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Hello, Everyone! How are you? Did you have a nice couple of weeks? I had family in town for about ten days, which was great fun. My dad, who used to insist he’d never be the kind of grandfather to spoil his grandchildren, and my lovely step-mom spent the whole time spoiling my children.

Yet all fun must come to an end. I meant to join WIPpet Wednesday last week, but stuff. Anyway, I’m here now. My WIPpet today is 40-ish (mostly very short) sentences. To get it, I multiplied the 2 from 2014 by 20, for the date. I apologize for the length. It’s another of those difficult-to-divide bits.

We last left Arvid stuck in a tree surrounded by sleeping monsters. I should mention it’s been several hours since she awakened to find herself in this situation and that, uh… Well, I like my fantasy to be at least a little realistic. Feel free to tell me if you think it’s too juvenile.

Finally, Arvid could take no more. Or rather, her bladder could take no more. The Elders would just have to find another warrior woman to rescue the wizard. Peeing was now Arvid’s greatest priority. Living was optional.

“Hello?” She had no idea if the monsters would understand her, but climbing down the tree seemed foolish and she didn’t have many other options.

None of the monsters stirred.

“Um, excuse me, but I really need to see about nature.”

The monster directly under her opened one eye. “Can’t you hold it until sunset?”

Arvid’s brows shot up in surprise. Whatever she had expected, this wasn’t it. “Uuh… No. I don’t think so.”

“You mean to tell me humans send their cubs out on their own before they’re fully potty trained?”

Arvid opened her mouth to explain… what? She didn’t know anything about monsters or how they thought, so she couldn’t explain anything. She settled for, “If I weren’t potty trained, you’d already know about it.”

The monster tilted its head. Its facial expression didn’t change at all, so Arvid couldn’t guess what it might be thinking. It woke the other monsters with gruff jabs and sounds that twisted and twined around themselves in a language so complex and musical Arvid envied the monsters their ability to speak it. Under other circumstances, she’d have enjoyed listening to it.

Slowly, oh, so painfully slowly, a ring appeared around the base of the tree. “Alright. Come on down.”

It took more self-control than anything to make it down that tree without shaming herself. Standing on the ground in front of the creatures only made it worse. The shortest of them stood at least a foot and a half taller than her. Most were about three feet taller and a few stood nearly double her height. She looked around at the few she could see from her low vantage point. Did they all intend to watch her?

As if suddenly remembering something, the one who spoke to her first turned and shouted, “Alright, bug off for a bit, boars. I think it’s a sow. Human sows are fussy about who they pee in front of.”

One of them said something in its own language as it turned to walk away.

“Speak Nairi. It’s not polite to speak in a language others can’t understand.”

“I just said I wonder why they’re so fussy about it. Does it only happen once in a while or something?”

“You can ask it when it’s done. Just give it some space for now.”

Well, there you have it. I’m open to constructive criticism. :-)

WIPpet Wednesday is a weekly game hosted by the talented K.L. Schwengel. To play along, post an excerpt of your WIP that somehow corresponds to the date and go here to add your linky so all the WIPpeteers can find you. Happy reading and writing!

For those of you who were having trouble picturing the monsters, this is what they're loosely based on. I'll keep working on the description to see if I can fine-tune it.

For those of you who were having trouble picturing the monsters, this is what their appearance is loosely based on. ‘Tis the Egyptian god Sobek. I’ll keep working on the description to see if I can fine-tune it.

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‘Tis WIPpet Day! I have 3 paragraphs for the 30th of July (3 +0 = 3)

I have family in town this week, so I won’t be making the rounds. I WILL make it to all of you who are kind enough to leave a comment, but it will probably take me a couple weeks.

If you’re new around here, WIPpet Wednesday is a weekly game for which participants share snippets of their works in progress. The only rule is to relate the snippet to the date in some way. You can play along or read snippets by clicking here, but before you do, be sure to buy some bananas. You’ll need them for our hostess’ flying monkeys. K.L. Schwengel and her monkeys reside here.

Last week I left Arvid up a tree, surrounded by monsters…

Arvid stared down at the creatures while her heart sank into her stomach and settled there to rile things up. The monsters’ protruding brows sloped into triangular snouts lined with toothy smiles. Straight rows of fringe began a few inches behind their brows to run along their spines down to the tips of their long tails. Broad shoulders adorned with heavy riverstone necklaces topped muscular torsos. Around their waists, they wore goatskin belts decorated with more riverstone to secure their brightly colored loincloths. Sinewy arms stretched down to five-fingered hands boasting wickedly curved claws whereas their flat feet splayed into only three sinister claws. Their scaly skin, mottled or striped in the various muted shades of moss green, stone gray, or sandy yellow, blended one monster into another until telling them apart required intense concentration.

Hoping the creatures might wake up, get bored, and leave soon, she strapped herself back to her branch. Her troublesome thoughts of the night before returned full force, with added concerns. Not only could Oya be lying dead somewhere, or holed up in her own tree, while Kiano readied himself to face the Raven Nation alone, nature was calling with intensity. True, she could handle one of those problems with only minor inconvenience to herself, but surely urinating on one’s captors did not increase the chances of survival.

The tedious morning dragged on beyond human comprehension. The sun’s smile turned mocking and cruel. Arvid scowled back at it, little good it did her, for it only climbed up over her head and beat down on her from there. Below, monsters grumbled in their sleep, or tossed now and then, but never woke and certainly never left. Once she thought one had awaken, but he… she? IT had merely punched another in its sleep. Not all of the monsters enjoyed this cuddly arrangement, then.

Look at that pile of nasty monsters! Horrifying!

Look at that pile of nasty monsters! Horrifying! You can barely tell one from another.

WIPpet BannerHappy Wednesday! As usual, I have a WIPpet for you. Today’s excerpt follows immediately upon last week’s, also as usual, and is 3 paragraphs long (from the 23rd). Arvid has taken leave of Oya, for real this time, and is on her way up the mountain…

Night fell quickly. Arvid found it harder and harder to focus her eyes in the twilight. Her thoughts alternated between worry for Kiano and Oya and the need for a safe sleeping spot. She turned them forcefully away from last night’s unpleasant events. By the time she found a tree she deemed worthy of sheltering her, the evening star twinkled its warning. Strapped to a sturdy branch, she felt only the slightest hint of security. She let the heaviness of the day drag more tears from her eyes.

The sun flickered behind Arvid’s closed eyes. The fragrance of dewy grass and honey-scented flowers wafted on the crisp air, enticing her to awaken. She gently worked the kinks out of her neck and shoulders without resentment. The pain seemed a small price to pay for the view she enjoyed from her perch. The sun rose in brilliant color, washing the earth with a golden bath of potential and hopefulness. Arvid breathed in the air as though she could breathe the light in with it. Nothing could possibly go wrong on a day that started with such beauty. Absolutely nothing. Letting out her breath, Arvid smiled at the horizon, her worry for Oya and Kiano set aside in the assurance of the bright new day.

With another sigh of contentment, she unbuckled herself from the branch of the tree and readied herself to climb down. She halted. Monsters. Monsters everywhere. A ring of them lounged against the base of the tree, fast asleep. Lounging against those monsters were more monsters, with more monsters lounging against them. There wasn’t a place to put a toe, let alone a foot, for a dozen yards in every direction.

WIPpet Wednesday is hosted by K.L. Schwengel. To visit other WIPpeteers or add your link, click here. The rules of the game are simple. Post a snippet of your WIP that relates to the date, then link up so everyone can fin you. :-)

St. Margaret by Titian. I don't know St. Margaret's story, but I like the picture. Any Catholics out there wanna fill me in? :-)

St. Margaret by Titian. I don’t know St. Margaret’s story, but I like the picture. Any Catholics out there wanna fill me in? :-) It looks like she’s in an unpleasant spot.

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