Time to post the plot bunnies and writing prompts! (Bella’s is here.) I went with bunny #3 and prompt #3, remember. Here’s the result, starting with the prompt:
Start three different sentences with the color blue. See what happens.
Blue mountains in the distance. Under a sky that was decidedly not blue; clouds hung dark and heavy over the wide land. The grasslands offered no protection but tall rocks, rocks that looked to Alexis like Celtic cairns. However, if they bore any resemblance to cairns, one or two might be hollow inside. It couldn’t hurt to look.
She stumped through the grass to the nearest rock. It towered above her, a darker and harder grey than the sky. She circled it, tapped on it here and there, and found no echo or hollow. So she trudged to the next rock, one shorter and wider than the first, but it too proved to be solid. Alexis glared at the offending piece of nature for a moment—and then an idea flashed into her mind. She began to clamber atop it, scraping her knees and elbows.
But she finally stood on a flat-ish spot amid the humps of the rock. Now she could see the land—the mountains in the distance had turned from blue to grey, as though a fog had fallen, and Alexis realized rain had begun in the distance. She carefully turned to look for shelter. She saw one last rock, not toward the mountains but off to her right some distance away—but this one bore a dark blotch that could certainly be a scorch mark or simply natural color, but it could also be an opening.
Alexis scrambled to the ground and set off toward the distant rock as rain began spitting down. She pulled her sweater around her more closely—and stopped and glanced behind her. For she suddenly had the nasty feeling that something watched her. Nothing appeared on the horizon; the grass whipped under the wind, and the rocks stood like sentinels. As she had not caught sight of any movement flitting behind them, Alexis turned and hurried forward. Thunder cracked, the sky seemed to drop close to the earth in darkness and heaviness, and rain poured down.
The feeling of being watched increased, but she could not keep a vigil in the cold rain that hunched her shoulders forward. Her curls were soaked by the time she reached the rock; her sweater, damp and heavy, and her shoes, plastered with snippets of green and brown grass. She glanced all around her again, breathing hard, and bent to examine the rock.
Bushes covered the base. This was the dark mark she had seen from afar. She slumped onto her knees in disappointment, but suddenly noticed a hollow behind the bushes, close to the ground. She glanced around her and felt a surge of relief when she saw nothing behind her. Nothing save cold, grey rain sheeting down. She pushed aside the bushes and crawled between them, wanting only shelter from the rain and from whatever unseen eyes watched the open land. And certainly not thinking what might lie inside the hollow in the rock.
A/N: I meant this to be only a sentence or two, but got carried away. I just can’t keep my plots short (believe me, I’ve tried), so hopefully the market for long literary fiction will pick up soon. 🙂
Blue dresses and shirts. Callie glared at them. Pure black was no longer worn at funerals; dark-ish clothes, yes, but not black. As if everyone thought grief wasn’t as heavy anymore, and that they could wear mixed hues to a funeral.
Okay, so that one was short. And depressing.
Blue twilight had fallen by the time Annie and her mother left for the music studio. Annie looked out the car window; the fading blue light was brightened here and there by yellow street lamps and glowing windows, but she hardly took notice of the scenery. She thought hard (again) about all the songs she was learning, their lyrics, melodies, and meanings, to discover some spark and passion that at the moment was missing.
She enjoyed voice lessons, but it was high time she found a passion for her life. She’d taken ballet for a year when she was 8; gymnastics for a year after that; riding lessons at age 10; art lessons at age 11, and piano lessons from age 12 until recently. She had enjoyed them all. She had learned a good deal, disciplined herself to practice, seen moderate success, and gained new respect for the professionals who dedicated their lives to such interests.
But she did not feel overwhelming passion and purpose for any of them, and she certainly couldn’t see herself doing any of them for the rest of her own life.
When the car pulled to the sidewalk by the music studio, the air was misty with drizzle. Annie collected her bag of songbooks, left the car, waved as her mother drove off, and wondered why on earth her voice teacher had rescheduled the lessons for so late in the day. She made a quick dash down the sidewalk, but not quickly enough; by the time she hauled open the heavy glass door and stepped into dry safety, her hair had expanded beyond decency. Annie grimaced at her reflection; the long brown hair topped by a tartan beret had looked pretty in her bedroom mirror; but now she might be mistaken for Ms. Frizzle. At least she was wearing plaid, not some crazy-print dress.
Then she noticed that the hall was empty, and heard a chorus of wobbling voices from the lesson room. The previous class must have run late. Annie dropped onto a chair, pulled a songbook out of her bag at random, and flipped idly through the pages. Maybe if she went back to one of her old interests, she’d find passion for it, and it would be the one talent she could not live without. Perhaps the solution was just a matter of being the right age.
Except that she didn’t feel any overwhelming desire to return to a previous interest.
Okay, I’m curious: which of the three snippets was your favorite?
As for the plot bunny…I didn’t have time to write it, and it wouldn’t fit terribly well into my work-in-progress; I know how I want that to end, and a mysterious secret would distract from the story. So, can I pass on that? 🙂