Sword & Sorceress has announced an upcoming reading period, which has me thinking about writing a story to try for it. I’ve had stories in two S&S anthologies, numbers 22 and 23, so I know I have a slim chance.
Here’s an excerpt from “Undivided”, my story in Sword & Sorceress XXIII.
excerpt from “Undivided”
by Marian Allen
Pimchan drew her serpentine blue-steel dagger and lifted it high.
“Let there be steel between me and mine. Let there be a sharp edge.” She gave way to anger at the unexpected trespass, to resentment at having to set protections appropriate to the wilds but–usually–unheard of in a Warrior’s home. “Let my Male and my Female, my Overseer and myself pass unharmed, but let all the unprotected feel the full power of my arm.”
The curling runes near the dagger’s tip darkened, then faded again.
Pimchan sheathed the weapon, willing her emotion to go with it.
She climbed the garden wall so quickly she seemed to levitate, and stood atop it, surveying the paths around what was supposed to be her inviolable sanctuary. Invasion was bad enough–Warriors had been attacked in their safeholds before–but kidnapping a Warrior’s attendant slaves was even more perilous a gamble. Who would be so stupid? Who would have so much more to gain than to lose?
She looked down, focusing her eyes to see what was no longer there. Finally, a vague shape coalesced into two shadows, one carrying a smaller shadow. They clarified into a man and a woman, the man carrying Pimchan’s Male. They climbed into an oxcart; the woman mounted the driver’s seat and picked up the reins, the man clambered into a hollow in the middle of a stack of bulging grain sacks, lay down there with the unconscious child, and flipped a cloth over the hiding place.
The wagon pulled away to the north, toward the market.
Pimchan jumped from the wall, landing lightly, and followed. She bore no weapons except her dagger, but a Warrior was a weapon, capable of turning anything to destructive or defensive use against clubs, blades–even, with luck, spears and the new foreign firearms.
I liked Pimchan and all the characters in that story. I’m thinking about writing a sequel. Or maybe a prequel. Some kinda quel, anyway.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Write about an angry woman who is no-one to be trifled with.