Deleted Scene #3 — Chapter 1: Will Scarlet


By R.M. ArceJaeger


Copyright © 2012 by R.M. ArceJaeger
All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

This story is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Published by Platypus Press


Please do not read this scene unless you have read the book, as even early pieces may contain
later spoilers!


Author’s Note


This scene was an early version of Chapter 1: Archery Opening. The focus here was to establish Robin’s childhood and her relationship with her family, and especially with Will. It was never completed.


Deleted Scene #3 — Chapter 1: Will Scarlet



The arrow lodged itself firmly in the black eye of the target; Robin scowled at her bow stave in disgust. Although it was impossible to tell at this distance, Robin knew that her shaft had missed the center. Her cousin, Will, knew it too and smiled wickedly at her displeasure.

“Is it not enough that your shooting beat mine yet again, little cousin? Must all your shots be perfect, too?”

“I would have them so,” Robin answered seriously. “But lately there just never seems to be time to practice.”

“You practice more than I do,” Will said, unstringing his bow as he walked towards the target, “and I don’t have Darah to contend with.”

Robin’s scowl deepened at the mention of the stern housekeeper, tasked with teaching Robin the rudiments of becoming a lady. She helped pluck the arrows from the butt with more force than was strictly necessary.

Robin barely remembered the time before Darah came to live with them, when her mother was still alive. Those memories she possessed were like dreams still trying to assert themselves in the golden light of morning. They were happy memories, full of laughter and gaiety, but they didn’t seem quite real. Much more vivid were her memories of the days that followed her mother’s death — the shuttered windows that proscribed any light from entering the house, the servants talking in hushed whispers and a silence, punctuated only by an infant’s wails. And herself, a small figure in her mind, wandering the halls alone and wondering why she could not see her father.

Young though she was, she had understood why her mother no longer greeted her in the mornings or took her riding in the afternoon. Death was a part of life, and even the smallest child understood that when the men with wooden boxes came to take someone away, the person inside was never coming back. But her father’s absence was a mystery to her, and her small scratchings at his chamber doors went unanswered.

Whatever others may say about her father, no one ever claimed he did not love her mother. For almost a month, he shut himself up in his chambers, barely eating, allowing those in his service to carry on unchecked. Eventually, he came to his senses and realized his household was in complete disarray, his tenants were becoming disaffected, and he had a five-year old daughter and an infant child who needed looking after.

That was when Darah came to live with them. Fortunately for Robin, someone else did, too.

Robin could see it as clearly as if it were happening now, the old cart shambling up the road to the manor, pausing only briefly to deposit several large sacks at the entrance and one boy, very pale, with hair redder than the wild berries that grow on the verge. It was Will, orphaned by the same plague that had killed her mother. She watched as her father, chewing on the ends of his moustache placed him in the care of his chief forester and promptly proceeded to forget about him.

Will stood at the entrance, watching the only connection with his past roll away into the afternoon in a choking cloud of dust. At least, that was the excuse he told himself for why his eyes were watering.

End Deleted Scene


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