What To Do, What To Do? #SampleSunday

First, this is the first of the month as well as the year, so I’m starting a new Hot Flashes page for 2017. All previous Hot Flashes (now called Flashbacks) are still available from the Flashbacks page.

The sf/cop/farce I’m working on for republication, FORCE OF HABIT, is filled with dilemmata (you did know that dilemmata is the plural for dilemma, didn’t you? I fort so.).

Here is one of them.

What To Do, What To Do?

excerpt from FORCE OF HABIT
by Marian Allen

“I’ve been thinking, Captain,” said Quatro, as if this meant they could all relax now. “Our period of grace is very nearly up. The Stokk will be calling again, to see if you’re willing to accede to his demands.”

“Yes,” said Jinx, feeling her nickname never more appropriate.

“Suppose we do?”

The Captain stared blankly at the professor, wondering which one of them had skipped a groove this time.

“Suppose we do what?”

“Suppose we tell him we agree. Tell him we’ve cleared it, and we’re willing to give him anything he wants. Tell him to bring Ven Schuster to Jok’rel’s, along with whatever story he plans to tell against his employer and the Llannonninn innkeeper. Tell him we’ll call in the police to take his statement when he’s certain we’re acting in good faith.”

“But,” said Jinx. “We can’t.”

“Naturally,” said Quatro, “we won’t be acting in good faith. By the time he calls again, to tell us he’s in place, Tetra will have returned with the lifting of our interdiction from communications and transference between the ship and the inn. We can pull Ven Schuster up, send Freldt Saymak down, break orbit, and let them all sort it out between themselves.”

“Lie.” Jinx wondered why she hadn’t thought of it herself.

“If you have some irrational scruples against it,” said Quatro, “let Hessaphess do it. He won’t mind.”

“Here, now,” said Hessaphess.

“Nor would I,” said Quatro, making it clear he had meant the charge as a compliment.

Chestney nodded. “What’ve we got to lose?”

That, Jinx feared, was something they had yet to learn.


FORCE OF HABIT will be available for purchase Real Soon Now.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Put your character into a dilemma. Or two or more dilemmata. It’ll be fun!



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 “What To Do, What To Do? #SampleSunday

  1. Dan

    January 1, 2017 at 7:34am

    Well how about that. 7:30 am on day-1 of a new year, and I’ve learned something “dilemmata” – I can go back to bed until 2018 now πŸ™‚

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      January 1, 2017 at 7:49am

      I live to serve. Does this mean Mr. Meiomi will be taking over your blog for the year?

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. Jane

    January 1, 2017 at 9:39am

    “Dilemnata” sounds like a bestseller title. Yeah!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply

Leave a Reply, If You Ple-az

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