Trifecta: Deliverance

“You display a refreshingly total absence of guilt,” the instructor remarked as they inspected the aftermath of Eila’s graduate project.  Three days later, the ruins still smoked, and a scent as of burning hair lingered in the air.

“I grew up here.”  She was looking out over the pitted field, not bothering to watch the instructor as he considered her work.  Her grade had yet to be determined, but her graduation no longer seemed to be in question.  The breeze stirring her hair was hot and acrid.  She would probably have to throw away these clothes.

The instructor tilted his head consideringly but without surprise.  “Normally that rather weighs to the other end of the scale.”  He squatted to look at a dish-like depression some six feet across where the sandy soil had been melted to glass.  “Good depth of effect here.”

She paused at the edge of the deepest crater, shining with a thin layer of black glass.  There were no signs remaining of what it had once been.  She considered his first comment.

“Not in this case.”

“Indeed.”  They strolled on.


 Welcome to this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge; this week called for 33 to 333 words using the third definition of the word ABSENCE (noun):

1: the state of being absent
2: the period of time that one is absent
Thanks for reading!
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  1. Jester Queen says:

    Oh man! I want to know what kind of a course this is! It sounds like a class in arson and coverup to me!!

  2. Jester Queen says:

    PS – I loved the subtlety of “that usually runs to the other end of the scale”

  3. Tara R. says:

    Very intriguing. I’d love to know more about the project and what happened before and after too.

  4. Amy Harrison says:

    Wow this class sounds awesome! 😀 Just like your post 🙂 Maybe she summoned a meteor by doing some sort of meteor dance. That would be pretty cool 😀

  5. Michael says:

    Gee, all my graduate work involves studying dry legal cases about contracts and torts and such. I wonder how one gets into Ella’s program? Are there scholarships? 😛

  6. deana says:

    Nice! Makes me want to know more.

  7. kgwaite says:

    Very intriguing – Love the imagery. Love the tight dialogue. Love the subtle humor.

  8. jannatwrites says:

    Wow, I have no idea what course this is, but I’d hate to be around anyone enrolled in such a class 🙂

  9. yes makes me want to know more as well.

  10. Lumdog says:

    This story is so intriguing. The dialogue leaves open the possibility for so many things. And I love how you spaced out the dialogue to leave the reader handing. Nicely done. Sorry for the test comment above. I tried twice before to leave a comment and it didn’t take.

  11. Gene says:

    Very intruiging. I wonder what year it is.

  12. i want to know more; i’m quite intrigued by this ‘graduate project’! and the opening line was a lovely use of the prompting term

  13. Linda Vernon says:

    This story shines even if it does invoke the smell of burned hair! 😀

  14. Christine says:

    Oooo, how interesting. This sort of thing is right up my alley, of course. The dialog is fantastic – I like how much the characters convey in very few words.

  15. Gina says:

    Sounds like my kind of science class. I will get Physics because you have to figure out the rate of velocity and propulsion a lot. Loved “that usually runs to the other end of the scale” a ton!!! You handled the dialog like a champ and let us figure it out…or thing we have…

  16. Tina says:

    Oooh! Nice story, you can take this so many different directions, and what you don’t sayis very powerful. Great job!

  17. I enjoyed the slightly ominous, yet clinical tone to this. It makes me wonder what atrocity could have been perpetrated in the name of science.
    Thanks for linking up. Be sure to come on back tomorrow for the new prompt.

  18. Imelda says:

    What a suspense! More please. 🙂

  19. Tessa says:

    How intriguing, suspenseful! Would love to know more about that class.

  20. Green Speck says:

    Will there be a 2nd part? Please 🙂

  21. sonya says:

    you just keep getting better and better at this. Hurry up and write the damn book would ya! I’m getting impatient to read the whole story (or two or three).

  22. Annabelle says:

    Thanks, everyone! Eila’s schooling does seem pretty cool but I don’t think I could bring myself to do a final project like this one. Even had my childhood been as unpleasant as I think hers was.

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