The aroma of warm porridge oats cooking woke me up. I breathed in the sweet-smelling porridge and smiled happily. Then I remembered last night's drama.
I sat up straight. Scarlett was stirring the huge pot of porridge and Jo was firing arrows at the target in the corner. I breathed a sigh of relief. Everything was normal and nobody suspected a thing.
I scrambled to my feet and sauntered over to where Scarlett was cooking the porridge.
"Porridge again, I believe," I commented, eyeing the creamy mixture inside. Scarlett rolled her eyes at me. I grinned as she scooped up a spoonful of it and handed it to me. I put it in my mouth and savoured the rich, milky taste. Ooh, how much I loved Scarlett's cooking!
I ran lightly over to the rock wall and hoisted myself up onto the edge of the tunnel. There were no signs of other people disturbing it. I breathed a sigh of relief and jumped back down.
I ambled across to the fire, where Scarlett was dishing out the porridge. I grabbed a bowl and a spoon and helped myself to a large portion of porridge. Dunking my spoon in, I spooned up a mouthful of it and nibbled at the edges. The warm, lumpy bits washed down my throats. Eventually, I devoured the whole spoonful.
I got to my feet and jogged over to our own miniature pool over on the far side of the clearing. It was full of fresh, clean water which we washed ourselves, the cooking utensils and cutlery in. Also, we cleaned our clothes and blankets in there if they got dirty. Which they did quite often.
"Right," I announced, washing my bowl. "What are we going to do today?"
"I heard that yesterday afternoon, the King's nephew came all the way from France to stay with him for a few weeks. Today, the King's hosting a massive fair with music, entertainment and lots of stalls. He's invited the whole village so that means that the village will be empty for the whole day!" Jo recalled proudly.
"A perfect opportunity to strike for food," Scarlett added greedily. I rubbed my hands, an evil smile spreading across my face.
"Well, what are we waiting for? Let's grab our weapons and go!" I declared. I sprinted over to the smouldering fire and put my bowl down on the log. Picking up a pail of water, I poured it over the fire.
Putting it down, I grabbed my arrow pouch and slung it over my shoulder. Taking my bow, I dashed over to where Jo was pushing Scarlett up the rock face. I shook my head, smiling. Was I the only one who could get up there single-handedly? Mind you, I've lived in the forest all my life. I was born an outlaw.
Finally, they were both up there. Chucking the bow over the top, I placed my hands on the top of the rock and heaved myself over. I ducked low as I entered through the tunnel. Seizing my bow, I shuffled along the narrow passageway. Reaching the moss curtain, I hurled it aside, sung my legs around so that they were dangling down and leapt down.
I stood up straight and brushed myself down. No scratches, no bruises. Good. I followed Scarlett and Jo as they crept silently through the forest. Faint sounds could be heard but we were very careful where to step, especially on a day like today. The King would want no outlaws ruining an event like this.
Suddenly, we started to run. We ran as fast as cheetahs, ourselves a blur as we slipped in an out of the drooping trees. Nobody could catch us now; we were on fire. All of a sudden, Scarlett stopped as quick as a flash. Then Jo stopped and finally I stopped. We crouched down and watched as two guards patrolled the border of the forest.
"Darn it," Scarlett cursed. "We'll never get past these guys." I tried to hatch a plan but my mind was blank. These guards were too used to what schemes we carried. But suddenly, a idea popped into my head.
"When I say run, run past those two trees," I muttered, pointing at the furthest two trees. Jo nodded and Scarlett gave me the thumbs up. Silently, I crept over to the closest tree, then another and another one.
I plucked an arrow out of my pouch and readied it in my bow. I aimed for a tree near where the guards were standing. I counted to three...then fired it. The arrow sliced through the air and hit the tree with some force. The guards immediately jumped back and grasped their swords.
I shot another arrow and another one straight after it onto a different tree
"Run," I whispered to Jo and Scarlett. They zipped through the forest as I continued to fire more arrows away from their exit. I led the guards all the way around, just before they were opposite to their start position. I then shot my last arrow and sprinted towards the exit, unnoticed.
I ran out into a cornfield, where Scarlett an Joanna were waiting.
"Thanks Robyn, you were great," said Joanna. I grinned and put both of my arms around the two girls.
"Well, what can I say? I am the best archer in town," I boasted, grinning. Two smacks on the head shut me up. We raced through the cornfield, ducking every time we thought we saw someone. As we neared the end of the immense cornfield, I caught sight of more guards, speedwalking towards the forest.
"Quick," I hissed. "Duck!" I crouched down low beneath the tall stems of corn. I kept moving forward, following Scarlett and Jo through the maze of corn. The guards hadn't noticed us yet, thank goodness, but they were still looking out for any trespassers among them.
We eventually exited the corn field and came upon an empty road. Silence hung in the air as we traipsed along the road. It was so quiet, you'd think that the world had fallen asleep. I wandered along, observing the hundreds of houses that were sat on either side of the road. They looked dull and bleak and boring. Nothing special just homes for the poor. The houses for the rich, though, were ones to stare at.
We soon came across the town square, as empty and as quiet as can be. All the shops were shut and the maypole in the middle had it's coloured ribbons twirling in the wind. Bunting tied above the lamp-posts streamed out through the wind and distant sounds of music and laughter and dogs barking could be heard.
"Guys, over 'ere," I heard Scarlett yell. I raced across the town square to where Scarlett had her face pressed against a shop window.
"Look at those sausage rolls. Oh, and look at the loaves of bread. So fresh, so divine," she mumbled, dreamily. I sniggered, but they did look amazing. My head started whirring and a sneaky plot formed in my head.
"Oi, Jo. Have you got your tool kit?" I questioned, devilishly. Jo produced a small pouch, containing many useful tools. I fished in there for a certain tool. Finally, I pulled it out. Scarlett gasped. Jo gaped. I grinned wickedly. I stalked over to the door and put the tool to the bolt. Bringing up one of the long metal poles, I slammed it down on the bolt. It snapped with a loud crack and the door swung slightly open. I dragged the door back and strolled in.
I was an outlaw and proud to be one.