Trust & Treachery on #SampleSunday

Dark Quest Books and editors Day Al-Mohamed and Meriah Crawford are proud to announce the release of Trust and Treachery: Tales of Power and Intrigue.

This long-awaited book will be a part of the Dark Quest Books launch at the upcoming Balticon science fiction convention (, where several of the authors and editors will be in attendance.

Trust & Treachery
Tales of Power and IntrigueTrust & Treachery

And why am I telling you this? Well, it’s because I have a story in it!!!1!

Here is a snippet:

“A Short, Dark Future” – excerpt
by Marian Allen

He came wandering into Mike’s at three in the morning, looking all deer-in-the-headlights and blinking against the smoke. He sat down at the bar like he knew he was out of his territory and wanted permission to live.

When Mike asked for his order, the guy scanned the menu on the whiteboard and asked for a steak sandwich and a beer.

That got me hungry, so I asked for the same.

When he went to pay, he spread open a wallet stuffed with twenties and fifties and even a couple Franklins.

He saw me staring and gave a little laugh. “Went to the bank today. I was supposed to buy travelers checks, but I forgot.” He gave Mike a twenty and told him to pay for my order out of it, too.

I acted like I was objecting, but I didn’t fight too hard, you know?

This guy was starting to interest me. I held out a hand. “Len Tarski.” Not my name, but I didn’t exactly say it was, now did I?

“Joseph Bettering.”

“No shit? Just like that whiz kid that made all the money with… whatever it was?”

He bobbed his head again. “That’s me.”

“No shit? You live here? In this town?”

His mouth was full of sandwich, which never stopped anybody else I know from talking, but he nodded and chewed with his mouth closed.

I chewed, too, thinking about all that cash.

When we finished our brews, I called a round for the two of us. He tried to protest, but I told him, “Fair’s fair.” He approved of that, like I figured he would.

“So,” I said, “you on your way to the airport?”

“No, I leave tomorrow. No, I just couldn’t sleep, so I went for a walk. I think better when I walk.”

Then he started talking about some damn egghead gobbledygook no normal person could understand, but I nodded my head like it was something anybody would care about. I picked up a word here and there, like “invaluable” and “in the vault” and “hate to leave”, and that kept me pretending to listen.

He wound down and gave another one of those little laughs. “All that must be pretty boring to you.”

“I ain’t claiming I followed it real well,” I said, “but I like hearing a guy talk about stuff he’s good at.”

One thing led to another and before you could say “pigeon” he’d told me where he lived and when he was leaving and how long he’d be gone and what a worry it was to have his alarm system down and that he had a vault full of stuff that was worth a bundle to his competitors.

I told him a lot of baloney that was supposed to be about me, too, so he’d leave with the feeling that he’d had a chummy night out with a regular guy, not like he’d been pumped.

All in all, it seemed like it was a better idea to let him leave with the cash and hit the vault after he was gone. If I couldn’t get into the vault–well, and even if I could, it was good odds there would be something worth picking up around the house while I was there. Whatever.

~ * ~

What a creep, right? The guy, I mean, not me.

So hustle right over to the ‘Zon and pick you up a copy or two. Makes a great gift.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character spills his guts to a total stranger.



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 “Trust & Treachery on #SampleSunday

  1. Jane

    April 27, 2014 at 8:28am

    Some people when you meet them the first time, it’s like yiu were never strangers.

    Good thing I never met THAT guy!


    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      April 27, 2014 at 8:56am

      I know! This story was inspired by my saying hello to a stranger in the library during that prolonged power outage after the big ice storm a couple of years ago. Within 15 minutes, he had told me where he lived, that his power outage had also disabled his alarm system, what he had that needed guarding, and that he was staying in Louisville until the power came back on. I was thinking, “WTF? Is this a sting operation or something? Are you trying to entrap a criminal? Do I look like a burglar?” Sheesh!

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. Stephen Bowen

    May 29, 2014 at 12:29am

    I love reading and feel happy when I see anybody interested in reading books . I see people are getting attached to technology. Liked your post.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      May 29, 2014 at 8:30am

      Thanks, Stephen! Seeing people excited about books makes me happy, too. 🙂

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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