"Stay", Evelyn whispered to a small mutt as she left the house. The scrawny dog sat and looked at her leave, obedient as ever.
A young boy had knocked on her door seconds ago, rushing and slurring his words, telling her she should come out at once. Never one to leave the house unprepared, she had slung her arrow pouch over her head and brought her bow along. Her thick brown hair was braided back, a few loose strands framed her thin face and highlighted her bright brown eyes. She wore old riding pants, stained with saddle oil and patched in many places. Her right hand was half covered in a brown, soft leather glove. You never knew when the opportunity to shoot something would strike, and during a rough winter such as the one the village was experiencing, Evelyn was not about to waste any opportunities.
She looked back over her shoulder at her pinto horse, who looked as miserable as ever under the small wooden covering she had set up for him beside her small wooden hut.
Everyone seemed to be gathered around two men with beautiful blue cloaks. They were certainly not from anywhere close to the village. King's men...she thought as she pondered whether she should go back inside. She had heard of the king's new plan, to send out his knights and army on a recruiting spree. She walked towards them and pushed past some villagers, trying to get to the front so she could get a good look at the men.
A couple of male villagers shot her a look of disdain, as they often did. She was a twenty something year old living on her own, unwed and opinionated. She hunted for a living, and even the men who sneered at her when she walked by bought her kill. Dead parents, dead siblings, a dog and a horse for company. And she liked that just fine. She liked her simple life, being able to get up at the crack of dawn and hunt all day, no husband to tell her not to, no parents to make her wash up before dinner. She was quite unlike all the other women in the village, and because of that, she had no companions.
She stood there and examined the men. She could tell they weren't pleased with their surroundings. It was a dreary village even on a sunny day, and when it rained it turned into a swamp-like maze of muddy huts. She looked at the younger knight, taking in his features. He looked as arrogant as she pictured all the king's knights to be. The thought made her mouth twitch into a half smile.