He came, quietly,
Huge and urgent,
The inner blankness.

A sensation beneath his ribs:
The Woman,
Pricked, pink, hollow-boned,
Wild, clanking, squawking,
Shouted with panic.

Never mind.
That’s all he wanted:


My God, this was fun. I thought it was going to suck, right up to the point that I started it. Trifecta wanted 33 words, random or not, which all came from page 33 of the book “Olive Kitteredge” by Elizabeth Strout.

(I’m updating this, after the fact, to show what I meant by “from page 33 of the book…”, for the benefit of people that sometimes don’t know what the heck I’m talking about when I mention Trifecta.  When I add a link to any of my Trifecta entries, it always refers back to that particular post of theirs which spells out their challenge which that particular post of mine is written for.  Their weekly contest closes at 6pm Central Time on Thursdays, winners are announced on Friday in the same post where they announce their weekend “Trifextra” contest, then that one closes at suppertime in the central U.S. on Sunday, then those winners are announced on Mondays, along with the new contest for the week.   And the cycle goes on.)  The rules for that (now closed) contest were:

This weekend we are playing another type of word game with you.  Below are
photos from the 33rd page of one of our very favorite books, Elizabeth Strout’s
.  What we want you to do is to scour the page (click to enlarge),

choose 33 words, and reshape those words into a piece of your own.  Your piece
does not have to tell an entire story.  We just want to see what you can do with
this particular word bank.  Punctuation is up to you.  Use whatever you need,
whether or not it appears in the photos.

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16 Responses to Touch

  1. barbara says:

    ooooh – love these lines rearranged! Well done.

  2. Draug419 says:

    Most lovely. And I felt the same way about the prompt at first! (:

  3. Nice duality going on here. At the end I conjured Frankenstein (in a good way!).

  4. Wow. This is powerful. What do you mean it came from a book? I mean, what was the process?

    • How do I say this? “This is powerful”, from a writer of your power, makes me happy, Anna. I’ve updated this post to explain what I was talking about. If you’re bored sometime, try Trifecta. Here’s their “generic” web address:
      You’d probably blow the other entrants away, even though many of them are quite good. But who cares? Hey, I won 2nd place once, so I’m “good” now, as they say (not that trying to keep other competition from entering a contest ever makes any sense). During the weekly ones they usually want 33-333 words, and it’s usually to use the third definition of some word they chose (often chosen by one of the participants), exactly as written, mind you (if the word is “friend”, for instance, they want “friend” used at least once in your story or poem, not “friends”, “friendly”, or “friended”, unless you make sure to use “friend” at least once also). Other than that it’s pretty easy. Most people do poetry or fiction, though I think essays are fine, too. Their weekend challenge, “Trifextra”, is, almost always, limited to 33 words, EXACTLY 33 words, and the “writing prompt” varies widely. It’s quite fun at times, and other times I’m not inspired at all by their prompts. Which is a long way of saying that sometimes “I got nothing”.

  5. Sarah Ann says:

    Very evocative. Well done.

    • Thanks, Rose. I think of women as being lovely and graceful, maybe animal-like, but not “clanking” or “squawking” (not in bed anyway, though some have been known to squawk quite a bit in other places), so I was chuckling quite a bit when I wrote that part. Poetry is fun when you get it somewhat right, isn’t it? But prose is a zillion times easier for me, any day of the week.

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