#SampleSunday – Bit From Command Performance

My long-time internet pal Nancy Williams tagged me with TWO blog awards! This one doesn’t have a badge, but you know what they say about badges.

Tagged, you’re it! Who remembers that game? In this take, the requirement is to copy several paragraphs from your current manuscript with the word ‘look’ in it.

My current WIP doesn’t have the word “look” in it yet. The one I just submitted to an anthology about sidekicks does. So here are a few paragraphs from “Command Performance”:

A chill wind blew through the enclosed square and, when it stopped, a figure stood before Silvin. It looked like a man, but Silvin had a strong impression that the appearance was purely superficial. The figure was dressed as a beggar, bent and ancient, with a crooked back and ragged clothes. Filthy yellow-white hair hung in matted locks down his back.

When he spoke, his voice was harsh. “You’re the champion?” He looked Silvin up and down.

“I’m the what?”

“Who tells it this year?” The figure turned where he stood and swept the crowd with his dark regard. He pointed. “You.”

A woman, stone-faced with grief, stepped up to Silvin, looked him in the eye, and said, “Ten years ago, all the children were ill with the same sickness. We barred our gates, no one to go in or out, not wanting the illness to spread.”

“I remember hearing about it,” said Silvin. “My mother and father felt our foreheads for fever every time they passed us.”

“It was worse here than anywhere.”

The figure jostled the woman and, with a wave of his grimy hand, gestured her back into the darkness. “They couldn’t find a cause or a cure, so they blamed a stranger.”

“Blamed you right!” The drunken shout came from the back of the crowd. People drew away from the shouter, leaving him a clear path to stumble through. He reached the beggar and spat at his face. The spittle landed on the spitter, not on its target, and the beggar sneered.

The drunk wiped his face with his sleeve. He staggered back a step, then regained his ground and glared into the beggar’s face. “You come in here, talking about our sick children, and them getting sicker every day, like every word you drop is poison to them. Yes! I raised the town against you!” He waved an arm. The crowd pulled deeper into the shadows, as if to deny that involvement. “Yes! We hunted you down! Yes! We beat you to death right here.” He spat on the fieldstone that paved the square. This time, the contempt hit where it was intended. He wobbled on knees suddenly rubbery. His face lost its fury and melted into bewilderment. “But my babies died. And here you are. Again.”

And then it goes on.

I’m tagging:

Charmaine Clancy – Wagging Tales
Jennifer Burke – Jen’s Bookshelf
Carol Preflatish – Author of Romance, Mystery and Suspense
Stephen Tremp – Breakthrough Blogs
Jay Noel – Writer On Fire

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character’s child is ill.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “#SampleSunday – Bit From Command Performance

  1. Jen

    November 12, 2012 at 1:40pm

    Thanks for tagging me, Marian! This is a fun one.

    And I love your WIP – great world building, very unsettling. I want to know what happens next!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      November 12, 2012 at 1:41pm

      Good! Now let’s cross our fingers that it’s accepted into the anthology. 🙂

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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