#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together for 11 Years!!

Tying Tales Together, #ThursThreads Year 11 Got a tale to tie on?

Welcome back to the home of #ThursThreads. Wow. Year 11. Holy smokes! Y’all kept with me past a decade. I’m astounded.

Today is Thursday and that means it’s time to start flashing, like we have for the past 11 years. I had no idea when I started it would keep going! This is Week 572 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 572:

Mark Ethridge

Computer IT master, flashfiction writer, and human, Mark Ethridge.

Twitter |

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“We have to get out.”

There will be physical prizes as well as the badges, but I’ll show them to you on the winner’s post. Just know there will be ebooks, and writing workbooks to choose from. Good luck!

All stories written herein are the property (both intellectual and physical) of the authors. Comments do not represent the views of the host and the host reserves the right to remove any content. Now, away with you, Flash Fiction Fanatics, and show us your #ThursThreads. Good luck!

15 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together for 11 Years!!”

    “Not in my day. Back then, folks knew how to write a story.”
    Clarence is a sweet old guy, but one does get tired of his rambling. He comes into the town library two, three times a week, prowls the aisles, thumbs dozens of books, asks, usually, “Any Edgar Allen Poe? I don’t see Poe.”
    “Quiet, Clarence,” I say or one of the other staff takes him on. “Yes,” someone finally says, and we locate Poe. There’s not a lot of call for Edgar, locally but we try our best. Library budgets aren’t what they used to be.
    This satisfies him for a moment until he dredges up his grand soliloquy, the flash fiction rant. “It’s crazy making. Tiny little stories. You can barely get your teeth into them. We have to get out of this nonsense. JACK LONDON,” he yells, “where are you when we need you?”
    That usually generates a whole choir of shushes from patrons. However, for some reason, Clarence who may never have actually read a flash fiction story won’t let go. “FLASH? What is that? Stories 50 words long. Heck, you reach the end before you even begin. Or what about stories two hundred and fifty words? A page? Used to be they wrote books hundreds of pages. Dostoevsky? Where are you when we need you?”
    Eventually, he tires, sits down with Sunday’s New York Times, buries himself in the unending tragedies of yesteryear.
    He’s a sweet guy, but a little disruptive.

    250 words

  2. I woke up feeling invigorated. There was already a sense I’d changed. A different taste in my mouth, a feeling of hope and optimism: I was ready to greet the person I would soon become.

    The woman under the bandages was squat, with rounded cheeks and an overbite. I’d been expecting a statuesque Nordic Amazon with purple highlights, not a milquetoast, mouse-brown-haired housewife who could never find clothes to fit. I was going to need to speak to customer services. I wouldn’t settle for anything less than the package I’d bought.

    “Senator Watkins. It’s a pleasure to take your call. I hope you’re fully satisfied with your gene modifications.” The service advisor was petite and perky, her fiery red hair tied in bunches. I’d left my monitor’s camera turned off, not wanting to be seen, and seeing her cute perfection made me feel even more inadequate.

    “I’ve a problem with the gender reassignment package I’ve been given. I need to see a manager so I can get it reversed.” I took a grim pleasure from turning my camera on while I was mid-scowl, adopting the cross-eyed, slack-lipped gurning death mask I’d perfected as a child.

    The advisor’s shocked look was exactly what I’d hoped for. But nonetheless, she was determined to hold her ground.

    “We have to get out of our preconceived expectations,” she said, looking away awkwardly. “You’ll probably suffer from some swelling for a while. Maybe you can call back in a week, if you’re still not satisfied.”

    250 words – twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com

  3. “Do you hear that?”

    “Hear what?” Ray looked up from his phone, peering over the rim of his glasses at his partner.

    “That…creaking sound.”

    He listened intently, but all he could hear was the pitter-patter of Sadie’s claws on tile at the back door and her occasional whine. “All I hear is Sadie. What is she on about anyways?”

    “Probably smells another coon or rabbit in the backyard. You know her nose.”

    “Yeah, probably.” But Ray frowned and got up anyways to see their dog. One of those tingling, uneasy shudders slowly winding its way down his spine, raising the hairs on the back of his neck. Something felt…off now that Kelly mentioned a noise. “Sadie? What’s wrong, girl?”

    The Belgian Malinois was pacing at the door. Ears and tail low, hackles raised. She barked at Ray before biting at his shirt and tugging sharply.

    “Sadie, stop that!”

    It was then he heard it finally. A creaking. No, more like a groaning. Like supports and beams ready to give out. Sadie’s eyes went up to the ceiling, to the nearest AC vent, and she barked repeatedly. Ray looked up and not only saw it but started to smell it.


    Thick, black smoke.

    Alarm turned to adrenaline. He threw the door open and Sadie bolted. “Kelly! Fire! We have to get out now! Kelly!” he screamed.

    There wasn’t time though. The groaning turned to splintering and crackling. Then the crash and scream as the roof gave way and fire spread.


    250 based off recent events words

  4. Southbound on I-95 outside of Aberdeen, I switched off the radio because…I just couldn’t.

    I would think of her whenever I heard that song or even the singer. I’d recall the pain of obsessing over that which I could not have, yet still I dreamt of the possibility of it all. There was no way she could be more than she was, or really, what I was to her. But still my heart would leap when I saw her name on my ringing phone, feel the heat rise through my body and the flip-flop of something leap inside me as I held what I could of her in my hand.

    We each heard the other say, “We have to get out,” without there really being a We, or knowing exactly Out where?

    The distance between us would always exist because we each placed boundaries around one another, defenses against another broken heart. But mine was already shattered by the disappointment I realized whenever I stopped to think what might happen if… If we did breach my fear of our finally being together.

    How long before the joy waned and she discovered the secret I hide even from myself?

    I’d turn the radio back on soon. I yearned to listen to that song just once more. I’ve yearned for so much, so often, and the truth burns more than the longing.

    Maybe it’s the yearning I love more than the yearned for.

    So I drive.

    247 words
    Twitter @JAHesch (for now)

  5. It’d been a while. We hadn’t ventured from town since lock-down began. Finally, though, the dreams we had as we cruised the web at country rentals were to be realized.

    A cabin we’d last rented years earlier was available for a weekend in March. It sat on a large estate in the foothills of the Berkshires in western Massachusetts. We booked it.

    The drive in our rental (once we were clear of the city and its southern suburbs) was pleasant. The trees along the parkway were just beginning to bud. In a month or so it’d all be filled in but for now the land and the air still held the last vestiges of winter.

    The small cabin overlooked a lake and its dock, down a dirt path from the main house, where we got our keys before carrying and pulling our stuff down.

    It proved far colder than in the city. After we’d dropped our things on the bed and the floor, I filled the claw-footed tub while she put the kettle on for tea. When it was full and warm and the mirror was fogged over, we tossed our clothes hither and thither and immersed ourselves to our necks. We could see the tops of the trees but not down to the water. We didn’t care.

    We stayed holding ourselves close together until the water was drained of its heat and one of us had to finally say it: “We have to get out.”

    Which we did.

    249 Words. We Have to Get Out, Joseph P. Garland, @JPGarlandAuthor

  6. Defcon 1

    With the windows and doors shut tight, the distant alarms sounded like innocuously chirping crickets. If it were up to him, Eric would always have opted to have the outer world closed to them. He sat down beside Ida, picked up the little pen light, and peeled back her eyelids, shining the little torch, one at a time, in Ida’s two eyes. She had swooned just moments earlier, while sitting on the sofa, as the alarms had started.
    “Are we good?” he asked after the brief examination, with a nudge to her arm.
    He found the lack of noise, the absence of her conscious presence, eerie.
    “Did I pass out?” she asked groggily. “Oh Eric, you should’ve let me sleep.”
    “We can’t sleep. We have to get out. Now.” His tone was firm but reasonable, he felt.
    He stood again, and picked up the haversack, hoisting it onto his shoulder. He extended his hand for his wife. She looked up at his hand, blinking, and reached out. As their fingers touched, they heard the blast. Both turned towards the window, where a mushroom cloud sprang up from the city’s vicinity, dead center to the window and their field of vision. A shockwave, or a wall of rolling fiery energy – or whatever it was – consuming everything in its path, approached like a tsunami, eating up the horizon. It would be upon them in moments.
    “Oh Eric,” Ida repeated, her tone tinged with regret, “you should have let me sleep.”

    250 words @ragtaggiggagon

  7. The message ghosted from the answering machine. “You need to be careful.” Click.

    Goosebumps pebbled Maura’s skin as a shiver spiraled around her backbone. A stranger’s voice. She had been careful. She’d avoided Ronan O’Connor like the plague, yet he still appeared, a devil she couldn’t ignore.

    Heir apparent, she reminded herself. Irish mob. A dangerous man with dangerous pursuits and dangerous friends. Nothing but danger and trouble. Yet there was something…there. Between them. He’d brush against her in a crowd and she’d suddenly feel safe. And desired. Like he’d always protect her even if he was busy kissing her. No! That way lay dragons.

    Her cell phone rang and she jumped. Heart pounding, she stared at the screen. ALEX CALLING. Her boss. And the man she was investigating. She ignored it. Her house phone rang. The caller clicked off halfway through the voice mail instructions. Someone hammered on the front door then rattled the doorknob.

    A shadow slipped through her back door and she choked back a scream. The man held his index finger to his lips. She recognized him as one of Ronan’s. He beckoned and she scuttled to him, grabbing only the clutch holding her keys, ID, and credit cards. No cell. Phones could be traced.

    “We have to get out,” he told her. She nodded. Into the phone held at his ear, he whispered, “Yeah, the goons’re at the door but she’s safe.”

    Maura heard Ronan’s relieved voice. “Get to the footbridge.”

    “On our way.”
    250 Moonstruck Mafia: Boston WIP words

  8. “Are you sure about this, Corbin?” Avery’s voice held caution.

    “Yeah. It’s time. He doesn’t need me anymore.”

    “What about the relationship you were building? I mean, you sounded so happy.”

    Corbin sighed. “I think it was all in my head. He’s pulled back like he’s uncomfortable with anything other than friendship.”

    “Have you talked to him about it? I mean aloud, in plain terms, no ambiguities?”

    Corbin rubbed the back of his neck and looked at himself in the mirror. “No, but you know how actions speak louder than words? His actions are telling me he’s not interested.”

    “I’m really sorry to hear that. But I think you should talk to him before you give up and head home. Just so you know you did all you could and have no regrets.” Avery took a deep breath. “I want you to know I have your back.”

    Corbin sighed. “I know you do.”

    “Just talk to him. Even if you leave now, we can always get you back there if we have to.”

    “Get outta here with that. If I leave now, I won’t be coming back. I’m done pining for him. It’s time he came for me—if he comes for me.”

    “If he truly loves you, he will.”

    “Yeah, that’s the question, isn’t it? I gotta go shower. I’ll call you with an update as soon as I know my plans.”

    “Okay, just give it a chance, all right? You might be surprised.”

    I doubt it.

    248 ineligible #WIP words

  9. Baz and her mom, Tori, were listening to a fizzy, indie pop song in the car, volume way up, to hear over the AC in the sweltering heat. They turned into the drive-thru of their local pharmacy, only to see a rabble of noisy, angry youths blocking the lane.

    “Oh my God! It’s really happening. We’re too late! Baz said.

    Don’t panic. I’ll pull around to the front entrance and go in and pick up your medicine.” said Tori.

    But around the corner of the building, there was an even bigger crowd of protesters blocking the entrance.

    “What am I going to do now? I’m out of my hormones and…” said Baz.

    Tory glanced over at her daughter to see tears running through the sprinkling of freckles on her cheeks.

    “We’ll figure something out. I’ll transfer the prescription to New York and your father can pick it up. He’ll be home this weekend.” Tori said.

    “That’s this time, but what will I do next month? Mom, they’ve made my medicine illegal. I don’t feel safe at school. I can’t go to the mall. They don’t want kids like me around anymore. I just want to be happy and live my life!” said Baz.

    “I know Sweetie. Your father and I worry every time you leave the house. We can’t live like this. We have to get out! Your father has already requested a transfer.” said Tori.

    “Oh mom! I love you guys so much!

    “We love you too honey!”

    Word count: 249
    @taforu on twitter (or what’s left of it…)

  10. My fellow workers all said, “The world is going to pot, we have to get out.”
    The last few years had been difficult for everyone. People had been more demanding more depressed and just downright evil at times. So, I went to my favourite place the mall. Sitting on a bench in the mall I watch people walk by.
    The first person to sit by me? A little old lady who precedes to tell me about the death of her husband and her loneliness, talking to her for awhile. She feels better. She will join the local senior’s centre.
    A toddler toddles up to me. She’s four, bored and hates shopping. I suggest she tell her mother all of this. She looks dumfounded, but then she goes to her mother and tells her how shopping is scary. Her mother promises to only take her when absolutely necessary.
    The sun is streaming through the skylight when suddenly I feel a tap on my shoulder.
    “Thank -you, Ezekiel for setting and example; sometimes all my children need is a kind ear and a few words.”
    I feel energized and appreciate his kind words and smile. I will watch over these children, not only because it’s my job; but because I feel wanted and needed.
    I continue listening to person after person. I wave an arm and spreading love and cheer to others so they can hopefully brighten all the days and make the world a better place a little at a time.
    250 words

  11. Apprentice Tenko sat with her master’s last letter under the Heart Tree at the center of the Gate Shrine. Their people came through the gate not five centuries past. Master Makoto was among the first born in the New World.

    The shrine was crowded. People milling about, giving offerings and prayers. Staying out of each other’s way. The priests were easily distinguished by their dress, if not their behavior. In the four hours Tenko had sat under the Tree, there had never been less than one hundred people in the courtyard.

    We have to get out.

    Every stroke of every character burned with deeper meaning. The weight of the thin parchment in the red envelope in Tenko’s lap was immobilizing. She had been lucky to be taken on as Master Makoto’s apprentice. The apprentice before her completed his studies and was granted a government position fifty years before Tenko was accepted.

    Now she had the master’s final wisdom in such a simple sentence in an envelope addressed to her. The encapsulation of his life’s work. If the elves didn’t leave this place, they would consume themselves.

    “No! Stop!” a petitioner wailed. “That’s everything I have!”

    A bandit with a simple cloth sack dashed across the courtyard. None of the hundred present lifted a finger to stop him.

    Tenko stood.

    She stepped across the bandit’s path, stopping with her dagger against his throat.

    “You should return that.”

    She spoke over his shoulder, hoping he didn’t see the terror in her eyes.

    250 words

  12. Skylar looked at her computer screen. “I’m so close. There’s a message in this, I know it.”

    But sometimes the signal in the noise is just a random walk, she reminded herself.

    The claxons blared again, as they had been doing every fifteen minutes since the evac order.

    “We have to get out of here”, the general had told the cryptography team.

    But she stayed and continued studying the data.

    For the last 17 hours, the deep space network had been picking up a series of messages, some of which were followed by catastrophic solar flares.

    Each flare had struck a monument.

    The Taj Mahal, The Great Wall, The Pyramids – all gone before lunch.

    The Sydney Opera House, Christ the Redeemer in Rio, Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower had followed throughout the afternoon.

    The Statue of Liberty was lost three hours ago.

    And now each set of coordinates were inching closer and closer to her location.

    She looked at the data again and it hit her, the pattern was right there as plain as the swirls in her grandparents’ shag carpet.

    How had they missed it?

    Could it be that simple?

    The signals weren’t text, they were tones.

    The last transmission had four tones.

    13 seconds.
    09 seconds
    19 seconds
    19 seconds

    Skylar gasped. She had cracked the code.

    Another transmission – her exact coordinates.

    Skylar held her breath.

    08 Seconds
    09 seconds
    20 seconds

    “Hit,” Skylar said quietly as the White House imploded around her.

    Joel Sandersen
    247 Words

  13. The Balance Between Good and Evil

    Deputy Jayson Myers closed his eyes, willing the sense of uneasiness to pass, but it wouldn’t. The contents of his stomach moving counter to the boat’s natural rhythm. While every fiber of his being screamed “We have to get out of here,” his companion just looked around, watching and waiting.

    “How can you remain so calm?” he demanded as he recognized the river of fire for what it was, a line that must not be crossed.

    “Once dem walls been breached, it outa mah hands,” the Bringer answered. “We in Da realm of Da Crossroads. An’ de do what dey gotta tah keep da balance.”

    “But we didn’t mean to cross anything, let alone the border between worlds.”

    “Dat da worst kind ah crossing. No telling what needs to be balanced. Ain’t no way of knowin’ what dey going tah balance it with. Depends on how dey judge you an’ yours.”

    “What about you?”

    “Me? I just da bringer. I make sure folks get where dey headed. What is released with dem, or instead of dem. Ain’t my nevermind, just thankful it don’t happen too often.”

    “When’s the last time…”

    “1962, Ontario,” his guide answered before he could finish the question.

    “What was released?”

    “Hawaiian PIzza. Ain’t good, ain’t bad… just… wrong.”

    Jayson closed his eyes and tried to relax, but his stomach continued to roll counter to the boat’s movements. He belched, realizing that there were worse things than pure evil, or pure good.

    245 Words – Not including title

  14. “We have to get out.” Mina spok in a small voice as she curled up in a ball on the floor of the bare room.

    “No, really? What gave it away?” Sanya snorted, her mouth working before her brain kicked in.

    Tears welled up in Mina’s eyes and she started to cry with gasping breaths.

    Sanya rubbed her hands over her face, a sigh escaping. Her fingers hurt from trying to get the screws in the door hinges to move but those bitches were screwed in extra tight. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

    Her friend kept crying as Sanya looked around. The only window was bricked up and there was an empty closet with a bar for the hangers. At the very least, if she got that loose, she would have a weapon.

    She reached up and gave it an experimental yank to see how hard it was to pull down when she saw the segmented tile in the ceiling above it. Another pull on the bar before she jumped up to try to pull herself up If there was a crawl space or attic that they could get out through somewhere else, she would take it over waiting for the psycho to come in and kill them.The door slammed open and Mina gave a scream as Sanya punched the tile free, reaching up for a handhold as fingers wrapped around her ankle and yanked her down.

    “Leaving so soon? But the master just arrived for dinner.”

    247 words

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