As promised, I'm back. Here's my rewrite of the book I'm being subjected to. I started at a different place, I suspect my journey will be in a completely different direction, but the idea of writing against something like this is good motivation.
It's a short extract (it's all I've written) and it may be too portentous and a bit pants. Still, it's the first I've written properly in aaaaages!
Analysis is intriguing and is from 750words.com as ever.
Rating: PG-13 (sexual content[?] and violence)
Feeling mostly Self-expressive, and concerned mostly about Death.
Mindset: Extrovert - Positive - Uncertain - Feeling
Time: The Past; Primary Sense: Touch; Us and Them: Them
27 minutes at 30 words per minute
Trefleet pulsed with traffic, breathing in the clean autumnal air and exhaling in the cooling towers by the great estuary that gave the city its name. Streets awash with a tide of human bacteria, breaking down the intake of farm produce into the waste ejected and buried in the landfill to the east. Dying bronze licked the corporate glass and steel, winking salaciously to anyone daring to look up, wolf-whistling at visitors in the growl and bark of car engines and the whines of buses.
An unremarkable birth as a collection of fishing huts on the coast, long moved and changed from those days, and a small trading area south of them had grown into roundhouses and agriculture. By the time of the Romans these had grown into stone and their military might brought the peace and prosperity of a settled childhood. Rapid growth, fertile soil, villas in the suburbs and a major road followed so that the tomboy in her had chance to grow - dancing through the trees of orchards and larking in the mud by the fishing boats as they pulled ashore. Turbulent adolescence in successive raids and miniature kingdoms followed once the patrician presence of the Romans had been withdrawn. Drinking, parties and wild nights followed by dull days and regret as often as by celebration and happy glows of fire. Acne-ridden confusion of dalliances and attempted one night stands with Princes, pretenders and Kings: she had seen them all. Some had been beguiled, others attracted and still others were rough and brutal. None of them had been true lovers and none of them had been as much in charge as they would have liked to believe. As the affluence of youth had faded, the port and the marketplace remained, so that as the middle-aged spread of industrialisation arrived there was something to build on.
Now a mother-hen, Trefleet had gathered the smaller towns, villages and hamlets under her wings, become proud and old. As she stared out from the thin gorge to the esturary and, beyond, to the far land of hills and mountains and the sea, she felt the wind, fresh and salty, on her face. Rain was coming. White strands fell across her face, long and willowy as the smoke trails from middle-class wood-burning stoves in converted town houses. Breath clouded once more as steam and factory fumes before being whipped away by the wind.
Sky bruising from dusk to darkness, she sighed and walked by the orange glow of burning sodium as her streets calmed, the beat changed and relaxation slowly fell, light bright enough to drown the glints of stars like nails in the night. Scudding clouds reflected back, as though lit by internal fires of godly forges and faerie engines, bringing with them the last summer downpours as they rose against the hills to the east and across the water to the north. Cold retreated, this was warmer air now, and she closed her eyes to feel the caress of her fishing past.
It had been a long time and she had many names; some venerated and others mostly forgotten, lost to the vagaries of men and memory. These days she preferred to go by just a title, to differentiate herself: Queen. The Queen of Trefleet. Her feet left no trace in the earth, despite the trails of bile and filth that spilled from her dress of glass and brick across her toes. Her passage made no sound, despite her huge size and the jumble of masonry, sand, water, rock and steel that made up her body. At peace. At peace and old.
So it was that she was unaware of them at first, circling in the undergrowth of the parkland and woods, did not catch the signs as the moon peeked from behind the rain clouds to bless her. Near the iron suspension bridge strung high in the air between the monolithic towers, a vestige of her stately middle-age when men sought less to dominate and more to impress and adorn her with gifts of great beauty, she first noticed something in the mood of the evening. The snap of a twig or the movement of some small birds, maybe the smell of something rank carried over the grass and through the wetness, so she stopped to look around. Heard the chanting, low and threatening in a language that was not one she knew, not one that was ever local. A cowl among the leaves, a flash of human flesh in the long grass and the chant rose quickly, too quickly for the Queen to react. With horror she realised that it was simply too late.
A roar of rage escaped her, a shaking step forward to make her strength and presence felt, to ward off what was coming. Too late, too late. And then the voices stopped. A single clap from multiple hands, like thunder, and a vortex between the worlds: blue glow, white noise and then gone in an instant. And the park was empty. The Queen was gone, never to return.