• The Writer

    Hello! My name is Laura, welcome to my blog! I write weird stories, collect dragon plushies and stay up too late with my nose in a book. I am a wife, mom and child saved by grace. My hope is that you find encouragement here or at least a smile or too.
    God bless!

  • “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book that it may be for the time to come forever and ever.”
    ~Isaiah 30:8.

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    February 2019
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  • Quotes

    We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    "The only just literary critic," he concluded, "is Christ, who admires more than does any man the gifts He Himself has bestowed."
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    “Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    "Writers who see by the light of their Christian faith will have, in these times, the sharpest eye for the grotesque, for the perverse, and for the unacceptable. To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures."
    ~Flannery O'Connor

    You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.
    ~Arthur Polotnik

    Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.
    ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

    "There are forms of insanity that condemn people to hear voices against their will, but as writers we invite ourselves to hear voices without relinquishing our hold on reality or our right to control."
    ~Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway

    Christians have sometimes been suspicious of stories, because they really can influence you. If you read the Twilight novels once a month for a year, I think you'd be a different human afterward—and not a sparkly one.
    ~Nate Wilson

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Stephen of Scarborough (Part Twenty-Seven)

I clutched my long bow as I walked out of Ieuan’s shop.  The first move in the game had been made, and I had a good feeling the rest of the pieces would fall into place very soon.

“Let me go!”

I turned, looking for the source of the outcry.  A soldier held a boy by the ear and was dragging him away from a leaky looking row boat. 

“Get your hands off of me!”  The boy thrashed around, yelling at the soldier as he was hauled across the dock.  The soldier slapped him.

“Be still!”

“Excuse me,” I stepped into the soldier’s path.  “What has this boy done?”

The man blinked at me.  The boy stopped squirming, just a little, and looked up at my face with hopeful eyes.

“He stole that boat,” he pointed at the row boat.  I glanced at it.  The pitiful thing looked like it could hardly float, let alone hold a boy.

“It was abandoned!  I didn’t steal anything!”  The boy protested.

“Quiet!  You took it from a nobles land without…”

I cleared my throat, “Have you taken a good look at that craft by chance?”

The soldier seemed taken aback, “Of course I have!”

“Then you know, for it is all too clear, that it is ready to sink to the bottom of the Derwent River.  If it had been owned by the person whose land it was on, then do you not think it would have been in better condition?”

By now a crowd of people had gather around to witness the spectacle and several of them were nodding their heads in agreement.  The soldier glared at me and threw the boy on the docks wooden planking.  Without a word he shoved passed me and disappeared into the throng.

I watched his retreating form.  I had wounded his pride.  Good. 

“You showed him!”  I looked at the boy as he scrambled to his feet.  The crowd began to break up and move away. 

“You should be more careful,” I took note of his sandy hair and light blue eyes.  “The Normans will find any excuse to be rid of a Saxon.” 

The boy scratched his head, “Aw, I could have handled him if it had come to the worst.  I have six older brothers that I wrestle with.”  He grinned as if this were some vast accomplishment. 

“Hmm,” I turned to walk away.

“Wait!”  The boy grabbed my arm.  “I’m Much, what’s your name?  Where are you from?  Is that a long bow?  Where did you…”

“No questions,” I placed my finger over the boy’s mouth.  “Go home Much, and keep out of trouble.”

He frowned, “I can take care of myself.”

“Then do so!”  Before he could say another word I sprinted into the throng of people and he disappeared from my sight.


Stephen of Scarborough (Part Twenty-Six)

Ieuan stared at me, shock clearly evident on his face.  “Did anyone see?”  He stepped towards the door, I blocked his way.

“No John, no one could have followed me.  You forget, I was only outlawed, no price has been placed on my head.”

“Not yet.”

I laughed, “You haven’t changed.  Still just as suspicious as ever.  Are you not even the smallest bit pleased to see me John Little?”

Ieuan looked at me, his face unreadable, “You shouldn’t call me that.”

“Why not?  It is the English of your name is it not?”

Ieuan humphed, “English, yes, but I am no English man.”

“Fair enough,” I grinned.  Slowly, a smile crept up the corners of Ieuan’s mouth, he laughed and enveloped me in a bear hug.

“It is good to see you Stephen.”

I returned the embrace, “That it is my friend.  Tell me, how has the shire faired in the last six years?”

“Trade’s been good, but the taxes are ever increasing.  I’m not sure how we’re going to survive the King’s war campaign.  The tax collectors have gathered every spare penny from even the poorest pocket, and then some.”   

I looked around the shop, the walls were covered with various tools of the carpenter trade.  “It looks as if you’ve done quite well for yourself despite circumstances.  Does your son work with you?”

Ieuan leaned against the work table, “Aye, I do well enough.  Andras ran off to London, he got the notion into his head to join the King’s crusade.  After Elaine died, he’s just been looking for an excuse to leave.”

I frowned.  I disagreed with the new King Richard’s love of war, and I feared it would all end in needless bloodshed, but I didn’t voice this to Ieuan.

“Some king,” I murmured.  “Perhaps England’s better off without him.”

“He’s a better choice than his brother,” Ieuan pointed out.  Obviously he heard me. 

“Bad and worse.”

Ieuan coughed, “Now then, you haven’t answered my question.  What are you doing here?”

“I’m going to take back my place in the Locksley house.”

“Still just as ambitious as ever.  I suppose you’ve come to me then to help you reform the band?”

I blink, “What?”

Ieuan chuckled, “You’re really not that hard of a man to figure Stephen.  Also, knowing your history and being a part of it helps a little,” he winked.

“So then, where are they?”

“Hum, let me think.  Thomas is still working as a thatcher, haven’t seen Roy in nearly two years.  Geoffrey’s settled down, has a beautiful wife and three little youngsters.  Simon’s been everywhere, worked here with me a few month back, lives in Nottingham now.  And then Peter and David are foresters.  Moving up in the ranks too from what I hear.  I see then now and again, doing quite well for themselves.”

“Hmm,” I scratched my chin.

“You know, they mention you.”

I looked up, “Peter and David?”

“All of the lads.  When I see them, first thing they ask is if I’ve had word from you.  I don’t doubt they’re still loyal to you Stephen, but what do you plan to do?  Call them away from the good lives they’ve made for themselves, back into the forest to be hunted like animals?”

“I have to do something.”

“Aye, I suppose you do.”

There was a long pause.”

Ieuan sighed, “I’ll right.  Count me in.”

“Into what?”

“Into whatever you’re scheming.  Heaven knows I won’t be able to stay out of if even if I wanted to, so I’m just saying it right now.  Count me in.”

“Thank you Ieuan.”

“Ah, don’t be thanking me, I’ll most likely regret it by morning.”

I grinned, “Then it’s time to spread the word, the hood has returned.”

Stephen of Scarborough (Part Twenty-Five)

“Ieuan Baugh?  A Welshman?  What makes him so important?” William said leaning forward.

I sat down and massaged my stiff leg.  “He’s one of the best carpenters around, and,” I grinned, “The best bow-maker I’ve ever met.” 

“A Welshman, carpenter and bow-maker, I get the feeling you’re planning on doing something rash.  Have you ever thought of just asking your father’s forgiveness and perhaps earning the money… honestly?”

I stopped massaging my leg and looked at William.  “Forgiveness?  You do not know Robert Hode.  He would not accept my apology.”  I shifted my gaze and glared up at the branches of trees hanging over the rock.  “He doesn’t care that I’m his son, I’m dead to him.”

“Then why are you going to help him?”

“To show him that I’m not the worthless rough he’s labeled me as!  To prove him wrong!  He forced me to flee from my home, offering me no aid as to where I should go or how I was to survive.  And now, he’s the one who’s destitute.”

“Because of you,” William mumbled.

I shot him a dirty look, “He drove me to it!  And He’ll see that one of us still has some honor in tacked.”

William looked at me, pity in his eyes, I glared back.  “Stephen, this is madness.  You can’t redeem yourself this way.  Not through revenge.  Providence…”

“Providence! Ah!  Don’t bring God into this.  There can be no God if he lets a father turn away his own son!  Enough!  It’s getting late.  We’ll fine Ieuan in the morning.”  I scrambled to my feet and stalked off around a turn in the rock before William could say another word. 

Anger and frustration boiled within me.  No.  William couldn’t understand.  He wasn’t a part of this.  Even Marian didn’t understand, she was woman, how could she understand the shame? 

I turned towards the cliff and pounded my fists on the smooth rock.  Squeezing my eyes shut I fought back angry tears.  Crying?  Was I so weak that my father’s cruel actions could make me cry?

“No!” I whispered.  “No!”  Turning my back to the wall I sank to the ground.  I looked up at the fading blue sky and clenched my hands into fists.  There was no God, at least, not one that cared about me.

*     *     *

The woods were silent.  A stray breeze would now and then rustle the leaves over head, whispering through the branches, but Sherwood was still.  It was as if the forest itself was waiting for something, but what it could be waiting for it kept secret, content to watch with tensed silence.

I adjusted the arrows in my belt. I had only managed to finish three, but they would suffice.  Their black, raven feathers gleamed as they caught the light of a stray sunbeam.  I gripped my long bow stave, I wasn’t sure if I would need the weapon, but I wasn’t about to go unprepared.  Glancing over my shoulder, back towards Ludchurch, I sighed.  William had decided to stay behind.  We hadn’t spoken more than two words to each other since the night before.  I wondered if he would return to Scarborough, if he was angry with me.  Secretly I hoped he would stay.  Though we had our differences he was the only person I could truly call my friend.  Shrugging away the thought I trudged on.  I needed to get to Ieuan’s before the day grew late.  The town of Derby was a good walk from here, but, if I took the shortcuts, and didn’t stop, I could be there an hour before noon.  Yes, then be back in the forest before sunset.  I quickened my pace, intent on reaching Derby as soon as possible.

*     *     *

I peered out at the town through a gap in the trees, waiting for the right moment to slip into the street unnoticed.  The town of Derby sat right by the River Derwent, making it the ideal place for trade. I hoped Ieuan’s shop was still in the same place it had been six years ago.  An ox drawn cart rumbled by and taking advantage of the moment, I slipped from my hiding place.  I followed beside the cart a few yards before turning down an adjacent street, where I stop to take note of my location.  I looked about me, the carpenter’s shop was closer to the river, or should be.  Deciding on a direction, I wound my way through the many streets of Derby, heading for the river. 

I wondered up and down the river bank, glancing at each trade sign as I passed shop door after shop door, just when I thought I’d never find it I caught sight of the axe and hammer sign dangling by a rusty chain outside an old looking workshop. 

Cautiously, I approached the door and looked in.  I long table stretched across most of the room, strewn with tools, wood shavings, and various pieces of projects.  Two people stood in the shop, one looked like a tradesman, the other, I recognized instantly as Ieuan Bough.  Six years hadn’t changed him, beside the slight gray hair over his ears, the great red beard and thick mop of curly dark hair was the same.  Even his blue eyes held the same mirth that I remembered.  I waited until the customer left, then stepped into the shop.  Ieuan’s back was turned to me; I purposely scuffed my boots across the well worn floor, letting him know that someone was there.

“I’ll be with you in a moment,” he said without turning around. 

“Caput Gerat Lupinum John.”  

Ieuan froze, I heard something clatter to the floor, then he turned around.  He gazed at me and his eyes grew hide.

“Locksley?”  He blinked and shook his head, “Stephen, what are you doing here?” 

Stephen of Scarborough (Part Twenty-Four)


I flinched, pulling on my hood in a vain effort to shadow more of my face.

“You should have stayed in Scarborough.  Now, there is now where you can go where you are not known.  I’ll find you and then!”  A sword flashed into view, lunging for my gut.  I yelled and jumped backwards…

I toppled off the stump, landing hard on my back.  Oomph!  I heaved as my breath was knocked out of my lungs.  I exhaled, it had only been a dream.  Pulling myself to a sitting positioned I looked around Ludchurch.  All was quiet, William must have gone searching for firewood.  Standing, I placed my hands near my lower back and bent backward in a stretched.  My back popped several times and I sighed with relief. 

A pile of semi-finished arrow shafts sat beside the stump.  Another, with bark still clinging to its smooth surface, and a carving knife sat beside it, cast aside near my right foot. 

I must have fallen asleep while working on the arrows, I thought shaking my head, trying to get the disturbing images out of my brain.  It had been a long time since I had heard that voice and it was just as unpleasant as I remembered it. 

“By the saints!”  I turned to see William stumbling down the rock made “stairs” into the chasm with an armload of wood.  “I thought I’d never find this place again!  Either that or fall into it and break my neck.  Perhaps we should mark the entrance somehow.”  He dropped the wood in irritation.

I chuckled, “There is a ‘mark’ of sorts.  Just watch for the clusters of boulders and look for where the moss grows thickest on their tops.”

William raise an eyebrow, “Would have done me more good if you had said that to begin with.”

“Would have,” I repeated then ducked as William tossed a stick at me.

“Really Stephen, I don’t know where your head is most of the time.”

I shrugged, mumbling under my breath, “You probably don’t want to know.”

“Well,” William flopped down and leaned against the cliff wall.  “Know what?”

“We need supplies, and more men.  I know…”

“More men?  What exactly are you planning Stephen?”  William asked with note of suspicion hidden in his voice.

“I’m going to get the money my father needs to pay his depts.”

“And you need more men for this?”

I nodded, “Remember the band I use to have?”

“I remember you telling me of it.  But what does that have to do with anything?  If I remember correctly it was starting that band that got you outlawed in the first place.”

“True, and now I’m going to use that same band to change that.”

William eyed me blankly then threw his hands into the air.  “Alright, I give up.  How?”

“First, we need to see a man by the name of Ieuan Baugh*.”

*YEH-vahn Baw (“baw” rhymes with “law”)

Stephen of Scarborough (Part Twenty-Three)

SNAP!  I winced as the sound echoed through the forest.  I turned to look at William who walked behind me.  He grinned sheepishly,


Sighing I continued to scan the forest floor.  Every so often I’d come across an ash or cedar stick with good length and width.  These I gathered, stowing them under my arm as we walked.  They would make good arrows.  Ash was strong and durable, but heavy, making the arrow slow.  Cedar was light and swift.  I would need both. 

“You sure you’re going the right way?”  William asked after a while of walking in silence.

“Yes.  I’d know the path even if my eye were blindfolded,” I paused, shifting my gaze from tree to tree.  A smile played at the corners of my mouth, “We’re nearly there.”

I began to walk faster, excitement building a loose knot inside my stomach.  Memories came flooding back with each step.  Thomas, Roy, Geoffrey, Peter, Simon and myself.  All our youthful escapades, we had known this forest so well, the six of us.  Every in and out, every hidden stream bed and tree hollow.  We were invincible then, doing whatever we pleased.  I shook my head; that had been the beginning of my disgrace, though I couldn’t see it then.  We had played the part of outlaws, and now, I was an outlaw. 

Taking a deep breath I pushed the memories aside, concentrating on the ground ahead. 

“We need to be careful from this point on,” I said over my shoulder to William.  “The way becomes tricky just up ahead.  You’ll need to watch your footing, don’t want to fall and break your neck.”

“Fall and break my neck?” William asked.  “We’re in the middle of the forest Stephen!  There’s no place to…”

I disappeared downward, “Mind the gap!”  I waited, finally William peak over the edge of the cliff. 

“By all… What is this?”  William’s eyes were wide with surprise and curiosity.  I laughed, it must have been a sight, to watch me suddenly disappear, then seeing me perched on a thin, rock made pathway leading down an earthen wall into the depths of the forest below.

“Welcome to Ludchurch,” I said grinning.  “You can ride or walk past without ever seeing it, which makes it the perfect hideaway.”  And so it was, Ludchurch, or as some called it, Lud’s Church, was nothing but cavernous recesses, spanning nearly a courter of a mile.  Its depth and width provided shelter and protection to those who sought it. 

I breathed in the damp air as I led William down the precarious path.  I had forgotten how moist and cool it was down here.  I didn’t mind, it was fresh, quiet, and best of all, concealed.

“We can stay here, few people have ever seen it and fewer know of its existence.  We’ll be safe.”

“Safe from what?”

I stopped, “We’ll soon find out.”

Stephen of Scarborough (Part Twenty-One)

After a very long wait.  Here is part twenty-one! 🙂


“Stephen,” Marion stepped back onto the balcony, holding a six foot long yew bow.  The flax bow string was pulled taut between the top and bottom nocks, just waiting to be drawn.  My hands seemed to move towards the bow on their own accord, itching to take hold of it once again. I recalled the days spent in target practice, releasing one arrow after another.  I went to take the bow but Marion drew back a step, taking it from my groping fingers.

“Stephen,” She looked straight at me, her dark blue eyes searching my face.  “There, there’s more.”

I frowned, “More what?”

“More, news.  The Sherriff is threatening to take our land if we cannot pay the debts and as I told you, father is nearly bankrupt so…”  She paused.

“What is it Marion?”  I stepped up to her and laid my hands on her shoulders.

Looking up at me she said, “Father has engaged me to Hugh de Gascur.”

I released her and sprang back, “A Norman?”

“He is very wealthy and will help father to…”

“A Norman?!”

“Stephen, please.”  Marion moved towards me, “Father had no choice.”

“But you do.  How can you simply accept this?  You, of Saxon and Welsh blood agreeing to marry a Norman?!”

“You’re forgetting something Stephen,” Marion’s gaze bored into me like two streams of fire.  “A drop of Norman blood runs in both our veins.  No matter how hard you deny it, it’s there.”

“A drop,” I huffed, “A drop from a great-grandfather who died in the first Crusade, thousands of miles from home.”  I snatched the bow from Marion. 

“A drop Marion, is nothing.”

Marion glared at me, “Be gone!  The both of you!”  She turned on her heals and fled inside.

“Well,” William said coming to stand beside me.  “Now I see the family resemblance.”

“We’re leaving.”  I pulled the bow over my head, letting it rest on my shoulder.   


“Back to Sherwood.”

Stephen of Scarborough (Part Twenty)

“De Lacy? That old rogue is still Sheriff?”

Marion Nodded.

“So, father’s reliable friend has turned enemy has he?” I chuckled, “Wish you had listened to me now old man?”

“Stephen!” Marion glared at me. “Father may have made a mistake in trusting de Lacy, but he is still your father and as such warrants your respect.”

I looked at my sister, noticing for the first time how grown up she had become. No longer was she the shy little girl I had left behind. Here before me she stood, a young woman, strong willed and apparently, very opinionated.

“Marion’s right,” William said from behind me.

“Oh is she?” My pride was instantly aroused and I glared down my nose at William. He raised his eyebrows.

Marion frowned, “Maybe you should have stayed in Scarborough if all you can do here is let your pride master you common sense!” She crossed her arms, “Why are you here?”

“Um…” I cleared my throat a few times as I tried to think of the right words. “I ran into a bit of trouble and had to leave.”

I heard William snort, he tried to cover it up with a cough, but not before Marion noticed. Covering her mouth with her hand she began to laugh, softly at first, but soon her whole body was shaking with mirth, leaving me standing in bewilderment.

Finally she composed herself, “You… You just can’t quit can you? It doesn’t matter where you are…”

“Marion, please.”

She shook her head and repeated her last question, “Why are you here Stephen?”

“I need grandfather’s bow.”

“You came back just for an ancient Welsh bow?”

I sighed, “No, but now I may need it. I know grandfather willed it to me when he died…”

“And you certainly made use of it before.”


She looked up at me, her expression suddenly withdrawn. “I will get it for you. Wait here.” With that she turned and retreated into the manor.

“I didn’t know you’re mother’s kin were of Welsh blood.” William commented, taking a seat on the railing.

“My mother’s father was a Welsh nobleman.”

A moment of silence followed.

William cleared his throat, “When you told me of your sister, you never mentioned how…”

“Stubborn she could be?”

“Not exactly what I was thinking.”


“What do you plan to do?”

“I’m not fully sure,” I rubbed my chin and looked out at the fields surrounding Locksley. “But I have the makings of a plan.”

Stephen of Scarborough (Part Nineteen)

Marion stared at me, her mouth agape, “Stephen?”

“What’s this?  No hello kiss for your brother?”

Marion shook her head and crossed her arms, “I see you haven’t changed.  This isn’t a game Stephen, if Father knew you were…”

“Father won’t know, at least for now.”  I glanced at the small flute in her hand, “Mother’s flute?  She gave it to you then?  When?”

Marion lowered her head, clutching the flute and holding it close, “When she died.”

I stepped back in shock.  My chest suddenly grew tight and I gasped out, “When?”

“Last winter.  Oh Stephen!  I wanted to write and tell you, but Father forbade it.  Stephen,” She looked up at me, tears filling her eyes.  “I…I missed you so much.  I can’t tell you how many times I prayed for you to return!”  She ran into my arms and we embraced.  I held her close, just as I had done so often as we grew up together.  Memories of years gone by flashed through my mind in that moment.  Marion and I, we had been so close, always there when the other needed to share their troubles.  I had taught her to do so many things our mother deemed, unlady-like, but she never interfered in our fun.  I swallowed as tears of my own threaten to show themselves.

“I’ve missed you as well Marion,” I whispered.

“Oh… Um… Am I interrupting something?”  I turned to see William straddling the balcony.

“Will, this is my sister, Marion.  Marion, this is our cousin, William Schakelock of Scarborough.” 

“Distant cousin,” William added, stepping fully into the balcony.  “Not first, more…”

“Marion,” I interrupted.  William glared at me.  “If Father is still estrange to me then Will and I can’t stay here.  I need to know, has father finally…” I paused, chewing on the next word.  “For… Forgiven me?”

“You’ve been in Scarborough this whole time?”  Marion looked at me then William.

“Marion, please.”

Marion sighed, “You’ve been away a long time Stephen.  When you left…”

“I didn’t leave Marion, I was forced out.”

“Stephen, because of… of, your conduct, the reason for you outlaw sentence, there have been debts accumulating, debts caused by you that had to be paid.  Over the years thier interest has grown, becoming so great that Father… Father is going bankrupt.”

“Bankrupt!”  I clenched my fists.  “Who is collecting these debts?”

“You don’t need to know Stephen.”

“Marion.  Who?”

Marion bit her lip, I waited for her to reply.  Finally she answered, “Roger de Lacy.”

Stephen of Scarborough (Part Eighteen)

The spider web work of branches rattle above me as a late breeze danced within the fall emptied limbs.  I stooped, fingering the new layer of dead leaves.  Taking in a deep breath I sighed in satisfaction.

“I hadn’t realized how much I missed this forest until now.”

William stood beside me, gazing off into the trees.  “Are the memorizes really so sweet?”

“You were not there my friend,” I rose.  William fixed me with a hard stare. “Perhaps not all of them,” I clapped him on the back, “Come, I know the perfect place to wait for dark.”

I turned and led the way, weaving through the great trees, searching out once familiar paths that now lay hidden by time.  Soon we arrived at a place where the ground sloped down into a dry stream bed.  Following this I found a great willow whose roots reached across the bed, winding among the rocks and hollows left by the forgotten stream.

“Here,” I climbed up a thick root to the base of the tree.  I pushed back vegetation growing around the huge trunk exposing a deep, cavern-like recess in the bank of the stream and roots of the tree.

“I found this by accident years ago.  It was my secret hiding place as a boy and latter…” I trailed off.

William looked over my shoulder into the dark, forest made room.  “Clever.”

We crawled in and spend the rest of the day hidden until dark.  Once the forest was covered in the thickness of night we crept out and headed for Locksley.

At the edge of the village we halted and peered out from the shadows.  My gaze wondered to the large building in the town’s center. 

“Locksley Hall,” I mumbled under my breath.  I should be riding in unashamed, I thought.  Not cowering in the dark like some common criminal.  Criminal.  The word stung even as I thought it.  I shook my head, now was not the time to let myself think of the past.  I beckoned to William,

“Follow,” silently we darted in and out of shadows until we stood with our backs pressed up against the far left wall of the side of Locksley Hall.  I looked up through the branches of an oak tree at a second floor balcony.  The sound of a female voice singing drifted down towards us.  I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and hoisted myself into the tree. 

Noiselessly I climbed up its branches until I was level with the balcony.  I young lady stood with her back towards me, her curly brown hair cascading over her shoulders and down her back.     

I whistled and she turned, gasping as I jumped onto the balcony.  I smiled,

“Hello Marion.”

Stephen of Scarborough (Part Seventeen)

This part is short, I know, but bear with me, next week it will be longer.  🙂


I gazed out at the River Trent, its waters creating a calm melody that hummed in my ears. Locksley was just over the rise, yet I couldn’t go there, not yet. Six years. Six years of pent up emotions and yes, regret. How stubborn my father had been, but had the years softened him? Would he ask about Scarborough? Could I even enter the village? The thought of the letter of Outlawry my father possessed infuriated me as much as it made me uneasy this close to Locksley. I shook my head, the suborn old man. He had told me I gave him little choice, he said it was for the good of the family. I clenched my fists,

“Not the whole family father,” I whispered.

“What?” William looked up from where he sat munching a noonday snack.

“Nothing,” I sat down beside him, stretching out my stiff leg. “We should wait for night fall before we go in. I don’t want to take the chance that someone would recognize me.”

“Where do we stay until then? If you’re worried about being seen, then sitting here out in the open…”

“We’ll go into the Peak Forest,” I answered cutting him off.

“Sherwood? I suppose that would be the best place.”

I looked out across the land. The Royal Forest of the Peak loomed like a great green fortress ahead, waiting for someone to stumble into her net. A thrill of excitement ran up my spine at the site of the great wood. It had been to long since I found myself under its protective eaves.

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