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Herrin eased the door open and peered out into the courtyard. There were dozens of servants out there, milling about, going about their duties. There was no way they could slip past unnoticed.

“Might as well ask us to traverse the Pass of Demons on a pogo stick,” he muttered, stepping back to allow Tryls to see.

“Nonsense,” Tryls said. “We’re in the same rags as them. We simply need to behave as if we belong.”

Herrin stared at him. “You want us to pretend to be servants.”

Tryls nodded and took a couple of steps away from the door, looking around him at the goods stacked nearby. “These should do quite nicely,” he said, hefting a sack of flour onto his shoulder. “There is a cart quite close to the gate with several of these already loaded. We shall appear to be simply part of the loading crew.”

Herrin groaned.

“Would you rather use violence on innocent servants? Pretense is a much easier option, don’t you think?”

“Fine, fine,” he said. He heaved a sack onto his shoulder.

“You first,” Tryls said. “Humans always precede Nittalfar, after all.”

Sacks on shoulders, they stepped out into the light. The servants paid no attention to them, as Tryls had predicted, and they crossed the courtyard without incident. Herrin threw his sack onto the pile on the back of the cart, and Tryls did likewise.


Herrin looked sideways at Tryls and grimaced. A big, stocky man in slightly better than average servant garb strode towards them.

“I did not assign some stinking alfar grub to carry my flour,” he yelled.

Herrin stepped in front of Tryls. “And I did not sign on to work for a Gods-damned racist,” he yelled back. “We quit!”

He tapped Tryls on the arm and they walked quickly out of the gate, leaving the foreman staring dumbfounded at their backs.

“Move a little quicker, old chap,” Herrin whispered to Tryls. “He’ll figure out any second now that he never hired us in the first place.”

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: This week the Three Word Wednesday prompts are Assign, Pretense and Traverse, and this week Herrin & Tryls have finally gotten out of the castle – where do they go next? Find out Friday…)