The Contest

A new sketch in a new alternate reality I have been experimenting with.

You pause a moment, glancing down at your bow before your eyes close. A few seconds of confusion...not long ago you would have offered a few words in prayer to one of the gods for strength, or perhaps a plea to your clan's animal spirit for help, but you knew you were being watched closely. The White Robes were watching you. It had been a miracle you were allowed to enter this competition, but you were the best with a bow and they knew it. Attempts at 'civilizing' you by taking away all that you were familiar with could wait. It could wait until you brought them home the prize money, money you knew would never make its way down to you or your fellow students.

In that moment, you know you could raise the bow and miss the target. The White Robes knew that too and had warned you... severely... against any attempt at this sort of rebellion but it wasn't fear of their reprisal that made you dismiss the thought. You gripped your bow, the bow your father had made for you, tighter. You wouldn't miss, it would be a stain of dishonor upon the man who had made this bow. Disrespect, directed not only towards him, but your clan, your people, and yourself. The White Robes needn't have worried, but they didn't care to learn enough about you to understand that. They only wanted you to learn their way... their way which was the only way, the right way...

You notch an arrow and pull back, barely taking time to aim because you didn't need to. The arrow had already flown in your mind's eye, several times. Its actual flight would mirror and the aim would be straight and true, even though your eyes remained shut.

The End

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