Saxon Outlaw- Section One: Part I

Fiction By Elizabeth // 5/28/2011

 

     It was raining. A howling wind blew through the trees above my head. Their dark leaves dripped water onto my olive-green hat. My clothing was soaked through and I continually had to brush water from my brow to keep the rain from dripping into my eyes and blurring my vision. I passed through the entanglement of the woods; the night was cold. Taking out my knife I cut thorns that were in my path and trimmed tree branches to make easier my progress through the woods. I had no trouble finding my way through such crowded wood. It was my home. I was young; my eyes were keen and my ears sharp. I was nimble on my feet and my hands the swiftest fitter to the string than anyone in that country. My name was known to most. To some, as a rascal and outlaw of the country, stealing from local authorities and harassing the town’s so-called laws of justice.
    The rain poured down harder. Lightning streaked the sky with white, and the wind shrieked in its high pitched voice. The brambles beneath my feet were continually grabbing at my ankles and tearing at my legs. I was used to that. They were no foreign things, the twisted, wiry, things of the path. They were part of the way I trod, a guide for the outlaw of Sherwood.
      The way before me was curtained off in black. A rumbling roar shook the ground. In that groaning thunder, I heard a whimper, near, quite near. My ears were never deceived. I stooped down to the right of my path, for path it was to the outlaws of Shurewood, and a small, curled figure was before me, shaking violently. I reached forward and grasped firmly the shoulder of the figure. It did not turn or seem to acknowledge the touch of a human hand. I stooped yet lower, took both shoulders in my hands and gently pulled the figure upward. Turning the little child about, for child, undoubtedly, it was, I looked into the face of a little girl not six years old. Her lips were quivering and her eyes were a fogged with tears. She did not look frightened at the sight of me, for a thundering crash again roared overhead and she flung herself in my arms.
    I grasped her firmly and lifted her up, wrapping my cloak around her. She took a comfort in this and did not squirm or make any such resistance. I then used my free arm to brush aside the branches and feel the trees’ bark as I passed them by. I knew the feel of the trees that lined the path I followed: oak, pine, maple, ash, all both sapling and ancient. As I felt the smoothest bark of a birch, I halted. The surface of this tree was gashed. Never had the bark of this grey birch been defiled. I gently traced the deep gash with my finger. Sap seeped forth from the birch’s wound. Surely, a skirmish brought this defilement here.
       I briskly then passed on. The path before me was now opening. The rain, however, did not cease its sway. Beholding the warden-pine, I again stopped. Placing the little girl down at the knees of the tree; I knelt beside her. I took an arrow from my quiver and detached my bow. Stringing the bow, I loosed the arrow. I then took the little girl in my arms once again and softly passed the pine that stood as a gatepost to the outlaws’ dwelling.
      The path steadily grew smaller and more filled with brambles. The trees grew closer and the branches were lower, and an old willow with his sweeping beard hung over the path. Passing through this barley-beaten path, I had to brush the water from my eyes again, for they were again hindered by the drip, dripping of the rain from my hat and onto my face. But this was done without thought for the tempest, but rather I thought of the little girl I was holding. Not that I was surprised that I had found her. The Normans were responsible for her plight. I was thinking of the horror the little girl must be feeling and of the pain that she held in her young heart. It smote me like a burning fire: that the littlest ones must suffer, and that the weakest should feel the agony.
     I was now at the edge of a thick shield of pine trees. Passing underneath a long dragging branch, I came inside a ring of twelve waiting men. They said no word but passed along with me. Nothing was said about the little figure I was carrying. It was understood that we must move with much speed. The pine trees were thickening now and we shifted into a single file. No lantern was carried no boots were worn, only soft shoes. Our capes hung dripping at our sides, and our hats and hoods were drooping miserably over our eyes. The shield of trees broke. A little woodhouse stood before us. Of the twelve men that had joined me only three remained. These three and I walked into the little dwelling place and shut the door on the whistling wind.

Comments

:)

I hope you write more of this soon; I really enjoyed reading it. I can feel and see it all so clearly.

Kyleigh | Sun, 05/29/2011

.......

This is cool. I really liked the part about the Birch.

Bernadette | Thu, 06/02/2011

I keep picturing Aragorn.

I keep picturing Aragorn. Hehe, whoops.

Just reading this made me feel cold and wet, which is an accomplishment considering the weather we've had here.

Anna | Fri, 06/03/2011

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

Good job

I saw you posted Saxon Outlaw chapter II, sor I thought I'd better come read chapter one first.
I'm going to have to say ditto to Anna... this was so skillfully written that it made me feel cold and wet.

James | Mon, 03/12/2012

<><~~~~~~~~~~~~><>
"The idea that we should approach science without a philosophy is itself a philosophy... and a bad one, because it is self-refuting." -- Dr. Jason Lisle

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