Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Hunt

Shara rode past me. She already had the beast in sight. I kicked my mount to go faster. Now that we had it, we could waste no time.

She shot up one, two, three arrows north, right in the clearing between the trees. Then I heard a thundering roar. Though I couldn’t see it, that sound let me know it was much close than I expected. My senses weren’t as honed as Shara’s – that wasn’t really physically possible, but I knew I could more than make up for that with my skills. I was head to head with her when we reached the clearing.
The beast was running in our direction. It was much larger than I could have imagined. Flaming red fur covered most of its body aside from a couple of bald gray patches. How we would manage to fell that thick-skinned a creature with only a couple quivers of arrows was anyone’s guess – but I was confident in my abilities. Shara took a sharp turn to the left and started shooting the creature down with all the arrows she had. She had perfect aim, but the arrows were shot out at a relatively low speed – they barely pierced the creature’s hide. But she wasn’t there to hurt it. The beast followed her, turning its gargantuan back on me. That was my chance.

Not even thinking about it, I reached for four arrows in my quiver. At this point, I didn’t even need to count them. My fingers knew what to do. I put two in my mouth for the time being, let one hang loose as I held it between my fingers, pointing the last arrow at the beast. My muscles stretched as I extended the bow string to its limit. It only took a fraction of a second now. Practice makes perfect, as they say. I could feel my triceps tingle as I took aim and I shot it out. No time to rest, though – I immediately placed the loosely hanging arrow in position and sent it flying right after the first one, in the exact same spot, at the exact same angle. I then instantaneously grabbed the two arrows lodged between my teeth and shot them out the same as the previous two.  At that point I knew my job was done.

The arrows were lodged deep in the monster’s nape. It stumbled on its huge feet and fell to the ground, nearly squishing Shara in the process. I was only hoping she would forgive me that one slip-up.

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