#WIPpet Wednesday: Walking on Broken Glass?

It’s Wednesday again, and I’m still revising Island of Glass. (I don’t think I’ll get back to any new writing until the translation project is finished.)

To keep things simple, I’m giving you 9 paragraphs for the 9th day of the month. In this excerpt, which follows immediately on the one I gave you last week, Chiara has presented glass slippers to a prince of Venice, and he is very enthusiastic about them, perhaps too much so:

Chiara didn’t know what to say. She could only hope that beneath his smiles and chuckles he wasn’t offended. Her plan to gain the prince’s favor was backfiring badly.
“Talented, beautiful, and unusual,” the prince continued. “And quite rich as well, I presume?”
She could tell from the heat of her cheeks that they must be flaming by now. She nodded mutely.
He raised one expertly plucked, aristocratic eyebrow. “And you want me to free your uncle.”
She almost heaved a sigh of relief at his change of subject. She hoped that was the end of his attempts to flirt with her; flirtation was not one of Chiara’s strong points. “The Fenice Glassworks cannot be run properly without Gianfranco Dragoni,” she said. “Surely the Council of Ten cannot wish for such a situation. The taxes we pay are an important source of revenue for Venice, after all.”
He didn’t answer, staring instead at the matching glass slippers. “I wonder if they would fit me. They look to be my size.” He glanced at her again with a suggestive smile. “As if you knew me intimately, my dear.”
Oh, no, she hoped he didn’t intend to actually try the slippers on! They were decorative, not meant to be worn. If they broke and cut his princely foot, he would probably throw her into the prison of the Doge’s palace right alongside Uncle Gian.
He sank into the nearest lavishly upholstered chair and snapped his fingers. “Remove my shoes,” he said to the servant who appeared at his side.
Chiara watched the proceedings, trying to remain composed, given her panic at what would surely happen next.

WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of K. L. Schwengel. If you’d like to participate, post an excerpt from your WIP on your blog, something that relates to the date in some way. Then add your link here — where you can also read the other excerpts. :)

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About Ruth Nestvold

Ruth Nestvold's short fiction has appeared in numerous markets, including Asimov's, F&SF, Baen's Universe, Strange Horizons, Scifiction, and Gardner Dozois's Year's Best Science Fiction. Her fiction has been nominated for the Nebula, Tiptree, and Sturgeon Awards. In 2007, the Italian translation of her novella "Looking Through Lace" won the "Premio Italia" award for best international work. Her novel Flamme und Harfe appeared in translation with the German imprint of Random House, Penhaligon, in 2009 and has since been translated into Dutch and Italian. She maintains a web site at www.ruthnestvold.com.
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12 Responses to #WIPpet Wednesday: Walking on Broken Glass?

  1. Amy says:

    I’m still not sure I like this Prince. He seems really stuck on himself! I’m almost hoping (despite Chiara’s fears) that he *does* cut himself. LOL! I’m guessing there’s more to him than meets the eye, though.

    • Actually, not so much. :) I’m doing my best to make sure the reader doesn’t just see Prince and think “meant for Chiara!” Given most of you guys’ reactions, I seem to be mostly doing ok. *g*

  2. shanjeniah says:

    Poor Chiara…not only the slimy interest of the prince, but the risk of danger…and she still has a mission to attend to.

    I’m definitely not seeing this guy as “made for her”. But then, I married a guy who used to leer at me.

  3. kathils says:

    I’m really hoping he loses a toe. Although, it would be a testament to Chiara’s craftsmanship if the slippers withstood his roughshod handling of them.

  4. Harliqueen says:

    Great characters! Loving the WIPpets :)

  5. Eden says:

    I’m torn. Like the others, I wouldn’t be at all heartbroken to see the prince “get his” through his vain acts, but I also would love to see Chiara’s craftsmanship be proven by the slippers surviving the prince’s folly.

    However, I wonder then if that would hurt Chiara’s argument as to the necessity of her uncle’s presence at the glassworks….

  6. Adrian says:

    I hope he does get cut! He’s just messing with Chiara too much for my liking. He knows exactly what he’s doing to her and that I don’t like. =P Not that I don’t like the story; I don’t like what he’s doing.

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