Snippet Saturday-World Building
World Building. The making of a setting into something that let’s us suspend belief long enough to leap into a story and accept that which isn’t real to -be- real. I’ve read other stories, to find the common themes, such as in werewolf tales, and then picked my favorite pieces to incorporate into my worlds.
With Tidal Wave, it was a picture that inspired the story, and helped start the world building. While I still had to figure out the details of the shifters, from the moment I saw this painting I knew my watershifters had to have three forms–merfolk, dolphins and St Elmo’s fire.
Alexia opened her eyes to find she lay on fluffy cushions set on a thick mat of sea grasses, the rough roof of a cave overhead. A few feet away down a sandy shore there was ocean water, the surface smooth and unbroken, the storm’s madness calmed by the shelter of the cave. Darting moonlight sparkled through the entrance, dancing lights changing the hanging stalactites from fearful objects to ones of beauty and peace. She tasted salt on her lips, the scent of something ripe and wonderful filled her nostrils, and she turned to follow it.
The back of the cave was a solid rock platform. A low wooden trunk was set like a table with a bowl of fruit and a flickering candle. Suddenly ravenous, Alexia picked a ripe strawberry from the offering and bit down, its flavor exploding in her mouth. She sat amidst the cushions and ate. Slowly, deliberately, each sensation peaking higher and higher on her taste buds. She watched the water lap at the shore.
It must be a dream. She’d seen this place so many times since she’d started to come to the coast. Ever since she’d fallen in love with the ocean, she’d had dreams involving this cave. Dreams of dolphins and blue lights and endless need that had her waking dazed, restless and aroused.
The cave filled with the brilliant blue glow she’d seen around the medallion earlier. It swirled past the entrance and poured like liquid silver through the air, flowing throughout the cavern. It touched her in passing and paused, frozen in midair like a bit of the Milky Way torn from the sky and tossed into the small cave.
The light brushed her feet, swirled around her ankles and twisted its way up her legs. Touching, caressing. A tingling sensation moved with the light as it floated over her skin, and Alexia froze as her body was momentarily enveloped before the light shot to the far back corner and bounced down to form into the solid body of a man.
His skin was smooth. Blond hair fell to his broad shoulders, muscles well defined in his arms and torso. Brilliant green eyes smiled at her and her heart leapt.
He paced forward, long limbs eating up the distance between them, and Alexia sucked in a gasp of air. He was naked, his skin shimmering with a warm light like the haze of a hot summer’s day. She debated retreating to the water, but there was no time before he knelt at her side, his hand reaching for hers.
“Alexia. I’ve waited for this day. It’s been far too long in coming.” He lifted her fingers to his mouth and kissed her knuckles lightly, his eyes staring into hers. Her body responded to his presence, her nipples tightening, her passage flooding with moisture. She was no blushing fourteen-year-old, he was no youth.
It was a dream and she was so ready for it.
He lowered their joined hands to brush his knuckles over the metal of her necklace, his smile warming her even more.
“It looks marvelous on you, my lady.” His voice was low and husky.
Alexia frowned. My lady?
He wrapped his other hand around her neck and drew them together, and all her concerns washed away as their lips touched.
Tidal Wave is available from Samhain Publishing
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