I had it in my sights before it slipped into the woods at the edge of the clearing. That was unfortunate. I nudged Athenia toward the spot. I had to get down to see the tracks. The little beast was good…it took me several moments before I could find it – a partial print beside some moss.
I almost started to follow. Something wasn’t right. That little sneak! I turned a large circle before I finally glanced up into the canopy.
I let loose my arrow and hit the bugger in the arm. Killing him would be really bad, but wounding him would give me everything I’ve always wanted.
“You shot me!” whined the squeaky voice from an upper branch.
“I play for keeps, you little sneak, now give me the fate I choose.”
His head peeked out, puzzled, “How do you know Arianna?”
“She’s my mother.”
A large, almost feral, smile spread across his face, “Ah, that explains much. How is her fate working out?”
“Like she always wanted.”
“Really? Fascinating.” He climbed down, ripped the arrow from his arm, and handed it to me. I took it, confused, “But she shot me in the leg, my dear.”