The Missing Links

 

They say in space nobody can hear you scream. It seems an odd thing to drop into conversation. They also say that in the boundless stars there are places that would give cosmographers and quantum physicists everywhere conniption fits simply by existing.

One of those stood below: It looked a little like a golf course, a grassy fairway in the stars, surrounded by strange trees rooted into the fabric of the cosmos where, of all things, figures that looked suspiciously like knights in armour (some of them wearing what looked suspiciously like plus-fours) were clanking around the fairway crying ‘Fore!’ You’ve got to have some sympathy for the poor academic physicists at times like this. This sort of thing wasn’t supposed to happen.

These are the Missing Links. Some call them a fairway to heaven. Which, considering that in a little pocket dimension such as this, the weather is still pretty Earth-like, seems a little unwise. A sudden thunderstorm and a well-placed lightning bolt can often offend, after all.

The Links are also right smack near the Och Aye Nebula – those tartan bands of coloured stars that twinkle away into eternity. How could it be otherwise?[1]

And from down below there was a tingling, a sense of something about to unfold …

*

Two stars twinkled in the air for a moment. Two figures materialised, spinning in a kind of dance step and then whirling around in an impromptu waltz.

It’s not entirely clear who trod on the golf ball that someone had left carelessly lying there.

Or who struck the other ball that came spinning through the air just then and hit the young man squarely on the head.

What was clear were the cries as he and the twinkly young lady with the scarf got tangled together and ended up rolling down the incline to the lake.

They say if you’re going to get anywhere in life, you’ve got to be prepared to make a splash.

*

‘Get out of there at once, sir! Get out of the lake, I say!’

He looked up blearily. Or was that blurrily? A man in armour and close-cut golfing-trousers was glaring at him from the shoreline and brandishing a golf club at him.

‘Oh, leave him alone, Lance. It’s just a boy, just some kid turned up out of the ether. He’s not doing you any harm.’

‘We’ll just see about that.’

The “boy” tried to think. There had been a girl, hadn’t there? ’S funny. He couldn’t remember that much else about her.

And she seemed to have disappeared.

‘Well, all right, then,’ the knight apparently known as Lance was saying, ‘let’s see his membership card. You do have one, I presume, sir? Come on, speak up.’

‘I … uh …’

‘As I thought.’ (He wasn’t sure why, but there was a gleeful edge to “Lance’s” voice that “the boy” didn’t like.) ‘Throw him into space!’

‘Lance! Steady on—’

The boy started suddenly in the water. He thought he’d felt a sudden pressure in his back pocket. Like something had just been placed in it.

He reached back and held it up.

‘Is this what you mean?’

‘There, you see, Lance, just because you haven’t seen him before. Boy seems to have his membership.’ The other knight leaned forward and offered him a hand. ‘Come along, lad, let’s get you dried out back at the clubhouse.’

Lance was fuming, but there wasn’t much he could do, apparently. ‘We’ll see about this,’ he was muttering.

The boy caught something about rules and challenges. He had a feeling he should be paying this more attention, but right now he couldn’t think to. The other knight clapped a companionable, armoured hand on his shoulder (ow) and murmured something meant to be reassuring.

Funny thing was, he was sure there had been a girl. She had been beautiful, he remembered that. And kind. And … And as he turned back to the water – and as a fish chose that moment to slide down out of his trouser leg – he could have sworn there was a face in the water. It smiled, and then it winked at him.

Then it vanished in the rippling surface of the water, and he caught the light of the sun twinkling on the horizon. When he looked back, the face was gone.

Guess it was just par for the course …

[1] Though the Honourable and Ancient Knights of the Course (known by other names, but hereafter known as the club) had petitioned for the big glowy advertising sign for The Fluttering Tartan bar and grill (“The Best Chocolate Malts This Side of the Milky Way!”) to be moved further out.

Although, this might just be because Lancelot complained that the light got in his eyes when he missed an important approach shot competing in the Christmas Day tournament.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Andrew Miller: Guess it was just par for the course …

    Oh, man…another great one. Your visual vignettes are incredible. Although the pearl-framed lorgnettes are a bit odd for modern fashion.

    • #1
  2. Andrew Miller Member
    Andrew Miller
    @AndrewMiller
    • #2
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Andrew Miller: These are the Missing Links. Some call them a fairway to heaven.

    A twofer for the Pun Police. I wonder if @rightangles is going to notice …

    • #3
  4. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Oh for cryin’ out loud. Lance knows full well that if someone interferes with the lay of your ball, you get a drop with no penalty.

    • #4
  5. Andrew Miller Member
    Andrew Miller
    @AndrewMiller

    Percival (View Comment):

    Andrew Miller: These are the Missing Links. Some call them a fairway to heaven.

    A twofer for the Pun Police. I wonder if @rightangles is going to notice …

    Hey, I expected this from Lancelot, not from Sir Percy the brave, the gallant, and the rescuer of lost princesses! Any moment now a space-cycle’s going to pull up with its lights flashing and a voice’ll say, “All right, pull over, buddy, let’s see your Poetic License.” 

    • #5
  6. Andrew Miller Member
    Andrew Miller
    @AndrewMiller

    Percival (View Comment):

    Oh for cryin’ out loud. Lance knows full well that if someone interferes with the lay of your ball, you get a drop with no penalty.

    Maybe it was something in the way he said it? Or maybe it was just unfortunate the way the ball landed in the lake like that and somebody or something wouldn’t give it back. Perhaps we could consult the tournament records? (Assuming some unseen hand hasn’t torn that page out.)

    • #6
  7. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Oh for cryin’ out loud. Lance knows full well that if someone interferes with the lay of your ball, you get a drop with no penalty.

    Maybe it was something in the way he said it? Or maybe it was just unfortunate the way the ball landed in the lake like that and somebody or something wouldn’t give it back. Perhaps we could consult the tournament records? (Assuming some unseen hand hasn’t torn that page out.)

    Let’s just say that as far as Lance is concerned, it’s a good thing that “no whining” is not contained in the Code of Chivalry.

    • #7
  8. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Percival (View Comment):
    Lance knows full well that if someone interferes with the lay of your ball, you get a drop with no penalty.

    Lance might be crabby for other reasons.

    • #8
  9. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    Lance knows full well that if someone interferes with the lay of your ball, you get a drop with no penalty.

    Lance might be crabby for other reasons.

    Lance always has a bee in his bascinet about something.

    • #9
  10. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member
    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw
    @MattBalzer

    Percival (View Comment):

    Andrew Miller: These are the Missing Links. Some call them a fairway to heaven.

    A twofer for the Pun Police. 

    Just gonna ignore the one in the tags?

    • #10
  11. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Percival (View Comment):

    Andrew Miller: These are the Missing Links. Some call them a fairway to heaven.

    A twofer for the Pun Police. I wonder if @rightangles is going to notice …

    PUN POLICE! STOP WHERE YOU ARE

    • #11
  12. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):

    …a voice’ll say, “All right, pull over, buddy, let’s see your Poetic License.”

    PUN PATROL! PUT YOUR HANDS ON THE STEERING WHEEL

     

    • #12
  13. Andrew Miller Member
    Andrew Miller
    @AndrewMiller

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Andrew Miller: These are the Missing Links. Some call them a fairway to heaven.

    A twofer for the Pun Police.

    Just gonna ignore the one in the tags?

    The Once and Future Swing?

    First they came for the mime artists, and I was silent. Then they came for the Punch-and-Judy men, and I said nothing as the ’at’s-a-way-to-do-its receded towards the gaol. I never expected anyone would come after me for egregious punning.

    • #13
  14. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):
    I never expected anyone would come after me for egregious punning. 

    Probably shouldn’t have worn the bikini while doing it.

    • #14
  15. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Do ya get it? Huh? Do ya?

    That’s the still of the knight.

    • #15
  16. Andrew Miller Member
    Andrew Miller
    @AndrewMiller

    Percival (View Comment):

    Do ya get it? Huh? Do ya?

    That’s the still of the knight.

    So it’s a still of the knight tending the still of the knight in the still of the night? 

    Do you think they’ll give us adjoining cells? (Or, more probably, adjoining places in the stocks.)

    • #16
  17. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Percival (View Comment):

    Do ya get it? Huh? Do ya?

    That’s the still of the knight.

    PUN PATROL! GET OUT OF THE VEHICLE

     

    • #17
  18. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Do ya get it? Huh? Do ya?

    That’s the still of the knight.

    So it’s a still of the knight tending the still of the knight in the still of the night?

    Do you think they’ll give us adjoining cells? (Or, more probably, adjoining places in the stocks.)

    PUN PATROL! WE GOT THE ACCOMPLICE. HE’S A LIMEY.  REQUEST BACKUP.

    • #18
  19. Andrew Miller Member
    Andrew Miller
    @AndrewMiller

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    PUN PATROL! WE GOT THE ACCOMPLICE. HE’S A LIMEY. REQUEST BACKUP.

    I guess there’s always the chance the Limey might have a coconut up his sleeve.

    • #19
  20. Andrew Miller Member
    Andrew Miller
    @AndrewMiller

    What kind of chap would find himself in a situation like this? 

    A Knight of Course.

    • #20
  21. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):

    What kind of chap would find himself in a situation like this?

    Happens all the time.

    • #21
  22. Suspira Member
    Suspira
    @Suspira

    I have no idea what this piece was about, but I think it must be the heretofore undiscovered product of a collaboration between Douglas Adams and P.G. Wodehouse, after a few cocktails in the clubhouse.

    • #22
  23. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Suspira (View Comment):

    I have no idea what this piece was about, but I think it must be the heretofore undiscovered product of a collaboration between Douglas Adams and P.G. Wodehouse, after a few cocktails in the clubhouse.

    I was thinking of Douglas Adams before I finished the first paragraph.  It feels effortless.

    • #23
  24. Andrew Miller Member
    Andrew Miller
    @AndrewMiller

    Edit: Sprry, I feel funny. Maysdbe please edon’t quote me at the moment.

    • #24
  25. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):

    I just thought it was better to have something to work on rather than get miserable about the hopelessness of my situation. I shan’t write any more of it.

    That’s not what I meant at all.  Write more of it.

    • #25
  26. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):
    I shan’t write any more of it.

    No, no, definitely write more. This stuff is glorious.

    • #26
  27. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):
    I shan’t write any more of it.

    No, no, definitely write more. This stuff is glorious.

    Absolutely. This or whatever else you feel like, Andrew.

    As an aside, the strength of the Arthurian legends is that there is very little that you can get absolutely wrong. The stories have been told with so many variants that in all likelihood, someone has been down something like the same path before. They date back to the 1100s, and that was only when they started writing them down. They had probably been around for centuries at that point. Every troubadour told it differently.

    • #27
  28. Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito Contributor
    Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito
    @HankRhody

    Good enough that I shared some choice puns with my brother. I was in a Faraday cage though, and now that I’m out there are three more.

    He’s going to suffer some more punning.

    • #28