How I Remember It
I am not quite sure how to start this. My name is Merlin, I am 19 years old, and I was recently very ill with something Gaius calls meninjitis.
According to Gaius—my uncle and a great physician—I just barely escaped with my life. It has been 35 days and I am still not quite myself.
Anyways, being that I am alive and doing fairly well Gaius asked me to write out my account of the illness for his medical books…I must warn you, my memory of events is spotty at best.
I'd had a head cold the week before. Nothing serious, it started with a sore throat then turned to sniffling and sneezing. I was still able to do my duties for the prince each day—but I was exhausted by dinner time.
The first day I really remember feeling poorly started out as a lovely warm spring day. I woke up with the beginnings of a sore throat, again. I felt this rather unfair since I'd just had a sore throat. No matter. I went off to Arthur's rooms as usual, picking up his breakfast tray on the way. By the time I arrived my throat felt horrid; so sore I could hardly swallow. My head felt like it does right before a cold gets worse—hot and throbbing behind my eyes.
As Arthur ate his breakfast and I tidied his room he reminded me that we would be going hunting around lunch time. I clearly remember dreading the idea—me stumbling around in the woods feeling hot and sick, carrying all Arthur's stuff as he swaggered about being the harbinger of death to forest creatures large and small. I said something like this (but I'm sure it came out more respectful than that) and was rewarded with a dirty look.
The prince was going to speak with his father, he would be back in a couple hours at most and I needed to have everything set for hunting by the time he returned.
Joy of joys.
Being the ever-faithful servant, I simply said "Yes Sire." Another dirty look flashed my way. Perhaps I wasn't hiding my sarcasm as well as I thought.
While Arthur was off visiting with the king, I got all of his hunting gear together and made sure everything was clean (enough). I wrapped up some lunch and filled a skin with watered wine. Well, by the time I'd done those few chores, I felt as though I'd spent ten days in the woods already. The slight headache had turned into an angry, demanding, pounding pain and my neck was so tender I could not even turn it.
While I waited for his royal highness (yes, I am being sarcastic) to come back and get me I sat as near to the fire as I could—chilled absolutely to the bone.
Arthur was barely over the threshold before I asked to stay back. Well, from his response you would have thought I was begging off the most important task in the kingdom.
Although I do hate hunting trips, I explained that I really wasn't feeling well this time. I was fairly certain that the cold I'd been almost over had returned with a vengeance.
There was no way I'd be of any use at all feeling like I was—for heaven's sake, I couldn't even turn my head! My brain ached just thinking about bobbing along on horseback.
I think Arthur got tired of bickering about it and finally told me to stay behind…but that I'd bloody well better get a pile of work done.
At that point I probably would have agreed to anything. Arthur stomped off in a royal huff. This must have been right around midday.
I would like to write more here, but I really can not remember a whit until suddenly Arthur was standing in front of me again. He must have already been hunting and back, the room was growing dark. For the life of me, I have no idea where those hours went. It seemed like Arthur just left and then he was back. I was sitting by the long-cold fire, right where I'd been earlier.
At first Arthur was angry. I distinctly remember his bellowing "Merlin! Just what have you been doing all this time while I've been out—feeding the blasted kingdom?" Trust Arthur to make catching a few rabbits sound like an epic.
From this point on, my memory is pretty hazy. I was confused and had a terrible headache all the way from shoulders up.
I think Arthur was still talking at this point. A moment later he was walking towards me with a candle, he was going on angrily, slamming it on the mantle. I cold not believe how blindingly bright that one flame seemed. I'd never have though it possible but my head hurt even worse!
The next thing I knew, I was squinting against the piercing light, I brought my arm up to shield my eyes. I must have been babbling something about not feeling well.
While Arthur's voice went on, his tone had changed; he sounded less sure and decidedly less angry. "You should go home Merlin. Have Gaius take a look at you."
As it turns out, he was right.
I'm not sure if I answered him or not. The light from the candle was terrible.
I felt Arthur take hold of the arm shielding my eyes. "Merlin? What happened? You've got bruises all over your arm…" I tried to turn away from the brightness, even with my eyes closed it felt as though my head was going to burst! An instant later Arthur dropped my arm like it was a hot coal and put his hand on my forehead "You're boiling Merlin!"
I didn't feel hot, if anything I felt cold—but more pressing was the light piercing my brain! I begged him to put out the candle, tried to tell him that my head was hurting.
Arthur snuffed the flame and after a pause announced that I had to see Gaius. I was finally able to crack an eye open, there was Arthur squatting before me with what may have been concern creasing his features.
I had no idea what to do next. Getting from the prince's chambers to my own seemed as impossible as walking to the moon.
"Come on Merlin..." Arthur stood and hauled me to my feet. The last thing I remember for a long while was a bolt of pain—unlike anything before. White light erupted, an explosion, behind my eyes. I think I heard Arthur utter a string of curses…
I apologize in advance, my memory of the next day (days?) is splintered.
I remember a brief moment of awareness; I think it is my first recollection after Arthur's room. I was lying down, probably in Gaius' front room by the fire. For a second I heard two voices. One calm and low—the voice of reason, the bearer of unwelcome news judging by the tone. The other was angry and loud—nearly hysterical. I had a moment of clarity in which I wondered why Arthur would be yelling at Gaius. Another bolt of agony crushed my head. My neck. Then I was gone again.
**Author's note: Pretty please read and review! LA.