Character/s: Hunith, Merlin, Arthur
Word Count: 200
Prompt: 142, Wanderlust
Merlin’s mum had nicknamed him Houdini when he was wee. “Little escape artist learned to run rather than walk,” she’d say with a laugh. Hunith might be joking now but Merlin knew it had been exhausting holding down two jobs, trying to wrangle a slippery toddler.
He never meant to scarper off, it just happened. Shiny blond hair briefly spotted through a daycare window, a crooked grin at the end of a grocery aisle, Merlin would break free of his minder and dart away, babbling unintelligibly at whomever had caught his eye.
Any number of authority figures tried to drum into him the dangers of leaving their protection. “You could be hit by a car or kidnapped,” Miss Lee at kindercare admonished. Merlin gave her a gap toothed smile and the next time he saw a flash of red cloak (a Christmas towel tied around a youngster’s shoulders), Merlin hit the pavement running.
The need for pursuit tempered over time but there was always an itch of somewhere he needed to be.
Finally, at 15, the right blond with the right grin looked right back, smiling in recognition at the feeling of home he, too, had been pursuing for years.