Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Quest for the Cup

Quest for the Cup

By Julia E. Moser

Juliet was uncomfortable.  The sash on her velvet scarlet gown was suffocating her, but, as a knight, she had to dress appropriately.  She sighed.  The feasts in Camelot were delicious, but how could you swallow in these horribly tight dresses?  Juliet walked into the banquet hall, her long golden hair billowing behind her, and sank into a seat next to Sir Gawain.  “My lady,” he greeted her graciously.  She acknowledged it with a curt nod, and became extremely interested in her goblet.  Some knights were impossible to talk to.  The feast began as King Arthur settled in his silk covered chair, and waiters carried trays of luscious food and tubs of sweet drinks.  Juliet loaded her plate with turkey, mashed potatoes, fruit salad, all her favorites, and dug in in a most un-ladylike fashion.

         When everyone had finished, King Arthur rose from his seat.  There was a grave expression on his face, one that Juliet knew all too well.  He had a quest for one of his knights.  She immediately tried to look as brave and eager as she could, though she knew she had an extremely tiny chance at being picked.  The king, who had only reluctantly knighted a female, would never give her a quest if he could help it.  “Attention, please,” he boomed, and the hall fell silent.  “A theft has been committed.  Merlin-”- at the name, the room was, if possible, even stiller-“has reported his magical goblet missing.  We have found evidence that the cup is in possession of-” he paused, as if afraid to say it-“Morgan le Fay.” Whispers ran through the room.  Arthur looked uncomfortably at Juliet.  “I have asked all of my knights but one if they will go, but none can.  Therefore,” he looked away.  “Lady Juliet shall take up he quest.” 

         I cannot describe the excitement Juliet felt the next morning as she was hustled into clunky silver armor and seen off by the Arthurian court as she and Swiftmane, her horse, trotted off into the distance.  For the first few days, nothing much happened.  A few deer galloped across her path, but nothing very dangerous happened until Juliet rode into the high mountains.  She stopped to rest in a cave and fell into a deep sleep, only to be awakened by wisps of smoke above her.  She opened her eyes-to find herself staring at a huge, scaly dragon!  Juliet stifled a cry, and drew a long, silver sword.  There was barely room for a swing, but Juliet managed a quick blow.  The dragon roared in rage, stepping back, and giving her room to stand up and finish the job.  Juliet quickly rode away, wiping her hands on her breastplate.

 From there, Juliet’s luck took a turn for the worse.  She had several nasty encounters with an ogre, a basilisk, and a werewolf, and was extremely tired.  At last, the welcome sight of a castle loomed ahead, and she urged Swiftmane to the front door.  She knocked with the huge brass knocker, and a pretty woman opened the door.  “Err, excuse me...” Juliet began.  “Oh, my dear, do come in!” the lady cut in.  “You look exhausted.”  Juliet, against her training, followed her into a beautiful palace, with red velvet carpets and polished marble walls.  The lady led her to a comfortable, luxuriously decorated room with a canopied bed.  “Rest now,” she told Juliet, “We are glad to offer hospitality to adventurers.”  She closed the door softly behind her, leaving Juliet on the bed.

 The girl looked around the room, taking in her surroundings.  Then she saw it.  A jewel-studded, shimmering cup was sitting on the dresser.  Thoughts raced through Juliet’s mind.  Why would the cup be in such an obvious place?  Was the strange lady Morgan le Fay?  She reached for the goblet-but the moment her fingers closed on the handle a screeching sound rang through the room, and a dozen spears were pointed at her.  There was no room to draw her sword; they’d spear her before she could even pull it out, so, craftily, she shifted the goblet to her left hand and punched the first knight in his helmeted face.  The rest backed off, warily.  “That’s right,” she yelled at them, “No more Miss Nice Girl.”  In a few moments, she was dashing out the red-painted doors and mounting Swiftmane, with the shouts of the castle’s inhabitants.  This time she covered ground 3 times faster than she had before, and in a few days, was welcomed back to Camelot with a delicious feast.

                The End