31 DaysDay 22: SYNESTHESIA {the prompt follows at the end of this post}


The Velvet of Dusk

Twilight hovered just above the surface of the grass, it’s tentacles tickling the ground with its imminent arrival and Priya basked in its tingle. How she loved this time of day, dense with the smokey scent of dusk and promise. The bangles on her arms and ankles tinkled with hues of green and blue, bidding the day good-bye as Priya moved gracefully through the shimmery grass. To Priya, everything seemed far more vivid in the thick dusk than at any other time and she twirled about like a girl, her arms outstretched to catch the drops of twilight as they fell to the earth. Just as her laugh sparkled with gaiety and glittery hues, Amethyst stepped from the shadows just beyond the village followed by Lolly.

This was Lolly’s first visit to Priya’s dwelling and she stood with her mouth agape as she studied Priya’s graceful motions that seemed to stir up scents of lavender and lilac. It was almost intoxicating as the purple scents wove around all of them like vines that tethered them to the earth lest they float to the heavens on the clouds of color.

Aware of their presence now, Priya paused in her movements and smiled widely at them.

“At last, I am to meet thee, Lolly,” Priya said, moving to embrace the young woman.

Lolly curtsied and bowed and tangled her feet and moved forward, falling in a heap at Priya’s feet. Priya fell beside her and absorbed her into a hug and her aura and twilight danced around them with swishing skirts of gray wool dusted with gold dust. Priya laughed a harmony of notes that filled the air and pulled Lolly to her feet so that neither was worse for the wear.

“Tis a pleasure to meet you Miss Priya,” Lolly said.

“Please, only Priya, my girl,” Priya said and winked at Amethyst who watched the twilight bring forth the stars and the fireflies, tinkling notes on a piano that built to a chord and then to a crescendo; the night an orchestra of harmonies.

“There is much to learn, my dear Lolly, of the ways of auras and visions and dreams, but I understand that you are well versed in these things.”

Lolly hesitated a moment. “Only very slightly,” she said.

Priya could not help but smile at the young woman for her apprehension was as thick as the aroma of her onion lentil stew. “My dear Lolly, Amethyst is much to great a judge of character and ability to introduce anyone to me who is not up for the learning.”

Lolly looked to Amethyst who was wrapped in the thick velvet of dusk. Amethyst nodded and smiled. “She speaks truth, my dear,” Amethyst said. “You have the gift.”

“And that is for tomorrow, when the sun dances upon the clouds to the lilting notes of the morn,” Priya added. “Tonight is only about this moment, the stars that drip their honeysuckle upon the night and the moon that spreads its beams far and wide for us to bathe in like a warm bubbling spring. The night is ours to embrace.”

“Indeed,” said Amethyst, who lowered herself into the soft grass and closed her eyes and let the night cover her like a soft, familiar blanket.

To the side, Lolly stood, arms out and palms up to soak in the honeysuckle that dripped from the stars, and smiled.


This morning, I’m wondering if perhaps this is the land where the blue twinkling light named ANRAÍ comes from in the story, Sophia and HenryWhat do you think?

{Just a reminder, we try to keep these writing exercises to 30 minutes maximum, but that’s not a hard and fast rule. And I will say that in order to keep my writing within the 15 to 30 minute time, I create playlists on Spotify that allow me to put together songs that come close to 30 minutes. I also select music that fits with the story idea and help inspire the words I write. When the final note plays on the last song…I stop writing. Usually.}

Writing Prompt: SYNESTHESIA – Use synesthesia in a short scene – surreptitiously, without drawing too much attention to it – to convey to your reader an important understanding of some ineffable sensory experience. According to M.H. Abrams in A Glossary of Literary Terms, synesthesia is a description of “one kind of sensation in terms of another; color is attributed to sounds odor to colors, sound to odors, and so on.” Use sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. {Exercise 17 from The 3 A.M. Epiphany: Uncommon Writing Exercises that Transform Your Fiction by Brian Kiteley. Note, this is an affiliate link}


7 thoughts on “The Velvet of Dusk

  1. Hi Judy! I definitely think you could link the two story fragments up – this piece feels like what the other was leading up to. Great job with this particular prompt, too, which I found to be one of the more challenging ones. Sorry it’s taken me so long to reach out, but I’ve been doing these along with you (though I was playing a bit of catch-up for a while). It’s been great so far!

    1. Hey, Curtis! Wow, you caught me off guard, my friend! Thank you for your input and for your encouragement. And I’d love to read any of the things you’ve written as things have progressed. Do you have a blog where you can post them? Otherwise, I’d love to know how we can connect so I can read more of your writing. Thanks for connecting here!

      1. I’m not nearly as savvy with the possibilities of social media, etc., as you obviously are, and am pretty terrible at replying and posting things in a timely way, too. I don’t have a blog, and have been doing the exercises longhand in a notebook. On paper, of all things! I hadn’t written a word in a long time before deciding to jump on board with your 31 days challenge, so it’s definitely been good for me to get back into it a bit. I’m thinking of doing the November novel month, too, though I’m really doubting myself on that one.

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