The phone rang at 4a.m.

“She’s gone.”

Was it quick?”

“It was… peaceful.”

We could’ve done more.”

“She was ready.”

How could you know that?”

“She told me.”

I’m not ready.”

“You have to let her go.”


Rule of thirds

Each submission to this weekend’s Trifextra starts with the same five words: “The phone rang at 4a.m.” The challenge is to complete the story in only 33 more.

20 Comments Add yours

  1. Dana says:

    What Lance said, “Emotional punch.” That was intense – the photo but more so the story. Great job.


  2. Sandra says:

    What a compelling picture to go with the intense writing! It adds another dimension to the story so well.


  3. fghart says:

    I love how you captured the emotion within the dialogue, all an extension of the image created with the photo. Nicely done.


  4. Jill K. says:

    Wow, great flash and all in dialogue. The photo, too, is fantastic.


  5. jesterqueen says:

    The dolls on the grave make me think of a child’s death, which makes the pain that much worse.


    1. Tara R. says:

      That is exactly how I found the gravestone. Based on the dates, the person interred there was in her early 20s. The dolls were an odd decoration. It made me wonder about the person they were meant to memorialize.


  6. Thanks so much for linking up to Trifextra. Remember, this weekend’s entries are being judged by the Trifecta community, so make sure you visit the site at the close of the challenge to vote. Our linking service will not allow you to vote for a link from the same computer where it was submitted, so plan ahead! Voting closes 12 hours after the close of the challenge. Winners will be announced with the Monday post. Hope to see you back then.


  7. Amelia says:



  8. You said so much in so little. I believe that is the point of the challenge!


  9. Your image is so sad. And it’s true: I have never been ready, even when my mom was hanging on like a tooth about to fall out… when you truly love someone, it’s never time. Well done. I missed the directive that the “phone call” was to be the first line, so it’s in the middle, but I’ll share anyway.

    Love the design of your blog, Tara, and the name as well! Peace, Amy Barlow Liberatore


  10. natalie says:

    These limited challenges create great first lines for a story. This would be one.


  11. Amanda says:

    Great job! So much emotion!


  12. This made my chest tighten, felt so real. The selfishness of not being ready for someone else to die, even when they are.
    Tight, well-chosen, realistic words.
    And the photo you chose with it, the dates making the person in their 20s? Haunting.
    Very good job.
    Came from the Trifextra linkup.


  13. k~ says:

    This was touching, deep, and covered the bases of a difficult conversation.


  14. Nice colors and costumes, Tara. Quite an imaginative composition.

    Nicely done.


  15. megan says:

    This says so much in so few words. I’m always at a loss for comments on trifecta entries because they’re so well written, “great write” seems trite.


  16. Very, very nice. That picture is so sad. Lovely dialogue.


  17. Carrie says:

    That image would fit into The Walking Dead….if Mattel wants to capitalize on the phenom of zombies, they can use your image as inspiration as a zombie Varbie :)

    Besides that, great story. You craft two distinct characters With just dialogue


  18. Lance says:


    I’ve gotten this phone call twice. It hurts even in fictional print on your blog.

    Great job getting the reaction/emotional punch


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