Siobhan’s #ThursThreads Tales for July

Welcome to the monthly round up of all my #ThursThreads tales. Since y’all have signed up for the Wishlist Membership, this is the first tier reward.

Most of these bits are of upcoming tales, written to prompts from the #ThursThreads #flashfiction challenge I host each Thursday. We’re going on 424 weeks (about 8 years and 2 months) and I’ve written for pretty much all of them. But this is the first time I’ve collected them in one place.

July had five Thursdays so there are five tales listed below along with their dates and prompts. Happy reading!

Week 420, July 2, 2020
Prompt: “You could change that.”

“Flint.” Loki caught me just as I slipped out the door to the rec room. “A word if you please.”

Not much freaks out a gargoyle, but when Loki asked for a word, even I swallowed hard and followed him to his office without argument. I suspected he wanted me to shut the door but I refused to do so without prompting as he settled behind his desk and put his feet on the surface.

“How was your night last night? Good lay?”

Unease surged but I shrugged with nonchalance. “Good enough. The lady was in trouble and I was in the right place at the right time to help. She was very grateful.”

Loki’s grin widened. “Det er bra. Will you see her again?”

I tilted my head from side to side. “Maybe. Why?”

He gave me a one-shouldered shrug I didn’t believe for a second. “It’s been a long time since you’ve spent the night away from the compound. It’s not your usual, ja?”

I snorted. “I spend a lot of nights away from the compound, especially when the holidays get too frenetic.”

He raised his eyebrow. “Once every month is not a lot. And you’re mostly alone. Of course, you could change that if this woman becomes more important to you.”

I held myself still, not wanting to give the Norse God of Mischief any ammunition. I saw how he badgered the other members when they found partners and I wanted none of that.

247 ineligible #ConcreteAngelsMC words
@SiobhanMuir

Week 421, July 9 2020
Prompt: “What’s really going on?”

“What’s really going on?”

It was a stupid question to ask, really, because I found myself on a flagstone staircase, alone, in a drafty castle. Maybe I said it just to hear my own voice. Or maybe I spoke in case someone else wandered this place. Despite my best efforts, no one answered me.

The staircase had broken steps and a pair of suits of armor at the base on each side. One was missing the helmet and one arm.

That doesn’t bode well.

Flickering candelabras glowed behind the arms of the stairs and piles of books lay on the floor or stacked haphazardly on the shelves all the way up to the vaulted ceilings.

“What the hell is this place?”

I climbed the stairs, trying to see everything at once, but there was too much to take in. More suits of armor awaited me at the top of the stairs while shorter book shelves and study tables filled the floor.

Is this a library?

Fraying tapestries hung from the columns and ladders rose to meet the top of huge shelves, but no one moved among them. I moved deeper into the room and found someone had been studying at the center table.

Yeah, for a long damn time. The skeleton draped over the top surface retained enough sinew to remain articulated in its disintegrated coat. Whatever it’d been reading must’ve been dead boring.

I swallowed hard. Where the hell had I gotten to and how did I get there?

@SiobhanMuir
250 ineligible I-blame-Nara-Malone words
Find the Storyteller’s Castle here:
http://www.nextdimensiontales.com/StorytellerCastle/

Week 422, July 16 2020
Prompt: “They’re not coming back.”

“What’s going on tonight?”

“It’s the last city council meeting before the holidays and Tyler says this asshole named Earl Creighton is trying to push through some new bullshit ordinances before the new year.”

I frowned, something sparking in my memory. “How can he do that? I mean, who is this Creighton person?”

“He’s another council member, but he has some really weird hangups. The ordinances have something to do with ‘non-Christian’ and occult businesses in town bringing in the ‘wrong element’ or some such tripe.”

I sat up straighter. “Occult businesses? You mean like mine?”

“Yup, exactly like yours. This guy is legit afraid of witches and healers that aren’t wearing some sort of Catholic robes or something.”

“Did you say his name was Creighton?”

“Yeah.” Joslyn stood and looked for her coat, but paused to glance at me. “Earl Creighton, why?”

I scowled. “One of the punks last night mentioned that name. Like Creighton didn’t pay him enough to get beaten up before he took off. I think Councilman Creighton paid a bunch of goons to kill me.”

“Shit. Are you serious? Are you sure it’s Councilman Creighton?”

I shook my head. “No, and I can’t ask the goons. They’re not coming back after what Flint did to them.”

She swallowed hard. “Did he kill them?”

I shrugged. “I dunno. They weren’t moving when he threw them back into their SUV. I didn’t stick around to see if they were breathing.”

243 ineligible #ConcreteAnglesMC words
@SiobhanMuir

Week 423, July 23 2020
Prompt: “You think you’re so smart.”

“What do you suggest if you think you’re so smart?”

“Hey, I’m not the local around here. I can tell you which way is north and that’s about it.” She turned to look back the way they’d come, squinting against the sunlight. “Will we see the lake and the village from up here?”

“I expect so.” Ambrose didn’t say more and she scowled as she followed him higher.

He wasn’t sure they’d see anything up higher, but it seemed as good a direction as any since they’d bolted from the chimera. He had no plans to go back to the village at all, but the only way to get rid of Bailey was to point her in the right direction.

As if she’d read his thoughts, Bailey narrowed her eyes on him. “Why did Major McMacken send me after you anyway? Isn’t your unit back at the village?”

“No.”

That was the short answer. The longer one was he’d grown tired of being in close quarters with the rest of unit. He was a loner, more of a scout and a sniper than a cavalry man, and he preferred being alone. Except there was no place for that in Captain Yarren’s platoon, and Ambrose had been wracking his brain to find a way out of it. AWOL had seemed like the only option.

And then Bailey had shown up to take him in. Now he had to get rid of her, too.

242 ineligible #WIP365 words
@SiobhanMuir

Week 424, July 30 2020
Prompt: “Going down that road was a bad trip.”

“If someone bad got a’hold of the stone, they could use it to…what, coerce folks to start wars, steal property, kill people?”

“Exactly.”

Oh. “And who has the stone now?”

Tekhne’s expression grew cold and forbidding as they waved their hand and the scene changed. A man with pale blonde hair, icy gray eyes, decked out in more armor than I’d seen on a SpecOps soldier, sat on a gray destrier in matching plate armor and surveyed something I couldn’t see. There was a cruelty to his expression that made me shiver.

“We believe General Dorian Warmonger has the stone.”

“Wait, wait, stop. Dorian ‘Warmonger’? Are you serious right now? This guy has a name like that and you didn’t see him coming? Warmonger, literally a ‘dealer or trader in war’. No one thought that might give a hint to what he’s up to?” I raised an eyebrow.

“I believe he’s only recently taken up that moniker.” Tekhne smirked a bit as they shifted the view in the temple. “But he does embody the name exceedingly well.”

I snorted. “Yeah. He does that. If he’d chosen “butterflyslayer” or “Knittingmaster” no one would’ve taken him nearly as seriously.”

To my surprise, the goddess laughed. “That is certainly true. And no one would write songs about the Knittingmaster.”

“Not unless they’d gotten into some good Smokegrass, but going down that road was a bad trip, believe you me.” Arach shook his head ruefully and I filed that away to ask about later.

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