Not the Worm

Link to the Weekly Trifecta Challenge.  This week they’re looking for exactly 33 words which will include the word WORM (transitive verb) using the third definition below.

3 :  to obtain or extract by artful or insidious questioning or by pleading, asking, or persuading —usually used with out of


“Your life depends on….”

But Tov dropped to his knees,

bowed his head,

wrists tied, ankles bound,

and thrust his neck forward.

They will not persuade me, nor worm……it…out of….me….


Unknown Territory

image via Warriorcare

This was how he envisioned their meeting, their two worlds colliding and entwining, and his imagination took him to a more perfect beginning.

A smooth, unruffled shower of words issued from Claudio’s mouth. His voice rose and fell like a song, and Bett followed the rhythm of sound as Claudio elaborated with gestures like a bird caught in a storm, arms whirling and frantic. Surrounded by the din of a café full of afternoon patrons with school satchels and brief cases, Bett beamed an enthusiastic smile, and Claudio continued his one-sided conversation. Bett failed to understand what Claudio said. She only understood a few of the words he spoke, and his anger and urgency confused her. He wanted her to do something, but what she could only guess.

Claudio’s hand slammed down on the café table rattling the small spoons nestled against tiny cups and saucers like dollhouse china.  Bett startled then quickly folded her hands in prayer and bowed her head in confusion.  Claudio drew in a long breath, clearly exhausted from his exertions and reached for Bett’s folded hands. Resting his hand upon hers in a show of goodwill, Bett understood he had reach an ending to a tirade she could not comprehend. But the silence eroded good will, and Claudio withdrew his hand and began anew in a low monotone voice, pedantic, deliberate and drained of passion. But Bett still did not understand, and she shook her head back and forth, shrugging her shoulders. Claudio sighed and fell silent once more.

With resignation, Claudio gathered his brief case and overcoat. He stood looking down at Bett when she reached out for Claudio’s with both her hands and pulled him toward her. Bett stood close enough for Claudio to hear say, “Yes.” Bett did not know what she said yes to, but it made Claudio happy.


Trifecta Writing Challenge-Pedantic


via Wikipedia

If my mother thought about a third child before I was born, it wasn’t me she thought about. She liked to reminded me of this point in her less than beautiful moments as she slouched in her recliner, gathering the front of her bathrobe while taking a long draw on her cigarette. Ash peppered the front of her robe like tiny flecks of star-dust.

I knew the drill, so I waited for her to exhale like a dragon, smoke curling out of her nose and mouth, and I braced myself.

“You,” she shouted. “You girl, you.” I stood before her in my school uniform waiting. “You’re nothing but a product of your father’s drunken folly and my tortured indiscretion.” Then she would swing her arms around like a whirl-a-gig, wobbling a bit before falling back into the recliner, “God help me,” she would whisper. That was my cue to head for the kitchen to find some food. With three kids in four years, it was an uneven number for an uneven time in my mother’s life.

My mother was a widow less than six months to a husband nobody ever found on a military exercise still closed to the public before she mixed it up with my dad. Once, out of curiosity, my brother did a freedom of information act on his father only to receive a report in the mail with all the  information he wanted to read blacked out. We don’t dwell on the topic for my mother’s sake. Nor do we talk about my father. We don’t talk anymore. Not now.

Doctor Brothers suggested I keep a journal to pass the time before my trial begins. I think it’s a good idea.

Sometimes I think I’d like to grow a garden. It’s the most beautiful thing you can do. I would take my daughter there and show her how to blow on a globe of dandelion seeds and together we would watch the seed sail away.


Week 64–The Trifecta challenge~The word this week is DWELL: a : to keep the attention directed —used with on or upon<tried not to dwell on my fears> b : to speak or write insistently —used with on or upon<reporters dwelling on the recent scandal> LINK UP HERE


via Find a

He should have stayed away for good. Instead, Asa set his traveling bag down and resumed life as though he had never traveled half way around the world, spending the last three months living in a thatched hut on a beach along the Andaman Sea skin diving, fishing, eating, and entertaining lonely female travelers on their way to other places.

On his first day back, Asa found the three chords of firewood he cut and bucked last spring more than half gone. “Someone helping themselves I see. And they parked right in front for easy loading.”  The tire tracks were fresh; the tread pattern rigid in the mud along with tiny boot prints.  “At least she left me some kindling and an ax.”

It was a silent give and take between them, but mostly it was her taking what she wanted and him making up the loss. Neighborly with an edge he put there when he took what she was offering not bargaining for the price he’d pay.

Asa discovered the empty water tank on his second day back. He gathered his tools and hiked up the narrow canyon to the spring two miles away  Water, like a road, will turn neighbor against neighbor and turn and honest neighbor into a thief.

Clearing away rocks and sediment at the spring box, Asa walked the waterline through the brush watching the weight of water pull the line down.  He looked for signs of rats; he looked for the line pinned beneath a fallen tree or rocks. For three days Asa hiked the canyon uncoupling and coupling the water line.

On the fifth day, Asa uncouple the waterline to clear it of debris at the pump-house, and that’s when he saw it. So simple it made him laugh out loud as he push the valve open and watched water gush beneath the pump-house door. Someone had unbolted the pump leaving a note: “Thanks!”

“Life’s a bitch,” he said as he closed the valve.


The Trifecta Challenge: Write 333 words using the word and this meaning– something that is extremely difficult, objectionable, or unpleasant. Add your link here.

A Hollow Victory

My father was a player in his day, but you wouldn’t know it now. He’s got all the nurses conned. I saw him push ten dollars into the hand of the male nurse who takes him into the bathroom to do his business. My father is dying. We both know this, but we’re not talking about it. For a laugh, my father pulls on his skin and shouts, “Hey, look what happens when you get old.”  His skin droops, flaccid and pendulous.  He looks like he belongs in a wax museum.  His face is gray, all angles and points, but he still talks like a player, still telling his stories. The guy in the bed next to my father has the TV turned up so loud  I have to lean over my father’s bed to hear him.


Death may be the elephant in the room, but we’re still playing dominoes every week because we’ve always played dominoes, and because we both know this may be our last game. When I was a kid I use to imagine this day, our last game together, me old and him older.  I imagined my pin looping around the cribbage board while he contemplated his next move. “5 for one,” he’d say and draw six dominoes from the bone-yard before laying an insignificant dom on the table. I would come back with, “25 for five, 30 for six, and I’m out.”  He’d lay his doms out flat for me to count, all fours, fives, and sixes. My horse would be racing down the cribbage board to the finish line while his horse was still left at the gate.

“Set ‘em up,” my father said. I rolled a table between us. My father is shrewd. He knows his game. He use to play for money. I mix. We each pull a domino. He plays first. His hand shakes with the effort. He lays down a blank five and reaches for the bone-yard.


Trifecta’s  weekly challenge: HOLLOW (adjective): lacking in real value, sincerity, or substance : false,meaningless  ishollow and without triumph — Ernest Beaglehole>


My offering uses the challenge word in its title. I suppose that it might disqualify the piece, but I’m playing just the same.


Leave it to Trifecta to flush out a holiday worth celebrating- National Erotica Day November 15th. The challenge this week is to write –33 to 333 words of erotic writing.  This challenge is open to interpretation.  “It’s, allegedly, not as easy as it looks.” is an understatement. Erotic writing runs the gamut from the audacious pornographic musings with scintillating detail to the tamer bodice ripper regency romance and a whole lot in between. Below is my tame offering opening someplace in the middle of events unfolding.


Anna left virtue and poverty behind as the ballroom doors opened to her. Her black mask, studded with tiny gold gems, hid her identity. She became a woman of means as she stepped though the threshold of Gavin Hall.

In the foyer, Anna’s borrowed velvet dress clung to her as she lifted her arms to readjust her mask. At her side Sir John coughed behind a mask and held out a hand. Anna recognized him, and presented her hand like a gift. He accepted, pulling her closer.

“And to whom do I owe the pleasure?”

“Miss Simpson from America.”

Sir John’s eyes twinkled with amusement. “Ah, yes. Miss Simpson.”

“And you are?”

“John, Sir John Gavin.”

Music drifted toward them from the main ballroom. “Shall we?” Sir John gesture toward the music.

“Yes,” said Anna, allowing Sir John to steer her to the dance floor, his right hand squeezing her just below the small of her back under the folded drape of her gown. His hand spread; his smile widened with pleasure.

Sir john took her gloved hand in his, and skillfully guided her to him. Anna pressed into him, her body close enough to feel Sir John’s heart beat fast against her, his breath whispering in her ear. “Come with me Anna.” Anna could feel the eyes of the other dancers on them; she could hear their faint murmurs of wonder.

Suddenly a tap on Sir John’s shoulder took him away, and Anna found herself dancing with a stranger in a carnival mask. His grip and passion were more commanding than Sir John’s. Anna composed herself, willing her body to hold firm.

“Lost your partner?” said Anna teasing.

“No. Have you?”

“No. I… You are?” Anna asked.

In reply, the stranger swept Anna toward an open door and onto a terrace above a garden where they danced as one, each step pulling them closer together until Anna , cheeks flush, sighed into a lingering kiss which spread as a white heat through her body.


Tracy stretch and yawned. “Morning,” she said aloud to no one, or was it evening she wondered. Startled by this thought, she refused to open her eyes. Instead of drifting back into sleep, Tracy settle herself into an invisible silence and imagined the predawn outline of the shapes that would become the room assigned to her. She knew the room’s intimate details without seeing them. There were no windows for natural light. The room was bare but illuminated. Only one door and a single bed occupied the room with her. The only light in the room emanated from the walls as if entire walls were lit from within. This she knew: When she awoke in the morning the walls shimmered with the dusty pallor of dawn, then the colors shifted subtly throughout the day to reflect the passage of time, finally  becoming a brilliant red and pink sunset at dusk. But the circadian rhythm that kept her body humming wasn’t fooled.

In the first several days of her capture Tracy learned the routine. She could recite the year, the month, and the day she was captured, May 21st, 2130. But now her mind swam with unconnected details. The routine was designed to wear away free will, time, and memory  by placing captives in totally controlled environments. “It Quells rebellion,” the others said. The routine would change her they warned, make her more docile. It would make her a drone. The routine was simple. All of her needs were met and all conflict eliminated. Her struggles were countered.  “Your outbursts will diminish,” the others said. They were right. She lost track of time. She counted days until she remembered the days were artificial. Her body betrayed her.

Eye shut, Tracy grew weary of her struggle.  Soon, she knew, her memory of a life before this room would falter.  Sleep, maybe sleep would take her away again to a safe place.  Outside the walls, they were watching her and waiting for her to succumb .

For Trifecta prompt Week Fifty

The Word: Year (noun) 3. a calendar year specified usually by a number <died in the year 1900>