♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
Share some of your favorite lines from your writing.
How about some of your worst ones if you still remember them?
Welcome back to another Open Book Blog Hop! The authors included in this ongoing series wish to thank you for your reads. Even more so, we appreciate that you share our writings with friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Prepare to become a regular reader.
I’m not going to hold you up from getting to the meat of this post. I’m going to answer the first part of the question. My older and unpublished work would stand for my worst writing, as it has never been polished or edited. You can see those pieces on my deviantArt writing account. They’re almost a decade old! Moving on, I present my best work, some excerpts from my best selling work, OP-DEC: Operation Deceit:
The days blended together. Claire’s only relief from the dreariness of the sub and the monotony of the engines was when Carsten took her above decks. On the tower of the bridge, she took in the fresh air until the Allied Navy chased them back deep below the waves. The captain made it his business to avoid confrontations, and Claire was thankful for it. Their ordeal managed to save lives on her side of the war. The sting of facing death eased in light of saving some Joes.
On one such event, Claire looked far out over the gently rolling waves. The desolate tract stretched for miles. The moon hung as a silver smile in a sky of sparkling dust, and from up there, the sound of the engines was almost bearable. She gripped the rail and shut her eyes, silently counting her temper down. The cold spray felt invigorating as it misted over her face. She hated the idea of going back inside with the stink. Bad enough that she had to wear the captain’s stinking weather jacket when above decks. She just wanted to stand there and pretend she had taken a shower. It would have been perfect if only the eyes boring into her back were swept over the side.
“Tomorrow morning the coast should be on the horizon,” Carsten said, joining her, he flicked the last of a cigarette into the ocean. He scratched at his scruffy chin, grown in over the many days at sea. He wore a weather jacket and hat, the outfit issued both to him and her father when they had boarded. The men had been expected to board alone, so few provisions remained for the women. “We will be in France—Lorient.”
Claire’s eyes popped open. The scene before her was striking, but it wasn’t as sweet as when Fritzy stood invisible on the other side of the bridge. She would have settled for him just keeping quiet, but he never did.
“Is that the last we’ll finally see of you?” Claire asked, lofting the words at him like a punch.
“Unfortunately for you—we will be spending a great deal of time together.” Carsten smiled at her.
The insinuation was clear. He liked to insinuate things when she got feisty with him.
“Unfortunate for you, Fritzy,” Claire said back to him, cracking a sarcastic smile.
Carsten chuckled. “And I thought we were getting to be fantastic friends, Liberty Belle.”
Carsten touched the collar of his jacket that poked from beneath the captain’s coat and turned to the sea. Placing his foot on the bottom of the rail, he folded his arms to rest on the top and displayed his pleasure that she still wore the garment.
“Maybe you’re not such a great snoop after all,” Claire said, holding her chin up high.
“Maybe not. But so far, I have been able to evade the best of your men, living right under their noses for months.”
“I bet you’re pretty proud,” Claire said. She set her fist on her hip and faced him, gripping the rail with her other hand to steady herself. “But you didn’t put one over on me, did you?”
“Quite,” Carsten said. “Would you be proud if you were doing such a fine job for your side?” He paused, eyeing her. “But you are not, are you?” He placed his fingers on her chin, lifting it to better catch her reaction. “As for you—I think you are dealt with.”
“Oh, I don’t know,” Claire said, choking back the emotions that rose within her. The beard failed to ruin his handsome features.
Now he simply looked like a strapping Viking god instead of a fair Greek one. She stepped to the side, reclaiming her space and senses.
“I bet I could have you fooled in the matter of a minute and get myself right out of this.”
“Look, Fräulein,” Carsten moved closer to tower over her, hands on hips. His eyes took on the usual iciness. “I am the only friend you will have in the Reich.”
“Some friend,” Claire snarled, tipping her face toward him.
Carsten shrugged his shoulders and grinned. His eyes slipped to her mouth and then back. The ice glinted deviously in that look.
Claire huffed and gave him her back, folding her arms. She watched the sea roll, wishing it would swallow him alive. The night sky and waves no longer calmed her nerves. She shoved away from the rail and went to the hatch. Without her nervy escort, she climbed the ladder to cut short her time in the fresh air. She needed to hide beside her aunt where he couldn’t press himself against her or remind her of what might become of her.
And, one more… (Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault)
Claire soon found herself cornered in an empty alley, out of sight. The transport trucks and commotion sounded muffled. The soldiers who brought her there circled, keeping her corralled. She watched them warily.
“Please,” Claire heard herself say.
They paused. The first soldier laughed. His dark features reddened with the fervency of his emotions. His eyes sparked with fire. The men chattered to each other, most amused. The first soldier neared her, undoing the buckle of his belt. Claire backed away, pleading with him again. Her eyes went wide and she
lost her voice in panic. She had to run. She had to find the others. She had to find Carsten. Her mind whirred around where he was. He was always there to intervene before.
Claire tried to run, but was forced back by the three soldiers. They pushed her back to the wall, jeering and laughing. They called her something that was very much just like the English word. Tears stung her eyes. She slapped at them and tried to push her way through. They looked like boys, but were surprisingly strong. The first soldier pressed her to the back of the alley. Pushing her face to the bricks. Even alone, the man was too strong to fight and her damaged limbs were in no condition to do battle. She cried, begging him to stop. He pushed her head harder against the wall, then spun her around. Gripping her by the neck, he said something close to her face, then laughed.
The man tugged at the belt around her waist. It had given her trouble that morning so she hoped it would be enough to save her now. He growled something over his shoulder and one of his friends fished in his pockets. He tossed him a jack-knife. Claire shut her eyes, praying that this time, somehow, Carsten would be the protection she needed, as the belt let go under the blade and her pants slackened.
“I would not do that,” Claire heard his familiar voice.
The soldiers guarding the attack spun about. Claire’s assailant turned his face to see who had come to interrupt their fun. His friends aimed their rifles. Carsten stood with two pistols aimed. Behind him, Kohl ran into the alley.
The trio of attackers sneered. The first continued what he was doing tugging the waist of her pants down her hips. Claire pressed herself to the wall and struggled to keep her clothes on. The man squeezed her throat harder. She squeezed her eyes shut and gasped for air. One of the guards fired a rifle. Claire shook at the loud report of the gun. Her attacker pulled the halves of her shirt apart, popping the buttons in his haste. Claire screamed as his cold hands grasped her breast and ribcage, unable to see if Carsten had been killed and fearing the worst as the assault continued.
A similar set of sounds to the rifle shots swallowed her voice. The pressure holding her to the wall released. She turned her head, tears streaming from her eyes.
Carsten stood with his pistol pressed to the temple of her attacker’s head. The expression on his face rivaled her father’s usual mien. He spoke in measured German and the man backed up. Carsten’s gaze flicked to her and he murmured gentle assurances. The hate was clear in his eyes, but his concern had taken away its energy. Claire’s attacker put his hands up and lowered onto his knees before Carsten’s pistol. Claire pushed along the wall wanting to be as far from the horrible man as possible. Carsten reached his hand out to her, keeping his gun and eyes on the man who’d sought to violate her. Carsten pulled her to him, and she buried her face against his shoulder.
“Hauptmann,” Kohl’s voice called, trying to deescalate the situation.
He stood over the only other surviving perpetrator, who knelt with his hands clasped behind his head and sniveling. Carsten spoke again. Then his gun reported. Multiple times. They stood for several moments in the silence that followed. Claire wept quietly against Carsten’s shoulder not looking at the scene. She knew he’d shot the remaining men.
Soon, other soldiers and passerby crowded the entrance.
“You cause me so much trouble, Fräulein,” Carsten’s voice came.
The soldiers coming into the alley looked confused by the three dead soldiers at the feet of the suited men. Kohl stepped forward, attempting to explain, holding his hands up and his pistol dangling from his thumb harmless. It did little good. The gathered soldiers dragged them back to the command tents at the port to answer for the crime.
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