Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wednesday Words (on Thursday again)

I had an early start this morning and wasn’t home until late.

So all my ideas for a post tonight have gone out the window.

So to keep things quick tonight I am going to put up two pieces of my work.

The first is Chapter Eight of my book Veiled in Shadows. If you want to read it please click on the tab above.

I took a break from my WIP over Christmas, but I am commuting again today and hence I was writing.

Here is a possible extract from my WIP Veiled in Storms. It is a piece written from the perspective of Valentina who is Ronnie’s flame earlier in the book. I say possible, because I literally wrote this on my way home tonight, and while I know events like this will happen to Valentina they may well disappear into “back story”. And to be honest I haven’t had time to properly reread this to decide if I can build a good second draft from it.

So in Valentina’s words:

Valentina Meshcova 1943: Baptism
Clinging to the ground like I once did to my mother's skirts I inched forward. Above my head whizzed German bullets. Bullets that were being very deliberately fired to kill me.
With my right hand I dragged myself forward, with my left I towed the straps of a medical bag and a machine-gun. My destination, a shell crater, lay only a few metres in front of me. I felt like screaming in terror, I had never been so frightened, but somehow I forced myself to keep inching forwards.
Finally, I reached the relative cover of the low bank of earth thrown up by the exploding shell. I rolled on to my side and looked up at the bank, even as I watched spurts of dirt were thrown up as bullets slammed into the top. I couldn't think of how to get over without being killed.
I looked back the way I had come, a shallow slope led back down to our trenches. Scattered across that slope lay eighteen bodies, in greenish-brown Russian uniforms. I had crept past many of them checking for signs of life on my tortuous way to where I now lay.
An hour and a half ago some idiot of an officer had ordered an attack on a German trench in front of me. Most of the boys had been cut down, a few had dragged themselves back wounded and one had been seen signalling for help from the crater.
I lay still and tried to remember Svetlana's arguments for why us girls should volunteer for the Red Army. None of them seemed to make any sense now, surely I would contribute more to the war by finishing my studies at medical school rather than getting myself killed here.
The shooting eased off and died away. I risked lifting my head a little and waving back in the direction of our trench. The sergeant there had promised that when I got near they would 'lay down covering fire'.
Whatever that meant.
Nothing happened, it was very quiet for a moment. I thought I could hear a mumbling voice beyond the bank inside the crater, someone was still alive. I waved again.
I found out what covering fire was.
Machine guns and rifles all suddenly began firing from the direction of our trenches. Again bullets screamed past, it didn't feel much better than the Germans shooting at me.
Hopefully it was worse for the Germans. Dragging my gear with me I hurled myself up and over the bank, sliding down into the hole beyond...

Now finally, and in case you think I am making up female Russian medics, a piccie of a real heroine from Russia’s ‘Great Patriotic War’ which we in the West know as WWII.
Medics like this woman were common in the Red Army during the war, and many were highly decorated for saving men at great personal risk. However, many photos like this were staged, but in this one she looks more tired than 'patriotic,' so I guess it might be a genuine shot.


Misha said...

Wow that sounds like a facinating story. Can't wait to find out more.


Vicki Rocho said...

Well done! I'm relieved she made it across...had me worried there for a minute.

Old Kitty said...

Speaking of staged pics during the Stalin era - I did come across this huge book - documenting some of Stalin's and his propaganda machine's attempts at literally erasing revolutionary "traitors" from soviet history. So lots of before and after pics with the after pics quite chilling in their methodical doctoring. Crazy.

Anyway!!! Another fab extract from your current wip! I hope you keep Valentina - I love her world weariness at her situation. She's a survivor this one! Take care

The Words Crafter said...

Wow! Great piece! I loved her internal dialogue and how she struggled... And, I didn't know that about the women in the Russian army...fascinating.

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Fascinating! I've read a couple Jade del Cameron mysteries by Suzanne Arruda where the heroine was an American medic in WWI. Very interesting.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

What a rivetting extract. I do look forward to reading the next book, whether or not you decide to keep this part.