Guess What? #SampleSunday

Here’s a smidgen from SIDESHOW IN THE CENTER RING, my science fiction comedy of bad manners. Connie, the main character, is a TerraNet holovision star who runs with an exclusive social circle as sort of a mascot. She intends to work her way up to being one of the actual crowd. In pursuit of that unworthy goal, she accompanies them to a planet where slavery is legal.

This scene takes place at a party on that planet.

Guess What?

by Marian Allen

What a swell time I was having. What swell people these were. I couldn’t figure out why I was having such a good time. Then I realized that Darryl and Marissa hadn’t come up with us. They had returned to their suite, with Honey and Tiph and an assortment of running-dog flunkies, for a party they could pretend was ultra-exclusive. I didn’t see Jackie, so I assumed he had gone along, in his capacity as human safety net.

Well, that explained it, but it was too good to last. By the time they showed up, though, the party was on cruise control and nobody was in the mood for drama – high, low, or otherwise.

I would have ignored the lot of them, but Jon Hister, the dog who was running for the office of my flunky, found me on the belvedere and insisted on making a report.

“Wait’ll I tell you,” he said.

“If it’s about Moran and his Harem from the Black Lagoon, I don’t want to hear it.”

“It’s a secret.”

Since he put it that way, I did want to hear it. Knowledge is power. So all right – trivial knowledge is petty power, but there it is, all the same.


“I went with them to their suite. I thought you’d want me to.”

“‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant.’”

“Huh? Anyway, Honey’s handbag fell off one of those ledges cut in the walls. Everything spilled out. I put it all back, but I looked at her pink slip while I had it. You’ll never guess what she’s done.”

“I don’t want to guess what she’s done.” I could, though.

“She sold herself to Darryl.”





Untreed Reads

A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Someone does something unthinkable to themselves for someone they think they love.


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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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