Archive for June, 2012

Trifecta: Disconnect

Posted in Fiction on June 25th, 2012 by Annabelle – 15 Comments

“You know what we should do?”  He looked up from his laptop, face bright with enthusiasm.  “We should take a trip during my mid-semester break.  How about Kyoto?  You’ve always wanted to go to Japan.”

She closed her eyes.  “I won’t make it to April.”  The armchair was soft, but she still ached.  She clutched the armrest to stop the trembling.

“Of course you will.”  His stream of forced cheer continued unabated.  “We can take tours of the gardens.  If you’re feeling well enough, we can even stay at a ryokan.”  He started to pull up pictures.  She stared at the ceiling as a rain of imaginary tatami mats and tea ceremonies fell around her.

“Eric.”  She tried to cut through the flow.  “I’m not going to be able to take a trip in April.”

“Nonsense.  You need to stop being so pessimistic.  You’re going to be fine.  The experimental trial is working.”

It wasn’t.  The doctor had told her as much.  He didn’t want to take away all her hopes, but he wanted to be realistic.  Give her the time to say her goodbyes, put her affairs in order while she still could.  It would be – bad.  She was already feeling it, and it was only going to get worse.  Even if she fought through until April, there would be nothing left of her to sip tea and pose on bridges.

Eric had heard the same words she had, but they had skated off the surface of his mind.   In this, she was alone.  She looked through the open door into the bedroom, where her familiar nightstand stood, comforting with the weight of the bottle of pills she’d hidden at the back of the drawer.

“I won’t be going to Japan, Eric,” she murmured.  He wasn’t listening.  She got up and dropped a kiss on the top of his head.  He asked her a question that she barely registered.  “Whatever you like, dear,” she said before she drifted away.


Welcome to this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge. This week the folks at Trifecta gave us three prompts; here’s 333 words (exactly!) on the Lewis Carroll quote “What I tell you three times is true.” I will note that that’s a classic — Lewis Carrol is not the only person to have noted the truth coming in threes.  Thanks for reading!

Trifecta: Deposed

Posted in Fiction on June 19th, 2012 by Annabelle – 21 Comments

Jack dropped down onto the stoop and stared blankly at the street.  Was that it?  The sun shone and a car drove by, just like it was any other day.  The reflected light flashed in his eyes.

“Are you okay, honey?  You look a little blue.”  A light voice came from behind him.

He reared back and gave her a revolted look.  Blue?  Men weren’t blue.  Chicks could be blue.  Men, men were… nobly stoic.  “I’m fine.”  Had he really been supplanted so soon?  He knew it would come in the end, but…

A hand carded through his hair.  “You should really be very proud.”  A mischievous note entered her voice.  “He didn’t just beat you, he owned you.”

Jack slanted his eyes at her grumpily.  That, regrettably, was true.  He winced as an ungodly honking noise started coming from the house.  Apparently the new champion had coopted his sister’s clarinet for his victory parade.

She noticed his wince.  “It’s not like you aren’t just as bad when you win.”



“Stop helping.”

She laughed, ruffled his hair, and went back to the door.  “Join us when you’re ready.  The Lord Champion has decreed that we’re having broccoli and cheese with dinner.”

He slumped, and a sigh escaped him.  “I hate broccoli and cheese.”  Then he levered himself up, nobly assumed a congratulatory expression, and went back in to face the new ten-year-old Scrabble champ.

Welcome to this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge. This week calls for 33 to 333 words using the third definition of the word BLUE (adjective):

1 : of the color blue
2 a : bluish b : discolored by or as if by bruising
c : bluish gray
3 a : low in spirits : melancholy
b : marked by low spirits : depressing


Thanks for reading!

Trifecta: Escape

Posted in Calere, Fiction on June 12th, 2012 by Annabelle – 20 Comments

After dinner, when the adults were sitting by the fire, his grandfather with his feet up and his mother with Cala in her lap, Cy slipped out into the alley behind the house.  His father’s saber gleamed in his hand, the only thing that seemed to make sense any more.  He raised in front of him, and started the first of the sword drills his father had taught him.

His aching back started to loosen.  Cy wasn’t sure he’d had a single good day in the last ten months, but today had been worse than most.  He had tripped and put his hand through a piece of silk still on the loom, and his grandfather, normally restrained about Cy’s shortcomings as a weaver, had blown up.  His mother had said she could salvage it.  Cy knew better than to believe her.  His clumsiness had cost them probably two weeks’ work in materials.

He was probably the world’s worst weaver.  He was the only one of them beside his mother who was big enough to work the loom, but the work he did made his grandfather raise his eyebrows and shuffle it into the back cabinet.  They were accumulating a disturbing number of second-best sheets and rug rags.  Even his spinning was a total loss.  Brevar was better at it than he was, and Brev was only seven.  Cala would probably be better at it as soon as she started walking.

He heard the door open, and a square of light fell at his feet.  He ignored it, and led the saber into the next exercise.  An irritated huff came from behind him, then a soft voice.  “Let him be, father.”  An inarticulate grumble followed, then his audience withdrew and the light disappeared.

The saber cut cleanly through the night air.  Up.  Across.  Spin, and down.  In his mind, the pattern stood out like a lacework of light, and for once, things were simple.

Welcome to this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge. This week calls for 33 to 333 words on the third definition of the word
ALLEY (noun):

1: a garden or park walk bordered by trees or bushes
2a (1) : a grassed enclosure for bowling or skittles

     (2) : a hardwood lane for bowling; also : a room or building housing a group of such lanes
  b : the space on each side of a tennis doubles court between the sideline and the service sideline

  c : an area in a baseball outfield between two outfielders when they are in normal positions
3: a narrow street; especially : a thoroughfare through the middle of a block giving access to the rear of lots or buildings

This one follows on last week’s response.  Thanks for reading!

Trifecta: The Saber

Posted in Calere, Fiction on June 5th, 2012 by Annabelle – 19 Comments

Cy stared down at the gleaming saber. It lay unwinking on the rough kitchen table with the handful of other possessions that were all that had come back. A ring, a pair of daggers, a heavy purse of coins that would be the last payment from the company. That was all.

He reached out to touch it, running his fingers along the watered blade. His father had let him hold it, had even let him practice with it once to celebrate his twelfth birthday. It had always been there at his father’s side, as inseparable from him as his arm.

An age-spotted hand knocked his hand away from it. “No more of that, boy.” His grandfather’s face was like a thunderstorm. “That’ll lead you nowhere but the same place it took your father. You’re a weaver now.”

Cy hardly saw him. All he could see was the saber, slowly starting to blur. A familiar smell surrounded him, and he felt hands on his shoulders. His mother turned him to face her. Her hair was a mess and her hazel eyes were reddened, but her voice was reassuring. “It’s all right, sweetheart.” She reached up to touch his face. “It’s going to be okay. We’re going to go live with your grandfather now. I’m going to need you to help me take care of your brother and your sisters. Can you help me do that?”

Cy rubbed roughly at his eyes, and nodded. His mother smiled. “I know you can. You’re going to do just fine. Now why don’t you come help me get the girls packed up.” She turned away from the table.  The new man of the house squared his shoulders and followed.

This week’s prompt from Trifecta Writing Challenge asks for 33 to 333 words on the third definition of the word NEW (adjective):

1: having recently come into existence

2 a (1) : having been seen, used, or known for a short time (2) : unfamiliar
b : being other than the former or old

3: having been in a relationship or condition but a short time

Thanks for reading!

Trifextra: Nervous Babbles

Posted in Fiction on June 2nd, 2012 by Annabelle – 16 Comments

It wasn’t the first time she’d said the wrong thing on an internet date.  She stared glumly into the remains of her gin fizz.  The joke, okay, but did she have to say that thing about the walrus?

A little pure silliness while I’m wrestling with computer problems today, in response to Trifecta Writing Challenge’s weekend prompt, which called for 33 words to follow the beginning “It wasn’t the first time.” Ever have things come out of your mouth before you thought about them? Yeah, me too.