Fugitives – WIPpet Wednesday

A few weeks back I posted an extract from Time Shifters in which Maisie and Lizzie had hidden in undergrowth at the side of the road when a skinny horse pulling a covered wagon trundled to halt in front of them. It was all fine until Lizzie, much to Maisie’s dismay, decided to step out into the open and ask the man sitting at the front of the wagon where the nearest town was. The man, called Harold, a slightly unsavoury and rather smelly character allows them to hitch a lift with him and his family on the condition that they pay him when they reach Towcester. The only problem is Maisie and Lizzie don’t have any money and so when they reach the town they make up an excuse and run for their lives only stopping when they’ve put a good distance between themselves and Harold… The following extract is 17 paragraphs from chapter 7.

Lizzie was bent over with her hands on her knees. “You’ve turned us into criminals,” she said between breaths.

“We hitched a lift and didn’t pay. That’s not exactly stealing.”

“Believe what you want,” she said standing up straight. “How are we going to get food and a bed for the night now we’re fugitives?”

“Don’t be so dramatic. Harold and his family will move on and we’ll be forgotten about.”

“And in the meantime?” she said with her hands on her hips.

“We go on the hunt for food and water.” I felt rebellious and didn’t care if surviving here would go against everything that was right back home. It was 1471 after all, not the 21st Century. I wandered amongst the gravestones reading the ages of the dead, which ranged from a beloved son aged three months to a positively ancient sixty-one.

“This place is freaking me out,” Lizzie whispered as if she was afraid of disturbing the dead.

“The church might be a safe place to sleep.” I walked over to the door, slid the wooden bar across where it was wedged closed and gently pushed. The door creaked open. I beckoned to Lizzie and we slipped inside, closing the door behind us. It took a while for our eyes to adjust to the dusky light. Lizzie stayed close to me as we walked down the aisle between wooden pews. I knew we had to have somewhere sheltered to sleep but it was still daylight and I was conscious of Danny and the army getting further and further away from us.

The door scraped open and daylight crept in. I pulled Lizzie down behind the pews at the back of the church.

“I know you’re in here,” Harold’s voice echoed inside the church.

I held my breath and Lizzie tensed beside me. “See, bad idea,” she whispered.

“Half the town saw you run this way,” Harold continued. His boots thudded loudly on the flagstones. “Then I followed your muddy footprints. I only want my two pennies, a deal’s a deal.”

I motioned to Lizzie to follow, and crawling on our hands and knees we made our way slowly along the far wall of the church, skirting the pews. The cold flagstones bruised my knees and palms. I held my hand out to stop Lizzie when we reached the middle pews. I strained my head forward and saw Harold standing in the middle of the aisle.

“I know you’re in here,” he said, flicking a rope he held in one hand gently onto his other palm.

I took a deep breath and continued forward, we were nearly there, and I could see the patch of daylight on the flagstone nearest to the door… Thud. Lizzie’s iPod clattered on the floor. I scooped it up, grabbed Lizzie by her sleeve and pulled her to her feet.

“You little…” Harold swung to face us as we ran the few paces to the door and slipped out of the church, slamming it shut behind us.

“Help me close it!” I said, heaving the wooden bar across. Together we wedged it shut. The full weight of Harold landed against the door but it stayed closed.

All you have to do to join in with WIPpet Wednesday is post an extract from your current WIP that relates in some way to the date. For example, today, instead of opting for the extract above, I could have posted 17 paragraphs from page 117 (required way too much explanation) or 17 lines from chapter 17 (gave too much away). When you’ve published your post add your link to the linky that K L Schwengel hosts over on her blog and get reading some fabulous posts from the other WIPpeteers. Enjoy!

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15 Comments

  1. Eek! Left hanging again. Harold is a persistent fellow, isn’t he? They better be a bit more careful, methinks.

  2. Tense! Love the image of an iPod hitting the floor of a church in 1471.

  3. This reminds me of that 80s movie Better Off Dead where the newspaper boy stocks the guy because he forgot to tip him. “I want my two dollars!” I guess it wasn’t a super popular movie, so maybe you never saw it, but it still gave me a chuckle. You sure don’t spare your characters any danger, do you? Way to go!

  4. This is so excting Kate. Will Maisie and Lizzie manage to escape this time? Or will Harold get out of the church? Gripping stuff!

  5. Such a different world for the girls. I enjoyed their innocence in this situation – the fact that they are the furtherest things from hardened survivalists. Another great WIPpet! (I loved the ipod clattering down too).

  6. Yeek! At risk of sounding like a teenager, I was legit scared of Harold during this snippet! Very intense!

  7. Betrayed by modern technology! I feel their pain!!! Is the rope for tying, whipping, dragging, stretching, or hanging? *shudder*

  8. Pingback: Kate Frost – Day 21 – ROW80 Update

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