Thursday, 1 February 2018

The Advent of Arthur - a short story by John Fitzgerald

Over at Albion Awakening, a short story by John Fitzgerald concerning the origins of Arthur of the Britons.

A snippet:

'The white dragon stands for the Saxons, and the red for the Britons. The white dragon cannot kill the red. If it was your destiny, despite your present difficulties, you would find a way to turn the tables and drive the invader back, as far as the Saxon Shore and beyond. But he would only recover his strength, as the white dragon did, and come at you again, waging war for ever in the middle of your kingdom. But this is not your destiny, nor is it Britain's.'

'Destiny?' yelled Vortigern, standing up and towering over Merlin. 'What do you know about destiny - mine or my country's? Who gave you the authority to pontificate like this? Did Blaise teach you to see into the future as well?'

Merlin neither blinked nor flinched. 'Blaise,' he said, 'gave me wisdom, as I have said, but my father, the angel, gave me the gift of prophecy, and this is what I see. Very soon, Ambrosius and Uther will return to avenge their father. You will not escape. They will crush the Saxons, Picts and Irish, and one of them shall father a son who shall be the greatest king this land will ever know. He will never die and will come again in glory at the end of time to save this realm from its gravest peril and prepare the way for the second coming of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.'

Vortigern sat back down, shaking his head, a broken reed all of a sudden. He knew, in his heart, that Merlin was speaking the truth.  His words and manner had the ring of authenticity. 'But what about me?' he pleaded. 'What must I do?'

'Repent and pray,' said Merlin softly, and he would have said more but one of Vortigern's men who had been watching Merlin closely stood before the High King and shouted, 'Sire, do not believe his weasel words. He is a traitor and a spy. For I have seen him before. On the night we slew Constantine. For it was this man and no other who shepherded his sons to safety.'

There was an almighty commotion and the King's men rushed forward to lay hands on Merlin, but right at that moment the sun rose outside, arrowing in through the high windows and blinding their eyes. When they could see again, Merlin had vanished - gone entirely - as if he had never been in the room at all, as if his presence and prophecies had all been as insubstantial as a dream.

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