Sterling was a good teacher. She had known when to push him, and when to allow him to relieve his stress by working at a relatively easy task. She hadn't interfered except to prevent disaster, but instead had begun working some slender practice arrows, straightening the bundles of dried saplings and delicately fletching them with goose feathers. Both of them had watched Verity's apparently lifeless, Loaming form with varying degrees of anxiousness, and taken solace in the blissful concentration of physical labour.
Now, Flynn stood back from the tilling bar, and considered his work with pride. A weight of 80 pounds hung from the slackened string, and the arms bent uniformly to their full extension. No cracks marred the smooth curve of the wood.
“It's good work, Flynn,” said Sterling quietly. “It's your bow, through and through.”
He nodded, without false modesty. He had done a good job on this. “The wood feels alive after a while, you know. I'm glad I didn't break it.”
“It will break eventually,” Sterling warned. “Nothing lives forever.”
“But at least it has … come to life.” He had never felt like this over a knife. Knives were tools of necessity, crafted according to need and purpose. A bow came into life almost of its own volition, following the shape of the wood which formed it.
The hard work wasn't over, of course. But as they tautened the tightly woven string, Flynn could feel his heart rate racing. Soon he would draw the string in earnest, and loose his first arrow.