All was quiet in Sherwood Forest that summer day. Robin Hood was on a distribution run to North Briar. Marion had hoped he would not go alone, but Robin got his way. He smiled at Marion, climbed onto his grey horse and rode through the gate.
Halfway to the village, Robin stopped so his horse could get a drink of water, and he could fill his flask. A young woman with shoulder-length brown hair and green eyes approached him. She was a sorceress named Zoe. Robin looked at her. Zoe stared into his deep brown eyes. This was the way she put men under her spell. She wanted to capture Robin Hood, not for the reward, but for herself. However, Robin gave her a puzzled look. "My Lady, are you lost?" The sorceress was frustrated. As quickly as she appeared, she left. " I need a drink more than I thought" Robin said, shaking his head. He did not notice Zoe hiding behind a bush.
"His love for another must be strong and pure. That's why the spell didn't work. Well, I'm going to have to change that. If I can't have him, neither will Lady Marion." Pointing her finger, a ray of light hit the flask Robin was carrying. "In the morning, you shall no longer care for your lady. You will be a child again." Robin drank the water from the flask, not knowing what was about to happen, and continued on his way.
With the distribution run completed, Robin returned to camp. He said nothing about the woman he met. For the rest of the day, he never gave it another thought. After taking a moonlit walk with Marion, Robin went to his tent for a good night's sleep.
A rooster crowed. Robin woke up, but didn't recognized his surroundings. Then he ran out of his tent, and looked around. Friar Tuck was surprised. He did not remember seeing this boy at camp before. Tuck figured he was no more than sixteen.
"Who are you, Lad?" Tuck asked.
"I'm Robert of Locksley, and I demand to know where I am. The boy stood straight, arms folded across his chest. He did not look pleased.
In her crystal ball, Zoe saw what was happening.
"I'll make sure Robin and Marion never fall in love." Moving closer to the glowing object, she noticed two teenage girls in the forest. An idea was taking shape in her mind.
"Oh Jenny, I'm so happy to be on this vacation to England. Sherwood Forest is wonderful," Diana said, "Just think, 800 years ago, Robin Hood lived here."
"And don't forget Marion and the Merry Men." Jenny added, "Over there is the great oak tree. Legend says Robin proposed to Marion there."
"Look, Jenny. Do you know what that bright light is?" Diana asked.
"Let's get closer," Jenny replied. Slowly the two girls moved toward the light ahead, that appeared out of nowhere. Then, the light seemed to draw them towards it. The girls were frightened as they were pulled into the glow. They were blinded and fell.
When they got up and looked around, they thought they wandered into a Renaissance Faire.
"The man talking to the boy could be Friar Tuck, and there's a giant whose supposed to be Little John," Diana said excitedly, "Have you ever been to a Renaissance Faire that looked so authentic?"
"And I guess that's Will Scarlet," added Jenny, pointing to a brown-haired, brown-eyed man who was sharpening a knife on a rock. At hearing his name, Will turned around. He approached the girls, smiled and asked:
"Now, 'oo are yer? I don't remember seein' yer 'round camp before."
Jenny leaned towards Diana and whispered, "Oh wow! Get a load of that awesome accent!"
"I know!" Diana returned. Her voice was equally as quiet as a small grin crept across her face. Raising her voice so Will could hear, she said, "My name is Diana and this is Jenny." At the mention of her name, Jenny gave a rather a clumsy curtsy. Diana snickered at her friend's attempt. Jenny shot her a look that told her to be quiet.
"We're just here visiting for the day," Diana continued, a waver of uncertainty was faintly present in her voice. She was still wondering exactly how she and Jenny had managed to stumble upon this Ren Faire. She didn't even remember the path they took.
"I see," Will said as a sly grin crept across his face. He always loved visitors. It gave him a chance to show off. He casually began to flip the knife that he had been sharpening. "Please ter meet yer both! So, right, where are yer two from?"
"I'm from Alberta," Jenny answered. Her gaze traveled from Will's hand, which was doing some pretty fancy dagger flipping, to his eyes. She had to admit that this Will Scarlet was kind of cute. "And Diana's from the Bronx, in New York."
Upon hearing this, Will stopped his dagger flipping and slid the weapon neatly into a sheath on his hip. He scratched his head and his handsome features twisted into a puzzled look. "Al-berta? De Bronx?" He rolled the foreign words on his tongue. "Ah cain't say thet I've heard of them villages befo'e. An' believe me," he gave the girls a playful wink. "I've been jest about ev'rywhar in jolly old Englan'!"
Both girls gave a small laugh. The Ren Faire had certainly hired some pretty good actors.
Will continued his musings, "Well, them villages that yor from must be pretty neat since they allow pretty girls like yer ter wear kegs! But I must admit that kegs are an 'eck of a bit more easier ter do chores in than them full dresses."
Jenny and Diana looked at each other. "Kegs?" Diana mouthed. Jenny shrugged slightly. "I think he means pants," she mouthed back and motioned to the comfy jeans that they both wore.
"'oo did yo' come wif? Mebbe I'll ax them where abouts yer villages are!" Will was becoming excited. He liked learning where different places were. He never knew when it would come in handy.
"Well, actually, we just kinda came here on our own," Jenny replied. She began to feel uneasy. There was something unusual about this Ren Faire, but she couldn't quite put her finger on it.
Will's face darkened in a frown. "Just came 'ere on yor own? Yer mean yer two just discovered this place on yor own and no bloke showed yer?"
The pair shook their heads. "We just kinda arrived at this place while we were walking in the woods," Diana explained. She was trying to figure out why it would matter to him how she and Jenny had found this place.
Puzzled, and now more wary of the two girls before him, Will turned and motioned them to follow him.
"I think that we 'ad best go chat ter Robin about this," the two girls heard him mumble as they followed obediently him through the camp. Suddenly, Jenny realized what had been bothering her about this Ren Faire. She tilted her head towards Diana's and murmured, "Did you notice there's no work shops or anything like that. Look how everyone's dressed too! It seems like we're the only visitors to this faire!"
Diana's eyes grew wide as she took in what Jenny had said. She felt a brief shiver as she began to wonder exactly where she and Jenny were.
By Virginia Cavazos
Will brought them directly to Robins tent, he became concerned when he
saw a small crowed of his friends in front of the tent.
"You laydees stay ‘ere, I’m goin’ to see wot’s wrong."
Diana and Jenny mutely agreed, both were lost in their thoughts that all was not well.
"Wot’s wrong Tuck?" Will called out as he approached Robins tent. He was taken aback as he spied a handsome young man; his arms folded on his chest giving Tuck a tongue-lashing.
"If my father finds out that you are holding me here against my will, he will be very angry, now let me go home!" He shouted out with a spoiled stamp of his foot.
"Who the bloody ‘ell is this spoiled brat Tuck?" Will pointed one of his knives towards the young man. For a fleeting moment, Will could have sworn that the young man looked very familiar.
"I will be addressed as Robert of Locksley, or the Earl of Locksley my good man." The young Robin sniffed, searching around the compound he declared loudly. "Where is my father? I want to go home!"
"Robin, this is your home, the castle Locksley was taken by Prince John over ten years ago." Little John tried to explain to the angered young man. Tuck found that the boy instantly seemed to have attached himself to Little John. Almost as if he knew the close bond, he would form with this Giant when he was a man.
"What do you mean taken?" Robin gasped out, his brown eyes wide in shock. "I was just there," Robin tried to bolt. Little Johns great arms reached out to hold him in an iron grip.
"Wot ‘appened to Robin?" Will whispered to Tuck.
"He is under a evil spell," Tuck offered as an explanation. "We must find out who hated him enough to place this deadly spell on him."
Will let out a deep chuckle, "Good luck Tuck, that’s about ‘alf of England."
"Will, help me," Little John pleaded with him. Robin was beginning to become a handful. Even at this young age, he was still a prodigious fighter. He pulled back a long leg, kicking Little John in the chin.
"No man keeps me from my family!" He shouted out, spinning around, he fled from Little Johns long reach, only to find himself in another mans grip.
"Let me go!" He snarled out, as Will had a hold of him.
"Oh no Rob, you ‘ave to listen to wot Little John and Tuck is tellin’ you. Your family is gone, you are the last livin’ Locksley."
Hearing these words, Robin began to fight Will with a ferocity fueled by his words.
"Lies! They are all lies, I just saw my father I tell you. He’s going to be worried about me if I don’t get back soon."
Robin stopped his struggling when he heard a young voice say, "It’s true Robin, your father was killed by Prince John’s men."
"Diana, what are you saying?" Jenny hissed out.
"Look around Jenny, this isn’t some Renaissance Faire, this is the real thing. The smells, the deep concern evident in Robin’s men’s faces. I don’t know how it happened, but we’re back in England Jenny, during the time of Robin Hood."
"Who’s Robin Hood?" Robin searched into the faces of the people surrounding him. They all nodded their heads towards him. "You are Robin," Little John gently said, he walked up to where Will still held on tightly to the confused young man.
"Please remember Robin, you have to," Little John pleaded with him. "You are under a wicked spell, I don’t know how it happened, but we must find a way of breaking it."
"Its not just him under a spell," Jenny cut in, "We don’t belong here."
"Wot do you means by that?" Will asked Jenny, releasing Robin to Little Johns care. His struggling continued.
"We are not from this age," Diana began.
"No, we’re from the future, 2000 to be exact." Jenny offered.
"Great, I think its catchin’, now we ‘ave THREE crazy younguns," Will griped.
"We are not crazy!" Diana and Jenny protested in unison, they said it with such a force, that Will put his hands up as a defense.
"Whoa laydees, now the two of you calms down, we all ‘ave open minds ‘ere. After all, we ‘ave a full fledged wizard livin’ in the woods."
"That’s right, Olwyn can help us," Diana said, with a snap of her fingers. "Bring us to Olwyn, he’ll tell you that we don’t belong here. Maybe he’ll even be able to find a way to send us back home?"
Will let out a merry chuckle, "I see, you wants to go back to your future?"
Jenny nodded her head, sighing out, "God, I love your accent."
Wills sparkling brown eyes laughed at Jenny, "My accent, I was about to say the same thin’ about you luv."
Diana gave Jenny a small nudge with her elbow, "Jenny, concentrate, we’re in deep trouble here."
Another sigh left Jenny’s lips, "Oh there is trouble," Giving Will a wink she added, "And there is trouble."
"I think the girls plan is a good one to go with." Tuck cut in. "I pray that he’ll be able to tell us what happened to Robin."
"Only my friends call me Robin!" The agitated young man shouted out. "You may address me as Robert!"
Little John shook the young Robin in his arms; he was getting a little annoyed with the spoiled attitude of his leader.
"You will behave, otherwise I’ll take you over my knee and give you a thrashing!" Little John roared out, as he shook the smaller body of the young Robin.
Robin opened his mouth to tell Little John what he thought of him, when he saw Will shake his index finger back and forth.
"I wouldn’t do that if I were you," He warned him, "Little John is a man o’ ‘is word, if ‘e says ‘e’ll whup you, you’d better be prepared not to sit down fo’ a week."
Robin clamped his mouth shut, he had never had a man lay hands on him before, and he wasn’t about to let a peasant be the first.
"You have my promise that I’ll behave," Robin said with his head held proudly, "For now." He added.
"I guess we ‘ave to takes wot we can get Little John."
"Then lets be off, I want to get to Olwyn’s cave before nightfall." Tuck informed the others. "You ladies are welcome to come." Tuck had noticed the strange clothes they wore; both girls also wore transparent glasses held by a wire frame. This definitely was something not used in their time.
"Great," Both girls gasped out in relief. As they walked towards the horses,
Tuck called Sean over, "Sean, I want you to find Andrew MacGregor, I heard
he was visiting Westchester. Bring him to Olwyn’s cave as quick as you can."
"Why Tuck?" Sean wondered who the kid was that Little John was dragging towards the horses.
"Just tell him that Robin is in trouble, that should convince him to come."
Giving Tuck a nod, Sean ran to his horse, mounting it, he quickly left the compound. As Tuck approached the horses, he found Little John was having a little problem forcing Robin to mount a horse. His legs were planted firmly on the ground, refusing to mount. Spying the two young girls, an idea came to him.
"Robin, it seems that the girls do not know how to ride. Would you allow them to ride with you?"
With a word from Tuck, Little John released Robin. For the first time he looked more closely at the two young girls, one of them appeared to be no more then fifteen, the other was eighteen. Giving them a large dimpled grin, he bowed from the waist.
"If the ladies will allow me, I will be most happy to."
Diana and Jenny giggled in joy; this was truly a dream come true. With an assist from Little John, all three mounted one of the largest horses in the compound. Robin reached over, holding the reins of the horse. Little John tied a rope around Robin’s horse, "Just in case you decide to head back to your castle." Little John informed the fuming Robin.
"I gave my word I wouldn’t," He said with an air if indignance, "My word is my bond."
"Young or old, you’re still Robin "ood," Will chuckled out.
"Let’s be off, we have to reach Olwyn’s lair before nightfall." Tuck clicked his heels on his mount, leading the small group away.
"Wot about Marion?" Will asked Tuck as they rode through the curtain of branches. "I left a message for her to meet us there, for now, Robin is our main concern."
Tuck then led them through the forest, he tried to set a fast pace to Olwyn’s cave, praying to god that he would have an answer to what dark power had a hold of Robin.
End of Chapter One
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