#WIPpet Wednesday #SciFi 10/18: “Man in the Water”

Another quiet week here, at least thus far, so I’m getting a lot of writing and some backed-up housework done.

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

Here’s my WIPpet math: 10/18/17


35-10 = 25 short, dialogue-rich paragraphs from the chapter titled “Man in the Water.”

The Setup: Etain, Merch, Mary, and Aerachin are trying to find their way out of the palace ruins when Etain runs into something highly unexpected. If you remember, Mary is a Panpobal worker,  an insectoid, the only Panpobal to survive among the ten or so that went into the little room with Etain and Merch.

     “Mama?” An olive-skinned, black-haired Human child of maybe eight years age peeked around an overturned conference table.

     Etain sighed and holstered her pulse pistol. “What are you doing here?”

     “Looking for my mama.” The girl stared at Mary, who stood on the conference table watching her.

     “How long ago was that?” Etain called for Mary to return to her then sat in the doorway, remaining still until the little Panpobal worker took position on her shoulder.

     “I don’t know.” The girl swiped her sleeve across her nose. “I can’t find her, and there’s nothing left in our eat-in.” She pushed her loose ponytail behind her shoulder. “You’re the Alyward Queen lady. Merchal, Penna, Jenny, and Henman’s mom, aren’t you?” She lowered her head in learned respect.

     “Yes, I am.” Etain rose to her knees. “Look at me, child. Your mother is not here. Can I take you somewhere safe?”

     “But, but—” The girl eyes widened, but she still stepped from behind the table. “Where’re your kids at?”

     “In New Slydrra Za where you are supposed to be. I am on my way to join them. Want to come with me?”

     “But my mama.”

     “We need go,” clicked Mary. “Leave.”

     “Yes, I know.” Etain extended her hand to the girl. “We will look for her as we go. What is your name?”

     “Itzel.” She swiped her nose again before taking Etain’s hand. “You smell like vinegar.”

     “I know.” Etain had treated all her mildewed joints a second time and had moved to lesser affected areas, but it still didn’t mask the smell of decomposition emanating throughout the palace. So many dead, so many…

     “Go, please.” Mary turned circles atop Etain’s shoulder.

     “That a Panpobal?” Itzel pointed to Mary.

     “Yes. She is helping me search.”

     “Oh, that’s good. You got anything to eat?”

     “Not yet, but soon.” Etain motioned Itzel to follow her. “I have two friends in the hall. Do you want to meet them?”

     “They don’t have red scarves, do they?”

     “No, but one of them is Takla.”

     “I don’t mind that.” Itzel stopped just inside the door. “Wait!”

     “Why?” Etain looked back at her.

     “Go. Go!” Mary’s circles became tighter.

     “The man in the water. He told me to let someone know about him.”

You can read more WIPpet Wednesday’s from Surrogate: Traditions HERE.

*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.



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