Trifecta: Manticore

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!

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  1. Misky says:

    What an extraordinary story!

  2. I love the possibilities this one throws out, Annabelle. You could write lots more from here, just with the way you set this up.

  3. Michael says:

    I really love Sara’s characterization in this, how she isn’t sure what day it is but she is conscientious enough to note the poison on the table so it won’t hurt her cat. She sounds a perfect scholar. 🙂 I really want to know what sort of assistance one can render to a manticore.

  4. Lumdog says:

    I was already hooked on the manticore story. You put a little more detail in here but you are leaving the reader wanting more. I love how you are developing her character with idiosyncratic details that say a lot.

  5. Gina says:

    Very intriguing! I had to google manticore, I admit! Sara has very un-normal clientele.

  6. I loved that you built on the last challenge and brought us some more of what we were all fascinated by. I also loved the bit about protecting the cat from the poisonous smear. A nice touch.
    Thanks for playing along with us again this week. Please come on back Friday for the new challenge.

  7. jannatwrites says:

    To me, the manticore seems frightening, imposing, but Sara doesn’t seem phased at all. That makes me want to know more about her and the situation.

  8. Will there be a sequel? I would like to know what happens next.

  9. Imelda says:

    What an exciting job. 🙂 I like the way you described Sarah.

  10. Wisper says:

    Wow. I love how you have Sara reacting in such a matter of fact manner here. What feels like it should be awe inspiring or scary or imposing is normal. The mental note about wiping up the poison before the cat got to it was the best!

  11. sonya says:

    great job. Thank you for continuing the story!

  12. Annabelle says:

    Thanks, all! I admit, I too am wondering what it is she can do for a manticore.

  13. Wonder what he could possibly want? Perhaps something beneficial, as he may not be too experienced in that.
    That carrot you have dangled for us looks yummy! Let’s go after it!

  14. Jester Queen says:

    Oh WOW! Now I really really REALLY want to know what the Manticore’s problem is. In my mind, this story is called, “The Manticore’s Peculiar Problem” by the way.

  15. Annabelle says:

    Hey, I am terrible at titles, so I will make a note of that!

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