Clear This Place! #SampleSunday

My science fantasy THE WOLVES OF PORT NOVO (the Book Formerly Known as EEL’S REVERENCE) is deep in the bowels of processing and should come out Real Soon Now. … … Let me rephrase that.

THE WOLVES OF PORT NOVO is in the production queue and will be published late this year or early in 2019.

Meanwhile, here’s a sample to whet your appetite (I hope).

Clear This Place!

by Marian Allen

A child brought our breakfast basket, saying Iris refused to set foot in this filthy place. The child found Iris’ disgust highly diverting.

“No more Iris,” said Blennie. “Glory to Micah, indeed.”

I wouldn’t have wanted him to change completely.

Votaries began to bring rumors: Isabella was raging around her temple, breaking things. (Not true; Isabella may have been raging, but she would be doing it in deadly stillness.) When Uncle Gregory had heard about the mermayd baptisms, he had laughed so hard he’d lost his breath and had to be brought around with ammoniated spirits. (That sounded likely, but exaggerated.) Uncle Phineas, from his temple on the waterfront, had fled to the woods in terror – which I didn’t believe for a minute; Uncle Phineas might have decided the woods were healthier for him than the seaside right now, but a man who would face down Aunt Isabella wouldn’t flee in terror from anything.

By mid-morning the congregations had grown so big and so motley, two of the outer guards came in. My Fortunato churchwardens began counting the votaries, only letting in as many as left, in order to keep the congregation down to a controllable number. Three of them kept the street clear for traffic.

I heard a shrill voice I knew. “Let me through! I have business!”

Iris pushed her way in, picked up our breakfast basket, and heaved it at me.

Hands deflected and caught the basket, and other hands restrained Iris.

Her faded brown eyes glittered with hatred, and bubbles whitened the corners of her mouth as she shouted, “You! What did I ever do to you? It wasn’t my fault you came where you weren’t wanted. It wasn’t my fault my fool of a cousin didn’t turn you in so I had to. I had – I had a duty to. They should’ve taken her property away from her, and it should’ve gone to me, but Uncle Phineas made them burn it. And it should’ve been mine! And now they kicked me out of next door because I won’t serve those nasty, slimy, smelly fishpeople. And it’s all your fault!”

She began to cry — great, gasping wails, like an overexcited child.

I held my arms out to her. “Iris, dear, I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry, my dear.”

She saw me coming and stopped crying. “You keep away from me, you fishlover! Let me go! Let me out! Let me out!”

I nodded to the votaries who held her, and they released her. She ran out, sobbing with fury.

Two more Fortunatos came to the door and passed some word to the two inside. None of them spoke to Blennie. One made an announcement.

“I’m afraid we’ll have to clear this temple.”


They are shocked–shocked–to learn that religion is going on there.

While you’re waiting for TWoPN to publish, feel free to check out my other books and stories. G’wan–you know you wanna!

A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: What makes your main character so furious they could–or do–weep with rage?



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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