Reif Wins

by Len

 

The targets were placed and the contestants were ready. The crowd was large and included the elven princess, Damara. The archery contest of Alhaven was the most prolific bow contest in Delphia. The greatest archers from Pinevale to Dundersnuff would all come to compete. It was a joyous time, and the only time the elves allowed guests near to their home. The elven king, Typherius, had tried to cancel the contest but his people had convinced him to continue.

The field had been narrowed down over the last two days, and only three contestants remained. There were two male elves and ,to everyone’s surprise, a dwarf. Sinto, the first elf, stepped to the line. He had blonde hair which was braided behind his ears. Sinto was the female’s choice, for he was lovely and of strong build. His green eyes narrowed as he focused on his target. He raised his bow, white wood with intricate etchings of green, and pulled his swan-fletched arrow from his quiver. Sinto made a great spectacle of every motion, flexing his arms which he was always sure not to cover.He pulled the arrow back and held the bow steady. The elf kept the pose for a while, showing off his taut muscles. Then he let the arrow fly, but the arrow missed the bullseye by a hand.

The men in the audience giggled at Sinto’s mishap. “Perhaps he shouldn’t have posed for so long,” they teased. But the women cheered all the same, for they did not care about his archery skills; not really. Sinto smiled and gave the crowd a wave, but he could not hide the disappointment in his eyes.

Next the dwarf, Reif, stepped to his line. His hair was light brown, and his beard was neatly braided into several strands. He wore a shirt of earthen tones; simple yet undeniably beautiful. Reif had become a fan favorite with his powerful bow burying arrows to the fletching. He looked around, somewhat nervous. Then the dwarf focused his gaze on the princess as beads of sweat poured from his face.

One of the elves in attendance, Dagoby Trueflight, had intently watched all of the dwarf’s previous shots. Reif had never seemed nervous at any point in the previous competitions. “He is just edgy because it is his final shot,” Dagoby reasoned. However even as he was reasoning, the elf was making his way toward the grandstand where Damara sat. Dagoby was part of an elite elven military unit called Crimson, and he trusted his instincts. He had spent 400 years honing them.

Reif finally tore his eyes from Damara. He toed the grass with his boots, and then knelt. The dwarf picked up some dirt and rubbed it together in his hands. Then he grabbed some grass and threw it in the air as he stood. He was gauging the wind.

Alarms burst out in Dagoby’s mind. The wind would have no effect on his short ranged target shot. “He is planning a longer shot,” the elf declared. He knocked a few people over as he began his sprint to the princess.

Reif had his large black bow clutched, and pulled his falcon-fletched arrows from his ornate quiver. He took a nice deep breath, then drew. Everyone held their breath as well. Then, Reif turned and shot his arrow directly at the princess. Everyone was too shocked to move; everyone except Dagoby.

Dagoby stood directly in front of the princess; an arrow through his shoulder. He had saved the princess; but as he stared out at the contestants, he did not see Reif. The elves and all of the visitors had panicked and were scrambling around. Dagoby knew that they wouldn’t find the dwarf now. He sank to his knees as the pain started to wash over him. “That was a damn good shot,” he laughed through the pain. “Reif wins!”

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2 Comments to “Reif Wins”

  1. Very enjoyable. I like the name choices.

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