I always like to learn new words, or new ways to use old words, so this writing exercise was fun. Also could go somewhere super cool!
Brake: An archaic definition of brake: (noun) “a thicket”, from Old English bracu (first recorded in the plural in fearnbraca ‘thickets of fern’), related to Middle Low German brake ‘branch, stump’.
or (noun) “a place overgrown with bushes, brambles, or cane” from late Middle English (in phrase brake of fern thicket of fern) < Middle Low German brake thicket
Corduroy: (noun) logs laid side by side transversely to make a road surface.
These were much more interesting definitions of the words chosen for this writing exercise, so I used them in the following:
“What do you supposed happened here?” the woman with the crossbow asked, looking at the half-finished corduroy road.
The wagon of fresh logs had overturned, spilling it over the churned up earth and into the brake beyond.
“It looks like there was a battle,” the bald man said, sweat running down his bare back as he rested leaning against the giant ax he carried.
The woman rolled her eyes. “Did you trade your mind for that ridiculous thing you call a weapon? If there was a battle, where is the blood? Where are the dead?”
The man muttered something unpleasant under his breath, and stalked through the wreckage. “Let’s get a move on. We don’t want to sleep in the open again,” he threw over his shoulder, not deigning to look at her as he spoke.
It was her turn to mutter something unpleasant, and then she followed him, though she looked to the left and right with a wary gaze.
After the two had shrunk in the distance, the small figure crept out from behind the wagon, watching the people with bright eyes. “Where are the dead, indeed?” it whispered, and hurried after them.