Here’s a bit from THE WOLVES OF PORT NOVO, which my critique partners also call THE NOVEL FORMERLY KNOWN AS EEL’S REVERENCE. In this bit, Theofric, the merchant who has been using people like his own private action figures, finds out that they’re actual people, after all. Blennie is a mermayd; mermayds are natural (as opposed to supernatural) creatures in this book’s world, and can survive for a time on land, especially with the aid of a gillband.
ANYWAY, here’s an excerpt:
Theofric Loses Control
excerpt from THE WOLVES OF PORT NOVO
by Marian Allen
Theofric’s expression warned Tashy not to oppose him. Unfortunately, Tashy happened to be looking away from him, and happened to continue to look away from him, while she considered Great-Aunt Theresa’s question.
“If we double the squad outside, put two of our best inside, and only let in thirteen votaries at a time, rig up some kind of alarm to be rung if something so much as smells wrong, and bivouac half a dozen of us on the lawn outside the inner door – should be safe enough. Especially, as you say, since this won’t be the only true temple in Port Novo anymore.”
“I don’t like it,” said Theofric. “I know there aren’t many churchwardens in Port Novo, but what if Isabella sends for help to the other priests in the Coalition?”
“How about this, then?” said Tashy. “What I said, plus I’ll send out my best scouts to make sure no wardens from outside Port Novo come in without our knowing about it?”
“That sounds fine,” said Great-Aunt Theresa.
Theofric’s headnet began to slide sideways, all but floating on a film of perspiration.
“This is my estate…,” he said.
Great-Aunt Theresa turned her charcoal eyes on him and said, in her flat, unflappable voice, “Yes?”
“I pay you,” he said to Tashy.
“Yes, sir,” she said. “I’m just trying to give you the best soldiering I can for your money, sir. If you don’t like the way I’m doing my job, just say so, and we’ll pull out. Sir.”
Blennie’s mouth gaped – he had shut off his lungs; his gillband pulsed with the extra strain – he was trying not to laugh, of course.
“No, no, your plan sounds fine. I like it. See to it at once. If you will.”
“Yes, sir,” said Tashy.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A leader loses control of their followers.