Friendship Sad Bedtime

Once upon a very long time ago, a very good but very mad macho king, with his beautiful queen, had a son. The son went full term, but at the popping-out time, weighed only 2 pounds, and 2 and one-quarter ounces.

 The king immediately decided against circumcision, because of the weight factor, his son needed that quarter ounce. It was bad enough his kingdom was the smallest kingdom that ever existed, but he now had a son that seemed to be tailor-made to eventually rule it. 

The king, had upon witnessing this tiny morsel of humanity, had a royal fit. The fit took the manifestation of 3 days storming around the castle breathing imprecations and other curses at the gods, whilst flailing his fists at everything he could see around him. 

Abruptly, as exhaustion took hold of him, he fell into a death-like trance that lasted 2 more days. He was left undisturbed! 

During the king’s tantrum, the few knights of this little realm absented themselves to dragon slaying and damsel rescuing duties. As usual, leaving the women to clean up and face the impending crap-storm that everyone knew was coming.  

Upon recovery, the king’s own macho inclinations took on a heroic escalation of activities, he forced himself to spend more and more time in knightly type pursuits which developed his machismo even further, with correspondingly less and less time at the once vigorous and rambunctious nightly couplings. Certainly, none with the queen of this realm.

The king’s humiliation to what he discerned as punishment from the gods because of some perceived slight, or reprehensible deed committed by him, was complete. He had been given a troll and a small troll at that.

“This is not my son!”

He didn’t directly accuse his good queen of consorting with other powers, but that was due to masterly restraint exercised on his part. He wisely thought of the ramifications that would ensue from this posture.

Even the Viagra type potions dispensed by the royal crone, failed to make him ‘salute’ the royal ‘bearded clam,’ even when he could raise the necessary enthusiasm. He was more than peeved at the gods who had it in for him, and would likely deliver further abominations to him and his queen.

Since the birth of the now named Alexander Achilles Apollo, the conversation was permanently muted around the royal household, except emanating from the still irascible monarch. If the gods were not going to be good to him, then he had a one-fingered salute for them! 

Logic, or illogic, frequently hold little sway with those that have total power, and our good king of old moved into the different identity of a despot. Although not being a student of nutrition, or of the double helix, the king knew what he had sired was destined to taunt him whatever ministration was meted out to the ‘fruit of his loins’. The permanent presence of this offspring existing in a constant state of diminutive proportions, would be intolerable for him to confront. So, the king’s son was farmed out to a village woman that had given birth to a son of her own, and Alex was matched up to be as one of a twin. 

It was farcical, but played along with by the community, they were quite used to ridiculousness from their rulers and of the powerful.

A collective ‘amnesia’ of the kingdom’s inhabitants in matters of the royal birth, was further induced by the simple threat of suspension on a hook through the scrotum for men, or hooks through the mammary glands for women. 

The king had always been mad, but previously it had been a cute madness, but now he stalked his kingdom – which didn’t take very long – in a rage. Even the queen had descended to ‘talking’ to her husband by way of notes and then departing quickly to stay with her mother. She would not return until word was brought to her that her note had been responded to favourably, and the coast was relatively clear.

The years passed, and Alex, as he was known, grew up, but not enough. He was destined to always be the runt of the pack. Even though his royal birth was not openly acknowledged, a tacit understanding existed that kept the bullies from making his life a misery. 

Alex’s tendency to ball’s up many times and his accident proneness was starting to be legendary, further keeping his father at bay, but he was liked by his local community. However, Alex nurtured in his heart that he would surmount his diminutive proportions and make a name for himself in this world. 

At the age of 15 years, a messenger from the king came to the de-facto parents of Alex to inform him that he was to be sent out into the world-at-large to familiarize himself with other cultures and their despicableness and he would be known as a knight. The faint acknowledgement of his status was such that Alex temporarily retreated into his head to contemplate the ramifications to his future. That day he walked into so many obstacles that ‘minders’ accompanied him removing anything in his path that could cause him injury. 

Almost immediately now his departure was imminent, everyone in his ‘village’ started to call him Sire. Despite his protestations, his former 'equal' friends became subservient ones. The ‘forelock touchers’ of the world know ‘discretion is the better part of valour’. Sire Alex, became Sire Alexander! He put up with it and awaited further instructions from whomever, which were not long in coming.

A palace servant arrived leading a horse and a massive shaggy wolfhound. Fortuitously, Alex and the dog took to each other and bonded immediately. His friends expected the dog to gobble him up, but apparently, his accident proneness didn’t extend in this direction. Instead, the dog became his very best friend, a truth which he kept to himself. 

He was given a sword, dagger, princely raiment’s, and a bag full of gold. His former ‘twin’ was to be ‘press-ganged’ into being his servant and to accompany him on his experience gaining exploits, under the threat of suspension in the previously decreed manner. No threat had been necessary. 

Being a teenager, the possibility of adventure was inducement enough for his ‘twin’. He did, however, have one regret, he didn’t get a horse but would have to walk alongside with the horse and dog. As a reward for his ‘co-operation’, he was officially made a squire, and to be known as Squire William, regardless of his formerly bestowed name. Squire William touched his forelock, smiled and adjusted himself internally to be just that.

Alex had now all the accoutrements of a prince and a knight, and even though he was of a smaller stature than his squire, his own cognizance of his elevated position in this realm, made him just seem bigger. His inner conviction radiated out that others he encountered were in no doubt as to his eminence.

Alexander, ‘William’, dog and horse, travelled far and wide. They learned of the many ways of others. They learned about the different foods they ate and learned there is no universal idea of beauty. Inextricably as the distance covered increased, Alexander’s tendency to attract accidents, decreased. Rising to the expectations of his station in life, he became a competent swordsman, and together with dog and squire, they made a very formidable and ferocious trio, a development that had kept them safe even against at times, fearful odds. They each had scars that the now warriors carried with pride.

As life seeks to perpetuate itself, in this case it was to strike the faithful squire in the heart rendering him useless for anything but poetry; and this in abundance. His affliction was engendered by meeting a fair maid in a small village in which they had lingered for awhile.

Now 'William' could be seen with charcoal stick and scraps of parchment absent-mindedly walking into trees and other obstacles, whilst composing sonnets and blank verse which extolled the beauty and virtue of his beloved. 

Unfortunately, Alexander knew his friend was lost to him, and beholden to this unfathomable force of nature. Magnanimously, he transferred his friend and squire into the loving embrace of the ravishing beauty, together with gold pieces that he may start his new life of servitude.

There were tears at Alexander’s departure, for they loved each other as the virtual brothers they were. Their roles had reversed in life, but not their affection. 

As Alex, there had always been a degree of gormlessness about him, however, by way of will and changed beliefs, a transformation had endowed him with the will of a Knight. He now travelled far and wide with just his faithful dog and trusty steed. 

Early on in their travels, he had enquired as to the locations of dragons and sundry monsters, but the vague directions had proven inadequate to enable him to locate any of them. 

He had many opportunities to rescue damsels in distress, but as the distress was almost uniformly arrived at by way of alcohol, he felt his attentions would not always be appreciated as of that moment, so he usually rode on. 

Having witnessed the ‘downfall’ of his squire, he hardened his heart against any encroachment along this front. He was happy to save any genuine damsels but was also happy to return them back into safer hands than his own. 

Misfortune came when his trusty steed suffered a fall and broke both front legs stepping into a concealed hole. Steeling himself, he summoned all of his resolve as he placed his own head against his horse in a farewell gesture, and with a swift hard thrust of his sword, took the life of this fine friend.

He now felt he had matured to a level that his father would not cast him onto the royal rubbish tip with any promptitude, so decided to make his way home by a very round-about route that could still take a year or two.  

And it came to pass as he travelled through a particularly high altitude realm, the weather took a very bitter turn. They were deluged with horizontal rain, and every malevolent machination that existed in this section of the world. In spite of his now hardened physical state, Alexander was struck down with a malady that left him virtually helpless and at the mercy of these elements. There was no shelter, and he was reduced to moving forward on his knees, at the same time praying to the many gods to turn off the bloody tap, or shut the celestial door. Needless to say, he was ignored.

Finally, at the limit of his strength and endurance, he felt a nudging from his faithful hound and construed the dog was willing to carry him on its back. A lump came into his throat as he understood this gesture from his best friend. He gratefully managed to crawl onto his dog’s back, and lapsed into stupor and hallucination.

His dog steadfastly moved over the rough terrain during the next few hours, looking constantly for shelter for his master. It then espied a light in the distance and headed toward it. 

Sanity, in the meantime had returned to Alexander, but his condition was still extremely weak, and would be unable to move if he got off the back of his courageous dog. Mustering whatever reserves of strength remaining to him, they moved forward to the source of the light.

There, standing alone was an inn. Still lying on his dog’s back he was taken up to the door and he reached down and grasped a rock with which he proceeded to hit against the inn door. When the door was finally opened, there stood the innkeeper, and what Alexander took to be the innkeeper's beautiful daughter. However, the innkeeper’s hardened, and unsympathetic visage was directed at this knight, regardless of his, and his dog’s plight.

“We have no room. We cannot take you in. Be gone.”

Hearing this, the daughter became very distraught. She caught hold of her father’s coat and pleaded with him tearfully.

“Father, father, you cannot turn a knight out on a dog like this.”

November 03, 2020 05:13

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Rayhan Hidayat
16:17 Nov 04, 2020

I feel like there is a gravity to the last line that’s gone completely over my head. This was such an interesting read, anyway. A very tongue-in-cheek fantasy tale, with all the conventions portrayed in a humorous light. Enjoyed it! 😙


Len Mooring
20:12 Nov 04, 2020

There is a common English saying that if the weather is particularly bad, 'You can't turn a dog out on a night like this.' I glad you still enjoyed it.


Rayhan Hidayat
20:58 Nov 04, 2020

I had a feeling! Haha that’s brilliant, feels like a joke out of Asterix or something 😂 Oh and feel free to check out my latest story if you’re interested


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Yolanda Wu
02:14 Nov 04, 2020

I love the fairytale feel of this story, you described the king well and I was extremely intrigued throughout. Great work!


Len Mooring
20:13 Nov 04, 2020

Who doesn't like a fairy story?


Yolanda Wu
20:14 Nov 04, 2020

That's so true, they're the best!


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