Arthur Gets A Surprise

Arthur Gets A Surprise

A Chapter by Ecrid

In which we find out why people don't use blunderbusses


“S**t, s**t, s**t, s**t,” I yelled, holding onto the rickshaw for dear life.  Merlin instructed it round, charging us down a side street, but a second gray car pulled out of an alley and nearly hit us. Who the hell were these people? They didn’t stop shooting no matter where we were, their guns seeming to gain in accuracy with every passing second, with every passing bit of metal devoted to ending our lives.

This creeping idea had been churning about inside my head: what if I wasn’t dreaming? What if my life actually had a point - a very big point? I could adventure and live for real and have a court wizard. I must be going mad, but, seriously, if this is the life I could have chosen from my current options, even if I were sleeping, I was not sure I would want to open my eyes, wake up, and find myself back where I had started the night.

 Alone, awkward, unlucky, and of no use to anybody. 

No, this was it. Even if this was a dream, which it probably was, this would probably be one of my chances to live, really live. They wanted Arthur Pendragon, then such a man they would get. “Wizard!” I huffed, and he clocked me on the side of my head.

“My name is Merlin,” grumbling as he did, “if I had wanted you to call me otherwise I would have introduced myself as such, boy.” As the fusty man croaked out the last part, he glanced back and forth over his shoulder, following the cars even as they followed us. More bullets shattered shop windows on the right. 

“Right, Merlin, listen- ” machine gun fire crackled harshly in the racing air, and I couldn’t hear what he said over the noise. “What?”

“I said, ‘can’t you see that I’m bloody occupied?’ Now, be silent!” This was not going as I had planned it.

“Fine, but give me a gun or something, let’s fight back for god’s sake before we both end up dead on a stupid bike-cab!”

“Rickshaw!” he corrected.

“Fine, rickshaw, whatever,” I was getting frantic. I didn’t want to die in a situation I had not control over. “Just give me a bleeding gun!”

“If that will make you close your damnable yap, while I’m trying to think no less,” he spat, “then here, have it!” He did something strange and quick with his hands, and I felt something heavy drop into my lap. I looked down. 


I was getting mad. I shouted “What the hell is this?” It was a gun, to be sure, but it looked like it had been made at least five hundred years ago. “What in the hell am I supposed to do with this?”

“You asked for a gun.” He looked pointedly at me. “I gave you a gun.” The two cars were gaining on us. More bullets were fired, more windows shattered. Some bits of the street ahead of us exploded into chunky gravel. “Left, down Piccadilly!” The rickshaw turned sharply, but this time I didn’t get hurled out of my seat. I was getting the hang of holding onto the roof with my hands and securing myself by the position of my feet on the coach’s floor. I would not be deterred.

“I can’t shoot this!”

“It’s a bleeding blunderbuss, and yes you can, now make yourself useful before I decide to launch you at them, boy!” One of the cars behind us crunched into a lamp-post and a tire flew over my right shoulder. 

I sarcastically rebutted, “Okay, Merlin, why the hell not!”  I pulled the gun’s rudimentary looking hammer back, pointed it behind us, and fingered the trigger. Nothing happened. “Oh, you sodding old jackass,” he clocked me again, “Ow!” 

“Merlin! How hard is it to say Merlin, really?” He scanned ahead of us. “Down this street-way!” The rickshaw took another sharp turn, but the first car continued its chase, tires screeching and staining against the road as it performed a preposterous ninety degree turn. “I won’t have the energy to keep striking you for much longer.” That’s when I decided I was probably dead. 

The shooting in the background had stopped, presumably for reloading, and then, subsequently, more shooting. 

“D****t,” I complained, looking down at the blunderbuss, “I don’t think its even loaded!” 

He shouted back “It was last time I used it!” 

“Oh, and how many bullets does it take?” I shouted back. More fire came from behind, some striking the back of the rickshaw, leaving little indentations where they had connected. This chase would not last much longer. Eventually, one would pierce through the back, and then, in all likelihood, through me.

“One,” he answered. Then he said “Oh,” indicating that he had gotten my point. Took him long enough. “Balls,” Merlin whispered. He looked over his shoulder again, which prompted me to do the same. They weren’t behind us anymore. The car that had been chasing us was gone, vanished.

“What the hell?” I asked. A keening came from in front as the gray grill of the car appeared, turning toward us from the upcoming intersection. They had gotten ahead of us. Worse, they seemed to have realized that they could survive a head-on collision with a rickshaw.

© 2011 Ecrid

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A fast pace chapter. I like the story. Good character and I like the mystery feel of the tale. Never knowing what to expect. A excellent chapter.

Posted 10 Years Ago

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Added on December 29, 2011
Last Updated on December 29, 2011
Tags: arthur, merlin, boris gant, fantasy, science fiction, SF, fun, prose, lit, serialized



Baltimore, MD

I want to be a writer. I want to be read. more..

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