech as if I hadn't spoken.
"But wanting to come back to this place again, it's not healthy." So much for the shy prince everyone thought the future king was supposed to be. People all around them had started to shout and yell as they saw what was going on and who was at the middle of it all. I rolled my eyes and tried to breath, but it was hard. I didn't like closed off spaces and with all these people I felt trapped.
I was about to scream and I would have to, but then the king stopped me by saying, "I'm not coming back here. These two lovely women are coming with us. They're going to service as our maids. Especially this one," He pointed to me with her strong, delicate fingers. "I like her, she got spank. Something you could use to learn, my son."
My mother gasped and started babbling along with Arthur, "B-but sir, you can't-"
"Father, are you out of you're mind?"
Merlin was the only one to keep quiet and he was watching the king as was I. I saw out of the corner of my eye, Merlin turn and I could feel his glaze on me and turned to catch him in the act. He didn't flinch; he didn't even try to look away. He just stared and I glared back at him. Waiting for him to make an unfair accusation like Arthur did to his father, but instead he surprised me, by sighing, "I think your father's right this time Arthur, that girl could teach some much needed skills. I think it's a splendid idea, I'm just curious though, why this girl, my lord?"
I blinked, I was use to being forgotten by people like Arthur and the king, but Merlin; it was different. I felt like I deserved to be noticed by him, that I shouldn't be invisible to him. He was no better than me if he proved to not be the great wizard Merlin that my mother had so often dreamt about meeting. So I stuttered over to Merlin and looked him directly in the eye, the way my mother had to the king and hissed vigorously, "Listen, mentor, I don't appreciate the way you ignore me and my mother. I don't appreciate the way your student scorns and thinks of us as something we're not. And I defiantly don't appreciate the way you think it's ok to talk about me in front of my own face and act as if I don't have ears!" I cruised in a way that looked to stiff to be sincere and said icily, "Have the patience to talk about me behind my back, sir, but don't you dare try to ignore me. You'll find that's its quite impossible to do."
I stocked off and grabbed my mother's wrist harshly, "Good King Richard, my mother and I would be delighted to work as you're maids. We will be staying at he Widow's Tent, once you are ready to take us, go there. We'll be ready, until then good day."
As I dragged my mother away i heard the king answer Merlin's rude and unnecessary question, "That's why."