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Michelle and I growing up were sisters, best friends and as such we competed at everything. This day was no different than any other in that regard. We always had to one up the other, scare the other, or out do the other.

On this day my father was taking us to the Renaissance Faire. My brother, Michelle, Michelle’s brother Martin and I were stoked to go. My brother had a pretend sword, a chest plate made from plastic and a plastic helmet. Michelle signed he looks like a lego man. We all bused up. He was only about six, Martin was already a teenager and we of course were almost women at twelve.

We were all very excited to go and have some fun!

When we arrived we headed straight for the food. Michelle loves the turkey legs. She won the eating competition hands down. I could never even back then keep up with the eating machine I lovingly call “The Great White Michelle”.

Once finished eating we went to the jousting. Saddles rigged to slid along wires with swimming noodles in hand as a lance and you try to hit the target at the bottom. I won here knocking the target over three out of four times compared to Michelle’s two.

She beat me at archery, hatchet throwing and I beat her at apple dunking. My brother says I won the burping contest. Yeah I can burp wih the best of the boys. All tied up again as we ran wide eyed looking at all the costumes. So many were totally awesome.

Hand maidens, knights, orcs, mythical creatures of all kinds. Living gargoyle statues yeah those were the best yet. People with swords and shields and all manner of armors. It’s never been said that Ren Fairs aren’t for people watching. All manner of people entertainment as far as the wondrous child’s eye could see.

Until we found the wizard show. He performed prestidigitation and the crowd got involved. He borrowed a guys wife and made her disappear. The guy yelled out “Please tell me you don’t know how to reverse that.” The crowd laughed and applauded. At various points through his act the crowd would say funny things. We laughed and laughed until the intermission.

When the wizard came to the stage after a brief intermission he said “Here I have a box with two holes in it.” Martin said “So does she what’s special about that?” as he pointed to Michelle. The crowd laugh and Michelle back handed martin knocking him off the bench to which the crowd cheered and the wizard said “Bet you wish I’d made her disappear.”

We laughed and laughed at this wizard, complete with his Merlin hat and robes. He turned a stick to a snake and made the women jump. He did some really cool tricks up there and I remember being amazed by so many of them. I remember the laughing the most and Michelle’s hardy laugh.

Little did I know in the not to distant future that laugh I loved so much would become as rare as he wooden rose or the lady slipper.

After the show we were on our way to see sword fighting, jousting, and all manner of Mid evil games. The cheers and jeers as the crowd picked favorites to win. The king and queen as they presided over the games. The jesters at several points doing acrobatics, juggling and gymnastics.

My dad drank a few beers and mom got us all hot apple cider. Ren Fairs are filled with food and drink. I even got to try mutton. I discovered I like sheep! Mmmmmm.

After the joist it was time for the bathroom. As I came out of the bathroom I saw Michelle’s jaw fall open and she pointed at something. She pointed high behind me and a look of shock or fear was on her face. As I turned around to see what she was pointing at I was looking at this mans naval. As I looked up and up and up I finally saw a Minotaur and it was HUGE!

Blood stained fur, horns as long as my arms and eyes pitch black like the night.

I froze in terror. It was the hugest thing I’d ever seen and it blocked out the sun. To my further horror it knelt down on one knee and as his eyes meet mine. As they did I began to back peddle. I mean FULL reverse. I don’t remember exactly how but I ran over my dad; knocking him to the ground and push about thirty people backward as I ran away.

As I screamed and ran Michelle laughed at me. Sometimes I hated that laugh.

It took a bit of time but I eventually calmed down. It was after I calmed down the man took off his Minotaur head and said “Sorry for scaring ye my lady.” He knelt down and bowed his head. He said “I know I’m hideous that’s why I wear this pretty mask.” He even bought me a milk. Chocolate of course my favorite!

I calmed down but this man was almost seven feet tall and had huge muscles. He shouldn’t be allowed to be a Minotaur at Ren Fairs. This dude was seriously scary.

Hearing the commotion this knight dressed all in black shows up to see what’s going on. Michelle was still laughing until the knight knelt before her. She looked up and he growled but she couldn’t hear him. I imagine this might have thrown him off his game. This girl didn’t run or flinch at his growl.

So he lifted his visor and she screamed and punched him. Of course she hit his helmet made of metal and in the process hurt her hand. i was now watching her do the owie dance and shaking her hand made me laugh so hard I needed the restroom again. But I had to see what it was all about.

It turns out our black knight was a werewolf with fangs and all.

I asked Michelle later why she punched him and she said “Because he scared me.” I said “He was wearing armor you doof” and she said “I didn’t think it was real!” I spit milk out of my nose. Sure I wet myself a little but she punched a guy wearing armor.

Yeah those were the days. By the way she will say she won the day but my memory says I won that day. Here’s to the Renaissance Faire and all the interesting people who make it such a great people watching place. Especially to the freakishly tall Minotaur and werewolf black knight.

One made me wet myself (thank God I already went not five minutes earlier) and the other made me spit milk from my nose laughing at Michelle. We spent so much time that day laughing, eating, drinking and just having a really great time.