The Highwaywoman

It’s the 17th century and highwaymen are ruling the streets. But what happens when an orphanage turns to crime and forces children to steal. When Sage a 16 year old highwaywoman falls in love with the man she has to rob, will her heart take the place of her brain?

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5. Chapter Five

My eyes sting, my head hurts, my body is bruised and battered. Shafts of light come through the window and are the first sign of life that meets me when I wake from my deep slumber. I look around, taking in my surroundings. We don’t often use the infirmary; it’s situated at the bottom of the mansion in the basement away from the prying eyes and eager questions. The only time I remember coming down was that of a terrible injury, to a young man, it was in range of the left leg. My mouth fell open, the images from last night flash though my mind. Arrow, Arrows left leg, the bullet, where is he now? I sit straight up, making my head fizz, spinning to the left and the right. I see Bess slupped in a chair to my left, she’s totally out of the world and there’s no use waking her. I quietly edge out of bed and search around for Arrow. Opposite my bed are five identical ones, the only difference was the lifeless body of Arrow on the bed. As quietly and quickly as possible I run over to Arrows side and grip his hand in mine, continuously stroking it and looking at his pale face.

‘’He’ll be fine; it was only a minor injury. Nothing to be worried about.’’ At first I didn’t notice Flynn sitting in the dark next to Arrow’s bed. His face looked beat up by the lack of sleep and his arm was tied to his chest.

‘’I’m not worried….no, I am worried. I mean I am worried, but I’m sure he’ll be ok. He’ll be ok right? He has to be ok.’’ By now I was staring daggers into his eyes, willing him to tell me the truth, that he was going to be ok.

‘’He’ll be fine, keep your hair on,’’ At this he started chuckling to himself, probably at how worried I was for Arrow.

‘’So what happened to you?’’ I gestured towards his arm.

‘’I was dragged by my arm……..by the carriage horses. Dislocated shoulder.’’

‘’Sorry........ What’s wrong with Bess?’’ It had seemed that I had managed to injure every one in my team, including me.

‘’Tired. More worried about you though.’’ And as if right on que, Bess woke up, fumbling around looking for me. She went as far as looking under the bed for me (really, seriously did she think I would be under the bed). I was about to put Bess’s mad search to a stop when she spotted me at the side of the bed. She ran right at me and embraced me in a hug, but that didn’t last long.

‘’Where were you? I was so worried. I thought you'd gone walk about.'' She half shouted, half whispered this at me.

‘'Sorry. I'm fine though. I can look after myself! '' OK, I wasn't sorry. But I'd always looked after myself. What had I missed between now and last night?

‘’You didn’t tell her?’’ Her eyebrows rose at Flynn and they seemed to be having an argument about which one would tell me. Finally Flynn started to talk, but soon enough Bess interrupted and took over the conversation.

‘’Well for starters you shot Arrow in the leg,’’

I tried to object, but Bess said that I could complain at the end. ''Then you came back dazed and confused, like you’d hit your head. That’s why you’re in here, but we think you’re ok.'' You could hear the unease in her voice, something told me that she obviously didn't believe what she was saying. She was probably saying it more for my comfort.

''Ok. What I got from that, is that you think I'm insane and that I shot Arrow in the leg.''

''It least we know, one of them is a lie.''

No one knew how long he had been awake or how much he'd heard. I still hadn't found out if he thought that I was insane or I had shot him. We each recounted are experiences of last night and pieced together our story. It turned out that we had done pretty well, despite our injures.

''Lucy said it was the best robbery yet.'' Bess exclaimed. A smile widened on her face, as she nestled closer into Flynn.

''Speaking of the devil.'' Arrow said. As Lucy came bounding down, practically sprinting towards us.

''You guys were great last night. I've got so many more robberies planned,'' she couldn't stop a smile from taking over her face.

''I'm good. Thanks for asking. Yeah I do feel a bit under the weather, but I'll be ok.'' None of use could suppress a laugh at Arrows comment. Not even Lucy.

''It doesn't seem to have affected your humor.'' We all doubled over with laughter, it was great to just laughter. Something told me that our time together would be pressed.

***

I should be a fortune teller if this robbery thing doesn't workout. Exactly a week later we got the news.

''It can't be.'' I protested, when Bess found us playing cards in the garden.

''We only have a month, maybe even less before they track the robberies down to the orphanage. We're all going to be adopted at the end of the month.'' Shock must of registered on our faces, she tried to make light of the situation.

''We still have plenty of robberies left. We still have time together.'' She gave up and sat on Flynn's lap, while he stroked her hair. We stopped our card game immediately. Arrow and I stared into each others eyes and read each others feelings.

We decide between us that we wouldn't speak of the shutting down of the orphanage, if we didn't speak of it, it didn't exist. Simple as that. Or I wish it was. Not only did everyone speak about it, but there was also a depressing air that swept through the house; infecting every living person who entered. Sadly our oath didn't last long. Soon enough strangers were coming down to adopt the younger children and by the end of the week there was no one under 5 feet left in the house, just the gang and I.

 

 

 

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