Life or Honor? #SampleSunday

I just looked over and approved the galleys for my story in the upcoming Sword and Sorceress 31 anthology. So I decided I’d share an excerpt from the first story I sold to them for S&S22.

Life or Honor?

excerpt from “Child of Ice, Child of Flame” in S&S22
by Marian Allen

Though she ran, the path to the arena seemed endless.

They were back–all the adults, and the older children–lining the arena’s rim. One figure stood in the center. Izella. As Casilda shouldered her way through the ring of villagers, three stones struck the child, one of them drawing blood from her cheek.

The warrior stood behind the girl, her gloved hands protecting the delicate face, the deep blue eyes.

“Stop!” she commanded.

NotMocked“Outlander!” the chief shouted. “Our ways will not be mocked! We have been more than lenient with our law-breaker. We have been more than compassionate toward our living curse. What we’re doing now, we have to do. How dare you interfere?”

“A warrior broke your law. It’s your own child you call a curse. And yet it isn’t a warrior you stone. It isn’t your child in this circle. How dare you use me to give yourselves an easy mark for your hatred?”

The chief’s gaze swept his people. When he had gauged their mood, he said, “Very well. Let the gods take you both.”

He nodded. Casilda heard the thuds of stones hitting her armor, was buffeted by blows from all sides.

Then she was on her hands and knees, her head spinning and blood running into her eyes. She reached forward and pulled the fallen child under what shelter her armored body could afford.

She drew her sword.

“You can’t,” Izella said, turning to look up at her. The girl’s face was a mask of red and dusty
brown. “You can’t raise your sword to them. They aren’t warriors.”

“They aren’t unarmed, either.”

“They aren’t warriors.”

Thud! Thump! They were using larger stones, now.

“Your life is worth more than my honor,” Casilda said.

“Not to me.”

“Well, mine is!”


I love writing. Dear ghod, it’s fun!

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Does your main character have a concept of honor? Rules about it?





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 “Life or Honor? #SampleSunday

  1. Alana

    September 4, 2016 at 3:44pm

    Don’t know why, but that exchange made me laugh-and made me wonder how they would get out of the stoning.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      September 5, 2016 at 8:28am

      Yay! That was the idea, Alana! heh. It always makes me want to dance, when I get an effect right. 🙂

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. Jane

    September 5, 2016 at 7:16am

    Seriously good.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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