Sinister – A Trifecta Challenge

From a young age, I knew loneliness well.  Though loneliness could be bitter and cold, I didn’t begrudge it, because out of solitude, my imagination emerged.  I became a princess, a famous artist, an Oscar-winning actress; all surrounded by adoring friends.  People loved me.  I opened my heart and let my imagination run free.  I found comfort in the antithesis of the real world.

It didn’t take long before I saw my imagination’s sinister side.  The very same friends I dreamt up during the day, mocked me in my sleep.  In my dreams, they ridiculed and ostracized.  My nightmares mirrored my waking hours.

It wasn’t until adolescence that I discovered a presence more evil than my imagination.  It lured me in with lies and snared me with flattery.  It worked its way under my skin and into my heart.  It blinded me to the obvious.  I should have known…


Because of love, I cowered.  I obeyed, bound by my childhood desire for acceptance and the intense fear of being alone.  I refused to slay the jealous monster raging before me.  My imagination conjured up a different scene, but the pain was just as real.

In the shadows, I saw love and imagination as one in the same.  A single force separating my body and soul.


This is a partially fictional entry in the Trifecta weekly writing challenge.  The Trifecta challenge was to write a piece between 33 and 333 words using the following word/definition:

Sinister:  singularly evil or productive of evil

If you want to try the prompt yourself, click on the tricycle picture to check out the Trifecta site for complete instructions.  As always, I appreciate you taking time to read my stories.

This month, the prompts have been dark and scary, in honor of Halloween.  Halloween is my least favorite ‘holiday’ because I don’t enjoy lingering in darkness or being scared out of my wits.  I prefer to stick with hope and inspiration.

I wasn’t going to do this prompt, but the story idea came to me when I tried to fall asleep last night (of course.)  Those who have read my blog for a while probably know which part of the story is true.  For everyone else, I’ll leave you guessing 🙂


26 thoughts on “Sinister – A Trifecta Challenge

  1. Jonesingafter40 October 25, 2012 / 9:55 AM

    I like how you explored the dark side of two words that usually have a positive connotation. That last line was very effective.

    • jannatwrites October 25, 2012 / 8:05 PM

      Thanks, Jonesing! I prefer not to write on the dark side, though. This one left me feeling a little blue.

  2. Debbie October 25, 2012 / 10:25 AM

    Frankly, Janna, I don’t quite know what to make of this one. I’m with you — Halloween is my least favorite holiday — and you’ve woven the word ‘sinister’ in very well. Still, something about this piece disturbs me. I “get” the loneliness part (mine, perhaps was more “aloneness”), but when you threw in “love,” you lost me. I think maybe it’s because you wrote it in the first person — I keep trying to “see” you as someone who stayed in a love relationship out of fear, when that doesn’t click with the Janna I’ve come to know. A puzzlement, I tell you!

    • jannatwrites October 25, 2012 / 8:14 PM

      You guessed the part that was fictional, Debbie 🙂 Although I haven’t experienced abuse directly, I have witnessed it. It has made me hypersensitive to ‘the signs’. I wrote it in first person because I felt like third person would dilute the story.

  3. karen October 25, 2012 / 10:53 AM

    This is a poignant piece, full of interesting conflicts. I thought it read smooth like butter, yet sad, which made for a moving read.

    I love Hallowe’en, I think of it as the only “equalizing” holiday where even the poorest of kids come out in my neighbourhood — the immigrants, refugees and poor — and get a bag full of treats.

    But in another way I think maybe my experience of it is out of synch with today’s event. The halloween of my youth was full of children in goofy and fun costumes, I don’t really remember a lot of the scary violent images that are out there today. My kids really struggled with going out, particularly the girls, until the last couple of years. Today they sit at my feet (I’m recovering from something) peacefully pulling together costumes of their choosing: one will be Pippi Longstocking, the other a jellyfish. We leave the darkness and the gore for others and bring lightness into the darkness of the night.

    • jannatwrites October 25, 2012 / 8:37 PM

      I appreciate your feedback on the story. The costumes sound cute, Karen! I’m glad you bring lightness to Halloween. My boys want gory, scary costumes. My younger son will be a vampire (but he’ll be a cute, friendly one) and my older son will be a mummy (not too frightening). They are doing a costume contest at work. I wish I could get into it, but it’s just not my thing.

  4. nrhatch October 25, 2012 / 11:38 AM

    The cycle of domestic violence and abuse, especially among teens, is fueled by the victim’s fear of abandonment, desire for acceptance, and belief that the batter’s “jealous rage” and desire to control stems from true love . . . when, of course, it does not.

    Well done, Janna. 😀

    • jannatwrites October 25, 2012 / 8:38 PM

      I think your assessment is accurate, Nancy. Teenage years are just awkward and that kind of relationship doesn’t help. Thanks for reading my story!

  5. Fancy Ranci October 25, 2012 / 2:14 PM

    I especially like the paragraph in which you used the word “sinister”. So explicit and telling. Good job!

    • jannatwrites October 25, 2012 / 8:47 PM

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

  6. Stephanie B. (@B4Steph) October 25, 2012 / 4:18 PM

    Thought provoking, and not just to wonder how much of it is you. Imagination can be sinister. Mine takes me on roller-coaster rides I’d sometimes like to get off of. I liked this. Your love and imagination line as one in the same is good. Halloween is my least favorite holiday too.

    • jannatwrites October 25, 2012 / 8:49 PM

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who isn’t crazy about Halloween, Stephanie. Our neighbors have their yards all decorated, and all we have are the cob webs in the entryway that nature put there 🙂 I’m glad you stopped by!

  7. Lumdog October 25, 2012 / 4:45 PM

    This is startling in its honest detail. I don’t know which parts are true but I hope your character found a way to accept love on its own terms. Well written story.

    • jannatwrites October 25, 2012 / 8:49 PM

      I’d like to think she found real love, Lumdog 🙂

  8. Gabriela October 25, 2012 / 5:32 PM

    Disturbingly real. Seems to spell things out a bit more than needed, but maybe that’s just me.

    • jannatwrites October 25, 2012 / 8:50 PM

      Thanks for reading and taking time to give your feedback, Gabriela. I’m glad it came across as realistic.

  9. Draug419 October 25, 2012 / 6:22 PM

    Very interesting. Reminds one of how tricksy love can be…

    • jannatwrites October 25, 2012 / 8:52 PM

      Thanks for reading, Draug. Love is a complicated thing sometimes.

  10. BCIJo (aka Joanne Edith) October 26, 2012 / 12:31 AM

    This is beautiful and sad and rings true. Nicely done. I also love your four legged children.

    • jannatwrites October 27, 2012 / 10:38 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, Joanne! I’m glad you stopped by – and that you like my furry babies! I have a real soft spot for animals, but cannot allow myself to say ‘yes’ to any more right now. Six pets is plenty! (Never mind that I just fed a skinny orange tabby that hid in our shrubs last week…it can’t come inside!)

  11. GodGirl October 26, 2012 / 2:20 AM

    A brilliant reworking of two familiar concepts. Great title too.

    • jannatwrites October 27, 2012 / 10:39 PM

      Thanks, God Girl! I’m happy you stopped by to read the story!

  12. Debra Elliott October 26, 2012 / 3:56 AM

    I enjoyed reading this one, because I have been there. Thanks for stopping by. I won’t go in haunted houses either.

    • jannatwrites October 27, 2012 / 10:41 PM

      At least I’m not the only who avoids haunted houses. My husband just told me today he wanted to take the boys to a corn maze…there’s another place I’d prefer not to go!

      Thanks for stopping by to read my story, Debra 🙂

  13. Imelda October 28, 2012 / 8:46 PM

    True, if one is not careful, ‘love’ is a sinister thing. How many have committed foolish things all in the name of ‘love’? And how many have been ruined because of ‘love’?

    • jannatwrites October 28, 2012 / 9:17 PM

      Yes, that is false love…but the heart sometimes can’t tell the difference. Thanks for reading the story, Imelda!

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