Something New for WIPpet Wednesday…Dragons!

Welcome back to Wednesday, the day of the week when authors around the globe share excerpts of their current Work In Progress (WIP) that somehow corresponds to the date. I’m to that point I warned about. Bound in Shadows is in the hands of my lovely betas, Edge of Darkness is not only fighting me constantly, but to the point where excerpts are going to get too spoilery. But, never fear, I have a solution. I cracked open my virtual notebook and found something I had been working on a year or so ago. It was supposed to be a short story aimed at a competition, but I never finished it. Technically it’s a Work that was In Progress, so still a WIP. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll dust it off and actually finish it.

So, for today, the 18 opening sentences of an unnamed short story.

Dragon dung. Dachus wrinkled his nose. He’d been told it stunk, he just never imagined the nostril hair burning intensity of it.

“Master Jannis,” he called, and then swore—loudly–as the ground squished beneath his feet. A month’s wages fouled. “Master Jannis!”

He shook his foot, hoping to dislodge the excrement. A barrage of curses sure to be the envy of every grunt in the legions brought his head up just in time to glimpse a shock of copper hair. The woman attached to the hair backed into him without ever once turning to see who, or what, she had collided with. She never slowed either, until the fence forced the issue by coming up hard behind them and stopping their momentum. Dachus’s indignation died on his lips in a blast of hot, foul air. The woman held her hands up before her, and Dachus managed to swallow past the wedge of fear lodged in his throat. A massive set of wickedly sharp teeth snapped air. There could have been a dragon attached to those teeth, but Dachus saw nothing beyond gleaming white death.

“Easy now, Tork, ” the woman said, her voice nowhere as panicked as Dachus’s would have been could he have found it. “You’re just being silly.”

Another blast of air assaulted Dachus but he didn’t dare let go of the woman’s shoulders to wipe the spittle off his face. The teeth snapped again, with less vehemence, as the creature tipped its head to peer past his human shield.

And once again I have to run. There may or may not be a Fictional Friday this week. I have people descending on my house immediately after work tomorrow and not leaving until Monday morning. In between, we’ll be working dogs at a three day stockdog clinic here at the farm. That means I don’t have much any free time.


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  1. Oh my word!!! You make me feel totally lazy! This is just a WIP you wrote awhile ago and haven’t touched since??? I can barely get one book done! Love your sensory details!

    • Well, I push myself to write every day, although that doesn’t happen on weekends. So if I’m having problems with my main WIP I just write other stuff. Anything. Words. Scenes. Characters. Backstory on characters from my WIP. I have notebooks–real and virtual–filled with them. Sometimes they amount to something, sometimes not.

  2. Great excerpt. Love starts that move right into the action!

    • I’m partial to those starts as well, which is why I write them. But sometimes they leave folks wondering what the heck is going on!

  3. This is fantastic! I certainly want to know more. “Nostril hair burning intensity” is a great phrase.

  4. I can honestly say that’s the first shitty opening I actually like. Bravo! Where’s the rest?

  5. Love the opening of this! I like the fact it’s so visual. Worth dusting off!

  6. Great excerpt Kathi. I love how you set the scene – especially with the stench of the dragon dung at the beginning. I also like the way that you describe Dachus’ fear of the dragon compared with how the woman is responding to the situation.

  7. That second sentence, “He’d been told it stunk, he just never imagined the nostril hair burning intensity of it,” have we in stitches. Out of this world. Mind-blowing stink. I believe some of it wafted through MY air. Whew. Hoo hoo hoo.

  8. love this excerpt. great beginning.

  9. Umm… Where’s the rest? ‘Cuz seriously, you can’t promise me dragons and then cut off like that. It’s not nice. Not nice at all.

  10. Yay, dragons! Also, I really liked the term “gleaming white death”. And I love it when people have a handle on dragons, which the woman seems to have (somewhat anyway). Looking forward to more of this one!

  11. I love this! I love Dachus’ voice, and the way he can’t even see the dragon for the teeth. And the way he’s worried about damaging his boots right before the dangerous dragon appears. And the woman who seems to be on a first name basis with this creature…

    I’d love to see what emerges in a dustoff (or, maybe better yet, a dust-up).

    Have fun with your busy doggy weekend!

  12. So when I saw your post for this week, I figured I’d better go back and read last week’s first. Great as usual! Now off to read the next installment …

  13. Joining Ruth for the “came back to read the first installment” thingie…. Loved it. Great use of perspective too.

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