Helos – Week One

Week One comes to a close and I have made my word count – just. Final total is 2512. I’d like to have gotten to 3-4k and I’m pretty sure I could on a good week. A win is a win though and I’m happy to have got a solid chunk of Helos (That’s the book’s working title) written and edited. I’m rewriting and editing as I go along so that word count is finished as far as first draft goes. I’ve tried writing through without editing at all but I find it counter-productive to leave what is basically unfinished story behind so I’m tending to edit last sessions out put at the beginning of each new session and then continue with new material.

I’m using a structure of I’ve dubbed ‘Chaptersodes’ for Helos. Think of something halfway between a traditional chapter (one major event) and an episode of a television drama like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or The Sopranos. Each Chaptersode has somewhere between 3 – 6 scenes all focused around a key event and switching between the key viewpoint characters. For instance Chaptersode One of Helos has four scenes, one for each of the four viewpoint characters, all focused the opening of the Gateway, the massive portal between worlds that dominates the world of Helos. I’m going to post Chaptersodes as I complete them for crit so keep your eyes peeled! They’ll probably appear every 4 – 6 weeks.

But to celebrate a successful conclusion to Helos Week One I’m going to post a section of this weeks writing. Feel free to give feedback in comments.

*****     *****     ***** 

 Helos – Week One Extract

            On the day of the opening of the gateway, the singer Donovan came early throw the portal in search of a man. Hooded and cloaked to hide among the advance party, it was sometime before he felt safe enough to look up at the new world he had entered.

            The city writhed in expectation of the coming Triumph. Those who might have had business on another morning closed down their shops and settled their accounts and came onto the streets to observe. Mothers hurried along children joyous at escaping their chores. The old men gave up their customary arguments in the temple squares. All thronged towards the gateway to see the Warmaster enter the city. Only Donovan went against the stream, silently cursing the thronging masses as sheep and fools.

            Nothing had changed and everything had changed, the singer saw as he picked his way through the crowds. The faces that flooded past him all seemed familiar, of a type and yet he recognised none of them. The streets wound as they ever had, but walking them in unfamiliar paths he soon found himself lost. The great palaces and temples still marked the horizon as he rembered them, but stayed just out of reach behind the sprawling slums that had been torn down and thrown up again with every new fire or fever.

            Donovan found his man lying in the gutter outside a tawdry drinking den, as much by luck as anything, although suspicion had told him to look where drink might be found.

            Lenon the Orator stared up into a cloudless blue sky, it’s beauty forcing great silent sobs to wet his face with tears

            ‘Are you done?’ He heard a failiar voice ask.

            Lennon sought to explain himself, but only a gargled mess of drunken slurred vowels escaped into the world.

            ‘You don’t say. Now that is fascinating.’ Answered the voice.

            Strong hands gripped Lennon in the pits beneath each arm. The world cartwheeled and flip flopped, spinning as though he were far above the surface, floating in the blue sky.

            ‘No, no, NO! Don’t be sick.’ The voice seemed far away and the warning far too late in reaching him. He felt his innards churn around their load of  bile and booze, the spirit twice as acrid as it climbed the trail back up his throat and out of his mouth.

            ‘Oh…oh…oh. You disgusting old bastard. Oh no…don’t you fucking laugh at me.’

            ‘Heh heh heh.’ Lenons lips peeled back into a grin, exposing decaying yellow teeth. ‘Hello Don.’

‘Hello yourself. Can you stand?’

            ‘No.’

            ‘Well you are too fucking fat for me to lug around.’

            ‘We’ll just…sit here. Be alright…in a mo.’

            ‘That’ll be some long moment. But alright, I’ll wait with you a bit until I think of something better. Not like I have much choice now do I?’

            Donovan sat himself down on the cobbled street, his nose catching the ripe stink of the gutter. An occaisional drunk staggered along the dim back alley but otherwise they were alone, the people were all busy watching the triumph. As would he, were the great orator not collapsed stinking drunk in the stinking gutter. It did not surprise him that no one had come to the old mans aid. He made for a disgusting sight, his lank grey hair and straggly whiskers matted and twisted with dirt and vomit. Disgusting and weak. And men do not help the weak, Donovan thought. So why do I? He felt anger towards the old man. And towards himself. How did this man ever beat me?

            ‘You come for…a drink…eh Don?’

            ‘No.’

            ‘Tsk, come now…why else…come to this grand abode.’ The old man made a grandiose wave of the arm at the ramshackle hut behind him.

            ‘Only by following one such as your good self.’

            ‘Well…I’ll just have to have one for you.’

            ‘You’ve had enough.’

            ‘I think you’ll find…I’ve had far too much. There can be no turning back now!’

            ‘You’d best start looking for a way my friend. Sober as a monk or pissed as a priest, you lead us in the triumph in less than an hour if my guess is right.’

            ‘Bah, don’t talk nonsense.’

            Donovan could not tell if the old man was serious. Was he really so stupified that he could have forgotten.

‘Do you even know what day it is? You old fool.’

            ‘I’m sure I do. And if not not then whats that do with anything.’

            ‘I’ll go on ahead, you said. Smooth the ground. Cleanse the way. Mark a path you said. Slink away to drown your self in pity is what you meant. And at the cost of our coin as well I’ll wager.’

            ‘No. I didn’t wager. Well not much. Or at least I didn’t win much. Or anything in fact.’

            ‘Didn’t win anything? You gambled all that money away and didn’t win anything.’ Donovan stared incredulously at the orator, then shook his head realising this took them no closer to the point of their conversation.

Continued in Helos – Chaptersode One. 

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