Since I have the document open to edit, I’ll give you another sample of SIDESHOW IN THE CENTER RING. The main character, Connie, has messed up her metabolism by taking a beauty product. She is now on a planet where the natives are humanoid but furred. Tosun is a native who has been following her around. Jackie is a friend, angry with Connie for hanging out with a rich but amoral crowd.
SIDESHOW IN THE CENTER RING – excerpt
by Marian Allen
I gave Tosun a good, long look. At about my height, he was short for a Mocskan. He was the color of pussy willows. Black stripes flared out in wedges around his rib cage. His ears were black, his nose was black, his lips were black (we had something in common, there). He wore nothing but his fur. Without his chestpack, weapons, and shield, he looked much younger and thinner than he had before.
He stood there, smiling and offering himself for the taking, and his eyes were so trusting, so open and innocent, I could have hit him with a brick. He might as well have been wearing a sign with “Easy Mark” on it in flashing lights.
“Go away,” I said. I sat in a chair near Jackie’s and rested my head and my eyes.
I could hear Tosun go to the couch and drag his stuff out from under it.
“There’s a lot of people in this party she’s with?” he asked Jackie. “She said about fifty?”
“About fifty altogether, on this trip. About nine that call the tunes. The rest just dance.”
“Is she the head of them?”
“On the contrary.”
“Ha, ha,” I said, not opening my eyes.
“Is she the richest of them?”
“One of the richest.”
“Others of them are rich?”
“Will you describe the richest of them to me?”
“Why?” I asked.
“I told you,” Tosun said. “I left the Yolanbayt for revelry and luxury. My object has to be rich.”
I opened my eyes. “And that’s all? Rich? No other requirements? Not decent, or productive, or kind, or brave? Not thrifty, clean or reverent?”
“No. The Yol also flows through the wicked and shiftless, the cruel and cowardly, profligate, dirty and obscene. So, all things being equal, all I require in an object is affluence. That’s all I require of you; you’re special, because of your colors and because you take elixirs– “
“I took one. One was plenty.”
“Only the wise know plenty when they have it.”
Jackie smothered a laugh.
~ * ~
SIDESHOW IN THE CENTER RING is due out in a couple of months. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going back to editing.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: What would you do if someone offered to bind himself or herself to you, totally subordinate to your every whim? Would what you thought of your own character make a difference in how you felt about that subordination?