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It’s been a while since I’ve participated. I hope everyone’s been doing alright overall.

Much love to our gracious hostess, Emily Witt.

Math: 2 x date = 2 x 13 = 26 short paragraphs (502 words)

Character descriptions:

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

Taiamuk 6’3″, long red hair, gray eyes, a multitude of freckles, numerous scars, muscles a la young 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.

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

  • Tai and Arvid are spending some time with the Petsuchos (see description of Sava), who happen to be trilingual. While they’re there, they’re taking advantage of Sava’s ability to translate for them to fill in some of the details they’ve been missing about each other for the last several months.
  • Arvid just finished explaining the origin of the women warriors among her people, something not allowed among Tai’s people. (Warning: the excerpt in the post linked is rough draft writing.)
  • Tai is wearing a Petsucho loincloth instead of his trousers and lounging, trying reeaalllly hard to get Arvid to notice how attractive he is. She’s been ignoring it. 😉
  • First draft writing.

PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF THE DIALOGUE WORKS. I’ve attempted to make it clear words are being translated without repetitive “Tai said in his language and Sava translated” type tags.

Tai asked a few questions about how long her people trained, how her skill level compared to the seasoned men, and so on. Then, out of nowhere, Sava said, “He wants to know how old you are.”


“How old are you? You know, how many clutches you’ve been alive.”

“Oh. Umm…” Arvid tried to count the seasons in her head. “Twenty, perhaps?”

Tai laughed at Sava’s translation.

“Perhaps? You don’t want to tell him?”

“It’s not that. Birthday celebrations are for children, to show gratitude for their continued survival and reward them for the things they have learned. I passed my rite some time ago.”

“He says he’ll tell you how old he is if you tell him how old you are.”

Arvid shrugged. “I’m not sure. Twenty is close enough. Within a couple clutches, at least.”

“He says he’s twenty-eight and his birthday is next moon if you want to give him anything, and he demands you tell him how old you are.”

“We don’t keep track.” She rolled her eyes. “We are girls, then women, then, when we can no longer bear children, we are grandmothers.”

Tai considered her as Sava conveyed her last little speech. Whatever he said next caused Sava some confusion, and the two went back and forth a few times before Tai lifted his cup to his lips and Sava asked, “Do you have a man?”

“Only seven.”

Sava translated. Tai sprayed his mouthful of water onto the cave floor, coughed, sputtered, and sat up. Eyes wide and voice unnaturally squeaky, he repeated the phrase Arvid guessed to be “only seven” in his language.

Arvid tilted her head in confusion. “Yes. Seven.” Some girls counted several dozen men among their circle of defenders. Unless he thought seven was extremely deficient, his reaction seemed over-the-top.

He continued with the squeaky tones and wide eyes.

“How many children?” Sava translated.

Arvid looked at the skylight while she tried to remember how many of her cousins and Oya’s nephews and nieces still counted as children. “Twelve? No, eleven. The eldest passed his rite last spring.”

Sava repeated her words. Tai wrinkled his nose and shook his head. “No.”

Arvid lifted her hand and flicked her eyes to the side in a “what” gesture. As if he knew better than her of whom her family consisted. “Yes. Eleven.” She started listing them off, allowing time between each for Sava to translate. “My cousin’s daughter, Namehere. Oya’s brother Namehere’s three little ones.”

Tai’s face cleared. He relaxed back into his lounging position. When Arvid finished listing the children, he talked to Sava again.

“He meant like a mate.”

Arvid made an “Oh” of her lips. “No.”

Tai smiled and asked another question.

“No men hoping to see their favorite, umm… I think it means recreational mate. Is mating a form of play among humans?”

“Favorite…” Arvid felt her blood rushing toward her temples. She pressed her lips and eyelids together and waited for the urge to hit something to pass.

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