Here’s a snippet from my current work in progress, Thyme for Love.
Sally and Izzy are out for a whole day alone. Join us as he shares a bit of his world with her. This week we’re writing to the prompt, ‘pen’. Return to TUESDAY TALES for more great snippets.
“Would you like to tour the fields first? Or the greenhouses?” Izzy inquired as he helped her down from the truck.
“Maybe the fields first. While it’s still somewhat cool.” Sally laughed. “Which must be why you warned me we’d be walking.”
“Yes ma’am. All you see are the pretty little pots of herbs in the stores. Today I’ll show you what goes into getting those to you.”
Izzy led the way down the dirt road that divided the fields into sections. They held hands as they strolled along – that is, when Izzy wasn’t busy pointing to features in the distance, or to a hawk circling above them. Then without warning he’d drop to his knees and stand back up with a fresh sprig of fragrant greenery.
It was the lavender field that captivated Sally. Rows upon rows of lush mounds, topped with delicate lilac blossoms billowing in the soft breeze. The sun gently warmed the acreage, sending wafts of heady scent around the two. Bees buzzed a cacophony of sound around them, taking advantage of the warming day before the heat was stifling.
“I always thought if I ran away, it would be to the nearest beach,” Sally said. “I think I’ve changed my mind. It would be here, in the midst of the lavender field.”
“Depends on the time of year,” Izzy replied. “There’s about two nice months of blooms. Then the heat hits and before you know it we’re into winter.” He bent and plucked stems until he had a handful and handed them to Sally. “You saw this at the peak of their magnificence. It makes a good first impression, but it’s not always this beautiful.”
Gazing around her, Sally stood in awe of this little bit of paradise hidden out at the end of a dirt road.
“C’mon. Let’s go see the greenhouses.”
The tour of three greenhouses was more than Sally ever imagined. Thousands of tiny pots held growing herbs in every stage; freshly planted seeds, seedlings just emerging, and plants beginning to grow and thrive. The heady aroma of compost, potting soil and dampness was totally different than the soon to be sunbaked fields of mature plants.
The tables of mint fascinated Sally. She read labels as she moved down the aisle. “Chocolate mint, pineapple mint, apple mint, orange mint…who knew there were so many kinds? I always thought there was just peppermint and spearmint.” She held the bouquet to her nose and inhaled deeply. “You must enjoy being out here every day.”
“More than you’ll ever know. It’s a lot of work, but I enjoy every single moment of what I’m doing.”
“But now I’ll show you what I’m really proud of.” Izzy was beaming, almost jumping up and down in his excitement of showing off his achievements. “Let’s go see the back patio. If I’m not working – and if it’s not freezing cold – that’s where I spend most of my time.”
They followed the trodden path from the greenhouses towards the house. As they neared the back side of the house, the dirt path progressed into a bark path edged with large stones. Foliage on the sides of the rock border got larger and more interesting.
The aromatic stroll through the greenhouses receded to the back of Sally’s mind once she stepped into the verdant oasis hidden behind the old farmhouse. “Oh my!” she gasped. Plants of every size, shape and color surrounded the brick floored patio. Vines wrapped around the posts, and hung along the rafters, filled with a variety of colored flowers. Small green plants oozed out between the bricks, creating a soft walkway. Sally bent to touch them, rubbing her fingers across them as she’d seen Izzy do in the fields. Taking a whiff, she smiled. “More herbs?”
“Of course. Mostly thymes around the sides, a few different low growing species, and Corsican mint on the interior portions.”
“It’s beautiful,” Sally said softly. She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. “Maybe this will be my run away spot.”
Izzy scooted closer and wrapped his arms around her. “No, you’re beautiful,” he whispered into her neck. “And you can run away to here anytime you want.”
They stood together, holding each other tightly, their hearts beating against their chests. Neither one moved. Finally Sally admitted, “This is heaven. I don’t want to leave this moment. I feel like I want to stay right here forever.”
“Promise? Let me go get a pen and make you sign.”
At which she opened her eyes and laughed. “Deal,” she agreed.
“But before I got get that pen…” Izzy said. He lowered his lips on hers, silencing her laughter.