Sir Felix Pickles and the Quest for the Holy Prepuce, Part IS

Dramatis Personæ

SIR Felix PICKLES

CHIPS

Henry DE BOHUN, Earl of Hereford

SIR FAISAL de Anjou, a Templar knight

Lady Nigella HONEYBUNS

EYEFISH

_____________________________________________________________

PART ONE

As dusk settles over a stretch of remote wilderness in Herefordshire,

two men aback Arabian steeds crest the horizon. The man riding in

lead, SIR Felix PICKLES, is dressed in a shimmering black hauberk

with a white cross emblazoned on his breast. His expression is grim

and he is swarthily complected. Trailing him rides CHIPS, a

hunchback of unknown origin and from this distance appears to be

some perverse parody of a human being. They are riding at a trot

now. The sun declines behind them and they slowly continue on

their journey to the city of Hereford, where they have been

summoned by Henry DEBOHUN, Earl of Hereford to a meeting

of supreme importance.

SIR PICKLES: In this wild borderland one must keep

a constant vigil. Barbarous Welshman

lurketh in the shadows hoping to snare

travellers with their pagan magic. I

am most glad to be nearly rid of this

brooding woodland and back to law-abiding

society again. There we shall meet

with the Earl and hear his urgent tidings.

I wish also to catch the eye of the

fair Lady Nigella Honeybuns, for

she is beauty incomparable, and

my weary soul shan't rest a moment 'till

my rended heart be mended by her love.

CHIPS: Tush, tush, noble sir! Thou must remember

the old ditty: ♫Wenches ain't nothing but

strumps and japes…

SIR PICKLES: Silence thy tongue, thou misshapen bugbear!

If thou darest besmirch the good name of fair

Lady Honeybuns ever again, by

my troth I shall not hesitate to gut

thee like a swineherd does his worthless runts!

Come along now, the city is near.

[The riders arrive at the edge of Hereford. They pass by the stream

that flows out of the city and they watch a half-naked man empty

his piss pot in the water. The sentinels open the gate to the city. The

two men make their way through the maze of shoddy wooden

buildings, past the cathedral, and to the residence of the Earl. DE

BOHUN is waiting outside to greet them.]

DE BOHUN: A most welcome to thee, Sir Pickles! We

have been awaiting thine arrival for some time. And

what is this thing thou hast brought with thee?

SIR PICKLES: Thy hospitality is most kind, my

lord. This fellow here is my travelling

companion. He is known only as Chips.

I found him employed at an almshouse in

Antioch, where he was charged with

cleaning up the lazars' excretions.

DE BOHUN: A most repugnant fellow. He will sleep

in the barn with the other animals

tonight. Please send him away now! We

don't want him frightening the ladies. Guards!

[Two armed guards escort CHIPS to the barn.]

SIR PICKLES: My lord, we shan't be spending the night here.

Might I inquire about thy sister,

the fair Lady Honeybuns? She has long

been a fixture in my thoughts during the

arduous journey back from the Holy

Land.

DE BOHUN: My sister? She is engagéd to be

married to Sir Faisal de Anjou. For

him, my sister is the greatest prize of

his illustrious career, and that is

saying much, considering his status

as a man of chivalry and legit

lady killer. But enough idle talk,

let's go in and get down to the business

at hand, shall we?

[The two men enter the Earl's residence and make their way to the

private hearth room. DE BOHUN goes down to the cellar and returns

with a bottle of his finest Spanish wine. He uncorks it and fills two

goblets to the brim and hands one to SIR PICKLES. DE BOHUN

motions to take seats by the hearth.]

SIR PICKLES: I cannot wait any longer! What is

this pressing matter that thou hast summoned

me four thousand miles to hear?

DE BOHUN: Be silent, and I shall recount for thee

in whole the reason for thy summoning.

[DE BOHUN sits silent and pensive for what seems like a minute, then

takes a deep breath.]

Lo, the echo of the mohel's snip! The

most priceless pleasure scabbard hath been lost

for nigh on twelve-hundred years. On the eighth

day of our Lord and Saviour's lustrous life,

the foreskin of his glorious manhood

was severed in Judaic ritual

fashion. From there, the legend saith that

it was preserved in spikenard and held in

an alabaster reliquary, so

that His flesh may remain undecayéd

until the final day of judgement. This

relic has disappeared entirely

from all knowledge in Christendom until

now. So, the reason for your coming is

this: I have in my possession the sworn

location of this prizéd penile

talisman, but it is in a code that

I cannot comprehend.

[DE BOHUN walks over to his desk and retrieves a tiny piece of

parchment. He hands it to SIR PICKLES. SIR PICKLES reads it

once, twice, then hands it back.]

SIR PICKLES: I have not the faintest idea what

this could mean.

DE BOHUN: Neither did I at first, but I handed

this parchment over to Sir Faisal, since

he's acquainted with the esoteric

knowledge of the East, both Saracen

and Israelite.

[there's a knock at the door, and SIR FAISAL enters with two

guardsmen.]

Ah, there's our man! How now, Sir Faisal?

SIR FAISAL: My lord, it has come to my attention

that thou plan'st to bring Sir Pickles into

this enterprise?

DE BOHUN: Verily, I do. He is a knight of

great acclaim.

SIR FAISAL: I must vehemently object to this.

I, and I alone, will find this relic.

SIR PICKLES: My dear Earl, wherefore dost thou need such

a powerful talisman anyways?

DE BOHUN: The Holy Prepuce is said to bestow

immense power on whoever is in

possession of it. Once I have it in

my custody, I will be able to

usurp King John and reign over all of

Albion! The Lords of this land are not

pleased with his stewardship, and I aim to

take advantage of this discontent. The

Plantagenets are finished here. Back to

France with them, I say.

SIR PICKLES: And why should I help thee do this?

DE BOHUN: Because if thou succeedest I will let

thee marry my sister! I know how much

thou lovest the fair Lady Honeybuns.

SIR FAISAL: My Lord! Thy sister is promised to me!

DE BOHUN: I've changed my mind, thou pompous, Baphomet-

worshiping Templar! Whoever wins this

relic for me wins the hand of my dear

sister. If thou want'st her, thou must earn her!

[The three men exit the hearth room and DE BOHUN takes

leave of SIR PICKLES and SIR FAISAL, who continue on to

the stables.]

SIR FAISAL: Thou cripple-witted son of a yeoman!

Thou knowest not even where to begin

looking! I'll have already married and

deflowered the Lady Honeybuns by

the time thou get'st thy first clue!

SIR PICKLES: I have the cryptic clue committed to

memory, and that is all I need.

[CHIPS enters with their horses]

CHIPS: Milord, the horses are ready.

SIR FAISAL: The foreskin, and the Lady Honeybuns,

shall be mine!

[SIR FAISAL spurs his horse and swiftly rides out of the city.]

SIR PICKLES: That odiferous, Hot Pocket eating,

choleric son of a cur!

CHIPS: That fellow is a proper corpse munger.

HONEYBUNS: What is this I hear about corpse munging?

SIR PICKLES: My dearest lady! I did not know that

thou wert here! I apologize profusely

for the language of my crass companion.

He is not acquainted with the customs

of this land.

HONEYBUNS: Peace, Pickles. I care not about bawdy

man-talk. I have come hither to tell thee

that thou need'st not worry thyself about

Sir Faisal's cryptic clue, for it is a

misdirection to put thee on the wrong

path.

SIR PICKLES: That gleeking, dog-hearted huggermugger!

Why dost thou tell me this, my fair lady?

HONEYBUNS: Because it is thee, not he, that I should

be marrying! I will never love that

detestable rogue! Now, make haste, good man!

I have overheard Sir Faisal and my

brother speaking of an Irish

monastery near the mountain of Croagh

Patrick. It is called the Monastery

of St. Burpo the Gelded. Thou should'st

seek this place, for I believe that it holds

clues to the foreskin's whereabouts.

SIR PICKLES: I thank thee and farewell, my love! Chips, mount

thy horse: We ride.

[SIR PICKLES and CHIPS mount their steeds and gallop out of

Hereford]

Our two relic seekers fly with unrelenting celerity to the bustling port

town of Bristol, where they board a trade cog bound for Ireland. After

three days afloat on the Irish Sea they make land, and soon are

galloping through the still streets of Dundalk in the dead of night.

They head due west through the rolling green hills of the Irish

interior; they encounter nary a soul on this lonely road to the

western mountains. About ten leagues east of Croagh Patrick they

spy a thin wisp of smoke rising from a nearby dell. They approach

as dusk descends, they approach and find a solitary man sitting

by a campfire.

SIR PICKLES: Holla my good fellow! Perchance we could

make our camp here next to thee for the night?

EYEFISH: I care not. I need not the company,

but I shan't turn ye away either.

SIR PICKLES: I humbly thank thee for thy kindness.

[SIR PICKLES and CHIPS proceed to set up their shelters. The

strange hermit returns to cooking the night's dinner: a simple

stew of snail, squirrel, and fly agaric caps. The two travellers take

a seat across fromthe hermit.]

EYEFISH: What brings the two of ye out here? Ye be

Englishmen, that much I can gather.

SIR PICKLES: I am an Englishman, yes, but my dear

travelling companion's origins are

unknown even to me, I'm afraid. He

speaketh only in cryptic babble. Chips,

kindly tell this man about thyself.

CHIPS: Correcto. This is that, but only this:

for I know of the proper world. There

be three worlds: world of Light, world

of Darkness, and the world of Fire.

I know this for I have seen this.

SIR PICKLES: I fear his madness at times.

EYEFISH: Ye knoweth not the secrets of this dark

world. When Moses descended from Mount

Horeb in a maniacal trance, he

carried with him a devious lie in

that cold, sinister heart of his: the lie

for all time. Our history is a lie—

everything is a lie! The Pope worships

Moloch, heathen god of the Ammonites.

He and his ilk sacrifice poor virgins

at the shrine of St. Peter and then bathe

in the blood whilst fornicating with goats.

I know this for I have seen with my own

eyes this ritual performéd. I see

ye over there, scoffing! I know your type.

Ye think ye know it all because ye read

it in a book once! In a book! Some

parchment with ink on't!

SIR PICKLES: I don't think we'll be spending the night

here. Chips, pack our gear.

EYEFISH: Oh no, ye ain't leaving. Not alive at least! [EYEFISH

draws an 8-inch blade from his boot.]

CHIPS: Put thy dagger away, thou smeg-eating

fuckface!

[CHIPS pulls a 9-inch blade from his waistband. He and EYEFISH

square-up at a distance of about eight feet and circle about,

waiting for the other to make the first move.]

SIR PICKLES:This is quite unnecessary! Let us

be on our way, Mister Eyefish.

[EYEFISH lunges at CHIPS and sinks his dagger straight into the

hunchback's neck.]

CHIPS: O, this be a mortal wound! [he dies]

[SIR PICKLES draws his Ulfberht sword from his scabbard, and in

one swift motion cleanly decapitates EYEFISH.]

SIR PICKLES: [kneeling over CHIPS' corpse]

O you poor, nonsensical bastard!

Thou didst not deserve such a cruel fate! I

shall bury thy body deep, so local

mungers shan't e'er be able to find it.

[Exit SIR PICKLES with the body.]