Too Sweet


Sugar in your coffee like iron to the soul.

With a wink and a word: Sugar


Your lips crush mine.

My sweet revenge to your wandering ways: Sugar in your gas tank.


Trifextra Challenge~This weekend we’re borrowing from the musical world.  Noted blues musician, Lead Belly, was quoted in Three Uses of the Knife by David Mamet as saying:

You take a knife, you use it to cut the bread, so you’ll have strength to work; you use it to shave, so you’ll look nice for your lover; on discovering her with another, you use it to cut out her lying heart.

He uses one object, a knife, to flesh out a character and to tell a story in a basic three-part dramatic structure.  We want the same from you.  Give us 33 words (exactly) that tell us three different uses for one object.  But don’t just tell us that a can opener can be used to 1) open cans, 2) open beer bottles and 3) break a window in case of a fire.  Tell us a story, like Lead Belly did, if you can.  It won’t be easy, but you guys are far beyond needing easy prompts.



Photo Credit: Korean War

Going to the doctor is never my idea of fun, but I go. I sit in the crowded reception room with other bodies ravaged by war. But who remembers my war? The Korean War is a short paragraph in my granddaughter’s history book. My teenage granddaughter shrugs when I ask her, “Where is Korea?” On a map spread beneath glass she points an uncertain finger at the Asian continent as though that were a sufficient answer.  “Have you been there Granddad?” she asks. I consider her innocence before answering.

In the waiting room I flip through outdated magazines or yesterday’s newspapers. A television high on the wall babbles. I wait my turn. I am weighed. A nurse, overly cheery, takes my blood pressure. I watch the mercury pulse on the gauge catching the beat of my heart. The sound of my blood surges in my ears; the reading is too high. The nurse ushers me into an office with a view of gray windows. The buildings are only inches apart, and through four panes of glass I see shapes of darkness.

The doc is new, a young man freshly minted from medical school with a tight look about him. Shadows fill the hollows of his eyes and cheeks, a new father battling sleepless nights ignorant that the war has just begun. I spot a small, framed photograph on his desk. A young, beautiful wife holding a brand new baby. I smile and ask, “How’s it going young man?” He shakes his head and shuffles the pages of my chart.

Words betray him the way my body betrays me, and the diagnosis tumbles out of his mouth indelicate, and I wonder if he speaks to his wife with these cool words. “I assure you Mr. Fredrickson, cancer is no longer a death sentence.” His reassurance is hardly reassuring. The diagnosis, the elephant in the room, trumpets otherwise, and we talk gingerly around the topic. Our visit ends. New appointments for scans and surgeons begins.


The Trifecta Challenge–Your response must be between 33 and 333 words. New 3: having been in a relationship or condition but a short time <new to the job> <a new wife>

To Each Her Own

“It wasn’t the first time. To be honest, I knew he would carouse like a sailor on perpetual shore leave before I married him, so I politely ignored the obvious. My objective was not a husband but power.”


Trifextra challenge: Complete a story of which the opening five words had been given. Complete the following story in 33 words: ‘It wasn’t the first time.’
(The five words are not to be included in your 33 words)

A Story to Read  “Break All the Way Down” by Roxane Gay in Joyland, a Hub for Short Fiction.


A spring rain fell all morning bring with it relief from the heat and the red dust that chokes our café, turning our white tablecloths a pale rust. Early afternoon when the rains stop, my father and I rush to set tables, chairs, and fresh tablecloths around the café patio.

Today my father assures me, “One day Sanjay, you will inherit this café from me and care for me the way I care for you.” He turns away from me to spread a table-cloth, but I know his eyes are glassy with memories of my mother, so he quickly laughs to hide himself saying, “Yes, I can see you now Sanjay, A young man married with a plump wife who will care for us both, and perhaps, god willing, bear your children and my grandchildren.” He tells me this last part ruffling my brown-black hair, exchanging his sorrow for the wide smile of an optimist, and I am happy for us both.

Patrons begin to arrive and we are both busy. My father’s café is walking distance from the train station, and it shares a wall with the Commissioner’s Office. “Easy protection in a violent town,” my father says.

The door to the Commissioner’s Office closes hard, and my father pushes me quickly to wait on the Commissioner and his friends. The Commissioner come for tea every afternoon. Once he asked me if I could read, but I shook my head no.

“Do you plan to live here always Sanjay?”
“Yes,” I said.
“Don’t you want to go to school? Go to the university and study?”
“No,” I said.
“Good boy.”

My father helps me balance a tray of eight tea glasses, and I weave my way through the near empty café to the Commissioner’s table. The conversation is tense and hushed.
“It is true? Did the opposition push for a vote of confidence, parliament dissolved, and new elections called?” the Commissioner asked.
“Yes,” said one of the commissioner’s friends.


The Trifecta Challenge: confidence (noun)

All Apologies

Photo source unknown.

Dear C~

All apologies suck. People don’t mean them. They’re automatic like coffee makers, or the certitude your father will call at exactly 8am to check on his “baby girl.” I’m not sorry. Forgive me.

Love, T


If you want to play these are the rules:

For this week’s Trifextra challenge, you have to write a letter of apology in exactly 33 words. Addresses, salutations, closings, etc. (should you wish to include them) do not count in the 33 words. More on the challenge.

A Trifecta Meet and Greet

Looking out my back door.

1. What is your name (real or otherwise)?
My name for a this adventure is Latitudes of a Day   

2. Describe your writing style in three words
Training Wheels in Use   

3. How long have you been writing online?
Six months-fiction/creative writing.     

4. Which, if any, other writing challenges do you participate in?
I’d do more writing challenges if I had the time, but I’m already stealing time from the rest of my life to participate at Trifecta.     

It rains a lot here.

5. Describe one way in which you could improve your writing.
A. Relearn the finer points of grammar. B. Reread my favorite short stories with pencil in hand. 

6. What is the best writing advice you’ve ever been given?
I’ve been given plenty of advice over the years, but none about writing.  

7. Who is your favorite author? 
Who ever I’m reading that hour or that day. My favorite genre is short story.   

8. How do you make time to write?
I write when I should be doing something else. My house is a mess, the kids unfed, and the garden overgrown. Chickens run wild in the yard. I write in the car or library when I’m waiting for a kid to finish an activity. One day I’m going to have a room of my own with a door, but until then I snatch a few minutes through out the day, and I write with a laptop  at the foot of my bed, my trusty cat curled and sleeping at my side.   

Pushkin, my trusty cat.

9. Give us one word we should consider using as a prompt. Remember–it must have a third definition.
Columbi Bueno. inspired my word choice.

Enigma~enig·ma (i-ˈnig-mə, e-); noun

1: an obscure speech or writing
2: something hard to understand or explain
3: an inscrutable or mysterious person

10. Direct us to one blog post of yours that we shouldn’t miss reading.

None at this time.


Fire in the Lake

Amber lay on the grass in her parent’s back yard tracing vapor trails with her big toe against the sky humming “Lake of Fire.” The damp grass was cool against her bare skin. She thought of Tami and wondered if the earth were cool around her or if angels flew through vapor trails to heaven. A jet streaked across the sky, and Amber traced the vapor trail to the horizon, then traced it back to its point of disintegration. Morning sun eased into the backyard bring with it the searing heat of the day. Her parents weren’t home. Mrs. Kelly next door kept an eye on her from the safe distance of her kitchen window, quick to call her parents if something should happen.
Every five minutes Mrs. Kelly glanced out her kitchen window, looking down into her neighbor’s back yard. All morning the teenage girl lay in the yard. She had not moved into the house or answered the phone when it rang. If a door slammed on the street Mrs. Kelly jumped expecting to hear a siren or find herself pushed aside as paramedics rushed to her neighbor’s porch with tool boxes and gloved hands. Her part in the day replays confused in her mind. She remembers saying, “In there!” then standing aside as people rushed past. The day dogs her dreams.
Waking in a sweat, thinking she screamed herself awake, she surges from her dream, twisted in blankets, arms out stretched trying to catch something. Half awake, her memory clear, she sees herself going to check on the girls. She stands knocking at the door, but no one answers. She calls out, moving from room to room until she sees the two girls kneeling together, blood between.
Amber can’t remember when pain took up residence in her. All she can remember is that she and Tami just wanted to watch the blood bead at the blade, wanted to see the design the blood trail would make; they wanted to feel.


Trifecta weekday challenge #18. One-word prompt. trail verb \ˈtrāl\ —  to move, flow, or extend slowly in thin streams . Respond, using the word exactly as it appears, in no less than 33 and no more than 333 words.