Sul'hupkaar teaches his son to shoot
|Word Count 671|
Occurs before prompts 1 and 2 in his timeline
Sul’hupkaar stood behind his only son and watched him pull back on his bow. His head tilted almost imperceptibly to the arrow, the black hair tied into a tail barely moving. Sul’hupkaar watched his son’s chest fill with air and slowly leave. The ebony arrow leapt from the bow and struck the edge of a distant target no larger than goldpiece hanging from a tree limb.
The boy’s shoulders slumped and his head tilted forward before he turned to face his father. He still held the black bow at his side firmly, too stubborn to give up, but becoming aggravated at his own inability to perform such a simple task.
One side of Sul’hupkaar’s mouth was curled down in a frown. His hand moved to the quiver strapped to Hupkaar’s thigh and drew another wickedly barbed arrow out. The boy wasn’t ready for The Crossing and so his name was incomplete.
“Again,” he sang in a melodic voice unsuited for a dark elf’s appearance. He handed the arrow to his son and the boy turned back to the target.
Sul’hupkaar knelt behind him this time and felt the boy's frame against his. When Hupkaar raised his bow and drew back, Sul’hupkaar placed his fingers under his son’s elbow and lifted it then placed his own hand over Hupkaar’s. “Straight out. What do you see in front of you?”
Sul’hupkaar hadn’t known his own father; hadn’t had moments like this with him. It was his mother instead that taught him to shoot. He remembered her doing the same thing. Wrapping her arms around him, correcting his hold, whispering in his ear.
Hupkaar was silent for a moment before saying, “The target. My arrow in its side.”
“What else?” Sul’hupkaar felt the boy’s confusion. “You are an elf Hupkaar. Not some human. What else do you see? What can you feel?”
Hupkaar closed his eyes, took a deep breath and opened them. The world around him came alive. He could see tiny currents shifting in the dead air. He felt the warmth of the wooden arrow and the life of the catgut string in his fingers. The bow in his hands was alive with controlled tension.
“Don’t speak,” Sul’hupkaar whispered. “Breathe gently. Work with the living bow and string in your fingers to slip the arrow through the air.” He and his mother had spent hours while he learned to use his ability to tap into the natural forces around him. He removed his hand from Hupkaar's.
Hupkaar’s sharp elfin eyes pulled the target out clearly and saw the current in the air, anticipated when it would line with the center of the tiny target and loosed his arrow. His yellow flickering eyes glowed with excitement when the arrow struck the center of a target barely wider then the arrow itself.
“Well done,” said Sul’hupkaar as he stood and watched the target swinging violently from the force of the impact. “Remember you must use all your abilities. In battle, your opponent will use theirs.”
Loi’Hupkaar, his wife, should be teaching the boy this. As he learned from his mother teaching him, women were more in tune with the natural energies surrounding them. It made them powerful enchantresses. She left for Kroywen that morning after receiving a summons from the Assassin’s Guild and would be gone a week, but he didn’t worry much about her. There were few that could match a dark elf in combat, even fewer that could match someone of her skill. Besides, she left in a foul mood, having to mingle with humans. Sul’hupkaar almost pitied her target.
It would also give him a week alone with his son. He placed his hand on Hupkaar’s shoulder and turned him back to what now appeared to be two arrows hanging in the air. “Again,” he told him. “You must be so attuned to your sight that you get your third arrow in the air before the first strikes. All must hit their targets.”