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The Curse of King Arthur

Chapter 3: Driving Me Crazy

"King Arthur... You're saying that I'm King Arthur?" I ask after a few minutes of silence, trying to wrap my head around the bomb that was dropped on me.

"Well... yes and no. You are not Arthur, per say. Reincarnation would be the proper term for what you are," Nimue explains, but to be honest, I’m only half-listening at this point.

"So, let me see if I got this straight. I’m King Arthur. The same Arthur who pulled the sword from the stone and was the king of Britain and all that junk. That Arthur, right?” Nimue gives a hesitative nod yes. "And you're the Lady of the Lake; the woman who gave Excalibur to Arthur. Is that, right?”

Nimue hesitates for a moment longer before nodding again. “Yes… that is more or less the story.” Huh… at least that explains the gown… Looking down at her, I finally notice the green, medieval-style dress Nimue has on.

“Augustine, are you alright?” Nimue asks worriedly after I stay silent for a few moments.

“Huh!?” I exclaim, snapping out of my thoughts. “Yeah, I’m good, I’m good. Just trying to wrap my head around this…revelation.” I give a small chuckle. “Not every day you find out that you’re the ‘reincarnation’ of a King.” Another chuckle escapes my lips and before long, I’m full-blown laughing as the situation truly hits me.

Nimue just looks at me like I’ve grown two heads, which causes my laughter to get worse. “Augustine, why in the world are you laughing right now? I do not see anything funny.”

“Trust me, nothing is funny about this!” I exclaim in between laughs. “It’s just, I always knew that I was at risk for a mental breakdown. It runs in my family for heaven sakes, but I’m proud and little in awe at what I actually hallucinated!”

“But, Augustine, you are not-”

“I mean…” I continue, cutting Nimue off. “…I will admit, most guys my age would have dreamed up a girl who looked like you, but for me to hallucinate you with actual clothes on. I have to say, I am impressed with my maturity…”


“…And imagining myself as the reincarnation of King Arthur, mind-blowing! If I have to lose my mind, this is the way to do it!”


I place a hand on Nimue shoulder, not questioning that I can touch her. It’s a hallucination, anything can happen. “Nimue- Oops, I mean ‘Lady of the Lake, I wish I could say it was nice meeting you, but I would be lying.” I move away from her and grab some clothes. “I’m going to go and get dress, before enjoying my last day of school because afterwards, I’m going to call Gran and tell her I was lying earlier.” I go and open my door and head down the hall with a backwards wave. “I don’t know if hallucinations eat or not, but help yourself to anything the fridge!”

"Augustine, stop! You are not listening, you are not hallucinating!” Nimue yells, but I muffle her words with a shut of the bathroom door.

Stepping into the shower and letting the hot water hit me, I let my mind wander to the revelation of the day. Never thought that I would snap one day. I always knew that it was a real possibility that it could happen, but you never think… Well, at least I’m only dealing with one person in my head, not sixteen or going psycho at my prom… I lift my face and let the water hit it. Maybe I’ll get a padded cell all my… What’s that?

A rattling sound rings out above me as the water stops. “What the…?” I ask softly as I inspect the showerhead, wondering what causing it to stop. I tap the head a little and before I can do anything else, a rain of ice shards starts shooting out at me.

"Ow, ow... got damn it, stop!" I yell out as I put up an arm to shield from the rain of ice before using my free hand to reach out and turn off the water.

Luckily, that seems to do the trick, as the ice storm stops. I breathe out sigh of relief as I lower my arms. "That was a close one…” I sigh out as I open the shower curtain, but a sound behind me rings out, louder than the last one. “Now what!?” As if answering my question, the showerhead explodes with ice, showing me with it. “What the hell is going on!” I rip the shower curtain down to shield myself from the torrent of ice.

"I told you this was not a hallucination," A familiar voice answers. No… I lift my shielding up a little and peek out and of course, standing there is my ‘favorite’ person, but unlike how I saw her a few moments ago, a light blue aura surrounds her. Her violet eyes, now the same blue as the aura. "I told you, you were not hallucinating," Nimue repeats sweetly, but a slight edge creeps into her voice, making her almost…menacing.

I can’t help but stare before barreling past her, not even caring that I’m butt naked. This isn’t happening… This isn’t happening… This isn’t happening! I quickly close the door behind me and throw on my clothes before throwing my door open again and barrel past Nimue again, not carrying if I knock her down.

"Augustine, come back!” Nimue yells from behind. I risk a peek behind my shoulder just in time to see the aura fade from around her.

"This isn't happening, this isn't happening, this isn't happening...!" I repeat as I grab my bag and race out the door, tripping on the stairs on my way out and falling to the ground.

“Oh, are you alright?” Nimue asks as she races to my side, but I quickly scramble up before she can touch me.

“Get away from me!” I yell before sprinting off into the park.

“Augustine, wait!” Nimue yells, but I ignore her and just pick up my speed. She continues yelling, but her voice gets further and further away until I’m out of earshot. I continue running for a few minutes until I reach the front of my school. Huh…looks like going crazy has it upsides… I can’t remember the last time that I was early for school.

I race by the few people hanging out in front and hide behind a set of stairs leading in into one of the side entrances of the school. Partly to catch my breath and the other part to hide from Nimue.

After a few moments, the panic in my mind and heart starts to die down and I finally risk it and look around the steps to see if the little imp followed me. Unfortunately, I’m so absorb in looking for Nimue, I don’t notice someone behind me until I feel a tap on my shoulder, causing me to yelp and fall back on the steps.

“Wow,” The figure breathes out in surprise. “Blaine was right, you are jumpy.”

It takes a few seconds before my fear-riddled brain finally realize who’s in front of me as I breathe out a sigh of relief. “Dang it, Reagan… You almost gave me a freaking heart attack…”

“Sorry, didn’t think you were going to react like that,” Reagan apologizes, brushing some of her copper-red hair out of her blue yes. A bright smile is on her lips, but it soon turns into shock. “Austin, what happened to you!?” My blood runs cold from her words as I look down, trying to see if there’s any sign I’ve lost my mind, but instead, Reagan lightly touches my face. “Your face is bleeding.” She holds up her hand, which indeed does have blood on it.

I touch the spot gingerly, thinking back to when I fell. “Oh...I tripped on my way here.”

“Really? That must have been a nasty fall, because your whole cheek is scrapped up.”

“Yeah...” I uneasily say, groping for an excuse. “Mrs. Fitzgerald out...”

“Buster did all this?” The skepticism is clear in her voice.

“Well, next time a freaking dog is chasing me, I’ll make sure to stand my ground,” I snap, my patience running out.

Reagan jumps in surprise from my tone, not expecting that reaction. “Alright, I hear you. I was just surprised that a little dog did that much damage. Sorry I asked.” She starts to walk away, but before she can move, I grab her arm.

“Rea, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to snap like that. It’s just been a stressful morning and I took it out on you. Please, forgive me.” I give a small pout for emphasizes, putting on my best puppy dog look.

Reagan stares at me for a few moments before a sly smile breaks out. “You’re lucky I’m a sucker for a Cavalier pout, otherwise you would be in trouble.”

“Thank Heaven for my family’s good looks then.”

That earns me a chuckle before Reagan reaches back into her bag. “Before I forget...” She pulls out and hands me a familiar folder. “ are your notes back. Thought I better give this back before you had Blaine, guilt trip me again.”

“If it helps, I didn’t ask nor want him to guilt trip you,” I chuckle out as I place the notes back in my bag. “I just want to be able to pass at least one of my classes.”

“You know, if you didn’t fall asleep in class, you would pass more than one.”

“Need I remind you that I get a higher grade than you in most of our classes,” I deadpanly state. “And should you really be lecturing me, Reagan? Seeing how you ditched school last semester to go to an autograph signing.”

“My dear, Austin. Have you ever heard of the saying ‘Do as I say, not as I’? It means should listen to those who are much older...”

“You’re only six months older...”

“...and wiser than you. And I was not lecturing; I was merely stating a fact...besides...” Another sly smile appears as she gives me a knowing look. “Last I check, you had a wife to lecture you. Katie told me she laid into yesterday. I didn’t ask what position you-”

“Isn’t it a little too early for dirty jokes, Reagan?” I ask, fighting the blush coming up.

“It’s never too early for that. You’ve pointed that out before.”

She has a point... But like hell am I giving her that. “You do know I’m not above snitching on you to her.”

Reagan holds her hands up in defeat. “Fine, spoilsport, you win. I swear, both of you are killjoys...”

“What do you mean?” I ask, curious about her meaning.

“I asked Kate yesterday, if she gave you the riot act and she said that she did, but her answer” A frown appears on Reagan’s face as she looks down a little. “It was strange... I asked her what was up-”

I feel the color drain from the face, the more Reagan speaks. “She didn’t say what was bothering her, did she?”

Reagan looks over at me in confusion. “No... she said that she was just worried about you, because McKinney would be on your case now...” She drags out until a small gap escapes her lips and she grabs my biceps. “You confessed to her! That’s why she was acting squirrely and why you look like you’re about to have a panic attack!”

“I... I… that’s not it!” I yell as I feel my face on fire now. “I didn’t confess to her!”

“It’s nothing to be embarrassed about, Austin. She didn’t reject you; she’s probably just in shock, that’s probably why she didn’t say anything, that’s all.”


She gives my arms a squeeze before letting go. “Don’t worry, I’ll help you through this so you’re not a complete idiot through this.” She heads for the steps before facing me again. “Love always win!” That earns us a few stares from the few people lingering around, but this isn’t the first time Reagan has declared something on the steps, so they soon go on about their own lives.

Seeing how this day couldn’t get weirder, I decide to ask a dreaded question. “Hey, Rea!” I call out, stopping her at the door to the school. She turns and looks down at me. “You didn’t happen to see a girl around our age, with light brown hair and violet eyes following behind me, did you?” I know Nimue said that only people hailing from her land could see her, but no harm in asking.

“Really? You shouldn’t be wondering about other girls when you’re trying to get with the love of your life. Have you no shame, Augustine?”

“But, I… Reagan…please...humor me?”

Reagan lets out an impatient sigh before fixing me with a glare. “No, there was no girl following you when I saw you running here. Now, if you excuse me.” With that, she heads in the school and I let out a long sigh. That’s good… At least it seems I’ve lost her for…

“There you are!” A familiar voice exclaims, causing me to tense. Looking over my shoulder, spot Nimue running my way; waving a hand and yelling out my name. This can’t be happening! I mentally yell as I run as fast as I can into the building.


By the time I reach Spanish, I look like the poster boy for a nervous breakdown. Ever since my run-in with Nimue outside of the school, I’ve been bracing myself for her inevitable popup again, which luckily, hasn’t happened yet.

I take a glance and spot Senora Rosa going through with lesson, while the rest of class takes notes. Normally, even though I know a fair amount of Spanish and I only really took this class for an easy A, it’s one of the few classes that I pay attention in, but with my unwanted guest lurking around, I can’t seem to focus. So instead, I place my head on my hand and gaze out the window.

"You know…” A familiarly, annoying voice begins. It takes all my willpower not to react, but I do glance over my shoulder and spot the last person that I want to see, standing next to me. “…you should really pay attention in class, Augustine. Education is very important.”

"You know, you should really not stalk people!” I whisper out harshly. That earns me a side glance from Blaine, who’s sitting next to me and judging from the way her shoulders hunched in front of me, Reagan heard my tone too, but since neither are confronting me, I take it that they didn’t hear me.

“I am not stalking you, Augustine,” Nimue scoffs as moves in front of me.

“Really? Because it seems that way to me…” I mumble out, looking more towards the window, so I won’t be overheard. “You’ve made your point, I’m crazy, happy now? So, take the hint and leave…”

“How many times do I have to tell, I am not a figment of your imagination!” Nimue exclaims. Judging from the lack of looks this way, her ‘only people from her land can see her’ thing is still going strong. If only I could blissfully ignorant to her presence as well.

Nimue snaps a finger in front of me, drawing my attention back to her, unfortunately… “Augustine, are you listening!?”

“No, I thought I made it very clear that I am actively ignoring you!” I harshly whisper out, drawing a few more eyes over, but with my growing anger, I’m starting not to care.

“You do not get it! Your life is in danger. There is someone very dangerous after you and you are unprepared to face her. You need my assistance if you are to stand any chance against her, but I need you to trust me.”

I can feel the ugly smirk forming on my lips as I finally lock my eyes onto her. “Oh, really? Just need a little faith, trust and pixie dust and it will make everything magically ok?”

Something pokes my side and I spot Blaine, poking me with his pencil. A concerned look on his face. “What are you doing?” He mouths. “Who are you talking to?”

“No one, it’s-” I start to mouth back, but Nimue enters my line of sight again, cutting me off.

“This is not a joke, Augustine!” Nimue exclaims, the anger clear in her voice. “You need to…”

“Stop talking…” I grit out through my teeth.

“Why do you want me to stop talking?” Blaine whispers, mixing in with Nimue’s rambling.

“…stop joking around and get serious…”

“Stop talking…” I repeat, burying my head in my arms to try and block them out.

“What in the world is going on back there?” I hear Reagan ask.

“…do you not care that your life is in danger? You would think that would cause you to take a more serious-”

“STOP TALKING!” I yell out, shooting up from my seat, causing it to fall. The whole room goes silent as I feel every eye, locked onto me now.

After what seems like a lifetime, a voice breaks through the silence, drawing the class attention. “Austin,” Senora Rosa begins, looking over at me. A stern, but concerned look in her eyes. “Is there something you would like to share with the class?”

“I…” The words lock in my mouth as I feel everyone’s eyes burning holes in me and suddenly, it feels like the whole room is collapsing on me and there’s no room to breathe. I have to get out… “Senora Rosa…” I finally say after a few moments. “…may I go to the Nurse’s Office?” The hesitation is clear on her face, but I need to get out of here. “Please, Senora?”

“…Ok, you may go,” She finally answers, waving me up to the front. I can see Blaine and Reagan from the corner of my eye, start to get up with me, but I wave them back down. The last thing I want is them to witness my freak-out…well, anymore of my freak-out…

Senora Rose gives me my Nurses note and it takes everything I have, not to sprint out of the room, but as soon as I’m over the threshold, I quickly run down the hall and out of the school doors. I don’t stop running until I hit a cluster of trees and almost collapse on one of them in exhaustion.

I stay there for a few minutes or hours, I don’t know, until my heartrate and breathing return to normal and that’s when I hear the footsteps behind me. Three guesses who that could be…

“Are you alright?” Nimue hesitantly asks, her previous anger gone from her voice.

“Do I look alright?” I spit out before looking over at her. “Why can’t you just leave me alone?”

“I cannot do that, Augustine…” I let out a long moan at that. “You are in danger and you need protection. That is all I am trying to do.” Her words trigger something inside of me and I can’t help the explosion from coming out.

“I don’t care!” I yell out, jumping to my feet. “I don’t care if Jack the Ripper, Barney or Hannibal Lecter was after me, it is not your job to protect me nor do I want it! All I want is for you to leave me alone and have this damn nightmare end!”

“There’s no need to yell,” A voice behind states. A strange chill goes down my spine as the I hear the person come closer. “If you wanted this nightmare to end…all you had to do was ask…”

Submitted: May 01, 2014

© Copyright 2020 Jack Phinney Writes. All rights reserved.


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