The food was good. Young Merlin as he is to be known had no idea what he was eating. The hermit asked if he needed more, and filled Merlin’s bowl from the black cauldron, which looked as though the food never diminished.
Sitting quite close now, Merlin watched the hermit’s bald head. When he spoke, it waved and rippled like an ocean moving towards the shore, and as if something lived within his long white beard, it moved slowly as if a soft breeze had entered the cave.
Merlin could not tell what colour his eyes were, they seemed to change depending on what he was speaking about. They held Merlin’s mind in check, his thoughts no longer running and crashing inside his mind. For the first time in his life, Merlin felt peace, a sense of belonging.
“It is good to see you here, young Merlin…”
The name felt strange and yet familiar.
“Did you dream, did the cave walls whisper their secrets to you?”
Merlin could only remember dreaming about his mother, who died giving birth to what would have been a sister. He did not answer the hermits question…