WIPpet, WIPpet Wednesday, it’s the greatest day in his-tor-REEEEE…
Or at least in the week, because I get to hang out with amazing people and read their STUFF. Yeeeeeeeaaaaaah.
My offering today is something a little different. Sometimes I need to fill in a character’s back-story in my own mind, so I’ll write a little flash fiction piece or two, just to flesh things out for myself. It’s nothing that will ever make it into the book, but it’s part of the story, nonetheless.
Could make for interesting bonus materials some day, no?
In any case, here’s the first (3+12-2-0+1+4=) 18 paragraphs from a young lady named Nox who’s rather near and dear to my heart these days. Things haven’t been going so well for her since… well, since she was quite young, as she discussed many Wednesdays ago.
Sorry for the lengthiness… I’ll try for nineteen words next time.
A gust of wind followed me into the house, scattering a thin layer of snow over the bare floor. I forced the door closed behind me, careful to not let the latch click too loudly, and set my old black bag gently on the table. I tried not to let the glass bottles rattle about as I put my potions and medicines away, but couldn’t help the creaking of the floor.
My concern was for nothing. In spite of the late hour, the bed was empty when I looked into the back room.
I sighed, as much from relief as from frustration at my husband’s continued wanderings. Let him take it out on someone else tonight. Tending to the ill always exhausted me, and mid-winter had brought with it a vicious sickness that had swept through the population of every village in our province. Though my presence had saved more people in our town than had survived in others, I still felt guilt over every death. Tonight’s had been no exception.
I set the kettle on the stove to boil. I’d need something to help me sleep, however temporary it might be.
The little girl who died was hardly more than a baby. Dirty and thin, I suspected that she wasn’t well looked-after at the best of times. Still, her parents had cared enough to call me. Too late, as it turned out, but a Potioner’s services don’t come cheap, and people in Cressia are too proud to take charity. Even after the child passed on, the parents insisted on sending me away with a bag of potatoes and onions.
Not a payment my husband would appreciate, but it was more than they could afford.
I hung my threadbare coat on the hook next to the door and poured steaming water over elinberry roots and dried berries, then added a splash from the flask I kept hidden under the sink. Warmth spread through my body as I sipped, and the tension flowed out of my muscles as I sank into bed. I didn’t bother undressing. Someone would be banging at the door soon enough, needing me.
The door slammed open, then shut. I lay with my eyes closed, listening to him muttering as he stumbled about the house, his ox-strong body banging into furniture as he went. Something shattered, almost certainly the bottle of bitterleaf I’d just distilled that morning. It would take me a week to do it again, and I was running low.
I rolled over and pulled my knees up to my chest, making myself small.
He eventually staggered into the bedroom and made his way to the washbasin to splash water on his face. The straw mattress shifted under his weight as he sat to remove his boots, and he exhaled the stench of ale over me as he leaned over to study my face. I shifted slightly, as I thought I might if I were asleep. He sighed, and finished undressing.
He rolled toward me, pressing his body against my back. “Why’re you dressed?” he mumbled, as he tugged at the buttons on my shirt.
“Just got home. Need sleep.”
He abandoned the buttons and reached for the hem of my skirt. “You get paid?”
“Enough.” I pushed his hand away and pulled the skirt tight around my legs. “I’ll probably have to go out again soon.”
“Good thing this won’t take long, then.”
“I mean it, Harold. Stop.” Tight as I gripped the fabric, his hands were stronger than mine. He pried my fingers open and rolled on top of me. “Harold, no.”
He laughed and bit my ear. “Who the hell you think you are, missus?”
He’s a keeper, that one. -_-
I kind of want to share the rest, what with my girl being a giant badass with questionable morals and all, but you know. Spoilers.
As always, thanks to K.L. Schwengel for hosting WIPpet Wednesday! Swing on by (and witness Driev being amazing, as per usual), click the linkie, and see what everyone else has to share today. You just never know what you’ll find.
My editor is still behind schedule thanks to illness (where’s a Potioner when you need one, AMIRITE?), and won’t be able to work on my stuff until the end of the month. This may or may not throw my entire schedule out of whack, depending on how much I need to do once he’s finished with it. It is, however, a self-imposed schedule, so there’s still some flexibility there. Whew.
The good news is that my cover designer is totally NOT behind schedule, and is working with me now. She’s fantastic, and (thank goodness) patient. The design she’s working on wasn’t what I initially pictured, but faced with a choice between what would be OMG PERFECT in my mind* and what will actually sell to my target audience… well, I had to make the best business decision. It’s going to be fantastic when it’s done. I’ll keep you posted.
So that’s the business update. As far as writing goes, I’m working on getting book 2 read through and plotted out on index cards. There are issues, but so far I at least have ideas of how to fix them. There’s a romance subplot that’s going to be SUPER DUPER AMAZING when I get it filled out more. Because, y’know. I enjoy that stuff.
Annnnd… that’s about it.
So what have you been up to?
*Not that I had a single clear idea to offer her. This is why I’m so thankful for her patience.