Title: A River Runs Red
Summary: The day after Camlann is important to more than just Camelot’s finest. Even to a little girl.
Warnings: the horrors of war
Word Count: 361
Camelot_drabble Prompt: 395 Crimson
Author's Notes: we often don’t think about the horrors of war outside of Merlin battling bandits or armies invading Camelot. But innocents get hurt, too.
Disclaimer: Merlin characters are the property of Shine and BBC. No profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Ellie wants her doll. Her mum is being mean. She won’t let Ellie go out of the hut, says that there are bad men out there. Brigg…ands she says, with swords and maces and stuff.
It was scary yesterday. The yelling and smoke over Camlann hill. Solders going past. Mum made Ellie hide under the bed all night. A war, she said.
And there was a loud rainy storm with flashes of light. Lots of booming and scary things.
But now it is nice. No yelling and a pretty blue sky outside and the birds are singing and Ellie wants her doll.
Mum looks worried, though. Her eyes are all red, but she starts cooking breakfast and Ellie is sure she won’t care if Ellie gets her Mimsiposie and comes right back. It will be okay. No brigg…ands.
Ellie is proud that she doesn’t trip as she runs toward the river. Mimsi is waiting in the reeds, just where Ellie dropped her. Her button eyes are still on and her dress is a little muddy, but she smells like when Ellie cut her finger or when the butcher kills the pig. And red. Soaking wet under.
Ellie hopes that Mimsiposie isn’t bleeding. That hurt before.
But then Ellie looks through the reeds at the river and it’s turning redder and it smells like blood and there are things floating in the water and it looks like hands and half a leg and a man’s head with his eyes still open and they are bobbing like they are still alive and the crows are flying overhead and diving into the red and when they fly away, the blood drips down. Like rain.
A drop hits Ellie’s face.
Ellie screams. And drops Mimsiposie in the mud and goes and hides in her mummy’s skirts and cries and cries.
Her mum tells her that she’s a good girl and to come inside and Ellie hides under the bed.
And there’s no water to drink for days and days and they have to go away and stay with grandpa until the horrible smell goes away and the river turns clear again.
But Ellie never looks for Mimsiposie again.