Once Upon a Time...
Arthur King ran a tight household. Everything had a place and everything was in its place. The house was spotless, the staff efficient, obedient and loyal. The cook was extremely talented and the food was always artfully presented and tasty.
The extensive grounds were manicured, the stables well-run and the horses well trained. Four daughters had married well and graced him with grandsons andgranddaughters. He should have been a contented man.
Daughter number five - the youngest - was the bane of his existence.
"Takes after her mother's side, no doubt about that," he grumbled as he read Sister Mary Katherine's monthly report. Margarethe had once again defied the laws of gravity and skipped evening prayers to scale the convent's walls and spend the evening in the nearby village. And once again, the village magistrate had dragged the wayward teenager back to the convent where Margarethe had yawned and filed her nails through Sister Mary Katherine's lecture on good manners, ladylike behavior and sins that would send the child to Hell.
"This isn't Hell?" she asked Sister Mary Katherine. "Being locked up in this monastery of a convent with a bunch of sexually repressed women with a taste for fashion that would make Mr. Blackwell's world's worst dressed list? Between you and me, sis, this group could use a dose of those queer-eye guys and while you're at it, lose the wimple thing - that is sooooo yesterday."
It should be noted that Sister Mary Katherine mumbled something about Satan's daughter and started fumbling with her beads to start yet another rosary so *she* wouldn't go to Hell. She also held her silver cross tightly in her fist in case the child somehow grew fangs...
Arthur King had suggested that the good Sister punish his daughter severely if it would keep her from her willful ways.
"I'm at my wit's end," Sister Mary Katherine had written. "I ordered her to scrub the floors on her hands and knees and she threw the bucket of water at me. I had two Sisters hold her down while I beat her backside with a switch. When her body healed, she cut more switches and dropped them in the chapel before the statue of the Virgin Mary and in a loud voice, lamented our cruelty. Unfortunately, the bishop was visiting; we were most apologetic and promised not to lay a hand on her again. She refuses to kneel in chapel and arches a disdainful brow when I tell her to revere our Lord."
"Later, when I told her I expected her devout attendance at morning prayers, afternoon prayers and evening vespers, she told me she'd happily pray for my immediate demise and did so loudly. I told the cook that she is to eat nothing that she likes and she left the table. I told her she would have nothing to eat until she finished what was on her plate and she cursed me. I had her mouth washed with suds and she vomited the contents onto my chest. After a week of near starvation, we could not let her die and removed that restraint."
"No punishment fazes the child. She remains willful and disobedient and unfortunately, the other students adore her. I admit she does not try to influence them but I confess she can no longer reside behind these walls. Please come for her by week's end."
"By week's end? God's teeth! I'd rather boil my own flesh!"
"Your daughter is so evil, she's been kicked out of the convent," Arthur told his wife Guinevere when they sat down to dinner. "That child can't possibly have any of my blood. Must take after that harridan of a witch you call your mother."
"You're right. She's not your child," Gwinny agreed. "Your friend, Lance Alot had a lot more than I bargained for and fathered her while you were off playing at fencing with swords and sabers. What was it you called that thing? Excommunicate? Exlax? Ex-something. So instead of twiddling my thumbs while you were skewering whatevers, I twiddled ol Lance and let him skewer me."
It should be noted that Arthur King was speechless upon hearing this bit of trivia.
"And for the record," Gwinny added. "Let me just say that it's time we refurnished. I'm sick and tired of this old round table; time to modern up and get a square one."
Arthur King had been startled and just a bit put-off when he heard the news about his youngest daughter's parentage but the idea of replacing the Round Table... blasphemy! He crossed himself, muttered a few prayers and then threw in a few incantations just in case Merlin wasn't available to kill the witch.
"Camelot, my ass!" he muttered.
"I cannot have that evil child in this household," he declared when his heart resumed beating. "I shall send her half-brother, Gala Had, to the convent and let him deal with her. He has been known to tame more than one maiden. Surely, he will find Margarethe no challenge at all since they share the same father. Who knows? Perhaps, he will take her into his household and teach her some manners."
That said, he wiped his hands of the matter and having rediscovered his appetite, used Excalibur's sidekick, the .38 Caliber short sword, to cut the roast.
Days later, Sister Mary Katherine sighed in huge relief that the charming Mr. Gala Had had come for Margarethe. Musing as she watched the two of them together, she thought their resemblance uncanny. Margarethe was Arthur King's child and yet... Had Mr. Gala Had had an illicit relationship with Margarethe's mother? Well, of course he hadn't, she realized when the handsome Mr. Had hadn't looked anywhere near old enough to be the child's father. Still... Mr. Had had a look about him that immediately reminded the good Sister of Margarethe. Tsk. Perhaps, Mr. Had's father had had Margarethe's mother? Had he? Double tsk.
"You will come live with me," Gala told his half-sister, well aware of their relationship. "And you will behave accordingly or you will regret it."
"Up yours!" the unruly girl replied and skipped out of the room before anyone could stop her.
"Up mine?" Gala Had had had enough! He was thoroughly enraged!
"Up your what?" Sister Mary Katherine asked, totally oblivious to the slang Margarethe had picked up. (Well, that's just what happens when one spends way too much time in the stables and in the nearby village drinking Star Buck's lattes with way too much foamy milk when one should have been attending evening vespers. Of course, it could have been worse - she could have been spending all her time in Internet chatrooms... learning about Pony Girls.)
"Going to upend hers!" Gala replied and took after the little she-devil.
(Oh! I do so love a good "man chases girl" story. Hopefully, Margarethe will leave him in one piece with all his dangly bits attached so he can continue to be the gallant Sir Galahad of our fantasies. On the other hand... if his sire, the noble Lancelot had had a lot less... Oh well, what's done is done, they should have danced all night, spilled milk, water under the bridge, this too, shall pass, share and share alike, all in a day's work, the more the merrier, and lots of other clichés I'm unable to recall at the moment.)
We pause here to allow our sweet Margarethe a head start as she runs from her half-brother, Gala Had. Oh look! She's defied gravity once again and scaled the convent's walls. Will Gala Had be able to follow? Since I'm making this up as I go along and with no clue as to where it's headed, I sincerely hope this doesn't turn into one of those incestuous brother/sister stories. I do so abhor the thought and if it did, it would have to be relocated to... *Cue the Rod Serling music here.* ...Erotica ~ Dark and Edgy!