Trifecta: The Year

It was the year that changed everything, they all agreed.  It was the year the revolution swept through the capital, the year ideas took flame and the new age began.  It was the year the young dreamers in the cities could hardly see for the stars sparking before their eyes, and everything seemed possible.

That was the only thing they seemed to agree on.  The discussions were complicated by the fact that no two scholars agreed on what to call it.  The elderly called it the 12th year of King Roland — the young firebrands at the university called it the Glorious Year — the new priests called it the Fourth Year of the Second Cycle of the Progenitor, whoever that was. Even all this time later, he still didn’t know.

He remembered it as an ordinary enough year.  The pear harvest had been moderately good.  One of the vats of fall ale had gone bad and had to be dumped out.  His youngest sister had gotten married.  The most unusual thing that had happened was that a mare two villages over had produced twins.  They hadn’t lived out the week, but he’d gone over to see them all the same.  The smith’s son had insisted it was an omen.  The whole village still laughed over that from time to time.

He trudged out onto the porch, dropped into the creaky old rocking chair, and smacked the old ashes out of his pipe against the bottom of his boot.  The leaves in the orchard rustled gently as he tamped in new tobacco.  The blossom was setting well this year; it should be a good harvest.  He leaned back with a creak.  The scent of the earth was rising like a wave under the morning sun.   The year that had changed everything.  He coughed out a laugh, and lit his pipe.

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

1: the period of about 3651/4 solar days required for one revolution of the earth around the sun
2: a cycle in the Gregorian calendar of 365 or 366 days divided into 12 months beginning with January and ending with December
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  1. Intriguing. The sense of place is terrific. Oh, and ‘he coughed out a laugh’. superb.

  2. jannatwrites says:

    Nice piece! I especially like the descriptions in the last paragraph.

  3. Great writing. The difference between the realities of a common man and that of the intelligentsia…very nicely written

  4. Leigh says:

    I like the contrast between the big events and the reminder that many people’s lives just go on as usual regardless of the world’s travails.

  5. Draug (@Draug419) says:

    Oooo I do love this ^__^ Your style is so wonderful and your story feels so real and alive. <3

  6. kgwaite says:

    I love the “big event” and the year that has no name and his seemingly simple life so full of import. I love the pear harvest and all that it signifies. Truly beautiful.

  7. stephanie says:

    The young dreamers could hardly see because of the stars sparking before their eyes. I love that. And the end when he coughs out a laugh remembering it all. The year that had changed everything and nothing. Wonderful take on the word.

  8. I read this and thought it so earthy, so much from another time, a fantasy. I like how the piece starts so grand with the abstract idea of a year, a momentous year, but narrowed to the concrete of daily living where all those ideas really don’t matter as much as the change of season. Delightful and poignant.

  9. Tina says:

    Nice! The world turns, and what is momentous to some is just plain ordinary to others. I like the last part, where he was getting his pipe ready for a smoke. Earthy, plain-folk language conveys so much in so few words!

  10. Trifecta says:

    Wow. I really liked the details about the horse and the fall ale. Nicely constructed!

  11. Christine says:

    This is wonderful – I don’t even have words. The way you balance the great events with the small, the grand and abstract with the homely details. A winning piece, I’d say.

  12. Annabelle says:

    Thanks so much, everyone!

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