Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Nothing Was Always Something

It was nothing. “Nothing there,” they said, “nothing at all.” Nothing was something. Always was.

She stood in the sinister mountain mist while silence hung on the trees. The coffee in her cup had chilled and the dampness draped her cotton nightdress so that it clung to her iced body. The dog whimpered at her feet and the cats climbed the screen door desperately seeking shelter.

How long had she stood on the rickety porch? How long since the last crunch of leaves echoed? It could be a deer, a bear, a tiny squirrel but they'd not been seen in these parts for years. Not even crows dwelled in this wasted land. Bad energy, she’d said when she moved there in the spring. Yet, she’d stayed hoping to bring life back, somehow. Now, the corn hung black and the tomatoes withered on the vine. The skeletal limbs of the trees creaked and groaned with hopelessness under the vicious winds.

Finally, it was her teeth chattering that stirred her. She slowly turned and opened the door. The animals rushed, knocking her back, and disappeared under beds and in closets. The fire was mere embers now suggesting she’d been peering into the gray for hour’s maybe. Wrapping the Indian blanket around her shivering shoulders, she poured the freezing coffee down the drain and refreshed it with the steaming. She crouched before the hearth and scratched at the embers until they caught the new log and spit flames. Then, she heard it again. The crunch, the scrape, the deep sighs beyond the garden. She sat back on her haunches and listened, waiting.

It was nothing, nothing at all. Only, she knew, nothing was always something.    

This week's Trifecta Challenge:

This week's word is:

1 archaic : unfavorable, unlucky
2 archaic : fraudulent
3: singularly evil or productive of evil

Please remember:
  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above. 
  • Only one entry per writer.


  1. Oooh, I've been in places like this, exactly. I know the eeriness of nothing, which is something.

  2. Wow. On one level, I love the idea of this place, and being alone in it. I am neither afraid of dreary, nor am I afraid of being alone. However.

    I am rather superstitious by nature, and have had an experience with a spirit that didn't take a liking toward me. On that level, this story freaks me out a little. (I left the ghost on the other side of the world.)

    1. Yeah, I loved living there - and I love being gone. LOL Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Nice writing. A sinister mist, I like that. The animals wanting to come in and hide made me afraid of what's out there. I have no trouble being alone, but I might under the circumstances you describe. Well done.

  4. i love that "nothing was always something."

    yes, when the animals are afraid it's time to take it seriously.

    great write!

  5. I love everything about this piece - The description of the woman; the silence hanging on the trees (perfect), the coffee grown cold. I might consider moving the word finally over: teeth chattering that finally may work to tighten it up. Ending line is amazing.

    1. Thanks Kelly, for the critique. I LOVE constructive criticism.

  6. This gave me chills. well done.