Tag Archives: #Trifecta

#trifecta – “Unexpected Guests” #flashfiction

This post was written for the Trifecta Writing Challenge, which was to write between 33 and 333 words including the word “Brand”, using the following definition:

BRAND (noun)
3a (1) : a mark made by burning with a hot iron to attest manufacture or quality or to designate ownership
(2) : a printed mark made for similar purposes : trademark
b (1) : a mark put on criminals with a hot iron
(2) : a mark of disgrace : stigma

“Unexpected Guests”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
[333 words]

“We’re looking for an escaped slave. Has a brand on his left cheek.” the leader of the posse spoke to no-one in particular.

“How are we supposed to know that. They all look the same.” chuckled one of the impromptu audience, who turned out to be the captain of the settlement. His crew laughed and egged him on.

“The other left cheek. It should be visible even for one as dimwitted as you.” the newcomer spat from his higher vantage point. Both those mounted and on foot readied their weapons, but were stood down by their respective leaders harsh looks or gestures.

“Hey! You’re needing our help, remember.” the standing figure reminded the mounted one. “Any distinguishing marks?”

“Apart from the brand? No. It’s Human, which should narrow it down.” the posse leader steadied his mount, which had sensed something that didn’t agree with it.

“Well squit, they DO all look the same. Can’t you sniff it out? It’s not like they can hide their stench.” he looked to companions for approving smiles. “I don’t know why you farmers even have them around. Enough to put me off my food, for one!’

“They have their uses. The animals won’t eat them, because they taste so disgusting, so they are good at tending the herds.”

“Oh, so that’s why we don’t just eat them ourselves. Makes sense… Anyway, we haven’t seen a Human in these parts for three… four cycles. Have we boys?” The crew quickly agreed. “So, maybe you could try the next valley. These humans can run, I hear.”

“That they can. Be seeing you.” The posse was led towards the outskirts of the settlement. “We’ll be back this way, in case you see anything.”

After the visitors were out of earshot, the captain whispered to one of his crew, “Go pull the Human out of the vessel. It should be safe now.”


“And tell the damn cook to throw the rest of it away. He’ll have to start again.”

#Trifecta – “Chalk and Walk” #flashfiction

This post was written for the Trifecta Writing Challenge, which was to write between 33 and 333 words including the word “grasp”, using the definition ‘to lay hold of with the mind – comprehend’ …

“Chalk and Walk”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
[330 words]

“… and if we recall the coefficient of Ro Lambda is substituted, the equation simplifies.” Professor Heidenheim started to erase the leftmost of the three blackboards that had all become filled with formulas. A collective groan from the slower note takers showed their progress had not been fast enough to capture the equations that had just been wiped out.

“Professor, could you clarify the part were you reduce the wave form? Please?” I had hoped to buy my fellow students some time, but had genuinely been unable to grasp that part. Most of my colleagues just wrote madly, like rabbits in the headlights of a car, not even trying to understand any of it during the lecture. I suspected some didn’t even try afterwards.

To my horror the Professor contemplated the middle board, then proceeded to wipe that out too. Looks of hate were flicked my way from sections of the auditorium. Heidenheim then reproduced verbatim the incomprehensible wall of mathematics he had just performed. He turned round, a genuine grin on his face, like this repetition would be sufficient to raise the curtain of ignorance. It was still just a wall of chalk that might as well have been hieroglyphics. It was too much. I snapped.

“Could you… er… wait for a moment?” I asked politely, then jumped up on the long shelf in front of my seat, which served the row as somewhere to write notes. Passing out sideways was impossible. The room was one of the old fashioned theatres students had to shuffle into sideways. So, I neatly jumped from row to row amidst curses from those in front of me. Finally, I jumped down in front of the startled lecturer walked past him and left the auditorium.

Once outside I screamed loudly in frustration, took a breath, then walked back in to a sea of laughter from a cohort who shared my confusion. They cheered as I hopped back to my seat.

“Sorry. Please carry on Professor.”