Response to TBP Writer’s Guild #2: 30 min to write and edit…at work. Seemed like that was part of the criteria this week 😉
“This is where the pavement ends, at the gates of Hell,” Derek said, standing on the precipice and looking far into the distance. He always looked like he was emulating that painting of George Washington crossing the Potomac when he was feeling profound.
“Really?” Tina asked.
“Are you sure? ‘Cause I’m not at all sure where we are. For all I know, we’re standing near a cliff, and that’s a wide, sweeping plain in front of us. In fact, that’s exactly what it looks like.”
Derek kept his focus forward and alert for any sign of danger. He placed a foot up on an edifice and stretched forward to get a better view. Tina shook her head. Now he really looks like that painting, she thought. All he’s missing is a cape and a soft spot of sunlight bursting through the black clouds, illuminating him in all his heroic glory.
“Beyond this point,” he quietly began to explain, “the earth will move under our every step, as if we are walking on the back of a moving python. The weather will change with such swiftness, you’ll freeze in the frozen tundra winds and melt in the heat of the equatorial sun all in the same moment. Strange, eerie noises will unrelentingly buzz in our ears, and a vile stench will leach out from the festering rot all around. We’ll be desperate for food and water. Make no mistake. The road ahead is full of peril….”
“Yes, yes, yes,” Tina interrupted, “ and the night is dark and full of terrors. I read that bit. So,” she continued, “shall we?”
Tina smiled, and took Derek’s hand. “Let me warm up those cold feet of yours.”
She lifted up on tip-toes to give him a tender kiss on the cheek. As if on cue, the church’s organ began the processional music. The congregation stood and turned with smiling faces toward the bride and groom as they began to make their way down the aisle to the altar.