#1.Sensory Detail (Starry Night)

As you walk closer to the painting, you can still smell the oil drying in the deep blues and greens of the sky.  Each rounded light in that gentle sky vied for your direct attention, going out of their way to dance on the edges of your vision as if they were alive. Your eye tracked slowly over the seemingly vast expanse and lazily trailed the summer breeze down toward the village, carrying with it the faintest scent of lavender. You wondered if anyone else could hear the faint rustling of dinnerware and gentle conversation. Scanning your eyes back over the painting again you were entranced by the way the air seemed to weave in and out of the celestial bodies carefully suspended, dancing in the breeze and smiled.  


#2. Inserting the Unexpected.

Greg drove down a deserted Texas highway, noting the heatwaves coming off the concrete in front of him. He set his foot on the brake slowly as he veered into a tiny dirt and gravel road before speeding up again to ram the gate in front of him. His back tires kicked up small rocks that pinged the tailgate of his truck before the lock finally gave way and he went flying down the road as fast as he could. His truck was getting smacked on every side by thin branches that hung over the dirt trail and he watched in his rearview mirror as they sprung back and forth almost angrily waving at the intruding vehicle.

The trees weren't very large in this part of Texas, more like tall shrubs but they could stand the heat and sporadic rain. However, they were also dense, and covered the landscape for the first third of the road, as they finally thinned out though, larger pine trees and cedars began to take their place, lush green grass stuck out in random patterns, waving as the wind from the fast-flying truck upset them as well.

Greg slowed down as he came upon the tree line and stopped just before it gave out. At the end of the long-abandoned trail desperately attempting to be covered by nature it'self sat his nemesis. He'd expected to see it more run down than the last time or maybe, hopefully, gone completely. To his horror though, what spread out before him was a perfectly cured lawn surrounding a flat, freshly paved parking lot, the cars dotting it seemed to be new as well despite some of them being out of circulation for decades. Beyond that, was something that until now had only been in his own rearview mirror.

It was still vast and sprawling, the kind of place you'd expect to see the well known and wealthy secret their problems away. The tallest point was the bell tower, the bell housed within looking just as new as the day it was installed, back in 1815.

There wasn't a single crack in the white adobe walls, every mural he could see was still intact, as if they had finished painting it that morning. Ida had told him this place was abandoned shortly after his sisters accident, but clearly she had been lying to him. Suddenly the belltower began to strike, driving a spike of pain between Greg's eyes. His fingertips lightly squeezed the bridge of his nose and he squinted his eyes shut momentarily willing the headache to go away. When he looked again, he almost threw up.

The adobe was yellowed and cracked, all the murals were gone, covered over by graffiti, windows were boarded up or broken and the parking lot itself was cracked and losing it's battle to the weeds. The same cars dotted the parking lot now covered in dust and debris mostly rusted rims and flat tires and some of the rooves had rusted away leaving homes for whatever wildlife dared come close. As he looked back up at the tower though, nothing had changed, the bell still gleamed as if it had been polished that morning, but it still moved, possibly even more violently. If Greg didn't know any better he'd thought the mission knew he was there. What bothered him most though, was the lack of sound. He could see the clapper as the bell swung toward him and up and it was striking the sides with the same fury. For a moment, he actually wished he had gone deaf but the sound of the idling engine gave him less comfort.