Modern Times

Bill Hart-Davidson
Dec 15, 2018 · 2 min read

note: this is a foul-mouthed flash-fiction glimpse into a green room, likely near a strip mall, somewhere in the U.S. of A. Best read out loud.

The knight was moist and fragrant. Armor does that to a guy. In the green room between the 4:30 and the 7:00 shows, his helmet and mail off, he was still in his black and white leggings, splayed out on a folding chair, flicking an iPhone.

“Good Sir…” his squire, Justin, began.

“Oh for fuck’s sake” the Falconer exhaled from across the room.

Justin gave him a flip of his wrist, Beyonce style, and continued “pshh. You should not be sitting in wardrobe, King Creole. Danny will flip his shit again.” The Falconer would not get the Elvis reference.

“They are pants. How can I hurt them by sitting down?”

“Sir, that would be a question for Danny.” Justin rolled his eyes and made his way toward the water cooler.

The Yellow Knight was more compliant with the costume rules. He sat on the sagging futon in Family Guy sweatpants, possibly pajamas, texting. The Lord Chancellor stood four steps out of the loading door, smoking with a kitchen guy in a hairnet. The greenroom smelled like roasting chicken, sweat, and cigarettes.

Glancing up at the large digital clock, the Black & White Knight saw it was just 14 minutes until curtain for the next show. “Makes no fuckin’ sense to take these off now…” he muttered. He stood up. Danny didn’t care if the cast stayed in costume between the evening shows as long as they didn’t sit down.

Adults at shitty family parties would ask him what it was like being a knight at Medieval Times, and he’d usually say “living the goddamn dream.” They’d laugh nervously, monitoring his expression for any hint of shame. Seeing none, they’d wander off to more boxed wine and banal conversation about jazz.

Kids, though. Kids were a different story. Kids wanted to hear what it was like to joust or to hit somebody with a broadsword. “Pretty fuckin’ great,” he’d say, because it was.

“Dude,” the Yellow Knight called, nodding his head at the clock. “Time to tilt for the honor of your parish.”

The Falconer was already out on his mark. Justin brought his helmet. “M’lord?”

“Fuckin’ A. Let’s do this. The good people of Schaumburg, Illi-noise want a goddamn show.”

Bill Hart-Davidson

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Hyphenated, father, academic, juggler, cyclist, cook. Philosophy of life: give.