In which I managed to write something.
Ladies and Gentlemen, and Zoidberg, I present a modern fairy tale entitled "How Brian Blessed Got His Beard".
How Brian Blessed Got His Beard.
You see one of Mr Blessed’s ancestors was a bear. This is his story.
Once upon a time, in days of old. In fact in days so old they were spelt “dayes” and “olde” because we had yet to use up all the wild “e”s that grew all over the land, there was a beautiful princess and a rather daft king.
Now the reason this king is to be considered daft (or even dafte, since as we have already covered they had extra “e”s back then, but we’ll stick with “daft” as the author can’t afford the import taxes of the Nepalese “e”s she’d have to buy to tell it the olde fashionede waye), wasn’t that he cut off his wife’s head (or even wives head’s as some kings are wont to do), he deeply loved her even if he seldom listened to her. He wasn’t a terror over the land (he quite liked farming, and sheep, who he felt were much like his subjects in many ways), nor did he engage in silly wars all over the place (he was afraid that if he antagonised his neighbours they might invade and cut down all the “E”s that grew across the land in many pretty colours).
No, he was daft because he believed his only child would be unable to rule the kingdom simply because she was a woman. Look, I told you he was daft.
Anyway, because of this he arranged a grand tourney of all the knights of the land to come and prove their worth. Whomever was judged to be most worthy in the games of strength and valour (since no king worth his salt would dream of judging someone on administrative skills, budgeting, logistics, or anything of that ilk) would be given his daughter’s hand in marriage. Daft, I already covered this, remember.
Of course his daughter got wind of this plan (since she wasn’t daft, and the town criers were keeping everyone awake trumpeting it at all hours) and rather objected. At length, and volume, and threw things. Sharp things.
The king, however, refused to relent and told her (as the court first aider bandaged his wounds) that the matter was closed. This did not go over well with the princess and she stormed out of the throne room, leaving the first aider to pry the hammer off of the king’s crown, and resolved to run away.
Now the princess wasn’t daft, so instead of just legging it right away she visited the castle kitchens first to gather a basket of food. She also persuaded one of the kitchen boys to swap clothes with her so the guards wouldn’t recognise her. Disguised as a kitchen boy, and clutching a basket of supplies she then legged it.
After a great deal of walking the princess came to the edge of the great forest. It was a dark, foreboding, and sinister place, so she immediately decided it would make the perfect hideout. Okay, maybe she was a bit daft then. Brushing aside the ferns, brambles, and twisted, rotten, branches she forced her way in. Maybe, she thought, she could seek sanctuary from the enchantress on the far side of the forest.
As she clambered through the chilly undergrowth she eventually came to a a small twisting path. A more experienced traveller would recognise this as a game track, however the princess had not been allowed to go off hunting, even with a royal escort so did not know this. So she continued merrily down the trail.
By and by she came to a clearing through which contained a stream which ran through the forest. This would have been an excellent opportunity to refill her waterflask as, not being experienced in travelling so far on foot she had already drank the ration she had taken from the castle. Well, it would have been except for the giant bear that was already taking its fill.
The princess started back with a gasp of surprise and more than a little fear. This caused the bear to raise up on it’s hindlegs and give a tremendous roar.
“Oh please mister bear, don’t eat me,” the princess said, wisely calling the bear mister as it is always advisable to act politely to eight foot tall, nine hundred pound, killing machines.
The bear roared again and lurched towards her.
“Mister bear, please, I am fleeing from an unjust fate please don’t kill me,” the princess begged.
The bear, at this, dropped back to it’s four paws. However, it did continue to growl, and gave another great roar. The princess tried to back away, for she had the sense not to run as all animals will chase a fleeing form, but the bear matched her step by step never letting the distance decrease dramatically.
“Oh mister bear, please let me go, my father wishes me to wed someone I have never met when all I want is to live in peace. If you let me go I will give you this fish I have in my basket.”
With that the princess drew a fat salmon from the basket she had stolen from the kitchen and threw it towards the bear. The bear devoured it quickly, but the princess managed three steps back towards the edge of the clearing before the bear noticed.
“Oh mister bear, please do not eat me, I know you are a kind bear and would not see someone wed simply as a trophy, and if you let me go I shall give you this round of cheese.”
With that she drew a lump of cheese from her basket and tossed it to the bear. This time she only managed two steps before the bear noticed.
“Dear mister bear, it is not that I object to a strong husband, but I want one that would care for my heart as much as my body. If you let me go I shall give you this loaf.”
From her basket she brought forth a rather nice rustic sourdough bread, which as we all know is rather chewy. This gave her four steps away. The clearing edge was tantalisingly close, she needed but one more step.
“Mister bear, the suitors my father chose are like wolves who would devour me, but I wish I had one that was a strong bear like yourself that would protect me. If you let me go I shall give you this flask of beer.”
From the basket she drew a skin full of the castle’s finest beer and tossed that to the bear who started guzzling it in a very human fashion. The princess reached the safety of the shrubbery, then turned and ran.
The princess fled back down the game path, through twisty branches, brambles, ferns and back into the bright sunlight outside the forest. Sadly it was out of the fire and back into the frying pan for the princess as her father, the king, was waiting there with his company of guards.
The king had not taken kindly to his daughter running away (and certainly not to being bashed on the head with a blunt object, kings are funny like that) and had summoned up a detachment of his finest men and the land’s finest tracker to pursue his wayward child (or childe, because as you may have forgotten they still had all the extra “e”s). The journey back to the castle was a long and weary one, partially because her father lectured her constantly on the need for children to respect their fathers, the importance of family honour, of duty, and of continuing the family line, but mainly because she had been wrapped in coils of rope and chains to prevent a recurrence.
The king might have been daft, but he wasn’t stupid.
So for the month leading up to the grand tourney the princess was imprisoned in the highest tower in the land, with guards posted at every turn of the staircase, and she watched from the window as the suitors for her hand arrived. Eventually the day came and she was led back down, then out to the jousting grounds itself.
With great fanfare of bugles, trumpets, and other various horns, the challengers were announced. After the last name was read out the king stood.
“Brave princes, knights, dukes, counts, and others, you have come to do battle for the hand of my fair daughter and the crown itself. At the end of the day only one of you will win, the rest of you will leave with nothing. Challengers, are you ready?”
There was a returned shout of “AYE”.
“Then prepare for…” The King did not get to finish that sentence as the great doors of the courtyard blew off their hinges and flew through the air.
“HOLD EVERYTHING YOU BUNCH OF BLOODY GREAT PONCES!”, a voice boomed out.
A massive figure strode through the cloud of dust and wood splinters, although not overly tall, it was almost as broad across the shoulders as four men together. With a beard large enough to conceal another four and a mane of hair running down beyond his shoulders.
“RIGHT YOU GREAT BUNCH OF NANCY POSERS, I’M HERE TO TAKE PART”.
“Then announce yourself like a true gentleman”, the court steward demanded.
The newcomer snarled at the scribe, who then went to change his hose.
“I’M BRUIN THE LUCKY OF THE LAND BEYOND FOREST, AND I SHALL WIN THE FAIR HAND OF THE PRINCESS. BRING IT ON!!!”
“Sir Bruin, do you intend to fight this day in tourney?” the king asked.
“WHAT ALL DAY? I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THAT. I CHALLENGE ALL HERE TO COMBAT RIGHT HERE AND NOW. I’LL TAKE YOU ALL ON, YOU BUNCH OF BIG GIRL’S BLOUSES”.
With that announcement Bruin charged the massed force of knights, one wild swing of his ax sent half of them flying, a second swing took care of the other. Only one knight was now still standing. Sir Bruin advanced on him with a ferocious glare in his eye and the knight collapsed.
“Is he dead?” a woman’s voice cried out from the crowd, have you killed my son Gordon?”
Bruin looked down, “NO, GORDON’S ALIVE! I DECLARE MYSELF THE WINNER.”
No one contested his statement as people seldom correct a man who can kill two score in less than a minute.
Sir Bruin swept the princess off her throne and carried her up stairs to the tower room and laid her on the bed.
“I must tell you Sir Bruin,” she said as she set her jaw in defiance, “you may have me once, but when you fall asleep I intend to leap from the window. You shall never have my soul and my heart”.
“Princess,” said Bruin in an almost normal voice, “I may never have your heart, but you already have mine. I shall never force myself upon you in that way, but woo you in hope that one day you shall find me pleasing.”
“HAH-HAH do you remember a moon ago when you ran to the old forest to hide, and there you did stumble upon a bear?”
The princess nodded.
“It was I. I was under a curse placed upon me by the enchantress because I’d woken her up one morning with my singing. She turned me into a bear and forbade me returning to human form until I’d shared a meal with a fair maiden. You broke that spell, and captured my heart. After I became a man again, and got a fresh pair of trousers, I remembered your tale and I swore I would prevent you being forced unwillingly into the bed of a stranger.”
“Oh, Sir Bruin,” the princess said clasping her hands to her breast, “but for our marriage to be valid we must lay together.”
“I shall lie to them and say we did it like animals on the discovery channel, if anyone asks.” Bruin declared.
“I do not think that will be necessary, mister bear. I would be glad to share my bed with such a devoted and honourable man, and to have you as my prince and my king.”
“YES, GO ON MY SON!”
So Sir Bruin the Lucky became in time King Bruin the Blessed and they both lived happily ever after, barring rows about curtains, cushions, and whose turn it was to take the bin out on a Monday night, just like most couples. And they may have acquired a couple of bear costumes, but honestly we wont talk about that because what consenting adults do in their bedroom is no one else’s business, even if they are bloody furries.
Well, so much for that. Any comments, mistakes needing corrected, dumb errors, etc and so on. Actually I could do with being told what you think.