Discarded Leftovers

This week, Trifecta Writing asked us for exactly 33 of our own words about love gone wrong. The catch, we couldn’t use any of the following words: love, sad, tears, wept, heart, pain.

Here’s my 33-word tale:

Discarded Leftovers

Splotchy cheeks wet with anguish, droplets spatter my feet. Clenching the distended backpack of my life’s leftovers, wondering why she discarded me, I balk as the door opens to my next temporary family.

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The Un-fortune-ate Teller

The dimly lit room reeks of funky incense and the hopes of the pathetic believers who place their future in the hands of a charlatan. Their presence hangs heavy in the creases of the cheap brocade curtains veiled in years of dusty deceit.

Roosting on a crimson velvet chaise lounge, I wait to have my future revealed by the Great Madame Oriel. She comes highly recommended by her throng of devotees.

The curtain to the back room parts and a disconcerted woman hurries past me, clutching a tissue in her trembling hand.

“Bad news?” I ask, but my question is answered with a curt snort.

“Miss Ellanora,” a disembodied voice with a southern drawl beckons me, “I’m ready to help you discover your destiny.” Continue reading

Color Me Normal

Crayons“Don’t color outside the lines,” I said. “And make the eyes blue.”

“I like to do it my way. Use different colors. Change the shapes a little,” replied Opal as she chewed the inside of her cheek. Coloring took a lot of concentration.

Exasperated, I said, “Are you using orange for the eyes? And blue for the skin? Giant blue ears are scary. You made them almost as big as the head.” It was a horrifying representation of a young girl with her dog. Who ever heard of a girl with giant blue ears and orange eyes walking a green dog with yellow polka dots?

“Can you at least make the hair normal?” I asked.

“Whatever,” she said with a crooked smirk.

Opal frantically colored the girl’s hair, swirling and scratching with violet and indigo until she created what looked like a bruised and battered Medusa head. Satisfied with her work, she leaned back in her chair and flashed a dazzling smile at me. Her sizzling red, coiled tresses and protruding ears eerily resembled her drawing.

“I’m all done. What do you think?” Opal asked.

“I think I’m a little worried.”

“I’m gonna sign my name now. Ready?”

With hesitation, I said, “Ready.”

Using the black crayon, Opal scrawled her name in big, wobbly letters. As she trailed off at the end of the L, the room seemed to spin. I felt as if I were caught in a vacuum, the air sucked upward. Then, in the next instant, I became real, a real girl plucked from the pages of a child’s coloring book.

I stood in front of Opal with my Dumbo ears, feral hair and carroty eyes, and tried to look happy. She covered her mouth with her tiny hands as a giggle escaped. I looked down at my grassy green dog and cringed. I mumbled a wish to be normal, pretty.

Opal said proudly, “You are normal and pretty. I made you look just like me.”

This fantastical story was written for Trifecta. This week’s challenge was to write a story or poem between 33 and 333 words containing the third definition of the word: WHATEVER (adverb) Used to show that something is not important.

I also incorporated The Daily Post’s daily writing prompt to use Roy G. Big – that is, all seven colors of the rainbow — Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet — somewhere in the story.

Christmas Cheer: A Trifextra Flash

And now for a little vintage Christmas cheer for Trifecta’s Trifextra writing challenge. This week we were tasked with writing exactly 33 words that would even make Scrooge laugh out loud. In the words of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.” I hope this makes you laugh.

MillerBeerChristmas

Christmas Cheer

“Mommy, why’s Daddy swerving?”

“Daddy had a nip of the high life, Timmy. Grammy gets on his last nerve.”

“Gee, it’s a good thing the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh.”

Scatter: A Trifextra Flash, Week Ninety-Seven

The dazzle of the setting sun across the basin is blindingly breathtaking, but my view is myopic. In our favorite place, I honor his last wish as his ashes scatter into the wind.

Setting Sun

This tale was written for Trifecta’s weekend challenge, Trifextra Week Ninety-Seven. The challenge was to add thirty of our own words to the following three words, for a total of thirty-three: Myopic, Basin, Dazzle.

Trifecta Week 103: The Good Hider, Part III

Welcome to Part III of The Good Hider, written for Trifecta Week 103. The challenge this week was to use the word:

REMEMBER (verb): 3 a :  to keep in mind for attention or consideration <remembers friends at Christmas> b :  Reward <was remembered in the will>

If you haven’t read the first two parts of The Good Hider, you can find them here:

The Good Hider, Part I

The Good Hider, Part II

 

The Good Hider, Part III

Karni awoke with a hair-raising scream. Covered in sweat and gasping for breath, she clutched her throat as if an unseen presence was strangling the life from her. She choked; a long-lasting retch that threatened to empty her stomach. It was dark and hot. She could swear the air smelled of smoke. She couldn’t focus her eyes.

The door creaked open, throwing a shaft of light across her face. She shielded her eyes with the back of her hand.

“Karni? You okay, sweetheart?” whispered her mother.

“Mom,” Karni replied, “I had a bad dream, really bad. It scared me.”

Her mothered sat on the bed, pushed the damp tendrils of hair from Karni’s face and said, “Don’t worry. It’ll get easier. The dreams will go away. I promise.”

Karni blurted, “But the dream seemed so real. Lucy and I were playing hide and seek in the neighbor’s junky lot. I was trapped in a car trunk. A woman with wings came, and she caught on fire. I think she tried to kill me. I thought I was going to burn up.”

Her mother listened with uneasiness. It had been a month since it happened, and Karni wasn’t coping well.

She changed the subject. “I thought maybe we could go out tomorrow and do something fun. Get out of the house for a while. What do you think?”

“Okay, Mom. Can Lucy come with us? I wanna tell her about my dream.”

Her mother was speechless. Her heart was breaking for Karni. Her summertime and childhood were forever tainted. She would always remember them with angst. She thought about the doctor’s advice for when Karni regressed. She cleared her throat and gently said, “Sweety, you know that’s not possible, right? We talked about this.”

Karni’s eyes glazed and her body deflated under the burden of reality. With a quivering lip, she whispered, “Lucy?”

“No, Karni. Lucy’s gone. You remember; the house fire took her.”

Trifextra Week 93: The Good Hider, Part II

For the last Trifecta writing challenge, I wrote a flash fiction piece, The Good Hider, that ended on a bit of a horrifying note. Readers expressed worry over the fate of my young character, Karni. So, I’ve written a 33-word Part II for Trifextra Week Ninety-Three. The challenge this weekend:

“Buddhist cosmology tells of Trāyastriṃśa, or the Heaven of Thirty-Three gods, which rule over the human realm. This weekend we’re asking for exactly 33 of your own words about a god of your own devising that shares heaven with the other thirty-two gods. Make it yours and have fun with it.”

If you haven’t read the first part of my story, you can find it here: The Good Hider, Part I.

The Good Hider, Part II

Feverish dreams burdened Karni. A feminine spirit, human-like with diaphanous wings, whispered, “Sleep, child.” Her wings combusted. Flames devoured Karni.

Her eyes opened. She pounded on the trunk, “I don’t wanna win, Lucy!”

Did this not appease your fears? What will be Karni’s fate? Stay tuned for Part III…

Trifecta Week 102: The Good Hider

Field of Flowers

The Good Hider

Nine-year-old Lucy counted aloud, “Five, four, three, two, one. Ready or not, here I come.”

She uncovered her eyes and scanned the weedy yard. No sign of Karni. She was a good hider, had perfected her craft, but Lucy was a good seeker. She had to get into Karni’s head, think like her.

“I’m getting closer,” Lucy bluffed, hoped Karni’s giggles would give her away. Nothing.

Karni was sure she was hidden in the one place Lucy would never think to look. She kept her hand clamped tight over her mouth to control her instinctual giggle and focused on not being found. Hide and seek was her favorite game. She hated to lose. As Lucy’s voice moved away from her clever hiding place, she closed her eyes and waited with a confident grin on her face.

Lucy looked in all the usual places, started to get discouraged. Her mother’s distant voice beckoned, “Lucy, time to come in for dinner.”

One last inspection of the yard revealed nothing new. Thinking of her mother’s mac and cheese, Lucy’s stomach growled and the seek was abandoned.

Still playing her part of the game, Karni remained silent inside the abandoned car trunk, as it grew blistering hot. She felt sleepy. The heat lulled her mind. She forgot about hiding, gave in to the dreamy temptation.

Inside the cool house, Lucy’s mother asked, “Where’s Karni?”

With a shrug, Lucy replied, “Don’t know. I guess she went home. We were playing hide and seek, but I couldn’t find her. She’s too good, and she hates to lose.”

TrifectaThis story was written for Trifecta Week 102, where the word of the week is: CRAFT (noun)
:  skill in deceiving to gain an end <used craft and guile to close the deal>

Click on the badge to read the other entries or join the challenge.

Trifextra Week Ninety: More Frightening than the Darkness

More Frightening than the Darkness

Unattainable peace through the barrel of a gun

Exploitative power in the guise of faith

Habitual hate through the ignorance of tradition

Intolerance. Prejudice. Repression. Separation.

Helplessly turning a blind eye. Silence. Defeat.

Written for Trifecta’s Trifextra Weekend Challenge. Our task this weekend was to write about what scares you in exactly 33 words. Many things scare me, but I think I covered a plethora of fears in my poem.

Trifecta Week Ninety-Nine: The Halloween Party

In a boozy haze, she lifted her leaden, aching body from the kitchen floor and focused on the havoc that surrounded her. Flashbacks of a wild pre-Halloween party, a disturbing bacchanal rife with numbing spirits, lavish feasting, and unspeakable butchery, plagued her mind. What had she done?

She stood on wobbly legs and harshly rubbed her eyes. Bodies and empty booze bottles, parts and pieces, littered every kitchen surface. The gore was strewn and smeared like graffiti painting the room.

Horrified, she screamed, “Wake up, you lushes! Whose idea was it to drunk carve all these pumpkins last night?”

This 99-word story was based on the word, Bacchanal (the first definition) from page 99 of the Oxford English Dictionary.

Oxford Dictionary Pg99

This week is Trifecta Week Ninety-Nine, a very special week for the writing challenge. They’re looking for at least 99 entries from all the Trifecta writers. So get on over to their website and join the challenge. One lucky Trifectan will be chosen at random to win a $99 gift card to Amazon.com or to a local, independent book store of their choice.

Trifecta Week Ninety-Eight: The Collection

Spider WebIt is my once a year kill night. My one night to unshackle the surplus of depravity that dwells inside my skin. My one night to add to my collection of catches. I hide my craving under the guise of a push-up bra and plunging neckline that effectively captivates the ogling eyes of every man in the hotel bar. I sit on a corner barstool, the perfect vantage point for man watching.

The men are drawn to me like bees to nectar. Pathetic. Desperate. Arrogant. None of them will satiate my hunger.

“What can I get you,” the bartender asks.

I swivel around to look at him. Desire prickles my skin. My heart palpitates. He is the prey I hunt for, the catch of the year.

“A zombie, please,” I say, a little breathless.

His smile is charming, full lips and flawless teeth. His skin is a lovely, creamy brown. And his eyes, those eyes are dark with a sparkle of mischief. I am in love.

“Tommy,” I say, reading his nametag, “I believe in being direct.” I lean forward to give him a healthy dose of cleavage, and he is instantly a captive in my web.

“What do you have in mind?” he asks, placing my zombie cocktail on the bar.

I take a long, slow drink and reply, “When does your shift end?”

“Right now,” he says and motions toward the other bartender. They covertly whisper and give me that knowing look. I smile innocently and slide off the barstool.

As we exit out the back door, he says, “I hate to use a cliché, but, your place or mine?”

I slip my arm through his and pull him close. “My place,” I reply, and gently plunge the needle into his arm. He collapses against the car, awake but paralyzed. I push him into the backseat and whisper, “I have a spectacular taxidermy collection I want to show you. I’m an enthusiastic hunter, and I love to keep trophies.”

This October creepiness was written for Trifecta Week Ninety-Eight . The challenge this week was to concoct a tale using the third definition of the word:

ZOMBIE – 3:  a mixed drink made of several kinds of rum, liqueur, and fruit juice

Sorry, living dead lovers, no zombies here other than the fruity, tropical kind you drink. If you would like to join the challenge or read the other stories and poems, click on the badge:

Trifecta

Trifextra Week Eighty-Eight: Decay

Dripping decay and the remnants of the flesh he had consumed, Zee stumbled from the swampy muck and exclaimed, “Damn! I would’ve gotten away with it if it weren’t for those meddling kids!”

Trifextra Week 88

Artist credit: Dan Duford
Photo Source

This 33-word story was written for the Trifextra Week Eighty-Eight prompt. I have to credit the always entertaining Scooby-Doo for that well known last line. I just couldn’t resist using a slightly varied version of it with this photo. The photo comes from www.poisonedplayground.com.

Trifecta Week Ninety-Seven: The Blue Dress

“What do you think about this one? Does it make me look fat?” she asked holding up a blue sleeveless dress she’d worn a million times.

“No. Just pick. We have to go,” he replied with impatience, tapping his wristwatch.

She stared at him, clearly hurt by his dismissal of her feelings. She chucked the dress at him and stomped off to the closet. He rubbed his eyes with the palms of his hands and whispered, “No that doesn’t make you look like a fat-ass, dear.”

“I heard that!” she yelled from the closet. “Are you saying my ass is fat?”

“I said it didn’t make you look fat. You. Are. Not. Fat,” he yelled back.

She emerged from the closet wearing nothing but a scowl and leaned against the doorframe. He waited for her to either cry or lash him with a sarcastic retort. He found it difficult to predict her mood. Their eyes locked until he couldn’t take it anymore. He visually wandered around the curves of her naked body, lingered over her scenic parts until he stopped on her most stunning, picturesque view.

“What are you staring at?” she asked with a smirk.

He looked away shyly and stood. “You know what I’m looking at. Now, put this on so we can go,” he said holding out the blue dress.

Giving in, she snatched it from him. “You’re right. This one’s my favorite.”

She slipped on her underwear and squeezed into the dress. Admiring her reflection in the mirror, she said, “It wasn’t this tight last time I wore it.”

He hugged her tenderly and said, “You ready now? Our appointment’s in less than two hours.”

She pulled away and stroked her pregnant belly. “Yep. I think we’re both ready now.”

So, the challenge for Trifecta Week 97 was to use the third definition of the word:

ASS 3. (adverb/adjective) often vulgar—often used as a postpositive intensive especially with words of derogatory implication <fancy-ass>.

This could have gone horribly vulgar and dark, but I decided to lighten it up for this challenge. I’ll return to my regularly scheduled intense creepiness next time.

Trifecta Week Ninety-Six: The Final Victim

I said it many times, to many insistent faces, “I didn’t know.” My words were met with skepticism and judgment based solely on rumor. They cannot know what I felt, what I experienced, what I knew.

When they came with their grandiose weaponry raised, their cagey interrogation tactics and groundless accusations and plucked him from our once normal home, I refused to believe their lies. I stood at his side through the feeding frenzy of hate. I held his hand and whispered in his ear, “I believe in you.”

He insisted it was a matter of mistaken identity. He wasn’t capable of such violence and debauchery. His face was a portrait of virtue. His eyes a porthole of anguish. His tears saturated my heart with misery.

Six months of wait, of worry, and warding off the vigilant eye of the community, and the trial began. I dutifully watched from the back row, craving anonymity. I became an afterthought for a brief and glorious moment. All eyes on him. All ears on the facts.

Judgment day came and through a haze of testimony and evidence, the creeping tendrils of doubt latched around my mind and suffocated my faith in his innocence. The proof was undeniable. He was a monster, animal by nature. His deeds corporeal.

His punishment was death. Far too inadequate, I realized, as I stared into the plagued eyes of the victims’ families and listened to their grief-stricken pleas for answers. Justice had failed to resurrect or bring closure. It only reflected a callous light on the how and when, unable to illuminate the why.

In the end, I was his final victim, the only one to have survived. It made me, not admired or pitied, but hated, ashamed, accountable. A jury of my peers rendered my verdict, “Guilty by association.” I was sentenced to death, not in body, but in spirit.

This story was prompted by Trifecta Week Ninety-Six. The word (third definition) to use for this week:

ANIMAL (noun) 3  :  a human being considered chiefly as physical or nonrational; also :  this nature

Don’t forget to read the other creative writings based on this prompt. Click on the Trifecta link above to visit their website.

Trifecta Week Ninety-Five: Chasing Monsters

Hodag IllustrationShrouded in grime and hunkered behind a fallen tree trunk, he waited for his elusive foe to emerge from the depths of the dense forest. It was going on three hours of surveillance in the darkness, and the creepy pests and critter eye shine was beginning to spook him.

Each time he heard rustling, his pulse quickened. Still, nothing promising emerged.

He swatted another mosquito sucking on his bare neck, hoping it only sounded deafening to his ears. He didn’t want to give himself away, but maintaining his position was getting difficult. His legs were cramping. His fingers felt numb.

At least he had a full moon to provide filtered light through the trees. His night vision binoculars did the rest. He scanned the area and caught movement in the brush. It moved closer. He held his breath as it poked its way into his line of sight. A porcupine.

“Damn!,” he exclaimed aloud.

He was so sure it was the one. He had been searching for the Hodag for 10 years. In silhouette, through the binoculars, the porcupine had the same low-slung body with spikes on its arched back. He should have known tonight wasn’t his night. The Hodag wasn’t ready to reveal itself. Maybe he was just chasing an end-of-the-rainbow hoax.

He was too frustrated. Too exhausted. He packed up his gear and headed out of the forest.

The hike took fifteen minutes. Inside his truck, he flipped the heat on high and sighed in relief of the dry warmth.

As he drove away, disappointed again, a furry creature stepped into the center of the dirt road. Its bloody fangs glistened in the moonlight, a porcupine dangled from its jaws. Its horned head and back gave it the look of a prehistoric beast. It watched until the truck’s taillights faded into the dusty tree line, then skulked off to finish its dinner.

This has been another Trifecta writing challenge. This week we were tasked with using the third definition of the word:

RAINBOW (noun)

3 [from the impossibility of reaching the rainbow, at whose foot a pot of gold is said to be buried] :  an illusory goal or hope

I hope you enjoyed my fictional tale of the Hodag beast from the deep woods and the man who hunts it. The Hodag is said to be a terrifying, horned, four-legged varmint that stalks the woods, caves and hillsides near Rhinelander, Wisconsin. A stegosaurian-like creature, its only weakness, its kryptonite, is citrus fruits. You can read about the Hodag and other hair-raising monsters in a book called Fearsome Critters written by Henry H. Tyron in 1939. The stories are quite entertaining.