Sureshot excerpt: hunting with the Sureshot

By late afternoon, Rothan was growing impatient, but Durbar urged him to stay focused. Rothan began to think that his friend was being too choosy with which tracks to follow. He did not want to return to Harmon empty handed.
Then Durbar found some tracks that he believed were relatively fresh, and were made by an old buck. He studied them for a few minutes while Rothan stood nearby mesmerized, but full of excitement. Durbar finally decided which way the animal probably went and began to creep along the forest floor. Rothan followed behind him, trying not to make any noise, but not moving as silently as Durbar did. The bowman was a bit annoyed by his companion’s heavy feet, but remembered that he was not always as skilled as he now was.
For many minutes they moved slowly through the woods searching diligently for their target. Finally Durbar halted and knelt down. Rothan stopped as well. The bowman pointed through the trees at a buck that was rubbing his head on a tree about one hundred and fifty feet away. Rothan slowly got up and readied his bow. He notched an arrow and drew the string back. He aimed, trying to remember everything that Durbar had shown him, and loosed the arrow. It flew well and straight towards the animal, but Rothan’s aim was not as perfected as Durbar’s and he hit the buck in the thigh.
The buck leaped up in pain, and then began to run off in the woods, even though the arrow in its leg slowed it. Durbar jumped up and began to run after the animal, and Rothan followed him. They chased the animal for nearly another hour, following the trail of blood that it left. The animal grew tired and was in pain from the shot, so it lay down to rest and lick its wound. Durbar and Rothan approached it without being detected, this time a little closer. Rothan prepared another arrow and fired it into the animal’s side.
This time the buck was not able to flee. It stumbled and tripped as it made another attempt to escape, but Rothan chased it down and slit its throat. He looked up at Durbar who was standing a few feet away. Rothan looked like a child who had received a very special gift. He had blood on his clothes, and on the knife, but he was extremely pleased.
“I did it Durbar! I did it!” he shouted. “I finally killed one. I finally shot a buck. I can’t believe it.”
“Not bad,” Durbar encouraged. “The first shot was good enough to slow him down, and the second shot was right on. I am impressed.”
The two men carried the animal back to their camp. It was a ways away, but Rothan was so filled with adrenalin that he could have carried the buck by himself. He recounted the hunt the whole trip back, retelling the story to Durbar again and again, much like he had told everyone about Durbar after he met him in the woods. Durbar was glad for the Prince, and did not get impatient with him. Instead he encouraged him, and congratulated him, much like his father had done for him the first time he shot a deer.

A Day in the Woods

The first words I ever wrote for The Sureshot

A Day in the Woods

The cold mountain air bit at the faces of the two men as they crept silently toward a young buck nibbling on some roots. Without any sound, they slowly inched their way toward the unaware animal. Durbar, a young man of fifteen still watched his father, Adar, very carefully, mimicking his movements, striving to be as great a woodsman as he was. The large man stopped suddenly, and so did his son. He slowly took up his giant long bow, and gently pulled out an arrow from the quiver on his back. He quickly inspected it to ensure there was no damage to the fletchings, and then he notched it and stood up ever so carefully. His black cloak gave him some concealment in the dark, dense forest. The bowman drew back the string of his mighty bow until it touched his bearded cheek.

Holding absolutely steady, he loosed the arrow. The missile twisted slightly as it sailed through the still air, flying past massive trees, until finding the unsuspecting buck. The arrow struck the animal’s side piercing his heart. Stunned and now struggling to cling to life, the buck tried to stumble away, but didn’t get far.

The bowman leapt to his feet as the arrow struck its mark. He raced toward the animal, pulling a dagger from his belt. The powerful man jumped upon the terrified buck and dragged his dagger across its throat. The animal collapsed, kicked one last time and then was still. The woodsman rose and stood over his kill, smiling at his son who was admiring his father’s prowess from a distance.