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Posts: 6
Registered: ‎05-31-2007
0 Kudos

A short story I am working on, i welcome ur input...

An Archer’s Tale

“Don’t be scared, Feris, I’m the best shot you know.”
“Yea, you keep saying that when there’s an arrow sticking out from nose!”
“Why do you have to be so negative? I’ve only done that once, to the hound, and the only reason it happened is because that stupid bird shat on me right as I released the bow string!”
“Well it still happened! I don’t think we should be practicing this way.”
“Nonsense, this way we develop trust in each other.”
Sam pulled the bow string back and took aim
“I don’t trust…”
Sam released the bow string and let the arrow said strait towards Feris’ head
“I can’t do this!” Feris screamed and ducked out of the way but he was too late, the arrow had struck the apple on Feris’ head as he was falling down and then stuck the maple tree behind Feris.
“You bastard! You would have shot my face off if I hadn’t ducked!”
“Well I suppose with the added distance I need to aim a little bit higher.”
Sam and Feris had come of age and now it was time for them to move up from the boy’s archery class to the men’s. In the boy’s class the target was fifty feet from the archer and the participants had to shoot as close to the middle of the target as they could, the closest shot won. The men’s class was increased to eighty feet and the target was smaller.
Only the best archery teams from Thundercove participated in the archery tournament. On top of that the entrees had to be from considerable wealth for the entrée fees were a steep price, but if they won they would enjoy a lavish prize of the best Trezrish Bows from the North, a sum of currency that would put a bulge in anyone’s pocket, the finest chain mail in the world, and a feast in honor of their triumph.
“We need to win this one! The added bonus of moving to the men’s class is unbeatable,” said Sam.
“I do agree, the price is tempting,” replied Feris.
“We need the money Feris, with it we could pay for fathers funeral and buy him the best coffin and funeral pyre this land has seen in five-hundred years! He deserves it, Feris, you of all should know that. Too many times has he dragged your ass out of trouble, too many times has he saved your reputation as an archer.”
“Yes, yes I… I know. I just can’t believe he’s actually dying. After all these years that Dr. Landry said he could cure father of his disease he has only a few months left.”
“I know,” said Sam, “I don’t want to believe it either but its really happening and we have to prepare for it, come whatever may….”
“You two hoodwinks still thinking about winning that dumb archery contest?”
Alex Larson appeared from out of the forest behind the brothers.
“You know you don’t stand a chance, I’m moving up too you know.”
Ales and his friend Kane were Sam and Feris’s rivals at the archery tournaments. Their skills equally matched that of the brother’s in almost every aspect and the boy’s tournament was won on and off between the four of them.
“I realize that Alex, I have prepared for your competition and am looking to seeing you and Kane behind us in second place!” said Sam.
“What you don’t realize is that I’ve gotten a new bow. It’s an ash bow from the islands of Katasch! I can split a rabbit at two-hundred feet with this baby!” bragged Alex.
“Damn, I’ve heard of those Sam, They’re what King Thorlak used to kill the alpha pine bear at Doom’s peak!” Feris stated matter-of-factly.
“Yea, and you can forget about winning the money for your fathers funeral, perhaps I’ll lend you some…”
“Why you little piglet!” Sam unsheathed his sword and started toward Alex. “Give me one good reason why I don’t cut off your arm right here!”
“Do your worst! But be warned that the Tournament Council will not rule in favor as a contestant who assails another. You would be banned from the tournament for life and perhaps even face the gallows!”
“Sam, you should heed his warning. I don’t think this is a good idea…”
“Shut-up you! You don’t think anything is a good idea.”
Sam resheathed his sword and Alex fled through the forest.
“I hate that guy.”
“Me too, I wish he got attacked by a pack of wolf-hounds!”
“My my, that would be unpleasant, wouldn’t it?”
“It’s no more than he deserves! Anyway, lets get back to practicing. It’s your turn to practice shooting Feris. I brought three cloth targets for you to shoot at…”
“Why don’t I get to shoot at an apple on your head?”
“Well that’s because I can make the shot without sticking you in the face. You would kill me and then run away. That’s why you are the grasshopper and I am the teacher.”
“To hell with you! Do I look like a fricken insect to you? Am I green and do I make weird noises with my legs? The hell I do!”
“Its just a term Feris…”
“Well I don’t like it, and anyway I’m hungry so lets make our way back to the cove and get us some dinner.”

Sam and Feris made their way out of the grasslands they were practicing in and back down to Thundercove, which was a 3 hour’s journey. To reach the cove Sam and his companion could take one of three different routes: Journey down the Onsbury river on a raft at from docking station near the grasslands, take the high road through the Blacklick Mountains, or venture around the mountains and pass through the lowland’s swampland. The lowlands were the most obvious choice for it was the shortest distance back to the city but it was by far the most difficult, trekking through swampland is a slow process if one doesn’t want to catch a disease and get his boots dirty. Sam wasn’t about to risk catching one of the many sicknesses that lay in the swamplands. The mountains were the next shortest route but to travel them during the spring months could prove fatal for adventurers. On the Blacklick Mountains live the Magnus Hawks; huge raptors that prowl the mountain side for unwary pray. The brothers were hardly prepared to take the mountain route. The best choice was to man a raft and ford the Onsbury river back to town. The danger here was the outbreak of Cholera in the river that was easy to catch if the water is drank or washes an open lesion. The river rapped around the mountain side and zigzagged up and down the lowlands till it reached the cove.
Sam determined they should take the river back and Feris didn’t object to his decision. He realized that neither of them had the strength to spare to venture down the mountain side or through the lowlands, they needed all their strength to practice for the archery tournament just days away.
“There’s the docking station, lets borrow a raft, we can bring it back after the tournament,” said Sam.
“Whatever, I just want to get home so we can eat.”
Feris walked up to the dock and reached to untie a raft and held it for Sam to board.
“Lets go, hurry up Sam! It looks like there’s some storm clouds approaching from the east.”
“I don’t want to rush it, if one of us falls in…”
Just then the dock lurched forward and Feris lost his footing. He made a grad for a nearby branch of an oak but he missed and plunged into the river.
“Feris…Feris? For the love of archery, why you got to be so clumsy?”
“Sam something bumped into the dock, I don’t know…”
Whoosh! Something tentacle-like lashed out from the water and grasped Sam at his ankles and swung him into the air, he fell on the opposite bank and rolled back from the river behind a bush.
“Sam! Are you ok? Sam?”
Sam gave no answer. Feris had to worry about his own predicament. He was in the diseased water with this beast. He brought out his dagger and trashed wildly at the water around him. More tentacles rose from the water and grabbed Feris by the arms and lifted him from the water and thrust him back in, down to the bottom of the river. Sam jumped from the bushes and drew forth his bow, took aim, and shot blindly at the beast underwater. The beast lifted Feris out of the water and threw him to the riverbank across from Sam. Now Sam had a clear shot at one of the beast’s tentacles. The arrow struck right on mark and the monster let out a ravenous cry. The brothers looked at each other in fear.
“You have…. You have to get over to me Sam! We cant get home on that side without crossing the river again!”
“I’ll try but I have cuts and scrapes on my arms and wrists from the bush, I can’t get into the water.”
“Well we have to get away from this beast first, let’s run down river for a mile and then we’ll worry about it.”
The brothers walked down river, all the while gawking at their surroundings. They didn’t have much to talk about, or rather just didn’t want to talk to each other..... to be continued