“Bow down! This test is over!”
I remembered those words from 25 years earlier so well.
I’d withdrawn my arrow from my bow and placed it back in my quiver. Each man on the line hoped he would become the newest member of the King’s Guard, ready to use our bow and arrows to strike down the King’s enemies. We all knew only one of us would be that member.
I’d used all but three of my arrows. I had to make new arrows to replace the ones I’d used.
Making arrows was an art. I had to find the right wood, carve it to the proper shape, balance it properly, then carve the nock into one end. I’d destroyed dozens of shafts learning to carve the nock. I’d destroyed countless more shafts learning to seat the feathers of the fletching properly to keep the arrow stable in its flight.
Arrowheads had to be the right weight, the right shape, and razor sharp, for the arrow to be useful. I had an entire wall of my shop covered in worthless arrowheads.
I had not looked forward to replacing my arrows.
One of the King’s Guard led us from the training ground in their wing of the castle, through the gate, back into the streets of town.
“We will make our final decision tonight. We will fetch who has made the cut. If you wake in your own bed in the morning, you are not him.” He had turned and walked back inside the gate, and the gate slammed shut.
I had gone home, and waited.
That had been 25 years ago.
I did not become a member of the King’s Guard that day. Instead, I became someone more important. I became an arrow maker for the King’s Guard.
It’s Week 133 of #SwiftFicFriday, hosted by Katheryn Avila. I’m still wondering what the heck is going on with this story. There seems to be only one way for me to find out. Anyway. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #SwiftFicFriday. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up regularly.