Archive for September, 2016

R2,G37: Knight in the Museum

Posted in FlashFiction2016, Writing on September 26, 2016 by redeemingthewizard

Sir Powell never let a little thing like fully understanding the situation hold him back from charging in to save the day.

Once upon a time in a kingdom far, far away (truth be told, it wasn’t all that far. Two kingdoms over and up one, really).  Within this semi-far, sort of close kingdom there lived a knight.  He was a knight of valor, bravery and derring-do.  His name was Sir Powell and he was well known throughout his own kingdom, and tales of his feats were already the talk of every tavern hall, which was why he was traveling abroad (hence the one up) to ‘spread the word’ as it were.

One day, while riding through the woods he came upon a most curious inn.  It was three stories high, stood at a crossroads, and bore a large, brightly colored sign above the front door that read “MUSE-EOM o’ WUNDEr”.

It was also on fire.

In the crossroads stood a woman and a large bug waving at the knight and pointing at the building.  Spurring his horse forward, the noble knight rushed to their side, dismounting with a flourish.  The breastplate that held his family crest and motto flashed in the sun and both the woman and the giant cockroach flinched back from the glare.  They each wore faded work aprons in colors of the sign.

“It appears your shop has been attacked!  Dragons I presume!” he exclaimed.

“Umm…oh! Yes! Dragons!” stammered the cockroach.

“And poor Mr. White!  He’s still inside!” cried the woman.

“Is that so?”  Sir Powell looked to the burning building, before setting his face with determination.

“Was in the Map Room upstairs last time I saw him,” added her shorter companion, antenna twitching.

“Then there’s not a moment to lose. I will save your husband!”  As the knight spun to face the Inn, the woman reached for his arm, a look of confusion on her face but the cockroach beside her restrained her arm with a shake of his head.  Oblivious to the silent interaction between the two, the knight leapt forward, hurling himself through the front door, his battle cry the family motto “Respice Finem!”

“I really should learn latin someday,” he muttered to himself as he did each time he raced into battle.

Light smoke drifted about as the knight threw himself through a stand of Flags of Faerie that had been done in crayon on linen napkins and found himself face to face with the Dreaded Bwak Bawk Beast which consisted of three turkey heads inexpertly stapled to the body of a bear.  Beyond that, he found the stairs.

Ascending them two at a time into denser smoke, he passed a set of barrel heads mounted to the wall which had been crudely painted under a sign that read The 5 Shields of the Troll King Mog and just missed hitting his head on another sign protruding from the wall that read Map Room.

Bursting inside the smaller room, he found it wallpapered in pamphlets and brochures offering Guided Directions to the Huts of the Seven Witches of the Ichorbound Forrest, and another detailing Favored Ale Houses of King Dunganar in Holdmar City and the nearby town of Timberwollop.  The latter sported a 10% off coupon in the bottom corner.  Movement in the periphery of his vision kept Sir Powell from dashing back into the hallway.  A good thing as the groaning crash of failing wooden beams filled the hallway with smoke, cinders and heat.  The cat beneath a display rack hissed at this new danger, jumping up upon the desk on the far side of the room.

His exit blocked, the good knight scooped up the frightened cat and, intent on saving at least one life, charged forward throwing himself through the closed window and into the cool air beyond as a gout of flame licked at his back.

Thankfully the water trough broke his fall.

Sputtering and attempting to blow water off his face, Sir Powell found that a frightened, wet cat was synonymous with violently enraged cat.  Sir Powell extracted himself with a grimace of pain from the remains of the watering trough and held forth the struggling white bundle of claws and teeth to the woman and the talking roach.

“I only found the cat…” began Sir Powell, attempting with difficulty to both fend off and contain the ferocious beast.

“Mr. White!” the woman exclaimed!  “You saved him!”  The cat continued to eviscerate Sir Powell’s gloves and sleeves with the occasional swipe at his face.

“Me and the Mrs can’t thank you enough,” beamed the cockroach.  He hugged her leg affectionately with several free arms.

“Such a brave hero!” beamed the woman.

“Shrewd and clever too,” added the cockroach.  “Dragon attack looks a lot better on the insurance forms than Fire Beetle Nest in the attic.”

“The Mrs?” asked Sir Powell, dazed and in some pain from his fall.

“Funny bit of irony that exit, eh Sir Knight?” noted the cockroach.  “Well, with your family motto being what it is…”  The knight stared blankly at the cockroach.  “Respice Finem; Look before you leap.”

“Ah.  Yes.  That.”  Commented Sir Powell in a deadpan voice and the conversation withered along with the grass closest to the blazing Inn.  The three of them watched the building burn and Mr. White glowered at them all, clutched in the woman’s arms.

“Well I must be off!” Announced Sir Powell when the silence grew uncomfortable and he levered his bruised body into the saddle.  “I’m sorry about your business.”

“It’ll all work out,” said the woman with a wry smile.  The cockroach nodded in agreement.   Without another word, or a glance at his map, Sir Powell wheeled his horse around and set off once again albeit somewhat gingerly.

It’s safe to say that the curators of the “MUSE-EOM o’ WUNDEr” lived happily ever after when the fat insurance settlement from the Goblin Guild arrived.  Sir Powell less so, as his course took him down the trail to what his unused map identified as Burnt Bone Valley.