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I’m taking a quick break from Arvid and The Queen of Bears. Partially because I’ve been doing more reading and editing than writing over the last month or so, but also because it’s nice to mix things up a bit from time to time.

The excerpt below is from last year’s NaNoWriMo novel. I didn’t end up winning last year because this world requires so much more building than any other I’ve worked on. It’s sort of a high fantasy meets spy thriller that my husband and I conceptualized together. The best part? Almost the entire story takes place underwater. It’s such a fun and challenging work.  I’m really looking forward to delving back into this world eventually.

Today I’m introducing you to one of the antagonists of the story, a human healer. I present 10 paragraphs. My WIPpet math goes like this 25-2-0-13=10. 🙂

Eirnea stood up from where she knelt by the water’s edge. She took a few steps toward home, but stumbled. Her knees hit the ground with a hard thunk. Rocks dug into the palms of her hands. Behind her, Ronan spoke words of comfort and fortitude, an enchantment perhaps, but Eirnea remained on her hands and knees until the blinding tears relented a bit.

She stood experimentally. Her vision darkened, her knees withered under her. She knew she was fainting and started to tilt herself into the least damaging position when Ronan shouted a rough command in her own language. “Probably no” Eirnea registered somewhere in the back of her mind. She focused her effort into remaining upright, though it seemed hopeless. She felt as if the world was determined to move out from under her.

Faroese_stamp_578_the_seal_womanRonan kept talking. More selkie voices joined his. Just when Eirnea felt sure she was about to lose her battle with gravity, several pairs of wet hands took hold of her arms, shoulders, waist, maybe even her legs. She couldn’t be sure. Something sticky squished against her face. A stench to end all stenches filled her nose, bringing her mind fully to the present, just before she inhaled the sticky substance and fell into a painful coughing fit. The hands guided her carefully back to the ground, petting and soothing her until the coughing subsided.

“What did you give me?” she asked in the Selkie language. The stench lingered in her nostrils, lending her mind a clarity that would have been wonderful if not for the substance itself. If the selkies would share it with her, perhaps she could isolate the chemical that aided lucidity. Unless, of course, the affect was due solely to the power of the smell. In that case, it wasn’t worth it.

She sat up shakily. Six selkies, naked in their human form, looked at her with deep concern in their eyes. “Are you alright now, Eirnea?” Ronan asked her.

Eirnea nodded. “I think so, but should I still be smelling that-“ she gagged and pointed at the pink glob Ronat, Ronan’s twin sister, held, “whatever it is?”

Ronan laughed with relief. “The smell will fade in about an hour.”

“That long? Ugh! Well, what is it?” She reached for the glob. Ronat pulled it back sharply.

Eirnea gave her a disappointed huff. “Fine. Keep your secret. For now.”

One of the selkie women, Murron, laughed. “It’s good to see your Healer’s mind is not at all dampened by shock.”

“Your people are certainly blessed to have you.” The throaty voice of Allard, the king of the selkies, startled Eirnea. He remained in his seal form and spoke the barking language of his people. “I am truly sorry that we must send you away from them.”

WIPpet Wednesday is hosted by K. L. Shwengel. For novel excerpts from more authors, click on the appropriately labeled, smiley, little, blue fellow in the right-hand menu. To join, post an excerpt of your current WIP or a new WIP that somehow corresponds to the date. Then add your blog to the link-up so the rest of us will know where to find you.

Selkie by Carolyn Emerick, 2013

Selkie by Carolyn Emerick, 2013

To any of you who made it this far down, I have a favor to ask. I’m going to move my longer short stories off my blog and onto Kindle. Frankly, I don’t know what I was thinking posting 5000+ word stories on a blog. In my defense, I was still feeling my way into the world of blogging. If you have the time to critique any of them, I’d appreciate it. 🙂 Here are the links to the first post of each story.

The Swineherdess

Of Wives and Wolves

The Legend of Alperan and Lorianna