[RO] don't let the bed bugs bite
WC: 410

Hands were... unique. Her father had told her that they would feel like the most natural things in the world once she grew hers. Her father had also told her that he wouldn't be late for dinner tonight.

Aerin sighed, pushing her long hair out of her face. The flies had already begun feasting on what was supposed to be their meal. They dispersed as she waved her fingers above the meat, gently laying a cloth over the untouched food before they resettled. She supposed she might as well practice while she waited.

Aerin and her father had a humble abode, a simple lean-to to keep the rain away and to keep the fire going. There was a pile of her father's clothes in one corner that doubled as a bed. There was a campfire. That was pretty much it. But ever since she had grown her hands, her father had left her a single arrow shaft, head, and a set of feathers for her to practice her fletching with twine. Over and over again she wound and unwound the twine, replaced the feathers, and checked her handiwork. Over and over again until she no longer had to look at it to get it at least resembling proper. They still weren't as neat or even as her father's, but it was getting closer.

The sun set until Aerin found herself squinting in the firelight to see her arrow. Her pale golden eyes burned with the intensity she stared so she laid down the work and leaned back to get some rest.

Almost as soon as her eyes shut, she opened them again at the sound of her father entering the hovel. She stifled a smile and made her face serious as she turned towards him to scold him for his tardiness. "Father, you-"

"Miss Galenas." The dark messenger filled the sky above her, his face lost in the darkness. In his hands, a familiar cloak pin glinted in the light. "I am so so sorry."

The pin was cold in her fingers. She'd never known it to be cold before. Her father wore it always in waking and kept it beneath his bedclothes in sleep. The next thing pressed into her hands was the dark-stained wood of a now-stringless bow. It was old, worn, and chipped from battle, but she knew it well.

The man before her swam in her eyes. "There was nothing we could do."

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