Marian dove out the Mustang’s right-side passenger door, painfully hit the embankment, and inelegantly rolled and tumbled down the slope. She finally came to a stop, her nose a few inches from cow flop. Motivated by the unpleasant odor, she crawled into the nearby dense growth of dry foliage–nettles stabbing and pricking her–dried grasses and weeds dusting her with seed heads.
The Mustang stopped and backed up near where she exited. Her captor got out of the Mustang and stood on the embankment. Even with sunglasses it was apparent the sun’s glare was hampering his visual search. Marian watched him light a cigarette and try making a call on his cell phone. She could see that the glare obstructed his view of the phone’s screen. He headed back to the Mustang, but not before flicking the cigarette, that landed about three feet from her. Marian couldn’t move while he was still there, not even to put out the small fire that was growing. He was sitting in the Mustang while the county could go up in flames because she wouldn’t stomp out the fire and expose herself.
Finally, the Mustang pulled away. Marian waited for him to go around the curve and then headed for the fire. It took her a few minutes and a pair of expensive sandals to extinguish it. Despite the glare, she was able to study the area. There were a few cows scattered around the field, and a small lake. There were expansive woodlands not far from her. Marian saw a small town from the Mustang, maybe five or six miles back. She couldn’t travel on the road out in the open, so she had to negotiate the woodlands–in burnt sandals.
It was almost dusk when Marian reached the village of Edwinstowe in Nottinghamshire. Marian recognized the name, Nottingham. from books and movies. Then it dawned on her–the woodlands she tramped through, climbing over fallen trees, tripping over huge roots; muddying her feet–it had to be Sherwood Forest! Marian Nordland was actually in the Forest where Robin Hood and his Merry Men had lived. She was so distracted by her thoughts, she didn’t notice the Mustang closing in on Edwinstowe. At last, Marian gazed at the roadway and saw the Mustang. She ran behind the pub looking for a place to hide. Then she spoke out loud, imploring the empty sky…
“Gods of my ancestors, please send me back to Robin Hood and his Merry Men in Sherwood Forest. If I stay here I will die…”
Immediately the sky darkened. Upwardly billowing clouds rapidly grew by great swelling surges. There was thunder, grumbling and growling. A lightning bolt struck inside the forest. Marian expected to see fire– another bolt of lightning struck Marian. She was out cold as the clouds disappeared; the rumblings ceased and the sky cleared.
It was early morning in Sherwood Forest and Friar Tuck was dressing the burns left her by the lightning. He had cut off the piece of her garment that was still smoking from the lightning strike. He thought she was such a beauty and with the blond hair and unusual clothing, she could be a Viking maiden of nobility–perhaps, a princess…
Startled by the Friar’s ministrations, Marian sat up, eyes wide open. Seeing who could only be Friar Tuck, Marian started to scream but the Friar covered her mouth with his hand and explained how she came to be in his care. Once he removed his hand, Marian rapidly asked questions. She needed validation that she was actually in Sherwood Forest in the time of Robin Hood. The Friar provided her with that validation. Somehow, what she believed were mythical gods, heard her plea. She felt like screaming again. Friar Tuck gave her a pint of his “brew” to help settle her nerves. Quickly, and without incident, Marian passed out.
Marian woke to the smell of cooking. She was starving. The realization that she went back in time suddenly hit her like a ton of bricks. She wouldn’t have a cell phone, internet, cable TV; bookstores, ATM’s, cheeseburgers and fries; pizza, ice cream…no electricity! The alternative was quite worse: hunted down, maybe tortured but eventually killed. Such was the danger of being a high-level, contract thief, who hooked up with the wrong kind of client–the murderous kind.
Marian mourned for all her money in the off-shore bank accounts and longed for a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia. Then she heard men shouting–shouting greetings and cheering. Tuck ran inside to tell her that Robin Hood had returned. She would finally meet the hero of her childhood. She rose from the thing Tuck laughingly called a bed, and walked outside with Friar Tuck, whose belief that she was Viking nobility, suited her just fine, as long as she wasn’t called “Maid” Marian.
And so, Lady Marian met Robin the Hood and his Merry Men. Incredibly, not for the first time…
Once More with Feeling #19 at Cognitive Reflection
Photo Prompt: Credit Helen Boyd
Word Count: 814
Many thanks to moi for hosting Once More with Feeling