creamingly ripe in the breathless summer heat-hush

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jacdac

Senior Member
Lebanese
She had awakened feeling as nervous and randy-dandy as a thoroughbred dancing her way into the starting gate. But somewhere, in the last fifteen or twenty miles before she reached the Haven town line –the land around her nearly empty, creamingly ripe in the breathless summer heat-hush –that fine feeling of anticipation and wire-thin nervy readiness had bled away.
Source: The Tommyknockers by Stephen King

What does the bolded phrase mean?

Thank you.
 
  • joanvillafane

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    If you're asking if "creamingly ripe" is a known expression in English, the answer is no. Again another invention by Mr. King. The only one who knows what it means is him and we the readers are left with our own interpretation. So think of associations for "cream" and "ripe" and figure out what it has to do with "the land around her" and your guess is as good as mine.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    In UK slang, to cream [someone/something] = to defeat someone completely and easily. (I do not know if AE uses this verb in the same meaning.)
    A: "If Lebanon played England at football, who do you think would win?"
    B: "England would cream them."

    Ripe, I suspect, is used as a figure of speech - synecdoche - It means that the land around is very fruitful and the signs of this fruitfulness are apparent.

    Creamingly ripe - filled overwhelmingly with the signs of a good harvest.
     

    jacdac

    Senior Member
    Lebanese
    Thank you. This interpretation fits perfectly with the story and the impact of the vibration from the alien ship on the surrounding land.
     
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