Author Topic: A Knight In Shining Armour  (Read 2812 times)

Offline pete.r.

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A Knight In Shining Armour
« on: January 13, 2014, 02:50:59 PM »


                    A Knight In Shining Armour

A Story in four parts

Part One

It had been one of those days. Everything had gone wrong.Dora felt that she'd had enough,everyone and everything seemed against her.

"I can't stand any more Slugs", she said. "I'm working 18 hours a day,all the cruelty in the world that I see in horses brought in to me,
I havn't room to take any more in, I had to turn three away today that needed my help. Theres no money to build any more stables,
I can only just afford to keep the horses I've got, Slugs, I'm at my wits end, there must be more to life than this."
"Come on now girl" said Slugger." Chin up. We all have bad days. Keep on going, think of all the good things, all the good work you do."
"I can't" she replied, "I've just reached breaking point. I think I'm going to have a breakdown."

Just then the phone rang. "It's Steve, Dora, he's up at the Old Mill House, A horse is injured, the vets with him. They need someone to settle him, the horse is in a bad way."
 I'll get Ron" said Slugger, "He'll take you up on his bike, you'll be there in next to no time."

When they arrived the horse was in pain, and suffering. Dora looked into his eyes, his sad eyes. Dora's eyes were sad too. She put her arms round him and held him and spoke softly to him.
 "I'm sorry" said Steve, "He's broke his leg in the fall, The Vets loading his gun up now.
 He'll have to be put down."
Dora stroked the horse lovingly. He seemed to know what was going to happen. Dora turned and walked away. She heard the click of the gun barrel.
Then she ran and ran and ran as fast as she could. But she heard the gunshot. And she stopped running. And she
screamed. And she sunk to her knees, sobbing. And her eyes were a mirror of how the horses eyes were. Frightened. And not knowing what to do.
And she felt so alone.

Steve and Ron gently helped her up, her body trembling.

"This is the end" said Dora, through tears. I've had enough. Take me home."

Back at the farm, the Colonel and Slugger were waiting for Dora. She ran to them crying hysterically.
"Come on now Dora" said the Colonel hugging her, tell me all about it."
"I'll go and make a nice cuppa tea" said Slugger.
"Oh Uncle", said Dora, "It's everything. I need to get away. I need to leave. To do something different. Something that doesn't break my heart every day."

"I know" said the Colonel, have your cup of tea, then get a good night's rest, we'll have a nice talk about it in the morning."
"It'll seem better tomorrow" said Slugger. You'll see."

Tomorrow came, but it wasn't any better. Dora didn't sleep much and when she did she had nightmares.
She could see the horse, feel his pain. She heard the gunshot over and over again. She came downstairs,
carrying a suitcase.

Steve and Ron were just having their breakfast. Steve looked up and saw Dora, he missed his mouth and poured
his tea over his lap." Arrrrrgggghed" he screamed, he stood up, grabbed a teatowel, and gently massaged the
rather sensitive area. Ron was munching on a blackened sausage.
"Whats up? Steve me old mate," he said grinning. "Was that 'ot?"
Steve stared at Ron for a second, then suddenly remembered Dora.
"Dora", he said, still dabbing his trousers, "The suitcase".Ron dropped his charred sausage onto his plate. It almost broke it.
Ron then cupped his hands to his mouth. "Lemmee out" he said, "Lemmee out."
"That supposed to be funny?" said Steve.
"Only joking" Ron replied. "Only pretending there's a dummy in the suitcase."
"Theres only one dummy round here" said Steve," And thats you'"
"My, we are tetchy this morning" said Ron.

Steve turned to Dora.
"You can't leave" said Steve. "You mustn't leave. Please tell me your not leaving."
There were tears in Steves eyes.
Dora didn't know whether they were for her, or whether it was because of the pain he was in.

She thought for a moment, then said, "I'm going."

To be continued.........
Cut out the strong to help the weak

Offline pete.r.

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Re: A Knight In Shining Armour
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2014, 01:59:48 PM »
Part two

Dora paused in mid sentence. "I'm going to decide in a day or two" she continued. "I'm
not sure yet whether to leave or not."

"Please stay" said Steve, "Stay for me Dora. Together with Follyfoot we can make dreams
come true. Don't give in now."

"I'm going out" Dora replied, "Going for a ride on Copper."
"Wait" said Steve.."No" said Slugger. "She needs to be alone. Alone with her thoughts. She needs
to decide what she needs to do."
"I'm worried Slugs," said Steve. "Worried about Dora."
"We all are" said Slugger.
"But what if she does something stupid" said Steve. "She's not herself, she's not in the right frame
of mind mentally." The Colonel interrupted....
"Steve, Dora knows her own mind, we must let her make her own decision and stand by that
decision. We must let her.....Good Lord Steve," said the Colonel, "Are you alright, you seem to be
walking a bit funny."
"I'm fine" Steve replied, "Just had a little accident this morning with something brown that didn't agree with me."
"Oh quite, yes I know what you mean" said the Colonel, "Those horses can cause nasty injuries
when they kick out."
Ron coughed in the background.
"Yes, and so can I" said Steve looking straight at Ron.
"Anyway" said the Colonel, "Dora will do what she has to do."

It was a long day. Steve kept looking at his watch. Four o clock and Dora hadn't returned.
"I'm worried Slugs" he said. "Whats she doing?."
"Dunno" said Slugger, "Thought she'd be back by now."
"Just going to take Socks out for a trot" said Ron, "He needs some exercise."
"Well don't be late" said Slugger, "I've done rhubarb and prunes for tea."
"I wouldn't miss that for the world, Slugs me old mate" said Ron, "Should be a moving experience."
Even Steve had to smile.

Ron knew what he was doing and where he was going. He galloped up to the Old Mill House.
There was Dora, sitting at the spot where she'd been the day before with the horse.
"Are you o.k. Dora" said Ron.
"How did you know I'd be here?" said Dora.
"I just knew" replied Ron.

"I needed to think" said Dora, "About my future. It's a cruel world out there."
"But we can't change it" said Ron. "We can only try and help the best we can. It's no good
running away or burying our heads in the sand."
"I know" said Dora, "Thats why I came back here.To see how I felt."
"And how do you feel" said Ron.
"Sad", said Dora, "Sad that I can't help every horse in distress. But I have to try Ron, it's in me.
I won't give up. Ever. Even talking to a dying horse, making his last few minutes on this world
a little easier, I tried, and I'll keep on trying, My heart won't do anything else.
My heart wants to help."

"Thats the spirit girl" said Ron. He looked at Dora and smiled. Dora smiled back.
Ron put his hand on hers and gave it a gentle squeeze.
It felt nice.

"Dora," he said, "I've something to tell you. I"..... He stammered. "I,... I... I think I...."

To be continued.........
Cut out the strong to help the weak

Offline pete.r.

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Re: A Knight In Shining Armour
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2014, 11:27:33 PM »
Part three

"I think I ...
"What?" said Dora.
Ron took his hand away from hers.
"I think I should take you back" he said. "The others will be worrying about you."
Dora got up. Ron was annoyed with himself. He'd wished he'd not wasted that moment now, that moment
to tell Dora how she looked so alone and in need of a Knight in shining armour to help her and how Ron wanted
to be that Knight and reveal his love to the Damsel in distress. But Ron was frightened and didn't know what to
do. Just like the horse the day before, there was fear and sadness in Rons eyes, and, like the horse, Ron wanted
Dora to put her arms around him and hold him and comfort him. But Ron knew this could never happen. He knew
he could not be the gallant Knight Sir Galahad and give his unrequited love to his Lady Guinevere.

So, like the horse, Ron wanted to be put out of his misery too. But he would have to suffer. No one could help him.

They rode back to the farm. Ron could barely see where he was going for the tears in his eyes. As soon as they
got back Dora rushed into the house.
"Steve" she shouted, "Steve, I'm staying, I've decided not to go."
"Thats great news" said Slugger, "Really great news."
"Wheres Steve?" said Dora, looking at the empty chair he normally sat in.
"He's not here" Slugger replied. "He left about an hour ago. He's gone looking for you. He was worried. Don't
fret, he'll be back soon."

Ron went into the back room, got out some after shave someone had bought him years ago and sprayed himself
with it until he was a walking cloud. He wet his comb and spruced up his hair and sideburns. His hair stood on
end as if he'd had an electric shock. He sprayed his underarm deodorant on with gusto.
"Blimey" he said,"That stings a bit". Then he realised it was flykiller spray he'd used. He then gave another
shot of after shave down his shirt front and went back into the room.

"Any supper left?" said Dora, I'm starving, it was so cold out there.
"Is there any supper left she says, is there any supper left. Do the stars come out at night?. I've got buckets of
it" said Slugger. "I'll go and get the pan on. Stews on it's way. Any supper left she says"
Slugger went into the kitchen.

"Dora" said Ron,"There's something I need to talk to you about." He sat down next to her. Again, he got that nice
feeling. He could feel the warmth from her body.
"Whats that smell?" said Dora, coughing and choking, "Has Slugger been bleaching the toilet again."
Suddenly the door opened and in walked Steve.
"Dora" he said, "You're back safe. I was so worried".
Dora threw her arms around him and hugged him.
"Ouch" said Steve.
"Oh sorry" said Dora, backing away quickly, "Is it still sore?"
"A bit" said Steve.
Dora gave an embarrasing smile.

"I'm stopping Steve" she said. "I'm staying."
"Oh I'm so glad" said Steve, "Wonderful news". They sat down. Ron had disappeared. Slugger came in with the
"Any left" said Steve, "I'm starving".
"Is there any supper left he says, is there any supper left?  I'll go and get you some. Fink I'll make a note on the
calendar. Today was stew friday. Everyone wants some." Slugger disappeared into the kitchen.
Ron was sitting in there.

"Cor, what a pong" said Slugger," 'ere, 'ave you walked in some 'orse muck Ron."
"No" replied Ron, "It's my new after shave, it's called " Red Diesel Only The Brave".
"Blimey" said Slugger, "You'd have to be brave to wear it. You should have put it in the Land Rover. 'Ere,
whats all these dead flies on your shirt Ron?"
"Crikey", Ron replied, "That stuff works quick!"

"Anyway, want some supper Ron?" said Slugger, "Plenty left".
"No thanks" said a dispirited Ron. "I'm not hungry".
Slugger looked at Ron.
"Not 'ungry then eh. All this after shave, well, of a sort. Fed up. You look like you've got the weight of the whole
world on your shoulders. Must be woman trouble. Anyone I know?"

Ron looked down at the table.
"Tell you what" said Slugger. "It's my day off tomorrow, how about we go to the Harrogate Dog Track
tomorrow afternoon, have a few bets."
Ron looked up, his face beamed. "That sounds a great idea Slugs me old mate. 'Cept I'm working tomorrow."
His face dropped.
"Don't worry" said Slugger, "I'll sort it with Dora".

Slugger took Steves stew in.
"Have you seen Ron, Slugs," said Dora. "He wanted to ask me something, just before Steve came in."
"Yeah, face like a wet weekend" said Slugger.
"He seemed alright when I spoke to him" said Dora.
"Oh don't mind him" said Slugger. "He's in love".
"In love" said Steve, nearly choking on his first mouthful of stew.
"Yer, gone right of his food. Moody. I know the signs" said Slugger. "I've seen it before" he said, glancing at Dora.
"In love with who?" replied Dora.
"Don't you know" said Slugger.

To be continued.......
Cut out the strong to help the weak

Offline pete.r.

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Re: A Knight In Shining Armour
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2014, 12:11:47 AM »
Part four

"No, I don't know who it is" said Dora.
"Me neither" replied Slugger. Steve looked thoughtful.
"What did he want to ask me?" said Dora.
"Oh he wanted to know if he could have tomorrow afternoon off to go to the dog track wif his best mate."
"Of course said Dora, tell him that's no problem."
"But isn't it your day off tomorrow Slugger?" said Steve. "Yes" replied Slugger.
"It doesn't matter Steve" said Dora. "We can manage for one day." Dora took the plates through to the kitchen.
"Well I hope you have a nice day at the races tomorrow Slugger with Ron" said Steve.
"Nothing much gets past you Steve does it" replied Slugger. "No, nothing" said Steve."I work things out. Fast."

Dora came back in. "Right" said Steve, "I'll go and give Alex a bit of exercise," and off he went.

Ron was in the kitchen. Callie walked in. "Hello Ron" she said," I've come to see if Steve can help me with my
homework but I've just missed him. You look a bit fed up." Ron gave a sickly smile. "Do you think you could
help me?". Ron stuck his tongue out at her.
"Oh be like that then. What about Slugger, is he about?" "I didn't know boxing in the 1940's was on the syllabus"
said Ron sarcastically." Slugger came into the kitchen. "Someone mention a silly bus" he said." Oh, hello miss."
"Hello Slugger" said Callie, "There's a few questions on my homework I can't do. Do you think you could help me
Slugger?"  Slugger scratched his head. "Er well, I'll try Callie" he said.

"Right" said Callie, what King was born about 849 and burnt the cakes?"
"Oh Slugger should know that one" Said Ron." Probably one of his ancestors."
"Cheeky" said Slugger, aiming a swipe at Ron.
"No, I don't know any King who was born just before 9 o clock" said Slugger. Ron put his head in his hands.
"Mind you, my mate Alf read books about Kings." "That's it," said Callie, "You've got it Slugs. Alfred. Well done."
"Eh" said Slugger. Ron looked on disparingly.
"Right, next one. What connects Afghanistan and Pakistan and is 33 miles long."
Slugger shook his head. "Pass" he said. "Of course" said Callie, "The Khyber Pass. Thanks Slugs. Knew you'd
know it." Ron looked up to the Heavens. Slugger folded his arms and smiled, as if he knew the answer all along.
"Right, last one" said Callie,"What word means an informer, 4 letters, starts with an F and ends in K."
"Mmm, lets fink" said Slugger.
"I'll just check that in the dictionary-Yep, you're right Slugs, it is Fink. Thanks a lot, you are clever."
Slugger had a smug expression on his face. Ron sat speechless.

Callie left, just managing to avoid tripping over Ron as he stuck his leg out deliberately. This time it was her turn
to stick her tongue out.

Into the house came the Colonel.
"Dora" he said, "I'm so glad to see you. How are you?"
"I'm fine Uncle" said Dora, "I've decided to stay. My home is here at Follyfoot".
"That's marvellous news" said the Colonel, "Glad someone knows what they're doing. Just passed that idiot  in
the yard, spoke to him, he didn't even hear me, his mind was somewhere else, in a world of his own, he walked
straight into the lightning tree, almost knocked himself out".
"Oh don't worry about Ron" said Slugger,"That's normal for him".
"Ron, Ron, who's talking about Ron" said the Colonel, "I'm talking about Steve".
"Steve" said Dora laughing, "Oh I do hope the trees alright." The Colonel looked baffled for a second, then laughed too.

Slugger was looking out of the window.
Steve was at one end of the yard on Alex, Ron was at the other end of the yard on Socks. Thet were glaring at each
other. Glaring at each other as if looks could kill.

Just like two Knight-Errants on chargers, both wanting to be the Knight in shining armour.
They moved closer together, till they were just a few feet apart. Then Ron spoke.
"It's always you Steve isn't it. Always you who gets the girl. Never Ron. Poor stupid Ron. He's one of lifes wasters.
Useless." Steve looked at Ron.
"I'm sorry" he said. "Let's be friends". "I'm sorry too" said Ron. "Sorry I said those things about you. Mind you,
it was funny, seeing you hobbling away from that table."
"Right" said Steve, "That's it", and he dismounted, gingerly. Then he went over to Ron, grabbed his leg
and pulled him of his horse. Ron went down in a heap on the floor. They started grappling. Slugger was still
watching through the window. "Quick. Steve and Ron are fighting" he said to Dora and the Colonel. They all ran
outside and pulled them apart.

"Right, what's going on here?" said the Colonel.
"It's my fault" said Dora. "What do you mean?" replied the Colonel.
"I know what's going on" said Dora to Ron and Steve. "I'm not stupid".
"Well, whatever it is......good Lord, said the Colonel. What's that smell? Like a cross between disinfectant and
turpentine. Anyhow, it seems to be keeping the flies of the horses. Sorry, you were saying Dora?"
"There's something you need to know" said Dora. "When I was at The Old Mill House this afternoon, I wasn't
on my own all the time. I met someone. I was sitting there upset, looked up and there was a lad on a horse
a bit older than me, looking at me. He seemed to appear from nowhere. He could see I was in a state. He
talked to me, about life, and death. In horses and people. his words were comforting and I felt better. Then,
just as quickly as he arrived, he was gone. I don't know where he came from or where he went" said Dora.

"What was his name?" said Steve.
"You'll laugh" said Dora "If I tell you".
"No we won't" said Ron.
"Percevale" said Dora.
"Percevale" said Ron and Steve together, sniggering. "I said you'd laugh" said Dora.

"Well actually" said the Colonel, "Percevale is a very interesting name. Sir Percevale was a Knight. A Knight of
the Round Table. And he rode a large black horse".

Dora's mind wandered a few hours back to the afternoon at The Old Mill House. She could see herself sitting
there, alone and confused. She could see herself looking up at the rider on the horse in front of her.
He smiled at her. He was very handsome. Dora fell for him straight away. And now she would never see him
again. And he was riding a large horse. A large black horse.
And as he rode away he blew her a kiss.

A single tear trickled down Dora's cheek.

"You're right Uncle, he was a Knight" she said.

"A Knight in shining armour".

                                                 THE END

Cut out the strong to help the weak