It was down to the last arrow, and I had a narrow two-point lead. My opponent proved tougher than expected, matching me point for point. I noticed him place his final arrow into his bow. As he pulled back the string, I bit my lip, a process I had done many times that day. Because of this I had the sticky taste of blood in my mouth. Soon the sharp twang of his release resounded in my ears. I followed his arrow's arching flight. On the downward journey I lost view in the sun. I silently cursed. Now it was my turn. It had been a long day, 143 arrows long. For a moment I caught a whiff of bug spray, then I peered down into my quiver and pulled out my last arrow. I quickly noticed how glistening black the sweat from my hand made the carbon shaft appear. I then nocked the arrow to my bow's string. For a few moments I stared blankly at the multi-colored target. Then, with a flex of my arms, I raised the bow to shoulder's height. I closed my eyes, inhale, exhale, inhale, now I pulled the bow string to my face. I was worried about this last shot; I was tired, hot, and sick with fever. I put the sight on the target and released. I felt overjoyed when I received news that I hit the bull's-eye and kept my lead. As the butterflies in my stomach disappeared, a wave of gladness washed over me. I had defended my title once again, I was the best in New York State. l
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.