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Tears blurred her vision, making sight practically impossible. Not that there was much to see anyhow. There was just a plain room with a wooden bed and stone walls. The small torches farther down into the dungeon provided almost no light and very little comfort. Her fate was no longer in her hands. Thinking back was almost to painful to even consider. Why had she trusted him? Was it her will to help others? Or had her intentions been blinded by love? These dire questions haunted her as she awaited her death.
“Can’t catch me Robin!” Alexandra Ceymore squealed. “Face it, I’m too fast for you!”
“Never! Alex, I have always beat you and I always will!” Robin Hood shot back. The two best friends chased each other down to the creek, running and carefree as any other 11 year olds. Alex knew perfectly well that Robin could beat her in a footrace, although, she would never admit it.
“Alex, why do you even try when it is obvious you will never win?” Robin inquired. Alex’s brow furrowed as she tried to think of a clever comeback.
“At least we both know that I am your superior when it comes to sword fighting!” Alex replied. Now it was Robin’s turn to frown.
“Very well, if you are as skilled as you are cocky, I challenge thee, Alexandra Ceymore, to a duel!” Robin declared. Alex winced at hearing her full name.
“I accept your challenge Robin Hood! On guard!” Both picked up a flimsy tree branch and swung at one another with the grace and skill of a lame donkey. After a grueling two minutes, Alex knocked the stick from Robin’s hand.
“Aha! You have been bested by the great and mighty Alex Ceymore!”
She said, purposely not using her full name. Rolling his eyes and sighing, Robin surrendered. “Fine, but that was a lucky shot! You won’t be so fortunate next time!’ Just as Alex was about to reply, they were interrupted by a shrill scream. Looking at each other, Robin cried, “Come; let us find this Damsel in distress!” Alex eagerly nodded. Following Robin downstream toward the scream, Alex couldn’t help but feel a little excited that they would be going on their first real rescue. She was so focused on her thoughts, she almost ran over the “distressed damsel”. What Robin and Alex were hoping to be a grand rescue, turned out to be a little snake.
Backed up against the tree, stood a young girl, who couldn’t be much older then Alex and Robin. Dressed in a pink frilly dress with yellow ribbons and golden curls atop her head, they encountered Merrian for the first time, but certainly not the last.
“AHHHHHH!” She screamed again. Pointing and hyperventilating, the girl looked at the tiny garter snake as if it were a dragon. Both Robin and Alex rolled their eyes.
“Why are you so scared, it’s just a little snake?!” Robin yelled over her screams.
“It could bite me! I could die!” The girl pointed out with exasperation. Alex and Robin could not help but snicker at the girl’s stupidity. She was clearly from the other side.
On the other side of the little river, was where the nobles lived. In the center of their town stood an enormous palace. Under the watchful eye or Good King Rickard, the town had thrived. Over on the other side of the river (known as Sherwood Forest) poverty and desperation ruled the village. The two sides did not mix.
“What are you doing over here.” Robin stated coolly.
“ That is none of your business!” Merrian replied.
“Wait a minute, I know who you are! Your Maid Merrian, Your father is King Richard’s Chief Advisor!” Alex exclaimed. A slow smile played across Merrian’s plush lips. Choosing her words carefully, she replied “Why yes indeed. And who exactly have I had the privilege of meeting?”
“I’m Robin and that’s Alex.” Robin answered.
“I see. You apparently have not had the… er… privilege of meeting King Richard.” Merrian pursed her lips. “Now if you will excuse me, I have much more important things to do.
Alex and Robin looked at each other skeptically; after all, what “important things” could an eleven year old have to do? They decided to think nothing of their little encounter. Little did they know, this little encounter was about to change their very lives.