Monday, August 3, 2009

First Teaser of August

Allrighty then.

This is from the brand new WIP, tentatively titled "Through the Mist". It's Womens Fiction/Historical set in England during WW2 - I guess I can't stay away from those years.

This scene is from Chapter 2 and Katya, the main character, is about to receive a surprise.

Katya leaned against the car and waited in the darkness. The airfield was quiet apart from a handful of ground crew who waited by their lorry at the side of the runway. They had told Katya that the pickup had gone to plan and the plane would be due soon. Someone had offered her a mug of tea and she sipped it as she waited, straining to hear the drone of an engine in the moonless night. The sky was illuminated by a brilliant scatter of stars, stretched out across a pool of black. Katya could make out the Milky Way, a twisted rope of stars stretched out across a field of lesser lights. Thin streamers of mist clung to the dewy grass and one of the crew said that he could hear something. Everyone went quiet and the murmur of an engine could be heard coming in from the east. The runway lights flickered on,. Katya emptied the rest of her tea and returned the mug as a plane swooped out of the darkness. The fickle lights gleamed weakly on a black fuselage and Katya shivered, it looked like a fantastical creature from a myth for a moment, only the thrum of its engine as it touched down reminded her that it was a machine.

She straightened her uniform and waited for the plane to taxi to a halt. The groundcrew were all business and Katya remained by the car, peering into the uncertain light and the rising mist as she waited for her mysterious passenger. She let her imagination paint a picture of a quiet, scarred man, dressed in black and carrying a briefcase and a crumpled fedora. He wouldn’t say anything, he’d just sit in the passenger seat and, perhaps, sleep and leave her in nervous peace while she drove through the blackout to London.

The runway lights were turned off and the only light that remained came from the lorry, which had now parked beside the plane. Katya heard someone mention that the car was waiting and she stood up, ready to salute as a figure moved silently across the grass towards her. She opened the car door so that some light, however feeble, could light the way. He was carrying a backpack and he was dressed in black. She saluted as the man stepped out of the inky darkness. Then, all cold professionalism nearly went out the window while recognition shot through her like electricity, like lightning. She remembered a grassy mountainside and a warm hand wrapped around hers. It didn’t seem possible.

Katya bit back a gasp. He wouldn’t remember her anyway. It had been three years and it was only she who had chosen to remember, never forgetting his brown eyes or the kiss he had left, absently, on her cheek. He had filled her daydreams for months until reality crept in and made her realize that he would only ever be a daydream. That men like him weren’t interested in eighteen year old girls who got stranded on foggy mountainsides. He was a impossibility who would never return to her life.

“Sir.” Katya dropped the salute and opened the passenger door for him. There was no flicker of recognition on his part, no acknowledgement of her presence. She closed the door with a trembling hand, bit back her absurd disappointment and slid into the driver’s seat. The car rumbled into life and she put her hand on the gears.

“Hold on a minute.” The voice, still the same, came out of the gloom beside her. “Turn on the light please.”

Katya, still quivering with shock, reached up and turned on the small, flickering light. “Sir?” She looked at him. The light wasn’t great, but the intense, unflinching gaze was the same. His was a face she had never forgotten. She returned his stare. “Is something wrong, Sir?”

“Bloody Hell.” His voice was soft. “Your name’s not Katya is it?”


  1. NICE!!!!! A great start! I'm really curious as to what comes next. I so love the last line here. I can really imagine his expression as well as hers.

    great job!!!

    (one little thing, you have a comma AND a period in this line - "on,. Katya". I'm thinking you were aiming for the period? that's the only typo I found. :D )

  2. I know you've been told the opposite, but I really like this story's time period. It lends a poingnancy to a fairly standard set-up that just wouldn't be there if it was a contemporary.

    Also, you're a whiz at creating mood. Good job, Sue.

  3. Great start! I love your writing style. There's a beauty in how you use the English language. I like the setting as well and, as Hope mentioned, you do a find job in creating the mood.

  4. Sue,

    This is the best teaser I've read from you! I was really taken and wanted to know more! I like how you focus on the light (or lact thereof) throughout. The only think I see that you may want to change is the sentence that starts with, "The sky was illuminated...", only because you have "stretched out" in both that sentence and the one following, but I'm sure you would have noticed that on your next read through. What a great first draft! Keep going! I think you're really onto something good!!

    xoxo -- Hilary

  5. Hey--

    I loved this--I wanted to read on and see if he really did recognize her, and what he thought! I think you set the mood as great as ever, tho I think you can (and will, I'm sure) edit out a few extra words here and there in the first para. but loving the story so far!

  6. Sue, lovely scene here. I love the way you describe the stars and the milky way. You evoke such a cinematic scene with the plane arriving in the darkness. Beautiful. I love the way you bring these two together, and the recognition at the end really had me wanting more of this story. I think you could edit out some of the "had"s in the first para, but just the stuff you would polish up later. Good work!

  7. Fantastic! I love it and want to read more.