dianne salerni author
dianne salerni author


Today is the Guess That Character Blogfest, sponsored by Jen at Unedited. Below you will find a scene from my current WIP — The Caged Graves. The object is for you to guess what my character looks like and post your ideas in the comments. In this scene, Verity Boone has just met her fiancé, Nate McClure, a man she knows only through his letters. The meeting has not gone well, and it’s about to get worse …

Verity had no idea what to talk about now. Every conversational topic she’d chosen had led to disaster. Nate didn’t seem capable of helping. He gazed around as if he might find something by the side of the road to salvage the situation.

She looked too, hoping to find some neutral subject for discourse. “What are those?” she asked, her eyes alighting on an interesting sight in the graveyard. She struck out across the grass to get a closer look. Amidst the tombstones behind the church, there were two odd metal structures that looked like tiny conservatories, without the glass. Verity had never seen anything like them.

“Oh … no … wait a minute, Verity.”

They weren’t conservatories—how could they be? The closer she got, the more they looked like overlarge bird cages.

“Verity!”

Strangely large, iron filigree cages, each one about four feet high and—she felt a shiver run through her—six feet long.

“Miss Boone!” he said, quite loudly.

That made her turn around, hearing him revert to a formality they had not used since their third exchange of letters. Letters, she now knew, that his sisters had written or, at least, guided. They had read her responses, Verity realized, and possibly met in committee to decide how Nate would answer each one.

He should go back to calling her Miss Boone. He really had no right to anything else. He should start from scratch and introduce himself all over again.

“Please,” he said, standing on the road and holding out his hand. “I think we should go back.”

He looked so wretched that she would have done what he asked if he’d stopped talking then. But he didn’t. “I’m sorry I brought you here,” he rambled on. “I should have realized you hadn’t seen them yet.”

Verity felt as if her heart dropped straight through her body. He wasn’t apologizing for being a buffoon; he was apologizing for something else entirely. Every part of her went cold. Ignoring Nate’s hand, held out so plaintively, she turned back toward the cemetery.

The cages were six feet long, and outside each one there was a headstone.

She broke into a run, her feet pounding across the grass, her skirt hauled up in both hands.

Iron cages surrounded two graves in this cemetery. With a growing dread born of Nate’s urgency and the sound of him chasing after her, she started for the nearest one—then diverted and ran past it as her eyes made out the shape of the lettering on the farther marker …

In the comments tell me how you picture Verity (or Nate, if you like). Tomorrow, I will reveal pictures of these two characters as I envision them, and share the comments which came closest to my idea. Click HERE to find a list of other participating blogs (over 40!) read some great writing – and meet some fascinating new bloggers!