Wordcount: 480 words
Noises in the Night
The downfall to traveling with strangers was that you never knew who snored until it was too late. Wendy stared up at the ceiling and wondered for the fifth time in as many minutes why she had thought traveling with an actual horse merchant was a good idea.
At the time it had seemed like the perfect solution. Moonstar and the Black, while still conspicuous even under the tinker’s charm, were less noticeable lost in the herd. Wendy was able to show off her ‘skills’ using the two stallions and this time they would actually be paid for their efforts during the trip. She managed to weasel out of helping break in the greener colts with a steadfast insistence that her two needed constant training to be acceptable to their final buyer. The Black played along, or at least she thought he did, and randomly ignored her for more interesting things. Moonstar, billed as the older and wiser stallion, behaved perfectly.
Gray and Rock-rock worked as decent herders, playing on the horses’ strong desire to stay as far away from them as possible. Their employers already had a pack of long-legged sheepdogs that server the same purpose, but Wendy successfully proved Gray and Rock-rock could stop even a stampede. Neither Gray nor the rockdog seemed won over by their new duties, but with any luck they’d never actually have to lift a finger.
Riley put up a good fight to work as one of the apprentice trainers, but was relegated to the cook’s wagon after it was discovered that she didn’t have any actual experience. The Black was forced to defend her honor by terrorizing the two teenage boys that did work as trainers until Wendy stepped in and put a stop to it.
So, jobs won, they had joined the traders for dinner at the inn and ended up splitting one of the larger sleeping rooms with their new coworkers.
Which is when Wendy found out that second-assistant trainer-in-training Yerli snored. A lot.
She contemplated getting out of bed and smothering him with the pillow, but she was pretty sure that wouldn’t go over well with the powers that be. There was also a chance that she could use the flute to create some sort of sound barrier, but she was definitely sure she’d get in trouble for using an elemental sledgehammer to squash that bug. If only magical plot coupons were actually useful. She muttered curses under her breath as Yerli rolled over, snorted, and then ratcheted up the volume.
After a few more minutes of listening to the racket she finally rolled out of bed and headed over with intent to kick– nudge the sleeping mound into a less obnoxious position.
She was halfway across the room when the roof of the hallway collapsed and the not-particularly-quiet was shattered by the crack of shattering wood and screams.