August 13, 2018

Hot August (K)Nights
by Dan Mulhollen (short, PG-13)
Cover image.
Image credit: Netherlandish. More info.

Are you ever ready for something like this?

~~~

Sir Gregory was noted for his ripped torso and his sage wisdom. He was a hot, august knight. His father, Sir Ivan was known for his dour mood and fits of temper. As it has been suggested, he was a dark and stormy knight. Sir Gregory's mother, Lady Priscilla was a gracious and polite woman. As Sir Humphrey of Bogart put it, she was a classy dame.

They lived in the ruins of the once magnificent Castle Kingrook, badly damaged during the Great War of 1145 (or was it 1299 ... or maybe 1347? -- the history is rather vague.). The castle was a fixer-upper, as Sir Ivan put it. A crumbling heap of scrap, as his wife gently put it.

The project proved too much for Sir Ivan when, in a fit of manly ego, attempting to lift a way-too-heavy boulder, his testicles quite unexpectedly shot out of his scrotum, killing one worker and blinding another. He died cursing and yelling "You all say I'm nuts? Find them!"

Lady Priscilla died that same evening, it is said, laughing herself into a cardiac arrest.

So at the tender age of 43, Sir Gregory found himself an orphan, albeit a still hot and august one -- and if it seems unseemly for a humble scribe, such as I, to consider his lord "hot", you must remember, I've seen him in the royal shower -- have you?

Sir Gregory eventually decided to finish his father's ambition and restore the ruin. This took over 4000 men and enough gold to choke a ten-ton horse -- a now-extinct species, known to then exist on Massive Dungheap Island in the Malodorous Sea.

Of course, Sir Gregory had an ulterior motive for his project. Lady Carlotta Alotta was the fairest maiden in the realm. A virgin at 19 -- a rarity in those (and most) parts -- she was also well-educated, able to converse in five languages (and have vulgar arguments in five more.) She was, as people said back then -- but nobody today has the slightest idea what it means -- a comely lass.

The restored palace had a magnificent dining hall, and was very well-lit, unlike the gloomy lighting shown in most medieval miniseries. It also boasted a dozen guest rooms, one for one especial honored guest per month. Any more would be considered gauche; however some of the ladies objected to being referred to by their room designation -- Miss January, Miss February, and so on.

The Master Suite had offices for both the Lord and Lady, two privies for each -- depending on the bodily function involved. Lady Carlotta also had a private privy which was never discussed in public, useful for a few days once a month. There were three bed chambers; one for the Lord, one for the Lady, plus a "Progeny Room" for expanding the family, or at least, attempting to do so -- which they attempted with tumultuous frequency.

Eventually, and after many frenzied attempts, offspring sprung out. Twins boys boy, Wolfram, who grew to the advanced age of 98. He was known as the endless Knight. The second, by about twenty-five minutes, Thurston, a taciturn man who soon tired of the whole knightly business and retired to a monastery. Yes, he was a silent knight and a holy knight.

But Sir Gregory had made some enemies along the way, as men with wealth, power, prestige, and a very attractive wife are prone to do. Many objected to his elite prestige and sought his downfall. Many a sleepless knight plotted in the wee hours of the pre-dawn. It finally fell on Sir Payne of Plac sur Iasis to do the dastardly deed. He was a pitiless Knight who would stab a man in the heart as quickly as a fisherman would stab a trout in the heart (although that might be an old fish story).

So Sir Gregory died a swift, only mildly shocking, death. Sir Payne became a pariah for his part in the killing and was forever after known as a bloody awful knight.

Sir Gregory's sons got their revenge, capturing their father's murderer and hanging him by the neck until he was dead, and then they added a month to the hanging, for good measure and so the crows could have a good meal.

The two noble brothers, along with their mother, were honored at Camelot, rewarded by King Arthur himself. They were admired by Camelot's many ladies in waiting (who would not have to wait too long). The widow Carlotta was wooed by Sir Lamorak, Sir Gaheris, and Sir Geraint (admittedly lesser Knights but the better known names were all off searching for the Holy Grail). So Sir Gregory's sons, and his widow spent a long while at Camelot. And there were many merry nights of the Round Table.







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Article © Dan Mulhollen. All rights reserved.


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