Amock Comedy Magazine 4
“Both of them?”
“I could make you one,” the magician offered.
“That would ne’er satisfy the needs of one such as I.”
“I could paint Lancey’s picture on it.”
“Nay, sir, it is flesh and blood I require, not your tawdry substitutes.”
“Tawdry?” Merlin exploded, leaping to his feet. “Tawdry? Ebony, silver, the finest workmanship …”
“And it buzzes like a hive of bees. Everyone knows when the Lady is at her pleasures.”
“She is not ashamed of it. Since her husband, Sir Wilbur, died in battle she has been lonely.”
The Queen snorted. “She should find a young buck to take care of her needs.”
“She honours the memory of her late husband,” the wizard protested, “She has vowed that no man shall have
her ever again.”
“Then she is a fool,” the Queen proclaimed, “and needs a damn good seeing to, as I do.” She threw herself to
the floor and clutched at Merlin’s wizened knees. “Oh, cast me a spell, Merlin, to make Lancelot love me and
desire me and give me a really good seeing to. Friday afternoons preferably, when Arthur is at battle
“I cannot do it, milady,” Merlin excused himself, “It is not given to me to change a man’s will. And I would not,
for if you were to betray Arthur, Camelot itself would fall.”
“What’s this you say?” she asked, her eyes filling, “Surely a quickie would not cause such disaster?”
Merlin considered. “Nay, perhaps not a quickie, but you would not be satisfied with such. You are infatuated
with Lancelot and your desire knows no bounds. You would want him night and day and perhaps twice at the
She broke away from him and swept a hand across her brow. “It is true. I am a wanton. But I deserve love
like any other maid. My husband does not want me, Lancelot will not have me, what am I to do? Come,
Merlin, you are a wise man, give me of your wisdom.”
“I must consult the oracle,” Merlin said gravely, “Only there can I find the answer to this riddle.” And with that
he left the Queen’s chamber and his loveless monarch.
It was five long days before he returned and the strain he had put himself to was plainly etched on his face.
“Have you an answer for me, Merlin?” Guinevere asked.
“Mayhaps, milady,” the old sage replied with a cough. “I used the oracle to search through time for any
answer to the situation you find yourself in and there may be something in the past and the future.”
“The past and the future?”
“Indeed. From the past I have ascertained that if Arthur gives you to Lancelot freely then the curse on
Camelot will not apply.”
“But Arthur is my husband, and old-fashioned at that. He would never give me willingly to Lancelot.”
“And from the future I found a pastime that men call wife-swapping where men exchange spouses.”
“But Lancelot has no wife to swap.”
“It need not be a wife.”
“Arthur’s always liked Lancelot’s horse,” the Queen recalled gratefully. And so, with the swapping of Guinevere
for a horse, Camelot survived.