The Revolutionist's Tale | Teen Ink

The Revolutionist's Tale

August 19, 2011
By ChrisV. BRONZE, Hull, Massachusetts
ChrisV. BRONZE, Hull, Massachusetts
4 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Hello my friends, I have returned
From my court session which was adjourned
Without the verdict on which they sued me;
Oh, the faulty system that reviewed me.
My opposing plaintiff was, in fact, correct
But 2 and 2 they could not connect.
Suspicion of conspiracy against the king
Was the case to the court that they did bring.
But here I am, and in jail I am not
A punishment worse, in this kingdom to rot,
To conspire and conflict and criticize again;
To fight for my own basic rights. But when
I stand before an audience such as thee
Faces of disgust and mouths agape are what I see.
Before you judge my own morals ask yourself this:
How many unpardonable acts will you dismiss
Until it is YOU before your ruler that they bring
To beg for your life in front of your defective king?
Now, to my understanding your turns have passed
And it is time for my story to leave you aghast.
The bond between a king and fellow knight I will unveil
To which I call it the Revolutionist’s Tale.
A remote room without the simplicity of light,
Though not to be mistaken with the din of night.
Hooded figures sit around a table in wooden chairs
As a paranoid silence fills the tense, thin air.
An assertive voice cuts the air like a knife;
“It needs to be done to improve the quality of life
Of those out of his parochial line of sight.
A common coward hidden behind pseudo-might,
They have dealt with his arrogance long enough.
No more protest; we must fight tough with tough.”
And so, after hours of discussion it was set:
A single knight was to warn the king of a threat,
Though anonymous to its origins he would stay,
To break knightly precept and send his king into disarray.
Late that night, when even the stars had gone to bed,
Some light, by candle, from a windowsill did shed.
The kingdom’s tyrannical father still did walk,
Though without the fluent ability to talk.
Preparing to join his unconscious empire
Onto his bed where he will heedlessly retire
Only to wake the next morning, sadly, the same
Arrogant man that got him the reasonable name
‘Arthur the Ruthless’; a name made by the Knight’s faction,
Though agreed upon by those of his ill-fated interactions.
But as this castle’s noble was slipping into bed
That single knight ran into his chambers and said
“My lord, my lord, I have news that needs your attention
For the news I have to give needs urgent prevention.”
Amongst the commotion the king loses his place,
Stumbling out of bed and falling on his face
A sight that causes the knight to chuckle inside,
Though careful not to show it; not to cause a divide.
“What is this news you bring me at such a late hour?”
The king says, as rage in his voice starts to overpower.
“It appears there’s a bounty on your noble head.
For outside I noticed some guards who had dropped dead.
But left behind, upon the wall, was a note,
Pierced by an arrow, in which the murderer wrote:

‘The abuse of power has grown far too wide
For any person to bear. And when the people tried
To make our insincere monarch understand,
Instead of meeting with comprehension, he banned
Any protest against his supposed good name.
A name he has dragged through dirt and collected shame;
Arthur the Ruthless is how he shall always be known.
His diffuse cruel actions give us no time to postpone
For he, as king, to be dishonorably dethroned
Or at his head this next arrow shall be honed.’”
And on his conclusion a silence does rise,
Caused by a hollow threat based on semi-lies
Though not completely dishonest as there was some
Truth from his words that had and would later come.
“What do you propose for me to do, my good knight
For that unsigned note to me you did recite
Had no indication of what time I have to leave.
It could be false, a scam; I’m not sure what I believe.
But in the possible case that it is not
What would you do if in my precarious spot?”
“If I was you, my lord, I would hastily hide
And wait for this threatener’s rage to subside.
I suggest, for a week or so, that you live
With one of the peasant families to stay furtive
But of course if you don’t want to catch wandering eyes
While in your streets you’ll need a convincing disguise.
One that I can provide, if you let me do so
Though unwanted, it is needed, which I think you know.”
After much convincing the king did agree
To the disguise and the proposal to flee.
The crafty cavalier’s plan was now in motion;
Soon the king would have the obvious gumption
Of his wrongful judge, jury, and execution.
But would this knowledge be a stable solution?

The next morning the king awoke in an abode
In which, over the years, the walls had seemed to erode
To the point that they did not seem to be walls.
Probably due to the springtime’s strong squalls,
Falling victim to the beast of time, without repairs.
The king stares at the sky, which here was upstairs.
The knight brought the king in the dead of night
To this shack the king did not catch in his sight.
In his room the knight could no longer be found
But a woman sat at bedside, not making a sound
Until she sees that he’s awake, and begins to say
“Hello there, my fortunate friend, my name is May.
That friend of mine you know as the knight
Has returned to the castle, but now you’re alright.
He told me how he found you wandering without
Any food or drink, to which you blacked out.
He scrupulously bought you food and beer
And asked me if it were ok to bring you here.
But now that you are fed, rested, and have awaken
It is time for chores that need you to help partake in”
And on May’s last sentence the king did wonder:
Was there some heavy rock that she lived under?
“What do you speak of, woman? Do you know who I am?”
To which May replies “Unless you call me ma’am
I’d be in my right mind to force you back out
To your dirt-road bed. And to my word you should not doubt.”
And with her reaction the king does educe
That, to May, the knight kept his true origin loose.
The king, remembering his reasons for being here
Then realized his royal identity would need to stay unclear.
“Sorry for my rudeness, ma’am” the king did say,
“I did not mean for those first words to portray
Me in that negative light. So, about those chores…”

Most of the day the two did spend outdoors
Down in the dirt, where the people viewed his worth;
His people’s state of mind that earlier did unearth.
And later that night, when all the chores were done
The king found May with tears dripping one by one
Onto the dirt ground beneath their unsheathed feet.
“May, what causes your eyes’ tears to deplete?”
To which she responds “Oh, it’s that accursed king’s fault.
He excessively taxes only to exalt
His own self-image, one that is already
Tarnished in the people’s eyes, who grow unsteady,
And may be ready for a full blown uprising
But he doesn’t care, even with all our advising.”
May clears her eyes of her tears and heads for bed
Along with the king who, on his pillow, rests his head
But cannot sleep because of the things he put May through.
And while he believes the reasons to be untrue
He feels genuine feelings for another,
Not of love and not of remorse but rather
Of pity for May’s (and only May’s) situation
Despite her, in his mind, captious accusations
When he was king again he’d help her out
From the present to her death; her life, throughout.
Through the walls of his room to the stars he gazed
Thinking of his so-called selfless thoughts and praised
Himself, which helped him fall into a deep sleep.
A state that, someday, someone may opt for him to keep.

A week later and the friendship has only grown,
But still, the king’s true identity is still unknown.
The king informs her that he will be leaving:
A concept that May now has trouble believing.
May gives him a lecture to stay his new self,
That their relationship is merely put on the shelf.
She tells him to someday soon return
To which he assures her that she need not concern.
But upon her speech’s end 2 knocks on the door are heard
And by their strength the knocker, to May, could be inferred.
“Open the door before I kick it down again.
Do it now, within seconds, or I won’t refrain.”
To the door May rushed before his threat was carried out
And there stood a knight, power with but regard without.
“You know what I’m here for; it’s time to pay your fees”
May responds “We’ve already paid our taxes, oh please
Do not burden us with further taxation.”
“This subject is without negotiation;
Yes, you’ve paid taxes to the king, but what about me?
I have family to feed, clothe, and shelter, you see.”
And with this statement that knight lets out a laugh
Met with a door to the face, cutting his size in half.
She turns her head to face the king, eyes wide
And surprisingly says, “Wow, did that feel good inside.”
But at the end of this statement the door crashes down
Onto May, as she cries so loud the entire town
Quickly shuffles outside to check the commotion.
The king is sent into a maelstrom of emotion
Quickly switching from sadness to animosity.
But the corrupt knight that caused this atrocity
Now has his eyes fixed unknowingly on his king
And towards his majesty’s head his sword does swing.
The current situation finally comes to him
And he runs out of the house before his fate turns grim
Towards his colossal castle he begins to run
But the knight’s berserk frustration is not done.
Through poppy fields and stone roads they continue their chase
While between the king and knight is a decreasing space.

After some time the king reaches his castle,
Through the gates he runs, knocking over a vassal,
And makes it to his courtyard screaming “Help!”
Causing people to run out, to see whose desperate yelp
Filled and echoed in their busy, royal halls.
People fill in around the knight and king like walls
One of which, in the front, was the king’s fellow knight
That gave him the message of his threatener’s blight.
The king notices him and says, “My good knight please,
Tell these people that I have no disease
But that this deformed appearance is your doing
And it is truly your king that you all are viewing?”
The “good” knight kept his awe-struck silence
But the attacking knight seemed to have some reverence.
“Is what this man says true? Is he really the king?”
The “good” knight kept silent, as he could not bring
The correct words to his throat in this situation,
But the knight’s silence only brought about frustration.
“Step forward all those who have pledged oath to yours truly
For it is time to rule out the unruly.
The 2 knights before me must pay with their lives
But before they are killed begin with their wives.
You know what? End all those lives who stand before me
For they all sat idly by while I was gone. Not any
One of them did anything to help find me, because
They were still getting paid. To you all I have applause;
Are you happy with what became of your greed?”
But on this final word an arrow is shot with speed
Through the swarming crowd and into the king’s chest
Along with a second that successfully suppressed
The king as he falls to the cool, hard ground.

The crowd begins to scream and the knight escapes
To forever roam the world across different landscapes
As he cannot ever return to his old home
And feel underneath his feet that same loam.
And what became of that kingdom, you ask?
The king’s son was the next in line to fill the task,
But no better did the newly headed kingdom grow.
For true power is corruption, that much I know.

The author's comments:
My own character and tale for the Canterbury Tales, written by Geoffrey Chaucer. This is not a re-write/re-imagining of one of the many tales in The Canterbury Tales but a new story my own.

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