“69 Hours Before” #WIPpet Wednesday 8/23

My house seems empty with just one of us missing. It’s almost surreal, but we’re slowly adapting, and so is youngest. His multi-day orientation is over, and he begins his work and class schedule today. We’ll talk to him tonight to see how things are going.

He’s already doing things with dorm mates… seeking out his own tribe– and that’s good, indeed, to hear.

Right now, a crock pot of apples is slowly morphing into apple butter in my kitchen. The smell is divine.

Enough momming and domestic life… on to this week’s WIPpet.

This week’s WIPpet Wednesday comes again from Surrogate: Traditions, the third novel in the Surrogate Series.

My WIPpet math for this excerpt is really easy– 8 for August. This snippet comes from Chapter Eight “69 Hours Before.”

The setup: Heartbreak has become the least of Etain, Leigheas, Merch, and Dresh’s problems. They’re in Merch and Dresh’s apartment when Guard Captain Vahl, Dresh’s replacement, causes trouble.

     Etain shifted so she sat on the bedside. “Did the kitchen send up some cullea?”

     “Let me check.” Leigheas hesitated when he opened the door then retreated without closing it. “They’re arguing again.”

     “I hear.” Dresh and Merch were arguing but not with each other. Guard Captain Vahl was back in the apartment, demanding they show him the location of the royal level’s redundant systems.

     “Why are you both being so difficult?” Vahl practically spat the words. He spoke in Takla, which had been named secondary to Terran Common as the official language.

     “You should know why.” Dresh kept her voice low.

     “It’s critical I know the location and status of all possible resources when the virus strikes.” Vahl’s voice spit octaves then shifted into high Takla.

     “I can hear and understand you regardless, you son of a bitch.”

     Dreads, Merch’s more pissed at him than ever. Etain adjusted her aural modifier until she heard his shrieking words too.

     “The whereabouts and status of anything on this level is of no concern to you or anyone else.” Dresh’s voice slid into High Takla as well.

     Leigheas turned around with his eyes closed. “Softly shifting sands. Ripples. Nothing more. Keep calm. Keep calm.”

     Is he talking to me or to himself?

     “I want to know how the hell you found out about them to begin with!” Merch was tapping her sidearm by the sound, something she only did when she’d become extremely agitated.

     “It’s my job, and what’s this message you sent concerning the kitchen?” Their voices lowered then, but a moment later they returned, louder though lower-pitched, but she still couldn’t make them all out. “Listen, you Human— er, please see reason, Dearest Akierli. I am trying to—”

     “What’s with the scarf, Vahl?” Dresh. Red scarves had been the oddest court trend Etain had ever seen. Worn on the neck , wrist, or waist, the trend was strictly Takla. “I’ll remind you that it’s not part of any authorized Empire uniform.”

     “All the problems on this world and you worry about that?” Vahl’s vocal pitch rose again. “And while I’m here, why did you inquire about who Yaltan Stra trained on the shields?”

     “Because we need a firm schedule.” Dresh’s voice pitched high then low.

     Vahl’s a double-dreaded bastard, mumbled She-Beast. I should have bitten him twice.

     I’d have let you.

     “I’ll tend to the schedule after I clear up all the current issues.”

     “Palace security tops whatever list you’ve compiled!” Dresh hissed at Vahl, and he hissed back.

     “The Quineral offers advice only. I’ll decide whether to take it or not.”

     “You’ll take her advice or I’ll have you removed.”

     Merch’s about to lose it.

     “How dare you challenge my integrity you sand sucking— get your hands off me!”

     “Get him out of here, Dresh, before I—”

     Dresh and Merch’s bellows drowned Vahl out as Leigheas peeked out the door then spun around again. “They’re throwing him out!” He worried his hands as he paced between the bed and the door.

     “I will gladly help.” But the apartment door slammed closed as soon as she looked out.

     “Bastard!” Merch’s enraged expression softened when she saw Etain. “Hey, baby, come on out. Captain Asshole’s finally gone.”

*WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop wherein writers share excerpts of their latest WIP. All genres and levels of accomplishment are welcome. The only stipulation is that the excerpt must coincide with the date in some manner. For example, on 10/8/14 you might share 10 lines from page 8, 8 paragraphs from chapter 14, or perhaps 18 sentences by doing WIPpet math and adding the day to the month. We’re flexible like that.


  1. Ooh, intriguing. I am really going to have to hurry up and finish the first one. I’ve just been slow at reading anything this summer.

    I love that last line. Captain Asshole, hahaha! I do love Merch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been a super-slow reader this summer as well. Too much going on and I’m trying to keep up with my own writing too. Something had to go, and that something seems to have been consistent reading. After this month, however, things should settle, I hope.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s what I’m hoping for too. Once my kids are back in school, I won’t have them underfoot all the time. That makes it easier to concentrate and be efficient.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Calling him Captain Asshole is actually an understatement. He’s one of those characters that you must sit back and ponder your own capacity for evildoing when you create him.


  2. Love the Captain Asshole nickname as well 🙂
    Vahl seems like a suspicious character so far, and I am relieved that Merch and Dresh threw him out. I am curious as to what role he will play later on in the novel…

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s a lot going on in Etain’s world at this moment, and little of it’s good. Glad you like the WIPpet! I’m off to read everyone else’s!


Leave a Reply to AM Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.