Author's Preface: Don't try to read this story seriously. You need to read it in the spirit of 'Monty Python and The Holy Grail (and the Broadway musical, 'Spamalot'). Thanks go to Wikiquotes for providing me the transcript from Holy Grail, to which I had lovingly swiped most of the dialog between Arthur and Dennis, and to STLyrics for providing me the lyrics from the Spamalot soundtrack (because this was typed mostly at work, whilst the Soundtrack itself was at home.). This ficlet marks Tygerlander's return into the world of fan-fiction. Sort-of. *This was published on my website August 2009*
~ The Tavern of The Lake~
"Are you SURE he's the right one?"
"Yes I'm sure. How else was he able to hold Excalibur, Seaweed?"
"Don't call me that! I am the Lady of the Pond, just as you are the Lady of the Lake. ... Unless you rather I called you by your given name, Sea Urchin?"
"Fine Fine," The Lady of the Lake replied exasperatedly, as she took another sip of ale. Her pale green gown of purest shimmering samite glimmered in the dim light of the Tavern. The Tavern of the Lake.... which should have been named The Tavern Under The Lake, but as the writer has a particular idiom she will not discuss, it remains.. The Tavern
Under of The Lake..
**Insert dramatic throat clearing pause**
The Tavern of the Lake was where The Lady of the Lake and her sisters, The Lady of The Pond and The Lady of the Bay, hung out once a week. It was run by the ever-friendly Barmaid of the Lake. Upon appearances, The Barmaid of the Lake was a young buxom blonde no older than 21. But appearances are almost always deceiving. Like the three Ladies, The Barmaid of the Lake is ageless... or rather, prefers that one not know her true age, but she has huge tracks of land, of which she's quite proud of.
"Has anyone ever asked our Mother why she gave us such silly names?", The Lady of the Bay asked, nibbling on some Nori snacks. "I mean... why did she name me Seafoam, of all names?"
"One should not question The Lady of the Ocean, you know," The Lady of The Lake replied.
The Lady of the Pond gave her older sister a nudge. "Don't switch the topic, Lady of the Lake. I want to know how you are sure that he is the right one?"
The Lady of the Lake set down the mug with a resounding 'thunk'. "Look, The Lady of the Bay started it and I did what my job description said, which was to:
- Live in the Lake
- Sunbathe on the rocks by the Lake, and
- Give Excalibur only to the man named Arthur, son of Uther Pendragon of the Castle of Camelot.
It's pretty straightforward to me"
The Lady of the Pond rolled her eyes. Being the youngest of the three sisters, she found her calling to be the one who questioned everything (living in a pond would do that to anyone after awhile). Bucking the traditional gown, she opted to wear a skin tight olive green wetsuit - an outfit a thousand years ahead of its time. "He's a looney! He's prancing around all of Briton with a guy behind him clapping two coconut shells together, pretending they're on horses!"
The Lady of the Bay shook her head slightly. Being the oldest of the three, she has learned to stay out of bickering and arguments. Her light blue gown appeared to ripple like gentle tides. "All men are silly, didn't you know that?" she replied, pushing back a strand of long curly brown hair.
The Lady of the Lake stood up, brushing off pretzel crumbs from her dress. "Arthur has been destined to be King of Briton. What he does with himself is his matter."
"But prancing around Briton like he does? Where everyone can see? Including the peasants?" The Lady of the Pond countered, turning toward her sister. "I mean, yeah, I'm only the Lady of the Pond for God's sakes, but I have two eyes and a brain. If I was in your position, I would get up out of the lake and administer an IQ test of some sort before handing some guy claiming to be an 'Arthur, son of Uther Pendragon'... Did you ask to see the birth certificate? I think not. And furthermore..."
"Shut up! Just shut up!!" The Lady of the Lake shouted. "What do you want me to do? Suit up and follow him around?"
"That's not a bad idea. I would do it," The Lady of the Pond replied.
The Lady of the Bay sighed and turned to the Barmaid of the Lake. "Can I have another bowl of Nori snacks and another mug of Ale?"
"Of course," The Barmaid of the Lake replied with a smile. The Barmaid of the Lake strode from around the bar with a fresh bowl of Nori snacks and a full mug of ale. She set both down on the table in front of The Lady of the Bay. "Is there anything else I can get for you Ladies?" she asked.
"A more competent King would be nice," the Lady of the Pond muttered under her breath.
"SEAWEED!" The Lady of the Lake exclaimed, doing the literally doing the face-palming emote. Suddenly she turned her head to the door, where the Sentry of the Lake barged in.
"Lady of the Lake," The Sentry of the Lake exclaimed, tossing her shoulder length black hair back as she adjusted her milky white not-all-there armor. "King Arthur and Patsy are at the side of the Lake beseeching your presence."
"Oh what does that Pooftah want now?" The Lady of the Pond muttered. "Doesn't he know that we're off on weekends?"
Ignoring her little sister, The Lady of the Lake addressed the Sentry of the Lake. "Do you know what it is he wants this time?"
"Yes, Milady. He is trying to recruit a peasant named Dennis to be a Knight of the Round Table. This Dennis does not believe that Arthur is the King of Briton and said he will join only if Arthur can prove you do exist."
The Lady of the Pond stifled her giggles while the Lady of the Bay smiled a smile of someone knowing something that the others haven't (which was so secret that even the writer knows nothing about it!)
"Oh Bugger," The Lady of the Lake sighed.
"Go," said The Lady of the Bay. "He will be Sir Galahad - the Pure, the Chaste."
"...the Brainwashed," The Lady of the Pond chimed in.
"Please ignore my sisters," The Lady of the Lake said, turning to both the Sentry of the Lake and the very ignored until now, Barmaid of the Lake, both of whom were already well aware of the personality differences of the three sisters. "Please show me which side of the lake Arthur and Patsy are, my loyal Sentry of the Lake."
"Of course," The Sentry of the Lake replied, bowing slightly to the other two Ladies before leaving the Tavern of the Lake.
"This shouldn't take too long," The Lady of the Lake said to her two sisters. "I'll be back."
"I should go with you to see this 'Dennis'," The Lady of the Pond smirked.
"No, it's my Lake."
"Have you tried living in a Pond?"
The Sentry of the Lake stuck her head back through the doorway. "Milady? Dennis is mocking Arthur fully now."
"Shit," The Lady of the Lake replied, "Okay, okay, I'm coming." She ran out of the Tavern of the Lake, following her servant's lead.
~The Left Side of The Lake~
King Arthur started to grow worried and frustrated, one after the other in turn and sometimes at the same time. Once again, he said aloud, "Oh, Lady of the Lake, please reveal to this doubting Dennis that you are real. (Pretty please with a cherry on top?)" He added under his breath.
Dennis yawned, straightening out his ratty tatty rags, picking up bits of stone and broken shells to take back home to his mother. Saying out loud to no one in particular, but most obviously to Arthur, "Look, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony."
"Be quiet," King Arthur exclaimed, fingering the hilt of Excalibur and straining to hear the tell-tale choir that heralds the appearance of the Lady of the Lake.
Ignoring Arthur, Dennis continued his diatribe. "You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!"
Trying to ignore Dennis, King Arthur closed his eyes and quietly muttered, "Please Milady...."
Walking a bit down the lakeside, Dennis continued prattling on, emphasizing his words with wild hand gestures. "I mean, if I went 'round saying I was an emperor just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away!"
King Arthur snapped. "Shut up! Will you shut up?!" He withdrew Exclaibur as Patsy grabbed his arm.
"Sire," Patsy exclaimed, pointing to the lake.
Arthur stopped and turned toward the lake, before quickly kneeling in supplication.
Dennis also turned toward the lake and his eyes widened. "Cor! .....Blimey!" The peasant stumbled and fell on his rear, staring at the sight in front of him.
About ten feet from the Lake's edge, the waters bubbled and foamed as the Lady of the Lake surfaced. Appearing to stand on the surface of the lake, The Lady of the Lake began to walk towards Arthur. "Sorry Arthur, the choir is off on the weekends. As was I, but anyway, what is the problem that drives you to bugger me on my weekend?"
"Milady," King Arthur replied, taking The Lady of the Lake's hand and kissing it. "Dennis does not believe that you exist, nor that by your powers made me King of all Britons."
"Is that all?" The Lady of the Lake asked, turning to the still-on-his-arse Dennis. "It is true, what they say. The legends are real. If you accept your destiny, I can help you prepare to join King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table." 'Mostly by dumping a ton of water, you filthy sod'' she added to herself.
Dennis slowly got up, his eyes never leaving the Lady of the Lake. "Oh wow," he gasped, before nodding slightly. "As Arthur has proven his Kingship, I willingly enlist into King Arthur's Court. "
"Come with me," The Lady of the Lake said to the still wide eyed Dennis.
"D-d-down there?" he stammered in a very high-pitched voice, motioning to the lake. "Won't I drown? I'm not a witch! I won't float!!"
"No!, I'm not taking you there," The Lady of the Lake laughed. With the clap of her hands, a tent mysteriously appeared in the clearing next to the lake. "First," she added, snapping her fingers. Suddenly, what seemed to be a ton of water appeared out of nowhere, pouring down on top of Dennis, soaking him to the bone. "You take a shower."
"BLIMELY!" He exclaimed, as he once again found himself on his tush, only this time soaking wet.
"You go into the tent, where the Seamstress of the Tent by the Lake will outfit you appropriately," The Lady of the Lake smiled, motioning toward the tent. "I will wait here with King Arthur and Patsy."
Dennis walked off toward the tent and hesitated at the entrance to the tent, turning back to look at the Lady of the Lake.
"Go on in," The Lady of the Lake nodded.
Before Dennis could turn back to the tent, he was violently grabbed and pulled into the tent.
King Arthur and Patsy took a step forward in alarm.
"Relax Arthur," The Lady of The Lake said. "The Seamstress of the Tent by the Lake is not a very patient woman. Dennis will be fine."
King Arthur exchanged glances with Patsy and then turned to The Lady of the Lake. "Are you sure, Oh Lady of The Lake?" He motioned toward the tent, which was swaying violently and accompanied by the sounds of a struggle.
"She designed my gown, Arthur," The Lady of the Lake replied. "She would not harm a fly."
"Oh," King Arthur frowned, finding it hard to believe, even if it was the Lady of the Lake saying it.
Soon, a deep, wet-sounding 'Ptooey' emanated from the tent and Dennis stumbled out a changed man.
"Behold, Arthur," The Lady of The Lake said. "Your new Knight, Sir Galahad."
No longer wearing tattered rags, Dennis... Galahad was resplendent in silver chain-mail and a white tunic emblazoned with a red cross. His dirty matted hair was now clean and flowing in the breeze.
King Arthur withdrew Excalibur and approached his new knight. "Kneel before me so that I may knight you."
Having lost his socialist views somewhere in the Tent by the Lake, Galahad readily got down on one knee before King Arthur.
Touching Galahad's shoulders lightly with Excalibur, King Arthur proclaimed, "I, King Arthur, dub thee, Sir Galahad... Knight of the Round Table!"
And somewhere in the distance, the faint sound of men can be heard cheering, "Yay..."
~Tavern By The Lake~
The Lady of the Pond and The Lady of the Bay were entertaining themselves with a game of Spot the Looney (which in a tavern setting, makes utterly no sense because the ones in the tavern other than them was the Barmaid of the Lake, and The Barmaid of the Lake was no looney. In fact, while it does not look it, The Barmaid of the Lake holds a Masters degree in Bartending Manang...)
"GET ON WITH IT," everyone in the story shouted, thoroughly embarrassing the writer, who tends to get carried away with her particular idiom...
**Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Story Appears with a rubber chicken to thwack the writer duly upside the head**
"Are you done?" The Lady of the Lake asked, as she stood leaning against the outside of the Tavern of the Lake. "My weekend was ruined enough as it was without some writer carrying on and on..."
"Sorry," the writer replied through the mysterious fourth wall of reality.
The Lady of the Lake sighed and returned into the Tavern. "I'm back and I need another mug of Ale."
"Right away, Milady," The Barmaid of the Lake replied.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail/Spamalot characters Copyright: © Python (Monty) Pictures Limited. All Rights Reserved.
The Lady of the Bay, The Lady of the Pond, The Barmaid of the Lake, The Sentry of the Lake, The (unseen, but only mentioned) Seamstress of the Tent by the Side of The Lake are characters derived from the mind of Tygerlander, after many repetitious listenings of the Spamalot soundtrack and watching the Holy Grail DVD, along with all of its bonus material way past her bedtime.
I have a lovely bunch of coconuts...