Writing Challenge: The Devil Is In The Details

“Your challenge this week is to practice your powers of observation. Take any person, place, or event, and write three paragraphs describing your subject in great detail.”

Snow crunches underfoot as we trudge through the snow, not really going anywhere. We came to get away, to clear our thoughts: in reality we’re filling our heads with more. Was it a squirrel that dug in the snow to uncover the base of the tree, or something larger? When those scrape marks were left by the wings of a bird in the snow, was it fleeing in terror or hunting its prey?

A lone rabbit, many times larger than life, sits at the edge of the field. Sculpted from snow, waiting, observing. Snow sits on every branch of every hedgerow, defining them in white against the darkness of the woods beyond. Crows begin to roost in the dusky afternoon light. They fly in clouds from the trees as we walk beneath them, and send a glittering dust into the undergrowth. The maize fields lie beneath a powdery blanket, stubble reaching through the snow in rows like a graveyard. A sign of what has been.

Only one thing stands out in this colourless landscape: a muck heap rises from a gloomy ice rink in the corner of the field. Steam rises gently, warming the birds that pick over it in hope of an insect to eat. A blackbird whistles his tune from a nearby hawthorn: darkness is creeping across the Shropshire countryside. Night is looming. 

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