The Arrow and A Mage

Hey there, everybody. Before I got to work on some stuff today, I wanted to do a little warm up to get the creative juices going. I decided to go back onto Merriam-Webster to get the Word of the Day for March 25th 2021. Today’s Word of the Day is Hobbit. I hope you enjoy!

We expected to be under attack when we planned to venture through the forest, especially since we were deep within enemy territory. Just from walking through for a few minutes, the trained eye could easily identify perfect ambush openings and blind spots. The wide array of green shrubbery, old and new roots and trees growing toward the sun, and the calls, cries, and cawing of the hundreds of animals dwelling in the forest was a true sight of nature. Too bad we didn’t have time to go sight-seeing.

“Will, see anything?”

“Nothing on my end,” Wilheim calmly replied. “Keeping the bow out just in case.”

Just like him, I kept myself ready should we encounter the enemy, my hand resting on the hilt of my sword. “I don’t blame you. Just keep moving, the stronghold shouldn’t be too far out.”

Besides the sound of our metal greaves crushing the grass and fallen bark beneath our feet, Wilheim and I kept quiet as we continued on. Every now and then I’d see some small creature rushing off as we walked in its direction, probably scared off from just our presence. I can only imagine what a wild creature could be thinking when they see two giant hunks of metal armor walking in their wild habitat.

Some time later, we still never reached out destination nor seen any signs of the enemy being nearby. With such a large area to cover and protect, it surprised me that there wasn’t even a small patrol force going around making sure that the forest was quiet; we were practically walking through the front door of a home without being greeted.

As I kept my eyes on the look out for the slightest of movements, Wilheim tapped me on the shoulder to get my attention. “What’s up, Will?”

He points ahead of us, “See that fallen apple on the bush?”

I looked where he pointed and saw the apple, “What about it?”

“Five gold pieces says I can shoot it dead center with one arrow.”

I chuckled at his challenge, “I’ll make it ten if you wear your visor when you shoot it.”

“What? You know I can’t see anything when I have that thing down.”

“Exactly. Take it or leave it.”

Wilheim shook his head at me, contemplating the extra challenge to our little wager. After thinking about it for a moment, he unwrapped his helmet tied to his waist and put it on, bringing the protective visor down. Drawing his bow and arrow with perfect form, he attempted to take aim at the apple.

“Get ready to pay up,” Wilheim laughed.

Focusing his aim and releasing the bowstring, the arrow went flying through the air at a blinding speed. In a second, the arrow vanished into the bush, missing the apple by just an inch or two.

“Damn it!” Wilheim stomped his foot.

I lightly punched him in the shoulder, mocking him, “Get ready to pay up.”

Before we got a chance to exchange gold pieces from our wager, a loud scream echoed in the forest as the bush started shaking. Our attention honed in on it.

I got a tight grip on the hilt of my sword and drew it, holding it steadily in front of me, “Back me up.”

Wilheim pushed up his visor to get a better sight of the scene, drawing another arrow ready, “Got your back.”

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