"The Fellowship of the Grail"

What do you get if you mix JRR Tolkien with Arthurian legend, throw it in a blender and add some general insanity? You get this thing, which is something I wrote a few years ago just for the hell of it. It’s very silly, but I’ve been feeling quite down and tired and generally fairly BLEARGHH sod the hell off this week, so I believe a dose of silliness might be good. Also, there’s so much talk of The Hobbit in various places that I just felt like jumping on the bandwagon – without actually jumping on it at all. So take your Hat of Seriousness off and jump into Non-descript Fantasy World for a bit!

“The Fellowship of the Grail”

^^ HOLEE GRAYLE ^^

“Have I told you about the time when my uncle went to the City to see–“
“Where babies come from. Yes, you have.”
“Oh. What about the story of the Witch Who Would Not?”
“Yes.”
“So …” Grandfather Byl looked down his pipe with a frown. “Where has Samawel got to, then?”
“Samawel has not yet returned, as well you know,” answered Follor. “I wonder what’s taking him so long. I thought monsters hadn’t been invented.”
“May I remind you that he went to do … something,” and suddenly, the old man became very vague, “to … something … er, somewhere.”
“I thought you’d already found the Holy Grail?”
“Of course I have! It’s over there.”

Grandfather Byl pointed toward the fireplace, where a great golden chalice rested on the mantelpiece.

“Is that it? The Holy Grail?”
“Yes, and it’s very ugly. I’m considering making it into a set of doorknobs.”
“What?! You can’t do that!”
“Why not? It’s my Grail, isn’t it? I can do whatever I choose!”
“But it’s the Holy Grail, with which the Lord shared the wine at his Last Supper!”
“So did I, and very drunk I was too. It’s far too big for a wine glass, I tell you; my head’s still pounding. Who’s this Lord person, anyway? You’ve been at them potions again, boy? I told you that wizard’s up to no good.”
“His name is Ephrame, Grandfather, and no, I’ve not taken any potions.”
“So where did you get that strange idea from, then? Mmh?”
“From … oh, never mind.”
“Good lad. Now, er … ” Byl gave the younger man a good, long stare. “You cannot possibly touch my Grail, is that clear?”
“Yes, Grandfather.”

The grandson felt he had about a ton of reasons to believe his grandfather’s sanity was about to leave the premises without even bothering to turn the lights off first.

“I mean it! I shall become very crossed if you ever so much as touch it.”
“I thought you hated it and wanted to turn it into doorknobs.”
“Don’t mark words like a teenaged half-wit, boy.”
“I’m not a half-wit! And I’m 27 years old!”
“Really? You’re awfully short for 27.”

Follor chose not to reply. Instead, he gave his grandfather a glare and then promptly went to the nearest pub. In his place, a man with a great big beard and a great big pointy hat entered the peculiar, pyramid-shaped little cottage. (Byl had always been a bit of an outsider.)

“Greetings, Byl.”
“What do you want, wizard?”
“I have come for the Holy Grail.”
“Well, you can’t have it, and that’s that.”
“But I have been away for so long, seeking answers …”
“Oh yeah? And what’s that got to do with me?”
“Could I perhaps have a look at it?”
“Suit yourself.” He pointed toward the mantelpiece again. “There it is. – Hey! Stop that! What are you doing?!”
“I am trying to see if this is the One.”
“By chucking it in the fireplace? ” Byl looked confused for a moment. “You weirdo. I could’ve just told you. It’s the real deal, alright.”
“How do you know?”
“Basically because I found it underneath a big sign saying ‘HOLEE GRAYLE’. It doesn’t really get much more obvious than that. There was some really stale bread lying around as well. Not to mention a really nasty drawing of some bloke called Judy.”
“How can you be sure it is the one and only Holy Grail? Have you tried drinking from it?”
“Have I ever! I got drunk as a sailor’s trousers!”
“I beg your pardon?”
“A sai– Look. Could you please remove my Grail from the fire? I don’t want it to become all sooty.”

Instead of responding, the wizard pushed the chalice out of the flames with a poker. He bent down to lift it up, but Byl there got first, and snatched it out of the wizard’s reach.

“Don’t touch it, you’ll burn yourself!”

Realising he was holding red hot metal, Byl quickly dropped the Grail to the floor, screaming in pain as blisters started to organise themselves.

“Foolish man,” the wizard murmured, giving the chalice a closer inspection on the floor.
“What exactly are you hoping to find there, anyway? A strange and mysterious poem, written in Elvish years and years ago, warning people about the darker side of things?”

The wizard stared at him.

“No. That’s exactly what I hope not to find. Not on this thing, anyway. ” He took a step back. “The cup is perfectly clear of any writing, just as it should be. This is, in truth, the One. May I borrow it for a while?”
“No.”
“Please?”
“No.”
“Pretty please?”
“Absolutely not. Not now, not ever. It’s Follor’s birthday present.”
“I’ll give it him.” The stubborn look on the old man’s face showed a dead end. He would have to retreat and regroup. “Alright then, give it to Follor.”
“That’s my intention.”
“Farewell then.”
“Bye now.”

As the door slammed shut behind the wizard, Byl lifted the slightly colder Grail from the floor and caressed it possessively.

“I won’t let them harm you, my precious …”

~*~

Funny how there’s no actual fellowship in it. I never got that far because I couldn’t be bothered to continue.

The only difference from the original I wrote back in … yonks ago is that it’s been polished a bit. Not too much, admittedly, but I think it flows a bit better now than it used to and the pace is better. It still kinda goes nowhere and uses too much dialogue and too little description, but sometimes I just get dialogues in my head (hrm, surely that came out wrong) that I just have to write down. 🙂 Strangely enough, the characters tend to be arguing with one another, or at least have a heated discussion. If I then have a fragment of the discussion, I find that if I start writing it down, soon they’ll tell me more about what’s going on and what they’re talking about. Sometimes you just get a moment’s worth of silliness and nothing more, but all writing is practice, so it’s all good.

Just to clarify: No, I don’t hear “voices“. 😛 Although they say the line between creativity and madness is fairly thin … but either way, I’m more schizoid than schizophrenic. (At least according to a test I did a few years ago, but then again, I scored high on both of them. Gulp? Maybe I should re-take it.) Then again, I might also have adult ADD for all I know, no one’s ever sat me down with a formal psychological evaluation quiz and there’s too much junk on the interwebs … some of which I’m contributing to, yay!

“Stop that! It’s silly!”

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