The snippet start of a novel I started years ago
| Her fingers twitched as she silently set the arrow on the string. She pulled pack and aimed at the stealthy stag. The twang of the bowstring echoed through the forest. The beautiful creature, angry and afraid, shifted and tried to run. Jumping into a graceful arch, it cascaded to the forest floor and moved no more. He had fallen a few feet from where Adria sat. Pulling out a knife, she slowly crept from her hiding place. She walked to the stag, only the slight shifting of leaves could be heard under her light, knee high boots. She jabbed the beast with her foot as if to see if it would stir. Then she tied the deer's legs together and gut it. When all was finished, she began the slow drag back through the forest.
"OOOh sister!" Adria nearly jumped three feet into the air. She looked around, startled, and then she saw where the voice had come from.
"Please try not to give me a heart attack!" Adria sighed as a short, round, black haired boy ran up to her.
"So what have we been up to this time? Well, well, well, a fully grown stag. You really don't have to carry that. All I have to do is..."
"You are not," Adria interrupted him, "using levitate on my deer. Don't you remember what happened last time?" Brak put on an innocent face, acting as though he didn't have any idea what she was talking about. "Fine, I'll tell you! You blew it up! I don't want you to waste another of my hunts because of your foolishness." Adria said seriously, though there was a concealed laughter in her chest. A smile crept onto her face.
"You know sister, that would have been funny if you weren't so damn mad at me!" He chuckled.
Adria said nothing, but heartily smiled. It really was funny. Brak's magic was often going wrong. He was a magic user, but just a beginner and still taking lessons from Goffyer, the village master. Adria's trade was not one to shout to the world. She had exceptional thieving skills which she used to steal food from fields and the marketplace. The only other interest she had was archery. As she thought of this, she ran the fingers of her unused hand along the wood of the bow. It was so smooth.
Brak walked along with his big sister, occasionally pulling on the sleek brown plaited hair that fell slightly past her waist. As they walked, Adria spotted the dirt path leading to the edge of the village. She reluctantly agreed to let Brak use his levitation spell on the stage after he had annoyed her with the idea for several minutes. Patience was not something Adria had an abundance of. In fact, she was known for her short, but powerful temper. Adria could already smell the freshly baked breads, cookies, pies, and other goods that were being cooked for lunch. Halflings are well known for eating and having food in an overabundance. All Halflings share their love of food.
Adria started thinking of all the things she had to do when she got home. She was only 29, which wasn't a very respectably old age for a Halfling. But, her parents both died when she was very young, and she had to raise Brak. Adria learned to cook from her mother and she learned to hunt and garden from her father. Brak did the majority of the house cleaning because Adria had little or no time to do it.
This was just the start of another day for Adria. She had to go home and cook lunch for her and Brak. Then she had to clean and skin her stag before she took it to the butcher. When she got home, she would probably have just enough time to pull out some weeds between the flowers before she cooked dinner. Yes, this was just another day in Adria's dull and boring life. But she wanted adventure so badly. She hated to cook and tend to everything. Danger was what every part of her longed for. But what of Brak? He wasn't old enough to care for himself. So she would stay for who knew how long. It just didn't feel right for her to sit alone by the hearth every night. Adventure and danger was what she longed for, and soon she would get it.
The moon was high in the sky and Brak was sleeping upstairs. She felt the low rumble of the cabin as he snored. She turned the page in the book she was reading and looked at it carefully. Then she gazed out of the window and closed the book. She was in no mood to read about dragons today. The air was cool and soothing and the stars shone brightly in the damp sky. Dew fell as though the sky had to empty its tears on the soft grass. Nature beckoned Adria into the misty darkness of the night.
She walked on the soft moss coating that covered the forest floor. The cold and wet calmed her bare feet. She didn't seem to be walking in any specific direction. She was simply walking on this path she had walked so many times before at night. It seemed soothing to be outside on crystal nights like this. She walked until she reached the clearing. There was no sound except for the occasional rustle of leaves or the soft flow of water in the stream.
After wading across the stream, she began to climb a small hill with a rock atop it. The rock was enormous and covered in more thick, green moss. She settled herself on the rock and began to gaze at the stars. Tonight was a perfect night for this, lying with your back against a soft moss pillow, staring at heaven's beauties without a care in the world.
Smiling to herself, Adria slowly drifted into a gentle sleep. She awoke only a few hours later. The sun had not yet risen to light the night with its radiance. She watched the sun's tentacles touch the mountain top to begin another day. Light glazed the treetops and began to dry the dew on the grass.
She began the slow climb back home. After wading through the stream, she hiked through the forest. But as she neared the village, she heard a muffled scream. She walked faster. Her heart stopped as she heard steel hit steel. Using all the energy she could muster, she broke into a run. The opening in the trees was near. She thought about Brak and his unconscious vulnerability.