It’s not always the quest for the cup. Sometimes, it’s the quest for what’s in the cup.Lance wants nothing more than to be there to fight the dragons for his beloved Princess Alexandra. With his faithful steed by his side, Lance sets out for the magic elixir found only in the Holy Grail. With its strengthening power, facing off an old hag, the bewitching woods, and the strange ogre who lives under a bridge should be easy. But when it comes to Alexandra’s dragons, things aren’t quite what they all seem to be. Will Lance’s gift be enough — or will his princess require something even more powerful to sustain her? Pull up a cup of your favorite “elixir” and enjoy this sweet and snarky satire story from C. S. Johnson, where the dragons are real, even if they aren’t. FROM THE STORY: Every knight has a quest, and every quest has its reward.As a knight-errant, albeit one still in training, with only a year of service behind him, Lance took his duty seriously. But waking up was also a serious business, and that was why, despite the midmorning light flickering over his face, Lance was still half asleep. His faithful steed stepped up to help him, breathing smelly fumes into his face.“Blah!” Lance sputtered, trying to clear his tongue of the frothy waft. “What have you been eating, Percy?”His pet’s pungent wake-up call forced Lance to roll over. When the heat of Percy’s breath continued to eat into the shield of his pending sleep, Lance finally gave in to his beast’s rude awakening.“Alright, I’m getting up. Back from me, you fearsome brute.”The horse was far from intimidated by Lance’s waking grogginess; instead, he moved closer to his master, nuzzling him with his wet nose.“You’re lucky you’re the runt of your family,” Lance grumbled, sitting up. He patted down his hair, brushing the chestnut locks out of his eyes, before taking in the full sight of the bouncing creature before him. “Or you would be tied outside, like the ones at my mother’s house.”Percy gave a small yip, and the nuzzle became a nudge.“Alright, alright,” Lance muttered, petting his horse’s long, flowing mane playfully. “I know you’re hungry.”He also knew there was no point in trying to sleep when Percy was hungry—no matter how sleepy he still was.“I suppose you’re right, anyway, Percy.” Lance yawned and rubbed his hands over his face. “We promised the princess we would save her today, and every knight knows there is nothing more important than completing his quest.”Lance tossed Percy several treats and stroked his pet affectionately, before he put on his armor for the day. He pulled a breastplate polished to a shine over his head, slipped his feet into protective boots, and even donned a helmet to protect his face from the bright summer sunshine.Before too long, he stepped outside his quarters. Percy came trotting eagerly after him. With his steed at his side and a grin on his face, Lance set out into the morning to see his princess.“Princess Alexandra, I am coming for you,” he called out rapturously, eager to see his beloved once more.FROM THE AUTHOR: It’s a good romantic tale that hints at the darker sides of depression and mental health, and the troubles we sometimes face when we befriend our demons, with liquid portals, jokes about avocados, strange references to illegal plants, and coffee runs. What’s not to love? WHAT REVIEWERS ARE SAYING: “… An endearing story of love … ” ~ Dee Bookworm
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C. S. Johnson is the author of several young adult novels, including sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles series, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at csjohnson.me.