Saturday, 14 August 2010

Weather Blogfest!

Weather Blogfest kindly hosted by Nick.
To see more entries to the funtime blogfest go to  Nick.

The following is snippet taken from previously published novel (mine), the female protagonist is about to post a Dear John Letter to long-standing lover: any mistakes bear with me - I copy-typed it from book. You will be reading the opening to the book - now out of print!

It was absolutely foul weather but it had to be done. The letter had to be posted before the four o’clock afternoon collection, and the post box was only a couple of hundred yards from the cottage.

Mercedes stepped under the porch and closed the door, the wind so strong she had to literally tug at the handle to secure it on its latch.

Was it just her imagination or had the temperature plunged a degree or two?

She turned up the collar of her raincoat, umbrella out of the equation due to unrelenting gale force wind. She shivered a little, driving rain penetrating the porch, the wind whipping at loose titian-coloured pre-Raphaelite curls already turning to bedraggled dripping coils. She loved Cornwall, loved her cliff-top cottage. But oh, how she hated rain.

Stepping out from the porch took courage; needles a better description to that which the gods had seen fit to throw down today of all days, the day she’d written the letter. The letter in her pocket that she wanted winging its way to London ASAP.

It wouldn’t have been fair to leave a voicemail message on his cell-phone saying, sorry darling, have decided I’m cutting loose. Goodbye. In any case he would have picked up the call if not in some blasted meeting, and would have promptly laughed and told her to stay put. That he’d come down to the cottage and they’d talk things through. No, she couldn’t let that happen because he’d talk her round, and then nothing would change.

She delved her hands in her pockets, her fingers already turning blue. Only several paces from the cottage, she sensed iced water trickling down the inside of her collar, but needs must when the devil rides. She was feeling more rat-devil than devil woman in telling Guy she couldn’t go on as they were.

She didn’t want marriage for the moment, was that so wrong?

In his mind they were married as good as, his argument being; so why not slot the rings, say I do, and do the marriage bed as man and wife.

He’d suddenly become all protective and possessive, and a downright pain at social gatherings. She annoyed to extent in wary of his arm constantly about her waist or that of her hand firmly clasped in his. It felt like he didn’t trust her in the company of other men, that flirting with other women was perfectly acceptable for him but similar for her utterly taboo.

Oh hell, she was right, the barometer must have dived by now because the rain had turned to iced beads of hail hammering at her head and pinging off her shoulders. She was soaked and freezing cold, but she could just make out the scarlet red glow of the post box nestling in its ivy-clad wall ahead of her.

A few more paces and the deed would be done, the wind having suddenly eased.

Upon reaching the post box she stood staring at it, the letter brushing against her fingers in pocket. All the while iced water tumbled drom her hair and over her face and trickled down neck. It was a now or never situation. Post the letter and be done, or turn around, retreat to the cottage and fling letter and envelope on the fire.

She drew a deep breath steeling her self as she plucked the envelope from her pocket and placed it in the gaping mouth of the red box. At that very instant lightning streaked through the gunmetal clouds as though a message from the gods: don’t do it, you’ll regret it.

Oh hell, she felt in two-minds. In one she was breaking free, in the other she would miss him terribly.

A loud clap of thunder overhead shook the ground beneath her feet and startled she let slip the envelope. It was irretrievable, swallowed whole. It was done now, no going back and burning the letter and carrying on as if everything was all right. The words were written. It was in black and white: I don’t love you any more. Or at least, she’d as good as said that by wanting out of the relationship, yet in reality still in love with him.

She would be cut adrift within a day: once he'd read the letter.

After all, what man would ignore what she'd written and not take it as gospel?

Icy coldness gripped her from within. The hail had ceased, beams of sunlight casting over the sea and cliffs.

Which of the two weather systems heralded her fate?

She glanced toward Bodmin Moor.

It as always towering majestic, today menacing dark beneath the blue-black thunderous mass rolling on relentless over heath and bog much like waves over massive rocks.

A light breeze picked up, the warmth from the sun stark in contrast to the freezing conditions moments beforehand. She turned about and strolled away from the post box, appreciative of sun on her back. She stripped off her raincoat and slung it over her arm, the sun bearing hot the breeze warm as she tossed her hair over one shoulder and leaned forward. She rung water from her tresses and shook it free feeling akin to wet dog though much sweeter smelling thank goodness.

At least she was hundreds of miles from London. And, thankfuly Guy hated the four-hour plus drive to the cottage so probably enough to deter any thoughts of his tipping the letter on its head by turning up unannounced and declaring he hadn’t received it. Which was more than possible if he was in one of those damned insufferably arrogant moods of his, when nothing and nobody could put him off something he wanted and wanted now.

He hadn’t as yet rung on the house phone or via her cell phone, not since her arrival twenty-four hours earlier, and he must have returned from his business trip to Manchester by now.

It was, to say the least, ominously quiet on the Guy front.

Half way back to the cottage and negotiating a sharp bend she heard the sound of a powerful motor car approaching from her rear. It was travelling far too fast along the single-track narrow country lane. As it careered around the bend she threw herself at the steep grassy bank head plunged into the hedge and received deluge of water from huge puddle. Car brakes squealed and tyres skidded as the vehicle came to an abrupt emergency halt not too far distant from where she stood trembling from the shock of it all.

Why had the gods saved her?

And, who was this idiot in a brand spanking new BMW?


Summer Ross said...

enjoyed the read, thank you for posting, I'm not in this blogfest- but i like reading everyone's entries. my favorite line :"No, she couldn’t let that happen because he’d talk her round, and then nothing would change."

J.C. Martin @ Fighter Writer said...

Excellent descriptive details! I love how the weather actually pushed the plot along (the thunder making her drop the letter into the postbox), and isn't just something in the background to set the atmosphere.

Amalia T. said...

I smell a new romantic interest driving recklessly! :) The weather worked really well in this, emphasizing her indecision, and then forcing her hand! Encouraging and discouraging at the same time. Nice!

Jen said...

This was a beautiful piece!!! I loved this blogfest but knew I just didn't have time to join in with all the other obligations! I'm enjoying reading others though!! Beautiful pictures joined in as well :)

Reminder - Guess that Character Blogfest is this Thursday and Friday! Look forward to describing your character!

February Grace said...

*sigh* loved it. Totally picked me up and swept me away.

My favorite line...the part about the red letter box in among the ivy. I could see it, everything here, with crystal clarity in my mind.



Anonymous said...

Nicely done! Your descriptions of the weather and Mercedes' indecisive emotions were spot-on.

Olivia J. Herrell said...

Great weather scene. I loved the clouds rolling over the moor and the ending smacks of yummy!

~ that rebel, Olivia

Raquel Byrnes said...

Love the weather as commentator and foreshadowing. Great scene! I truly enjoyed your little snippet. =)

Alison Stevens said...

Marvelous combination of weather and plot. I like the way the storm influences the MC's choices and thoughts.

Francine said...

Hi girls, thanks for dropping by to comment.

This has been a really grreat funtime blogfest - yee gods, from the freezing wastes of the Antarctic to jungles and wind-ravaged beaches! Wow, the weather certainly took its toll on a lot characters, poor things!

Amanda, I'm not sure if it's me but your blogfest appears then abruptly vanishes! I'll try again later, see what happens.

I think I've covered everyone - if not tip me the wink and I'll drop by yout blog!


Donna Hole said...

Wow; that was awesome. Its been said before, but I like how you used the weather as a character to further the indecision. It actively participated in the tension, mimicing her mood.

Very enjoyable.


L'Aussie said...

Who was the idiot indeed? Do I sense a romance coming on? I loved your descriptions, Francine, esp this line: the wind whipping at loose titian-coloured pre-Raphaelite curls already turning to bedraggled dripping coils.
Done well my friend..:)Excuse me doing a little experiment with html here. Whatever turns up, forgive me, but a girl's gotta learn.

Wendy Tyler Ryan said...

Great job, Francine. I too, have to say that I especially loved the pre-Raphaelite description as it is some of my favorite art of all time. I personally related in an instant to the reference and the picture of your H was cemented in my mind. I expected the stranger - was waiting for him during the thunder strikes but you kept me waiting. Nice work.

Francine said...

Hi girls,

Thanks to all who came, read, and commented!

Much appreciated. Me too lover of pre-Raphaelite images.


Tamara Hart Heiner said...

awesome post! I don't think I've ever written something specifically paying attention to the weather. I'll have to examine my stuff!

beth said...

I really like your blog layout. The pictures look good against the black background. I saw your comment on Nathan's blog and absolutely agree with your comment.

Justin W. Parente said...

Hi Francine,

Sorry it's taken me forever to get back to my commenters. Anyway, this piece was a spot on example of how the weather can influence the hand of characters or decisions they make. You portrayed it rather boldly.

Thanks for sharing!