Just thought book form will fit more
|Oct. 09: CONTEST ROUND: Protagonist Background Story
Note to self: She sneaks out at night as a boy hunting in the woods. Sometimes she goes to town running through the maze of alleys. Sometimes she just goes to sneak into Nottingham castle to just see if she can and then learns all the halls and secrets of the castle. Just an idea.
Drinly’s father wants her to marry someone of high status. They are a very poor family so it shouldn’t be hard to find men of higher status. The problem will be finding the one willing to take her as his wife with nothing from her but herself. Her father is a carpenter. Her mother was a ladies maid for many years and has now passed the job to her daughter who is now 18 years old. As a ladies maid Drinly often sees the men of Nottingham castle, the knights, the squires, the princes, the lords, the rangers, the priest, and sometimes even the outlaws brought to the prisons. When she speaks of the outlaws her father hushes her and asks her of the squires and lords. Adventures in spirit she never has much to say of the squires and lords, only having word of the knights, rangers, and outlaws.
Drinly slips into the maids dressing room and changes into her more comfortable wear of breeches and a shirt. She dashes out of the room and crashes into a ranger. With a yelp she lands on her backside. The man pulls her up and sets her on her feet.
“Easy boy you’ll get hur… oh, you're a girl. Accept my deepest apologies. My name is Will. Good evening.” Will dashes down the hall and out of sight. Drinly brushes off her shirt a smile frozen in place. What was he running from. Guards appear and ask if she had seen the man. She nods and points down the hall she had come from then dashes down the other after the mysterious man. Spotting him she dashes closer and ducks into a side room catching his jacket and pulling him inside.
“Shh,” She says as soldiers run by outside the door. “Where do you come from? What did you take?” He shows her a few coins.
“I do it for the poor,” He whispers. The man strides to the window and climbs onto it before looking back. “I come from Sherwood. Where we fight for the poor.” She slips out of the room as he disappears out the window.
“Father, father, I have a few coins, look. A man I saw today tucked them into my apron after I helped him.” Her father takes the coins and looks at Drinly.
“Was he a rich man, Drinly? Did he like you?”
“Oh no father, nothing of the sort. He was fleeing the guards and I helped him escape a passing patrol.”
“Drinly, why would you do such a thing?” He scolds. “This is stolen money.”
“But father we have nothing and the guards are coming to fetch the taxes. I saw them on my way home.”
“I will not allow stolen money to pay my taxes.”
But the prince is greedy, father he is hurting everyone.” He drops the money into a bucket and pushes Drinly towards her mother as a group of guards arrive on horseback.
“Hello Carpenter, the taxes are due.”
“Finton sir, if you would please allow me two days and I will pay you double the taxes.” The man snorts.
“Old man, you pay your taxes.”
“I have no money. Please Finton give me two days. You know I will pay.” The man drops from his horse and his men shove past the family into their home. Their belongings are thrown around the rooms and dishes are heard shattering. “Finton, you know I am an honest man I keep to my word. I have never once not paid my taxes.”
“Drudge, I can’t make an exception because you knew my father.” Drinly sobs in her mother’s arms as she watches them destroy her home. They exit empty handed and stand behind Finton. One of the men reports to the man in charge.
“Sir this was found hidden in a bucket inside.”
“Drudge, you lied. There is a punishment for holding back taxes and lying to the king's guards. You will be hanged for treason to the crown.”
“No, it’s mine, I hid it.” Drinly cries, freeing herself from her mother and stepping in front of her father.
“Drinly, no.” Her father says, too late. Finton backhands her and she crashes to the ground, her lip bloodied. Two men drag her to her feet.
“Take your filthy hands off my daughter.” Finton puts his hand on the hilt of his sword.
“Tell your men to unhand my daughter.”
“I can not do that Drudge. She has held back the property of the king and forced your hand in lying to the king.”
“I lied of my own free will, Finton.”
“Any father would lie to save his daughter, Drudge.” Drudge reaches for his bow near the door.
“Don’t do this, Drudge. Only bad things will happen and you won’t win this battle.” Drudge shakes his head.
“You will not take my daughter. He jumps for his bow and just as he reaches it an arrow pierces his chest. Drinly screams and her mother snatches a knife off the ground.
“You are no king’s guard.”
“Drinela, put the knife down. My man will kill you.” Drinela looks at Drinly and gives a small shake.
“You killed my husband and you will not take my daughter.” She reaches one of the men at Drinly’s side and stabs him in the leg with an arrow in her back. Drinly drops at her mother’s side sobbing and cradling her mother in her arms.
“No please no. It’s going to be okay, please don’t leave me.” Her mother touches her face gently before her eyes close. Drinly screams clutching her mother.
“Take the parents inside and burn the place.” Drinly hears faintly before someone grabs her and wrangles her away from her mother. A man drops from his horse in front of Finton.
“The girl she’s mine.”
“She is Prince John’s property. She is going to the dungeons.”
“Are you telling me no, boy?” Finton straightens angrily.
“I’m only following orders sir.”
“Well boy let’s get this straight. I give an order and it gets done no matter what your orders may have been.” Guy shoulders past the boy and wraps Drinly in his cloak and sets her onto his horse.
“Sir you can’t....”
“I will speak with the sheriff about the payment for your troubles.” Guy calls as he climbs up behind Drinly. She stares blankly at her home as it goes up in flames and the horse carries her away. She goes limp and Guy stops the horse. Drinly’s shoulders shake as she doubles over in his arms. Her sobs tear at his heart.
“What do you want from me?” She asks.
“I want you to stay in the castle with me.”
“You have no family left to go to. You have no home. I need a maid.” Drinly shakes her head in confusion. “What is your name?”