Uncle Shahtsi will not be happy.
So I was at this sales event, offering to GIVE AWAY these beautiful necklaces, and the only people who wanted them were those who thought they were bookmarks.
Do you think Uncle Shahtsi would be happy? Here’s his one appearance in SIDESHOW IN THE CENTER RING. He later talked me into writing a story with him as the narrator. Happy or not happy at my lack of takers? You tell me.
Oh, the label says Uncle Shahtsi’s genuine handmade Marner necklaces (Earth franchise). I was finger-knitting them right there. I said, “I can guarantee that they’re handmade, because I’m making them on my own hand right here, right now. People laughed, but they passed them by.
Oh again, this is the first of the month, so there’s a new Hot Flash on my Hot Flashes page.
Uncle Shahtsi from SIDESHOW IN THE CENTER RING
by Marian Allen
“Notice anything?” Jackie asked me.
I made a great show of looking around, clutched his sleeve, and whispered, “Gee, Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.”
“Seriously. –Nobody’s staring at you.”
Because he looked at the booth’s owner as he spoke, the Mocskan said, “Sepplasas?” – “Please?” in Tudolinguo, the Terran Union’s common language.
“I was talking to her,” Jackie said, also in Tudolinguo. “I was saying that nobody’s staring at her.”
The man sneered, showing long but blunted lower canines. “This is Muimmea. We’ve seen shave-tails before. Where do you think you are, up in the hills somewhere?”
“What’s a shave-tail?” I asked.
He looked at me more closely, then squinted. That didn’t seem to help, so he put on some rimless spectacles. “Terran, by the Mother Ruler of the Western Paradise! Terran, by your poor, flat face– No offense, lady.”
“Can I…. “ He reached out a furry hand but stopped short of touching me.
“Go ahead.” You travel faster than light and go to another solar system, and what do you get? The same old same old.
He rested his pads on my arm, gently, with his claws retracted. His pads scratched a little as he moved his hand from one patch of my color to another, maybe a sign of age, I didn’t know.
“Are there a lot of you like this?” he asked.
“Just you. Well, lady, shave-tails are Marneri who keep their fur cut close, and wear clothes. They usually run around with Terrans, but not always. Peculiar-looking– No offense.”
“But, like I say, we see plenty of them here. So that’s why nobody stares at you – nobody looks too close at anybody in the city, and you look like a shave-tail if you don’t look at you too close–”
“No offense,” I said.
Jackie and I went back to looking at the jewelry. I bought him a case for his cigarettes and he bought me a bauble to clip in what little hair success had left me.
~ * ~
From Hell Alley to TerraNet comedy stardom. Connie Phelan’s goal is to be top dog in a high-status social group calling itself The Good Society. When the Society invites her to a planet where slavery is legal, Connie is faced with choices: Accept ownership of slaves who throw themselves on her mercy or refuse, leaving them free for an unscrupulous Socialite to abuse? Abandon Honey, an alcoholic hanger-on, or risk her own status in the group to support her? And who SHOULD go into that cannibal pot?
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A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character can’t give something away.