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The original source text of “One, Two Archery” is shown on this page, with inserts and deletions shown as indicated.

One, Two Archery

Roffe nocked an arrow and sighted along it. In the distance, blended figures ran stealthily across her field of vision. As another broke cover, she shifted her aim forward, drew and loosed. The arrow hissed swiftly through the air.

Roffe spun to her feet and melted into the shadows of a tree. Balancing lightly, she softly counted “one … two” as she imagined the thunk of the shaft hitting home. A cry, strangled, confirmed her timing.

Shouts broke out but were quickly ordered silent. Brutal though the Kadrak elves were, they were an efficient bunch. She’d give them that. She could feel the eyes now. Keen elven eyes sweeping systematically, many in her direction. A moment’s patience, tense but relaxed, she waited.

On the count of ten she moved. Keeping low with the tree covering, she loped through the grass. Tracks could not be helped, but would avail her pursuers little. This, as all Roffe’s escapes, was carefully planned. At twenty two paces the grass veered into a shallow gully. Roffe leapt down and crouched. “One … two … three …” no pursuit. Yet.

Roffe was up and running the next instant, bounding over rocks and logs. She pressed the pace hard. The next vantage was a clear five minutes more, and she was running out of time.

Tuesday, 18 February 2003.
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© Ben Boyle 2003