I’m pleased to announce that the Southern Indiana Writers are putting our anthologies out for Kindle as well as in print. First up is BEASTLY TALES.
Real and imaginary, tame and wild, within us and without us, animals have always touched our lives.
Here’s the beginning of one of my stories in it.
Fish and Visitors — excerpt
by Marian Allen
Brittany punched John Randolph in the face three times, because she was mad. Then she bit Lavern’s foot till her teeth ached, because she was still mad. Then she threw Lavern so hard she bounced off John Randolph and landed on the floor. She was still mad, but she felt much better.
Brittany was four. She hated her name and she loved her Mommy and Daddy. Her best friends at pre-school changed at least once a week, but her best friends at home were always Lavern, the stuffed armadillo, and John Randolph. John Randolph was an inflatable Tyrannosaurus Rex two feet taller than Brittany.
“I don’t WANT her here!” Brittany whispered, so Mommy and Daddy wouldn’t hear.
“I don’t want her here, either,” said Lavern.
“Me, too,” said John Randolph. “But she’s coming, anyway. She’s coming today. I heard your Mommy say it this morning when she got you up.”
Brittany punched him again. “But I wished really hard on the first star last night.”
“That stuff never works,” said Lavern. “That’s for babies.”
Brittany twisted Lavern’s head around upside down, but her heart wasn’t in it. The worst of the mad was over. When Mommy called her into the living room again, she went, carrying Lavern by her tail.
Mommy patted the couch next to her. Brittany clambered up and sat close, with Lavern on her lap. Mommy opened the photo album across their legs and pointed out the pictures they’d looked at so often before.
“This is Brittany Woods and me when I first met Daddy. Brittany introduced us, remember I told you that? They had been dating off and on, but she just cold-bloodedly made a date one night with two boys at the same time–Daddy and another boy, Bert Byrum–and she talked me into coming, too, and pretended it was supposed to be a double date.” Mommy laughed. “The rest is history.”
Brittany nodded. “I was named after her,” she said in her deep, gravelly voice. All the grownups except Mommy and Daddy coaxed her to talk, and then they always laughed, though she didn’t feel like they ever heard anything she said. Inside, she said, I don’t like it that I got my name from somebody else. I don’t like it that you got Daddy from somebody else. They both came from her, so I don’t like her. If she gave me her name, she might take it back.
The character of John Randolph is based on John Allen, the inflatable T-Rex who was #4 Daughter’s best home friend until he disintegrated at last.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: What was your main character’s favorite toy animal/doll as a child?