So I’m responding to yet another writing prompt in an attempt to get myself going on being productive. I’ve been impossibly uninspired lately, which has been frustrating. This response is a bit depressing as it’s from a very troubled character’s point of view. Anyhow, so here’s a little bit of a novel I’m currently in the progress of writing with this section written to fit the prompt.
Take a point in your story where a character is traveling, whether it’s a long or a short journey. Describe not only what your character sees, but also how it makes her feel, what it reminds him of, the emotions evoked.
A rather unexpected journey met me that day. I don’t really know how it started, only that I went to my car with my backpack, hopeful to escape the realities of the day. I slipped into the driver’s seat and I was off, driving down the road without a second thought.
For a spring day in Washington the weather cooperated beautifully, sun shining, only a few sprinkles here and there. A rainbow stretched above me, a distraction painted in the sky. And a reminder of renewal, divinity, and promises. I took it as a blessing for my journey and I drove on.
Time faded, blended together, became some unchanging entity as I passed little seaside towns, gazed out at the ocean I’d finally fixed my mind upon seeing on my Saturday trip. Blue. Beautiful calming blue.
It brought back old memories of different times. Of being fifteen and begging a sign. Of closed eyes filling with a different color than the traditional black but instead of cleansing azure, cerulean, sapphire, the deepest richest shades imaginable dancing there before my very eyes. A sign. A symbol. Blue.
I pulled my eyes from the waves, not wanting to linger on these fleeting images of the past. After all, I’d been told doing too much of that was a poor idea. Then again I’d also been told not to drive anywhere by myself. Especially somewhere isolated. And here I was breaking that rule without a care in the world.
My driving came to a slow stop along a small rocky section of beach that didn’t appear to be private property, and yet didn’t seem to be highly popular either. I scanned the shore in either direction and saw no one. And so, I grabbed for my blanket and backpack, and set out to go sit on these lonely shores.
My gaze was drawn once more to the vast waters as I made a small safe place for myself. My little square of blanket on the rocky ground, a haven I’d invented, my hermit’s house, sitting on the rocky beach to look out upon the waters. I found the horizon let my eyes linger there. I had only been to the beach twice before on family vacations, but I remembered even then how I felt drawn to the water, as though the ebb and flow of the tide was dragging me in with it, pulling me out to sea.
A buzz from my phone interrupted me, and I looked down to see Brielle’s name flash across the screen, the urgency magnified somehow by the quietness of the scenery around me. I looked at it for a brief moment, then placed the obnoxious electronic back into my bag to ignore for later.
I pulled out the paper, began scribbling down my thoughts.
The ocean had always represented the immensity of this life. And the minisculity of my own little brief blip of an existence. There was certainly a sense for me of standing before something that seemed so eternal and unchanging (though from a scientific standpoint I’m sure I might determine it is not). I felt ephemeral. Fleeting. And I allowed those feelings to linger in spite of all the past advice I knew would contradict it.
And then there was the little moment I considered simply going and walking into the waves, letting them close in over me in healing azure. And it would all be over and done. My blip would finish, cease to exist. And no one would remember any differently.
I rose once it was all down on paper and looked towards the sun sinking back into the sea, the ocean swallowing up the orange glowing orb in an illusion of power. Perhaps too this should be where my light is dimmed too, absorbed into these cold northern waters.
And yet I walked back to the car before temptation could take me.
I drove slowly. I tended to be careful in the first place, but today was different. I let people honk, speed past me, wave a finger at me in some disgusted manner. But I was indifferent, focused only on the asphalt bathed in orange light, the sparkling waters slowly disappearing back into the trees as my path carried me from the coast. I let myself drink in the scenery, wondered if I should hold onto the day or forget it ever existed.
The phone rang as I caught one last fleeting glimpse of sea. I answered this time, though with all that had traversed my mind I was too wearied to truly put the fakeness into my voice such a call would require.
“Hello?” I said as I pressed the button to put the phone on speaker.
“Where are you?” she asked immediately, her garbled voice still chiming with some level of anxiety through the little speaker.
“I went for a drive.”
“For half a day!” Brielle hissed.
I shrugged and then of course realized this was useless when conversing through a cell phone. “I felt like driving. I’ll be back in an hour or two.”
There was a long pause and I let it go, relieved to have a bit of silence for a moment, unused to voices after such a long period by myself.
“Did you think about what we talked about yesterday?”
I stared out at the road watching it wind and curve, to where I could not see, only because I’d looked up directions did I know it would take me home. Life. This was just like life. I was so caught in the beautiful image that I almost forgot to respond.
“Yes,” I whispered.
“And?” she asked, attempting to sound casual but the rising tone only adding to my image of her pacing through our shared living room.
“And I…I think I’m going to do it,” I said with a long sigh. “Just let me get home first.”
Brielle’s smile could be heard in her voice. “Really? Good, I’m so glad. Drive safely I’ll see you soon.”
I hung up and focused back on the winding road. I would drive it for now, enjoy the sights along the way. But Brielle was right. I required a destination, a goal. Life was short. I had minimal time to drive these roads. I settled into my seat as my eyes wandered to the taillights in front of me, night closing in fast. I’d drive in the direction Brielle had told me attempting to reach my target. And if not the gardens I so longed for, then I’d settle for the depths of the sea I had only narrowly escaped.