A Short Story - The Knight

November 8, 2020

A small group of musicians was playing a fast-tempo song on flutes and horns accompanied by a drum, mandolin, and a lute. The people were dancing and laughing, talking joyously as the King watched and clapped his hands to the rhythm of the music. His Knights were standing stoically at his sides watching over the proceedings, keeping an eye out for any troublemakers.

The big ornate doors at the end of the King's Hall suddenly burst open and a large group of men dressed in black from head to foot rushed in and started swinging their swords, killing anyone that was in their way. The King's Knights suddenly sprang into action pushing the people towards the side doors and cutting down the intruders.

The King looked to his side and saw his best Knight, Brandyn of Belwerk, standing with his sword out ready to defend the King at all costs, even his own life if need be.

The King shouted to Brandyn, "Brandyn, you have to go and warn the others! Tell them of this attack and get them prepared! You must go now, Brandyn! Go!"

"My liege, I cannot leave your side! Let me send another to warn the others," Brandyn pushed his sword into the gut of a man dressed all in black, who fell to his death in a pool of blood.

"Go, Brandyn, now! You must warn the others so they are not also all killed!" The King gave Brandyn a push towards the secret door behind the throne. Brandyn hurried behind the throne, quickly opened the door, and was gone with the door closed behind him. It was scarcely visible to even those few who knew of its existence.

A moment later, another Knight jumped in front of the King and took an enemy sword to his chest, and he fell at the feet of the King. Another sword quickly swung forward swiping the King from his left eye down his right cheek. The cut was deep, almost separating the King's face in two. Another of the King's Knights rushed to his assistance and cut down the attacker with one swing of his mighty sword.

The King was bleeding profusely, slumped over in his throne, his Knights almost wiped out. The last of them fighting a group of the invaders and soon, he too, fell to his death defending the King.

Another of the invaders, wanting his own glory, rushed up to the throne and ran his sword forward straight into the King's heart. The King died immediately.

All the King's Knights were defeated, laying dead in the King's Hall, as were all the revelers at the King's birthday party.

Brandyn ran through the tunnels below the castle and found his way outside the castle in a clearing in the woods. He continued to run on and on to the next village. Once there he ran straight into the great hall and collapsed from exhaustion, but immediately got up on his feet and warned the governor of the coming invaders.

Brandyn then left to return to his King but on his way he almost ran directly into a group of the marauders. He heard them before he saw them, and turned and ran around the group so he could return to the King's Hall. One of the marauders heard him running and chased after him. Brandyn ran as fast as he could but he was tired from his long run and the attacker was getting closer to catching him.

Brandyn ran on and on as fast as he could manage and went into a dark hole in the thicket and he disappeared. The man in black searched for him but could not find him anywhere.

Brandyn continued to run until he saw what appeared to be a light far ahead. He ran towards it. As he got closer, he heard sounds, unusual sounds, sounds like he had never heard before. He stopped running and walked, slowly, towards the light, holding his sword in front of him.

He stepped out of the thicket and into a street. The light was coming from a tree with no branches and had what he thought were vines connecting it to other similar limbless trees. And there was a lantern on each of these limbless trees. But the lantern was high, he thought too high for an average man to be able to light.

He thought he might have come into a land of giants. How else could such lanterns be lit?

Then some kind of machine rushed past him making a terrible noise and leaving a smell behind. He didn't like any of that and he tried to go back into the thicket he had come out of, but he couldn't find it. All around him was buildings and other objects he did not recognize.

Then a woman passing by heard him mumbling about his situation. She saw the scared man, dressed in some kind of ancient knight outfit, she thought, and she wondered if she should approach him...

She stopped and looked at him and realized he was obviously scared, and asked, "Are you okay? Is there anything I can do to help you?"

Brandyn just about jumped out of his skin! What is this? A woman? Of normal size? In a land of giants? And she speaks my own language? What are those strange clothes she's wearing? His mind was reeling with questions, "Where am I?" he asked.

"You're in Armagh," Kelsey replied, "Are you okay? You seem to be very out of sorts."

"This can't be Armagh. I was just in Armagh, standing at the King's side," he was very nervous and afraid, looking all around.

"What? What are you talking about? I think maybe you should talk to a doctor. What do you think? Can I take you to a doctor?" asked Kelsey.

"No, I don't need a doctor; I need to get back to my liege the King!" Brandyn was almost panicking now.

Kelsey walked up to him, placed her hand on his arm, and said, "Sir, please, come with me." She was gentle, quiet, and hoping to calm him down, and thinking to take him to the hospital where they could check him out, or maybe the police station so they could sort it out.

"Come with me, sir, um, what's your name?" she asked.

"I'm Brandyn of Armagh, the First Knight of King Edoard," he replied, head held high, towering over Kelsey.

"Okay, I see, Brandyn, my name is Kelsey. I'm also of Armagh," she said with a smile and a slight giggle.

"What's so funny? There is nothing funny here. The King is in grave danger and I must return to him!"

Kelsey led him along the road and around a few corners, eventually finding the hospital.

"I'm afraid that won't be possible, we haven't had a king in Armagh for hundreds of years."

"What? What is this nonsense? Of course, we have a King! I was with him just minutes ago!"

"I don't know what to tell you, Brandyn. Today, here in Armagh, there is no King. England has the Queen, in London..."

Brandyn cut her off, "What? A Queen? In London? What are you talking about?"

"I see there is obviously something wrong with you; did you fall and hit your head on something? I don't see any blood, no cuts. Well, anyway, here, let's go in here and talk to someone." She led him into the emergency entrance of the hospital.

Brandyn's eyes were shooting around the strange room, taking in all the unusual things that he saw, chairs of some kind of hard material, small tables at the sides of some of the chairs, piles of papers with colorful pictures on them. He couldn't understand any of what he saw.

After explaining the situation to the woman at the front desk they waited for a doctor. While waiting Brandyn tried to explain what was happening, and Kelsey tried to explain how it couldn't be happening.

The doctor finally arrived, and said, "So, you must be Brandyn, why don't you come with me so we can take a look at you".

The doctor tried to examine Brandyn but couldn't get his heart rate or blood pressure because of the armor Brandyn was wearing.

"Could you remove some of this armor? Jeez, this stuff is very heavy!" the doctor said as he attempted to remove the armor.

"Don't touch my armor!" shouted Brandyn as he jumped up and stood at attention ready to fight if necessary to protect his armor, his sword in his hand at the ready.

"Okay, okay, relax guy, sit back down, and wait a minute," the doctor left the room to get one of the other doctors as well as a couple security guys, just in case.

After some time Brandyn was tiring of their many questions, got up and started to walk out. The security guys tried to stop him but they were no match for the strength of this medieval Knight dressed in full armor. Brandyn marched right out of the hospital with Kelsey chasing after him.

"What happened?" she asked.

"They ask too many questions and I have to go back to help my king. Where is the place I came from?"

"Honestly, I don't remember, exactly. It was back that way a few blocks, then we turned, and turned again, and I think again. I don't really remember," admitted Kelsey.

"There's too much light, I can't see properly. Why is there so much light? It's the middle of the night. We must extinguish those candles so I can see better," Brandyn said.

"Well, in the city there are many lights so the streets are safe to walk, and it's not possible to turn them off. They turn off automatically in the morning," Kelsey replied.

Brandyn had no idea what she was talking about.

They continued to walk down the road, taking left and right turns at random, because Brandyn was leading the way and he had no idea where he was going.

"What's that up there?" he asked when he saw the power substation.

"That's the substation for the power in this area," said Kelsy.

"What does it do?" Brandyn asked.

She replied, "It provides electricity to the city so we have all these lights during the night."

"I need to make it stop doing that so I can see better," said Brandyn.

"You can't just make it stop, that's not possible, I think," Kelsey said as they approached the substation gate, which was locked with a heavy chain and a padlock. "I think if you try you might get electrocuted and die."

Brandyn ignored her, grabbed the chain and pulled. It simply clanged against the metal of the gate. He tried a second time, with all his strength, but again failed to break the chain or the lock.

"What is this? I cannot break it," he said.

"You're not supposed to be able to break it," said Kelsey.

Brandyn took out his sword, raised it above his head, and slammed it against the lock, and the lock went flying away in two parts. He grabbed the chain, threw it aside and walked into to substation.

"Wait! You shouldn't go in there!" yelled Kelsey, "It's high voltage! And you're wearing all that metal stuff!"

Brandon asked, "How do I make it stop?"

"I have no idea," replied Kelsey, "maybe there's something in that big box over there." She pointed towards a control panel box.

Brandyn marched right over to the panel, raised his sword, swung it down on the handle of the panel, and the handle went flying off, allowing the door to swing open.

Brandyn looked inside at the mess of wires, switches, and levers, wondering what to do with something he's never seen before. He reached in and started ripping out everything. Wires were now all over the ground at his feet, sparks were flying from the panel. He grabbed one of the levers and pulled as hard as he could and it flung off with a trail of sparks coming from the panel where it had been. Then another and another and more wires.

"What are you doing?" yelled Kelsey, and everything suddenly went black. That entire part of the city was suddenly powerless and very dark.

Brandyn stopped, looked around and up at the night sky, and said, "Ah, now I can see properly. Look!" He pointed to the stars, "You see those? I am in Armagh, I recognize those stars. But how is this possible?" He walked out of the substation and sat on the ground against the fence.

"I don't know what to tell you," said Kelsey, "Maybe, somehow, you went into the future from your time."

"That's witchcraft! It's heresy! Are you a witch? Did you do this to me?"

"No! No! Of course not! I don't believe it either," she quickly replied, "But, what else could have happened? This is the year 2020. What year do you think it is?"

"Of course you know the year as well as I do, and it's not 2020, it's 1165," said Brandyn. That left Kelsey speechless.

They heard some vehicles approaching the substation and Kelsey said, "Quick! We have to get out of here! Before they find us! I don't want to end up in jail for tearing apart a substation".

They got up and quickly walked away and into some trees and bushes. The trucks stopped and some men got out and walked over to the substation.

"How on earth did this get ripped open? That chain is too big to be broken!"

"Look at the control panel! My god, it's been ripped apart!"

"That's not possible! How could anybody do that without dying right here?"

While they continued inspecting the substation, Brandyn and Kelsey quietly walked away from that area and back to the street.

They walked to a park in the dark neighborhood, found a bench to sit on, and talked about the situation, then Brandyn saw something across the park. He couldn't make out what it was, but there was something out there that caught his eye. They walked towards it.

They arrived at an area of thick bushes and trees. Brandyn turned and looked at Kelsey, then walked into the bushes and disappeared. Kelsey couldn't find him anywhere.

"What on earth just happened? Am I going crazy? The power is out, and I saw a man in armor rip that control panel apart. Now he has disappeared right in front of me. I must be going crazy."

She walked home in the dark, undressed and went to bed. The next morning the newspaper had an article about the power station being ripped apart but how it had happened they couldn't explain.

Brandyn walked out of the bushes and back into the Armagh he remembered. He rushed back to the King's Hall and found the King, all the Knights, and all the people dancing and playing and having a great time at the King's birthday party.

He hurried up to the King and told him to prepare for an invasion.

This time, they were ready.