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Stories from the Verse
Verse Three, Chapter One
Chapter 29: Kondor 10
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Chapter 28, Hastings 10
Making the rest of his journey unhindered, Kondor stepped from the wood into an expanse of pasture. Sheep were grazing not far off the road, and within a couple miles was a group of buildings. He thought he must have lost the path. This surely couldn't be called a city; it was a large village, homes made of wood and stone with thatched roofs. The small stone building in their midst was the only thing that looked permanent; even the road on which he traveled was little more than a couple of wheel ruts, yet there was nothing much better in sight.
Leaving the path, he walked toward the shepherd, calling. "Excuse me! Excuse me! I seem to be a bit lost. Can you tell me where I am, and what that place is?"
The shepherd stared at him a moment, as if nothing he said made sense. Kondor realized it was the accent, so he tried something simpler, speaking slowly and pronouncing each word separately.
"Where am I?"
The young man seemed to understand that. Kondor struggled to decipher the reply. "You are in Nottinghamshire in England. That is Nottingham."
"Thank you," he replied before he had quite worked out all the words. He started walking toward the town as he thought. Nottinghamshire took him a bit of effort, but as he finally worked out how he would have pronounced that combination of letters, he stopped.
Nottingham. Men hidden in the woods. Primitive lifestyles. Someone named--it was Robin, wasn't it? Kondor realized where he was, or more importantly when. This was England, and King Richard must have been captured by someone, leaving Prince John in charge, and there was a wicked sheriff in Nottingham. But was Robin Hood legendary or mythical? That is, did he really ever exist? That suddenly seemed a moot question; in this world, clearly, he did exist, does in the present exist. How much of the stories were true and how much fiction? Maybe there is no fiction, he mused. Maybe everything ever imagined is true somewhere. Maybe I'm not even alive anymore, but existing in all the stories ever told. But Kondor felt alive, and knew that it was better to assume things were real and discover they were not than to depend on them being illusions and have them run you over. He had better find out more before he got into trouble.
He turned around and walked back into Sherwood Forest.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with the first six chapters of the novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #27: A Novel Continuation. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter.
As to the old stories that have long been here: