Fantasy Humor Historical Love

Sir Karl's Wake

By K. V. Johansen
5,103 words · 19-minute reading time


Photo by Iswanto Arif via Unsplash.

From the author: When young Sir Karl's beloved is forced into a nunnery by her land-greedy aunt the abbess, Sir Karl's mother, Lady Brenda, comes up with a perilous scheme to free her.

A Little Foreword ...

These forays into the art of the literary fairy tale were originally published by Thistledown Press in 1998 as The Serpent Bride and Other Stories From Medieval Danish Ballads. They were inspired by the ballad collections and translations of Axel Olrik, E.M. Smith-Dampier, and R.C. Alexander Prior, all of which ultimately owe their existence to the work of Svend Grundtvig. They’re quite different from my usual writing for adults: light, romantic, and influenced far more by Eleanor Farjeon than by Tolkien, Glen Cook, and C.J. Cherryh.

This particular story was originally titled “Sir Karel’s Wake,” because for no particular reason I used a Victorian translator’s version of the name.

II: Sir Karl's Wake

"I will die, I tell you. I will die!" Sir Karl kicked at the leg of a chair, and scowled. "I will. Without Kirsten, life is nothing!"

His mother sighed at her loom. There was no trial so great, Lady Brenda considered, as a son in love.

"Don't be so foolish, dear....

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