The story I just finished is a submission to Sword & Sorceress 32. It’s a tough market, so I won’t be hurt if I don’t make it. I made it last year, with a story about the same characters: Pimchan the Warrior and her spell-making housekeeper, Nadia. Another character from last year has a major role in this new story: Lek. He had a bit part in the first Pimchan story, and this bit part in last year’s story.
Here is his entire part last year.
The Cameo of Lek
excerpt from “Simplicity”
by Marian Allen
The entry door jangled, the bells set off by a knock too weak to be heard.
Pimchan met Nadia in the hall and waved her back, resolved to break as many bones as she could manage if this was someone bringing yet more trouble.
“Lek. The chestnut seller.”
Ah, yes, Lek: old and shrunken, once a Warrior’s companion, now roaster and seller of chestnuts on the streets of the town.
“We don’t want any.”
He knocked again, giving the signal the All-Father used for Pimchan.
She opened the screen wide enough for the old man to slip through.
He handed her a paper, folded and secured with the All-Father’s seal.
“A man gave me that to give you, and told me the signal knock.”
“A man who got through my barred screen in the darkness and threatened to cut my throat if I didn’t get up and do what he wanted. His clothing, where it brushed me, felt fine and soft, and he smelled of rich food. That’s all.”
He held out a palm, but looked at the ground, shuffling backwards as slowly as he dared.
“I’ll send Nadia out for chestnuts tomorrow,” Pimchan said. “You won’t have to haggle over the price.”
She let him out and barred the screen behind him. She considered charming the bells – the entire door – to silence, but, after a brief struggle, chose not to.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Have your character awakened in the middle of the night.