Tuesday, April 9, 2013

H is for "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad, a digression

For the letter "H," I am using the a line from Conrad's book as a prompt, and continuing on my own.

"Going up the river was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world when vegetation rioted on the earth and the big trees were kings."

Poster  of  Book Cover by Blanche McManus  1895   Dover Press

The air was oppressive and thick like the jungle on either side.  Greenish, blackish water covered with algae made a troubling path through which the small boat traveled.  The water itself seemed alive, rippled here and there with unknown creatures large and small that lurked underneath.

Was there human life beyond the water's edge?  The trees at the edge of the river, as gnarled and twisted as their roots, clung to the wet banks of the river and were so close together and so intertwined, that no light could be seen between them.  There were sounds coming from those trees, strange bird calls, echoing whoops, shrill notes, repeated sounds with unknown messages.

No one spoke, each lost in their own thoughts, some perhaps questioning their motives for being in this place.  The sun, a fiery orange ball, was setting slowly; strips of purple clouds in the sky gave the scene an unworldly appearance.

The boat slowly turned toward shore.  "We're here," a voice said.

(Just a little break for me from writing about posters).


  1. Just had no travel poster for "H." I am making a cup of cyber coffee for you and a cup for me.

  2. Nicely done! Great idea to use a line from a book as a writing prompt. :)

    1. I seem to do better with prompts -- a bit like writing push-ups.

  3. Very suspenseful! I could see the trees perfectly, great job describing!

  4. Thank you, creative writing is well, more creative. I tend to get into "Laundry List Writing" if I am not careful.

  5. I read Heart of Darkness about a dozen times for an English class and learned to appreciate it. I enjoyed reading this line!

  6. Thanks, Karen. Re-reading some of those classics is sometimes a revelation.

  7. Very vivid picture in words there.

  8. I haven't read this, but it's on my very, very long TBR list :)

  9. What an interesting idea! You painted a great atmosphere.