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Raise your hand if you like cooking. Okay, you guys put your hands down. Now raise your hands if you do not like cooking. Okay, now raise your hand if you love the idea of cooking but you can barely boil water without burning it.

Well, today, Tai will be doing the cooking. Maybe. We’ll see. If it turns out well, he’ll send some to K.L. Schwengel as a thanks for hosting WIPpet Wednesday.

Math = 15 paragraphs for 2015

Character descriptions:

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. Owns one piece of clothing: trousers.

Necessary Context:

Takes place after the last post. It’s still winter, but I’m not sure where in winter. Arvid has just collected a little sap to make candy, which I think means closeish to spring, but not there yet. I need to go back and reread Little House in the Big Woods to remember. Or I guess I could just look it up. Either way, by this time, she’s grown a grudging fondness for him and is not as prone to embarrassment.

As Arvid learns Tai’s language or vice versa, I have the words she understands in plain, old English, without necessarily saying which language is being used, and only the words, or phrases containing words, she doesn’t know in Tai’s language. Please, let me know whether you think it works.

Arvid returned to the shack cold, tired, and hungry. She pushed open the door to the shack and felt the welcome rush of warmth. She hurried in to keep more of it from escaping.

She paused inside the doorway, sniffing. The air of the shack held a strange odor, like a mixture of tartberries and lumproots. Tai stooped over the fire, stirring something in the pot.

“What are you doing?”

“Cooking.”

Arvid’s brows flew up her forehead. Tai showed a willingness to learn all the elements of running a household, but his obvious lack of skill in the area pointed to a childhood devoid of any practice. She guessed his education lacked instruction in cooking as well. Given the smell in the shack, she reserved judgment before thanking him.

With an expression reminiscent of a little boy who’s just caught his first fish, he held up a bowl and waited while she washed her hands. She accepted the bowl with a smile put in place to hide her dubiousness. She held the smile when her eyes confirmed what her nose told her: trartberries and lumproots. She kept it in place until she ate every bite of the sour, starchy, clumpy combination.

He watched, beaming. He looked so proud of himself, a part of her wanted to spare him the embarrassment of trying the dish, but she handed him the empty bowl when she finished. He served himself and heaped a large spoonful into his mouth. And gagged.

Arvid coughed to cover a bemused smile.

Tai wrinkled his nose. “You eat this?”

“No. I eat it for you.”

He stared at her, nose wrinkled, mouth open, head on one side, then broke out in a laugh and shook his head. “Ay’nay ru.”

She smiled and took the bowl from him. It took many herbs to make the meal palatable, but she managed. Cringing, Tai lifted a bite to his mouth. He closed his teeth around the spoon, swallowed, and nodded. “It is…”

Arvid guessed saying “good” stretched the truth too far.

“You cook.”

She nodded. “Yes.”

To join WIPpet Wednesday…

  1. Post a snippet of your WIP that relates to the date
  2. Thank K.L. Schwengel
  3. Link up here
  4. Enjoy good writing
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