Welcome back to the home of Weird, Wild, & Wicked Tales. Today is Thursday and that means it’s time to start flashing. We’ve reached our Seventh year of weekly prompts! This is Week 386 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 386:
College professor, equality enthusiast, and romance author, Louisa Bacio.
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And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together. Because we had two winning tales last week, I thought it would be fun to have 2 prompts. You must pick one or the other and use it in your tale, but the choice is yours.
“This isn’t Star Trek.”
“Think she’ll answer?”
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. Good luck!
12 Replies to “#ThursThreads – All Hallow’s Eve – Week 386”
Despite everything that happened, I never gave death much thought. As a psychic, I’ve always been hyper-aware of it. Being able to see the dead makes it hard to ignore. But even so I never thought about what it’d be like, never wondered. Honestly, I think a part of me didn’t want to know.
And now that I am, no amount of contemplation could have prepared me for it. For being a gatekeeper between worlds. For the utter loneliness of the position. I try not to let it get to me, but I find myself searching for Saxon and Adwin back home, to find something – anything – that will keep the despair at bay. Instead, it only makes it worse.
They’re in an abandoned house. Maya – our dog – nowhere to be seen. I don’t want to think about what might have happened to her. Adwin sits alone in a room, a single candle casting shifting shadows. He’s meditating.
Saxon arrives at the door. Leaning against the frame, he says, “Do you really think she’ll answer? That you can reach her?”
“It’s worth a try.”
“No. It isn’t.” He sighs. “And even if she did – there’s nothing we can do to get her back. You know that.”
Adwin doesn’t respond, his silence indication that he wants Saxon to leave. Something tugs in the back of my mind, and the pull spreads until I feel it in my chest.
Adwin’s voice strikes my mind, faint but definitely there.
That shouldn’t be possible.
250 Withered Legacy words
The Oldest Living Witch in Hobart, Massachusetts
My editor, Bing Baxter, had been riding me all week. “We need a new angle on Halloween, Butchy. Come up with something, willya?”
I’d scoured back issues, gone on-line, googled “new angles on Halloween,” and got mouseturd.com or some such thing…Disney’s everywhere, isn’t he?
Spookiness had been done to death.
I was about to give up and change careers (kidding, Bing) when I stumbled on a human-interest column from twenty years back. “Hobart Septuagenarian Claims to be World’s Oldest Witch.”
Bing took a boo and asked, “Where the hell is Hobart?”
“Tiny place, forty minutes down the coast. Gas station…not much else,” I answered, full of piss and vinegary facts.
“Look her up. Give her a dingle,” Bing said.
“Think she’ll answer?” I asked, my face smeared with doubt.
“If she’s still alive, she might.”
Constance Carvalho was in the directory. Or rather, C. Carvalho. I dialled. A recording requested I leave a message. I left my particulars.
I waited a day. No callback.
“Drive down,” Bing directed. “Get the story.”
It was a short hop and I hit Hobart just after dark.
The House was off the highway.
A light was on.
A young woman opened the door.
“I’m looking for Constance Carvalho,” I said.
“I’m Constance. How can I help you?”
“This Constance,” I said, flashing a copy of the twenty-year-old story.”
“That’s me,” she smiled. “Come in.”
Frozen I was.
What was this story worth?
I’ve written before: are you getting them?
All I want is to reconnect with my son. And, remember, Zach is my son.
He and I have spent 15 years apart now, not communicating, and it kills me. I love him and I miss him. I always thought families were forever, and I believe he and I are supposed to be together. I’m not happy that I can’t talk to either of you, because, as my sister, you, of all people, should understand. Who else Knows What It Was Like Growing Up In That House.
I still have my box full of shit…the photos, the bent spoon, the empty pill bottles…
This missive, like all the others, will be short. It is more of an olive branch to see where we stand. My new motto: “Never more deserving than when least deserving.”
I love you. See if you can bring yourself to tell Zach that also, from me. He is, after all, my only offspring; maybe you could remind him of that? When you are talking to him about me. If you ever do. Which I doubt.
I just feel a heaviness in my soul and a tremendous sense of loss, that gets stronger and more acute as the years advance. I hope you can find a reason to reconnect.
All 3 of us.
your long lost
“Hey, hon. Whassup? Writing to your sister? Again?”
“Think she’ll answer?”
Word count: 246
“Do you need anything?”
Crimson sat in silence. That question doesn’t anger her like it used to , she knows those who ask do so out of concern. But she can’t make herself respond either. Do I need anything? I need my husband back. I need my life back, my future, my dreams. I need normal. She gives no voice to her thoughts.
“Crimson, can I bring you some food? I’ll make my lasagna. Okay? We’ll see you later, sweetheart. Love you.”
“Bye Mom.” That was all Crimson could manage before hanging up the phone.
The knock on the door that came later barely registered. Her parents’ voices filtered through the door.
“Honey? It’s Mom and Dad.”
“Do you think she’ll answer?”
“I don’t know. Sometimes she does. Others. . . “
“Crimson, would you please let us know you’re in there?”
Her parents’ pleas break through her fog and she opens the door.
Her father wraps her in a bear-hug. “I’m so worried about you, honey. Look at me.”
He gently forces her face upwards.
“Crimson, we’ve been talking. I know it’s only been two months since David died, but we’re moving you home with us.”
“Temporarily. Just to give yourself time to sort things out.”
Her vacant eyes look at her parents. She sits while her mother packs some of her clothes.
“Crimson, honey. I know you hurt, but you’ll get through this. I know you don’t feel like that now, but you will. Okay?”
She closes her eyes and doesn’t answer.
Hermione scanned the rest of the room as she released the terrorist and the elevators dinged open. The front guard stepped out and looked around with an air of calculation.
Dammit, I think the bastard’s an inside man.
She rose and sprinted toward him, planning to use her momentum to take him down. But he saw her at the last moment, his eyes opening wide as he stepped back into the elevator car. The doors started to close and she sucked in her gut and turned sideways to slide between the closing door.
“What the fuck!”
He tried to pull his sidearm, but she slammed her fist into his bicep and an elbow to his gut. He bent at the waist and she finished him off with a crack to the back of his skull. He crumbled at her feet as the elevator descended.
She leaned against the car’s wall and breathed as she tapped her ear. “Sirens, report.”
Garbled voices and static filled her ear.
Only static remained. Fuck. Given how deep the labs went according to the architectural plans they’d seen, there was no way radio waves would make it down there. This isn’t Star Trek where they can beam shit from place to place. She waited until the elevator came to a stop on the ground floor and braced herself for whoever she’d meet. She held her hands up as the doors opened, thinking, I come in peace.
242 ineligible #Sirens words
They stood on the sidewalk peering through bushes tangled in the rusted fence. Empty windows in the decrepit house gaped at them like sightless eyes.
“You do it,” Caleb whispered.
“You do it!” Sade whisper-yelled back.
“Because you can turn into a wolf and run away.”
He was scared enough that he was in imminent danger of shifting without ever making it to the front door. “We agreed to do this together.”
“Oh, all right.” Sade was not a happy camper. She pushed on the gate and it grated open, the sound ricocheting through the crisp fall air.
“Shhhh!” Caleb hissed.
Hand-in-hand, they crept over the broken bricks of the front walk. The porch creaked as they crossed it.
“Ring the bell,” Sade ordered.
He did and they looked at each other, eyes bugging, as ice cream truck music echoed inside the house.
“Beam me up, Scotty,” he muttered under his breath.
Sade rolled her eyes in his direction. “This isn’t Star Trek.”
They waited. Nothing happened.
“Ring it again.”
He’d risked life and limb once already. “No. It’s your turn.”
“Fine,” she snipped. Hand fisted to keep it from trembling, Sade extended her index finger and poked the doorbell.
They waited some more.
“Think she’ll answer?” Caleb hoped he didn’t sound as desperately hopeful as he felt. He was older, a werewolf. Sade was human. Nothing happened and then…
“Trick or treat.” The ghostly voice came from behind them. They screamed and ran.
250 retro Penumbra Papers words from Sade and Caleb’s childhood
Death sighed and sank down into a chair.
“I take it you weren’t given the answers you were hoping for?” Hades poured another glass and pushed the goblet across the table.
“Hades, you know I can’t drink. I can’t even eat or breathe.”
Pondering crossed the King of the Underworld’s face, fingering his own goblet like an evil plotter seeking to end all worlds. Then he waved a dismissive hand. “I forget sometimes your limitations. You might as well hold it anyways. It makes for a great mental thinking distraction.”
Death rolled his eyes but he did indeed pick up the goblet.
“So. What did the Fates say?”
“That I must first find the man beneath the cloak before I can enjoy the pleasures of immortal love.”
“But you are a man.”
“I’m the Reaper.”
Hades pointed a finger his way and repeated slowly, “But you are a man.”
“Not in the same sense as you or any other deity or mortal. I couldn’t even kiss Morticia if I wished.”
A frown crossed his good friend’s face. “I suppose you make a fair point with all that darkness swirling about your hood. Even I can’t see your face amongst it. How do the Fates propose you do this? Or are they playing ‘Riddle Me This’?”
Death chuckled deeply. “They might as well be. I’m supposed to find some senses woman first.”
“Senses? Odd description. Think she’ll answer your hopes?” He sipped from his wine.
“I can only pray she does.”
250 #WiP #Embermyst words
Happy Halloween/Merry Samhain folks!
Melody Fayth blinked and rubbed her eyes, not sure how to interpret what she saw. This place was strange to all her senses. The temperature was so uniformly comfortable as to make her uncomfortable, the air still but not stale. What she saw was strangest of all.
“I’ll wager yer fancy maester never been anywhere like this.” Cat N. Kinnery puffed her chest out proudly, little fists on her slim hips.
They were in a sort of tunnel, curving and composed of some metal-like substance the young priestess had never seen before. Panels of magic lights were set into the walls at floor level as well as into the ceiling as far as she could see. Breaks in the walls looked like doors, but without handles or nobs to open them, and the floor was carpeted!
Melody shook her head. “This isn’t?”
“I suppose what ye need to know,” Cat purred, “is we be on a ship. The sort what sails the stars.”
Before Melody could formulate a more coherent question an imposing man with ridges on his head came around the corner ahead of them. He wore a strange uniform of black and yellow with a metal sash across his chest and a scowl on his face. Melody quickly stepped to the other side of Cat from the stranger.
“Captain Kinnery,” he growled. “If you are going to be bringing guests with you, I must insist you tell me how you keep getting aboard The Enterprise.”
250 Cat’s crossover words
The mesh fence bulged where the horde had pushed against it, their combined weight enough to stretch the wire. In some places they’d almost broken through, their heads and hands punching deep, and they’d only been discouraged when the generator had kicked in, sending them stumbling backwards until they were clear.
“So how much gas do we have?” The one she called Larry was one of the freshest, the cashier at the bank still easily recognisable. He’d seemed to have been watching them just as intently as they’d watched him, and he’d been the one who’d held back from the charge while the others had attacked.
She wondered if he was still aware and if he remembered who he’d been.
The generator was quiet now, there being four or more hours before it would get dark enough for the zombies to return. They’d begun siphoning gas from the two-wheel drives while it was light, so they’d have fuel enough to keep it going through the night. They’d had to run it in bursts yesterday, keeping control of the compound more from luck than from guile, the stunned zombies crawling away as though they’d been called.
She was sure Larry was the one responsible for that.
Her father mopped his brow, looking nervous. “We should last the night, running continuous.” He shrugged, watching the sun continue to sink. “It’s at times like these you wish you had a teleport device. But this isn’t Star Trek and I’m not Captain Kirk.”
249 words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
A call came about 3 p.m. about the Danvers house. The house had been empty as long as I’d lived in Trenton. It had potential for the right buyer. I’d find the right buyer.
I opened the front door and walked up the front stairs to the many bedrooms upstairs and tripped collecting myself. Outside the master bedroom I heard whispering and I thought, ‘Damn squatters have broken in’
I heard a voice say my name and I shivered.
“Think she’ll answer?” I heard clearly and I ran for the front door but it wouldn’t open no matter how many times I pulled it.
I heard laughter and I thought ‘It’s Hallowe’en .’
So I let out a huge belly laugh.
“You’re no fun this was supposed to be a great trick.”
I relaxed recognizing the voice and said, “Great trick Sera.”
“I knew you’d like it. isn’t this a wonderful house with the right buyer…”
“We’d make a killing,” I continued for her.
“Accept we’d have to reveal that there were killings here.”
“There was?” I asked.
“Who were you talking to before Sera?”
“The other victim this is Mary Danvers. Her son killed all of us.”
“All of us?”
“Yes, I’m sorry Angie you tripped on the wire on the stairs just like me and died.”
“Who killed me?”
“Where is he?”
“Basement. Mary’s torturing him now your turn is next”
Somehow I was concerned about being dead anymore just about how to get even.
#ThursThreads All Hallow’s Eve Week 386 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.