Archive for August, 2012

Trifecta: Antiquated

Posted in Fiction on August 28th, 2012 by Annabelle – 15 Comments

“Phrenology and palmistry?  You must be joking.”  The new fortuneteller leaned in Aiyan’s doorway, flipping his tarot cards in a smooth stream from hand to hand.  He looked contemptuously at the yellowed hand-drawn diagrams on the walls.  “You are such a dinosaur.”

Aiyan smiled vaguely at him and nodded, eliciting a disgusted snort.  “Whatever.”  His visitor whirled away, leaving the curtain hanging askew.

Aiyan straightened it.  “Dinosaur,” he repeated.  He turned back to his desk, humming lightly to himself, and sank into the worn wooden chair with a creak.  He picked up a brush out of the jar and a piece of translucent paper from the drawer.  “Don’t try to frighten us with your sorcerer’s ways, Lord Vader,” he murmured pleasurably.  “Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you…”

He dipped the brush into the ink.  In quick, sure strokes he inscribed a string of symbols onto the thin strip of paper, the wet ink gleaming black in a series of fat curves and sharp lines.  He picked up the paper by the corner and waved it gently until it dried, then, in a sharp movement, tossed it into the fireplace.  The curse flared briefly as it took flame, sending a burst of golden light flying up the chimney, and was consumed.

Aiyan smiled placidly and went back to his diagrams.


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

1: any of a group (Dinosauria) of extinct often very large chiefly terrestrial carnivorous or herbivorous reptiles of the Mesozoic era
2: any of various large extinct reptiles (as ichthyosaurs) other than the true dinosaurs
3: one that is impractically large, out-of-date, or obsolete

Thanks for reading!


Trifecta: Heart

Posted in Fiction, Tacar on August 23rd, 2012 by Annabelle – 12 Comments

Voices from the courtyard met Camilia as she entered.  She smiled and paused under the arch to enjoy the daily spectacle only she got to see: the empire’s most notorious young rake playing with her children.

“And how are you going to get there?”

“ELPHANT!”  Aleish bellowed.  Cahleina giggled.

“Vash!  What are you teaching them?”  Camilia struggled to keep the laughter out of her voice.

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Trifecta: The Wanderer

Posted in Calere, Fiction on August 15th, 2012 by Annabelle – 16 Comments

“Gods!”  The soldier next to him smeared at his brow, sweat trickling down his neck. “This forsaken country.”  He smacked at an insect and started to express at length his opinion of the bandits they were here to put down and their painful elusiveness in the height of summer.

Dyan twisted his mouth and looked out across the water.  The heat of Njaia was relentless, and there were days when the drone of the cicadas drilled into Dyan’s head until he could hardly think.  This kind of waiting was the worst thing he could think of, and he wanted to leave more than he could say.  The campaign had been too long, too slow, and he was starting to feel like he needed to be somewhere else.

Home, perhaps.  He thought of home sometimes when he was on a campaign, and wasn’t always sure where he was thinking of.  Home was the little house in the city where his wife and his children waited for him.  His oldest, who reminded Dyan startlingly of his father, and the baby Ellin would be almost ready to have by now.  That was home, but sometimes the scent of the grasslands came over him in a giddy wave, and he heard the shuffle of horses and his sister’s laugh.  In the vertiginous space between dreaming and waking, the soldiers around him became his clan striking camp for the spring move.  He was as at home here on campaign as he was anywhere, but…  He had always expected to go back.

For a moment, he saw his son playing with his cousins, a wooden practice sword in his hand, and Ellin watching them from the flap of the clan pavilion.  He smiled and turned away.


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

1  a : one’s place of residence : domicile
    b : house

2: the social unit formed by a family living together

3 a : a familiar or usual setting : congenial environment; also :the focus of one’s domestic attention
   b : habitat

If you’re wondering how this fits in to past responses?  Dyan is Cy’s father (more of Cy under the Calere category).  Thanks for reading!

The Key

Posted in Fiction on August 12th, 2012 by Annabelle – 4 Comments

The key had been her talisman in childhood.  It was a touchstone, the only piece of her dimly-recalled grandfather she had left.  It hung on a battered green ribbon around her neck, a reassuring weight bouncing against her breastbone that told her with every thump that she had belonged to someone.

It wasn’t until she grew up that she realized what that meant.  The door the key opened, the world behind it.  At first, the excitement.  Then the dangers, the demands.  The discovery of what her family had been, and what they’d been willing to do.  Their rise, their fall, their flight.  What they had left behind.

She held the key in her hand, felt the weight of it one last time.  Then she jammed it into the lock, broke it off, and walked away.


This weekend’s Trifextra challenge at Trifecta Writing Challenge asked for exactly 33 words telling a story in which an object serves three different functions.  33 words struck me as a drag, so I didn’t link up, but it inspired me to write this.

Trifecta: Flight

Posted in Fiction on August 8th, 2012 by Annabelle – 10 Comments

Their bedroom was a disaster zone, clothing that had been pulled out of drawers strewn on random surfaces and briefing papers everywhere.  She sighed.  “Sam, did you deal with that insurance issue?”

“Sorry hon, I totally forgot about it.”  He looked up from the collection of gadgets he’d been fussing with on the bed.  “It’ll keep until I get back, I still need to finish that paperwork anyway.”

When he got back.  “Could you not be so cavalier about it?”  It irked her, the way he acted as if he was doing nothing more consequential than hopping a flight to Boston for the weekend.

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Trifecta: Manticore

Posted in Fiction on August 1st, 2012 by Annabelle – 15 Comments

It was the glasses rattling in the cupboard that actually got Sara moving.  She put the quill down and shoved a corner of her notes into the book she’d been using to save her place. Not a day to work on her own projects, then.  Her normal receiving hours were on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but she couldn’t always rely on her clients to show up then.  Or was today Tuesday?  She couldn’t remember.  She wandered toward the door thinking about it.  She’d had a milk delivery the day before yesterday.  Had that been Saturday or Sunday?

As she opened the door, the manticore had a massive red paw raised to knock a fourth time.  She gave an apologetic smile up into its face.  “Would you like to come in, or would you be more comfortable out of doors?”  With her clientele, she often had to go out into the yard.

“Thank you.”  The voice was strangely metallic, a steely clang behind each word.  Today, it appeared, was also not a yard day.  The manticore managed to fit itself through the door in a neat conjuror’s trick, settling carefully on the sitting-room carpet with its tail coiled around its feet.  She eyed the wickedly hooked tip of its tail, glistening with poison.  It had brushed against the end table on the way in, leaving a small and extremely hazardous smear of liquid on one of the legs.  She made a mental note to wipe it off before the cat got to it.

There was just enough room for her to get to her chair.  Sara made her guest a small courtesy and then sank into her chair.

“I am facilitator Sara.  What assistance can I render?”


Welcome to this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge! This week calls for 33 to 333 words on the third definition of the word NORMAL:

1: a : a normal line  
b : the portion of a normal line to a plane curve between the curve and the x- axis 
2: one that is normal 
3: a form or state regarded as the norm : standard

This time I decided to give a little bit of a follow up to this weekend’s incipit. Thanks for reading!