Rambling Thoughts on Flashbacks and the Like

As you know I’m currently fleshing out BETRAYAL. And as you also know the story is a bit of an unusual romance as the hero and heroine don’t meet in the first few chapters. To make up for this fact I’ve added some flashbacks — not fully developed scenes but snatches of memories that are haunting Georgina.

They were inspired by a scene from BRITISH ISLES – A NATURAL HISTORY: Alan Titchmarsh watches a barn owl hunt at dusk and muses that it must have appeared to our ancestors like a ghost. And —bingo! English field + typical British bird + ghost = haunting memory:

Once the floodgate had been opened, there was no escape from the memories that rose to the surface of her mind as giant seamonsters rose from the depths of the ocean to swallow up the unwary seafarer.

Being surrounded by all those dead birds did not help. They seemed to swirl around her in a grotesque roundelay, intertwining past and present. There was the white face of the barn owl, its smooth outlines destroyed by moths, the eyes two jetblack, dull marbles. Yet in front of Georgina’s inner eye it spread its wings and flew away, over wide, open fields, a noiseless ghost in the soft, grey light of dusk. How often had she stood and watched its brethren fly across the gently rolling hills before she had walked towards the golden lights of the ancient mansion at the edge of the lake, where water lilies bloomed, white and pure.

And then she would enter his study, and he would look up, a smile spreading across his face until he seemed to glow from within. “How I missed you,” he would say. “Do you know how much?”

“No, I’m not sure,” she would answer. “How much?”

And he would rise and walk towards her with slow, measured steps, so self-assured as if he were Apollo himself, while delicious warmth would spread through her and make all of her limbs tingle with anticipation. He would stop in front of her, so close she could smell him, the starch of his shirt, the [flowery? woodsy?]* cologne he preferred, and underneath — the dark, alluring scent of the man himself. He would lower his head until his breath tickled over her cheek, until he could whisper into her ear with a voice softer than velvet, “Then allow me to show you …”

It’s a nice challenge to find ways to describe this blurring of the present into the past and to find suitable triggers for those flashbacks that also move the story along and show some of Georgina and Ash’s former attachment. Hmmm ….

8 thoughts on “Rambling Thoughts on Flashbacks and the Like

  1. Sandra Schwab

    Psssst, yes, it’s true: the Muse hath returned as of this morning. But — shhhh — don’t startle her, or she’ll totter off again to wherever Muses are wont to totter off when they feel like having a prolonged holiday.

    This snippet, though, wasn’t written this morning. But so far, it’s my favourite of Georgina’s flashbacks. 🙂

  2. azteclady

    Oh dear… DARK chocolate, please.

    *thinking I need to bring my own coffee and coffee maker to the party next time*

    (too good not to share: captcha word: feist — I SWEAR!)

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