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Hola! I’m running pretty late, but I made it to the game this week. 🙂 At least, it’s still Wednesday in Alaska. Thank you to our new hostess, Emily Witt.

Last week, I went back in time to introduce a character. This week, we’re back on track. I decided to get Arvid & Tai off the mountain. Almost every not-spoiler thing that happens up there is relationship stuff. I’m not writing a romance, though. So, time to get off the mountain. It’s still going to be mostly relationship stuff, sadly, but it gets a bit more interesting. There are still a few Really Big Spoilers coming, but nothing that will touch on the main plot. It’s all subplot. However, if you are hoping for the actual book someday (you’ll be waiting a long time) and cannot stand spoilers, you’ll want to skip from here on out.

Math: month + first digit of date + second digit of date = 15 + 1 + 1 = 17 paragraphs (under 500 words)

Character descriptions:

Arvid 5’6″, dark copper skin, long brown hair, brown eyes, gymnast’s build (except taller)

Tai See picture

Sava 10’9″; mottled moss green and stone gray, scaly skin; elongated, triangular snout; pointy teeth arranged in a permanent smile; fringe from top of head to tip of tail and along back of forearms, which hardens into spikes when he’s agitated; ridges brow cartilage; five-fingered fore-claws with opposable thumbs; three-toed hind-claws; stands upright, muscled similarly to a man; orange loincloth; riverstone belt, necklace, bracelets, and anklets

Necessary Context

  • It’s early-mid-Spring, just after the nights get warm enough to survive outside.
  • Tai convinced Arvid to come down the mountain with him rather than part ways.

Tai led the way down the east side of the mountain, talking in his language from time to time. He spoke in cheerful tones at a normal rate without confining himself to the few words she knew, filling the quiet air with his voice for a few minutes at a time then lapsing back into silence. Arvid chose not to hold any one-sided conversations of her own, but she made no objections to his. His language, while not musical, had interesting lilts and variations she found pleasant to listen to.

When the sun reached the halfway point between zenith and horizon, Tai called an abrupt halt to the day’s journey by settling himself at the base of a tree and closing his eyes. Arvid stared at him, puzzled. There were at least three good fingerbreadths of light left for travelling. Stopping made no sense. On the other hand, arguing in a language she barely knew made less sense. With nothing better to do, she climbed into the tree and watched the horizon to the west.

A year had elapsed since she left Hyarta. Time enough for Kiano and Oya to marry and have a child. Musing over what the baby might look like, she watched the sun sink over the horizon, doing her best to enjoy the sunset in spite of her aching heart. She wanted to go home.

A rustle of pebbles caught her attention. In the waning light, she failed to see the approaching Petsuchos. Before she could call out a warning, one of them bent to punch Tai in the shoulder.

“Taiamuk fuvtun! Teh’yn shaym nad. Zash ish’tehd ru?”

Taiamuk jumped to his feet to clasp forearms with the large Petsucho with the familiar voice. “Sava! Ay’zad ru’mehsh vamzad.”

Huh. Well, that explained the scars on Tai’s back. He looked up to Arvid, smiling, she thought, though the gloaming masked his expression. He spoke with coaxing tones, such as a parent might use with a shy child. “Come, Ayrvid. It is good.  They—”

Sava looked up, opened his mouth, rumbled, and wagged his tail. “Arvid! Hiding up a tree, as usual?”

“Hello, Sava.”

Whatever Tai planned to say to her, it remained unspoken.

“Boars, you remember this sow, don’t you?” Sava reached a helping claw up. “The one who thought to take on all of us with nothing but a butter knife?”

“I was only planning to take out one of you before I died.” She accepted the help and started down. When she got halfway, Sava slung her onto his back and started walking. Tai stared, eyes bulging, chin dropped to his chest.

Sava spoke to Tai. “Ru’tam. Tehd heh’zad’n shat zif ru toof.” In her language, he asked, [spoilery things in which Sava offers some comforting words]

“Coddling won’t do any good.”

“When was the last time I coddled you?”

“You’re carrying me, aren’t you?”

“Walking or riding, remember?”

So, I was dawdling on DeviantArt a couple weeks ago, and I came upon Tai. Well, almost. I came upon genderbent Merida from Disney’s Brave. This version is pretty darn close to my mental image of Tai. Tai’s eyes are gray instead of blue and his hair is wavy rather than curly in my head, and shirts are just NOT his thing, but that smirk…

This hottie brought to you by xCandySlice. If you're wondering what Mericup is, it's the coupling of Merida from Brave with Hiccup from How To Train Your Dragon. While Hiccup here looks nothing like Arvid, that expression is one you will often see on her face when it comes to dealing with Tai. :-D

This hottie brought to you by xCandySlice. If you’re wondering what Mericcup is, it’s the coupling of Merida from Brave with Hiccup from How To Train Your Dragon. While Hiccup here looks nothing like Arvid, that expression is one you will often see on her face when it comes to dealing with Tai. 😀 Click on the picture to go to the original.

And while Tai would not be caught dead in a tartan and kilt (pity), you might find him standing around like this when considering Arvid.

To join WIPpet Wednesday…

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