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The dwarven machine rattled and roared as dozens of bolts issued from its mouth. Herrin leaped forward to the front of the cart, hoping that its operators would not be able to turn it.

“Holy mark of Allareth,” Mirra yelled, catching sight of the dwarven machine. “I want one of those!”

Herrin gestured to her, and she threw her scimitar up to him. He stabbed it into the cart, under the end of one of the boards, and levered it up, hooking a dagger out of his belt with his free hand.

“Give me a minute then, love,” he called back. With a smooth motion he threw the dagger down into the cart. A strangled cry came out, and the bolts slowed. Herrin levered another board free, then slipped inside.

Mirra brought her horse alongside the horses leading the cart and grabbed the reins, pulling them to a halt.

Herrin jumped out of the back. “Just the three of them and that machine, it seems,” he said. “Not much of a trap.”

Mirra grinned. “And now I have a new toy!”

Herrin laughed and shook his head. “Don’t you think you’re daunting enough with what you’ve got?”

She pouted and folded her arms. “I happen to think dwarven technology might, you know, intensify my charms.”

He sighed. “Well, be that as it may, the problem is one of weight. We won’t be able to catch up with the ones that have got Tryls if we’re dragging this.”

She opened her mouth as if to say something, then stopped. “You’re right,” she said reluctantly. “So, what, do we just leave it here?”

“That would be somewhat careless, don’t you think? Just leaving a cart with a massive weapon on the road, that’s a little messy.”

“Mmm, and you’re such a fastidious individual,” Mirra said, eyeing the mud stains still on his tunic. “We can get it into that copse over there, set the horses free and I can come back for it later.”

He smiled. “I can’t wait for that.”

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: Three Word Wednesday again, and this week the words are Daunting, Fastidious and Intensify.)

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