His palms were cut where he'd grabbed at the blade. She backed away slowly, Needle red in her hand. She had to get away, someplace far from here, someplace safe away from the stableboy's accusing eyes.
She snatched up the bridle and harness again and ran to her mare, but as she lifted the saddle to the horse's back, Arya realized with a sudden sick dread that the castle gates would be closed. Even the postern doors would likely be guarded. Maybe the guards wouldn't recognize her. If they thought she was a boy, perhaps they'd let her... no, they'd have orders not to let anyone out, it wouldn't matter whether they knew her or not.
But there was another way out of the castle...
The saddle slipped from Arya's fingers and fell to the dirt with a thump and a puff of dust. Could she find the room with the monsters again? She wasn't certain, yet she knew she had to try.
She found the clothing she'd gathered and slipped into the cloak, concealing Needle beneath its folds. The rest of her things she tied in a roll. With the bundle under her arm, she crept to the far end of the stable. Unlatching the back door, she peeked out anxiously. She could hear the distant sound of swordplay, and the shivery wail of a man screaming in pain across the bailey. She would need to go down the serpentine steps, past the small kitchen and the pig yard, that was how she'd gone last time, chasing the black tomcat... only that would take her right past the barracks of the gold cloaks. She couldn't go that way.