Withdrawal Symptoms – Trifecta Week 98

Mwahahahaha….. I’m baaaack!

Below is my offering for Trifecta’s week 98 challenge word, which is ‘zombie’. As you will see from the Trifecta blog post, the challenge is to write between 33 and 333 words of fiction, non-fiction, poetry or prose, based on the 3rd definition from the Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary. This week the 3rd definition of ‘zombie’ is:

a mixed drink made of several kinds of rum, liqueur and fruit juice

I hope you enjoy my offering – please check here for the other entries!

*****

– Withdrawal Symptoms –

“I’d like to open a bank account please.”

“OK. What’s it for?”

“Excuse me?”

“What’s it for? Paying in your salary, savings, stuff like that.”

“Oh, right, sorry. Well, it’s a bit delicate you see –“

“Hit me with it. I hear all sorts of stuff. I’m not easily shocked.”

“I’d rather not – .”

“Ohhhhh! Let me see if I can guess. Hmmm, Burberry coat, tailored suit, hand-made shoes, Cartier watch – yep, gotcha. Divorce proceedings. You took him to the cleaners, right?”

“Really, I’d rather not –“

“OK, my lovely’. Hold on a mo, let me just have a bit more of my drink. It’s very dry in here, isn’t it?”

“Now you mention it, yes, it is rather. Do you think I could have a drink?”

“Of course, my dear, here you are!”

“Oh my…. This is… Mmmmm, what is it?”

“A Zombie. To celebrate the holiday season, bring new customers in. If you ask me, Hallowe’en isn’t a holiday, not here. Not like America. Have you been to America? I’ve not, never, no. Would love to one day, if I ever meet someone rich…”

“It’s fabulous! I went to uhmm, oh, what’s that place called? I just can’t quite… Oh, don’t mind if I do, yes, thank you, this is lovely, very thirst-quenching, mmm…”

“You were saying, about being rich? Look, this is the perfect bank account. I’ve been working on it whilst we’ve been talking. Here, give me your other bank card, that’s right, just tap a few numbers in here, just, like, that and bingo! Job done. Money transferred.”

“Oh! I – “

“Yes, I’m very efficient, that’s what they all say. Now, we’re just about to close, so if you don’t mind – thank you, goodbye now!”

“Nice one, Al. Right, better wrap this place up and get a move on before the police catch up with us.”

“Drinks are on me and, what’s her name? Mrs Arlingham-Ward. What a lovely, lovely lady!”

“Cheers, mate!”

“Cheers!”

*****

Trifecta

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Essence – Trifecta Week 95

Below is my offering for Trifecta’s week 95 challenge word, which is ‘rainbow’. As you will see from the Trifecta blog post, the challenge is to write between 33 and 333 words of fiction, non-fiction, poetry or prose, based on the 3rd definition from the Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary. This week the 3rd definition of ‘rainbow’ is:

[from the impossibility of reaching the rainbow, at whose foot a pot of gold is said to be buried] : an illusory goal or hope

I hope you enjoy my offering – please check here for the other entries!

*****

– Essence –

“What do you want from life?”

The man replied, almost before the question had finished reverberating around the empty room.

“I just want to be happy! That’s all!”

Silence settled, coating the walls, the floor and the man himself with an almost palpable disapproval.

“Hello? Did you hear me? I said -”

“I heard.”

“So?”

“Are you absolutely certain?”

“Look, I thought you were omnipotent, omniscient, all that crap. So, just sort it out, won’t you? The rest of my life is waiting!”

The Voice sighed. Every time…

“If that is what you wish – and I repeat that you said ‘I just want to be happy’ – then it can be arranged. But if your only experience is happiness, you will be forever denied the richness of life. Do you understand me?”

The man held up his hand, as if to stop The Voice in its tracks. The man’s ears were deaf to all explanations. His mind had been made up long ago.

“I know what I want. Deliver it.”

The final words sealed his fate. The door opened and the man ran from the room, eager to meet his destiny.

The Voice remained silent. There was nothing to say. Removing all causes of negativity from the man’s life would render him happy, but not for long. Once he arrived home to a house with no wife and children to welcome him, a phone with no parents or friends to receive his call… well, his choice had been made.

The Voice knew. Each thing that brings us happiness also brings us pain. Equally, remove all sources of pain and our happiness soon evaporates.

Such is the way of the world.

Such a shame that once the man had made his decision, there was no turning back. He had embarked on a fool’s errand.

The Voice wondered if he himself would ever stop searching for the wise man, his own personal rainbow.

Perhaps The Heart would know.

*****

Trifecta

Codicil – (Not quite) Trifecta Week 94

Below is my (not quite) offering for Trifecta’s week 94 challenge word, which is ‘mask’. As you will see from the Trifecta blog post, the challenge is to write between 33 and 333 words of fiction, non-fiction, poetry or prose, based on the 3rd definition from the Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary. This week the 3rd definition of ‘mask’ is:

a: a protective covering for the face

b: GAS MASK

c: a device covering the mouth and nose to facilitate inhalation

d: a cosmetic preparation for the skin of the face that produces a tightening effect as it dries

As you will also see, I decided not to go down that road, because something different offered itself up whilst I was journeying into the office this morning – it falls within defintion 2, relting to concealment and disguise. I enjoyed writing it, so here it is. I also smashed through the word limit – but hey, in for a penny, in for a pound.

Please check here for the other entries who toed the party line!

*****

– Codicil –

Watch her now, in mid-tirade. Impressive, yes? A woman of a certain age who has clawed, scratched and bitten her way to the top. Anyone who stood in her way surely regretted it.

Her world, the stage of the Old Bailey, the number one court in the land. She has chosen murder, rape, the most heinous of crimes, as her home. And she loves it, gliding down the tiled corridors, wig in hand, wheeled case stuffed with evidence lists, case law, closing and opening speeches. It is where she belongs. Juniors vie for her attention, yet quail when selected by an imperious prod of her crimson nail. She is terrifying.

And yet, watch her now as she collapses through her front door in the minutes after midnight. Her make-up has faded, her hair has pulled free of its chic chignon. Much of her work, the gossip of the law, takes place in the pubs that cluster around London’s Inns of Court like washer-women around a pump. In her twenties and thirties, she had thrived on this extra-curricular frenzy, gulping down rumour and Shiraz like a baby at the breast.

Watch her, now she is home, now she is just the woman who has realised too late that all she really wants is a husband, two kids, a dog and some goldfish. What’s the use of a family home without a family to fill it? Who needs limited edition this, designer that, original the other when they can’t welcome you home at night, or miss you when you’re not there?

Look at her as she regards herself in the mirror, frankly appraising the high cheekbones, the flinty eyes, the fulsome lips. She fumbles in a pocket, pulls out a glossy square of paper. A photograph? Her eyes slip downwards, shy of her own scrutiny. Her face dips and she hooks a stray curl behind her ear, a regular, unconscious act. Then with a swift twist, she releases her hair and it tumbles down her back, uncharacteristically wild, black stranded with silver. A softness appears in her expression as she glances at her reflection again. She slips the piece of paper into the corner of the frame, touching it with her fingertip – a gentle mannerism.

Her coat is thrown over the bannister, heels kicked off, black jacket unbuttoned and she sighs, as if release from these trappings is ultimate relief. Now turning sideways, we can understand.

She caresses her stomach with one hand, and then the other. The mask slips once and for all.

“Hello, little one. Welcome home.”

*****

Trifecta