A Wasted Knight - Part one

A Wasted Knight - Part one

[A story I wrote a while ago and posted on myspace. I'm going to cross post it now and think about writing some more of it. I'm not a writer so go easy on me, or just ignore it all together.]

There was once a knight, well he was a knight but he was young, first years out of knight school. Ha-ha get it night school Knight School... So anyway, our knight was a great fella. Even though he was young and had only been in a few battles, he had gained the wisdom and strength to survive.

In the days our knight lived in, many terrible things had been done to lots of people, especially beautiful young damsels. Some of these young damsels had been taken away and locked in towers. Often, these towers were very old and dangerous places. Some even had dragons that lived around them who were told to guard these damsels, so that no one can ever get near them. The rumour amongst the knights was that these beautiful women were the best that ever existed. I don't mean just physical beauty; these were women with whom no women from any other country could compare (at least thats what the knights believed). These women were smart, elegant, captivating, intelligent, dedicated girls who had been taught by the best. Perhaps that's why they had been locked up; maybe they were seen as threats.

The knights were often exhorted to take on the most dangerous and challenging adventure that there was the rescuing of one of these beauties from their towers. Now this was no mean feat! First he must find a tower with a beauty just waiting to be rescued. Once the tower was found, the knight would often have to travel great distances to get near the tower (always in some really deep valley, or on a titanic mountain). Our young knight thought about the wisdom and beauty of these damsels and realised that there was a lot to be gained from such an adventure; but being so young, he had no idea how to find one or where to look. There were many older, wise knights that had already been on such an adventure and they had many wise things to say. They offered to guide and help the young knight prepare for such a journey. But all of them said that in the end the young knight must embark on this adventure alone, and walk the path knowing that he was loved and cared for at home but that that was all he could take for support.

So after many years of waiting and preparing for the adventure to rescue a trapped princess, the young knight set out. The trip would take several months at the shortest and many two years or more at the other end. He knew there would be many battles to fight along the way, many lonely cold nights. Several times he would see other knights that had died along the way, there was nothing that scared him more than seeing a knight that lay in the middle of a sunny field but had been killed. Sometimes there was not even the sign of a battle or fight at all. It just seemed that these knights had died of nothing more than an abandoned heart. These others knights had simply found the first part of the adventure to hard. The young knight wondered why that was as this was meant to be the easiest part of the adventure.

After several months the knight, who was gaining more understanding and wisdom by the week, came into view of valley that held a very precious princess. She was more precious than any other that had been known before her, and than anyone could foresee coming after. Because of her captivating life, she had been locked in the deepest, darkest valley that anyone had ever seen. In fact, the valley was so steep, rough, and deep that no light ever shone down onto the tower, which stood hundreds of meters below. The young knight looked over the edge and could see no way down. There were sheer cliffs on both sides, and the gorge stretched for miles. This problem was huge, but still, it was only one of many that the young knight had overcome through the past months. Sometimes the problems needed a very gentle approach and some time. Then again there were situations that need a deep commitment to jump in with both feet. This was certainly a problem, but the knight found the means needed to scale the walls.

The next part was the dragon. Our young knight had found his way down the walls and discovered the remains of many a knight. Some of the armour had claw marks from the dragons. They looked like they had been torn open like a can opener wound. But the thing that caught the attention of the young knight was that some of these knights had arrows through their armour. This was most curious as there was no one around here and the only people that ever came here were knights travelling alone. Who could have shot these arrows at the knights? Our young hero decided that these arrows must have been wounds that had been sustained the in fierce battles when trying to get to this place. Still, the young knight thought that he should remember this, as he was always taught to be attentive to his surroundings and the stories that dead men do tell.

The dragon proved vicious and nasty - he had particularly bad breath that smelt of rotting flesh. As the young knight fought the dragon and finally beat it back to the point where he could finally kill the beast he remembered a wise saying that he had once been told by his mentors - "Do unto others as you would have them do to you." He looked into the face of the dragon as it lay battered and helpless. The dragon spoke and made a pact to spare his life, and the knight granted the request. They agreed to allow mutual passage away from this horrible valley where the dragon had been guarding the princess for so long. As a token of his appreciation for sparing his life, the dragon spoke of several different paths that could be taken to the tower; he also guided the young knight past several pitfalls that had been well hidden in order to trap anyone that got past the dragon.

Our hero survived and made it up to the tower. Upon reaching the top he could see the door that leads to the princess room. The lock on the door was very strong, yet with the long years it had rusted to the point where it would simply fall open with the swing of his sword. The young knight took a moment to thank the Lord for all He had brought him through, to thank God for the blessings that had been bestowed upon him, and also to ask for the wisdom to treat this beauty with all the respect and grace that such a princes of the most high deserved.

As the knight prayed he could hear the princess inside praying. She too was speaking to God, asking for the prince of her dreams to come and rescue her. She asked for a man of daring, integrity, honesty, loyalty and many other things. As the young knight heard her pray, he thought back over the adventure he had come on and remembered all the things he had experienced and learned in the process. And while our young prince would never have thought it, he had gathered all the things this princess was asking for. But such things are never seen on the surface, they only ever really get seen on the journey back home when they are together. Such things as honesty and integrity cannot be explained or interviewed for; they are learned, and then seen in the hard times that ensue after. And so both the prince and the princess had grown into things that they were not before they began their adventures.

With a swing of his sword, the prince laid open the door. The princes looked around, saw the prince and then quickly sat down on her stool. She looked at him and asked if he would sit and speak with her a while. The young knight was both relieved and bemused. He thought to himself "Surely this fair maiden knows how hard the journey has been to get her; why is she not overjoyed that she has been rescued?" - but the knight was too tired to argue at that moment. He sat down as the princess began to unravel a long scroll. The princess began to speak and asked the prince many things about himself. As the prince spoke, he could not help but feel that he was being measured against a list. The beauty asked about the experiences he had encountered. These were not always easy for the knight to talk about. Some had been traumatic and broken his heart, others he had never talked about with anyone and had no words to describe what he had experienced. For some reason, this was not acceptable to the young princess, and the knight began to become very worried that something had gone horribly wrong in this room. As he gained his breath from the adventure he had just been on for months, he tried to explain that life was a journey and there were many things that had to be experienced to be fully understood. But the princess did not listen; she continued to look at her list.

Finally the Christian princess looked up and said to the young knight, "You can not take me from this tower. You don't meet the requirements on my list." The young knight stood up and stumbled backwards, completely dumbfounded. He had experienced many surprises in his life, many unexpected battles and twists in the path he had walked, but this was not something he had ever experienced before. As he stammered, trying to ask questions, to try to explain, the princess picked up her bow and drew an arrow. Aiming at the young knight, she said, "Leave me alone and never come back to this tower! I am waiting for my knight to come rescue me. Don't even try anything with me; do you think I don't know how to shoot an arrow? Take a look outside at the many I have wounded, and some even killed!"

As the sun began to set on the story of the young knight, the world kept moving. Perhaps it didn't notice the passing of such a young and vibrant light, or maybe the world had seen it all before. Perhaps the world had stopped caring, because it too had realised that to care is to hurt and with a world so full of people and lives being extinguished before their time, the world would only be a sad place all the time. So maybe the world knew something that we don't. At any rate, we will never know because we can't ask the world what wisdom it had, more is the pity. And so the world went on and time passed. The story of knights kept being told; some of them lived and others died, because not all knights can be winners and get the girl. If they were all winners there would be no adventure, because every adventure must have risk. Why, if it weren't for the risk, there would be no thrill and no story to tell! - And so is the way of life. And along with many a brave and valiant man, our young night was mourned and missed, and then forgotten. But he wasn't dead, at least not yet

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