Tea on the Patio: Generations (KIC#2) for WIPpet Wednesday

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday, a weekly blog hop which encourages writers to move WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date. It’s hosted by the lovely K.L. Schwengel, maven of bad boys, stock dogs, and flying monkeys! She‘s our fearless shepherd…or something like that, anyway.

I’m sorry to say that I haven’t been very good at getting around to everyone the last two weeks. I hope to remedy that this week, now that I feel like I’m finding my balance with a new story, a new challenge, and wrapping up previous months’ challenges and homeschool paperwork galore…

By next week, I think I’ll really be back into the complete swing of things (and then the kids and I go away for the weekend, which may tip my fictitious apple cart all over again…).

Life, y’know?

Anyway, words did get written. I’m closing in on the halfway point of my current Kifo Island Chronicles novel, Generations That means I’m getting to the point I’ve been apprehensive about. Things are going to get dark and ugly in ways I’m not comfortable with, and I’m still not sure if I should dole out the yuck a little at a time, or just blitz through the slimy taint, and then take a dozen or so long hot showers…

By next week, I’ll be able to tell you all how it went…but, for now, here’s today’s snippet. Howard has just spent a few hours tied to the wall, at the mercy of one or more ‘masters’. He’s running late to collect his stepdaughter, who is with his nonogenarian grandmother. He doesn’t want Grandma Gladys to know how he spent his morning (and part of the afternoon), and he’s willing to lie…

Warning: There’s some cursing in this snippet…

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is June 10, 2015.
  • Ten lines, plain and simple.

Tea on the Patio

He got to the florist’s – and, damn, it was closed. He’d forgotten about the damned siesta everyone seemed to take here, cutting the day into two fucking inconvenient wedges of time. Well, he could always tell the old biddy that he was looking at the ocean, and got distracted. She had always wanted to think the best of him, and that played perfectly into his hands.

When he got home, she and the brat were having tea on the shared patio between their cottages, as though they hadn’t even noticed that he was gone. The girl flinched, though, and tugged the quilt off the back of the chair to hide herself beneath it like it was armor, or made her invisible.

He decided to let it be, for now. It would be all the better, to own her later, if he let her feel safe now.

Thank you for watching -Iris, Grandma Gladys. I didn’t mean to be late- I was at the beach and I lost track of time.”

Will Grandma Gladys believe him?

Will Howard be compelled to tell the truth about how he spent his day?

What will happen, between him and Iris?

You can come back here on Sunday and get the next ten sentences…

And, in the meantime, because more than one of you have mentioned that you’ll miss Trip and T’Pol – I’ve got a couple of bonus treats for you! Click any of these links for some TnT goodness!

  • Letters Unsent:  a 6K plus revised story that will be featured in StoryFest this weekend…after a major shift in a certain relationship, a series of letters are recorded, but never received.
  • Need to Know: T’Pol’s book opens a whole new chapter in her connection with Trip…this one’s a bit naughty, so be warned!
  • You Were Awake?!  In this sequel snippet that follows last week’s WIPpet, “So Sorry”, T’Pol offers practical aid, and Trip learns the shocking truth – she was awake, and she knows what he did!

Looking for more WIPpet Snippets? Hop along with the little blue froggy; assorted genres, styles, and lengths of WIPpetty lily-pads to choose from, and writers eager to hear from you! =D

And a bit of tea humor (yup, tea humor, Trek style!)


  1. You set up the creepy, bad feels well.

    There was a kids’ movie director that once said something like, “As long as it ends happily ever after, it doesn’t matter what happens in the middle.” I think it was Don Bluth (spelling?). That explains movies like BAMBI. I mean his mom dies and he and his friends are almost burned to death!

    What I’m trying to say is I see this not going to a good place, but I am hoping that it ends well.

  2. I’m feeling like I’ve missed too many weeks and I’m not sure what’s going on, but from the other posts, I’m thinking Howard isn’t a very nice person? I need to backtrack.

    • You have’t missed that much – I think there’s only been three other posts from this WIPpet is only the third I’ve shared here. I took May off to play with Trip and T’Pol…because Howard really ISN’T a very nice guy, and, the more I get to know him, well, the less I like him…I needed a break!

      I’ll be sharing only two more WIPpets from this novel, I think, before it’s done. Then I’ll be sharing something else – possibly more upbeat, and possibly not….my July NaNo project is looking to at least begin darkly….

  3. Oh, yeah, I definitely feel the dark and yucky coming on here. Thing is, though, sometimes that’s necessary in what we’re writing.

    Very good job of foreshadowing that here, Shan!

    • It is necessary. A big part of me didn’t want to let this story (particularly this character, whom I actively and rather fervently dislike) go where it was going – but, once Howard started lambasting me with his insistence that I tell it like it is rather than playing all nicey-nice, I realized I was never going to get his truth out of my head (where I really don’t want it, because ICK!) if I don’t tell it.

      So, I’m telling it….deep breath.

      The part of this scene that precedes this bit deals pretty heavily in ownership issues, so it’s maybe not at all surprising that he’d be thinking along these lines when he sees the little girl who has, in his mind, only been a burden, and has supplanted his place with his grandmother, besides. Yes, he’s in his 50s, but he still wants to keep all his toys and tools to himself…

      Not a man I’d enjoy knowing, in real life!

    • Want to hear something funny? The way WordPress displayed that, it stopped at ‘including’, so I was drawing conclusions rather further south of his eyelids – which would be appropriate, in his case, and might prevent some of the impending awfulness….

      Poor Gladys – but really, REALLY poor Airisu…because, as a child, she’s far too powerless against his kind of broken…

        • You’re right. That sounds – horrific. Last spring, Annalise found poison ivy very early in the season – got the oil on her pillow when she took it outside, then laid on it, as near as we can tell. It started at her scalp, just above her hairline (she’s got fine hair, so it wasn’t much protection), and made it down below her eye and onto her nose before we got a handle on it with oatmeal and Benadryl…

          She was in misery for almost a week, and her eye was swollen shut for 3 days…

          I think she’d agree that that might be a worthy bit of karma to befall icky Howard….

          • I am not going to like this comment because OUCH!!!! Poor Aannalise. 😦 Reader is allergic to dandelions, which abound here. She’s never gotten it in her eyes, but the first year we discovered the allergy she got it all over her body. It was pretty bad. 😦 It would have been much worse if she processed the world the same way others do, but maybe she and Annalise could commiserate sometimes.

          • Lise has had sensitive skin, right from the start. The onset of puberty seems to be bringing some flare-ups – to the new hand soap my Accomplice brought home, in particular…

            But dandelions she loves. She’d really dislike having an allergy to them, because they’re her friends.

            I’m glad it’s less of a problem for Reader – I’ve always thought there are advantages to processing differences (and like we need all the different ways of processing to have balance and texture in life).

            The poison ivy episode was pretty awful for her. It was just at the beginning of spring, and she’d taken a bunch of bedding out to the front yard to play “wilderness Survival” with the outgrown climbing dome as her base camp…but base camp was apparently a little too close for her comfort – so she ended up spending the first warm and sunny days of the season inside, because the light was too painful for her…

            Such a relief to come out on the other side of that one!

  4. Okay, you’ve officially triggered my ICK-ick-ICK reaction with his mental banter, Shan. Ick, slimey nasty ick, cringe… Can we just put him in a steel box and say “Don’t open until after….ever”?

    • Yup. All of those. I’m so relieved to be out of writing two scenes in a row from his POV, and I have to confess that I’m not thrilled about knowing I get back to himafter this scene…and he’s going to do the Second Creepy Thing…followed, a few scenes later, by The Big Creepy Thing…

      Ugh ick. Cringe, big time.

      The thing about that steel box is that he kinda got put in one when HE was a kid – that type of thing tends to cause more problems than it solves…

      But, needless to say, I’m eager to get through the third act of this story, and on to the resolution – and then the yummy romance that’s next up in this series! =)

      • I understand that the steel box won’t fix what he’s become… But whether or not he suffered as a child, he still makes the choice now to be better than he experienced or not.

        <> I remember writing scenes like these. They were very hard.

        • * But whether or not he suffered as a child, he still makes the choice now to be better than he experienced or not.*

          That, in a nutshell, is why I don’t like him. He chose to bring this child into his life because he wanted her mother – he could have chosen to be kinder than he was treated. Or even as neglectful as his own mother (his grandmother offered him as much kindness as she was able, so it’s not like he didn’t have a positive role model).

          Instead, he chooses to make Airisu the target of all his frustrations, the scapegoat for all that’s not right in his life, rather than taking actual steps to make things better.

          He chooses to give her WORSE (eventually, much worse) than he got from his parents…

          And that’s why I don’t and can’t like him. Understand him – well, yes, better than I’d like to, for reasons you know maybe too well – but not like him.

          He knows better. He can do better. He just doesn’t want to….

          It has been and remains hard. I’m at the midpoint, now, and things are fixing to get – exceptionally icky, for the next third of the book or so.

          I’m taking the quite logical step of giving Trip and T’Pol a little playtime today, and, thankfully, the kids are nocturnal, currently, and so won’t be up and about through a lot of my focused writing time….

          • Enjoy your Trip into T’Pol time (sorry… just couldn’t resist… though, even without the innuendo, it works; they are very into each other already)

          • The kids are asleep, but if they were awake, and I read this to them, they’d be groaning….whether they got the innuendo, or not.

            One day, I asked Lise to pick something up so that I wouldn’t trip over it.

            “And then you might T’Pol,” she answered, and has lived to regret it! =D

            TnT had fun exploring onomatopoeia together…early-days word play in a Jerfferies tube! I’m looking forward to expanding this one! =)

    • You would be right to have chills, and to wonder. It wasn’t simply an innocent day at the beach – not by a long shot. And he definitely wants to own Iris, and feels that he has every right to, simply for the way she came into his life….

      Chilling describes his attitude well…

  5. This “It would be all the better, to own her later, if he let her feel safe now.” that’s the gem right there. That opens up all sorts of questions and insights. Nice. Very nice.

    • No, not nice at all. I’ve never written a character I dislike more than Howard. He’s – tainted. I understand how, but not why he’s so….well, Howard.

      And once that can of worms opened – he keeps showing me new levels of taint, like he’s drawing it up from a well inside him.

      I kind of wish this story didn’t need to be written, but it won’t let go, so I’m just hoping to get through it…

      The questions and insights are pretty thick, right now, and I’ve got a bit yet before I can take a break from being in his skin and be in one that’s a more comfortable fit for me (which is about any other one).

      I miss Trip. He’s not perfect, but he is sweet…

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