A Pair of Blades and a Bow (Story, A Memory of Skye)
[spoiler]Another one of Skye’s memories, since I couldn’t send it at the same time as my last story. This one is even longer than the last... so I’m going to have to split it into two parts here. However, I feel that it is an important “chapter”. It describes a bit more where she lived as well as explain how she got her longbow. Plus, I had fun writing this and really didn’t want to take out anything.
This is the first part, the second will be posted below.
Thank you to those who took the time to read this! Any tips and criticisms are welcome!
[i]Edit: “a bhobain” is a Scottish Gaelic term of endearment for a child, meaning “my darling” or “my rascal”.[/i][/spoiler]
Finally, it was time! It had been less than twenty-four hours, but it felt like an eternity, and it was finally time! Skye laced up her boots excitedly. She had on her light jacket and a small leather knapsack at her back. She had everything she would need for her trip to the mountain with Errol. She even had her wooden longbow hooked over her shoulder, just in case there was time in the day to practice some archery. It would be the farthest she had ever been away from home, and she couldn’t wait to see what was waiting to be discovered. The sun had just risen over the horizon, and they would have all day to explore.
The girl ran out of the little cottage they lived in. She shut the door behind her, and looked up to find her brother and father. She saw them by the shed nearby, but something was off. Lyle was handing Errol a pistol and holster, a stern expression on his face while his son seemed confused and concerned. He was speaking to him, though his voice was too low for Skye to hear what was being said. As she approached, their conversation immediately ended. She furrowed her brow.
“What’s going on?”
Lyle quickly smiled. “Nothing for you to worry about, a bhobain. Are you ready?”
“Aye, I’m ready.”
“Get going, then! The sooner you’re off, the more time you have to poke around. Keep a close eye on this rascal for a lass, Errol.”
He gave each of his children a loving embrace.
“I will, father. We’ll be back before sunset.”
With that the two youths turned towards the forest, waving goodbye as they left. They walked about five miles north before they broke out of the trees, and another mile across an open field of rolling hills and lush green grass. The beginning of their trip was rather silent, as Errol was deep in thought. He was usually the one to start up a fun conversation, and his near refusal to speak worried his sister. However, he soon returned to joking and teasing her until they at last arrived at the mountain.
No, it wasn’t so high it touched the clouds. It wasn’t clad in elegant cloaks of green, nor was it crowned by white snow. Like a weathered king declaring his dominance it sat solemnly on its ancient foundations that served as its throne, stretching as far as the eye could see to the west, and reaching the sea to the east. Its face was rough and worn by the harsh winds that came with winter. Even the sun hesitated to shine through the banners of grey that hung from the vaulted ceilings of the sky that was its palace. To many, this would have been a cold and less than desirable place to be, but to Skye and Errol this was a landscape of wonder and opportunity. Their ancestors would have roamed the lands beneath the mountain’s gaze, and there must have been dozens of caves and corners to search through. Who knew what was on the other side of the mountains? What sights would they see when they climbed to the top? Still, despite the anticipation they had to continue on with their adventure, Errol could see that Skye was becoming tired from their hike, which they accomplished without pausing for a break. So he took her to the base of the mountain, where a strange wall of thick vines had grown up a small portion of its side. Errol took a sip from his canteen and drew in a deep breath of cool, fresh and earthy air.
“You’re getting better at your archery,” he said.
Skye wrinkled her nose. “You weren’t watching me this morning, then. I sucked.”
Errol chuckled. “Watch your language, lass. Eight of your arrows hit the target, and most of those were near the center.”
“I was hoping all ten of them would hit the center.”
“Don’t be so hard on yourself. Father is proud at how quickly you’re learning to use that stick.”
“Longbow,” Skye corrected with a scowl.
But the mention of their father brought a question to her mind. She pointed to the pistol at Errol’s side.
“Why did he give you that? He’s never asked us to bring weapons before. We always did that for fun.”
Errol’s grin faded, and he gave a shrug. “Honestly, I don’t know. He just gave it to me and told me to be careful.”
“‘Be careful’?” Skye echoed, sounding offended. “We’re always careful!”
“Aye, but if a hungry bear came by, who is going to protect you? You’re breathless after a wee walk!”
“Am not! I just hiked ten miles! I can go just as far as you!”
“Six miles. And calm down! I’m just trying to take care of my little sister.”
At his emphasis of the word “little”, Skye grabbed her bow and moved to whack him in the arm. Almost as if he expected it, he stepped to the side and took hold of it. Skye pulled it out of his grasp and gave a few more attempts to deal a blow, but each time he dodged it or made a counterattack. Before either of them knew it, they fell into another one of their duals. Errol had always won, yet she had improved much since their last performance, and she was quickly gaining the upper hand. However, she had reverted to an old habit of directing her attacks to the legs, allowing her opponent to take advantage of his strength. He once again snatched the limb of her bow and began to swing it aside. The unexpected move made her lose her balance, and she found herself tumbling behind him. She hit the ground, rolled a few feet, then suddenly felt as though she was falling. It happened so fast she didn’t fully understand where she was until she landed on something hard with a grunt. She sat up and opened her eyes to complete darkness.
[quote]No, it wasn’t so high it touched the clouds. It wasn’t clad in elegant cloaks of green, nor was it crowned by white snow. Like a weathered king declaring his dominance it sat solemnly on its ancient foundations that served as its throne, stretching as far as the eye could see to the west, and reaching the sea to the east. Its face was rough and worn by the harsh winds that came with winter. Even the sun hesitated to shine through the banners of grey that hung from the vaulted ceilings of the sky that was its palace.[/quote]
[i]That[/i] is one good description!
So that's how she accomplished the special bow, very cool. Though I have a feeling this discovery marked the beginning of the end.