With just one week to go until Christmas, festive fever has well and truely hit the UK. Everywhere you go Christmas songs are playing; the German market in the centre of Bristol is in full swing; and the shops are heaving with people frantically buying presents for their loved ones. I’ve written my Christmas cards and sent them off and all the presents are wrapped and looking very lovely under the tree. This lunchtime I’m off out for my first roast turkey dinner with friends from work. I may not be able to move this afternoon so that will be the perfect excuse to make the rounds and read everyone’s WIPpets.
My WIPpet maths is simple today – 18 (nice and short) paragraphs for the 18th December from Time Shifters – A Long Way From Home. Be warned it is a completely unedited first draft! In this extract Maisie and Danny are time-shifting again after finding themselves in yet more trouble in ancient Rome. They’re in a horse-drawn covered coach escaping Rome when they’re attacked. Maisie has very little time to decide about where and when they should attempt to time-shift to…
There was another shudder. I didn’t know if it was Hunters attacking the coach or us about to time shift. I kept my eyes tightly shut and concentrated on the warmth of the fire in the Great Hall and the feel of the well-worn wood of the table.
Another shudder. And then the cushions we’d been sitting on fell away from beneath us and we were left spinning. My legs kicked nothing but air and my arms gripped Danny tighter and tighter. I didn’t dare open my eyes, not just because I’d be able to see ourselves falling but also because I was terrified about where we’d actually end up.
Still with linked arms we thudded on to a stone floor and ended up sprawled on the ground. I opened my eyes and untangled myself from Danny. It was definitely Robbie’s Great Hall, except there was no roaring fire and the room was cold and unwelcoming with grey light streaming through the windows.
“Where are we?” Danny brushed dirt from off his makeshift toga.
“Robbie’s house. The guy me and Lizzie met in 1471.”
The door creaked open and a servant walked in with a bundle of wood in her arms. She stopped when she saw us, let out a seriously loud scream and dropped the wood on the floor.
“It’s okay,” I said, holding my hands out and taking a step towards her. “We’re friends of Lord Robert’s.”
She screamed again, turned and ran from the room.
“That went well,” Danny said. “You do realise how ridiculous we look dressed like this.” He pointed at himself.
“At least we both made it here.”
There were voices out in the main hallway and a boy, a little bit older than us, charged into the Great Hall with a sword pointing towards us.
Both Danny and me held up our hands and took a step backwards towards the fireplace.
“Who are you?” he asked, stepping further into the room.
“We’re friends of Lord Roberts,” I said again. The boy was tall and muscular but with a boyish face and dark blonde curly hair.
“Why are you dressed like that?”
I could see a couple of servants hovering out in the hallway. “You wouldn’t believe us if we told you.”
I met his eyes and slowly it dawned on me that I might have met him before. “Who are you?”
I may or may not reveal who he is in a future WIPpet, although my lovely beta readers who read the first Time Shifters book might be able to work it out.
K L Schwengel hosts WIPpet Wednesday over on her fabulous blog, My Random Muse. You can check out the rest of the WIPpeteers offerings over there or even join in yourself by simply posting an extract of your work in progress here that relates to the day. 18 lines, paragraphs or even words for the 18th December – you get the idea…
This time next week it’ll be Christmas Day! I hope everyone’s feeling festive and are all ready for the celebrations. Only seven more sleeps.