Hello, first of all I would like to thank you for expressing interest in this story! Before I let you read it though, there are just a few things I need to explain. This story is not written by me alone, but by me, my brother, and my friend who is just like my brother. They are new and young(er) writers, and jumped eagerly at the idea of posting our story on my user name. Although, I edit everything they write, I always try to keep as much of their work as I can. This is not your perfect, professional story, if it was, I would be publishing it, not posting it as a fan fiction. :p We wrote this because we all love Robin Hood so much, and it is a twist on his story. Please be word friendly, and kind as you review, making it easier for me to help them enjoy writing. I hope you enjoy this story as much as we have enjoyed writing it! Thank you again,
(and her merry men)
P.S. Only the first part is in first person, the rest is in third. ;)
"Into the Woods"
I was born in Kennington in a small cottage just outside of the castle. My name is John and my brother's name is James. We are identical twins; the only difference is our eyes. My right eye is green, and my left is blue, James's eyes are exactly opposite.
Our parents died when I was only seven years old while protecting us from guards because we had gone into a restricted area. Truly, it had only been an accident; we found ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, and what an adventure it brought us!
We were playing swords in the forest, I chasing after James who was stomping loudly just ahead of me. Suddenly I noticed some guards in a meeting. To curious to turn around, James and I snuck up to their camp. We were not quite enough, because one guard came up from behind and grabbed both of us by our collar. He warned us to mind our own business then proceeded to drag us home. The walk seemed longer then I had ever imagined it, and our necks were stiff from his tight grasp. I knew we would be in even more trouble when we got home.
Can any boy at the age of seven avoid sneaking into a secret meeting? We could not and the moment the guard was gone we ran after him. Of course, we were not thinking, and it never occurred to us that look outs would be guarding the meeting, but the moment we realized our mistakes, we turned and ran for our lives. Unfortunately the guard who caught us was the same guard who had taken us home earlier. He started ranting and raging about how our mother and father must be spies and were using us to get information. They took our mother and father from us, and we never saw them again.
Since my parents died, my brother and I moved to live with our grandparents. Our grandparents were fare, honest people that live on the edge of the woods, just outside of Kennington. We lived there for three years, and during those years we got jobs as messengers. James and I loved to run to the different towns, and soon became very acquainted with the forest. It was safer then roads, because thieves lined the road ready to steal from anyone that walked by. They stayed away from the northern part of the forest, because the kings guards often found their hideouts. As long as we stayed above Glenning's broke, we were fine. We earned enough money for food and clothing, as well as a few extra coins for our enjoyment.
My grandfather taught us many things from cooking, which James was never good at, to archery and sword fighting. Archery was my favorite, and I could beat James easily, but James tended to beat me in sword fighting, he was very good. My grandfather also ran a farm; our favorite time of year was when he went to market to sell the crop from the harvest. I never forgot what happened in Kennington, but somehow the town brought back the sweet memories of my childhood.
One day, while we were in town selling off the harvest, the king's guards came and pushed down all the stands. My grandfather demanded full price from everyone, and it displeased the king. He felt that the guards and his family should get discounts for their food, but we needed the money. "No selling food in this town until you will show your loyalty to the king!" They shouted grabbing some of our food. We left the town disgraced
Unable to provide for us, our grandparents sent us to the castle to work there. Being twelve years old, we decided that we were able to live on our own! That very night, we left for the forest; we planned to live there until once more we could live in peace.
That night we tried to escape, but like so long ago, we forgot one thing, the guards. One guard heard our footsteps and immediately started chasing after us while calling for the other guards. Although we attempted every hallway we could find, everyone was full of guards ready to stop our escape. Finally there was one hallway left, without thinking I threw open the door and dashed the down the corridor. Thanks to being messengers before, James and I were fast runners. We were nearly to the door when… Then next thing John saw with his brother shaking him awake.
James shook his sleeping brother, trying to wake him from what seemed to be a nightmare. His brother woke with a start then lay back down looking at the sky. James never minded that he and John looked the same. Even now they had the same tall build, brown hair that was cut to their ears, and shared the same facial features.
"Did you have a bad dream?" James asked finally releasing John. John's blue and brown eyes were cloudy with thought, and James somehow new what his brother was thinking. At first, James said nothing, preferring silence to an explanation. He sat up and began folding his breakfast. John turned and started working the flint stones for a fire.
"It was about Mom and Dad." John finally said. He's always been the quieter one. James thought nodding. I think it kept him out of trouble too!
"Do you think of them often?" James asked.
"I try not to." John said casually, "It brings back painful memories." James merely nodded again and blew lightly on the fire so it would grow. The camp they had made was small, and poorly kept. They had just found it a few days ago after being chased out of their old camp and it had not yet become comfortable. The guards had forced them to move around so many times over the year that it became habit to stay in one place for awhile, then move on to another. They were closer to Kennington then they had ever been before, and it made John wonder how long they would stay here.
"It's been six years, and I still cannot get over it." James stated sympathizing with his brother.
"Well, I can't get over the fact that you ate nearly all our food!" John said throwing down the empty food sack and pulling out the only other one.
"I can't help having a large appetite." James explained.
"Well what are we going to do?" John asked.
"Let's go into town, we can buy some food there, and maybe get in some hunting later." James offered.
"Do you remember what happened last time we tried to get food at the market?" John began warming some of the old venison all the while glaring at James. Although his light brown hair came to just above his eyebrow, nothing could hide the venom in his eyes and voice.
James looked hurt and held his hands up in an innocent gesture. "I try not to, it brings back painful memories." John scowled then tossed James the bag so he could begin warming up his breakfast as well. "Besides, it was only a few apples."
"If we ever go back there, they'll probably kill us! Nothing you say will drag me back there!"
John shrugged, but refused to back down, "We can try a disguise!"
"We already tried that, they saw right threw it."
"Then we'll go just before nightfall, and have deep hoods…"
"That did work either, if you hadn't stolen that apple," John's voice rose, "we could walk up and say, 'I would to buy some food please.' Then we wouldn't be sitting here starving!"
"What is your point, John?" James asked scowling at his brother.
"My point? My point! My point is perfectly clear…"
James leaped to his feet and interrupted before John could finish his loud ranting. "Do you here that?"
John stopped talking and listened. "Dogs! How did they find us again?"
"I don't know, John. But we have to hide!"
James became alert almost immediately. They began stuffing their few belongings in their pack trying to hurry as much as possible.
"Put out the fire James, I'll get the food, and don't forget your bow again!" John attempted to hide the fear in his voice. He hated dogs, sometimes in his dreams the hunted him until his legs went useless from running, and his heart begged to stop. Closer and closer the dogs came, so that their loud barking became painful and persistent in each of the boys ears.
Running to the nearest tree, the boys began climbing praying that they would get high enough. On normal circumstances, they would begin running, but the dogs were so close, there was no time. Within two minuets they could see the guards; no doubt they were excited that they might have caught a group out thieves. They eagerly followed their dogs, hoping that they would find a fortune after bring an outlaw to the king.
John became more and more uncomfortable, yet he knew he needed to stay still. The doges started to pass by, and John held his breathe hoping it would calm his nerves. They're almost gone. John reassured himself, and just as the dogs passed, the branch underneath him snapped and he fell from the tree.
"John!!" James's voice rang out, he scurried from the tree and to his brother's side. The guards and dogs noticed them immediately. "John, can you still run?"
John nodded, he was unhurt because he had managed to land on his feet before collapsing to the ground. "I'm fine, we have to go now!" John and James started running though the forest once more.
Suddenly the flint stones seemed heavy against John's leg and it put and idea in his head. Even as the dogs grew closer, the possibility of escape grew better. John saw a dead log and stopped to pull out the stones.
"What are you doing?" James yelled his voice coming out in rasps.
"I'm going to start a fire, what else do you use flint stones for?" John laughed, he began attempting the fire over the dead log and pile of leaves he had managed to create. Even if the dogs were comfortable around fire, the smoke would prevent them from smelling James and him.
"Hurry up then, and do it!"
"You have to wait for the spark to catch." John said. The sound of barking dogs grew closer.
"Well, hurry up!" James commanded.
"I know, now go to that log over there and hide in it. We'll hide there until the guards are gone."
James immediately went over to the log and watched his brother through the side. The thirteen year old boy just barely fit, and he was beginning to wonder how in the world his twin would crawl in also.
Soon John joined him inside the log and the watched as the dogs grew confused in the dark smoke. Both the boys covered their mouths with their sleeves to avoid choking on the thick smoke.
Thankfully, the guards put out the fire and then proceeded to turn for home. "They are long gone by now." One of the guards assumed then turned to walk back. Dark smoke made it impossible to see much of anything, and it began to burn in their throat. John hoped the guards would leaves soon. John felt a shiver creep through his spine, sweat trickled down his face. Soon the voices faded, so John and James stuck their heads of the log.
"Come on." James said, "We've better see what's left of our campsite."
James shook his head sadly, there was nearly nothing left. Everything was destroyed or taken. Only what they had carried out had survived their weapons, blankets, and one supply bag. James found a tin pot and rope not to far off, but everything else seemed in ruins.
"I guess we have no choice but to go into town tomorrow."
"That or starve." John replied.
"They make me so angry!" James kicked a nearby tree.
"Yes, but anger will get us nowhere." John stated blankly.
More sensible again. James thought. "We should go hunting for some dinner tonight. We still have our bows."
"It's nearly time for more arrows, though." John said thoughtfully.
James put his head in his hands, "How are we going to pay for all this? We work for food, but what about weapons and supplies? What will we do?"
"It's not like this is the first times this has happened. Three months ago we had absolutely nothing." John said.
"And we're nowhere near to something." James stubbornly replied.
"But we survive each day. We have our own little world. Here in the forest, we are in charge. The only time we have to go anywhere is when guards chase us out, or when we need supplies that we can't make." John smiled cockily and leaned against a tree. "Our life is good."
John smiled and began to walk away. "Come on, we have hunting to do!"
James began to smile then stopped, "Hey look! I found our clippers!"
"Good! You need a hair cut."
The twins came back from hunting, tired, defeated, and empty handed. Sadly, the guards weren't the only things the fire scared away, all wildlife was miles from here. They had gone as far as they dared, and had been forced to make nights camp hardly a half of a mile inside of the forest. This was defiantly pushing their luck.
"We'll move tomorrow, don't worry. This way we're nearly in town already. It will be a short walk tomorrow."
"A short walk to a quick death." John said collapsing and holding his still empty belly. "What convinced us that we could go into town. Maybe you should go alone?"
"We stay together." James commanded. He then proceeded to make his bed. Just as they were nearly comfortable, the ground was cleared, and nearly ready for bed, a loud thunder clap rippled through the sky.
"Perfect!" James mumbled.
"I should have paid more attention! Let's try to make some sort of shelter; it's bad to be out in the rain."
The boys rose again to tired feet and started lashing together branches into a crud tent. James covered the tent with both their blankets hoping it would keep the rain out.
"Give me the flint stones, I'll start a fire."
John nodded and tossed the flint stones to James, who began to work on the fire. The rain started slowly at first, the poured onto their crud shelter somehow finding its way through every hole in it. The boys huddled together unable to sleep, just thankful for the fire.
"Look," James cried peering out into the storm. "a deer!" Sure enough the figure of a deer filled the clearing. John grabbed his bow.
"Are you crazy?" John yelled above the storm. "You could get killed out there!"
"I know, but we need food, I'll shoot it then we can get its meat later."
"Is that even safe?" John asked, but James was already to far away to hear. Sighing, John grabbed his bow and followed.
James strung his bow and pulled back the string aiming at the deer. It's was pure luck that the deer was even standing still, he didn't want to miss. Closing one eye James prepared to let go.
Suddenly, and noise filled the clearing, the deer startled and jumped, then was gone. James looked to see what had made the cry, and in the rain he could just barely make out a figure of a worn out girl, sopping wet and clutching something.
Without thinking, James crawled closer until he could see her more clearly. The lightning aloud no details, only the form a thin girl who seemed very upset. James stepped into the clearing so that the girl could see him, and pulled back the bow.
"Stand, Stranger!" he commanded. The girl spun around and seemed lost. She just stood there looking at him, and then suddenly she fainted. James released and dropped the bow, then ran to her side.
"John, help me out!" He cried, and in moments, John was there to help.
Thanks again, and please review!
Enchantedwriter72 (and her merry men)