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366 Days of Writing Prompts – Day 107

April 16, 2016

History of language

Write a piece of fiction describing the incident that gave rise
to the phrase, “third time’s the charm.”

Third Time’s the Charm

“I give up!” Thomas declared with a slump of his shoulders. He stared at the three guys sitting at the table with him, two directly across and then the one sitting beside him.

“What’s got you so glum?” Jack asked as he patted his new friend and drinking buddy on the back.

Thomas took a sip of his beer and leaned back in the booth. “I just don’t understand it. I’ve proposed to two women and they’ve both turned me down. I’ve got a good job, a modest house, and even a car. Why won’t a woman settle down with me?”

“You need to catch up with the times,” Peter suggested. “Women need more than a provider these days. They can provide for themselves.”

Henry nodded in agreement. “They want an adventurous man. Someone exciting.”

“No, they want an understanding man. Someone who will rub their feet and watch chick flicks with them. Cook them dinner. Wash the dishes,” Jack proposed.

“You are both wrong,” Peter said as he poured another round of drinks from the pitcher. “Women want an air of mystery. They want to figure you out on their own and be kept guessing.”

“So all three of you are married?” Thomas asked.

“Oh hell no!”

“Definitely not.”

“Not on your life!”

Thomas slumped down in the booth and sighed. These three had a nerve giving him advice when they weren’t even married.

“If you really want to be married, Thomas, then you can’t give up. There is a woman out there somewhere just dying to be married too,” Peter said.

“Yeah, like my momma always said, ‘three time’s a charm.’ You have to try at least one more time. Twice is just test runs and four times means you’ve left the track. But three! Why that’s worth racing for!” Jack declared as he raised his glass of beer into the air and then slammed it back down on the table with a loud thud. Beer sloshed all over the table and a crowd of people turned around to see what the commotion was all about.

“There’s one now,” Henry said with a wink and nodded toward the bar. A brunette sat there staring in their direction.

“She’s probably staring at the three of you making fools of yourselves,” Thomas declared. He glanced over at the woman who flashed him a warm smile. “Or maybe not.” He smiled back at her, slid out of the booth and walked toward her. Adventurous, understanding, and mysterious. He could be all three of those wrapped up into one. Now he just needed to turn on some charm.

©2016 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.


  1. I s that the same Jack we met afore ?! Great story 🙂

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