Wordcount: 312 words
Playing by the Rules
Wendy spent the rest of the trip in real-time, shadowing Gray whenever he was in camp without even a hint of subtly. He’d sent the rest of the rockdog pack off on their own, but one of the younger pups had stubbornly remained behind. Riley had dubbed him Rock-rock for no apparent reason, but as the creatures names were linked to complex smells instead of sounds, he also didn’t seem to mind. Not that he came when he was called, but neither did Cat. Or Moony, most days.
The closer they got to the canyon the slower the going got. The path dwindled from an easily passable tamped dirt trail, wide enough for the two horses to walk abreast, down to a small rocky trail more suited to Rock-rock and his ability to phase through the earth. Moonstar took every opportunity to point out that maybe Gray would be better off waiting for them to return. Or just leaving them alone. Unsurprisingly Gray declined. Repeatedly.
Riley, Wendy and the Black took the first opportunity to get out of earshot, before the conversation devolved into a shouting match.
“You don’t trust him.” Riley looked back from her perch on the Black’s back.
“There are stories, where I come from, about men who are raised by animals. They’re just wolves pretending to be men so that you’ll forget their fangs.” Wendy shrugged. “You don’t trust him either.”
“They killed Jilly and she never did anything to them. Never.” The Black stomped the ground in furious agreement. “Maybe you’re right, maybe he’s just a rockdog. I can’t believe he thought some stupid dog was more important that Jilly.”
“So we don’t trust him, but we play fair, right?” At Riley’s frown Wendy grinned. “We’re the good guys, good guys always play fair. Fair but not stupid.”
“Fair but not stupid. Got it.”