As I was walking to work in Downtown Chicago and doing my best to bypass the slippery remnants of the latest snowfall, I realized how distance can be relative. Here are a few examples:
1. Temperature – What would ordinarily be a short walk seems endless on an extremely hot or cold day. Even a drive is torture, if the heat or air conditioning in the car won't function when needed.
2. Terrain – A few steps can take forever if you're trying to negotiate an icy patch. I know this for a fact. (g)
3. Injury or Illness – If you’ve hurt your hip, leg, foot, ankle, etc., walking a short distance can be time consuming. If you’ve injured your shoulder, arm or hand, lifting that member or moving it a few inches can be a nightmare.
4. Age - Similar to Injury or Illness – The elderly can’t usually walk as far or as fast as the rest of the population, with the exception of those who regularly follow an exercise regimen. (I know one lady over 80 who can outdo me in Fitness Class.)
How about climbing a ladder in an elevator shaft, as the heroine does in my current release, Killer Career? That's no picnic either.
Can you think of other instances? Or, maybe you’d like to share how you’ve used distance in one of your novels.