Day One of One Hundred Words in One Hundred Days (and a count down to moving):
Settings. Today’s challenge is to describe a setting well enough for the reader (that’s you) to be able to identify it with the real place without naming said place.

Arid desert – not much obvious veggitation, but a lot of  dry red and orange dirt. A generally flat land as far as the eye can see (cliche- come up with something else) with the exception of a group of tall rocky spires; the remnants of a mountain so eroded by wind and rain that all that remains are the hard limestone cores sticking up reaching up to the empty blue expanse above. In the far distance, a dark purple wall of storm can be seen, with occasional lightning flashes. Too far away to hear the thunder and too far away to smell the rain but it’s coming. A small cool breeze from that direction anounces that, tickling through the low scrub brush, but not strong enough to move the dirt. Not yet. The only animal life around is the vulture high above, riding the air currents, circling around, looking for the carcus of some unlucky rodent or bunny. The sun, high over head, slowly moves to the west, drawing shadows up from the ground and growing them like stains spreading from the spires. The breeze returns, stronger now, carrying with it the smell of damp dirt and ozone. A distant rumble, like a giant grumbling about being awakened, follows the breeze. The storm intersects the westard sun, cutting off the sunset shadows and turning the edges of the storm wall golden. Individual rays of light shoot out between the cracks and crevices of the storm, like bits of hope reaching out to catch hold of the convenient mesa shaped hand-holds. The breeze, now a wind, kicks up orange dust a head of it, obcuring the view between the peaks, and causing little bunnies and lizards to skitter out of the way. The thunder is louder now, echoing down the canyons, announcing the rain which falls like it’s being poured from a bucket. Fifteen maybe twenty minutes of this, and water runs down in muddy rust colored rivulettes from the spires to the center of the valley. The storm clears, having blown itself out. The last of the sun appears, giving more golden light and long shadows to the spires, causing a rainbow to form to the east over the flatland. Creatures appear where previously there had been none; the little animals of the desert coming out to drink from the pools.

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At first glance, it is an arid desert with minimal vegetation, just a few small bushes of scrub, their dry pale green leaves curled up in defense. Dry yellowish dirt climbs out of the valley, slowly gaining orange and then red hues when it closes in on towering sandstone buttes; the corpse of a mountain so eroded by wind and rain that all that remains are the boney cores reaching up to the empty cerulean expanse above.

The still air shimmers with rising waves of heat. The only animal life around is the vulture high above, riding those currents, circling, looking to lunch on a carcass of some unlucky rodent or rabbit.

In the far distance, lightning flashes from a wall of purple-black clouds; pregnant and ponderously moving closer. Too far away to hear the thunder and too far away to smell but it is coming. The first hint of that comes as a small cool breeze tickling through the bush; not strong enough to move the powdery dirt. Not yet.

The sun, high over head, slowly moves to the west, drawing shadows up from the ground and spilling them like bloody ink stains down one side of the crimson spires. The breeze returns, stronger now, carrying with it the smell of damp dirt and ozone. A distant rumble, like a giant grumbling about being awakened, follows the breeze. The storm intersects the westward sun, cutting off the sunset shadows and turning the edges of the storm wall golden. Individual rays of light shoot out between the cracks and crevices of the storm, like bits of hope reaching out to catch hold of the spindly formations.

The breeze, now a wind, kicks up orange dust a head of it, obscuring the view between the peaks. The thunder is louder, more imminent, echoing down the canyon, announcing the rain which falls like it is being poured from a bucket. Fifteen maybe twenty minutes of this, and water runs from the spires down in muddy rust colored rivulets to the center of the valley.

The storm clears, having done its duty by delivering life-giving fluid to the parched land. Creatures appear where previously there had been none; the little animals of the desert coming out to drink from the pools. The last of the sun appears, giving more golden light and long shadows to the spires, causing a rainbow to form to the east over the flatland.

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