Mallory’s muscles quaked a little as she held the bowstring taut. It was her father’s old hunting bow, and she had used it for strength training to increase the power in her shot for competitions. She knew she could hold the weight, but that didn’t change how difficult it was holding back all 60 pounds of the drawback.
They called her deadeye because she was a good shot, but they also called Mallory that because of her signature through-the-eye shot when she was buck hunting. She always argued that, while gruesome, the animals felt no pain since they were killed instantly; moreover, being able to hit a deer’s eye was harder than a bullseye, so it was good practice.
“Do it,” Mallory’s best friend Shannon bellowed, sitting on the bale of hay to Mallory’s right.
“You’re breaking my concentration,” Mallory said, closing one eye but keeping the bowstring taut.
“No, don’t!” Dan screamed, his voice muffled by the distance. “I’m sorry, I promise I won’t step out again!”
“That’s what you said the last four times,” Shannon shouted back, picking up a pitchfork that was stabbed into the ground. She chucked it toward Dan, but it barely made it a few feet before being impaled in the soft earth again.
“Would you both zip it!” Mallory said, her muscles aching with each passing second.
Mallory thought of the woman she had caught her husband with this time. She was pretty enough, and some might even say she was pretty enough to die for, and that made Mallory even more upset. She was good looking enough as well, but why that was less than enough for her husband was beyond her.
They’d barely made it five months before she came home from competition to her husband’s arrow in the single neighbor’s bullseye.
“Somebody help me!” Dan screamed, again and again, snot bubbles inflating every few seconds in his nose.
“No one can hear you,” Shannon yelled back. “Even if Rick were at home this week, all the hay in here would muffle the sound.” Mallory glanced at Shannon. “But Rick’s not home this week, so no sweat.”
“Sounds like a good plan,” Mallory replied.
“Great. I think I have still had my divorce lawyer’s number. He’s good.” Shannon held open her arms to their surroundings. “Got me the farm and I couldn’t be happier.”
But Shannon remained quiet as they closed the distance to the house before heading inside to get their ice cream.