I rolled over as I heard cell phone alarm blare, Mordred's Lullaby, by Heather Dale. I scowled at the song I once loved. I'd love it still if only the lyrics didn't foreshadow Arthur's impending death. I silenced my alarm, glancing at my phone's clock. Bright, bold numbers formed the time of 6:00. I sighed as I heard my best friend, Desi's ringtone.
I hit the talk button, my head falling back onto my pillow. "Hey, Desi, what's going on?" She laughed almost inaudibly on the other end of the line.
"Did you forget about the class trip today, Elle?" I shuddered, considering my reply. I combed my fingers though my raven hair, closing my silver-gray eyes, I tried my hardest to block out the pain that coursed through me.
Arthur, why couldn't I save you, I thought, Morgana and Mordred had no right to rob you of your life so soon.
"Are you okay, Elle?" Desi asked gently in a whisper. I grabbed a tissue from the box on my nightstand and blew my nose. I crossed to my vanity, balancing my cell between my shoulder and my ear. I sat down on the stool, peering into the mirror at my reflection. My eyes were slightly red as I struggled to get a hold of myself. "So, are you coming?" I dried my tears I didn't understand why I was crying.
"I'm not sure," I replied, my voice rough with emotion. We hung up a few minutes later. I sat in complete and utter silence until a voice shattered the eerie calmness. However, it frightened me when I realized that the voice came not from the outside world but inside my mind.
Eleanor Marion McCarthy, don't you dare turn away from Arthur now!
I don't even know him, what are you talking about? I questioned, scared of the person's strictness. And who are you if I may ask?
I am Viviane; The Lady of the Lake and you must go on this trip today the king needs you.
I scoffed my tone harsh. How's that possible he has you and Merlin…no Arthur doesn't need me, not in the slightest.
Viviane groaned loudly in my thoughts, Look, do you want to prevent his death or not? My heart stopped beating for a second and my breath hitched. I couldn't form a coherent answer for several minutes. That got your attention didn't it, Eleanor, The Lady of the Lake mused as she waited, Yes, you can save him but only if you listen to me.
Swallowing, I felt tears welling up in my silver eyes again. Either from happiness or sadness I didn't know. Okay, what do I have to do?
Just go to the museum. Excalibur will take care of the rest.
My dropped opened, Wait, what?
Eleanor, I have to go just trust me.
No, Viviane, don't—
Her thoughts faded out of my mind. I rushed to get dressed, nearly tripping over my pants. I ran to the bus stop and climbed aboard. Desi waved me over. Sitting down, I let out a sigh. "How come you're late, Elle, I thought you weren't coming," my friend complained in an undertone.
I chuckled, putting an arm around her shoulder, "Sorry, I had a rather interesting conversation with someone after we hung up." Desi smirked, looking me square in the eye.
"Oh, who was it? Come, Elle, tell me!" I rolled my eyes, amused by her attempt. I stared out the bus window, thoughts drifting to Arthur. I loved him but not in the way people would infer. He'd become like a father-figure to me and even though I'd never met him, I didn't want him to die. My best friend tapped me on the shoulder, breaking my trance, "We're here."
I saw the outline of the museum looming on the horizon. A feeling surged through my veins, a feeling that I had never experienced before in my life. "Arthur," I whispered with a touch of protectiveness in my tone. Tears slid noiselessly down my cheeks as I tried to fight the emotions that threatened to make my heart explode.
We got off the bus and went inside the building where a guard greeted us.
"Welcome to Camelot," he cried, cupping his hands around his mouth. I glanced toward Desi from the corner of my eye. I giggled; quietly she inched away from our class. She beckoned me to follow, I shook my head.
My friend smirked mouthing "Excalibur" then disappeared. I remembered what Viviane had said and dashed to catch up. The sword rested on its pedestal in the center of the curtained room. I lost all self-control at that point. I rushed to it, eager to stroke Arthur's blade. Desi raised an eyebrow questioningly. "What's the matter with you, girl? I've never seen you like this."
"Hm…oh…I just have a problem with the ending of the legend that's all," I replied, refusing to take my eyes off the battle-dulled weapon. I shuddered, thinking back on what I'd read about the Battle of Camlann. Mordred killed the king fulfilling his mother, Morgana Pendragon's revenge then, he too died by Arthur's hand. Desi patted my shoulder comfortingly.
"What's done is done, Elle. You can't change the past. Although, I know you wish to." I sobbed silently, feeling the cool metal of Excalibur beneath my trembling fingers. The sword, as if hearing my cries purred to life; whisking me away to its homeland and its master.
Arthur Pendragon was taking a stroll on his castle grounds, enjoying the tranquil morning. In the distance, he noticed me crumbled on the soft grass. Rushing over, he knelt down cradling my inert body in his arms, supporting my head carefully. The king's blue orbs fell on Excalibur clutched tightly in my grasp. He smiled, opening my hands and reaching for the sword.
"I've been searching for you for two days. Merlin couldn't find you anywhere. Where were you hiding?" The weapon purred again, happy to be back in Arthur's hands.
I moaned quietly, "Arthur!" He focused his attention on me, resting a hand to my forehead. Standing up, he walked into the palace, carrying me in his arms.
"Merlin," the king called as he entered the castle. The wizard Arthur had come to know rounded the corner. His usually laid back expression hardened when he saw me unconscious lying in his friend's arms.
"What happened, My Lord? Who is she?"
I don't know, Merlin that's why I called you. She doesn't seem to be from this time period. Do you think Viviane would be able to help?"
His adviser shrugged sheepishly, "If we can find her. Who knows where she is."
Arthur laughed, a grin spreading over his features. "No offense, Merlin but she's your lover, wife…what is she? Shouldn't you be able to keep track of her?" The wizard's complexion reddened just as the king knew it would. He thumped his friend on the back, an apologetic look in his eyes. "You know I'm kidding, don't you?"
"Yes, I know, Arthur. I'll try to find Viviane." The king watched his adviser vanish down the corridor. I began to stir as he paced the entryway of the castle. I blinked my eyes a few times, my vision hazy. I felt another pair of eyes staring at me as I came back to reality.
"Uh…huh…what," I struggled, scrambling for actual words. "Where am I?" I registered the touch of someone's hand on my forehead, comfortingly stroking their thumb against my skin. Arthur carried me into his chambers and set me gingerly on his four-poster.
"Merlin," he called again, his voice hushed. The door creaked opened a crack, the king saw his adviser step through it followed by Viviane. Her face remained calm despite the situation. She cleared her throat. Merlin put a hand on her shoulder, leading support. Arthur waited patiently for an answer, though inside he wasn't patient at all. He wanted to know where I came from and why I was here now.
I moved slightly as if by instinct his blue eyes fell on my face, faintly contorted in pain. Arthur stroked my now sweat-beaded forehead, gazing at his adviser, trying to hide his emotions.
The wizard shook his head, leaving Viviane's side and placing a hand on his friend's shoulder. "There's nothing to be ashamed of, My Lord. It's good to see you care for someone aside from the knights and Gwen."
My eyes bolted opened causing me to sit up faster than I should have. I looked around scared not knowing where I was. My head swirling, I reached out blindly for anything. I felt a hand close around my fingers. I heard a voice muttering softly, "Shh, you're safe," it said. But how could I know that? Could I trust this person? No, they were a stranger. "Can you open your eyes, Milady, I'm Arthur and I promise no one will harm you."
Merlin coughed noisily, "Ahem! You might want to rephrase that, My King. You can't guarantee that." Arthur rolled his eyes, irritated.
"Oh, shut up, Merlin! I won't let Morgana hurt her."
Arthur, Merlin, Morgana I couldn't be in Camelot could I? But that means…oh no Mordred. I won't let him kill Arthur, I won't.
I opened my eyes slowly. "Arthur?" I asked, my throat feeling as dry as sandpaper.
"Yes, and who do I have the pleasure addressing?"
"My name is Eleanor McCarthy but most call me Elle, my Lord." The king grinned, squeezing my hand.
"Elle, we don't have to be formal just call me Arthur," he replied, kindness in his eyes. I nodded, giving him a sad smile.
I mustn't get too emotionally close to the king because if I'm unable to save him it will hurt less. But It's too late, I love him so much as if he were my own father. I'll do whatever it takes to save him.