Ballad of a Mad Knight – Story

Hello, and welcome to my first story post.  I hope to post at least two stories a month to the blog, and at least one of them should be written specifically for this blog.  This story was a present for my mother, who loves reading, so I put a lot of effort into it.  The featured image is not mine, I got it here.

Enjoy.


The plains stretched for miles in every direction, until stopped by a forest. They were wide, and flat, bereft of any landmarks, or notable sights except for a dusty trail that was ever straight, ever true. The sky was clean, empty of anything except for the blazing sun. At night, few stars dared twinkle, and the moon was always at half full. It was in truth a gloomy place. But, we shall speak of another night, that of the Tale of the Knight. A lonely ballad that shall never been sung, never be spoken, for the truth is that its only witness could not care less.
Such is the injustice of the world.

The knight glared at a lone tree, a great evergreen beast of one, with wide spreading boughs that seemed to sweep the sky empty of clouds in their gentle sway. The knight glared at it, with swollen eyes from glaring. Silent tears filled his eyes, as he fought to keep glaring without blinking. The knight liked to think that the tree glared back, though as his horse was happy to point out, the tree couldn’t really glare, because it didn’t have any eyes., and too glare one must use one’s eyes. Common sense, as the horse called it. And, even if a tree could glare, why would it waste it’s energy on a mere knight relaxed on a tired horse, when both were quite possibly insane. The horse didn’t comment on this, so the observer must assume it is a Truth from God. Perhaps the only one.

In any case, the knight glared at the tree. The wind whistled through the knight’s rusted helmet, too, and that might have been the source of his irritation. Which one, one might ask? The rusted helmet, or the wind? And in truth, even the horse could not answer that question. But, the knight was, without a doubt in his, or the horse’s mind, irritated. Very. He preferred the word ‘furious’. It was more dramatic.

A squirrel happened to be passing around this time, and it became the focus of the knight’s attention for a while. He glared at the squirrel, and even the horse’s logic couldn’t keep it from glaring back. Then, the knight flourished his rusted sword, and threw it at the squirrel. Luckily the squirrel was a smart one, and had figured out that the knight was not, so it didn’t sustain any lasting injury. The squirrel scampered up a tree, and vanished into the gloomy forest that stretched out behind the knight.

The forest ended abruptly, as if someone had drew/drawn a line with some imaginary pencil for where the forest would end and wild, sweeping plains would begin. Whether there was any truth in this assumption was anyone’s guess, even the horse’s. The squirrel had nothing to say on the matter, as he was deep in the forest at that time, happily enjoying a hard earned nut with his family. In any case, the forest was gloomy, made up primarily of evergreen trees like the one that had been the center of the knight’s attention for a while. They grew in tangled twists, the ground beneath them barren of anything but the harshest, cruelest of plants. In their branches only the bravest of birds dared call home, for the forest was cursed, and birds and other creatures learnt long ago to avoid such places. The smell of carrion was often bad, for example, and the toilets content’s would sometimes fall in the wrong direction, which as the horse noted, probably contributed to the smell. Most fatal problems indeed, for the enterprising critter, and perhaps even for an insane knight in orange-brown rusted armor, and his horse.

The knight turned his attention back to the tree and was preparing to glare at it again, when he noticed a cloud of dust approaching along the earthen track that had led the knight to his position in front of the forest. He turned his attention onto this cloud of dust that grew nearer with every moment passed, and then he dismounted and strode towards his fallen sword. Unfortunately, his page must have forgotten to oil the joints of his armor, and he found himself lying flat on his front in the short, brown grass that stretched as far as his eye could see, which admittedly wasn’t very far. Even the horse chose not to argue, as it was currently engaged in fleeing as fast as it could from both the knight, and the cloud of dust. Straight into the forest that the knight had been too afraid to cross.

The dust continued to approach the forest, and the after a few hours it materialized into a number of figures on horses. When it came even closer, one could see that it was in fact a troop of soldiers, all attired in gleaming armor, with brightly colored tunics spread over it, and ornate swords. The knight felt a flicker of envy, but it died away quickly once they approached him. One of them, probably the leader, due to his plumed helmet, spoke to another, a page of about fifteen years of age.
“Look, there is an old suit of armor over there. Go and see if it is worth retrieving, son.” he said to the boy, while pointing at the knight.
The boy nodded, and headed off towards the knight, or ‘old suit of armor’, as the leader had described it.
He approached the knight and stopped, his hand moving to his heart when he saw the still-living eyes inside the helmet.
If the observer was inclined to the dramatic, he would, with great flair and energy, then describe some sort of grim ‘understanding’ or knowledge that passed between the two pairs of eyes when they met. A less fictional account would say that the boy probably didn’t want to have too clean up the mess of a dead body, or cook for an extra person or whatever other task he would be assigned should the knight become known to his friends. So, he returned and shook his head at the leader’s question. N/p?The troop mounted up again, and headed into the forest, the gleam of their armor diminishing as they rode further into the dark, deep forest, and the light seemed to darken, to grow, as if it had its malicious intent. By the time the soldiers had vanished their armor seemed tarnished to the knight’s eyes.

The knight glared at the aforementioned tree, his eyes scanning it repeatedly, in a vain search for something that would glare back at him. The horse wasn’t there to point out the hopelessness of such a task, and it was indeed hopeless. After all, he would be glaring at the tree for a long time now.

Finally, the knight succumbed to exhaustion, and dehydration. His horse would later found a University.

Such is the injustice of the world, that a mere beast could pull through when one of the most noble race could not.

If one looked closely, one would see the eternal, ever seeing eyes of that cold, hard evergreen tree glare at the knight. It did not like being glared at.

Perhaps the horse shouldn’t have founded his University, shouldn’t have been so full of himself. One never knows what an angry tree can try.

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