It came to him suddenly, as he ran down the street screaming and on fire, that he was making a spectacle of himself.
After all, this was a modest neighborhood of well-maintained lawns and sensible ... [+]
Mortimore was a solitary young man, often found alone in some high castle tower brooding on the nature of his toes. His few pleasures included scrawling impolite phrases on the royal men’s room walls, and watching his father’s knights joust, with a wistful look in his myopic eyes.
His father, King Longwind, was not too terribly thrilled with his only son and was forced to take a lot of ribbing about him at king conventions. So he decided the only thing to be done was to marry the lad off and then move away without telling Mortimore the new address.
And so he spoke thusly to Prince Mortimore:
“My son. Now that you are a man, that is to say, have achieved that age in which you have grown to full manhood as it were, now being able to vote, drink, and own property in your own name (these being the qualities of a man), I feel, after proper thought and reflection of course, that you should take a wife; that is to say, be joined with a suitable mate in the bonds of holy wedlock, thus establishing to all and sundry that you are in indeed man and wife as sanctioned by church and state.”
Mortimore squinted up at his father, trying to sort out the gobbledy-gook. When he at last grasped the gist of his father’s monologue, he started to laugh. Mortimore’s laughter sounded like this:
“A-yuh, a-yuh, a-yuh!”
And so began a great parade of maidens into the tiny kingdom (which just happened to be sitting on top of a monstrous diamond mine, thus explaining why any maiden would want to marry a loser like Mortimore). White, brown, black, yellow, some pretty, some not, some fat, some thin, some bright, some... not so bright, some with eyes that flashed like summer lightning, some with eyes as dull as old chalk boards.
And when introduced to a prospective mate, Mortimore, in his excitement, would hiccup right in her face.
King Longwind was very disgusted. So disgusted, in fact, that it took him only twenty minutes to tell his son that he would have to marry the very next maiden!
Her name was Drusilla. She was small and quiet and very pretty, and she had a thing for men’s room obscenities. Mortimore was in love.
So the date was set (as soon as possible) and the arrangements were made (Drusilla’s parents were paid off) and time rushed by...
At last the great day arrived and Mortimore danced skippy-skippy to his bride’s door. There he waited and waited and waited and waited. He could wait no more! With a gigantic hiccup, he thrust the door open.
DRUESILLA WAS GONE!!
Prince Mortimore squinted about the Drusilla-less room, hiccupping slowly and steadily. Suddenly he spied a note! Moving with swift sureness, knocking over a shelf of bottles and sending a stepped-on cat howling into the hallway, he seized upon it!
Dear Morty (it said)
I have been kidnapped by the nasty Prince Blackheart. I am being held in his arms... OOPS! Castle. Please rescue me.
Yours gasping in fear,
P.S. The weather is very nice here.
Prince Mortimore gripped the note tightly, a new fire burning in his eyes! Could it be the fire of determination? Yes! The fire of daring? Absolutely! The fire of, dare I even say it, courage? Yer darn tootin’! For the very next moment, Mortimore roared (and hiccupped) out: “To-hic-arms! To-hic-arms! We shall rescue the fair Dru-hic-silla!”
And so Castle Blackheart was stormed, Mortimore leading the way. Like a bolt of divine justice, his flashing sword struck down any foe that stood before him: “Take-hic-that!”
By fives, by tens, by twenties they fell; look at that boy go!
At last he stood face to face with the evil, loathsome, tall, dark, and handsome Prince Blackheart.
“A-yuh, a –yuh, a-yuh,” laughed Prince Mortimore, “I-hic-have you now!”
Prince Blackheart curled his perfect lips, raised an exquisite eyebrow, yawned in boredom and ran his sword right through Mortimore, who promptly dropped dead.
And they all lived happily ever after.