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Sophia Currie

Guinevere brushed the hair out of her eyes andhuffed in exasperation,

as Mordie stubbornly stopped once again to rest. Tucking the blonde

strands behind her ears, she lay back on the pile of wood in the wagon

behind her. She closed her eyes, listening to the trafficmoving around

her, all traveling towards the distant tournament. She opened them

once more, making to sit up, when in the corner of her eye she saw a

glimmer of bright green in the dark woods to her right. Suddenly,

Mordie jerked forward and Gwen fell off the wagon, along with all

the wood. Luckily, she managed to roll to the side to avoid the

mountain of wood about to crush her.

She watched, aghast, as the wood for the knights’ tents fell on top

of poor Mordie. He whinnied in pain and tried to shake himself free

of the reins, but collapsed under the growing pile. Gwen jumped up,

scrabbling desperately to salvage as much firewood from the muddy

ground as she could, while at the same time trying to free Mordie.

Clearing enough wood so her steed could hobble to his feet, she

quickly started to load the undamaged wood. She was so intent on

doing this that she did not notice another pair of hands helping her

until she crashed into their owner and fell to the ground again.

‘Oh, sorry, forgive me, miss,’ came a boy’s voice.

Gwen looked up at the boy, but his face was hidden beneath a

broad, straw hat.

‘You don’t have to call me miss. I’m not a lady,’ she looked down at

herself in disgust. ‘And I really fail to see how you could’ve mistaken

me for one.’

The boy took off his hat and twisted it in his hands. He looked a

few years older than she was, maybe seventeen. He had floppy brown

hair and solid, green eyes. There was an odd, regal sense about him

that Gwen couldn’t place, he certainly had no airs or graces.

‘Well, I didn’t want to seem rude,’ the boy mumbled, his ears

steadily turning red.

He helped her to her feet. ‘Do you want me to help you finish

loading the wagon?’ he asked, as Gwen tried to rid her dress of mud

and horse dung.

She sighed, ‘Yes, thank you.’

‘My name’s Wart, by the way.’

Gwen thought she had heard wrong. ‘Did you say


‘Yes, everyone calls me that because it more or less rhymes with

my real name.’ He didn’t care to divulge what it was.