THE ARCHER-A Short Story by Ian Cai Mercer

27 Jan


You are standing in a field, crowds either side, banners blazing in the bright blue, sunlit sky.

Then a hush falls, it is your turn. The silence as you move two paces forward and pick up your bow is all-pervading, even Children, young babies and all the animals in the world are reluctant to be the first to break it. But this is THE moment that you have trained, have yearned so long for, that nothing could distract you from the task ahead.

There is such a calm, a sense of stillness in the air so palpable that you can almost taste it. You notch an Arrow, the finest of all, made for this time and this one purpose. You move one last pace to the Firing Line, planting your feet deep into the Earth, one Foot forward, one back, the weight of your body and soul evenly distributed. Taking a last glance around you, you lower your eyes; close them in a fleeting prayer before raising your head high, your gaze locked onto the Target.  Nothing else matters, it is time.

You stand tall and straight, rooted as a tree. With a firm grip and a steady arm, you lift the Bow.

Focus. Breathe in, breathe out.

You pull the string back, its creak is deafening as you sight along the arrow, focussing on the distant Target. Focus, breathe in, breathe out. Tense and hold. Breathe in, LOOSE! Breathe out.

BULLSEYE! The crowd cries and cheers, going wild. You close your eyes, exhausted and elated, waves of relief sweeping over you.

Then the moment is over, life will return to normal, but the experience will stay with you forever.

Because you are THE Archer!



There’s also a Poem I like the last part of-

We are not now that strength which in old days

 Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;

 One equal temper of heroic hearts,

 Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

 To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.


The poem is the final stanza of Ulysses by Alfred Tennyson.






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