In The Morning

She flung herself against the door, and stumbled onto the sidewalk.  “I’m done anyway!” she hollered over her shoulder.

A man tried to step aside, but put himself in her path instead.  He managed to keep his balance and backed away as soon as he set her upright.

“Run away.  They all do,” she muttered.

She exhaled a long sigh and brushed the hair off her cheek with the back of her hand.  She watched the warm fog of her breath trail into wisps, reminding her of the smoke from a freshly-lit cigarette.

The thought of cigarettes made her think of wine.  She liked nothing better than a glass (or three) of Merlot when she smoked.  Like a row of dominoes toppling over, thoughts of wine led to Chicken Cacciatore, which made her remember last night’s dinner, the proposal that didn’t happen, his wish to see other people, spilled drinks, harsh words, and an exit without goodbye.

Now she remembered why tequila kept her company tonight.

And why she would hate herself again in the morning.

~~~                    ~~~                    ~~~                    ~~~                    ~~~

Scriptor Obscura invited me to try out a word challenge.  Following the link in her response to a comment I made on her recent challenge submission, I found myself on Trifecta, which provided a one-word prompt challenge (this is week eighteen).

She didn’t double-dog-dare me to try it, but I’d feel like a big chicken if I shied away.  So I preened my feathers, grabbed my laptop and clucked typed my entry.

The challenge was to write something with the following definition of trail, using no less than 33 words and no more than 333 words. (Mine comes in at 174 words.)

Trail [verb \ˈtrāl\] 3: to move, flow, or extend slowly in thin streams <smoke trailing from chimneys>


50 thoughts on “In The Morning

  1. Carl D'Agostino March 13, 2012 / 1:49 AM

    Now she remembered why tequila kept her company tonight.
    And why she would hate herself again in the morning.

    as long as this remains the alternative or accompanying embrace the feeling will always remain.

    • jannatwrites March 13, 2012 / 12:37 PM

      You’re right, Carl. Maybe she will be able to get off that merry-go-round.

  2. Scriptor Obscura March 13, 2012 / 5:23 AM

    Thank you so much for the mention, Janna. I am so glad that you entered this challenge. Its really a lot of fun to see what you can come up with using the one-word prompts that they give during the week. This is a great story, and I hope that you will come back and try out their weekend challenge too. I look forward to seeing more of your entries, if you so choose to enter again. I hope that you had fun writing this! 🙂

    • jannatwrites March 13, 2012 / 12:39 PM

      You’re welcome, Scriptor Obscura! I enjoy reading your stories…and I had fun with this challenge, as well. Boy, was it a challenge, though 🙂 Normally, I write based on a story idea or theme – not a word. It’s a great exercise and one I think I should do more often!

  3. Jonesingafter40 March 13, 2012 / 6:04 AM

    Good for you Janna! It’s a great short piece, I really sympathized with the character and you set the dinner scene so well. (I love word challenges too!)

    • jannatwrites March 13, 2012 / 12:40 PM

      Thanks for reading, Jonesingafter40. I have never done a word challenge before, but I can see why you love them – they are fun 🙂

  4. suzicate March 13, 2012 / 6:05 AM

    Her fluttering (not the alcohol just the scattering) thought process is frighteningly familiar!

    • jannatwrites March 13, 2012 / 12:41 PM

      I’m with you, SuziCate. I often have thoughts that I have no idea where they came from, so I retrace the associations that led to it. Scary at times 🙂

  5. clarbojahn March 13, 2012 / 6:42 AM

    Love it. Congrats on making the challenge!
    You did a good job on describing trail in various modes.

    • jannatwrites March 13, 2012 / 12:42 PM

      Thanks for stopping by, Clar. The ‘trail’ of thoughts wasn’t a planned take on the word when I wrote it, so it’s funny how it worked out that way!

  6. Carol Ann Hoel March 13, 2012 / 7:09 AM

    You did a great job of fast building to a peak and winding swiftly to a climax. You included in that accomplishment a story that touches the heart and challenges anyone caught in such a spiral to break free. Blessings to you, Janna…

    • jannatwrites March 13, 2012 / 12:43 PM

      I appreciate you taking the time to read and share your thoughts on it, Carol Ann. It is a sad situation to be in and it would be my hope that no one get in that ‘spiral’ (I like your word for it – because that’s what it is.)

    • jannatwrites March 13, 2012 / 12:44 PM

      Thanks, Phil. I have a problem with concise…I tend to explain things to death and then edit extra details out. This is good practice for me!

      • philosophermouseofthehedge March 13, 2012 / 1:23 PM

        Concise. Extremely difficult. A real skill. Can’t even attempt to go there. Always envious of those that can….see, I’m hopeless. Seriously, ya did good.

        • jannatwrites March 13, 2012 / 5:21 PM

          Thanks for the encouragement, Phil! (I’ll leave it at that before I get long-winded…)

  7. pattisj March 13, 2012 / 9:49 AM

    Good job, Janna!

    • jannatwrites March 13, 2012 / 12:45 PM

      Thanks, Patti! I appreciate you stopping by to read it.

  8. nrhatch March 13, 2012 / 10:24 AM

    Enjoyed the trail of this tale, Janna.

    One quick fix: “Run away. They all do.” ~ the speaker is not clear. Is it the man saying it to her? Or her, saying it to the man?

    • jannatwrites March 13, 2012 / 12:46 PM

      Thanks, Nancy. You’re right about that tag. I had left if off because the ‘he’s’ and ‘she’s’ were bothering me, but it was ambiguous without the clarification…it’s been fixed 🙂

  9. Debbie March 13, 2012 / 12:18 PM

    You nailed it, my friend!

    • jannatwrites March 13, 2012 / 12:47 PM

      Thanks, Debbie! This was my first word challenge…they are challenging for me.

  10. judithhb March 13, 2012 / 12:34 PM

    Well done Janna. I love word challenges too.

    • jannatwrites March 13, 2012 / 12:48 PM

      Thanks for reading, Judith. I have fun reading what others have done with the word, too.

  11. chlost March 13, 2012 / 5:05 PM

    I’ve never heard of the word challenge. You certainly rose to the challenge admirably! Thanks for sharing it.

    • jannatwrites March 13, 2012 / 5:24 PM

      Thanks for reading, Chlost. Maybe you’ll try it sometime? I recently read a 33-word challenge…not sure I could do that at all!

  12. pattyabr March 13, 2012 / 9:38 PM

    NICE 🙂

  13. Sandra March 14, 2012 / 11:47 AM

    I really enjoyed this. I like the train of thought that comes full circle to your brilliant story. So much raw emotion packed in this little piece. Thanks for sharing.

    • jannatwrites March 14, 2012 / 8:30 PM

      Thank you so much for reading…I’m glad you enjoyed it, Sandra. It sure was a fun challenge to write!

  14. According To Mags (@AccordingToMags) March 14, 2012 / 9:12 PM


    This is well written. The description of the dinner scene is perfect. The order and choice of the words painted a clear picture of what had happened. Welcome to Trifecta! It’s always a fun challenge! 😛 Great work!

    • jannatwrites March 14, 2012 / 10:55 PM

      Thanks for reading, According to Mags – I appreciate it 🙂

      Also – thanks for the welcome to Trifecta. This was my first attempt and I had so much fun, I’m sure I’ll try it again!

  15. OldDogNewTits March 15, 2012 / 10:04 AM

    What can we as people say, right? These situations are seldom pretty. Well worded. Good story.

    • jannatwrites March 15, 2012 / 8:49 PM

      No, it can be quite ugly, OldDog (funny blog name, by the way.) Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read and comment.

  16. chrstnj March 15, 2012 / 1:03 PM

    Nicely done – I loved how the last line opened our eyes to the main character’s past as well as her (likely) future. That one line told us more about her than if you had written paragraphs about her history.

    • jannatwrites March 15, 2012 / 8:50 PM

      Thanks for the compliment, Chrstnj. I’m glad you liked the story!

  17. Trifecta (@trifectawriting) March 15, 2012 / 10:54 PM

    Welcome to Trifecta, Janna. This is a great first entry. I’m a sucker for strong last lines and your last two are perfect. You give so much of this girl’s character in such a short space. Great job. Thanks for linking up and we hope to see you for the weekend challenge. (And thanks, Scriptor, for spreading the word!)

    • jannatwrites March 15, 2012 / 11:09 PM

      I had so much fun with the challenge and would love to particpate again. Thanks for your comments on my entry – I appreciate it 🙂

  18. dunce two March 16, 2012 / 9:15 AM

    This was really good. Entertaining and vivid, but realistic. I could picture it perfectly. This was my first Trifecta challenge as well, but not my last. Hope to see more from you.

    • jannatwrites March 16, 2012 / 9:48 PM

      I’ll have to check out your first submission, too. I’ll definitely try it again and look forward to seeing your future efforts as well. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Dunce Two.

  19. lexy3587 March 16, 2012 / 10:15 AM

    You painted a really vivid picture of that scene, stumbling, running into someone, the lead-up to how she got there. well done 🙂

    • jannatwrites March 16, 2012 / 9:50 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, Lexy. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts on my story 🙂

  20. Rachel Teixeira March 16, 2012 / 10:36 AM

    I am not sure how I missed this before the voting I try to visit most of the entries. Anyway big congratulations on 3rd place you really deserved it and on your first try!! Yeah. I enjoyed this piece the progression of her thoughts was really well written. Are you up for the Trifextra this week? 33 word challenges are kind of exciting because you lose all of the wordiness and really int to the point. Hope you join in!

    • jannatwrites March 16, 2012 / 9:58 PM

      It’s definitely an honor to be chosen as one of the top three for this challenge, Rachel. Concise isn’t my strong suit, but I’ve submitted on entry so far. I’ll see if I can come up with others. I can’t wait to check out what everyone else has submitted! Thanks for stopping by and leaving your nice comment.

  21. Jill K. March 17, 2012 / 6:56 AM

    This is such a complete story in such a short amount of time. Wow; congrats!

    • jannatwrites March 17, 2012 / 10:15 AM

      Thanks for stopping by to read it, Jill. I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  22. Nicole Leigh Shaw March 17, 2012 / 1:12 PM

    Great, great stuff. Welcome to Trifecta. I’m off this past week (or more, yikes!) but it’s a great group.

    • jannatwrites March 17, 2012 / 8:25 PM

      Thanks for welcoming me, Nicole. I’m finding that there are many great people there. I love it! I look forward to reading your contributions.

  23. debseeman March 18, 2012 / 6:24 PM

    I’m late coming to this, but wow! You stood up to the challenge and got third place. Excellent piece. I love the descriptions and the emotions here. Very palpable and your use of trail is an integral part of the story. Congratulations!

    • jannatwrites March 18, 2012 / 8:02 PM

      I was quite surprised by the third place! Thanks for stopping by to read and taking the time to share your comments, Debseeman. I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

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