In Their Honor
By Caitlin Jackson
Piercing, green eyes peer over the hovering, twilight fog. In the distance the huntress spots one of the circling argonts. They are wolf-like predators, but their leathery skin, larger size, and sharper canines make them more dangerous. Releasing the tension in her longbow, she skewers the argont’s glowing eye with Elvin precision as the arrow heads deep into the skull. She incapacitates several more with her bow as the pack ventures closer.
Recklessly, one of the more arrogant argont charges her from behind. Anticipating the feeble attack, the trained warrior unsheathes her sword and pushes the blade straight into the beast’s chest cavity. Using her foot, she dislodges the carcass off the weapon, and confronts the rest of the pack.
Pouncing from the left, the deranged carnivore knocks her to the ground. With crazed yellow eyes, and russet fur on end, the hellhounds would turn anybody into a coward, but not this seasoned soldier; not Anya. Without hesitation, Anya drives a dagger into the monster’s stomach, and pounds its head in with the hilt of her sword. Heaving the limp body to one side, she hears the rest of the pack departing in fear. The argonts have decided this meal is not worth the casualties.
Battle complete, and dinner secured, Anya’s inner animal subsides until needed once again. Whistling a high-pitched note into the abyss, she summons her valiant steed Henkee. On cue, he gallops from the campsite, and stops at her side. Choosing the smaller of the deceased argonts, Anya hoists the demon-like creature onto the horse’s back, and calmly walks back to camp.
With a full belly, Anya settles in for the night. The meat from the argont has been taken care of, and the rest of its remains buried so not to attract bigger, hungrier predators. Tethered to a nearby tree, Henkee continues to graze. Shadows, created by the fire, dance cheerfully across its gray coat.
Anya stares into the flickering flames and cannot help but wonder how she evolved into the hardened warrior she now is. Amongst the erratic gold and orange hues, Anya spots a faint image of herself when she was younger, back when everything started, and her family had been taken from her.
Labels: Caitlin Jackson