WIPpet Wednesday—Igor Comforts Mariya

Happy Wednesday! Now that the weather is mostly nice again, I’m able to regularly go to the pond near my apartment. I discovered a goose family in May, and it’s been so fun watching them grow up. Each time I see them, they’re a little bit bigger and look a little different. Sadly, I’ve had to watch them going from six to five to four.

This is how big they were when I met them:

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This is how big they are now:

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Tuesday also made 12 years since I got my left nostril pierced. I’d wanted it since I was 12 years old, and when I was an adult and had done a lot of research, I finally did it. I’ve never regretted it, and love how cute, flattering, and discreet it looks, as well as how it’s the side traditionally pierced in India. I’d rate it a 0 on the pain scale, since I didn’t feel anything except some strange pressure. My piercer really found my sweet spot!

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WIPpet Wednesday is a weekly bloghop hosted by K.L. Schwengel. The caveat is that excerpts must be related to the date in some way. I’m sharing 38 lines, since 24+6+2+0+1+5=38.

Prince Igor Konstantinovich (age 24) has come over to visit Aleksey, whom he previously spent a lot of time with at Stavka (military HQ) during the war. Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Aleksey’s 19-year-old sister Mariya.

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Maríya came into the library, limping as she had since her discharge from the hospital.  Just as when she’d returned to the family in August, her large, saucer-like blue eyes were still drained of vivacity.  She barely glanced at their visitor before continuing on to a nearby shelf.

“How are you feeling, Maríya Nikoláyevna?” Ígor asked. “I didn’t get a chance to speak with any of you at your parents’ funeral, but I hope you don’t think it’s too late to convey my utmost sympathies and condolences.  Three years on, I’m still saddened by the loss of my dear father, and the loss of my dear brother Óleg haunts me four years later.”

Maríya pulled a book off the shelf and began limping out of the room.  When the book slipped out of her hand onto the carpet, she burst into tears, and Ígor jumped up to help her.

“Are you feeling alright?” Ígor turned away and coughed. “I’m sorry, my health hasn’t been the same since I had pleurisy and pneumonia three years ago.”

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“Life is just so meaningless and useless since my parents were murdered!  How can any of us go on living and pretending to be happy when there’s no more life for our dear parents?  I should’ve been killed too, not just shot in the leg and left with a limp.  It would’ve been even better had I died of measles last year, and been spared everything.  This palace feels so empty and melancholic without my parents, and I have nothing to do with myself anymore but read, crochet, knit, and go for walks.  I don’t even have much of an appetite, and have no heart to draw or paint.” She stumbled towards the nearest davenport and flung herself down, weeping so hysterically her entire body heaved.

Ígor trailed after her and had a seat on the davenport.  He timidly touched Maríya’s shoulder, then immediately removed his hand.

“Please forgive me, Your Imperial Highness.  I don’t know what I was thinking, just that I wanted to help you when you’re so upset.”

“You’re a family friend, not a stranger.  There’s no offense taken.” Maríya pulled herself up and wrapped her arms around Ígor, still sobbing.

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Ígor hesitated for a moment, then put his arms around her in return. “You were always so sweet, happy, and cheerful, even in the worst of times.  Is there anything that would make you cheer up and be as happy as you used to be, besides the impossible feat of bringing your parents back to life?”

“I was too sweet and happy.  Now I know what being too good got me, almost being murdered.  Nothing that made me happy before makes me happy now.”

“Sure you’ll be happy again.  With enough time, you won’t feel so sad all the time anymore.  If you still love children, maybe you can come over to my brother Ioannchik’s house to play with his two children.  And if you still like soldiers, I bet you could visit some hospitals for the fellows still recovering from their war wounds.  You’re old enough to be a real nurse now, not just have a hospital in your name.  Even if the war is over for us, there are still plenty of guys with serious injuries.”

She began to calm down a little bit.

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6 thoughts on “WIPpet Wednesday—Igor Comforts Mariya

  1. While I really like the interaction between the two and get the distinct feeling of some sort of chemistry there I couldn’t help but find the dialogue a little awkward. I actually skipped through a fair bit of it before I went back and reread it. I get the feeling you may have rushed to write this bit and could maybe do with breaking the dialogue down into smaller chunks perhaps.

    I do like that Igor is trying to comfort Mariya and has experienced something similar to what she has although every one experiences grief in different ways. I also like how Mariya hasn’t just miraculously gotten over her grief after a few weeks. Too often a great loss gets recovered from too quickly in stories.

    I like it though and look forward to seeing more.

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  2. Those geese are so cute! Have you ever seen the movie Fly Away Home? If not, you should. I adore that movie.

    I’ve always wanted to get my nose pierced as a teen and even now. I keep telling myself not to get it done because I’m an adult, but I still think about having a cute diamond stud.

    By the way, if you haven’t received my email yet I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Infinity Dream blog award. The details can be found on my post that’s up now. 🙂

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  3. Hm, I have to agree about the dialog. If one of them was relating a specific story, it might work better. As it is, it seems a bit like info-dumping because the dialog paragraphs are long. Breaking it up a bit would help, as would adding a bit more action in between.

    Other than that, I like the way they seem sweet and a bit hesitant with each other.

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  4. A third voice to comment on the dialogue, love. But it wasn’t just the dialogue… it was a loss of voice, a sense that we weren’t actually there with any of the characters. And it started with (for me) the description of Maríya’s eyes… While the detail is exquisite, it doesn’t read as honest, but as more an authorial interpretation.

    The end was much nicer. As Nicole notes, there is a hint of chemistry, a real concern and companionship between the two. It creates two very sympathetic characters.

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  5. Nice chemistry, and Igor is such a gentleman. Those baby geese are so cute. I’ve only briefly thought about getting a nose piercing, but never went through with it. They do look nice.

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