Hi! Welcome back!
Last week, I rushed through everything, because I, uh, sort of blanked the whole concept of Wednesday. It happens. Maybe not to other people as often as it does to me, but, yeah… It happens to me a lot.
To avoid confusion on this post since there was a major typo in the last post, you need to know that the monsters are nocturnal. Sunset is as dawn to them. Hence, their “long night” is equivalent to our “long day.” Also, we are entering a stretch of writing I’m just not sure about. I felt like I needed to write it at the time, but all this may be cut. It’s the kind of thing writer’s write when they need to get to know characters, not so much when they want to entertain their readers. And yes. I’m aware of the plethora of adverbs. Consider them notes to myself to prioritize detail when it comes time to edit. Otherwise, enjoy, and feel free to shred.
WIPpet math = 9 paragraphs for September.
A spear butt tapped her on the shoulder. The monsters stood in formation. They looked expectantly at Arvid. She looked expectantly back at them. What exactly were they trying to decide?
An enormous monster at least fifteen feet tall moved to the front. It lacked the ridge of fringe and even in the dim light Arvid could see its skin was a monochromatic gray. It wore no jewelry and instead of a belt, it held its drab tan loincloth on with a simple length of yarn. The other monsters stepped respectfully out of the way.
“Human sow,” this one’s voice trilled several octaves above the others. Was this a female, then? “I have come to offer you my hospitality for the night, while the boars discuss your situation.”
A murmur went through the crowd, once again reminding Arvid of the whispering of the wind through the trees. The large monster ignored the sound. It reached out a claw, offering it to Arvid. Arvid stared at the formidable nails until they twitched with mild impatience. Finding herself without more viable options, Arvid accepted the claw.
With exceeding gentleness, as though it carried a priceless crystal vase, the monster cradled Arvid in its great arms. It hummed quietly, passing by the “boars,” as it called the others, without concern.
Arvid watched its face for signs of aggression. It remained impassive. A tune like the one her host hummed meandered through the air. The monster stopped suddenly in front of a large boulder and knocked. With a rumble that made the ground tremble, the rock rolled aside.
“Hullo, Namatha. Did the boars give you any trouble?”
“Of course not. Let me in, will you?”
The other monster moved out of the way to admit Namatha and Arvid, then rolled the boulder back into place. They stood in a hewn cavern large enough to hold all of Uttermost. Its tall walls rose a hundred feet or more and ended in a circle open to the sky. Spikeless, monochromatic monsters all dressed in undyed loincloths similar to Namatha’s moved about the single room tending large pots hung over fires, turning eggs in nests, or scrubbing laundry in cart-sized washtubs. Relatively small ones, about Arvid’s height, flitted here and there among monsters that stood as tall as huts. The quiet tune they hummed together echoed lightly off the walls of the chamber.