From the author: Sir Gawain, Knight of the Round Table, is confronted by an implacable Volkswagen!
Le Morte de Volkswagyn
(A Newly-Discovered Romance)
There rode four knyghts of the Table Rounde, and the one in front hyght syr Dynadan, and the three reste hyght sir Gawayne, and hys brethirne syr Gaherys and sir Gareth of Orkenay. And thys goode felysshype rode nerehonde to a soupyrhyway where there was a hambergyr stond, that was yclept the Bergyr Kynge Perelous. And it was syr Gaherys seyde, “I woll stop at thys hambyrgyre stond and haff dyner.”
“Nay,” ye woll nat,” seyde hys broder sir Gawayne. “For wete ye well thys is the Bergyr Kynge Perelous, wherethorow any good knyght that takys hys mete hayre wolde dye therefore of the gryse.”
And syr Dyndadan seyde unto sir Gareth, “We sholde axe Kynge Mark hayre at mete-whyke next, and so ryd goode syr Tristramys of hem.”
“That is trowthe,” sir Gareth ansyred hem. And hys brethirne made grete joy of thys, for kynge Mark was a false knyght, and ever sir Dynadan loved trew knights, and they hem ayen, and he was a grete scoffer and a passynge mery knyght. Also he dyd nat were lyfts on hys shos as lyke sir Launcelot ded, as he was nat an orgulous knyght.
“Welle seyde,” seyed syr Gawayne.
So the felyshyppe rode alonge the soupyrhyway, and anone cam thereas a Volkswagyn crewsyinge alonge that hywaye. The dryver that was dryving that Volkswagyne was a sarezen, and oute the wyndowe helde hem a grate spere. And the dryver stoppyd and loked at the knyghts.
“I woll have ado with hem,” seyde sir Gaherys. “For I thinke to increses my worshyppe.”
So he mad hym redy, and he feautyred hys spere and ren towarde that Volkswagyn. And they came togedyrs lyke wylde borys, and syr Gaherys spere brake all to pecis, and the sarezen smote hym clene off hys sadyll to the erthe.
“By my fayth, that ys a stronge dryver,” seyde sir Gareth. “And yette I muste avenge my brodir.” He dressid hys shelde and hys spere, and called to the dryvere, “Dryver, make the redy!” And he cam at hem.
The dryver turnyd hys Volkswagynne, a myghty bugge, to face hem and feautyred hys spere and cam at syr Gareth of Orkenay. Sir Gareth braste hys spere on the Volkswagyns wyndeshelde, and the dryvere smote hym off horse so he felle in a swone.
“Now wan or ellis the odir of us muste have ado wythe hem,” seyde sir Gawayne.
“I woll nat,” seyde syr Dynadan. “For that dryvere hath smote downe bettir knyghts than I, and so I thinke we nat be welle macched. It wold be my shame.”
“Than I woll avenge my brodirs,” seyde sir Gawayne. And he dressed hys shelde and hys spere afore hem, and cam at that Volkswagynne with all the might of hys horse. And the Volkswagyn cam lycke at hem, and they cam togedyrs lycke thundir. And sir Gawayne was smote downe, but he avoided hys sadyll and cam lyghtly to hys feete. And the Volkswagynne stopped, and syr Gawayne drew hys swerde and smote the wyndeshelde wyth hit, and it braste. And sir Gawayne smote the hoode, and hit dentyd and foule steem cam oute thereof, the whyche was passinge straunge, for cause Volkswagynes are bedaysshyed nat wyth radiatoors of watir, the which betoken that thys was a magick veehikelle.
Then the dryvere that was dryvying that Volkswagyn was full wroth, and he ded nat leve hys carre but pyushed the gasse pedal downe, and tried he to trample syr Gawayne undir hys wheelys. But syr Gawayne leped onto the hoode of the Volkswagynne bugge, and swung hys goode swerde Galantyne thorow the brokyn wyndeshelde and smote off the dryveres head. And the Volkswagynne stylle moved, so syr Gaayne leped to the erthe ayen. And the Volkswagyn ren a pace, and anone hit strake a tellyfone pole a grete blow, and both the pole and the Volkswagynne were to-braste.
“That was in trowthe a straunge encountir,” seyde sir Dynadan, and anone the fayre knyghts of the fellyshyppe were mounted ayen on ther horsys. Rode they then unto the kynges courte at Camelot, to telle Kynge Arthure of there mervalyis aventure.
Explicit the tayle of Le Morte de Volkswagynne
This story originally appeared in Fantasy & Science Fiction.