Ocean Park, WA

May 2nd, 2020

“Do it. Go on, shoot. You know you want to, but you can’t, can you? You might miss after all and wouldn’t that be a shame?”

The sickening leer that her tormentor gave her in that moment turned Mariah’s stomach in a way that set her arms to shaking and a fine sheen of sweat to pop out on her brow. This was no time to be indecisive nor even a time to hesitate, but she couldn’t help it. The only thing standing in front of her target was the one thing she couldn’t do without, the one person that she wouldn’t risk with a shot like this.

The recurve bow in her hands felt insanely heavy at that moment and trembled as she attempted to find a shot that wouldn’t allow her arrow to sink into her little boy’s body. From this distance and with the force of her weapon the arrow would enter the child’s body easily and likely penetrate all the way through. It would do the same to the man behind her boy as well. The only shots she had weren’t enough to put her tormentor down however, and that was a problem. There was only a slim chance that she could make the type of shot that would save her child.

But he could very well die if she didn’t take it.

“What’s the matter mommy?” her tormentor jeered, lowering his voice as he held her son aloft, his short legs dangling and his hands hanging limply at his sides. The only reason she couldn’t get a shot off was that the impish troll holding her little boy was covering himself well with his small human shield. Richard was only four years old but he was big for his age, and despite his weight the man holding him was incredibly strong. She’d found that out the hard way several years ago when she’d married him.

“Let him go,” she said, trying her best to snarl but finding only enough strength to force out a plea that she knew her ex would never listen to. Why she’d ever thought that he was a good man, or that he could change, was beyond her, but why she’d then thought he could change was even worse.

Lying at her feet was the only one that could have helped her, and currently he was unconscious but thankfully not dead as she could see his chest rising and falling from the corner of her eye. That didn’t make the situation any better, but it gave her an option. Of course he would have to wake up soon if she was going to take it.

Her ex sneered from around his human shield, clucking his tongue as he shook his head. She saw as his grip began to tighten around her son’s limp form, his fingers dimpling the overalls that Richard loved so much.

“Bad choice of words honey,” he said, his powerful forearms bunching as his fingers began to squeeze.

“No!” she roared, loosing her arrow before any real thought to what she was doing could take hold. She almost reached out to grab it, to slap the arrow out of the air before it could launch. But she was too late. All she could do was watch as it sailed forward, the shaft wobbling to and fro as it streaked towards whichever target her aiming eye had selected.

(to be continued)

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