One Line. Or Two. (Conclusion)

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.

54 thoughts on “One Line. Or Two. (Conclusion)

  1. nrhatch 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.

    • jannatwrites 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…

    • jannatwrites November 14, 2012 / 7:38 AM

      Thanks, Tori! I’m glad you enjoyed the story.

  2. Draug419 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 😛 lol

    • jannatwrites November 14, 2012 / 7:39 AM

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

  3. Tessa November 14, 2012 / 7:38 AM

    Loved both parts. Great story!

    • jannatwrites 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* 🙂

    • jannatwrites November 14, 2012 / 7:56 PM

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the story, Ruby. Thanks for reading 🙂

  4. Debbie 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!

    • jannatwrites 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!

  5. Christine November 14, 2012 / 9:37 AM

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

    • jannatwrites November 14, 2012 / 7:58 PM

      Thanks, Christine! I appreciate you reading it.

  6. Tara R. November 14, 2012 / 10:57 AM

    Loved this ending! Well done.

    • jannatwrites 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.

  7. Mel November 14, 2012 / 1:04 PM

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

    • jannatwrites November 14, 2012 / 8:00 PM

      I appreciate you reading, Mel. Thanks!

  8. Gina November 14, 2012 / 2:57 PM

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

    • jannatwrites November 14, 2012 / 8:02 PM

      She was prepared, that’s for sure. Glad you liked her plan, Gina!

  9. deanabo November 14, 2012 / 5:57 PM

    ohh nice.. She made a wise choice.

    • jannatwrites November 14, 2012 / 8:02 PM

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

  10. Rachael November 14, 2012 / 7:58 PM

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

    • jannatwrites November 14, 2012 / 8:03 PM

      I’m happy you enjoyed the story, Rachael. It was a blast to write!

  11. pattisj November 14, 2012 / 10:38 PM

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

    • jannatwrites 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.

  12. barbara November 14, 2012 / 11:40 PM

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

    • jannatwrites November 15, 2012 / 2:32 PM

      Thanks, Barbara! Cal thought he held the cards, but not the case 🙂

  13. diannegray November 15, 2012 / 12:00 AM

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

    • jannatwrites 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 🙂

    • jannatwrites November 15, 2012 / 2:34 PM

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

  14. Renada Styles November 15, 2012 / 7:20 AM

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

    • jannatwrites November 15, 2012 / 2:35 PM

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

  15. lumdog 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.

    • jannatwrites 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!)

  16. OldDogNewTits 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.

    • jannatwrites 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.

  17. KymmInBarcelona November 15, 2012 / 4:29 PM

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

    • jannatwrites November 15, 2012 / 9:56 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, Kymmm. This challenge has been fun!

  18. Diane Turner November 15, 2012 / 9:18 PM

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

    • jannatwrites 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!

  19. Sandra 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!

    • jannatwrites 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 🙂

  20. Trifecta 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.

    • jannatwrites November 16, 2012 / 9:27 PM

      The anniversary challenge was fun. Thanks for planning it for us 🙂

  21. kgwaite November 16, 2012 / 4:34 AM

    This was fantastic – Both segments contained terrific surprising twists.

  22. mairzeebp November 16, 2012 / 5:27 AM

    Loved it!!

    • jannatwrites November 16, 2012 / 9:29 PM

      Aw, thanks, Mairzeebp. Glad you liked it!

  23. Imelda November 16, 2012 / 8:54 PM

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

    The two of you made an excellent response to the prompt. 🙂

    • jannatwrites 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.

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