Monday October 3rd, 2011

The exercise:

Tell me something about: the archer.

Harvested for our local orders in a light rain this morning, which made it less fun than usual. Also making it less enjoyable? The realization that most everything out there is slowing right down - the tomatoes, the peppers, the berries.

It's like it's almost the end of the season or something.


As the sun peers over the horizon to signal the start of day, he has already begun his. The target, wedged between two trees on the far side of a clearing at least fifty paces wide, wears the scars of his early morning practice. The soft calls of hidden birds are the only sounds to be heard not of his creation. A rattle as an arrow is drawn from the quiver across his back, the tired groan of his wooden bow, the twang of string, the thud of impact. Over and over and over again.

Behind him, hidden by bushes, his son keeps watch, imitating his every move. Only his bow is imaginary, and he grasps arrows from a quiver only he can see. His form is perfect, his breathing steady. Soon his mother will discover his empty bed and she will come to drag him back to the house to help with breakfast.

But for now he is living the dream of the archer, and that is all that matters.


Swapna said...

Wow.. gud one...

Greg said...

I dunno, light rain works for me; it kind of sounds like you're even closer to nature for doing it. Though if it's getting harder to find things to harvest I can see that the rain might get a little annoying after a while.
Anyway, when one season ends another begins and brings new vegetables with it. The apples and leeks are all out in force over here now, suggesting autumnal soups immediately. And the squashes!
There's not a lot of action in your story this morning, but there's still a lot going on there; I like how the detail of the scene is essentially inferred from the details you describe. Very skillfully done!

The archer
"Are you admiring the fornication?"
Miss Snippet snapped out of her reverie and slapped the person in front of her for affronting her. Or rather, she slapped at him, but he ducked and she clipped one of the children – one of mexican ones won on the cruise – cruelly round the back of the head. He fell over, and she glared at the man who had ducked and was now giggling.
"Who are you?" she said, attempting to put ice into her tone and rub life back into her hand. The (now crying) child had had a very hard head.
"I'm the archer, miss," he said, tugging his fringe. Something in his attitude made her suspect she was being mocked.
"You're clearly not," she said. "Where's your bow? Where are your arrows? You're an attention seeker, a nasty little liar. Behave yourself!"
"Oh but I am the archer, miss," said the man, still grinning like a lunatic. "I'm in charge of the arches, making sure they go up right like. And fornicating properly."
She couldn't help herself, it was that word. It just sounded filthy. She slapped again, he ducked again, and this time she batted one of the girls across the hall.
"Can I gets you a dictionary, perhaps, miss?" said the man, sounding far too smug.

morganna said...

Hope you don't mind, Marc, but I built on yours.

He was the best archer the world had ever seen. He never missed his target, always hitting it dead center. They still told stories about the time he split the bullseye arrows that came before his at the contest -- split them straight down the middle. He was only ten at the time.

Everyone wanted to know his secret. He never told them of his early life -- mimicking his father's early morning practices, watching his father in his duties as the King's Archer in another kingdom.

But his father had been murdered when he was only eight years old, and he intended to revenge himself on the blackguard who murdered him. Revenge is a dish best served cold, and the fewer people who knew his intentions, the better.

Drake Davenport said...

That's an awesome story you got. Love it.

Let's see.

There he stood. The greatest swordsman in all the land. Sir Davenport.

To everyone else, this was war. But to Davenport, this was all just another game. In the arena, out of the arena, it didn't matter to him. While others cowered in fear as the two great masses clashed in the city, he stood tall and proud. Nothing could frighten him.

Walking around openly, from enemy to enemy, slicing them down as he went, in fluid motions and twists of his blade, he never took cover, he never fell to the ground in anticipation of an oncoming attack. He was far to proud to give into fear.

Confronting him on the ground would do one no good. He would be dead before he could even blink. But from the rooftops... there was his weakness.

At least, that's what D'Lance was hoping as he kneeled on his knee, perched atop a distant roof, and took aim. His target was right between the helmet and the breastplate.

Slowly, he looked down the shaft of his arrow, on to his enemy on the ground. He pulled back the arrow, and, slowly, carefully, let go.

Davenport didn't even flinch.

Drake Davenport said...

I'm not very good at inventing names for my stories...

Marc said...

Swapna - thank you :)

Greg - yeah, we'll be helping out with apple picking soon I think. And we enjoyed our first soup of the season last night - a nice fish curry with leeks and potatoes.

I love that she tells him to behave himself. Also, the missed slaps are great fun :)

Morganna - never shall I mind that :)

Love what you did with it, as you really built on the foundation I put down.

Drake - thanks very much!

Sounds like the archer had the right idea, even if all it gets him is a ticked off swordsman on his tail.

And no worries, I have trouble with names as well. In fact, if I can get away with keeping a character nameless I often do!

Drake Davenport said...

Maybe that last line should have read "Davenport didn't even have time to flinch."