“You wanna go outside?” I called to Sahara who was half asleep on the couch. As soon as she heard that magic word ‘outside’ she sprang to action like she was the youthful puppy my husband had fallen for at the shelter eight years ago.

She was at the door to the back porch, tail wagging a mile-a-minute, telling me to hurry my coffee-deprived butt up. She raced ahead of me into the screened-in porch, sniffing every crook and cranny. As I worked to slip on my flip-flops, she was a huntress on a mission.

“That cicada isn’t in here; it isn’t going to get you,” I tried to reassure her. I sighed as she still continued to hunt the devious bug that had previously dive-bombed her on more than one occasion when she’d been out to do her business. Brave huntress now, but when that cicada buzzes by she’s a scaredy-cat.

I opened the porch door to the yard to let her ‘outside’ finally. She started down the steps, but paused…scrunched her nose sniffing…looked left and right…then backed up. Sighing again, I stepped carefully onto the slightly damp yard and called to her.

“Come on, girl… see no bugs,” I relayed cheerfully despite my own doubts of getting dive-bombed by a cicada. All hope would truly be lost with my running and screaming to the safety of the porch.


So, I whistled and got that sideways head tilt that labs do with paws firmly planted in the doorway. Adorable, but without my morning coffee it was lost on me.

“I know what will get you out here,” I said to her as if she could read my mind and ran inside leaving her on the screened-in porch puzzled. When I came back with a T-R-E-A-T to charm her out the door, she was suddenly, mysteriously no longer afraid any bugs or whatever it was giving her pause at the door.

—326 words—

Based on the adventures Sahara and I have been having at the new place (it has a screened-in porch). The picture is of her at our old place in TX. She’s a silly girl (very smart and an escape-artist) and is getting very particular as she ages.

Trifecta: Week Eighty-Seven

This week’s prompt was suggested to us by Rois who linked up with our Meet Your Fellow Trifectans meme.  If you haven’t linked up there yet, please do.

CHARM (verb)1a : to affect by or as if by magic : compel
b : to please, soothe, or delight by compelling attraction<charms customers with his suave manner>
2: to endow with or as if with supernatural powers by means of charms; also : to protect by or as if by spells, charms, or supernatural influences
3: to control (an animal) typically by charms (as the playing of music) <charm a snake>
  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.
  • If your post doesn’t meet our requirements, please leave your link in the comments section, not in the linkz.
  • Trifecta is open to everyone. Please join us.
This week’s challenge is community judged.
  • For the 14 hours following the close of the challenge, voting will be enabled on links.
  • In order to vote, return to this post where stars will appear next to each link.  To vote, simply click the star that corresponds with your favorite post.
  • You can vote for your top three favorite posts.
  • Voting is open to everyone.
  • You have 14 hours to vote.  It’s not much time, so be diligent! We’ll send out reminders on Twitter and Facebook.
  • The winners will be announced in the comments of Friday’s post and will be posted in our typical fashion in the post on the following Monday.

This week’s word is charm.


Ghoulish Flash Fiction A to Z: Tartalo (Basque)

Tartaloren irudikapena, Zamudioko Izenaduba pa...

Tartaloren irudikapena, Zamudioko Izenaduba parkean. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was that first warm, sunny day of spring when Blake and Jake ditched their chores to explore the local caverns. It was a perfect day to play hooky, or so they boys thought as they headed for the woods.

“Come on! That new cave I found is near the lake in the back of Basq Hill Bend,” older brother Blake shouted as he ran ahead, deep into the hills towards the lake.

The lake was the pristine kind that one reads about in Arthurian legends, but on the far side sat a menacing, cragged hill with a large gaping mouth that begged errant boys to enter.

“I bet there’s an underground river that feeds the lake down there,” Jake informed his older brother expertly from the opening in the earth when he finally caught up.

“Who cares! Let’s look for gold or other loot.” Blake shouted back from inside the dark cavern.

“Shouldn’t we have some climbing equipment or something?” Jake hollered back from just outside the earth’s cragged grin.

“We’re not going up!” Blake shouted back.

Before Jake could enter the cavern, a thunderous roar responded to Blake’s disturbance. Jake ran to his brother’s screams and watched in an ecstasy of terror as a one-eyed giant ate his brother. Jake stood frozen in fear until the giant’s ring shimmered off the stalactite as the beast licked his fingers.

“I’ll save you for tomorrow,” the giant grumbled satisfactorily plucking Jake from his spot; hanging him from a stalactite before stomping towards the back of the cave for a nap.

—–260 words—–

Today’s trifecta haunting is inspired by the Tartalo, a one-eyed giant who eats people and sheep.

Trifecta: Week Seventy-Four

This week’s word is ecstasy.

1a : a state of being beyond reason and self-control

 b archaic : swoon
2: a state of overwhelming emotion; especially : rapturous delight

Please remember:

  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.
  • If your post doesn’t meet our requirements, please leave your link in the comments section, not in the linkz.
  • Trifecta is open to everyone. Please join us.

Good luck!

Winter’s Foreplay

It had been a long time since a man had entered Eira’s lair. There once was a time when she had her pick of soldiers, hunters, and axe men. Every night a different delicacy to satisfy her appetite, sometimes more than one. She would whisper temptations through the wind, leading them deeper into the forest. Only to realize too late they were trapped like the animals they may have been hunting.She would slate her lust, her prey often a willing participant, for she was a winter beauty. But once her desire was fulfilled, the nymph devoured her mate and set about finding another to satisfy her.

Now all men wanted to do were play with gadgets and gizmos in the civilized cities. Eira had to wait patiently for a man who decided to reconnect with nature. They were never built to her standards — too scrawny, too pale, too whinny — but they would do to sustain her lust. Often carrying packs and wearing ridiculous patches over their ears, she would have to drum up a gust to send their covering flying before she could use her song to lead them deep into her trap. Her minions would take care of the trappings while she attempted to charm these less willing hikers.

Chilling winds bite

Into uncovered ears

Winter’s foreplay

Quiet Beach

Near the marina

The wind had picked up

Seagulls stopped their squawking

A fat gull took off

Breeze carried spray remnants

Of incoming tide

Lapping the water’s edge


Comforting quiescence

Relief still

Port Aransas, TX-Copyright zennjennc

Port Aransas, TX-Copyright zennjennc


Trifextra: Week Fifty-Six

This weekend we are playing another type of word game.


I took the top photo at the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, TX and the second photo at the beach in Port Aransas, TX last weekend. It was cold (for south Texas) so the beach was quiet. It fit so well here.


A Word A Week Photo Challenge – Round

A Word in Your Ear by skinnywench posts A Word A Week Photo Challenge each week with a randomly chosen word. This week’s word is Round. Here’s my weekly participation…


100_0731 100_0732 100_0734

“What shall I do for my next trick?” Hermes mused on a warm fall day. He had already run the gauntlet on his brothers and sisters at Olympus. They we expecting his next round.

“I know, I’ll have some fun with the Hersperides’ garden. The nymphs won’t mind a little fun.” the trickster god plotted. Late that night he snuck into the nymph’s garden near Atlas’s mountains to re-trim the hedges. He made them all round, lauging all the way back to his cave.

The nymphs enjoyed the design so much they erected a garden statue in the god’s honor.

Story A Day Sept 25: Mountain Nymph’s Curse

Megan and I were snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National park near the base of the mountain when we happened upon a mountain nymph.

“Hello hikers,” she called to us.

“Hello,” we answered back in disbelief of of the mystical woman who stood before us. Though it was well below freezing she stood before us barefoot in a thin, pale, sliver gown. She had stormy blue eyes, dark gray skin that simmered in the sun, and stark white hair like the newly fallen snow.

“Are you lovely ladies headed up Long’s Peak this fine winter’s day,” she questioned us.

“No, we’re not mountaineers, ” I answered. “We’re just snowshoeing the lower areas,” Megan added.

“Good for you then” the nymph said coyly and turned to leave.

“Wait, why is that good,” I called out, before I could regret asking the question.

“Because I have cursed the mountain,” the gray nymph retorted with authority as Megan I began too shiver from either cold or panic.

“Did you not hear of the recent hikers’ deaths?” she continued.

“No we did,” Megan answered, “We just didn’t realize they did because of a curse on the mountain.”

“Yes, I am tired of you people disturbing my sacred grounds. I think its best if you turn around if you know what’s good for you.”

“YES!” Megan and I answered in unison as we turned around and headed back to the parking lot.