Posted in 1940s, Historical fiction, Writing

WeWriWa—Rage intensifies


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 have quickly faded. She’s now at her old house, which has a very cold, hostile new owner who admits she burnt the photos and children’s watercolors which were left behind. Marie can also see some of her family’s belongings in the background.

Nantes Synagogue, Copyright Jibi44

“Those are my family’s things inside the house, you connasse! You didn’t buy those paintings, that mahogany side table, that white grand piano, those beautiful Persian carpets, or the dress and slippers that other woman is wearing! Allez vous faire foutre!”

“Why don’t we go back to the hotel so you can calm down?” Caterina asked. “Then we can go to the Red Cross or the synagogue.”

“That’s an excellent idea.” The stranger slammed the door in their faces.

“Perhaps you can ask the police for help,” Móric said as Eszter and Csilla steered Marie back onto the street. “French police are different from Hungarian police or Soviet soldiers. They might help you to press your case and give you a warrant to search your house.”

The ten lines end here. A few more follow to finish the scene.

“What’s the use of trying?” Marie slumped against Eszter, her whole body shaking. “All that remains of my former life is the photo I hid in my shoe. Perhaps my father and Pierre already came back here and were kicked off the property too. They might’ve left France already, and think I’m dead. I was stupid to believe everything would be sunshine and rainbows.”

“You could find good news tomorrow,” Eszter promised emptily. “Maybe your father and brother are here, or you’ll find some friendly faces. You can’t know until you try.”

“Right now, you only need to think about calming down and getting to a safe place,” Caterina said. “I’ve never seen you nearly that angry before. I really thought you were about to hit her or claw her face off.”

“You and me both,” Imre said. “I never realized Marika knew words like salope and connasse, let alone that last sentence she said to the woman.”


Writer of historical fiction sagas and series, with elements of women's fiction, romance, and Bildungsroman. Born in the wrong generation on several fronts.

2 thoughts on “WeWriWa—Rage intensifies

  1. Marie’s rage is entirely understandable. She has good friends who care about her, and that’s going to help a lot. I hope they can get the police to do something. Nice snippet, Carrie-Anne.

    Oh, your link to WeWriWa points to the old site. Thought you’d want to know.


  2. I can but go with Móric’s trust with the police [though Hungarian police or Soviet secret police – with all that we have learnt between their time and ours].

    [I don’t think I need to go through the Primer on Hungarian Names – to think that Móric is what Germans would call Moritz and English and French people would call Maurice]. #onomastics

    Yes – that is one of the fundamentals of a democratic society.

    I felt the poignance of Marie and her one photo in the shoe.

    Pierre is a great [unseen] character – we do feel Marie and her family.

    Sunshine goes hot [especially this time of the year] and rainbows have a way of fading.

    And we don’t know until we try. This is a good bromide in more normal circumstances.

    I wonder what Marie and Caterina and Imre will try?

    Instead of rage or outrage: I felt very sad.

    [the source of that sadness was rooted in hopelessness and helplessness – and that is a hard kind of sadness to shake off – in literature and in life].

    [even though BEFORE I read this excerpt I thought it would be very “Maintain your rage” – this is a quote from an ex-Australian Prime Minister]


    I wonder, too, how many #WeWriWa people have had their site links point to the previous version[s] of the site [through sheer digital inertia or something else involved]?


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