So much I had tried to do. Mother of God, remember that, and pray for me, poor Arthur who tried so hard and failed so badly.
They hover around me, trying to staunch the blood. Morgan smiles a little at me, an honest smile with no hidden plots behind it, but with tears in her eyes as she ties the white linen across my chest. These women, witches all. I can feel the magic swirl around me. Why did it take this, sister?
I hear cries from the battlefield. Fewer now than when they first dragged me here. I can taste it, the evil we accomplished today. Deus meus, ex toto corde poenitet me omnium meorum peccatorum...
I am cold.
Bedivere has returned, and kneels next to me. He has been at my side so long, even after Kai grew distant and unhappy and finally begged me to retire. His eyes glisten.
I push my sister aside. "Tell me." My voice sounds distant in my ears, but I must know this thing before I rest.
"She took it, my Lord. Her hand reached up out of the water and caught your sword after I threw it."
I nod, close my eyes. I think about the man I slew, and how his eyes looked like mine, and David weeping over Absalom. My son, o my son...Perhaps, maybe, I am luckier than the old king. I doubt if I will see the sunset.
The world grows far away, and I can see it, the light beckoning to me. A hand reaches out, almost clasps mine. I welcome its touch. Please, quickly. But suddenly, all is dark, and I feel the bands of magic tie around me.
"No, my brother, we will not let you die," Morgan whispers into my ears. "Your work is not yet done. Tonight you will rest in Avalon."
Unbidden, tears fall from my eyes as they move me into the boat.
Author's Notes: This takes place after the Battle of Camlann, where, according to one tradition Arthur killed his rebellious son Mordred, but took a mortal wound himself, but was carried off to Avalon by his sister Morgan Le Fay and three other women to be healed of his wounds. It was thought that one day he would return to rule again.
The woman catching the sword is the Lady of the Lake.
Deus meus, ex toto corde poenitet me omnium meorum peccatorum - My God, with my whole heart I regret all my sins
Absalom, one of King David's sons, rebelled against his father, and although the king told his generals to treat his son gently, he was killed. David grieved greatly for his son.