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“Great,” he muttered as the rain started to fall. “That’s just what we need.”

“Not afraid of a little rain, are you, Alfstan?”

He turned sharply, drawing himself up to his full height and saluting the young woman who had spoken. She gestured him to his ease and leaned over the battlements, looking out into the distance.

“No ser,” he said. “Not afraid. But the men have a hard battle ahead of them as it is, and a cold rain will only dampen their enthusiasm.”

She tilted her head a little. “Pass me your spyglass, would you?”

He handed it over and watched her closely as she peered through it.

“The refugees,” she said, her voice low. “Are they all within the keep?”

“Yes ser,” he replied. “Aside from a few who volunteered to fight with us.”

She nodded and handed the spyglass back to him. “Are they armed and armoured?”

“Not yet. I hoped they wouldn’t be needed. An untrained soldier…”

She pointed to a dark smudge on the horizon, and he raised the spyglass to look for himself.

“There’s no time for that,” she said. “Trained or not, we’re going to need every last man and woman we can get.”

He turned pale and looked at her.

“A-arms and armour,” he said. “I’ll get them to the quartermaster.”

She laid a hand on his arm. “Take a shot of whisky first if you need to,” she said quietly. “Don’t let them see you tremble.”
© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: The Three Word Wednesday prompts this week are Dampen, Keep and Tremble.)

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