Three in the Field (555 words)
The setting sun turned the sky a bedazzling red color. In the field behind the village, children were at play, or so the villagers thought.
Three children stood in the center of the field. Two of them were shoulder-to-shoulder, squaring off with the third, who wore the look of a determined soldier on her face. The singular child was holding a toy bow in her hand, with a few blunt-ended wooden sticks for arrows clutched in her fist. The girl’s hair was shockingly bright blonde, and was styled in an exotic set of mouse-ear buns with tufts or hair hanging loose. Everyone in the village knew the girl by her hairstyle. Her name was Nanarex, but her hair earned her the nickname Mouse.
The two kids in front of Nanarex were boys who stood slightly larger than her. They were brothers, and they loved to pick on the smaller kids of the village. Nanarex was their favorite victim, because she was the only kid who ever tried to fight back.
“'Ey, Mousey, you gonna play hero again?” one of the boys teased. “We beat up your little friend from yesterday. He squealed like a sow.”
Nanarex knitted her eyebrows together. “Excuse me.”
“Yeah, excuse you,” said the other boy. "…For what?’
The boys threw their heads back in laughter, just like Nanarex thought they would. She was a painfully honest child, who freely admitted all of her faults and blunders to a tee. Endearing, this was, to grown-ups, but to other kids it was neverending humor.
As the boys were laughing, Nanarex nocked a fake arrow into the string of her toy bow, pulled the string back, and let the stick fly. It caught one of the boys between the eyes. He yelped in pain. He was not laughing anymore.
“I’ll end you, Mouse!” he roared, surging forward with his big, meaty hands reaching for Nanarex’s throat. Nanarex backpedaled as fast as she could, narrowly evading the boy’s attempt to choke her. His brother followed up with a wild swing of his fist at Nanarex’s head. She jumped dextrously out of his fist’s path. Without Nanarex’s head to connect with, the boy’s fist found its way to his brother’s skull. The impact knocked his brother unconscious; his brother tumbled to the ground, landing face first in the grass.
Taking advantage of the momentous distraction, Nanarex nocked another false arrow, and she whispered, “Laima guide my arrow true.” She released the string, and the stick sailed right into the tip of the boy’s nose. The stick bounced off the end of the boy’s nose and flew, spinning end over end, a short distance away and landed concealed by the green blades of field grass.
The sight of his own blood dripping from his nostrils made the boy weep. He turned tail and ran away from Nanarex, abandoning his unconscious brother, crying out for his parents.
Nanarex now felt like the bully. Dropping her toy bow at her feet, she walked over to the unconscious boy who tried to choke her earlier. She knelt beside him and nudged him until he awoke, dazed and confused.
“I guess Laima favored me this round,” Nanarex said cheerfully. She patted the boy on the head, stood, gathered her bow and fallen arrows, and ran back to the village.