Armaila jumped up, and pulled the homemade arrow out of the soft bark of the tree. It made a
soft squishing sound.
She'd been practising her archery all morning, but now the wind was blowing too hard for her to
continue. She examined the arrow, her light green eyes twitching back and fourth. Satisfied, she
put it back n her quiver with all the other arrows. Bow in hand, she began the mile walk back to
“Uncle!” she cried, as she stepped through the oak wood doorway. Her parents had been
summoned by the king; her father had been accused of being part of an assassination plot against
the king. Her father couldn't have done it, Armaila knew, but that didn't make the situation any
less serious. The trial was still one month way. Her aunt and uncle, on her mothers side were
looking after her. Her aunt, Marie, was her mothers sister. Her family lived not but a few miles
from where she lived, so she was familiar with all the country side around their farm.
“Armaila!” answered the burly man. Most of the hair on the top of his head was gone, and what
remained was a dirty shade of white. With haste, she put her bow down, and ran to her uncle,
wrapping her arms around his stout waist. She stood about as high as his shoulders.
“Any word about father and mother?” she said, her green eyes worriedly searching his worn face.
He shook his head, an expression of sorrow was on his face.
“No my child.” He said softly, brushing her autumn brown locks.
“Where is aunty?”
“She went to town, perhaps she will bring back word.” He smiled reassuringly at her.
Armaila nodded; an attempt to reassure herself. Then, just as on the last two days she was there,
went into the kitchen to make dinner. Soon the aroma of ham, potatoes and steamed vegetables
filled the small room. Shortly after the ham came out of the small wood stove, Armaila heard the
familiar sound of her aunt and uncles wagon. Running to make sure that it was her aunt, she
looked out the tiny window.
“Earl? Armaila?” Came the familiar call of her aunts voice.
“Aunty! Is there any word?”
“No Armaila. I am sorry.” She gave Armaila a small smile, but not out of joy.
Armailas aunt walked into their small home, setting down a small cloth bag, filled with supplies
she had bought. Earl went to tend to the horses. Marie began to put some of the things she had
Armaila thought something seemed different about her aunt—like she knew something, and
wanted to tell someone. “Aunty, is there anything wrong? Is it about my parents?” Armaila asked.
Marie paused briefly. She was busy putting away a bag of new dish rags in a cupboard underneath
“No dear, your parents are fine.” She replied.
“Aunty?” Armaila said in a questioning tone. Just then Earl walked in.
“Well, lets eat, ladies.” He said, hanging up his tattered hat on a peg by the door.
“Earl, Armaila, I need you both to sit down.” Marie said, causing Armaila to begin to...