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Monday, October 28, 2013

The Headmaster's Girls

When Headmaster Herberts started coming into my room less often, I knew he was quenching his lust elsewhere. Identifying his other victims wasn’t difficult: Lisa, the quiet junior who went from brainiac to self-harming goth burnout; and Kimber, the gorgeous Elizabeth Arden disciple turned sweats-wearing Plain Jane.

Martin Herberts targeted us “mega-richies.” We whose parents splurged on single dorm rooms—and anything else we thought we wanted—were the unhappiest girls on campus.

Unlike most pupils, I lived in the exclusive enclave where Chatham Boarding School for Girls was located. I couldn’t escape my Bogeyman on holiday breaks. So I stalked him instead. I’d developed a perverse desire to know where the devil bought his microwave-meals-for-one and lurked about ogling unsuspecting girls.

A month before my final Thanksgiving break, I approached Lisa and Kimber. Both readily admitted what our portly headmaster was doing to them—like they’d been waiting for someone to ask. We bonded quickly over shared wounds.

Getting their parents to let them spend the holiday with me was easy. (One less awkward home visit with the daughter they barely knew.) Of course, Lisa's and Kimber’s folks weren't aware my widowed father was in Bangladesh on business.

Our pathetically apathetic housekeeper mostly stayed in her room. The three of us spent the first night drinking and mocking our parents for "protecting our virtue" by sticking us in an all-girl school run by a predator. And then we got serious.

The evening after Thanksgiving, Kimber showed up on Herberts’s stoop. The headmaster cracked the door ... as if evil weren’t already inside. Kimber sheepishly explained she was staying with a friend, had taken a walk and gotten lost. Herberts widened the door for her. Lisa and I pushed in after.

What is this?” Herberts angrily caught my arm.

Lisa held the knife to his back. “Let her go.”

He obeyed, so Lisa withdrew. Kimber started to boo.

“Stick his fat ass,” she hissed.

“Patience,” I said, retrieving the duct tape from my backpack.

This week's Trifecta Writing Challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "boo" as defined below:

(verb) to show dislike or disapproval of someone or something by shouting “Boo” slowly

Word count: 333

Friday, October 25, 2013

Dark Spirit

This weekend's Trifextra challenge: write a 33-word piece about a beast in an unusual place. I've encountered this beast many, many times.

The benevolent beast in the Bacardi Black bottle

     assures me I can dance

         convinces me I'm irresistible to all men

             transforms me into a total badass

                 makes sure I remember none of it

Photo borrowed from

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Hint of Normalcy

Dana was oddly grateful for the trill of the alarm. She could finally stop chasing the phantom of a decent night’s rest. They’d gotten home around midnight—10 hours after the ambulance pulled up to the ER doors. Her husband had passed out again. This time Peter's head hit the rough concrete breezeway outside their apartment. Blood blanketed the ground in front of their doorway like the world’s least welcoming welcome mat.

The doctor released him after the usual MRI and CT scan dance.

“No abnormalities on the films,” he’d announced. Again.

Sure, Dana thought. Because it’s perfectly normal for an otherwise healthy 30-year-old man to black out eight times in three months. No headaches, no dizziness, no recollection of falling.

Peter’s "spells" were taking a toll. They’d been talking children. Until they got some answers, though, starting a family seemed too risky. Not that getting pregnant was actually a possibility. Sex was becoming a distant memory. He was always too tired.

But in bed the following night, Peter pressed against her. As much as Dana wanted to rebuff him in retaliation for spurning her advances, she yearned for him. His hands explored her body, her skin tingling at his touch.

“Condom,” she reminded.

“Let’s not.” His hot breath fell between her breasts. Dana’s fingers travelled up Peter’s back toward his hair. They stopped over a substantial bump on his neck.

Dana steered his fingers to the spot. “Doesn’t it hurt?”

Peter rubbed the area. “Nope.”

He coaxed her back onto the pillow with kisses.


Through the crack in the drapes, sunlight fell on Dana’s face. She’d had a decent night’s rest and fantastic sex. She smiled at the hint of normalcy. As Dana swung her feet to the floor, her thighs hit her stomach. She looked down to see her abdomen protruding drastically. Large lumps pulsated across her belly just beneath the veiny, nearly transparent skin. Mute with terror, Dana turned to Peter. A huge, busted cocoon lay shriveling in his place.


This week's Trifecta Writing Challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "phantom" as defined below:

a representation of something abstract, ideal, or incorporeal <she was a phantom of delight — William Wordsworth>

Word count: 333

Friday, October 18, 2013

Can I Just Be Chased By a Chainsaw-Wielding Otherworld Monster Instead?

This weekend's Trifextra challenge: write a 33-word explanation of what scares you (or your character). I can handle psychotic clowns, serial killers and possessed dolls. But this truly scares the crap out of me:

“That’s it. You’re done with that kid.”

“Are you crazy? You just said he hit you!”

“I love him.”

“No, you don’t. You’re 15.

“But … I’m pregnant.”


"Quick! Hide Daddy's gun!"

DISCLAIMER: The gun thing is tongue in cheek. I would probably say something similar in this scenario because smartassery is a coping mechanism for me. Hubs doesn't even own a gun ... yet. :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

For You, I Will

You wake me with a hand squeeze. It's late. Or really early.

Dutifully, I press PLAY. "Brandenburg Concerto No. 5” by Bach comes to life—softly to not disturb our babies down the hall. I snuggle against you, my behind hanging off the tiny, rented bed.

The opening chords remind us how to smile. You played this borrowed CD on our first date. The hair band devotee wooing the cellist. Your ploy worked. “Maybe better than you expected,” I later teased.

“I’m ready.” Your voice is weak but resolute.

Am I strong enough to end your pain?

I am.

Photo borrowed from

In celebration of their 99th week, Trifecta is mixing it up today. This week's challenge is to choose ANY word from page 99 of the Oxford English Dictionary.  We can use any definition of our chosen word, but the piece must be 99 words exactly.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Original Bad Boy

This weekend's Trifextra challenge: write 33 words inspired by the Rolling Stones song, Sympathy for the Devil."

Feted on film, celebrated in song,
I’m the “
It feels good—who cares if it’s wrong?”
Publicly pious, your mouth denies me.
Ah, but your wicked heart satisfies me.
You’ll be mine.

Photo borrowed from jgamito at

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Best Laid Plans

Jessie navigated the crowded fraternity house. She passed her cousin Kara, who was dressed as a slutty cop and making out with an orange-jumpsuit-clad prisoner. Beside them, an equally slutty nurse was giving Ron Burgundy a lap dance.

The makeshift bar consisted of layers of plywood between cinder blocks. Cotton spiderwebs draped the front. Under the black lighting, Jessie squinted to read the handwritten drink menu.

rum, brandy, pineapple juice, orange juice, lime juice

vodka, gin, vermouth, tequila, tomato juice

“What’s your poison?” Asked the guy in the giant plug costume.

Jessie bought two zombies and briefly pondered the whereabouts of the inevitable girl dressed as a socket.

Drinks in hand, she waited outside for Jeremy, whom she hadn’t seen in weeks. When his parents were out of town last month, Jessie had planned to spend the night. It was to have been their first time. But her dad intercepted a text and grounded her "for the rest of the decade.”

Kara had offered to provide a cover for the couple to meet up. Somehow she'd convinced Jessie’s parents it would be good for their lovesick daughter to get out and meet new people. Kara had conveniently neglected to mention it was a college party.


Jessie awoke to a circle of hooded figures staring down at her. They were chanting in Latin. She scanned the shadowy faces, zeroing in on Kara. A crude X emblazoned her cousin’s forehead. Confused and panicked, Jessie implored her with her eyes. Kara remained stone faced, intoning with the others.

Ropes immobilized Jessie’s limbs. She lifted her throbbing head to see Jeremy lying a few feet away, his lifeless eyes boring through her. A ring of black ash surrounded them. Jeremy's blood seeped toward Jessie. She screamed, but terror seized her voice.

Why?” She finally managed to whisper.

A cloaked man stepped forward. Something glinted at his side.

"Authentic virgins of consenting age are so rare these days," he explained, raising the sword.


This week's Trifecta Writing Challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "zombie" as defined below:

a mixed drink made of several kinds of rum, liqueur and fruit juice
Word count: 333

Friday, October 4, 2013

Don't Say I Didn't Warn You

This weekend's Trifextra challenge: write 33 words that follow this illustration in a book:

Artist credit: Dan Duford

Luke grabbed Lilly and pulled her up the embankment.
They ran until they cleared the brush.
"Mum was right,” Lilly said breathlessly once they reached home.
“Liam’s face really did freeze like that!”