Christmas Eve 2012—Matt & Mimi
[For those who don’t know, Matt and Mimi are characters from two novels I’m still working on: Matt & Mimi in the Middle Ages, along with Matt & Mimi Among the Incas. I wanted this story to be about characters from my Pigeon Catcher series, but the Muse had other ideas.]
Matt & Mimi’s Christmas Eve 2012
At Professor Longstrider’s Eugene, Oregon home, the oversized trestle table was loaded with holiday food. His two grandchildren bustled about with last minute preparations even though most of their guests had arrived and were already seated and chatting amicably. As in other years, the professor had invited undergraduate and graduate students from his anthropology classes and his archaeology fieldwork projects—individuals who were unable to go home for the holidays or simply had nowhere else to be on Christmas Eve.
In the midst of granddaughter Mimi’s festive bustling about, she thought she heard the doorbell ring and went to answer it. She swung the entrance open and the beautiful wreath swayed on the door, but the porch was unoccupied. She shrugged, closed the entry, and returned to the dining room. As she reentered the eating chamber from the living room side, she saw a figure at the opposite end, standing in the short hallway connecting to the kitchen. Although a few people were still up and mingling around, something about this particular person caused her to stop for a closer examination.
Anyone familiar with Professor Longstrider’s household, as Mimi obviously was, would not think twice about the appearance there of someone in medieval armor. The professor was noted for his “practicals,” singular events he held generally in summertime, where students took part in medieval reenactments. Mimi initially thought one of the graduate students was playing a little joke by dressing in one of the suits of armor that her grandfather had collected and kept displayed about his home.
Mimi could not tell at first why she was giving the armored figure her full attention, but then it dawned on her that he had only one arm. Soon after that awareness, she recognized the distinctive style of his armor, especially the helmet. Unless she was greatly mistaken, he was a visitor from the very early Middle Ages, but not just anyone from that past era.
With difficulty, their unusual guest removed his helmet, a challenging task without the aid of a squire, and Mimi verified their visitor was the noteworthy champion of King Arthur, Sir Bedwyr, also known as Bedivere. She saw that no one else had spotted their “guest,” and his gaze was fixed upon her brother, whom he had befriended on one of their early visits to Medieval England. In fact, Matt still had the ornate dagger given to him by Sir Bedwyr.
“Matt,” Mimi said in a normal voice, since a whisper would not carry over the hubbub. Her brother did not hear her. In fact, no one paid any attention to her, so she shouted, “Matt!”
The resultant silence was unnerving, and although she felt embarrassed to have interrupted everyone, it was exactly what she’d had to do, and so she said, staring at her brother, “You have a visitor.” Her eyes then went pointedly to the man in armor standing at a distance almost directly behind Matt.
As usual, her sibling paid little attention to his sister until he realized the room remained silent and, one after another, all eyes became focused somewhere behind him. Swiveling around, Matt said in surprise, “Sir Bedwyr,” and rose to meet his ancient friend. “What brings you to…?”
It seemed incredibly significant to Matt, his mentor appearing there, and he worried what this event might foreshadow, as he asked, “How did you manage…?”
“Foregiven ye, me,” said the knight. “We have neede of youere aide, and we would’na interrupt ye feaste of our deare Lorde, were it not importante in ye extreme.”
Professor Longstrider leaped from his chair, clearly shaken by the appearance of the ancient knight. “What bringest ye thence?” he asked in words strongly related to modern day English, but with an accent from the ancient dialect only partially decipherable by most persons present, excepting his grandchildren, of course.
“The Graille!” shouted the legendary knight, “and yon championes, Sir Gawain and Sir Galahad. Come ye, at oncet. Aide us in oure worthey queste!”
The great champion of King Arthur was clearly as physical in form in his appearance in the present era as any of the others in the room, and yet, once his request was made, his body became less corporeal and began to shimmer.
“How did you reach us?” Matt shouted, worried his mentor would disappear too soon.
“All things are possible to him who believeth—helpen us!” stated the knight just before his image paled excessively and then winked out of sight.
Matt raced toward the part of the house containing his bedroom, yelling back, “I’ll get my armor.”
Professor Longstrider said to the assemblage in grave tones, “I am sorry, but you will have to carry on without us.” To Mimi he said, “Go and fetch the books, and hurry!”
As Mimi ran from the room, a female graduate student stood up and said, “Not without us, Professor. You’ve got enough armor in this place to suit up a small army.”
Another student ran to the display on the wall and withdrew a double-hand hilted broad sword, “And we’ve got weapons as well.”
“But it's not possible,” sputtered Dr. Longstrider, “the mechanics of the two special books we use won't allow—”
The female grad student, a particular favorite of his, got right up in his face and said, “Doth not ye believen,
Professor? Is it not written, and now plainly stated, “all things are possible to those who believe?”
For perhaps the first time in the experience of any of those present, Professor Longstrider was speechless.
To Be Continued—?
[I honestly do not know if this story will continue, or not. The Matt & Mimi series is one of the few that contains novels I have started but have not yet completed even one. In fact, I have now begun a third in the series, which is set in the medieval era but located in the Middle East. I had no intention of starting another one in the European Middle Ages at this time, but I was driven to focus this short story in exactly this way, so I can’t say what will happened next, but haven’t there been enough books about the Holy Grail?]
EA Bundy Website copyright © 2011-2013 by EA Bundy. All rights reserved for the text, photos, and illustrations.