Athson sat up, his chest heaving. That was too real. His ears rang with the eagle’s screams and his face burned with the rush of frigid wind. What were those words? Something about a bow? He shook his head. Could that be it?
Soul’s-ease – he needed it. No. He’d forgotten it at the ranger station. He’d been so careless.
His gut knotted at Eagle’s Aerie glowing beneath the moon. He remembered the star falling, the knife dripping with blood. His knife. He’d bought it from that Rokan merchant weeks ago and left it in Auguron with Heth and Cireena. He didn’t know why. Athson shut his eyes and the weapon gleamed with malevolence.
He scrambled to his feet beside the low campfire. The sensation of wind scouring his face while falling clung to his mind. He exhaled. “A dream, nothing more.”
Spark flattened his ears and his tail remained still.
Athson inhaled cold air, which cleared his head. He shifted his weight from one leg to the other, observing details as his racing heartbeat slowed. The fire needed stoking much the same as when the dream started. The moon hung where it had been in its path when the eagle had dropped him. Odd. It should be lower. More time had passed than what he’d dreamed. Shouldn’t it? Athson grimaced as he rubbed his irritated hands together. He shivered in the chill as the surf rustled in the distance.
“Just a dream.” His thumping heart slackened. “Just a dream.” The slight breeze picked at his clothes. It had nothing to do with anything in his past.
He watched the summit of the bluff. Was the old woman in his dream the Withling? “I hope not. They’re trouble…”
No, he couldn’t talk about those things, he needed to avoid it all – and them. “But it was so real and I remember her wrinkles.” The eagle’s flapping still thundered in his ears. What was this inheritance? What did the visions mean? “If it’s Withling’s business, I won’t be part of it.” He’d suffered enough of their trouble.
Athson flinched at the memory of the dagger. He tossed more branches onto his fire and then rubbed his sore hands together above the growing heat. It was so real. Who were those women? The old woman at the campfire looked like the one who tossed him the packet. Was either the Withling? “The young woman’s interesting.” Athson shot a sidelong glance at Spark.
The dog looked up from sniffing around, sat, thumped his tail and gave a soft woof.
He knelt by his blanket and froze on one knee. His jaw went slack for several seconds as awareness flooded his mind. He snatched his weapons – bow, arrows, and long-knife – and scrambled into the surrounding trees.
Spark bounded after him and waited while he panted.
Again, Athson’s heart pounded. He stared back toward his fire and his blanket and what lay beside it. The packet sat unwrapped on the ground.
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P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.
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