Welcome to the monthly round up of all my #ThursThreads tales. Happy Gratitude Day Month! The autumn weather ran away and now we have snow and really cold temperatures in Cheyenne. Weirdly so. We haven’t hit negatives in Cheyenne since 2014 so it’s gonna be cold this year. It’s still hot tea and cider kind of weather, with a dose of electric blanket and rarely moving, lol.
So, on to the ‘Threads. Most of these bits are of upcoming tales, written to prompts from the #ThursThreads #flashfiction challenge I host each Thursday. We’re starting with Week 531 through Week 534 and I’ve collected them in one place.
September had four Thursdays, but one of those had a double prompt, so you get two tales from me that day. So, here are four tales along with their dates and prompts. Happy reading!
Week 531, October 6, 2022
Prompt: “How does it work again?”
Martin woke to find everything silent—the pain, the aches, the fear, and the world around him. It took him a few moments to realize what was different. He’d never felt a lack of pain his whole life, but especially for the time he’d been a SEAL—
He blinked under the mask. He remembered being a SEAL. He remembered growing up in Alaska and wanting nothing more than to go into the Navy where he could be near the water and still serve his country. He remembered his squad—Retro, Magic, Deli, Strafe, Padfoot, Keys and Smoke—and the tight camaraderie they’d shared. But he couldn’t remember the last mission or how he got to be where he was.
At least I remember something.
Had the others gotten injured on the same mission?
The probability is high.
It was always high when it came to Navy SEALs – hell, when it came to all the SpecOps teams. But he couldn’t remember that. He groaned and shifted in the bed, frustrated with his mind.
How does it work again after an injury like this?
Another sound intruded into his new-found awareness, and he froze. What the hell was that? Fear crawled up his spine. Someone was near him and he was laid up in the damn bed, immobilized, blind, and injured. He tensed for evasive action when a soft voice penetrated the panic building in his mind.
“It’s Corbin, Martin. You’re safe. Do you want me to take off the sleeping mask?”
249 #StainlessSteelSEALs words
Week 532, October 13, 2022
Prompt: “I would tell you if I could.”
Roxanne pretended not to listen to the men talking.
Well, not really men. One’s a centaur, and one’s a horned goblin. But they’re both definitely male.
Corlith’s words came back to her on repeat. You’re not hot for her are you? ‘Cause you’re blushing like someone slapped your horse’s ass.
She’d tried to go fill the water skins before she heard more, but her feet had stopped just out of sight and their voices still carried to her.
It all came back to the kiss they’d shared in the Goddess’s temple. She’d kissed a centaur and she liked it. And Corlith wasn’t wrong. They weren’t even the same species. The logistics of anything more than kissing were beyond her powers of imagination, too.
But still, the idea that Ambrose might have feelings for her…
Yeah, you’re being an idiot, Bailey.
She normally couldn’t care less what men wanted from her. She hadn’t found anyone who lit her fire and she’d been around a lot of men. But there was something about Ambrose that made her heart flutter and her cheeks heat like a teenage girl with her first crush.
“Are you all right, Roxanne?”
She blinked to find Ambrose peering at her with raised eyebrows.
“I, uh, I would tell you if I could, but I’m not sure.” She shook her head. “We need water, right?”
“Yup, water. Do you need some help?”
He pointed at the water skins. “You going to fill those or just hold them?”
250 #Sirens words
Week 533, October 20, 2022
Prompt: “They aren’t real.”
Brandon stood up then pulled her close to wrap his arms around her. She was so surprised, she closed her arms around his waist as an automatic reaction. He sighed and warmth flooded through her.
“Thank you. I needed this.”
She was so stunned she couldn’t even smile as he released her and headed over to help saddle the horses. She stood there a few moments, trying to understand what happened. Was Brandon admitting he missed her? Was he saying he’d forgiven her for disappearing all those months before?
They aren’t real unless he says them outright. Don’t jump to conclusions.
But she could hope.
Shaking herself into the present, she tacked up Aristotle and checked everyone had their things before they moved out.
“Are you all right, Iliana?” Aristotle’s voice intruded on her thoughts.
“Mm-hm, yup. I’m good.” She didn’t want to voice her thoughts, even to Aristotle.
“Are you sure? You’ve been awfully quiet.”
“Yeah, just thinking. It’s the desert. It brings out the introspection because, what else am I gonna do out here?”
“Try not to get killed?”
“Ha ha, so funny. How far is the border with Torhaine?” She shoved her thoughts about Brandon to the back of her mind as she focused on the path ahead.
“About three more miles due west, and the next settlement is Quansea on the coast.”
She blew out her breath. “Thank goodness. I’m so ready to be done with this desert.”
242 #IvoryRoad words
Week 534, October 27, 2022
We had two winners for Week 533, so I wrote two tales each with the different prompts from the winning tales in Week 534.
Prompt: “I think we all have them.”
“Hey Corbin, good to hear from you. What’s going on?” Avery’s cheery voice soothed some of his concerns.
“Not much. I wanted to give you an update on things here in California.” He took a deep breath. “I might have to stay longer.”
Avery’s voice grew guarded. “How much longer?”
“Honestly, I don’t know. My friend is dealing with a TBI and it’s affected his ability to move. The doctors think he’ll come out of it when the brain reconnects the proper neural pathways, but right now, he’s immobile.”
“Yikes. I’m sorry to hear that. How long do you think it will take for him to get back on his feet, so-to-speak?”
“Hard to say. He’s already showing signs that he’ll get movement back, but it just depends on his brain and body healing.” Corbin rubbed the back of his neck as he headed for the windows looking out on the California coastline. “Let’s give it a week and I’ll let you know. I have no idea why he listed me as his next of kin, but he wants me to be here. I think.”
“We all have them doubts, yeah?” Avery sounded tired. “But you stick with it. I know you. You wouldn’t be there if you didn’t care, and I bet he’s more glad to have you around than he’s saying. Keep me updated on his progress and the likelihood of your return, yeah?”
238 #StainlessSteelSEALs words
Prompt: “You’re going to back out now?”
Iliana shook her head. She wanted to find out what Brandon was thinking and feeling before they retried intimacy.
Not that I’m adverse to some heavy petting.
She snorted and removed her weapons belt and overcoat. It seemed strange to get undressed after spending weeks fully dressed all the time. She hadn’t bathed in a while and she probably smelled like horse and sweat.
If you’re going to back out, now’s the time, before he comes back.
She’d almost decided it was a stupid idea to even sleep with Brandon when he appeared at the door with a lantern and stepped inside. He closed the door behind him and the space suddenly felt too small. Nerves damn near got the better of her and she sat down on the bed, drawing her knees up to her chest.
Brandon stowed the lantern on a hook for the purpose and sat beside her.
“Are you all right?” He eyed her curiously as he worked on pulling off his boots.
“Yeah. Yes. Mostly.” She shot him a rueful smile and he chuckled.
“Yeah, I understand that. Things have been…” He waved his hand. “Difficult for a long time.”
“Right. So, let’s talk about the night I left and go from there. Yeah?”
He nodded. “Yeah, okay.” He leaned back against the wall and crossed his arms. “I watched you the whole way. I never looked away, and still, between one breath and the next, you were gone.”
245 #IvoryRoad words