In between rewriting my Nano project, researching it, catching colds, working, tramping through fifteen inches of snow, etc., I have been thinking about the overall “What do I want this project to shape up to be?” aspect of it, including the usual “Really, Rei, the Reformation?!” and “The hell was I thinking?!” and “What is the story, exactly?!”
In response to that, I thought it might be funny to post bits of the NaNoWriMo version of Iggy, awful as it is, as I am reshaping what I have for the rewrite/ true Shitty First Draft version.
So here goes nothin’. Personally, I think the number of times I have lists toward the end–not to mention letters and run-on sentences–is quite amusing. Snarky comments by me are in red.
Scour Village, Yorkshire 1539
The rise could be seen from all points of the village and from several places outside of it. (Umm…really? “several places outside of it?”) The man kept his eyes trained on the dark, abandoned buildings crowning the top of the hill and waited.
After a few moments, even in the impending darkness of dusk, he saw the trail of men with heavy tools on their backs making their way toward the buildings. They led horses who led carts. (Oh, really? Cause what else was gonna lead a cart, an elephant?) The man’s eyes narrowed; some of those stepping their way toward the empty buildings were the poorest of the poor of the village, for no one in Scour and the surrounding areas wanted to volunteer for such a task, no matter what the King’s men offered.
“They have torches,” a woman’s voice said. The man turned and offered her a serious, humorless smile. She took his hand and exhaled. It seemed to him that his heart pounded in time to the men’s boot steps.
The woman spoke again. “Will they burn it?”
“They’ve burned the others,” he said. “They’ll keep the church itself, but without the chalice and the altar cloths and the icons. And they’ll burn and destroy the rest.”
“Will you be sad to see it go, husband?”
He did not answer, eyes trained on the men instead. As the torches neared the church, the ancient stone walls gleamed white instead of its usual weathered gray. Perhaps it had looked like that, pristine, white, when it was first built five hundred years ago. He had never thought of those buildings being new-built. They always seemed rooted to the landscape, Yorkshire limestone in a Yorkshire priory.
“I think they’ve gone behind the church. Think the carts and horses are outside the walls,” he said.
The woman squinted her eyes. “Mmm. Yes. And then—oh!”
A macabre orange light reflected off the church stones. The light on the rise came from the buildings behind the church, what was the priory. He knew that place the best in the world—the chapter house, where the monks and nuns took their meetings. The library, whose books had been carried off by the monks before the King’s men could find the store of banned books. The monks’ dormitory and refectory. The nuns’ dormitory and refectory. The large, cavernous kitchen. The stables.
The orphanage. Fragments. Are. For. Dramatic. Effect. Stop. That.
As the fire caught on the thatched-and-wooden roofs, the ceilings would crumble in. The thick stone walls might hold, but it would still be ruined. And the land that once made that priory so great had already been confiscated. The man himself had received a gift of a parcel of that land, making him a great man in the small village of Scour. He felt very little joy in it.
“Where’s Mother?” He asked his wife.
“Indoors,” she replied. “At her chapel. ‘Twould be cruel for her to see this.”
“It would,” the man replied absently. “’Tis everything.”
“You once told me it was nothing. A mere collection of buildings. Very cavalier you were, husband.”
“It means as much as any collection of buildings that hold a great deal of a person’s memories.”
“Ah, then,” his wife said in her wise, understanding way. “It means everything.”