>>I've been reading quite a bit of Strike Witches fiction lately (okay,
>>mostly Strike Witches Quest and its derivatives - that's pretty much
>>the only other really good Strike Witches fiction). But this... wow.
>Then we did them justice. :) Thank you both!
The culmination of the scene between Mio and Minna was very touching (I teared up) but I'd like to point out how vividly I was able to imagine the setting, even though there isn't much concrete language on the actual restaurant:
As she and Minna entered the restaurant - unprepossessing from the street, and not as fancy inside as she might have expected - Mio reflected that she had known Perrine was well-regarded in her homeland [...] Tonight, though, Mio felt completely at ease, willing to place her dining future entirely in her auburn-haired companion's hands. More than that, she felt... urbane, witty and relaxed in a way she rarely felt in purely social settings. She could have bathed in Minna's fluent, fluid Gallic as she spoke with the waiter, and the food, when it arrived, arrested her interest in ways food very rarely did. Everything about this evening seemed to be turned up to eleven, but not in a way that applied any pressure - simply a great... richness of texture and sensation, without any particular intensity.
Surely, the excerpts above illustrate Mio's frame of mind, exploring how Mio was relating to her feelings and affections for Minna; however, to me, those words also somehow inspired the entire place setting in my mind's eye:
There is a semi-circular dining room; the straight side facing out towards the street is accented by a series of tall, bistro windows, their glass panes reflecting the jewel-like lights of the night-time cityscape. Inside the room, near the middle but slightly off-center, is set a square dining table, small and cozy for two. The pair of walnut-brown chairs, set at each end, bracket an unadorned tablecloth spread over the table surface, dressed by a simple centerpiece of candlelight and flowers. The glass votive's dancing flame casts golden flickers onto a pair of flowers, their crossed stems held aloft in a thin-necked vase. The white porcelain seemingly sinks into the shimmering white background, allowing the flowers to apparently bloom up from the tabletop itself. Red and orange petals, already striking and rich, are made more vibrant by nearby candlelight; captured through the looking glass of crystal stemware, this spectrum of warm and intimate hues are reflected onto white dinner plates bordered in shimmering gold-lattice.
Even after I googled the restaurant and found an actual photograph of the interior (http://www.truffletravel.com/truffle-tours/la-petite-chaise/), I liked the image in my mind better. :)
My point is, Gryph & Co's writing has been polished and refined to inspiring images of scenery without even defining the scenery. That's some judo-zen coolness there. Your kung fu is strong.
So, thank you. It was beautiful. That was very nice indeed. ^_^