Trifecta – Preparation


Today’s Music: Sting – Why Should I Cry For You
Days Til Spring: 8

Another Trifecta Challenge (the setup of which is actually longer than my resulting story. What’s up with that?) As always, the story should illustrate the meaning of the 3rd definition, in a piece 33 to 333 words long.
trail verb \ˈtrāl\

1 a: to hang down so as to drag along or sweep the ground
b: to extend over a surface in a loose or straggling manner (a vine that trails over the ground)
c: to grow to such length as to droop over toward the ground
2 a: to walk or proceed draggingly, heavily, or wearily : plod, trudge
b: to lag behind : do poorly in relation to others
3: to move, flow, or extend slowly in thin streams

So I’ve been reading about the destruction of Robert E. Lee’s army. this probably came from that…

Preparation
In this part of the country, the thickness of the wilderness only allowed single file marching down the sinuous paths between the trees and brambles.
Headquarters, behind the lines as always, was on a high promontory, allowing the commanding General to watch his troops moving out towards the enemy.

Now that the plans had been laid and the orders given, movements begun and troops committed, he cleared his head to leave it fresh for the coming battle.
As he focused on what was to come, his hopes and fears began to trail away from him, like the slow moving lines of his army below…

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81 responses to “Trifecta – Preparation

  1. What a creative way to use the prompt! Such a great visual. It is really, really good.

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  2. Way better than the piece in the historical romance style (Passion in the Blood, or whatever it was….) Quite good, actually…. 🙂

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  3. This is very good. I would suggest a small edit. You used the past tense of the word, but the challenge is to use the word exactly as it is written. I would suggest changing “hopes and fears trailed away” to ” hopes and fears began to trail away.”

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    • Thanks Sandy!
      And thanks for the tense note. Thank god someone reads the instructions!
      (Edit was made)

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      • I’m going to get a reputation as that persnickety rules lady. I read the first 5 or 6 posts on the Trifecta site earlier today and only one person used the word correctly. Most people are using it as a noun when the definition is for a verb. I really liked your piece, both the feeling and visual impression.

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  4. I like that a lot! Nice work! I studied history in school, but I never really liked US history. Maybe I should delve into it a bit!

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    • Thank you Lily.
      I don’t know why, but the Civil War fascinates me. I started with The Killer Angels, and then started reading the non-fiction history. 15 years later, and I’m still buying more books on the subject…

      And nice new avatar!

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  5. I liked the elves, and the swordfish grill, and the frogs! So delightful!

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  6. Nice imagery, it all fits neatly, and I had to read it twice to find the word, so it flowed very well.

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  7. Because of your preamble, I placed this story in the mid 19th century and now have a whole Gone with the Wind thing happening in my brain. Nicely written, Guap … with special props for the use of the word ‘promontory’ which, in truth, I had to look up. I’m a Louisiana girl. We don’t see nuthin’ but flat lands ’round these parts.

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  8. Very Nicely done – !! For reallies! and you used the word correctly and it is fantabulous…. Excellent I say… I can put a few more really cool ass adjetives in there if you like but really it is just ….Dude..

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  9. I love that song of Stings. Such a favourite. I have great memories of seeing him perform for Princess Diana when he was in Sydney. Earlier that day I was helping set up the room for the event and he came in and rehearsed. I found many reasons to gravitate to the front of the stage.

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  10. Hi,
    Well done, you obviously put a bit of thought into this, and you did a great job. 🙂
    All history is fascinating, the civil war was an interesting part of American history.

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    • I think a lot of what fascinates me about the civil war, apart from the philosophical underpinnings, is that it happened in the midst of a technological upheaval.
      It was the first war where trenches were dug, where the railroad was used to ferry troops and supplies, it was the invention of the rifled gun barrel and a host of other innovations.
      Unfortunately, the tactics evolved more slowly, leading to some horrific battles.

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  11. quite wonderful EG. fraught with what has occurred, what is soon to take place. kudos. continue…

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  12. I appreciate the way you used your current reading of General Lee into this prompt. Well done!

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  13. whiteladyinthehood

    Guapo – this one I think is my favorite! Great visual! Awesome job!!!!

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  14. Wow, very eloquent and visual. Great job!

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  15. I like it. I could picture the subtle movements as the commander was thinking. A good lesson for me as I write my second historical fiction novel – one that contains a battle scene, but really hard for me because I don’t “think” like a soldier. Thanks for the inspiration, which is why I know you wrote this piece, right?!

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  16. Wow, nicely done Guapo. You’re getting better and better with these challenges. As usual, when reading them I forget about the ‘challenge’, the ‘rules’ and get caught up in the story you’re telling. I loved the way this one ended….I wanted to read more.

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  17. How nice that what you’re reading dovetails so nicely into the challenge. I think you did an oustanding job of trail 3rd definition. You painted a moving picture. Well done!

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  18. great story, but of course I expected it to be good. I wasn’t disappointed.

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  19. I learnt something! Word of the day: promontory.

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  20. This is incredible. Not only because I am a HUGE fan of Civil War history, but the words and imagery you used made me feel like I was there. Fantastic job, Guapola!

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  21. Written with military precision. Appropriate for any time, any era.

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  22. Weirdly, I just started reading a book today about James Garfield, and this piece seems to fit right in with my reading material!

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    • You know, I’ve actually come across very little on Garfield in my Civil War reading, whatimeant2say
      Although he worked with some big names, I haven’t seen a lot about his time in the army…

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  23. My husband is a student of the Civil War and knows this venue well. Very nice use of the prompt, that trail, those troops. Have you read “Lies My Teacher Told Me”? It has a lot to say about how American history is taught in social studies textbooks. Think you’d find it intriguing… Peace, Amy

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  24. Permission to make you jealous?
    Tomorrow we’ll have our first day of spring already – 20°C…. 🙂
    (I do realise that it is very off topic)

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  25. Once again, a really solid piece of writing. You’ve got some sweet skills, Guapo, if I do say so myself. Also, you won a Karaoke prize! Congrats! – You might want to come by and claim it, it’s very valuable. I would hate for someone to steal it.

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  26. it has a really nice flow, intellectually, visually, emotionally and probably lots of other -ly’s… smoothest because it is also the prompt, so the whole piece does trail very well…

    🙂

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  27. I enjoy that you add the todays Music link. The other day I took a YouTube Stoll in the archives of old rock and roll clasics. I had forgotten how music can have such an effect!
    I enjoyed reading your writting challenge. I found it to be very visual as my picture mind worked overtime. You did a wonderful job, it made me want to read more! I’ve been working on branching out what I read lately trying to get of my own reading rut.

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    • I can’t think of anything that’s consistently moved me as much over the years as music, starla.
      Thank you so much for enjoying the story.

      What are you reading?

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      • I’m normally a non fiction type of reader. So in my attempt to look outside my own reading boxes I asked a lirarian blogger/friend for a recomendation. She recomended Michael Connelly so I went to my local library and picked up City of Bones by Michael Connelly. While I was at the library I asked the librarian for her pick and she gave me My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira. Knowing that I have a bent for non fiction she asked my topics I enjoy and I said animals and medical so with that she was able to stear me to this book. I’m excited at the idea of branching out my reading interests.. History since I’m asking others for recomendations what would you recomend in the line of History?

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        • I’m not a fan of historical fiction, but The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara was fantastic (to me). that was the first Civil War book I read. It engaged me enough to go on reading non-fiction about, which (15+ years later) I’m still reading.
          I also read a lot of sci fi and science too. Mostly I’ll read anything I can get my hands on…

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          • No not historical fiction…….:+) What I ment is non fiction. I am trying to break out of my comfort zone with the willingness to read fiction but after reading these two books I’m sure I will need to go back to my comfort zone non fiction. Thats a good thing read read read. Are you in the midst of writting a book? Thank You for the recomendation I will put in on my list for next when I take these two back.

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            • For Civil War non-fiction, anything by Shelby Foote. But be warned – his Narrative Of The Civil War is absolutely brilliant, but it’s over 4000 pages in three volumes.
              I just read a great book on Genghis Khan that was fascinating-
              Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford.
              I would definitely recommend this.
              (Hope this isn’t the same book I recommended to you on your blog – I know I suggested it somewhere recently).
              No, not writing a book. I am finally trying to get a childrens story edited though.

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              • Thank You for taking the time to give me your recomended reading. I really do appreciate that! I will start with reading The killer Angels first. Thanks for the warning of Shelby Foote his Narrative of the Civil War peeked my interest 4000 pages that would make good reading sitting by the stove enjoying a Montana Winter. I’m looking forward to it I better get to reading the two that I have now. :+) Life is Good.

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  28. By the time I get my mind in order to enter your writing challenge…you’ll have moved on to something else….so I’ll just wait for the something else.

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  29. Not familiar with this Sting song, but then, I’m not too familiar with his post-law enforcement work.

    Again, a great piece, Guap. I can see how reading about the inevitable defeat of one of America’s greatest military minds influenced your piece. If I might offer one small suggestion–given that words are a premium, I would eliminate the word “winding” as the much better word “sinuous” renders it superfluous. But again, I really liked the piece.

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    • Thank you, Smaktakula. Not sure how I missed the redundancy, but you’re absolutely right.
      Also made another one word change.

      Well spotted and much appreciated, Sir!

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  30. No problem. And thank you for gently pointing out that ‘redundant’ would have been a better word than ‘superfluous’ in my critique!

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  31. Another great job, El Guapo. I love the focus on the General. Often, in war-based novels, the protagonist is the soldier.Your use of ‘trail’ is also very appropriate. Thanks for linking up. Hope you can join us for the weekend challenge.

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  32. This is a little forward, but where are you? Don’t you know that your job of writing on WordPress is supposed to be an all-consuming thought? We need your music, wit, wisdom, all those other suck up terms. Just write EG.

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    • Friday poll can’t go up until I get into work and can check for any late “Other” answers, Hobbler.
      And if you’re looking for wit and wisdom, I think you want Gaupalo nex tdoor…

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Ahem *best Ricky Ricardo voice* Babble-OOOoooo!!!

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