Sunday, 23 January 2011

S is for Setting the Scene

Is it necessary? Would this story work without reference to specific details that draw a picture for the reader?

Sheltering woodlands to the rear of her yard protected the cabin from raw gusting north easterly wind that blew at this time of year. Breakfast was her favourite time of day, venturing outside she wrapped her hands around a mug of freshly brewed tea. She pulled the thick tartan blanket tightly across her shoulders, as she breathed out deeply. Watching her warm moist breathe mingle with the cold morning air, it melded leaving a faint whispering white trail. Bitingly cold air nipped at her skin as it slipped beneath her thin clothing, cooling her warm skin. A pool of bright amber gold liquid, the colour of syrup, highlighted the beauty in the grain of the wooden planks beneath her feet where she stood transfixed by the natural splendour all around her.

Briefly mesmerised by the ethereal atmosphere enveloping she allowed her mind to drift, encouraging memories to rise to the surface as she smiled fondly remembering the old ghosts of this family summer house, which was now her private retreat. This lush wooded area that surrounded her idyllic spot allowed her the freedom to conjure up fantasies and romantic stories. Or she could just sit and read newspapers uninterrupted, scouring them for snippets of gold.

Alicia stood by the veranda looking across the lake, a misty haze rose to meet the sun’s warming rays, blurring the edges of the silent pool when she suddenly felt the urge to go fishing. Away from the pressures of her regular life the knots began to ease from her shoulder blades as the tension lifted making her breathe more easily. She knew meditating would enhance her mood. And from her secluded spot the raised walkway would carry her across the marshy edge of the lake taking her to a tranquil place that she felt privileged to access. She paced deliberate unhurried, out across the raised path, a steady regulated step, towards the water. As the weathered boards creaked beneath her feet easing her passage over the marshy bog water below, her minded wandered unrestrained, slack like the limpid waters edge beneath.

Glancing back over her shoulder she caught sight of the woodpiles stacked high beneath the low overhanging eave on the east side of the cabin. She knew she would stack the wood burner high with logs and warm her feet until they were comfortably warm and toasted on her return. She would throw together a simple rustic stew and it would simmer on top of the burner, bubbling gently until it was tender. The thought of meat melting in her mouth made her salivate. It reminded her that she needed to head back indoors, because whenever she returned here she felt inextricably tied to the landscape, its inherent beauty was never lost on her eyes. Loving her downtime she relaxed, a sense of deep calm descended and settled her after all the madness of the festive season.

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