Where It Began

The sudden, sharp sound of an arrow quickly and narrowly whizzing past Jekyr’s head, accompanying the muted thunk of it embedding itself into an oak tree a few feet back instantaneously snapped him to reality. Jekyr hastily glanced around the sparsely lit and densely clustered forest in a vain attempt to piece together what occurred. Moments after, his gaze settled on Serl, his older brother by two years, holding up his pristine shortbow, aiming towards Jekyr’s direction with a sly smirk.

The two were brothers by blood, albeit, they did not appear as such in physique and mind. Jekyr had beautifully brilliant brown eyes, long, bristly brown hair that slumped towards his right. Clothing Jekyr’s thin, compact build was a simple, yet snug leather vest laid over a green tunic accompanying some dark blue trousers and light tan leather boots. Serl, on the other hand, was nearly the opposite; he had stunningly sharp silver eyes, short, buzzed brownish-blond hair. Adorning his lean, yet solid frame, was a silvery-gray tunic, (no vest), with blue trousers and dark chocolate boots and his sly smirk.

“Serl! What was that for?” Jekyr incredulously cried out, thrusting his arms away from him, palms facing the thick foliage above. “You could have killed me!”

“You were not paying attention. What do you expect me to do? Snap my fingers? That’s boring! You should know this ’bout me Jekyr! I am very surprised you have not learned that!” Serl mockingly crooned. His sly grin softly faded away into a puzzled, tight-lipped frown as he stared at Jekyr.

Jekyr angrily scowled while vehemently staring at Serl. “You still don’t shoot an arrow at me!” he shouted, throwing his arms skyward. “Honestly! What would you tell Father Meralin if you shot me? My stupidity got Jekyr killed?”

Serl shifted uncomfortably beneath Jekyr’s harsh glares, loudly crunching dead leaves and sticks under the heels of his boots as he twitched. He coyly rubbed at his elbows, staring at one of the trees. He was utterly speechless. This level of brutality was unheard of from Jekyr. “W-W-Well… Shit… Jekyr…” Serl hesitantly mumbled. Gone was his normal, jovial tone, now replaced with a much softer, crestfallen voice instead.

“I do not want to hear it Serl! You can tell Father Meralin what happened if he asks! Just… Just leave me be!” Jekyr lividly shouted at Serl from over his shoulder. Before Serl even realized it, Jekyr had angrily stomped deeper into the forest, leaving Serl alone to his own rueful musings.

Serl fell onto his knees, throwing the shortbow off to his side, where it loudly clattered, pushing aside malleable soil. He somberly put his hands on his knees, watching the path Jekyr took; his brother slowly becoming a smaller and smaller figure until fully disappearing into the thicket. “I-I just… I just wanted to apologize…” he weakly whimpered between choked sobs. “I-I’m sorry… I didn’t m-mean it…”

Warm, salty tears streaked down Serl’s face as he kneeled, silently pondering if Jekyr would forgive him. He was completely oblivious to the robust, blond-haired figure watching the duo’s debate. Moments after they split, the figure silently stepped backwards, disappearing into the dense foliage. Like a whisper, the figure was there one moment and gone the next…

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