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This week, Trifecta celebrated their 99th writing challenge (not including “Trifextra” bonus challenges) with something special. Typically, challenge entries involve using the third definition of a given word in a story that ranges between 33 and 333 words. The 99th challenge, however, was something special. We were given a photograph of page 99 of the Oxford English Dictionary and told to write exactly 99 words using one of the words on the selected page. The page ranged from “babushka” to “back” and included several wonderful, potential-filled words. I opted to go with the first that caught my eye, and so I present you with “Babushka.”


I’ll never forget the stories that my babushka used to tell me when I was a boy. She would take me on her lap next to the fire and speak in a hushed voice about the things that lived in the woods, and how she was one of them once, before she fell in love with a human. She once said that certain things linger in the blood, and can remain dormant for years, and that I must never tell my mother. After all, they may still be out there, watching and waiting to see if I’m like them.


  1. Oooo, intriguing! And a little spine-tingling, thinking of them “watching and waiting.”

  2. Well, I hope you’re not a gremlin!

  3. That’s kind of a creepy story. Shadowy candlelight would’ve made it downright frightening!

  4. I love this! “Watching and waiting…” So much more to tell.

    • That’s the beauty of short pieces like this. Always leave the reader wanting more. Thank you!

  5. Ooh! I’m intrigued. Love that last line. Makes me want to read more. πŸ™‚

  6. What an energetic granny ! I love the stories my grandmom told. Well done you!

  7. Loved this sweet-scary piece:-)Hopefully he will escape “their” prying eyes,even if he is like them?

  8. Good one! Intriguing start for a longer story, actually..:)

  9. Love the voice in this, a kid all so matter of fact, and yet you portray their close relationship well and, of course, the unknown lurking… Thanks for linking up and don’t forget to come back and vote!

  10. Wow. Very well done with a totally unexpected angle!

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