By Kathryn Lang
Tourism literature makes a location or event an important part of a story, turning that location or event into a character as well.
Huntsville, Alabama, is being featured in an innovative writing contest designed to increase tourism to the area through a short stories set at local attractions and visitor offerings. The contest is jointly sponsored by the Alabama Tourism Department, the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Southeastern Literary Tourism Initiative (SELTI).
Learn more about how you can be a part of the 2015 SELTI Short Story contest by visiting SELTI.ORG.
Now for an example….
“Where are we going?” She looked at him with a crooked smile when he turned off the main road.
“It’s a surprise.” He laughed. He knew she didn’t like surprises, but that made it all the more fun for him.
She rolled her eyes and turned her attention back to the road. The trees had dropped their leaves for the winter and she could see down into the valley below. It was a steep drop off, and she held her breath for a moment. She turned her attention back to him. “Please be careful.”
He squeezed her hand. “Always.” The road continued to climb and to twist, but his smile stayed the same. He was excited to share. He made another turn and then they started back down.
She raised her eyebrow. “Are you lost? It’s okay if you’ve gotten us lost. We can go back.”
He laughed again. “We’re not lost.” He pulled off to the side of the road, and she took in the view. He watched her face light up, and his smiled brightened.
“This is amazing.”
He never turned away from her. “I know.” He watched her for another minute and then stepped out of the car and around to her door. They walked up to the edge of the overlook and took in the view. He watched her more than he watched the view. “Let’s sit down.” He nodded his head back in the direction of the bench.
She followed his lead, still taking in the view. It was the perfect time of day, and they had the space to themselves. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. He reached into his pocket and his smile grew larger.
She sighed and it caused him to stop. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing’s wrong. Everything’s right. That’s what’s wrong.”
Now she laughed. She gestured at the view and at the two of them sitting there together. “This. This is right.”
“I sense a ‘but’ coming.”
“It’s not a ‘but.’ It’s an ‘and.’”
“And I hate to leave it.”
He turned away from her, but she didn’t notice. She was caught back in the view. After a few moments, he found his voice. “Where are you going?”
“I leave for school next week. I thought I told you.” He would have remembered. He shook his head, but she still wasn’t looking. “I’ll be down in Mobile for four years and I know I’m going to love the new adventure, but I’m going to hate to leave all of this.” Now she was looking at him.
He could feel her eyes and he wanted to turn to her, but he was afraid his own eyes would give him away. “We better get going. We don’t want to be late for dinner.”
He hadn’t said much during the rest of the night that stood out in her memory. She drove past the turn to Monte Sano every day on her way to work. She had been back for a year, but she had not heard from him. Every time she came over the mountain she would find her mind wandering back to that day and wondering about him.
After work, she let her mind lead her back to that place. The Overlook had stayed the same and the leaves again dropped from the trees for winter. Her stomach tightened. “It was five years ago today.” The date hit her and she sat in the car for a moment before stepping out to take in the view.
The wind caught her off guard. It was colder today than it had been that day with him. She reached in to get her coat and heard another car pull up and park. The man stepped out and her stomach tightened again. It couldn’t be.
…Continued next month
Which iHeartHsv blogger wrote this?
A little snark, a lot of fun, all wrapped up in a rainbow of hope – Kathryn Lang loves sharing words, and her personal hope is that every person who encounters her words will feel as if they were written (or spoken) just for him or her. Learn more about Kathryn by visiting www.KathrynLang.com or read about her family travels at www.TraveLangs.com.