Title: The Secret in the Basement, part 2
Character/s: Arthur, Morgana, Morgause, Uther, Aredian
Summary: a sudden death leads to a mystery
Warnings: not really
Word Count: 902
Prompt: #236 "I've been checking you out."
Author's Notes: continued from part 1 https://camelot-drabble.livejournal.com/1355510.html
Arthur moved to search for a torch but spotted an oddly wired switch high on the wall. He flipped it and stared down the now oddly lit ancient corridor. He couldn’t help but look over his shoulder as he came to a small set of narrow steps.
Arthur couldn’t let go of the tension he felt. He took his phone in hand turning on the flashlight hoping to chase away the shadows. He was considering turning back when the stairs suddenly opened to a chamber with four heavy wooden doors. The corridor seemed to continue on the other side but wasn’t lit. As he looked about he saw the door he knew he was looking for. It was easy to spot by the recently installed deadbolt.
There were six newer keys on the ring. With each key he tried he felt a combination of want to get in and need to get away. Finally, the door swung open. Arthur stared hard, unsure of what he was seeing. On the floor was...something. He swallowed hard and approached, his phone held in front of him as he moved slowly. He didn’t scream when the thing sat up to reveal a mostly naked boy with dark hair. He stood just outside the door as he called Morgana and Morgause. Only a pic brought them down to the basement.
Morgana’s eyes flashed, “I always knew Uther was an evil bastard but this is beyond the pale.”
Morgause took a deep breath and unclenched her jaw. “We need to think before we do anything rash.”
Morgana stared at the boy for a moment before she turned on Arthur, “Wait a minute. How did you know to come down here?”
“George. He pulled off his keys off his belt and said basement to me before, well. I had actually forgot until I tried to take a nap.” Arthur gave her his most innocent look before turning to Morgause. “Have you called him?” .
“Half an hour ago?” Morgause estimated.
Arthur began to pace. “Shit, We don’t have any time.”
Morgana moved in the way to stop Arthur from pacing. “What are you talking about?”
“There is a boy chained in our basement. Do you really think Father is going to leave him here unguarded?” Arthur looked at her pointedly.
Morgause swallowed hard. “He’ll send Aredian.”
“He’ll send Aredian. Probably try to move him.” Arthur went back to pacing.
“Not immediately. He’ll check if he’s secured first.” Morgana looked at them both with a smirk.
Morgause gave her a look of concern. “You don’t think he will kill him?”
Morgana swallowed that concern. “No. At least not here. Unfortunately or fortunately, they’re evil, not stupid.”
Arthur looked closely at his sister, “What are you thinking?”
“We don’t have time to move him,” Morgana declared. “Aredian would search the house and he knows all our cars, not to mention its more than 15 kilometers on foot to the nearest house.”
“We can’t just leave him here,” Arthur stated emphatically.
Morgause took Arthur by the shoulders. “We have to have a plan.”
Morgana looked at them intensely, “That’s exactly what we are going to do. We will leave him here. Let Aredian or whoever come check to see that he’s here. They will report back. That should give us a bit more time to get him out.”
Arthur scrubbed a hand over his face, “What do we do in the meantime?”
Morgause looked at them both. “We get to work.”
Arthur apologized profusely before he locked the wooden door and the old gate. Then he, Morgana and Morgause raced up stairs to the breakfast room. It took no time at all for the three of them to agree that the boy should be taken somewhere he would be seen by a lot of people or at least outside of Uther’s direct influence. “That means avoiding Walding and West Dereholt and adding at least another 10 kilometers anywhere we drive.”
“You should take him to the Medical Centre in Greater Ersham.” Morgause stated.
“We have to consider....” Arthur stopped as the front gate bell rang.
Morgana moved quickly to look at the gate cam display. “It’s him.”
Morgause took charge. “Ok. I will answer the door. Arthur, run upstairs and find some clothes he can wear.”
Arthur turned to Morgana, “What are you going to do?”
Morgana looked at him like he was a moron. “I’m not leaving her alone with that creep. Now get going.”
A feeling of guilt settled in his stomach as the doorbell rang. Arthur knew his sisters hated Aredian and with good reason. He had on more than one occasion tried to take advantage and their father made it clear that, short of catching Aredian in the act of drugging and raping one of them, he didn’t believe them. As soon as Arthur’s foot hit the upstairs landing he could hear the door open. He stood for a moment listening.
“Well, well, such beauty.” Aredian’s oily voice drifted up the stairs. Arthur could almost see the man leaning against the door frame. His hair all greased back and his shirt half-way open to show off his gold jewelry. He couldn’t hear what Morgause said but Aredian’s reply made him shudder. “I’ve been checking you out.” For a moment he considered racing back down the stairs till he heard Morgana. “Really Sister, you can do much much better.”
To be continued