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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2. Chapter Two

‘’Ok…...could you go through that one more time.’’ My voice had an air of plied on it, which ricocheted off the walls.

‘’Well, if you had been here early, and not sopping wet, maybe you would understand,’’ her angry was over whelming, seeping into every crack. Well to be fair, we weren’t that late, maybe ten minutes and they had waited for us, but it was true my hair was now wrapped in a soft towel and my clothes were hanging over the fire to dry along with Arrows.

‘’Ok, Bess will be in the nearest town, doing her thing. Then you, Arrow and Flynn will be on the roads closes to town so you can pick her up after the first two robberies, there are approximately three carriages rolling in. The first two aren’t anything special, but as, maybe your last robbery, you four will have the pleasure of the robbing the Duke himself. He’s in town to find a wife.’’ She said this all very quickly and bluntly.

‘’So all we have to do is rob some carriages and Bess will pick pocket a few people.’’ I said with too much pleasure in my voice.

‘’Yes, all you have to do is commit a series crime, not get chucked in jail and come home for tea. It’s all be hunky dory.’’ She said this so sarcastically, but with a boost that could make anyone do it.

‘’You know what I mean,’’ right on queue smiles spread across not just my face but also the rest of us; Flynn, Lucy, Arrow and Bess.  Not surprising, since we were all so tried and just wanted to crawl into bed and slip away from the world and into our own dreams. Maybe waking up a few hours early was a bad idea; I had not anticipated the long day of being shot at which was intended for a snow rabbit a few feet away. Not to mention the whole morning spent planning our adventure then lunch and then dress fitting for the ladies. Well not Lucy, she will have no part in our stuff……we all need her because she’s the smartest in the group, full of brilliant ideas and is the few of us that has friends outside of the orphanage; which helps.

‘’So should we call it a night.’’ Saying this to myself more than anyone in particular, but getting more than enough agreements. While tidying up our many scrolls and scattered papers, I see the outline of Mrs Porter chaperoning seven children with complaints of ‘um, not tried’ and ‘five, more minutes’. A smile crosses my face at that moment and I started to think how lucky those children are getting to go to bed, I badly wanted to be one of the children clattering up the stairs. We all bid each other goodnight and the promises that we would be up at the crack of dawn to meet. Arrow and I are the first to ascend the stairs; they seem longer when you’re tired. The same thought had crossed Arrows face and for my own amusement he slowly drags his feet up every step taking extra effort to trip a few; with this a smile which takes up all my strength crosses my face. At the top of the stairs Lucy passes obviously deep in thought since she doesn’t acknowledge mine and Arrows existence. Instead of are usual spoken good nights, we draw into a hug which is unusual but somehow familiar, but it lingers to long and at then we mumble inaudible good nights and go our separate ways. I fling my tired body onto my rickety bed; it dares to break but stays strong.

Outside a murmur of voices erupt and though the crack in the door I see the two familiar figures chest to chest, face to face and mouth to mouth. My eyes are fixed to them and slowly but surely I pry my eyes away from them. Then a channel of five different emotions coursed through my veins; jealous (but not because of Bess and Flynn, because of what they have together), happiness (for them) and whole lot of other confused emotions. Once they had finished she closed the door and flings herself onto the bed next to me and lets out a sigh and a girlie giggle; this was the queue for the girl chat. Once every two weeks we would talk about girl stuff, us being not that girlie, we didn’t have much to talk about (at the beginning). After readying are selves for bed, we sat cross legged on are beds face to face. We had devised a number of rules for girl chat, we would each let the other one pour there hearts out (without interruption) and comment without giggling (sometimes it was hard. Like Bess’s problem with a spot, which set me of on a contagious laugh, because at that point in time I thought it didn’t matter what I looked like). Most of the time I had scruffy un brushed hair, spots everywhere (until Bess’s help) and a tendesly to speak with my mouth open while eating. All of these traits have been improved by Bess.

Bess’s problem silly as it may seem was that Flynn was spending to much time down by the stables with the horses, (Bess not being that good at riding rarely went down to the stables and Flynn spend every waking minute down there). My problem on the other hand, seemed way more important, so I merely waved her problem away giving her advice to go down once in a while.

‘’OK, so you know how me and Arrow are friends and……’’

‘’You should just bite the bullet and become an item, he likes you and you like him, no big deal.’’ She said rolling her eyes.

‘’Back to me, we hugged where’ve never hugged before, it was strange, but nice. I always thought that he smelled like himself, but he smells like grass and fresh air.’’ I stopped. Trying to regain the smell of him, sniffing the air but only getting the smell of mould and the sound of water dripping outside the window. It probably looked weird because Bess started to imitate me with my nose sticking up in the air and making great sniffing sounds. We both fell into fits of laughter, mistakably waking up the not sleeping Flynn and Arrow next door, who came bounding into are room muscles at the ready. Defending us. This didn’t help stop the laughter but prolonging it. On the other hand they both looked bewildered and surprised; that we were not being attacked.

‘’What happened we came to save you guys,’’ Flynn said popping himself down next to Bess, where she gladly nestled her head between his chin and shoulder.

‘’We where all prepared,’’ Arrow chirped in popping himself down next to me, where I gladly move away.

‘’With what weapons?’’ Bess smiled.

‘’Not with those,’’ I said poking what was supposed to be his muscles.

‘’So what happened,’’ Flynn said wrapping his arms around Bess.

‘’Girl Stuff,’’ we say in sync, letting out a laugh. Even though we needed sleep, we talked on and on all though the night. The boys not leaving are sides and questioning use in every single way even though we've none each other for years. We started on our children hood years and went all the way to what we wanted to be; besides international robbers.

‘’I want to be a ballerina,’’ Bess said letting a small smile slip onto her face. This would actually suit Bess she was tall, blonde, beautiful and light on her feet for (creeping up on people while pick pocketing them).

The boys nodding in agreement so we moved onto Flynn.

‘’I want to be a blacksmith.’’ He said shaking his head to one side as to hide his smile, with this his black coal hair followed, hiding his turquoise blue eyes. This again would work, he was so in love with horses and anything to do with them, it would suit him.

Next was Arrow.

‘’I want to be…………..’’

‘’I’m hungry, who else?’’ Without getting an answer, I grabbed Arrows hand and pulled him out the door, turning around to close the door I caught a glace between Flynn and Bess. It was that of confusion and surprise. Once I turned around I was engulfed in darkness, I stretched my arms out in front of me finding Arrows chest and nearly pushing him down the stairs.

‘’Sorry.’’ I whispered surprised that he could make out the word, as we descend the creaking flight of stairs, careful to miss the ones that were broken or let out the most horrendous noise.

‘’For what. Not being hungry or getting me out of there.’’ He was right about one thing I wasn’t hungry, but somehow I knew that he couldn’t answer the question. It was an unanswered secret between me and him.

‘’Thanks.'' He added.

‘’For what. Getting you out of there.’’ I smiled at him thought the darkness, unsure if he could see it. We had just reached the end of the stairs when the question came out.

‘’So what do I want to be when I grow up?’’ He asked.

‘’Wait, you asking me?’’ I sounded surprised, probably to surprised.

‘’I know, you know, we know everything about each other.’’

‘’So what do I want to be?’’ I inquired.

‘’A merchant, it’s very out there. More for men than women. But you could do it, you’re out there enough.’’ I smiled at him obviously a little surprised how he would know that about me, but like he said we know everything about each other.

‘’Artist, you want to be an artist,’’ He smiled, looking more surprised than me.

‘’How did you know that?’’

‘’We know everything about each other,’’ I smiled.

‘’No, seriously how did you find out?’’ Anticipation creeping into his voice.

Should I tell him the truth? The truth started on a Sunday afternoon the sun was out and so was most of the children, running around and having fun. I went to find Arrow, thinking we could go for a walk and relax; talk. Knocking seemed too formal we were best friends, so I barged in (very un lady like I might add) expecting to find Arrow sprawled out on his bed; but finding papers instead and a leather bound book. I stooped over the papers, they were nothing special just a few documents. But sticking out of the book was my name; I knew it was nosy, but Arrow and I shared everything, and this obviously concerned me. I flipped the cover open and there in front of me was a beautifully sketched drawing of me, it was like looking into a mirror. This gave me a sudden blow and I had to sit down, so confused, he’d never taken an interest in me before (in that way) or had he and maybe I hadn’t noticed. I continue through and more drawn ME’s came up, like when I was sitting on the grass reading, dead to the world, so immersed in the book; I hadn’t noticed him. But he seemed to have noticed me at every point, when I first came to the orphanage, up a tree, collecting food, walking, talking and laughing. Even at points when I thought I was alone. I decided against the truth, well for now at least.

‘’Oh, I saw your art on the walls of the corridor and the kitchen, I knew it was you, you signed it with an Arrow.’’ Relief swept through me and onto Arrows face, he seemed relieved that I had seen his art on the walls. I wasn’t really lying, I had seen them on the walls, but I hadn’t noticed them before the encounter with the book. That seemed like the end of that conversation and no hope of starting another.

***

Once in the kitchen we filled are arms with food (making sure that we didn’t take too much). He was right I wasn’t that hungry and so just started to nibble on a drumstick on the way up. Back in the room we ate and talked some more, until it was late and then we needed sleep; so the boys retired back to their room and we got into our beds and became dead to the world.

‘’Rise and Shine, we got work to do.’’ Lucy’s face hung over me, her blonde locks in my face. There was so many things wrong with that sentence: I didn’t want to rise and by the look of the room it was not shining either, sadly one thing was right we had a lot of work to do.

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