Trifextra Week 103: Of Heroes Hirsute

Trifecta Tricycle ImageI’m not sure what you’re working on currently, but I’m treading in the realms of realism again these days.

This week’s Trifextra 33-word flash-fiction challenge freights you to the end of the line with this one: “That wasn’t what I meant.”

Being the linguistics-backgrounded word-nerd that I am, I had scads of fabness deciding where to put the accent in the terminal sentence: that, wasn’t, I, or meant. And working backward to form the oyster around the hoped-for pearl. (Hey, can a story be a back formation)?

In any case, I hope I give you an unusual prism to ponder.


Of Heroes Hirsute

Shelter-Misc. 012

Many wonderful companions (like this one, adopted several years ago) await your love at a shelter or rescue group. If you are in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico, please visit Petfinder to learn more about adoption in your area. Photograph ©Leigh Ward-Smith

A sandpaper sensation woke me. Then I tried to whistle for Pep, but my left side wouldn’t move.

Gravel pop-rocked all around. Was I being herded?

My last confused command had been sit-climb-jump.

That wasn’t what I meant.”

Trifextra: Week 102 (Flash Fiction on ‘Love Gone Wrong’)

Illustration from Hunter College High School

Tiktaalik, a fossil creature from the Devonian, has been tapped as the link (or “transitional fossil”) between fish and the first vertebrates to walk on land. The fossil was discovered in the Canadian Arctic in 2004. Illustration accessed at Hunter College High School’s Web link.

Love. The mother of all four-letter words. Rivaled perhaps only by dead, this one minuscule word populates worlds and propels us.

Please join me in this world, for a flash fiction challenge.



To the tips of her cilia, she knew—wordlessly—he wasn’t her type anymore. She was unbreakably brine, and he was earth-bound.

At the end, she undulated alone as all about her desiccated.

The "Devonian explosion" (mostly in fish species) gave way to a later mass-extinction. Illustration from Mind-Blowing Science.

The “Devonian explosion” (mostly in fish species) gave way to a later mass-extinction. Illustration from Mind-Blowing Science (link below, in “Research”).

Written for Week 102 of the Trifextra challenge, this 33-word story must touch on love gone awry. Check out the other writers and be amazed–or nerve-wracked, as I am, in going head-to-head (or heart-to-heart as the case may be) with such talented folks. And while you’re there, vote for your favorite(s), up to 3.

Research Bits:

  1. National Science Foundation, on mass extinctions, invasive species, and the Devonian Period
  2. Mind-Blowing Science, on five major mass-extinction events
  3. National Geographic, the Devonian Period 
  4. Humboldt State University’s Natural History Museum, on the Devonian Period
  5. University of California Museum of Paleontology (UCMP), Geologic Time Scale
  6. UCMP, The Devonian Period
  7. ScaleNet, glossary of terms related to zoological nomenclature (including “type”)
  8. Earth magazine, tetrapod tracks reset thinking on four-legged evolution