Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] raveninthewind telling me about it, I joined [livejournal.com profile] mini_nanowrimo...

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"How did you get here?" Iros asked as he carefully blotted away the grime and dried blood.

Turnspit looked dazedly around the snug room kept for circuit riders and murmured, 'You brought me here, Honored Rider…"

"I meant, 'what did you do that the Brewster shipped you to a clockwork mine?'"

Turnspit blinked. "I killed two novitiates. And was trying for a third before the Lord Brewster's riders pulled me off. With a roasting spit."

"That was you?" Iros grinned. "I'd heard about that. Clever, to use a kitchen tool. You went right around the knife geas."

"You like that I killed two of your kind?" Turnspit asked, baffled.

"You refused meat from their hands, yes? And they took you anyway. Beewolf told me the story – though she didn't remember your name. She said Lord Brewster judged you were wronged enough."

"I was sent here for that!" Turnspit cried.

Iros put down the rag he had been cleaning Turnspit with. "You weren't tethered and starved in the courtyard, my Dog. The Brewster would commanded that if you were truly in the wrong.

"And anyway," Iros shrugged, "those novitiates had no manners. Better that they die before adulthood if they can't remember how to behave. They weren't in the Wild, after all."

They fell silent for a time, until Iros was satisfied that he had cleaned Turnspit up as much as could be managed with rags and water. He rummaged in his saddle bags and pulled out a plain shirt. It was old and worn to softness and, as he found when he put in on Turnspit, much too long in the sleeves for his new Dog.

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