Friday, November 9, 2012


Here is my entry in this weekend's Trifextra challenge.   Hope all of you Nano writers and anniversary bloggers find time to give this a read and a response.  Good luck to everyone in your other endeavours. and in this weekend's challenge.

As soon as I read the challenge criteria, I immediately harkened back to the 70s and the Dirty Harry movies.  And, while my entry isn't directly related to Clint Eastwood's "Do you feel lucky, punk?" scene, I certainly drew inspiration from it.


Six chambers
One bullet
Five gamblers place their bets.

offers no comfort
when the short straw becomes yours.

Unsteady hands
place barrel on tongue.

Heart beats furiously.

Eyes shutter.

Trigger squeezed.


"Well?  Do you?"


  1. Now I gotta know if the silence is the silence of death or the silence of an empty click of the trigger.

  2. Draug has a good point - and what would this person consider to be the better luck?

  3. If the next thing after the trigger is squeezed is silence, then odds are great that the gun didn't fire. Lucky indeed!

  4. Thanks all, for the opportunity to discuss my work a bit.

    This poem is all about the randomness of the odds in many forms of gambling. The games, like Russian roulette, where pure luck is the only factor involved. Thus, I wanted the ending to be ambiguous from the moment I decided to go with the idea for this poem. So, I don't have a definitive answer for you on whether my character made it or bought it. Either outcome has an equal chance of being true.
    However, "Silence" could indicate death. I can't imagine that anyone would have more than a nanosecond of conscious thought available as their brain matter separated from their body and splattered on the wall behind them. So, my thinking is that "Silence" indicates the absence of conscious thought and, therefore, Death.
    On the other hand, "Silence" could simply be the absence of sound. There was no loud bang, therefore, silence = life. I knew that I couldn't use the would "click" at the end because that would have given a more definitive direction to the ending and I didn't want that.
    Finally, I wrestled with this poem, back and forth, between the way it ended up (focussed on the first shooter) and between having the first four go first, leaving my character with diminished odds of one bullet, two chambers. In that way, the poem would have been truer to the concept of Mathematics but, I kept having word count issues when I went this way.
    So, anyway, some weeks it is all clear and easy to write these Trifextras, some weeks it is work. In any case, thanks for your input. I appreciate your comments.

  5. I love the deliberate ambiguity. Very well done!

  6. I, too, love that we take it from there. I'm not a betting person but I'd say he got and empty chamber based on the silence. It all takes a bit of blind luck!

  7. I too enjoyed the open end. It gives us a reason to think and create.

  8. Thanks for your comments, folks.
    Gina, you have a 50-50 chance of being right. Do you feel lucky? Well, do you? :)

  9. I too like the ambiguity of the poem. Are we optimists or pessimists? Also made me think of the movie, Deerhunter. Nice work.

  10. Wow, dark, ambiguous, and tight writing! I love being able to see what other writers do with these prompts. I like that you left the ending to readers--kind of tells us who we are, in a sense. Great response!

  11. Thanks, Stephanie and Sandra, for your comments. Glad you enjoyed a story about a possible bloody death. :)

  12. As others have commented, I like that the end could go either way.

    I choose to think the silence is the empty chamber :)

  13. Well, there's nothing lighthearted about that! Nice job with the prompt!

  14. Spooky, terrifying take on the prompt, actually. I loved it. That second stanza in particular gave me goosebumps.