#WIPpet Wednesday #Amwriting 9/27/17: 6 Hours Before

I’m having an eye exam this afternoon, so I get to be a wide-eyed owl all evening. It’ll be good to have new glasses, but I also receive a new laptop today as well. A notebook computer, really, good thing I ordered a larger screen!

But, let’s get down to business.

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

Here’s my WIPpet math: Month 9

5+ 4 = 9 so, I’m adding a zero to that five and four to create 540. Enough words for this necessarily longer WIPpet. I generally keep my WIPpets to a shorter length, but this scene– you’ll see why soon enough.

The Setup: Etain finally gets to see the damage outside the palace for herself. And Leigheas, what he has done…he’s only beginning to understand the repercussions of it all.

Character reminder: Jon Simons and Kalli Cho, a married Human pair, are included in this scene. They’re both royal physicians, Upland and Merch’s private physicians to be specific, and they’ve elected to stay because Upland is in extremely frail health. Jon and Kalli’s children, like Etain’s, are in the Cycalk Znyrs town of New Slydrra Za in hopes they’ll avoid the virus that has been ravaging the human populous.

     “See, Uncle Aera?” Etain laid her head to Aerachin’s shoulder. “I told you they had thought ahead.”

     “I’d say so.” He managed a smile. “So, no one can get in?”

     “Not with Stra and Mercine’s design.” Dresh looked toward the dining room. “I know we haven’t encouraged anyone to see out, but you can do so safely from the dining room.” That window looked out over the solarium then across the palace grounds and all the way to the bay, just as it did in Etain’s apartment.

     “I don’t wish to.” Regardless, Aerachin peeked around Dresh to squint toward the covered window. “Is Mercine still talking to Upland?”

     “Yes,” said Dresh. “Nothing private, so feel free to join them.”

     “Excellent.” Aerachin patted Etain’s knee as he rose. “Let me know what’s out there, if anything.”

     “I want to see too.” Jon sat on the couch where Kalli drowsed against him. “You want to see, sweetheart?” He reached up to stroke her face.

     “No. You go.” Kalli stretched then stood, turning toward their room. “I’m going to lie down.”

     “I looked earlier.” Dresh stepped aside so Kalli could pass, watching as she paused beside Leigheas long enough to glare at him. “Merch saw too, and, while there’s not a whole lot you can see, it’s enough to— shells and shards, see for yourselves.” Dresh stepped back into the dining room to flip the switch that unshaded the window, her eyes narrowing as they drifted to where Leigheas sat. “You’re going to look too, inmate Sternbow, but Etain first.” She held her hand out to Etain. “Come see.”

     “No, I–”

     “Please, Salk Su. You need to understand everything that’s happening. It’s important.”

     “Dreads.” Etain turned away after a moment of looking to bury her face in Dresh’s chest, letting her ottonol’s shirt absorb her tears. Air, ground— I don’t know how the palace hasn’t been laid to ruin. However, the fight wasn’t over the palace but everything around it. The city across the bay glowed red, and the landing pads just outside the palace grounds— there’s not a craft left.

     “How can Traditionalists claim to want Takran returned to nature when they’re willing to destroy everything to make it happen?” Jon’s face darkened as he pivoted back toward his and Kalli’s room, but he stopped in his tracks when he saw Leigheas. “You son of a bitch.” He marched across the dining room to where Leigheas sat, his hands t-tethed behind his back. “You helped make, did…” Jon raised his fist, holding it, shaking, against Leigheas’ jaw.

     “I’m sorry.”Leigheas gulped when Jon pulled him up to stared into his eyes. “It wasn’t supposed to be like this, wasn’t–

     “You betrayed us all!” Jon drew back his fist.

     “He’s not worth it.” Dresh’s hold on Etain tightened when she tried to intercede. “Remember your physician’s oath, Jon. Do it, and you’ll be the one treating him afterward.”

     “Remember Kalli and your children.” Etain wrenched from Dresh’s arms to catch his arm when he drew back harder. “You have to remain strong for them.” Part of her though… she wanted to punch Leigheas too then hold him to ease the pain they both felt, but, nothing she could do or say– Dreads, husband. What have you become? She released her hold on Jon when he dropped his arm and shoved Leigheas back into his seat.

     “Good man.” Dresh scowled at Etain when she returned to her side. “I know you can defend yourself, but if I’m holding onto you, it’s to protect you, so please don’t do that again.”

     Etain nodded but said nothing, her eyes again on Jon and Leigheas.

     “If one of my… children… family…” Jon loomed over him. “My god doesn’t permit me to give you what you deserve and says I should pray for your redemption, but I can’t bring myself to pray for your soul no matter how hard I try.” He turned back to see Etain, his face even tighter with concern than before. “This would have torn Kalli in half with worry over our children so, how are you holding up?”

     “It is terrifying for us all.” Etain tried to smile for Jon, but the attempt felt so fake that she shook her head. “I am trying, and so are you. But New Slydrra Za’s shields will keep them safe and that gives me hope.”

     “It won’t keep the virus from them, I’m afraid.” Jon shook out his hand as he turned again toward the bedroom. “I’m going to check on my wife.”

     “Go sit, Salk Su.” Dresh hugged Etain then nudged her toward the living room.  “I’ll join you on the couch in a moment, and we’ll talk. But first– ” She pointed to Leigheas. “– get your sorry, bottom-feeding ass over here and see the destruction your kind has cause our world!”

WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by Emily Wrayburn 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. Oh, wow. I don’t even know what to say, and I’m not sure who I feel the worst for. But this reminds me again how much I like Dresh. I love here how you can feel how angry she is, but she’s under control with it, maybe for the sake of the others.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Trapped. Someone you love has become an enemy. The world as you know it is crumbling. No one would be on an even keel in that sort of situation. I believe even Dresh is struggling, but she’s trained to hide it, so she does. Like a lot of soldiers, it might well come back to haunt her. We’ll see.

      I’m behind on both my WIPpets and Snippets so bear with me. I’ll be playing catch up the rest of the week. 😶

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, what a scene. So Leigheas is the traitor. I wonder if his apology is genuine and if he deserves forgiveness, or if he is rotten to the core. Seems like this is a turning point in the story.

    Enjoy your new laptop 🙂


    • Yes, he is, but it isn’t really a spoiler. It’s easy enough to figure it out, but you won’t know the reasons unless you read the novel. 2018? Looks that way. I generally put out on Sci-Fi a year now. And, no it’s not the story’s turning point, but we’ll quickly be there.

      And the laptop…. oh, boy. It’s great. I love most everything about it. But, oh boy. The ad didn’t say it was lavender. Yep, bright lavender. Very high contrast with the black keyboard and trim. I’m going to run with it since I found nothing else in that price range with the features I wanted, so I ordered decals. Cats silhouettes, a nebula for the back of the screen. Yes, lavender. You’ll see it on Sunday when I post this week’s aesthetic.

      If I am going to be stuck with a lavender notebook computer then I’m going to make it uniquely mine. But, at least no one will want to steal it, LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nice 🙂 Hope writing is going well! How far along are you in the novel?

        That’s great that you will be giving your laptop a personal touch 🙂 Sounds like it will be one of a kind!

        Liked by 1 person

      • LOL! Yes, personal touch is right.

        Traditions, the novel which this WIPpet came from is in rewrites. Right now, I’ve tucked it away for a bit to gain new eyes on it while I work on other things. I’ll be catching up with your last WIPpet either later tonight or tomorrow morning. Promise. It’s been one of those kinda weeks.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes I also like to put away a draft before looking at it again with new eyes 🙂 Right now I am around 90% through my WIP, but the last 10% is giving me a hard time!

        No worries! Take your time! Life happens sometimes 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a feeling I’ve probably missed out one some necessary context in the couple of weeks I haven’t been around, but this is still quite a powerful scene. It must be such a heart-rending situation to be in, knowing that you are (somewhat) safe walled up in a palace but knowing how much everything is falling apart outside and that it’s probably only a matter of time… I hope Leigheas gets his just deserts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Such a situation might well be like standing in the path of a slow-moving train and being unable to move out of the way. You know it’s coming. You know you should get off the tracks, but some fool has chained you to them by the ankle, so all you can do is watch and try not to think about what’s about to happen. Agonizing even if you’re living in relative comfort until that time. Thanks for reading!


  4. I keep reading ‘Leigheas’ as ‘Legolas’ – still, I sense his treachery was, if not unintentional, certainly not intended to be as far-reaching in its consequence. Dresh really takes the healm in this WIPpet. They’re all such great characters. Soon…I’m going to read the series from the beginning (the rate I read at, we’ll meet up at book 4 😉 ).


    • Legolas? LOL. Leigheas is based off my middle name… Leigh. (pronounced Lee) I’ve heard Leigheas pronounced as Lay-az, Lay-ass, and Lie-ahs. It’s one of those character names no one can seem to pronounce even though it’s only two syllables. And, Leigheas thought he protecting his family from harm, from bad choices he’d made earlier in his life. It certainly wasn’t supposed to result in what’s happening in this scene or what’s to come. Choices, however, have consequences. I guess you could say his chickens are coming home to roost… at least some of them. Thanks for reading. Lastly, book four? Well, 1-3 are complete and on a publisher’s schedule. There will be a four, but it it’s still in the early drafting stage. There looks to be another series set in the same world first brewing in the back of my head too. We’ll see.


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