Introducing the Woman in Scarlet and Little Joan (excerpt)

She was known as the woman in scarlet, a whore that could be had for a coin or two.  Only a handful of people knew her as Wilma.  None but she knew that she was the daughter of Robert FitzOdo de Loxley and a scullery maid.  Wilma had been peddled into prostitution when she was nine to aid in funding FitzOdo’s campaign to win back land and title.  He sold her maidenhead to a fat lord in Lincoln that ran a brothel where she was put to work.  The fat Lord knew the truth of her heritage, but he was dead.  The woman in scarlet had blood on her hands, but not that of the fat lord.

“I don’t know why we have to leave Skelbrooke,” said the big boned girl with straw yellow hair traveling with Wilma.

“The village is no longer safe Joan,” said the woman in scarlet.

Wilma looked to Joan as a mother would a daughter, but the girl was not her daughter.  A monk had rescued the girl from being tossed into the oubliette in Lincoln when she was a babe.  The monk had explained the girl was the product of a union between John de Lacy 2nd Earl of Lincoln and Alice, daughter of Gilbert, Lord of L’Aigle.  When Alice died in 1216, John de Lacy wanted to erase the painful memory of his wife’s passing and so ordered the child be thrown into the oubliette.  Others say the babe’s death was ordered to clear the way for de Lacy to take a new wife, which he did.  The holy man entrusted the women in scarlet to raise the child and keep her safe.  Wilma was eighteen at the time and ever since she did what she could to do just that.  As the seasons passed, the girl matured quickly in body.  The woman in scarlet’s commitment to the girl’s safety was complicated by the girl sprouting up and blossoming prematurely.  With the exception of her chubby cheeks, Joan looked more women that child.  She stood a whole head taller and her bosom already larger than Wilma’s.

The girl did not understand.  She was still too tender in years despite a body that said otherwise to the eyes of lustful men.  The woman in scarlet knew well from experience that a girl of nine was not ready for the attentions of men, no matter how developed her body.

“Richard was nice,” said Joan.

“Too nice,” Wilma snarled.

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A Robin Hood Tale Like No Other

Like an arrow shot from a bow, “The Gest of Robyn Hode and Little Joan According to Alaina of Dale” flies swiftly, arcs gently and hits the mark. This reinventing of Robin Hood takes the titular character back to their roots in the early ballads, but with a twist. Robyn is a girl that identifies as a boy. Little Joan is a nine year old girl cared for by Wilma the woman in scarlet. They are joined by Much, the developmentally challenged miller’s son and Tuch, a forest priest in haircloth alb. Banding together they forge out a living in the greenwood as outlaws and their adventures would become legend.

Coming June 1st 2019

“The Gest of Robyn Hode and Little Joan According to Alaina of Dale”

By T J Therien

 

The story, as you know it, is a lie. Learn the true origins of the Robin Hood Legend in this fast paced Novella.

 

Disclaimer: The Gest of Robyn Hode and Little Joan According to Alaina of Dale is a work of fiction

Robyn Hode Cover

An Excerpt from Crossing Main by T J Therien

They closed down the Asylum on the outskirts of town a few years back. Would you believe they just released the patients? Just like that, people who had been institutionalized for large chunks of their lives were rubberstamped “Sane” and turned out onto the streets. It’s not like they had been cured, or anything, far from it. In fact, all their phobias and neurosis remained intact. In some cases their “Isms” were exasperated by the sudden change in their environment. For the most part, the former patients were not equipped with the skills they needed to survive in the real world. As a result most took to wandering the streets by day and sleeping on benches or in back alleys at night.

Being adjacent to the Madhouse, our sleepy little town felt the brunt when it was shut down. We were close enough in proximity that our town became a magnet for the former patients. The “Crazies,” as the townsfolk affectionately called them although some of the more eccentric earned their own little monikers like “Odd Todd” and “Slow Joe.” Really, for the most part they were harmless enough and posed no real danger. Still, nobody knew what to do about the problem. At first, police would round them up, but because they didn’t belong in jail and because there was nowhere else to keep them, once again they were just released. Homelessness became epidemic. Sure, we always had a couple of drunks and ne’er do wells, but nothing like after they closed the Mental Hospital.

So much like other callous cost cutting measures that fray the fabric of society, the powers that be gave little thought to the consequences of fiscal austerity. This should surprise nobody. Empathy and compassion are traits possessed by too few politicians and government workers. Common sense and good conscience are seldom criteria for policy, nor are they qualifiers in the decision making process. Shutting down the Mental Hospital was just a classic case of saving a few nickels and dimes at the expense of our humanity. It’s all about dollars, not sense.

Residents petitioned the politicians, first at the local level, then to the State and lastly to the Fed. Each in turn passed the buck to the next until it circled around to the first and the process began all over again. In the end nothing was done. The townsfolk gradually accepted the quirky ensemble of former patients squatting in the streets.

The good folk of our town did what good folk do, short of taking the former patients into their own homes. They did no more than they did for the drunkards and ne’er do wells. Good folk are almost always long on good intentions, but when it comes down to it, they don’t really want to get their hands dirty and people are messy, especially the mentally ill. So it fell to charity to care for these poor people and we all know the result that reaps. Instead of putting money directly to solutions Charities buy band aids with the money that’s left over after the marketing campaigns and salaries are paid. Like really, has any Charity ever cured any social ail? And so the problem persisted.

This is why no one took notice of the shabby man shuffling down the main drag with an old apple-crate tucked under his arm. Such sights had become so common-place in our sleepy little town that nobody discerned anything different from the shabby stranger and the other “Crazies.” He was just another invisible man, a stench that people sidestep to avoid the smell sticking to them. Those who did see him shot him looks of derision as he waded through the pedestrian traffic at the busiest time of the day.