Among the rocks half-buried at the crest of the bank, his shoe stumbles against the fossil of some small sea creature, now on dry land since the ocean-bed rose long ago: a little ammonite-spiral rock whose blood was once the sea. He looks up and onward—and there just ahead of him is a high steel fence. He stakes out its length, finding the point most shadowed by foliage and most adjacent to branches; and with that giant blond spider’s metal strength of his, he powers himself up between fence and branches, and over the top.
From here on, the refinery is Amber’s. Fizz-lights and gaslights dot the dark shine of a building of black steel, high upon his left. Keeping in the shadows, he stalks along the low-lit aisles in between rows of tanks on metal fields, stepping over rails and under pipes—a sensuous embodiment of Jaymi’s exploration of this brand-new West Side.
The figure of a security guard in the distance stops and stares, down an alleyway of girders. The man calls out, blows a whistle—sets off at a run, coming closer.
Amber ducks from view, jumps up to grab a girder, swings his weight around and upwards, and lands upon a walkway. The man passes underneath, glancing all around, but fails to look above him. Treading softly, Amber runs along this raised level for several hundred metres. He curves up around a chimney base, via a spiral stairway, then curves down again. In the middle distance ahead, he can see the refinery complex’s northern edge. He climbs back down from the walkway down a ladder to the ground and sprints towards that boundary, and through a car-park and a gate to the outside world.
Glancing back up at those metal towers behind him, as he trots across the quiet of El Segundo Boulevard and turns into Arena Street, he hears the air-horns of the refinery’s alarm system strike up with a long blare and then a short one, four times in succession. Each of the five high flare-stacks emits a roaring tongue of flame at the same time, licking and swaying sky-high into the night, before dying back down into a roil of ultramarine heat-haze around a tiny pilot-light: the first flare-stack’s flame is black and blue; the second’s flame is mauve and platinum; the third’s flame is brown and green; the fourth’s flame is apricot and blue; and the fifth’s flame is blackcurrant and black.
For more about "The Beasts of Electra Drive" by Rohan Quine, see
For some great reviews of it, see
To watch any of the 120 complete mini-chapters of the novel’s video-book format (for which this little video snippet here is just a teaser), see
For links to all of these short teasers, see
And to pick it up from whichever retailer you may prefer, the retailers’ links for the audiobook are at
and for the paperback are at
and for the ebook at