Friday, August 12, 2011

Confused! - Romantic Friday Writers

Challenge #14
Today at Romantic Friday Writers the Challenge is..."Confused."  If you'd like to participate, hop on over and  join the Linky.

This scene is from my latest WIP, Whispers on Shadow Bay.  Its a Gothic Romance so it is supposed to have a bit of a darker feel.

Rosetta is stranded at Shadow Bay, an aging estate on Noble Island, and has gotten turned around on her way back to the house. She's come to the island to start over and to escape a scandal. Simon is the master of the old mansion with secrets of his own.

Whispers on Shadow Bay

Threading through the tall grass, I took the trail to a clearing. Waves of purple and pink flowers swayed in the cool breeze. Their sweet scent drifted over me as they swished with the tumbling air. August back home was sticky and hot. Out here, the whispers of fall chilled the air. I shivered in my t-shirt and looked back over my shoulder at Simon. He wasn’t near the car anymore. I couldn’t see him at all. I’d never reacted so thoroughly to anyone before; blushing and stammering like a school girl with a crush. What was wrong with me?
Extending my arms over the waist-high blooms, I waded through the field and let the petals tickle my palms. The tourist website had described Noble Island as beautiful and foreboding. Given to sudden shifts in weather, it was unpredictable by nature. As if reading my thoughts, a sudden change from daylight to gray drew my eyes skyward. Dark clouds slid across the pale sun and whipped up a wind.
I hugged myself and hurried toward the other side of the clearing to the trees. Halfway there, sudden movement in the flowers caught my eye. I froze. A flash of raven hair rifled through the blooms and was gone. Heart ramming in my chest, I scanned the stems, squinting. Further away, a sound like a child’s giggle distorted by the wind echoed across the field.
“Hello?” I took a step back into the clearing. “Who’s out there?”
Straining to hear more, the field swayed in rivulets with the buffeting wind, but was silent. Thunder rumbled overhead, the dark clouds roiling with flashes of purple. If there was a child out here in this weather, they’d surely get chilled. Another step in to the grasses and I caught sight of a shock of pink material billowing over the flowers but it was gone before I could focus. The hair on my arms spiked with building static, a bright thread of light tore along the sky. It lit up the pale face of a child peering out at me from behind a tree across the clearing. It was gone with the flash.
“Lost?” A voice said over my shoulder.
Gasping with fright, I staggered back and turned to face Simon.
“Did you see that?” I said, hand to my chest.
“What?” He looked past me, his jaw set.
“I thought I saw…something.” Head pounding with a headache, I rubbed my temple.
“I found this in the car.” He held out my sweater and I turned to slip my arms in the sleeves. “With the weather turning, I thought you might be cold.”
“Thank you.” I shook my head. “You didn’t see anything?”
 “Come inside, Rosetta.” The teasing smile no longer at his lips, he extended his hand. “It’s not safe out here at once it starts to get dark.”
“But…there’s someone out there.” I glanced behind us as he pulled me into the woods.
The dark look on Simon’s face made my stomach flop. “There always is.”

Thank you so much for stopping by! There are other challenge excerpts over at the Romantic Friday Writers site.  Don't forget to vote on the sidebar poll.

There are challenges every Friday and if you'd like to join in, all you have to do is follow and participate.

Until next time...Go Write!


Donna Hole said...

Oh yeah; the weather, the running child, Simon's disappearance, all easy elements to be confused by. All together, they create tension, a chilling effect that drew me in and kept me reading further.

Totally awesome Racquel :)


Francine Howarth said...


Wow! Vivid descriptions of place and atmosphere and dire sense of a dark presence. Oooh yes, loved this, loved the whole effect and the writing is well-honed! ;)


Andy said...

WoW! Love the whole setting of this. The creepiness of Simon, the sense of foreboding...brr...gave me the chills.


Laura Marcella said...

Wonderful details and images, Raquel! I can really put myself in the scene with the character.

Confusion is one of the worst feelings. :/

Amy said...

Great scene! I can picture it really well, and I so want to read more of it! :)

Have a great weekend!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

You drew me right in. And as Stephen King would assure us : there is ALWAYS something out there in the dark, Roland

Anna said...

Dear Raquel,
You have painted the scene so well that I smell the flowers and feel the change in temperature and am frightened for her.
Perfect for the theme, "Confused". Very well-written.
I want to know more! What happens next?

Best wishes,
Anna's RFW No 14 - "Confused"

Ruth Madison said...

Nice! What fantastic atmosphere, great description that really made me feel the place. And it was creepy and intriguing.

Laura said...

I loved that- real sense of confusion and atmosphere - great read - thanks!

L'Aussie said...

Ooh, there always is says Simon. I love the atmosphere you've created here Raquel. Hints of darkness to follow. Tres confusing...


Ms. Queenly said...

I sense the theme coming through and I love your descriptive powers. This is a great piece and I'd like to read more. ~MsQ

DEZMOND said...

very descriptive and picturesque, Raquel!

Anna said...

I've added a postscript to my post.
Visiting is optional.
Best wishes,
Anna's RFW No 14 - "Confused"

Marsha A. Moore said...

You did an excellent job using the details of setting to create a foreboding atmosphere. The twist ending of Simon's statement really caught my attention!

Sorry I'm so late in commenting. I had house guests until the end of the weekend and then exhaustion/illness set in...still not feeling well.