Woven : Stampede

Wordcount: 583
Rating/Warnings: PG
Summary: What it says on the tin.

NOTE: This is a very rough draft with no editing at all (per National Novel Wiriting Month rules) and is presented for amusement value only. Think of it as a periscope into my writing process rather than a coherent story!

There will most likely be spelling and grammatical errors afoot as well as flat out bad writing, info dumps, plot holes, contradictions/retcons, uneven characterization and pacing. These snippits are also posted out of order, so please refer to the story page to figure out where it’s supposed to fit.



There was a quiet to the forest that belied the season. There should have been plenty of animals out and about, but she could sense few on the world web. The cattle were unquiet, moving constantly, even when the herd paused to eat of drink. The horses were just as unsettled and she had to make sure to keep out of the way of the hooves.

She promoted little sister and the spider gave her the barest touch of venom, brightening the world web so that she could test for danger. There was nothing out there, but nothing was unusual enough that it was spooking all the animals. Still nothing in and of itself wasn’t dangerous.

“It’s empty.” She said when the lead cowboy paused to ask her what was up. “There’s nothing out there, nothing at all.”

“That’s not a good sign.” He frowned at the snow covered hillsides. “Why don’t you mount up on one of the spares, this isn’t a good time to be on foot.”

She nodded, although riding wasn’t her favorite thing, and moved to catch one of the loose horses. They were well trained enough than she could catch one easily, and it knelt with only slight prodding. Once on board she settled back, using the worldweb to faintly tie the two together. It wouldn’t keep her from falling off, but it should give her a sense of connection to the horse’s movements. She would know what it was doing as fast as she did.

There were no reins, but she needed none, the horse would follow the herd and that would keep her safer than if she tried to steer herself.

There is something in the hills that is watching them and they are feeling a bit out of sorts. The cattle are nervous, but the spider can’t feel anything. She is on the horse and the horses are picking up the nervousness. She settled herself on the horse and waits. There is a loud noise, which is something, maybe bears? And then everything is running.

She can hear the other folks yelling at each other, but focuses on staying on the horse. She knows nothing of cows and very little of horses so she isn’t going to be much help either way. Since the horse is a herd animal it follows the other horses and the cows. The cowboys direct the flow, but do loose a portion of the herd in the process.

The cows come to halt a little bit later on and the cowboys take stock. No one is quite sure what attacked them but they are pretty sure it was a bear (or bear substitute). They find out that they have lost more of the cows and they stop for a day so that they can try and track them down. They do recover most of them but a few more are lost.

The cowboys are pretty annoyed at the whole things since their pay depends on how many cows and what shape they are in. They get everything together again and then start heading into town. They complain for a bit about the truce between the spiders and the wasps and the fact that the humans have been bound into the truce by default.

The weaver is disturbed by the tenor of the conversation, but none of it seems directed at her personally. They seem more upset with the overall ideas and concepts than at specific people.

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

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