#SampleSunday – Kick Me, Baby!

My publisher, Hydra, is running a Kickstarter campaign for the SAGE series, with the money to be used for production costs and promotional costs. Contributors to the campaign get stuff like ebooks, print books, and maybe some short stories. I’m very excited! Here’s the link:

The SAGE Novel Series by Marian Allen awesome Kickstarter campaign.

And now here’s another sample from the second book in the series.


Something was on the path, and it wasn’t Brady. It was something ponderous, with a tread that was weirdly light. Elsie couldn’t hear its feet against the ground – she felt its tread. The weight of it – the energy of it – thrummed up the path like a hammer striking a harp string.

Elsie scrambled to her feet, clutching her pack as if she could defend herself with it, feeling the fool as she did it. She slipped off the trail, away from the river, where the trees and the darkness were thicker.

The thing moved in the same direction and came nearer. The trees and stones that blocked and baffled the girl seemed no obstacles to whatever approached her.

Its presence came before it. – No, not its presence. The presence of something Other, filtered through it. The Other surrounded Elsie; the air was thick with it. It held no Good. It held no Evil. It simply and dreadfully was.

The thing approaching held that Other within itself; it was all that kept that Other contained. It also kept that Other focused when It’s nature was diffused, like a dam with a weir that turned water into power.

Elsie could feel the heart of the thing approaching. Its beat counterpointed the beat of Elsie’s own. Its lungs drew her breath and let its breath be drawn into hers – the feeling was heady… delirious.

And the name she gave her response to this was “terror.” “Terror” rejected the thing; its heart and its breath and the Other it barely incorporated. “Terror” freed Elsie to find her way back to the root-knotted path, to feel her way along it, away from whatever was coming.

Softer than a breeze, she heard, just at the level of hearing, “You have nothing to fear.”

It wanted no more than that to trigger Elsie’s panic. She threw herself straight ahead, caroming off trees, stumbling and tripping in a headlong flight that lasted no longer than a minute. Then she whirled into emptiness and over the bank into the Fiddlewood River.

~  *  ~

Dear God, what is that thing???

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character is terrified by something in the night.



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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