Cosmo’s Cherished Object #CBF16 #SampleSunday

I’m Alexander Paul Mitchell, aka Cosmo, a character in some of MA’s stories. Everybody calls me Cosmo, even my boss and my teachers. Even my Mom. My dad’s dead.

I love my tattoos, but they aren’t objects, so….

This, then.

SurvivalI love going out into the woods — or the city streets and back alleys — and living on my own. It would freak Mom out, so I don’t tell her. I started collecting survival manuals when I was little, and they’re still my favorite thing to read.

[MomGoth interjects: This was actually a gift to me from #4 Daughter, the fabulous Sara Marian, who gave it to me on Mother’s Day “for Cosmo”.]

Here’s something from “Sunlight Like Honey,” one of the stories from MA’s 99-cent collection THE KING OF CHEROKEE CREEK (link is to free excerpts), which is mostly about my mom’s boss but a lot about me.


excerpt from “Sunlight Like Honey”
by Marian Allen

Not long after, heralded by snapping twigs and a growled, “That was my eye, Mr. Tree,” he joined her in the clearing. He was in long sleeves and jeans under the duster, so the only tattoo that showed was the blue and red snake around his neck. Silver studs lined the rims of his ears and ornamented his nose, eyebrows and lower lip.

“Hey, B.”

“Hey, Cosmo. You stalking me, man?”

“Needed a laugh. When you said you were coming out here to camp, I had to check it out.”

“How’d I do?”

“Looked like all three Stooges at once. It was great.” His grin said he knew she wasn’t in the mood for jokes, but that she’d been damn funny, anyway. Then, serious: “Sorry about your grandpa.” He cleared his throat. “What you camping out for? Lose the key? ‘Cause I got my lock picks right here.” He patted one of the deep pockets of his coat.

Bethany shook her head. “I brought the key. Just not ready to go in. Besides, I … got something to do. I’m not exactly sure what.”

Cosmo gazed into the trees, elbows out, hands on hips, his duster flaring around his calves like a skirt. “Nice out here,” he said at last. “Good place to figure things out. I come out here a lot.” He smiled and hooked a thumb toward the path. “I’ll go on. Just wanted to make sure you had everything under control, your first time camping and all.”

Bethany thought about being alone in the woods, possibly overnight. Suddenly, it didn’t seem so appealing.

“Cosmo? …I don’t mind if you get your gear and come back.”

“Get my gear?” He pulled out a plastic envelope about the size of a package of jumbo index cards. “Hammock, with rain shield and mosquito net.” He drew back the left-hand tail of his coat to reveal a big flat blade in a nylon case. “Everything else.”


A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Your character camps out.





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.

You may also like...

One thought on “Cosmo’s Cherished Object #CBF16 #SampleSunday

  1. Dan Antion

    July 31, 2016 at 9:02am

    You have completed the trifecta of the cherished Blogfest in remarkable style, Marian! Nicely done. Cosmo is a man I can respect, always prepared.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 31, 2016 at 6:23pm

      Cosmo is one of those characters who is easy to write, Dan — very different from me, springing from a tiny piece of myself. I’ve always love survival stories, although I hate camping. Cosmo loves living on that edge, and he’s good at it.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. Jane

    July 31, 2016 at 9:27am

    Cosmo reminds me of my youngest brother Bruce. He’s the one who fixes everything. Once you’ve convinced him it’s broken. He’s also my first pick for stranded on a desert island with (After Chris Evans, Capt America. If CA can’t help you, you’re out of help.)

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 31, 2016 at 6:24pm

      Oh, yeah, I hear you. If I were stranded on a desert island with one of my characters, I’d want it to be Cosmo. Not Bud Blossom, please God.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  3. Kate Powell

    July 31, 2016 at 10:48am

    I love you allowing Cosmo to write this — nice piece! Kate, Co-host, #CBF16

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 31, 2016 at 6:30pm

      Thank you, Kate! Every so often, one of my characters takes over my blog. 🙂

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  4. Paul

    July 31, 2016 at 1:47pm

    I enjoyed your story excerpt, Marian. There isn’t enough good short fiction out there, so I’m glad you provided some for the CBF. Hope you’re having a good Sunday!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 31, 2016 at 6:31pm

      Thank you, Paul. My Sunday is all the better for your kind comment. 🙂

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  5. John Hric

    July 31, 2016 at 3:05pm

    Cosmo brings back memories of backpacking with the Scouts. Particularly the winter survival campouts. Thanks Marian !

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author
  6. Cheryl

    July 31, 2016 at 6:19pm

    Your writing holds my attention, no small task these days. There is a lot of writing ‘out there’. It certainly makes me want to get to onow Cosmo better. Well done and thanks for joining the CBF 2016. Cheryl, Cohost.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 31, 2016 at 6:34pm

      Thanks, Cheryl! I probably know more about Cosmo than anybody does, even his best friends or his mother. Sometimes I interview my characters, and ask them ten questions I don’t know the answer to, and let them answer in their own words — actually, of course, I construct answers on the fly based on what I’ve already invented about them. Cosmo is complicated. I like him a lot.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

Leave a Reply, If You Ple-az

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.