Act 1. Scene 1. THE TOURNAMENT FIELD
LORD FANCY and MAN are watching the tournament from the Royal Box Seats. Two armored knights fight with wooden swords; each defends with a wooden shield. On the shield of one knight is a red cross over a white field. The other knight’s shield is a green field with three brown ovals.
FANCY: Who is this one with the strange sigil on his shield? Are those turds?
MAN: Those are beans, my lord.
MAN: Coffee beans, my lord. They call him the Coffee Knight.
FANCY: The Coffee Knight?
MAN: Yes, I hear he is quite fond of the drink.
FANCY: Coffee Knight. I like that. We must have a Cheesecake Knight as well! Summon my man at arms.
MAN (shouting): Sir Talksalot to the Lord Fancy!
SIR TALKSALOT enters, bowing.
TALKSALOT: My Lord.
FANCY: Sir Talksalot. Will you be in the tourney today?
TALKSALOT: My Lord, I am still wounded from the Battle of Books.
MAN: How are your paper cuts healing, Sir?
FANCY: Never mind that, Man. Sir Talksalot, are you familiar with this fellow they call the Coffee Knight?
TALKSALOT: I am, my lord. He is well-known and well-traveled. He wields the lance well, and is a competent swordsman I am told.
FANCY: Sir Talksalot, my man at arms. I have a wish.
TALKSALOT: By your command, my lord.
FANCY: I wish there were Cheesecake to go with this Coffee.
TALKSALOT: My lord?
MAN: Sir Talksalot, Lord Fancy fancies a Cheesecake Knight to balance the Coffee Knight.
FANCY: After dinner I always like a slice of Cheesecake when I am enjoying my Coffee. As it is with dessert so shall it be with knights, I think.
TALKSALOT: Who will be this Cheesecake Knight, my lord?
FANCY: It should be someone pretty. And nice. Cheesecake is nice, don’t you agree?
MAN: And sweet. Very sweet. Cheesecake is quite sweet, my lord.
TALKSALOT: May I suggest, my lord, not too nice and sweet. A knight must have some bite and fight.
FANCY: Indeed. A true Cheesecake wouldn’t stand up against a sword.
MAN: The sword is used to slice the cake, and perhaps shovel a generous serving of berries on top.
TALKSALOT: Did you have anyone in mind, my lord?
FANCY: No one in particular. I suppose it should be someone who has a fondness for Cheesecake, as this Coffee Knight is said to fancy the brew.
TALKSALOT: He claims it gives him sharp vision, a quick pace, and nerves of steel.
FANCY: All it ever does is make me piss buckets.
MAN: Sir Talks, do you know a knight who needs a favor and might bear this Cheesecake on his shield?
TALKSALOT: There’s few who’d turn down the chance to do Lord Fancy a favor. Would this Cheesecake Knight be expected to battle, or would he be a knight for the court?
FANCY: A jousting knight! They should joust! Cheesecake and Coffee! For the prize! Lord Fancy’s Champion!
TALKSALOT: My lord, this is the final match of the tourney. Whoever wins this match wins the prize.
FANCY: Nonsense. There is no winner until I declare it. Isn’t that so, Man?
MAN: It is the law, my lord, as my lord has declared it.
TALKSALOT: Perhaps a separate prize. For the Duel of Desserts.
FANCY: My Sir knight, you are ever so clever! The Duel of Desserts! And I shall give the winner my silver serving set! Make it so!
Talksalot bows and takes his leave.
MAN: May I suggest, my lord, one of the broken sets of silver. Several are missing their dessert spoons.
FANCY: Wouldn’t that be in bad form, Man, to award a silver serving set sans dessert spoons to the winner of the Duel of the Desserts?
MAN: One does not eat Cheesecake with a spoon, my lord.
FANCY: There is some strange logic to what you say. Very well. Choose the set yourself, Man. I’ve got a tourney to watch.
Man bows and takes his leave.
FANCY: Now I’m hungry. Cook! Cook! To me! Attend!
To be continued…