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A Moment on the Road

It’s Wednesday again, and thus the day of the week where I share a little snippet of my work in progress, thus, a WIPpet. It is posted as part of a challenge hosted by K.L. Schwengel. Comments, reactions, impressions, constructive criticisms – all are treasured, should you choose to provide them.

Visit my fellow WIPpet participants here, or join the fun yourself:

 

I am, yet again, too lazy to look up what happened today in history, and will instead post a few lines from the fifth page of the third chapter (3/5). Usually I post on Wednesday evenings, but I’ve got a long day in store for me tomorrow so I’m posting early for once.

With no further adieu, a little from the newly christened City of Ages:

 

They traveled ten miles that first day, slow miles over gentle, rolling hills, following the rock paving on the old Roman road, passing by the vivid green trees and lush undergrowth of the forest. Tristan led a long-eared, long-faced mule that he called Henry.

“Henry?” Justus asked, dubious and amused. Tristan was less apt to take offense to him lately, but Justus tried not to goad him too much since that might change at any moment.

“Henry is a strong name,” Tristan declared, patting Henry’s thick brown neck.

“It is well that you have such affection for him, since you are responsible for his care,” Justus pointed out.

“So it is,” Tristan agreed. “Would that I had such affection for all my duties.” He slid a sly glance at Justus.

“Hmmph,” Justus replied, then aimed a light kick at the back of Tristan’s head, the doing of which caused a minor scuffle as they swatted at one another, laughing, until Justus remembered that his place as leader of this expedition probably did not allow for such foolishness, and he better comported himself.

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27 thoughts on “A Moment on the Road”

  1. My favorite line, ““Would that I had such affection for all my duties.” He slid a sly glance at Justus.” *snort* Another lovely excerpt. You set the scene wonderfully.

  2. Great excerpt. I love the banter between the two. The last part about Justus reining himself in is great–gives a good sense of who he is.

  3. Henry IS an unusual name for a horse. At least that I know of. I find it interesting that Justus is the one walking on egg shells although he is the one in authority.

  4. I liked the tone between them too. Great choice of language – loved Henry as a name, and the fact that he better comported himself. I understand his reluctance to do so, travelling is always more pleasant when you can have some fun. Nice WIPpet!

  5. Some great characterization here, Xina. It’s nice to see how Justus tries to balance himself between gracious and social. And how he’s less of a father figure to Tristan than a big brother.

    And Henry.. It’d be interesting to see if Tristan has other reasons for the name too.

      1. Well, I imagine it’s hard for Justus to feel fatherly to a young man who’s so close in age to him. Especially since, I suspect, Tristan’s hard life has made him older than his years in many ways.

  6. Great banter in this scene, very effective in showing the way their relationship is changing!

    This phrase tripped me up: “take offense to him lately” — I think it might work better if you cut “to him”. And while I liked the scuffle in the last par, it’s all one sentence, and I think it might flow better if you added a period in somewhere. 🙂

  7. I love the beginning of the excerpt–wish I walking in the lush undergrowth instead of this snow in DC. *sigh* The relationship between these two guys was intriguing. I don’t know much about their past, but this little bit made me want to know more.:) Nice work!

    1. I would seriously have a HARD time adjusting to snow, especially since I’ve lived my whole life in Arizona and Southern California. Yeah, I’m a wimp. 🙂

      Thanks for your kind words! I keep thinking I’ll finish this one quickly but it just isn’t happening. This year, though, definitely!

  8. I feel that this scene reveals quite a bit about Justus. He seems like a good guy with a good humor, but very serious about his responsibilities. I think the latter part might even be to the point of a flaw. Not that it makes him a jerk or bad guy, just that no one is “perfect.”

    Really good bit. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Gloria! Yes, that’s exactly what I want to portray about Justus, so it’s heartening to know that it is coming across to readers. Flaws are necessary for all people, I think – all characters. They aren’t human and relatable other wise.

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