The figure turned around and all Merlin saw was the bloody knife it was holding. Had he been frozen to the spot before, his survival instincts kicked in, so he turned and ran.
As he ran down the corridor again, the shadows seemed to reach out for him. The corner of his hoodie caught on a side-board and he tugged hectically at it, convinced that the cloaked figure was following him. Could it really be? A murderer inside Camelot Mansion? Merlin’s heart was beating wildly. He needed to warn the others.
Running upstairs again, Merlin was a bit out of breath. He was in good shape, but the fear and shock made his breath come out in short little puffs. “Guys! Guys!”
Instead of the voices of his friends, Merlin heard nothing, it was eerily quiet up here. Trying to listen to what was happening downstairs and finding out if he was being followed, Merlin crept closer to the open door. The TV set was still on, the movie casting the room into blue-ish light, but…
Merlin stood rooted to the spot, his mouth hanging open. The boys, his friends, they were all still in the same spots than when he had left them, but they didn’t move. Not even Charlie, Leon’s golden retriever, came over to greet him as he usually did.
Swallowing hard, Merlin crept closer. They were dead! Each and every one of them was dead! They had big wounds and there was blood all over the place! Leon had blood running down his face and Gwaine’s throat was slit open. Percy lay in a pool of blood around his head and Arthur had a horrible wound on his chest. Even Charlie was lying on his side and had blood all over his fur. Merlin’s breath caught and his eyes were filling with tears. What had happened here? Who was that cloaked and hooded person? Was the killer still inside the house? What was he about to do?
As he stared at his friends, shocked and unable to tear his eyes away, he noticed something. Charlie had moved. Charlie was still alive!
Merlin rushed over. “Don’t move, don’t move, I’ll go get a doctor.” Merlin whispered desperately. But then he noticed the dog starting to lick the blood off his fur and wagging his tail happily. “Don’t do that. Leave it alone!”
As he kneeled next to the dog and tried to make it lay still, his fingers caught some of the blood and Merlin stopped all movement. This didn’t feel like blood at all. Lifting his hand to his nose, he sniffed and finally licked at it. It tasted disgusting. A disgusting mixture of jam and ketchup! This wasn’t blood at all!
Just as he lifted his head, the guys started laughing.
“Got you!” Gwaine sat up and chuckled.
“Did you see his face?” Arthur did that full-body laugh Merlin had liked so much until now.
Percy was busy trying to get the fake blood off his face and couldn’t stop giggling.
“At least I know now who you’d rescue first.” Leon threw Charlie a look. “And you, my dead furry friend, are a traitor. I thought we’d practiced this long enough.”
Charlie ignored Leon and licked the tears off Merlin’s face and made comforting sounds.
Merlin didn’t notice any of this, he just stared at the people he once thought were his friends. This wasn’t just a prank, this had been scary as hell. “Why would you do this to me?” He couldn’t help his lower lip trembling.
But then a thought crossed his mind. “So the cloaked figure in the kitchen is part of this, too, right?”
The laughter stopped as the blokes froze in mid-motion and turned to stare at Merlin.