Here's a little setting excerpt from the scene I'm writing in Odile today.
With each step she took, her strength felt like it was returning. Her pains had eased, miraculously, though she still ached. But she made her way down to the main hall then out into a courtyard. She realized right away that it was a different place from the one she’d seen Caspari in earlier. It was hard to tell, given the season and the degree of neglect this estate had endured but it appeared that she was standing in the middle of a garden.
At least what might have been a garden, at one time. Gray here, as it was everywhere else in this keep, large cracked stones lined the ground around a fountain. No water moved from the top to the base of the statuary. When Odile walked closer, she found the basin filled with brown water. Dried leaves drifted down from above to float on top. Wild rose bushes formed a thick perimeter, or would have been roses when the foliage was young. Now they were more like a forbidding screen of dead branches that she could see through in many places. Beyond the center square were more walking paths going off in different directions.
Dead blooms clung to their stems, crisp brown leaves fluttering softly as a breeze rattled them. Red, she thought, touching one of the brittle flowers. They’d all been red. The dark of night turned the bushes black and the roses a deep, burnt looking color that she actually found appealing. Deep, dusky scarlet at the bowl hinted at once was, while the delicate edges of each petal were curled and blackened. The fragrance too was pleasant. It was set into the air as a reminder of a vibrant past. Instead of an outward beauty to be shared by all, had they been living, the dry, dead bushes were like another shadowy secret. The stories they knew were locked away, protected.
She knew that trick. What was her refuge in the labyrinth but a place to hide dreams in? If she could choose a symbol for what she was, it would more likely be one of these dead flowers than a sorcerer swan.
She wondered how many lovers’ trysts these dried blooms had seen. How many kisses?
About the Author
Amanda V Shane is an author of paranormal and fantasy romance and is currently working on her Tides of Atlantis series about the super hot lost kings of Atlantis as well as her Enchanted Lands Romances.