Medieval Fairy Tale Remix
In a land where fantasy was reality, where Dragons, witches and warlocks still exist, where there was a Princess around every other corner and Knights fought for a lady's favour, there lived a King and with him his two daughters. The wife of this king had turned into an evil witch and left him after the birth of their second daughter. Everyone thought that this was highly unconventional of her as usually queens are killed by evil witches.
The elder of the two was in line to inherit her father's kingdom when he died and really she should have had scores and scores of suitors but for one little tiny winy detail – she was hideous. Her mother, in a cruel twist of nastiness (I'm surprised no one realised earlier that she was evil), had named her daughter Ug-Leah – her nickname being Ug Lee. This, it seemed, made the situation far worse and poor Ug Lee grew up in a room with no mirrors. When it came to her coming out party half the guests screamed and fled from the room. The other half spontaneously combusted with horror.
Anyway it seemed that this didn't matter so much as two years after Ug Lee's birth the Queen had another daughter who was really beautiful. This time the King made sure it was he who named the child, although he wasn't much better at coming up with names, and in the time it took him to come up with a suitable name the Queen had compensated by having a dark fairy grant the child a gift. Anyway the King finally announced the child's name. She was to be called:
Just Princess for short.
On the day this story begins the King was holding a gigantic tournament in honour of Princess' sixteenth birthday. The champion over all the land would be given her hand in marriage. Princess wasn't particularly thrilled about this but no one would listen to her. So the competition began. Jousting, sword fights, archery, wrestling, singing, welly wanging, you name it and they had a competition for it.
Knights and princes came from all over the realm to take part in this competition in the hope that they would win the fair lady's hand (and the rest of her body too of course, I don't mean that they came so they could chop off her hand and take it home, although you don't really know with some of these funny types you get nowadays).
There was also an alternative reason to this tournament, though nobody knew it. The King had a sneaky plan in mind to wed off his eldest daughter. He placed a sword in a pile of sand and declared that whomever could pull the sword from the sand would win a secret prize. This secret prize was Ug Lee. Now word leaked out that this was so. So when the King started gathering Knights up to try and pull the sword from the sand they all put on a good act and failed to pull it out, one even going so far as to fall to the floor crying about a broken arm. The King sighed despondently. He would never marry off his daughter at this rate.
Now there was a particularly vain and arrogant Knight at this contest named Sir looks-in-the-mirror-a-lot. He was the best at everything and didn't he know it. Now it just so happened that after going around single handily beating every person in sight, sometimes two at a time, he happened to pass the Sword in the Sand. Seeing the next knight feebly struggling to lift the sword he snorted and marched up, pushing the other contestants out the way.
"I'll show you how it's done," he declared and without further ado, ignoring the stuttered warnings of his fellow knights, pulled the sword from the sand.
The King clapped his hands together in glee.
"Congratulations!" he declared. "You have won! This will go down in the history books."
"Very well," Sir looks-in-the-mirror-a-lot shrugged, "but if so make it a stone I pulled the sword out rather than sand – that sounds more heroic - oh and refer to me as Arthur. That's my first name. I rather like it."
"Don't you want to know what the prize was?" the King asked eagerly.
"What?" the knight asked suddenly suspicious.
"My daughter's hand in marriage!" the King announced.
Sir looks-in-the-mirror-a-lot sighed with relief. He'd thought it was something worse.
"So I am to marry Princess Princess am I? Very well."
"Oh no," the King grinned, "you are to marry Princess Ug-Lee."
Sir looks-in-the-mirror-a-lot didn't know what to say. Literally. His mouth went dry and his mind went blank (not that he was thinking about much in the first place). I mean, how do you tell the king that you don't want to marry his daughter because she looks like a cross between an ogre and a troll? He hadn't actually seen her of course but he'd heard the ballads.
"Here she is." The King announced. "Your new wife."
Sir looks-in-the-mirror-a-lot turned around and fainted dead away.
Ug-Lee sighed, "They always do that. It's because I'm so beautiful. It just bowls them over."
"That's right my dear," the king replied, thinking as he did so that he couldn't understand how he had created anything so hideous and with a big ego to boot.
"I shall go prepare for the wedding," Ug-Lee said and flounced off, looking like a frog.
Sir looks-in-the-mirror-a-lot slowly gained consciousness.
"What happened?" he groaned.
"You, my lucky lad, are to marry Ug-Lee!"
When he heard this Sir looks-in-the-mirror-a-lot lost all will to live and wished he'd stayed unconscious.
"Someone kill me," he muttered despairingly and dragged himself off looking like a man condemned.
The rest of the contest was back underway again, now that Sir looks-in-the-mirror-a-lot was out of the running. Among the hopefuls was Prince Bob, a young and decidedly puny prince from the castle across the road. Naturally he didn't stand any chance against the larger knights but he didn't really want to as he was a bit of a coward and the only motivation he had for entering the contest was the runners up prize which was a years supply of 'Easy Knights' sleeping pills as he didn't sleep well due to worrying that the Griffin would get him (even though everyone knew that Sally was a friendly Griffin and couldn't hurt a fly) or that a Sphinx might eat him – even though everyone knew that Sphinx were mythical creatures and didn't really exist.
Anyway, he was cowering behind the hotdog stand when it happened. There was a scream from the tower that sounded like Princess. A few moments later a black shape rose into the air. The Dragon roared and flew as fast as it could away from the castle, with Princess clinging to its back.
"THE DRAGON HAS KIDNAPPED THE PRINCESS!!" The cry went up across the camp.
Everyone immediately started shouting and running around like headless chickens, except the headless chickens who sat very still in a little group and discussed things like the weather. How they do this without mouths is something the philosophers are trying to figure out.
Anyway, the contest had now become not about who would marry Princess but who was the most worthy to go and rescue her from the dragon…and then marry her.
The king was desperately trying to get the attention of the group when a dude dressed in a Hawaiian shirt, shorts and sandals, with long shoulder length blonde stomped moodily onto the stage.
This knight was, unbeknown to everyone gathered, the dark knight who was determined to take over the kingdom. He was, however, miffed because he'd set up this whole elaborate way to announce himself and his intentions, involving fireworks and a high tech PA system but it had all been ruined by Princess being kidnapped because everyone had ignored him.
"All right you bunch of smelly clanking idiots!" His voice was deep and booming and didn't match his appearance.
"Who the heck are you?" someone in the crowd called.
"I am the Dark Knight! And you should all tremble in fear!"
"Why? Because you have such bad dress sense?"
"Yeah, you don't look much like a dark knight, more like a sunny day!"
The Dark Knight flushed in annoyance, "I'm undercover idiots!"
"My name," he snarled, "is Flower."
The assembly fell silent.
"'Tis a mighty fearsome name," someone whispered.
"Ay. I wish I had not mocked him now," their companion whispered back.
"I challenge your best knight to battle! If I should win then the castle is mine!"
The King ran off the stage in a flap, "Someone find Sir looks-in-the-mirror-a-lot!"
He was just about to look in the fun house (with the hall of mirrors) when he tripped over a small body.
Picking himself up the King peered at the bundle to find it was Prince Bob from the castle across the road.
"What are you doing down there lad?" he asked.
"I'm 'iding from the dragon!" he whined in reply.
It was at this point the King remembered that Princess had been kidnapped and he let loose a stream of profanities.
"Well I can't be sparing any knights to go looking for her now!" he exclaimed. "I know! Bob. You are to rescue Princess."
"What!?!?" Bob protested.
"Get ye gone boy!" the King snapped, reverting back into ye olde language, which showed he was agitated. "Elst I throw these Jaffa cakes at you!"
Bob yelped and scuttled off.
"And if you don't come back I'll send the Griffin and Sphinx after you!" The king yelled after him.
In the meantime Sir looks-in-the-mirror-a-lot had been found wandering around the fair ground in a daze. When told that he had to fight the fearsome dark Knight Flower he had grunted. Those talking to him gave him credit for being so unconcerned – but in reality he just hadn't registered what they'd said as more disastrous than having to marry Princess Ug-Lee. The fans and supporters, and those who just didn't want to fight Flower themselves, pushed Sir looks-in-the-mirror-a-lot into the armoury tent, which was pitch black and had not a single window, much against the health and safety laws. Anyway Sir looks-in-the-mirror-a-lot pulled on a suit of armour without thinking and dragged himself into the duelling arena, climbed onto the nearest horse and trotted in, just as Flower entered.
The people cheered the White Knight and booed the Black one appropriately as custom demanded. Vendors walked through the crowds selling Flower and Sir looks-in-the-mirror-a-lot bobbleheads and tossing barbequed Griffin wings and cups of mead to the onlookers. The bookies were keeping odds and taking bets illegally in the shady corners. Everyone expected a long suspense filled battle with Sir looks-in-the-mirror-a-lot emerging the victor after possibly receiving a grievous wound but bouncing back to take down the forces of evil. There were no TVs around you see, and you probably would've got burned alive for asking where one was. This was all due to the great TV takeover of last century where the TVs attempted to take over the world and they were only beaten when a band of knights went on the quest for the Holy Remote that, when found, switched off all the TVs in the kingdom and won the war. Therefore, even asking after a TV resulted in a charge of treason.
Anyway, due to the whole lack of television these big fights were the highlight of an otherwise boring existence, books having been outlawed the decade before for making people think too much. The crowd was disappointed however as the bell had barely gone to signal the start of the round before the Black Knight fell, the White Knight having slew him with vicious efficiency. There was a dissatisfied silence for a few moments before the crowd began to give a half-hearted cheer. At this point the White Knight pulled off his helmet to reveal Flower. The cheers stopped abruptly, followed by a whisper that swept through the stadium, mostly consisting of "WHAT!!!"
Flower sneered at the masses.
"You guys are all totally stupid! Firstly, why shouldn't I wear white armour? What's the problem? Just because I don't want to conform to your stupid standards. Secondly, I fail to see the point in sending out a knight to fight me who has lost the will to live. That's just moronic. Anyway, I've won. Hand over the castle!"
"Never fool!" replied the king who had retreated inside the fortress. He poked his head over the battlements and blobbed his tongue out at his enemy. "Nah nah."
"That's not very sportsman like!" Flower yelled up at him.
"Do I look like I care?" the king yelled back and did a little victory, in your face, dance.
"Oh that's it! You are so under siege!"