This month’s prompt: Setting the Scene
Write a location description, and make us feel as if we are there. No dialogue, no introductory comments, just a location. We’re the tourists, you’re the guide.
I have a confession to make–this is NOT my cup o’tea. I am more of a dialogue girl. Any-who, this is an excellent exercise for me, a needed exercise.
Without further ado, welcome to the setting of my (Iris’s) YA novel. I’ve taken an existing scene and edited out all the dialogue and replaced it with prose, and now that it’s done, I rather like it being dialogue-free.
Rex stands to dispose of his food tray. Wordlessly, he cocks his head. His grin is a effective enough leash, and with a sigh, I extricate myself from the institutional picnic table. I trot alongside him as the watchful scowls of a few classmates escort us out of the cafeteria.
Down the hallway to the exterior door we walk. It’s a closed campus but we’re allowed outside. No one, not even a smoker, has opted for this limited form of freedom. Why would they? It’s pouring down rain.
Rex herds me outside anyway.
The grass beyond the sidewalk swims beneath a glassy surface broken only by kamikaze raindrops. The rain has spared no section of sidewalk, blowing in sideways to soak even the walls and walkway under the eaves. We pause and stare into the grey gloom.
I feel like I should apologize for the weather to this New Yorker who stands by my side. That’s what we do in the Pacific Northwest—apologize, always apologize for the drizzle and clouds, for the constant lack of sun that will grip your soul and squeeze out every morsel of joy if you show a moment’s weakness.
In the gloom, I sniff the air that smells of mineral-laden tap water with a twist of mildew.
Rex steps to the edge of the covered area and stretches a hand out to catch a few raindrops. He repeats the gesture with two cupped hands and laps up his catchings. I watch his chest expand as he breathes in deeply. His exhale is loud and satisfied and he murmurs something about how refreshing it all is. I snort back my disdain. He won’t think that after he’s lived here awhile.
With that same enslaving grin, he retreats and says we should move to the front of the building.
Again, I follow. Beats spending the last few minutes of our lunch break in the oppressive kangaroo court of student opinion.
We walk in a silence as heavy and ponderous as the bruised skies that press in on us.
When we turn the corner, Rex slides his back down the wall and sits on the sidewalk, the first dry patch I’ve seen. The wind has overlooked driving the wetness toward this compass point.
I slide down in similar fashion and sit next to him. We’re somewhat hidden behind a grouping of rhododendrons nestled near the based of a monolithic evergreen that creaks and sways in the wind. Come May, the stalwart rhodies will explode in a riot of crimson and cotton candy pink.
Our thighs and arms brush, but neither of us adjusts to make more room. In the corona of Rex’s warmth, I sit and watch the liquid sunshine.
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