Breaking Ground 105 Arts - Outlawed

by Corin Sharp

Corin turned 11 years old on March 18, 2021. He has been diagnosed with ADHD, as well as autism. He loves to read and write, and is creating a world of his own. He is the son of Council staff member Jolene Sharp.

Now upon a time, under the rule of King Edward III, there lived within the green glades of Greenshade Forest, near Shanard Town, a dark outlaw whose name was Ryven. No swordsman ever lived that could swing a sword with such skill and cunning as his, nor were there ever such yeomen as the sevenscore men about him. Right truly, they dwelt in Greenshade Forest, suffering neither fear nor overconfidence, but passing time dealing punishments and rewards, and living off their superior skill and cunning like none ever could.

Now, these men were kind and served the people, outlaws though they were. They dwelt apart from others, and none knew them but their own. They wore garments of dark blue, and cloaks of dark green. They were once men that were loved, one and all; lo, they fell afoul of the people, and the favor no longer rested on their shoulders.

Not only were these men outlaws, but they were thieves, and types of criminals by the numbers. Yet the people who knew of them loved them, for no one ever was made poor and lived life of it.

And now I will tell of how it first came that Ryven fell afoul of the people.

When Ryven was a youth of only thirteen, dark of manner, yet bold of heart, a ceremony of a sort was to be held at the castle of Shanard. “Now,” quoth Ryven, “will I too plod along that way, for I have business of other sort there.” So, he prepared, and off he went, from his home of Dawsmith Town, through the Monsay Forest, to arrive at Shanard.

Along his path, the trees now thick around him as he trudged the unused path through Monsay. Ryven came across a group of men, each armed with a sword, sitting around a stump.

“Halloa, where goest thou, lad, with rags and a dark look?” one called to Ryven.

“Now,” quoth Ryven in response, “Thine business of whatever sort hath not be meddling with mine, therefore shove thy tongue in thy mouth, lest I do it for thee.”

“Ho, hear the lad! Watch out for thine tongues, men!” came the mocking reply.

“And what hath thee for wager, lest thee have none?” quoth Ryven, not shaken by mockery by the littlest quantity.

“Thou hath none to wager yourself, so be the most likely,” laughed the first who had spoken. “Thee hath none, therefore wager none!”

“Now what know ye, so sure of thy speech?” quoth Ryven. “For surely thy words hath more than pure anger?”

Suddenly one of the group cried, “Ho, men, why hath we grown hot of anger, and let the fool taunt us, while a solution lies before us? A challenge, each man wager a bet, lest the fool know too well his folly for accepting?”

“Folly indeed! Nay, the folly lies with thee for thine own mistakes,” laughed Ryven, free of care.

“I’ll wager he could never shoot a squirrel from thirty feet!” cried one man.

Ryven, free of anger, care, or other things to drive him to folly, laughed at the wager. “No better a wager can be made! But I am no fool, with a stone for a heart. Therefore, have another go, and make it quick, for my time grows short.”

Now, Ryven knew that their heads were spinning with ale, and that their anger was barely inside them, and that their weakness had been shown. He was not a lad of brawn, yet he made up with his brain.

“Nay! Thou art a coward, and thy only wish to escape!” yelled the apparent leader.

Of anger, the men rose, and charged after Ryven, but he only leaped upon the branches of the tree with ease, and dropped behind the men, and ran along the path, once again, on his way.