Three Tests Of A Knight
Jenny didn’t exactly trust Benjamin to lead the way. He was no outdoorsman. His pasty complexion was proof of that. And how good could his peripheral vision be with those glasses? Despite all that, she enjoyed the way he insisted on holding her hand as they climbed through the Montana foothills. It was like he was a brave knight leading her to safety. Okay, he was no shining knight. He was more likely to trip than she was, but he was her knight and that was all that mattered.
“Ah, Bennie,” she said. “This is fun and all, but if you think this romantic hike is gonna…you know.” It was the only the only sore point between them. She’d refused to go to bed with him for months. He’d stuck with her anyway. That was the first test he’d passed with her.
“I know, I know,” said Benjamin. “You still got to see this.”
“Well, what is it?”
He brought her to a cave entrance, well-hidden by brush. Like a gentleman, he held her hand as he led her inside across fallen stones and dead logs. As the sunlight faded into darkness, a new light replaced it. A golden glow lit their way forward. They turned a corner and entered a larger chamber. The source of the golden light revealed itself and Benjamin’s grip on her hand tightened.
The creature’s head swiveled on a long, serpentine neck. It’s wings were partially unfurled, spreading forty feet across the chamber. The scales of the dragon glimmered as though its scales were made from ingots of pure gold. Its yellow eyes gazed balefully at them, waiting. Jenny’s knees went rubbery and she turned pale. Bennie’s grip held her in place.
“Here she is,” said Benjamin. “The Virgin as promised.”
“Very well,” rumbled the dragon. It waved a massive paw and a stack of gold ingots materialized at Benjamin’s feet.
“You traded me for gold?” shrieked Jenny.
“To be honest,” said the dragon. “He asked for the solution to Cold Fusion first.”
“You were gonna trade me for cold fusion, Bennie?” she accused.
Bennie’s passion for science propelled her fascination for him. She merely believed he was smart when he coated his car with a new metamaterial he invented. He claimed it made Stealth technology look like child’s play by comparison. It made his car invisible to any present or future radar, and even made it literally invisible to human sight. Jenny had been dubious until the CIA and DARPA came to take it away. That was all the confirmation she needed of his genius. That was the second test he passed with her.
“It’s okay,” soothed Benjamin. “Intryllapaxinom here promised you wouldn’t be harmed nor imprisoned against your will.”
“You actually believed that?” chuckled Intryllapaxinom.
Benjamin spun on the dragon. “What do you mean?”
“There are ways around your childish bargain.”
“You bastard!” shouted Benjamin. He stood in front of Jenny, protecting her with his body. “Keep your gold!” He brandished a flashlight. He realized what it was, and threw it down. He reached into another pocket and aimed a toothbrush at the dragon. “Hang on,” he said, patting his pockets.
The dragon examined its claws patiently while Benjamin searched his pockets.
At last, Benjamin found his lock blade knife and threatened the dragon with it. He shouted, “You can’t have her! I love her. You’ll have to go through me to get her.”
That’s how he passed the third test with Jenny.
Jenny whispered over his shoulder. “The knife is closed. You need to pull the blade out.”
“Oh! Right.” Benjamin did so and brandished it once again.
Intryllapaxinom chuckled. “Very well, brave knight. I will honor our agreement.”
“You will?” squeaked Benjamin.
“Yes.” The dragon raised his head a little. “You’ve done well bringing the Virgin to me.”
“Thank you, Pax,” said Jenny.
Benjamin whirled back to Jenny. “Huh?”
“Pax has been training me for years in my dreams,” explained Jenny. “This is the first time I actually met him, though. Pretty scary, huh?”
“Training you for what?”
“Well, you know how dragons always demanded a virgin sacrifice? Everybody assumed the dragon just ate her, right? Kinda racist assumption don’t you think? And isn’t that a waste of a perfectly good virgin?” She put a hand on her hip. “Truth is, dragons weren’t killing the virgins. They were training us to be witches for the good of the people. That’s where witches came from, after all!”
“But, you promised Intryllapaxinom a virgin, and boy, I am NO virgin!”
“Bullsh*$@t!” coughed Intryllapaxinom.
Benjamin sighed. It was worth a try. “So does this mean I’ll be trained to be a witch?”
Jenny grinned shyly. “No, you’ll have a different purpose.”
Benjamin turned white. “I’m going to be eaten.”
“There you go with the eating again,” sighed Jenny. “Listen. In the stories a witch couldn’t lay with a man. If she did she’d lose her magical powers. That’s true. Also in the stories, witches had daughters. That’s also true. How can this be? Well, if a witch is in the magical lair of a dragon, her trainer, then all the rules change. She won’t lose her powers.”
“So how does me being a virgin figure into this?”
“The first expelled seed of a male virgin…”
“…the first ‘shared’ seed, that is, is the most potent and the most magical. That’s your role.”
Benjamin grinned at first. Then frowned. “I wondered why you weren’t interested in Stephen,” he sighed. “All those muscles. You’re only interested in me because I couldn’t get laid.”
Jenny took his hand and led him to another chamber with a soft bed. “Stephen has muscles between his ears. To be a great witch you need brains.” She kissed him deeply. “Most of all, you need a real love to make the magic happen. I want great, little witches with you, my love.” She pulled him to the bed. “Come. Let’s go make one.”
Cold Fusion: Currently impossible, but still plausible. Fusion is incredibly hot. It occurs within our sun. Cold fusion is a far cooler energy source, occurring at or near room temperature: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_fusion
Stealth Technology: A combination of different technologies that make an airplane “largely” invisible to radar. Hysterical press reports claim new radars can detect Stealth aircraft (and that is true), what the press doesn’t tell you is: the radars only know the aircraft is “out there.” They still cannot obtain a firing solution (a “lock”) and thus still cannot shoot the aircraft down. This won’t last forever…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stealth_technology
MetaMaterials: Strange combinations of materials in layers that create near-magical effects. This is still being developed. If this goes in the right direction, objects will not only become completely invisible to radar, in any regard, at any range, they can become invisible to the human eye: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metamaterial
Each week, it’s time to Picture It & Write. It’s been a while since I joined in this. It’s good to be back. The picture above is this week’s writing prompt. Look here for more stories based upon the picture above: