Title: You’re A Very Good Person Who Bad Things Have Happened To
Character/s: Merlin, Hunith, Will, Arthur, knights
Summary: A baby was born, and the gods took notice.
Warnings: psychological warfare, physical abuse, depression, insomnia
Word Count: 417
Prompt: #283 "insomnia" + angst month
Author's Notes: kid fic to teen fic; Roman occupation of Britain; thank you Sirius for the title.
For those of you who find yourselves unsatisfied or sad at the end, there is a second and final chapter to this that does not quite fit this week's theme: you'll find it on the ao3 post of this story after the masterpost has gone up here. Additionally, if you recognize anything in this story because it is happening or has happened in your own life, please talk to someone trusted and supportive about it. "My tongue will tell the anger of my heart, or else my heart concealing it will break." and "Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o'er wrought heart and bids it break." -both Shakespeare. Be safe. Be well.
In a town with one road and a hut with one room, a baby with one parent was born.
The gods took notice.
As the baby boy grew, he showed himself to be intelligent and a hard worker. His mother named him Merlin in the hope that he would live smart and strong even though he was small.
The gods saw what he could become, and they were jealous of his gift. With a dark agenda, they set monsters on the boy.
First, there were the strange sounds and rustlings in the woods.
Those frightened little Merlin for a time, but he learned to accept that the trees held wonders. He was kind and patient, and he befriended the animals that belonged to the noises.
Second, the gods turned other children against Merlin.
Young Merlin learned from the other children's whispers about him and exclusion of him that something wasn't normal about him. One other boy was stronger than the gods' persuasion, though, and Merlin had a friend.
The third monster the gods sent was fear.
Merlin discovered abilities in himself that he could not find in anyone else he knew. His mother taught him to hide these parts of himself away so he would not be discovered. Discovery meant death. Merlin was impressionable: soon, he learned to wait before speaking; soon he learned to wait before moving; soon he learned to be seen but not heard; soon he learned to be less than a shadow. Discovery means death, but fear strangles life.
The gods were pleased that their latest monster worked so well, but they were still unsatisfied. They sent a fourth monster.
Merlin was the right age to be sent to a master to learn a skill as an apprentice, but the master he served was harsh and uncaring. Everything Merlin did was wrong. Everything he did wrong earned him a physical punishment. His master did not care when bruises became breaks.
For the fifth monster, the gods sent sleeplessness.
Merlin could not stop the idea that his master might hurt him while he was sleeping, despite the fact that no such thing had ever happened. He stayed awake frozen between wishing he could just sleep and knowing that something might happen if he didn't keep watch over himself. He slept less and less, and so became clumsier with his daily tasks. He spent every night reliving the pains of his days. He felt like he was fading. He could no longer remember a different way to live.