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I hope you had a great week!

Since I this snippet is part of a multi-post excerpt, I’m back a second week in a row.

Much love to our gracious hostess, Emily Witt.

Math: 516 words (at last count) for May of 2016

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.

Necessary Context

  • Arvid has a compelling reason to go with Tai to his people and stay a while.
  • The compelling reason is NOT Tai himself. (It is, however, much too main plot spoilery to share.)
  • You can read part one here. Basically: Arvid sees a big city in the distance, she and Tai walk toward it, and now they’re stuck in a smelly crowd.

A hand latched onto hers. She pivoted in the tight space and snapped up her knee. Her assailant twisted to block so her knee met hip instead of groin, then wrapped both arms tight around her, pinning her against himself. Tai. Arvid refrained from scowling, but she wanted to. How did he get through all those people?

A belated gasp went up from those closest to the short tussle. Tai’s smile stayed in place and he sounded pleasant, but he spoke in Nairi, “Oo-arrior does not run from battle.”

The rebuke stung. Alone with him, she would have cringed. With onlookers waiting with held breath -a blessing, as the stench of their bodies needed no help from their mouths- she nodded without changing expression.

Tai’s expression softened. He slipped an arm around her waist, leaving his right hand free for greeting, and pulled her tight. Leading the mob from the middle of it, he moved everyone up the hill.

Now the attention centered on both of them. Arvid saw round eyes, hands flying to mouths, and heads leaning together and knew the gossip vine thrived on the spectacle. Her copper skin drew long stares and curious fingers she smacked away without mercy. The throng continued to grow, pushing and shoving, all trying to get at Tai. One women grabbed him below the dagger belt while he was busy shaking someone’s hand. Arvid kicked her in the stomach, which bought them space for a heartbeat or two as those who saw distanced themselves, but more came to replace them.

In the cool of early spring, when new life perfumed the air and open fields beckoned, Arvid smothered in the heat, press, and stench of that mob. Her knees wobbled, colors blurred together, and the voices sounded distant and muffled. Her fingers itched to draw her sword and cut her way out.

Suddenly, one side of the conglomerate parted. A dozen men dressed in green trousers with purple strips down the sides and ornate tunics covered in embroidery and bits of silver flanked an enormous… Cart? She didn’t have a word for the thing in front of her. It reminded her of a gourd. The driver, dressed like the other men, sat outside it. The sleek horses’ manes and tails were braided and adorned with flowers. Another man jumped out from behind the gourd-cart and hurried to open the door in its side.

Tai stepped up to it and, without giving her time to question or react, lifted her onto a seat within it. The glistening, soft, smooth fabric felt strange against her skin and a heavy floral scent threatened to knock her unconscious. Tai climbed in beside her and shut the door. Hands reached through the open window after him and others reached through on the other side, closer to Arvid.

Tai leaned out his window and shook hands, smiling, laughing, talking. Arvid sat in the dead center out of reach of the greedy fingers, imitating a boulder. She appreciated the space, but the cloying perfume smothered with the same effectiveness as the stench of the people.

I didn't find a carriage I liked, so here's a pretty horse for you.

I didn’t find a carriage I liked, so here’s a pretty horse for you.

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