Write a setting based on the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen.
I grew up in the country surrounded by open space and trees. I ran wild, played with bugs and snakes, dug in the dirt, splashed in mud, and climbed trees. I wish every child could have the opportunity to explore the world that I did.
The dirt road that leads to my street has an actual street number, but we have always called it “3 Mile Road.” It’s made of good Oklahoma red dirt onto which the county dumps new gravel every few months. Trees overhang it and deep ditches run along each side.
I was about ten years old when I discovered the most beautiful place I’d ever seen. I walked along 3 Mile Road on my way to meet some friends at their stock pond. I didn’t want to walk all the way to the gate, so I sought a short cut.
When I saw an opening in the trees, I cut through, expecting to clamber across the ditch to the other side.
Instead, I found myself in fairy land.
The trees had grown up over the ditch, forming a lush green tunnel. The sun filtered through the trees and created a magical green and golden glow. The light moved and swayed with the motion of the leaves until it seemed alive. Even the dirt and rock of the ditch became special in that light.
The shape of the tunnel turned the ever present birdsong and insect noises into a beautiful chorus, echoing and reverberating. So many birds, so many songs, filling the green space, creating a wall of sound Phil Spectre could never have equaled.
I was so overwhelmed by this lovely place that I stood still with my palms outstretched, as if I could absorb some of its golden magic and take it with me.
A passing car broke the spell. When I looked again, it was just trees grown over a ditch. But even at that, it was my secret place until that winter took the leaves from the trees.
I don’t know what changed the next year, but the trees never formed that magic place again, though I looked for it ever summer until I moved away.