Greetings lords and ladies!
I present to you the next part of Quest of Avalon, which I’ve sworn to post!
Enjoy thy perusal of mine story! If it is thy wish to amuse thyself with the previous parts of the tale, you may browse through The Eventful Life of Morgan Le Fay, at your leisure.
Here’s a recap: Merlin and Morgan have narrowly escaped an attack by a bunch of hags, and have just arrived in Avalon, which is in the lake. Morgan falls unconscious as she reaches the ground…
I wake up in a large bed, my head resting against a fluffy pillow. My hair is spread out like a halo around my head, pulsing as if with life on its own. I start with astonishment.
It takes me a moment to realise that it is only the water around me.
Sitting up, I feel for the wound on my belly, and smile when my fingers meet smooth, unblemished skin. Tossing the covers aside, I take a stroll in my room, for this room in the castle is where I dwell during my visits to Avalon.
I finger the ¹seashells that I have strung together so many years ago, hanging against the full-length mirror. Drifting light-footedly to my wardrobe, I toss it open to reveal a number of dresses that have been left untouched since the last time I had been in Avalon.
I shed the nightgown I find myself in, pulling on one of my regal robes from the wardrobe. I grin slightly, like a mischievous child, and jump up into the air—no, water—twisting fluidly around my room, enjoying the feeling of being back in Avalon, where I truly belong.
Here, the magic around me is stronger than in the World of Men. This same magic allows every faery in Avalon to breathe under water, where their movements are not impeded or made sluggish due to the surrounding water. Instead, here in Avalon, we faeries move about as if on land, but we can also dive through the air, the same as one swims through water.
Say, for instance, I can jump out of the window of my room (on the eighty-sixth level of the castle) to reach the castle grounds of Avalon unharmed. It is just the same as diving down through water.
In fact, I am poised right on the edge of my window sill, a silly grin painting my face, my robes swirling around my feet as I prepare to take the plunge.
My room door swings open suddenly, causing me to start in alarm, almost falling off the edge.
Merlin steps in, a wry smile playing across his lips, ocean-coloured eyes flashing with amusement. I leap down from the ledge back onto the tiles of my room, a furious expression on my face.
‘Merlin! Do you ever knock?’ I snap.
‘Morgan, forgive me,’ Merlin says contritely, although I can see he is suppressing laughter. ‘I wanted to check if you were up and about. And I guessed it right!’ He adds somewhat lamely.
I roll my eyes—being back in Avalon gives me a good mood. If I were in the World of Men, I would have given Merlin a proper admonishment.
‘I see that you are without that silly stump of hair you call a beard,’ I say, just for the enjoyment of seeing him scowl. ‘I am glad you took my suggestion,’ I add impishly.
‘A suggestion?’ Merlin snorts. ‘It was more like an insult—’
A wide grin stretches my face as another figure steps into my room.
‘Alvarie?’ I interrupt Merlin, before the breath is knocked out of me as the person closest to being my best friend leaps into my arms with an excited chatter.
‘Morgan! Oh, how I’ve missed you!’ The faery exclaims. She reaches my shoulder in height, and looks to be a mere youth of twelve. She is in fact older than that, but faeries and magic folk age slower than a mortal.
We dance happily around the room, while Merlin stands by the door, half-forgotten. At last, we settle on the bed to chat, and Merlin pulls out the chair by my dresser to join our conversation.
I eye Alvarie as she chatters about her life in Avalon. I have not seen her in the last decade. Her bright green eyes glitter with excitement as she makes gestures in the air, her honey coloured hair floats in waves around her pale little face.
Alvarie now lives with her aunt, who is also an enchantress, like me. Her aunt is not her real aunt, but Alvarie just calls her that. It was through Alvarie that I got to know her aunt, a benign and generous person.
‘But how are things in Avalon?’ I ask, as Alvarie pauses for breath. She immediately sobers up, casting a look at Merlin.
‘Halt. I know that look,’ I frown accusingly at both of them. ‘Both of you are keeping a secret from me.’
Alvarie colours and gains a sudden interest at the bed spread on her lap. Merlin clears his throat uncomfortably.
‘Well, Morgan, things have not been what they appear to be, in Avalon,’ Merlin mumbles reluctantly.
‘Of course not, what with the sudden attack of hags, and a new guardian for the gateway,’ I say pointedly.
‘Well, this started a year back, but it—’ Merlin licks his lips hesitantly.
‘And you have not thought to tell me this?’ I say acidly, sitting up abruptly.
‘Morgan, Merlin did not want to trouble you with this!’ Alvarie looks at me with wide eyes. ‘Besides, he thought that the invasion of the hags was a minor issue—oh!’ She claps a hand to her mouth, eyes positively wider.
‘Invasion of the hags?’ I gasp in horror. ‘They have entered the clear waters of Avalon?’
‘Do not be troubled, my lady,’ Merlin says quickly, shooting a quick glance at Alvarie. ‘We overwhelmed them easily. It’s not as bad as you think.’
‘No! It’s worse! It is only the first wave! Why haven’t you told me about this? A year, Merlin, a year!’ I jump to my feet, pacing the floor in agitated steps. ‘The hags must have been multiplying. That is why they were on our tails. There will be an attack, sooner or later. They must be thinking of taking over Avalon!’
I glare at Merlin to see him look abashedly at the floor. ‘Yes, you are quite right, my lady.’
‘There is work to be done!’ I announce decisively, heading for my bedroom door.
‘How about Arthur’s new sword?’ Merlin jumps up to follow me.
‘The asinus will have to wait.’
1: You will read about Morgan’s previous journeys into Avalon in a prequel, coming soon.
Just a reminder… The term asinus stands for ‘ass’ in latin, and is Morgan’s nickname for King Arthur.
For your information, Avalon in the Arthurian legends is an island and not actually underwater. Faeries such as Morgan Le Fay dwell in Avalon.
In present day: Glastonbury, England, is a place associated with Avalon, as the monks in Glastonbury Abbey claimed that they had found the bones of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere buried there, in 1190. (Hmm, how did they confirm that?) 😉
Glastonbury is a popular tourist spot, with the Glastonbury Festival held from 22nd to 26th June every year, which showcases contemporary performing arts. 🙂
Anyway, back to the story… Which issue do you think is more urgent – Arthur’s new sword or the threatening invasion of hags? I’d love to hear from you.
More to come, hang in there!