Heading Into Battle – WIPpet Wednesday

The other week I gave you the last few sentences from chapter 13 of Time Shifters. In it Maisie and Lizzie had been travelling for days in an attempt to find their friend, Danny, who they believed was caught up with the Earl of Warwick’s army. To set the scene – it was early in the morning and foggy and the two girls had been quietly riding along when they came to a halt at the sound of men screaming. Today’s extract follows on from that point with ten paragraphs from the beginning of chapter 14 (10 + 4 for the 10/04/13 – see what I did there!).

In the eeriness of the cold foggy morning the screams sent shivers through me. I didn’t want to ride any further or risk the noise making Zeus bolt. But most of all I didn’t actually want to witness what was through the fog. I reined Goliath in and dismounted.

“Let’s tie the ponies here and walk,” I said.

Together we crept through the damp grass towards the cries, shouts and clang of metal. I wanted to run in the opposite direction but Danny was somewhere amongst the noise. What if he was injured…what if? I stopped on the slope.

“What now?” Lizzie said, turning to face me.

“What if Danny’s dead?”

She stared at me with her mouth open. “Don’t be stupid. He’s twelve. He’s too young to die.”

With the bloodthirsty noise of battle growing by the second I couldn’t hold back my tears any longer. Tears for Danny, and for Mum, Dad and Ollie streamed down my face, and tears for leaving Robbie behind and for being chased and for being stuck in the past.

Lizzie awkwardly put her arm round me and left it there, heavy on my shoulders. I wiped away my tears with the end of my sleeve.

“We’ll find Danny,” she said. “He’ll be OK, I promise.”

There were shouts and a clash of metal from somewhere close. Lizzie’s grip tightened on my shoulder. I couldn’t see a thing through the fog but heard a duh duh, duh duh sound like something rolling… something rolling and picking up speed. And then a soldier rolled to a stop in front of us. A dead soldier with a broken sword stuck in his chest. We both screamed and staggered backwards, falling onto the grass.

Got a WIP to share? Don’t be shy, the WIPpeteers are a friendly bunch. If you like the idea of joining in then post an extract of your current work in progress that relates, however creatively, to the date and add your link to the linkie found over on author and WIPpeteer extraordinaire, K L Schwengel’s blog. Even if you don’t want to join in then take the time to read the other fabulous WIPpet Wednesday posts that can be found here.

Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Poor Maisie – I really felt for her. I had a great visual of the soldier rolling out of the fog. It really puts a face to their fears for Danny. Great job!

    • Thanks Raewyn. Maisie’s been really strong up until this point in the novel but it all gets a bit much for her in this scene.

  2. ‘She stared at me with her mouth open. “Don’t be stupid. He’s twelve. He’s too young to die.”’

    That’s heartbreaking. Really solidifies the danger they’re in.

    • There are happier times in the novel but this is the point at which Maisie in particular realises just how scary their situation is (despite the fact that she loves the adventure).

  3. I like that last bit as well, with the soldier rolling out of the fog. First I was thinking it might just be the head . . . *shudder* The child’s perspective, denial of death — he’s only 12, he’s too young to die — is a very nice touch. So different from how adults would look at it.

    • Ooh, just the head rolling out the fog would have made for a great description but would perhaps have taken it a bit too far! Hopefully I got the tone of the scene about right from a child’s POV.

  4. This is very dramatic and exciting Kate! As a reader, I felt the fear that Maisie and Lizzie had. A great excerpt!

  5. My favorite line in the whole series of your WIPs so far is “he’s only twelve. He’s too young to die.” So true how kids think. (And also fairly true how kids authors write!) I hope they’re right!

    • Ah thanks Alana. It’s that innocence that kids have that unfortunately we lose as adults. It’s great as an author though to be able to write from a kid’s POV.

  6. So I maybe actually got a tiny bit teary on the “he’s only twelve. He’s too young to die” line. That combined with the soldier rolling out at the end – really got the sense that the gravity of their situation is starting to hit them big-time now.

  7. I think that line sums up just how serious their situation is – the scary thought of what might have happened to Danny…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *