Susan Adrian posted a lovely snippet from her WIP on her blog, and suggested that some of us follow suit with short snippets of our own from the chapter we're working on at the moment, just for the fun of sharing. So here goes! :)
Here's an excerpt from Hidden Underground, my historical YA set in WWII Poland. I pulled this from the chapter I'm currently editing, set sometime in October, 1939. Heidi is visiting the town closest to her village, for the first time since the Wehrmacht arrived.
Copyright 2008, J Rose D.
A motorcycle screeched toward her as they raced across the street.
“Heidi!” Alina’s shriek echoed in the church doorway. Something grabbed her foot, sending her sprawling—a beer bottle. She closed her eyes to shut out the sting of her skinned knees. When she opened them again, the ground around her was strewn with beer bottles.
In the dark interior of the church the icons lay in a shambled heap among the bottles—twisted, ripped, falling. At her foot, the portrait of Saint Irene was separated from its frame, disfigured by a black bootprint across the face and crown. Cloths, yellow candles and oil lamps had been thrown about from the wooden altar and iconostasis. The ornate censer hung vandalized at the end of a single chain.
“My God,” she whispered. “Why?” She pulled the ends of her close-fitting sweater over her hands. Dizzy—the weathered walls and littered street changed angles. By her side, Alina was shaking.
“Come on.” Johann touched her arm with a gentle firmness. “There’s nothing we can do.”
“Shh.” There it was again—the stifled sobbing. “Someone’s in there.” Heidi navigated her way through the dark, with Johann and Alina close behind her. A chink of broken glass crunched under her shoe, and an old woman’s startled cry answered from the side of the altar.
“Pani Kusiak!” Heidi and Johann exclaimed at the same time. Pani Kusiak, in a Greek Orthodox church? She was an adamant Roman Catholic, and as far as Heidi knew she’d never set foot in here in her life.