Rain-Soaked London – WIPpet Wednesday

It’s unseasonably cold in the UK at the moment with daytime temperatures barely nudging 3ºC and snow up north. However, when I started writing this WIPpet Wednesday post on a dull and rainy afternoon last week, it seemed quite appropriate at the time to choose around 27 lines from page 217 of Time Shifters where Maisie and Lizzie have a run-in with a drunken old lady on a rain-soaked London Bridge. Out of context this extract may not make complete sense but to set it up is a bit complicated and would give too much of the plot away. All I will say is the year is 1730 and having eventually found Lizzie (who had gone missing in the extract I posted a few Wednesday’s ago) it’s now Danny’s turn to have disappeared (yet again). This time shifting business is confusing stuff…

“You looking for someone?” a raspy voice suddenly said. Lizzie grasped my arm as an old woman staggered out of the shadows opposite us. She clutched a bottle in her hand and swayed as she moved towards us.

I stepped forward. “Yeah, we’re looking for our friend, a boy…”

“A boy. A boy you say.” She waved the bottle at us. “I saw a boy here, a little while ago, a boy and a girl ’bout your age, and two men on horses. The boy and girl disappeared. I swear they just disappeared.” She started to laugh and then erupted into a hacking cough.

Lizzie leaned towards me. “That was you and Danny.”

“I know, I don’t think she realises though.”

“That’s because she’s too drunk.”

The woman finished coughing and spat a big blob of green phlegm onto the cobbles in front of us.

“Yuck,” Lizzie said.

I swallowed back the sick feeling in my throat. “Are you sure you didn’t just imagine this boy and girl ‘disappear’. It doesn’t exactly sound possible.”

“I knows what I saw.”

“I bet you often see things when you’ve been drinking,” I said.

“This ain’t strong stuff.” She held out the bottle and chuckled. “Tastes of watered down piss anyways.”

“Did anyone else see what you saw?”

She shook her head and her wet grey hair slapped her face and remained stuck. “There ain’t no one about but me,” she said and started coughing again.

Got a WIP to share? Then join the WIPpeteers! Every Wednesday post an extract of whatever you’re working on that somehow relates to the date – for example today you could post 27 words, lines or paragraphs from page 27, chapter 27 or even page 217 like I’ve done. Make sure you share your link by adding it to the helpful linkie that you can find on K L Schwengel’s blog.

Other fabulous WIPpeteers include: Raewyn Hewitt, K L Schwengel, ReGi McClain, Elaine Jeremiah, Alana Terry, Krista Walsh, Kate Sparkes, Jessica Minyard, Emily and Ink and Papyrus (who also designed the WIPpet Wednesday logo).

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  1. Very good character depiction with the old woman — even if she is spitting out globs of phlegm. :p By the end of this short piece I definitely have a very clear image of her.

    • Thanks Kathi. The woman only appears in this one scene and she’s not a particularly pleasant character – fun to write though!

  2. Love it! I can see that charming old drunk in my mind so clearly.

    “I knows what I saw”– that’s how a lot of people talk here, too!

  3. Yet another wonderful post Kate! Only trouble is I’m a little confused, what with all the separate WIPpet Wednesday extracts, exactly what’s happened to your characters when! But then again, that’s true of many of the WIPpeteers entries. So I guess I’ll just have to wait for the finished product when I can read it in its entirety! :)

    • It is a bit of a problem posting extracts all out of sequence and it really doesn’t help matters when the novel is about time travel… If I explain too much though it will give the plot away, so yes, reading it in its entirety once it’s finished will be the best option!

  4. sounds like an icky old lady. Good job! Hope everything works out for the kids.

  5. “I knows what I saw.”

    I’m not sure why I like this line so much. Possibly the stumbling-drunk-but-asserting-my-sanity thing.
    So far your book sounds like something both my eldest and I would enjoy r4eading. :-)

  6. Excellent imagery – I have a clear (too clear) vision of her in all her glory. I love how even your walk-on characters are so well drawn.

    I hope the weather picks up soon – I miss those rainy London days…

    • Unsavoury characters are the best to write and I loved to read about all the yucky stuff when I was a kid so figured I’d put that side of life into my kid’s novel!

      It snowed today – didn’t settle but made for a very chilly dog walk… way better than rain though…

  7. Reading this scene was like watching it on film – such vivid description and smooth dialogue. Aside from my dinner being a bit unsettled in my stomach ( 😉 ) I loved it!

    • I should have put a health warning on this WIPpet… ‘do not read before, during or after dinner’… Many thanks for the compliments Krista.

  8. Such a great scene! I could really get a sense of your characters and setting. More please!

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