A Gift or a Curse
By Sandy Neumann
Let Sandy know if you like her story
 Visit Sandys Web Page

Chapter One

The look in his eyes was enough to burn a hole into somebody. Lord Langton had had enough of Robin Hood's stealing from him. He was surely gonna put an end to Robin Hood. But first he had to trap Robin and he knew the perfect way to do so.

A couple weeks had passes when Robin got word from his spies that Lord Langton was gonna be moving a large sum of his fortune to another holding. Robin knew this to be an easy haul for him. Langton's men were weak and stupid.

They never put up much of a fight. The Lord himself never took part in these shipments. Robin had become so accustomed to Langton's shipments being lightly guarded, he decided to make his run on his own.

Robin sat hidden in some bushes, awaiting the carriages arrival. He was armed with his sword and bow. As the carriage approached he noticed the four guards on horses. "Piece of cake," Robin muttered to himself. He aimed his arrow at the left front guard. The man fell to the ground upon being hit. The other guard's horse got riled up by the fall and threw his rider off. Then Robin aimed for the right back guard. Hitting him squarely in the chest, the rider fell to the forest ground.

Robin jumped out from behind the bushes, sword drawn. Two guards that had ridden inside, jumped out to help defend the fortune. All Robin had was three to worry about.

"Are you boys ready for a fight, or how about just surrendering now, because we all know who's gonna win here," Robin smiled. The three guards approached Robin, with swords ready. Cocking his head to the side, Robin said "Guess we're fightin' today!"

The short guard came swinging his sword at Robin. As the man went for Robin's legs, Robin jumped up over it and swung his leg out to kick the short man in his chest. The man went down, cold. The two remaining guards just smiled at each other as Robin came at then in attack mode. Then Robin could see why they were smiling. Two by two, soldiers came out from all around Robin.

Robin counted ten total.

"Well, it looks like I got my work cut out for me today," Robin exclaimed. Robin started slashing and kicking away at the soldiers, but there were too many of them. While he was working away at most of them, one muttered, "Let's get this over with!"

Robin sensed the threat coming. Just as he swung his body around, a club came crashing down on his head, knocking him down unconscious.

When Robin woke up, the first thing he felt was his head throbbing. Not until he opened his eyes did he notice the cold, dark cell he was shackled in.

As he became more conscious of his surroundings, he noticed he was almost hanging from the chains that held his hands. His feet just barely rested on the ground. He struggled against the chains that held him, to see if he could break or loosen them, but to no avail.

The cell he was in had a small barred window above where his chains were attached. A small amount of light came from this window but most of the light in the cell was provided by a torch lit outside the solid wood door. The door had a little peep window in it from which Robin could see two figures approaching. Robin heard the lock to the door being opened. A thin, man walked in.

His hair was graying and his eyes were a steel blue. He was dressed very richly. Robin smirked as he recognized this man. The other person walked in behind him, placing the torch in a holder in the cell. It was a young woman. She was dressed as a peasant. She was strikingly beautiful. Her long, curly, chestnut hair went down her back. She had beautiful eyes. They looked brown to Robin from the distance. She bowed her head down, as she felt Robin staring at her.

She could not bear to look at him, knowing what was to come. Lord Langton walked up to Robin and stared at him with anticipation. He knew that Robin would soon be suffering and couldn't wait for it to occur.

"Well, well, well, who could have ever guessed that you, Lord Langton, would have been able to capture me," Robin said sarcastically.

Lord Langton slapped Robin across the face. Robin just shook it off and smiled a dimpled smile at him.

"You will soon learn who's in control of your life, Robin Hood!"

"Oh I will, will I," Robin replied back. "Yes, you will and my dear Angel will show you." Lord Langton gestured his and over to the young woman. She continued to look down at her feet.

Robin wondered what this innocent looking girl could do to him to make him suffer. He hadn't a clue at what was to come.

Lord Langton took Angel's hand and made her stand in front of Robin.

Langton then backed up a bit from behind her. She stared into Robin's eyes for a moment. She could see the questioning in his brown eyes about what was to come. But she could also see that he was a good man and did not deserve to experience what was to come. She lowered her head again, as she could not bear to look into his eyes anymore.

Lord Langton was getting impatient at her waiting and could see her unwillingness. He walked up to her and whispered something in her ear. Robin couldn't hear it, but whatever he said upset her.

Angel took Robin's head into her hands and looked him in the eyes more time before proceeding. She hated doing this to most others, but especially to those she could tell didn't deserve it. As she lowered her head down to avoid his eyes, Robin started seeing images in his head. These images were of deaths, torture, rapes, battles, and all sorts of horrifying things. The images were flying through his head. Some of the images were from his own experiences.

The death of his father, fights in which he had killed soldiers, and seeing women and children burned to death in villages that Prince John had destroyed. As all the images came into his head, he could start to feel pain. He was feeling

The pain from all of these people in these situations. It was as if it was all happening to him! His whole body began to shake. Angel kept her hands on his head, her visions and memories transferring into Robin's mind. Robin started shaking violently and screaming to make the pain stop. As Lord Langton started to see Angel shaking, he pulled her away from Robin.

Angel fell into Langton's arms. He was used to this happening. She had grown weak from experience, but Robin was the one who truly suffered. His head was hanging down on his chest, sometimes swaying back and forth. He groaned out in pain occasionally. His body now just hung from the manacles that held is hands. As his hands grew numb, he would occasionally tremble all over. The pain was so intense. But it was all in his mind. Physically he was fine, but mentally he felt like he was about to die. He kept his eyes closed the whole time, afraid to open them and see death all around, for that was all his mind could picture right now. The mental pain became so intense that he drifted into unconsciousness.

When Robin woke up finally, it was the next day. His whole body ached, yet he suffered no bruises. The only part of his body that was numb was his arms.

He had been hanging the whole night from them. He stood on his feet again and tried to shake some circulation back into his arms. He could still picture all the things that was fed into his mind the day before. Robin was trying to figure out exactly what occurred the day before when she walked in. He glared at her with hate in his eyes. She was used to seeing this look from many of the Lord's prisoners. But to see this look come from this man did not seem right. His eyes the day before had mischeviousness to them and strength. Today they still showed signs of strength, but mostly it was hatred and anger aimed towards her. She tried to avoid his eyes as she walked in with a bowl of food for him.

"I am to feed you. The Lord does not like his prisoner's to die by starvation," she said to him. He looked at her, softening up a bit seeing that she truly looked regretful and almost scared of him. She did not want to look in those soulful brown eyes of his. He was such a handsome man. It scared her to think that he hated her so. She remembered the feel of his long, sable hair in her hands. Then she remembered his trembling body and screaming for her to stop. She almost shuddered thinking about the pain she caused him. She knew he would have to go through that again and couldn't look at him knowing that.

"Why did he send you to feed me," Robin asked trying to get her to look at him. "There aren't any others here to do it," she replied, continuing to avoid his eyes.

"So does that mean you are gonna unchain me?"

"I am not allowed to. I must physically feed you," her eyes finally meeting his. He had not seen her up close before in the light. It was daylight now and more light shined in where he could see her features better. He could see her eyes were more of a green up close. They were very beautiful, almost mesmerizing. She had a pale complexion. Her features were very sweet looking. He found it hard to believe this was the same woman who caused him so much agony. She glanced downwardly again, seeing him studying her.

"Why can't you look me in the eyes for any length of time," Robin questioned her. She lifted her head to look into his expressive brown eyes. "I do not like seeing the hatred and pain I cause in people's eyes." "Then why do you do it," Robin asked. "Because it s what Lord Langton wants me to do. He says it’s why I was put on this earth for." Her eyes turned even more green now, as she tried to hold back tears.

Robin started to feel sorry for this young woman. She seemed to be a lost soul, who Lord Langton was taking advantage of. "Who is Lord Langton to you?"

"Please," she begged now, "stop asking me questions. Just let me feed you before you pass out on me." Robin was very hungry, so he obliged her. She took a piece of meat onto the fork and placed it in his mouth. She continued this until the bowl was empty. She felt very strange with this man. She had done things like this before with other captives of the Lord's, but she never felt much for them. Most of them were murders, thieves, and enemies of Langton's who showed little remorse. Robin Hood was a thief, but unlike the others before. She had heard other servants mention this man and all the good he did their families and villages. They had told her he only stole from overly rich, greedy Norman’s, one of which Langton was.

As Angel fed Robin, she felt embarrassed. He had stared at every move she made the whole time. He had wondered if the meat was poisoned, or if suddenly she'd feed him those horrible images instead. However, Robin was starting to feel better. His body didn't ache much more and the images were subsiding in his mind. He was more focused now on figuring her out and how to escape.

Robin again asked her about Langton's involvement in her life. His curiosity needed to be settled. He just didn't see this young woman fitting into Langton's life, except to be used for her special gift. She sighed and placed her hands on his head. He tried to back off, but had no place to go. This time, however, he wasn't having images placed into his mind. He had no idea what she was doing. She was reading his thoughts and memories.

"You are worried about your friends trying to find you," she said as she opened her eyes and looked into his. "They will have difficulty. You are not in Lord Langton's castle. You are in an old abandoned one outside of Lockshire." She laid her hands back at her sides.

He was impressed with her gift. He had been worrying about the others. "Will you help them find me," he asked. "I cannot do that, but perhaps..." She trailed off as she heard someone at the door. Lord Langton and two muscular guards walked in. Angel quickly backed away from Robin.

"Did he finish eating already," Lord Langton growled out. "Yes, Sir.

He did. He just finished," Angel replied. "Good. You may go back to your quarters now, Angel. I won't be needing your assistance today, anymore. I have something else in mind for Robin Hood."

Angel walked past Langton, to the door. Just before she walked out, she glanced back at Robin, worriedly. She knew everything that Langton did to his captives. He loved to use different types of torture. His favorite was Angel’s unique gift, but he was into good old fashioned kind too. As she was closing the door behind her, she heard a yelp from Robin. She closed her eyes as she walked down the hallway.

 

It had been over 36 hours since anyone at camp had seen Robin. Marion paced back and forth nervously waiting for the 4th patrol to come back, hopefully, with Robin in tow. Herself, Little John, Will, and Friar Tuck all lead separate groups of search parties to look for Robin. Marion's heart had skipped a beat when she found Robin's Grey mare tied up to a tree, but no sign of Robin.

Little John's group was going to search out the area around Lord Langton's castle, to look for anything suspicious. Marion was still waiting for them to return.

The tree covered gate opened to the outlaw’s camp. Marion came running up to them, searching for Robin. She looked up at Little John to see his worried, blue eyes.

"Did you find any trace of him," Marion asked. "Well, we followed the carriages trail back to Langton's castle.

The activity around the castle seemed normal. But that doesn't mean that Robin isn't there," John replied.

"Well, we have to find out if he is or isn't there, either way. God only knows what Langton wants to do to him after all the gold he's stolen from him in the past," Will said.

With the next day, Marion, Little John, Tuck, and the others went to sneak inside Langton's castle to find any sign of Robin. They were able to ask some of the unloyal servants if they'd seen Langton take a prisoner. No one had seen him bring anybody to the castle. They told them that Lord Langton had been gone for a few days. Nobody knew of his whereabouts.

"Perhaps Lord Langton isn't responsible for Robin's disappearance. Maybe something else happened," John said. Marion just was getting more frustrated by the second. "Well, he's somewhere and I'm gonna find him no matter how long it takes me," she said as her eyes welled up with tears. Little John put his arms around her and said, "We'll find him, don't worry. He can take care of himself."

They headed back to camp and to gather more supplies and come up with a new plan. They decided to go out again in separate groups and search some more, looking for anything out of the ordinary.

End of Chapter One
 

Chapter One
 Chapter Two
 Chapter Three
 Chapter Four the Conclusion
Home  / Story Page  / 2nd Edition