A behind-the-scenes look at preparations for King Arthur’s eventual return.

Various stories are told about the legendary King Vortigern, who ruled Britain a few decades before King Arthur came along. He is not a nice person in any of them.

“Vortigern” appeared in the December 2004 issue of the online magazine Ideomancer.

Read it here.

The spiders come and go. They bring me the bricks with which I build the castle. From the silk litter they leave behind on the grass, I knit a dragon. So far, all I’ve got of the castle is a shin-high parapet sketching out the footprint of the walls-to-be. And of the dragon: no more than one clawed and gnarled foreleg. By the time the castle’s finished and furnished, I hope to have the beast complete as well, a giant balloon-skin. I plan to hold it over a bonfire on top of one of the towers I’m envisioning, let the silk swell with hot air and blood-colored light.With any luck, I’ll have all this completed before the king comes back.

Crow Man