Posts Tagged ‘Trifecta Writing Challenge’

Trifecta: Leave-Taking

Posted in Fiction on February 4th, 2013 by Annabelle – 29 Comments

“You’re sure this is the path you want to take.”

She surveyed the crumbling goat-track down to the harbor cheerfully.  “It looks solid enough.”  The crisp salt air ruffled her hair and made her want to twirl.

“That is not what I meant.”  She looked up.  The disapproval had flattened him out like a toad.  He was comically glum, as if he might melt into a puddle of sheer concentrated obloquy.  She resisted the urge to pat him affectionately on the head.

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Trifecta: First Blood

Posted in Calere, Fiction on January 28th, 2013 by Annabelle – 36 Comments

“Hang in there, Dane.  We’ll be there soon.”  There was no more response than the last three times.  Cy told himself it was probably a good thing that Dane had passed out.   Easier that way.

Cy winced as the wagon jolted and his fingers, slippery with blood, slid across the increasingly saturated pad above Dane’s left hip.  He swore quietly.  Dane was looking far too white, and as for the wound, Cy was afraid to lift up the pad again to look.  The mouth of the wound had been ragged after the captain had pulled the arrow out, and the blood was still coming no matter how hard he pressed.  Cy was far from sure that yanking the arrow that way had been the right thing to do — it was bleeding so much — but he had no idea what else they could have done.

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Trifecta: The Frog Prince

Posted in Fairy Tales, Fiction on January 16th, 2013 by Annabelle – 15 Comments

The frog contemplated the golden ball.  It glittered through the murky water, half-buried in the black silt of the pond’s bottom.  He could hear the princess crying above, her voice weirdly distorted by the water but still distinguishable.  The wavering image on the surface showed him a green dress and dark red hair.  Red.  Never his favorite.

He swam over and prodded the ball with one sticky toe.  It was his way out of this mess, he supposed.  Back to the old life of flavored ices and servant girls, assuming he could avoid marrying the weeper.  He slowly blinked the nictitating membrane across his eye, the best he could do for a nostalgic sigh in this clammy body.  It had been a good life, if not useful.  He’d been an idle prince at best, years from responsibility in a peaceful kingdom that did just fine with no help from him.  Lovely.

His parents had put it about that it had been a spiteful fairy, he’d heard.  It probably sounded better than admitting that he’d insulted a witch on his way out of her rumpled cottage bed the second night, and that she had decided sliminess suited him.  True love.  He would have rolled his eyes if he could have.  But it only had to be true love for her, didn’t it?  That might not be so hard.

Red-headed, though.  He peered up through the water, trying to discern what sort of figure was attached to all that red hair.  Hm.  He pushed off of the golden ball with a back foot, and swished back into the depths of the pond.  Princesses were so much work, after all.  And perhaps a blonde would come by later.

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

3: a : shiftless, lazy
b : having no evident lawful means of support

Thanks for reading!


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!

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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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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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!

Trifecta: The Year

Posted in Fiction on November 6th, 2012 by Annabelle – 12 Comments

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
Thanks for reading!

Trifecta: Stygian Shore

Posted in Fiction on October 8th, 2012 by Annabelle – 17 Comments

The witch finished the incantation and held her breath for a long moment, waiting.  A gust of icy wind swept past the candles ringing her living room, and a hollow voice sounded.  “Who summons me?”  A figure stepped out of the shadows into the circle of flame.

The witch’s eyes widened.  Tall and bony she had been expecting.  Dark flames in the eye sockets, check.  And okay, the grimoire hadn’t actually said there’d be black robes and a scythe, but this…  It was wearing a white wifebeater and a baseball cap — backward. A shiny black button shirt was slung over its shoulder, and the waistband of a pair of striped shorts protruded from the top of the jeans.  She couldn’t keep herself from reading it.  Abercr–  She shook herself.

“You’re kidding me.”

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Trifecta: Uneasy Lies the Head

Posted in Calere, Fiction on October 3rd, 2012 by Annabelle – 15 Comments

A clatter sounded from the other end of the room, cutting through the din.  Callie’s head jerked.  One of the other servants had dropped a charger of roast pig spectacularly on the floor.  She turned back to the table and filled another goblet.  These Atan loved their wine.

She brushed a sleeve.  Murmuring an apology, she withdrew.  She wasn’t at all sure they understood her, but it hardly mattered.  She kept her head down, and they ignored her.  She was happy to be nothing.

The duke sat at the head table by the guest of honor.  He was uneasy in his cousin’s seat, so newly come to him.  It was a very different gathering than the ones the old duke had used to have, these minor nobles in ill-fitting Atani robes bowing and scraping and laughing too loudly.  But he had fought, and so was gone. It made her face flush with shame, but in her memories of that day, the horror of the children’s execution was overwhelmed by her relief at being left alive.

The duke’s wife, white-faced, sat erect next to him.  Her smile was brittle and her movements tight and sharp.  Everyone knew why.  She had been a votary of Amala.  For anyone else, that would have meant an execution, but her life had been spared… for now.  Spared on condition of her husband’s obedience, his cooperation with their new overlords.  Callie wondered if the duchess felt the same way she did: kneeling before their altar, thinking she was damned, damned for betraying her faith.

The Primate, newly arrived from overseas, sat nearby, his forearms resting lightly on the table.  He was short, stocky, pale, and he coiled in the chair like a snake.  Callie shivered.  She was the littlest, the tiniest mouse.  There was bigger game under his eye.

The duke raised his glass in a shaking hand.  “To our glorious lord, the Dawn Emperor!”  The desperate roar of voices assaulted her ear, and she turned away.


Welcome to this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge!  This week’s prompt calls for 33 to 333 words on the third definition of the word UNEASY (adj.):

1: causing physical or mental discomfort
2: not easy : difficult
3: marked by lack of ease : awkward, embarrassed <gave an uneasy laugh>

Thanks for reading!