Famine #65: Release Her

Hello readers and writers, and welcome back for another snippet from Famine for Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday. Diving right into the pot today. Matilde has taken a risk with a cadaver in a dark alley. Fortunately, her guardian is on hand to save her skin.


Famine by Monica Pierce[The cadaver] grabbed her throat and arm, and yanked her around. He turned toward Bartholomew, Matilde pressed against his body, and asked, “This yours?”

Matilde seized the cadaver’s wrist and pulled down, locking her elbows to her sides to prevent him from choking her.

“Release her,” Bartholomew commanded as he stalked toward them.

“I don’t know what your gambit is, but you’ve chosen the wrong muggins,” the cadaver said.

Bartholomew kept coming. He dropped the sling. He pulled the large boning knife from its sheath. “Release her.”


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  • Great scene, had a very vivid picture in my mind, and the determination in Bartholemew’s words at the end were gripping. Not sure if Matilde actually needs any help. She seems to be pretty strong if she can hold her captor at bay like that. 🙂

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Thanks, Goran! Matilde’s pretty tough, but she’s now unarmed and the cadaver is not. Besides, it wouldn’t do to deny Bartholomew the pleasure of removing this fellow’s head.

  • Well done!
    But, I can’t resist asking if: ” He pulled the large boning knife from its sheath. ” is a double entendre? 🙂

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      *snort* You’ve been hanging out with the erotica and romance authors for too long, Chip! LOL!

  • Nice writing, but it needs a little clarification on the pronoun referents and whether the “pressed” is intended to be transitive or intransitive. Took a couple of readings to be sure who spoke.

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Thanks, Sue Ann. I keep going back and forth on that clarification; contextually within the entire passage it’s clear. But the book’s with an editor now, so I’ve put a note in the margin and will take a stab at it when all the notes come in. 😀

  • Enjoyed it as always! You set up the scene perfectly and I can visualize it. looking forward to the next snippet!

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Thanks, Lauren. I assure you that the cadaver is *not* looking forward to what happens next. ;D

  • Dear Cadaver,
    I am sorry to inform you but I do believe that you are the one who has “chosen the wrong muggins,”

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      ROFL! You nailed it, P.T. This guy’s in over his head. (And he’s about to lose his noggin, quite literally.) Thanks for the laugh!

  • siobhanmuir

    Question (because it made me grin): Is the man called a “cadaver” because he’s dead, he just doesn’t know it yet? Nicely done, Monica. Love these snippets. 🙂

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      LOL! That would be awesome, but no. The cadavers are Famine’s soulless and undead servants. (Famine, as in one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, to clarify.) Unlike zombies, they’re sentient and look like everyone else in the dark. (It’s a different story in the sunlight.)

  • Very dramatic excerpt, was puzzled by the Cadaver terminology but I went with it, since the scene carried me right along in the action. Intense!

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      I probably should have explained cadavers in my intro. Cadaver = undead, soulless, but sentient bad guy. Works for one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Generally not the kinda guys you want to encounter in a dark alley since they eat people.

  • historysleuth1

    Great descriptive scene. I really like Bartholomew. He’s a powerful character. Following along on this one.
    History Sleuth’s Milk Carton Murders

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Thanks! I really like him too. He’s both refined and a badass. 😀

  • Oww, I hope I don’t meet a cadaver. Lucky for her rescue is at hand!

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Yeah, if you like your flesh to remain on your bones, stay away from the cadavers. They have an unfortunate habit of eating people. Or, worse, taking them back to Famine so she can eat them. 😀

  • burnsmillie

    Yay, Bartholomew to the rescue! You paint quite a vivid picture Monica, love it!

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Thanks! Not the only time he has to save Matilde from herself.

  • So, it sounds like the cadaver (love the concept!) knows Bartholomew, or of him (or at least can sense his power) and is worried that it’s being attacked/messed with?


    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Well, the cadaver knows he’s facing a formidable enemy and he believes he’s being messed with, he just doesn’t realize the extent of messed up he’s about to be.

  • Oooh, chilling. I’m glad she at least knows how to protect herself a bit…and I love Bartholomew’s unfazed advance.

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Thanks, Sarah. Bartholomew’s been training Matilde how to defend herself for years, but this is her first one-on-one with a cadaver. She’s underestimated him.

  • Dead bodies getting up and grabbing people is never a good start to a day.

    Bartholomew is so level-headed about the threats–you get the feeling he knows exactly what he’s going to do, and that it will be precise and violent.

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Yep, you pretty much hit it, Caitlin. This fella’s made a big mistake, and Bartholomew’s gonna relish wiping him from the face of the earth.

  • Creepy good. You put me right in the scene.

    • Monica Enderle Pierce

      Awesome! Thanks, Cara. 😀

  • chellecordero

    I’ve heard of cadavers sitting up in morgues (due to the muscle shortening) and yikes it creeps me out – don’t want to get grabbed by one. Scary 8, nice.

  • Bartholomew is always there to protect his charge. Fascinating scene well written.

  • Nice! I hadn’t realized until now that Matilde would be fighting cadavers. A sort of take on zombies? There is a very palpable tension between Matilde and Bartholomew–not necessarily negative. More like there’s a challenge in the wind. Good 8, Monica! 🙂

  • A great scene there.