Happy Wednesday, everyone! Hump day. The middle of the week. Halfway to the weekend, halfway done with the workweek (whatever that looks like for you). It may still be cold up here but at least the sun is shining! Currently I am finding it much easier to write creatively, in response to prompts and such, than I am to write about the general goings-on in my life – for whatever reason! So I’m going with it and decided to share another little piece of a story that I was working on last month…
She watched the road widen in front of her as she rounded the bend in the deep, green woods. Off to the left the cliff edge fell steeply, rocks and boulders haphazardly marking the perilous journey down to the crystal clear waters. She wanted to stop right there and leave the car, go and kneel on the edge of the road and bury her hands in the fresh earth, soak up the scent of the cool breeze drifting in from the sea. Soon, she thought to herself. Just keep going a little further.
As she continued winding through the forest, she absentmindedly fingered the tiny wooden relic in her hand, so worn from decades of subconscious and superstitious rubbing that it was now completely smooth. She could just make out the carved shape of a black bear, but even if it looked like a mere piece of the smooth walnut wood it was made of she would still treasure the small token as if it were pure gold. A tear slid down her cheek before she even noticed that she was on the verge of crying, and she ignored it, letting it forge a wet path down her face and hang momentarily at the curve of her chin before it dripped down into her lap. She no longer had those heart-wrenching moments of sorrow and grief throwing her completely off balance, but the periodic waves of sadness continued to ebb and flow, ebb and flow, even several months later. They always will, she thought mournfully.
Blinking several times, she focused again on the road ahead. The woods were so grown up along this part of the journey that the direct sunlight disappeared entirely, and only an emerald glow could be seen in pockets where the trees weren’t quite as close together. She was familiar with these roads, but it had been a long time since she had taken this path, so she wanted to be sure she didn’t miss the turn. She squinted and leaned over the steering wheel. There it was – nearly overgrown as always, but still visible if you were looking for it: a slight clearing amongst the brush, and a small weatherworn sign that was no longer legible. She pulled her car into the clearing and turned off the engine. Gripping the steering wheel tightly, she closed her eyes for a moment and gathered herself mentally. She wasn’t sure if she was ready for this.
As she stepped out the only sound was the snap of a dry twig cracking underneath her foot. She paused and took a deep breath, looking up into the canopy of the trees above, searching for a break in the green and a hint of the afternoon sunshine. The sharp chirps of birds overhead calling warnings to each other about her presence returned her to the moment. She grabbed her bag from the front seat and slung it onto her back, then slid the tiny carved bear into her front pocket. Closing the door, she headed for the trail that she knew was on the other side of the clearing and began her long hike.
So…as readers, what do you think? How does this blurb make you feel? I always have such a clear picture in my head but this time I can see this branching off in a few directions, so I’m intrigued to see where this leads. When you read a story, do you name a character in your head that hasn’t been named yet by the author? (Confession: I feel like that is the hardest part of a story for me, choosing a name for the main character – anyone else!?)