Echoes of the Past

By the Outlaw List Writers

Part Thirteen

By Virginia Cavazos

Tuck slowly advanced towards the druid circle. His chanting growing louder, the druids seemed to be under a trance. As he grew near to Little John, he quickly mumbled between words.

"Get - up – and - help – Robin - and - Marion!"

Little John tried to shake the cobwebs from his head. He saw Robin lying on the ground. Jacobi was grabbing Marion, she seemed to be under his spell.

He tried to use his magic, but it seemed to have left him. The evil that now permeated the area, canceled out his magic.

"Oui, now I’m really goin’ to finds out wot it’s like to be Robin ‘ood," he said with a lecherous chuckle.

With the druids caught under Tuck’s spell. Little John rose from the ground, he charged Jacobi, slamming into him. He released Marion, she fell to the ground, next to Robin.

"Marion," Robin gasped, "Are you all right?"

Hearing his concern, woke her from her reverie.

"Marion…I…can’t…hold…them…much…longer," Tuck said between chanting.

Marion searched around, she saw that the Druid priests seemed to be glued to the ground! Thanks to Tuck’s chanting. What frightened her the most, was the dark creatures that Little John blasted, were just now, rising, and slowly walking to their living counterparts.

"Robin, can you run?" she asked him. She was surprised to find Little John by her side. Glancing to her left, she saw Jacobi lying on the ground.

"About as far as you can carry me," was his brisk reply.

As Little John tucked his arm under Robin’s shoulder, they heard Tuck shout, "Let’s get out of here!"

Marion and Little John half carried, half-dragged Robin away from the druid circle. They rushed through the trees, and bushes, never looking back.

Only when the chanting of the druid’s was just a dull humming, did they decide to stop.

They found themselves on top of a large hill. Tuck was panting hard, Marion was panting harder. She pulled Tucks robe off, throwing it at him.

"God, that thing is hot. I don’t know how you can stand it," she said.

As he pulled it over his head, he shrugged his shoulders. "You grow used to it, it helps to show our devotion to god."

"Oh, Robin," they heard Little John gasp. All were then reminded of the horrible burns on his face. Left there by his evil counterpart.

Robin gently touched the burns, "I guess you can tell us apart now," he feebly tried to joke about his wounds.

As he stood up, he ran to the top of the hill, attempting to remove the look of concern from their faces. From this vantagepoint, they could see the entire area where the Druid sacrifice took place.

"Look!" Robin pointed.

The Druid priest’s each fell to the ground, as their dead counterparts, that walked out of the ground, each took over their bodies. Once the last of the druid priests fell, the chanting seemed to take on a different vein.

"I don’t like the sound of that." Robin whispered.

"Me either," he heard someone say. "Could spell trouble. Oh! One of them is singing off key, I hate that!"

"What do you mean, off key?" Robin snapped back.

"Off key?" Little John asked.

"I just thought it was a bad time to mention they were singing off key," Robin replied.

"Robin, no one said that," Tuck gently said.

"Oh, and when is a good time to mention they were singing off key?" The voice again was heard to say.

Spinning around, Robin let out a low groan, slapping his hand across his face he sighed. "Percy!"

Removing his hand, he shouted, "What are you doing here?"

"Is that any way to greet a friend?" Percy grumped, as he crossed his ghostly arms in anger.

"Ut oh, Tuck, he’s seeing HIM again," Little John said through clenched teeth.

"Perhaps it’s the burns?" Tuck whispered.

"Let’s humor him," Marion softly said, "He’s been through a lot."

"Why is it, when someone thinks you’re crazy, they also think you’re deaf?" Percy said.

"Percy," Robin said, with impatience lacing his voice. "Are you here to help me? Or make me look a fool."

"You don’t need my help for that," Percy mumbled.

"PERCY!" Robin shouted.

"All right, all right, don’t get your tunic in a uproar," he grumbled. "I came here to help you. Olwyn gave me a message, he said if he can’t come anywhere near here. Something about the evil repelling him. He told me to tell you, that to help end this, you need to find a place, that you can hear the Echoes of the Past."

"Excuse me?" Robin asked.

"I didn’t say anything," Tuck gently laughed.

"No one did Robin," Marion said, in a consoling tone.

"Nice friends Robin. They see demons rising from hell, but won’t believe that you are talking to a ghost."

As Robin was about to defend his friends, the ground beneath them began to shake. Spinning around, they saw the earth surrounding the druids, begin opening up. A bright red light flew into the night sky. The chanting of the druids grew so loud, it was heard as far as they were.

"Bahl, Bahl, Bahl," they all heard.

"I don’t like the sound of that," Percy moaned.

"You’re a ghost!" Robin shouted. "Go down there and tell me what they are doing."

"Robin, I really don’t…" Percy was cut off, as Robin pointed a finger down at the Druidic circle, "GO!"

"If I wasn’t already dead," he mumbled, as he dissapeared.

Robin saw three very concerned faces gazing back at him. Letting out a nervous chuckle, he said, "Um Percy is going to find out what they are doing."

"What can a ghost do?" Little John asked, finally accepting that Robin was speaking to the spirit of his boyhood friend.

Suddenly Percy was back. Robin jumped, as he appeared before him.

"Percy! Next time announce yourself!"

Robin was shocked to see that even for a ghost, he was pale.

"You’re all in trouble!" he gasped.

"What did you see?" Robin asked his ghostly friend.

"What did he see?" his three companions chorused.

"I saw a l…l…large head rising from the hole," Percy stuttered.

"May god protect us," Tuck whispered, as he crossed himself.

Robin turned to see exactly what Percy was talking about. A large head could be seen, slowly rising from the ground. They waited in silence, as the head rose higher, and higher, it was followed by a very large body. Once it fully emerged from the hole, they heard a lamentful sound, such as the likes had not been heard in centuries. The chanting of the Druids grew louder, still the cries from the beast were heard.

"Percy," Robin turned to his friend. "Find out what’s wrong."

"Oh Robin, do I have to? Those guys give me the creeps!"

"I thought you were here to help me?"

"Okay, but just for a few seconds." With that said, he quickly popped out.

"What do you think is wrong?" Robin turned to Tuck for an answer.

"I don’t know Robin, but, can you feel it? I can actually feel evil, coming from that creature."

Robin had to admit it, there did seem to be an aura of an intense evil that flowed across the Land. As he was about to ask Tuck what he thought it meant, he saw the head of Percy pop in front of him.

"Is this a good warning?" he asked.

Clutching his chest, Robin gasped, "NO!"

His full body appeared, looking apologetic, he babbled, "I thought you were in trouble before, BOY are you in it now."

"Now what?" Robin said.

"Those Druids were trying to call up their god, someone named Bahl."

As Percy explained what he saw, Robin was relaying what he said to his friends.

"They needed thirteen druids to complete the circle. Thanks to the big guy, they only have twelve. Without the thirteen, this Bahl can’t stay here longer than one day. He’ll have to return back to where he came, unless, they find a thirteenth body."

"So they need one more, to bring this demon from hell up?" Tuck asked.

"Yep," Percy said. "And with just one very familiar looking, walking dead guy still down there, needing a body. Guess who that thirteenth body will be?"

"ROBIN HOOD!" They heard Jacobi scream from below.

"Right on cue," Percy laughed.

"Percy, when you first appeared you said Olwyn told you of a way to end this. Something about Echoes of the Past?"

"That’s right Robin. He said to find a place where you can hear the Echoes of the Past."

"Tuck, does this sound familiar?" he asked, with a wink, he grimaced, as he was reminded of his burn.

"Yes it does," Tuck said in revelation.

"Then lets go!" Robin shouted, as he rushed down the hill, and back to where they tied the horses.

"Where are you going?" Percy asked.

"You’ll see," Robin said, a twinkle in his eye.

"Robin, remember us, your living friends!" Marion shouted, as she ran down the hill. "Where are you going?"

"I just answered that!" Robin shouted.

"Great, he’s only talking to ghost’s now."

"What’s wrong with that?" Marion heard said beside her. Glancing over, she was shocked to see a pleasant looking young man floating beside her.

"Oh my god, who’s that?" Marion shouted.

"Robin mounted his horse, nonchalantly saying, "Oh, that’s just Percy."

"But I can see him!" Both Marion and Little John shouted, as they mounted their horses.

"It’s the coming of Bahl," Tuck explained. "With his coming, the dead shall again, walk the earth."

"I’m not walking," Percy snapped back. "It’s more of a floating."

Pulling on his reins, Robin Shouted, "We must hurry. We have a full day’s ride ahead of us, and half a day to do it in. Let’s go!"

They rode their horses hard. Marion felt a little uneasy seeing Percy floating next to her.

As they rode on, they saw the sun just rising on the horizon, it was soon engulfed by a great black cloud. The morning had arrived, but it was still just as dark as the night.

Marion looked at Robin, his face was creased in deep concern. She saw the deep burns, left from Jacobi’s attack. As he turned to look at her, her head jerked to the side, hoping he didn’t see her staring.

"Look at that!" John pointed down the road. They saw several specters floating down the road.

"Bahl, Bahl, he needs you Robin Hood…." They heard the specters wail.

"I recognize them!" Little John said. "They are the witches we killed at your Aunt’s Abby!" Little John moaned.

"Oh Little John, we want you baaaaccckkkk," one of the ghostly witches said.

The horses began to bolt, as the ghostly hands touched them.

"Leave them alone!" Percy shouted, he slammed into the sister Witches. Robin spurred his horse on, "Thanks Percy," he shouted.

"Your welcome," he said with a large grin, as he appeared by his side. "I guess I’m good for something!"

"Keep the ghost’s away, and I promise, I’ll never yell at you again," Robin said.

They rode their horses hard, coming upon men that Robin and his companions met in battle. They all had one goal in mind, stopping Robin.

Finally, they came upon their destination. Robin pulled his mount to a stop. Before them was a great graveyard. It occupied miles of land.

"A place, where you can hear the Echoes of the Past," Robin whispered.

"This is the site of a great battle," Tuck explained. "If there was a place to hear Echoes of the Past, this is the one. All that lie here, died fighting for what they believed in. Good and evil, they all lie in state on this land."

"Halt!" Robin heard someone declare. Spinning around, he was surprised to see a woman dressed in white, standing before him.

"You won’t stop me!" Robin declared.

"We are not hear to stop you Robin, but to help you," her melodic voice purred.

"Who’s we?" Robin asked.

As he said this, twenty women poured out from the trees, surrounding Robin and his companions.

"You have no fear of us Robin Hood. We are all sisters, you see, not all Celts are bad. The ones you see before you have waited for this day for untold centuries."

The Woman’s hood was pulled over, so that he was unable to see her face. "The goddess will protect us this night. The gods of Nature will help us return Bahl to his ungodly hole in the earth!"

"Bahl will return, Bahl will return," they all began to chant.

"ROBIN HOOD!" Everyone froze, as they heard Robin’s name bellowed from the forest.

"They found us," Robin gasped.

"Quickly!" the woman in white rushed him. "Go into the cemetery. At its center, you will find a grave. It is the grave of the first Celt to drive Bahl back to hell. You will know it, when you hear the Echoes of the Past. Within the grave is a medallion. Only someone with a pure soul may touch it. It must be used to drive Bahl back into the earth, forever! Go quickly now Robin! Before it is to late!"

"I can’t leave you to fight them alone," Robin insisted.

"We are sisters of the earth. Do not fear for us Robin Hood," The hooded woman said. "Now go, unless you want England ruled by that abomination!"

Without hesitation, Robin ran towards the center of the cemetery. His companions close behind. He heard roaring, and snarling behind, but ignored the cries of battle. Knowing the outcome all depended on him.

As he rushed through the ancient cemetery, he was soon confronted by its evil inhabitants.

"You will never reach that medallion," a toothless warrior hissed. Robin choked, as his jaw dropped to the ground.

"I’m going to be having nightmares about that, for centuries!" Marion gasped.

"Get away from him!" Percy yelled, he shoved the warrior away. Robin rushed past him. He still had a ways to go, to reach the center of the cemetery.

"Robin HOOD!" Robin heard his name echoing in the cemetery.

"You will not destroy me. With your soul, I will be able to exist on this world, FOREVER!"

"Now where have I heard that before?" Tuck asked.

"You remember Tuck," Robin panted. "That woman that had a bad leg hair day."

"Oh yes, I remember her," Marion said, as she moved her jaw. Recalling the hard hit, she endured when she fought that demon.

"If you remember it dear Marion, then here’s another!" Marion heard someone say. Seeing a movement from the side, she had to duck, as a fist flew towards her. She felt a whoosh of cold air pass over her.

"Where the hell did you come from?" Marion gasped, as she suddenly found herself in a wrestling match with the same woman they spoke of.

"Good choice of words," she gasped, as she held Marion tightly in her grip.

"Marion!" Robin shouted.

"Robin go!" Marion grunted. "It’s a trick to hold you back. I’ll be all right. Get that Medallion!"

He hated to leave her, but he knew she was right. He raced around the tombstones, knowing the sooner he found the center of the cemetery, the sooner this nightmare would end.

"It seems that every one we killed, is trying to stop us," Little John noted.

"And stop you we will!" Little John heard someone roar.

He skidded to a stop, as he was confronted by the Viking he killed, saving Robin’s life.

"By Odin, I will have your head," the Viking wailed, as he rushed Little John. He was shocked to actually feel the specter slamming into him.

"Robin, get out of here," Little John grunted, knowing his friend would try to save him.

"Let’s go Tuck," Robin sadly said, as he left another of his close friends to battle a fallen enemy, alone.

They were fast approaching the center of the cemetery. Robin stopped, he listened for what the lady in white said would be the Echoes of the Past.

His head slowly turned, as he heard a familiar voice declare, "Robin GO NOW!"

His eyes began to tear, it was the voice of his father.

"Father no!" Robin heard his own voice declare.

"Why am I hearing this?" Robin shouted.

"What are you hearing Robin?" Tuck asked. He strained to listen, but heard noting but the wind and screams from behind.

"I hear my father," Robin choked. "What he said to me, the day he was killed!"

"It is your Echoes of your Past Robin," Tuck whispered. "It is something that you have never let go."

Robin moved closer to where he heard his father’s voice.
"You will go son. Two Locksleys will not die today," he heard his father declare. He stepped closer to where the voice grew louder.

"I can’t!" Robin shouted, as he stepped back. "I don’t want to hear him die again."

"You must Robin," Tuck shouted. "Only you can touch that medallion. Only you can…"

Robin heard Tuck gasp. Spinning around, he saw him lying on the ground. Behind him, he saw the evil, mirror image of himself.

"Oh, you led us on a merry chase Robbie boy. But that’s done now. Now get over ‘ere, like a good boy. And let ol’ Jacobi touch you." Jacobi snapped his fingers, throwing them out, he licked his lips.

"Never!" Robin shouted, as he took a step back. He cringed when he heard his adolescent voice shout in terror, "Father…NO!"

"Come on Robbie, it won’t ‘urt…much," he said with an evil chuckle.

Robin took a small step back, he closed his eyes in pain, as he again heard his father’s cries of death.

"There you go Robbie, just stand’s there," he heard Jacobi say. "I’ll be there in a…Argggggghhhhhhh!" Jacobi snarled. Opening his eyes, Robin saw Jacobi struggling with a man dressed in full armor.

"Find that medallion son!" The man fighting Jacobi cried out.

"Father," Robin gasped, he wanted to rush over and help him. He froze, when his father whipped his head around.

"No son! Get that medallion."

Robin spun around, he rushed towards the grave. His father had managed to wrestle Jacobi to the ground.

"Damn you!" Jacobi snarled. "You can’t ‘old me fo’ long!"

Robin found the grave the Lady in White spoke of. Engraved on its tombstone was a simple message.

"The savior of England."

Robin began to dig into the dirt with his bare hands. He thanked god the dirt was soft. Throwing the dirt behind him, his energy was sparked by the battle that raged around him. He shoved his hands in the ground, feeling around, he let out a cry of revelation. As he felt a hard object. His hand tingled as he touched it. Gripping it hard, he began to pull it out of the ground.

He let out a cry of despair, as he felt himself being lifted from the ground. Great claws clutched him, flinging him in the air. He landed hard, on the ground. His hand opening up, the medallion fell from his grip. He saw it roll away from him. He rolled his body around, crawling to where it lie.

He was stopped, as the great creature that held him, blocked his way.

It’s cracked lips parted, a slimy tongue snaked out - licking it’s parched lips.

"So, you are the great Robin Hood," the creatures bass voice rumbled.

"Where I come from, you are well known."

"I assure you, what you’ve heard about me is true!" Robin shouted, as he leaped to the side. As the large creature made a sweeping pass with his large hand.

"Hold still!" he snarled.

"I’ll hold still, long enough to send you back to hell!" Robin shouted, as he made a lunge for the medallion.

He had to jump back, as he found Bahl was much faster than the thought.

"Come here, my minion, join with this creature, so that I may stay in this land!" He bellowed to Jacobi.

Robin saw Jacobi still in battle with his father.

"You will not have my son," his father declared. "Not if I have something to say about it."

"Very well," Bahl rumbled. "If that useless piece of trash can’t join up with him. Then I shall!"

Bahl lunged forward, Robin tried to avoid one hand, only to find the other gripping him tightly.

He felt himself being lifted off the ground. Bahl seemed to be growing taller, as he held Robin in his hands. Robin’s heart broke, as he saw the seriousness of the situation.

His friends were all embattled with ghostly specters. Tuck was still unconscious. Even Percy was kept away by the witch sisters.

The twenty woman clad in white, were battling with the druid priests that were risen from the dead.

"There is no more hope for you, Robin Hood." Bahl chuckled.

His long finger stroked the burn on the side of his face. "This looks deliciously rotten. Perhaps I will use this body for myself?"

He placed his hand on his chest. Robin shuddered as he felt the evil of Bahl fighting to control his soul. He closed his eyes, pooling his strength for one last attempt to escape from Bahl’s grip. Suddenly he head someone shout from below.

"You will release him Bahl!"

Robin opened his eyes, he saw the lady in White Robes standing below. Robin was shocked to see, in her hands she held the Medallion.

Bahl cringed, as she held it high. She began an ancient chat. A bolt of white light poured out of the medallion. Hitting Bahl square in the chest, he released Robin. He fell to the ground, next to the Lady in White. He felt her press the medallion in his palm.

"Finish it," she gasped, as she fell to the ground.

He clutched the medallion tightly in his hands. Standing up, he planted both feet. Holding the medallion over his head, he concentrated on waking up it’s great magic.

Again, Robin heard the Echoes of the Past. He saw the last man to use the Medallion. As he heard the ancient Celt chat out the spell, to send Bahl back to hell. Robin repeated them.

A great crack opened in the earth, Bahl let out a might roar, as huge flames licked out of the crack. Wrapping themselves around him, they pulled him back in to the earth.

"This is not done!" Bahl shouted.

"I managed to take a small part of your soul, Robin Hood! I will return back to this earth, in one years time!"

His great hand reached out, grabbing Jacobi by the leg. "You will pay for your failure!" He dragged Jacobi to him, pulling him into the earth.

"Nooo, I’ll get you fo’ this Robin ‘oooooooooooooooooddddddd!" Jacobi wailed, he let out another unearthly roar, as the earth closed up, sealing them both.

Robin fell to the ground, he had never felt so exhausted. He felt two pair of hands, gently helping him up.

"Son, are you all right?" Robin blinked back his tears, as he saw his father standing before him.

"I’m fine, now that you are here."

Turning to the woman in white, he said, "Whom do I have to thank, for saving my life, as well as all of England."

The woman pulled her hood down, Robin gasped, as he saw his eyes, staring back at him.

Her hand reached up, gently touching the burned scar on his cheek. "Let’s fix that first,"

He felt a burning from her touch. When she was done, he reached up, to feel smooth unblemished skin. The burn was miraculously healed by this woman, he now knew to be his mother.

"So much like your father," she whispered.

"I believe he looks like his mother," the Lord of Locksley declared.

"ROBIN!" Marion shouted. Robin looked up to see, Marion, Little John, Tuck, and Percy coming towards him.

The sky was just brightening.

"The Mother Earth will heal herself," Robin’s mother said. He saw the twenty Celtic women move behind her. One by one, they began to disappear.

"We have done out job, to protect this land we so love," his mother said.

"Wait!" Robin cried out. "You can’t go."

Robin saw his father move next to his mother’s side. "I’m sorry son, but we don’t’ belong here. We must go."

His ghostly eyes glowed in pride, as he said, "I am proud of you son. I would gladly have died a hundred times for you. Take care, and remember…"

Both his father and mother said, before they faded away. "We have, and will, always keep an eye out for you. We love you son…"

And then they were gone. Robin let out a sad sigh, whispering, "I love you too."

"That was some adventure!" Percy laughed.

"Percy, you’re still here?" Robin asked.

"I’m going," he said with crossed eyes.

"What I meant Percy, was…" Robin brought his hand out. Percy reached out with his own ghostly hand. As they touched Robin said, "I wanted to thank you for your help. I don’t think I could have done it without you. Thanks."

"Your welcome, Robin," Percy said, as he began to fade from his eyes.

"And don’t worry, like your parents. I’ll keep an eye out for youuuu."

Marion placed her hands on Robin shoulders as Percy faded from her eyes. "He’s not such a bad guy, after all."

Lowering his head, Robin softly said, "No he wasn’t."

They all waited for Robin to bury the medallion back in the grave.

As they slowly walked back to their horses, Tuck let out a small chuckle.

"What’s so funny Tuck?" Little John asked.

"The story I told last night," he said.

"What about it?" Robin asked, as he mounted his horse.

"I guess I’m glad I didn’t tell you my second choice."

"What was that?" Marion asked, as she slowly roved her reins around her hands.

"Oh nothing, just something about men that can turn into bats, and drink your blood."

Robin let out a disbelieving chuckle, "Tuck! Now that is a story I find hard to believe!"

"I know," Tuck said, as he glanced to the side. He could swear he saw someone staring at him.

"Let’s go, We have a full days ride, and a…"

"Half a day to do it in!" his three companions finished for him.

They spurred their mounts on. Not seeing the black creature that flew from it’s hidden perch. The name

"Robin Hoooood"

Echoing in the dark forest.

The End.

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