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. This week’s snippet comes right after last week’s.
Imre Goldmark put himself in a great deal of danger by going to his girlfriend Csilla’s old house to dig up valuables she hid last spring. He got into a violent fight with the gendarme who took over the house, whom he believes he murdered. Imre fled back to Budapest with the valuables and a broken hand.
His mother quickly found a smuggler from the Brihah, a group who successfully got many people out of harm’s way in the early postwar years. Imre’s sister Júlia announced she wants to escape too, and explains she’s terrified of all the occupying Soviet soldiers and feels a world apart from her classmates due to their disparate wartime experiences.
District XII of Budapest in 1945, Foto:Fortepan/Lissák Tivadar
“How long have you felt like this? You seemed happy and well-adjusted at your new school and in this new neighborhood.”
“These feelings have been building for awhile, but I didn’t want to bring it up for fear of you not understanding. So many people want to leave Hungary and Europe, but you seem happy staying here no matter what happened. We had it easy compared to Imcsi’s friends, but we still went through things other Hungarians can’t relate to or understand. Maybe we really should all move to Palestine.”
The Brihah man looked at Mrs. Goldmark. “Do you give permission for your daughter to go with us? These clandestine border crossings are usually fairly safe, and we’ll give them enough money to bribe anyone who might discover them and squeal.”