Two weeks ago I had Josh Brown, one of the authors in the King of Ages anthology, contribute a guest post where he discussed the indie author movement in writing and why authors should choose to do what is right for them. Today another author in the same anthology, Alex Ness, is discussing the work that went into his own short story in that collection. Read his story, “Arthurus Rex Tempus, Rex Eternae” and twelve others when you get a copy of King of Ages: A King Arthur Anthology. Enjoy!
The tales of King Arthur have appealed to me since my earliest memories. When the publisher of KING OF AGES, Josh Brown presented his theme/concept for the book I immediately turned to the primal templates of Arthur and Merlyn. Arthur lived with the blood of a brave but iniquitous man, Uther Pendragon in his veins, and was born of a rape of the mother. Arthur was innocent, despite the perverse origins, and the one to counsel him, and announce him was Merlyn. Understanding them, as Arthur as King and Merlyn his seer are timeless and turn up through out history, and beyond, I saw them as relating to the iconic theme of John the Baptist, and Christ the King. However, I also saw them in the future, with Christ returning to earth, in the form of Arthur. But wherever there is Arthur, there is Merlyn, and wherever Christ appears, he is foretold and announced by John.
“I found Him in the shining of the stars,
I marked Him in the flowering of His fields,
But in His ways with men I find Him not.
I waged His wars, and now I pass and die.”
Idylls of the King (1856–1885) by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, The Passing of Arthur
Only the setting of an apocalyptically destroyed earth was for me the prime setting for the return of the King. Not for religious reasons, although I believe, but for the sake of purifying the setting to make the story stark by comparison. When Arthur was drained from the sins of life, and his court, his land was ruined, when he sipped of the Grail he was renewed, and so, too, was the land. I have loved the story of Arthur since I was able to read. Being a poet, a lover of Arthur and his Legend, and a Christian, I sought to tell a story that utilized all of the parts of the works I love.