Summary: On the fourth day, Merlin gave up on being rescued.
Warnings: Non-graphic violence
Word Count: 325
Prompt: #196: Escape
On the fourth day, Merlin gave up on being rescued. Oh, Arthur would come—despite his really countless faults, the prat was fiercely loyal—but it seemed unlikely that he'd do so quickly enough to save anything but a corpse.
He didn’t know where his masked captors had taken him, or even who they were, but they somehow had known enough about him to have bound his wrist in a thin chain with links of alternating metals he couldn’t name. It was inexplicably nauseating to look at, and staring too long resulted in an instantaneous, explosive headache. It made him sicker still to feel the spreading dullness through his body and mind.
None of his efforts could break the deceptively frail-looking chain smothering his magic, nor could he fight off the groups of—men?—who came to torment and abuse him.
Maybe it would have been easier if he knew why they hated him; maybe not. Regardless, their visits left him shaking in agony, equally desperate and helpless to find a way out. From the pace of their escalation, and their refusal to provide him food or clean water—the sludge that dripped down his cell’s rough walls to puddle in the corner seemed just as likely to kill him as anything else—it was clear he didn’t have long.
A clamor of resounding thuds reached him, the sound of more heavy boots descending the stairs than had ever come at once before, and he knew the time had come. Whatever final act they had planned was coming to fruition, which meant he had two options: he could give in and die, or he could work out some ridiculously unlikely method of escape and try his chances.
Thus resolved, he settled back against the wall and waited with a foolhardy grin. Magic or no, he was Merlin. He was Emrys. He had a destiny to fulfill, a prince to see crowned king of a united Albion.
He’d make it work.