I just thought I’d post an excerpt from my first novelette, “Arrow of Vengeance”. This is still the rough draft, and needs some editing, though.
The earth shook again. Several of the spectators in the stable yard lost their footing on the muddy ground, falling to their knees. The archer held his aim steady, waiting for the trembling to subside. As the shaking stopped, he took a deep breath and loosed his arrow. The arrow flew straight and true, striking the center of the target, next to the other three.
A cheer went up from the crowd, money exchanging hands. The archer turned to a large bearded man behind him. “Okay, there you have it. Four pints of ale, and I still managed to hit the target. Pay up.”
Grudgingly, the man counted out 5 silvers, but held on to it. “I’ll tell you what, Fletcher… Five pints, double or nothing.”
“Another pint won’t make any difference, Robert you’ll still lose your money, I always hit the target. But I’m done for the day.” Arthur Fletcher unstrung the bow, carefully placing it in its waterproof case.
“You’re not done until I have a chance to win my money back, Fletcher”, roared Robert. He placed a hand on Arthur’s shoulder, spinning him around. In a flash Robert found himself with his arm behind his back, his face against the rough, splintered wood of the stable, and a dagger to his throat.
“I told you, Robert. I’m done for the day. I didn’t spend years training in archery just to entertain you. I’ll remind you that I once saved this kingdom.”
“You’re nothing, Arthur. You were drummed out of the guard, and now you’re nothing but a drunk, performing for more drunks.”
“Maybe so. Maybe I am drunk, but you take a look at that wooden block across the yard. An arrow right on target even after four pints of ale. And I remind you, that I’m just as deadly with this dagger as I am with an arrow. I would suggest that you pay up, and get the hell out of here.”
He withdrew his dagger as Robert took the silver pieces, and threw them down into the mud. He turned and walked off, grumbling. Arthur watched him leave, then continued placing his bow into its case, then bending down to pick up the silver.