I intended to do these on the days they were posted, but I forgot so I’m doing all six at once. This past week’s category was description and was hosted by RaeMarie at Ozark Mountain Cailins. (Click on the prompt graphics to go to the original posts.)
I take a walk down an empty street, admiring the colored leaves as they fall. They skitter across the pavement, whisked away with a crisp autumn breeze. Loose hair that has slipped from my braid tickles against my cheek. I climb brick stairs onto my porch. As I open the door, the scent of hot apple cider cuts through the cold and I follow it into the kitchen. There’s a red mug ready and waiting on the table with a note addressed to me, and I smile as the warm liquid meets my lips and tangy apple flavor fills my mouth.
Coraline peruses the contents of her closet and her gaze locks on a cranberry-red dress. It’s sleeveless, but that can be remedied. The material is soft and thick under her fingers as she pulls it out and drapes it over the edge of the bed, turning to her dresser for a shirt to wear under it. She grabs a cream-colored linen shirt and pulls it on, catching the scent of clean laundry as she does so, then adds the dress and looks in the mirror. The bronze embroidery on the dress’s neckline and hem adds a bit of elegance to the otherwise plain outfit and she smiles. But it’s still missing something. She grabs a brown leather belt and ties it loosely around her waist, then pulls on matching boots before heading down to the stables for her ride to the apple orchard.
A bell rings over the door as I step into Starbucks, and the heavenly scent of coffee meets my nose. If only it weren’t accompanied by its bitter taste in the air. Laughter, chatter, and the clicking of laptop keys fill the air as I make my way to the counter I set my fingers on the cold marble and order a venti cinnamon hot chocolate. I wrap my fingers around the warm cup when it arrives and thank the barista with a smile before heading to a corner table to work.
The rich, warm smell of apples and cinnamon fills the air before I even open the oven to pull out my latest creation. Pumpkin bread is ready to take the pie’s place as soon as it’s set out to cool, and after the bread goes in the oven I’ll start whipping up a batch of peanut butter cookies. Cookies for writing fuel, the bigger desserts for word count rewards.
Coraline stepped into the apothecary and was assailed by a myriad of smells, all of which blended into an aroma that was somehow both earthy and medicinal. Sunlight filtered through a curtain of herbs and turned the room green, the patch of sunlight shining in the front door providing the sole exception.
Coraline closed the door, shutting out the clamor of footsteps and voices and horse’s hooves clicking against cobblestone. Here it was quiet. Here there was only the rustling of leaves as a breeze brushed through the open window. Here there was peace and quiet even from the voices in her head.
She lifted her cotton apron from a hook beside the door, the material soft beneath her fingers as she pulled it over her head and tied it around her waist. Booted footsteps ricocheted through the space as Era emerged from the back room and marred the serenity.
Looking out the tall windows, I see the trees around the library, their leaves fluttering in the breeze and shimmering like silver. The room is still, filled only with the quiet murmur of conversation, a few chairs being pulled out, and the continuous rush of the air conditioning. There’s a natural pressure to be quiet here, as if you’ve walked into a vast cathedral and you’re both in awe of the stained glass and aware of how easily your voice will echo. Quiet breeds quiet, somehow. The scent of old books also contributes to the need for quiet, like speaking too loudly would cause the yellowed pages to crumble.
Be sure to subscribe to Leila’s blog, Wildflowers and Cosmic Tea, for this week’s NaNoWriMo prep prompts!