Title: Whispers in the dark
Summary: He'd gone mad with the sounds
Word Count: 330
Prompt: Whispers in the dark
Author's Notes: I've become obsessed with the legend of Merlin entombed in the crystal cave lately. I think next time I really need to write something fluffy.
There was a rush of sound; some would say it was the wind shivering through the branches or water plunging down over solid rock. He knew better, recognized the chaotic mutters echoing in the moon-bright courtyard for what they were - the dead cries of those who had borne the brunt of his choices.
They'd been haunting him for years now, each one slain by his hand, ghosts murmuring vengeance, his head so full of voices from the past that he thought he'd go mad with it.
He had gone mad.
He'd not missed the sideways glances of his friends or Gaius's gentle suggestions; he'd ignored Arthur's increasingly worried questioning. Even the dragon had been less cryptic than usual but it didn't matter.
He'd tried, oh how he'd tried, to rid himself of the voices in his head. Potions and spells, purification and silence, even drunken nights at the tavern had not worked. His mind was so full of the past that there wasn't room for anything else - not friendship, not love, not destiny.
Now, it would seem that he'd run out of options. The sounds were gaining on him every moment, the noise an angry buzz so loud that he couldn't bear it. They were gathering, crowding him with whispers in the dark and there was only one thing left to do.
Shivering, he glanced one last time up towards Arthur's window, candle-lit against the darkness. He could see shadows moving inside, know that his king at least was surrounded by protection and love. He'd be okay with Merlin gone; he would have others to lean on, Gwen, Leon, Gaius, even brash Gwaine. Arthur would be safe - from Merlin.
With a heavy sigh, he turned and walked out toward the forest, toward the Crystal Cave, leaving everything behind.
There, in isolation, among the crystals, he could sink into a thousand visions, hear a song so strong that it would drown the guilt. Perhaps then he'd find peace.