The narrator is Connie Phelan, a TerraNet holovision comedy star. She’s on vacation as a guest of one of the most exclusive social groups on Earth, hoping to move up from guest to membership. Darryl is one of the high-status members. Honey is his guest, but he’s trying to boost his own status by romancing a higher-status group member.
An Unworthy Prayer
excerpt from SIDESHOW IN THE CENTER RING
by Marian Allen
Darryl smoothed his hair and settled his lapels.
“I’ll go wait for her in the lounge. Tell Honey we won’t be sharing a table for two after all, will you?”
The punch he landed knocked me into the wall so hard I dislodged the sign I’d hung there earlier.
It, my book player, and my calculated cynicism clattered to the deck.
For a few seconds, I was too shocked to breathe. Then I knotted my fists, but kept them at my sides. I knew if I could hit as hard as I wanted to hit, I’d kill him.
“That’s right,” he said. “You know better, don’t you? You don’t quite dare.”
“You don’t impress me, hotshot, not in the least. Every dog is allowed one bite, and this was yours. If you ever hit me again, you’d better make it a good one, because it’ll be your last.”
“I’ll do what I like with you. You see if I don’t.”
He stepped toward me, flicked the tip of my nose, and walked away.
“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,” I prayed, “let him slip and fall on his can.”
It was an unworthy prayer, and the answer to it was No.
SIDESHOW IN THE CENTER RING is available in print and for Kindle through Amazon, in various electronic versions through Untreed Reads, for digital checkout through many libraries, and in print through your friendly neighborhood book store.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: What is your main character’s unworthy prayer?