Nov. 25 wordcount: 40,121Merriam Webster
word of the day: genteel
The door to the wagon opened and the soldier's companion stepped out. Still wrapped in the cloak, they were only about as tall as Klara.
"How are things?" asked the girl. She worried that the ride had jostled Uncle Alaric. There'd been no way to keep the wagon steady while the horses careened down the road.
"They're all fine." The soldier's companion had a thin, reed-like voice. It sounded genteel—and familiar—but Klara couldn't place where she'd heard it before. Slender hands stroked the opposite side of Dinnerplate's head. If it was possible for a dog to die of bliss, Dinnerplate was in danger of expiring immediately. "I thought I ought to thank you myself for what you did last night."
"I was glad to help," said Klara, promptly.
Nov. 26 wordcount: 41,504Merriam Webster
word of the day: wistful
"...So I sweet-talked my way into the palace library."
"Is it big?" asked Myra. She hugged her knees, the firelight playing over her face and leaving it wistful in the shadows. "I miss being able to read new books when we're out on the river, and I can't even imagine how nice it must be in the palace..."
"It spans an entire floor," said the princess, picking up the story. "That's where we met. The soldier was reading the title and description of every book on the shelf-and he wasn't even in the right section."
"I was too," said the soldier. "Old maps are important..."
Nov. 27 wordcount: 43,826Merriam Webster
word of the day: dynasty
"My father noticed," said the princess. "He is not a particularly observant man, but having his future son-in-law be a poor soldier was not the start to a glorious dynasty he envisioned. So he forbade us to see each other again."
"It would have been better not to mention it at all," said the soldier, cheerfully. "Telling me not to do something just makes me consider it all the more carefully, and in a positive light. It goes from, 'that is a thing one could do if one thought it worthwhile' to 'how would I do the thing and when should I start?' in moments."
Nov. 28 wordcount: 45,012Merriam Webster
word of the day: vicissitude
Klara wrapped her arms around her knees. She'd become accustomed to being the master herself for a while, relying on her own judgment and taking responsibility. She still wasn't sure if she'd handled the vicissitudes in an appropriate fashion, but there was a heady feeling of power when you said, "Do this" and it happened. It was the same feeling she got while soaring above ground. Loosing that autonomy would be as terrifying as going into a freefall.
Nov. 29 wordcount: 48,117Merriam Webster
word of the day: cabbage
Myra turned [the box] over, looking for an opening or latch.
"Oh!" she exclaimed. "It's a spring catch!" Opening her hands, she displayed that she'd convinced the lid to pop open. But there was nothing inside except a single copper coin.
The soldier laughed, and pulled it out. "I'm rich," he said. "I'll have to look out that no one cabbages my newly discovered wealth."
Nov. 30 wordcount: 50,026Merriam Webster
word of the day: soporific
After that, Klara saw that the little girls made an effort to seek out her uncle. He was gentle with them, not as stern as she was accustomed to seeing him. Sisi would climb into Alaric's lap, finding the residual scent of hay and warm horse on his jacket soporific. Then the master of the house would sit much longer than he'd intended while Sisi curled up and slept. Klara offered to move the little girl once, but Alaric waved her off. "Let the child be," he said. "It's not like I've anything better to do at the moment."
Aaaaaaaand done! *tosses manuscript in the drawer* It can come out when its closer to what I was imagining when I started.