Sunday, September 23, 2012

Swanmaiden's Blues Pt 3

Note: this was an attempt at writing a modern fantasy short story I made several attempts at in 2010 and 2011. It took forever, I revised every sentence three or four times. I gave up in resignation. It's overwritten and cheaply melodramatic. I think part 3 is where I start to get confused with my tenses.

But looking back at it now, it's not all-together terrible, so I'm going to post it as is as a spur to myself in the run-up to National Novel Writing Month. Any constructive criticism gratefully accepted.

Thanks for reading. :-)


The Swan's remembered it in reluctant dreaming in so many ways, she doesn't know how she was captured any more. But she remembers him.

An occultist still shedding his nobleman's skin. A hostage-taker; menagerie-keeper;
A chicken-necked ancient lost in an expensive suit on the obituary page.

Around three, after completing her shift the Swan heads out west to where the gated communities by the river bloom like algae. She doesn't ask herself what she's doing.

The Swan smokes her way steadily through the remaining cigarettes until she reaches the townhouse belonging to the man the obituaries had called a private investor; philologist; philanthropist. The house, a three-story cream Georgian affair, behind six-foot railings, locks and cameras, reveals nothing.

The website said that he'd died unexpectedly but peacefully, but only one out of the two was remotely believable. To think the old bastard had been in London for the last six years and she hadn't even known.

Had he known about her?

Right then,” the Swan mutters under her breath. She watches the sweep of the cameras and – just at the right moment – runs from the shadows, jumps onto the roof of the Merc  on the road outside. Muddy brown footprints on black metallic finish. The Swan jumps again, high and forward. An hollow-boned impossible arc.

Heh. Gasping from too many cigarettes and with a bloody graze on her leg from a metal thorn, but over the fence. Since the Swan's wings were taken from her, she can bend the rules only a little, but life on the run has taught her to be creative with what she's got.

Close up, the house radiates a steel-to-skin malignity. The angry courage which drove her here like a saint, has vanished. It takes three times through before the Swan's voice is steady enough to quietly sing the alarm and the wires in the walls to sleep. Her hands tremble as she pries open a back window.

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