Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8 sentences from a book or WIP. During November, I’ll be sharing from my WIP The Strongest Branches of Uprooted Trees, a saga about an ensemble cast of young Shoah survivors rejoining the world of the living and relearning how to be somewhat normal. Its settings include Budapest, Florence, Paris, Nantes, Montpellier, and Béziers.
It’s now the first day of Rosh Hashanah 1945, and on their way home from services at the Great Synagogue of Budapest, they bumped into Mrs. Goldmark, a woman whom Eszter and her fiancé Jákob met during a long weekend in Budapest in July. Mrs. Goldmark warmly invited them to her home for lunch, and assured them she has more than enough food for so many surprise guests due to her black market contacts.
She’s also very interested in setting up her oldest son with Csilla!
Mrs. Goldmark put her hands on her oldest son’s shoulders and smiled, particularly in Csilla’s direction. “This is my beautiful firstborn Imre. He’s eighteen, and hoping to go abroad to university. My only girl is Júlia, who’s fifteen, and my baby is twelve-year-old Nándor.”
A variety of extra chairs were brought out, and then the food was brought to the table. Mrs. Goldmark sat Imre directly across from Csilla, who’d already seated herself between Aranka and Klaudia. Csilla, as serious and tomboyish as always, didn’t seem to realize the reason for this, and carried on talking with her friends. She didn’t notice Imre smiling at her either, nor the smitten look in his big, dark puppy dog eyes.
Before I finally took this story out of its long hiatus, Mrs. Goldmark was unnamed, and only intended as a one-off character. Then I got the idea to use her as an important secondary character, and to give her some kids as well. Not only that, but Imre completely convinced me to give him to Csilla, and told me about their entire long, difficult road to happily ever after. Csilla was originally intended for another man, but the storyline Imre gave me was so much more interesting than that as-yet unwritten, unplotted future storyline!
The name Imre also just popped into my head. I didn’t have to look through any list of names to decide on it.