Stan and I are minding our own business playing a game of chess like we do every Friday night. “Checkmate.”

“Damn it, Peter! I honestly don’t know why I continue to play this impossible game.”

“It’s not impossible. All it takes is brains and the knowledge of how the different pieces move. You obviously don’t have either.”

“BOY! I’ll kick your a-” there was a frantic knock at the door. We both looked at each other, confused. No one ever comes over here, why would they now? I cautiously opened the door and Austin burst in yelling, “Is Stan here? I need to talk to him!” he looked around, “Stan! Stan, Hal left to go fight a dragon! You have to help. I plan on going after her and I need all the men I can get, plus, you’re the best sword fighter in Mischa!” I was honestly disappointed that he wouldn’t come to me as well; I mean I am his apprentice, but that’s not the problem here.

While I was having a mini heart attack, Stan couldn’t care less. He said, “That’s not my problem. Go tell the Mayor, he can track anyone.” with a straight face. I’ve never seen Stan so realistic before. Continuing with, “Plus, I have to take care of my little buddy here and his mother.”

Austin looked appalled and said, “If not for her, do it for me. Who cares about freaking Peter and his mother? As far as I’m concerned, a lot of things would be better if they were both dead. Why don’t you just finish them off yourself and save your burdens for someone who matters?”

“What did you say?!” Without realizing it, I had my bow on him. Trying the most intimidating voice I could make, I coughed out, “Repeat. What. You. Just. Said.”
Austin wasn’t afraid, “Really? A little kid like you thinks he can taunt me with a bow?! Do you forget that is what I teach? Step back, little man, or a I’ll end you right now.” Stan looked at me with pleading eyes. I got the message: Let it go. But I couldn’t and I never will.

There was a squirrel fur hanging form the wall, so I shot, hitting it straight in the eye. I have to admit that was a pretty lucky shot; I usually hit just slightly off, but I play it cool and point it back at Austin, “I really don’t care what you think of me, but I am sick and tired of people criticizing my mother for no good reason. What gives you the right to come storming into my house anyway and insult me and my family? HUH?!” I pulled the bow back harder. I really don’t get mad all that often, but I’m making an understatement when I say I’m utterly pissed.

I could sense Stan staring at me. He cautiously walked over and said, “That’s some extraordinary gift you got there, kid. Why didn’t you tell me how awesome you are with a bow?”

I broke my glare from Austin and gawked at him with innocent eyes, “I don’t know…didn’t think it was that important.” I was cooling down now. Stan has that way of words that makes a person want to sit and listen.

“Are you kidding? No training what so ever with a bow and you can shoot a fur straight inna eye from twenty-five feet away. That’s crazy amazin’ man.”

I looked down at my tough feet, “It’s not like it’ll get me anywhere anyways.”

Austin had had enough. He’d been rejected, pushed around, and tossed aside too much in one period of time, I guess. He glided over, put his hands on my shoulders and shook, “Look I will do anything” glancing at either of us, “for both of you. Just help me, please.”
I was the first to answer, “What about Mother Mel? Who will look after her?” He gave a deep sigh and said, “I’ll get someone, but please, we must hurry.”

The End

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