Quite long but enjoy!
Arthur lost all knowledge of time, which was ironic when one thought that Time had probably lost all knowledge of him. He sat on the floor and moped. He thought how much he wanted to be in the safety of his modern home right now, surrounded by loving friends and family, even his sister would have been a comfort in comparison to the stern faced prison guards playing dice and betting with the broken bones of Arthur’s predecessors from the cell.
Arthur became weary as the exhaustion from the tournament earlier caught up with him, and his eyes drooped with the setting sun. He slept fitfully with more disconcerting images flooding is subconscious as they had done before, until a shy clink came from the wall where he was resting. He waited in empty silence; again a metallic tapping could be heard. There was an underlying groaning that seemed to be filling the room, but Arthur peered over his knees to see the guards sprawled over the die table and one was snoring violently while the other peacefully sucked his thumb.
The tapping came again, more persistently. There was a slight pause and muffled voices cut through the night time stillness; the unmistakeable impatient mutterings of Mrs T found their way the Arthur’s ears, and relief flooded over him.
“Well you do it then if you want to attract attention to the fact we’re just casually breaking in to a castle cell,” said the other voice, less familiar to Arthur but still recognisable as Robyn’s.
“Look, give it here,” replied Mrs T. “We’ll be here ‘til dawn the way you tap it so.” There then came a shuddering hit that shook Arthur away from the wall, which had suffered a nasty injury and was now missing several bricks. “All it needed was a good whack,” Mrs T argued. Arthur was aware that the calamity may have shaken the guards into action but it would appear they were out cold; the empty tankards that lay on the flagstones looked rather guilty in this matter.
Arthur scrambled over the rubble and through the break in the wall, widened by further ‘whacks’ from the ever subtle Mrs T. As soon as he stumbled out into the cool of the night he was embraced in a fierce hug from Robyn as she babbled breathlessly about being so scared and thinking she would never see him again. This moment ended abruptly as both realised the awkwardness of the matter and each looked at their respective shoes.
A sudden stinging smell of sulphur cause Arthur to turn to see Mrs T standing over a small, yellow, smoking vile and staring intently at the absence of bricks from the cell wall. Then, one by one, the bricks lifted themselves off the floor and hovered ungainly in mid-air and floated to rest in their rightful positions, and fresh cement licked over the gaps between them. It slowly occurred to Arthur that Mrs Tailor was mending the wall. And she was doing it with magic!
Arthur walked back to Mrs T’s house in a dream. His head was clammy with emotion; he was just about to get killed by a medieval King and he had escaped but was now a wanted criminal for something beyond his control. Mrs T had believed him though. She had returned for him without questioning his loyalty. And Robyn… Robyn was too complicated to think about right now. He would wait until his foggy head had cleared after a good night’s rest.
They entered the house in dark silence and Arthur slumped on his bed. The comforting, enclosing darkness within his mind was shaken away when Mrs T whispered noisily in his ear, “What do you think you’re doing!? Get up child. There’s so much to pack, so much to do, the tadpoles need feeding and the potions need sorting, and where is that charm book... Robyn! Have you seen my… Ah, here it is!”
Mrs T dragged a large book from under the shelves where her potions were kept and fumble with the pages until she opened a page entitled ‘Invisibility Charm: useful for storage, secret stashes, smuggling and generally running away leaving no trace.’ She scanned the page and then got out the same yellow vial she had used at the prison, and set it in the middle of the floor.
Robyn joined them dumping one small haversack in front of Mrs T, exerting far more effort than Arthur thought necessary for an item with no bigger than than his pencil case. “That’s everything,” she said.
“And my potions,” replied Mrs T, not taking her eyes from the charm page in the book.
Robyn looked at the bowed shelves, heaving with coloured vials, some of which were still bubbling, and sighed. “I’m sure we won’t have a need for all your potions-“
“All of them,” said Mrs T assertively.
Robyn trudged over to the shelves hauling the bag behind her and looked at Arthur, watching her dumbly.
“Are you going to give us a hand or just stand there looking like a potato?”
“Lemon,” said Arthur, walking over to help. He picked up the small sack with great difficulty and wandered how something so small could be so heavy, but he gritted his teeth as Robyn began packing the potions one by one.
“What do you mean?” asked Robyn. “What’s a lemon?”
“Never mind, y’know you’re never going to fit all of those in here.”
“Just watch me,” and Robyn swept the potions off shelf by shelf, all of them disappearing into the depths of the small haversack, and Arthur stared blankly inside it as the chink of glass vials could be heard while they settled, yet the bag looked empty.
Robyn’s smug face was met with Arthur’s puzzlement. “Its an Envii bag, a portal to a storage dimension. Mrs T gave it to me for my 13th Birthday. She said there came a time in every girl’s life when she needed more shopping than she can carry.”
The concept of dimensions made a home in Arthur’s head and he could not help but leap into the arms of an explanation for where he was and how he got there. “So what’s a storage dimension? And which dimension is this?”
Robyn laughed, “Don’t be silly, this isn’t another dimension. This is reality. I’m not meant to talk about the other side though, the ancient praqctices of the Druids and other magical beings is prohibited in Camelot. Anyone found to be remotely magical is executed. That’s why you were in jail.”
“But I don’t use magic.”
Robyn sighed. “There’s a man.”
“An old man. He predicts things.”
“Like, er, a fortune-teller?” said Arthur, trying to help Robyn explain.
“No, well, kind of.” Robyn lowered her voice. “He’s a wizard.”
“A WIZARD!?” cried Arthur, half-laughing at the incredulously of the proposition.
“Keep your voice down! You could get killed for saying that!”
Arthur stopped packing possessions and stared at Robyn, awaiting explanation.
“People say he’s ill in the head, but I among others believe there is truth in what he says.”
“And what does he say exactly?”
Robyn paused, then reached inside the Envii bag. She appeared to fumble around in the depths of the bag until her whole arm must have stretched further than the dimensions of the bag. After much chinking and clunking, she withdrew a small, crumpled note and handed it to Arthur.
“He made a prophecy. Myself and Mrs T are two of few who listened to him. Others are scared of him. And others are scared of what the King will do if the believe him.”
“What’s the King got to do with it?”
Robyn gestured at the note in Arthur’s hand. “Read it.”
Arthur unfolded the thin parchment and read the thin scrawl on it:
The one who is the same
Will journey through the mists
Be outcast and punished
For looking the same
But being different.
The bringer of magic
That returns to all the land
Will reign over the monarch
Bring peace and war
And then return to the place from whence he came
Leaving no lasting trace on the history that was made.
Mrs T must have known what he was reading because the parchment was snatched out of Arthur’s hand and his bemused look was met by Mrs T’s foul glare as she purposefully ripped up the prophecy and ate it. Arthur was too shocked to argue and they continued packing in silence. Mrs T went back to muttering over her vial.
Once all the shelves had been stripped bare, and the entire one-roomed cottage had been relieved of its contents, Robyn and Arthur turned to Mrs T, indicating they were ready. Mrs T however, was not. And she waved them away, not once taking her concentration off the vial.
Arthur slumped down against the cold wall and realised he hadn’t slept properly in days. Every muscle in his body ached and he was conscious his head was drooping slowly further towards his knees, yet he didn’t have enough energy to stop himself.