Hi, friends! Welcome to another WIP Wednesday — the first Wednesday of the month, when I share a snippet of a work in progress and invite you to do the same in the comments section.

Some of you have been doing this with me for a long time now…and I think that’s so awesome! I love connecting with you here and seeing your projects progress.

For those of you who are newer, though, here are a few ground rules. Keep your excerpt to 500 words or less (I’ll actually cut off part if it myself if it runs long.) Don’t share any sexually explicit content or extreme gore — coarse language and fight scenes are fine. Encouraging words for other writers are welcome, but we don’t critique each other’s work or make suggestions. Sometimes what we’re sharing is really raw and not even ready for critique yet!

That’s the case with mine today — I literally wrote it this morning. It isn’t even my NaNo project, which I’m making great progress on (and which isn’t actually a novel.) I hope if you’re doing NaNo, it’s going well, too!

This is a scene for near the end of my planned trilogy, so…massive spoiler warning, I guess! But I figure if you’re going to read books two and three when they come out, this won’t stop you from picking them up.

 

 

Warmth kindled in Jonathan’s eyes. He made a move as if to sit up in the hospital bed, then winced.

“Don’t get up,” Nic said, his voice coming out more sharply than he’d intended. He came over and reached out his right hand automatically before remembering Jonathan’s right arm was in a cast. Jonathan reached out his other hand to grip Nic’s.

“Good to see you,” Jonathan said as Nic sat down in the chair next to the bed. “Though it’s not the first time I’ve had a brother come back from the dead.”

Nic laughed, though the generous words went straight to his heart. “I know the feeling.” When Samir had gotten Jonathan out of the caves, Nic hadn’t known whether his friend was still breathing. “What’s the damage?”

“Simple skull fracture, no brain injury. Broken collarbone, arm broken in two places. My head’s already starting to feel better.”

Nic huffed. “I don’t know how you’re still alive.” In the time he’d known Jonathan, the man had also been stabbed, shot in the gut, and attacked by a bear, not to mention bitten by a venomous snake.

“Stubborn, I guess,” Jonathan said easily.

The room to the hospital door opened and a young man in scrubs stepped in, but froze when he saw Nic. He made a quick closed-fist salute and said, “Sorry sir, didn’t know you were here. I’ll come back.”

The hairs stood up on the back of Nic’s neck. “Wait.” The nurse stopped and turned around again. “Why did you salute me?”

“Sir?”

“You’re the second person who’s done that.” Nic had dismissed it when the driver had given him the same salute. He hadn’t known the woman, and he’d assumed it was a moment of awkwardness or confusion on her part. “Why? I’m not a comandante.”

The nurse gave an uneasy laugh. “You know.”

“You’re making fun of me? Why?” After all he’d been through, he barely even had it in him to feel offended, but it bewildered him.

The man’s eyes widened. “No! God, no. I…we hardly know how to treat you.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Tell him,” Jonathan said to the nurse, an edge of command in his voice.

The man shook his head and hazarded another look at Nic. “You sacrificed your own humanity for a mission. You saved the life of someone who hated you, when you knew it would mean your death. You defeated one of our deadliest enemies. And then you rushed to your own execution, so no one could die in your place.”

He spoke as though these things had been widely and repeatedly discussed. Nic felt disoriented and embarrassed. This was a misunderstanding. The last several weeks had been a series of rash mistakes–a desperate mess.

“Capitán Renaud has recommended you as his successor,” the man said. “And no one’s going to disagree.”

Shock reverberated through Nic. Jonathan regarded him with a keen look of satisfaction.

 

open journal with autumn leaves

 

Thanks for reading! If you don’t feel like sharing an excerpt below, you can also just tell us about how things are going, and I hope they’re going great!