Arlock writes (personal). An outlet for Glossolalia

Posts tagged “description

While They Sleep

Writing Exercise: Describe a place. Use no characters or dialogue.

Dark corridors stretch as far as the eye can see. At least they would, had anyone been present to see. The dull red glow of emergency lighting provided the only illumination and would reveal nothing to an observer beyond miles of untreated metal panels and non-slip flooring. The air itself is stale and lifeless, carrying only suspended dust particles and the scent of exposed steel. Here and there an exposed wire pokes out from the unsealed intersection of ceiling and wall, breaking the monotony.

There are few sounds out here, so far from the unceasing engines. Sometimes those exposed wires will spark, disturbing the silence and adding a faint scent of ozone to the already metallic air. Then the accompanying puff of smoke will drift through the red lighting, like a ghost trying to escape this sterile limbo and out into the dark void of space beyond. Rarer still is the occasional echoing clang of an external impact, an ancient traveller shattering itself against the reinforced walls.

There is a strange grandeur to this spartan desolation, not only in the sheer scale of this facility but in its very nature. It staggers the mind to think that flesh and blood creatures, took the metals of their world and hurled them into space to form a new artificial home. Creatures that would never survive the harsh coldness of space had stolen the bones and breadth of the world that birthed them and had created something wholly new, wholly unnatural. Yet this Frankenstein’s monster of science and desperation may well be all that stands between us and extinction.

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Telling through description

It was hot:

The Acropolis seems to shimmer, slightly out of focus, its ancient stone reflecting the sun.

Around us gawking tourists suck greedily on their water bottles, reconsidered their choice of leaving the sanctuary of air-conditioned hotels. It is 10 am, and the only shade is claimed by the feral dogs.

The rain was heavy:

It advanced across the city-scape, looking like a grey curtain, sounding like a stampede. Trees bent under the assault, while tourists fled for the dubious protection of their tour bus.

The moon was shining:

Colours were washed out, the edges of things seeming sharper. Here, away from the street lights, the shadows danced. They were darker and more primal than those that lived under the sun, more solid, more alive, children of a silver mother.

Our meal was delicious:

…used the last crusts of his bread to mop the remaining sauce off the plate. If there hadn’t been so many potential witnesses present, he probably would have licked it as well.

His drink was sweet:

…took a sip and gagged. “What is this, sugar water? Get me a real god damned drink!”

The office stank:

A thousand careers had come here to die, their corpses contributing to the fetid miasma of the room