New Snip - Action Sequence

Nathan's hosted another contest, where he asked for "the most compelling chase and/or action and/or suspenseful sequence".

Here's the snip I posted, in which Rose deliberately sets fire to a house where agents of the Inquisition are holding members of her family:

She edged as close to the field as she dared, sliding her feet one by one across the matted layer of wet leaves. She stopped with one foot actually on the grassy verge, crushing a fragrant clump of stray [mint], peering from one corner of the manor to the other, straining to recognise Arcturus’ face in the fireglow. If the flames did not reach the house at all, they would never have a chance to run with Tante Rita and the others.
No one among the inquisitors besides Armando and the two men who had brought her there would recognise her. If she could pass among them pretending to be a woman from the town... yet everyone, regardless of whether they had seen her before or not, would remark on her tattered clothing, her unkempt hair, and if they called attention to her outlandish nature, appearing at that hour of the night, then the entire endeavour – and Arcturus – would be exposed. Unless...
Rose whipped around and plunged into the trees, heedless of the noise she made as she crashed through the limbs and branches of trees in her way. She followed the line of the field until she came to the nearest burning shrub, then yanked off her shawl and laid it on the flames. As soon as the fire was well and truly caught she tugged the shawl off the snagging thorns – sparing a passing regret for the loss of her mother’s delicate embroidery – and, holding up the burning cloth high above her head, ran screaming out of the forest.
“Help! Help! Fire! I’m on fire!”
She ran across the field, careening slightly to left and right in order to seem truly dazed, and plunged in among the bucket brigade.
“Help!” She yelled in the ear of one startled man, and before he could grab her, to offer whatever help he might have thought of, she slipped out of the line and ran toward the huddle behind the house, lashing her shawl about her as she went, so that dry stalks and hanging herb clusters caught the sparks, and flames began to lick slowly up the trellises along the walls.
“Help! Help!” She yelled, standing between Arcturus and Tante Rita. Armando was on the other side of the group, staring at her with a puzzled frown. Afraid he would recognise her at any moment, Rose threw the shawl as hard as she could, considering she had only two flame-free corners left to hold onto, directly at him. The flaming cloth landed at his feet.

Comments

Talli Roland said…
Wow! Great writing, Deniz - I love the wet leaves at the beginning. You evoke the atmosphere very well.
Aubrie said…
Great writing! I love the detail, especially the mint.
Susan Fields said…
Well done! A very exciting scene. She comes across as a very strong, smart woman.
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks so much everyone!

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