Writespiration #56 The Zen of 3

Write about the zen of the number 3

There’s a phrase, ‘everything happens in threes.’ I don’t know about you but, it describes my life story.

I can’t go through a day and just leave my phone at home, I have to lose my wallet and get a nail in my tyre all within the space of a few hours. There’s something almost karmic about it. It’s like the world has to balance all it’s Yins and Yangs, and the only way to do that is by f***ing my life up three times over. I guess the good thing about that is when Karma is on my side, I get three lots of luck. 🙂

The number 3 is also mystical: It comprises the sides of a pyramid, periods of time – past, present and future. It represent our wholeness – Mind, body & spirit and it’s even found in religion in the trinity – The father, son and holy ghost/spirit. This week I want you to think about the number 3. Use it in any way you like but it has to feature in your response.

Last week I wrote a story for my writespiration. Tomorrow, If you are interested, will bring the follow up.

Here’s mine:

Everything except for the rapid gasps of my own breath had quieted to a mute. My vision sharpened with the ferocity of panic that was rising in my chest. I wanted to scream. But I couldn’t. It meant opening my mouth. 

All I could see were three thick-black hairy legs. They were perched like towering skyscrapers on top of my nose. I knew the three legs weren’t alone.  I wondered whether I would be as afraid if there were only three. But I knew there would be five more touching other parts of my face.

I had three choices.

One, flick it off myself and watch it disappear into the depths of our room, whilst trying not to scream and let it fall into my mouth. But, what if  it disappeared under a chest of drawers never to be seen again until it crawls across my face again in six months time? No way was I letting that shit happen.

Two, close my eyes and lie here sweating and terrified until it decides to tiptoe off of its own accord. That could take hours, when do you ever actually see them move? I’d rather die than wait.

Three, try and wake Mike, without moving so much it crawls into my ear, or worse under the covers.

A trickle of sweat ran from my temple. I couldn’t last much longer, I needed it off. Waves of nausea crashed into the sides of my stomach like an angry ocean. I was going to be sick.

I inched my hand across the bed. Usually Mikes bulbous body squeezed against me whilst I tried to sleep was irritating. Tonight I was eternally thankful, I made a vow never to make him move over again. My shoulder dropped as I squeezed his hand so tight I made a knuckled crunch.

It’s legs twitched.

I let out a high pitched whimper through gritted teeth. If I swallowed it I was going to have to have my stomach pumped.

Mike sat bolt upright.

“Jesus Christ, Marie.”

“What? What? Get it off.”

“Hold still… there’s three of them.”

***

Now to last weeks writespiration which was all about the people watching you.

Rachel wrote this cracker of a story that left you wanting more. Follow Rachel for writing inspiration, tips, discussion and plenty of reviews.

It was all I could see in the pitch black of night. Three eyes glowed on the other side of my bedroom. This was not a stranger who broke into the house and was trying to rob us. This was someone—or something—much bigger than that.
It was a monster.
The eyes stared at me unblinking. I pulled the covers over my head and tried to count sheep in order to sleep. Everything would be better in the morning. The eyes wouldn’t be there when daylight shone through the window.
And yet… I couldn’t look away.
I pulled the blankets slowly off my face only uncovering my own two eyes. Sure enough, the set of three eyes were staring back at me.
They were bright. They were yellow. The eyes were open wide, unblinking. They stared directly at me their gaze not shifting one bit.
Could it blink? Could it even move? Every night the eyes stare, but they never do anything. It never spoke, never made any noise.
Sweat formed on my forehead. My arms became numb and stiff with fear. I finally couldn’t take it anymore.
“Dad! Come quick!” I shouted as loud as I could and then immediately covered my head in my blankets again.
Through the sheets I could see the room turn brighter.
“What? Is something wrong?” I heard the soothing sound of my father’s voice and let out a sigh of relief.
I peeked over the blankets and sat up in my bed. I pointed to the other side of the room directly across from my bed.
“There’s a monster in here.” I whispered.
My dad smiled at me. Why was he smiling?
“Honey, I promise there are no such things as monsters.” He walked over to where the monster had stood and looked up at the lavender painted wall.
There was nothing across my bed. The wall was bare and my dresser and closet were near my bed. There was absolutely nothing that could look like three yellow eyes watching me. There was only one explanation: it was a monster.
“See?” Dad stretched out his arms still facing the wall. He turned around and shrugged. “There is nothing here.”
Only because the light is on… I wanted to explain to him, but I couldn’t find my voice.
“Now go back to sleep. It’s late and you have school in the morning.” Dad kissed me on the forehead. He turned the light back off and closed the door.
The room was pitch black again. I stared at the closed door breathing slowly my eyes slowly adjusting to the darkness.
I told myself to put my head down on my pillow and close my eyes. I told myself not to look at the monster.
But I couldn’t help myself. I had to see if it was still there.
I turned my head to look in front of me and sure enough, the monster was still there.
And he brought a friend.

***

Geoffle wrote this creepy pararomance piece with an awesome ending. Geoff has just released a new book, click on his name to find out more.

Reflections

Herbert was the first male child in his family since anyone knew. The shock had been enormous, or so people said. Sadly he lacked for a role model as both his grandfathers and father had left before he reached school age. Surrounded by women who constantly fretted about him, he did as he was told. It was just… easier. He knew they knew best.
When his Grandma went into the nursing home, his mother was frantic. The fees would be crippling. She asked him to clear the family house for sale. As usual she reminded him to leave grandma’s dressing room to her. He’d been told early it was ‘Women only, Herbert’ and he never questioned it.
Herbert liked the woman from the auctioneers, Hazel. She was funny, kind and to Herbert’s limited world view, beautiful. She seemed to like Herbert. ‘What about in here?’ she’d asked early on. ‘Mother will deal with that.’ Hazel seemed to understand.
When both mother and grandmother died within a week of each other, Hazel and Herbert grew closer still. ‘You must sell.’ Herbert knew she was right but someone would have to clear out the dressing room. ‘I’ll do it, Herbert.’ She squeezed his hand, the only physical contact between them, but one full of charge.
The day they chose, a Tuesday, Hazel brought boxes and bags. ‘What about family things? Memories?’ Herbert shook his head. It should all go. He went out, bought something for their tea. Cream slices for afters. She deserved a thank you. Herbert dreamt of kissing Hazel’s creamy lips. Maybe.
He could tell something was different as he unlatched the door. Singing floated down the stairs, an old song, one his grandma sung. Outside the room, Hazel waited. She smiled as she saw him, melting his heart. ‘Oh it’s beautiful Herbert.’
‘Where’s it all gone?’ Nowhere could Herbert see the boxes and bags of things; had she already taken them to the auction house or the dump?
She took his hand; this time the charge seemed to hold him, like a magnetic force. The door was open and he could see the room was empty. ‘Come.’
The walls were papered in ancient yellow flowers, the floor bare. It was only once inside he saw the mirror on the far wall.
It was stunning. The carving was ornate, lines impossible to follow with the eye, the encrusted jewels fracturing the light into unfeasible rainbows. But it was the reflection that held him; the clarity was, to Herbert, extraordinary. It was like he was enhanced.
Behind he heard Hazel. ‘They just makes you understand.’
He sought out her reflection, and there she was, a faint blur to his right, standing a little in front of his mother who was in a slightly shaper focus. She shook her head, as did his grandmother. Grandma had those pursed lips that spelt trouble in his childhood.
To the left and right going back as far as he could see, each figure slightly clearer than the last, stood ranks and ranks of women, the nearest vaguely familiar from old photographs. Each woman bore those pursed lips: nearest the front it was disappointment while further away it turned to anger and then downright fury.
Hazel still spoke, ‘It’s like they’re waiting for me to ask any question. All that wisdom from all the women who have sat in front of it and told it their secrets.’
Herbert watched as many eyes bore into him. And through those eyes he heard voices, each saying the same thing. They were insistent. It was like his mind was being wrapped in knitting, each thread being pulled tighter.
He turned to Hazel. Her eyes blazed like the women’s in the picture. He shook as if chilled to the very marrow.
‘Will you marry me?’
Hazel smiled and kissed him. She nodded. Behind him, Herbert knew many others nodded too. ‘I will,’ she said, as did all the others.

***

Ali wrote this stunningly evocative piece, with such beautiful imagery. Follow Ali for all things Irish – her speciality is mythology, I promise you will learn all kinds of fascinating things. 🙂

I don’t need to see their faces to know they are looking; their stares burn. I can feel them watching my every move, their eyes lifting this part of me, prodding at that, while their fingers itch and twitch but remain pinned to their sides on arms stiff as rods of iron.

Their curiosity and revulsion crawls across my skin like flies, slowly sinking into the void where my soul once resided, that last lonely vestige of humanity crushed from being in a futile attempt at self-defence.

I don’t want to catch their eyes. I don’t want to acknowledge the spark of pity, disgust or embarrassment which lodges there. I don’t want to see them turn away, saving themselves from the assault of my presence by denying my existence.

I may not look like them, but I AM like them. I only want what they want, and that is to be loved.

***

Hugh wrote this cracking piece with a wicked twist at the end. Hugh blogs about all things writing, blogging, Toby and life. Pop over and check him out :D.

They watched me. It didn’t matter which way I looked or where part of the room I moved to, they were watching me.

Their eyes were dark and some of then frightened me. I just wanted to get out of there but the doors were locked. I’d tried banging on the doors so somebody would hear me but nobody came. They’d obviously arranged it so that nobody would come. I was now theirs, I was a part of them and they were never going to let me go.

I started to cry but they did not care. It made no difference to them. All they seemed to want was for me to be there so they could have something to watch.

Suddenly my heart leaped! A key turned in the lock and the door opened.

“Sorry Fred, I had no idea you were still here.”

I ran for the door almost knocking Neil’s security cap off his head, and left all those staring eyes on the paintings behind. I hated working in this art gallery!

***

29 comments

    1. Haha, did you? I shuddered as I wrote it as I had to think and imagine it, ick ick ick, gives me sodding nightmares! Did not know that about the number 3 though…. have you written a post on it or has the number 3 gone on your list?!

  1. Martine was ecstatic when the test showed she was pregnant. Me, I was just glad we could stop spending every dime on IVF. Ha! Everyone else gets a free baby: ours cost two Isas and that new fridge we needed. Still I was pleased, too. As well as relieved.
    The doctor had that ‘how do I tell them’ look that worried me a bit but he soon put us right. ‘Noo, the baby… Babies are fine.’ ‘Twins?’ Martine was quivering with joy. ‘No…’
    Pause there. What’s the right response, do you think? Evidently not ‘Thank Christ.’ Leaving aside the blasphemy that offended both of them, when it turns out it’s triplets you look both ungrateful and an early runner for the ‘Poor Parent’ award.
    She’s a canny and crafty wife, mine. She knew I was doing the maths so she said, ‘it’s always cheaper to buy bulk, isn’t it James?’ Not sure the doctor understood but I did. She wasn’t stopping at one so this way we were sorted up front.
    I sound bad, don’t I? See, that’s where you’re wrong. Sure pregnancy is no cake walk and IVF with the diet, injections, hormones, uterine massages and what have yous is hardly likely to appear on anyone’s bucket list. But she’s the bread winner. I write therefore I scam. I stay at home and cook the dinner, clean a bit. And now I’m the stay at home dad. Martine is ‘high flying’ ‘on then path’ ‘smashing the ceiling’. So her maternity was already fixed at one month post birth, absent complications.
    We never discussed what ‘complications’ covered. To me, having three under noughts was one mother of a complication, but she insisted it meant hers and their physical and mental well being, not mine.
    ‘Mum will help.’ Her mum, that is. Mine is teaching yoga in a Yurt outside Basildon.
    I’d be lying if I said that month was a blur. People in a PVS have more animation than me what with the lack of sleep, the regular feeds, changes, worries over heat and cold, breathing and not breathing.
    On her first day back, her Mum had an appointment at the doctors. Chimp was grizzling (his nose is permanently stretching to sniff his armpit, hence Chimp), Gecko (eczema, hence scaly skin) was vomiting on repeat – this was a common problem and didn’t warrant a deferral to the much anticipated return – and Stalin (already trying to banish the other two) had gone cross eyed not that anyone else saw it (or they said it was wind). Staying in was going to turn me into wallpaper so I did the only thing that, so far, quiets them. I strapped them in and set off, not without trepidation, to the park.
    We’ve done this before. Obviously. But there’s always been three of us, one for each babe. Me, on my own with three new borns and all the clutter. Yeah mad but I had given up being classed as sentient a week ago.
    I made it to the park, sweating and praying. They seemed calm enough. And that’s when I had my epiphany. Or rather she walked out to meet me.
    ‘You here for the mum and baby class?’
    Who knew?
    Sandra has dreamy eyes, flawless skin and a love of other people’s babies. She and Harriet – brunette, business like and boobs like.. Anyway they saw their vocation. Me. Everyone there, all those single free babies and their mums took me into their bosom. Not Harriet sadly.. Still. The boys loved the attention. Passing them round like three dimensional human pass the parcel generated infinite joy. I wasn’t chastised if I slept. They listened to me explain my work in progress, my block, my strategies. They gave me cake and cookies and invited me on their trips. I was a token hero dad, to be used against their unsuspecting partners as a paragon. The superhero role seemed to fit quite well.
    Yes. All things considered, triplets are the only way to have children

  2. Spiders are said to be enamoured of creative people, Sacha, which should explain their fancy for perching on your nose. Probably they need to be cautioned that their freedom ends where your nose begins (Lol). As for numbers, 1, 3, 5, 7 & 9 are all mystical. I hope any or all of it play out lucky for you…best wishes.

  3. You evil, horrible, wretched, disturbing…psychic? I am having a hell of a time here with spiders. They are EVERYWHERE and seem to know my worst nightmares and have developed this resistance to spraying, swatting, stepping on…you name it. I’ve encountered at least 25 in the last three days. Two nights ago, one hanging a foot above my head by its nasty string, and last night, one crawling on my pillow. O_o I’m dying!

    (P.S. You forgot Maiden/Mother/Crone) Maybe I’ll Writespiration that one up.

  4. Okay. Here’s your Maiden/Mother/Crone story. Well, more of a quick flash quickly written so don’t expect great literature, love. 😉 Thanks for the inspiration.

    Three Bean Salad

    “You misunderstand, child.” The woman placed her wrinkled finger on the third card in the spread.

    “I’m not a child,” she pouted, “and that’s the third time some Tarot reader has told me this crap.”

    “Ah,” the woman picked up the card. “And yet you continue to get readings.”

    “So this is my fault?” She glared.

    “Why is there blame, child? There is only what is.”

    A dark-haired woman walked over, rummaging through her large bag. “If someone’s to blame, that would be me. Whatever it is. It’s always me.” She reached her hand out to the tarot-reader. “I’m Carol. Julie’s mother.” She jerked her head toward the young seated woman.

    “Of course,” the old woman searched the cards. “Ah. Here you are.” She held up the queen of cups. “Lots of cups in this spread. Emotional bunch, I see.” She muttered. “Pleased about your first grandchild, I assume?”

    “Excuse me?” Carol froze.

    “Hey!” Julie shrieked.

    The woman laughed. “She would have known soon enough, child.” She winked. “Triplets.”

      1. Thanks. Wrote it too quickly–needs editing. But it was like a super fun freewrite on 3. I need to do more of these writespiratioins.

        Manuscript? I’m sorry. What was the question again? 😉

  5. Ah, yes. The three-ness of it all. And three plays a large role in fairy tales you know e.g. the three pigs, the three billy goats, the three magic wishes …

  6. I’m a true believer of things coming in threes. I’d often heard this lore portend to hearing of deaths. Is it coincidence when we hear about someone we know of who has passed, there are always two more within a short period of time? 🙂

    1. Ooh that’s a good point, but I also find as one passes I also often hear of another falling pregnant, that is always a reminder of the wonderful thing that is the circle of life 😊

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