The Challenge: Here we go. When Trifecta first started, Joules was not an editor. She was on the other side of things, and she won the first two Trifecta challenges. Here is her first-ever Trifecta response. It’s 38 words. We want you to give us the rest of it.
Charts and optimal dates and preferential temperatures. One line or two. As if she could summon whatever it is that makes up the human soul as easily as she could a cab on a busy New York avenue.
It was with some irony, that she recalled her years of being ‘good,’ when she naively believed ‘it’ might happen accidentally (everyone knew someone who’d foolishly fallen from grace)! That could never happen to her, though. She followed the rules and expected that in time, things would fall into place, naturally.
But marriage didn’t deliver an EZPass to her fairy tale future. Months became years; each anti-climactic cycle, nudging her more deeply into a downward spiral of self-recrimination and helplessness.
At least she could control the color of the ink on her damned charts.
Each ink had a different meaning, a grotesque rainbow of colors mocking her every month – blue for basal temps, purple for ovulation, pink for menses, and red for date nights.
Date nights… that was a joke. All the love had drained from their lovemaking. It was tediously mechanical and carefully timed. The end justified the means, and there was no need to get fancy with the means.
Picking up her pink pen, she counted off the days only to realize she was three days late. She didn’t want to get her hopes up, but her heart beat a little faster.
Participants in both communities teamed together for Trifecta’s First Anniversary and took on the task of writing one story. Trifecta opened the challenge with a prompt penned by one of its founding members, then handed off to Team member A(me) who added between 33-100 words. Now, Team member B (Tara), close off this bit of flash fiction with another 33-100 words for Vel.
Joules, now a Trifecta editor, served up the opening prompt (taken from her first winning Trifecta entry). My writing partner for this experience is Tara, from Thin Spiral Notepad. The original prompt is in bold, my Part A is in italic, and Tara’s excellent finale is in bold/italic. check out the final published version at http://thinspiralnotebook.wordpress.com/2012/11/14/written-in-pen/