I’m currently working on a novel (yes, I know, me and the rest of the world) but this morning as I sat down to work on the revisions my agent is seeking, there was something nagging at me that I couldn’t ignore, so I sat down and put fingers to keyboard. It has nothing to do with the present project, but appears to be an entirely new one rearing its head and demanding attention.
Cassie’s southbound journey down Highway 1 ended as she approached the hand-carved wooden sign on her right. She put on her blinker and turned onto the heavily wooded drive. She had barely completed the turn and the greenery swallowed her; looking in her rear view mirror, she couldn’t see the road she knew was less than ten yards behind her. She opened her windows so she could hear the birds and inhale the ocean scent that she knew should be coming. The rutted dirt road forced her progress to a crawl. Even as her car slowed, her thoughts raced. Why had Steve arranged this trip at the last second? Why had he deviated from their regular schedule?
About one quarter of a mile into her journey, the trees opened up and disappeared, as if by magic. Surrounding her was a desert-like landscape, brown and arid with short stubby bushes, some dry branches sporting few green leaves the sole color. Cassie had just enough time to register the difference before another curl in the road revealed a small pond to her right, down a slight incline in what appeared to be a field. Scattered over the pond’s surface were brightly colored flowers and lily pads. Traversing the width was a wide board walking bridge. Cassie couldn’t imagine why anyone would would travel on foot to get to the pond, despite the red and white flowers bursting from its surface.
The road dipped sharply, and lost in her thoughts, Cassie’s heart jumped until she caught sight of the surface once again beneath her tires. Just as quickly, the car bounced and was headed up a hill that belonged in a San Francisco guidebook. Coming to the crest, the road dove back into trees and narrowed. The air turned damp and smelled of dirt. The road continued climbing toward a small parking lot on the left. Pulling into the space that wouldn’t have fit more than three cars, Cassie saw the road continue upwards, disappearing into the trees. As she got out and grabbed her purse, she saw that Steve’s Bentley coupe was parked a few feet away, somehow fitting in perfectly with the surroundings despite screaming “MONEY!”
Cassie appraised the building as she approached. Log cabin would have been an accurate description, but not enough to convey the simple and effortless beauty. Massive redwood timbers formed the frame, floors and back wall of the building, but the front wall and roof were glass. She gasped; unassuming, yet grand, the building stole her breath.
Cassie saw Steve inside. As she climbed the five wide stone steps up to the thick translucent glass door, she thought with a smile that if the rest of the inn property was like this, she was going to be happy, regardless of his reason for bringing her here.
Steve greeted her at the door. “God, I’m glad to see you.” She could hear the tension in his voice.
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