Sir Percival cradled his helmet beneath his metal clad arm and clanked into his son’s sleeping chamber, where young Percy lay upon his straw mattress playing Dragonslayer on his Magic Stone.® The boy was listening to that gangsta lute that was so popular with kids his age. “Son, I must away. Look after your saintly mother and defend your sister’s virtue,” Sir Percival said.
“Where are you going this time, father?” Young Percy asked while dodging a dragon’s fireball.
“I seek the Grail. The journey may be long and fraught with danger.” The knight lowered both his head and his voice. “I may not return.”
“Like what danger?”
“There be dragons,” the knight said.
“So what? I kill dragons all the time. Look, I’ll kill one right now.” The boy raised one soft hand above his head. “One handed, check it out.”
“These be real dragons, son, not phantasms from the Other Realm inside your Magic Stone®.”
“It’s not so hard,” Young Percy said.
“What of marauders, highwaymen, black knights? I will face much resistance, clashes that you can’t imagine,” Percival said.
“A battle royale? I win those all the time. Focus on your fort building skills and hit as many treasure chests as you can. That’s where the rare weapons are.”
The boy’s flippant response enraged his father. “This is no game, son! This is the Holy Grail, the quest for which I have dedicated my very life! This is not just a search for an object, it is a search for meaning! For purpose!”
While Sir Percival flailed about red-faced and clanky, Little Percy tapped away on the smooth surface of his Magic Stone®. “Done,” the boy said.
“Done? What is done, lad?”
“The Grail. I ordered it, and because I have Prime it will be here tomorrow. Free shipping.”
At this Sir Percival entered a state of apoplexy that not even a surgical grade bloodletting could remedy. Nevertheless, the dark spell passed quickly, and the knight muttered, “Son, you can’t do this.”
Young Percy sensed his father’s frustration, so he glanced away from his Magic Stone® for a full three seconds. “Do what, father?”
“Live like this, hidden in your bedroom. This is no kind of life.”
“But I have everything I need right here on my Magic Stone®.”
“But none of what you see and do in the Other Realm is real. Wouldn’t you rather slay your own dragon?”
“I slew three while you were talking,” Young Percy said.
“The dragons in the Other Realm are mere phantasms, no more than dreams! What about a goodly wife? How will you find a fair maiden locked away inside these infernal walls?”
Percy tapped again on the stone’s smooth surface. “Boom. Serfs Only Dot Com, and she be a buxom lass.”
Sir Percival stared at the boy, stared at the sad future of the kingdom over which he had journeyed lo these many years, and then he breathed the long sigh of the defeated. The knight hastened to his antechamber, where he removed his armor and slipped into a pair of worn sweatpants. He slouched toward his own sleeping chamber, where he fired up his own Magic Stone® and watched YeTube clips of knights of the Other Realm getting kicked in the codpiece.
And there he remained until he died alone and without purpose, the One-Click™ purchased Grail gleaming on his mantel, absent of all joy and meaning.