Since I’m new to this group and challenge I hope it’s okay to break the rules just a bit. For the first part of this challenge, I’m sharing a bit more than a paragraph and at the end I’ll offer my explanation. A scene with a spectacular setting that takes my breath away from, Shadow of Night: All Souls Trilogy Book 2 by Deborah Harkness.
“My attempts to reach the Old Lodge’s future from its past were unsuccessful. I focused on the look and smell of the place and saw the threads that bound Matthew and me to the house- brown and green and gold. But they slipped out of my fingers repeatedly.”
Obviously there is a sense of magic here-
time travel and colored threads connected to
locations future and past. There is also a sense
of searching or discovery.
“I tried for Set-Tours instead. The threads that linked us there were tinged with Matthew’s idiosyncratic blend of red and black shot through with silver. I imagined the house full of familiar faces-Sarah and Em, Ysabeau and Marthe, Marcus and Miriam, Sophie and Nathaniel. But I couldn’t reach that safe port either.”
I see the speaker, a woman, and her companion Matthew,
in a blur of colored threads passing by familiar places
that never quite come into focus. There is a dark element,
but it’s not menacing.
“…My fingers kept returning to the same strand in the warp and weft of time that was not silky and smooth but hard and rough. I inched along its twisting length and discovered that it was not a thread but a root connected to some unseen tree. With that realization I tripped, as over an invisible threshold, and fell into the keeping room of the Bishop House.”
In the midst of green and gold, red and black silky threads,
the speaker finds a brown, rough, and twisted
one that turns out to be a root; anchoring her to a place she
knows, the Bishop house, which already has
an old and rustic comfort to it, even though it’s not described.
There are so many elements at play in this passage, but the setting is key. They way she describes her effort to return to another time sets the tone of the action and events, which in turn sets the mood and atmosphere of her final destination. We don’t know exactly what the Bishop House is just from reading this passage, but we get a sense that it is a place more important and special to these characters than the others already mentioned.
For the second part of this challenge, I will share an excerpt from one of my published works which will be re-released soon. I chose this scene for two reasons. I think the setting is crucial to the action of the story and I feel it sets the tone for the overall story/book. A scene with a hopefully spectacular setting that may take your breath away from, Eternal Curse: Battleground by Toi Thomas.
I was almost in tears thinking about the first time I held his hand with the full understanding of the differences between boys and girls. I was innocent, but not naïve and very curious. I had just turned fifteen, he was about to turn nineteen, and his grandfather had just died. It seems that tragedy was our matchmaker. After Grandpa Leo’s funeral, he’d wandered off from the reception and everyone was looking for him. I remember finding him in the Secret Cave, an underground catacomb he, Sheldon, and I had found when I was much younger and smaller.
I remembered that Michael and Sheldon had gone off to explore, as boys like to do, and that I tagged along. At that time, Sheldon and Michael were close in age, at least physically, and I was the ten-year-old tag-along little sister. I stumbled into a crevice in the ground, but Michael caught me before I fell in. Even though I was small, Michael wasn’t much bigger than I was, so we both began to slip down into the hole. Sheldon leaped over Michael and pulled him back, bringing me up along the way. Then he jumped down into the hole and shouted back that we’d discovered a hidden cave.
Later we made a rope ladder and tied it down to some nearby trees, to be used as a safe entrance to our new secret hiding place. We would go there to play for hours at a time, and sometimes we’d go so we could hide from the adults whenever we needed to. It was Sheldon who suggested that’s where he’d probably be after Leo’s funeral, but he wasn’t interested in going to look for him. I decided to go into the wilderness on my own to find Michael. For some reason, I knew he needed me, but I didn’t know why. Looking back on it now, I think maybe Sheldon thought the same and that’s why he didn’t want to go.
Eternal Curse: BATTLEGROUND © 2015 Toinette Thomas
Be sure to check out the other entries in this challenge and be dazzled by spectacular settings.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords