Sunday, March 13, 2011

Rambling Sunday

I have three items of interest tonight.

First: I am guest posting tomorrow (Monday the 14th of March).
Rosie Connolly and Charity Bradford are kicking off their HONE YOUR SKILLS Blogfest on Wednesday and as part of their preparation they are hosting some published authors. I’ll be on both blogs on Monday SOOO check it out!

Second: Deb and I have had a mini-vacation.
This weekend is a long weekend in Victoria. We have our Labour Day holiday tomorrow.
Deb and I stayed overnight in Gippsland (eastern Victoria) last night. We came back this evening to avoid the worst of the traffic tomorrow.
I’ve taken some nice shots of various spots between here and Sale. I don’t have enough time or energy tonight so I’ll just give you a taste.Two piccies of the old jetty at Port Welshpool.Third: I’ve taken to giving a taste of my work on my WIP on Sundays so here is another section.
Poor Valentina got quite a surprise following Penelope last week. Here is what happened next.
Once again this is a first draft that might never find its way into the book.
A warning for those of you of delicate sensibilities, it does feature a little bad language.

Valentina Meshcova
Berlin 1948
The workshop was very dark, the only light seeping in was through cracks around the door frame. And that was the weak watery light of a grey Berlin afternoon.
I struggled between being a little girl frightened of the dark and a soldier ready for a fight.
I fumbled in my bag as my hand closed around the gun butt I was more like a soldier again. I slid it out and held it by my side. Where to stand? By the inner door, they'd come through the inner door. If they opened the outer one I might escape.
Not much chance of escape now, but I was a Soviet and I would take as many with me as I could.

I stood beside the door and waited. It was only a moment, the room blazed as someone turned on the lights. The click of a latch, another click as I cocked my gun. Confidently, almost casually Penelope stepped into the workshop, my gun came up pointing at her face.

The confidence fled, she hadn’t expected the gun. Her hands came up defensively. Slender white fingers, no protection against a bullet, or were they?
Her look of pure terror made me hesitate. I knew fear, it was not something I ever wanted to inflict. ‘Valentina, please…’

My anger surged, hate boiled, how dare she lie to me, betray me, risk everything.
I stepped close bringing the gun to within a centimetre of her eye. ‘Valentina, don’t’
‘You filthy spy, I’ll blow your head off.’
‘Put the gun down!’
A man standing in the doorway, a huge gun pointing right at my head. Penelope hissed urgently, ‘Fred don’t shoot!’
English! She spoke to him in English! Everything I had dreaded proven in that instant.
He was almost apologetic to her, ‘Sorry Miss, my call,’ he bellowed at me, ‘Put it down!’

My mind raced unbelievably fast. At this moment I hated her more than anything or anyone.
I could finish her lies and end my pain at the same time.
End the pain.
End the pain of loosing everyone and everything that mattered. Family, friends, future all gone.
End me.
It would be so easy. Revenge and death in a heartbeat.

It was Natasha who saved me again. A vision popped into my head: Natasha waiting for me to come back.
Alone again.

I couldn’t do that to her.

Ever so slowly I moved the gun’s barrel until it was pointing at the ceiling. Penelope sighed and stepped back.
If I wasn’t going to shoot her, I would go carefully, minimise any reason he had for shooting me. I eased the gun’s hammer down, then I carefully changed my grip so it dangled between my forefinger and thumb. Gradually I bent lowering the gun toward the floor.

I was about half way down when he surged forward. He hit me hard with his shoulder driving me sideways. My hands flew out instinctively to save my face from hitting the cobble floor, the gun skittered away.
There was no stopping my fall, no saving my face. One of his hands found the back of my head, his weight driving me down. My mind still racing, I thought stupidly that at least it was my scarred cheek that would hit the floor, I wouldn’t end up any uglier than I already was.

His weight drove my head hard into the cobbles, light and pain flashed through my brain. Matched by the pain of his knee driving into my kidneys, a sickening tearing feeling forcing all the air out of me.
As I lay on the floor I was barely aware of his weight trying to push my face into the floor and of his gun barrel grinding into the back of my neck. ‘You fucking bitch! You won’t pull a gun on one of mine so quickly again!’


The Words Crafter said...

Ah! I must have missed an installment. I have to go back and read....

This was intense, well done!

Margot Kinberg said...

Al - This is a great scene! You keep the action going and I'm really enjoying the story.

And I'm glad you've been enjoying a mini-vacation. We all need them at times. And lovely pics, too!!

Ann said...

This is a very intense scene Al! I began by just scanning and all of sudden I was reading intently. Great stuff. Great tension. Didn't notice the bad language. I guess that is because it just fit, or maybe it is because I'm Irish!

Great Photos! Great seems to be my word this morning!

Old Kitty said...

Oh my stars!! Valentina!!! What's going on?!?!?! Who are these bad people?!?!

Great scene - thanks for sharing!! Take care

Jayne said...

Love the story scene - it pitched us right into action.

And I am glad you had a nice vacation - am intrigued by that jetty - is there no water there, or has it retreated?

And thank you for your comment on my new venture in blogging!

LTM said...

those photos are so gorgeous! Thanks for sharing that, Al! :o) <3

Lynda R Young said...

Gorgeous photos. NSW didn't get that long weekend. I feel ripped off! ;)

Al said...

Hi Words,
Thank you, it’s nice to know when I hit the mark.

Hi Margot,
Thank you on both scores!
Mini Vacations are great!

Hi Ann,
I’m pleased you felt it worked!
Hopefully cause it fit ;-)
Great is a very useful word

Hi Jennifer,
All should be revealed over the next few weeks!
Pleased you liked it!

Hi Jayne,
Thank you I’m pleased it grabbed you!
If you click on the second piccie to enlarge it you can see the jetty is actually really and I mean really long. It curves to the right and extends all the way out of the right of the frame to where the deep water is.

Hi Leigh,
Pleased you like my piccies!

Hi Lynda,
Pleased you like my piccies!
Yes, but when you have your Labour day in October you’ll be even.
Then of course we creep ahead again with Melbourne Cup day!