The Clarity of Retrospect

Whirr, whack, whack, whack, whack. The 16mm film had run completely through the projector. Our Sociology teacher, Mr. Lincoln, turned it off and asked Amy to get the lights. Then he walked to the front of the class. He must have decided to pick on Jeff today. Jeff had come to class stoned but, that wasn’t really a surprise. Jeff always came to class stoned. It was the first class after lunch after all. “Tell me about the film, Jeff.”

“Wha? Who? Me? You mean me Mr. Lincoln?” He pointed to his own chest. Everyone turned to look at Jeff expectantly. This might be entertaining.

Mr. Lincoln nodded.

“Well, shit, it was a pretty cool movie, I guess.” He began.

Mr. Lincoln pressed, “Try to refrain from the use of profanity Jeff. What was it about?”

“Uhm OK… There was this chick, kinda cute, with like, really nice hair. And, she like, gets off a bus, and then later some little dude snatches her purse.” Jeff was getting into it now. Enjoying the retelling, “But she’s like, having none of it, ya know, and she takes off after the little dude. She’s all like, ‘Hey, little dude, that’s my bag. Give it back’ but, the little guy keeps motorin’. Up some stairs and through some alleyways. I couldn’t tell where they were, fer shure, but it wasn’t Santa Monica!” Jeff snorted and laughed. “Then she like, finds her purse man. It’s just dumped on a step. But the funny part is, her stuff is still there. Like her money and her hand lotion is all still there but, it’s like somethin’ is missin’. You can kinda tell by the way she is lookin’. I just didn’t know what. I don’t know what’s missin’.”

“So she packs her shit up and starts to leave but then she spots the little dude down another alley, writin’ in a notebook… Whoa, I’ll bet it was her notebook, huh Mr. Lincoln? Or maybe it was her pen? Wait, wait, I’ll bet it was her pen and her notebook.”

Jeff gets a contemplative look on his face and looks earnestly at his teacher, “Then, she just leaves, dude. She totally lets him get away with it. I guess she was cool with the little dude needin’ a pen and some paper. Huh?”

Mr. Lincoln smiles and nods his head, “Pretty good Jeff. Would you say that through the clarity of retrospect, the obvious conclusion would be that things don’t always turn out as planned?

“Yeah, Mr. Lincoln, dude. That’s exactly what I was gonna say. I was gonna say exactly that.”

“Well then?” Mr. Lincoln asked.

Jeff looked solemnly around the class blinked his eyes twice, swallowed, and said, “Through the clarity of retrospect, the obvious conclusion surfaced: things don’t always turn out as planned.”


Here are the rules:

• Your post must be dated March 23, 2013, or later.
• Submissions must be 750 words or fewer.
• Submissions must be fiction or poetry.
• You must include the following sentence as the LAST line of your submission: “Through the clarity of retrospect, the obvious conclusion surfaced: things don’t always turn out as planned.”
• You must also include a reference to the media prompt.
• The speakeasy is for submissions written specifically for the grid. Please don’t submit an entry if you intend to showcase it to another blog link-up. Such posts are deleted without notice.
• Please don’t post long explanations before your post. We want your writing to be the star of the show. If you need to clarify anything, feel free to do so at the end.

How Friends are Made and Kept


I understand your decision,
If only I’d found you sooner.

You allowed me in, we’re friends.

You introduced me to others,
Now they’re my friends too.

In this way you’re with me always.


For the final challenge here at Trifecta, we considered some flash and dazzle, a wild prompt to send us off with a bang.  What we realized was the most achingly beautiful, haunting and dazzling words we’ve read from our brilliant community have been the ones you chose when you were given the freedom to write with abandon.  So we’re lovingly, and eagerly, placing the choice in your hands.  There’s no topic, no word, just a free write. Go anywhere your mind wants to travel.  Take us there too.  Just make it count, leave your blood all over this page.  Thirty-three words exactly.  Of course.  We couldn’t end it any other way.

Good luck and happy writing! – See more at:

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