She bit her lip and spat the blood onto the pavement.  It splashed dark red but she didn’t notice.  She was already seeing red.  The day had been trying.  The night before had been too short and everyone and everything seemed to be against her from the moment she opened her eyes.  The house had lost power at some point during the night and her alarm had failed to go off so she woke up late.  She’d raced to get ready only to find there wasn’t anything in the fridge she could grab for an easy breakfast.  Her stomach grumbled its protest but she didn’t have time to fix a real breakfast.  It would have to wait.  She’d gotten into her car only to remember and then see the glowing icon that meant she was nearly out of gas so she’d have to take the bus from the stop up the street, which was also late and full, so she’d had to stand which became nearly impossible as she was jostled by the sudden stops and starts and sharp turns the driver made navigating rush hour traffic.  Then, getting off at her stop she had collided with a man.  The contact had been accidental but it had been jarring enough that she’d bitten her lip.  Her mouth filled with blood, she spit it out and stepped over it.  She was late.  She didn’t even realize she had done it.

The morning did not define her, though.  Nor was it a reflection of who she generally was.  Normally, she was poised and precise.  And once she settled into her desk and got caught up on what she’d missed that morning she tried to regain a semblance of normalcy.  Her mind, however, kept running back over the events of the night before and all the issues from the morning.  Was she losing it?  Why had she agreed to stay out so late?  How had she not noticed the power go out?  Why had she let her fridge get empty?  Why had she let her gas tank also drop so low?  Why hadn’t she been steady on her feet on the bus or watched her step as she got off? None of that was like her…  She was too young for her mind to be slipping, wasn’t she?

Round and round her thoughts tumbled and then, in the middle of a delicate email on an important topic, her fingers froze, hovering over the keyboard.  Had she spit?  Had she actually spit blood onto the pavement right in front of her office?  She was so distraught by the idea that she actually stood up, ready to march back to the street and see if her blood was still sitting there, splattered and dried.  Then she sat back down with a little shake of her head and completed the email.

No.  Going to look for the blood was definitely something a crazy person would do.  She refused to be crazy.  She was far too poised and precise to let her sanity slip away.

boil, boil, boom

“What are you doing?”

Aldyn rolled his eyes behind the tome he was studying and decided not to answer, it was perfectly obvious that he was reviewing for tomorrow’s test.

A hint of fear crept into Hult’s voice when he addressed his roommate again, “Seriously, Aldyn, what are you brewing over here?”

Aldyn peaked over the top of his book and took in the hearth, the large fire burning there, the cauldron suspended over the flames with a steady stream of thick smoke pouring up the chimney, and Hult nervously standing nearby.  Everything, other than his busybody, cowardly, roommate looked as it should, so Aldyn scoffed, “That’s the potion for tomorrow’s final.  It looks fine to me.”

“Mine didn’t look like this when I brewed it two days ago,” Hult looked between the cauldron and his roommate, but Aldyn had already shifted his eyes down into his studies and missed the real fear bubbling behind Hult’s eyes.


Hult backed away from the fire.  He wanted to be as far from it as possible, but he didn’t want to leave Aldyn with the combustible creation either.  He had too strong of a moral compass to leave his peer to suffer the consequences of his nonchalance and arrogance.  His eyes quickly searched the room for something he could use to either remedy the impending disaster or extinguish the flames before the reaction proceeded further.  But, there was nothing that could help, and his steps carried him all the way to the door.

“I think you should probably dowse those flames and start over, or come with me,” Hult pleaded as he opened the door.  “I promise I’m not pranking you.”

Aldyn didn’t look up and waved his roommate away with an exasperated flick of his right hand.

Hult closed the door behind him as he entered the hallway and then sprinted in search of a professor.

The concussive explosion reverberated around him and tossed him forward before he’d reached the first flight of stairs.


Word Count: 333

This tale of magic, potions, and studies, brought to you by this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge:

It was interesting to look at all the new words that officially came into existence during the last year. Unfortunately, they are so new they haven’t had chance to get a third definition yet. But after delving into a list of new words and meanings which have come into English over the last fifty years, you can see many old words have changed their meaning. There are some crackers. And one of them is your Trifecta 109 prompt.


1.  (pronoun) a: anything or everything that
b: no matter what : regardless of what
Used in questions that express surprise or confusion
2.  (adjective) a: all the
b: any ; any … that
Used to refer to something that is not known
3.   (adverb) Used to show that something is not important

• 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.

NaNo teaser

Hey all,

I thought I’d give you a sneak peek into the NaNoWriMo project I’m working on.  The story is based on the “Last Chance” series I had posted a couple parts of previously on the Kingdom.

I hope you enjoy!


He returned to the open page and the details of the spell finally held still for him.  He read through them three times to ensure he memorized every word and captured every nuance and proper inflection.  Closing his eyes he ran through the incantation three more times.  When he was confident he was as prepared as he could be, he opened his eyes and grabbed a small falcon feather off the desktop.

Focusing on his breathing, he slowed his intake and output as he had been taught.  This calming act allowed him to also reduce his heart rate and bring stillness to his mind and body.  He looked within and found the energy that needed to be harnessed to unleash the spell.  He held the feather at the ready in his right hand.  He pushed aside everything else.  There was only the feather and the magic.

The flickering lights faded away.  The sound of the play fight raging outside were muted.  The trembling of his thoughts were stilled.  The words to the spell danced in his mind.  He cupped them together lovingly and tossed the feather into the air.

“Axt loatf cmanomd zrf.”

He spoke the incantation calmly, confidently.  He knew in his heart this would be the time he finally got it right.  This would be the time the spell worked for him.

The feather rocked lazily back and forth until it came to a rest on his left slipper.

Antyn stared down at it in disbelief.  He had done everything right.  He had been so sure it would work.  Why hadn’t it worked?  Why hadn’t the energy been ripped from him and the magic unleashed?  Why wasn’t the feather floating in front of him, suspended by the words of his spell and waiting for the next command?

He looked to the text to double check that he hadn’t made a mistake but the words had resumed their indecipherable swimming.  Squeals of delight from outside filtered through his window and an errant snowball squished against the closed pane causing him to jump from surprise.

Antyn’s inner calm snapped and he lashed out at the tome.  It slid across the smooth surface of his desk and crashed into the adjacent wall.  Unsatisfied, the young man fell further into a berserk tantrum.  His chair was hurled, his bed was shoved askew, his desk was kicked at, books were flung from shelves, candles were toppled and the flames sputtered and were extinguished in overflowing pools of wax.

last chance

Try as he might, and he truly did, Anton couldn’t grasp magic.  He studied, he practiced, he sought help and all of his professors willingly spent hours with the young student trying to help him along.  After a year though, a year spent in vain, Anton was ready to give it up as a lost cause.

All of his classmates had already successfully been able to memorize and cast the first dozen spells from their syllabus.  Anton hadn’t managed a single one.  At first his peers had taunted him, then they had tried to help him when they saw how significant his struggles were and how motivated he was, and then, finally, they pitied him.

It was the pity that sent Anton over the edge.  His mind may not have been capable of understanding the complexities of sorcery but it understood science very well.  He gathered and assembled the components in secret and then hid them about the campus.  Before he acted, Anton allowed himself one more chance, one last opportunity to apply himself to his studies and have the experience of feeling the power of a spell crackle off his fingertips.

He desperately wanted to feel that.  He wanted to know that power.  He wanted to know magic.

If he failed one more time, however, he would detonate the explosives immediately.  “If I can’t have magic, than I’ll make sure no one can.”


Word Count: 234

Happy Monday everyone, even if this piece isn’t all that happy.  I’m pretty sure not being able to perform magic in the world where others could would drive me a bit bonkers too.  Since it’s a bit silly and about magic, it must be my response to this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge:

GRASP (verb)

1: to take or seize eagerly
2: to clasp or embrace especially with the fingers or arms
  • 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.

true friends

Anton wrapped up his speech and waited for the applause to wash over him.  When he’d practiced his delivery, timing and content, at home his friends had all thought he’d done splendidly.  They’d given him the confidence to step out on the stage and present his findings to his peers.  However, not a single clap echoed up to him in the auditorium.  In place of cheers and whistles he received only silence.

Afterwards, his Incantations Professor approached him in the recesses behind the stage.  “Anton,” he said frowning with disapproval, “that was extremely weak.  Did you even bother to read the material?  Did you test your findings?”

Hanging his head in shame, Anton mumbled apologies in reply before making a quick exit out the back.  He hadn’t read the books and scrolls.  He hadn’t actually tested his theories with experiments or practical applications.  He’d been so sure he was on the verge of a major breakthrough.  The magic had all been so crystal clear within his mind.  How could I have been wrong?

Safely hidden in his room again he dissected his arguments and easily found flaw after flaw.  His ideas had been preposterous at best and without a doubt impossible based on current knowledge of the arcane subjects.  Anton cursed his friends for not having pointed any of that out during his trial run.  Then he chuckled and cursed himself.

“Maybe it’s time for me to find some new friends.”

But, as he sat down on the edge of his bed, the first of his multitude of cats jumped into his lap and began purring.  The edge of his shame softened, his determination crumbled, and he knew he’d never get rid of them.


Word Count: 284

*sing song*  “Monday, Monday (La La, LA LA LA), so good to me.”

Sorry, my coffee hasn’t kicked in yet.  Anyway, this was my response to this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge:

1: lacking strength: as
: deficient in physical vigor : feeble, debilitated
: not able to sustain or exert much weight, pressure, or strain
: not able to resist external force or withstand attack
: easily upset or nauseated <a weak stomach>
2a : mentally or intellectually deficient
: not firmly decided : vacillating
: resulting from or indicating lack of judgment or discernment
: not able to withstand temptation or persuasion <the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak>
3: not factually grounded or logically presented <a weak argument>

  • 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.