In which I use fiction to deal with reality for #WIPpet Wednesday

After I stumbled upon the news I blogged about in my last post, I wasn’t intending to participate in WIPpet Wednesday today. But I found myself needing to do something with the renewed bout of pain. (This is turning into a really shi*ty summer, sorry.)

So I decided to take the pain and use it to write a scene of loss that I had planned but not yet written. I have no math today — my only math is learning about my friend’s death and using it for the scene I wrote today:

The weanling tossed her head at the unfamiliar halter, and Celemon spoke to her soothingly, stroking her neck. “Whoa, Arantia, it’s all right. Time for you to get used to a lead rope, you know.”
The filly shook her head again, calming down reluctantly.
“That’s the way, girl.” Celemon looped the rope gently around her neck with one hand, the other tight on the lead beneath her chin. Arantia’s golden chestnut coat glinted in the late summer sun, a shade darker than that of her dam, who stood calmly by, providing the safety the skittish filly needed.
Slowly Celemon let out the lead while keeping a loose loop around her neck. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Taliesin leaning on the fence, smiling as he watched.
Then behind the bard, she noticed a horse and rider heading straight for the paddock where she was trying to break Arantia to the halter. The horse’s pace was far too fast for it to be anything other than urgent news.
Celemon unlooped the rope and dropped the lead, hurrying towards the fence. Taliesin straightened and glanced behind him to see what was the matter.
She reached the paddock gate the same time as the rider. He used the fence to help dismount and then knelt in the grass at her feet, panting to catch his breath.
“Come, man, what news?” she rapped out. “Is it Kustennin?”
He drew a deep breath and shook his head. “No, Lady. Caer Gai is taken. Your brother is dead.”
Celemon put her hands to her cheeks. She felt tears streaming down between her fingers, a sudden onrush at the unexpected news. “Taken?” she choked out.
“Maelgwn,” the messenger said. “Garanwyn refused to acknowledge him as High King of Britain, even laughed in his face, it is said. I am so sorry, Lady.”
She felt an arm go around her shoulders and turned to the comfort of a solid chest. Taliesin. She did not sob, but the tears kept coming and coming, a well she hadn’t known she possessed. Since they were children and had gone into fosterage with different relatives, she’d seen so little of her brother. She should have visited him more, or at the very least, written him more often.
Now he was gone, and she would never be able to make good on all her intentions to reforge a family bond with him.

Love you, Ardie.


My eyes hurt.

All the rest of you friends stay alive, ok? I’m getting tired of this mourning business.

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.

19 thoughts on “In which I use fiction to deal with reality for #WIPpet Wednesday”

  1. Beautifully done scene. Indeed, your character was just going along with her normal business and discovered a terrible shock, much like you did earlier. I’ve experienced that same awful shock as well. What a beautiful picture at the end of the post.


  2. Goodness. I am so, so sorry for your loss.

    That was a lovely and sad snippet. This line: “She did not sob, but the tears kept coming and coming, a well she hadn’t known she possessed.” I can certainly relate to her feelings of regret.

  3. Heart-wrenching, especially in light of your news. And memories flood back for me of a similar day. News like that has a way of kicking your legs out from under you. You are in my thoughts and my heart.

    1. Yeah, I hadn’t known Arden had cancer. And we’d started talking about getting together again. Now, nada. With Jay, I knew it was coming, so I did my best to visit him every time I was in the States these last few years.

  4. Very lovely snippet that I’m sure many people can relate to. I’m so sorry for your own loss, and I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. I hope writing this scene helps you come to terms with the loss of your dear friend. Here, the urgency of the messenger, the future possible plot complications, and Celemon’s very real sadness come through clearly.

  6. Oh, Ruth, I am so sorry to hear that sad news. *hugs*

    The sense of completely unexpected loss rings loud and clear in this excerpt. The emotion is very raw.

    1. Good. Raw emotion is what I wanted. Not for me, of course. But more than one writing instructor over the years has recommended using pain, or anger, or some other strong emotion when writing. Seemed like a good time to do so.

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