Setting as a Character
by Kathleen Kaska
If I were a setting, you’d probably smell me before you saw me. Not an unpleasant order; not flower-sweet; nothing that would tantalize the taste buds. I would be the subtle scent of two different worlds coming together, where ocean meets land, where rich nutrients feed a myriad of wildlife. A place too perfect to be altered; a place struggling to remain pure.
The sun, low on the horizon, lit up the crystal blue of the open Gulf, causing it to shimmer. The road ended at the water’s edge. I left my troubles in the front seat of the car, and went for a walk along the beach. I hadn’t gone a quarter mile when I saw a flock of brown pelicans fly twenty feet above the shoreline. They settled where the water swept inland, forming a small bay. Dozens of seagulls squawked for no apparent reason, and a pair of blue herons speared for crab along the reeds.
I spread my jacket on the sand and sat down, letting the sun warm my aching body. Turning this place into a refinery would be a tragedy. Redolent of brine, the air filled my lung with an ancient yearning, a desire to leave well enough alone, to keep nature’s secret, to let the herons have their shoreline feast. No matter what happened to me, there would never be any drilling here. Loneliness washed over me, but for some reason it felt good in an empowering sort of way. The only answer was to follow my instincts. I took the document from my pocket, tore it up, and let the wind carry it far, far away.
Adapted from Murder at the Luther: The second Sydney Lockhart Mystery.
Kathleen Kaska writes the award-winning Sydney Lockhart mysteries set in the 1950s. Her first two books Murder at the Arlington and Murder at the Luther, were selected as bonus-books for the Pulpwood Queens Book Group, the largest book group in the country. The third book in the series, Murder at the Galvez, has just been released.
Kaska also writes the Classic Triviography Mystery Series, which includes The Agatha Christie Triviography and Quiz Book, The Alfred Hitchcock Triviography and Quiz Book, and The Sherlock Holmes Triviography and Quiz Book. The Alfred Hitchcock and the Sherlock Holmes trivia books are finalists for the 2012 EPIC award in nonfiction.
Her nonfiction book, The Man Who Saved the Whooping Crane: The Robert Porter Allen Story, (University Press of Florida) was released on September 16 and has been nominated for the George Perkins Marsh award for environmental history.
The Author in all of us
There is a story inside. One that needs out and to be read by others. It's there and now it's time for it to flow from author to the reader. Join us as we celebrate Indie authors.