Title: Sorcery and Chicken
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: "He'd only meant to use a teeny, tiny, enchantment on the king’s supper plate, and only because he was tired of drilling holes into all of Arthur’s belts."
Warnings: Vegetarians may be squeamish with this one. Not to be taken seriously.
Word Count: 1176
Prompt: # 101 Lucky
Author's Notes: No beta per usual. I almost missed the deadline this week as I was stuck on the prompt, but I hope this rushed little story makes you smile.
Arthur burst out of his chambers, stumbling down the corridor and colliding headfirst into Merlin.
The soiled linen’s Merlin had been ferrying to the washerwoman went airborne, landing on top of the men and trapping them underneath a smelly cage of cloth.
They wrestled under the sheets, questing for fresh air, and it was Arthur who found it first, peeking his head out from under a bedspread. “I’ve been attacked!” he gasped, his cheeks hot with excitement.
Merlin wiggled free of linens and surveyed his master, taking in the parsley on Arthur’s left cheek and the gravy stains peppering his tunic. “Are you sure you didn’t fall asleep in your supper plate again?” he asked, unhooking his limbs from Arthur’s.
“I most certainly did not!” Arthur said, fighting to a stand. “This is all the chicken’s fault!”
Merlin scrunched his nose, trying to understand Arthur’s garbled raving. “And what’s wrong with your supper today? Let me guess, you think the chicken’s overdone, or there isn’t enough salt, or-“
“No, it was- that is to say…as soon as I set my knife into it-“ Arthur glanced hesitantly back to this chamber door. “It leapt on my face and… beat me with its wings.”
Merlin couldn’t tell what face he was making, but he knew it must be bad by the way Arthur’s upper lip twitched at him, revealing a pearly slice of teeth. He heaped the linens back into a manageable ball and tried not to laugh.
In truth Merlin believed Arthur's every word, but he couldn’t exactly voice the reason why.
He’d only meant to use a teeny, tiny, enchantment on the king’s supper plate, and only because he was tired of drilling holes into all of Arthur’s belts. So when Arthur had approached him that evening, telling Merlin to fetch him a whole roast chicken for his supper (a meal fit for a family of peasants that his royal prattyness wouldn’t dream of sharing one bite of with Merlin), well, that was the straw that broke the warlocks back.
Merlin wasn’t even sure that the stupid spell had worked.
Well, Until now.
“Let me see if I have this correct,” Merlin said in a sing-song voice “You’re telling me that the chicken on your supper plate came to life and…clobbered you? Is that right.”
Arthur narrowed his eyes. “I am not crazy.”
“So you think this is sorcery?”
“Brilliant observation, Merlin, just the quick thinking I’d expect of a man who spends half of his life holed up in the tavern. No, I think the chicken got bored of sitting on my plate and decided to go for a walk. If you don’t believe me, go in and see for yourself!”
Merlin dropped his washing and walked to Arthur’s door, wedging it open.
Running circles around a desk was the offending meal. A buttery ball of meat, jerking in the spastic movements of a corpse brought to life. When it spotted Merlin it made a hollow noise from deep in its gut, expelling a burst of blood-red sauce through the hole in its neck.
Merlin yelped, slamming the door shut.
He could end this foolishness now with a single incantation.
But the horrified look in Arthur’s eyes was rather satisfying.
He leaned against the door, staring at his master with all the seriousness the situation entailed. “So,” Merlin swallowed. “Any idea how we roast this bird?”
“How do I usually try to kill things, Merlin?” Arthur grit.
Merlin cocked his head to the side, frowning. “You’re going to force the chicken to do menial labor? Muck out the stables? Wash your stinking mud covered breeches or-”
“Here’s the plan,” Arthur hissed yanking Merlin back by neckerchief. “You distract that thing while I cross the room to grab Excalibur, understood?”
Merlin’s face fell. He freed himself of Arthur’s grip. “But, what if it fly’s at me?” he shivered.
“It’s not going to fly at you.”
“Well it’s not supposed to be prancing around like it’s alive either, but that’s not stopping it, is it?“
Arthur’s cold scowl killed Merlin’s second round of protests. He peeked into the chamber again.
The chicken was still there; fatty drumsticks clacking as it paced. Merlin had encountered all manner of monsters during his time in Camelot. Dragons, the questing beast, the hairy castle cook, but the supper currently flailing in Arthur’s chambers was by far the most disturbing.
“On the count of three we charge in,” Arthur whispered. “One… Two-” He shoved Merlin forward, pushing him into chicken’s line of sight as a sacrifice.
The chicken hobbled towards Merlin, flapping and hacking up its innards.
Merlin let out an echoing howl.
His boots scuffed the stone floor, buckles jingling as his legs scrambled for higher ground. He leapt onto Arthur’s bed in a graceless tumble, the chicken fast at his heels.
But Arthur, an experienced battle veteran, had already reached Excalibur at his writing desk. He freed the sword of its sheath with a fluid movement, pointing the glistening blade at the fleshy offender.
The chicken turned to charge him, leaping into the air, and Arthur countered with a hollered curse. He cleaved the carcass perfectly in two, the halves dropping like stones to the floor, sauce pooling from the twitching open body cavities.
As Arthur dropped the burden of tension in his shoulders, he shot Merlin a satisfied smile, as if to say, ‘we’ve done it’.
And then a wing flapped.
A drumstick kicked.
Arthur and Merlin gawking fish eyed at each other as the pieces of chicken dragged towards them with renewed vigor.
The king took a running jump that landed him on the bed next to his manservant. “Bloody hell! How can it still be alive?” he cried.
The mattress surged up with the sudden influx of weight, Merlin’s head bouncing into the velvet canopy. He steadied himself back on the bed, knowing what had to be done.
As the chicken limped towards them Merlin yanked Excalibur from Arthur’s grip.
He jumped off of the bed. Surged towards the chicken, swinging Excalibur back behind his shoulder like a club. The chicken gurgled in fear, but it was too late for it, Merlin whispering an incantation as he hit the pieces of meat with a heaving backstroke, the chicken shooting out the open window like a comet.
Arthur looked to his manservant, a stupid grin stretching across his face.
His chest vibrated with laughter.
“Merlin, you half-wit, you’ve done it!” he beamed, sailing off of the bed and crushing Merlin into a hug.
Excalibur fell limp in Merlin’s wrist, his cheek’s flushing at Arthur’s touch. “Well, that was a situation most fowl, wasn’t it?” he chuckled.
Arthur let go. He ran his left hand across his face, grabbing Excalibur back with his right. “Mer-lin-”
“Shut up?” Merlin offered, swooning at Arthur's proximity.
“There’s a clever lad. Now clean up this mess and don’t forget my supper,” The king sighed, motioning to sticky mess on the floor. “All this excretion has famished me!”