Trifecta 3rd attempt: Down To Just One Thing…

So from my second (found here, of course) Trifecta Writing Challenge attempt to this, there has admittedly been just a bit of a lag.

This week’s one-word prompt:

Manipulate (transitive verb)

3: to change by artful or unfair means so as to serve one’s purpose : to doctor.

I apologize for the delay in “coming ’round,” and as always, I do hope that you enjoy. Please also take a moment to check out the latest issue of Woven Tale Press – a talented group of writers and artists whom I am honored to say asked me this last time to sit in with them…


The room was cold, barren and obsolete. But in all honesty, he no longer cared.

He’d grown accustomed to life being unpleasant, accustomed to being alone. So acutely and irrevocably alone.

He woke every morning to the knowledge of it. The voices, wisp-like prancing through his awakening thoughts of once happy children being overheard, as they scrabbled haphazardly down the stairs, were now just distant and dust-filled memories – cruel mental prompts of the life that had been wrenched from him. The life that he had once made, the life that he’d let slip through his damned fingers by trusting her that one last time.

Even the cats who unwillingly boarded with him seemed to keep their peace when first he woke, as if to allow him uninterrupted, his unwelcome reverie.

In years previous, he could manipulate the experience – pretending that he still owned a life that he no longer did. Squeezing his eyes closed hard against his brain, he’d pretend once more that his measly two-bedroom flat was again the two-story estate where he shared in his children’s daily laughter and delight. But eventually, and no matter how heartening the experience, his eyes would once again have to open, the invading light, daily stealing away all his hope. The silent cats would stare quizzically at him from the bed’s foot, wondering why this man made such odd moanings every morning while from his eyes leaking so much useful water. Squeezing his eyes closed hard against his brain, the exercise had become tiring. The ruse had become self-evident, and as a result, he eventually gave it up altogether.

In fact, he eventually gave up on everything altogether. He surmised – somewhat logically – that if this life already so closely mirrored the Godless one he presumed to follow, then what earthly difference could it make for him in forestalling from moving on from this one into the next?

And even in this final unpleasantry, as he surrendered the felines remained resolutely mute.


18 thoughts on “Trifecta 3rd attempt: Down To Just One Thing…

  1. I thought at first he was an immortal creature of some kind and that he was buried alive under the house that he had once had as a mortal until the details came in about the two room flat, then it took a darker, more human turn which was an interesting experience!

  2. It would do well to remind him that moving on before he has received his bus fare, and an invitation will do no good when he arrives unannounced. Perhaps it is much better that he out stare the cats, in silent determination to awaken into the light that the day offers, and in the lack of bustling children, know that the silence offers an array of another type.

    Either way, I want this character to be here again for next weeks Trifecta challenge.

    Well done, always m’Friend.

    • Awww, k~ – your insight is always such a joy to read! Sadly, I feel that this character left the station long before either you or I could catch him, but hopefully there was some sort of redemption awaiting him upon arrival, and possibly, we might hear from a brother or other person close in future Trifectas =)

  3. Stellar piece, Troy! You painted dark and oppressive so very well- I feel so sad for him-and those darn cats don’t help the situation!
    And a big congrats on being chosen for the latest issue of Woven Tale! I’m in it as well, and honored to be alongside the likes of a writer like you:)

  4. This feels ever so autobiographical… someone should cut himself a little slack. A wise bear once said: ” You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

    Congrats on inclusion in Woven Tale Press.

    • Thank you much for reading, and even more so for the description you provided the piece! I was trying very hard to avoid the sentiment (or as I usually call it, “the mope”) for a change, and am glad to hear I was able to pull it off!

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