Quest for Sand

by STiK

Hhh was a Knight.

Hhh was not overly heroic or courageous, and wasn't famous at all.

Physical disabilities made being a Knight even more difficult for Hhh. He belonged to an obscure order, one so obscure that it had no name and he was the only member.

Many people would laugh at him, or stab him, in a taunting manner. The other Knights made fun of him, and wouldn't let him play in any Knight games. But Hhh was a Knight. And he would show them. All of them. Even that blind one, who kept throwing rocks at him.

Now, it's well known that when Knights get a certain age, they experience undeniable urges to "leave the nest", and to go out on quests, and kill people in far away lands. Hhh was no different. In fact, he was a bit past the age when most Knights "get the urge", but he had already been on his first quest a few years earlier. Being young and foolish, the quest had failed, and the other Knights had only laughed harder at him.

One day, predictably I suppose, the "urge" got ahold of Hhh. However, he was not a Knight skilled in swordplay, archery, or anything of the sort. More of a pacifist Knight, who liked knitting. Hhh's need for glory was stronger than his desire to stay at home, though, and realizing he'd have some measure of fame for a success even if it were on a small scale, he carefully planned a quest. Following the 'Knight's Guide to Killing Things Far Away', Hhh devised a plan to find and slay... sand.

Hhh made the necessary preparations... He prayed to Gods and stuff to ensure him a successful trip, and burrowed into town early one morning to buy last minute provisions. He left before many of the other knights got up. He had to do this alone. He had to prove himself.

* * *

Hhh had been walking for a bit, reading the 'Knights Guide', when he noticed a mountain nearby. Assuming he'd get a vision or pamphlet or something from God upon reaching the summit, (actually it was recommended in the 'Knight's Guide' - beginner's section) he began to climb. At the very least, he's be able to spot some far away lands. ('Knight's Guide', Section Three - Where to Kill People)

His physical disabilities made the climb rough. Ignoring his lower body, (which there was nothing wrong with, incidentally) he forced his way to the top of the mountain, with a tongue. (The tongue of the Holy Tongue legends and the shortlived television series--but that was later, much later, and another story entirely) The top of the mountain looked like any other top of a mountain, that is, that it looked kind of like a mountaintop. Sort of. Hhh looked down upon the valley before him, and tried to imagine how many old people he could jam in there. Lots, probably. Oh YEAH.

Immediately, his attention focused on something more promising: Hiding in plain sight, sat sand. Hhh was certain it was sand. As he looked closer he could see not only sand (sand!) but also he could see pools of sand, mounds of sand, shards of sand, stalagtites of sand, children of sand, sand-like sand, and more. Now an impossible five minutes since his quest had begun, he sadly realized it was almost over. The years of preparations had payed for themselves in full. He allowed himself a brief day or two to reflect on the tumultuous journey, then...QUICK!

Hhh speedily untied all the farmers that were bound to his back, and threw them down the mountainside. They may have screamed as they broke apart rolling to and fro, or they may have done long division in their last moments. Hhh wasn't sure, but was relieved that they would impede him no more. Besides, he was getting tired of their agricultural jokes--they hurt.

Hhh ran towards the sand. Sand, being the object of his quest, is what he ran for. And of running, he did exactly what that verb describes. (towards some sand.)

The quest hadn't seemed difficult. Of course it wasn't quite finished yet, but Hhh couldn't see any beast worth slaying, Wizard to outwit, or obstacle to overcome. The sand was before him. It just sat there, offering no resistance whatsoever. This wasn't at all like his first quest, when he had sought out a more vicious and viscous foe, water. There'd be no faucet THIS time; no shame. Only glory. This was easy.

Looking around nervously, Hhh threw his hand forward, into the sand. Half expecting it to be mauled and bitten, half not knowing... Hhh cautiously withdrew it, and drooled like a Professional Drooling Expert at the sight of the sand that came along with it. Soon he had a pouchful, and was on his way back to town, where he'd be heralded as a really neat guy.

The town was already decorated and in mid-celebration when Hhh returned. Questioning the nearest peasant, he discovered that another Knight had also just returned... with some CLAY! Hhh was crushed. He didn't even notice the peasant stabbing him. He just wanted to die.

Away from the crowds and parties, Hhh dealt with his sadness. Hungry and tired, he knitted angrily, until he had devised an even more ambitious quest: He would leave and not return until he'd slain some Oxygen. Then, as per the 'Knight's Guide, Section Seven - What to do with Stuff You Kill' he'd make ashtrays and other nic-nacs out of it's sorry carcass.

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