Trifecta: Limbs and Lanes

“That’s a turkey!” Brad exclaimed, moonwalking back toward her in his rented shoes.

“What is that?” Jessica whispered, looking in horror down the lane.

“A turkey, you know three strikes in a row?  Hey, don’t look so down.  I’m sure you’ll catch up,” he said grinning.

“No, I know what a damn turkey is.  You know I was on the bowling team in high school.  I meant, what’s that?”   She pointed toward what appeared to be a mangled foot dangling from the pinsetter.

“Shit! Is that a foot?”

She didn’t have a chance to respond before the house lights went down and the alley lit up in neon; strobe lights blinking. Loud techno music blared over the speakers signaling the start of cosmic bowling.

The lights over the lanes flashed wildly and the pinsetters began bouncing up and down in time to the beat.  All around them people were dancing; getting ready to bowl their first psychedelic frame.

Jessica watched as the crushed foot danced a repulsive jig.  On the next upswing, an arm joined in. Now  two extremities waved at her like some sort of mutilated marionette.   She let out a scream and turned to find Brad missing.

Surely he’d gone to report the body parts.  How was no one else seeing this?  She frantically cut her way through the darkness toward the front desk.

Finding the desk area vacant, she pulled out her phone and dialed 911, but before she could hit send, she slipped, landing in a puddle of something warm and slick.  As she attempted to push herself back to her feet, the lights flashed on Brad’s lifeless body lying behind the counter.  A blood covered bowling ball was by his side; a crimson river connected her body to his.

Two grimy work boots made their way toward her; she looked up to see a Lake City Bowl maintenance staff shirt.  “Help me,” she pleaded.

And then the lights went out.


Word count 325.  Written for The Trifecta Writing Challenge prompt:

This week we are asking you to have a little fun with us.  The English language is chock full of words with unexpected meanings, and this week we’re giving you one to play with.


1: a large North American gallinaceous bird (Meleagris gallopavo) that is domesticated in most parts of the world
2: failure, flop; especially : a theatrical production that has failed
3: three successive strikes in bowling
4: a stupid, foolish, or inept person
We cannot wait to see where you guys take this one.  Have fun with it.

  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.

I started with a story about this girl on an insanely boring date at the alley.  But the date was so boring that it dissolved into her wishing she were at home on the coach, glass of wine in hand, watching a First 48 marathon.  So why not have the alley be the scene of a crime?  That’s definitely more interesting than any bowling date!

Stay positive & love your life!


Listening to:  Kurt Vile – Baby’s Arms

Eating:  Eggplant rolentini

Drinking:  H2O

Random fact:  I suck at bowling.


29 thoughts on “Trifecta: Limbs and Lanes

  1. GAH! Remind me never to go bowling. Ever. Great escalation of tension all the way through.

  2. Oh my gosh, this was freaky!!

    I’ve been to the psychedelic bowling with the neon lights…never again!

  3. I don’t want to go bowling with these people. In fact after this, I think I will take up fishing instead.

  4. I was wondering how writers would get the horror I expect from Trifecta from this one…

  5. I don’t think I want to go bowling with these people. Also, this could have totally been linked up with David’s post for two perspectives of the same story.

  6. A horror story set in the bowling alley. So gruesome.

  7. Good lord! Way to take something so ordinary and spice it way up!

  8. This is creeptastic. 🙂

  9. Does this mean the league games are cancelled for the rest of the season?
    Gruesome fun.

  10. How utterly terrifying! Your description of the body parts dangling and dancing was tummy turning. I was afraid for the character.

  11. Sometimes a bad date turns into a bloody crime scene. I get it. I love how you worked in our ridiculous word. Thanks for playing along!

  12. Death by bowling alley! Creepily amusing.

  13. ooooh so creepy. I LOVED IT! 🙂

  14. Those automatic pin-setters always scared me as a kid… the thought of getting ground up by one terrified me. But I guess they went into them dead already, so, there’s that. 😉

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