Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Adventures of Good Sir Knight

I wrote this for my final project in a class on Arthurian legend. I later reused it for a humor writing course, since it is funny.

The Adventures of Good Sir Knight

Scene I – Tommy Came a’ Courting

And so, while Arthur and his knights were prancing about the countryside searching for some sort of magic sieve, a true hero came to the court of King Kingly. Tom Troubadour, clothed in the meager garb befitting his peasant status, may have been riding on the back of the refuse cart at the time, but he still came to be there. Now he would be able to achieve his heart’s truest desire, finding a beautiful damsel with which to settle down. Ah, he could hear it now, the strum-strumming of little tiny troubadours. So off he was to court.

The smells of a rich banquet of food wafted to Tom’s nostrils. He’d have to ply his trade and sing for his supper tonight. Literally. Getting in line with the other minstrels, Tom eagerly awaited his chance to perform for King Kingly. Would he prefer a classic love poem, or a more contemporary oratory on the adventures of a knight errant? Maybe something about trees. As he was pondering, Tom’s gaze stole across the high table, coming to a standstill when they locked onto a heavenly visage. Who was this golden-tressed goddess? Why, none other than the daughter of King Kingly himself, Maid Maiden!

Tom knew they were destined to be together from the onset. How to win her over? Aha! A love poem, disguised as a declaration of generic fin amors! The harp was handed to Tom, and he went up to the troubing circle. “Ah, fair midon, my love for you burns like a thousand flaming arrows burning the heathen infidels to death. If I am not to be with you, surely I will perish a death most foul, consumed by the anguish of a love scorned. Say you will be mine and a garden, nay an entire forest, of earthly delights shall be yours!”

The crowd burst into applause, touched by the honesty and sincerity in Tom’s voice. All, save one. Maid Maiden glowered down at Tom, her icy stare chilling the very marrow of his bones. Her nose upturned, she loudly declared, “Why, I would have nothing to do with a base born wretch such as yourself. That is, if I were the lady you were referring to in your poem. I could only ever love a knight, dashing and daring, courageous and caring, faithful and friendly, with stories to share.”

Crestfallen, Tom backed away, exiting the banquet hall and leaving King Kingly’s court altogether. A prideful anger swelling inside him, Tom clenched his fists tightly. “A knight, eh? Oh I’ll give her a knight alright. I’ll give her the knight of her life!” Overhead, a squirrel sniggered at the double entendre while he played with his nuts.

Scene II – Knighty Knight Tom

While traipsing about the forest looking for adventures, Tom came across a knight. He decided that a bit of trickery would be needed in order to become a knight himself. This one looked a gullible sort. He approached Tom. “What ho, churl!” he cried. “Be you the knave that has been assaulting the local woodland creatures?” Tom stood back, mouth agape. “Churl? Knave? Such words for a fellow Christian knight fallen on hard times. I’m the victim of an evil enchantment which has left me with nothing.” The knight removed his helm, revealing his oafish visage. “Pray tell, good sir knight, what is your name?” “Why, Good Sir Knight,” responded Tom wittily. “Er, yes? I asked for your name my good fellow,” replied the knight. Tom countered, “But I gave you my name. Good Sir Knight.” The knight furrowed his brow in anger. “I will not take this mockery! Give me your name, or else we shall joust.” “I don’t know why you don’t know my name, Good Sir Knight. What is the third time I have given it to you, good sir knight,” Tom said. “Very well,” the knight sputtered. “We shall joust. Since I am a knight of honor, I will give you armor, arms, and a horse. Come! To my castle!” And with that, the two went to the knight’s home.

Tom was outfitted with the knight’s second best armor. However, being a mere troubadour, he really had no idea how to joust. Sure, he has watched the knights ride the lists in tournaments, but he had no notions of the mechanics behind it all. How could he possibly win? Tom supposed he would have to mimic the other knight as best he could.

It was time. The knight’s squire led Tom to his horse. At least I know how to ride, Tom thought. Tom and the knight faced off, galloping away and circling back around, making a beeline for each other. Tom tried to keep his spear steady, but it tilted and swirled wildly. The knight’s spear point never even wavered an inch. Tom gulped, closed his eyes, and held his breath, hoping that spears through the side didn’t hurt too much.

Suddenly, Tom felt a jarring impact and then his body was flying forward. An even harder impact occurred, and then one final thump as he fell to the ground. He struggled to his feet, only to see the knight running toward him. Tom thought frantically, we’re both unhorsed, isn’t the sword fighting next? Oh dear. But instead of a blade, the knight met him with open arms. “I say, good show old sport!” he bellowed. “What a brilliant maneuver. I’ve never seen anyone use their own body as a projectile. You’re certainly a wood knight!” Slowly, Tom began to piece together what had just happened. Apparently his horse had stumbled in a gopher hole. Tom’s flailing spear point had bit into the ground, launching him forward like a pole vaulter. His body had then struck the knight, knocking him from his steed. They both struck the ground with a resounding clanging of their armor. Tom could only marvel at his good fortune.

“Now, since we are both goodly knights, tell me your name, friend,” the knight requested. “Sir, my name really is Good Sir Knight,” Tom explained once more. “Now don’t start that again!” the knight shouted. However, recognition slowly crept across his face. “Ah! I understandeth now! That’s a fine name if ever there was one. Myself, I hight Sir Vicewithasmile. We must joust again some day, when next our paths cross.” “For sooth,” replied Tom. “As for now, I must be off. Adventures await!”

Scene III – The Damsel’s Delight

Adorned in his new knightly duds, Tom continued adventuring through the forest. He came upon a fair damsel. “What ho!” Tom cried. “Know you of any adventures to be had, fair damsel?” The damsel ran up to Tom’s horse, clutching Tom’s leg tightly. “I’m Dame Damsel, and I know where some adventures may be found. In my bedroom.” Tom raised an eyebrow, intrigued. “Thine bedchambers? What adventures could possibly be found there?” Dame Damsel batted her eyelashes seductively. “Follow me, and I shall show you.”

The two soon arrived at her manor. Stabling his horse outside, Tom followed Dame Damsel into her room. She quickly locked the door and turned to him, a ravenous look in her eyes. “Now, being a surely noble knight, you must follow my commands, yes?” Slightly nervous, Tom answered, “Well, technically, unless they go against my lady love.” Dame Damsel cackled gleefully. “Oh don’t worry, she’ll never know what goes on in here tonight.” She advanced upon Tom, a cunning predator closing in on its unwitting prey.

The next morning, Tom left Dame Damsel’s manor. “Zounds!” Tom exclaimed. “Never before have I had such a workout in an evening. That Damsel would just not let up!” Meanwhile, back in her manor, Dame Damsel laid back on her bed, a smile of contentment plastered on her face. “Ah,” she sighed. “I just love knights. They really know where to put things.” She glanced around her now spotless room, seeing how everything had been placed into its proper location. She knew the rest of the manor was equally immaculate. “Who needs servants when I can get gullible knights to clean my place for free?”

Scene IV – Hospitality Rules

Tom next came to another manor in the woods. At the entrance, he commanded the gatekeeper. “Prithee, tell thy lord and lady that Good Sir Knight is here, and wishes to discuss with them the adventures to be had in these parts.” The gatekeeper soon returned, leading Tom into the court. The lord of the manor stood up from the table, his voice booming. “Welcome Good Sir Knight! I am Lord Lordly and this is my wife Lady Ladylike. We offer you all our best foods and wines, and anything you might desire. We are honored to house such a noble knight as you, Good Sir Knight.” Tom was amazed that his fame had spread so far already. It had only been a day since he had left the court of King Kingly. Word of mouth must be quite efficient around here, he thought.

Tom sat down at the table and began to eat. Lord Lordly got up and cut his meat for him. “Here, let me do that. Knights such as you should not sully their hands with such menial work.” Lady Ladylike came and cozied up next to Tom. “Would you like me to chew your food for you Good Sir Knight? We wouldn’t want you to think that we weren’t doing everything in our power to be as hospitable as possible.” Tom politely declined. “Nay my lady, I need to keep my jaws in strong condition in case I ever need to gnaw my way out of a dire situation.”

When the meal was ended, Tom retired to the lavish quarters provided him. Lord Lordly and Lady Ladylike were not far behind. “Good Sir Knight, shall I undo the points of your trousers so that you may relieve yourself in the chamber pot?” Lord Lordly inquired. “I don’t even have my armor off yet, my lord,” Tom protested. “Please, Good Sir Knight,” pleaded Lady Ladylike. “Allow me to sleep in thy bed with thee, in case you have any needs throughout the night.” Lord Lordly winked lewdly at Tom. “And she does mean any needs, my good man.”

Despite wristwatches not having been invented yet, Tom glanced at his wrist anxiously. “Oh my, look at the time, it’s way past nones. I really must be on my way.” He rushed past the crazed nobles, grabbed his faithful steed Horsey, and rode away with nary a delay. Lord Lordly and Lady Ladylike ran after him, but could not hope to outpace Horsey’s gallop. They looked at each other, ear to ear grins on each of their countenances. “To Think, we entertained Good Sir Knight himself!” “Wait til we report this to the National Troubadour! The neighbors will be so jealous!”

Scene V – Salying the Dargon

And so Tom continued once more on his quest for adventure. He came across a tranquil forest pool, picturesquely placed in front of a cavern. Tom rankled his nose, noting an odorous stench of sulfur and brimstone in the air. Knowing that all caverns signify treasure and adventure, Tom boldly strode inside to investigate. Immediately, he noticed an increase in temperature. Could his luck really be this grand? He ventured further into the cave, hearing a whistling sound, and directing his steps in that direction.

Tom dropped to the floor as a deafening thunderclap of sound struck him. “Good Sir Knight! You are trespassing in my lair. Leave now or suffer, for I am Dargon the Dragon, and I’ve never let a knight escape my clutches alive.” Tom crept closer, an idea forming in the back of his brain. “Good Sir Knight? Nay, he merely let me borrow his armor. Me, I’m Tom Troubadour.” “A troubadour you say?” Dargon responded. “It’s been some time since I’ve heard a sound other than the screams of my victims and the crunches of their bones. Play me a song, troubadour, and perhaps I won’t devour you.”

Breaking out his troubing harp, Tom began to play, his lilting voice and melodious harmonies gently lulling the dragon to sleep. “Mighty Dargon, go to sleep, when your ears won’t hear a peep. I will slay you til you’re dead, use my sword to lop your head.” Dargon’s head slowly drifted to the cavern floor, his eyes eerily remaining open, despite his slumbering state. Tom unsheathed his sword and severed Dargon’s head from his body. Victorious, Tom decided to return to King Kingly’s court and win the hand of the fair Maid Maiden. The rest of her body would also be welcome.

Scene VI – And You Shall Know Him By the Name on His Shield

And so Tom arrived once more at the court of the good King Kingly. This time, however, he arrived not in a lowly refuse cart, but instead atop a gallant steed. No meager peasant clothes clinging to his frame, he was clad in a fine suit of armor. He rode into the court, announcing that Good Sir Knight wished to see the king. He was brought in with the utmost expediency. “Ah, Good Sir Knight!” bellowed the king. “We have heard much of your great tales of valor.” Next to King Kingly, Maid Maiden swooned. “Oh Good Sir Knight, I have much love for you. Prithee, tell me that you will have me for your wife, or at least your paramour, and I will be the happiest damsel in the land.”

“Hahaha!” Tom laughed victoriously. “Good Sir Knight is naught but a sham! It is really I, Tom Troubadour, who has won these accolades.” The court stared at him uncomprehendingly. King Kingly countered, “What jesting is this Good Sir Knight? Are you under an enchantment?” “Oh for Merlin’s sake,” Tom muttered. “Look, will you?” He removed his armor, standing before them a naked knight. Maid Maiden was the first to speak up, “I say, you’re that odd little troubadour chap who ran out of here the other day. What have you done with Good Sir Knight, knave?”

Tom shook his head sadly. “I’m surrounded by idiots.” He put his armor back on, and instantly the members of the hall brightened up. King Kingly was most joyous. “Good Sir Knight! You have returned! Some foolish churl is running around trying to impersonate you. We shan’t allow him to heave the court alive. Men, to arms!” Tom merely chuckled and grabbed his sword. He had never really wanted to be a troubadour anyway.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good point, though sometimes it's hard to arrive to definite conclusions