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Many thanks to K.L. Schwengel for hosting WIPpet Wednesday. 🙂

Math: month plus date minus one for fun = 10 + 7 – 1 = 16 paragraphs (under 500 words)

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

She jogged the short distance to collect the slippery, floppity things and brought two of them back to the shore. After handing one to Tai, she pulled her utility knife out of her belt.

“What I do with it?”

Confused by the question, Arvid looked up from her intended victim. “Clean it.”

Brow crinkled, Tai peered at the flapping creature in his hand. “With… shineweed?”

Aghast, Arvid stared at Tai. What kind of father let his son reach manhood without knowing how to clean a fish? What kind of mother? It occurred to her his lack of basic household skills could be the result of growing up without parents. She doubted he wanted pity from her, so she squelched that feeling and focused on correcting the deficit.

She wiggled her knife in the air. “With a knife.”

The confused expression on his face deepened, but he pulled the knife she gave him from his belt.

Arvid lifted her fish into the air and smashed it onto the riverbank to kill it. Tai flicked his wrist to achieve the same result with his.

Ignoring his showing off, she demonstrated the proper way to gut a fish. “Like this. Start here and cut to here, then scoop the guts into the river for other creatures to eat.”

Tai wrinkled his nose and stuck out his tongue in a disgusted expression. “Blech.”

Chuckling, Arvid descaled her fish and fetched another. Tai watched with his face contorted, his fish hanging limp and uncleaned in one hand and his knife unused in the other.

When Arvid finished demonstrating the process a second time, she pointed at him. “Now you.”

Shuddering, Tai shook his head and tried to hand her his fish.

“Oh, no you don’t. It’s about time you learned to do this.” She set down her knife and reached for his hands to guide them through the motions.

Tai dropped his fish, jumped to his feet, and scrambled several paces away. “Wash your hands.”

Arvid pressed her lips together to hide a smile. The mischievous streak few but Oya, Kiano, and her parents knew about surfaced. She gutted Tai’s fish for him, but instead of throwing the entrails into the river, she took a handful and chased after Tai with it. He pulled himself halfway up a tree before she neared him, shouting words she didn’t understand and making shooing motions. Belly aching with laughter, Arvid collapsed at the base of the tree to wait until she caught her breath. It felt good to be childish for a little while. Doubts and worries about her and Tai’s relationship still churned in the back of her mind, but for the moment, she enjoyed playing a joke on a friend.

Playing in the Stream Photograph courtesy of Lynda Poulter

Playing in the Stream
Photograph courtesy of Lynda Poulter

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