A Snake Falls to Earth: List 5

When she was a child, Nina heard stories about shape-shifters from her great-great-grandmother; at 16, Nina encounters a shape-shifter who has come to Earth seeking a cure for his companion's illness.

This list covers "Nina, 2 Days Before Landfall"–"The End."

Here are links to our lists for the novel: List 1, List 2, List 3, List 4, List 5
40 words 18 learners

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Full list of words from this list:

  1. carafe
    a bottle with a stopper
    Wait and imagine: a tech room deep within a Los Angeles mansion, where Thou Own Dave’s staff works and lives, an intern sitting cross-legged on a plush gaming chair, surrounded by monitors, reviewing hours of videos, drinking ink-dark coffee straight from the carafe.
  2. lewd
    suggestive of or tending to moral looseness
    Occasionally, a lewd or violent video slips through the Al filter and causes the intern to flinch, turn away, curse the troll who had no better goal in life than the ambition to annoy a nineteen-year-old media science student.
  3. intrigue
    cause to be interested or curious
    Teenagers standing outside a “haunted” tunnel; if it weren’t for the all-caps submission title—BEAR ATTACK—the intern would delete the submission without watching a single minute. But they’re intrigued. And then thrilled.
  4. boisterous
    marked by exuberance and high spirits
    She could imagine his boisterous voice-over now: I don't care if those girls are the luckiest kids in the world. They shouldn't be alive.
  5. condone
    excuse, overlook, or make allowances for
    Daviesapiens, this is another reason why I don't condone leaving your bedroom.
  6. ensconce
    fix firmly
    Once Nina was safely ensconced in her room and occupied with video editing work, I pretended to choke on a popcorn kernel, the sign that it was time to confront the mockingbird.
  7. lithe
    moving and bending with ease
    Now, a lithe but muscular arm snapped around my neck, squeezing me in a headlock, and a clawed hand ruffled my hair.
  8. enigma
    something that baffles understanding and cannot be explained
    “I’ve tried reasoning with her before. It...pretty much ends in chaos every time.”
    “What an enigma,” Risk said.
    Reign muttered, “ Enigma isn’t the word I’d use.”
  9. susceptibility
    the state of being easily affected
    I hadn’t been paying attention to the videos, instead opting to skim through facts about endangered toads, each paragraph more discouraging than the last. I had read about their diminishing habitat. Their susceptibility to contaminants.
  10. intone
    utter monotonously and repetitively and rhythmically
    The train began to slow, and from every speaker, the conductor’s voice intoned, “We are approaching Cedar Station. Next stop: Cedar Station.”
  11. brunt
    the main part, especially of a force or shock
    Now bearing the brunt of all human attention in the parking lot, Oli smiled stiffly and bent his fingers in a tiny wave.
  12. spiel
    artful or slick talk used to persuade
    “Before we get small-talking, tell them about your condition,” Nina suggested.
    “Ah.” Grandma clicked her tongue. “I’ll give the whole spiel.”
  13. reticence
    the trait of being uncommunicative
    “Tell him about your latest theory,” Grandma urged. “I’m honestly surprised you didn’t lead with it.” There was a teasing edge to her voice, but Nina got the impression that she was being teased for her reticence, rather than the idea itself.
  14. reallocate
    distribute or apportion in a new or different way
    The truck decelerated, as if Grandma had reallocated more of her concentration from the empty road to the conversation.
  15. levity
    a manner lacking seriousness
    Grandma’s voice lacked its previous levity.
  16. incandescence
    light from heat
    Such lights were in the ceiling of every room, some protected behind a glass bowl, others bare coils of incandescence.
  17. manipulation
    exerting shrewd or devious influence for one's own advantage
    A softer voice chimed in, “It’s been reviewed, Dave. No sign of manipulation.”
  18. mote
    a tiny piece of anything
    I stood, my movement stirring up dust motes, and gave the room a final once-over.
  19. opaque
    not transmitting or reflecting light or radiant energy
    All the delightful clutter of the previous evening was hidden within walls of opaque plastic.
  20. insidious
    working or spreading in a hidden and usually injurious way
    Although she’d tried to keep her expectations low, hope had an insidious tendency to grow.
  21. deftly
    in an agile manner
    The door squeaked, and an elderly woman stepped deftly into the bleach-scented restroom.
  22. forlorn
    marked by or showing hopelessness
    Mockingbird gazed forlornly at her wizened face in the streaky bathroom mirror.
  23. wizened
    lean and wrinkled by shrinkage as from age or illness
    Mockingbird gazed forlornly at her wizened face in the streaky bathroom mirror.
  24. reverent
    feeling or showing profound respect or veneration
    The answer, spoken quietly, reverently, barely lifted over the ambient rush of wind against the car. “The rightness of home.
  25. ambient
    completely enveloping
    The answer, spoken quietly, reverently, barely lifted over the ambient rush of wind against the car.
  26. impending
    close in time; about to occur
    However, Reign had clearly recognized all the signs of an impending twister, and now that the big, threatening windstorm was indeed acting like a big, threatening windstorm, she’d jump headfirst into a self-fulfilling story.
  27. impulsive
    characterized by undue haste and lack of thought
    Assuming she’d play the role of a hero, instead of a tragic victim of impulsive decisions.
  28. billow
    rise and move, as in waves
    From afar, the tornado seemed almost graceful; it was a narrow-stemmed cone of dark gray against the silver sky. At its base, an upside-down skirt of disturbed dust billowed upward.
  29. careen
    move at high speed and in an uncontrolled way
    And assuming the plan worked, the tornado would go careening off somewhere else.
  30. blithely
    in a joyous, carefree, or unconcerned manner
    Frankly, life would be easier if the tornado carried his camper away. But Nina couldn’t live with herself if she blithely let that happen.
  31. corrugated
    shaped into alternating parallel grooves and ridges
    Beside me, Nina stooped to pick up a paper-sized sheet of corrugated metal.
  32. rivulet
    a small stream
    The blood squished between her fingers and trickled down in rivulets along her wrinkled hands.
  33. deluge
    the rising of a body of water and its overflowing onto land
    With the deluge roaring downwards in the background, Oli twisted, wrapping his arms around the people who’d protected him, showing his back to the knight who was raising his gun once more.
  34. missive
    a written message addressed to a person or organization
    The email read like a missive from Team Dave, complete with CAPS LOCKS for emphasis and vintage slang.
  35. uncanny
    surpassing the ordinary or normal
    He looked at the camera; Nina had the uncanny sense that Thou Own Dave could see her, as if she was peering through a window instead of looking at a smartphone screen.
  36. epiphany
    an inspiration or divine manifestation
    And then it came to me. The most incredible realization. An epiphany. You know what that word means? Don’t give me the dictionary definition. I’m referring to the actual experience of a life-shaping revelation.
  37. bramble
    any of various rough thorny shrubs or vines
    Oli cut through wild grasses and brush, his long pants gathering brambles.
  38. moor
    secure with cables or ropes
    For now, I carried my tent down the bank. Past the reeds in the shallows. Past my boat, which was moored with a single length of rope.
  39. lapsed
    no longer active or practicing
    A river-ready houseboat—borrowed from a lapsed catfish guardian—waited at the dock; we’d been loading it all night, and now that I had my tent, there was nothing left to do but leave.
  40. tributary
    a branch that flows into the main stream
    There, nestled atop a folded wool blanket—Wist’s blanket—Ami pored over my map of the tributaries.
Created on December 1, 2021 (updated December 3, 2021)

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