Wine Red

I strung the bow, testing the tension with a cocked arm. The stiff feathers pressed in at my cheek and my eyes traveled along the length.

I breathed.

The heavy morning air hung over the grass, the dew rising in steamy mist that licked around my ankles. A breeze shivered through the waxy forest leaves. Across the way, alone in a clearing, was a single apple tree. A crimson fruit hung heavy from a thin bough.

I sighted it, steadying myself with a low breath.

Thwump.

The inexplicably risen figure crumpled. His book trumbled into the grass as I gaped.

A bird chuckled overhead -- it laughed as I propped him up and snapped the arrow, tugged the ends from his throat. His eyes goggled up at me when I pressed a rag against the wounds. He mouthed something, fingers waving at the shattered arrow.

"Who did this?" I grit my teeth, not meeting his scared eyes, "I didn't see. Came out of the brush. Could have been anyone."

He tried to swallow, the air burbling heavy in his chest. His thick hand sprung out and gripped my wrist.

His eyes pinned mine, lowered themselves to the ridges on my palm. His thumb rubbed the smoth callus on my index -- the edge run smooth by countless arrows.

The air pricked cool against my skin, the birds had scattered.

He began to chuckle. The sound racked his bones, made the bloody rag buck under my grip.

He laughed, and I listened.

He breathed, and I was gone.

~~~~~~

Inspired by Wine Red, by The Hush Sound:

Who shot that arrow in your throat?

Who missed the crimson apple?

It hung heavy on the tree above your head.

This chaos, this calamity, this garden once was perfect

Give your immortality to me; I'll set you up against the stars.

The End

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