Today’s Music: Clint Black – Good Run Of Bad Luck
Well, this one’s a little odd.
The fine tri-centric folk at trifecta (gamesters of triskelion?), for their 33rd week, have put up a triple challenge.
I have, in usual form, done my best to find some way to squeeze my story into the rules. And probably failed miserably.
Hey, at least I’m consistent.
Each 1/3 is another piece of the challenge, but they are all in one post, as it tells one overall story. I hope you all enjoy it, and to the Trifecta judging committee, I hope you find it as entertaining to read as I did to try and develop.
The entire set comes in at 999 words, not including titles.
Prompt 1: response to the following quote: “What I tell you three times is true.” by Lewis Carroll
Trifecta – 33 1/3
_____“What have we got?” he asked as he arrived. The Sergeant pointed at the man handcuffed in the alley, pacing back and forth.
_____“We don’t know if he’s the perp or a witness,” answered the officer. “We thought we’d better hold him, just in case.”
_____ “Thanks”. The Detective moved towards the little man when the Sergeant called him back. “We found him riding around in circles on that thing.” He pointed to an antique tricycle, the front wheel as tall as the Detective’s six feet. The Detective took a deep breath and fought down a feeling of impending doom. He looked away and moved towards the man.
_____ “So? What’s the story here?”
_____ The little man stopped his pacing and looked up from his three foot height at the Detective. “It’s them” he squeaked. “You know I’m no faker. Whether you want to call it a butcher or baker. It’s true”
_____ “Start from the top” said the detective, the Sergeant standing agape over his shoulder.
_____ “Whether it’s beaver or bear, They both were there! It’s true!”
_____ The detective backed away.
_____“They’ll navigate. Oh, just you wait. It’s true!!!”
_____ The detective turned to leave and crashed into the Sergeant. The Sergeant looked from the little man to the Detective.
_____ “What the hell? Can we believe anything he’s saying?
_____ The Detective took a deep breath. “Oh yeah, we can believe him. He said it three times. It has to be true.” He fixed the Sergeant with a cold stare. “We’re dealing with a snark.”
_____ Another crime scene. The EMTs pulled people out from the muddy field. Scripter Obscura and Janna T coughed, clearing their lungs. Sights n Bytes and Linda Vernon were drinking lemonade, trying to wash dirt from their throats.
_____ Sharp Little Pencil lay in an ambulance, eyes wide, grinning as her hand wrote poetry in the air.
_____ Brain Tomahawk giggled to himself.
_____ The Detective walked across the scene, noting how things were laid out. He continued towards the impromptu carnival of 3 ambulances and 33 emergency personnel.
_____ “Hello again Sergeant. What have we got?”
_____ “Should’ve known you’d be here. That Snark is out of control.” He gestured. “Look at this mess.”
_____ “I see it” sighed the Detective. “How many bodies?”
_____ “None” answered the Sergeant. “But I’ve got 32 people, all writerly types, all a little crazed.”
_____ “Anything useful?” pressed the Detective.
_____ “Aside from a third of them yelling that they have to ‘link up’, they all had strange patterns on their clothes.”
_____ The Detective’s head snapped up. “Patterns?”
_____ “One thick stripe, flanked by two narrow stripes. On all of them.” The Sergeant paused. “You know…it reminds me of that-“
_____ “Tricycle” finished the Detective. “This may be bigger than we thought. What else?”
_____ “Found a scrap of paper wedged in each person’s nose. A number on each one.”
_____ “Same number?”
_____ “No.” He handed the Detective an evidence bag of scraps of paper.
_____ The Detective eyed it. “Let me guess. One for each vic, numbered one to thirty two.”
_____ “Yes. What does it mean?”
_____ The Detective looked into the night. “It means this isn’t over yet. And someone is keeping score.”
Prompt Three:Write a 33-333 word response to the song featured below.
Trifecta 33 3/3 (Hey, wouldn’t that be 34?)(No, just go with it.)(Um…Ok…)
_____ The autumn air drifted gently over a field of smashed pumpkins. After 33 weeks, the Detective had finally tracked down the Snark. He left the field for a wooded area, and was lost for a moment, but picked out the tricycle tracks in the mud. He followed them to the trike against a tree. Looking up, he saw the little man he interrogated all those weeks ago humming to himself on his perch. The Snark saw the Detective and hopped down beside him.
_____ “You made it” grinned the Snark.
_____ The Detective shook his head fighting a wave of weariness. “This has to end” he said quietly.
_____ “We can make it last, forever, you and I.” answered the Snark, just as quietly. “It would be an…interesting challenge.”
_____ The Detective faced the Snark. “I can lose myself, for a moment. But not eternity.” He reached into his coat.
_____ The Snark wasted no time. He pulled out a stone sword and leapt at the Detective, toppling him before he could draw. The Detective rolled over, trying to shake the little man loose. The Snark wouldn’t let go. “All this time” he cried. “I’ve devised challenges to delight and amuse! To inspire and challenge! To stimulate and occasionally defeat! It is my reason!” He fought, using his size to his advantage.
_____ The Detective slipped, falling over. The Snark stood over him, a melancholy light of triumph in his eyes, and raised the sword for a final blow, his mouth in a cry of victory.
_____In that moment, the Detective found his weapon, and drew a fine filigreed Mount Blanc fountain pen. He pressed a release that emptied the ink reservoir into the Snark’s eyes and throat.
_____ The Snark’s cheer became a choke, then a gurgle, then…silence.
_____ The Snark fell. A gust of wind blew leaves and dirt, swirling around the body until it was covered, except for one hand, clenched in a fist.
_____ The Detective gathered himself up and brushed himself off. Approaching the cairn slowly, he saw a scrap of paper sticking out of the clenched fist.
_____ He paused and sighed, knowing what came next. Despite his dread, he reached out to perform his final task, drawing the slip of paper from the hand.
_____ The wind gusted harder. Leaves blew. Dirt columned in a gyre. The Detective changed. His spine shrunk, his limbs compressing until he shrunk to half his height, swimming in his now oversized clothes.
_____ He looked at the scrap, sighed, stuck it in his pocket. No words. Just a number.
_____ Thirty three.
_____ He mounted the tricycle. He pedaled slowly away, thinking about his previous life, the places where his friends still met. He saw a glint from the leaf cairn – the stone sword, and felt a surge of pride at the battle.
_____ “The pen is mightier than the sword” he said to himself, riding off to devise the next challenge…