Monday, December 19, 2011

Tara Moss's The Spider Goddess Rewritten in part


I have just been reading a story in the herald sun and what a dreadful piece of barf it is.
Here is the link if you want to read the original. My version is below. You can vote for the preferred version. Mine could not be worst than hers.  I will continue my rewrite of the whole text tomorrow but it is a real laugh.


You can read the full HER version in the link above but I will reshape and rewrite this in its entirety.

The silken nightgown swirled whitely around my thighs and knees in the half light of dusk as I stood on the sparse hilltop overlooking the grassy valley. The breeze billowed and furrowed the gossamer cloth. It also raised the hairs on arms gallantly trying to control the foaming fabric as my modesty became increasingly threatened.

The sky over to the east was a radiant blue. Gathering clouds of  darkness rolled ominously towards me from the west.

The still warm sun burned my face and shoulders despite the cool breeze tugging my clothes. Closing my eyes I breathed in - jasmine and frangipani. The sound of bees and crickets thrumming edged into my consciousness. This unknown place was familiar yet, not.

Sensing movement in the distance, I searched the horizon. A rider. A white horse. Was this some cliché riding the highway in my direction? Oh yes, it was. A teenage female fantasy. A youth, his face half hidden by a helmet, sat erect in the saddle, his back ramrod straight. The pure white stallion floated along the road in the true Lipizzaner 'airs above the ground' floating gait. As the young man and the horse approached the grunting breath of the stallion, the jingle of its bridle and creaking of leather drowned the bees and the crickets were silenced, either in fright or awe at this romantic spectacle of overblown fantasia travelling at a leisurely pace along the road.

His royal blue riding jacket was sharp as a starched dinner napkin; the lapels crisp, the waist fitted tight to accentuate his lean hips and broad shoulders.
the frock of the coat draped the back of the saddle. His light cream jodhpurs moulded over strong thighs and crotch and then flowed down into the black riding boots that clasped his calf muscles like a second skin.
The hilt of a silver sword enclosed in a scabbard of exquisite workmanship rested against one hip. The helmet on his head was pure beaten copper and silver. It had a little pipik pointing to the heavens. He must have seen me on the hilltop from a distance. The stallion picked up speed. He sat the gait well. He reached me in what seemed like eons. The horse neighed as he eased it to a standstill. It stood quivering with the effort of its recent exertions. Then raised its tail and let out a long burping fart, followed by the pungent odour of fresh dung and the sounds of plopping of even lumps onto the roadway. The man moved forward in the saddle and spat over the pommel of the saddle into the dust below.
'Miss, you're a candidate for pneumonia in that outfit. It's fittin' to storm soon.' He hawked and spat again. 'So, ya want a lift home.' He kicked a boot clad foot out of the stirrup iron and held out his hand to assist me up onto the stallion.

I wanted to reach out and touch it.

"Miss Pandora," the man said in a formal tone.

I looked up. The man was handsome and familiar.

Lieutenant Luke, I tried to reply, but the words would not come.

He reached down to take my hand.

"Join me," he said in a deep, masculine voice, his bright blue eyes seeming to glow with a strange intensity.

I did not hesitate, yet as I reached out to accept his hand I found that I could not touch him.

His hand, though it looked like it was right there, was somehow untouchable; my own moved through it.

What's happening? I tried to ask, but found that I could not speak.

I felt a rumble under my bare feet.

Something was coming. Something terrible.

The ground shook.

I retracted my hand, as did he, and my gaze fell to the crest of the hill.

We both felt it. We both heard it - the grunts and curious moans, the hundreds of running feet.

What's happening?

And then we saw.

Corpses. Thousands of reanimated corpses ran towards us, mouths open, tongues lolling, their eyes blazing red.

Some had no arms, some no head, but still they propelled themselves up the hill towards us with remarkable, unnatural speed.

Revenants. Zombies.

I reached again for Luke but, to my horror, my hand went right through his again.

It was me, I realised. I was the ghost.

I couldn't touch him because I wasn't real.

He couldn't take me away from all this.

Luke's white horse moved restlessly, inching sideways and throwing its head up and down. "Easy now ... "

The ghoulish creatures were nearly upon us.

I stumbled backwards as the magnificent white stallion reared up, and Luke unsheathed his shining sword.

"Luke!" I finally managed to yell, my voice returned to me. "Luke!"

But he was gone.

Some sound or sense woke me from my nightmare.

I ran a hand over my clammy face and opened my heavy eyes.

I was in the four-poster bed in my room at Great-Aunt Celia's.

It was a beautiful room with a high ceiling, and everything in it seemed wonderfully old and ornate.

Even in the low light I could make out the mirror on the oak dresser, and the tall antique wardrobe next to it.

My dress for the next day - for later this morning, in fact - hung from the front of the wardrobe, waiting for sunrise.

It was another outfit Celia had designed in the forties, this one black, with an elaborate gold belt and a white collar.

I could also make out the sloping Victorian writing desk under one of the two tall, arched windows that faced on to Addams Avenue outside.

One of the windows was open just a crack, as usual, to let air in.

The curtains were only partially closed, just as I'd left them.

They swayed slightly in the night breeze.

Even in my sleepy state, I could see that everything was in its place.

I was safe. There were no rushing hordes of rotting revenants.

Not yet, anyway.

"Miss Pandora?"

I wondered if I was still dreaming.

I blinked and looked around me.

"Miss Pandora. I heard you cry out."

My eyes rested on a white, nebulous form materialising near my bed.

Lieutenant Luke.

He appeared at the foot of my bed, wearing a dark blue cap emblazoned with a pair of crossed gold swords, his long frock coat neatly fitted on his masculine form, the polished buttons done up to the neck.

The coat fitted his broad shoulders impeccably and tapered at his slim waist, cinched with a leather belt.

He was dressed as he had been in the dream, just as he always was - in the Union soldier's uniform of the Civil War.

A war in which he'd fought and died.
TARA Moss is a model turned gothic novelist and TV presenter. She is also a UNICEF patron. The Spider Goddess is Moss's second Pandora English book, and she has six more novels in the pipeline. G-D forbid if they are all going to be as badly written as this one is.

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