Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A Medieval Story (set to the music of Richard Strauss' Don Quixote)

I went and found on my PC an old short story I wrote in college for a music class that I dropped right after. We were supposed to listen to the piece "Don Quixote" by Richard Strauss and write whatever came to us or something. This story has a very quick, explanatory nature to it as a result. It also gets really dumb nearer to the end. ENJOY!!!

A Medieval Story
(set to the music of Richard Strauss' Don Quixote)


Outside, spring is beginning to blossom. A butterfly sails from stalk to stalk. A mole emerges from the ground and examines his surroundings. The mole quickly retreats back into the ground as an army suddenly comes trudging through the woodlands on horseback. The leader of the pack signals for everyone to halt as he surveys a parchment map. A young knight three horses back dreams of his beloved, the princess.

Meanwhile, in the castle, the princess is having a terrible nightmare. She awakens and discovers everything is all right. But, suddenly, the sky darkens outside of her window! She runs over and looks out and sees swirling dark and purple patterns in the sky! A sudden gale forces her to the floor of her chambers.

The young knight has a sudden urge to press onward and calls to the leader that he believes he knows the way!

The wizard materializes within the room and casts a spell upon the poor girl! She is instantly transformed into a thousand beads, which maintain her form for only an instant before plunging to the floor and scattering in all directions. The wizard cackles and flees through the window.

The king is distraught. He is meandering the many halls of his castle, worried that without his army back something unfortunate could happen to him. He prays for their safe and swift return.

The knight wishes his party would advance quicker. He thinks only of the woman he loves. Suddenly, the band comes upon an altercation on the path. Two men are arguing over a wagon accident. The leader halts the army and goes forth to investigate.

The wizard presents himself before the king. Irritated that no one has taken note of his treachery, he informs him of the crime he has committed and demands the throne and the right to the princess’ hand in marriage. The king does not believe what the wizard has said. The wizard tells him only to go check in on his daughter and see how she is. He tells him he has a month to consider the proposal before the princess’ change will become permanent and leaves laughing.

The young knight cannot withstand the foolery of this wagon accident any longer and bursts forward on his horse past the other men and the wagons. The leader yells for him to come back.

The king enters his daughter’s quarters only to find a floor littered with dark purple, green, and blood red beads. He falls to his knees and weeps.

The knight begins a two-day journey back to the castle. Upon his return to the castle he is distraught to learn of the princess’ condition. She is currently being kept in a jar. The castle’s sorcerer relates to him the tale of a magical root that could cure the princess. As time is of the essence, the knight assembles some provisions and quickly sets out on a journey to find this cure.

He has a vague idea of where to head based on the sorcerer’s advice but nothing is certain. He encounters many mystical creatures who he asks for assistance. He spends a night dancing with a band of nymphs who like him so much they agree to point him in the direction of the mysterious cure.

he king keeps the beads that are his daughter beside him at all times and worries. The wizard returns to taunt him and ask him if he has taken his offer into consideration. The king curses him and orders him to leave. The wizard laughingly obliges.

The knight believes he has reached the land of the cure but there are still many obstacles to face. Back in his volcano hideout, the wizard views the knight’s progress through his crystal ball and laughs.

Without warning, the sky turns from a picturesque blue to a foreboding black. Streaks of purple lightning rain down from above. The knight knows it is the wizard’s doing but refuses to be frightened off. He enters the forest and is drawn by a terrible bellowing sound. He ventures closer and closer to it until he finds a spirit laid out against a log.

She explains how the wizard trapped her soul in this world to guard this area and how she can only be released once she takes the life of an enemy of the wizard. She therefore must kill the knight. The knight manages to reason with the spirit, who is really quite kind, and finds out there is a loophole in the curse. There is another magical root that will free this spirit at the opposite end of the earth. The knight promises he will quest for it once he has cured the princess. The spirit believes him, which is good because he doesn’t actually ever remember to help her.

With the kind and beautiful princess gone, the entire kingdom is in a state of grieving.

The knight discovers an elf who dances about and sings in riddles. The knight questions him about the cure and the elf gives him a seemingly nonsensical response, jumps all over the place, jumps on the knight’s head, and runs off. The knight considers the elf’s riddle for days and then forgets about it but somehow stumbles upon the right way anyway.

The knight reaches a spooky cavern. The structure of it resembles a skull with holes for eyes and the entrance being the mouth. There are clearly spirits swirling all around. There is a constant state of windiness and horrible wails can be heard. The knight enters bravely.

Inside he finds a torch and takes it with him. He also discovers a grey monkey-beast, which he kills pretty quickly.

He finds the root, but as he picks it up the cave begins to shake and large pieces of rock fall about him. He begins to flee but the shaking abruptly ceases and his torch goes out. There is a bright light at one end of the cavern and the knight rushes towards it only to find it is a huge lava monster that rises from the ground and advances upon him. The knight, in shock, falls down and begins clumsily clambering away from the monster. The monster advances upon him effortlessly. The knight finds his footing and runs. He doesn’t kill the monster but it doesn’t really matter.

The knight returns to the castle with little time to spare. As the jar of beads is brought out, the evil wizard appears. He casually explains to the knight that everything was his doing; not only the monsters but also that he even placed the cure there and everything. The castle’s sorcerer pipes in and admits he was in on it too. As it turns out, the wizard and the sorcerer belong to the same secret society and they had a bet going as to whether or not the knight could make it through the trial they set up. The evil wizard, knowing how these stories usually turn out, actually bet in favor of the knight and won a whole lot of money. The king breaks down and weeps again because he joined the bet later, also betting against the knight’s chances.

The root is ground up and sprinkled over the beads, which merge together and restore the knight’s beloved princess to her original form. He receives her hand in marriage so they are both happy but a lot of people are kind of pissed off because they were all betting he wouldn’t make it. The wizard laughs in his hideout and counts his money.

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