Title Story: Haunted by the past.


Table of contents

PROLOQUE                                    2

CHAPTER 1 THE PLAN                  3


CHAPTER 3 TRAPPED                    7




CHAPTER 7 THE MEETING           18

CHAPTER 8 FREEDOM                  20


Two soldiers approached an old farmer from behind. As soon as the farmer saw them it was already too late. While one of the soldiers took hold of the poor man’s arms and twisted them behind the man’s back. As the soldier held on to the old man the other soldier punched the man viciously in his stomach. The sound of cracking ribs could be heard while the soldier continued his assault. After a few minutes the soldier stopped his assault while the other soldier released the old man. As the old man sunk slowly to the ground the soldier who had held on to him kicked him in the head. Laughing they turned their back to the man and walked away, leaving the man for dead on the ground.

Victims could be seen scattered everywhere through the village. A woman’s scream could be heard. No doubt a soldier had found her in her hiding place. In the town squire a man was dragged in front of a handsome noble man. The noble man had short blond hair and dark brown eyes.

“Please lord Cansby, spare the children. We had a poor harvest, but we will pay our taxes next month my lord. I promise,” the man begged lord Cansby.

“Listen my dear mayor of Oakwood, I want my money now! I don’t care if you have to pay it with your own blood, I will get what’s rightfully mine!”

He turned to one of his soldiers and ordered: ”Take him to one of the wagons, he has an appointment in the torture chamber tonight and make sure he sees what I’m about to do to his beloved village.

You,” he said as he pointed to another soldier,” get the torches. And the rest of you make sure that nobody gets away. I want this village reduced to nothing more then a bad memory.”

With that he turned around and walked to his horse while the soldiers began their work.

As the mayor saw his village burn his soul burned with it. He knew that if he wanted to get his revenge he had to stay alive. So when the soldier that was supposed to guard him was distracted by the sight of the burning village the mayor stole the key for his chains, freed himself and dropped silently from the wagon. It wouldn’t be until much later that the soldier would notice his escape and by then it would be too late to retrieve him.

The mayor pushed himself hard to get as deep in the forest as possible. He needed to get help and he knew just the man to turn to Robin Hood. He had heard the stories of Robin helping those in need, so he figured it was as good a shot as any other form of help. Haunted by the images of his burning village he pushed on until passed out on the forest floor by sheer exhaustion.
Chapter 1 the plan

It was a beautiful sunny day in England and the people in the compound enjoyed it as much as they could. The sound of the horn that announced somebody had arrived could be heard through the compound. People ran to the gate to see who it was that had arrived. It was Sean. He had returned with an old man who was heavily injured. Out of the crowd a man came forward. His rich voice could be heard clearly over the mumbling crowd.

“Sean take this man to see Tuck so he can see to the man’s wounds and make sure a tent is prepared for him for the night. Also don’t forget to offer him some water and a proper meal. I will talk to him later after he has had some rest.”

“Sure Robin,” Sean replies and leaves with the man to see to his needs.

After Sean had seen to the old man’s needs he went in search for Robin to tell him that he was finished and the man was settled. Shortly after Robin walked into the tent of the old man followed by an auburn haired woman and a blond giant.

“Hello sir,” Robin said, “my name is Robin Hood, this is Marian and the giant is Little John. Could you tell the story of how you got so badly wounded and exhausted?”

“Very well,” the man sighed, ”first of all, my name is Kevin Beak. I am well was the mayor of Oakwood, a small village near Nottingham.”

As Kevin continues his story the frown between Robin’s eyebrows increases. After more then an hour of talking Kevin finishes his story and Robin, Marian and Little John looked all very worried.

Marian is the first to speak up:” We’ve got to do something. This isn’t the first village that this has happened to. It’s the fifth village that has been attacked by this lord Cansby and he’s getting closer and closer to Sherwood. He has to be stopped!”

“I think that the key is to figure out what he’s after,” Robin replies.

“No I don’t think it’s about the money. There has to be something else because there is no point to murder an entire village just because they can’t pay their taxes. Robin says as he sees that the ex-mayor is about to interrupt him.

“Why do we have to find the reason behind all this. I say we ride to this lord’s castle and teach him a lesson,” Little John replies hotly.

“Little John that won’t work and we are not with enough men, but I see your point;” Robin replies in a calm manor.

“If we can get someone to spy for us in his castle we can find out what he wants and why he burns all that land,” Kevin suggested.

“Forget it everyone in that castle will probably be to scared to even try,” Little John replies.

“Doesn’t he have a weakness, something we could exploit,” Marian inquires.

“Well there is one thing , he has a weakness for beautiful auburn haired ladies who are quit wealthy, Kevin replies.

At that Robin and Little John stare at Marian at the same moment.

“No way,” Marian replies to the stares,” I’m not gone play the slut of the month again. It was worse enough last time.”

“Come on Marian,” Robin says smoothly,” you’re the only lady in the compound who can do it and we need to find out why lord Cansby is attacking his own villages.”

“This is so typical men,” Marian muttered under her breath as Robin looked at her with kicked puppy eyes,” Ok let’s say I’ll do it, but as soon as he so much as touches me all bet’s are off and I will do him bodily harm. There’s also no way I’ll kiss him, do I make myself clear?”

At this statement Little John heard Robin mutter,” If he kisses her I’ll make sure he had wished he had never been born.”

“Alright I agree,” Robin answered,” It seems like this is the beginning of a plan.
Chapter 2 Lady Verona

Two days later Marian left for the castle of lord Cansby, but not before Robin had seen her. She looked absolutely stunning in an olive colored dress with golden lining around the edges. Sean would accompany her to the castle as her page and Kevin would act as the driver of the carriage because he knew the way to the castle. Robin, Little John and Tuck would ride with her until they reached a nearby village and there they would wait until they got word from Sean. And so after an half a days ride they reached the castle of lord Cansby.
It was a large castle with a mote around it and colorful banners hang down the walls of the castle. As they approached the castle a soldier stepped forward to speak with Kevin.

“Please state you business, sir,” the soldier asked.

“The lady Verona wishes to meet with your lord and discuss a business proposal, sir,” Kevin answered politely.

“Very well, you may carry on, you and the page must leave immediately though after escorting the lay inside,” the soldier replied.

“We will, “Kevin replied continued his way inside the castle walls.

As they neared the entrance a servant approached them and waited next to the carriage to help the lady out. Inside the carriage Marian took a deep breath before she got out of the carriage while being aided by Sean.

“Welcome to Lord Cansby’s castle my lady, if you could follow me inside please I will take you to the lord,” the servant said.

Marian tried as best as she could to keep her face straight and started to ascend the stairs. Sean and Kevin looked at each other and thought so far so good. They turned the carriage around and left to report to Robin. Marian would be on her own until the next morning.

Inside the castle Marian felt more and more inclined to kill the lord on the spot as she heard screams of several individuals. She hated it to be without her weapons especially when dealing with a lord who has a reputation of violence.

It was time for her to face the music as she was lead through huge double doors into the ballroom. She was surprised to find it empty and was about to question the servant, the poor man muttered that the lord was indisposed at the moment but that he would come soon. She was free to make herself at home inside the ballroom and he would see to her every wish. He also inquired if she would like to have a glass of wine after the ride to the castle but she declined, knowing that it was a trick to drug her.

The servant left to report to his lord that the drugged wine would not work with this lady and that she was waiting for him in the ballroom.

When the servant had left Marian took time to take a look at her surroundings. After a couple of minutes of exploring she heard someone walk into the ballroom, but as Marian turned to meet him her breath stocked inside her throat.

Chapter 3 Trapped

“Hello Marian,” lord Cansby said.

“Hello Vincent,” Marian replies while trying to figure out how she got herself in the wrong situation.

“Please sit down Marian, it’s so nice to see you again. How have you been, my dear?”

“Fine, busy take your pick,” Marian replied.

“Awe come on my dear that’s no way to speak to the man who was your intended.”

“It’s a fine way to speak to you Vincent, so what’s the deal with the villagers,” Marian asked irritated.

“Ah temper, temper my dear and always so straight to the point. As you might have figured out one of the reasons was the sheer pleasure of killing of worthless pigs, but the other reason and perhaps also the main reason was you my dear.”

“Why me?”

“Come on Marian you should really look more often in the mirror. Your beauty can draw any man like a moth to a flame and I’m not even starting about that brilliant mind of yours. To put it simple I want you to be mine and I will make sure that you’ll be mine. You almost were once so why not make it official now.”

“You’re nuts! I can’t stand the sight of you, the mere thought of what you said makes me sick to my stomach.”

“You or the villagers Marian, it’s your choice. I’ll give you 24 hours to decide. Guards take her to the guestroom I specially designed for her.”

Marian sat on the corner of a bed in the middle of the room. She had spent the last six hours trying to figure a way to escape but nothing came to her mind. Vincent had designed the room well with no sharp objects she could use to free herself, the room had been locked from the outside and there was no keyhole visible on the inside, the door was made of sturdy oak and there were iron bars installed in front of the windows. With no way of escaping Marian had decide to spare her strength until she got access to one of the swords or daggers she had seen hanging from the walls of the main hall. The small dagger she carried in her boot would be of no use to her. It was just too small to use it as a weapon against Vincent. She was glad however that Vincent hadn’t seen her fight after she had completed her Amazon training so she should be able to surprise him with some of her fighting moves if it came down to a battle. With this in mind Marian started to think of ways to alert Robin to stay out of it and that this wasn’t his fight but hers. She had known Vincent’s skills in combat and she was sure that they had been improved. She wasn’t sure however that Robin was skillful enough to beat him and she really didn’t want to find out if it was enough or not.

It was past midnight when she finally fell asleep.

The next morning came and Sean had arrived with Kevin to pick Marian up, but as he approached the castle the gates remained closed. They waited nearly an hour before turning back to report to Robin.

In Pithbury Robin, Tuck and Little John where waiting for Sean and Kevin in the town’s squire. Tuck spotted the carriage first and said:” Well you guys let’s see what Marian has found out. Together they approached the carriage.
When Kevin saw them he brought the carriage to a halt. Sean immediately opened the door of the carriage and got out.

“Sean where is Marian,” Robin questioned.

“Robin I’ve got some bad news, when we approached the castle the gates remained closed. There was no sign of guards or Marian, it looked deserted.”

“Are you certain,” Robin asked concerned.

“Yes positive, but we believe she still in there,” Kevin replied.

“I say we rush in get Marian and smash the castle to pieces,” Little John interjected hotly.

“Suffice Little John, we can’t just rush in. Marian could get hurt if we did. We need to find out more about this lord Cansby. I’ve got the feeling there’s more to all this then meets the eye. It just doesn’t add up,” Robin said while pondering.

“So what do we do now,” Sean asked worried.

“We,” Robin points at Little John, Tuck and himself,” will try to come up with a plan to free Marian and try to get more information about this lord. Sean I want you and Kevin to go back to camp there’s nothing more you can do here.”

“I want to stay and fight,” Kevin protested.

“There is no way you could win Kevin, you’re not a trained fighter. Go back and wait for us. Sean, you tell Adam that we are having some problems and won’t return soon. He has to keep the camp going.”

“Sure thing Robin, let’s go Kevin.”

Meanwhile 24 hours had passed for Marian. Vincent could appear any moment now to demand an answer from her and she dreaded the decision she had to make. Slowly the door creaked open en Vincent appeared inside the doorframe.

“Good morning my dear and have you reached you’re decision?”

“Yes I have Vincent. Kill all the villagers you like but you’ll never have me as your wife,” Marian spat at him.

“Fine my dear, I expected nothing less from you. We will ride to the nearby village and see how well you stick to your decision. Guards get her ready within an hour and make sure she looks presentable!” With that Vincent turned and walked out of the door.
Chapter 4 the messenger

Immediately four maidens came rushing in with garb to dress Marian properly. When Marian was dressed she was lead in front of a large mirror so she could look at herself. Marian wore a long dark blue Norman styled dress with a low neckline. Around her neck a choker like necklace with an intriguing design of diamonds and onyx was placed. Her hair was put up in a fashionable way. Over the dress she wore a black cloak with on the edge delicate silver lines in an interesting Celtic pattern. The maids hurriedly left when Vincent reentered the room. His breath got caught in his throat when Marian turned around to face him.

“My god, your exquisite,” was all Vincent could bring out.

“Yea, yea I know let’s get it over with shall we. The sooner I’m rid of you the better. Don’t you dare touching me,” Marian spat out as he reached out to take her hand.

“As you wish my dear,” Vincent replied and turned around to walk out of the door motioning Marian and his soldiers to follow him.

As they reached the stables Vincent motioned a tame old mare to be brought for Marian to ride which she immediately refused.
“ I’m not riding that horse, it’s barely able to walk !”

“Alright my dear you pick a horse that you want to ride and hurry, before I will let you ride with me,” Vincent warned her.

When she was alone in the stable to pick a suitable horse for herself she approached one of the stable boys.

“Could you deliver a message for me boy,” Marian asked sweetly.

“Certainly milady,” the boy replied.

“ Go to Pithbury and search for a man who is about 6.2 inch in height with long sable colored hair and deep brown eyes. He might be in the company of a friar and a small giant. Go to him and tell him I’m alright and to trust his instincts no matter what. Can you do this?”

“Yes my lady, but for who is the message,” the boy replied as a couple of coins fall into his hand.

But Marian had already left and taken a horse with her. So the boy got up and hurriedly made is way to Pithbury to deliver the message.

After a long walk to Pithbury the boy finally reached the village. As the boy walked over to the fountain on the town’s squire for some water he saw the man the lady had described getting ready to leave with two others in his wake. He decided to run to the man before he would leave.
“Sir, sir, I have a message for you!”

Robin who had just rode away from the squire decided to turn his horse around and wait for the boy to catch up.

“Sir, I have a message for you from a lady who stays at lord Cansby’s castle,” the boy spoke as soon as he got to Robin.

“What’s your name boy,” Tuck asked kindly.

“Roger, sir.”

“Well roger could you describe to me what the lady looked like who send you,” Robin asked.

“Oh yes sir, she was very beautiful. She had auburn hair with eyes as blue as the sky and a very pale skin.”

“Marian,” Robin mumbled under his breath.

“What message where you supposed to bring Roger,” Tuck asked.

“She said that you (he points at Robin) must trust your instincts no matter what and that she was alright. Oh yes Lord Cansby and the lady were heading to the village Hammington. They should be there by now.”

“Can you tell me where Hammington lies,” Robin asked Roger.

“I can do better sir, I’ll show you the way.”

“Thank you Roger and please call me Robin.”

“Robin as in Robin Hood,” Roger replied excited.

“Yes as in Robin Hood, but please keep it in front of you.”

“Of course, it’s an honor Robin Hood.”

After Tuck and Little John had introduced themselves to the boy, they went on their way to Hammington.

End of Chapter Four

Chapters One to Four
 Chapters Five to Eight

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