Archive for December, 2012

Trifecta: The Arrival

Posted in Fiction on December 26th, 2012 by Annabelle – 5 Comments

When it came, she knew how she should be.  Glassy-eyed with wonder.  Struck silent with reverence.  Staggered by the magnitude of the change.

She wasn’t.  When it finally came, it was after years of dawdling, dragging its feet like a recalcitrant child, dripping stars and omens behind it in a messy trail of portents too exhausting to decipher.  When at last it lolled onto the stage, basking in the light of its own self-pleasure, it was exactly how she’d pictured it.  The sun still rose over wet green fields, the cows still needed feeding,  and the fraying hole in the pocket of her coat still consumed all her spare change.  Life went on.

In the end, she thought, the only wonder of it was that they had waited for it for so long.


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

Thanks for reading!


Posted in Calere, Fiction on December 21st, 2012 by Annabelle – 6 Comments

Cy looked down at his pay slip and contemplated the latest misspelling of his name.  Seinen.  It had, in past weeks, been Sinan, Sainnen, and in a bizarre creative flight that he still had trouble believing wasn’t deliberate, Siiniin.  Sinan at least sounded Caleran.  What sort of a guy was Seinen?  Heid, maybe?  It had a Heid sort of an air to it, all E and I.

He shook his head and pushed off the wall, turning toward the offices.  Every week, a new man here in the military.   He’d wondered at first if he should try to correct it — but he was having enough trouble about his foreign looks without making a fuss over the spelling of his even more foreign first name.  It was the least of his problems, really.  If he’d been one of the farmers’ kids, he probably wouldn’t even read well enough to know.

Of course, if he’d been one of the farmers’ kids, the Atan officers wouldn’t all look at him like he was a mercenary.

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Trifecta: Honeymoon

Posted in Fiction on December 17th, 2012 by Annabelle – 10 Comments

The door slammed.

Tassin came out of the back room, a startled look on his face.  “What was that?”

“Another entry for the list of people who are not happy for us.”

The alarm dropped away and he ambled forward.  His look said, plain as day, is that all?  “We’re going to run out of paper.  Who was it this time?”

“The priest.  He offered to heal me of your corruption.  I would have been touched if I wasn’t pretty sure there would have been fire involved for both of us.”

He sat back onto the arm of a chair and pulled her in.  “Who knew a cross-marriage would be so popular?”  He sounded inappropriately delighted.  His hand wove into her hair, pushing it back off her neck.

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Standing in the Flames

Posted in Fiction on December 13th, 2012 by Annabelle – 7 Comments

It pressed on Michael from the moment he walked in the gallery door.  The last exhibition of Itu experiential art, and it was packed, but the crush of humanity was hardly more than a thread against the overwhelming presence of the art.  The almost tangible buzz made him stumble and apologize to a woman who barely knew he was there.  A pickpocket’s dream, if only there were earplugs for the mind.

Michael looked out over the swimming room and saw him. A slouched figure, strangely alone, in front of a jangling, twisting work in the corner.  He closed his eyes, then pushed his way across, deliberately avoiding looking at the other man.  He fixed his gaze thoughtfully on a corner of the frame, trying not to see the art itself, and spoke.

“I was afraid you’d be here.”

A sharp laugh, and a twitch of the hand.  “You did say you wanted to say goodbye.”

“This isn’t what I meant.”  He slanted his eyes left.  “You look terrible.”  It was true.  Lucien was gaunt and jittery, unshaven.  Worse, the same consuming aura that radiated from the art seemed to spark from his skin.

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Trifecta: Letting Go

Posted in Calere, Fiction on December 10th, 2012 by Annabelle – 12 Comments

The boy was quiet when he told them.  His chin was held determinedly high over the brand new Church soldier’s uniform, and his face was a mixture of resolve and apology for the shock he was giving them.

It was almost enough to make the old man laugh despite it all.  They had been headed here all the boy’s life.  Longer — ever since the moment his daughter had led an Eastern mercenary in the door.  He might never forgive Dyan for marrying Ellin then dying on that pointless campaign, but he’d seen that coming the way he’d seen this coming.  Inevitable.  It had been in every line of the boy from the time he was six, an uncanny anticipation of the soldier now before him.

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Posted in Fiction on December 6th, 2012 by Annabelle – 7 Comments

She stood in the dusty parking lot, the peeling wooden door before her.  The warm glow coming through the bar windows seemed to beckon, a welcoming yellow that spoke of candlelight and the hearth.  Behind her, the unlit road stretched, featureless, into the dark.  She couldn’t remember how she had gotten there.  Her eyes narrowed suspiciously.

She pulled the door open.  The bar was empty but for the man behind the counter, and instead of stale beer, there was a faint whiff of incense.  She sighed.

“Is this another one of those damn allegorical bars?”

The bartender looked up from wiping a pint glass with a striped bar towel –when did real bartenders ever do that? — and nodded.  “You got yourself into a pretty bad accident,” he said with a lift of the eyebrow.  “What did you expect?”

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Trifecta: Finality

Posted in Fiction on December 3rd, 2012 by Annabelle – 14 Comments

He stood quietly, wind ruffling his hair, and watched her crush the talisman to powder.  The crunch of it under her boot was unnaturally loud, and this deserted corner at the edge of the city felt like the ends of the earth.

“You’re that sure.”

She didn’t even spare him a glance.  Her gaze was intent on the sparkling dust on the concrete, and a deep satisfaction showed on her face.  She spotted a thumbnail-sized fragment that had escaped destruction and hastened to remedy the situation, grinding it under her heel until what was left was lifted by the wind and blown away.

His hand lifted involuntarily to his own talisman, reassuringly safe and whole in his hip pocket.  “You’ll never be able to go back.”  He knew that she knew, that it was the whole point of the thing, but the words spilled out all the same.

She lifted her eyes to his, and they sparkled with an honest delight that he hadn’t seen in years.  “Never.”  Inexplicably, she gurgled a laugh, grabbed his hand, and pulled him off toward the city.

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

1a : to squeeze or force by pressure so as to alter or destroy structure <crush grapes>
b : to squeeze together into a mass
2   : hug, embrace
3   : to reduce to particles by pounding or grinding <crush rock>

Thanks for reading!