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One Line. Or Two. (Conclusion)

November 14, 2012

For the Trifecta Anniversary Challenge, teams of two are competing by completing a short story using this prompt as as the beginning:

Charts and optimal dates and preferential temperatures. One line or two. As if she could summon whatever it is that makes up the human soul as easily as she could a cab on a busy New York avenue.

On Monday, Nancy at Spirit Lights The Way, posted the following awesome segment (in blue).  My conclusion follows in black.

Charts and optimal dates and preferential temperatures. One line or two. As if she could summon whatever it is that makes up the human soul as easily as she could a cab on a busy New York avenue.

Deirdre stared at the steady stream of urine, hands shaking as she readied to take the plunge.


The cascading stream divided, water parting to flow with seamless effort  around the intruding stick.  If only life flowed around all obstacles with such ease.


Deirdre withdrew the saturated stick, her fate held in trembling hands.

One line or two.  One line or two.  C’mon.  C’mon.  C’mon.

One line or . . .          

Cal slammed into the bathroom.   Deirdre flinched and dropped the stick.  She watched it tumble away.

“Well . . . are you pregnant or not?”

“Not,” Deidre murmured, slumping to the floor. She grabbed the white stick.

Cal glared. “Next month, or I’m filing for divorce.”

Deidre stared at her clutched fist until his shadow disappeared. Footsteps clomped. She didn’t exhale until the front door slammed.


Deidre unzipped the packed suitcase stowed under the bed. She removed the signed divorce papers and tossed them onto Cal’s pillow.

I left you a long time ago, Cal.

One more look at the stick. Two lines. She zipped her suitcase, secret inside, and walked out the door without a backwards glance.

He’d learn the truth soon enough.
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54 Comments leave one →
  1. November 14, 2012 6:03 AM

    I love it! Thanks for a Stellar Ending to the story, Janna.

    I can’t help but feel that Deirdre is making the right choice . . . first get the divorce and THEN let the cat out of the bag.

    • November 14, 2012 7:38 AM

      It follows a great beginning, Nancy :) It was a pleasure collaborating on this one! I think she made the right choice as well. Boy will be surprised…

  2. November 14, 2012 6:22 AM

    Love your ending!

  3. Draug419 permalink
    November 14, 2012 7:28 AM

    Oh snap! >__< He'd learn the truth soon enough for sure! I guess he'll be paying for his terrible treatment of her literally and figuratively :P lol

    • November 14, 2012 7:39 AM

      Oh yes, he will pay, Draug! He just might be sorry he was such a jerk :)

  4. November 14, 2012 7:38 AM

    Loved both parts. Great story!

    • November 14, 2012 7:41 AM

      Thanks, Tessa! It was a fun joint effort and I’m happy with how it turned out. I was nervous about the challenge, but it ended up being ‘no big deal’. *Whew* :)

  5. November 14, 2012 7:44 AM

    I loved it – I really did.

  6. November 14, 2012 7:50 AM

    You two did an awesome job with this one. Nancy set you up with an interesting scenario, and you finished it with a surprise conclusion, leaving the reader eager to hear “the rest of the story.” Great collaboration!

    • November 14, 2012 7:57 PM

      Thanks, Debbie. This was the first collaborative effort and it was a good experience. I’m glad you stopped by to read it!

  7. November 14, 2012 9:37 AM

    I am loving all these surprise endings. *Great* job!

  8. November 14, 2012 10:57 AM

    Loved this ending! Well done.

    • November 14, 2012 7:59 PM

      I wanted her to be able to leave on her own terms – not his. I’m glad you liked the ending, Tara.

  9. November 14, 2012 1:04 PM

    What a range of emotions this brings the reader through. Well done!

  10. Gina permalink
    November 14, 2012 2:57 PM

    Yea! I LOVE that she burned that jerk. AND had it all planned ahead. ‘Twas perfect.

  11. November 14, 2012 5:57 PM

    ohh nice.. She made a wise choice.

    • November 14, 2012 8:02 PM

      Only thing wiser would’ve been to leave sooner (but that’s just me :)) Thanks for reading, Deanabo!

  12. November 14, 2012 7:58 PM

    Awesome! I love this Janna, you and Nancy did a great job!

  13. November 14, 2012 10:38 PM

    Good job on this! My mind was befuddled at the prompt, thanks for clearing it up for me!

    • November 15, 2012 2:30 PM

      You know, I didn’t catch the meaning of the prompt the first few times I read it. Nancy’s beginning and another read cleared it up for me :) Thanks for reading, Patti.

  14. November 14, 2012 11:40 PM

    nicely done, you two. :) (and as draug says – *snap!)

  15. November 15, 2012 12:00 AM

    Both of you did a great job! I love that ending – you’re very clever :)

    • November 15, 2012 2:33 PM

      Thanks Dianne! Glad you enjoyed the story. Nancy and I went back and forth on the ending and finally got to something that we both liked :)

  16. November 15, 2012 12:55 AM

    Nicely done, Team. And it flows seamlessly and beautifully!

    • November 15, 2012 2:34 PM

      I’m glad it flows well, Joanne. Its my first collaborative effort…and it was fun :)

  17. November 15, 2012 7:20 AM

    smart girl! no need for a jerk like that. a very excellent response to the challenge!

    • November 15, 2012 2:35 PM

      Better late than never (to get away from a jerk) :) Thanks for reading, Renada!

  18. November 15, 2012 9:40 AM

    Great story and great ending. I’m really glad she’s going to keep the secret for a while, at least. But I want to read the part where he finds out! It will serve him right.

    • November 15, 2012 2:36 PM

      Hehehe…I have a feeling he will not be pleased when he finds (which would make it a fun read, Lumdog!)

  19. November 15, 2012 12:03 PM

    Cal is SUCH a tool. He doesn’t deserve that baby. So glad you ended it that way. Nice job, Janna.

    • November 15, 2012 2:37 PM

      He’s selfish, so I doubt he’d make a good father anyway, ODNT. The baby has a fighting chance to thrive without him.

  20. November 15, 2012 4:29 PM

    Zipping the suitcase with the secret inside. Nice touch. Congratulations.

  21. November 15, 2012 9:18 PM

    Great ending. Would love to hear what happens when the louse finds out.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • November 15, 2012 9:58 PM

      I doubt he’d be nice about it :) Thank you for taking time to read and share your thoughts, Diane!

  22. November 15, 2012 10:31 PM

    Great job, the both of you! I pacing of the story and the twist at the end. Wonderful tag-team writing!

    • November 16, 2012 9:26 PM

      Thanks, Sandra. I’m really glad you enjoyed the story. We may not have won the challenge, but we had a great time playing along :)

  23. November 16, 2012 2:33 AM

    Ooooo. Sneaky! I wish we could get just one more instalment so I could see how it all works out. Thanks so much for joining up and helping us celebrate our anniversary.

  24. November 16, 2012 4:34 AM

    This was fantastic – Both segments contained terrific surprising twists.

  25. November 16, 2012 5:27 AM

    Loved it!!

  26. November 16, 2012 8:54 PM

    oohhhhh….. when a man’s like that….

    The two of you made an excellent response to the prompt. :-)

    • November 16, 2012 9:47 PM

      Yeah, this guy was a jerk all right! A little justice got served, I think. Thanks for reading it, Imelda.


  1. One Line. Or Two. « Spirit Lights The Way
  2. Against The Wind « Spirit Lights The Way

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