Seeking a Star
(A Christmas Tale)
By Paddy
Let the author know how well she did!
Chapter two
 

The people in the compound, including Marion, Little John and Friar Tuck, were as if paralyzed. And as if paralyzed, Marion refused to leave Robin's side. She wouldn't leave him, at least not before it was necessary.
Robin looked so beautiful in her eyes. He had his bow and his sword under his arms and they had dressed him in his best clothes. To Marion he looked like a king. And he had been a king - the king of her heart. Everything was over now.

How to go on with Robin's heir? Marion couldn't see a way. For her everything had died together with Robin.
Tears never stopped rolling down her pale cheeks. Her hands kept on caressing his pale face. He seemed to be so at peace. But Marion wasn't at peace at all. She fought a battle that never wanted to end. A battle against herself. For life was over. And it would never ever return.

*** *** ***

Robin slowly opened his eyes, and closed them again immediately. The light was just too bright and he first had to get used to it. He had no idea where he was. The place was warm and comforting. From afar he could hear a creek running through ... wherever he was. Slowly, very slowly his eyes got used to the brightness and he could see, that he was in a forest. It was very familiar to him. No doubt, he was in Sherwood. Robin stood up from the soft forest ground.

Never in his life before, he had felt so good. As he wandered towards the creek, to get some water, he discovered a doe, standing alone between the trees. 'This must be heaven,' he thought. The water tasted sweet and refreshing on his tongue. As he had drunken enough, Robin got up again from the ground and decided to talk a little walk. There was only one thing that made him wonder. Where was his horse? Robin didn't spend any more thoughts on it, since the day was just too beautiful. It must have been early autumn, since the leafs just turned into the most different colors. Robin took a deep breath. The smell in the air was sweet. It must have been the flowers, he was surrounded by. Robin didn't miss anything, but one.

*** *** ***

Marion woke up and looked straight into the face of Friar Tuck. "How are you, my child?" he asked her. Only now, Marion recognized that she was laying on her bed in her hut.

"What happened?" she asked in puzzlement.

"You broke down."

"What?"

"You collapsed as you were still sitting at Robin's side."

"How long have I been out?" she asked him, now almost panicking.

"Couple of hours."

"Where is Robin??"

"Where shall he be? His body is in his hut." Marion jumped out of her bed, got dressed, and stormed towards Robin's hut. In a second, she again was by his side. Tuck, who was on his way after her, was worried. Marion had never acted like this before, but he had to admit, that Robin had never died before. On the other hand he understood her feelings very well. He was at least as hopeless as her. Robin had been a very close friend and to Tuck he sometimes was just like a son, though he himself was not much older than the young outlaw.

But not only Marion and Friar Tuck were depressed. Little John hadn't left his hut, since Robin had died. Sitting on his bed, he did something, nobody would have ever expected of such a huge, strong man. He was crying. His head buried in his hands, soft sobs left his throat. Truth to tell he was about to give up. With Robin, a man, who was like a brother for him, died. Little John felt sort of lost. Robin had always been there for him, and who was there for him now? Okay, he knew that Marion and Tuck would never leave him, but it just wasn't the same for him. Robin had always given him an advice, when he needed one. When he needed someone, who listened to him and his problems, Robin was there. Now Robin was gone. He had passed the point of no return. Suddenly Little John stood up from
the chair, he had been sitting on.

"Why did you have to die?" he yelled at nobody. John sank down on his knees and started to weep heavily. He felt all so alone and lonely. Despair slowly took control over him. He didn't know how to go on.

"Lord Jesus! Where are you, when you are needed?" was the last thing he cried out, before he completely lost control over himself, and fell unconsciously to the ground.

It was Tuck, who found Little John in his hut. He had been very concerned about him, since John hadn't left his hut often after Robin's death. He hadn't even come out for the meals and that was very unusual for John. As a matter of fact, Tuck seemed to be the only one, who realized that it couldn't go on like this. They had to go on with Robin's work. They had to fight for what he had believed in - for what they believed him. When Robin had still been in that ungrateful state between a man and a boy, he once said a wise thing, that involved everything he was, everything he presented.

"A man who fights for what he believes in, is one hundred times stronger, than a man who fights for pay." This were Robin's exact words. And they were buried deep in Tuck's heart.

*** *** ***

Night was falling and Robin had to look for a place, where he could spend the night. It didn't take him long to find one and soon he had gathered enough wood to make a small fire. During the afternoon he had fished and so he had now some nice fish for dinner. But Robin felt as if something was wrong. The whole day through he hadn't even heard a horse riding by from afar. There simply had been nothing. Another strange thing was, that it was short before Christmas time and it was neither cold, nor was there any snow. But Robin didn't spend anymore thoughts on it. He was tired and hungry and wanted to satisfy both his needs.

The next morning he woke and everything around him had changed. Over night it had become cold, snow covered his body and the ground, the birds had left, and his fire was burning no more. Totally confused Robin stood up from the ground and shook the snow out of his hair. What had happened? He had no idea. Suddenly he felt a strong pain in his chest, it was the worse than everything he had experienced with pain before. It felt as if somebody would tear his heart apart.

Robin knew that it couldn't be a real physical pain. He had suffered from such pain before, always when Marion had been in danger or hadn't been with him. Now he knew what was missing. Marion.

*** *** ***

A cold night. Somebody is feeling lonely. Big blue eyes look out into the cold night. Long hair fell down his shoulders. Just a little boy. Alone. Helpless. Out in the forest. No help, none in sight. What to do? He didn't know. A cry left his throat. A cry of pain, despair.

"Eli! Eli! Lama, asabtani?"* (see transltion at bottom)

The boy sat on the frozen ground. His whole body was shaking from the cold. He was not older than four years, and yet those strange words had left his throat.

Marion turned around. She had heard something. The sound of somebody crying for help. Although she hadn't understood the words, she certainly knew that it was a cry for help. After Robin's death this was the first time, that she had left the compound. And now this! But she couldn't help it. She just had to help whoever was crying for help out there. She dismounted and led her horse on the reigns.

Soon she found a little boy sitting under a tree, obviously feeling very cold. At the same time, seeing this boy, gave her one crying and one laughing eye. A laughing eye, because that boy was just too cute, and a crying eye, because she knew, that she would never have such a child herself. For her Robin had been the only one, and none could take his place.

Marion knelt down in front of the boy, caressing his cheek with her warm hands. "Have you cried for help, my boy?" she asked him in a soft voice. The boy nodded his head. Marion smiled down at him. "Come with me. I have a warm soup and a warm place for you to sleep." The boy gratefully nodded his head and followed her.

*** *** ***

Robin was in great pain. His heart now seemed to be breaking for real. Sneaking through the snow he had a very hard time. Although he had never been a stranger to pain and hardship, this was so new to him, and he felt so helpless. In his mind he kept on praying for Marion to come and save him from whatever was causing him so much pain.

*** *** ***

Marion and the boy had arrived in the compound. Immediately Tuck took care of him. He gave him some hot soup to eat and watched over him with an eagle eye. But as soon as he was sure, that the boy was alright, he left him alone again together with Marion. The boy ate his soup. As he had finished, satisfaction was laid upon his small face. Marion kept on smiling at him, but her mind was somewhere else. In her hand she held something, she once wanted to give to Robin. It was that star that once had belonged to his mother.

"You seem to be in great sorrow," the boy suddenly said. Marion was surprised to hear such words, from so young lips.

"What makes you think so?" she asked him in surprise.

"The look of your eyes tells me so. What is wrong?" Marion still couldn't believe what was going on. What kind of a little boy was that? She couldn't help it, but somehow she had to tell him, what was wrong with her.

"Someone I loved very much, died just recently."

"The man I loved." The boy nodded his head.

"Did you love him more than anything else?" Marion slightly nodded her head yes.

"What is it, that you hold in your hands?"

"This was my Christmas gift for him. And now he will take it with him into his grave."

"May I see it?" Marion gave him the small star. The boy smiled as he saw it. Marion watched him in amazement.

"When was the burial?" he asked her.

"He's not buried yet. He is still in his hut, laying on the bed that once was supposed to be ours."

"May I see the man, who loved such a wonderful person as you?"

"Yes," she said hesitantly. The boy followed her out of the kitchen area, towards Robin's hut. As they were standing right in front of the door, Marion stopped.

"You may go in. I'll wait for you outside," she said in a very small voice.

"Why don't you come with me?" he asked her.

"I can't," she said through a soft sob. The boy smiled at her, nodded his head, and entered the hut.

He stepped towards the body, laying on the bed. The boy smiled and took Robin's limp hand into his.

"You know you didn't have to die so early. Your time hasn't come yet," he told the dead Robin.

"You know, I died before my time had come as well. But for the same reason as you did. I died for that, what I believed in. I had to die, because it was our father's will. And I gladly did. But your time hasn't come and your death was not our father's will."

*** A few moments later ***

Marion was still waiting outside of Robin's hut and as she didn't hear any sounds coming from inside, she decided, that she should better take a look on the boy, whose name she actually didn't know. Slowly and hesitantly she shoved the leather curtain aside and stepped with almost closed eyes inside of the hut. Her eyes opened wide and fear, as she didn't see the boy! She looked for him in the whole hut. She had never known, that such a little hut could offer so many hiding places. But she did her best, not to come close to Robin. It just hurt too much. But as she didn't find the boy nowhere she had to come closer to him, closer to his bed.

By accident, she touched his hand and she almost wanted to scream out loud, when she felt that it was warm. It was warm? Inside of the hut it was at least as cold as outside and he just couldn't be warm. Her eyes wandered up from the ground and searched for his face. She recognized his eyes moving! Nah, it couldn't be. He was dead. Full of fear, she took her eyes away again from his eyes and found herself looking at his chest. Right in the middle of it rested the star, she had meant to be her Christmas gift for him. And then suddenly it started glowing in such a bright light, that she had to cover her eyes. And then as sudden as the light had appeared, it disappeared again. Marion opened her eyes again and when her eyes got used to the normal light again, she saw, that Robin's eyes were open.

"Robin...." she whispered. "Robin...." Slowly his head turned around. A weak smile appeared on his face.

"Marion..." he whispered back at her.

"Oh Robin," Marion started weeping. "I thought you were dead," she said through a soft sob.

"I don't know where I was, but I certainly know that I never want to go back there again - not without you," he smiled at her.

"Robin," she paused as she stormed towards him and hugged as never in her life before. And even though Robin was still very weak, he returned her hug with the same strength.

"You don't dare and ever leave me again," she told him, still embraced by his strong arms.

"Promised," he smiled at her. "I can't bare the thought of being without you only one more second. Marion, we will never separate. Never."

*** *** Prologue *** ***
*** December, 24th ***

Marion stood in front of a mirror, looking at her beautiful reflection in it. She wore a white simple gown and in her hair she had flowers. Now finally the day she had been waiting for so long, had come. The day of her wedding with Robin. The ever present smile on her face, just wouldn't disappear. Tuck had joined her in her hut.

"Are you ready?" he asked her. She turned around and smiled at him.

"I've never been more ready," she grinned. Tuck nodded.

"Okay, then let's get going. Everyone is waiting for us, and Robin especially for you."

"I'd bet."

It was a beautiful day. The sun shone brightly and the snow just sparkled. And so did Marion. She followed Tuck out of her hut.Robin was already waiting for her. Tuck quickly ran towards his position and waited for the couple to arrive in front of the wooden altar. A smile appeared on his face, as he saw both Robin's and Marion's faces.

Tuck made it really a very touching ceremony. As the "I do" 's were spoken, everyone had tears in his/ her eyes. Marion and Robin kissed each other softly, but long. The cheering that came from all around just didn't seem to end. It was great. Simply great.

The whole compound celebrated that special day until late in the night. It was the night, when the savior of them all had been brought to life so many years ago, and when the hero of their hearts got married. Really a very special day.
Robin and Marion had called it a night very early. The cheering of the others followed them, as they both went into Robin's hut. The others seemed to know very well, what was coming next on their very special schedule. Just as they came to stand in front of the entrance of Robin's hut, Robin stopped and lifted Marion from the ground with his strong arms.

"Do you think that this is really a good idea? You still should rest, you know."

"I'm enough rested for this," he grinned.

"I bet, you are," she grinned back at him.

Later Robin and Marion were laying in his bed, arm in arm, in a tight embrace with each other. They had been silent for quite a long time, but on Marion's tongue, a question was burning.

"Robin?"

"Hmmm?"

"Where have you been?"

"What do you mean? Where have I been?"

"When you've been ..., you know, ...., dead." Marion hesitated. Robin sighed out heavily.

"Truth to tell, I have no idea. I don't exactly remember, but it was beautiful. At least firstly. I've been in a forest, really a beautiful one. You should have seen it. But then something strange happened. A indescribable pain came over my
whole body. It just felt, as if it would tear my heart apart. I've never felt such pain before, and you know, I've been through a lot. And from that moment on, I don't remember anything. I have no idea, why I'm alive."

"Neither do I. But you are alive, that is all that matters."

"All that matters is our love," he said. Marion nodded. Her head rested lightly on his chest and soon she fell asleep. Robin kept on caressing her cheeks and listened to the sounds, no, to the silence of the night. Everything was so at
peace. Peace. It was truly a Holy Night. Peace.

The End

* Hebrew for "My Lord, my Lord, why did thou leave me?"

Chapter One
 Chapter Two

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