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She peered out into the darkness. They were out there. She felt it in her bones. The attack would happen tonight.

But she would be ready.

Strange, that this duty should fall to her. She had spent many years as an outcast, a fugitive. The bounty on her head was quite generous, the last she had heard.

Yet she patrolled the wall, ready to fend off an ungodly attack, ready to save those who had hunted her for so long.

The burning torches along the wall made it hard to see past them into the darkness, but they gave the townsfolk courage. She stopped beside one, gazing for a moment into the flame. It stirred memories within her; warm, cosy memories. She used to watch the fire burning in the hearth when she was a little girl, back when she had a hearth. Before the forests became her home.

Her fingers tightened on the grip of her longbow and she turned her head slightly. A noise, in the dark. She slipped an arrow from her quiver and waited, motionless.

There it was again. Unmistakeable. The sound of a skeleton walking.

She swung her bow up and around, passing the tip of the arrow through the flame of the torch, lighting it and loosing it with one smooth motion.

The arrow found its target perfectly. The flame caught on the dusty, dry shroud that hung from the undead thing’s shoulders, lighting it and its companions like beacons, marking clear targets for the other defenders to focus on. The alarm bells sounded.

She smiled as she sent more arrows flying, her aim true despite the chaos erupting around her. They didn’t call her “The Bow” for nothing.

© Kari Fay