The Story of Joli

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
A young boy comes of age, and learns ow to be a man,
and finds love, and respect all in the guise of competition.

Submitted: June 15, 2008

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 15, 2008



Long ago, in a small village in England
Not too far outside the gates of the city
Lived a small boy
His name was Joli
He was a strong young man
Very stout
Often he would work in the feilds with his father
On one of these days
He and his father stopped to watch a caravan of wagons pass by heading to the city
Royal pennants flew
Possibly the most gorgeous horses he had ever seen in his short life
As he stood in awe
Joli looked to his father and asked what was going on.
" I do not know" replied his father
But I shall ask
He called out to a rider beside the nearest coach
"You there, why are you heading into the city, is there something special happening?"
The horseman rode over, and answered his
"Why yes sir, today is the first day of registration for the tourney."
Joli had heard of the tourney before, but had loing since though it was abolished by the King
As the coaches rode around the bend toward the gates
He asked his father about it, and what kind of tourney.
" The tourney was established long ago, by King Richard. He would have all able bodied men come and sign up. To compete for prizes, but mostly to compete for a place on the royal guard."
"That time has passed, but from time to time, they hold one, for sport, and fun."
Joli asked, "What kind of competitions are there father?"
"There is archery, jousting, hand to hand, and of course strategy. That was always my favorite."
"HOw old does one have to be to enter?" askes the boy.
"I knew boys at least 2 years your junior that entered, I dont think the rulkes have changed.
We should go to town and find out."
After telling his mother they were going, Joli's father took the boy to the city, and decided to try to see if he might watch the tourney
Once in the City, they looked around, from all angles, there were men, large and small stasnding at tables, signing up for different events.
Joli walked to one of the tables, and asked boldly, "How much to enter the tourney, and how old must one be?"
Gruffly the big man behind the table said to the boy, "Why do you ask young sir, you are a tad small for most of the competitions?"
This angered Joli, and he asked politely again,"May I please know the age, and entrance fee?"
"The entry is 15 quid, and the age, is 13, are you 13 yet young master?"
The big man scratched his belly, and laughed loudly, with him, the line of men started to laugh as well.
Joli looked at his father rather sadly, and his father reached into his pocket, and handed him the last of the family money.
"Here you go son, I know you can do it. Show them what you can do."
Joli slammed the money down, and said I will join, and you all be damned, I will win."
To this, the man handed him the papers, and had him sign, and all had a laugh
"Tomorrow is the first competition boy, you should rest up, and be ready."
"What competition is it?" Joli asked
"Tis the joust." replied the man.
~~~~End Chapter 1~~~~

Chapter two

Joli awoke to the crow of the cock, the sunshine in his eyes, and the blair of trumpets from the City Gates.
He guess they were calling people to the joust.
He had never done the joust before, for real
But he had played many times as a boy with his cousins
As he strode out to the barn to get the horse
He was met by his father
a huge smil, a hand behind back, and a sparkle in his eye, he said,"Son, today you become a man, you will have your first battle, and win your first prize."
He kind of chuckled , and continued,"Of course, you may eat dirt as well, but we will not think of that possibilty."
From behind his back he produced a small suit made of leather, and a helmet made of freshly carved wood.
When Joli saw this, he suddenly noticed his father didnt have a sparkle in his eye, was a lack of sleep. He had stayed up all night to get the helmet ready.
At this thought, Joli felt a warm rush of love for his father, grabbed the suit, and hugged him tightly,"Thank you da, thank you. Will you be watching?"
All of a sudden, out of the barn rode the tallest horse they had. Her mother was astride him, and she said to him,"Son, we wouldnt miss it for anything."
The three of them headed to the city, all beside each other, and got ready for the first round in which Joli would compete.
Looking down the long fence, all Joli saw, was a huge horse, and a gargoyle on him.
He felt the fear grip him, as he slowly moved to the line, he bent down, rubbed the horses mane, and whispered in his ear,"THis is you and me boy, like da said, we have to show them what we can do."
As he listened to the starter, he half heard the instructions, and half froze in fear...but he was determined to make that big man understand, he may be small, but he wasnt a coward.
~~~~~~~~End Chapter 2~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter 3

"ATTENTION RIDERS!!!!!!! ATTENTION" Rang out the instructions.
"There will be one point awarded for a low to the chest area, two to the helmet, and 5 for unhorsing the rider"
"Understand?" he asked.
Joli and the other rider nodded
His stomach all of a sudden jumped into his throat.
He was 14 years old, should he really be doing this
Battling men twice or more his age
Too late to think of that now Joli old boy," he thought"YOur in it for the full pound"
Looking down the long fence, he saw nothing but danger staring at him out the helmet of the rider.
This steeled his heart, and made him more determined
He may very well have no chance, but he would make sure they all knew he was worth a go
The flag came down, in a whirl,
Thew horse didnt lurch forward
It reared up from fear
He thought to himself, "I am on a farm horse, what am I thinking?"
He righted the horse, and set out at a gallop down the length of the fence
As he lifted the jousting lance, his heart ceased to feel fear, he was frozen on one goal.
He wanted to own this title
Finest jouster in all the county.
He laughed with joy, as his horse sped him to his destiny
Out of the corner of his eye, he caught a flash of color, and then it happened.
He felt himself rock back in the saddle
Had he been hit that hard?
No, he was still on the horse.
He looked down
and saw nothing on his chest
Not even a mark
What had rocked him back then?
As he rode to the end of the fence, and turned the horse.
He saw the dangerous rider, on his back
In the dirt
His horse standing beside him, occasionally eating the grass under the boot of what was his master.
Then in a flood of sense
He heard the crowd
They were applauding,
But what were they clapping for
He himself was not sure
He didnt remember anything other than that flash of color, and the jolt
He rode over, dismounted, and helped the rider up,"Are you ok sir?"
"I'm terribly sorry."
With this, he heard a chuckle come from the helmet, and felt the mans arms around him in a manly hug,"I'm fine son, nice match. YOu've bested me."
As he rode back to the starting line, he realized that he had won, he couldnt believe it
At the line he saw his da.
Jumping and cheerfully crying out<"You did it Joli, You did it!"
As the day wore on, many matches were waged
The winners went to the next rounds, and the losers joined the throng of onlookers mezmorized by one small lad, with a horse too large for him, and a suit or leather, that shoul;d never be allowed in the joust.
By the ned of the day
There were two riders left
Yes avid listener, Joli was one, and the other was of course, none other than he
The man behind the darkest helmet. The Lord of Glatia, Lord Wallace.
"ATTENTION RIDERS ATTENTION" Cride the instructions again.
"The final match in the joust competition will be held tomorrow night, at dusk, by light of the fullest moon."
~~~~~~~~~End Chapter 3~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter 4

As evening fell of the city, Joli tightened on his boots, and fed the horse a light meal
Just carrots and a few berries
He wanted to make sure he had as much speed as he could
The man in the dark helmet, Lord Wallace was a menacing man
Looked as though he hunted with his hands, and never lost a match
As the dusk settled, Joli's father came to him
and said simply
"Son, I am proud."
At this Joli became more intent on winning
If for no other reason, than to see his father this happy again.
Still something was knawing at him
That flash of color in the first match
What had it been.
and why was he so fixated on it
He supposed to himself it could have been the sudden feeling of hitting the rider, but it seemed to him, it was in the crowd
As he rode to the line
The announcer made his announcement
" ATTENTION FOLKS ATTENTION PLEASE, The riders for the final joust, are..."
The crowd all bended forward on their seats.
"At the north end of the fence, with a a score of 26, 8 helmet shots, and 2 horses, Lord Wallace"
"At the south end, amazingly enough," the announcer said in a perplexed voice.
"With a perfect record of 50, and 10 horses, Joli"
With this the crowd screamed in delight
Was nice for them to see one of their own in a place of distinction.
One of the local boys, the famers.
Slowly they walked the horses to the line and awaited the instructions
Instead of the announcer, the county govenor came out.
The crowd gasped
Rules for this final round
As before
1 point for a blow to the chest
two for a blow to the helmet
and 5 for unhorsing the rider
As you already no doubt know
The unhorsed riders you have already beaten, are now going to present you with your prizes so far
Into the arena area, marched 12 men, walking their horses.
2 to Lord Wallace
and 10 to Joli
The crowd of course knew what was happening
and Lord Wallace knew as well
Joli had not a single clue
He hadnt heard of this
He was somewhat dismayed
As they all lined up in front of he who had bested them
All in unison they knelt in front of the two remaining riders
As a show of respect, and also as a show of honor
Then again, in unison, they arose, and 2 handed the reins of their horses to Lord Wallace, and slowly walked from the arena area
This confused Joli, What was going on
He didnt understand
Slowly, one by one
The riders Joli had bested, brought forward their steeds, and handed over the reins.
As the last man handed the reins over, Joli asked, "What is going on, why have you given me the reins to your horse?"
"YOu bested me on the feild young sir, and my gift to you, in the tradition of King Aurthurs court, is my steed."
"He is yours, along with all of these others."
with that, he walked off the feild, and sat in the stands.
Joli had no clue how to deal with this, he hadn't expected to win a prize
He wanted to win the respect.
He motioned for his father to come, and gave him the reins of 10 of the finest steeds anyone had ever seen.
His father looked up and said, "Do your best son."
The govenor said
"To the line gentlemen"
At the line they stood
Sweat pouring off of them in the coolest part of the day
Staring at each other, looking down that long fence once again.
Then, out of nowhere
A flash of color off to the side again,
Joli glanced to the side again
Looked at the Govenros side
and there was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen
Wearing a gown of the purest purple silk, and hair done in the manner befitting royalty, although she wasnt.
He thought to himself, "She should be."
"Riders, this is my daughter Ann."
"She has offered herself for courting of the winner of this joust."
The crowd gasped, they never thought he would offer his own daughters hand, she was thought to be too precious a bauble to be placed in the hands of a fighter or a sportsman
Lord Wallace bowed next to his horse
Joli bowed far too deeply for manners sake, but he was completely caught unaware
The girl giggled, and smiled towards Joli, and curtsied to both, and said, "Glood luck to you both."
"10 points must be reached to win this jouist,, either that, or unhorse your opponent
Let the joust begin.
A fanfare played, and the men thought deep in their souls, 'I cannot win this'
~~~~~~~~~~End Chapter 4~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter 5

The long battle to manhood
Looking down the fence once again
Each man seeing his fate before him.
Each man thinking of that one little flash of color
Purple was the color he had seen that first day
Purple being his one thought as he mounted his horse, and leaned forward in the saddle once more
Whispering into the horses ear, "One more old boy, one more"
The flag dropped for the first pass, each horse sped towards its target.
The crowd gasped as the shot rang out
and away rode the horses
Joli had a headache
What had happened, he wasnt sure
He was aware of a ringing, and felt the headache, but felt nothing
As he rounded the corner, he saw Lord Wallace still astride his mount.
There were two flaggs now up at both ends of the feild
Both riders had claimed a helmet blow
'2 points" he thought to himslef, "how can I get through this,. This man is tough?"
As they both lined up again
The crowd roared
Each rider spurred his mount as the flag dropped once again
The crowd gasped once again, right before the shot sounded again.
Again, he was rocked back in his saddle
As he rounded the corner, he watched as 3 flags were raised,
2 on his side, and 1 on Lord Wallace's
Score was now 4 to 3
How could he ever make it through this, his body felt as if he had been in the feild for 12 hours.
The riders lined up for another pass.
The flag dropped.
and off they flew
Halfway down the fence, he heard the crowd once again gasp
and this time, saw a purple flash.
Instinctively he gripped the lance tighter, and the shot again
as he lay on his horses backside, the horse seemed to know what to do
It trotted to the turn, made the turn, and stopped at the line, as if to say,"I am now a jousting horse, not a farm horse."
As Joli looked through the holes in his helmet, he saw sky, for a second or two, he though maybe he had fallen off his horse.
But no, he felt the horse under his back.
He pulled himself up, and looked across the feild, and saw nothing
Where was the other rider?
He looked around, and there, in the middle area of the fence, was Lord Wallace.
He looked sad, sitting on his backside, staring up at the crowd.
He slowly pulled off his helmet, and glanced at Joli.
Nodded, and got up, and moved off the feild.
The crowd cheered the small farm boy, and the Govenor walked out onto the feild, and along with him came Ann.
Possibly the most gorgeous creature ever seen by a mans eyes.
Slowly, Joli got off of his horse, and walked to them, he knelt, and said hello to them both.
As he arose, the Govenor said to him, you have bested all these men, you have the right to court my daughter.
Ann smiled, and nodded.
Joli looked at the Govenor and said, "Sir, she is indeed lovely, but I came here to win what I have already won. The respect of these gentlemen. I would love to see your daughter, but only upon her request of course."
Slowly he looked up at the crowd, and continued,"I have won the greatest gift of all, I have become a man, on my own, and learned to face the fears that lie witin us all."
With a small smile in his face he said"Thank you all." and started to walk off the feild.
Before he could go, Ann grabbed his hand, and walked off with him.
~~~~~~~~~~~ End Chapter 5~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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