Borderlands, my current WIP, has an alternating structure, THEN sections with NOW. This is an excerpt from the first NOW section. Remember, rough draft, completely unedited, blah blah, etc etc. Be nice :P :)
The shout that echoed down the street was perhaps even more disturbing for its volume than its content; no one shouted in the City, ever, for any reason. So Kuyen was not the only citizen who whipped around to stare at the man in strange layered and divided clothing who was running towards them, cloth flapping behind him, at first glance pursuing a young girl but, Kuyen surmised a second later, actually running with the girl, if a little behind.
Kuyen rubbed her nose. Very strange indeed. She wished Samir was here to sniff for her and warn her of any danger.
The man gesticulated wildly at the staring people. “Run!” His shout came even louder as he drew closer, and Kuyen felt a grain of uncertainty. Perhaps maybe she should run... If only Samir was here.
She glanced back at the water and her pulse leapt. The once-docile stream now foamed and bit at its banks, a rushing turbulence that promised to carry away any who fell at its side. Kuyen felt as though she’d returned to her home in the Embassy to find Samir suddenly turned rabid.
One more look at the man and the young girl dashing towards them down the street convinced her; she turned and fled.
The water roared, bringing with it the smell of cold stone and minerals, and long-forgotten places underground. All around her, people began to scream as slowly, inexorably, the water breached the cobbled walls that held it in and flooded up the street, lapping at fleeing feet, tangling and tripping.
Shrieks mingled with splashes as the water rushed on, and even though she ran as hard and as high as she could, keeping so close to the buildings on her right that she knew she’d bear the grazes for at least a week, the water tugged at Kuyen’s feet too.
To her left, the man and girl overtook her, knees lifting high as they sought freedom from the binding water. She clutched at her soggy skirt, hoicking it up around her thighs and splashing through the flood. Her spare hand clutched at her ears, trying to block out the sound of screams, of gurgles, of her own terror tearing from her mouth and streaming down her now-wet face.
In front of her, the girl tripped.
The water surged as though it had been waiting. It gulped her up, and though she struggled it tore her from the street and swept her into the drain – and then, like a sluice gate had been lowered or a switch flicked, the flood abated, the water’s hunger satiated, and all that was left on the street were the sodden forms of those who’d fallen, and the man, who threw himself to his knees at the water’s very edge and gave a cry that twisted Kuyen’s stomach and brought her reeling to the ground.