Mort d'Arthur

August 19, 2013
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The sound of crashing metal fills my ears. Strike for strike, hit for hit, my soldiers and the enemy exchange blows, neither wavering, neither stopping. Sword meets sword, spear meets spear, arrow meets body. All around me, bodies thud to the ground, the Camelot red mixing with the enemy’s black in a sea of chaotic colors until there are only two people left standing. I, on my magnificent white stallion, and my opponent, on a gigantic black horse. He’s dark, both in mind and in body, with a thirst for revenge and violence that will never be quenched. The two of us are linked through time, through space, through life. He is my destiny, he is my doom. He is a traitor and he is a savior. He is the shadow to my light, the moon to my sun, the clouds to my sky. He is Mordred, my enemy, my knight, my son.

“So, father,” he sneers. I flinch. He is my son, but he is also my sister’s son, and therefore a child born of sin. A child who should never exist and a child that is cursed for life. “Are you ready to die?”

Half of me is dead already, I think. When my beloved wife betrayed me with my best friend, and most trusted knight, I died inside. I am just a shell of my former self.

“Are you thinking of Guinevere? Oh, dear, sweet Guinevere. Pale, beautiful, like a flower opening its petals to the morning light, but icy, cold, and unfeeling on the inside. How could she betray you like that? After all, you have done no wrong, father,” he says, goading me. I refuse to react.

“Son–” I start.

“Don’t call me that!” he hissed. “I was your knight, your loyal supporter, but I am cursed. Cursed because of you!”

No, I think, it was your mother who cursed you, not I. “Mordred, then,” I amend hastily. “Call this off. There is no need for endless bloodshed and suffering.”

He laughs maniacally. “My men are dead. Your men are dead. There is no one on this field but us two, and I intend to finish what I started.”

I hear a familiar clang of metal and notice that Mordred has lowered the screen on his helmet. He readies his lance and charges toward me, intent on plunging it into my heart.

I refuse to fight. How can I fight my own son? He may be a child born of sin, cursed, and my mortal enemy, but he is my son. Instead, I drop my sword and spread my arms, happy to give my life to a man who would have me dead.

When the blow comes, I gasp at the pain. The metal cuts into my flesh like a butcher’s knife into beef. Mordred rides past me, effectively unseating me. My back hits the ground with a satisfying smack and my vision blurs. I can see a women with long black hair holding their arms out to me, and beyond them, a flawless blue lake.

Avalon, I think with the ghost of a smile on my lips. I am going to paradise.

“One day, I will return. One day, when the world needs me most, I will return,” I rasp.

One day, I think contentedly, I will save the world.

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drwholock101 said...
May 3, 2014 at 9:46 am
This almost made me cry! I love it! Is this based off of a real King Arthur story, or did you make it up? Altogether I think it was good!
Klammyt This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 4, 2014 at 6:27 pm
Thank you so much! Aw, I'm sorry it made you cry, but that's actually good news for me, because that was kind of what I was aiming for :P It is based off of the King Arthur story, but I drew a lot of inspiration for it from the BBC TV series Merlin :) If you like King Arthur myths, you should definitely watch it! :D
Klammyt This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 4, 2014 at 6:28 pm
OH MY GOSH I JUST SAW YOU WATCH MERLIN :D Colin Morgan's cheekbones are so perfect <3
drwholock101 replied...
May 5, 2014 at 2:00 pm
Yes they are!!!! lol. Do you have any king arthur legends you would recommend? Have you written any other king arthur stuff?
Klammyt This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 5, 2014 at 10:40 pm
Well I really like the original myths, tbh. But the movie "Excalibur" is pretty good. Actually, there are a lot of really good King Arthur myths, but some of them are absolutely ridiculous, like Avalon High. I was so confused the whole time. I am actually working on a King Arthur adaptation/novel that centers around Mordred (who, by the way, I think is the most underrated character ever) but no one has seen it yet. I might put a chapter up on Teen Ink, otherwise, well, you can see it i... (more »)
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