Short Stories

A Knight’s Coquette

June 5th, 2017

Lucane mounted his spear near a rock atop the waterfall and glanced down at his fallen enemy whose body floated lifelessly at the surface a short distance from the bottom. The battle had lasted only a few moments but Lucane was winded and breathing heavily. I also lose my breath when someone such as yourself comes by. King Arthur was sure to be pleased with his efforts, however; the man he’d just battled had been after Arthur for a long time but escaped every effort they made at capturing the traitor… until now. You must capture many hearts yourself, hm?

Lucane rolled his eyes and sighed, turning over his left shoulder back towards his steed, Gawain. He needed to make it to the bottom of the waterfall and retrieve the body. An arduous and tedious effort, but Arthur specifically requested it and Lucane wasn’t about to fail him now.

“Traitorous bastard…” Lucane whispered to himself, grabbing the mount on his saddle and pulling himself up onto Gawain, who whinnied slightly and tapped a hoof in response. Do you often read stories about knights? I like to think of myself as a knight as well. I’ve never fought a dragon per say, but I’m known to rescue a damsel or two.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” Lucane’s eyes snapped up in frustration.

What do you mean?

“Can we focus, please? Arthur needs this body.”

Of course.

Lucane clipped his heels on Gawain’s sides and the horse set at a brisk trot. When he reached the rocks near the bottom of the falls, he looked around the water that was babbling gently from where the waterfall met the small pond.

That’s odd,” Lucane thought. He couldn’t find the body now. He was sure he’d just seen it from atop the falls, hadn’t he? Lucane dismounted and stepped towards the water, his boots crushing the sand and grass near its edge. The water reflected his face, a strong nose and dirty blond scruff, gun-metal blue eyes, and furrowed brows. If you think him handsome, you’d be pleased once you saw me.

“Hello? This is serious, stop flirting.” Lucane growled.

Okay, I’m sorry. Calm down. Also, you should probably watch out.

“What?”

Lucane let out a yelp as he felt a force collide against him from behind. Gawain reared his hooves and backed up as Lucane was grappled by his previous adversary. The assailant’s long brown locks flew about their faces as his arms came around Lucane’s neck. They both grunted as Lucane span, trying to rear his opponent off with his height as an advantage. I’m tall myself if you prefer a taller man.

“Is now really the time?!” Lucane yelled, sweat pooling under his bangs as he latched to the traitor’s arm and pulled with all his might.

I think you’ll find this a time as good as any.

“Here’s an idea,” Lucane span again, the man’s legs swept up from beneath him and he toppled to the ground, bringing Lucane with him, “How about you stop flirting and get writing?”

There’s no need to be rude. I was just making conversation.

“No,” Lucane struggled atop the man until he finally broke free of his grasp, turning and pinning him, “You’re flirting when we’re supposed to be–,” a punch from the man under him gave him pause as he growled and punched him back, “– supposed to be bringing this man back to Arthur. Not flirting like a damn wolf!”

“He’s got a point,” the traitor yelled, blocking blows from Lucane, “you are being quite dastardly.”

“Quiet! You’ve no right to speak after the treason you’ve committed!” Lucane slammed his shoulders down and served one good blow to his nose.

Now, this isn’t fair. You’re both ganging up on me now.

“Treason?!” The man beneath him yelped, “I’ve done no such thing!”

“HA! Your lies won’t save you now. Whatever you’ve done, Arthur will always be king!”

“What treason have I committed?!” The man retorted, bringing an ankle around Lucane’s and yanking, throwing Lucane off of him. “I’ve served Arthur well all my life!”

“A likely story, my friend!” Lucane shot back sarcastically, looking towards Gawain at the spear now holstered on his side.

These two are being rather rude, perhaps we could have some private time to ourselves–

“SHUT UP!” The men shouted in unison.

Well, I never– 

“Listen,” the traitor started– “Will you STOP calling me that?!”

But you are the traitor. You betrayed the king.

“WHAT are you talking about?” he asked exasperatedly, standing and panting heavily, “I’d never betray Arthur! I’ve always loved him dearly!”

“You must be joking!” Lucane interrupted.

I forgot he was here.

“Why do you act so confused by this? Arthur explicitly said you’d committed the worst treason imaginable!” Lucane stood straight, squaring his shoulders towards the bruised man before him.

“And what treason was that exactly?” The man came forward a step. “My name is Gawain, you can stop calling me ‘the man,’ and ‘traitor,’ now. Which I am not.”

“Gawain? Odd. That’s my horse’s name.” Lucane cocked an eyebrow.

I’m not very creative with names.

“And I’m not sure the treason… Arthur didn’t say.”

“Doesn’t that strike you as odd?” Gawain, the man not the horse, replied.

“…. perhaps a little.” Lucane pondered, looking at his feet. Silence spread between them.

While we have a moment I’d just like to say that you do look ravishing and I would be delighted if you’d join me for–

“WOULD YOU STOP THAT?” Lucane shouted.

“Honestly, friend, you sound desperate!” Gawain added.

Why do you both keep calling me friend? Are you being sarcastic?

…. Wait, where are you two going?

Lucane and Gawain, the man not the horse, strode away from the bank and towards the hilltop, Gawain shaking his wet hair tiredly.

“We’re leaving,” Gawain said.

And where exactly do you think you’re going?

“To get a drink at the tavern,” Lucane responded, his voice annoyed.

What about Arthur?

“We’re obviously not getting anything done with you as narrator.” Gawain the man waited by Gawain the horse as Lucane mounted him. “So we’re going drinking instead. Have a good one.”

Lucane was fully mounted now and they began walking at a steady pace towards the tavern in a nearby town, an hour’s walk away. They became good friends on the trip, sharing stories of failure and triumph.


We could become good friends ourselves… 

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