Trifecta- Last Train Out

As you have likely noticed, I’ve been a bit remiss in my posting frequency as of late.  But life gets busy, writers find themselves oddly silent, and the blank page is simply forced to wait.

Ironic really that I felt energized to write today and headed over to one of my favorite prompts and online communities, the Trifecta Writing Challenge, only to learn that I’d caught it on the very last week.

For the final challenge here at Trifecta, we considered some flash and dazzle, a wild prompt to send us off with a bang. What we realized was the most achingly beautiful, haunting and dazzling words we’ve read from our brilliant community have been the ones you chose when you were given the freedom to write with abandon. So we’re lovingly, and eagerly, placing the choice in your hands. There’s no topic, no word, just a free write. Go anywhere your mind wants to travel. Take us there too. Just make it count, leave your blood all over this page. Thirty-three words exactly. Of course. We couldn’t end it any other way.

Thank goodness I didn’t miss the last prompt.  This community has been so helpful and encouraging.  They really gave me a push to give fiction a go.  It’s been a true pleasure getting to know this group of talented writers.  I’m sure I will continue to cross paths with many of you as we continue our online writing adventures.

This week I leave you with a piece I call “Last Train Out”.  Enjoy.

Hands, papery.

Face, weathered.

Years leaving lines etched like rivers in a vast canyon.

Mind, hazy.

Random memories played like a matinee.

Soul, weary.

Someone had to be the last to leave.

Goodbye.

 

Adieu Trifectans!

-Melissa

 

Today:

Listening to:  Neil Finn – Strangest Friends

Eating:  Gnocchi

Random thought:  Is it a novel idea to anyone that while in the movie theater you should refrain from speaking and being on your brightly lit phone?  Yeah, I didn’t think so either.  But judging from the behavior exhibited by the couple behind us yesterday, not everyone got the memo.

 

Trifecta: I Less Than Three You

I<3U

“I’ll not ask you again. The code, what does it mean?”

“It’s not a code. Shock me all you like, you’ll not worm it out of me. You’re awfully dense for a spy.”

Jumper-Cables-300x161

 

**Blogger’s Note**

Love has been on my mind 24/7 lately since my major weekend event.  I’m engaged!  So I was hoping that Trifecta would provide me with a great prompt this week with which to spin a lovey-dovey tale sure to make everyone cringe from the sappiness.  But not surprisingly, they provided a prompt that can very easily be taken in a twisted, dark direction (why I frequent this link-up!)  So my 33-word tale is tinged with crazy while still incorporating love, in  a sense.

 

Stay positive & love your life.

-Melissa

 

 

Today:

Listening to:  St. Vincent – Chloe In The Afternoon

Eating:  brussel sprouts, quinoa burger, black beans, sweet potato

Random thought:  Love changes everything.

So Long Old Friend

“I’m ready,” I said, a deceptively strong face fighting back tears.

I caressed your soft fur one last time. I gazed into your sapphire eyes; you knew, somehow.

“I’m ready,” I said, but that wasn’t what I meant.

 

1625533_10151832689076157_850806875_n

 

33 words + the phrase “That wasn’t what I meant.” for this week’s Trifecta Challenge.

This past Saturday, I said goodbye to my furry friend of nearly 18 years,  Sugar.  I’m going to miss her sweet disposition and loving nature.  She really was the picture of a perfect cat, so eager to give love and affection.  I don’t think anyone is ever truly ready to say good-bye to family.

 

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

 

Today:

Listening to: Air – Who Am I Now?

Eating:  Hummus and veggies wrap.

Random fact:  You can add Costco to the list of odd smells I enjoy.  Maybe it’s the cardboard boxes.

 

 

Trifecta- The Guest Part XXV

This week’s Trifecta prompt queued up another installment of our crazy partnership and their ever-unfolding saga of strange.  Trifecta asked us to use:

FUNK (noun)
1 a :  a state of paralyzing fear
b :  a depressed state of mind
2 :  one that funks :  COWARD
3 :  SLUMP  <an economic funk>  <the team went into a funk>

Need to get caught up on the story?  Check out all previous installments here.

And now this week’s 330 words.  Enjoy!

Me, a Dad! I just couldn’t get over the surprise of it all. I should have seen the signs all along. And it definitely explained all the odd behavior and the lingering funk she’d been in for the past few months.

As I made my way to our bedroom, any apprehension I felt melted away. This was great news!

“Baby, hey wake up. We need to talk.” I said gently shaking her awake. I guess pregnant women sleep a lot, because here she was napping at 3 in the afternoon.

She opened her eyes staring blankly at me.

“Come on, sit up. Let’s chat.”

“About what?” she managed to get out between yawns.

“About us. About the baby,” I said grinning like a fool.

“Baby?” she questioned.

“Yeah, look you don’t have to keep it a secret anymore. I know. The increased appetite, the mood swings, the afternoon naps,” I said nodding toward the bed. “It all adds up. I know. So out with it. Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Yes, oh, that,” she said slowly sitting up. “Well, I guess the gig is up. Yep, I’m knocked up. Preggars. I’ve got a proverbial bun in my oven,” she said laughing nervously.

“And you didn’t want to let me in on the news? I mean, shouldn’t I know, as the father?”

“Yes, I suppose you should. Listen, I just didn’t know how to tell you. Everything feels so weird right now. I’ve got this alien life inside of me. I feel a bit out of control. Sometimes it’s like I’m not manning the helm anymore. I’m just not…myself,” she said giving me her now standard sideways head tilt.

“Do you want to know what I think?”

“Huh?” she said waiting.

“I think it’s phenomenal! I think it’s great!” I said embracing her in a hug that sent us both sprawling on the bed.

“Oh shit, sorry. I need to learn to be a bit more careful with you I suppose!”

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  Third Eye Blind – Deep Inside Of You

Eating:  Tofu stir fry

Trifecta- Who’s Laughing Now?

Friday is Valentine’s Day.  One would think I’m the type of girl who would find the whole thing a bit contrived and utterly ridiculous.  But alas, even I am a sucker for the sickenly sweet trappings of this commercially concocted “holiday”.  It may have something to do with the wonderfully healthy and fulfilling relationship I find myself in.  Yeah, it’s definitely that.

I just knew that Trifecta was going to give me a nice lovey, dovey prompt in honor of this week and while I enjoy the emotion, it’s not my favorite of writing topics.  So, it was a cool surprise to find the exact opposite!

This week we’re asking for exactly 33 of your own words about love gone wrong. But we’re asking that you not use any of the following words:

love
sad
tears
wept
heart
pain

Nice!  To find my inner inspiration for this piece, I had to do a bit of emotional escavation and undercover some not oft thought of and long gone relationship demons.  Thankfully with age comes wisdom (well at least in this area….for me).  Dedicated to everyone’s dating anti-christ,  I call this piece “Who’s Laughing Now?”  Enjoy!
I think,

Amazing how one four letter feeling,

becomes the other in an eye’s blink.

Funny that.

Me, naïve.

You, punishing.

Me, defeated, seemingly.

And yet.

You, alone, in the end.

Funny that.

jail

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:Phoenix – Honeymoon

Eating:  Left over spanakopita and pasta salad.

Random thought:  The forecast is threatening icy road conditions here again this week.  Let’s hope it turns out better than last time.  I’m trusting my own judgement since currently the news it attempting to sensationalize the entire thing to feed off of our the great ATL snow debacle.

Trifecta: Wake Me When It’s Over

This week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge asked for 33 words based on this picture:

or_l

Thomas Leuthard / Foter.com / CC BY
http://www.flickr.com/photos/41346951@N05/

Ugh, so boring.

These cases

and motions

and the Latin.

Always the damn Latin!

But father would be proud.

His footsteps followed.

At least she’d have that after the dullness finally overcame her.

**Blogger’s Note**

This prompt got me thinking about the professions we choose and how we arrive at a career.  I know that what I’m doing is definitely not what I set out to do as an undergrad!

We’ve been dealing with a lot of legal at work right now and reading through pages and pages of legalease makes my eyes bleed.  That is one profession that does not spark my interest much at all, at least not on the corporate end of the practice.  So I imagined the girl in the image in law school or maybe studying for the bar.

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

 

Today:

Listening to:  The Avett Brothers – Live And Die

Trifecta: The Guest Part XXII

I’m continuing on toward the conclusion of my short story, “The Guest” for this week’s Trifecta writing challenge.  If you’d like to catch up on the story from the beginning, I’ve now housed it all in one post:  HERE.

This week, Trifecta gave us this prompt:
QUAINT (adjective)

1: obsolete: EXPERT, SKILLED
2a: marked by skillful design
b: marked by beauty or elegance
3a : unusual or different in character or appearance : ODD
b : pleasingly or strikingly old-fashioned or unfamiliar

Remember:
• 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.
• If your post doesn’t meet our requirements, please leave your link in the comments section, not in the linkz.
• Trifecta is open to everyone.

And now, Part XXII of “The Guest”.  Enjoy!

She sat across from me shoveling down her second helping of chili. Glancing up she caught me watching her.

“What?” she asked between bites. “I’m starving.”

I pushed a kidney bean around the bottom of my bowl taking a moment before responding.

“Obviously,” I said. “You’ve never had such an, appetite, before.”

She looked up and tilted her head sideways in a quaint movement that she’d taken to doing lately. It was as if she was trying very hard to understand what I meant or like I was some anomaly she was trying to figure out.

“Yes, I’m hungry. Don’t you think this recipe is to die for? We have to make this again,” she said scraping the bottom for the very last trace. “Are you going to finish yours?”

After dinner we retired to the couch for a little catch-up time on the DVR. She pulled a blanket around her and sighed, curling up next to me. I scrolled through our list several times before settling on “Ancient Aliens”.

“….and you can see here hieroglyphics that match another set found in a cave over 3500 miles away. Clearly these marking were inspired by the same event or visitor.”

I felt her body start to quiver ever so slightly, a precursor to a wave of laughter that erupted from her. “Clearly!” she chuckled. “Like anyone’s going to believe this guy. Just look at him!” she stammered.

I picked up the remote poised to change over to another show. I knew my shows about ghosts, aliens, and Bigfoot hunters weren’t her thing. “Okay, okay, you’ve made your point, “I said.

“No, don’t change it. This is great! I want to see what he comes up with next,” she said popping up off the couch. “You want anything? I’m gonna grab a snack.”

“No, I’m good. We did just finish eating 15 minutes ago!” I said as she started rummaging through the pantry.

“Yeah, but seriously, I’m famished!”

Word count:  326

Thanks so much to those of you who’ve followed this story and offered feedback.  It means a lot.  This is my first attempt at a series since I started taking a stab at writing fiction through the blog.  It’s fun, but a bit scary at the same time.  Writing in such small bits is manageable for my work schedule, but it also makes is challenging when you’re attempting to keep the story “flowing”.  It’s a work in progress, both my writing in general and this story!  Constructive criticism welcome.

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  Ellie Goulding – Dead In The Water

Eating:  Salad and leftover noodles.

Random thought:  I read that Martin Luther King Jr. said that his “first intellectual contact with the theory of nonviolence and resistance” was via the essay “Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau.  I find this fascinating for two reasons:  1.  This essay was written nearly 200 years ago and it’s still making a huge impact in people’s lives.  Now that is some powerful writing.  2.  Given King’s religious ties, you’d have thought the Bible would have been his first contact with this theory!

martin-luther-king-crossfit-sanitas

Trifecta: Finally

This week Trifecta gave us these marching orders:

This week we are asking you to count syllables. And words. It’s a lot of math for those of us who might be more accustomed to dealing with words, but we’re confident you can pull it off.

We are asking for a 33-word response to the following snippet:

The first time I saw. . .

Here’s the catch: all of your 33 words must be one syllable each. We’re going low-brow on you this week. Or not. Can you class it up under these restrictions? Give us your best.

To clarify, we are giving you 5 words. We want another 33 from you, for a grand total of 38.

Here are my 38:

 
The first time I saw the sun my eyes stung.

Ten years in a hole.

Ten years in the dark.

My pale skin drank in the heat.

My soul sang, roused.

My heart beat.

More than fine, whole.

 

sunshine-love

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  Tori Amos – A Sorta Fairytale

Eating:  Seasnax-  Seriously yummy.  I can’t get enough.

Random thought:  The best feeling in the world may be when your reality is better than your dreams.

Trifecta: Whatever (The Guest Part XIX)

This week for Trifecta our challenge is to write 33-333 words using the prompt:

WHATEVER
1. (pronoun) a: anything or everything that
b: no matter what : regardless of what
Used in questions that express surprise or confusion
2. (adjective) a: all the
b: any ; any … that
Used to refer to something that is not known
3. (adverb) Used to show that something is not important

For my piece, we return to Matt and his very odd girlfriend for the continuation of The Guest.  Last time:

I peered around the corner of the house and there she sat, legs akimbo on the cold ground. The colander lay forgotten at her feet. She was rocking rhythmically and holding something in her lap. I could hear her sobbing; it was getting louder by the second. It was as if some slow turning pain was building inside her. I went to call out, but hesitated and started backing away toward the house.

My clumsy feet defied me; I heard a twig snap and her head jerked around, our eyes meeting. There was something dark there shining through her tears.

And here is this week’s Trifecta piece, The Guest Part XIX

 
“Spying on me?” she questioned, face blank.

“Nnnoo,” I stammered.

She continued to stare me dead in the eyes.

“Well, you might as well come look,” she said, her face suddenly softening. “He’s been gone for a while. I didn’t want to ruin your holidays.”

She lifted the lifeless body of Cubbie out toward me.

“Shit,” I said. What the hell was going on? Our cat had died and she hadn’t even told me?

Uneasily I reached for him; my fingers closed around his matted, dirt coated fur.

“Did you bury him?” I asked, fighting my instinct to simultaneously be sick, retreat, or weep for the loss of my little buddy.

“I did, but I couldn’t say goodbye. So I come out here to visit him. He was such a good cat; so malleable and eager to please,” she said.

I watched a single tear trickle down her cheek and hit the dirt. She was definitely upset, but Jesus, first she’s in a near coma for weeks and now she’s digging up our pet to visit each day. And malleable? Who describes a pet as malleable?

“How’d he die?” I asked realizing we hadn’t covered that very important fact.

She shrugged.

“Beats me. I found him one morning at the foot of our bed. It looks like something attacked him,” she explained.

“He lived inside. What could have possibly attacked him?” I said, my suspicions suddenly aroused.

“How the hell should I know? Look, let’s just make him a grave. I’ll say my final good-bye and we’ll go inside and cook dinner. Okay?” she fired back.

“Um, yeah, so much of this is not okay. You’ve been off the reservation for weeks only to come back as Susie Homemaker for Thanksgiving and now you’re telling me our cat’s been dead for…for.. well, for way too long not to tell me!” I yelled.

Whatever,” she said, shrugging and walking back toward the house.

322 words

dirt1

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  Palma Violets – Step Up for the Cool Cats

Eating  Leftover veggie chili

Random thought:  It is very apparent that I would likely shrivel up and die should I have to live up north.  I can’t handle this weather.  Hot makes me happy.

Trifecta: The Guest Part XV

I’m back to writing after a brief Turkey Day hiatus.  Hope you all enjoyed your time with family and friends.  I know I sure did!

Hopping back into the fray with Trifecta’s weekly challenge.  This week they asked that we give them 33-333 words using:
tush

1. a long pointed tooth; especially : a horse’s canine

2. an interjection used to express disdain or reproach

3. buttocks (slang)

Want to catch up?  Read The Guest Part XIV here.  We join our happy couple with Matt still narrating the story as he prepares for the Thanksgiving holiday. Enjoy!

Foolish perhaps, but I’d decided not to call off the Thanksgiving arrangements we’d previously made. Things really could have gone horribly wrong. After all, my folks were set to arrive on Wednesday and on Tuesday night we were going on a solid week since she’d even come out the bedroom. I’d been bringing up food and sitting on the edge of our bed pointlessly attempting to coax her out of this hole into which she’d vanished.

Wednesday night came and she remained in bed. I fed my mom a story about her being ill with some highly contagious bug. That kept them out of the room and bought me another day to pray for improvement. It also helped explain why I was sleeping on the couch.

But apparently all the worrying was for naught, because Thursday morning I awoke to the sound of humming coming from the kitchen. My eyes focused in on her beaming face. A pot of coffee was brewing and I could already smell Thanksgiving dinner in the making. Her eyes met mine and a huge smile spread across her face. “Good morning sleepy head,” she said energetically.

I made my way into the kitchen, my mouth probably hanging open in shock. I watched as she plunged her hand deep into the turkey’s cavity and pulled out the innards. She then rubbed olive oil and seasoning all over the bird and finished by stuffing it with all manner of vegetables and herbs. My girlfriend, the vegetarian, was joyfully preparing our Thanksgiving feast without flinching. In fact, she simply continued to hum and smile.

She washed her hands, popped the turkey into the oven, and turned around and winked at me. “This is going to be a fine meal my love,” she said. And as she walked by I felt a slap on my tush.

“What’s the matter?” she asked, her head cocked ever so slightly, bottom lip poking out in a faux pout. “Cat got your tongue?”

turkey

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  Tegan And Sara – Northshore

First song that popped into my head this morning:

It’s amazing what pops into your head out of nowhere.  I’m going to start including these from time to time.  Some of them are quite bizarre.

Eating:  Leftover Mellow Mushroom

Random fact:  I did in fact prepare the turkey this Thanksgiving.  I’m also a vegetarian.