The Last Hope

The kingdom is running dry, everything and anything is being taken. It's going faster then Robin Hood and the Merry Men can steal. Little John said Robin is the only hope for surviving this horrid rein. Robin prays he's wrong.

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2. Perfect Shot

 

  Rubies and gold fell from the trees. The ground was already covered with the soggy gems that fell. Those gems hid me from the guards of the throne. An arrow already hooked to the bow ready to be released anytime. My breathing grew faster as I hid behind the trees. Glancing around and listening intently for the thunderous hooves and packs of men. Weak cowardly men who think it would be easy to capture me. I laugh at their stupidity. It's so much fun to see who the real Robin is. I dove behind another tree. Shouts of anger filled the air. I cracked my neck and made sure my mask was on.

 Turning ever so slightly I saw three men on horses. The horses were worth a fortune and were all a tanish brown. Expensive. One of the men wore a red cloth across his shoulder and wore golden plates of metal. Protection against me. I almost laughed but instead felt the edge of my lip curve upwards. The other two guards wore shiny plates of steel. Each man had their helmets on and swords by their side. The red cloth one turned and barked something at the men. I felt my eyes narrow as I strained my hearing to catch the foul words. Raising the bow I pulled the arrow towards my lifted lips. As if the horse heard the undetectable movement it bent it's head in atonement. Say something important coward, I thought growing impatient.

"Men, we need to hurry. The King will want his jewels!" The Captain said looking nervously around. They're not his, their mine now, I thought and aimed in between the Captain's helmet and the plates of gold. As if timed slowed as I let go of the arrow I watched it fly straight and true into the neck spraying his companions with his scarlet colored blood. Before they could react I had already shot another arrow into the other. The last man had gained his senses, not all, and began to ride away. Aiming at the back of his neck I released the arrow and watched the man fall like a silent tree. His horse reared up but stayed put. It was to easy for my tastes. Knocking another arrow I slowly made my way over to my plunder.

 The horses stayed where they were to shock to move. Warhorses? More like fools submitting to the higher power. Scavenging through the saddle bags I found at least a dozen or so varying size gems. Smiling I placed all the gems and the money, obviously they got paid this morning, into my velvet bag on my waist. I placed all three men, with difficultly, onto one horse. I had to strip them of the protective armor. Tying them to the horse I slapped it backside and watched it gallop away. Turning to the two other horses I hooked the rein to one on the other's saddle. Putting the armor on to the horse that would follow, I glanced around. One one of the trees was a piece of paper. Walking closer to it I found that it was a drawing of a figure. Under it was a name and a reward. Smiling I took down the fraying wanted poster and pocketed it.

 "He's getting desperate!" I called over to the horses laughing. Gracefully climbing up into the saddle I turned the west and kicked the animal. It spurred into a gallop. I peeked over my shoulder to check to make sure everything was still there. The sky above me started to turn a pale pink and the wind got colder. I had better hurry, I thought. 

 Finally, I arrived at a old fort deep within the woods. It was falling apart, hardly provided the warmth, but had great look outs and no one would think of coming here. The old fortress was crumbling, huge heavy blocks of stone laid in the grounds barely holding the fortress up. it was in the middle of a clearing and used to be the kingdoms best defense against enemies now was the home of nearly a village of rebels. Half of the Merry Men, under my command, had brought their wives and children along so that they were protected. The other half merely teen boys approaching adulthood and more worthy then the whole kings army. Then there was me. The leader of twenty men capable of destroying two armies. As I approached the gate I looked at the stars. There were twice as many then last night. 

 "Stargazing Hood?" Said the unmistakable voice of Will Stutely. I eyed him. In the light of his torch I could see his bushy bear brown hair and beard. He was smaller than I was and a lot wider. However don't let his physical appearance fool you. He could decapitate you before you finished insulting him.He wore tan shirt, rudely hanging open, and his black vest not even on. His belt with varying bags wasn't even on all the way and his dark pants hung low showing his red underpants. 

 "Clean yourself up, Will, how many times do I have to say it?" I lightly jumped down took his torch and shoved the reins into his hands. "Better be dressed when the meeting starts!" I called back to him not even turning. Many voices called out in welcome as I headed to the door of the fortress. I merely held my hand up in response. Once in the towering building I headed left toward the armory and blacksmith. Now we decided it was better to leave the broken place not replaced so the gaps in the wall remained untouched. Pushing a drape back I entered our makeshift blacksmith shop and armory. There was a barrel of water in a corner, an anvil, tons of tools on a table next to the barrel, weapons hung on the wall, a table sat in the middle, and there was an old blacksmith fireplace with a man leaning heavily on the back of his chair. David the Dim sat next to the fire watching the embers glow and spark. I cleared my throat causing the old man to jump up and turn. He wore his black apron over his clothes. His wisp of pale hair stood up on his head and his fearsome blue eyes eyed me. David hadn't shaved and I could see the stubs of a unwashed face. 

 "I need three new arrows before tomorrow morning and sharpen the daggers." I ordered taking two small out of my boots, another from my belt, the last from inside my sleeve and slamming them on the table. David nodded and started making the fire larger. I exited the room and headed turned left yet again heading down the crumbled moonlit hall toward my red draped room. Flinging the drape back I admired the room. Sheets covered the floor and there was a makeshift bed in the corner. There was a table directly to my right. I let the drapes fall behind me. I placed my bow on the table then unclipped my quiver from my side and laid it on the table. Rolling my neck I unclasped the mask on my face. It was like a masquerade ball mask. Except without all the glitter and gems just a black mask. Instead of placing it on the table I hooked it to my belt. Pulling my black cloak around me I heard a knock on stone.

 "Heard you were home." A voice said. I didn't answer. "You're calling a meeting?"

 "Yes" I breathed. I heard footsteps echo away. Pulling my hood back on I headed to the middle of the fortress.

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