Melvin Finds Medieval Love

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
They were a proud lot - brave knights fighting for the hand of lovely Princess Dahlia. They figured they all had a change - except of course for little near-sighted Melvin. How could he ever win her hand?

Submitted: November 29, 2015

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Submitted: November 29, 2015

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Melvin Finds Medieval Love by Chris Chabot

 

Once upon a time there was an enchanted castle in an enchanted country called Bloomland.  The kingdom had become an empire, and under King Hollander and Queen Callandro, it had been a wonderful place to live for over forty years. 

But the King and Queen were getting old.  Their daughter, Princess Dahlia, was turning thirty and not a suitor was in sight.  She was not even interested.  The king and queen worried she was getting rather flighty and not attending to her princess-ly duties. In fact, during the day, she would ditch her security and disappear on horseback for hours, returning as it was getting dark. No one was able to follow her or keep up with her. She was considered untamed.

Finally the King and Queen confronted her.  “You must find a suitor,” they demanded.  “There are thousands of brave knights who would die for your love.  Pick one!”

“Where? Who?” She asked, “All of the knights are the same.  All of them are perfect.  All of them.” This was true.  Every knight in the land looked the same: tall, lean, and muscular.  They all had glistening sharp swords capable of cutting a large tree trunk with one stroke.  They all had large bright silver shields so shiny that if you saw the reflection of the sun in it, you could go blind. They all had majestic white horses that could leap tall fences and gallop for hours without tiring. Which one could she choose? There was no difference.

“Besides, I do not want to be told what to do by a knight.  I do not want to be told what to do by anyone.  I like riding my horse. I like disappearing into the field. I do not want to be kept in a castle waving at people and just ordering my maidens around to make my hair look better.”

The king and queen ignored her and figured this was just a phase she was going through.

“What if we held a contest?” the King said.  “Which knight can hit an apple on a target with his bow and arrow?”

“Why?” The princess asked.  “They are all perfect. They would all hit the target with their bow and arrow.” Each knight could stand at the edge of the castle wall, fire an arrow, and hit the royal garden hundreds of yards away.

Queen Callandro decided they would place the target deep inside the garden, forcing the knights to fire their bows even farther. Perhaps one would hit it, or the closest one could be declared the winner.

And so the call went out for every knight to come to the royal garden.  Every knight put on his gleaming armor.  Every knight held up his sharp glistening sword.  Every knight held up his shiny shield.  Every knight climbed on his majestic white stallion. Every knight headed for the royal garden.

Every knight included Melvin.  Melvin was shorter than the other knights and not as lean and muscular.  He was nearsighted until a wizard created spectacles for him to wear. Melvin was the only knight that did not have a sharp sword. He had a small wooden one that was very good at cutting cake and butter. In fact, he was often called to cut the royal cake during ceremonies.

Melvin did not have a shiny shield.  He had a little plastic one that was a perfect sneeze guard.  He had used it many times to keep people from catching colds.  Melvin did not have a majestic white horse.  He had a little donkey he used to ride around the castle, so all the other knights would laugh.

Melvin showed up with his wooden sword, plastic shield and majestic donkey.  The laughter among the brave, tall, lean knights was unending.  When Melvin pulled out his little bow and arrow, they laughed even harder.  Two knights grabbed his bow and arrow, easily broke it into several pieces and tossed it back at him.

“Leave, small man,” they yelled at him, “You do not belong here.  You are not a brave knight!”

Furious, little Melvin left the contest and trotted out of the kingdom, past the castle walls and out into the countryside. He was going to leave the kingdom and never return. He trotted until he came to a long bridge that connected a beautiful hill.  The hill was covered in flowers and butterflies and he could see a rainbow on the side.  He wanted to see more of the hill so he started to trot across the bridge.

“Stop!” yelled a voice.  A large, very ugly troll leaped out from under the bridge and stopped him. “This bridge crosses the Gorge of Eternal Death! Now that you are on the bridge, you must answer this question correctly or be tossed into the Gorge and disappear forever. What do you seek?” the troll asked.

“That is hard to answer. I suppose to find a true love. Not just someone who is pretty or someone I can show off like the other knights want, but someone who I can talk to about things and who I can walk through pretty hillsides like that one out there. A true love I can spend the rest of my life with. I want to hear her laugh and sing. I have a question for you. How I will know when I do find true love? What should I look for? How will I spot her and know it is the one?”

The troll thought a minute and then replied, “She will sing you a song from long ago. A song sung by a French actress, who married a singer and shot a skier. It starts like this.”

The troll started to sing in his gravely cranky sounding voice, “Hello, Hello. I like your smile. Hello, Hello.” He finished the song and then the troll made the sound of someone running their hands down the keys of a piano followed by a drum beat.

“Really? That’s what I look for?” Melvin asked.

“Yes, now off with you. You are free to leave the kingdom even though the big arrow shooting contest is today.” The troll replied.

“I showed up for it, but the other knights laughed and broke my bow and arrow and told me to leave so I left.  I have no chance to win the princess. She shall marry some big brave knight who will tell her what to do for the rest of her life. It is sad, but true,” Melvin said.

The troll said “Wait here,” and disappeared under the bridge. He was back in a second holding a bow and arrow. “This is a special weapon. You are to return to the contest and stand outside the wall and fire it. You will see what it does.”

“Thank you.  That is so kind. Why are you so kind?” Melvin asked.

“I too was teased cruelly by the other knights long ago. I took this job because of it. So many knights have tried to cross this bridge and they either tried to slay me with their sword, which obviously failed, or they tried to answer a question and since they were too stupid, they ended up in the Gorge of Death.  This is called the Gorge of Death, but it could also be called the Gorge of Stupid Knights because it is full of them. Go back and show the knights what you are made of. Fire the arrow and you shall see.”

Melvin thanked the troll and trotted back to the contest.

At the contest, the last of the knights were still trying to hit the target. None of them had come close. They all hit the edge of the garden, but none went any farther. One knight had an arrow that went a few inches into the garden and insisted he should be declared the winner and take the hand of the princess.  Princess Dahlia rolled her eyes and said “Oh, God. Kill me now.”

Suddenly an arrow flew over the castle wall, high over the heads of the King and Queen as they watched. It soared high into the air and finally landed, a direct hit on the apple tied to the target. Princess Dahlia squealed and the entire royal group stood to see who it was.

“Who did that? Who hit the royal apple in the royal garden? Show yourself!” the King demanded loudly.

Little Melvin trotted in on his donkey.  The king and queen sighed with incredible royal disappointment.  “Melvin,” the King said, “Please tell me that was NOT you.”

“Yes, I’m afraid it was. It was my bow that fired that arrow that hit the apple.” Melvin answered.

Princess Dahlia burst out laughing. The King and Queen looked like they were going to be very ill.  The queen sat down as the king looked around, exasperated.

“Oh my God, I can’t believe my beloved princess is to take the hand of Melvin. I can’t believe it.” The king said, rubbing his forehead as if he had a terrible headache coming on.

“King Hollander and Queen Callandro, Princess Dahlia is a very special woman. I do not want to marry a princess and tell her what to do.  She is her own woman. She shall someday be queen and rule the land and I shall just be there to do her bidding.”

“What?” the Queen stood up, angrily. “What is wrong with my daughter? Why can’t you marry her?”

“Now, now, dear queen,” the king replied, relieved, “We must not go against Melvin’s wishes. We will just have to pick one of the brave majestic knights to become her betrothed. That is all.”

“What is wrong with my daughter?” the queen still demanded.

“There is nothing wrong. It is just that I know the maiden who will win my heart will know what she is to do.”

Princess Dahlia gasped. She stood and started to sing, “Hello, Hello. I like your smile. Hello, Hello” and then she finished and made the sound of someone running their hands down the keys of a piano followed by a drum beat.

Melvin looked at her in shock. The king and queen turned and looked at her.

“How did you know that song? The Queen asked.

“The bridge troll taught it to me.” Princess Dahlia replied.

“What? You visited the bridge troll?” the King asked.

“Were you not afraid?” Queen Callandro asked.

“No, I was not afraid at all.”

“You didn’t even have your security with you! Why were you not afraid? He asks questions and if you answer wrong you die!” the King inquired.

“Who do you think gave him the questions to ask?” Princess Dahlia answered.

 


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