Past Ghosts
By Virginia Cavazos
Chapter One / Chapter Two / Chapter Three / Chapter Four / Chapter Five
Chapter Six / Chapter Seven / Chapter Eight / Chapter Nine / Chapter Ten

Chapter One

The wind whipped up in his face, causing his long brown hair to fly into his eyes. His hand reached up to gently remove a few strands that blocked his vision. His steely gaze looked out into the darkness. A threat was upon Sherwood that day. The muscles in his arms twitched as he pulled himself up upon the Gray stallion. The leather in the saddle creaked as he settled himself. His name was Robin Hood A name that struck fear in the hearts of men who opposed Good King Richard

A burning smell came from the distance - Robin searched the skies. A fire was waging in a far off village. Robin spurred his horse on. There was trouble afoot. As he rode on, Little John joined up with him on his steed. Smiling to each other, they rode on to find what troubles Prince John was beginning now.

"Wait for us!" Marion called out as she, Friar Tuck, and Kemal raced after the pair. "You don't know what you're getting into!"

Robin glanced over his shoulder and grinned. "Come on then," he called. "If nothing else, the villagers could use help putting out that fire!"

As they approached the village, they could see the women and children running about to save their belongings. The men of the village were fighting the fire, but with no avail. It seemed to have ravaged most of the village already. They quickly dismounted and approached the men.

"How did this start?" asked Robin.

An elderly man came up to them, his face black from soot. He had been fighting the fire all day. Most of what he owned was lost.

"And who might you be?" The man asked suspiciously.

Little John grinned down at the man. "Heís Robin Hood."

The man was taken aback. "Well if you were here earlier, you would have seen how this started. The Lord Dukesbury is trying to burn out all the local villages."

Robin had heard of this Lord. His hunger for land was insatiable.

"I canít help this village, but perhaps I can find those responsible. Can you show me which way they went?" Robin was anxious to make the men pay who had destroyed this village.

"Well, they split up!" the sooty man angrily returned.

He pointed out to four different directions. Robin decided that they would each follow a direction that the raiders fled.

Jumping on his steed, he urged his horse on. He tried to make up lost time, in catching up with the fleeing marauders. As he was spurring his horse on a small-unused road, Robin suddenly felt his saddle give. He leaned over to see what the problem was, when it came apart! Robin fell to the ground, landing hard. The horse became frightened, as it no longer felt its masterís weight. Robin was caught up in the horseís legs, it tripped and fell on him. The large horse rolled over him, before righting itself.

Fortunately, Robinís uncanny luck had come through once again. He had fallen next to a large branch. The branch had taken the brunt of the horses weight, but his chest ached terribly. He groaned as he felt a deep pain inside. Opening his tunic, he gently felt along his ribs. Hissing in pain as he could feel two that were sensitive, he hoped they werenít broken.

Searching around, he couldnít find where his horse had rode off to. As he tried to sit up, the pain was unbearable, his face felt flushed. Rolling he tried to get out of the road. The raiders were still about. They would love to find Robin Hood, lying helpless in the middle of the road. He found a place behind some bushes. Resting there, he slowly covered himself with some fallen branches before darkness took him over.

As Robin lay hidden in the forest, a small cart slowly rambled its way down the road. A young man of twelve was playing with a wooden sword. His older brother had made it for him. On his back was a small bow and arrow that his brother had also lovingly carved for him.

The young boyís bright blue eyes sparkled, as he played the game he loved the best. He brushed away a blonde curl from his eyes, as he thrashed his sword from side to side. His older brother knew that his younger brother idolized the outlaw Robin Hood. He smiled in joy as he watched his younger brother playing pretend. Letting out a tired sigh, he stopped to pick up dead branches to use in making coal. Eric was 18, but was wise beyond his years. He was a stark contrast to his younger brother. His hair was as dark as the coal they made to keep food on the table. His dark brown eyes kept a watchful eye on his beloved brother.

He called out to his younger sibling, as he wandered off a little to far. "Nicholas, you watch yourself. The Lords men are prowling in the forest. I think next time they come by, they'll run us over." Nickey smiled bravely at this. He loved to play Robin Hood.

"Never fear Eric, I will protect you from the Lord Dukesbury and his men. I shall smite him with my mighty sword." Nick parried at his invisible adversary. "What was that your Lordship? What did you say about Marion? Why I can not let you get away with saying that about the woman I love. Take that."

As he mock battled against the prince, he pretended that the adversary had gotten the better of him. Backing up, he suddenly tripped over something.

He heard Eric laugh as he fell.

"My, my the great Robin Hood seems to be clumsy today." Nick stood up brushing himself off as he said, "Iím not clumsy, I fell over these branches."

As he pointed to them, he saw something peeking out from under the branches. Eric saw his younger brothers face suddenly turn white.

"Whatís wrong?" he asked.

"Th...th...there's a hand under the branches." Nick stammered out, Eric ran to where Nick was standing. Pulling the dead twigs away, they found a man unconscious. Eric kneeled down by the young man. He pushed away the long hair that covered his face. He gasped as he recognized the man under the branches.

"Is he dead?" Nick whispered.

"No, but he's hurt pretty bad."

Nick kneeled beside Eric to get a closer look at the man. He slapped Eric on the shoulder. "Then why did you gasp?" he scolded him

"Because Nick. This man is Robin Hood."

End of Chapter One

Chapter One / Chapter Two / Chapter Three / Chapter Four / Chapter Five
Chapter Six / Chapter Seven / Chapter Eight / Chapter Nine / Chapter Ten

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