Chivalry is not dead.
It lives on in post-10pm, darkened bedrooms all over the Marina District this time of year. For this is the season of the dreaded backyard mosquito. The one that slips undetected through the sliding doors, lying in wait until evening time. Clinging unnoticed to the ceiling or high on the wall. Holding its little breath so as not to attract attention due to a heaving little chest or premature vibrating of its proboscis. Slowly rubbing its little prickly feet together. Grinning. Plotting each step of its imminent assault in the dark.
“When the light switch clicks off, that’s when we’ll get down to business,” whispers the sneaky bastard to his fellow Culicidae co-conspirators.
But there is no such business to be had this evening. Not in My Ladyship’s castle. Not while My Lady sleeps.
For M’Lady’s Champion roams the halls of this particular castle. I am Lancelot. Knight of the Round Table. Killer of Mosquitoes.
At the first audible “wheeeee” I spring from my chamber bed, deftly drawing my sword Tanlladwyr — which looks very much like a modern-day hand towel.
En gard, you sonsabitches!
Over the next 90 seconds, I lunge, quarte (covering my upper left torso), octarv (swooping over my lower right torso and leg), sixte (for the upper right torso and sword arm), then riposte when one of the midge-like flies buzzes my ear. Now i seize the moment. The world nearly stops, and I see everything in slow motion and in 360-degrees. As in The Matrix. I deploy a ballestra then flèche — my best move. Stamping then darting aggressively towards my attackers, arm extended. Sprinting past them so as to avoid a blood-sucking in the event that my attack does not meet its target. I scream like a banshee, just for effect. “Aaaayeeeeeeeeeheeee!!”
And then it is over.
I haven’t even begun to break a sweat. M’Lady groggily lifts a pillow off her dainty head and looks at me with one squinty eye. I slip Tanlladwyr back into its scabbard, and retake my position next to M’Lady. The assault on the castle has been quashed. The attackers dispatched. Faint red streaks on the chamber walls the only indication of the bloody battle that has just transpired. I can feel M’Lady staring at me in wonderment. Scarcely able to comprehend the sublime perfection to which she alone has borne witness only moments earlier.
But M’Lady needn’t utter a word of gratitude. The battle’s euphoric aftermath is repayment enough. Her Champion drifts off to sleep. Victorious.
In actuality, I don’t think I managed to kill a single one of them. But I’m polishing up my armor for tonight.
Thanks for reading.