Prompt: The Narrator, running late, shows up to a story already in progress…..
I know, I’m sorry. My kid threw up all over me this morning. I had to take him to the doctor.
It’s not an excuse. It’s a valid reason.
I’m here now, aren’t I? Can we just please do this so I can go back home and take care of my sick kid?
Why can’t we start at the beginning? I’ll hurry and make sure I get done in time.
I told you it wasn’t my fault!
People are walking. The Princess is tired. Wait, are we sure she’s a Princess? Her dress is all dirty and torn. Shouldn’t she be on a horse? Fine! I said, fine.
The girl, that I’m not sure is a Princess, is tired. She’s trudging like the world is on her shoulders, and maybe it is, how would I know? At least she isn’t alone. The knight’s squire walked beside her, glancing in her direction every so often. Where the hell is the knight? No? There can’t be a squire without a knight, what would be the point in that? The boy, that I’m told is a knight’s squire, but looks suspiciously like a shepherd, walked beside her. The pair are dirty, bruised, broken, and the Princess’ hair seems to be on fire. What the hell? Her hair is on fire? Does she know her hair is on fire? Nevermind. The not-a-squire put it out. Well, if you had let me start from the beginning, then I would know if he was a real squire or not.
“Princess Olivia,” the not-a-squire said quietly trying to soothe the worried girl, Look, I told you that I’m not 100% on this whole squire thing. Maybe next time you’ll let me start at the beginning. “I’m sure that it will all work out. I know Sir Ladon tried his best. Your father will understand.”
I saw that, a mention of a knight. But honestly, from that statement, I’m going to assume he did NOT slay the dragon and with the Princess’ hair on fire, I’d say the dragon slayed him, so is he really worthy of a squire to begin with? I’m sticking with shepherd, because the kid obviously wasn’t the greatest of squires if he let his knight die.
“Ewert,” the Princess replied discouraged, “Father will not understand. Sir Ladon was my last chance at a royal wedding. He was the last knight in the kingdom worthy of a crown.”
“What about your sister?” Ewert the shepherd asked. “Can’t she marry the next king?”
“Princess Lilith ran away to become an evil sorceress.” Of course, she did. Why wouldn’t the only other heir to the throne decide to become the evil witch in this little melodrama of a story. Who wrote this thing?
“That’s too bad, Princess.” Wow, Ewert. That’s all you got, man?
The pair continued to walk in silence, toward the King’s castle, both privately regretting the happenstances that had occurred to land them in this royal mess. The sun shone brightly and the breezes blew – Man, I got to speed this along. It was a great fucking day except for the fact that the only apparent knight in the entire kingdom had just become a knight-kebob for a dragon who was probably minding his own damn business when this arrogant S.O.B. showed up trying to impress his lady love.
Skipping ahead past the useless descriptions of the grass and sky, and we arrive at the King’s castle gate.
The Royal Horns announced the arrival of the downtrodden and muddy Princess, who honestly should have had a horse at this point, but for reasons beyond my knowledge had walked the entire way home from the dragon’s lair. Olivia and Ewert were greeted firstly by her mother, the Queen.
“My darling!” The Queen gasped, “You are a downtrodden and muddy mess. We really must get you showered and changed before dinner.” What? Fine. “We really must have the maids draw you a hot bath before dinner.” I am reading the script, and it’s stupid.
“Mother,” the Princess took her travel companion by the hand. “This is Ewert, Sir Ladon’s shepherd. He hid me from the dragon while Sir Ladon was being burnt to a crispy knight-kebob.”
“Ewert the Shepherd,” the Queen curtsied before the nervous boy. “I am ever grateful for your willingness to save my youngest daughter from a certain dragon-based doom. Whatever you wish shall be yours tenfold.”
“I am very hungry, Your Majesty.” Ewert answered. “Please may I have some dinner?” Geez, Ewert, whatever you wish times ten and you’re going to ask for food? No wonder you’re only a shepherd and not a knight.
“He shall eat with us at the dining table, shan’t he, mother?” Princess Olivia, despite being downtrodden and muddy, gave Ewert the Shepherd a dazzling smile.
“So he shall, my darling daughter.” The Queen called for the late Sir Ladon’s manservants and ordered them to clean up the poor shepherd boy. “Dress him in the finest clothing that Sir Ladon’s wardrobe can produce and have him ready to sup with us in the main dining hall.”
Again, skipping ahead, the princess takes a hot shower, the shepherd steals the knight’s clothes, everyone is super hungry.
You know what? I warned you I would have to hurry this up. My babysitter only works until five and doesn’t particularly enjoy being vomited on.
The dining hall was filled to the brim with all the delicacies that the kingdom could produce. It had been prepared as a celebratory dinner for Sir Ladon in honor of his skills as a dragon-killer. Now it stood in solemn silence in his memory. Ewert the finely dressed Shepherd sat at the far end next to the freshly bathed Princess Olivia and the Queen sat at the other far end next to her husband the King. Twenty empty seats lay between the two pairs of diners.
The King, whom all the servants suspected to be senile but definitely knew to be blind, greeted Ewert the Shepherd with a loud hallo. “Ladon, my boy, it is with great honor that we raise our glasses to you for slaying the horrific beast that preyed upon our land.”
Both the Queen and Princess Olivia tried to interrupt the blind and possibly senile King, but he would have none of it. “Ladon, it is with great joy that I offer my daughter’s hand in marriage and welcome you to our family.” The King raised his glass high and then drank every last drop in it.
The now blind, possibly senile, and definitely drunk King, promptly passed out in his chair leaving the other three diners with their mouths agape. Ewert, if you know what’s good for you, keep your stupid sheep mouth shut and marry into money. For the love of god, go with it. Also, can I just add, drunk after one glass? The guy must pre-game like a boss.
The Queen gently nudged the passed-out King, and deciding that he definitely wasn’t going to awaken anytime soon, moved her utensils to the other end of the table beside her youngest daughter and the newly semi-knighted Sir Ewert the Shepherd. “My darlings, as soon as the King awakens, we will figure out this little mess of a situation that we have here. For now, let us eat and drink and then sleep. The servants are readying Sir Ladon’s room for your use, Ewert.”
“Mother,” Olivia asked, “having Ewert pose as Sir Ladon in front of father doesn’t seem to be the worst lie that we’ve ever told him, but what shall happen when the dragon returns after father mistakenly believes it to be dead?”
“Yes, that does seem to be a slight hiccup.” Slight hiccup? Slight? A huge monster is just moseying around wreaking havoc and this lady calls it a slight hiccup. “I think that we shall ignore the dragon and maybe it will mercifully stay away until another knight can be found. In the meantime, I believe wedding planning should begin as soon as possible.”
Sir Ewert the Shepherd nearly choked on his mutton. “Wedding plans, your highness?”
“Yes, Ewert.” Princess Olivia replied. “Father has decreed that we shall marry. You will be King when he passes on to the ancestors.”
Ewert! Shut up. Please, by god, please shut up. Just marry the girl. She can’t be that ugly, she’s a princess in a fairytale. Hold on, I’m just going to read ahead a bit.
Yeah, yeah. I figured you guys wouldn’t like that, but this story does drag on a bit and in case you haven’t forgotten - my sick kid.
Blah, Blah, Blah. The King’s conniving wife and daughter keep up the ruse of Sir Ewert the Shepherd-that-the-King-thinks-killed-a-dragon; wedding plans go ahead full force; the dragon does appear to be merciful; the day of the wedding approaches quickly. Here we go, the night before the big day, we pick back up with the story of our sort-of lovebirds.
Sir Ewert and Princess Olivia are walking through the gardens discussing what to do if the dragon should appear when the dragon appears. Good lord, of course it does. It couldn’t wait one more day.
The dragon appeared above the strolling couple like a huge darkening cloud that covered the entire garden. Slowly it lowered down and swirled around the two in a glittering, thick, smoky mass. Sir Ewert wrapped his arms around his betrothed in a futile attempt to shield her from the impending doom. Two things to note here, first is the fact that a huge dragon appears in an even bigger cloud of smoke and no one sees it. No one. Where are the castle guards? Seriously, my three-year-old could write a better story than this. Second, Go Ewert! My guess is that Sir Ladon wouldn’t try to protect Olivia from the dragon, especially since he dragged her along on his stupid quest to kill it. Honestly, he sounds like a pompous ass. Maybe she is better off with Sir Shepherd.
Sir Ewert and Princess Olivia watched in amazement while the dragon smoke shrunk down and began to take the form of a woman. From the midst of the woman shaped smoke, stepped Princess Lilith who ran forward and hugged her sister tightly. “Olivia, how I have missed you.” Plot twist!
“Lilith!” Olivia gasped daintily, as only a princess could. “The dragon was you the whole time?”
“Yes,” Lilith answered. “Father was going to force me to marry a prince from a far away kingdom, and I couldn’t bear to leave you behind, so I ran away to practice sorcery.” Ironically, leaving her sister behind. Does no one else see this as weird?
“Father told me that you were an evil sorceress bent on the kingdom’s destruction.”
Lilith laughed. “Of course, not. I only wanted to protect you from his senile wrath.”
“Is that why you ate Sir Ladon?” Ewert asked.
“I was trying to save my only sister from marrying a pompous ass.” Boom! I called it. One point for me.
“Be careful, Ewert the Shepherd, because if you are intending to hurt her, I will eat you too.”
“Never!” Sir Ewert exclaimed. “I would never hurt the Princess.”
“Do you love him, dear sister?” Lilith asked Olivia.
“Not yet,” Olivia was nothing if not truthful. “It is too soon to say that, but he is kind and generous and I believe that he will protect me.”
“Then I guess I will go hungry tonight.” Geez, girl. There are other things to eat besides human men. Try bacon. It’s good.
Sir Ewert suddenly had a horrible thought. “Princess Olivia, what will happen now when your father finds out that the dragon is not dead and sends me on a quest for her demise?”
Lilith laughed. From her long robes she produced a large talon. “Here, take this. It fell off when I was sharpening them only a few days ago. Give this to father as proof of my death, and I will promise to stay away from the kingdom until he passes on to the ancestors.”
Sir Ewert the Shepherd took the heavy talon with a nod.
“Thank you, my dear sister.” Princess Olivia hugged her sister again. “Please come to the wedding tomorrow, I should very much like you to be there.”
“Alas, I cannot. Father would never approve, but know that I am with you in spirit and you both are welcome in my cave anytime you wish to visit.”
Lilith hugged Ewert next. “Take care of my little sister always, and know that I am watching.”
“When I am made king, you will be welcomed back into the castle and allowed to marry whomever you wish.” Ewert promised his soon to be sister-in-law.
Skipping ahead…. Skipping ahead…
Here we go. Less than a year after the Royal Wedding, the blind, drunk, and possibly senile King was found dead in the garden from an unknown demise. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the Queen got tired of his shit and wanted to move things along. King Ewert welcomed Lilith back as promised and appointed her the Royal Vizier. The sisters were never apart again, and the kingdom flourished under the reign of the young, kind, generous, and completely sane king.
Ok. That’s a wrap for me. I’ve got to go.
Sorry. If you need a redo, then it’ll have to wait until next week when my wife gets back from her mother’s house. Or you could possibly find a better story than this piece of childish crap and maybe I’ll do a better job on that one.