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The Amber Arrow: Chapter One

       Last updated: Wednesday, July 19, 2017 20:49 EDT



    There were quite a few Skraelings who were subjects of the mark. They lived in the extreme north of Shenandoah. There were also plenty of Skraeling traders who travelled up and down the Shenandoah and Potomac river routes dealing in tobacco, pelts, and cotton. These Skraelings were leagues away from either fork of the river, and thirty leagues from the mark’s northern border.

    These were not men of the mark. She could tell by their dress, even by their walk.

    This was the moment to decide whether she would kill them or not. The man was crossing in front of the old willow stump in the center of the clearing.

    Ursel could make most any shot either instinctively or by taking careful aim. She wanted to cut this very fine. She eyed what looked like either a worn spot or a patch on his thrown back cloak. The cloak was flapping slighting in a breeze from the west. She was about twenty paces up the hill from the man. She was firing through a fissure in the outcrop.

    Ursel drew the bow.

    She used a pinch grip on the bowstring. She was good with all kinds of grips, and could adjust for conditions, but the pinch was the first grip she’d ever learned, and she often used it for accuracy and a hard strike.

    Her eye came down to the bowstring. Her pupil aligned with the top of the arrow. Her face contacted the bowstring with a feather-like touch. She used a slight tightening of her cheek to align her shot left to right.

    Ursel released.

    The arrow sliced through the man’s cloak and sank into the old willow stump. The Skraeling man, who was taking a step forward, got yanked back by his own clothing.

    He fell on his butt with a whump.

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