Dawn Embers is hosting the Word Paint Blogfest tomorrow over at her blog! And in true Anne Riley fashion, I’m posting a day early because otherwise I’ll probably forget about it.
The goal of this particular blogfest is to practice writing descriptively. Since description is one of my biggest weaknesses as a writer – no, check that, it is THE biggest weakness – I thought this might be a good challenge.
This particular scene comes from my current WIP entitled Synthesis. The basic story is that a plane has been hijacked – by its own crew. They’ve just landed on a strange, jungle-covered island, and the passengers are being led to an unknown destination by their captors. Enjoy!
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We start off down the trail and I immediately wish my hands were free so I could swat the ten million gnats that buzz around our heads. The jungle pulses with croaks, squawks, and screeches, and I’m positive that any minute now, I’ll get stung by a killer bee or jumped on by a poison dart frog. Something deep in the trees lets out a low growl, and the hair on my arms stands on end.
We walk for at least an hour. The terrain is covered in hills and valleys. At one point, we have to wade through a stream. The cold water is a welcome relief because we’re all covered in jungle sweat – I swear it’s more humid here than it is back in North Carolina, and that’s saying a lot. The buzzing and croaking and squawking in the trees around us never stops, not even for a minute, and after a while I almost stop noticing it. A thin film of dirt is gathering on my jeans and my body is screaming for water; I think about the stream we went through and decide I might give my right arm to go back and get a drink out of it. The other passengers seem to be thinking the same thing. I can hear Hippie Guy panting behind me and everyone in my line of vision is drenched with sweat.
Finally, just as my legs are about to give out and my vision starts to blur, we stumble up one last hill and emerge onto a large plateau which is covered in sand and exposed to the sky. Without the constant jungle canopy over our heads, there’s nothing to stop the sun from beating down on us. Everyone, including the people holding us hostage, lets out an exhausted sigh.
I hadn’t realized it before, but apparently we’ve been making our way up the side of a mountain. From the plateau, we can see over the jungle below us and out to the ocean, which sparkles in the early morning light. The mountain continues to rise above us, but it’s clear this is our stopping point for now.