Three Word Thursday #7

March 26, 2009



Welcome to Three Word Thursday #7.  This week, joining the quondam word-list, we have bacchante,  queachy, &  jibber.  We also have a whole list of perspicacious writers. If you enjoy reading my story, leave a comment then click on the names of the other players and go see how they used the words. You’ll be entertained (and possibly educated) all at once.

The Best Laid Plans

Chianti Sangiovese wore a form-fitting, black velvet evening gown. A gold choker glittering with diamonds encircled her throat.  On her feet she wore strappy gold sandals with 4 inch heels.   Her hair was piled high and held in place with jewel crusted combs.  Tonight she would preside over her first festival – and she was ready! Everything was going to work out just as she’d planned.

.
To make certain she couldn’t get lost, the novice bacchante used Google Earth’s mapping feature to plan her driving route to the party.  She’d been assured that all the libations would be provided, but just before she took the freeway exit heading south, she stopped at a special little shop near the end of Main Street and picked up a couple dozen bottles of a very special wine – and one extra-special cocktail.  No one was leaving her Bacchanal coronation sober – and one person wouldn’t be leaving the party at all.

Chianti reached across the seat and felt for her purse.  She fumbled it open and caressed the special purple vial inside.  Tonight she would drink one last toast with Stephan.  She would tell him that she wished him well in his new life, and wished him happiness with his new wife.  Then he would sip from his drink and understand that she was really wishing him good-bye.

The map showed a road crossing the freeway about seven miles outside of town.  She was to take a right there, and five miles later another right, and a mile after that, a left should put her at a lovely little boat club on the edge of a private bay beside Barbaresco Lake.

It was a pleasant mid-summer Friday evening.  Chianti manipulated the automatic windows until they allowed a nice fresh breeze to enter the car, but wasn’t so brisk it ruffled her hair.

She was surprised so few cars were on the road, and even more surprised as she made the final turn to discover no clubhouse in sight.  Still, the parking lot was filled with cars, and spotlights illuminated a big black banner advertising the Bacchanal in letters of red.  She parked the car, grabbed her purse, and followed the noises of revelry.

Despite the bright moonlight, she found walking a challenge.  The dirt path was strewn with pine needles, tree roots and other natural disasters waiting to trip her up.  Branches and brambles tugged at her velvet dress.  She wished for sturdier, flatter shoes.  Why had no one told her she would have to hike in?  And how much further was it?

The trail pitched steeply.  Chianti’s sandals found little purchase on the slick pine needles covering the trail.  She slipped, arms flailing, and crashed to the ground, sliding several yards downhill before she came to a stop.

Shakily, she got to her feet.  Her gown hung in dirty tatters.  Her hair tumbled about her shoulders, the jewel encrusted combs were lost somewhere in darkness.  Her palms bled – and she had no idea where she was.  She listened for the party, but only the whisper of wind through the trees, and the sound of water lapping against the shore came to her ears.

The moon still shone brightly, but she could discern no trail.  Perhaps, she thought, I will find it if I climb back up the hill.  She took off her sandals and reached for her purse – but it was gone, lost in the darkness, or a bush, or just too far from the trail to see.

Perhaps I should just go home, she thought, her mind all a jibber.  Nothing was going as planned.  But she couldn’t leave without her purse. It held her car keys – and the purple vial.  Chinati remembered again why she’d made her plans.  Stephan had first introduced her to the Bacchanal.  They’d participated in the drunken parties five times each year, during all the years they’d lived together.  It was Stephan who urged her to become a priestess, and then, during the few short weeks she was away training, he’d met and married another woman.

Her resolve to continue strengthened, Chianti left her shoes where she had fallen as a landmark, and searched away from them in ever widening circles, but she did not find her purse.  Had she dropped it at the top of the hill?  Had it continued tumbling down the slope?  In either case, Chianti would have to walk out of sight of her shoes to find out.

She left one silver sandal where she’d fallen and carried the other sandal down hill several yards, and then put it down, planning to again use it as a landmark to help her find the first shoe.  That’s when she saw her purse.  It had gone over the embankment and tumbled onto the beach.  Chianti carefully crawled down after it, leaving bits of her expensive velvet gown on the underbrush as she went.

The embankment was queachy.  The wet ground soaked her to the skin.  Mud oozed between her toes and collected in the tatters of her pantyhose.  Never had a sober Bacchanal priestess looked so disreputable.

Suddenly the embankment gave way.  Chianti rode the wave of mud on to the beach and crawled to her purse.  She clutched the leather to her chest and staggered to her feet.  Clapping and cheering filled the air.  Flood lights lit the beach.  Someone yelled, “Our Priestess is here!  Let the party begin!”

A drumroll echoed and the crowd started chanting, “Chianti! Chianti! Chianti!”

Chianti stumbled to the bandstand.  A microphone was thrust into her hand.  She stood muddy and bloody and tattered.  Her hair hung in a tangle.  She had never looked worse, and still she laughed.  She grabbed a bottle of wine, held it high into the air with her right hand, and holding the microphone in her left hand, encouraged the crowd to drink and enjoy in celebration of Bacchus.

And suddenly Stephan was at her side, pressing a wine glass into her hand.  “You said we would share a drink,” he said.  “No hard feelings.”

Chianti tried to smile.  Things weren’t going at all as she’d planned.  She was supposed to have approached Stephan, drinks in hand, looking beautiful and elegant and cool.  Instead she looked like something that washed ashore in a storm.  Still, her revenge was salvageable.

A drink.  She needed a drink to help her collect her wits and reconstruct her plan.  She accepted the one from Stephan’s hand and sipped gratefully.  “So,” she asked, “Where is your — wife?”

“I didn’t want to introduce Sherry to you until I was certain you planned to be civil;” Stephan answered.

Chianti took another sip — champagne.  “Of course I plan to be civil.  Isn’t that what I told you on the phone?”

“Hmmm,” Stephan answered. “But after seven years of living with you, I know that what you plan and what you actually do are rarely the same.  For instance,” he put his hand on her shoulder and turned her to face the parkinglot, where she could clearly see her car.  “Why did you climb up and over the hill instead of just walking down the beach?”

Chianti realized that the spotlights on the Bacchanal sign had obscured her view of the beach.  “It sounded as though the party was coming from behind me.”  She said aloud.  “How could that be?”

Stephan smiled. “It isn’t an unusual phenomena around water.” He talked while refilling her champagne flute.  “The breeze from the lake carries the sound up the hillside and it echoes back down.”

Chianti wondered why no one had tried to stop her, but before she could ask, Stephan directed her attention to the beautiful blond woman who’d just stepped up and taken his arm.  The woman’s bright, dimpled smile and sparking green eyes were familiar.  Chianti covered her confusion by drinking from her champagne glass.  She knew this woman – this woman who must be Stephan’s new wife.  How was it that –?

While Chianti was trying to put the puzzle pieces together in her suddenly foggy mind, she finished off her second glass of champagne.  Stephan slipped the flute from her fingers and tucked it in his coat pocket, then he and his new wife took her by the arms, one on either side, and walked her back to the spot where she’d tumbled down the embankment.  “Wha –.  Whad are you –“  Chianti’s eyes focused on the woman – Sherry? – Stephan’s wife.  “I  know you!” She exclaimed.  “You –“

Sherry held up a little purple bottle just like the one in Chianti’s purse.  “I sold you a poison that can’t be traced when mixed with alcohol.  And I doctored several dozen bottles of wine with a special sleeping potion.”

Stephan lifted Chianti’s purse from her unresisting hands.  He removed her car keys and her purple vial.  “You won’t be needing these,” he said. “But I’ll return the keys anyway, after we’ve passed out your special wine.  No sense letting it go to waste, besides, we’d just as soon nobody remembered too much about tonight.” He handed her purse back.

Chianti’s fingers didn’t seem to work properly.  The purse fell to the ground.  She sat down heavily beside it.

“You’ve had a good dose of the sleeping potion,” Sherry said.

“That was the first drink,” Stephan said.  “I put the poison in the second one.”

Nothing ever works out like I plan it to,” Chianti said, and fell backward into the sand.

~*~

Perspicacious players:

Three Word Thursday #8:

Every Thursday I will give you three new words.  You have until the following Thursday to compose a story using all three of the words.  Then, on that following Thursday, post your story.  After you post, come by here and sign in in the comments.  Then, just like up above, I will put your links up for all to visit.

The Week  Eight words will be: propinquity; susurrus; nescience

Got it?  Good!  In that case:  Your story is due on:  April 2nd, 2009

No bacchante were actually murdered in the writing of this story.


Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives in the Pacific Northwest. When she is not doing book reviews or creating curriculum literature units, she is working on writing the next great American novel. You may visit her writing blog at http://charlene-amsden.com. Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives in the Pacific Northwest. When she is not doing book reviews or creating curriculum literature units, she is working on writing the next great American novel. You may visit her writing blog at http://charlene-amsden.com.


About the author

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives in the Pacific Northwest. When she is not doing book reviews or creating curriculum literature units, she is working on writing the next great American novel. You may visit her writing blog at http://charlene-amsden.com.

37 Comments

  • JientjeNo Gravatar says:

    Here’s mine!! I hope you enjoy it!
    Off to read yours now!

  • JientjeNo Gravatar says:

    But she was right about one thing. One person would not leave the party at all! I enjoyed this!

  • bettygramNo Gravatar says:

    Working on how to put a link.
    I forgot about the words and got lost in the story. I caught on when he gave her a glass of wine.

  • Dr. JohnNo Gravatar says:

    Well here is my address and my entry is there
    http://www.fortresslinna.blogspot.com/
    Hope it works

  • bettygramNo Gravatar says:

    I have posted my address is here;
    http://bettygram.blogspot.com/
    I hope this works

  • MelliNo Gravatar says:

    YOU are just too good… honestly Quilly… you write the BEST stories!

  • Dr. JohnNo Gravatar says:

    If you have done a Quilly story and because Quilly is sick I have set up a linsky on the bottom of my blog where you can both list and see who else is playing.
    http://fortresslinna.blogspot.com
    I hope this helps.

  • MelliNo Gravatar says:

    By the way… I do hope you are feeling better when you wake up. I hope you DON’T have the flu! I’m praying for you…

  • CherieNo Gravatar says:

    What a captivating story. I was on the edge of my seat. But I’m not a big fan of Stephan if you don’t mind me saying so. Marrying another woman while she was away! Bah!

    All this when you’re not feeling well?! Rest, rest, rest, and I hope that you feel better soon.

    My submission for this week is at @ http://cestmoitrois.blogspot.com/ but I’ll leave the link over @ Dr. John’s as well. (So nice of him to do that.)

  • ThomNo Gravatar says:

    Quilly are you sick? I sure hope not. Did I miss something? oh yeah…maybe it’s because of the drink I took loaded with a purple vial concoction. Remind me to make a woman scorned sometime especially to my new wife. Wonderful story. Talk about being published, as many have with Rick, you should be also. 🙂

  • JientjeNo Gravatar says:

    Seems like the link does not work. I’ll try and leave my link in the comments then, okay?
    http://heavenisinbelgium.blogspot.com/2009/03/quillys-three-word-challenge.html

  • JientjeNo Gravatar says:

    This one works!

  • CherieNo Gravatar says:

    Not sure why my comment isn’t showing up. But let me assure you that it was full of high praise. (But after last week’s confusion, I wanted to make sure that you knew I was playing. lol) Hope you’re feeling better.

    Here’s my submission.
    http://cestmoitrois.blogspot.com/2009/03/three-word-thursday.html

    (And if this is a duplicate, many apologies.) 😉

  • Dr. JohnNo Gravatar says:

    Great story but a bit long.
    You certainly did a good job of building the character.

  • FandangoNo Gravatar says:

    Wow! Can you write and write and write. Dragons just never learned to do that.

  • julianaNo Gravatar says:

    phew, i was scared witless i would never get to your blog. it’s a good thing there’s another browser…

    you have spun quite a story here. nice build up, i have enjoyed it immensely.

    hey, i hope nobody put anything in your drink. take care and get well

  • CarylNo Gravatar says:

    Loved the story, as usual you have written very well, I couldn’t read it fast enough, then wanted it to be longer and MORE.(like as in a novel!) I hope you are feeling better soon, so out of sorts to be out of sorts. I love you XOXOOXO

  • NessaNo Gravatar says:

    Sounds like the way things go for me when I try to knock someone off.

    I hope you feel better soon. You didn’t drink from the purple vial did you?

  • QuillyNo Gravatar says:

    Jientje — I loved yours! The photos were an extra-special treat! I am glad you enjoyed mine.

    Betty — I am so glad your forgot about the words and got caught up in the story! That’s what a writer wants to hear!

    Dr. John — it works to get us to your blog.

    Betty — I didn’t mean to make it so hard, I was just too sick and trembly last night to do anything more difficult than cut-n-paste my story in.

    Melli — you and my sister make a good support team.

    Dr. John — Thom offered to do that for me last week, and he offered to gift me with his Linky subscription. I am thinking now I shouldn’t have turned him down, but I thank you so much for helping out.

    Melli — I have some kind of tummy upset. I am drowning it in cranberry juice. The boss ordered me to stay home today.

    Cherie — this story had no good guy. I was too sick yesterday to believe in good guys or happy endings! Thanks for the well wishes!

    Thom — the words in your comment look like English, but they are scrambled so that I am not sure what your point is — except that one on top of your head.

    Jienjte — I am well now and have put your proper link on the front page where you belong!

    Cherie — see your other link above. I fished it out of my spam folder. Feel free to praise me whenever you please!

    Dr. John — I am sorry about the length of the story. Chianti couldn’t just poison Stephan and get it over with. She had to goof around until he killed her!

    Fandango — you dragons are fabulous writers I loved every one of your stories!

    Juliana — my drink was orange juice and it has made me ill enough times now that I’m pretty certain I’m finished drinking the stuff.

    Caryl nag, nag, nag — I know, you want a novel. Well, Dr. John wants shorter! What am I to do?

    Nessa — that’s funny. I was thinking of you when I wrote Chianti …. 😉 And the last purple I drank was the last of a bottle delivered by Thom …..

  • NessaNo Gravatar says:

    So it’s all Thom’s fault for the way you feel?

  • QuillyNo Gravatar says:

    Nessa — did I say that?! I didn’t say that. I haven’t seen Thom since he had dinner at my home last month. I am sure the emptying of his grape gift and my jibbery insides are just coincidence. Really. (Really, or OC would be sick, too!)

  • Hi Quilly & All… rushed home, wrote and posted 3WT, and am now off to Camera Club meeting. See you later.

  • QuillyNo Gravatar says:

    Alice — your link is up.

    Lisa — you cheated a LOT! But your story is very funny!

  • CarlettaNo Gravatar says:

    Came by twice today and your page wouldn’t load so I’m finally here.
    This was a great story – I suspected when he put the glass in this pocket!
    Hope you’re feeling better.

  • QuillyNo Gravatar says:

    Carletta — Polona and Nessa had trouble accessing my page, too. Yesterday while I composed, the power went out. I threw a fit because I hadn’t saved and was thrilled to discover auto save had — but it filled my post with a bunch of weird code it took me ages to exorcise!

    I’m glad you liked the story!

  • Whoof!! I bet you thought I wouldn’t make it, that I wouldn’t post a 3 Woof Thursday, but I did. There isn’t even a dog in the story. Geee, maybe I should go edit it. Bark!!

  • ThomNo Gravatar says:

    Okay Quilly..here’s the deal. JET LAG. No seriously. My comment relates back to your story. And I was wondering if you were sick cuz of the comments. Maybe I missed the point of the story but I thought the ex wife wanted to kill the ex husband and the new wife or girl friend was the one where the first wife bought the poison from and that’s how she recognized her but the ex hubby and the new wife poisoned her first. So that’s why i referred to both wifes to be scorned because one of them was going to do either the hubby or the wife in with the poison. And never mind if I missed the whole point or this doesn’t makes sense either. JET LAG

  • QuillyNo Gravatar says:

    Thom — remind you to make a woman scorned sometime? What will you make her out of? Scorched cornmeal? And then introduce her to your new wife? You went home and came back married? Jet lag, indeed!

    And, you almost got the point of my story. Stephan never married Chianti — and when she went away to learn to become someone he wanted her to be, he fooled around on her while she was gone and went so far as to marry that woman. So yeah, Chianti decided to kill Stephan, only she unknowingly went to Stephan’s new wife for the poison and since they were privy to her plans, they killed her first. And your second comment made good sense.

    Who did you marry?

  • ShellyNo Gravatar says:

    Wow! Great story! I think you have a novel somewhere in there.

  • ThomNo Gravatar says:

    I’m giving up on this post. I’d make her poi. If you notice the time of my comment it was late and oh well…i give up

  • QuillyNo Gravatar says:

    Shelly — stay tuned for part two and the Homicide Detective!

    Thom — Since poi is slimy and gross, that would fit! And, neener, neneer,neener, I win! Now, what were we wrangling over?

  • ThomNo Gravatar says:

    Oh I see that’s how it is…I’ve only just begun 🙂

  • Whoof, Quilly. I’m so confused, I don’t know who to bite in this story. Should I bite Chianti cuz she wanted to kill Stephan, or bite Stephan & Sherry cuz they killed Chianti? They’s all just bad people. I’m glad dogs don’t poison each other. Bark!!

  • By the way… thanks fur the pats & the yummy doggy cookie. I wooofed it right down and licked my lips.

  • Hi Quilly, what awesome writing. This is a fabulous story that I very much enjoyed reading. You are a gifted writer, my friend.

  • KatNo Gravatar says:

    The dark side of Author Quilly! Poor Chianti,I can so relate to her clumsy entrance. This is really good Quilly, and so is Mina and The Carosel.

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