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With his arm outstretched and his shoulders relaxed, he concentrates on the target. No rush. Shooting with a bow and arrow is a delicate art. He remembers the words of his trainer, “You have to be as one with your bow. You must see it as an extension of your arm and your arrow as an extension of your eyes. Wherever your eyes are fixed, that is where the arrow will land.” He does not take his eye off the heart of the target. He must succeed. There is no more room for error. The judging panel is watching him carefully. If he missed his shot now it would be a real disaster for him. A shiver of excitement runs through him and he has to summon up all his concentration to remain perfectly still. He breathes in one last time, holds his breath and lets go. The arrow whistles through the clouds. Time seems to stand still. A slight doubt creeps over him. What if he has made a mistake, even a very small mistake, and the arrow is deviating from its trajectory? But he cannot possibly have made a mistake. He has trained for this moment all his life. The arrow makes a perfect landing at the heart of the target. A light perfume of roses is released when the end of the capsule opens to disperse a thick red cloud. He has successfully accomplished his first shot. The judges applaud. His heart swells with a huge surge of pride. He has proved himself worthy of the trust placed in him. Those hundreds of hours of training have not been in vain. All the aching muscles, sprains and other injuries... He had certainly not gone unscathed! And today he has proved that he is ready. The chair of the judges approaches him holding a magnificent bow and a full quiver. An enchanted bow and enchanted arrows. His very own bow! He has passed his final test, thus proving he is ready to fulfil his mission. By enrapturing his first victim, Cupid has just demonstrated that he is indeed the new angel of love.
Translated by Wendy Cross