1965-09-07 - Twanging the Night Away
Summary: Dani gives Amanda lessons about pointy projectiles.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
amanda-sefton danielle 


"Like this?" Out in the woods, Amanda set up targets, like the ones Dani's used when she's impressing the audience at the circus. Today, she's trying out the woman's bow. She's still obviously uncomfortable with the full draw of the bow, like a newbie who's worried she's going to snap the string. Which is, of course, Amanda's immediate worry

Danielle gently places her hand on Amanda's arm, to guide the draw further. "Too loose. If you let go now, it's just going to flop to the ground. A little more… A little more… Okay, hold there for a second." She's taught some of the youngsters at Xavier's, but never with this level of one-on-one attention. "Feel that tension? The way your arm feels? That's the 'starting point'." She adjusts her position behind the other woman, and nudges Amanda's other arm just a wee bit higher. "It's going to arc, so… Okay? Keep your eye on the target and your arms steady. Breathe in…. Good. Exhale…..and release."

Amanda Sefton releases, with probably the same look of glee and uncertainty. She of course, does not hit the bullseye. But! She does hit the target. Off centre by several inches. She's a newbie. No wind factored into the shot. "That's… actually kind of neat," she admits, nodding. "I see why people started doing this competitively… there's kind of a rush."

Danielle grins happily and pats her girlfriend's shoulder approvingly. "There's something to it, isn't there?" she agrees. "I think it's the stillness while you draw and aim… Builds up anticipation. Then suddenly *twang* and everything's moving fast again." She pads across to inspect the arrow still vibrating a little in the target. "You wouldn't believe how hard it is for some first-timers to even hit the paper, let alone in a ring. Want to try some more?"

"I'm just glad it went in the direction I was pointing," Amanda says. "You have no idea how often magic likes to do the opposite if you're not focusing." She /could/ enchant the bow to make it work for her, but there are times when her power dwindles down, as part of the 'test' of walking the Winding Way. So she puts up with it, and she learns how to do things the mundane way. "Yes! Please!"

Danielle puts her thumb on the arrow's shaft, right up against the paper, then works the arrow free of the target. As she returns to her girlfriend, she holds up the arrow, her thumb serving as a marker. "This is how deep it went. See? Just a little past the tip. That's not bad for your first time, but we'll work on getting a little more 'oomph' into it. A little more tension in the string will turn into a surprising amount of power." She lets Amanda inspect the arrow for herself, then fetches a 'clean' one from the quiver. "Alright. Number two. Here you go."

Amanda Sefton smiles. "Yeah, but I still -hit- something!" She's happy with herself. And happier still, judging by the big goofy smile, when she gets to do it all herself. This time, though, she does not stop when the bowstring is too loose. She pulls it back to where Dani had her pull it, and then just a bit further… further.. andddd… TWAAAAAAAANG!

Of course Dani watches closely, giving the other woman a bit more space than before. That big goofy smile is infectious, and she's grinning with delight and pride. This time, the arrow sails faster, and embeds itself more solidly in the target. "Good!" she announces with a happy clap. "See? That wasn't as scary as you thought." A bit of playful teasing, before she reminds, "Make sure you set your feet like I showed you, yeah? Try a few more.." This time, instead of handing over an arrow, she holds her quiver out to let Amanda select the next one herself.

Amanda Sefton almost facepalms. "Right, feet positioning," she echoes, nodding firmly. She retrieves an arrow from the quiver and tries again, this time looking down to make sure her feet are in the proper position before she tries shooting off another arrow. "So… moving while shooting must take a lot of practice."

Danielle nods her approval of the proper stance. And while the aim is still not super precise, each arrow hits the target with a satisfying thump. "Quite a lot, honestly," she confirms. She keeps her eyes on her 'pupil', more than the target itself. "I may have grown up with an unfair advantage. I was riding horses almost as soon as I could walk, and learning to shoot from horseback not too long after that. But the underlying skills are the same. Nock, draw, aim, breathe, release. Nock, draw, aim, breathe, release. Aiming comes with repetition, but breathing is the one most people overlook."

"I never got the chance to ride the horses," Amanda notes, between knocking another arrow and firing it. "We've got a horse that handles pulling the vardo around - or, well, we did." This means 'mother and I', though she avoids the maternally-inclined words. "When the circus came across the ocean they switched up. If we moved it'll be by train, they think. We'll see."

"Keep your left arm straight, honey," Danielle mentions, then nods thoughtfully. "If you want, we could do some riding lessons, too. You're comfortable enough on Brightwind, and there are couple of mares that are calm enough for a beginner. I could probably sweet-talk Gunter into letting us take one of them out for some morning exercise a couple times a week."

"Brightwind first," Amanda says after loosing another arrow. "It would be easier to learn on someone that isn't going to toss me just for looking at someone else strangely." Some of those mares are a little sensitive.

Danielle snorts softly. High-strung 'sensitive' mares make her glad she's not their handler. "Brightwind is certainly available, though I /may/ need to have words with him about behaving properly for it." As they talk, she occasionally offers correction or advice as needed. And plenty of praise and encouragement as her girlfriend turns the paper sheet into a flat porcupine.

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