Thursday, January 28, 2010


[Entries for the 1/22/10 Friday Challenge, "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place," in which the goal is to briefly describe a setting, making it come alive to the reader. I went a little overboard and ended up describing four different places by the end of things (see previous posting).]

[Entry #3: The Yard]

The yard behind the villa culminated in the intersect of a wooden fence on the one side and chain link on the other. A row of large, unkempt bushes ran the length of the chain link fence, hiding it from view. Tall trees with round leaves kept the thick, scraggly hedge perpetually green-mottled with shade in stark opposition to the bright sun on the lawn, where anoles basked on randomly-placed white boulders. Soothingly sweet fragrance emanated from the honeysuckle vines draped thickly over the wooden fence. The flowers' scent combined with the steady drone of the bumblebees lapping at their nectar formed a powerful soporific. Only children were immune, and then only sporadically, as they jumped up and down on the large rocks in the sun or crawled on their hands and knees through the rabbit paths in the bushes where only they could go.

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[Entry #4: The Apartment]

The apartment was roughly the same age as its tenant, but a fresh coat of paint and new champagne-colored carpeting left it looking nearly as young. The door opened at a diagonal to the main room. On the right lay a fireplace flanked by two large windows that brightly lit the large, unfurnished room. The hearth served as a parking spot for a bicycle, as well as a jumble of shoes. Next to the hearth a chair, and next to it multiple piles of unopened mail. On the left, a small wooden table sat cluttered with more mail, both opened and unopened. A tall bookshelf with tightly stacked books stood against the wall.

Across the room, a bar, under which various recyclables were piled, looked into the kitchen. The kitchen was long and narrow, but not cramped. Flourescent lights brightly lit the tile floor and grey-flecked counters. Here dishes accumulated in the sink and then disappeared into the dishwasher, which only served as a glorified dish rack, over the period of any given week. At the far end of the kitchen a door opened into an expansive walk-in pantry holding not only floor-to-ceiling shelves of canned goods, but also a clothes washer and dryer.

Passing from the kitchen toward the bedroom, a door on the left led into a bathroom, mostly unremarkable aside from its possible title as the most regularly cleaned room in the place.

The bedroom itself continued the spartan motif, with nothing but a desk and an air mattress on the floor. The former, a cheap manufacture of particle board and silver-frosted lightweight metal, housed two computers and a large, wide-screen monitor. The latter was bedecked with a patriotically colored coverlet and an electric blanket. At its foot, which was to the desk's left, were stacked piles of books and documents important to the tenant. At its head a door consistently stayed open to the walk-in closet; over its frame hung a pull-up bar frequently touted on late-night infomercials.

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