What an interesting picture this is. It’s not quite what I was searching for, but it will certainly work for today’s WIPpet* in an earthly, surreal sense.
I’m having a mixed week thus far. I’ve got a new novel, Surrogate: Hunted, set for release tomorrow, and I’ll be making a few “appearances” to help spread the word, but I’m also feeling lousy. It’s a medication issue, but I must wait until late next week to see my doctor to make the needed adjustment. (um, no. Turns out that it’s something else, but more on that later). It’s hard to think or hold my head straight, much less get anything in the way of new writing done. Writing is one of my biggest pleasures, so this really frustrates me. That said, let’s get to the WIPpet.
WIPpet math? Noooo. Not happening when I can’t hold my head straight without getting dizzy, but I will say that this WIPpet is 371 words in length and that it comes from Cleaning House, book one of my Appalachian Elementals series.
The Setup: In this WIPpet, I’m taking you back to when Centenary Rhodes is fifteen years old. It’s late at night, and she’s overhearing a conversation she’s not meant to, one between her Great Aunt Tess and Stowne, a friend Cent has long considered her private childhood whimsy because no one else can see or hear them.
“She ain’t old enough.” Aunt Tess’ voice verged on anger. “Not for the world we’re in now.”
“Her body is young but her soul— we have already started the bonding process, so why interrupt now?” The smell of rich summer soil rose between the floorboards to tease Cent’s nose. The smell of good earth, of moss— it’s how Cent knew Stowne was close.
Stowne liked fluttering dust across her shoulders and tickling her neck with grass and fallen leaves until she laughed. Her laugh always caused Stowne to laugh in deep, cheerful rumbles. Hard laughs shook the ground beneath Cent’s butt, but she knew it was a good thing. Stowne was happy when she was, and Stowne always made her happy.
“You’re confusing her,” said Aunt Tess.
“My intentions are as clear this life as they were in her others.”
“She’s fifteen years old.”
“Centenary has chosen to walk beside me at a younger age, and in both male and female forms.” Stowne sighed. “Modern Human gender expectations are limiting and not at all natural. Your kind did not always think this way. I remember when—”
“They distress Cent too, but she shouldn’t be facing such decisions yet. I need to get her away from her mama first.”
“Her mother.” Stowne’s smell became the hard, frozen dryness of winter ground. “Since Nida cannot be allowed to access her natural magic, she has become lost to it. But Centenary…” Stowne shook in displeasure, creating the sound of rocks tumbling, of land shifting in the distance. “Humans now shield their offspring much longer than they once did.”
“It keeps them alive, helps them…” Tess stopped when Stowne shook again. “Rayne will take that ground you’re loosening and create a loblolly of a mudslide somewheres inside this realm if you don’t quit.”
“Rayne is always trying to reshape my creations.” But Stowne’s next shake proved quieter. “When will Centenary be old enough in the eyes of this region’s humanity?”
“She must be eighteen for her mama to have no standing. It’s a matter of law.”
“Of law?” Stowne’s smell shifted to dust that drifted up through the floorboards to tickle Cent’s nose. “There are laws much older than the ones you Humans make.”
Read more #WIPpet Wednesday posts from Cleaning House HERE.
*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.