Once Upon a Time...
Part Three
by sarAdora

~~~~~~~

And so it came to pass... NO! Not that story!

Gala Had finally caught up with his half-sister, Margarethe and took her to his home where she was to live until her father, Arthur King recovered and/or she was old enough to be wed to some hapless knight.

"What's wrong with the old sod?" Margarethe wanted to know. "Do I need to send a get well card?"

"Your mother donated the Round Table to the Salvation Army and put a long rectangular table in its place. When your father saw it, he collapsed. Not even Merlin, the magician could revive him. They even called in Jaxom and Mary to help out. Then they called Audra and her god-like husband but unfortunately, those two are still honeymooning somewhere in the clouds. It's a very sad state of affairs."

"Ho hum," Margarethe yawned. "Round table, square table, who cares as long as the food is good and there's plenty of it."

Aside with muse:
Me: This girl definitely has her priorities straight.
Muse: I knew you'd sneak food into this tale.

"You better behave young lady!" Gala Had admonished. "I'll not tolerate disrespect or incorrigible behavior. Are we clear on that?"

"Oh yeah, bro? What are you going to do if I misbehave or am incorrigible? It's not as if you can spank me."

"Oh? And what makes you think I can't spank you?"

"I have to be at least 20 years old before you can spank me and stay on this storyboard. Otherwise, it's off to The Dungeon and a severe reprimand and frown from the mean and nasty Ghost that roams this castle. Capish?"

"Oy! Now you're Italian? And for the record, you spelled that word wrong."

"You're Jewish, too? Who knew?"

And so it came to pass... again... (And this is why the three wise men wisely bypassed England and went straight to Nazareth, etc.)

Margarethe moved in with her half bro, Gala Had and Gala's younger brother, Gareth. Alas! There was no adult female living with them so naturally the whole countryside was soon buzzing about the unscrupulous goings-on at Gala Had's castle. The butler, housekeeper, cook, maids and groomsmen wisely kept their distance from Margarethe. She was reputed to have an ill-mannered temper and capable of causing toads to appear on top of the dinner table. Naturally, they only appeared when vile green things were being served... and mysteriously disappeared when dessert was offered. The upside to her magic was the invisible background choir each time the dessert was a chocolate one. People riding past Gala Had's castle gates swore they could hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing "Hallelujah!"

Aside with muse:
Me: Was the Hallelujah chorus over the top?
Muse: For chocolate? NOTHING is over the top for chocolate, babe!

Margarethe spent her days studying geography and foreign languages. Geography was a good thing to know. There were lots of places in the world she wanted to visit before someone decided the earth was flat. On the other hand, if the earth turned out to be flat, one could push Gala Had and Sister Mary Katherine off the edge... Ahhhhh, her life would be so much more fulfilling. And the ability to curse in more than one tongue was a fortuitous skill and one she truly wanted to learn. One never knows what will happen if one throws in a foreign pejorative expression in the midst of incantations. Merlin was sure to be impressed and get her that car she wanted. What fun it would be to race down the road. All the horses would be startled and throw their riders and everyone would get tangled up. The ladies' skirts would hitch up and their bare backsides would be exposed. Then the men would forget losing control of their horses irked them and they'd spot those bare backsides and much hanky-panky would ensue. Wow! Better than MTV!

Aside with muse:
Muse: Those are very naughty fantasies you're having.
Me: Up yours!
Muse: Tsk!

Then there was Gareth... If any young lad was ripe to influence and play havoc with... it was Gareth. What a wuss!  Margarethe thought. I wonder if he's ever seen a naked girl?

Aside with muse:
Muse: Wait! Are you going to write naughty things?
Me: Ya think?
Muse: Careful. There are innocents reading this.
Me: Name one!
Muse: Err...

Moving right along...

Until Margarethe's 20th birthday, she was actually very well behaved all things considered. There was gossip that she was a witch and destined to be a spinster - she was twenty after all... but Gala Had was determined to marry her off. Local knights already knew she was a shrew and had a black belt in karate. They weren't taking any chances.

Aside with muse:
Muse: Black belt in karate?
Me: It's truly amazing how much one can learn from books.
Muse: Oy! I think I need a drink.
Me: You're Jewish, too? Who knew?

So Gala Had sent couriers far and wide and finally, after many months drinking himself stupid that he'd be stuck with his half-sister for life, one of the couriers returned with positive news.

"What say you?" Gala Had asked, looking up from his drunken stupor.

"A gentle person - male and heterosexual, of course - not that being gay is necessarily a bad thing. Each to his own and all the other politically correct hype politicians throw at you. Did you know that the mayor of New York City marched in the "proud to be gay" parade?"

"I'm desperate for a match for the she-devil and you're giving me political philosophy? God's bones, man! Who or what has expressed an interest in marrying Arthur King's daughter, Margarethe and is he demented?"

"My liege," the courier bowed low and realized his boots were scuffed. Tsk. That new Kiwi polish just isn't what it's cracked up to be. "He is a most respected member of his community," he answered when he realized Gala Had was glaring at him.

"So was Attila the Hun but he got that way by killing off anyone who didn't agree with him. Tell me more," Gala sighed, not completely sure he wanted to be related, even by marriage, with the idiot who would wed Margarethe sight unseen and worse, temper unexperienced.

"There are actually two candidates for Margarthe's hand. One is a jolly fellow by the name of Marco Polo..."

"Marco Polo? An Italian? Egads! We'll be stuck eating lasagna every Yuletide! Or God forbid! Squid!"

"As in calamari, my liege? I hear it's very good cooked in marinara sauce and served over linguini."

Aside with muse:
Muse: More food?
Me: I'm hungry.

"Tell me more about this Polo fellow. I didn't send you to Italy. Where did you find him?"

"In the Orient... (Imagine pics of dancing geishas here.)

Aside with muse:
Muse: Marco Polo was in Japan? I thought he was in China.
Me: Hmmm... okay, I'll add a plate of fried wonton and plum sauce just in case.
Muse: More food?
Me: I'm really hungry.

"What is the most favorable thing you can say about this Polo fellow as an ideal husband for my undesirable sister?"

"He knows how to wield a cane."

"A cane? YES! He's welcome to be a member of our family. Just in case we need a spare groom, who is the other fool that wants to wed Margarethe?"

"Paul Bunyan, an American chap that chops down trees... or maybe he said he was as tall as a tree... or did he plant them? Hmmm.... no, that was Johnnie Appleseed - talk about a one-track mind - errr... I believe the gentle man said he was fond of whittling branches into brooms and such."

"American? As in the colonies? God's blood! That's treason!"

"If Margarethe married this Bunyan chap and sailed across the pond to live in the wilds of America, you'd be rid of her for good."

"Hmmm... Marco Polo and his cane vs. Paul Bunyan and the colonies. I'll let the girl decide her fate. Invite them for dinner."

And so it came to pass... don't even ask.

~ End Part Three ~

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