She aimed for the apple atop my head
"Hold still" she breathed, winking as she drew back in the bow
But whether by choice, chance or fate my heart was pierced instead.
The outline of my former life lay bare, cold, stark upon the floor.
Her spirit possessed my being animating the limbs, pulsating the heart.
She would raise me to full stature then let me fall limp and lifeless on the cold stone amidst gales of laughter.
Time after time till all my bones were broken and even she could make me stand no more.
There I was left, heart still beating but mine again - her final gift to a broken man.
Each rush of blood sending waves of pain through my useless body
But most of all the arrow dancing, throbbing with each contraction.
Bones and flesh mended slowly, though her mark could still be seen.
A stranger happened by who otherwise would pass and lifted me up bearing me along
My atrophied arm draped across her shoulder.
She asked if she might remove the arrow but I hesitated and withdrew.
That wounding whether by choice, chance or fate was part of me - or so I thought and bore it in my body, my soul.
Many years passed in the company of the stranger - now my friend, my lover.
But still the arrow my heart retained.
Whilst working in the garden one day the archer happened along stopping, watching my labors still afflicted by her torments.
I met her gaze and inquired - "why?
Why had she treated me so?"
"For sport" she replied then vanished over the hill.
My fingers closed around the arrows shaft
The memories relieved with each pulse.
I then wrenched the foul instrument loose
And buried it in the garden.
Whether her choice of sport was chance or fate, I would no longer be her prey.
Whatever the cause of her bewitching games
It had led me to that stranger, now my love - no longer needing that arrow - I am complete.