King Arthur and Her Knights: Enthroned / Enchanted / Embittered (King Arthur and Her Knights, #1-3)
Sword in the Stone
King Arthur is a legendary British king and hero. His historical existence and role is widely debated, but he is said to have been crowned at age 15 on the day of Pentecost. The day of his crowning ceremony he selected Merlin as his counselor, Sir Ulfius as his chamberlain, Sir Bodwain as his constable, his foster brother Sir Kay as seneschal, and Sir Bedivere as marshal.
Although the stories and events linked to Arthur vary widely, most Arthurian stories include: the wizard Merlin, Uther Pendragon as Arthur’s father, the sword Excalibur, and Arthur’s wife Guinevere. “Britt come on, pose for a picture.”
Britt ripped her eyes from the travel guidebook’s blurb on King Arthur to address her friends. “No thanks. Commemorative graveyard photos aren’t my thing.”
Lyssa—Britt’s long time friend and one of her three traveling companions—placed her hands on her hips. “We’re not taking photos of the cemetery. We’re posing with this sword. It’s very knightly I’ll have you know! Now stuff it and pose. You’re the fencer, this shot was made for you.”
Britt slapped the guidebook shut and threw it into her backpack. “I am not a fencer.”
“Sorry Britt, she meant that you’re into Historical European Martial Arts,” Amber, the peace-keeper of the bunch, said as she took a photo of Lyssa—who was pantomiming pulling a rust covered sword from what looked like a mutated anvil.
“The point is you’re the one that knows all about sword fighting. It’s only right that you pose with the sword,” Lyssa said, brushing her palms together to rid herself of the grit the sword left on her hand.
Britt—still not totally willing—twisted around to look at the cathedral the lonesome cemetery was nestled behind. “Lyssa, why did you want to come here? I didn’t think anything of importance in King Arthur lore happened in London. I thought today we were supposed to go see the Sherlock Holmes museum at 221b Baker Street.”
“That’s not true. Arthur was crowned in London before he founded Camelot. And stop worrying, we’ll have plenty of time to see Holmes, my dear Watson,” Lyssa said, patting Britt on the back. “Grace, you’re up.”
Grace—the last member of their English Book Sightseeing Extravaganza—stepped up to the sword and placed her foot on the stone before wrapping her hand around the hilt. “Cheese,” she said with a big, toothy smile.
Amber took the photo before offering Britt an apologetic smile. “Tomorrow we leave for Bath, that will be fun. Don’t a lot of Jane Austen novels take place there?”
“Northanger Abbey starts there, yeah,” Britt said before returning the smile. “But I can’t wait to tour Beatrix Potter’s farm.”
“Hilltop, right?” Grace asked, zigzagging around a gravestone.
“Britt,” Lyssa said, pulling her eyebrows together. “Stop stalling and pose for a stinkin’ picture. It’s a sword in a freaking stone. The photo op is priceless!”
“I’m not touching that. It’s rusted and gross. I bet it’s infected with contagious diseases,” Britt said, stabbing a finger at the corroded weapon.
“Fine, fine, fine,” Britt grumbled. She hitched her backpack further up her shoulders before approaching the weapon. “After this can we eat?” she asked, turning to face Amber after stationing herself behind the sword. “How about some fish and chips?” she suggested as she reached out to touch the sword. The moment Britt’s fingertips brushed the rough rust a pillar of light, almost like a spotlight, shot out of the cloudy London sky and enveloped Britt. There was harp music and sparkles that fell like snowflakes before Britt was shocked.
The sword felt like harnessed lightning, like a high voltage taser. It made Britt shake uncontrollably, but she couldn’t let go. Her hand wouldn’t release the sword. Her arm surged with electricity and pain, the world went white, and then all was black.
“Yes, this is the future King we’ve been waiting for. Sir Ector, congratulations. You are the proud new father of a foundling.”
Britt ached. Every particle of her being tingled, and her eyes were heavy and gritty. She tried to form words but was only able to utter garbled nonsense. “Gyuuu Lysssa, hwate juuuu.”
“…This is our future King?”
“Yes. He sounds stupid, but it’s best not to judge him yet. Time travel makes even the most eloquent minds stupid, I would think.”
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