Saturday, June 27, 2015

Sample Saturday - Bloodied Leather

Some time ago, I was asked to write a short story for an anthology with the theme of boxing. With little knowledge of the sport, I took on the role of naive spectator and wrote "Bloodied Leather." I hope you enjoy this brief excerpt.

When Percy called that evening, Isabelle had no excuse not to receive him, with Papa home and sitting in the parlor reading his newspaper.

Percy launched into a spate of wheedling, trying to convince her to attend a boxing match with him. She shuddered as his face lit up at his description of what he expected to see at the championship event the next month. What attracted men to such unsavory pastimes? Why did he expect her to relish the invitation to accompany him? Would he attack her again tonight if she refused?

“Surely young ladies should not attend such lurid displays,” she answered his last plea in a soft voice, glancing at her father, hidden behind his paper.

“On the contrary, several very cultured women attended the last figh— uh, match.”

“Papa?” She turned to her parent for help.

He looked up, eyes glazed with inattention.

“What do you require, daughter?”

“Must I attend a boxing match with Percy?”

“He is your fiancĂ©, my dear. I’m sure he knows best how you are to spend your time together.”

He paused to inhale a powder she supposed was snuff.


“Do go ahead and attend,” he replied. “It will broaden your view of life.” He waved a dismissive hand.

"Bloodied Leather" is found in the boxing anthology that, curiously, is titled two ways on Amazon. In the Kindle edition it's called Fight Card Presents: Battling Mahoney & Other Stories. The print version is called Battling Mahoney & Other Stories. As you can see, the cover replaces the ampersand with the word and. To me, this is a reminder to be consistent.

Come back next week for another sample.

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