Sarah Ann Hall

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

#Trifecta: Week 74 – Athena’s Desire

with 12 comments

Following on from Trifecta’s comment last week that my 33-word story for the colour prompt required some backstory, here it is.


The rules:

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 below.


The prompt:

ECSTASY (noun)

1a : a state of being beyond reason and self-control
b archaic : swoon
2: a state of overwhelming emotion; especially : rapturous delight



Athena’s Desire OR Sibling Love Part 2 (330 words)

Athena didn’t hate her twin, Sophie; she just didn’t like sharing their parents. Her attempts to become an only child started early.

Whilst learning to walk, Sophie became wedged between sofa cushions and nearly suffocated. Aged three, she tumbled down the stairs after over-balancing whilst reaching for a toy. During horse-riding lessons her pony threw her after tripping over a wire laid across a bridle path. She, twice, only just avoided being scalded by a pan of boiling fat Athena knocked off the stove. And, on the day the girls decided to cut each other’s hair, Athena snipped off Sophie’s chestnut curls expertly, only to slip with the scissors and leave a permanent scar across her throat.

‘I thank my lucky stars every day that we still have both of you with us,’ Dad said when they started learning to drive. ‘On no account are the two of you ever to travel in the same car.’

When Sophie’s brakes failed, no one was surprised.

Poor Athena couldn’t see that all her attempts to injure, maim or accidentally-on-purpose kill her sister, made Sophie more special to their parents.

While Athena plotted her coup de grâce, Sophie came up with a simpler solution.

‘I’ve applied to go to university in France,’ she said.

Athena was in raptures. She walked around in ecstasy for days, trying to keep the euphoria in check, a half-smile on her lips. At last, she would have her parents to herself. They were already paying her more attention, asking if she felt okay.

Athena’s elation lasted all of a week, until Dad called a family meeting.

‘Sophie’s decision got us thinking. This is a family home. It’ll feel strange without you both here. We’ve decided to sell and help you buy places of your own.’

Athena withered, her head hit the dining table and she wailed. Her family looked on confused as, within Athena’s flailing body, anger fought with desperation for the upper hand.



Written by Sarah Ann

April 25, 2013 at 6:10 pm

12 Responses

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  1. I enjoyed this. Even though farcical, I sensed elements of truth in this story. Well done.

    lumdog (@lumdog2012)

    April 25, 2013 at 7:56 pm

  2. Foiled again 🙂 I thought for sure the parents were going to suggest moving to France, so their decision caught me by surprise. I bet the parents were confused- most kids that age would be doing backflips if their parents told them they were going to buy them their own place 🙂 (Maybe the parents could toss in some therapy for Athena, too!)


    April 25, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    • I think therapy might be the right way to go. I wavered on the parents suggesting they moved to France because I thought that might show too much of a preference for Sophie, rather than just their blindspot where Athena’s antics are concerned. I’m not sure it matters how hold you are if someone offers to buy you a house – I’ve never been able to backflip, but I’d try to learn.

      Sarah Ann

      April 29, 2013 at 2:39 pm

  3. I, too, figured they were headed to France. Athena is just not having a good time of it.


    April 25, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    • Poor Athena. I don’t understand her jealousy. Maybe being away from her family will help her sort her life out.

      Sarah Ann

      April 29, 2013 at 2:41 pm

  4. Her parents were either very negligent or very good to catch Sophie during all those times she nearly died at her twin’s hands xD This is quite an amusing tale of sisterly rivalry.


    April 26, 2013 at 4:59 am

    • I think negligent fits. These parents only see what they want to see. Thanks for stopping by.

      Sarah Ann

      April 29, 2013 at 2:42 pm

  5. I bet this girl would be perfect as the child lead in a new Omen movie. For a moment I thought the story was going to go somewhere else–that Athena would tragically meet her end just as she got her parents to herself. This ending is better, I think. Prolonged justice.

    Thanks for linking up!


    April 26, 2013 at 5:20 am

    • Thanks for that comment. I hadn’t thought of Athena losing out on her parents by losing her life. Maybe that would have been more poetic, but I think it might have engendered some feelings of sympathy for her, and she doesn’t deserve any.

      Sarah Ann

      April 29, 2013 at 2:45 pm

  6. Very unique story.
    I feel for both the sisters.. Sarah of course for being the unsuspecting victim, but Athena for her wants and yearnings.. It’s a tough mental space she is in.
    Your last line is spectacular in conveying the exact feelings of such a situation – “anger fought with desperation for the upper hand”
    Couldn’t have been conveyed better!


    April 30, 2013 at 2:34 am

    • 🙂 Thanks, Parul for that great comment. I’m glad you were able to feel for both sisters. I’m also happy you picked out the last line as I wasn’t sure whether or not it worked.

      Sarah Ann

      April 30, 2013 at 12:26 pm

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