The sun hits the gems of a young king’s crown as he stands on a port. Knights load cargo crates onto a ship. An emerald falls off the king’s crown. A woman wearing a black robe steals it off the stones and walks onto the ship.
“Your crown is missing a jewel,” a knight said.
The king feels the missing space on his crown. “Hold the ship,” King shouts.
The woman uses a witch’s staff to break into the king’s cargo and sees a shiny goblet wrapped in white cloth. “The cup of kings,” witch said.
A queen’s blond hair shines in the light as she walks through a crowd.
“She is here, I do not know how she found us but she is here,” King said.
The witch crushes the emerald with her staff. A knight opens the cargo hold door. A lantern sways side to side in the quiet darkness.
“King. King,” knights shouted.
The witch holds a knight hostage with a piece of emerald at his throat. The king walks past a row of knights and sees the witch.
"Well king it is the fall of souls that ignites an emerald dream,” Witch said.
“Do not do anything you will regret we can offer you freedom,” King said.
“I already have freedom I want the grail.”
The king laughs. “The grail is for holy souls not wicked beasts.”
The witch screams and cuts the throat of the knight with the broken emerald. A knight fires an arrow into the witch. The emerald falls and rattles into the cup of kings. The dead knight’s soul flickers in the emerald. The witch laughs as she breaks through the ship. The grail becomes covered in an emerald coding.
“No, stop her,” King said.
“What is happening to the grail,” Knight asks.
“Now forever the eye of the witch will be able to see the grail’s location.” The king holds up the new emerald grail.
Twenty years later the king bows before the royal throne. ” On this day my sword shall speak to the grail warriors of all centuries.” The king dips his sword into a green portal of pink rising spheres and smoke. “The liquid sword shall slay my enemies and rise the crown for my seed to come.”
A jester opens dual doors and throws a knife passed the king. The king’s eyes open as he rises from his knees. The jester heaves a laughing boomerang at the king. The king sticks his liquid sword into the mouth of a lion painted on the royal stone. A pathway of green liquid ignites and sucks the jester into the mouth of the lion. The lion roars as the liquid path streams the jester’s soul back into the sword. The king twists the sword in the moonlight as the trapped silent jester screams for mercy. The king places the sword on the wall. Hundreds of silent jesters scream from mounted liquid swords. The king drinks from the emerald grail.
“The moon always illuminates the stars when the soul of a jester wishes for his life back,” King said.
The king feeds the painted lion a sapphire treat. The beautiful queen with long blond hair walks into the king’s chambers.
“Who was that,” Queen asks.
”Just another jester trying to take the grail rather then walking the narrow years to eternal clouds,” King said.
Miniature crystal birds fly around a spiral birdbath.
“The wrath of God’s nightmares rides on the wings of crystal cardinals. How easily a blue jay and a cardinal can fight for love of dreams and fear of nightmares,” King said.
“The road to ever-after is the road of battle swords," Queen said.
The king sips from the emerald goblet. Snow sticks to the castle window.
"Can I have a sip," Queen asks.
"Only if you give the lion one more sapphire," King said.
The queen takes the sapphire to the bird fountain and poisons the gem with the wings of a miniature crystal cardinal. The queen tosses the sapphire into the mouth of the painted lion. The eyes of the holy lion turn dark and twisted. “
No what are you doing,” King said.
“What I should have done twenty years ago.” The beautiful queen’s voice turns old and raspy.
“You are supposed to be dead. Where is my queen,” King said.
“Oh she is not all the way here. I mean her head is in Rome and her legs are in Transylvania," Witch said.
The king puts the emerald grail into a cheetah statue. The cheetah comes alive and trots into the castle.
“You have twisted my lion, killed my queen and worst of all you have trespassed on holy land.” The king takes off a masse from an armored warrior. The witch kicks the leg of the king and swipes his crown with her staff. The masse rolls onto rose pedals. The witch grabs the back of the king’s head. The king bleeds from his mouth and starts to laugh in his final hour.
“Your castle has been sacked and you laugh,” Witch said.
“Oh please let me kiss my cross just once more,” King said.
“The last kiss,” Witch said.
The king takes off his cross necklace and bites off the end. Purple dust falls onto a joker card under the king’s foot. The castle shakes. Jester swords fly off the wall and stick into drapes over the witch’s head.
“You use magic on me king,” Witch said.
A hundred loyal jester hologram souls breathe to life from the swords and swarm the witch.
“No, all the laughing children, no,” Witch said.
Jesters dance and wield armored weapons.
“He is the king that captured you not me,” Witch said.
“They can not here you,” King said.
A jester steps on the heart of the twisted lion and gets swallowed by the stones.
“I have gems all for you, thousands of rubies. I will take you to them. No. No,” Witch said.
The king blows the purple dust off the joker card. Jester’s grab the witch and drag her into the lion’s mouth. The witch’s cry is heard through the hillsides as she falls into an abyss. White, red and blue jester orbs soar passed the king and into the wall of swords.
“I have what you need old friend.” The king takes a miniature crystal blue jay and feeds it to the lion. The twisted lion roars to holy order. The lion spits out the witch’s staff. The king picks up the staff and hits a jester orb back onto the wall of swords. "Oh jesters. Always laughing in the face of holy dreams." The king twirls the witch’s staff on his shoulder and knocks on the stones.
The leopard trots through purple drapes and leaps back into stone. The king takes out the emerald grail and looks deep into the bottom. A flicker of opening seas ignites a ship sailing in the bottom of the grail. Lighting cracks over the water. A young shipmate fights the breath of God as he tries to tie up the sails.
The captain shouts through the force of the cracking waves, “Boy I need you to save my daughter and protect her till the end of time.”
“I will captain. Do not go,” Boy said.
“I must,” Captain said.
The captain jumps after his drowning vessel. The boy walks below the bow of a rescue ship and sees a beautiful blond haired girl. The boy puts a blanket on her shoulders.
“Where is my father,” Girl asks.
“He is fighting the war,” Boy said.
“Who are you,” Girl asks.
”I am only here to protect you.” The boy lights a melted candle.
“Thank you.” The girl gives the boy a ruby ring. “For my protection.”
The king looks down at the ruby ring on his finger and remembers the girlish queen. The king pours out eternal wine for his queen.
A knight of the emerald grail hood steps to the king. “What are my orders my lord?”
“Burn the witches in a 500 mile radius of the castle and bring me their heads.”
“As you wish my lord.”
Fires in the castle's fireplaces burn through the winter. A violent pounding on the doors echoes the castle.
“Who is there,” King asks.
“Open up. Open up,” Knight said.
The bloody knight throws a witch’s head through the doors. “I have been waiting forever. Is this not what you wanted?”
“Well it is a fine specimen,” King said.
“Ah. My lord I wait a quarter decade for a jester blade, please grant me this wish and put a smile upon my face.” The knight kneels before the king.
“Feed the witch head to my stone lion and you shall have your prize," King said.
The knight picks up the hair of the witch’s head and throws it in the mouth of the stone lion. “She had this around her neck.”
The knight opens his palm.
“A crystal cardinal,” King said.
“I have never seen anything like it before,” Knight said.
“Crystal cardinals possess the magic of eternal nightmares,” King said.
The king takes the crystal cardinal and dips it into water of the birdbath. The crystal cardinal soars and chases blue jays up the spiral birdbath. The knight’s eyes illuminate in the magic.
The king pulls down the burgundy drape. “Choose.” The knight examines the paranoid jesters trapped on the wall of swords.
“There are so many,” Knight said.
“All will fit your needs,” King said.
“The one with the grape diamond. The purple stone is alive in the moonlight,” Knight said.
“Wise selection.” “That purple diamond fell from my father’s hand on the island of fallen souls as the sharks ate the weak of hearts,” King said.
“What happened to your father,” Knight asks.
“He was eaten by the finned beast and forever dragged into the depths.”
The knight puts a blindfold on the imprisoned jester soul in the sword.
“The grape diamond will be forever burning with the flames of my heirs, my lord,” Knight said.
“Do you see the witch’s staff," King said.
“Yes it is quiet peculiar. Is it from this dimension,” Knight said.
“I assume nothing, witchcraft is all around the doors of the universe,” King said.
A small marble rolls out of the witch’s staff. The king and knight stare at one another.
“A marble with crystal markings,” Knight said.
“The after taste of a witch is always poor,” King said.
“The marble has a fire inside,” Knight said.
“Bring it to the fire,” King said.
The knight stares at the marble and heaves it into the flames. A gold door shoots out from the combustion. Floating spheres and ashes of gold specs soar softly on the outer ridges of the door.
“A doorway. But to where,” Knight asks.
“There is only one way to find out,” King said.
The king throws the knight through the witch’s door.
The knight stands up in a dollhouse.
“Hello. Who is there,” Knight asks.
A head of a lion statue rolls down the chimney.
“It is so bright. What is this,” Knight said.
"You are forever trapped inside the house of witch children,” Lion statue. The knight runs. He pounds on the door.
“You are wasting your time, get comfortable. We have got a long ride. Forever the hearts burn in witch houses,” Lion statue.
“King can you here me? King,” Knight said.
“No. No, no. Do not try to escape,” Lion statue,
The knight pries at a locked window. “Did you have a good life,” Lion statue.
“I will count to five and you will release me or the king’s wrath of royal fools will arrest your soul,” Knight said.
“There is one way out, but I do not think you would be interested”
“Yes anything please tell me.”
“Open that window and take a blue rose to the hour glass,” Lion statue.
The window magically opens on command.
The knight looks at the blue glowing rose in a pink sun’s reflection. “Is it witchcraft?”
“Pluck the flower and dunk it in the sands of planetary orbits.”
The jester sword glistens in the pink sun light.
“Okay, I will dunk the pedals then you are going to release me.”
The lion statue closes its eyes and slowly nods on a slant. The knight takes off a blue rose pedal and stares at the pink sun. The hourglass reflects purple candlelight. He drops the pedal into the hourglass. The sands rise. Blue dust swirls in a miniature tornado and forms planets.
“Are those planetary wishes,” Knight said.
“Take a planet of your choosing,” Lion statue.
The knight takes a miniature planet. “Jupiter is my token to reality.”
“Yes, now you are getting the door you stepped through,” Lion statue said.
“Thank you for the wish,” Knight said.
“As long as the hour glass of orbits is alive so shall your wish.”
“Open the door,” Knight said.
"Just remember a wish of witches always brings about a price," Lion statue said.
The king gets on top of a white horse and rides through dawn. “Warlock are you here?” Frogs croak on the bank of a pond and leap into the water as the king dismounts his horse. A man with a silver beard and a black robe walks up from the ground and opens an oak doorway.
“Warlock I need your advice. My knight has been missing for four moons. He walked through a witch’s door and never came back,” King said.
“He is in the dreams of the witch now,” Warlock said.
“How does he get out,” King said.
“He has to bargain with the host of dreams.”
“You must take him back into this world,” King said.
“Do not order me king I am not under royal law.”
“You live on my land you follow my tongue,” King said.
The warlock takes out a wand. Red and gold miniature stars rise up and down green liquid inside the wand. The warlock waves the wand under autumn leaves. The king’s crown melts down his face.
“You better watch the way you talk to me,” Warlock said.
“You will regret this warlock,” King said.
“Beware of wishes dancing on the pedals of blue roses,” Warlock said.
The horse rides hard as the king swipes off the melting crown.
The warlock touches a dew covered spider web. “Good morning.” A spider crawls upside down on the web and drops into a hole. The warlock takes a dead bumblebee off the spider’s web. “The mystery of clovers has awoken.” The warlock takes a four-leaf clover from the earth and wraps it around the dead bumblebee. “Blades shall shine on eternal highways.” The warlock smudges the clover onto a sword. The sword swirls with green hearts. “The green hearts of steel have been born.”
Three knights dressed in village garments knock on the oak door.
“Warlock? We are in search of food and shelter,” Knights said.
Torches igniting the darkness as they walk down a spiral staircase startle the knights. “Warlock are you here?” The knights pull out assassin daggers.
“King’s assassins posing as sheep,” Warlock whispered.
The knights walk down a dark tunnel. “Warlock where are you?” The warlock stands in the middle of the darkness. A knight hears deep breathing through ancient nostrils.
“What is that,” Knight said.
A green beating ghost heart appears in the darkness. “Warlock?” The door shuts behind the knights. They hear a buzzing sound. The warlock scrapes the sword on the brick tunnel. Hundreds of large green spirit bumble bees twisted with unnatural heartbeats fire off the sword. The knights put up their shields. The warlock dances with the hearts of steel. Burning green hearts engulf the knights. The bumblebee spirits sting and age the knights into falling skeletons. The warlock walks through the green flames and shakes off his sword as he steps into the light.
Wind blows through the castle halls. The king picks up a bronze sword and sees the knight’s reflection in the blade. “You are back,” King said.
“Yes my lord."
“Where have you been?”
“The dimension of dreams and outer stars,” Knight said.
The king fills the emerald grail with riches. “Sorry for my actions. My thirst for the supernatural took control of me.”
“I forgive you my lord. For the hours of witches and nightmares are over,”
“Accept these gems as tokens of my forgiveness.”
The knight looks in the emerald grail and sees rubies shinning in the flames of the fireplace.
“Can I sip from the cup of everlasting,” Knight said.
“Please do. Tell me about the door,” King said.
“It was a quick walk through of dreams. I talked to the statue of an armored lion and he told me that he did not need me to stay,” Knight said.
“That is it,” King asks.
“Yes my lord. He was very gracious.”
“The warlock by the pond must be executed,” King said.
“For what reason,” Knight asks.
“Treachery on his king,” King said.
“I see my lord, I will ride out in the morning.” The knight puts the rubies in his armor.
The knight opens the oak door and walks down the spiral staircase. Floating orange leaves rise up to the knight’s path. The warlock with his back to the knight sits and writes in a book of prophecies.
“Did you keep it,” Warlock asks.
“Put your hands to the sky,” Knight said.
“You did not answer the question,” Warlock said.
“Keep the wish,” Knight said.
“You did. Does it speak to you,” Warlock said.
“How can a wish speak,” Knight said.
“All wishes speak if you listen ever so closely,” Warlock said.
The knight takes out the glowing blue rose pedal and blows it at the back of the warlock. The warlock quickly turns and points his wand at the pedal. The pedal turns to crystal. The knight spins and uses the jester sword to slice the pedal. Shards of crystal shoot into the Warlock’s throat. The knight walks to the warlock.
“Your powers are weak,” Knight said.
“I am headed for the starship of ever after, and for you well let us just say wishes do come true,” Warlock gasped.
The knight cuts off the head of the warlock. He takes the warlock’s wand and walks up the spiral steps. Crisp autumn air hits his face as he opens the oak door. The knight crushes the wand on a rock. Warlock spirits rise and swarm the knight. The knight rolls to the ground and holds up his sword. A twisted hologram jester head with large skeleton teeth comes out of the sword and sucks in the warlock spirits. The knight opens his eyes and sees two silver jester bells rolling on the ground. Autumn trees sway in the wind.
The knight walks down candle lit halls of the castle. He enters the king’s chambers.
“Is the warlock still alive,” King asks.
“He has joined the trumpet tunes in the clouds,” Knight said.
“Good. Now pass me the grail,” King said.
Servants dress the king in a royal robe.
“A king’s grail,” Knight said.
“What,” King said.
“So blessed with jewels of the land, the finest woman and blades of pristine craftsmanship,” Knight said.
“Hand me my grail knight,” King said.
The knight looks deep into the grail.
“When you threw me into the witch’s door it proved to me that you are not worthy of the cup of kings,” Knight said.
“Oh and who shall take my place,” King asks.
The knight’s jester sword scratches his metal holster. The king takes out a hidden dagger and charges the knight. The knight slices down the king and takes out the miniature Jupiter.
“I wish to be king for the rest of my days,” Knight shouted.
A gold crown and sapphire bracelets form on the knight. A servant pounds on the king’s doors.
“King the villagers have started an uprising on the account of to many innocent woman being hanged as witches. They are coming. Let me in,” Servant said.
The king laughs wildly as he holds his wound. The knight looks at villagers holding torches and axes from the window. The servant screams. Villagers start to break down the king’s doors. A marble rolls out the end of the witch’s staff and hits the feet of the knight. Burning arrows fire though the windows. The knight’s face drops.
“To the end of your days,” King laughs to death.
The villagers break into the king’s chambers. The knight picks up the marble and throws it into the fire. The witch’s door opens up from the flames. The villagers hold back as supernatural light shines in the chambers. The knight holds the emerald grail and walks through the door. The knight covers his eyes from the blinding light and opens to see hundreds of royal dolls sitting in a tiny house.
“Good to see you, your highness,” Lion statue.
The knight freezes. Red dust trails a crystal cardinal as it soars in the window. The witch’s hand takes the emerald grail from her new king doll and shuts the door on the eternal dollhouse.
Text: Daniel Blum
Publication Date: 04-17-2012
All Rights Reserved