Elsie Vanishes #SampleSunday

I haven’t posted anything from SAGE for a long time. SAGE is my BFF (Big Fat Fantasy), published in three volumes, with a companion short story collection. If you ever see me selling books at an event, buy them there, because you get a deal: If you buy all three volumes at the event price of $10 each, you get the short stories free. By Grabthar’s hammer! What a savings!

ANYWAY, here’s the sample. Oh, and if you want to read the entire first chapters of the three volumes, visit my SAGE page.

Elsie Vanishes

excerpt from The Fall of Onagros: Book 1 of SAGE
by Marian Allen

They walked up the steep incline of the earthen motte, through the lowered gate of the tower palisade, and up the stairs into the great hall of the tower itself.

There, they were met by the Chief Sword, Guthrie beren Melanell.

Four of his men stood behind him; they were all dressed in black boots, hose, and tunics, shirts of polished mail and sword belts of black leather.

“Welcome, Elsie beren Devona,” said Guthrie. “My honor guard will escort you to your chamber.”

“Where is His Grace?” Darcy asked. “The bridal….”

“The woman will wait on His Grace’s convenience. You may go.”

“But –”

“His Grace’s orders. Leave her and go.” The Chief Sword turned to Elsie and motioned toward a door in the corner of the room. “Up those stairs. All the way.”

There was a sheen of moisture on Elsie’s face, but she kissed her father’s cheek and nodded to Rhu beren Robia. With the four armed Swords behind her, she passed through the door in the corner of the room and up the tightly spiraling staircase beyond.

Darcy wondered if he had seen the last of his foster daughter. He was surprised at the pang the thought caused him.

“You have His Grace’s thanks, Darcy Aminta beren Valda,” said Guthrie. “Your obedience will not go unrewarded.”

“No reward was thought of,” said Darcy. “And none is required.”

Rhu beren Robia’s lips twitched. “Your selflessness on His Grace’s behalf is inspiring,” he said.

A shout from the staircase stopped all talk. Five Swords – and no Elsie – burst into the hall.

One of them made himself heard above the babble: “She’s gone!”

“Gone!” said the Chief Sword. “Gone where?”

“Disappeared! Vanished, with a flash!”

“It’s true!” said another Sword, an older man with streaks of silver in his hair. “I was coming down the stairs as they were coming up. Just as the girl turned into my sight – flash!”

Rhu beren Robia turned to the castle steward, who stood near the door to the first-floor storeroom.

“Round up as many villeins as you can quickly,” he said. “Search this tower from turret to cellar. Let no Sword interfere with you.”

The Swords looked to their Chief, who nodded.

“This is none of my men’s doing,” he said. “This is some sorcery.”

The older Sword stepped forward. “Shall I search the girl’s home?” he asked.

“You are…?” asked Guthrie.

“Jehan beren Marcia,” said the Sword, with a slight lift to an eyebrow, as if to say, don’t you remember? “Promotion and transfer from the Southern district.”

“Ah, yes.”

“Shall I go, sir?”

The Chamberlain nodded.

“Good man,” said the Chief Sword. “Yes, go.”

The Sword left at a trot.

“This is impossible!” said Darcy, his voice rising to a shout. “They’ve killed her! My innocent child!” Then his mouth clamped shut.

For she wasn’t his innocent child. What did he know of her, after all, but that His Grace had wanted her dead? Perhaps those hadn’t been children he’d thrown into the sea but Creatures of Power. Perhaps he hadn’t murdered….

Darcy breathed thanks he had shared his secret with no one. No one but the old woman of Fiddlewood.

A honey bee buzzed through the hall, circled Darcy’s head, and flew away to the north.


Buy any and all books of SAGE:

Paperback from Indiebound

Paper and Kindle from Amazon

Multiple electronic formats from Untreed Reads

A WRITING PROMPT BASED ON MY POST: Write about a dangerous secret.



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 “Elsie Vanishes #SampleSunday

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      March 4, 2018 at 7:57am

      Yeah, I think it updated. Every time it updates, I lose my Like button. Every time Thunderbird updates, I lose my calendar and have to reinstall it. Pesky ones and zeroes!

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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