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Adventure Fantasy Suspense


Spring had been a whirlwind season for Judith.  Senior year in her exclusive prep school had been filled with college prep and selection details.  Debutant season had, as expected, largely featured the ever-popular Judith.  Her horse, Blaze, had required even more care as the show season was approaching and she enjoyed her training sessions with her magnificent honey-colored stallion more than other aspects of her life.  

But now, on Sunday afternoon, the day was perfect for reading.  She had found just the book, and she had cozied herself in a cushioned bay window of her room.  The book was a dusty volume from her grandfather’s library. He had mentioned it to her years ago and she had mentally made a note to read the small book.  

The story was a European tale spun from the middle ages.  It was full of kings and knights and ladies-in-waiting.  Judith found herself drawn into the story in a fashion she had not experienced in years.  The central character was a damsel of nearly her own age and her name was by some coincidence, Judith.  She was hooked.

The castle was on a critical bend in the Rhine.  Judith’s father was the Lord of the Realm.  Judith (who by coincidence was almost twenty-first century Judith’s age) was Lord Egan’s only child and sole heir to the realm.  Today Lord Egan looked worried.  “Judith, when are you going to behave appropriately for the future Lady of the Realm?

She replied, “I’m happy the way I am, father.  I act a host for your guests; don’t I?  I supervise the house staff and act as an almost co-regent.  What else should I do?

Egan had to admit that she had performed well as a surrogate lady-of-the-manor.  “As my only heir, you’ll need to be both a lady and a warrior if there is no partner for you in the immediate future.”

Judith had been considering this conversation for some time and had a response ready for Egan.  “That’s why I’ve been spending time with Roger.”

Egan was taken aback. “Roger! I never dreamed that you and Roger…  When did you and Roger…?”

“No father, Roger and I are not romantic, not at all!  He’s teaching me to be his squire.  Well, not exactly a squire for I could never officially accompany him on campaigns or into those filthy Knight’s quarters, God, No!  He’s teaching me horsemanship, weapon use including the broadsword, archery and strategy.  I couldn’t even lift a full-sized broadsword so he had Tom the Smith make one more my size.  He taught me to ride astraddle a horse with a broadsword in one hand. I’ve even got to where I can swing at a dummy while at full gallop.  He even made me muck out the stable.”

“So, Roger had you clean Blaze’s stable?”

Judith was becoming more enthralled by the small volume, but now she was enchanted by the similarity between herself and the literary Judith.  Her age, her appearance, her social station and even her beloved horse, Blaze, were all present in a tale of the middle ages. 

Egan had his own revelation for Judith.  “It appears that you’ve hidden a side of yourself from me?  Well, I have my own confession for you.”

Judith could tell by Egan’s expression that his statement would be more momentous than hers.

Egan began.  “Our success has depended on the tolls we receive from the commerce on the Rhine.  Our fortress commands the bend of the river and has served us well over the years, but that is also the problem.  Our land is coveted by Elfred.”

Elfred was the liege of a lesser property without meaningful river access.  He had always been a thorn in the side of Egan’s family.  

“He has raised an army.  He insists on a compact of our two families.  The conditions are all on his side.”

Judith was almost trembling as she asked, “What does he want?”

“He wants us as his serfs.  He wants the tolls.  He wants the castle, and he wants, well, he wants you!”

Over the next few weeks, negotiations of the two realms continued, but went nowhere.  Finally, Elfred’s army made it’s move and laid siege to Egan’s castle, Burned the crops of the villagers, drove off, stole or killed the cattle and blockaded Egan’s castle walls, allowing no passage and stopping him from collecting tolls from river traffic.

Judith knew what Elfred wanted.  He would have the castle, the income from the realm and he would have her.  Judith began making plans.  She sought out the alchemist of the realm, Mordrei.  He lived by a rundown alley within the castle walls.  The door was so small that even Judith had to stoop to enter the dwelling.  The odor of the room was both sweet and nauseating.  The smoke in the room was so thick that she took several moments for her eyes to adjust and to see the small figure at the back of the room.  She explained her situation to Mordrei and the need to have some defense against his physical and likely amorous assault.  She knew it was coming.  Mordrei had an answer, but it would rely on Judith.  "You need to stay healthy and true. ...to sting, yet not be stung. You must make a plan and see it through. If not, Elfred will get the best of you. To make a plan work, she would have to arrange a scene to her benefit and be a real actress.

As time passed, the situation at Egan’s castle became more dire.  Egan decided he needed to come to terms with Elfred.  A banquet was arranged to negotiate.  Unfortunately, there would be little to negotiate.  Elfred would dictate terms and Egan would accept. 

The banquet was laid out.  It was not up to the usual standards of the realm as they had been under siege.  Elfred came in with two knights.  With little formality, they abused the staff with lewd remarks to the serving wenches, and muddy attire fouled the linen and tapestries of the dining hall.  They would not disarm themselves, so their swords and daggers carved ugly grooves in the woodwork of the ancient banquet table.  Elfred and his company guzzled wine and spirits, helped themselves to the prime cuts of fowl and pork before being served.  Before the end of the meal, they were all sloppy and belligerent.  Finally, Elfred stood and motioned to Egan, “Now I will take my rest with your lovely daughter.”  He looked to Judith, “Show me to your quarters so I can seal our connection.”  Egan was obviously uncomfortable with this turn of events.  He had assumed that cohabitation would follow a period of posting the wedding bands and preparations.  He could not look at Judith.  With all the humiliation of the world in his face, he motioned to the wing containing Judith’s rooms.

Judith’s chamber had a heavily draped bed to ward out evening vapors, with a goose down tic for royal comfort.

Elfred clumsily entered the room.  By now he was a sloppy drunk.  He collapsed on the bed and swayed.  He slapped Judith across the face with a stinging blow and pushed her down to remove his muddy boots.  She said, “Sire, If you’re planning on bedding me, remove your dagger and broadsword.  He removed his heavy leather belt and weaponry.  And made his vulgar comment, “The sword you’ll receive, cannot be removed,”

Finally, he pulled her close to him and gave her a rough kiss.  The type kiss that is more closely associated with a violent event than affection.  After pulling herself away she said, “Kind sir, I have a surprise for you as I have anticipated this moment.”  

She pulled a small velvet covered box from beneath her shawl.  With some drama, she retrieved a large wax honey bee.  “I’ve been assured that this will sweeten our embrace.  With that she pinched the head off of the wax bee and popped it into her mouth.  Then she reached over to Elfred and embraced his head.  As they kissed, Elfred, in his altered state, assumed her amorous display was from passion.  She used her tongue to press the abdomen of the bee so forcefully that it squirted Mordrei’s concoction deeply into Elfred’s mouth.  The effect began in seconds.  Soon Elfred was unconscious on the bed. His eyes were open, as was his mouth.  His head lolled listlessly to one side with the honey-sweet fluid flowing onto the bed covers.

Judith reached over Elfred, and slapped his cheeks hard with no response.  She heard the army encamped outside the castle chanting lewd comments anticipating the violation of Elfred’s conquest.

She reached into the heavy drapes surrounding the bed and found her downsized broadsword.  “This is to preserve the realm, you filthy pig!”

One blow was sufficient to remove Elfred from his head.  She gathered the head by it’s long hair and went to the parapet. Below, Elfred’s army was gathered awaiting the triumphant and satisfied appearance of Elfred.  The diminutive lass stood quietly until she had the attention of the army below, then she held the severed head of Elfred high for them all to see.  

The army was confused without the leader and their ranks almost immediately began to thin.  Egan’s weakened and siege weary soldiers were able to forcefully encourage the others to leave.


Judith awoke and felt as comfortable and satisfied as she had in years.  After several minutes she opened her eyes expecting her comfortable twenty-first century home.  What she saw was medieval Judith’s bed chamber.  She waited for the spell to clear.  It didn’t.  Her father, Egan, was ebullient and sensitive to his daughter’s confusion.  He felt it only correct to give her the space she needed.


Six months later a fair maiden rides across vast meadows.  Her long blond hair flowing behind her as the stead with flaxen mane and a white blaze on his face flawlessly follows her every command. She now thinks very little of a confused past in a jumbled and disordered world. She wonders what spell caused the strange affectation that gave her strange memories of her past while denying her the memories of her palace childhood in this enchanted land with her father, Lord Egan. But she knew that given a choice she would not change her life for any dream of an uncertain future.   

April 09, 2021 17:06

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1 comment

Calandra Collins
12:15 Apr 16, 2021

Love it!!!


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