Revival (Trifecta – Week 19)

Halted by the music coming from inside, she paused in front of the glass double-doors, a stranger staring back at her.

Her reflection held a vague familiarity, despite the veil provided by a conservative floral-print dress.  She smoothed her hair into a ponytail and held it at the nape of her neck with her right hand.  She couldn’t help but think a wide-brimmed hat would make her look like a southern belle at the Kentucky Derby.

Stupid girl. People like you don’t belong there…or here.  The uninvited reminder crept into her head.  Reality had a way of slapping harder than any john.  She released her hair and looked down at her feet, at her new sandals with a modest one-inch heel.  She raised her gaze to her worst enemy.

Her eyes lingered on the heart-shaped neckline of the dress.  Though she admired the way the fabric protected her breasts from hungry stares, she frowned in disgust at her D-cups – the last curse God gave her before abandoning her to Seth.  That man owned her and every scar she wore, inside and out.  She shivered.  If he knew she was here…

“I’m dressed for the life I want, not the one I’ve got.”

She pulled the door handle and stepped inside before her reflection could convince her otherwise.  The music coaxed her through another set of double-doors.

Sitting in the back pew, hope pumped through her veins for the first time in four years.  In that moment, she believed she could escape.  A clean start seemed within her grasp.


This is my first entry for Trifecta – Week 19.   If inspiration cooperates, I may have another entry!  Here are the challenge details:

This week’s word is:  clean (adjective): a ) free from moral corruption or sinister connections of any kind <a candidate with a clean record>; b)  free from offensive treatment of sexual subjects and from the use of obscenity <a clean joke>; c)  observing the rules : fair <a clean fight>

The challenge is to use the word “clean” with the above definition in a post that is between 33 and 333 words.  The word itself needs to be included in the response.  You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.  (No cleaning, cleaned, cleans, cleaner, cleaning lady, etc.).  Additional posting instructions are in Trifecta’s challenge post.

40 thoughts on “Revival (Trifecta – Week 19)

  1. pattyabr March 19, 2012 / 7:40 PM

    nice. it held my attention with a little suspense at the end.

    • jannatwrites March 19, 2012 / 8:40 PM

      Thanks, Patty! I like these exercises because they force me to examine my word choices since there is a word count restriction. Turns out I’m quite wordy…can you believe that? 😛

  2. The Mommy Patient March 19, 2012 / 7:48 PM

    A very elaborate story. I like how you worked in the prompt. Great storytelling!

    • jannatwrites March 19, 2012 / 8:38 PM

      Thanks for the compliment, The Mommy Patient. I appreciate you reading/commenting on it!

  3. laciejay March 19, 2012 / 8:03 PM

    Very nice story. I really liked it.

    • jannatwrites March 19, 2012 / 8:37 PM

      Thanks for taking the time to read it and share your thoughts, Laciejay 🙂

  4. TikkTok March 19, 2012 / 8:10 PM

    Fantastic! I love how the music first halts and then coaxes her in. Did you have a particular song in mind? 😉

    And to use such a biblical name in such an opposite context- love the juxtaposition!

    • jannatwrites March 19, 2012 / 8:32 PM

      Thanks so much for reading (and for your kind words), Tikk Tok. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      I did have a song in mind – Come to the Cross (Michael W. Smith). I love that song (and my church rocks it!) I also thought it was a perfect theme for the story. I tried to add a link to a You Tube video, but alas, WordPress technology seems to be too much for me tonight…

  5. Diane March 19, 2012 / 8:43 PM

    I love how you used the music to stop her and coax her in. Lovely imagery. In a very few words your character changed from despair to hope. Nicely done.

    • jannatwrites March 19, 2012 / 9:55 PM

      Thanks for stopping by to read it, Diane. I’m glad you liked the imagery and story progression!

  6. judithhb March 19, 2012 / 10:23 PM

    How clever to portray so much, longing and yearning and overcoming/winning, in so very few words. Thanks.

    • jannatwrites March 19, 2012 / 10:49 PM

      Thank you for reading and sharing your opinion of the story, Judith. I appreciate your visit!

  7. Scriptor Obscura March 19, 2012 / 10:24 PM

    This is great. I really liked this story. Very well-done. Reminds me of Julia Roberts’ character in Pretty Woman, especially the scene where she is attending a horse race (Kentucky Derby???) dressed very much like the woman in your story here. She too doesn’t fit in, etc. and feels very much like the woman in this story feels.

    • jannatwrites March 19, 2012 / 10:53 PM

      Thank you so much, Scriptor Obscura. When I started the story, I actually had Pretty Woman in mind 🙂 I know the scene you’re referring to…I think they are at a polo match and she’s wearing a brown and white polka dot dress. I also thought of the scene where she’s shopping on Rodeo drive and no one wants to help her because of what she’s wearing – I wanted to capture the feeling of not belonging. Even though she fit on on the outside, she didn’t feel it inside.

      • OldDogNewTits March 22, 2012 / 8:59 PM

        My comment was going to be … Is it crazy that I see Julia Roberts’ Vivian as this character? Very nicely written.

        Oh, and a bit of trivia … I use to own that very same brown and white polka dot dress. I’m only 5’4″ to Julia’s (I’m guessing) 5’11” but it worked. 🙂

        • jannatwrites March 23, 2012 / 5:23 AM

          I’m a little jealous of you right now….I loved that dress! Of course, I never tried it because I assumed it wouldn’t work on me (I’, 5’6″ on a good day)…Oh, the regret 😆

          Thanks for stopping by to check my story out, ODNT!

        • OldDogNewTits March 23, 2012 / 7:01 AM

          ALWAYS try it. It’s how I learned I could wear skinny jeans. You never know …

        • jannatwrites March 23, 2012 / 4:19 PM

          I’m in awe of your bravery, ODNT…Skinny jeans? Not sure I could handle the mental image of me wearing them!

  8. booguloo March 20, 2012 / 8:00 AM

    Captured my attention. Glad she didn’t meet of her johns.

    • jannatwrites March 20, 2012 / 5:42 PM

      Thanks for stopping by to read, Booguloo. I’m sure there were a few of them there…

  9. barbara March 20, 2012 / 5:49 PM

    welcome to the challenge. beautifully done.

    • jannatwrites March 20, 2012 / 5:56 PM

      Thank you so much for the welcome and kind words, Barbara. I appreciate it 🙂

  10. karen March 20, 2012 / 11:29 PM

    “That man owned her and every scar she wore, inside and out.” This, the johns, and the floral dress holding in her sizable bust, all make for a perfect story of seeking a fresh start. Well played!

    • jannatwrites March 21, 2012 / 6:50 PM

      Thank you for reading, and for your kind words, Karen. I appreciate it 🙂

  11. pattisj March 21, 2012 / 12:15 AM

    Another good read, Janna. A story of hope. Love it!

    • jannatwrites March 21, 2012 / 6:50 PM

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Patti!

  12. Sandra March 21, 2012 / 8:07 AM

    I do love your writing. The descriptions are so lyrical. What a story about courage! It is a beautiful and uplifting story.

    • jannatwrites March 21, 2012 / 6:55 PM

      Thanks for your compliments, Sandra. I appreciate you taking the time to read it 🙂

  13. Gina March 22, 2012 / 7:14 AM

    Such hope in a clean start. Don’t we all wish for a do-over or fresh start at one point or another. Your character made the decision and the courageous move forward. Difficult and I felt like cheering for her.

    • Gina March 22, 2012 / 7:15 AM

      *like…darn autocorrect.

      • jannatwrites March 22, 2012 / 3:39 PM

        I fixed your original comment. (I end up with tons of typos on my comments because I often skip proofing them).

    • jannatwrites March 22, 2012 / 3:38 PM

      I’m glad you felt something for the character. Thanks for taking the time to read and share your thoughts!

  14. Paula Tohline Calhoun March 22, 2012 / 11:54 AM

    Oh! How I love this story! So beautifully executed and heartbreaking. Very well done, Janna! You might write two, but I am not sure how another could be any better than this!

    BTW, I have commented on this to other entrants in this week’s challenge: Trifecta readers must be the best commenters in the world, because I have never seen blog posts with as many comments per post! yours has well over 20 so far, and I just was at a site where the writer had received 78 comments so far! Good grief! I don” t get 78 comments in a week! – much less one post!

    I suspect however, that the comments are for the better writing, not just the fact that one is entered. Well done, and well-deserved comments, Janna! Super story!

    • jannatwrites March 22, 2012 / 4:44 PM

      Thanks for the huge compliment, Paula. Trifactans do make a lot of comments, seems like a nice group! I’m sure I’ll ‘meet’ more of the group after I’ve been doing this for a while 🙂 I saw you entered a story…I’ll be by to check it out tonight.

  15. Jester Queen March 22, 2012 / 12:29 PM

    This made me think of Anne Lamott’s Thoughts on Faith. The circumstances differ somewhat, but this character reminded me very much of the way she describes herself in the early days of her conversion to Christianity.

    • jannatwrites March 22, 2012 / 4:46 PM

      I’m not familiar with Anne Lamott, but I looked her up on Amazon after reading your comment, Jester Queen. She has a couple books that I plan to add to my wish list.

  16. Rachel March 22, 2012 / 1:07 PM

    Love this Janna! You bring your character full circle telling the story in such few sentences. Very good story!

    • jannatwrites March 22, 2012 / 4:47 PM

      Thanks, Rachel. Thanks for reading and for leaving such a nice comment 🙂

  17. Trifecta (@trifectawriting) March 23, 2012 / 12:59 AM

    This is a brilliantly crafted story. You give us a lot of this girl’s background and emotional state in a very short space. You have us urging her not to listen to the voices telling her she doesn’t belong, urging her to ope those double doors and go in. I love the hope you leave us with at the end. Thanks for linking up and hopefully we’ll see you for the weekend challenge too.

    • jannatwrites March 23, 2012 / 5:30 AM

      Thank you so much for your kind comments. I appreciate the opportunity to participate in the Trifecta challenges and will see what I can do with the weekend challenge (I believe I have enough hair left to give 33 words another try ;))

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