A Tail of Sherwood part thirteen: The End

Fiction By LoriAnn // 2/4/2012

  

“Draw your sword, sir!” I menaced Robin with a spoon, and he snatched up a long loaf of bread to defend himself.

En garde, my lady!”

“Children, children…” Friar Tuck’s ever-patient voice called from inside the cave, where he was checking Much’s leg. Hopefully, the young miller’s son would be up and about soon.

I laughed and snatched the loaf away from Robin and took a large bite out of it. “Mm,” I mumbled around the bite. “Widow Della is amazing.” It came out more like “Wih-oh ‘Ewwa ih ama’in’.”

Rob tugged the bread back away from me and laid it on the table, then pounced on me and tickled my ribs until tears ran from my eyes.

“Stop it, stop it!” I shouted, squirming away from him. He let me up, and grinned. “Widow Della may be amazing,” he said, “But she doesn’t hold a candle to a certain arrow girl I know.”

I felt heat rise from my face and looked down. “Thanks for rescuing me, Rob,” I said softly.

He just smiled, and took my paw to help me up. We walked from the sunny clearing into the green shadows of the woods, clasping paws and listening to the birdsong. My heart felt full—even if my head was still racing. There was still such a mess to clean up after Duke Chantille’s death. The explanation we had carefully spread around town was that the Duke had attacked me and Rob had saved me from his clutches. Most people seemed to buy it—the Duke wasn’t exactly popular—though his butler had vanished and no one knew where to. Robin suspected he had gone back to Prince John’s court—but there was no way to prove that.

Father had already forgotten about the Duke entirely. It almost made me glad for his forgetfulness, though I still worried about him. Robin had ordered young Richard to help me with managing the household, at least for a while.

We hoped, of course, that King Richard would return soon. When he did, Robin could be pardoned from the charges that the Sheriff and Prince John had trumped up, and then we could be married—we didn’t talk about it, but it was in the way Robin looked at me sometimes, so sad and yet happy too. And it was in the ring he gave me—nothing fancy, just a small iron band that slipped onto my claw and nearly hid itself in the fur of my paw.

“It’s an arrowhead,” he had said when he gave it to me. "I beat it into a ring myself." It may have looked like a ring, but what it really was was a promise. A promise that, no matter where I went, Rob would protect me.

Someday, we would be together. Someday, King Richard would return and life would grow right again. Rob and I would be married, his band of outlaws would be pardoned and could return to their families, and we would live happily ever after. That would not come until a long way in the future, I knew.

But I had no doubt that it would come. Someday.

Comments

Awww

I wanted a wedding, but this will have to do for now.

Julie | Sat, 02/04/2012

Formerly Kestrel

Hmmm...

...Good falling action, but...
We still don't know what the Duke whispered to Robin.  Since this question went unanswered, I can only assume that you intend to write a sequal (and soon, I hope!).

James | Sat, 02/04/2012

<><~~~~~~~~~~~~><>
"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

About that...

You want the honest to goodness truth?

I don't know what the duke said.

I wrote this over the summer, writing in a notebook that I then lost for a good four months. When I wrote that scene, I knew exactly what Chantille said, but I didn't write the last part until after I found the notebook. At which point I had completely forgotten what dasterdly last-breath threat the Duke had breathed. So...while I may at some point add to this story, I doubt it. This may very well go down as my own "what's on page 47" moment. Sometime in the distant future, some literary critic will read this and try to imbue it with all sorts of meaning, but the actual fact of the matter is that I don't know what the Duke said any more than you do. It will have to remain Robin's secret. :D

LoriAnn | Sat, 02/04/2012

 I always figured he just

 I always figured he just whispered a word that you didn't feel would be appropriate to write down.

Good conclusion to a good story. I like the "Happily ever after...?" ending better than the cliche wedding-happily ever after ending anyway.

Leinad K. Romethe (not verified) | Sun, 02/05/2012

Liked

I like the ending, although it seems a little quick. Marion says there was a mess to clean up, but it feels rather tidy. And I don't mind having to imagine the future... That's what imagination (and fanfiction) are for.

Anna | Sun, 02/05/2012

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

Well that was adorable :)

Well that was adorable :)

Erin | Wed, 02/08/2012

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Lovely story. Go Robin Hood.

Lovely story. Go Robin Hood. What else is there left to say?

Kay J Fields | Fri, 02/10/2012

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