Monday, September 20, 2010

Sherwood In Flames

1190 AD, Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, England:

It was all burning. Gilbert Whitehand sprinted with the other Merry Men away from the inferno that had become their home. He skidded behind an oak with Little John and they both looked back.

"We have to go back for him!" Gilbert told John. "He's going to die!"

"There's no saving him now, Gil," Little John replied solemnly. "There's no surviving that. And he was sleeping right in the middle of it."

The massive trees that they had built their home around and within, were collapsing under the weight of the immense flames. Great branches crashed to the ground, splintering into char-black blades and millions of orange sparks. Where once oceans of green and brown existed, now was a whirlpool of orange and red, swirling violently about blackened trunks. The fire was contained to the grove of trees the Merry Men had lived in, but the rest of the forest seemed a bit darker nonetheless.

A man, dressed in ornate red and gold, and riding a tall brown horse, trotted up near the flaming trees, followed by thirty soldiers, all armed with swords and bows. They circled around the grove, searching for survivors, but the Merry Men stayed hidden amongst the woods. The Sheriff of Nottingham trotted his horse a bit closer to the blaze.

What happened next, horrified everyone who witnessed it.

From the flames of the tree, a black silhouette of a man leaped, every inch of his clothing burning. He held a bow at full draw, with three flaming arrows on the string. Time seemed to slow as-- in mid-air--the flaming specter launched the arrows into the chest of the sheriff. They all struck his torso, and he too began too burn. The flaming man tackled him off his horse, screaming in agony. The flaming corpse of Robin Hood then drew his sword one final time, and impaled it in the heart of his most hated enemy. He roared in pain as he dropped to his knees. His body has black and cracked, smoke poured from every orifice. His eyes were completely red, and blood flowed from them in place of tears.

The Merry Men burst from their hiding spots at the sight of their leader, roaring in anger. They drew their swords, swung their staffs and drew their bows. One by one, the Sheriff's men fell. Chunks of burning wood fell and exploded on the ground all around them, but they did not hesitate.

Gilbert Whitehand stood with his back to Little John's and fired arrows through the foreheads of two charging soldiers, as John swung his mighty staff into the ribs of another man and shattered them. They spun and ran towards Robin, who was still screaming in pain.

Gilbert fell to Robin's side, as John held off the soldiers. Gilbert lowered Robin to the ground gently, and could hear his flesh cracking and crunching. He looked into Robin's eye's, which were now completely covered in coagulated blood.

"Oos 'ere?" he wheezed weakly.

"Gilbert Whitehand," he replied quietly, withholding tears. "Don't try and talk. We're going to fix you up, Master Robin."

"Ha'nt ye 'een lisnin', Gil?" Robin struggled with every sound. "I 'ot yer 'aster. No 'un is. Thas whu' we 'een trying to tell 'eople."

"Please, Robin, stop trying to talk." Gilbert choked with tears, and they ran down his face and down his right arm to his hand, which was holding Robin's.

Now, most of the soldiers had been defeated, and the Merry Men were gathering with John to defend their fallen comrade. Then, Gilbert heard what he believed was the most painful sounding sentence that anyone had ever heard:

 "Don't cry, Gil. There's no need for tears. I've done good in my life. We all have."

With that, the final gasp of smoky air escaped from Robin Hood's lungs, and all was silent in the forest.

This post marks one month of blogging at least once a day. Celebrate, get drunk, go nuts.

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