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Introducing Three Word Thursday

So, are you game for another game?  This one will really test your metal.  Every Thursday I will give you three words, which you then have to use to create a story.  You have anytime until the following Thursday to post your story on your own blog, and come back here to let us know you’ve posted.  (Just leave your comment, I’ll take care of the links.)

Sound too easy?  Well, there is one little catch.  There’s a good chance the words I choose, aren’t going to be words you are familiar with.  You may just need to look them up.

This week’s words:

  • cynicocratical
  • isangelous
  • volgivagant

I promise, I looked all three of these words up on the web (using Google Search) and found definitions for them.  I also promise that for this week  at least, the words are just as new to me as they are to you.

A Dream Come True

Harvey Castlemeyer was a born day dreamer.  He’d daydreamed his way through the first 47 years of his life, greeting reality only now and then, when forced to by circumstances beyond his control — like getting fired for inattentive behavior.  That had happened far too many times — but no more.  Now he could stop dreaming and start living.  He felt the stiff, paper rectangle in his pocket and couldn’t help but smile.  For once Dora was going to be proud of him.

The car clattered and clanked its way into the driveway.  Harvey had the keys in his pocket and was half way to the front door before the engine quit sputtering.  No matter.  That car wouldn’t be part of his new future.

Usually Harvey went into the house through the backdoor, but he wasn’t wrestling the garage door tonight.  In fact, he thought, maybe I’ll get me one of them fancy garage door openers.  And I can get Nora a big screen TV to watch her soaps.  Smiling big, he opened the front door and stepped into the living room.

His mother-in-law was in her usual position at the end of the couch with her feet on the hassock and an overflowing ashtray in her lap.  “Who said you could use the front door?”  She snapped at him.  “Close it now before I catch my death.”

Harvey almost laughed.  That thought fueled one of his favorite daydreams.

“Harvey?  Harvey Castlemeyer, is that you coming in my front door?”  Dora stomped from the kitchen shaking a wooden spoon and splattering red sauce everywhere.  “First you come home late — I had to start supper! — and then you come in my front door.  What is the matter with you?”

Perhaps for the first time in his life, Harvey looked at his wife as she stood there pointing at him with the wooden spoon in one hand, and the other hand on her cocked hip.  Lips pursed, eyes glaring, toe-tapping, this was not the isangelous woman of his dreams.

“Well,”  she snapped, “Get in here!  My show is coming on in a minute.  You still got dinner to finish, the laundry to do and this house could use a good sweeping.  You’d best get to it.”

Harvey looked around.  The dining room table was buried beneath a tumble of newsprint.  Dirty dishes littered the occasional tables.  Several pairs of his mother-in-law”s socks lay in a heap beside the couch.  It was like waking up from a weird dream, one that made sense, yet didn’t.  Harvey turned to Dora.  “What do you do all day when I’m at work?”  He asked.

Dora puffed up her chest and demanded, “What kind of a question is that?”

Harvey pointed at the dishes, the socks, the newspaper, the tangle of clothing spilling out the laundry room doorway.  “All day while I’ve been at work, you’ve been busy making this mess.  Why should I clean it up?”

In the living room his mother-in-law wrestled her bulk around on the couch.  “What do you mean, ‘Why should you clean it up?’  Dora is delicate.  You know good and well –”

Harvey tuned his mother-in-law’s rants out.  He considered the cynocratic governance of his house, and how it had come to be.  He and Dora been married two years when she miscarried and her mother moved in.  Harvey had been doing the cooking and the cleaning and the hop-to-ing ever since.

He looked at his mother-in-law.  He looked at his wife.  He slipped his hand into his pocket and caressed his future.

“What are you waiting for?”  Dora snapped.  “You heard my mother.  I’m anemic and not healthy enough for physical labor.  The doctor said so.”

“That was twenty-two years and about a hundred pounds ago,” Harvey said.

“Oh!”  Dora let out a wail an ran from the room.

“Go after her, you dolt!”  His mother-in-law ordered.  “You’ve hurt her feelings!”  Harvey saw it all for the play it was.  He’d fallen for it again and again over the years.  He would start to question, and they would manipulate him back into line.  He bent down and picked up the sauce covered spoon his wife had dropped on the dining room floor, and handed it to his mother-in-law as he passed her on his way out of the house.

Harvey walked to the bus stop and caught a Trailways Bus to Vegas where he got a job washing dishes in a casino kitchen.  During what he now considers his final six weeks as a volgivagant, Harvey slept in a flop-house and laid low.  Then,  on the very last day of that sixth week, Harvey filed for divorce, giving the house, the car, and all their worldly possessions to Dora.  Within hours after the signed and notarized degree arrived in his mailbox, Harvey cashed in the lottery ticket and moved to Mazatlan.

Sun, sand and surf had always featured in Harvey’s favorite day dreams, but now sometimes when he sits on the beach he dreams of Dora or her momma scrubbing some rich woman’s floors for minimum wage, then coming home at night too tired to watch that big screen TV he’d sent them as a parting gift.

by Charlene L. Amsden

~ * ~

Other Three Word Thursday Participants

Lisa (Check the comments for her “story”.)

Betty (If you need “in context” help, check here!)

Dr. John (wherein he mocks me,
& proves my response to his comment on this post!)

Cindy (Uses the words describing a day in her life.)

Thom (describing Eden).

Alice (who talks to her cat)


  1. The dictionary is your friend; D

    Love your story. I wish justice was always so sweet.

    I would tell you I am going to play your game, but over the last year we all know my word has been mush, so instead I say, “We’ll see.”

  2. ROFLMBO! Woman! Dr. John is gonna be ALL OVER this! Personally… I’m not sure I’ve got it in me… but we’ll see! I really should have done it before I read yours though… now I will be influenced!

  3. Loved looking for the words on the net and found some really fun…I’m a word geek…sites. Interesting and archaic.

    We’ll see if I can get a story going…or not.

  4. Wooohooo…I loved that story! My BIL needs to read it.
    Now I gotta go look up those words -oh how I love new words 😉
    Oh…and the peas, I try to plant them on St. Pats day, that’s not too early for sugar snap peas and some spring lettuce.

  5. OMG…I feel like I’m going back to school. The teacher has spoken and I picture her with that 12″ ruler in her hand as all her charges write their story. Oh please let my apple help sooth the teachers headache when she reads my story and see’s my writing skills are dreadful. I was so pulling for Harvey. Now to figure out those words and attempt a story. If one shows up on my blog I will be lucky and a happy camper.

  6. phew, i don’t suppose i’ll ever meet those words in ‘real life’. but you’ve spun a grat story around them.

    now i want to win the lottery and move to an exotic island where i would never ever have to endure winter again!

  7. Trickery I tell you…absolute trickery. Obsolete word!!! You have learned well from Dr. John or perhaps had the gift all the way along.

  8. Nessa — I hope at the very least that you return to see what the others have created, but I would love a story from you!

    Melli — you can do this! Check Lisa’s response. You’ll love it.

    Mary — for shame!

    Amber — we aren’t expecting classic lit, just a little ditty will do.

    Shelly — I’m looking forward to your story. I wish I was looking forward to your sigar snap peas!

    Thom — I am a kind and nurturing teacher. Ask any of my former students.

    Juliana — me, too! Oh, wait …..

    Lisa — I loved it! I linked it for all to see.

    Thom — muhahahahaha!

  9. Are you kidding, I know all these words and use them everyday – NOT!
    I didn’t read your story yet. I didn’t want to be influenced as I see Melli said.
    I may try this after I look them up.

  10. that was totally fantastic. and i so much more want to win the lottery now.

    i will give this a go but it might not be until after the weekend. two birthdays and a doc to re-write.

  11. Carletta — I am looking forward to your story!

    Jientje — aw, I never took you for a quitter!

    Melli — wow! I am honored to be listed as Lisa’s equal!

    Dr. John — or anyone like you, old enough to remember them.

    Holly — I know what you’ve committed your weekend to, so don’t rush. This challenge will stay up until NEXT Thursday.

  12. Quilly,
    You won second place for correctly naming six celebrities on the mural.
    All I need is an address to send you a cross necklace.
    Also include a few of your favorite colors, and I will look through the ones I have on hand and try to send one in a color you like.
    Send the info to

  13. Lisa — short is harder than long.

    Betty — And a darn good story at that!

    Jientje — I was teasing! Really, this isn’t near as hard as you and Melli are making it seem.

    Cindy — you played and did a great job using the words in a scene from your everyday life.
    AND, since you had until Midnight this coming Wednesday to post, you aren’t late!

  14. Leave it to you to put a different twist! Talk about brainteasers! Soon, will we be seeing Quilly’s games on the shelves?
    I used to teach College SAT prep, but that doesn’t mean I’d spontaneously use these words… great idea and maybe someday this YEAR, I’ll be able to play. Not this week.

  15. ROFL, good for Harvey. I’m so glad he got his freedom from that life. This is fabulous writing, Quilly. Mine is up and ready for you to read… much shorter than yours, and no where near as exciting, but maybe next week. :o)

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