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Shrine of Arthur
Shrine of Arthur

Shrine of Arthur

2 Reviews

The Harbour Inn overlooked the sea in the mysterious town of Tintagel, The alleged home of King Arthur. The hotel was constructed in the 20th century, but it still kept its look from this era, the wooden exterior, polished furniture, and old black and white photos. The owners of the hotel, Oliver and Mary Maider were born in the town. They are avid followers of the legend of King Arthur. Everywhere in the hotel, there was some reference to him, books, paintings, and one giant statue in the garden, which had become to look like a shrine. It did look gorgeous among the chrysanthemums and daises, with its many ribbons tied to it and a lantern with a solitary candle. Oliver was the intriguing man who is opinionated, and hated the English but was happy to accept the English pound. He had short parted brown hair and used to work for the Royal Air Force (RAF). He was now happy to serve the customers in the hotel bar and restaurant. Mary on the other hand was the complete opposite of Oliver. She is a quiet lady who was happy to cook the meals for the guests and enjoyed tasting it as she went along. She had long, dark brown, braided hair that went down her back. Today was Friday, and as usual, a new group of guests checked in to the inn. Mary would always welcome them with a friendly smile and an offer them a some tea with homemade biscuits. After the guests were fed she would take them to their rooms and leave them with the same words she had been saying to every guest ever to stay at the inn, “Anything you need, my loves, you just come down and knock on the door.” One couple, Mike and Alice Parker, was a newly wed couple. This was the first time they had visited Tintagel. So as most guest are, they had a few questions. “Isn’t this place amazing? We must visit King Arthur’s castle,” Alice said, her face displaying the excitement she had. “Yep, we must, but we have plenty of time," Mike said. He was sitting on the bed reading through the hotel information guide. “Well, dinner is at 6 pm. If we get down there at 5:35, we can have a quick drink in the bar before our dinner. And breakfast is around 8 AM, so I will set my alarm on my phone. We don’t want to miss breakfast,” he said. Meanwhile, at the bar, Oliver was preparing for the first customers. It was a pretty small bar. A wine rack is drilled to the wall, packed full with a selection of beverages. An old fisherman’s net was hanging from one wall, and photos of local people going back hundreds of years ago and their eyes appearing soulless, as if they had witnessed many dark tragedies.The first couple guest began to enter the bar. “Welcome. What can I get you?” Oliver asked, “What do you recommend?” The tall man said. “Well you have to try a bit of root beer there is no other kind like it, made from hundred percent local cane sugar” “Ok, I’ll have a bit. I’ll try anything, as long as it doesn’t kill me! The man roared with laughter. “Here you are. I hope you enjoy your stay.” And Oliver passed him a glass full of a brown-coloured liquid with an inch of froth on top. "I was just reading your welcome book. You have had some really good comments; I don’t think I read one bad one.” “Call me Jack and what is your name?” “Oliver.” “Tell me, Oliver, why have some names and addresses been crossed out?” “Unfortunately, after leaving here at the end of their stay, they had "fatal accidents.” “No! How terrible. Do you know why?” “Yes, I know. I sometimes think we are cursed, but we do have a lot of accidents down here. It’s the roads, very unpredictable and if you are not from these parts, then you can get in trouble if you’re not careful.” “And one thing I couldn’t help noticing: all of the men that had died all had names beginning with M.” “Interesting! No one has ever noticed that before. Well. I can’t explain it.” Oliver looked nervous, the sweat popping from his forehead, “Oh well, glad my name is Jack,” the man laughed again before making his way to the dining room. Mike and Alice entered the bar. Alice had a dress on, and Mike wore a suit. “Hello, you two. What would you like?” “I’ll have a bit of apple juice please,” Mike said. “Ok, coming up. So, where you are you two off to?” Oliver asked. “We are going to visit King Arthur’s castle,” Alice said. “Well, you can’t come to Tintagel and not visit the castle. You know some believe King Arthur still resides there to this very day,” “You don’t believe in that nonsense. Do you? King Arthur was just a fictional character,” Mike said. “Oh, he was real. If it wasn’t for him we would still be under Roman control.” “Thanks. We will. Well I’m really hungry now. Can we go eat?" Alice said, and with that, they both walked to the dining room. After dinner, Mike and Alice decided to explore the garden. The garden was quite over-grown. It resembled something out of the Jungle Book and was quite mysterious. They both walked around, and eventually they came to the statue of King Arthur with Excalibur pointing to the sky. “Who is that Mike?” Alice asked, staring at the giant statue. “That is King Arthur,” Oliver replied, popping our of no where. “Oh!" Alice said. “Sorry I didn’t mean to make you jump. I was watering the flowers when I heard you both,” “That looks so real. He is almost alive. I feel him looking at me. Where did you get it?” Alice said. “It was here when we took over managing the hotel,” Oliver replied. “I don’t feel very comfortable around that statue,” Mike said. “What do you mean. It’s only a statue. It’s not like it has a curse on it!” Oliver said. “I’m sorry I’m going to have to go in. Goodnight. I’ll see you back in the hotel, Alice,” Mike answered. “Yes, goodnight,” Alice stood there mesmerised by King Arthur. It was as though she had known him in another life. As she stared into his eyes, they appeared to become a shade of brown. She felt a connection with him and a power that seemed to be pulling her towards him. Alice snapped out of the trance and hurried back to the hotel. On entering the room, Alice was surprised to see Mike was laying on the bed with his eyes closed. “Mike, darling. Are you ok?” “Alice, I’m fine now, but something really strange came over me when I was out there. A feeling I should not be here, and I needed to leave.” “You’re just tired love. It has been a long day; you’ll feel better tomorrow,” she replied. When Alice awoke the next morning, she felt a cold chill in the air. She stood up and got out of bed to see a man with bright brown eyes staring at her. She quickly screamed and the moment she did the mysterious figure disappeared. Oliver and Mary quickly opened the door and said “ Is anything wrong my dear?” Alice replied, “There was this strange man in our room looking at me. He had bright brown eyes.” “ That’s interesting. Maybe it’s the ghost of King Arthur,” Oliver responded as he tapped Mike’s shoulder and suddenly understood something was wrong. “ Is your husband always this cold?” asked Oliver. Alice felt Mike’s forehead and realized something was wrong, too. She tried shaking Mike, but he wouldn’t wake up. “ I think something is wrong,” Alice cried. “We could try bringing him to the nearest hospital even though it is a hour away,” said Mary. “That would be good,” replied Alice. Oliver carried Mike’s motionless body down to his station wagon and placed it in the back seat. He opened a window for the heat to get to Mike’s body to warm it up. Mary and Alice followed and got into the car. They started driving to the hospital, but as they drove to the hospital a horse with a familiar man with brown eyes appeared out of thin air and stopped in the middle of the road. Oliver quickly pulled the car to the side accidentally crashing into the fence around a house. Mike came flying out of the window and hit the road head first. Alice flinched then fell into shock of what she had just seen. Mary and Oliver got out of the car and nodded at the rider of the horse before he took off into the fields across the street never returning. Oliver pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and called 911. By the time the ambulance arrived it was too late. Mike had left this earth by then, and his motionless body rested on a stretcher as he was loaded into an ambulance. Alice came out of her trance and left with the doctors. Oliver and Mary got back into their car and returned to the inn. They sat down on the furniture in the lounging area and started talking. “That’s a shame. I quite liked him. Funny enough,” Mary said. “You know the score, Mary. King Arthur will not rest until he has revenged the traitor, Mordred, by killing all males with their name beginning with M," Oliver said. He then went outside to the shrine to hang another ribbon and to light a candle. He looked up at the statue of King Arthur as he proceeded to light the candle and started to walk back into the inn as he pondered who would be the next victim of King Arthur’s curse. Oliver knew one thing for sure, the letter M and a male guest would definitely be involved.

Author Notes: Inspired by A Conneticuit Yankee In King Athurs Court

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7 Jan, 2022
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8 mins
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