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“Well,” Mirra said, taking a deep breath and avoiding Herrin’s gaze, “They won’t be able to sustain a fast pace with such a large and obvious cart. That gives us an advantage.”

Herrin nodded. “Since your little earth thingy only just started pointing two ways, their paths have only recently diverged to a noticeable extent. No doubt they’re transporting Tryls in something faster, less obvious.”

Mirra held the Mefrinakk up again and concentrated. It pointed away from Herrin at last, and once again its limbs stuck out in two directions.

“Not fast enough for us to see its movement in this, though,” she said. “We’d still be guessing at which one’s which.”

Herrin paced the ground a couple of times, back and forth, then stopped and shrugged. “Doesn’t matter. If we pick one and it’s the cart, we deal with it quickly and catch up to the other to rescue Tryls. If we pick one and it’s Tryls, well then, there’s three of us to make our way leisurely back to the cart and deal with that.”

Mirra frowned. “Unless the first one we reach gets a messenger off to warn the other.”

Herrin rolled his eyes dramatically. “Why must you always be so hasty to think of the worst case scenario? I come up with a perfectly reasonable plan and you always tell me something dreadful will happen.”

She smiled. “Something dreadful always does happen. We just have to make sure it doesn’t happen to us. Here.”

She held the Mefrinakk out to him and he took it, reluctantly. It smelt of damp earth and felt oddly wriggly against his palm, as if it were full of worms.

“Pick one,” she said.

“Eeny, meeny, miney… mo.”

He handed it back to her in a hurry, and she tucked it back into her satchel with a grin.

“Let’s go and make something dreadful happen.”

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: This instalment brought to you courtesy of Three Word Wednesday and the words Dreadful, Hasty and Sustain. This story began with Herrin’s Escape.)