Trifecta 96 – Down in the Woods


I loves animals. They’ve always been good to me and mine. Same goes for plenty of folks round here. We live for ‘em and they lives their lives to help us. It ain’t just all about meat and milk neither. My little Debs has her horses. Anywhere I goes on the farm my dogs is there. That’s why it upset so many people round here. What they said, it weren’t right.

Jimmy Crawfoot wasn’t an animal: he was a sick, fucking psycho. Papers didn’t care. They got their headlines. Beast, animal, whatever. What do they know? Go ask the parents of Cassie Green and they’ll tell you. That fucker hadn’t earned the right to be associated with one of God’s creatures. He was just scum. Pure and simple. He didn’t deserve to keep breathin’. He’s getting what he had coming.

I ain’t got any beefs about what we’re doing – none of us have. The other men wanted to string him from the tree down by the sawmill. Me and Mr Green thought that was too good for the bastard. Too easy. That’s why we’re here this morning – even Sheriff Flannigan. There was no way this was ever going out the county. This is our problem and round here we deal with our own.

Gotta say it’s a fine morning for it. This mist in the Deepvale wood has just lifted. The smell of damp leaves; the rabble of bird song – smells and sounds which make me sure glad to be alive. Our friend here doesn’t appear to be so happy. Squealing like one of old Bob Waterman’s prize porkers he is. Isn’t half making a fuss. Some animal! None of my herd ever went down like this feller. Crying for his mother. Tears rolling down his face.

Cry? You ain’t earned the right for tears. Rot in hell you bastard!

Henry Green is going first. Others will need to wait their turn. It’s gonna be messy,  but it’s justice.


These 333 words, based on the third definition of the word ‘animal‘ , form my entry into the Trifecta 96 writing challenge.

22 thoughts on “Trifecta 96 – Down in the Woods

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Cheers Julianne. Yes, dialect is a tricky one – very easy to have way too much twang. Always conscious of that when I give the main character such a strong voice in the story. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  1. trifectawriting

    Like the strong voice in this story (even though the dialect seems to falter after the first paragraph). Also love descriptions in the fourth paragraph, perfectly placed against the inhuman actions of both Jimmy and (in my opinion) his fellow townsfolk. Thanks for linking up and don’t forget to come back and vote!

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Thanks for the comments. As I said to someone earlier using dialects can be a minefield. Very easy to slip out of character and revert to the writer’s normal voice. Always just conscious of not overdoing the twang and making the story difficult to read. Tricky one to get right. All part of the learning process and something I definitely need to work on. Thanks again for stopping by, much appreciated!

  2. KymmInBarcelona

    Deepvale, you say? Remind me to take long detour away from that place. Yikes. Got quite a lot of animal in there, Paul.!!

  3. margitsage

    I thought you did a nice job with the voice & dialect. I don’t quite understand why that one paragraph is italicized. It seems to me like the entire piece is direct thought mixed with description, so why change to italics for direct thought there? Just for emphasis?

    I also like how you left us to imagine just exactly what they’re going to do. I’m wondering about it, but I really don’t want to know at the same time. That’s the most chilling feeling horror (what I call horror, at least) can leave you with. Good work.

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Thanks for taking the time to read and post such an excellent comment.

      Now to address your question. For me almost all of the story could be seen as a narration from one person to another, or indeed an audience. The only segment I felt was a step removed from the narration were the words in italics. I saw this section as a deeper, more hidden thought, not at the same level as the narrative. To emphasis this I put it in italics. Whether this is seen as a good or bad move it was just a gut feeling I decided to go with.

      Thanks again for stopping by!

  4. atrm61

    Ah,one can so relate to this!Such evil creatures should definitely be skinned alive or castrated-death is too easy for these scum bags!Calling them animals is actually demeaning an animal !A strong piece of writing,this and really loved the dialect for it immediately took me to a rugged countryside with ranches and cowherds-well done Paul:-)

      1. atrm61

        I agree-though in the heart of my hearts I would not mind being a vigilante,specially keeping in mind the horrible atrocities that are being committed against women and sometimes even little girls,which is beyond belief.I am from India and last Dec we had one of the most heinous crimes-rape- committed by 5 men,of which one was a juvenile-she was a 234 year old young medical student returning home after catching a movie at 9 in the night-both boarded a bus ,having no idea that there were 5r goons in it who brutally beat them up,raped her-still not satisfied,the juvenile,pushed an iron rod inside her-and then they were thrown on the road,naked in chilly Dec,with her intestines hanging out-of course,she died,after fighting for her life for almost 5 days-the whole nation was horrified. Just a few days back the long awaited verdict came -death penalty for the 4 but only 4 years for the worst of them-cos he is a juvenile-dam these laws!Of course,these worse than animals are going to appeal to the higher courts and the case will drag on for years-such cases are sadly on the rise-the price we pay for so called “progress”.Sorry for the rant-I feel very deeply about this subject

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