November 14, 2016 by Lyn Thorne-Alder
She needed to see what they were facing. She held on to the wagon very tightly, pressed her body against the frame and spread her feet to give herself a wider, more stable stance. She leaned out around the body of the wagon carefully, mindful that these people, since they didn’t seem to mind running through a constable’s cart, might not have a problem putting an arrow through Enrie.
For a minute, she couldn’t see anything. The wind was whipping at her head too much and her braids were unraveling, hair pushing into her eyes. Rather than freeing a hand, she ducked her face down to her shoulder and wiped her face, pushing her hair out of her eyes.
The cart was still quite a ways behind them, but it seemed to be less loaded down than their wagon and it had two more goats. It was gaining quickly.
“Taikie!” Enrie shouted, pressing herself back into the shelter of the wagon body. “Weaknesses of more goats, or of the sort of cart that looks like a flat hat?”
Taikie blinked. “The cart? Oh, let me see, they have a problem with their steering, because they usually have six wheels. They’re not good for tight corners or mountain roads; it’s why you see them mostly in the cities. And the goats, well, that’s easy. The more goats you have, the more chance one of them will decide to do something stupid.”
“Okay.” Enrie took that in, looking at the problem as quickly as she could. “So–“
“Tight corners,” Libkazaari nodded. “I can do that; there’s an intersection up here.”
“And something to distract the goats. Goats, goats… oh. I think the Stable-Master has some of that good goat feed in the back. That might be enough to distract some of them.” Enrie climbed into the back, where the rest of her team was clinging to the handles or each other in various stages of misery.
Stable-Master Korten had clearly heard her; he was already opening the proper bag. “If we open the trap in the bottom, we can leave a trail,” he suggested. “Just hold on to something.”
“I can hold on,” Enrie agreed, just as Libkazaari shouted “turn!” She grabbed the nearest handholds and held on tightly.
The wagon went around a sharp turn, the wheels screeching in complaint. Enrie’s grip slipped. Korten opened the trap as they straightened out, and began tossing handfuls of feed onto the pavement below.
“Turn!” Libkazaarie shouted. Enrie scrambled to get a better grip. The wagon turned sharply and quickly. Enrie’s grip slipped. She skidded across the floor towards the trap door, scrabbling for purchase on the wooden bed of the wagon. Her fancy silks did her no good here, making the trip that much smoother, and the shoes she had thrown on had an indoor sole, leather and not much else. She skidded quickly, with nothing to stop her and nothing to grab onto. The trapdoor gaped open like a maw ready to swallow her.