Tag Archives: courage

Trifecta Challenge: Rebel without a cause

The rebellion began once the fuses were set on fire. A great cacophony of explosions invaded the quiet atmosphere and turned the peaceful town into a graveyard. Great and small alike died valiantly.

Trifextra Week: Forty-Four: For the weekend challenge, we’re asking you to write exactly 33 words about rebellion and/or revolt.  Interpret it as you will, just keep it to 33 words.

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Trifecta Challenge: Oasis of an eye.

Photography by Gabriel circa 2011
Weeki Wachee Springs, FL.

Trifect Week Fifty-Three: Write a 33-333 word story,poem,song etc. using the word “Hollow” as the prompt word. Authors note: Please enjoy this short story of complete fiction, feel free to leave a comment. In honor of typical fashion, my entry this week is exactly 333 words. Music to read by “Infinity” by The XX.    

His voice remained as hollow as the eyeballs in his skull. Lifeless, black globes gazed through her body and it caused Jennifer’s soul to shudder in contempt. She stood tall in front of the powerful man and remained like a lioness defending her territory or worse, her cubs. If he wasn’t a wonderful former lover, she would have slapped him and told him to go to hell. But that takes moxie. Hers had been taken when she was falsely  imprisoned because of him several weeks earlier.

“I don’t know what brought this on Benji but I told you, I left the affidavit in the bottom right drawer. By the way, don’t ever bring that up in public again. You had no right to say that, you had your chance, and you were the one who lied in court! Not me! Remember?” The young woman felt the pulsing vein creep up her neck like ivy on a wooden fence, pretty at first but in the end, chokes the beauty and leaves scars behind.

He captured the image of her oasis like pupils in his tortured mind. He felt terrible that she was infuriated with him. He noticed the way her blue eyes lost its usually warm glow when she was all hot and bothered. He didn’t want to lose face in front of her like the week before last. He remained stoic.

“Typical Benjamin. Stay silent. Just keep playing king and barking orders through your golden telephone. How’s the service up here on the fifteenth floor?” Her heart shaped face radiated a trifecta of emotions; honest aggression, embarrassment for not having something more clever to say, and more importantly, a broken heart. She would have accepted some sort of apology, but the camel’s back was broken repeatedly, and it was an old animal. Enough was enough.

His façade cracked, he leaned forward to kiss her lips and she yelped quickly before allowing him. It was the oasis in her eyes, those deep, eternal pools.


Trifecta Challenge: 33 words and several more

Triextra week: Forty-Three: Write about a favorite thing in 33 words… Authors note: On this weekend challenge I decided to write a small collection of very short stories, all of them 33 words of course 🙂 But as for the challenge itself, my submission is the first one. Please enjoy them all and let me know what you think! 

 

The Rocky Mountains spiral horizontally across the earth unopposed, causing the vertical to become distorted and make you dread mortality. Early sun cracks the atmosphere and unveils its mighty peaks and ferocious pitfalls.

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She sat quietly on her throne and watched the full moon scatter beams into eternity, the Chianti swirled around her belly and she remembered kissing him. She blamed the wine and grinned playfully.

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The fire was lit to keep the herd alive. Cold had fallen suddenly on Tucumcari, freezing everything exposed to the elements. Old men searched the desert for sustenance, terror struck their beating hearts.

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She picked up his new book for a third time and marveled at the name etched on the cover. Her eyes danced with excitement as she scanned her wardrobe for something to wear.

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Storm clouds congregated over the small town without mercy or grace. An invisible blade split the sky; large pellets began to assault villagers. They ducked and dodged and shook their fists towards heaven.

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The old mutt jerked its lazy head and sprinted towards the knock. Feel free to answer the door, he almost yelled. He watched her smoke the cigarette without a care in the world.

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The fire alarm roared above the nurses as they scrambled to regroup the geriatric wing into some semblance of order. Sam tried to escape amid the chaos but was tackled by his wife.

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Nausea was rampant among the fleet. Rogue waves enveloped the sea and nothing could quell the turmoil. The people below deck buried their heads and sang miserable songs to forget the trouble outside.

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The baby elephant trotted towards Lucy who stood in complete awe. The pachyderm had been a surprise birthday gift and she loved him instantly. The animal blew its trunk and her heart melted.


Lost on Thanksgiving.

The greatest show ever made.

Sometimes, during the dark of night when I can’t sleep, I listen to the wind crash against the window of my bedroom. The street lamp standing guard on the sidewalk births thick beams of artificial sunlight into my room which are hushed and distorted by the glass, causing streaks of yellow to cascade past the physical attribute of the pane. When the light hits the wall, it disburse’s and ricochet’s around the room until whatever molecules make up light vanish into nothingness and a soft glow is left behind, making the darkness less terrible and the solitude a little more tolerable.

When I find no comfort in the warmth of my room, I will get out of bed and go for a walk and ponder the meaning of this world. If I’m too tired and my brain is too fried to think deeply, I will power up my aging laptop and go on YouTube to find something funny to laugh at or watch short clips of movies I used to enjoy.

I was a huge fan of the hit series “Lost” and lately I’ve been watching snippets of it on my computer. I loved that show. I still do. I mean, I loved the characters and the plots and subplots and back stories and the scenery and how the creators managed to piece everyone so perfectly together with flashbacks and flash-forwards. I miss the adventure and the soundtrack and the way Kate looked when a lock of brown hair would fall across her cute face. I love adventure and this is what the show gave me whenever I watched episode by wonderful episode. A few years ago I purchased all the seasons on DVD and I would watch them over and over again. But last year I ended up selling my precious collection for drugs when I ran out of cash.

My favorite character was John Locke. Yes he was bald and aging, crippled and crazy, but he was courageous (Just for the record I am well aware the show was purely fiction, I mean come on they were chased by a black smoke monster) and he believed in something greater than himself and when no one believed in him, he kept on truckin’ and said the hell with it. He believed he was special and he did what he had to do in order to figure out the meaning of his puny existence.

I did something like that a few months ago. I mean, I never crash landed on a cursed island with a bunch of strangers, but I did manage to get out of Dodge for a while. I dropped what I was doing, I put my life on hold and packed up my Grand Van and hit the road. I searched for the inner strength I knew resided in my heart. Although I came out wanting and poorer than I was at the start, I returned with unforgettable memories and beautiful pictures. But I did it. Some people will call it failure, and to be honest, I don’t give a damn what they think. For the first time in my own puny existence, I grabbed life by the balls and dared to do something out of the ordinary. It’s not over because as long as I remain six feet above ground my own adventure will continue, the story of my life is just beginning even though there are dark, bleak nights I feel as if the end is near.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. It’s a day to spend with relatives around tables full of food, laughter, good wine and better company than ghosts on a dark night like the one I described earlier. It’s a day to crack walnuts and watch football and if you are so inclined, retreat to a small, quiet place and bow before the Lord to thank Him for the many blessings He has bestowed upon you. But if you’re not one of the lucky ones, hell, do it anyway.

I don’t feel like a thankful person anymore. I seem to curse Him more often than not and I find myself OK with doing it. We have issues, He and I. Something tells me it will be many years before He gives me any straight answers. He remains silent to my wonderings and questions, but so be it. If it weren’t for my being mortal, I believe I could go on forever in my stubbornness until I get my well deserved answers. Yet even in my unabashed contempt, I will thank Him nonetheless, because I know there are many people who haven’t a place to spend this wonderful holiday, and when push comes to shove, He is still good to me know matter how much I bitch and moan on the inside. Have you ever felt this way?

I want to wish all of you a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving and remember that no matter how dark the night becomes, the morning will always arrive on schedule and this dear friends, is a good reason to say thanks.


It’s going to huff and puff before you loose electricity.

Hurricane Sandy is barreling down the East coast miles above the churning Atlantic Ocean right now. As you read this paragraph, a monster made of energy and all sorts of ferocious power is rotating in the heavens just waiting to crap down lightning and bullets of water against the inhabitants of this tiny globe. We must have pissed off the atmosphere one too many times and now, after several false alarms, this could be the proverbial mother-of-all storms. I believe the eye of the milky-way shaped natural wonder is hovering near the Carolinas. If you had the guts and, I would assume, supernatural powers to stand near the center of the storm and look up, you would probably see a red-eye full of malice and rage with no other purpose than to terrorize us for intruding its orbit.

Hurricane Sandy 2012

Meteorologists and laymen alike will never fully understand each other. It usually works in our favor to take the advice from the truly informed professionals. As opposed to your average bar room nonsense fabricated by way too much alcohol and a grandiose sense of knowledge. How about the guy standing at the bus stop looking at the clouds? Nine times out of ten he’ll give you his two cents worth. When someone lacks the proper education to give you a lucid and educated guess as to the proper trajectory of a category one hurricane shooting up from the south at a gazillion miles per hour, they will credit their theories on experience from previous storms. This is what I do.

The pros say one thing, our neighbors say something else and when it comes down to it, we fail to concur and wait for them to retract what they’ve told us. When Irene struck in 2011 we were told to shovel holes underground and hide like a pack of groundhogs with all the survival equipment we could strap to our backs. Not much happened. But we comply and prepare because not to do so would be asinine. The wind howls, rain falls, branches topple telephone poles, more huffing and puffing from the galactic phenomenon and boom, the power goes out. Back to the Middle Ages we go!

I am generally concerned about this pre-Halloween trick. When the weather guy on T.V throws his hands in the air repeatedly and when it’s obvious he has no power to force his eyeballs to blink, I guess it would make sense to heed his warning and haul ass. He just told us the subways in NYC will be forced to shut down tonight and the LIRR will be out-of-order, who knows? Maybe the National Guard will come rolling in next.

I like storms though. It has a way of breaking monotony and it makes me believe this is the way earth releases its stress. Through hurricanes and snowstorms and Wizard of Oz style tornadoes, the earth regurgitates its frustration and reminds us the fate of humanity lies within its ability to tolerate us, and we should be happy if it allows us to survive another uppercut from one of its roaming fists made of dark smoke and terrible thunder.

The markets are packed with little old ladies roaming for cheap canned goods, there are parents purchasing milk for screaming brats, single women are stocking up on God knows whatever it is they stock up on, bachelors like myself linger around the snack area trying to figure out if a box of crackers can last us three days and will it go well with my beer. A frantic call over the intercom, someone has slipped in frozen foods, people fight over a leg of lamb, a single roll of toilet paper flies over my head. It’s just your average end of the world crisis being played out in your local food store.

Gas stations are backed up down the road too. It’s amazing how confused the whole parking lot becomes once there’s a threat of a gas shortage. People just sit in their vehicles and stare straight ahead waiting for the guy in front of them to pull out, shake off and put the nozzle back in its place, and that’s not a euphemism.  It’s all good because someone in the Middle East is making money.  More good news for us Americans (um, yes this is dry sarcasm at its best). Some tough guy will get out of his car and yell at the person in front of him for not moving fast enough. I sit and think you can only go as fast as the pump allows you maniac. An old man bangs on his steering wheel; someone else overflows their tank and the flammable substance leaks dangerously all over their pants, but it’s no big deal, it’s just your everyday emergency.

Thankfully it’s an election month so gas prices have dropped considerably in our favor, just in time for the storm of the century.  Yet it doesn’t really matter because the officials have called a state of emergency for most of the coastline. Many people have to evacuate homes and leave their lives in the hands of a terrible situation in which they have no control. Please seek out proper shelter if you have to evacuate. Call your local Red Cross for more information.

This type of storm is a wonderful excuse to break out the survival gear your wife mocks you for owning. Short of a zombie apocalypse, this is the right time to use it.  I keep a bag near my bed and another in my vehicle in case I find myself in a situation where I have to be mobile. I thought about giving you a detailed list of what to keep in a survival kit, but I’m not going to. There are other websites you can visit which will probably be more beneficial to you than mine would. If you’ve been paying attention to this article I just finished telling you I was shopping for crackers and beer a day before a hurricane. All jokes aside, go buy Les Stroud’s book “Survived” and you will find yourself ready to take on anything Mother Nature has to throw at you.


Trifecta Challenge: Three copper pennies

An old man walked slowly towards the mysterious well. He carried three copper pennies representing three wishes he had been granted. Without her, riches meant nothing. Life empty, love gone, he jumped in.

 

Trifextra: week thirty-eight: write 33 words exactly about three wishes that come at a high price to the wisher.

 


Trifecta Challenge: To become a man

I am man without order, knitted together by a perfect being without blame, without blot. A man with heart trying to remember whence he came, a courageous man without the one he loves.

 

Trifextra week: Thirty four: Describe something that is three different things at the same time.  Oh, and do it in 33 words!