Stram nocked his arrow. It was right, it fit. The string settled into the groove bereaved upon the shaft of the wooden intent. He aimed, it needed to be now. Time had run to the end, it hung heavy, the end of the moment, where it collapsed and any action fell to the past.
He breathed and loosed.
The arrow flew, cutting the air like a river cuts through its water bed. As though it was always meant to flow that way because it felt right. The string vibrated, quick enough and slow enough where he could hear its thrum bounding through the air beside him.
Stram didn’t notice the rain that fell or the wind that howled and jostled his arrow, as well as the world around. He paid attention to one thing, where he had aimed as if he still guided the arrow.
Thwack! One hundred yards off and he could hear its sudden landing. Its abrupt end to a purpose. Maybe that was its way of crying out in anguish, or delight, at its flight, or the stopping of it.
He stood still, scarcely a breath of air moved as if time itself hung with the moment. In a flash, the wind was tugging on his drenched cloak, rain poured from the skies, lightning flashed from above, sapping the darkness away for a breath.
The world would never be the same.
Stram, nocked another arrow, a thousand a day, for three years. He was his bow, his arrows. The target was a pincushion of arrows, it bristled, pierced in ninety-nine ways.
The string thrummed again, wind and water and the air moved aside. Stram, the bowman of Crescent Bay watched his arrow, all the way. It soared high, flying where a man could not, searing through the distance in a rush. It thundered, grew, his intentions poured into it, it rushed faster, faster. Stram was deep in it. The moment, he pressed himself further.
The arrow fell as if it was pulled to the spot, propelled, he felt it’s movement, it thundered through the air. When it landed. Everything changed.
A true shot.
For a brief flash, the arrow seemed to mirage around itself, splintering. He pierced the Shaping, the target exploded, the fabric of it’s making shattered, broken arrows and points flew to the wind.
Stram watched, for three years he had practiced, pushed, pressed himself, through starvation, homeless, near the brink of breaking. He had moved through the moments of desperation, where hunger is stronger than the sun, and the wind of failure could shatter a will.
He hadn’t given up, he hadn’t given in when all his life fell and crumbled and broke, he believed it could -would- happen.
Stram threw his bow over his shoulder, where it belonged, it fits there. As Stram walked from the rolling hill, rain fell, a storm raged, time-shifted and a new legend walked into existence, Stram Bow-born had sacrificed everything, had paid in life, in the effort, and years.
For an Understanding.