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Where I set the scene in a work in progress.

by John on October 7th, 2011

This is a portion of a work in progress – a science-fiction/thriller/mystery/Quantum-Leap ripoff

It was his favorite time of day – when you don’t know if it’s afternoon, evening, or night, when David stepped out of the car and toward the house, somehow knowing that he was going the right way. Curiously, he looked back as to what he was driving: a lemon yellow Pinto. Most striking about the hoopty was that it was immaculate – it could have been driven straight off the factory, if they were putting black driver’s side doors on the cars that day.

Walking toward the house, moving from clamshell parking lot to sandy expanse, his feet sank with every step as an ocean breeze fought his progress. And, like a child playing airplane, he put his arms out to greet it.

The house lay ahead, an “A Frame” on stilts. There wasn’t a light on.

The wind blew harder, the sea unmistakable in his nose. An errant grain of sand struck him in the eye, forcing him to turn his back. In that moment, the sky grew dark, unusually quickly. Dark clouds gathered out at sea. In the distance, a lightning bolt struck the water, illuminating his surroundings.

The drizzle started. He didn’t have much time. He ran.

Red Writing Hood at Write on Edge

This week we asked you to take us somewhere. Where was up to you -fiction or creative nonfiction- but we asked you to use your words to paint the setting as vividly as possible. In 200 words.

  1. I want more!

    • That might be the best compliment you can give — more is coming, I promise 😉

  2. I love walking near the beach, so I loved the part about moving from the crushed shells to the sand.

    Foreboding weather is always a game changer in stories, so I’m interested to see where this goes.

    • This is part of a work-in-progress that’s been in the works for a long time, yet I lost all of the work that I had done (which is, probably, a blessing in disguise). I hope to find some real time to work on this, soon.

  3. Lisa permalink

    Too little, write more!

    • I had to follow the rules of the prompt – 200 words. I promise, we’ll be visiting David often in the weeks/months to come.

      • Can I just say that I thought “too little” was just right in this case? It was really a satisfying scene — not that there couldn’t be loads more, but… yeah.

  4. Why must he run? I enjoy the drizzle on the beach, the salt/sand smells, and the churning of the ocean. Thanks for giving me that.

    I’m looking forward to learning more about David.

    • This is a very, very raw story – but, in short, David is a creature of atmosphere . . . he is taken from place to place on a storm, so he needs to run to the house to see if whatever the heck he’s looking for is in the house . . . and he needs to get there before the storm hits.

  5. I love ‘like a child playing airplane, he put his arms out to greet it.’ and ‘The wind blew harder, the sea unmistakable in his nose.’

    The end of this piece certainly promises more!

    • Thanks – it’s been a work in progress for some time, and I think it’s about time that I start to get pretty serious about it.

  6. Wow I want to read more! Why is he running? Where is he going?

    That’s a hell of a work in progress, my friend. I hope you finish soon so I can read more about David and where he’s going.

    • He’s running because he’s running out of time before he’s taken again . . . where is he going? He wishes he knew.

      I started reading the first book of the Dark Tower at the beginning of a summer thunderstorm, where there’s a little bit of magic in the air. I kind of got lost in the sense of someone going out with a mission, but not knowing, really, what that mission was . . . and enter David.

      I think I’m going to have to find a way to get a little more serious about this.

  7. I like the imagery of him opening his arms like an airplane to greet the wind. The whole piece was very moody. Liked it.

    • Yeah – moody describes the entire story arc a bit – especially this scene.

  8. Was this from the thing you were telling me about?

    That thing… oh, yay!

    Just yay!

    • Yes – this is that thing I was telling you about . . . and, in the next day or two, check your inbox for more of that thing. After my current run with Guys & Dolls, I think I need to start getting serious.

  9. Nicely done description of a setting. Like others, I want to read more. There’s a spooky feeling about this. Your description of how he made an airplane with his hands and arms was such a great imagery…and what made it even better is it touched a place inside me…remembering doing this as a child.

    I liked how you described the smell of the sea with these words, “The wind blew harder, the sea unmistakable in his nose.”

    I was curious about the word, “hoopty.” I’ve not heard this word before.

    There were almost two separate descriptions in this piece — the car and his walk to the house. It made it even more interesting to me. I liked this very much.

    As we all know the value of word numbers from Red Writing Hood, the only thing I could pick on:~) in this story is this line, “somehow knowing that he was going the right way.” You could easily take out the word “that” and it still reads fine. I mention this because I’m always struggling with overuse of the word “that.”

    This was a good read and a good take on the prompt:~)

    • Hoopty is a word that I remember from my own childhood – a jalopy of a car . . . something that’s loved, but, um, is old & maybe doesn’t run well.

      I’m truly, truly guilty of placing filler words when I don’t need to (the original draft of this was 350 words long, and I didn’t really remove anything “important” to get it under 200).

  10. Ooh, the second to last line (“He didn’t have much time”) is so ominous.

    I like it.

  11. I love the way you used weather and light (lack of?) here!

    And I really love getting a taste of your WIP!

    • I’m really, really hopeful to find some time to work on this in the next few months.

  12. I’m intrigued. Is he running toward the house? Away from the house? Is a good run? Bad run? Want to play 20 questions? 😀

    • I love 20 questions!

      He’s running toward the house, but he’s not used to running in the body he’s in, so he’s not exactly making a lot of progress.

  13. Cheryl’s word- moody, is a perfect way to describe this.

    I like the first two lines a lot. You hooked me.

    This needs another 500 words. More please.

  14. … “hoopty” – such a quaint and charming word – I’ve never heard it before. Your character is obviously in-between worlds ? Moving from one dimension to another ?

    • Not between dimensions – all in one world, but is certainly moving, often, and he has no control over how he’s moving.

  15. Man, I loved Quantum Leap.

    I’m excited.

    • It was a great show, wasn’t it? I think Quantum Leap is why I was never able to take the latest Star Trek series seriously, because I kept on expecting Scott Bakula to just disappear & show up somewhere else.

  16. Yellow Lemon Pinto would make a good all girl acoustic band name.

    • Are you aware of my near-obsession of writing more like Dave Barry?

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