Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked. Today is Thursday and that means it’s time to start flashing. We’ve reached our Seventh year of weekly prompts and this week is the Anniversary! *throws confetti* Lucky Number Seven! Because it’s a big celebration, there will be prizes beyond the badges this week, so let’s get to the good stuff.
This is Week 364 of #ThursThreads, the challenge that ties tales together. Want to keep up each week? Check out the #ThursThreads #flashfiction group on Facebook and the Group on MeWe.
Need the rules? Read on.
Here’s how it works:
- The prompt is a line from the previous week’s winning tale.
- The prompt can appear ANYWHERE in your story and is included in your word count.
- The prompt must be used as is. It can be split, but no intervening words can be inserted or tenses changed.
Rules to the Game:
- This is a Flash Fiction challenge, which means your story must be a minimum of 100 words, maximum of 250.
- The story must be new writing, not a snippet from something published elsewhere with the prompt added.
- Incorporate the prompt anywhere into your story (included in your word count).
- Post your story in the comments section of this post
- Include your word count in the post (or be excluded from judging)
- Include your Twitter handle or email in the post (so we don’t have to look for you)
- The challenge is open 7 AM to 8 PM Mountain Time
- The winner will be announced on Friday, depending on how early the judge gets up.
How it benefits you:
- You get a nifty cool badge to display on your blog or site (because we’re all about promotion – you know you are!)
- You get instant recognition of your writing prowess on this blog!
- Your writing colleagues shall announce and proclaim your greatness on Facebook, Twitter, MeWe, and Google Plus, etc.
Our Judge for Week 364:
Scientist, Dad, and flash fiction author, Eric Martell.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“I saw you writing.”
All stories written herein are the property (both intellectual and physical) of the authors. Now, away with you, Flash Fiction Fanatics, and show us your #ThursThreads. And don’t forget to check out the prizes for the winners below. Good luck!
18 Replies to “#ThursThreads – 7th Anniversary – Week 364”
Happy Anniversary everybody!
Love and Writing – by Mason Bushell
She never moved from that desk in the library. Every day Brady came, there she’d be, writing away. He couldn’t hide his feelings anymore, he had to approach her.
Wishing his heart wouldn’t thrum so hard in his chest, he approached. She was just a girl, not a murderer, so why the nerves? Taking a breath, he made to speak, she looked to him, alluring, smiling.
“Hi,” she said, her voice soft as silk, just like her pretty face.
“Hey, I saw you writing, so often. I felt drawn to you.”
“I’m Brady, may I join you?”
“Sure, I’m Jessie.” she flicked her glossy chestnut hair, behind an ear.
“Nice to meet, Jessie.” Brady sat down, opposite, looking at her. “What are you writing about?”
“I’m telling the story of a lonely boy. He comes to the library, whether he needs to or not, for a special reason.”
“Interesting, what’s the reason?”
“Well.” Jessie looked into his eyes, smiling. “He’s smitten with a girl, who’s writing there. He doesn’t know, she’s noticed and likes him too.”
“Well, that’s romantic.” Brady allowed his fingers to smooth the back of her hand. “What happens?”
“He gathers his courage and sits with her. Then … ” Jessie kissed him. Her lips felt infused with life-giving energy. “That happens.” she finished with a cute grin.
“Oh, I hope they live happily ever after.” Brady moved closer, the library blurred, leaving just the two of them, kissing, forever lost in love.
249 words @MBWorkhouse Facebook and Twitter.
The Blinding Light
God, its so bright.
The globe is light years away but the intensity, the heat, it melts the wax in my ears.
Wax in my bloody ears?
That is absolute nonsense.
I am writing drivel.
Well, the wax is a fact.
And you do wax on about it.
This honeycombed thread is waning, I fear.
But I saw you writing. And I thought, to actually take pen in hand…
Right. To take keyboard in hand and create an entire universe. How magical that must be.
Magical? I do seek that. Word magic. No. That’s too trite. There are those moments though when I sit down to pierce the gray, the jumbled fog, that rotating cyclone of radiance…
You’re losing me.
Okay, sometimes I know exactly what I want to say. Like, for me, in the morning, I can visualize…damn, I wish there was a better word…it’s there, what I want to eat for breakfast. I see it in my sleep and when I arise, I create it.
Seriously! Food for thought?
Forgive me my foody flourishes. But with writing, I have the same picture as I have with satisfying my morning meal. The meal is easy. The writing, the ingredients, the language that I use, they are harder to find. They toy with me, confound me.
That’s the job of the writer, isn’t it? To take that inspiration, that flash of brilliance, that blinding light and shape it into its essence?
Essence, Smessence! I need waffles.
“What’s that?” Osera pointed at the desk where Theo sat.
“What’s what?” Shit, had she seen everything? He tried to stuff the letter under the other papers on his desk.
“I saw you writing something and you seemed really intent on it. Everything okay?”
“Uh, it’s nothing.”
She met his gaze with frank concern, her brows coming down over her hazel eyes. “It didn’t look like nothing. You were frowning.”
“Was I? Huh.”
No, things weren’t okay. He had an unhealthy fascination with a human woman who didn’t realize he was a bear shifter. Half the time he was more growly than gentlemanly, and he’d been trying to get the explanation down for the last half hour. Hell, they’d already had three dates and he hadn’t figured out a way to tell her.
Just blurt it out…on paper.
And what the hell was he supposed to say? I’m desperate to be close to you because you smell like heaven? I think you’re my true mate and bears mate for life? I want to wake up with my face buried in your pussy, licking your honey? Yeah, none of those statements would go over very well.
“It’s, uh, well, it’s a letter. I’m not good at words, and I have something I need to tell you. But I figured it would be better on paper.” Theo rubbed his neck.
Osera tilted her head, the goggles on her top hat glinting in the light. “Well then, I’ll leave you to it.”
249 ineligible #WIP365 words
“Hey, Trouble.” I kept my voice low and gentle. Pandora squeaked, practically vibrating with tension as she clutched a small stack of papers to her chest. “I saw you writing.”
Like a woman possessed.
“It’s exercise.” She crouched down by the fireplace, methodically feeding the flames, page by page.
“And the burning part?”
“More exorcise than exercise,” she said softly. “Write it down and get rid of it. Purge the brain cache.”
“Does it work?” Normal dreams were plenty weird and scary without the burden of coming true like hers.
Her shoulders bobbed, her dark hair sweeping forward to hide her face.
“Maybe being an oracle was easier when the world was smaller.” She slid a sidelong glance my way, her dark eyes glimmering with a hint of incandescent blue.
Still in the throes of visions, then.
“Maybe they had a vision and thought, Oh, that’s Farmer Bill. I best go tell the magistrate about the bodies buried in his field. Maybe they could get in front of these things. Change their course.”
I wanted to shield her from all the terrors haunting and hunting her.
“Even if I ran into someone from a vision tomorrow, who’d believe a doom-spouting stranger?”
“Pandora.” The anxiety, the introversion—her skittish nature made more sense with every passing moment. “Let me help you.”
I settled next to her by the fire, pulled her close. She stiffened a moment before relaxing.
“Let’s start here, okay?”
“Yeah, okay,” she sighed. “This is good.”
249 #WIP365 #TeamTrouble words
Thud…thud…thud, her heart pounded heavily.
She was hallucinating, that wasn’t what she thought it was.
This was a test.
Think, think, think.
Athalah, paced her grey cell. The grey walls weren’t for privacy, but to separate the women so they didn’t interact. There was no door, no window. The inhabitant, knew better than to leave unless summoned.
To touch it, feel it in her hands… but that would lead to other things, and those things would lead to punishment.
How did it get here? This had been her room for months, maybe years, and it had been equally long since she’d seen such an object. She’d forgotten, or perhaps such thoughts had been driven from her mind.
If it was found in her room she’d be moved to the lower level. The black level. Black because there was no light. Ever.
Her eyes darted toward the doorway. If she could just touch it.
Athalah sat on the floor, skirt covering the object. Pretending to scratch her foot, she slipped it into her hand.
Just by holding the pen, her mind flooded with memories. She’d been a writer before The Subjugation. How could she forget?
There was nothing to write on, except the walls, but that would mean blackness.
She moved the pen in the air to spell her name, her birth name. As she finished she saw Jezebel at the cell entrance.
“I saw you write,” Jezebel’s eyes said.
“No! Please!” Athalah screamed silently. She was back to being Athalah.
250 words exactly.
Prisms glimmered in her eyes as the gentle sunbeam peeked through the window, touching those unshed tears. Small, all alone, people pushed past, engrossed in their own lives, their own pursuits and not one of them saw the woman with the broken heart.
He could smell it on her, that broken heart. A combination of scents, of regret and resignation, all wet ashes, dead roses, and almonds on the one hand and damp, moldy earth combined with the musty dankness of an abandoned house on the other. Broken hearts were like abandoned houses. And the grave. The smells were the same.
Smiling at himself, he wondered what the boss would think. He was not a Wolf known for his poetry. No. He was known for his swift executions. Still, this small human woman touched something inside him that up until the moment he’d laid eyes on her had remained encased in steel.
Her head bent, the pen in her hand once again scratched across the page of the notebook in her lap. His wolf watched, anticipating. Knowing. He approached when she paused.
“I saw you writing,” he whispered. “And wondered if the pen truly is mightier than the sword.”
“I don’t know.” Her thumb brushed across a tear-smeared word.
“Can words heal a broken heart?”
She looked up, eyes widening. “I…don’t know.”
He read what she’d written, understood the reason for her tears. “Goodbyes are always hard.”
“Hellos are better.” He held out his hand. “Hello.”
250 Moonstruck Mafia words
Beckett slinked through the shadows. His glanced over his shoulder, slowing as he reached the corner. He hugged the darkest parts of the wall and surveyed the street. The lamppost cast a pool of illumination which he tried to look beyond, peering into the darkness. He couldn’t get caught.
He stood for long moments. The wind rustled in the trees, otherwise, nothing moved. It was now or never. He advanced, careful to blend into the gloom. Cradling his keys to keep them silent, he snuck into his apartment.
“Where have you been?” Lizzy’s voice made him jump.
“I took the trash out,” he said as he hung his coat on a peg.
“Don’t lie to me.”
Beckett brushed past her, not meeting her eyes. She grabbed his arm, hard.
“I know where you were.” Lizzy paused, leaning so close Beckett felt her breath on his neck. “I saw you writing,” she whispered.
Beckett pulled away and flopped on the couch.
“You promised me. You swore you were done with this reckless behavior.”
He didn’t want to acknowledge the pain he had caused. His shoulders slumped, and he covered his face with his hands.
“You know what they will do if they catch you.”
“I can’t help it. I know it’s forbidden, but the legends say once everyone wrote. It wasn’t restricted to the councilman and their dry edicts. There is so much more to writing. It is beauty and freedom. I have no choice, Lizzy. I will write my stories.”
Barry got on the paving machine and smoothed out the tar on the highway. He should be grateful his sister’s husband had gotten him this job; but all he could think of was that he should be writing. Writing was impossible by the time he finished he was exhausted. He decided to write during his break under the glaring night lights they used to pave.
“I saw you writing, I’m Melanie.”
Barry looked up and saw a vision in white.
“What are you writing?”
“The great Canadian novel.”
“Can I just sit her for awhile?”
“Sure,” Barry said putting down his coat.
While she sat there Barry wrote the words seem to come to his fingertips as if it was dictated. Soon his break was over he said his goodbyes and she promised to come back tomorrow night. Each night she’d be there at his break inspiring him. After three months his novel was completed and soon the paving job would be too. His break came and she was waiting in the usual spot.
“I can’t see you anymore Barry,” she cried.
“Why was it something I did?”
“No.” Melanie answered, sadly “If it were another tie and place perhaps this would work out.”
She then seemed to shimmer and fade away. Barry was many things scared, sad and glad; but he was happy that he’d met his muse, thanks to Melanie he’d been inspired and now he was the author he’d always wanted to be.
Sorry the line should have been Time not Tie typo sorry here’s what it should say
“No.” Melanie answered, sadly “If it were another time and place perhaps this would work out.”
“Are you giving me a ticket!?”
“Um … no.”
“You are. I saw you writing. You’re gonna give your own brother a parking ticket?”
“Well, you know you’re not permitted to park your motorcycle here. It’s a pedestrian path.”
“But it’s Independence Day. Come on, Josie. Forget you’re a cop just this one day.”
Forget I’m a cop? How do you live with yourself if you make exceptions to laws you’ve sworn to uphold? My own brother asking me to compromise my principles! My sworn duty. Why? Because it’s Independence Day? The whole country is mad. People are using this holiday as an excuse to do whatever they want.
“You shouldn’t ask me, Ryan. What if your motorcycle wasn’t a motorcycle but a truck and you blocked people from walking safely and a small child was hit by a car because she had to go in the street and ….”
Ryan was looking at me like I lost my mind. “Okay. Okay. I’ll park somewhere else. Somewhere it’s legal. Happy Independence Day, Josie!”
Crazy. I turned to walk away just in time to see an elderly man climb to the top of a lamppost.
“Hello, young lady. Happy Independence Day.”
“Get down from there. You wanna kill yourself?”
“But it’s Independence Day.”
“Yeah, yeah. I know what day it is. So climb down.”
The guy looks at me and then he looks at the ground.
“I’m too scared to move.”
Yup, I mumble to myself. The whole country is crazy.
I never once imagined I was going to break the law.
The reporter told me to look for a black Chevy Tahoe with tinted windows, in the commuter lot at Shady Grove, the last stop on the Red Line.
At 10:00 pm, only two passengers remained in the car, myself, and another woman seated across from me.
“Pardon me but I saw you writing in a leather journal. If you don’t mind my asking, where did you get it?”
“Oh. It was a gift when I graduated from law school, I don’t know who made it – sorry” I replied.
Approaching the station, I looked away nervously, ready to disembark. I grabbed my bag and got off as the train stopped, scanning parked cars for a Black Tahoe. I glanced left, then tried to look away, when the woman from the train gestured to me, with a set of car keys in her hand.
“Follow me and get in!”
“Wait! You’re Natasha? You followed me? How do I know it’s you?
“I made sure you weren’t followed! Trust me – we’re either going to save democracy or we’re all going to prison!”
She popped the locks and I slid into the black leather seat, looking terrified, asking “What am I doing?”
Natasha put her hand over my trembling thigh whispering “Relax and breathe! Did you bring the unredacted copy?”
“Of course!” I wheezed.
“Well then it’s showtime honey!” Natasha yelled as blue smoke rose from the squealing tires.
@taforu on Twitter
Word count: 249
I tapped my nails against the keyboard with a deep frown, muttering profanities and tangents under my breath.
“Why’d you stop? You were writing, I saw you writing.”
“Because I’m stuck.” I snorted, glaring upwards. “You’re in my head. How the hell do you /see/ me writing?”
“The same way I hear anything you hear, duh.”
I rolled my eyes. “Smartass.”
“Oh just keep writing, Morgana. I’d like to get /out/ of that hideous box you just shoved me in, and that’s only going to happen if you keep writing.” Kailyn shivered, an action that slithered down my own spine. It was a pretty evil, diabolically smart predicament Ciara created against her.
“Technically I didn’t put you there, that was-”
“I don’t give a flying fuck about technicalities! Just write me out of it!”
I sat for a moment, pondering. “Nahh. Not yet. That’d be no fun.”
Kailyn growled. Even when she resided only in my head and on the pages before me I could feel her murderous glare. /Good thing she can’t actually curse me./
“Fake witch,” she mutters with a hiss under her breath.
Naturally, I heard that and glared at my forehead again. “Disney witch!”
She barked out a sharp laugh but I knew how much she hated the return insult. “Like Disney would ever pick up a story as dark as mine. Now write. Or I’ll haunt your every waking and non-waking moment.”
“You already do that,” I muttered, but returned to tapping out sentences.
249 fourth wall breaking words (Happy 7th Anniversary!)
Afternoon sun dappled the arch mage’s garden through the forest canopy. Rings of vibrant flowers and crystal butterflies surrounded the young elf on the whitewashed bench at the garden’s heart. Niflora lingered silent and still at the edge of her garden, watching her daughter immersed in applying quill to page. The arch mage floated over behind the studious youngster.
“What are you working on?”
Vedania jumped with a swallowed yelp, slamming her book shut.
Niflora’s mouth tightened disapprovingly.
“I saw you writing.”
The older elf extended an open hand expectantly. Vedania lowered her head contritely and surrendered her gilt leather-bound tome to her mother. Posture perfect and proud, Niflora opened the book to the page her daughter had been working on with one hand. Sharp eyes dissected the text on the page. Niflora’s tight mouth turned down in a deeper frown and her surgical gaze turned to her daughter.
Vedania’s fists balled unladylike in her summer dress.
Laying the painted nails of one hand along her temple with a sigh, the arch mage snapped the tome shut with the other.
“Vedania, this spell book cost five hundred gold coins. It is for your arcane studies, not this…”
Niflora stirred the air with the book searching for words a moment, before dropping it with heavy disgust next to her daughter.
Years later Vedania furtively watched her own daughter doodle in the margins of a new spell book and wished she knew something to say.
250 Four Sisters words
Ellison eyes the corpse, “This looks like another victim of the Street Slasher. Whatchoo got Spivey?”
Quinten Spivey holds a note in his hand, “I haven’t read it yet, but what d’ya wanna bet it’s a list of supposed sins committed by our vic, here?”
“Hey Ellison! Looks like we have a witness this time!”
Andrea Ellison sees a figure consisting mostly of tossed-off garments being held in place by a beat-cop.
“We missed him at first. Thought he was just a pile of old clothes.”
Ellison nods at the cop, who lets go of the witness.
“Hi. What’s your name? Were you here when this happened?”
The witness remains silent, with eyes darting about the room.
“Will you come to the station? Give a statement?”
The witness hesitantly nods his agreement.
Settling the witness into the interrogation room at the station Ellison asks, “Are you ready?”
“I saw . . .”
“You writing this down, Spivey?”
Spivey nods, then the witness continues, trembling, “He was big. Bigger’n him,” nodding toward Spivey.
“And dark. With red eyes and black wings.”
Ellison sighs, “Great, another kook.”
“No! Said he the angel of death.”
“What did his voice sound like?”
“It wasn’t a talking voice. It was an . . . an . . . inside-your-head voice,” the witness stammers.
Turning to Spivey, Ellison starts, “Let’s . . .”
Interrupted by a whoosh of air, the detectives turn to see their witness covered in blood, and in his lap, a note.
I saw you writing. Had I said anything, you’d have been embarrassed, so I kept my distance and stayed quiet. Maybe, had I intruded, things would be different. You’re still here but yet not, which I can’t quite wrap my head around. Of course, cliché as it may be, hindsight and all that.
On the bed, you sleep, peaceful, chest rising and falling. No tubes, no wires, just sleep. Whatever they knocked you out with this morning, it’s working. The screaming is gone, the crying quieted. It’s not the way I want things to be but here we are. You struggle daily, like millions of others, but your struggle is mine, too. And that note…but at least I found it, and you, before it was too late.
“You should go home.”
Shaking my head, I hold his hand. It’s warm, calloused, and reminds me that he hates lotion.
“Nope. I’ve got the weekend off and I intend to sit right here, next to him, until you lift the sedation. Then I’ll be here between shifts advocating for him.”
The nurse sighs, an understanding smile on her face. We’re regulars here on the third floor, when the bi-polar gets to be too much and overwhelms him. And I sit in this same hard chair until he wakes up. Then we talk to the counselor and adjust his meds and the cycle begins again. Someday, we won’t be regulars. Today is not that day.
Sgt. Andrews looked at the man and quickly schooled his features. The man looked like a professional witness— someone whose idea of fun was talking to the police. They were, after all, a captive audience. His job was simple- take all the reports and let the detectives weed them out.
He paused before turning the page and nodded to the man.
“Name?” he asked
“John Smith,” the man answered, a glint of challenge to his eyes as he spoke, daring him to say something.
Andrews wrote the name down, made a few observations, then looked back up.
“Can you tell me what happened?”
“I saw… you writing this down?”
I will as soon as you say something…
“I saw the whole thing…”
Andrews nodded waiting for the man to start describing what had happened.
“Are you writing this down?”
“You still haven’t said anything…”
“I told you I saw the whole thing.”
“Yes, sir. But you haven’t told us what you saw.”
“What do you want me to tell you?”
Andrews pursed his lips for a moment and then nodded.
“Please tell me, in your own words, what you saw.”
“I told you— I…”
“Saw the whole thing,” Andrews finished for the man, nodding.
“Write this down.”
“Okay— do you need anything else?”
Andrews shook his head. “No— Thank you for your time.”
“But you didn’t write it down.”
“Photographic memory,” Andrews explained. “Every cop has it. We record everything. Print outs are a bitch.”
247 words not including title
#ThursThreads Week 364, 7th Anniversary, is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to see you in the new year! lol