“Everyone,” said Merlin, “this is Lance.”
“Who ARE you people?” asked Lance, pulling on the doorknob in an effort to escape.
“Lance, this is Edith, that’s Tilly and the cat is Snowball.”
“The door won’t open,” cried Lance hysterically.
“No, of course, it won’t,” said Merlin kindly. “Edith, Tilly and Snowball, this is Sir Lancelot, Knight of the Round Table.”
“Hi Lance,” they said, staring at the distraught man who had turned toward them and flattened himself against the door.
“Please let me leave,” he begged. “I didn’t do anything, I have money.”
“Well you slept with Guin,” said Tilly. “So you DID do that!”
“You know my wife?” asked Lance, calming a little.
“Guinever’s your wife?” asked Tilly, shocked.
“Yes, do you know her?”
“I know OF her,” she answered flatly.
“Now, now children, let’s not jump to any conclusions. The story isn’t what you’ve heard it to be,” said Merlin, trying to put his arm around Lance’s shoulder, to no avail.
“So she wasn’t married to King Arthur?”
“Well, yes, she was married to Arthur,” said Merlin sheepishly.
“So?” asked Tilly, her hands on her hips.
“Lance is, shall we say, a bit disoriented. That can happen when Hopping from one place to another. This seems to be a rather severe case of dislocation but a nice cup of tea and some of those little white cookies will help.”
“Tea?” said Lance. “Are you insane? I want to get out of here,” he shouted again, pounding on the door.
Merlin lifted his hand and Lance yawned and slid to the floor. “Poor fellow,” he sighed. “He’ll feel better when he wakes up.”
“And about Guin?” asked Tilly.
“Another time, if it’s alright with you,” said Merlin. “I need to see to him, and Edith….”
“Sir Gwain will be the last to arrive. He’s always late. He still feels the need to get someone to watch over the Holy Grail whenever he leaves. It’s not there but he refuses to face that fact. At any rate, please send him to my rooms if he gets here anytime soon.”
“I will,” said Edith.
“You know that I need everyone I can get to fight, if war is declared. I’ve called in Arthur and the Knights, as a last resort,” he said sadly.
“And the Lady of the Lake?”
“Arthur has Excalibur. I’m hoping that once the faeries know that Arthur and the Knights are willing to fight, we can settle things peacefully.”
Edith nodded and shot a stern look toward Tilly, who was absolutely bursting with questions about Lance and Guin.
“Up you go,” said Merlin, pulling Lance to is feet.
“Did you say you had cookies?” mumbled Lance.
“Indeed,” said Merlin.
“Everything you need will be in your room,” said Edith.
“What would I ever do without you?” he said, half carrying Lancelot from the room.
Tilly looked at Merlin, then at Edith. “Gak,” said Tilly. “Merlin has a THING for you Edith!”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” said Edith, filing some papers in red and blue folders. “He doesn’t and that’s the end of it.”
Snowball, laughed and jumped off the counter. “Hey, don’t look at me,” he said, walking past Tilly.
“Don’t you think this is weird?” asked Tilly, leaning on the counter.
“Which part?” asked Edith.
“I just saw Merlin dragging Lancelot through the hallway,” said Chicago, shuffling a deck of cards in her hands, as she walked toward the counter.
“You KNOW Lancelot?” asked Tilly.
“Sure,” said Chicago, laying down the spread. “We go way back.”
“How far back?” asked Tilly.
“We dated for awhile but he’s always been in love with Guinie.”
“You mean Arthur’s WIFE?”
“Well sure,” said Chicago, “Guin was Arthur’s wife at Camelot, but that was a different time and place.”
“But….” sputtered Tilly.
“Who’s the reading for?” asked Edith, watching Chicago study the cards.
“I’m still trying to help Sigmund but honestly, I don’t think there IS any help for him.”
“Too bad,” said Edith.
“He’s so strange,” said Tilly. “I hate the way he chews on those cigars day and night. One look at him and you can see where all of his misguided theories came from.”
Chicago and Edith laughed. “That’s the truth,” they said.
“Oh, by the way. Buddha arrived last night,” said Edith casually.