By Lisa A. Prusok
"So Robin, who was it that came to visit you last night," John asked not even slowing the fork down.
Robin finished chewing before he answered, "You’re not going to believe this."
"Was it Olwyn?"
That stopped John. He turned his head to Robin, "Who then?"
"It was Cat!"
"No I’m not. She has been here about eight months. But please don’t let anyone know that is who it is. I’m not sure why, but apparently, she has not told anyone that she can heal. I’d rather talk to her first and let it be up to her to tell them."
"Okay Robin. That’s no problem," John said turning back to his food.
Robin took another bite. Then he got a mischievous grin on his face, "So John, what’s Heidi like?"
"She’s really very sweet. I like her a lot."
Robin was taken aback, "Really John!"
"Yeah, she is very pretty. She has long blonde hair and blue eyes. Her figure is very nice for a woman her size. She has a great sense of humor and is very warm and kind."
Robin stopped eating. "Do I hear wedding bells?"
This time John stopped. He laughed, "No, luckily, or unluckily, her heart belongs to a guy named Hans. He is one of the King’s knights. She told me that she has not told her mother yet. She is afraid that she will not approve because his job is so dangerous."
Robin gave a sigh of relief. He was glad that he would not be losing John. That was one thing that he just didn’t want to think about. It would have been awful going back home without him.
The two men finished their breakfast.
Robin just lay back against the pillows and patted his stomach, "That was really good," he said pleasantly satisfied.
John got out of bed and started getting dressed. While he finished with his tunic, "Are you going to stay there all day?"
"Shhhhhh. I’m digesting," Robin told John with closed eyes.
"I don’t understand you. When you have to stay in bed you don’t want to. Now that you can get up, you want to stay in bed."
"I’m in no hurry to get any where. But you’re right. I should get up. It has been a couple of days," he said as he threw the covers off of him.
"You have to try the slippers out. They are terrific."
Robin looked down at the floor. There was a pair waiting for him. Although from the looks of it, they were going to be way too big. He slipped his feet into them and they just kept going. The wool did feel good around his cold feel though.
Robin stood up. His muscles protested the move. But he stretched and stood up straight. When he stood up, the material at the bottom of the night shirt fell down to the floor and cascaded over his feet to make a cloth puddle on the floor. The left sleeve dropped down as well and it was a good eight inches below where his hand actually was.
Little John had just finished putting his boots on and he walked around to Robin’s side of the bed. He stopped dead in his tracks when he saw Robin. It was the most ridiculous thing he had ever seen! He started laughing at the sight. Now Robin really looked like a 5 year old. One that had been dressing in his father’s clothes. It was hilarious! He was swimming in the night shirt!
Robin looked at John and then down at himself. He raised his arms up and let them fall down to his sides in defeat. When he did, the right sleeve unrolled and fell past his right hand.
"You....you...look.....like...a...," he paused between laughs to take a deep breath. He was laughing so hard he couldn’t breath. "Like...a....penguin!" he finally got out. "Oh...oh...my sides," he gasped out as he grabbed his splitting sides. He noticed that the only thing sticking out at the bottom of the night shirt were the over sized slippers. That made him only laugh harder. "Robin.....you’re....killin’....me!!"
Robin opened his mouth and raised his hand to point at John. The only thing that did was make John laugh more. The end of the shirt sleeve hung way down over Robin’s pointed finger and just dangled there. He had intended on scolding Little John, but any kind of authority he could have shown was now lost. Robin just looked at him. He was practically rolling on the floor! With a ‘huff’ Robin rolled his eyes and started to take a step toward his clothes on the dresser. The first thing that happened was he stepped out of the slippers and then tripped on the front of the night shirt. He did not fall, but his arms flapped with material flailing in the air.
John was now literally rolling on the floor laughing. He held his sides and just rolled. "Robin.... you....have.....to see....yourself!" he spit out.
Robin lifted the front of the night shirt up so he could walk. It was very much like a woman would hitch up her petticoat to go up stairs. He walked over to the full length mirror in the corner. Standing in front of it, he looked into the mirror. It was but a mere second later that he began laughing at himself. He really did look ridiculous!
John finally got up off of the floor and went to Robin’s side, "You see what I mean?" he said still laughing some.
Robin looked from himself to Little John’s reflection, "It is pretty funny looking I have to admit that. But do you have any idea what this is doing to my ego?"
John tried to become serious, "Oh yes, I can see," he said as he wiped a tear from his eye.
"This is serious John," he raised his right hand to shake his finger at him and it was lost in the sleeve. He pulled the material down with his left hand until his finger poked out. He knew that once again and any kind of authoritative gesture was now lost. He looked to John’s face. It was bright red and tears just flowed down his cheeks. "Oh, forget it!" he said throwing his arms up in submission.
John couldn’t hold it in any longer. He let the laughter go. He was hysterical!
Robin walked over to the dresser and grabbed his pants. He slipped them on and felt a great deal of comfort from them. It was wonderful to put something on that actually fit. Robin pulled, and kept pulling, the night shirt from his body. Once off, he threw the ego deflating garment over onto his side of the bed. Robin got his arms through his sleeves and laced up his tunic. It too felt great.
Once he had on his belt and boots, "John, since both of us are feeling fine, I think that we should convey our thanks to the King and Queen and be on our way."
John was just pulling himself together. "Do we have to?"
"I think that it would be best. I don’t want to over stay our welcome. Plus I’d really like to get back home. Before we go I want to see Catrina again as well."
With a sad face, "If you say so Robin." He paused a moment, "I wonder if they would let me take the slippers home with me?"
Robin laughed, "You can ask."
John showed Robin around the castle. He introduced him to Heidi and her brother Gunter.
Even next to Heidi, Robin felt little. This was really hard on him. It was the first time in his life that he really felt like the underdog. There was no confrontation, no adversary, but he felt like a weakling. Robin had gone back to their room for some time alone. He looked at himself in the huge full length mirror. Not one to ever really have an ego problem or to be too concerned about his looks, he could not help raising his right arm and flexing his bicep muscle in the mirror. He thought that it didn’t look too puny, "Not half bad..." he said softly to himself.
The next thing he knew there was a sharp whistle at the door. (a wolf whistle to you and me) "Not bad, not bad at all Lover. You know what I said about the physical...I may just change my mind," Cat told him with a little lust showing in her eyes.
A bit red faced, "I thought I was alone."
"Well, don’t mind me. I’ll just watch," she kidded him.
Robin turned away from the mirror and walked to the bed and sat down. His shoulders sank down to reflect how he felt.
"It’s getting to you isn’t it?" Cat asked as she came over to sit by his side.
"Getting to me?"
"Yes. Believe me, I know exactly how you feel."
"I guess you would. It is so hard on my self confidence. I feel..."
"You don’t have to say it. Do you know how it feels to have such a big fuss made over how little my clothes are. And let’s not even talk about what the cobbler says to me when he’s making me a new pair of shoes."
"Why do you stay?" Robin really wanted to know.
"That’s a good question. It’s a job. They are nice people. I don’t have to work that hard. Nothing really ever happens up here in the mountains."
"What is it that you are doing for them?"
"I am the royal mystic!" she said as she sat up straight and puffed out her chest in mock greatness.
"A mystic huh. What happened to being a sorceress?"
Cat let her shoulders stoop again, "There was not too much call for a sorceress. After my last job, the one with the Count, it just lost it’s magic."
Robin laughed, "Lost it’s magic?"
"No pun intended," she said wrinkling her nose at him.
"So, what does a royal mystic do?" he said as he nudged her with his elbow.
Cat made a graceful sweeping circle in front of her with her arms, "I mystify...." she let her voice drift to nothing.
This time Robin put his whole shoulder into the nudge, "No really. What
do you do?"
Cat nudged him back and smiled. She loved his gentle playfulness, "I read palms, read tarot cards, read rune stones, and read the crystal ball."
She stopped to take a breath but before she could speak, Robin said with
an impish grin, "So you do a lot of reading do you?"
She looked at him and rolled her eyes, "Very funny Lover. I also study the stars..."
"No, astrology. I am a very good numerologist and have honed my craft if tasseomancy."
"Tasseomancy? What is that?" he asked curious.
"Tasseomancy is the art of reading tea leaves."
"Don’t even talk to me about tea! I’ve had it up to here with tea," he said as he motioned his hand across his neck.
Cat laughed, "Well, if you wouldn’t get hurt so much, maybe you wouldn’t need as much tea."
Robin did a double take, "I hardly ever hurt myself! Other people are the ones who hurt me. Maybe they should be the ones who have to drink the stuff," he said poking her in the side.
Cat giggled at his poke. She was really ticklish.
Robin immediately picked up on this. He grabbed her and began tickling her unmercifully.
Cat fell back on the bed, giggling and laughing until tears rolled from her eyes. She would get even! She grabbed Robin at his waist, just above his thick leather belt and began to give him what she had gotten. Now it was Robin that was lying on the bed giggling and laughing until tears rolled.
It was then that Little John walked in the room. He stopped and stared at the two on the bed with his mouth wide open.
"John.....save....me!" Robin pleaded through his laughter.
"Don’t you dare Little John, he deserves this," Cat scolded then laughed.
Little John closed his mouth and smiled broadly. It was an innocent scene that he had walked in on. He wanted to kick himself for even doubting Robin for a second. "I think you’re right Catrina. He does deserve it."
Cat had stopped to let Robin catch his breath. Wide eyed, "John you have deserted me?" he laughed.
"No not at all. But she’s right, you deserve a little fun once in a while," he said calmly.
"See if I ever call on you again when I’m being tickled to death," he told him as he tried his best to look hurt.
John saw right through it, "Okay!" he said brightly. "So, Cat, how are you?"
"I’m just fine Little John. How have you been?"
"Fine too. Just trying to keep an eye on Robin over there. That is a full
Cat looked Robin up and down, "Yes I can see that it must be. He must get into all sorts of trouble," she said winking at John.
"Oh he sure does," he winked back.
"Okay that’s enough. Remember, HE is in the room!"
"Robin did you ask her yet?" Little John asked as he sat down in a chair.
"No I didn’t. Thank you for reminding me."
"Ask me what?" she said curious.
"When Staun asked who had healed me, I was surprised that he didn’t already know that it was you. I didn’t tell him because I wanted to ask you about it first," he said becoming serious.
"I have not told anyone here that I can heal, because I can’t."
"But..." Robin started.
"Yes I can heal you, but that is it. I tried to heal a man once. He was very badly hurt. I should have been able to do it, but I couldn’t and he died."
"I’m so sorry," Little John said to make her feel better.
"I was too Little John. For some reason I have a deep connection to you Robin. You are the only one that I can help. Maybe that’s exactly why it works, because of that connection. You and I are bonded."
"Is that why you became a mystic?" Robin asked.
"Yes and for the other reasons I gave you. Being a mystic is more fun and I don’t get into as much trouble," she smiled.
"I’m all for that," Robin said loudly.
"I hate to interrupt, but we have been summoned before the royal court," Little John said as he stood up.
"That’s right! That’s what I originally came in here for," Cat said slapping her forehead with her palm.
"Well then, let’s go," Robin said as he got up and headed to the door.
End of Chapter Four
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