Part 43 & 44 / Part 45 / Part 47 & 48
Special Note: Ooopsy! It seems that they didnt' realize the next Part was 46. The next part of the novel is Part 47. Dont' worry you didn't miss anything, they just put in the wrong part number.
Charles gasped in amazement horrified at watching Robin cast to the ground the six arrows that had protruded from his chest. Charles noted the holes in his tunic stained with blood at each entry point yet Robin showed no sign of pain.
As Robin looked up from the ground, he stared directly into Charles eyes giving an evil laugh and Charles jumped back a couple of paces seeing the red glow in Robins eyes.
"One of Satan’s minions..." he blurted out.
"Perhaps...." Robin's twisted grin increased "Perhaps I am here to escort you to hell".
"Not exactly" again Robin laughed "Now, will you grant Christina that divorce and never get near her or Adam again? Or shall we have another go at it"?
He could see Charles was terrified of him yet this rich noble mans pride kept him from conceding defeat, even to one of 'Satan's Minions'. I will have to convince him I mean business, Robin thought standing up. "My patience with you is wearing thin Dirk" Robin shouted extending his hand.
Lightening bolts flew from his fingertips striking the ground just in front of the arrogant Lord.
Charles jumped back and all of his men scattered in different directions never looking back at their master.
"You truly are from Satan himself!" Charles was horrified. "You have bewitched my wife and son. No wonder they prefer you to me"!
"Be that as it may, do you agree"?
Robin laughed again but now it was more to himself. The outlaw realized that now Charles masculine pride has been appeased. It was all too obvious when he said that the reason Christina and Adam chose him was as a result of a spell he had cast insinuating Charles was still the superior man.
"By your command" Charles said eyes still focused on the burning brush and grass at his feet.
"And realize this day Charles, if ever I hear your getting anywhere near Christina or Adam, that day will be the last day you draw breath on this earth. At that point I will see you in Hell"!! Robin then laughed a deep long laugh that would frighten the populace of the underworld itself.
He crossed the courtyard of the keep and stood at the draw bridge glaring back at Charles until he signaled his men to lower it.
"Nice doing business with you Dirk" Robin drawled dripping with sarcasm. Looking back he could feel rather than see Charles emotions raging, torn between anger and fear. Robin strolled with apparent confidence away from the keep and into the dense forest until he was well out of view, then dropped to his knees in total exhaustion. Between exerting enough energy to thwart any damage from six arrows and keeping up the aura with the glow to his eyes, he had expended far more energy than he had. He yearned to lay down and sleep for a bit but remembering the last time he rested after an incident such as this, he decided to try to forge on. He walked most of the day into part of the night until he could walk no further. The setting sun provided a cool breeze leaving Robin cold, tired and hungry.
He found a grouping of trees and bushes that would block some of the breeze and pulling some flint from his belt managed to get a fire going with some twigs and branches he found on the forest floor. Shivering he warmed himself by the fire chewing on white willow bark to thwart off hunger pains. He laughed to himself realizing that despite his immortality, he sat and suffered tonight like any other mortal on this planet. After he was satisfied that the fire would burn for several hours, he laid down on his side cradling his head with his arms underneath. The ground was cold beneath him but the soft moss and leaves at least cushioned his exhausted body and despite the hunger he still felt, he fell into a deep sleep almost immediately.
Marion rode cautiously through the night sticking to the main roads as the moon was obscured by heavy cloud cover. Her heart still raced thinking back to when she had come accross Adam, desperately trying to get back to the compound, his malformed legs now giving out under the strain of the pace he was attempting to set.
"Adam, what is it" Marion asked with deep concern.
He looked up into her face tears flowing freely. He was breathing far too heavy to talk and his throbbing legs gave sending him sprawling on his face. Marion scrambled down out of the saddle running to his side as he struggled to get back to his feet.
"There...there" Marion said taking the child into her arms, "What has happened? Wheres Robin"?
"Marion....."He gasped, "They they have him" he cried "They'll kill him"!
"My father. He beat him Marion" and as if he could take the pain no longer he pushed his face into Marions sholder sobbing uncontroably, "Its my fault. Robin Hood will die and it will be all my fault"
"Robin wont die, that I can assure you" Marion said with a smile. She scooped up the small child and pushed him onto her saddle and swung up behind him. She turned the mare and backtracked her steps dropping Adam back off at the compound and enlisting aid from Little John and Friar Tuck to rescue Robin.
Even though they knew Robin was immortal, they also knew he felt pain and was able to suffer and with the knowledge of Charles' reputation for taking pleasure in torturing his prisoners. They knew they had to expedite his rescue in a most timely fashion. The three rode through the night and as the sun was just beginning to clear the mountain when they smelled a fire burning in the distance. Fearing the worst, they all dismounted and slowly crept up on the unsuspecting resident of the camp straight ahead of them.
Sneaking up on the sleeping man, John was about to jump him when he noticed the familiar tunic and long dark sable hair face down into the ground.
"Robin"? John asked in concern. He slowly approached the outlaws body and turned him on his back fearing the worst. Marion and Tuck came out of the underbrush to watch John, their fears obviously written on their faces.
"Is he..."? Marion wispered.
Just then Robin yawned a big yawn and his eyes fluttered open revealing big brown pools looking up at them.
"John? Marion? Tuck? What are you guys doing here"?
"Thank God! Robin you scared us to death"! Gasped Little John dropping him back on his back with a thud.
"Hey! What was that for?" Robin asked with a laugh.
"Robin! Adam said you were captured by Charles! What happened??" Marion could control her curiosity no longer.
"I was indeed" Robin said with a devilish grin, "And lets just say he will not be bothering Christina or Adam ever again and I do believe the man has a whole new respect for Satan and his minions"
"Huh"? the three chimed together.
"Long story, I'll tell you about it on the way home."
Robin got up and brushed himself off and gathered up a few belongings from the ground, when he heard a horse ride up behind him. The four swinging around prepared to battle whoever had arrived but to Robins horror he found himself looking into the eyes of his newly adopted father, Lord Drake. "Father" Robin exclaimed approaching the horse. Right away he noticed the horse covered in sweat, foam dripping from the overrode beasts mouth. Lord Drake was silent, just giving Robin a plea of help with his eyes.
"Father...what is it"? Robin asked quietly reaching the side of the animal.
"Help....Johanna" Lord Drake dropped from the side of the horse, an arrow protruding from his back.
"FATHER" screamed Robin catching Lord Drake halfway to the ground his head cradled in his lap..."Tuck! Do something"!!
Tuck was already at Robins side, leather bag in hand full of herbs and bandages.
Tuck looked over the older man thoroughly and sighed looking up into Robins tear-filled eyes.
"No vital organs have been effected, if we can get the arrow out clean I think
He has a chance".
"Who would hurt a man like Lord Drake" Marion managed to get out.
"Someone who was after me...and now they have Johanna" Robin said quietly, self blame obvious in his voice.
Robin slowly lowered Lord Drake to the ground and looked up at the group.
"Please care for my father...I have some business to take care of"
"Robin! Where are you going"? Marion beseached.
"I know who has Johanna...and we have a bit of business to settle" Robin said in disgust, "I will be fine Marion. Just please take very good care of my father. I cannot loose a father a second time"
And this said, Robin ran from the group and swung up on Little Johns horse galloping away leaving the silent band of outlaws staring at each other.
End of Part 47
By Shelly Quinn
Robin did not know who guided his way, knew only that he followed his instincts. The hum in his soul that vibrated deep inside him. Night had fallen before he let his horse stop. The beast was exhausted and Robin led him over to a stream to drink. That done, he then made his way into the forest. He had never been to this place, but he knew his way. And as he neared the opening of a cave, Robin felt pain ripple through him. His knees buckled but he did not fall.
Magic was in the air. He had felt it for days, but only now understood.
He entered the cave and traversed the many passageways unerringly. At last he came to a big cavern and saw the flickering of fireglow. Robin felt the hum inside him become a burning pain, but he banished it from his consciousness. It was the aura of the other beings power. Forcing himself to calmness, Robin entered the cavern. He saw a figure wrapped in a black, hooded, cloak. "Where is she?" Robin demanded of the creature, for he knew that it was not human.
"She is safe," came the reply, as the creature moved forward.
"Why her?" Robin asked, as he studied the face before him. It reminded him of melted candle wax, the features not quite fully formed. And the eyes that stared back at him glowed red with unholy light. "Why Johanna?" Robin prompted. "Why not one of my other friends?"
The creature laughed. "Guilt," it whispered.
Robin frowned. "I don't understand."
"Johanna loves you, Robin Hood. She would die for you," the creature whispered, it's voice deep, the tone seductive. "You love her too, but not in the same way. And for that you feel guilty. Guilt is your weakness."
"What are you?" Robin challenged, unwittingly taking a step back as the creature approached him.
It smiled and revealed sharp fangs for teeth. "In the ancient scrolls I am called Djinn," it replied. "Do you know what that means?"
Robin shook his head. "Tell me," he beseeched, for he felt a morbid curiosity.
"I am a creature born of heaven and spawned in hell," the Djinn replied. "An angel and a demon. The one who makes the wishes of mortal men..and women..come true. It is what I live for...my purpose in life. To grant the wishes of mortals."
"But there's a catch!" Robin hissed, knowing this to be true without explanation. Because of his powers he could feel the evil that tainted the creature's soul.
The Djinn stepped closer to Robin Hood and was impressed the the young man held his ground. The outlaw's immortality did not protect him from evil. "Mortal's are foolish creatures," the demon spat. "They know not that they should be careful what they wish for."
Robin watched as the Djinn moved to stand directly before him and one, clawed, hand reached out, fingers tangling in Robin's hair. He allowed it, offering a smile in return. "What do you want from me?" he beseeched.
"Ahhhh..." drawled the Djinn, as his fingers now moved to brush across Robin's face. The feel of smooth skin pleased him. "The real question is...what do you want from me?"
"I want Johanna back," Robin replied, without hesitation. He shivered with revulsion at the Djinn's touch, yet did not step away.
The Djinn brushed the tip of one claw down Robin Hood's chest. "How badly do you want her back?" he queried. "What price will you pay?"
Robin shivered again, then replied, "I would give my life."
"Easy enough to offer, when you cannot die," the Djinn countered. "Try again."
"My powers," Robin hissed. "Is that what you want?"
Heaving a sigh, the Djinn shook his head. "I have powers enough of my own," he replied.
Robin was tiring of this game. "What is the price of Johanna's freedom?" he demanded.
"Your own," the Djinn replied. "For twenty-four hours. Seems fair enough, don't you think."
"Depends on what you mean," Robin countered.
The Djinn smiled. Robin Hood was wise beyond his years. "It is simple enough," he whispered, his fingers once again tangling in the young man's dark hair. "You will wish to possess my powers for one full day and night. And during that time you will grant wishes to all mortals who cross your path."
Robin was confused. "For what purpose?" he challenged. "What do get out of it?" He knew there had to be a catch.
"For one day, I will be free," hissed the Djinn. "Do we have an agreement or no?"
"You said that you can only grant wishes to mortals," Robin countered. "I'm immortal now."
Silky laughter rippled from the Djinn. "It matters only that you were mortal born, Robin Hood. Now...do we have a deal?"
Robin nodded. "Free Johanna and I will make your wish."
"Excellent!" drawled the Djinn. He waved one hand and Johanna appeared before them.
"Robin!" she whispered, her eyes growing wide as she stared at the outlaw.
He wrapped her in his arms and felt her tremble. "It's all right, Johanna," Robin whispered as he stroked her silky hair. "You're safe now." He glanced up at the Djinn. "Send her home," he ordered.
The Djinn nodded. He could afford to be generous. "As you wish," he replied. Another wave of his hand and Johanna was gone. "It is done. Now...make your wish, Robin Hood."
"I wish..." Robin began, but faltered as a voice in his head cried out. He sensed that the voice was familiar, and that it was warning him. But Robin banished it. He had to do as he had promised.
Could not risk Johanna's life by doing otherwise. "I wish to have your powers for one day," Robin whispered.
"As so you shall..." hissed the Djinn as a flash of light filled the cavern.
Robin shielded his eyes with one arm, and when he opened them again he discovered that he was back at the Sherwood compound. Tuck and the others were there as well, including Christina, her son, Johanna and Lord Drake.
Marion ran over to Robin. "How did you get here?' she asked, one hand lifting to touch the outlaw's face, for she could see that he was disoriented.
"I....I'm not sure," Robin replied.
"You must have used your powers," Little John commented, then he sighed. "Wish I could do that. I would love to travel the world in the blink of an eye. Why...I'd join forces with King Richard, fight in the Crusades all day and be back for supper."
Robin felt a cold chill brush over his skin at Little John's words. "As you wish," he found himself whispering. And, in that moment, the giant vanished.
End of Part 48
Part 43 & 44 / Part 45 / Part 47 & 48
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