Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. I’m now sharing from Chapter 45, “Imre’s Revenge,” of my hiatused WIP The Strongest Branches of Uprooted Trees.
It’s November 1945, and Imre has stayed behind in Budapest instead of being smuggled into Italy with his girlfriend Csilla and their friends. As badly as he wants to be with Csilla, Imre wants even more to prove his love and commitment by performing some modern Herculean labors.
Imre’s first labor is going to Csilla’s hometown Abony to recover important possessions she hid last year. Matters are complicated by Csilla’s old house now being owned by a gendarme who tortured her. Imre has found the hidden treasure, but won’t be able to carry it off as easily as he found it.
Poster advertising the fascist Arrow Cross organization: “Hungarian soldiers! We stand! Your fight protects your ancient land!”
As he was deciding how to carry the other things, sharp light and a creaking sound broke his train of thought.
“Who the hell are you, and what are you doing in my family’s home? If you’re a Russian soldier, I’ll have you know my wife and daughters aren’t home now. You’re out of luck if you’re looking for a good time.”
Imre looked over and saw a thin, tall man with a pinched face, greying brown hair, an almost comical handlebar moustache reminiscent of an old cowboy movie villain, and very hard, sharp brown eyes. He knew this could only be the gendarme, but he still had to demand the fiend reveal himself.
“Are you by any chance Mészáros Botond?” He could barely believe he remembered the name Csilla had provided only once.
Hungarians follow the East Asian naming style, putting the surname first. Botond means “mace; stick,” and Mészáros means “butcher.”