Danny was up. While he was still cuddled up in bed - wait a minute - ‘in bed!?’ he thought to himself. Without opening his eyes he felt around: sheets, comforter, smell of eggs and bacon cooking in a distant room, subtle conversation… he was home! It wasn’t until he actually opened his eyes that he realized and remembered he was only in the guest room of the tree fort. He very slowly got out of bed and into his old clothes. As he stood up sharp pain went through his whole body and every inch of him was aching. As the solemn Danny walked out of his room, he was met with the most delectable smelling bacon and eggs he had ever known. He followed the smell until he was led into the most elegant and most complex kitchen he had ever seen. There was an open flame stove with a chimney hatch, a counter made entirely of tree root, and the interior of the tree itself, there was an eating table with those booths you find at diners, and most important of all… food. Food as far as the eye could see: fruits, meats, breads, you name it, it was there.
“Well.” Said Paul, cooking some eggs. “You aren’t much of an early bird are you?”
“Not really, no.” Danny responded. “What are you cooking?”
“Bacon and Eggs mostly. How many do you want.”
“I should probably wait until everyone else has finished eating. I would eat it all.” Danny and Paul laughed.
“I smell bacon!” Cried a starving Reid. “What’s on the menu today.”
“Bacon and Eggs with a side of fruit.” told Paul.
Reid started to serve himself, and so did Paul.
“Where’s Brian?” Danny asked
“He isn’t much of a morning person. He’s a cross between brunch and first dinner eater.”
The three sat down and began enjoying their meal. Danny gobbled his up so fast it was like he didn’t even chew it.
“Hungry?” Said a sarcastic Paul.
“You have no idea.” Said an honest Danny.
“So Danny.” Said Reid. “Paul and I were talking, and we think it would be wise for you to learn to use a weapon just in case.”
“Really?” Asked Danny.
“Ok. I always wanted to learn to use a weapon.”
“Well then after breakfast we’ll take you out to our shooting range.”
The three finished breakfast, and did as they pleased. They left the kitchen and headed outside to the clearing.
As much as Brian hated waking up early, today was an exception. Long before anyone even thought about waking up, Brian headed downstairs to the rectory room. The room itself was hollowed out of a tree branch that hovered over the clearing. This tells you how enormous the tree was. The interior of the room was decorated with couches and chairs, with paintings and pictures littering the walls. One wall had multiple bookshelves across it and he approached a very well kept and cluttered one. As if it was some sort of bond film, Brian pulled on a book and the shelf moved just enough so that Brian could squeeze behind it. He closed the shelf behind him very softly, while looking around for any possible witnesses. Behind the bookcase was a very narrow staircase that led underground. Brian very carefully descended the staircase while holding some sort of light. It wasn't a lamp or a candle. Quite honestly… it looked like he was just holding an orb of light in his hand. When Brian reached the end of the staircase there was a wooden door.
The shooting range wasn’t exactly what a person would call “safe”. There was no fencing around the shooting lanes so anyone could walk straight through at any given time, and there were no warning signs telling you you were entering the battleground.
“Close combat or long-distance.” Reid asked a nervous Danny.
“Well,” Danny responded “I’m not sure. I’ve never used a weapon before.”
Paul and Reid glanced at each other, sharing a look of ‘oh brother’.
“Let’s try long-distance.” Paul added. “It’s the least likely to kill one of us.”
Paul walked over to an armory building and pulled out a bow similar to Brian’s and some arrows. He handed it to Danny.
“Never - I repeat - never point this to another person unless you absolutely have to. Clear?”
“Clear.” Danny responded, shaky and anxious.
As Paul handed Danny the weapon Danny felt his arms and fingers start to tremble. The bow was shaking so much you couldn't even see the bow string. Danny pulled an arrow from the quiver.
“Good,” said Paul “But first you have to stop shaking so much. Don’t worry. I gave you training arrows in case something goes wrong. There’s nothing to worry about.”
This calmed Danny down a touch and he straightened his stance.
“Now pull the arrow back to the anchor point.”
Danny did as he was told, and his arm slowly pulled the arrow backwards. Reid, noticing Paul looking far more worried than ever, approached his friend.
“What’s wrong?” Reid asked. “I thought you said you used training arrows.”
“Yeah we’re fresh out. I just said that so he would calm down.”
Brian opened the wooden door to reveal a rather small room with hundreds of books and papers. Candles were scattered throughout the room, (probably not a very wise decision) and Brian took a seat in a chair. He pulled himself over to a very ancient looking desk that had stacks of books on top of it. As he made himself more situated he very carefully placed the oldest book in the room down. It had a title in a different language, but there was an illustration on the cover. The picture was of a boy holding a bow and him getting ready to fire it. Brian opened to a bookmarked page and started to read.
“The Story of The One as told through the generations.
Every population has a legend, it’s human nature. With that said, however, the story of The One is not a legend, but truth and hope. The day will come when man and nature will be so corrupt that the only way out will be total destruction. This day may come tomorrow, or it may be hundreds of thousands of years away. We should never stop preparing for this day, for those who take heed of this warning will prosper and survive. The others will perish and fall.
When this grave time is near is when The One will reveal himself. A great cloud shall open up and down will come The One on the back of an Eagle. The force of destruction will be no match against The One, and the world will be cleansed.”
Brian sat in his chair for a while, thinking about what he had just read. ‘There’s no way. It’s impossible.’ he thought.
“OK! PUT THE BOW DOWN!” yelled Paul. Danny placed the bow gently on the ground, and Paul quickly hurried to pick it up.
“Well then.” Paul said, shaken. “I guess archery isn’t really your thing.”
Reid went to go collect the arrows, and as he walked to the target none of them actually made contact. There were arrows on the ground, stuck to nearby trees, even some on the roof of the armory.
“Sorry.” Danny said, sheepish.
“Don’t worry about it.” Reid responded, sympathetic. “At least you hit something.” He said as he pointed to the armory.
“Maybe I should try swords next?”
“NO!” shouted Reid and Paul.
“I think we should stick to getting you situated around here, first.”