Nov. 25 wordcount: 44,002Merriam Webster
word of the day: dyed-in-the-wool
"I'm a dyed-in-the-wool curmudgeon," said Morgan. "Children make me jittery and adults always want something."
"Then your anti-social tendencies will have sharpened your sense of when someone is approaching," said the commander. "You'll take the section just east of the High Gate."
The old man scowled. "Sentry duty," he muttered. "At my
Nov. 26 wordcount: 44,759Merriam Webster
word of the day: Xandau
"How do you like your new position, Barnabas?" There was a sneer underlying the question. "It must be so nice... a regular Xandau. Very idyllic."
"It's... fine," said Barnabas, shifting back onto his heels, ready to get to his feet in a single movement if necessary. The action made him feel less vulnerable while looking up. He liked the garden, rusty gates and old rubbish used as tomato cages and all. There was an artistic symmetry in one of the piles of empty paint cans. There was certainly no need for someone from down hill to come up just to insult him. "Did you need me for something?"
Nov. 27 wordcount: 46,027Merriam Webster
word of the day: minatory
They crept in through the gate using the blackened shells of the houses outside the Desert Gate as cover. Some only had windows blown in but others looked like matchsticks, their walls twisted and smashed. Seen at close range the gaping hole in the wall looked like a mouth: a minatory path leading only to further devastation. Inside, the roads were littered with debris and there was nothing living to be seen. Saul found it difficult to believe he and his companion had exited the city by this very gate only days ago.
Nov. 28 wordcount: 47,505Merriam Webster
word of the day: colligate
They retraced their steps to the ditch outside Lutherburg where Saul and Candace finally felt they might not have to look over their shoulder every two minutes and fear hearing a shout of, "Hey! You!" from behind.
"So what do you think about the numbers?" asked Saul. It was an idea that had slowly begun growing when he saw the flickering lights of the enemy camps and considered them next to the bodies they'd passed in the daylight. He colligated his impression of the numbers available and the population of the city—they hadn't been looking for casualties specifically but many had been unavoidable and yet!— When he considered the probable casualty count he came up with an answer that didn't match what they'd seen.
Nov. 29 wordcount: 50,008Merriam Webster
word of the day: emeritus
The courier at the window straightened up and tugged at his tie when he saw Barnabas' rank. "Can I help you, sir?"
"Do you know someone with a wagon I could borrow?" asked Barnabas.
"We're couriers," said the man. He was white-haired, his skin wrinkled from long exposure to the elements, and an emeritus member of the active staff. He frowned. "I mean, I could ask around... what kind of a wagon are you thinking of?"
"Something sturdy. Other central stations have been equipped with such a thing, for shipping between the office and the airports. I was hoping you could assist me in this instance as well."
The line of puzzlement between the courier's eyes faded as understanding took its place. "We're not so fancy here, sir. We only have a small cart that can be dragged behind one of the bikes. I'd have to talk to the Head before offering it to you, of course. But a wagon... maybe one of the riders has an idea... you wait here, I'll be back in a jiffy."
Nov. 30 wordcount: 51,748Merriam Webster
word of the day: paragon
Barnabas looked around the room. He himself was no paragon of tidiness, but perhaps his first act in his new position ought to be imposing order on the unruly mess of papers and books that reigned on the desk and shelves. He wondered it if it might be the easiest task he'd face in Lutherburg.