I don’t write many knock-down, drag-out fight scenes, but I’m not above bits of violence where it’s warranted.
In this scene, Muriel is disguised as a man, and Clare, known to the warden she’s questioning, is in league with her to rescue captive mermayds.
Not for the Squeamish
excerpt from THE WOLVES OF PORT NOVO
by Marian Allen
“Don’t stare. He makes this whining sound when people stare at him. Pretend you don’t see him.”
Muriel began a mewling whine, and Oren looked away.
“Make him stop,” said Oren.
Clare hurried to Muriel’s side and received a six-inch needle Muriel had pulled out of one of the cloak’s pockets.
Muriel stopped whining.
“What did you do?” Oren asked.
“I told him if he’d stop, I’d put your eye out with this,” Clare said, raising Oren’s veil with the needle and holding the point very still and very near Oren’s left eye.
“You’re both insane,” said Oren.
“That’s right,” said Clare, “so you’d better be careful. We’ll have your weapons, now.”
Oren licked his lips. “It’s Uncle Phineas, isn’t it?” he said. “He sent you. Listen, I don’t care who I work for, so long as there’s plenty of pay.”
“Yes, but who wants a one-eyed warden?”
“I don’t think you’d do it. Word is, you’re squeamish.”
“I’m not,” said Muriel, drawing a stiletto from another of Blennie’s pockets.
Oren went for his own weapons, ducking away from Clare’s needle.
Clare drove the point into his cheek and took a blow from his truncheon on her ribs. She dropped the needle and grabbed the club, jerking Oren off-balance with it.
Muriel rushed at him, cutting at his knife hand. He tried to pull back from her, still off-balance, and slipped on one of the pelt rugs. He fell, heavily, his armor gouging the wood of the polished floor.
Clare retrieved her needle and held it to his eye again.
Muriel removed Oren’s belt, his cuirass, and his helmet. “There should be some thongs in that pocket on the left side of his belt,” said Clare.
Muriel tied Oren’s hands behind his back. “Now what do we do with him?” she asked.
Clare put Blennie’s needle through the hem of her tunic and picked up Oren’s knife. “You hold this while I put on his helmet.”
Muriel took the knife. Clare picked up Oren’s helmet and put it on herself.
“Nobody’s going to think you’re him,” said Muriel.
“No, but they’re not going to know it’s me, either.” She put her own helmet on Oren. “And they’re not going to know he’s him, either.”
“What do you think you’re doing?” Oren asked.
“Taking you to the natatorium,” said Clare. “And you’re going to be good, or you’re going to find out for yourself whether I’m squeamish or not.”
“Do you know the way?” Muriel asked.
“I’ve been here many times, as bodyguard to Uncle Phineas. And, if you think you’ve seen him at his worst, you should see him wet, sometime.”
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A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Do you imagine violent acts? Does your main character? Why or why not?