I have another longish WIPpet for you this week, so I’ll just assume most of you know the WIPpet Wednesday deal. If you don’t, the rules are below. Many thanks to our lovely hostess, K.L. Schwengel.
Math this week is once again 500 words for the 5 in 15.
Arvid 5’6″, dark copper skin, long brown hair, brown eyes, athletic build.
Taiamuk 6’3″, long red hair, gray eyes, a multitude of freckles, numerous scars, muscles a la Jackie Chan. Notable scars include three stab wounds on his right side and a long, horizontal gash across his chest.
Necessary Context: It is winter and there is snow. Arvid, being Arvid, has carefully rationed the food. This scene happens a few minutes after last week’s post and is a result of Tai’s second display of stubbornness for the day. For those who missed the laundry day excerpt, I need to point out that Tai has one piece of clothing: trousers. That’s it. Unless you count the belts he uses to carry his weapons…
You took him in. He’s your responsibility.
She sighed and slumped against the tree. Her mother’s voice acted as a phantom of practicality, but her father’s spoke to her now. The man seemed to want to prove something to her. What, she had no idea, but it made him stubborn or stupid enough to risk irreparable injury for no other reason that she saw. Stubbornness deserved its own fate, but given their language barrier, the possibility existed she misinterpreted something. If she ignored her conscience now, she risked constant torment from herself later.
Relenting, she started back toward the shack. “Come on, then. Let’s go home for the night.”
The man stood and followed, not speaking. When they got back to the shack, he sat in front of the fire, with his forearms propped on his knees. He ignored the bowl of porridge in favor of staring into the flames.
Arvid looked at his feet again. They needed treatment and he needed food. A man his size needed to eat a lot to keep from feeling hunger pains. Putting off her bath, she started with his feet. With no extra bucket to soak them in, she settled for soaking rags in the cool water of their barrel. She knelt to dunk a bundle of them then walked on her knees with the scraps of fabric sopping wet and dripping everywhere.
“This will help with the frostbite.” Although she might as well talk to the pot before she set it in the fire, she felt compelled to tell the man what she intended. When she finished that, she held out the bowl of cold porridge to him. “You need to eat.”
He met her eyes, expression neutral. “Ayrvid eat.” He pronounced her name and her word for “eat” syllable by syllable in a thick accent and flipped his tongue to form the “r.”
He knew her name. It proved he knew [something spoilery]. She set down the bowl and sat on her hands to keep herself from smacking him. Staring at the fire, she struggled against the humiliation churning her belly and the heat rising in her cheeks.
Something tapped against her lips. She jerked her head back to see what. The man held a spoonful of porridge up to her. His brows were raised in a semi-pleading expression. “Ayrvid eat.”
She looked at the spoon, then back at the man’s eyes. Her first thought told her to be stubborn, but at this point that idea seemed like an idiotic continuation of a pointless argument. She accepted the spoon, ate half of the porridge in the bowl, added what she left in the pot, then slid the bowl back to him. “Happy now?”
The man’s brows drew together and he picked up the spoon to hold in front of her face. “Ayrvid eat moof.”
Arvid shook her head and pointed to the barrel. “No. I want a bath now. Keep your eyes to yourself.”
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