A parody of sorts
“It is most certain that I enjoy the company of another phallus every so often, but it is not a matter that I would announce to the entire kingdom!” cried Sir Casey. His laughter bellowed out like fire from the belly of a beast, and echoed throughout the tiny hall.
“Aye, but your appetite shadows us on all of our ventures. Eventually word will spread, such as the cheeks of your young companions,” burst Sir Hugh, his bushy brow rising and falling in time with his wide-mouthed laugh.
“Let them speak, for I am not bound to any wench, and do not care to be!” Sir Casey’s mail and leather shook as he laughed with his entire body. His light brown, shoulder length hair falling before his light brown eyes. as mead sloshed out of his cup and was absorbed into the wood table. He was still a young man, only in his late twenties; as was Sir Hugh, and their courageous leader Sir Kurt as well.
“Excuse me Sir, but could you keep it down? You’re scaring off all the locals!” Cried a barmaid, with long black hair that flowed like river water. She had a pointed nose, and high cheekbones, not perfect, but not completely unsatisfying.
“I’m deeply sorry Miss, won’t happen again,” said Sir Hugh, who leaned forward in his seat to gaze longingly into the barmaid’s murky green eyes. She would have to do.
“Oh…” laughed the barmaid, tucking a length of hair behind her ear, “It’s quite alright Sir-”
“Hugh. Sir Hugh,” he interrupted, reaching out to take hold of her hand and stroking the top of it gently. She giggled rather nervously, but Sir Hugh knew he had her then.
“Let’s not forget about little old me. Poor Sir Casey, silenced by a woman. Abandoned by his fellow knight, his companion, his friend! Oh dear me, what shall become of me! I shall be an old maid, alone, forgotten! The only friends I will find are those in my head.” Cried Sir Casey, closing his eyes and laying the back of his hand on his forehead in a most dramatic fashion.
“What is all this howling about, ladies?” inquired Sir Kurt as he entered the hall.
“Ladies? Sir Kurt, are you suggesting that only women are allowed to have a good laugh?” cried Sir Casey, his dramatics as flamboyant as ever. His eyes filling with jolly tears as he rose from his seat and proceeded to pranced around in a circle to increase his ridiculousness. Ever the performer, he was. Sir Kurt looked on with a smile and shook his head.
“No, no, but there should be laws against hearing your curling voice mew this late in the day!” He laughed.
“If not for I, you would never be entertained! You quite enjoy my company Sir! And someday, I will hopefully provide you with more than just such!” He blew a few kisses in Sir Kurt’s direction as he slowed his prance to a steady halt, but they were swatted away like flies on a summer’s day.
“We shall dye your cloak red as the dress of the whore of Babylon! For you fuck and mew just as she did!” Walking over to Sir Casey, Sir Kurt laughed heartily, and slapped his friend on the back as he did so. When their laughter died down, he turned to Hugh. “Will you be sleeping well tonight friend?” Sir Kurt asked him.
“Aye, well and accompanied by a fair lady I should hope!” said Sir Hugh, who had not let go of the barmaid’s hand.
“Oh sir, I am no lady…” whispered the barmaid, who looked down at the rags she wore and frowned.
“Then I shall make thee one!” said Sir Hugh, smiling brightly up at her. She looked at him then, beaming. He had her, he knew it.
“Alright, alright! Enough of this!” cried Sir Casey, who was bitter and wanting a young man to beam at him in the same fashion. He was an expert at sinking his arrow deep into the flesh of men, Sir Casey reveled in this skill, but his aim had never reached a man’s heart.
“Has my squire prepare the horses?”
“Grant is bringing them around now,” he replied, his dark skin glistening against the sunlight. His cloak matched that of the other’s, dark, and his mail of enameled scales gleamed.
“Ah good. At this rate we shall reach Nirvana by nightfall, I've heard the music there is like nothing one has ever heard before!"
"And the women are just beautiful!" said Sir Hugh, ever the enchanter of the hearts of women. His handsome countenance brought him much fortune, a fact he liked to bring up often amongst his companions. “Pray, If Nirvana be not my origin, then the gods have truly blessed me!”
"Do not forget the handsome young men as well. Legend has it that they are born of milk and wheat that shimmers gold!"
"You and your false legends Casey... You are utterly ridiculous," laughed Sir Kurt, who looked about awaiting the arrival of the horses.
"How is it that you are a knight, dear Casey?" Sir Hugh inquired comically.
"Oh you know very well!" He said with his arm extended toward the sky, as though the gods had bestowed this honored position upon him.
"Yes, but if not for Kurt's father, Prince Hendrix, where would you be?"
"Hugh, we both know he'd be strewn across a bed, with sheets of lace, surrounded by handsome young men impervious to his charm," interrupted Sir Kurt.
"Ah, you know me so well friend!" His arm finally lowered from the sky, and he brought his hand to his stomach as if to quell the laughter.
The men laughed and laughed, when finally Grant was spotted leading their horses. Cicero, Sir Kurt’s beautiful destrier, was the finest and strongest steed amongst them. His coat was black as the night sky, and he had a fire within him that mirrored that in his rider. They greeted their steeds, then mounted them, ready for their journey to continue.
By midday they reached the Township of Haze. It was a small settlement, with a few farms and a decently sized main square. The foliage seemed to be graying, and the tall Adler Buckthorn trees seemed to wilt as well. The place had a fog that rested above it that appeared almost permanent, but the men thought nothing of it upon their arrival. The clouds were turning a soft pink and purple, masking the dreariness of the land. The people were friendly enough, most had large smiles that seemed to be transfixed on their countenance, and they moved about as if they were floating tranquilly. They stopped there, planning a brief stay to water the horses and enjoy a good meal, for riding was an exhausting thing. They entered a small lodge, and were welcomed kindly enough that they did not suspect anything to be out of place.
"What a lovely little place this is," remarked Sir Casey, who wondered if there were any handsome young fellows around to keep him company for lunch.
"Aye, it seems like a calm settlement." Regarded Sir Hugh, who thought it quite dreary, but humble as he was did not say this thought aloud.
The sat near the exit, and waited to be served. The attendant that sat the bowls in front of them was a young man, with eyes that seems rather clouded, and a smile that remained plastered to his face as he proclaimed “Enjoy Sirs!” The three ignored this strange occurrence and thought it nothing more than local custom. They enjoyed their oats and herring, then began discussing their plans.
"We are so close to the Sound, I can feel it," said Sir Kurt. The promise of its possible presence in Nirvana excited him.
"Ah yes, but if we cannot find it? What is it in the first place?"
"Does it even exist?" Interjected Sir Hugh.
"I do not know what form it shall take, but I do not doubt its existence dear friends."
Sir Kurt was the more hopeful of the three, but the others respected and loved him and would follow him to the ends of the earth, so long as there were beautiful women and handsome young men along the way that is.
“Of course Kurt-” Sir Casey began to say, but then he spotted Grant floating into the lodge, with a similar smile upon his face like that of the inhabitants of the settlement. “I say, Grant! Get over here!”
Grant turned to them, his eyes a bit foggy, his body moving calmly and his feet seeming to be on the verge of dance, but thankfully dance he did not.
“What is wrong with you boy? We have been here but an hour and you come in like a damned ghost? What is wrong?” Sir Hugh said. He feared there was something larger going on than he had expected upon arrival.
“Grant, speak to us!” cried Sir Kurt. He thought of his squire’s usual presence, quiet, and his movements usually rigid.
“Evening Sirs! How lovely be this Township of Haze!” He shouted although he stood mere feet from their table.
“Grant keep it down, what is wrong with you boy?”
“Wrong? Wrong? There is nothing wrong here Sirs! I am but a humble squire in training to be a valiant Knight like you Sirs, and I am patient. Ever so patient!” He half shouted and half whispered as he spoke. His eyes were so clouded, and his speech was so unlike him. His short black hair was ruffled and scruffy, and his pale skin seemed to be yellowing. He smelled like some kind of spirit.
“Grant, pray, tell us what has happened to you? Did you take something? Are you hurt?” One of the men said, but they were all thinking it, and so they may as well have all spoke the words.
“Take? Take? I took something Sirs, something wonderful! And now the world is anew and I know my purpose! I am to be a Knight like you Sirs! Sir Grant, the bards shall sing songs of my adventures in all the realms!”
“By the gods, what is going on in this place?” cried Sir Casey.
“Tell us boy, what did you take?”
“I was watering the horses Sirs! When a man came up Sirs, and asked me if I was a Knight, and I told him, ‘No I am but a squire’ and he so replied onto me ‘I have something that could quicken thy training young squire!’ and I for all my will could not refuse Sirs! All he asked was two farthings!” Grant sung.
“Lords help him, what was it that he sold you boy?”
“Sirs, he told of magic mushrooms that would grow me two meters in height! And allow me to swing a blade such as yours Sir Kurt!”
“You fool! No such dirt could do that! What were you thinking! Where is this man, we shall see to it that he explain himself at once!” said Sir Kurt.
“Grant, what was his appearance?” asked Sir Casey.
“Sirs he had a long white beard! And wore red robes that touched the earth!” Grant described, his body seeming to be in preparation of a grand dance.
The Knights rose from their seats and headed out of the lodge. Sir Hugh in tow with Grant, who he held by the collar of his shirt. In the distance they saw a flash of red, the bearded man in the cloak. Sir Kurt ran to him, whom was walking along the road calmly, and grabbed him by the cloak.
“I say, turn around, you dirty scoundrel!”
The man turned, still in Sir Kurt’s grip. “Pray, please don’t hurt me Sir! I am but a simple business man!” He cried.
“How dare you drug my Squire? How dare you?” Sir Kurt shouted.
The other Knights and the squire arrived then, and Sir Hugh shouted: “He’s a damn mage!”
“A mage of Bloodwater!” Shouted Sir Casey.
“Then he shall die!” Shouted Sir Kurt, shoving the mage to the ground and drawing his mighty blade ‘Arturia.’ She was a straight, double-edged beauty with a single-handed cruciform hilt of black.
"Kurt Stop! Bloodwater mages are simple magicians, Lowly business men!"
"They don't possess real magic, only drugs and false potions!"
"Yes! Yes, please listen to them Sir! Pray you listen!"
"Shut your mouth you leach!" He shouted as he brought the edge of his blade up to the mage's throat, and held it there, prepared to strike at a moment’s notice. She had not been bathed in blood in quite some time.
"Sir Kurt please let the man go, I am already feeling a bit back to normal," said Grant.
Sir Kurt looked at Grant. The youth should not see such bloodshed, he thought. He removed his blade and sheathed her.
"You are a lucky Mage indeed," he said. "If you ever sell such filth to the people of this settlement again, I shall return for you, and at that time your luck will have run out.”
"Yes! Yes! I swear it! If you would like I could give you a good deal on some of my potions!” The Mage reached into his cloak. “Let’s see here: Silence, Truth, and Love- Ah! How about a vial of holy oil! It shall bring you fortune if rubbed onto the forehead. Only two farthings!” said the Mage.
“I want nothing from you rat. All of your supplies are a farce! Get out of here now!” Shouted Sir Kurt.
“Thank you Sir! Thank you! May the gods watch over your travels!" Said the Mage as he dropped to his knees in thanks.
"Enough of that! Run along, before your luck runs out sooner than expected!"
The Mage rose from the ground, mud caked on his red cloak. He turned from them and ran. Reaching into his crimson cloak, he pulled out something too small to notice from the distance, and threw it at his feet. Smoke rose from the ground and enveloped the area surrounding him as he ran through a nearby field. When the smoke cleared, the knights noticed a red heap on the ground at the edge of the forest. The damn fool had run into a tree.
“What a stupid mage!” laughed Sir Casey. The other Knights joined him in howling laughter.
"How strange for this to occur in such a small place," laughed Sir Hugh, as they turned away from the field, the whole while thinking of the time they had lost. All he wanted to think of now were the beauties that awaited in Nirvana.
"Certainly," replied Sir Casey. Also thinking of the lost time and the young men he craved to touch later that day.
All Sir Kurt could think of was the Sound. How he longed for it. His father had told him of a Legendary Knight named Sir Page of Zep, who used the Sound to bring peace and prosperity to his kingdom. His father would tell him the tale as he lay in bed waiting for sleep to take him, but he assured his son that it was no tale. Prince Hendrix believed it to be true, and so his son believed it too.
"Let us be off then," Sir Kurt said, as he took hold of Grant's shirt collar from Sir Hugh's mighty grip and lead him to the horses. "You are not yourself, not completely, and so I will tie your hands and attach the rope to Cicero's saddle. Is that clear?"
"Yes Sir," Grant said, his eyes beginning to clear a bit.
"Good. You will walk alongside us then."
"Damn this township of Haze," cursed Sir Hugh.
The Knights gathered their gear and set off in the night toward their desired destination, Grant, the squire, trailing alongside them, his feet ceasing to dance.
They stopped to make camp before dawn, as they were worn down and Grant could walk no longer. They planned to rest a few hours and by noon they'd be off. Nirvana was closer than ever, Sir Kurt could almost imagine it beyond the hill. He slept, and dreamed. He dreamed of his desire. The psaltery called to him. Its strings were ripe to be plucked by strong fingers such as his, and the music it made could bring droves of people together in praise. His hoarse voice sung the most beautiful melody. The Sound was not something to be found, but something to be made! Sir Kurt awoke with this thought and smiled. If only he could learn to play. He knew the answers lied in Nirvana.
Nirvana was dark and dreadful, but not at all in a dreary manner. The people of the land loved their gloominess and longed for nothing more. The darkness was welcomed, the damned danced in the narrow streets, and the whores dressed as widows did, but it did nothing to hinder their industry. The women’s lips were stained in various dark reds and burgundies. While the young men had long disheveled hair, some the same golden wheat as Sir Casey had aforementioned.
To Be Continued