Skyfishing   2483.05.05*  
Written By: Sarah Clawfoot
Suddendusk experiments with a new form of hunting...
Posted: 01/20/07      [13 Comments]

It was unusual for Suddendusk to be up during the daylight, and even more unusual for him to be out of the shelter of the trees, but sometimes the call of a new invention or the pull to create was just too strong. About a moondance ago, he'd been repairing a spring-loaded snare with one of Whispersilk's freshly-dyed sheets flapping in the wind nearby. Those two elements combined sent him on a journey that ended with him in the waist-high grass of a flat meadow, among the chirping grasshoppers and lazy, fat bumblebees, amidst a tangle of fine fishing twine and turning over in his hands a frame of light wood with a thin hide stretched tightly over it. He scratched his beard. He made an adjustment to the sharpened wooden spikes he'd made and turned the whole complicated contraption around in his hands. “I think that'll do,” he said to nobody in particular.

The tribe didn't blink at Suddendusk's absence. The elder elf was known for having a touch of wanderlust and it wasn't out of the ordinary that he'd wander off somewhere for a handful of days. Blacksnake, meanwhile, had taken on a lone hunting expedition. It had been a while since he'd had some good longneck, and he meant to cross the meadow to the wetlands beyond. It was chance that he came across Suddendusk's trail, and plain curiosity prompted him to seek out his half-brother

Suddendusk wasn't all that hard to find. He wasn't taking great care to move through the meadow without leaving a trail, and he wasn't concerned about not making very much noise. Blacksnake found him in the meadow before too long, squinting up at the sun and holding a piece of fishing twine in each hand, both of which led up to the wood and hide frame, which had caught on a stiff breeze and was actually flying. Not really knowing what to make of what he was seeing, Blacksnake slowly walked out and stood beside the odd elf, likewise squinting up into the sun, watching the strange contraption fly above them.

“Watch this,” Suddendusk said, apparently unsurprised by the sudden arrival of another elf. “See that bird?” There were a few gulls hovering near the thing, trying to get close enough to peck at something on it. Blacksnake spotted a gutted fish on a rock nearby.

“You put fish on that thing?”

Suddendusk nodded, not taking his eyes off his flying contraption. “Bait.”

Blacksnake looked up at the birds. One was getting very, very close.

“Come on,” muttered Suddendusk. “Just a little closer…”

The gull decided to try for the flying treat and swooped in—Suddendusk instantly yanked on the twine in his hand, which sprung the trap. With a twang, two arms of sharpened spikes impaled the bird and the whole mess came crashing to the ground. Suddendusk let out a whoop of victory and bounded over to his prize. The other gulls wheeled around, crying sharply to each other.

Blacksnake simply stared in disbelief. “How long did it take you to come up with that?” he asked.

Suddendusk shrugged. “Two or three hands of days of just thinking about it,” he said. “And a few more days to build it and to get it just right. And look! It worked!” It was clear from whence Twig got some of her sheer enthusiasm.

“But it's destroyed now.”

“I can make another one. It'll be much quicker now that I know how.”

“Three hands of days of work… so you could fish in the sky? For one bird?”

The one-eyed elf beamed proudly.

Blacksnake stared at him for a few more heartbeats. Then in one fluid motion, he armed and drew back his bow, loosing it at a gull. It squawked as the arrow impaled it. Gull meat wasn't what he'd had in mind, but it'd do, if it would make a point. Both elves watched as it fell to the earth between them.

“Well. Yes.” Suddendusk said, staring at the kill. Blacksnake's lesson was not lost on him. “Yes. That works, too, I suppose.”

His point made, Blacksnake picked up the bird and headed back towards the den trees without another word.

Suddendusk fell into step beside him. “But I bet I had more fun.”

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