Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. The rules have now been relaxed to allow a few more sentences if merited, so long as they’re clearly indicated, to avoid the creative punctuation many of us have used to stay within the limit.
I’ve gone back to my hiatused WIP The Strongest Branches of Uprooted Trees, which follows a group of young Shoah survivors during the early postwar years. We’re now in Part IV, “An Exile Driven on By Fate,” in which the friends travel through Italy and France before finding a place to call home before immigrating.
The friends are currently staying in Nantes, France, the home of almost-15-year-old Marie Sternglass. Though Marie was full of hope and excitement when they arrived, those feelings are quickly fading with each cruel new discovery and encounter.
Last week, she went to her old house and asked the current owner if any of her family’s old belongings were still there. The woman at the door was very hostile, and now the situation becomes even worse. Marie’s trademark sweet temper is replaced by rage.
Marie looked around the stranger and saw some of her family’s furniture, paintings, and carpets. Another woman in the background was wearing her mother’s favorite blue silk dress and red velvet house slippers with faux leopard trim.
“Well?” the woman at the door snapped. “Are you all just going to keep standing there, or shall I call the police to evict trespassers?”
“You have to let our friend inside,” Artur begged. “Don’t you have any photographs or small items?”
“This is my house now! Everything that was here when my family moved in is now legally ours. There were some meaningless items like photographs and childish watercolors, but I threw them out with the trash or burnt them.”
“What the hell is wrong with you, salope?” Marie screamed at the top of her lungs.
The ten lines end here. A few more follow to complete the scene.
“Those were my family’s things, not garbage! How dare you discard my memories like meaningless trash!”
Csilla and Eszter grabbed her arms as she started to move forward, her face mottled in rage. She struggled against them and screamed curses at the woman, while Artur gave a translation of what had just happened.
“Are you going to get off my property, or shall I call the police?” the stranger asked. “Fancy all that fuss over meaningless photographs and stupid watercolors.”