Welcome back, Trifectans! We hope you had wonderfully exciting and fulfilling weekends. This week one of our long-time community members asked where we got our random words for the weekend challenge. The truth is, we most often just pull them from the air. They truly are randomly chosen. But sometimes, when we're stumped for a third, unrelated word to stick in a challenge, we look to a word generator for inspiration. It can even assist in times of writer's block. And it has the added appeal of being just plain fun.
It's a tie for first, Draug and JannaTWrites. The following pieces are featured in alphabetical order. Draug gives us a much appreciated light and sweet love story, Steady.
“You’re acting like a child.” Balanced on ice skates, Caitlyn regarded Alondra with a disapproving expression. “Can’t you at least try?”JannaT gives us Dying Grace, another exciting segment from her ongoing story, Darlene's Story.
“I’ll humiliate myself,” Alondra snapped. She was trying to keep her ankles straight as she stood on her skates at the edge of the frozen pond. She hadn’t yet dared to take a single step onto the ice.
“You look ridiculous now, standing there while everyone else is enjoying the ice.” Caitlyn held out her hands. “Come on, I’ll keep hold of you. We’ll start slow.”
Alondra bent at the waist and took hold of Caitlyn’s hands. Her feet remained firmly in the snow until Caitlyn skated backwards; then her minimal grace left her. Her skates caught on the ice and she was sent staggering. It was Caitlyn’s quick hands that prevented Alondra from falling. Still, Alondra’s feet slipped out from beneath her and she was left sprawled in Caitlyn’s arms, her legs dragging behind her, as the two of them drifted back.
“Get your feet under you,” Caitlyn urged while adjusting her grip.
“I’m good here, thanks.” With nose buried in Caitlyn’s chest, Alondra’s words were muffled by the princess’s wool jacket.
“Okay, okay…” Alondra planted first one foot and then the other. She next straightened her back until she was upright. Her hands remained firm around Caitlyn’s forearms.
Caitlyn smiled with approval. “There’s the Alondra I know—the one who told me it’s okay to be afraid so long as you’re brave when it counts.”
“You do realize I was just spewing stuff that time in hopes you’d kiss me again, right?”
“Whatever your reason, those were words I needed to hear. Now I’m telling you: this is a time to be brave. So, forward…”
“Is that an invitation?”
“Ice now. Nice later.”
“I’ll need lots of warming up.”
“I’m focused. Look how focused I am.” Alondra pulled loose, shuffled forward, and fell down after two steps. The humiliation was worth feeling Caitlyn reaffirm her warm grip.
As Darlene ate her smothered burrito, she moved Myrtle’s letter to the side so she wouldn’t drip red sauce on it. Her eyes settled on the words for a third time.
I know you lied to me- you have what you needed all along. You must be scared and confused, as you should be. Time is running out for me, and there are a few more things you have to know. The mind is our body’s ultimate protector. To do what you’ll need to, you have to first believe who the monster is and what he’s capable of. Research the owner of his employer. Peruse your mother’s medical records. (Mine will be available to you upon my passing.) Striking similarities…
I believe the suits are insiders on the scheme. Of course, I can’t prove it, but it’s a strong gut feeling. If you need someone to confide in, Jeff is on our side. I’m sure you’ll find it hard to believe, but justice is what he wants, too. Everything you need is in your hands. Every piece is important.
Above all else, please know that I loved you. My heart aches to say goodbye without you at my bedside holding my hand, but I’ve made amends with God and understand this is how it shall be.
Tears welled up once again. Myrtle loved her? Why? Questions tugged at her heart.
She startled when someone slid into the booth seat in front of her. When her gaze traveled up the elbows on the table and saw Jeff Weissman’s face, she choked on her burrito. She dislodged it from her throat with cough and a long swig of Diet Coke.
He leaned forward. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.” He grinned.
Darlene stifled her shock and faked a smile she hoped exuded the grace of someone who possessed more confidence and courage than she’d ever mustered. Myrtle.
“Haven’t I? You’ve died so many times; I suspect you’re not of this world.”
For second, we have another tie, this one starring Brian and Mommy Dourest. Brian gives us She Spends Her Life Dying, a fascinating read caught between grace and nightmare Mommy Dourest gives us Hunger Pains, a compelling, emotional peek into dysfunction. Bjorn takes third this week, completing our winner's circle. His piece, Amber Eyes, is a lovely and romantic triolet.
Congrats to all of our winners. And much gratitude to all who contributed and voted. It takes a village, and we're lucky to have each of you in ours.
Some of our community members have been asking for constructive criticism on their work. Last year we had a weekly critique feature and this week we're bringing it back. We're now accepting pieces, one thousand words or less, for real feedback. We had a lot of submissions last year and we hope to have as many as we can this year. You can read more about the process on our Critique Tab. Don't be afraid to submit; our community proved last year that it can be both productive and kind. We hope to see your submissions rolling in.
And now, the weekly prompt.
a (1) : a cover or partial cover for the face used for disguise(2) : a person wearing a mask : masker
b (1) : a figure of a head worn on the stage in antiquity to identify the character and project the voice (2) : a grotesque false face worn at carnivals or in rituals
c : an often grotesque carved head or face used as an ornament (as on a keystone)
d : a sculptured face or a copy of a face made by means of a mold
a : something that serves to conceal or disguise : pretense,cloak <aware of the masks, facades and defenses people erect to protect themselves — Kenneth Keniston>
b : something that conceals from view
c : a translucent or opaque screen to cover part of the sensitive surface in taking or printing a photograph
d : a pattern of opaque material used to shield selected areas of a surface (as of a semiconductor) in deposition or etching (as in producing an integrated circuit)
a : a protective covering for the face
b : gas mask
c : a device covering the mouth and nose to facilitate inhalation
d : a comparable device to prevent exhalation of infective materiale : a cosmetic preparation for the skin of the face that produces a tightening effect as it dries
- 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. Please join us.