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Welcome back! Hopefully you had a good Fourth of July, whether or not you live somewhere that celebrates it as a national holiday. As usual, our Alaskan Fourth was fairly quiet, the sun being too high to make fireworks worth the 7-minute drive downtown. Even at midnight, fireworks are  just slightly brighter points in a late-afternoon sky.

As usual, I have a WIPpet for you. Thanks very much to our hostess, K.L. Schwengel, and to my fellow WIPpeteers. If you want to play, just post a snippet of your WIP that somehow correlates to the date and add your linky here. It’s not just fun to play, though. It’s an excellent spectator sport and I’m sure you’ll enjoy being the armchair author watching all the plotlines unfold.

My WIPpet this week continues on from last week with 9 paragraphs for the 9th.

In spite of the sadness filling her eyes, Oya smirked. A few of the men chortled. Arvid wasn’t sure what she’d said that was so funny, but everyone else seemed to think she’d told a joke. One of the men asked Oya, “Is she for real?”

Oya turned back to him, hiding her expression from Arvid. “You should see what she can do with a spear.”

“Really?”

Oya launched into a highly exaggerated account of their combined exploits, starting with their first day in training. Arvid glanced up at the sun. This was a waste of time. Oya needed to be on her way home and she herself preferred not to waste the day. While her amiable friend dazzled the gathered villagers with impressive tales of daring do, Arvid pulled the pack holding her barest necessities off the donkey’s back. With a longing caress for her favorite sword, she selected her most useful dagger and buckled the sheath around her waist.

Amidst a vivid description of a particularly difficult training session Arvid remembered with a great deal of humiliation, though somehow Oya made it sound glorious, everyone’s eyes turned to Arvid. “What are you doing?” Oya asked.

“It’s almost noon. Time to go.”

Oya turned back to the men, glaring. “See what you’ve done now? Here’s Arvid of the Prophecy, legendary warrior and the only person who can rescue the one being able to save our people from the Raven Nation, walking into her quest without so much as a sword because a bunch of village galoots won’t see reason. Which of you wants to ride back to Hyarta to tell the Council of Elders why she failed her quest?”

The Gatekeeper rolled his eyes. “There’s no wizard in those mountains. Just a pack of monsters we don’t want to start a war with. It doesn’t matter much what the Elders say when it’s us who’ll be on the front line of that battle.”

To be continued a little bit longer. Maybe another week or two.

And here’s another last-second video for you. One of history’s true Women Warriors.

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