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Holly and Ivy


James D. Macdonald & Debra Doyle

It was New Year's Day at Camelot, and banners snapped on the breeze above the many towers. The castle's drawbridge was down, for under the rule of King Arthur Pendragon all Britain was at peace.

Sir Gawain of Orkney walked briskly across the castle courtyard toward the Great Hall. After a New Year's morning spent in chapel, and an afternoon of dancing, Gawain was more than ready for the evening feast. In fact he was hungry enough to eat a dragon, scales and all, and not ask for sauce.

As Gawain approached the feast-hall, the high double doors swung open a foot or so as another of Arthur's knights came out into the chilly courtyard. The newcomer was Sir Kay the Seneschal, Arthur's foster-brother and the manager of the king's household.

The seneschal's expression was fixed in a respectful smile under his bristling orange mustaches. As soon as the hall doors swung shut, the smile slipped.

"Son of a wizard-glamored troll!" Kay yelled, and slammed his fist into the stone wall. "The hairy little wart isn't ever going to forget that I used to beat him up regularly when I thought he was just my baby brother!"

"Ah, some problem?" Gawain asked. Kay looked up from where he was banging his head against the wall.

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