In loving memory of George Harrison, who left the material world 13 years ago on Saturday, 29 November.
Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors, a weekly Sunday hop where writers share 8 sentences from a book or WIP. I’m now sharing from the opening of my NaNo WIP, a long-hiatused alternative history which is getting a near-complete redo. It opens in the early morning hours of 17 July 1918, and then quickly diverges from real history when the Russian Imperial Family’s murder is discovered and halted in time to save 13-year-old Aleksey and his sisters.
In my fantasy of alternative Russian history, the House of Romanov is restored to the throne, and Aleksey defies the odds by surviving into adulthood with pretty decent health and becomes Tsar shortly before his 25th birthday in 1929. He’s a most unusual but deeply beloved sovereign on account of his unconventional choice of an empress-consort, his sweeping reforms aimed at helping the common people, and, ultimately, his near-complete rescue of occupied Europe’s Jewish community.
This has been tweaked somewhat to fit 8 lines.
“They’re not innocent,” a very thin executioner insisted, keeping a firm hold on his weapon. “They exploited the masses for centuries.”
“You’re all murderers,” a redheaded soldier said. “But this isn’t the time or place for a political debate. You’ll have ample time for that while you’re awaiting sentencing.”
The executioners were hustled up the stairs and out of Ipatyev House, into the dark night, while several of the soldiers remained behind to assess the extent of the damage from the first deadly volley and another soldier was sent in search of a doctor. After endless minutes, two physicians descended the stairs and were directed to the wounded, who included Alekséy’s nineteen-year-old sister Maríya. One of the doctors cleaned the blood off Alekséy’s face, mercifully shielding him from the view of his father’s lifeless, bloody body slumped in front of the armchair, and then, finally, the dead and wounded were borne out, the air still punctuated by screams and sobs.
Father and son in much happier times.