Flash Friday Fiction: The Wizard of Ice

Ice Cube Aurora. Photo by Carlos Pobes.
Ice Cube Aurora. Photo by Carlos Pobes.

“The Wizard of Ice”
Margaret Locke (@Margaret_Locke)
258 words

He had waited a thousand years for this. A thousand years to return to his rightful position as King, to seek retribution from Mordred, to sit at his Round Table with his faithful knights at his side.

“When the north star aligns exactly over Guinevere’s Tower, you shall return,” Merlin had promised on that fateful day so long ago, before sending him across the Lake to Avalon. “The Lady of the Lake shall greet you. Banners will wave in your honor. The whole of the land will rejoice in the coming again of the Once and Future King.”

Arthur looked out across the barren landscape, illuminated now by a supernatural glow. He was surprised to realize it emanated from his own chainmail, chainmail that felt like ice against his skin. He clasped his beloved sword Excalibur firmly in his hand, ready to face any peril. But there was nothing. What was once a lake was now a frozen wasteland. Flags stood all around, as Merlin had foretold, but were planted haphazardly in no apparent order in the snow. And what had happened to his magnificent keep? Where were the grand stone archways, the turrets, the lists? What was this heap of metal more suitable for scrap than a King’s castle?

Where were his men? He saw no Lancelot, no Gawain, no Percival. No Guinevere.

A familiar, if rusty, voice spoke from his side. Arthur turned to look at his friend, surprised now by the wizened, ancient visage before him.

“Arthur, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Camelot anymore.”

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