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The Knights' Wishing Well

Short story By: Michael Lange
Fantasy



Sir Padraig Kenly and Sir Galloway Hughes are two of the lands well known Knights. As they journey to save the Kings daughter they also seek a prize of their own.


Submitted:Nov 15, 2012    Reads: 139    Comments: 1    Likes: 0   


The Knights' Wishing Well

In a land less far far away then long long ago there lived a King named Charlatt Le Rue and his daughter, a demon child, Evoyne. Most princesses in stories are humble and nice, they are quaint, quiet and contrite but Evoyne had a curse. She had not been cursed by witches or gods but simply by being born a princess. She would scream and whine throwing tantrums by the hour. She was spoiled rotten to the very core even though her father had tried to instill in her some kind of good cause. When he grew fed up with the fighting and destroying of valuable things he locked her away in his smallest palace hoping he would find some way for her to be saved.

In the very same kingdom two knights played ate and slept keeping each other company through thick and thin. They valiantly fought everything they could fight. They won competitions like archery, jousting, and throwing knives. They had taken down dragons, ogres and such with the ease that birds take flight. Their names were Sir Padraig Kenly and Sir Galloway Hughes.

The night they heard of Princess Evoyne they were seated together in a very small pub. Galloway and Padraig's most recent success had earned them free drinks from the owner of the pub. He was a little man named Archibald Turpin. The Knights had captured a thief that had stolen religious artifacts that Archibald had rightfully earned during his youth. He wanted to know of all the wonderful things they had done so he asked them.

"How did you two heroes find each other?"

"We were very young and lived nearly a farms length away, Padraig being older than I stumbled on an abandoned well that was supposed to grant wishes if a person dunked their most valued object in its water" said Galloway.

"I being an adventurous and already egotistical eight year old got in the bucket and soon found myself at the bottom of the well" said Padraig. "I thought maybe the well had misunderstood my wish"

"And what wish was that?" asked Turpin.

"It doesn't really matter much to the story, being that when I asked the well for help along came Galloway. He tugged on the rope and set me free."

"And that is the story of how we met. Our fathers were both knights on the Kings Royal Guard. Soon enough we started at the stables together taking care of our fathers' horses. We were paired up instantly to keep each other out of trouble, and partially to make sure we'd both get the punishment if the other had done some wrong."

"If you don't mind and find yourselves with the time could you please tell me of your first adventure as knights?"

"Well as most men know it takes an amazing feat to become a knight at all" said Galloway.

"It went like this…" began Padraig

On the edge of the kingdom where Uhrynid the Ugly once lived, yes that is correct Sir the Witch that drank straight out of veins. The fear that she caused kept the Valley of Koln, where we now grow our best crops, empty and dry. She challenged the King for the land she wanted as hers as well as a sacrifice or she would go after the Kings royal court. She was powerful but not in the sunlight so she used her magic to plunge the land into eternal night. Our fathers went first but came back with nothing to show, so us being young teens decided to go. We snuck off with their horses, clad in armor that was far too big. Galloway first, his father's shield and sword at his side the symbol of the lion sun on his chest plate, and me with my crest of the bear moon. It took us four nights and days if it were normal time, but found her hut made of mud none the less. She did not see us coming, nor did she smell us thanks to the way of the wind.

"But how do we destroy her", I said.

"We must trick her," Galloway replied being the cleverer of us two. "She is fed by blood and lives alone from that so what if we gave drained her from the nape of her neck to the tips of her toes, she would die for sure."

"But how…"

"She is allergic to sun… we must dry her out, but how, fire! That is most definitely how it will be done."

So we took out some of the horses feed, which was dry seed and hay, along with a flint and grinder. We had to draw her out knowing that mud would not hold a flame very long. So I being the brave one with the strength not to scream drew blood on my arm with my own dagger's blade. I walked up wind and instantly we could hear her scream she busted right through her door where I threw at her the bucket full of flaming hay. It caught onto her hair as she screamed. Running around trying to bite us, we however were too young and too fast even with our armor. She did latch onto Galloway for a quick bit. But she could not find his skinny arms thanks to how large his father's armor was on him. I stabbed her with my sword right through her neck and soon enough removed her head. The night started to break but for proof she was dead Galloway put a sac around her head. We collected our things got back on our horses and rode off to the King. Four days and nights passed again on our way. When we rode onto the Kings grounds our Fathers were there waiting to yell. But we told them our story and how we had something to show the King. They told us we would be flogged if this was not worth their stress. So they took us to see King Rue and we rolled out her head on his throne room floor. It turned to dust and she was fortunately nevermore. We were instantly knighted at only fourteen. And our fathers did ground us but they trusted us from then on out none the less.

"That Turpin is how we became Knights."

"What a marvelous story. Have you heard the King's latest problem, his child Evoyne? She destroys what she can while whirling her arms. She screams and whines moaning for hours and hours at a time. He has locked her up somewhere unknown until she can be cured of this her inner egotistical gnomes."

"We have not heard of such before but now that we know, off we shall go" Galloway cheered.

"To the King, Padraig."

"We shall be back soon to tell you more of our amazing feats." Padraig said as they rose from the table and walked into the night, they got on their horses and headed straight for the King.

They arrived in the morning not wanting to sleep. They needed the action of another quest; they needed to prove again and again they were the very best. As the King sat down for his morning meal the Knights strode brave and bold.

"We have heard of your daughter," said Padraig quite loudly.

"We would like to know where we should go to see her and save her from her big headed curse."

"Young men I know not if this is anything like you have ever dealt with before" said King Rue.

"Padraig has taken down giants, armies and trolls."

"And Galloway here has out smarted many a wizard, maze and other wise unreadable scrolls."

"This quest is not to kill or maim, I simply want her to become sane. I want her to stop her tornado like ways, to no longer shake the earth as she rants and raves."

"We understand your desperation; just tell us her secret location, like every time before you have needed us we shall return to you our wonderful King with nothing less than victory."

"You young men are my only hope." King Rue said with a sigh. "She is at the castle by the River of Hues; it is camouflaged very nicely to blend in with what is around. There is only one way in, it's a window very close to the ground. Look close to the water or you'll never find my daughter. Just do as you're told if a yellow haired creature approaches you along the road." He stood from his chair and clapped his hands. A man in a white powdered wig came in holding a box filled with parchment. The King withdrew one of the rolled papers, handing it to Galloway.

"This will show you the way, it must return with you just in case I must return my daughter once again out of shame."

"We promise you we will come back with your daughter all better, rules followed…" said Padraig

"And your map" finished Galloway. They saw themselves out as fast as they could their blood running hotter with their pride on the line.

"I have never heard of the river of Hues Galloway." Padraig said as they trotted along.

"Me either Padraig, I guess that is why we need a map." Galloway halted his horse and pulled out the map. He unrolled the parchment and began to figure things out. "When we went to war with the rebels of Yuni Shire we passed over no roads just woods am I right?"

"As far as I can remember, why?" questioned Padraig.

"This map says that we have been passed the River of Hues." Galloway said flabbergasted.

"That is impossible Gall."

"Well then Padg, get off your horse and read the map yourself." They dismounted and stood close, foot against foot over the map that showed them something that they should believe but simply could not.

"We have been through those woods hundreds of times and we have never passed a river Gall."

"It blends in with what is around…" Galloway's voice trailed off.

"Gall… do you need me to help you think?"

"What if the palace is the woods… and the river is not of water but moss?"

"What?" said Padraig confused.

"I seem to remember a bridge during the troll days in those woods; it was not over a river however it was over a line of moss that split the entire woods in half."

"To the bridge then?"

"To the bridge indeed, we just need to find it" they rerolled the scroll and mounted their horses.

"We will not make it there by night however Padg."

"What do we pass?"

"Arch Turpin's Pub" responded Galloway.

"Good another night to tell of our tale to an interested ear" Padraig hollered.

"Who in the land isn't interested in us Padg"

"No one" Padraig laughed as they rode off to the pub.

It was true every citizen knew of the Knights, from peasant to baker to midwife. They were merely twenty two but their fame as they liked it to, it grew. They seemed to do no wrong, unless you looked it at from the bad people's view. But even the bad people sort of knew Padraig and Galloway were front page news.

The Knights stopped for lunch, which Galloway had smartly packed, then continued after their picnic not arriving at Turpin's until the sun was setting. Before going in they waited and watched their horses as close as two pages in a book. The first star appeared and they wished the same wish. Then in they both went for a drink and Turpin's best dish.

"Back so soon? Already returned the Princess to a normal state of mind?" Turpin asked when he saw them at the bar.

"On our way, we needed a place to keep our horses and lay our heads. We figured a drink and a meal wouldn't be such a bad thing either and why not top it off with a friend" Padraig said.

"He always knows what to say? At just the right moment" Turpin asked Galloway.

"You hit the nail on the head; he says the perfect thing every single day."

"I cannot offer you drinks on the house tonight friends." Turpin sighed. "Unless…." His voice cheered up. "You share with me another one of your tales, how about a loved one of either of yours that you may have found on your voyages." The Knights looked at each other briefly.

"I think I've got tonight's story covered Padg, if you don't mind that is?" said Galloway.

"Go for it, I don't think I've ever heard you spin a tale."

"This one starts yonder on Killeen shore. The one where the wild boars used to live before the Elite made it into a cult breeding ground. The King had summoned the two of us along with our fathers. He needed four men to stop the Elite from converting any more families into believing in a god that would ask his followers to kill in its name. So we crossed the tides of the Aribadell Sea to the fishing village of Wettinton. By this time we had properly fitting armor, as well as our own weapons and horses.

When we arrived we were greeted by hordes of brainwashed Villagers. They shuffled their feet with arms hanging limp at their sides, they jaws hung ajar, mouths wide open like toads that catch flies. And there on a precipice not watching our actions was a person in a diamond colored cloak. We would have to be sneaky, so we gave up our posture and shuffled right through, mouths open wide even drooling if we had to. The person in the cloak must have caught a reflection of light off of our armor because he look at us and tilted his head like something was not quite right. He raised his hands our way with open palms and pulled them back toward himself over and over. So we pretended to obey him. We groaned and stumbled till we were almost right beneath him. He pulled back his hood to reveal his tattooed head.

"Bow before the Elite!" He hollered down. But Sir Padraig and our fathers beside were a bit too proud. I began to bow, halting thanks to the feeling of quite looking quite foolish.

"Whaaat?" he bellowed, then screamed. "OBEY ME!" the doors behind him burst open and there were three other cloaked people who seemed somewhat upset. They all pulled back their diamond colored hoods. All of them were tattooed on almost every inch of their skin. Two of them female, raised their arms first, then the men and we understood something much, much worse. The peaceful mind washed Villagers were no longer content. They had stopped all their shuffling and turned all their heads.

"I have a feeling they don't like us Knights" said Sir Padraig.

"Draw your swords men" said his Father.

"Most of them are women and children" said I, so we drew them and dropped them hoping to find another way to save our own lives.

Padg and his father Sir Warburton, both gave each other a nod; they held up their shields and rushed towards the door. Sir Caleb, my father, and I followed behind we knocked it right down and got right inside. But the Villager's they followed.

"Leave your shields as a door." I said with a new bright idea. So we blocked up the entrance as best we could. At the top of a ladder where the Elite as they worked their magic trying to knock us off our feet, but we avoided their magic and climbed up to them fast. The Villager's burst through our shields and followed a bit faster moving then they were before. We tackled down three of the Elite and tied them right up while the other tried pelting us with magical knives. They bounced right off shattering easily. A bright beam of light broke through the clouds bouncing off of armor and cloaks. Blinding me for a brief second when I swear I saw an angel. There was this beautiful person the most amazing sight I had ever seen right in front of my eyes and all I could do was stare thoughtless for what I believe was the first time in my entire life. They were glowing so brightly in the sunlight I couldn't recognize them but if I did ever see them again I would swear to them not only my last name but my entire life.

I have gotten off track, I apologize.

I looked behind me and there was my father in grave danger about to be pushed off the precipice by a group of brainwashed mothers whom he would not fight for they were still women. And from behind me in comes Padraig, he picks them up and pulls them away from him barely saving my father's life. While his father, bravest man I have ever known, beside Padg, is giving the final member of the Elite a good clonk in the head. We subdued the Villagers somewhat easily after that and took the Elite back to the King for proper punishment.

Luckily now the boars have come back and the families of Killeen are no longer slaughtering each other over a nonexistent god." The three men laughed together and drank until they could barely stand.

"What of the angel, the most beautiful person, Sir Galloway?"

"Like Padg's wish it really doesn't matter" Galloway laughed and before Turpin asked more Padraig cut in.

"We forgot to ask if you have a room to spare Sir Archibald Turpin." Padraig said bowing.

"Yes but only one bed in the room, you two being Knights should be used to such small quarters I'm sure. You must share tents and such on all your adventures."

"Yes one bed shall be fine my friend."

"It is up the stairs first door on the left, good night brave and valiant heroes. May you dream of the wild boars!" Turpin stood and raised his empty mug. Padraig assisted Galloway up the stairs and into bed where they instantly passed out.

In the morning they ate a quick breakfast, prepared their horses and were off to the woods. They followed the same trails they had once taken during the troll wars which were all about a boundary dispute between the trolls and gnomes, King Rue wanted nothing to do with the fighting. When the dust settled the gnomes turned out to be the true heirs of the forest so they promised King Rue one magical gift that would be kept his secret. The kingdom was a buzz at the time with what he might have asked for but as time passed on people forgot.

"So King Rue asked for a camouflaged palace? His daughter hadn't been born yet though, what do you think he intended it for Gal?"

"We will know when we find it for sure." They found their way to a bridge over a river of moss and dismounted. They secured their horses and knelt next to the moss river.

"Which way does it flow Gal?"

"It should flow south," Galloway said as he withdrew a silver compass from beneath his shirt. They walked on opposite sides of the moss looking closely to the ground as they could for the mysterious window.

They found it low by the dirt and mud so in they crawled. When they looked around them there was a mirrored hall. They walked through the hall seeing many children's faces stuck behind the glass. They seemed alike, almost related in their looks and clothes. At the end of the hall appeared a creature both yellow and thin, covered in yellow hair from his toes to his chin.

"You see before you, on side left and side right, even behind the many times the King as failed to raise a child, a child he would one day hide. They are here because they as rotten as week old cabbages spoiled as eggs left in the hot sun.

You quest for the youngest, Evoyne is her name?" He questioned.

"She can still be saved. Her glass," he tapped a mirror to his side the child behind it threw a silent tantrum swinging a wooden sword to no avail. "…has not yet been solidified. If she should make a noise, even the smallest of peeps, sealed forever she will be. Good luck young knights. He vanished in a puff of hair.

"No say of which glass she's behind, why do these quests always have to have a challenge?" Sir Padraig asked.

"If there was no challenge anyone could complete them." Sir Galloway responded "I have a guess at how to solve this one, as always." He grinned. He approached a mirror, putting his hand on the cold hard glass. The child behind frowned as hard as it could, squeezing its teddy bear as its face turned purple red. There was his idea, the glint in his eye.

"Padg, touch every mirror you can."

"If she hears us she will scream and fuss Gall."

"Off with our armor then, its sneaky time." So they stripped down to their soft fabric clothes. Both started touching various mirrors as gently as they could.

Finally they were left to four mirrors, all of them girls, one with a locket, one with a ball of yarn, one with a hairbrush on a nightstand her room was there but fading and the last read out of an old leather book. Sir Galloway pointed to the girl whose room was still there, she did not face them as her brush was behind her. He pressed his finger to his lips miming to sneak up it was almost like a dance. Sir Padraig could be soft and gentle if Sir Galloway showed him how to do it right for the time and place. Padraig quickly took off a sock and readied himself. He went first through the jelly like glass. Wrapping his hand, with the sock around to her mouth, and his other arm around her chest, he picked her up. Instantly Galloway snatched up the hairbrush. Mouthing as best he could,

"Stay quiet or we leave this behind."

Evoyne nodded. Sir Padraig carried her into the hallway.

"We are going to let you go if you scream we push you back in, and then you end up like these other kids." They showed her the other mirrors, she nodded. Gall gave her a halfhearted grin. Padraig placed her down removing the sock.

"Mine." She said simply, pointing at her hairbrush. As the end of the word left the tip of her tongue her mirror shattered. Screams of the other children started to hum breaking into the silence.

The yellow man was there in the blink of an eye.

"I told you let her make no sound what did you not understand about that?"

Sir Padraig shrugged, and Galloway sighed.

"Now you shall suffer" the Yellow Creature bellowed "to be trapped here with a thousand endless screams."

"Let's get out of here Gall, my head hurts from the noise."

"Follow us fast and you'll get this back," Gall waved the brush. "Don't and well you might not find your way out."

The screams grew louder as more glass broke flying to and fro, cutting their skin and clipping their hair. She knew his words were true and if there's one thing she wasn't it was dumb. So she followed them, they ran down the hall till they found the window down low.

They crawled out through the now wet and thick mud. The river that once flowed there had returned its magic waters held the children's voices inside. They screamed and squabbled haunting the water till the end of days.

Sir Padraig growing tired of the noise snatched Evoyne's hair brush and gave it to her. At least she as was quiet for long enough to be tied up and regagged on the back of Padraig's horse.

"We haven't quite fixed her, we just tied her up. I don't think this will help much. Nor do I feel it's what the King intended." said Padraig as they rode off.

"I know what will fix her."

"Do tell?" Padraig leaned in closely and they whispered a plan. Once it was all thought out they turned grinning to Evoyne.

"Princess we would like to give you everything you want." Galloway said he reached back and pulled out her trap stopper.

"Everything, no matter what it is?" she said in a horrid whining tone.

"Yes indeed, your ultimate wish." Padraig said.

"I only get one?"

"You may use the one to wish all your wishes come true." Galloway said smartly.

"We just need your most valued item."

"What?" She screamed.

"Is she deaf?" whispered Padraig into Galloway's ear.

"No." Galloway said bluntly and out loud "You will get it right back then it's back to your father. You know he will give you the world.

"That old brush, fine, take it I'll just wish for a new one." She snapped.

"Not bright at all." Finally they arrived.

"May we stop home Padg?"

"No time to stop home Gall, to the well with the Princess and then to the King" said Padraig swiftly and under his breath.

"Well, what well?" Evoyne shrieked, slung over the horse.

"Do not ask and we won't have to tell" said Galloway holding his finger up to pursed lips.

When they arrived they let loose her bonds she ran right on over and tossed in her brush. They cured her there but what they did, well that does not matter to the story now. When it mattered they would surely tell. Off they galloped with her sitting side saddle behind Padraig barely holding on.

In no time they arrived at King Charlatt le Rue's castle. They escorted the Princess inside. All the men they passed bowed trembling in fear. One still was missing all his hair. The last time he had seen her she ripped it out, follicle by follicle. This time she just smiled and blinked walking daintily as she could. Into the King's midday dining hall. He had recently finished his mashed nuts and blueberry mush sandwich. His jaw dropped and he stood staring at Evoyne.

"Here you go your Eminence, your daughter renewed, if you don't mind the slight bump on her head." Padraig said part of it under his breath.

"She gave it to herself; it was the last tantrum she will ever throw. The last time she'll be beast like, the finale to your woe" said Galloway.

"Unlike before only time shall tell young Knights if she has had the last scream. I am sad to say I cannot give you any glory until I am sure. Return to me after three full moons and I can then give you my praise." The King said as he pulled out a chair for his daughter to sit. Evoyne sat down properly then pulled in her seat. She drank tea and ate crumpets, only responding when talked to. She lifted her pinky when she lifted her cup. The Knights gave back his map, smiled and allowed the King some much needed bonding time with his only child.

They took their time going home to the farms by the well. Passed the onions and cabbages, they passed the servants' huts as well.

"Whenever I return home Gall, I feel like I might as well be dead."

"I know what you mean Padg. But we are close to another adventure I can smell it in the air."

"That I believe old friend is manure you smell. I fear for the day we become our fathers' ages and we no longer have the energy to wander the lands."

"Then Padg, let us make sure that while we are young we do as much as we can."

"See you in a few days' time Galloway. Maybe we will find an adventure to fill in three full moons time."

"See you soon Padg." Galloway strode off on his brown spotted horse. Padraig went his own way and they rested the night. Their fathers' who had been promoted to counselors of the King greeted them and asked of all that they had seen. Their mothers made them the most filling meals. They washed up and dried off and went straight to bed. A few days passed by and as much as the Knights could they stayed off their feet. But restless as always Padraig needed another adventure to complete. So he mounted his horse clad in armor once more and rode to see Galloway.

Galloway was in his tower where he made many things. His many inventions, his gadgets and weapons, on the walls were all his drawings of contraptions with wings.

"Sir Galloway Hughes, come down let me in" cried out Padraig. Galloway leaned out the window so high off the ground.

"Why not use your own arms and climb?" he responded looking down.

"I have recently showered and would rather save my strength for our next outing. Please let me in."

"Fine, give me a moment" Galloway said with a grin. Galloway had sealed up the door a long time ago to make sure that his valuable ideas would stay safe out of view. He had studied many things that he wished to keep; he would only use them if he must or if Padraig had begged. So Galloway switched on a crank that kicked up a switch, leading down many gears clicking and grinding till in front of Sir Padraig the ground opened up. He went underground, it sealing itself above his head, then straight through the tunnel and right up the stairs. Padraig knew not to ask how Galloway ever got in.

They spent most of the next three weeks like they used to as kids. They worked with their horses and lived their small lives. Waiting and wanting to be together one night. They both knew what had happened over the many years. They grew together and cured each other's small fears. They filled in the blanks with the other one lacked.

On the night before Padraig and Galloway returned to the King, neither slept in his bed. They went to Galloway's tower to make a pact.

"What will we ask the King this time Padg?"

"This time we will ask to become family Gall. We have reunited his. So I think it is time that we ask to join our lives."

"And what if he refuses?"

"Then we will go somewhere far far away that they'd never expect, to live out our lives. We can adventures elsewhere, we can find other Kings. Where we can be in love, we will take love as our gift." Sir Padraig Kenly said as Sir Galloway Hughes fell asleep with Padg's chest under his head.

In the morning they showered, mounted and rode to the King to claim the one thing that they lacked. They arrived before lunch and the King's men all cheered. They cure did the trick the Princess was fine, she hadn't gone off in even the slightest of tiffs. Finally the King asked them,

"Now young Knights, how may I repay you, you may ask for anything, and it shall instantly be yours."

"We wish to be…" Padraig stuttered for the first time in his life.

"Married" Galloway finished "Man and Man."

They both kneeled. Padraig was shaking and all of Galloway's thoughts were gone. King Rue's lips stayed closed. He said nothing. He just stood there and stared. All the other Knights looked on. Evoyne's eyes were wide open unsure what to do.

"I may not give you that" said the King. So in silence they stood. Hand clasping hand. They both dropped their armor as they walked back out to the grassy land. There was silence around them. No words could be said. They're shields were useless, so they left them. They're swords did less damage, so they let go of their blades. They did not use their horses. They simply walked. Where else but to Turpin maybe he would help them for once.

"The Knights have returned once again. No Princess on hand, is she well now? You look different lads, what has happened?" He said as they walked into the Pub.

"She is doing quite well it has been three weeks since we saved her from her spell."

"Before we get to telling of our quest however we want to ask, Turpin tell us a story of your youthful past."

"Me, oh well then I must tell you of my time in the cities of sand. Beyond our lands south most boarders through Lungi's Pass I was sent in my youth. I must have been close to your age, oh the years that have passed. King Charlatt's father ruled then, King Ithaca Rue. He was the one who freed us from the gods of anger and wrath. And me, I was in his army as a Priest. Can you boys imagine that? Before my lips ever tasted drink I had a thing for faith. Ithaca's greatest foe the, Bishop of Spite, Warren Von Ike was raising an army. He sent up a messenger who carried his angry god's symbol, and spoke only in tongues. So Ithaca sent us in return. We were to take down the Bishop and topple his god as peacefully as we possibly could. Ithaca's knights were my escorts and I was meant to be the key. I'd bless them and tell them that being happy was alright. When we arrived in the cities of sands we worked from Tittua to Kalaway to Unkrand. City by city things seemed to be going alright no guards at the temples no fights in the streets we started to wonder if the things we had heard were correct. When I spoke in their houses they nodded their heads, any god by them would be a delight. Finally we ran into a slight complication. The men at one temple simply refused to listen. So we went to a close tavern to plot out a plan. And guess what was there waiting, the very same men. They were seated at the bar their hands clasped in prayer when like lighting an idea struck my head.

"Drinks on the house" I hollered as we walked in, patting each man on one shoulder. "Since you put up with our ideas and you let us rest our heads." Once they got drinking we began to converse.

"We pray so that our god is not angry, we beg him not to send down his curse, we hope that he is pleased and doesn't make our lives worse."

"Why would a god do such a thing?" I asked at them with no clue.

"It is not our god directly, but our god speaks to Bishop Von Ike." They all said and spat.

"He's not a god though he's simply a man; it might just be that he does not understand." I told them how our god gave us life and ways we could live but left it to us for the things that we did. It took some more conversation but the ideas we shared started to sink in. They joined up with our crew in the morning and helped the word spread. Five cities later guess who we found preaching of anger and wrath unlike ever before, the Bishop of spite, we spat even thinking of what he was about. It was easy to do and caught on between us quite fast. It was almost a game with all that we passed. If his name had been mentioned or thought of at all, all in the room would spit on the floor. He withdrew his sword pointing it right at my chest. So I walked up very boldly and let its point rest against my flesh.

"If you should kill me, will your god be satisfied or will he simply keep asking for death until all life has been whipped from the earth." I said.

"If I do not I fear my god will smite me on the spot along with all my people."

"Thus far I have heard of only you who smite your own men, no hand of god."

"What does your god have in hand for me?"

"I believe god gave life, other than that it is up to man himself."

"They call you a Priest, what kind of Priest says things like that?"

"A Priest that believes in mankind" I replied, he dropped his sword right there and for him his angry god died. His people no longer feared of the punishment to come unless by their own hand did they do some kind of wrong. And what you may wonder of Bishop Von Ike, well he lives down the lane with seven children and a wife, once he found drinking would calm down his soul he used that to relax and his god of anger no longer took a toll. It no longer taxed him or riled up his mind. His blood doesn't boil it simply just pumps through his veins. Now please my friends tell me of your most recent adventure in life."

It took them an hour and they both shared the tale up till the ending, close to the well. Galloway took over to finish it up while Padraig smiled and raised his cup.

"So we took her to the well where we first met to make a wish. We convinced her that if she dropped her mother's hairbrush into the bucket and lowered it down, she would get her wish, so she did. And when she leaned over to whisper and we knew what had to be done. For nothing can break an ego like a good fall" said Sir Galloway.

"What did she wish for?" Asked Turpin

"We don't know but she seemed to be a lot better when we got her back out, a little wet but she hasn't thrown a tantrum since" said Sir Galloway.

"My wish however," said Sir Padraig "was very similar to my first, to be with Galloway for the rest of my life."

"I thought your first wish didn't matter?"

"It didn't then and there, but as we grew and became more than friends it mattered a lot. I learned I loved Sir Galloway and it was he that I wished for, someone to be in love with me more than I was with myself. Now it does more than ever because the King could not help. He gave us no blessing. That's all that we asked."

"You asked to be married?" He asked, and they nodded, "I don't think I can help you either."

They both stared at him scared.

"It is up to each person what life they take. No god or other man may make such a decision. It is my guess that the angel you saw," Turpin said to Galloway "was none other than Padraig himself, your knight in shining armor. It is also my guess that if Padraig should tell me of his loves that every single one of them would reside in you Sir Galloway."

"You no longer need to call us sir, we are no longer Knights, our armor is left behind, and we have become a disgrace. We are sorry to come to you for this Turpin but what we ask from you is not marriage, it is for an escape."

"Like what poison? What fools are men that take their lives! Do you wish to run, and take the chance of being torn apart by distance from all that you know? You are Knights if you choose to be, no King can decide that. You are also married if you choose to be."

"My thoughts are all gone, my cleverness vanished" said Galloway.

"And my courage it trembles like a leaf in the wind" said Padraig.

"If you continue to speak like this, or even think like this I must kick you out. Each man makes his own life that is that." So they stood and with less courage and cleverness left the pub. Turpin was disappointed to see them go, but now he had a task as well. They wandered past their old homes which they guessed would show no welcome so they did not even try. They went to the well where Padraig started to cry. He sat down in the grass with his back on the stone weeping full out. Galloway did not know what to say, he stood there unknowing of what else would come their way.

"No more adventures my love" said Padg. "We have saved all and lost ourselves. What shall we do now? Turpin was right, going to some other land will bring us nothing but farther apart. And death would leave us nowhere better. We have done nothing but curse ourselves." Padg said breathing heavily.

"We become brave one last time." Galloway said with a certain gusto that came from the depths of his soul. Padg looked up at him utterly surprised. "We demand that we are married. We demand that we are united as one. If they say that we are not we tell them it is not up to them that the deed is already done." He took Padg's hand, pulling him up. "And if they should try to pull us apart we will know that no matter what we are together in our hearts, Sir Padraig Hughes." When Galloway said this Padg couldn't help but grin.

"The moon is watching us and it bathes us in its white pale light. Line eighty seven, Henley Kurit" Padg said a bit under his breath, it was Galloway's favorite line from his favorite book. "I take your hand in mine as you take your hand in yours, and the night sky makes us one. The stars bless us, they are our gifts glistening for all human kind to see." He continued to recite. "We shall be married; we shall be one, like the gods, the stars, the earth and the sun." Padraig kissed Galloway, "Sir Galloway Kenly." Galloway kissed back.

In the morning no King's words mattered. They were each others Knights. They lived in Galloway's tower, which was added onto. They built stables, and a little stone house. No one ever contested the fact that they belonged together after all it is up to each man to make his own life.





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