Into the woods with 35 Arrows

The other day I read a short news blurb about a guy shot with a bow and arrow by his teenage daughter after he took away her cell phone. I will refrain from commenting on the story because… Well, whatever. What I do want to talk about is the idea that popped into my head when I read it.

What if this was not just a tragic accident caused by a disturbed teenager that probably shouldn’t have been trusted with deadly weapons? What if everybody was kung-fu fighting, and their fists were fast as lighting? What if this was an anime style conflict in which a student takes down her master?

Here is my attempt at a dramatization of this event. Oh, and I apologize for being a horrible person that finds amusement and inspiration in some random human tragedy. This was initially a comment on Reddit where I found this story. It was written on a spur, and then I later expanded it, cleaned it up a bit and decided to share here.

***

All daughters in the world have one thing in common: they know exactly which buttons to push to really piss off their fathers. Over the years they hone this skill into an art. They can bring an old man from zero to a cusp of boiling rage in a single snippy comment or a snide remark. Imagine if you will, a man an his daughter in the back yard. Beautiful summer day, birds are singing, trees in the wood behind the house are swaying in a gentle breeze. The girl wears a brightly colored track suit, while the man sports slacks and a white shirt. He says something, she makes a face and indignantly blurts out a response. The father erupts. Mount Vesuvius of rage.

“That’s it little lady! Your phone privileges are hereby revoked. Hand over the iPhone”

“Never!”

Father assumes a fighting position – palms outward, legs wide apart: “We can do it the hard way or the easy way.”

Daughter fluidly switches from arms akimbo to a classic Crane stance: “Bring it on old man.”

They clash in a flurry of perfectly executed and masterfully parried blows. The old man has the advantage of experience, but the girl more than makes up for her technical flaws with youthful energy and flexibility. They are evenly matched opponents. The dazzling display of martial prowess continues for several minutes, every blow delivered in crisply, and cleanly. Every parry, dodge and block perfectly timed. There are no openings, no easy targets.

They slowly circle around each other, painting patterns in the freshly cut grass. She is unleashing devastating flying kicks, one after the other, but he can see them a mile away. Each one misses by inches, but he never gets to counter. Her recovery is flawless. He tries technical timing attacks, trying to overwhelm her with long chains, and frequent switch ups. She is to fast. Her colorful bracelets are like dazzling force fields, always materializing in front of his blows just in the nick of time.

Minutes past. They both start to lose steam… Sweat beads on their foreheads, their breath become heavy… Two squirrels race across the lawn and stop to gawk at the dazzling combat scene. This fight is beyond their comprehension, so they scurry away looking for nuts and seeds.

Then it’s over in a flash. Experience trumps over youth. The man feints high, but abruptly spins around and in a swoop kicks the legs out from underneath the girl. She hits the ground like a sack of potatoes. The impact knocks the air out of her in a painful moan.

The man wipes his brow with the back of his hand and then confiscates the cell phone.

“That was good, but you still have a lot to learn kid. Now you not only don’t have a phone, but you are also grounded.”

She pants heavily, and does not respond. There is pure rage, and boiling hatred in her eyes. If looks could kill…

He turns around and starts to slowly walk back to the house, leaving her still sprawled on the grass. Her pride is bruised, but otherwise she will be ok. He smiles to himself. He taught her well. She fights like a demon, and in a year or two he won’t be able to keep up. That’s why he needs to curb her temper now. She needs to learn some humility and discipline.

“NEVER TURN YOUR BACK ON ME OLD MAN!”

He whips around and stifles a gasp. There she is – bow in hand, arrow drawn. This is new. This is unexpected. But she is bluffing. She must be. She has never fired at a man before. He would not let her. Not yet. Not for a while. She can hit target dummies with her eyes closed, and she knows how to hunt game. But firing at a person, her father no less, is an entirely different matter. She is not ready for that.

“You would not dare!”

She won’t shoot. Will she? He instinctively rotates his body to minimize surface area and become a smaller target. She seamlessly takes drifts to the side adjusting her aim, and keeping him squared just like he taught her. Good. He can kite her this way, put her in a disadvantageous position. But there is no cover anywhere. The lawn is purposefully empty. There are no trees and and no obstacles between the house at the edge of the wood. It makes the wooden deck a great defensive position, forcing attackers to expose themselves and dash trough. But now, he is caught in this killing zone himself. There is nothing he could maneuver her into. She is to far to be disarmed, and he is wide open. Stupid, stupid, stupid. How could he let his guard down like this? Then again he did not anticipate this turn of events. They rarely fought with deadly weapons, even when sparring.

Can he still catch an arrow in mid flight? No, definitely not. That skill was lost to him years ago. The reflexes are not what they used to be. He will be dodging then… And praying he can fool her with his stance. He positions himself to pounce to the left, but he will twist to the right instead. She might fall for it.

“Watch me!” she adjusts her aim.

“Don’t be foolish. Let’s talk about this.”

“Talk time is over!” she releases the arrow.

He snaps, and spins but he is too slow. Her aim is true. The projectile hits him few inches below his armpit. There is no pain, just whistling in his ears. The arrow did not go deep… Maybe it’s not that serious…

His sight becomes blurry and his legs give way. He collapses onto the grass, and the pain slowly starts to radiate from the wound.

“Call… 911…” he coughs. There are droplets of blood on his lips. Shit just got real.

“Can’t pops! My phone privileges have been revoked, remember?” She triumphantly snatches away her phone. He grabs her sleeve but she easily pulls it free.

“Don’t be foolish! This is madness…”

She grabs her quiver, and slings it over her shoulder. She crooks her head, taking in the sight. His white shirt is slowly soaking up blood. A puddle is forming underneath his body. She snaps a picture with her phone.

“This is my new wallpaper.” She flashes her white teeth at him in a predatory smile.

“You are just as crazy as your cunt of a mother!” She had that same evil grin – pure, distilled malevolence, punctuated by dark abyss of madness in her eyes. He should have known. He should have seen the signs. Like mother, like daughter. She succeeded where his late wife has failed less than ten years ago.

“Fuck you dad. I hope you rot in hell.” She starts walking towards the woods.

“Don’t you dare to walk away from me!”

She keeps walking.

“YOU WILL NOT LEAVE ME HERE! I ORDER YOU TO STOP.”

She does not even dignify him with a shrug. The quiver swings on her back, and there seems to be swagger in her step.

“Listen, I’m sorry… Let’s start over…”

She stops, but doesn’t turn around.

“The deed is done pops. I can’t turn this around. That boat has sailed.”

“Please, be reasonable. Think of the consequences.”

“I will face the consequences as they come.” She gives him one last look over the shoulder. “I could have put an arrow between your eyes, but I didn’t. I want you to suffer a bit. Die slowly, or live with the pain for weeks. If you survive, find me…” She smiles. “We will do this again, and I promise that I will end you with my bare hands. Deal?”

He just coughs, gurgles, and spits out blood.

Abruptly she drops to a crouch, and then bounds into the nearest tree. From there she leaps from branch to branch deep into the woods. He groans, more from frustration than from the pain. He tries to break off the arrow, but each attempt floods his body with a wave of pain causing him to lose grip. Little bitch. Contemptible cunt. He will find her, and he will bit the crazy right out of her. But for that, he needs to survive the next hour and get to a phone…

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3 Responses to Into the woods with 35 Arrows

  1. Apparently “…” doesn’t work for wordpress as a comment. So lets try this:
    … I honestly don’t know what to say here… Though this does make me less likely to ever spend an extended period of time around you alone. ;)

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  2. Eric UNITED STATES Google Chrome Windows says:

    That is just a bit closer to home then I would have liked. Untill about a week ago I lived about 30 minutes east of Tahuya.

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  3. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    @ Travis McCrea:

    LOL. I hope I didn’t just scare away bunch of readers with this. Note to self: don’t post half-assed literary attempts on the tech/sf blog. :)

    @ Eric:

    Well, this could have happened anywhere really. The only difference is that in some parts of the country the bow would be replaced with a hand-gun or a switchblade.

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