Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Voices Beneath: Chapter Twenty-Six-- Evil's Embrace

 Here's the next chapter! We're getting really close to the end now. I'm not sure if I'll be posting the next chapter of The Voices Beneath next week, however, as I really want to post a scary story for Halloween. If I get it done, that will be the post for next week, but if not, then we'll be back with Mordred.

Warning: Morgan is creepy, sorry.

chapter twenty-six
evils embrace

“Mordred, you must wake now.”
            I started from my stupor into unfamiliar surroundings, trying to take everything in at once and also remember what had happened prior. My head ached, and I recalled the fight I’d had at the inn but had no recollection of how I was where I was now, which seemed to be a tent of some sort.
            I tried to reach up a hand to feel the wound on my head, but found I could not move it. I was bound hand and foot, my arms wrenched painfully behind me and my hands numb from being tied so long. A hand descended to my hair and stroked it back from my face, brushing lightly over the bruise on my temple.
            “Shh, you’ll be fine,” a voice whispered.
            It was a soothing gesture, but as soon as I heard the voice shivers went down my spine. I struggled around until I was looking upward and saw Morgan la Fay smiling down at me. My head was resting in her lap and I seemed to be lying on a cot in the tent; likely hers judging from the elegance of it. I struggled to get away, but she swiftly grabbed a fistful of my hair and yanked my head down against her thigh again, causing me to wince.
            “Let go of me,” I growled at her as she tutted before resuming the petting motion through my hair.
            “Hush, Mordred, that is no way to treat me. I have saved you twice now. Once when you were a child, and now I have saved you from Merlin. You should thank me, not try to run away.”
            “I didn’t need saving from Merlin,” I told her firmly.
            “But did he not want you for his own purposes, laboring under some delusion that you might be able to aid in defeating me?” She laughed, that loud, wry guffaw that made goose pimples fly up the back of my neck. “As if you would ever do that.” She slid her hand down to my chin and turned my face upward to look at her. I shuddered in disgust as she traced a finger over my jaw. “You would never do that, would you, Mordred?”
            “I think you are the one laboring under delusions,” I told her with a sneer. “If you think I would ever do anything for you after all you have done to me, everything you ruined, then you are mad, Morgan.”
            She sighed and shifted on the cot, pushing me to one side so she could stand up. I breathed a sigh of relief, hating the close proximity. I pulled myself with some difficulty into a sitting position so I could face her. She paced back and forth across the tent.
            “Why did you bring me here?” I asked. “I know you’re too smart to think that I would ever help you.”
            She smiled, stopping to come back over to me. “Mordred, I don’t think you realize just how important a piece of this puzzle you are. As much as I wish to claim the right, you are the one destined to kill Arthur. It was written long ago.” She lunged toward me and startled me as she grabbed my arms. “Take up a sword and do your duty, Mordred! It will happen anyway, whether you want it to or not, so you may as well do it for me. Did I not raise you?”
            She touched my face but I jerked away. “You tortured and twisted me out of your own anger, and then, like a coward, you cursed me to take revenge that was only ever yours. Not mine. How can you ever expect me to take up a sword for you and murder the man who took me in and truly cared for me when I had no one?”
            She slapped me across the face, her nails leaving bloody tracks on my cheek. She grabbed my chin and pulled it back around, her face only inches from mine.
            “You ungrateful cur,” she hissed. “I should have left you on the streets to starve.”
            “Sometimes I wish you had,” I said darkly. She stepped back and threw me to the floor of the tent.
            “It changes nothing whether you agree to fight with me or not,” Morgan said, shoving me onto my back with her heel on my chest. “We go to war tomorrow, and Arthur will die as will Merlin and you and all of the others who love him. And then I will take his kingdom and burn that sniveling quim he calls a queen and rule in my rightful place.” She knelt over me and placed her hand over my heart. Her face was full of a dark, fearful beauty as she spoke several words and I felt something akin to fire only hotter scorch through my veins and rip a scream from my throat.
            I must have blacked out because when I woke I was lying in a ball on the floor, my hands and feet untied. I scrambled to my feet, stumbling several times and looked over to see Morgan la Fay lounging on her cot, smiling at me.
            “What did you do to me now?” I demanded, hands fisting at my sides, my body feeling weak and wrung out.
            “I just reminded you of a few things, Mordred,” she said, getting off the cot and standing in front of me. “Just refreshed the curse a bit. It will be easier for you now, my dear. Tomorrow you will go out and kill Arthur and you won’t even have to think about it. You just let your body do the work, and then it will all be over.”
            “No,” I whispered, shaking my head. “I will not do it. I will fight.”
            “No, Mordred, you will not,” Morgan said with such surety, I felt a cold stone settle in my belly. I shuddered as she brought her hands up to cup my face, trailing her fingers down my jaw. “No. It is done now. You would not make a decision so I had to make it for you. It will be easier this way, I promise. You will not have to hesitate, it will simply be over. And afterward, I will still have a spot beside me in Camelot for you, and we can rule together as it is meant to be.”
            “Never,” I spat, still trembling. “It was never meant to be that way.”
            She gave a small sigh. “You’ll take it, Mordred. If you survive, it will be the only thing you will have left. I will be the only thing you have left.” She pulled me forward and her lips brushed against mine for only an instant before I pulled away in horrified disgust, shoving her back so that she nearly fell on the ground.
            “I want this to be clear, Morgan,” I told her in a cold, dangerous voice, trying to keep it from shaking. “No matter what happens tomorrow, no matters what comes of it, I will never go with you, and I will never stop hating you. It is now my sworn duty to see that you are dead by sunset tomorrow, and if Merlin doesn’t do it first, then by the saints, I will.”
            She snarled, and clenched her hands at her sides. “I will not make the offer again.”
            “I won’t ask you to.”
            She went to the door of the tent and called for guards. One came in and chained me at her command, and I sat manacled to one of the tent polls. Morgan glared down at me before she spoke a word and that familiar pain lanced through my chest. I was barely winded when it subsided and made sure she knew it, which resulted in her backhanding my face again. I ignored her and she turned to leave the tent, anger coursing through her taught frame.
            “Morgan,” I called after her and she stopped without turning around.
            “You’re the one who is going to have to watch your back out there.”
            “Don’t be so sure of that, Mordred,” she said calmly and left the tent.
            As soon as she was gone, all my bravado seemed to fade and I slumped against the tent post, knowing in my heart that I was going to kill Arthur tomorrow.
The sun rose on Camlann. It was a desolate field, and the day dawned cloudy and threatened rain. I had been taken from the tent to stand at Morgan la Fay’s side as the men formed ranks and gathered opposite the other army on the plain. I looked to see Arthur across the way. It was too far to see details, but I knew where he would be, and I wished nothing more than to be there with him, in fact, I felt a pull towards him, but I knew that it was not from my wanting, but from my curse, and that if I was there, he would be dead by my sword.
            Morgan was sitting on a horse, and she looked down at me, her hand resting on my shoulder before I shrugged it off.
            “It is almost time, Mordred. Are you ready?”
            I was still shackled, but I knew I wouldn’t be much longer. I liked the shackles; they kept me grounded. Kept me from grabbing a sword and slaying my king, my father. I turned to her slowly and gave her a smile. “I’m ready to see you die.”
            She ignored me and turned to the man standing on her other side, the captain of her army. “No more waiting around. We will end this now.”
            In only another minute the call for charge was sounded out and then the sudden rush and noise of battle washed over me like a wave.
            And then, to my horror, I felt my shackles loosen and fall off my hands and Morgan la Fay took my right wrist and pushed a sword into my palm, my hand curling around it against my will.
            “It is time,” she said with a cruelly satisfied smile spreading across her lips as my heart filled with terror. “Kill him.”

©Copyright 2014 by Hazel B West

Read Next Chapter


  1. This is getting close to the end! Camlann--I know what that means.

  2. P.S. I, Abigail Leskey, am the anonymous above. Forgot to sign :)

    1. I figured it was you, haha ;) Yep, definitely getting to the climax!


We always appreciate getting comments and constructive criticism, but please keep it civil.