Exquisite Words, Labor Day Edition

Posted on September 5, 2011 by

From Christopher Beuhlman’s Those Across the River:

I went for a walk. The tree shadows stretched long and fingerlike on the dirt road that led into Whitbrow as the last light of the day spilled from the west. The few houses that lined the road were really little better than shacks, but even they looked worthy of portraiture with that amber glow washing over their pine-board and tin. Sometimes a dog would bark. Sometimes a face would appear and then recede behind the mosquito screen of a window. Once, a bony hand struck a match whose jab of flame then twinned itself on the wick of an oil lamp.

This chapter opening starts with a rather brittle phrase and then relaxes, a bit, but the lack of human contact for this character makes the atmosphere tense even though his activity, walking in the evening, might normally be thought of as relaxing.

Comments are closed