Subterfuge #SampleSunday #Pimchan

The Haunted Writers Retreat is going beautifully. No haunts, but lots of work. Everybody is getting so much done on their projects! I’m only doing a short story, but I’ve gotten more done these few days than I would have in a month at home.

Here’s part of the story I’m thinking of calling “The Warrior’s Wedding.” I see there’s a bit that says DESCRIPTION OF SOMBOON. That’s how you get a rough draft done. Instead of looking stuff up, you mark a place you need to fill in later and move on.


excerpt from “The Warrior’s Wedding”
by Marian Allen

Before Pimchan could reject diplomacy, Lek said, “I suggest a subterfuge.”

Subterfuge was an acceptable Warrior tactic, so Pimchan nodded to him to continue. She hadn’t accepted him into her household, after all, to turn a deaf ear to his counsel.

“I suggest you pretend you’ve chosen to marry, and your groom is buying you a blue steel weapon for his bridal gift to you.”

“Marry? I?” Pimchan remembered Somboon’s annulled wedding with contempt. They hadn’t loved one another. They had wed for … Oh, for many wrong reasons. The annulment was the only thing about it that was right. And she was to pretend to the same thing?

“Warriors do marry,” Lek said. “Usually, they marry other Warriors, but sometimes non-Warriors. Most often, they marry for love, not the practical reasons of ordinary people, but sometimes they make sensible matches. You could pretend to one of those.”

“Who would I pretend to be marrying?”

In the ensuing silence, Pimchan was acutely aware of Somboon, seated across the table and next to Lek. DESCRIPTION OF SOMBOON Her peripheral vision clearly showed his strong brow drawn down in a scowl, his reddened cheeks, his shining eyes.

“If you’re thinking I would pretend to marry Somboon,” she said, icily. “He’s already been used so once before. No one is to suggest he be used so again. He is not a thing.”

Somboon was, after all, Chief of Guards in the town the All-Father had given her; it was her responsibility to care for him as much as for any of her townspeople.

“Just this once more,” said Lek.

“He doesn’t mind,” said Nadia.

Somboon’s face grew redder than ever. “Would no one believe it? Is that the problem? Is it unthinkable that a Warrior would marry a humble Guard, even a Chief Guard? Am I that unworthy? Am I that repellent?”

The outburst was so unlike Somboon’s usual even temper, even Pimchan gaped at him.

He clamped his jaw shut, teeth grinding on any further words that had made it as far as his mouth.

“You are not,” Pimchan said faintly, feeling heat in her own face. She clapped her hands once for attention, as if attention weren’t already riveted on her. “Lek, Nadia, make whatever arrangements are necessary for this farce. We depart as soon as possible.


A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Write about a subterfuge.


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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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