Excerpt From: The Sureshot

This excerpt is from the opening scene of the book setting up the first conflict Durbar must deal with; the death of his father. I wrote this scene a very long time ago when I had no experience and no idea I was going to write a complete story from this scene. Enjoy.

Durbar was casually searching for the branch Adar required. He skipped over a fallen tree, kicked a lifeless stick, and stepped over some worms that were feasting on a dead squirrel. His attention was drawn away from his task when he heard a rustle in some nearby bushes. He crept forward and spread some brush away to gaze into a small clearing. He discovered three young bear cubs wrestling in some grass. They pawed at each other’s faces and tumbled on the ground as one pounced on the other two. Durbar smiled at them for a moment, and it suddenly struck him that their mother was not with them but must be nearby. His heart sunk, sweat broke out on his face and the palms of his hands. A knot filled his throat and his knees became weak. Durbar snapped out of the momentary dread and he turned and sprinted toward his father and the dead buck some hundred yards away through the thick wood.

“Father!” he shouted voice high and cracking. Just then he heard a shout. Durbar ran as quickly as he could toward the woodsman. As he came into view of his father, still thirty yards away, the man was underneath a giant bear, struggling to rise to his feet. As he tried to get up, the bear struck his side, tearing open his flesh. Durbar quickly raised his bow and without hesitation notched an arrow and loosed it. The arrow pierced the shoulder of the beast, and twice more he loosed arrows. The next struck the bears side, but the last landed in its neck. Finally, the bear quit its attack on Adar when he quit struggling.

The animal was largely unaware of Durbar because he was still some distance away, and turned instead to the deer carcass. Durbar, blinded by fear and anger, dropped his bow, drew his dagger and ran toward the bear. He leapt on the animal’s back as it was dragging away the dead buck, and stabbed his weapon into the beast’s neck. The bear rose, roaring in pain, and Durbar was thrown from its back. He thudded against a tree while the bear lumbered off, leaving the men and carrying the buck in its jaws. Durbar crawled to his father who lay on the ground curled up. The bear had wounded him very badly. His back was cut deeply and blood oozed from the wounds. His chest too was slashed, along with his throat. He was covered in blood, and it stained the ground.

Durbar rolled his father over, as his father still moaned in pain. “Father!” he exclaimed. “Father, answer me!” But he could not. His breath was shallow and blood was drooling from his mouth. Durbar continued to shake his father and began to weep. He clenched his father close to his chest and held him, tears washing the blood from his father’s face. Durbar sobbed deeply eyes clenched tightly, fists gripping his father as if he could keep him from passing from this world with his shear will and strength. The boy’s head was spinning from the knock against the tree however, and soon he, too, lost consciousness.

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