WIPpet BannerHey there! I’m gonna be quick about the intro. today because my WIPpet this week is 500 words. SO!

Thank you K.L. Schwengel for hosting.

The rules of WIPpet Wednesday are below.

Today we revisit Queen of Bears, where I’ll probably hang for a bit. I asked folks on FB if they’d like to see monsters or Taiamuk this week and got a draw. So, I solved it the way any rational person does: I flipped a coin. So, this week, you get 500 words of Arvid with Tai for the 5 in 15.

Also, if you still don’t know about the Thing, a brief explanation is posted here.

Character descriptions:

Arvid About 5’6″ Dark copper skin, brown hair, brown eyes, athletic build.

Taiamuk 6’3″, long-haired redhead with gray eyes, a multitude of freckles, numerous scars (mostly arms and torso), and 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: Happens the day after the last post involving awkward sleeping arrangements for survival’s sake but before the laundry day post. Spoilers have been removed and I’m still working on Tai’s language, hence the brackets. I’d appreciate any critique on the action and whether Arvid’s interpretations of Tai seem believable.

She looked for a new tree to fight under the assumption the one she used the night before needed time to recover. The man trailed behind her, barefoot, from one potential victim to the next. She refused to look at his face, though she glanced at his feet several times. She wondered if he considered them expendable, given the depth of snow he waded through without covering them. After a few minutes of thumping trees to test them, she picked a sturdy treenamehere and raised her staff to attack.

The man caught her arm. [words, words, words] His inflection and raised brows gave her the impression he asked a question.

Scowling, she wrenched her arm away, uninterested in what he wanted to ask and offended that he interfered with her practice.

Without changing his expression, he swung his right fist toward her face. She blocked with her staff and shot her foot toward his belly. He jumped back and crouched into ready position. With eyes shining and a hint of a smile tugging at one corner of his lips, he twitched his fingers in an “attack me” gesture.

He wanted to spar with his bare fists against her staff. The insult stung. She set the staff aside, crouched, and waited.

She let ninety heartbeats go by. “You wanted to spar, so spar.”

He furrowed his brows, crouched a little further, and twitched his fingers again. It seemed he preferred to defend than to attack.

Arvid took advantage of his waiting, using the time to scan his body. It took her longer than usual to determine him to be right-handed. He trained on both sides with great discipline, she guessed, given the subtlety of the differences in musculature between his left and right.

After eighty heartbeats went by, he straightened and rubbed the back of his head. [words, words, words]

She attacked. She almost got in a kick to the ribs. Almost. With awe-inspiring speed, he blocked her leg and returned with a kick to her side. She stumbled and fell, her side aching.

He came after her, hands held out as if to help her, brows wrinkled in what looked like concern, and repeating the word [word] many times.

She sprang to her feet and flung a punch at him. His expression changed to a wide smile and gleaming eyes. He blocked the punch. When she shot out her leg for a kick, he dodged with a back-flip. She charged before he landed, hoping to catch him in the belly with her shoulder. He spun out of the way, caught her in both arms as he came around, and rolled her to the ground to pin her with her face in the snow.

Not even Oya pinned her in such a short space of time! Injured, perhaps, but not pinned. Reluctant to give him the credit, she wanted to blame her time away from sparring partners, but she saw the way he moved. Or rather, she barely saw it. “Yield.”


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