Punishment and Dragons by Hyle Bathurst

Merlin has been a naughty wizard and is sent to time out in the Void!

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9 months ago

Amazing, this was excellent – a punishment like that. Lucky he ended up with a companion. I’d like to see the story of these two figuring a way out, and then taking it to their captors. Great characters and nicely done. I especially like the idea of these incompetent knights that always need someone making them look good.

anjum wasim dar
9 months ago

interesting , woven through fantasy expectations and expected outcomes.Enjoyed the story, more can be added

9 months ago

Hey Hyle, this is more cool writing. I really like the details you salt your story with (dragon scat killed me and Arthur’s described incompetence is too funny for words) . I must ask about the line “She pushed herself up glaring around the room.” It confused me a bit, as I had the impression that Merlin was walking though a wasteland till he came up against some kind of magical wall? All will be resolved in the novel length version, I am hoping. Regards, Seyi

9 months ago
Reply to  Hyle Bathurst

Hi again Hyle and for what it is worth, I think the wall works really well. The sentence “Days, weeks or years later, I found the wall. Slammed right into it and nearly broke my damn nose. I groaned and sat against it, feeling the vibrations of strong magic against my back” is GREAT,. I particularly like the way you set this sentence apart, standing in a paragraph by itself. When you work on this again, I hope you will keep this in mind. Easy to work around the “room” problem I think, but that wall helps define the boundaries of Merlin’s and the fierce lady’s prison. I can’t wait to see how they find their way around, under, over or through it. All the best and regards, Seyi

maria delaney
9 months ago

Hi Hyle,

So clever! I adore the satire in the piece. I tried to imagine being in prison for killing a dragon. This line:
and it left its stinking scat everywhere! It took days to shovel that crap off the roads!”
Thanks for making me smile!

9 months ago

That was fantastic! “You have been banned from existence” is the best hook I have read in a long time, I immediately needed to know what was going on. I’m also going to need more, like a novella at least.

Jes Brimer
9 months ago

Killing dragons is a crime lol. Loved it! I like the humor and Merlin’s attitude. Great read, as always!

Amrita Sarkar
9 months ago

Hi Hyle,
Fantasy comedy is more or less a virgin territory for me and I have not read many stories which deal with this genre. I really thank you for that! Your story was humourous and also it kind of deconstructed the popular myth surrounding the Knights of the Round Table (I am guessing that’s who the MC is referring to when says, “I told you I was sorry! The knights were completely useless.”). I was in splits throughout the story, especially, when I read these lines – “They didn’t seem to understand the young king was a blonde-haired, blue-eyed dunce who couldn’t figure out how to pull a magic sword out of its scabbard, let alone fight a dragon. The coward hid behind me the entire fight.”

I am just a little confused about two things (it’s quite possible that these might come across as stupid questions ?). In these lines, “I wouldn’t apologize for fixing Auther’s messes and feeding an entire continent fresh meat” is he purposely misspelling Arthur’s name? As in, mocking his protege? The second thing is when the woman lands before him, and says she killed a dragon – so basically both of them have been given the same punishment for the same crime, is that right? I know I might be sounding silly, but please enlighten me. ? Loved the story! Thanks for sharing!

Elaine Dodge
9 months ago

Hyle! This was fabulous! Loved it. Missed the necessary comma so at first I thought the note was signed by Merlin. Probably because I thought the narrator was a woman. These lines seemed a tad odd:
“Been nursing those toddling knights for two decades. I deserve some downtime.” I lifted my head up. “You hear that ya boogey eating fairies? I want to be left alone!”
Merlin’s been alone for ‘Days, weeks or years’ already in the punishment when he says this. Small point but it did strike me as odd.
Otherwise, well done. really, really enjoyed it!

Debbie Gravett
8 months ago

Loved this Hyle. That first line was excellent bait. Your tale was fantastic and I loved the unexpected twist of Merlin and Arthur and the knights. Thanks for the pockets of laughter, they were priceless.

Very intrigued by his ‘cell’ mate.

Look forward to reading more.
Well done.