The second course I took was the Craft of Setting & Description. Where the Craft of Style focused on word choice for meaning and clarity, the setting course really got to the atmosphere of a scene, the feeling and visual aspects that bring stories to life. It’s definitely an aspect I struggle with. I need to be able to visualize before I tell my stories but I like to just jump right in with my characters and have them do things.
The first assignment was an incredibly fun challenge. We had to take a moment, no more than 10 seconds long, and describe it in such vivid detail as to slow the moment down. We weren’t supposed to have our characters ruminate on what was happening, only describe the actions and the surroundings. We were given some prompts to get started: a kiss, a car crash, a trigger being pulled, a reunion, etc. I decided to go with the kiss.
The abandoned lighthouse was unnaturally bright, awash with the light of the moon. A beacon not for ships at sea but for us. For him to find me. His dark attire, everything black from head to toe, meant to conceal him from all but the keenest eyes, stood in stark contrast to the white stone tower and the soft, pale snow underfoot.
He held my face in his hands, fingers warm in spite of the chill wind that swirled fluffy flakes all around us. Outside of sparring sessions, our bodies had never been this close. The smell of sweat to which I was accustomed was accented now with pine and crisp winter air. His face was so close. A face that rarely wore a smile outside of a battle, crimson eyes that had seen so much death, both now uncharacteristically softened.
Waves crashed against the shore far below, beating in time with the rhythm with my heart in my ears. Tenderly, his thumb brushed my cheek, wiping away the last traces of my angry tears. Gentle pressure beneath my chin lifted my face to meet his. Cautiously, his lips brushed mine.
My thick coat trapped my rising body heat beneath as my skin responded to the shock of his lips on mine. My stomach danced with a thousand butterflies fluttering against it for freedom. My hands clutched the cloak at his chest, tightening as the rest of my body froze in time.
He pulled away and licked his lips, the salty remains of our argument no doubt bitter on his tongue. He opened his mouth to apologize, but my body came alive, refusing to let this moment die. The thing he set in motion snowballed out of my control.
My arms snaked around his neck as I halted his words with my mouth, swallowing them as I tried to communicate months of unspoken feelings in a heartbeat. Fresh tears threatened to overrun already swollen banks. Seconds ticked by slowly and for one silent moment we were one.
The wind rustled the skeletal trees behind us, their groaning and cracking breaking the fragile silence between us as we separated again. My heart sank back into my stomach as he looked away. His eyes were dark, guilt and shame tightened his jaw. I hung my head against his chest as the dam broke and tears flowed anew. His arms encircled my shoulders as he whispered the apology I did not wish to hear.
Notes: This is the first kiss between Ali and Hiei in my fanfiction story. I have written it several times, always from his POV, and figured this would be a good time to try something new. I tend to shy away from first person POV, but in this case, Ali’s voice was clear in my head and she wanted to tell it. I got some very enthusiastic feedback on this one so I’m very proud of it.
Well tomorrow is the big day! We close on our house in the morning and I have a feeling I am not going to get a lick of sleep tonight. I am very excited. But don’t worry, I’ll still have a post for you in the evening! Have a great night, see you then!