Monday, October 7, 2013

Between the Lines: Merlin

This is the last of the early character interviews for the moment. Next week, we'll have another new interviewee. This interview is a rebuttal to last week's interview with King Arthur. Here's his wizard friend, Merlin:

Well, things have certainly been exciting here at The Deliverers Publishing Headquarters. First of all, I am offering the Kindle version of The Deliverers: Sharky and the Jewel for free for the next three days (5/8, 9 & 10), and they've been going like hotcakes. At one point today, I was giving away a book a minute! Heady stuff. Now I know how J.K. Rowling must feel (numb). Would that folks were paying for them! Oh well, hopefully this will generate some word of mouth and some reviews!

The other thing that's been occupying my time has been the controversy generated by yesterday's interview with King Arthur. In case you missed it, he had some rather unpleasant things to say about his onetime friend and mentor, Merlin. I have to admit that I was shocked.

So, I suppose it wasn't a surprise when I received a phone call from the venerable wizard. He was upset that Arthur painted him in such an unflattering light, and that I had acted in his words, "like a most hard hearted and shameful accomplice." Well, what could I say? I offered him equal time to tell his side of the story, if he was willing.

He jumped at the chance. So, straight from Merlin's Cave, here is Merlin's rebuttal.

Greg:  Well, Merlin, it certainly is nice to meet you, although I wish the circumstances might be a little more cheery.

Merlin:  Thank you for the opportunity my boy. It really is good of you to allow me some time to defend myself.

Greg:  Not at all. We don't usually do two interviews in one week, but I thought the situation warranted it. Now, why don't you tell us where Arthur went astray in his recollection of events.

Merlin:  Gladly. Unfortunately, most everything he said was sheer fabrication. I was the guiding force behind the throne. I've known Arthur since he was a mere boy. I was his teacher, and schooled him in the ways of the natural world, government, morals and ethics. I suppose I did not do a very good job on that last item.

But to address your question, Arthur might think he accomplished what he did on his own, but it was I who laid the groundwork. As for my magic not amounting to much, I'll have you know that I have performed many extraordinary feats. I am a master shape changer, and used that power to great effect in Arthur's education.

Greg:  Yes, but what about the time traveler from Connecticut who blotted out the sun?

Merlin:  Argh! It was that Twain person. He had it in for me from the very start. Always painted me as a villain, a fool. What he did was not magic, mere looking back to the past. Hindsight is always 20/20. I look into the future. My specialty is seeing what shall be.

Greg:  Then why didn't you see what was coming?

Merlin:  Er, um, I was looking too far ahead. You see I was about to meet my fate. The lovely Lady of the Lake was my future. Unfortunately, I was too enamored of her to pay attention to the road immediately ahead.

Greg:  Well, we can talk more about that a little later. I'm interested in whose idea the Knights of the Round Table really was. Arthur claimed it to be his, and that you wanted the table to be octagonal. Is that true?

Merlin:  That was just an early sketch. No, of course I hit upon the round, all knights are equal concept soon after. I will admit that Arthur selected the majority of the knights who would make up the order, but the chivalric concept was entirely mine. Of course, I had nothing in mind at the time but the unification of Britain and the betterment of the world.

Arthur was really the one after the glory. The lad does have a vain streak a mile wide, despite his many good qualities.

Greg:  Ah, so you admit that Arthur is not all bad?

Merlin:  Admit? I do not have to do anything of the kind. Of course he has many good qualities. That's why I chose him for the task. That's why he was able to pull the sword out of the stone. It was because he was destined to unite and rule all of England. I just resent the fact that now that he's reached the pinnacle of success, he's trying to minimize my considerable contribution to the whole affair.

Greg:  Speaking of affairs, what's the story with you and the Lady of the Lake?

Merlin:  It's a painful part of my life that I don't like to talk about, but since you've been kind enough to give me equal time, I'll give you the lowdown. She was such a temptress. First, she tosses Arthur that magic sword, then she starts making with the small talk. Then next thing you know, she's enchanted me and locked me in this cave. It took me ages to get out.

Greg:  I guess this is where we get out. I think our time is up, but I really did enjoy our visit together.

Merlin:  I did, also. Thank you again for giving me some time to give my side of the story. Now that I'm free, I think I'll go have a talk with the Lady of the Lake. She's bound to have gotten over our spat by now.

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