Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

Trifecta: Week 66 – Treasure Island

with 22 comments

This week’s Trifecta Challenge was hard. I had plenty of thoughts using ‘doctor’ as a verb, but great difficulty working out how to use it as a noun, possibly because I’ve not come across it used this way before. The story below developed from one using ‘doctored’ (verb) that was adapted to use the 3b definition. I hope the joins don’t show.


The prompt:

DOCTOR (noun)

1 a : an eminent theologian declared a sound expounder of doctrine by the Roman Catholic Church —called also doctor of the church

b : a learned or authoritative teacher

c : a person who has earned one of the highest academic degrees (as a PhD) conferred by a university

d : a person awarded an honorary doctorate (as an LLD or Litt D) by a college or university

2 a : a person skilled or specializing in healing arts; especially :one (as a physician, dentist, or veterinarian) who holds an advanced degree and is licensed to practice

b : medicine man

3 a : material added (as to food) to produce a desired effect

b : a blade (as of metal) for spreading a coating or scraping a surface


The challenge:

Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.

You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.

The word itself needs to be included in your response.

You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.

Trifecta is open to everyone.  Please join us.



Treasure Island (324 words)

‘Are you serious?’


‘You’re going to the Caribbean to look for pirate treasure?’


Sheila left Jon in the kitchen wearing his, ‘what’s wrong with that?’ face. Next door at Caroline’s, she cried tears of frustration and worried about her life savings being frittered away. After two cups of tea and a glass of wine, Sheila and Caroline were giggling at the thought of Jon in shorts and panama stalking across a tropical island, magnifying glass in hand.

Six months later, sweat kissed Sheila’s upper lip as she crouched under a perfectly clear sky. Jon stood panting beside her, not as fit as he liked to claim, his t-shirt sodden. A tea-coloured vellum map was spread on the grass before them.

‘Look,’ Sheila pointed, running her finger along a black line. ‘This road is the same. We walked along it yesterday. So, if the scale is correct,’ she looked up, ‘you should dig in those cocoanut palms to the north of the clearing.’

Jon swung his head from side to side, making sure they weren’t overlooked. ‘Let’s go then.’

‘Jon,’ she stayed him with a touch of a finger, ‘have you thought about what happens if you don’t find anything?’

His eyes told her he hadn’t. ‘The map’s real.’

‘But the patches – ’ Sheila scraped at a piece of lose wax with a finger nail, imagined the doctor sealing the map’s uneven surface. ‘This map’s been made and remade ten times over.’

‘It’s genuine. I had it tested.’

I know,’ she said. ‘The bill from the university cleared out the mortgage account.’

‘You said you wouldn’t – ’

‘I’m here, aren’t I? We’ve had a lovely holiday. Let’s not argue. I just want you to prepare yourself.’

‘I have,’ he said and strode away.

They were empty words.

Sheila stood and folded the map. She watched, shaking her head slowly, as Jon stopped, looked around once more, and thrust his spade at the ground.

Written by Sarah Ann

February 28, 2013 at 1:06 pm

22 Responses

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  1. Wow. I don’t see that ending well. Nice post!


    February 28, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    • Not sure what happens next, but I don’t think he’ll be finding any treasure. Thanks for reading.

      Sarah Ann

      February 28, 2013 at 8:31 pm

  2. She watched, shaking her head slowly …….. ominous 🙂


    February 28, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    • I think Sheila’s a realist while Jon is an eternal optimist. But she loves him and she’ll help him through.

      Sarah Ann

      February 28, 2013 at 8:30 pm

  3. Like a gambler’s disease. And, ‘shorts and panama’ described Jon perfectly. I thought it was nice she went on the hunt.

    You used ‘doctor’ well, I thought, meaning the sealing wax, not the someone putting it on. This was a very hard definition to use, as you won’t find it in any everyday usage, I haven’t.


    February 28, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    • p.s. I liked her concern for him.


      February 28, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    • Thank you for your lovely comments. I was quite happy with ‘shorts and panama’ so I’m glad you liked it too. I found it really hard to use ‘doctor’ as prescribed, so I’m pleased you think it works. It was definitely something I had to imagine and work out rather than something I had experience of.

      Sarah Ann

      February 28, 2013 at 8:39 pm

  4. I’m surprised she stuck with him. Gambling life savings on a treasure hunt…


    February 28, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    • She loves him, and I think she’s canny enough to have squirreled away something out if his grasp. Let’s hope so. 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      February 28, 2013 at 8:33 pm

  5. This is an interesting tale. Will there be new installments?

    lumdog (@lumdog2012)

    February 28, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    • I hadn’t thought of writing any more. I’m not sure I can cope with Jon’s disappointment. Because he’s not likely to find anything is he? If you know better then let me know.

      Sarah Ann

      February 28, 2013 at 8:27 pm

  6. Sheila is right,they are having a lovely holiday-small consolation for Jon I guess ,for he seems destined to be disappointed ;-)Intelligent use of the prompt as a Noun & well written too:-)


    February 28, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    • Hopefully Jon will make the most of his holiday if he comes up empty handed. Thanks for stopping by and your comments.

      Sarah Ann

      March 1, 2013 at 10:33 pm

  7. I don’t know if their relationship will survive if he doesn’t find that treasure. Then again, it may not survive even if he does. I’d love to know what happens next in this story!


    February 28, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    • I think the relationship will survive. Still not sure what happens next. I read the story to my other half who thinks Jon should find something, so I might try to develop this with next week’s prompt.

      Sarah Ann

      March 1, 2013 at 10:34 pm

  8. very clever use of the prompt 🙂 hmmn i don’t know how she does it… stick with him, i mean. but then again in some weird way, some relationships like that do work out ^^ great story


    March 1, 2013 at 12:01 am

    • Thanks you, kz. I think we’ve only seen one side of Jon with his latest obsession. He and Sheila have been together a while so she loves who he used to be, and could be again maybe.

      Sarah Ann

      March 1, 2013 at 10:37 pm

  9. I hope they find something. Somehow I dont think they will.


    March 1, 2013 at 12:18 am

    • I didn’t think Jon was going to find anything, but after I read this to hubby, he thinks he should find something. I’ll have to mull it over this week.

      Sarah Ann

      March 1, 2013 at 10:38 pm

  10. At least she got a holiday out of his pipe dream! Nice story. Loved the quick jump from kitchen to sweat and beach.


    March 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    • Thanks. I’m glad the jump worked – I wasn’t sure when I wrote it, so thanks for the positive feedback. 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      March 1, 2013 at 10:39 pm

  11. […] on from comments I received to my story last week, I’ve continued with the characters in this week’s Trifecta challenge. You don’t […]

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