evandar: (Company of Wolves)
Written for this.

Newcastle Gothic

- The road-signs point to The North. Only ever to The North. As more and more flash by, The North stops being a place and becomes more of a...presence. As you approach, a faceless angel the colour of rust and dried blood looms on the horizon, staring sightlessly down from its perch.

- The world is grey. The buildings, the streets, the sky, the water - everything is grey. And when the sea fret slithers up the Tyne to settle inland, and the air tastes of salt and seaweed, you think you might drown here.

- The mines are closed. The shipyards are closed. The old men who worked in them mutter into their pint glasses and cast narrow-eyed looks to the grey sky. They sit and rot and rust and wither and their low grumblings slip into dreams. The mines are closed. The shipyards are closed. But you dream of steel all the same and wake with black dust ground into your skin.

- The language rises and falls like whalesong - queer and eldritch. Barely English. It slips into your brain and pulls at ancestral memory; dark as the core of the earth and as dangerous as the tides that dragged you here. Sea and coal and sweat.

- There is a castle here. You've never seen it. You don't know where to look for it. You don't need to. You can feel it. The castle has seen you, and it waits for you at the heart of its labyrinth.

- There is a second castle. This one, you know; this one, you all know. St James' Park towers on the top of the hill, demanding pilgrimage. An army clad in black and white ride hope and hippocampi into its concrete halls; their roars fill the sky like thunder.

- You do not mention the plague pit. No one mentions the plague pit, and yet you know of it, and that knowledge twists in your brain and your gut as a hen party shrieks and staggers too close.

- The Quayside is a maze of narrow, twisted streets filled with red neon and howling. You slide through the crowds and avert your gaze from a young woman vomiting red into a gutter. The city demands its sacrifice.

- The fair situates itself over the old gallows, where witches were hanged. The grey sky darkens and the rain begins. It is summer. Rain drips from your hair and your nose, soaks into your skin. You listen to the screams.

- Those from the Outside look on in wonder as you pass. Bundled in scarves and coats to protect them from the wind and the bone-deep chill that rises from the river, they don't understand that the cold means nothing. You are Viking, you are Selkie, you are Geordie, and the cold has no dominion. They shiver. They do not understand.

- You can never leave. Not really. The North is a presence and it's been latched onto your soul from the day you were born. You go, you run as far as you can, but there is a day - there is always a day - when the sea in your blood pulls you to your door. "Am gannin yem" you say when people ask, queer and eldritch, with a voice that rises and falls like whalesong; eerie and incomprehensible.

Date: 2017-01-08 09:21 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] lynndyre
lynndyre: Fennec fox smile (Default)
This is gorgeous, and full of grey eldritch englishness.

Date: 2017-01-08 11:39 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] lynndyre
lynndyre: Fennec fox smile (Default)
The challenge page is community locked- what are the rules of the exercise?

Date: 2017-01-09 12:00 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] lynndyre
lynndyre: Fennec fox smile (Default)
Cool! This might be neat to try.

You've got a lot of cool ideas for a short story, it looks like. Is there a fandom you'd let loose on Newcastle, or go with original stuff?

Date: 2017-01-09 12:38 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] lynndyre
lynndyre: Fennec fox smile (Default)
^.^ Good luck with it!

Oooh. Heh, Mirkwood kind of *is* Greenwood the Great Gothic. Hobbiton Gothic would be terrifying. You're right, these should definitely exist.


Laketown Gothic
-Barrels come down the river, always empty. What were they filled with? When did you send them upriver? The elves who deliver them just smile at you. Lamplight makes the elves shine strangely.
-Sometimes there are fires reflected in the water. You don't look up. You never look up, and especially not towards the mountain.

Date: 2017-01-12 04:34 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] lynndyre
lynndyre: Meracle (Meracle grin)
There's not been dragons in these parts for years

Tiny dragon-killing hobbits so much yes.

Lothlorien Gothic
-The Lord-and-Lady watch from the high seat, janus-like in gold and silver. They know what you do, what you think, what will happen. You are glad to have them watch over you. You will always be glad.
(there should be one about the effects of Nenya, too, but it's just not gelling properly yet)

Date: 2017-01-08 10:13 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] amyfortuna
amyfortuna: (Default)
Oh, wow, this is amazing!

And I didn't know you were so close, I live near Edinburgh. :)

Date: 2017-01-09 02:06 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] adafrog
adafrog: (Default)
Love this!

Date: 2017-01-09 06:23 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] wildefae
wildefae: (trc - a murder)
Wow, I love this. Ooh.

(I'm from Chicago; my bff is from London and I read this to them and they said "I mean, that's about what I imagine XD" )

Date: 2017-04-20 10:20 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] liz_mo
liz_mo: (Default)
Ohhh! Having been in Newcastle upon Tyne (I think that is still one of the coolest city names there are) in 2015, I know some of the things you speak of. Whcih makes this even more creepy. Even though I'm an Outsider of course.

Date: 2017-04-26 11:36 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] liz_mo
liz_mo: (TG3)
Hehe! No, the plague pit it was not (what is that?)
It was the greyness, the river, the bridges and THE NORTH! ;-)

One of the very last shows of Top Gear Live in Februar 2015.
I spent one of my best vacation days ever on that lovely spot at the Tynemouth (the place overlooking the two lighthouses.) Yes, I realise it's not Newcastle itself but stilL!
In Newcastle itself I liked the riverfront, and the really, really old houses. Didn't know "Tyne" just meant river.
I also never realised before that either Newcastle is up that far North or Hadrian's wall was that far South.
I SO wanted to see it! But, alas, the "Hadrian's wall" museum was closed on saturdays during winter and also in winter the daytrips out to the countryside don't run. Arghh! Hence me spending that day at Tynemouth. At least there was a lovely castle.
I did recognise the impunity to cold. It was less than 20°C out (without windchill) and while it was sunny, there was LOTS of wind and the occasional dribble.
ON my way back to the Metro station at around 4pm, there were some lads, obviously dressed for the beach - including bathing shorts and flip-flops - on their way towards that. When I reached the Metro Station it hailed for about ten minutes ( I was happy to be under a roof). My thoughts were with those optimistic youngsters but then they were NOrtherners so they were probably fine. I just remember this so vividly because it wasn't just rain but HAIL.
That is my story of my experience of Northeners impunity to the weather ;-)
And my adventures in your home city.
Edited Date: 2017-04-26 11:37 am (UTC)


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