WeWriWa—Trepidation in a train

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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, and ends the chapter.

After a violent fight with a former gendarme, Imre Goldmark is being smuggled out of Budapest and into Italy to join his girlfriend Csilla and their friends. Imre is afraid he killed the gendarme, and his mother doesn’t want to take any chances. Imre’s sister Júlia decided to leave Hungary too.

They’re now safe inside a cattlewagon of a train under the protection of the Brihah. Imre has just told Júlia he thinks he loves Csilla, and that he wouldn’t have killed a man for any of his prior girlfriends.

Budapest’s Nyugati Station in 1936
Copyright FOTO:FORTEPAN/Lőrincze Judit

“Are you really sure you killed him? Maybe he just passed out or was badly injured.”

“There was no pulse or breath.” Imre fell silent at the sound of footsteps pacing around outside.

Throughout the night, various voices drifted through the air. Some of them were Russian soldiers, but others were Hungarians. Every so often, they heard voices in a third, unfamiliar language, which they hoped was Hebrew being spoken by Brihah agents guarding the train. It was difficult to fall asleep with only straw for a bed and no blankets, but eventually both Imre and Júlia’s exhaustion got the better of them, and they were sound asleep by the time the train pulled out of the station and began making its way towards the birthplace of Dante, Boccaccio, and the Renaissance.

8 thoughts on “WeWriWa—Trepidation in a train

  1. Hoping it’s Hebrew too.

    And that the gendarme did not come to much harm and was decently buried in their tradition.

    Trying to enjoy and simply live in Italy with that fog of exhaustion.

    And, um, wasn’t Italy an Axis Power still? Did they surrender yet?

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  2. I understand why it would be difficult to fall asleep there, though they could be in much worse conditions. Hopefully they make it to their destination.

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  3. What an uncomfortable, smelly place in which to try to sleep. Yet, they are safe for the moment. I hope they get to their destination.

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  4. I’m also hoping the gendarm wasn’t actually dead. Might go easier for Imre. I’m sure they were exhausted enough to sleep on bare planks without straw. Hope they make it to Italy safely.

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  5. I like the lofty feeling to the references about their destination. It’s kind of an uplifting note in all the grimness of their journey and life in general for them at the moment. Really a well done snippet.

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