Today I feel like staying inside and doing nothing what-so-ever::so I know I'll end up in the car doing errands.

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2003-06-01 @ 10:51 a.m.
The short story "The Highwaymen" by Stephanie Martin

This was written by my daughter for an Engish assignment. She is 13 at the time she wrote this. She just turned 14 last month. It's called. "The Highwaymen"

I sat on a bumpy rock on the outskirts of Redspire with my five fellow brigands, eating the burnt leftovers of last nights dinner. My fellows laugh loudly from their own drunkenness. I alone watch the morning sunrise and listen to the birds high whistling.

I slowly stand up, stretching tired limbs. I casually knocked Patito to the ground as he tried to steal the food off my plate. Nothing unusual. Walking over to the hot coals of the fire, I dumped the food back into the pot for the men to fight over. They lunged at it like they were starving, but were well fed most of the time. �Greedy bastards.� I muttered under my breath.

Pulling on my old armor I get ready for the day. The armor was a bit loose in some places and tight in others, I really needed to get better armor. Maybe a nice passerby would have the right fit.

Squinting into the distance, looking for someone to liberate a few things from, I see no one as of yet. So back to camp, I do my morning command for the men to get them off their rumps and into some kind of shape. After a half of an hour of exercising in full armor, we heard, far off, distant hoof-beats coming near at a fast pace.

Yes! We got company!!

We took hold of our swords and shields and waited quietly for the opportune moment. �He�s got a gun boys.� I whispered to the men as we hid behind some boulders. All we had for weapons were rapiers, broad swords, short swords and of course everyone had a dagger. But, along with my rapier, I had a bow with a quiver full of fine arrows probably worth more than my armor.

�I�m gonna try to take him out with arrow.� I told the men. My armor being a light form, I rolled behind a bush where I could see better, I pulled out an arrow and knocked it. Sighting down my arm I raised the bow to hit for the mans chest. Letting out a deep breath I loosed the arrow. The man yelled out and fell from his horse. My men grabbed the horse�s reins and calmed the beast while I casually walked up to the fallen Red.

Holding my bow in one hand and pulling my rapier out with the other, I smiled down at the man. �Good�ay sir� I said as if we were in a pub. � I see you�ve got my arrow.� I tapped my foot on the end of the arrow shaft, making the man wince. �Now wot are ye doin� out here alone on a day like this?� My men howled with laughter. I do try to please the crowd.

Sweat had started to collect on the man�s forehead. �I�ll see you hanged, scoundrel.� He said to me.

�I don�t think so.� I said, rubbing my chin for a minute then I thrusting my rapier into his chest. Giving it that added twist to make sure he stayed dead. Laughing to myself I wiped the rapier on the grass and cleaned the arrow, putting both away. I turned back to my men who watched me silently. Guess I frighten them when I momentarily go insane. Oh well.

Looting the man of his clothing, money and all other valuables, we tossed his body into the nearby river.

It had been a long morning. Yawning after our midday meals we bowed our heads to nap

With a snort I woke up, muttering to myself as I felt someone kick my leg. Thinking it was Rolf or someone else I opened my mouth to yell at him. It sure as hell wasn�t Rolfie.

I glared up at the man above me, looming was more like it. I looked at the sky behind him, it was still a little light, we had slept longer than usual. Did I forget a guard? Damn!

Five other men had collected around him all wearing redcoats. Bloody Hell!

I sneered up at them �What brings you to our humble abode?� Nothing like humor when someones gonna die. One of them punched me hard in the jaw. I spat blood onto the ground. Good, no teeth. �We think you�ve visited Charles.�

I blinked and looked up at the leader. �Who in the nine hells is Charles?� I asked. I thought maybe it was the man swimming with the little fishes, but hey, stall for as long as you can.

The leader tilted back his head and laughed, sounding like a Donkey. �You do have a sense of humor. So do I. � Quick glint of light in the dark, joined with a small explosion of sound. Papito�s body crumpled to the ground next to me. I didn�t really like the man much anyways, but hey, he was one of MINE.

I tried to move my arms but found they were bound nicely behind my back. �Now gentlemen, be sportsmen like, having me tied up isn�t quite fair.� I looked up at them calmly. One of the men behind the leader snorted. Then someones foot lashed out and sent me into darkness.

I woke up, eyes fluttering open then shut. I groaned and lifted my head. Three of my men were collapsed beside me, a few foot lengths away. I looked about and saw we were inside a dark, very cold room. There was a Redcoat sleeping in a chair beside the barred door. We were in a jail. I scooted over to see if our weapons were anywhere in sight. The man (idiot) was using them for a footstool. Great, just great.

I sat with my forehead against the wall and closed my eyes. Pulling and tugging, slowly against the ropes binding my hands. Must have been about ten, fifteen minutes, but my hands came loose. I felt against the side of my right leg, feeling for the lock picking kit I always kept there. It was still there, yes, the day was looking up.

I crawled back to the door and glanced at the man, he was asleep. I looked down the passageway, no other. Gee....aren�t we dangerous? I nearly laughed but decided that was a bad idea. I sat on my butt and started to pick the locks. Not even keeping track of how much time passed, I heard the faint click of the lock releasing. The Redcoat stirred a little, snorted and turned his head. I eased the door softly open and sneaked out silently. (Thank you Daddy for being a thief) I pulled out a small dagger at the foot of the pile on the ground, glad for the bear they serve the Reds. I grabbed his head and pressed it against my chest. Giving him time to see me, I grinned evilly down at him. �Sweet dream.� I whispered in his ear. Slitting his throat, letting the blood run down his shirt, red on red, oh the irony of it. No time for giggles.

I tapped my three remaining men and woke them up, motioning for them to get the best weapons to fight with. I grabbed my bow and rapier again, and we slinked down the passageway. Grabbing a Redcoat turning the corner I slammed his head into the wall, nice cracking sound. I looked around another corner and cursed under my breath. Five of the Reds. I pointed to the ones my men should take out, I was going to be lucky and get two, woot.

I stopped my men with a hand and pulled an arrow out. Almost humming, I shot a man in the back of the neck as he was so obliging as to be standing away from me. Then pulling out my sword I commanded, �Come on fellas.� We rushed the Reds before they had a chance to yell. My Redcoat had a clean death, followed almost as fast by Rolf.

Lecrashe was having problems with his. I turned to help and attack but was too late. The man stabbed Lecrashe through the chest with a short sword.

�Bastard!� I screamed and rushed him, sending both of us to the floor. I raised my little dagger and lodged it into his eye. Grabbing Lecrashe�s broad sword laying beside us, I pushed it through his stomach. Pushing the blade into the earth beneath him.

I smacked Rolf upside the head as he stood there staring. Stupid man, I thought he�d died. �Come on!� I yelled and we burst through the opening, with the hollers of Reds and sounds of guns behind us. We sprinted into the woods and tumbled behind a big thicket of bushes. We listened to the Redcoats running in an opposite direction. Waiting tensely for what seemed forever, I finally thought it was safe. Looking up int the sky I watched the stars. This had been a bad day.

I stood up, dusting myself off. I turned around and looked down at Rolf. �Want to have some revenge?� I asked him. He looked up at me, mud smeared across one cheek.

�Hell yeah.� He stood up and we shook on it, then we embraced like old brothers.

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