Monday, 8 October 2012

October Memoir and Backstory Blog Challenge Day 8

Saoirse Eighth Year

Saoirse was good at what she did, and she was getting better. Every single morning she was at the home of the Forest Archers practising. She was becoming faster and hit the target much more frequently. Her eyes still remained the forest green they always had, never reverting to silver. Her ability to sense persons, their thoughts, and their true nature was becoming stronger. Most times she did not focus on anyone and so ignored the thoughts that whirled around her. Sometimes she would feel the need to be certain who was around her.

Artair would sometimes watch her firing arrows or working with Beathag. He stood in a corner so as not to interfere with what she was doing and never spoke. He would stay for varying amounts of time, but whenever Saoirse turned to speak to him, he was gone.

One day Paton took Saoirse out to the wall that surrounded Aberness. The wall was made of stone. It towered above all and was surpassed only by the trees. It was a yard thick and completely smooth with no handholds. The wall completely surrounded the city with two openings; one to the north and one to the south. Two large wooden doors stood at these openings covered in carvings.

The pair stood above the north gate looking out into the forest. "This city is under our protection," Paton said. "It is our duty as Forest Archers to protect it with our lives."

Saoirse nodded. If she focused her mind she could sense all of the people behind them within the city, as well as several citizens moving along the road through Dunan Wood. She ignored the people and focused on the woods around her.

Animal sounds echoed throughout the trees, though they remained unseen.

"As you know, occasionally raiders come to try and attack the city. They hail from either the other cities, or are wild men of the forest. We fend them off. Usually Fearghas, the king's main silvern, is wandering around trying to sense them."

Saoirse flinched inwardly when he said the word "silvern." She wondered if she would ever meet this man and what would happen if she did.

"Ah, speak of the devil. Hello Fearghas!" Paton called to a man coming toward them.

The man was tall and had dark brown hair that reached his shoulders. A thick curly beard covered the lower half of his face. His silver eyes twinkled as he smiled. Fearghas was portly, but his walk suggested that he was more agile than he appeared.

"Good day, Paton," he said in a deep voice.

Saoirse gasped when he stepped near. She felt a pang of anxiety in the pit of her stomach. When she looked up she noticed Fearghas watching her closely. She kept her mind closed and simply provided him with her hand. "Hello," she said in a small voice.

"You must be Saoirse, Paton's prodigy archer," he said as he shook her hand.

She nodded and stood up straight.

"This child will be the best archer in this city one day, I wager," Paton said proudly, placing a hand on her shoulder.

Fearghas smiled again. "I wager she will be."

Saoirse cast him a sidelong glance, but hurriedly looked away when she noticed him looking at her.

I know what you are. The deep voice resounded in her head.

Her eyes widened but she made no other sign that she had heard anything.

Will you tell him? she asked.

No. Obviously the king wishes you to be unknown, and so it must remain. But the day will come when your secret will be known to one and all, and you must deal with those consequences.

Quote of the day: There is no trap so deadly as the trap you set for yourself. - Raymond Chandler