This one would not beg. I was sure of it.
I have been sure before. I held my aim steady above his heart and spoke the words ordained for me.
The chamber was built to hurl my words like brazen knives against any man who entered, but his step never faltered.
Let him get close enough to see, I thought. Let him understand.
He was tall but walked without swagger; well enough set, but nothing to make the girls swoon. Yet I could warm to him, I realised. It was his eyes: puppy dog brown, made to plead. But he was not pleading, and now he was close enough to see how my eyes belied the words I spoke.
“Cower, trespasser, and pray my mercy.”
One last step, and he touched the arrow’s tip.
With a sigh of effort I unbent the bow.
We had found our hero.
Well we could always use another hero, right? This post was a response to Angela Goff’s VisDare challenge. I cannot recommend strongly enough that you go and take a look at the other responses.