Monday, January 11, 2016

Monday Excerpt: Flutter of Sun-Caught Dust

Now Playing: Thomas Newman - VFD (Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events OST)

[Introduction].

Short excerpt today.

I couldn't get into this book all that much. The tone wasn't doing it for me and the plot felt a bit convoluted. Everything seemed to be there for the sake of being overly whimsical. There was also something about the tense choice. It was just weird and it kept distracting me from this timeline that spammed years and years (with dozens of characters and locations).

But this scene works. At first I thought I was fixated on it because there was something off about the prose but, no, in this moment, it's quite nice. Maybe because it's so simple and so contained and mundane that I can appreciate the image presented at me.

(Night Circus: The Clock by TheSearchingEyes on DeviantArt)

She reads the two words on the grey paper several times. 
She cannot tell if the feeling creeping up her spine is excitement or dread. 
Abandoning the remaining condolences, Celia takes the card in hand and leaves the room, ascending a winding stair that leads to the upstairs parlor. She pulls a ring of key from her pocket and impatiently unlocks three separate locks in order to access the room that is drenched in bright afternoon sun. 
"What is this about?" Celia says, holding the card out in front of her as she enters. 
The figure hovering by the window turns. Where the sunlight hits him he is all but invisible. Part of a shoulder appears to be missing, the top of his head vanishes in a flutter of sun-caught dust. The rest of him is transparent, like a reflection in glass. 
What is left of Hector Bowen reads the note and laughs delightedly.
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern 

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"Science and science fiction have done a kind of dance over the last century... The scientists make a finding. It inspires science fiction writers to write about it, and a host of young people read the science fiction and are excited, and inspired to become scientists...which they do, which then feeds again into another generation of science fiction and science..."
- Carl Sagan, in his message to future explorers of Mars.