Liz was tired. The party had been great. A huge bonfire, belly dancing and that hard lemonade from the master brewer had been awesome. She hadn’t had that much fun at an SCA event in ages. Now if the drummers would just go to bed, she could get some sleep. Crawling into her sleeping bag, she pulled it over her head to drown out the thump of the drums.
Twenty minutes later, she still couldn’t get to sleep. After tossing and turning, Liz crawled out of her bag. Dressed in her chemise, she wrapped her cloak around her and headed for the porta-potties. She saw a crowd of people down by the next set of potties and didn’t think much of it. It was close to the autocrat’s encampment and there were always people hanging out there. She got half way back to her tent before someone called her name.
“Hey Liz! Come on over!” hollered Baron Dietz.
“No, I’m going back to bed,” Liz said.
“No, we need another charioteer! Pleeeeze,” he crooned as he walked towards her.
“Dietz, I drank way too much, and I really should be sleeping. I have to attend her Majesty in the morning,” Liz said trying to get out of whatever silliness the Baron had in mind.
“Oh no. Mustn’t have a sober charioteer. Here, drink,” he said as he handed her a tankard and put his other arm around her.
“I said no.”
“Just one little sip and come see what we’re doing?” he said.
Liz smelled the cup. It was more of that hard lemonade. “Oh what the hell, it’s only a party,” she thought as she took a drink. Baron Dietz walked her towards the crowd that was still milling in front of the autocrat’s camp. She stopped dead in her tracks when she got around the wall of people. In front of her were eight chariots. They were made out of 55 gallon drums and wooden wheels with a shaft out the front. In the melees, they were pulled by two knights acting as horses and a third knight was the charioteer. She took another drink of the lemonade. A big one.
“Dietz, I… I don’t think I can do this,” she said.
“Oh come on. We have two beautiful horses and a chariot without a driver. Pleeeeze,” he crooned once more.
Liz looked at the horses. They were two of the knights, but instead of armor, they were wearing their belts and boots. Just their belts and boots. Worst of all, the knight on the left was one she’d been drooling over at the bonfire. He caught her looking at him and winked.
“Oh Damn!” she thought.
“Mistress Liz, please come drive our chariot. We need you, and I can promise we’ll be good horses,” he called.
“Oh come on Lizzy! I’m driving this team,” Leanor called from the other side of the mass of people. She too had on just her belt and boots. Leanor also weighed about twenty pounds more than Liz.
Liz drank down the last of the lemonade, sighed and headed towards her horses. Looking around she realized that there were some fine naked men in this bunch. “I wear a bikini all summer, I can do this,” she thought as she handed her cloak to Baron Dietz and then pulled her chemise over her head. Then she climbed into the back of the chariot.
“Ah! The lady isn’t dressed!” hollered Sir Bartlett.
“What?” asked Liz. With all the breasts and balls hanging out, she was a little confused.
“No belt! Please, take mine,” said Sir Bartlett as he came up to her. His belt wrapped around her waist twice and still hung to her knees. He gave her a kiss and then walked back into the crowd.
Liz shook her head, looked up towards the stars and wondered what in the hell was next.
“Attend! This race will take place around the main Tournament area, down Merchants Lane and back. There will be two sets. The winner from each race will race once more to provide a champion. Does everyone understand?” hollered Baron Dietz.
“Yes!” answered the crowd.
The ‘horses’ and chariots lined up. Liz and her team were in the second set. Baron Dietz waved a white head scarf and the first four chariots began to race. The drummers beat their drums and in Liz’s mind, they sounded like hoof beats. It didn’t take long for the chariots to make their way around the course. Leanor and her team won.
The second set of chariots lined up and Liz held on for dear life as the scarf waved and the horses burst into action. The chariots bounced and swayed, and all Liz had to do was hold on and hope she didn’t fall out of the chariot like one of the girls had on the first round.
“Come on you knights! Run faster!” she yelled. People were laughing and pointing at the teams as they approached the finish line. Liz’s horses stepped up the pace and pulled across the line first.
“Yeah!” she cried. Her ‘horses’ dropped the chariot tongue and worked on catching their breath. One of the tavern wenches brought everyone a drink. This time Liz got the hard ginger beer.
“That was a pretty good run. You think we’re faster than those two?” asked Sir Alefirth, her left horse.
“Don’t know. Better go easy on that,” said Sir Donal, the right horse and the one who’d winked at Liz.
“Well, what do we get if we win?” asked Liz.
“There is a cask of porter ale up for grabs, although you could reward us any way you felt like,” winked Sir Donal.
“Oh, promising me the ‘ride’ of my life?” teased Liz.
“Yes,” both horses said. Liz smiled. Maybe this wasn’t so bad after all.