“Absent Friends!”

“Absent Friends!” – A Liskeard Writers Group prompt for a 15-minute exercise.

(LWG exercise 02-07-2019)

We gathered around the round table and took the register of names.

It was sad that every year the knights became fewer; this time Sir Lachrimae was absent (tears were shed for his loss) and Sir Hector de Maine was counted as being amongst the fallen at Caer Baden.

The spaces at the grand old table of Arthur were almost matching those places filled by the elderly knights.

That was another thing, there were three present that wouldn’t be lasting past Lammas-time, their ailing and failing bodies soon to succcumb to ‘la Morte’.

Arthur raised his chalice. The room hushed as the knights, standing strong around the circle, finished raising their armoured arms to place their own goblets to within a touch of their stubbled and bearded chins.

“Absent friends!” Quoth Arthur.

“Absent friends!” came the response from the room.

They drank, thinking of those who had taught them to bear arms, fought alongside them through quests and battles, and who had fallen in mortal conflict when their time to go had arrived.

It was soon after this meeting that many of the knights decided to go on individual quests in search of grails; to find saintly places lost to knowledge, or to take up hermit status in caves in the woods or the mountains.

The Holy realm of Logres was fading quickly and would soon become a legend that would inspire the hearts of many in the centuries and millennia to come.

Arthur, king, hero, knight of the round table, founder of Camelot, was to become the once and future king – if legends are to be trusted he will return at the time of England’s greatest need.

But, legends being what they are, he may never be seen by any, apart from in a few written documents and the many tales that were ignited by England’s need for a giant in history.

The legend is still growing, Camelot, Tintagel, Arthur’s Seat, Badon and Silbury Hills, Logres, Glastonbury, and the like have claimed his name throughout the centuries, and shall do so for many more.

Hic Jacet Arthurus. Here lies Arthur.

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