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Sunday, October 28, 2012


What she saw twenty years ago
sent her so far away
that it took her twenty years to get back.
She’s back,
but her eyes no longer see;
she is no longer she.

          Credit: Zora Neale Hurst
[Trifecta] want thirty three words that are somehow related to Hurston's zombie sighting. How you structure your response is entirely up to you.

This weekend's challenge is community-judged.
·         For the 12 hours following the close of the challenge, voting will be enabled on links.
·         In order to vote, return to this post
 where stars will appear next to each link. To vote, simply click the star that corresponds with your favorite post.
·         You can vote for your top three favorite posts.
·         Voting is open to everyone. Encourage your friends to vote for you, if you wish, but please don't tell them to vote on a number. The numbering of the posts changes regularly, as authors have the ability to delete their own links at any time.
·         You have 12 hours to vote. It's not much time, so be diligent!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Greta sits hunched over the keyboard typing madly, squinting up at the backlit screen, the corner of the dining room grown dark around her. She is racing to finish her letter to the editor of the local paper –her third one this week- decrying the recent spate of bicycle robberies committed in the neighborhood. As disgraceful, she closes, is the spate of robberies as the state of this neighborhood.
Greta’s daughter Dolores is slouched in her bedroom sulking, clicking spitefully across her keypad, in and out of ten different chat rooms, using a different alias for each. Her black nails are beginning to chip from the friction. A piece of stray hair slips from behind her ear, blurs her vision, and is hastily, angrily replaced.
The quiet, tenebrous apartment is filling with the sound of microwave popcorn. Greta has been counting on this indulgence all afternoon. There is a glass of wine with her name on it, and this naughty little snack to reward her for yet another societal ill uncovered, disclosed, denounced. The town is going to hell in a handbasket, with only Greta to take notice.
She uncrosses her legs, pushes out her chair and stands to stretch before heading into the kitchen at the ding of the bell. She hears a soft creaking of the floorboards. Down the dark hall there is a glint of light under her daughter’s door. As she watches, the sliver of amber grows slowly larger, the creaking louder. She holds her breath and watches as the girl, who is reflected in the glass framed print on the wall, advances up the hall and slips stealthily into the kitchen.
Vile girl, she thinks. Always poised like a vulture waiting to strike. Like a starving orphan, a voracious snake, her unfathomable hunger drives her from her cave. Mother and daughter stand before the microwave. Between them arises a sinister aura of fire and brimstone that gathers in ribbons to entwine with the intoxicating smell of popped corn.

SINISTER      3: singularly evil or productive of evil

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Be Careful What You Wish For

I wished for a loving man to make me happy.
I wished he would be faithful and kind.
And -why not- tall, dark and handsome.
I forgot to wish him into old age.

Trifextra: Thirty-Eight

We are asking you to write 33 words exactly about three wishes that come at a high price to the wisher.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dressed In Black

  Look at her standing there behind his mother, limply shaking hands, stoically holding the gazes of women who weep, baring her lipstick-stained cheeks. She’s a giantess, expanding out into the closed room with that foreign build, the purse that doesn’t match, those clunky shoes that are ten years old if they’re a day. Is there no one to stand beside her and hold that tacky purse, hand her a tissue, tell her which is the great aunt, who the wizened old man is, the one who is shuffling up to his father, what was his name?

There she stands like an old Southern woman, displaced, outdated. Does she not realize that people don’t wear black anymore? She’s just being melodramatic, steeped in hyperbole, determined to step into a place that was never meant for her.
Look at her, standing over the coffin like a buzzard. How is a person to edge over there unnoticed for a peek, to gaze upon his poor lost face one last time?
She had to have him to herself and look what’s happened. He’s gone and there she stands, trying to look forlorn, as if only she could mourn him. He should have known better, but now look where we are, all of us. How dare she?
She stands in the corner, not knowing what to do with her hands, can’t leave her hair alone. She doesn’t know enough to give her arm to his mother, help her up to embrace the old aunt.
She stands wavering, as if some sturdy breeze blowing in from elsewhere were tilting her, tipping her into perpetual imbalance, an ungainly state of asymmetry.
Had she worn white, or a theatrical light fuchsia, she might have managed to seem ethereal, perched on the edge of a cloud. Dressed in black, she is as solid as a rock, yet she totters like a boulder shaken from its purchase on the cliff, suspended a moment before it hurtles tumbling into the surf.
Trifecta week forty-seven
3: dressed in black
Including Pearl Jam:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

On The Count of Three

she grabs at the ledge. Gail and Sue fall away screaming. They hit the water to the boys’ cheers. She watches them surface. “My foot got stuck,” she says, climbing back up again.
"Trifextra" challenge
On the count of three...
You can choose to include those words if you want, but they do not count toward the 33 words of your own.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


“Watch,” DEATH says, her pale face showing the slightest hint of pink. “I love it when they get melodramatic.” She holds her phone out to DESTRUCTION

In the video, the man’s eyes flutter open in alarm. He’s been having a nightmare. ‘Our babies,’ he says in an echoing rasp, “they were standing on the edge of a tall building. I had to choose which one to save, but then they began to jump, one by one.” He turns to his wife, takes a long breath and whispers, ‘You must look after them. Buy safety nets.’

“SPRING! DEATH! You’re up next,” the little pixie in charge shoos the two icons out of the dressing room. “HOPE, you too, go on,” DEATH hears as she swishes past. She wonders which god of contrasts thrashed out the order of the models in this Personification Charity Fashion Show. The two waiflike, fluttering beauties flank her stark white skeleton, which is draped in a solid black, über-urban hoodie dress. She slings the scythe like a purse.

SPRING, executing a flouncy pirouette at the end of the runway, pulls DEATH up short. Her smooth, silent glide comes to a clinking, clanking halt as all her bones pile one upon the other with a loud rattle. DEATH looks up, tugging at her scythe which has caught on something. She’d swung it about when she lost her footing. The long sliver blade has sliced along SPRING’s spinal cord and wedged itself in her coccyx. Rivulets of dark red stain their way down to the shiny walkway and pool with another dark red flood originating behind DEATH, who turns to find HOPE severed in two.

DEATH frees the silver blade from SPRING’s flesh with a sucking intake of air. She leans on it and shakes her head. She can hear the inner voices from the audience shouting Why them? Why now?.

DEATH looks at DESTINY standing behind the curtain on the stage.  ‘It was you, wasn’t it?’ she mouths.
  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Driftwood II

Promises tumbled out of her mouth in a glittering rush of words he could never decipher,
like sea spray breaking over driftwood to settle in a sand-filled knothole.

Trifextra 36 challenge. I cheated a little because when I saw the driftwood on the beach this weekend, I knew I had to use it.
La Gola del Ter, Oct 2012

Friday, October 5, 2012

After Hours

Dark streets, not quite empty, echo my footsteps as I rush towards a bus because the metro has stopped. I’ve been talking to an Italian photographer about his images of other worlds.

On the wide avenue, I climb aboard a harshly lit #N14 and open my book, giddy with the evening and the wine. I look with sudden surprise, jump up and off the bus; I’ve been going the wrong way. Alone on this wide empty avenue I stand and wait. No one is waiting, no one is walking.

I step behind the bus stop, away from the streetlight, and there is a flash from the pavement. A watch with an absolutely round, white face rimmed in gold lies on its side between black leather straps. Thin black hands mark roman numerals under glass that has one deep crack running shortly between two and nine.

As I pick it up, everything goes dark. I blink, look around. The lights of the avenue are out. Windows on the buildings are dark to the rooftops, but above there is light. My eyes adjust to the big dipper. Other constellations come into view; I don’t know their names. Orion must be behind a building.

I look at the watch. I wonder whose it was. It feels like me, inoperative with no arm to clasp, pointless with no time to tell. Yet now I hold it in my hand, hesitant to try it on my arm. I give it an uneasy tap against my wrist. Is there someone somewhere missing this watch? Why have I stopped wearing one?

I stand rubbing the face, checking back along the dark road until the bus finally pulls to a stop. I can’t try on the watch -would it fit? is it mine?- but neither have I left it abandoned on the curb. On the long lonely ride home, I must decide if I need to wear this watch; whether the watch needs to be worn or not.

Collaborative prompts from http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/2012/10/trifecta-week-forty-five.html
where the word was "uneasy". The storyline was from National Poetry Day @poetrydayuk Twitter Poem workshop.
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