#ThursThreads – Tying Tales together – New Year Edition

Welcome back to the home of Paranormal & Dauntless Romance. Today is the last day of the year, literally. And it’s also a Thursday so that means it’s time to start flashing. We’re at the beginning of our ninth year of weekly prompts. It’s amazing we’ve gone this long! This is Week 445 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 445:

Mark Ethridge

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

Facebook | Twitter |

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“He should be here to negotiate.”

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!

8 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales together – New Year Edition”

  1. Death’s on Its Way

    Mona had a way with playing with my words. She used ‘schupt’ like a pro.

    I liked that.

    I also didn’t like it so much.

    I kept my wishy-washiness to myself.

    We then buckled down, spent the balance of the day reviewing the names in her mother’s ‘black’ book. A few were quite ordinary. Hoi polloi for the most part. Others, however, stood out. Hoity Toity community leaders. A few with reputations to lose. One in particular. One that raised an entirely new worry.

    Wickham Waters.

    Cop.

    Lead investigator in Helen’s murder.

    I’d seen enough movies to know that a crooked cop could play God with the evidence.

    Or bedevil you.

    Either way, I was surprised he’d yet to interview Mona.

    “Have you met Waters before?” I asked.

    Her waterworks burst. Damn Covid, I thought, breached the six-foot rule, and held her in my arms.

    It took her a while to get in control.

    I didn’t mind in the least.

    Eventually I moved a foot away.

    “Too many times,” she finally admitted.

    “Beginning?”

    “I was fourteen. He saw Helen weekly.”

    “Saw?”

    “All of her.” There was a pause. “And me!”

    “You?”

    She looked down at her rich red Turkish carpet. “I was partial payment.”

    “Crap,” I said.

    Brilliantly.

    “He’s likely on his way.”

    She screamed, “He SHOULD be here!

    “To negotiate?” I suggested, knowing that Wick Waters wasn’t one to bargain. “He must know about the notebook.”

    Just then, a heavy fist pounded on the door.

    250 WIP
    @billmelaterplea

  2. Phinn’s chin rose and his shoulders tightened. “Have a care, Lord Healer. If you cannot comport yourself with civility and respect with regards to my guest, you’re no longer welcome in my quarters and I will request someone else to take over my care. Is that clear?”

    “Very well. I’ll leave you in Healer Crystal’s capable hands as I have other patients to attend to.” The Lord Healer bowed and swept out of the room, his back straight and his shoulders tight.

    Everyone let out a collective sigh of relief with his departure and Kendra laughed as she shared a look with Phinn.

    “Well, he’s intense.”

    “He’s a right prick, is what he is. Sorry he has the manners of a peacock – all stuck up nobility until he gets his feathers ruffled.” Phinn relaxed in the bed and turned his attention to the other elves still in the room. “Healer Crystal, are we going to have the same problem with you?”

    The healer shook her head. “No, Master Phinnius. I want to check over the healing that has been done and see how your body has improved. I’m sure the Lord Healer thought he should be here to negotiate any additional treatment, but his ego often does override the patient’s own body knowledge.”

    “And you can’t get rid of him because he’s been doing this since the Fae realms left that of the world of men, right?”

    Crystal smirked. “That’s just about right, my lord.”

    245 ineligible #WIP365 words
    @SiobhanMuir

  3. The alien overlord was blue, his forehead threaded with pulsing veins. He was also three feet tall and sounded like he was breathing helium.

    “I want to see your president,” he squeaked, jumping up and down on his anti-grav pad. “He should be here to negotiate. I’ve a thousand saucer-ships waiting in orbit with weapons trained on The White House. If he doesn’t come out within five minutes, I’ll destroy it.”

    Corporal Goober chewed at his matchstick, levering out the hunk of mutton he’d had lodged between two of his teeth. He jammed it back in his mouth and swallowed.

    “Has he got an appointment?” he drawled. “The president’s a busy man. He’s packing up all of his whatchamacallits and knick-knacks and taking inventory. I’m thinking he’ll be occupied for at least two weeks. But there’ll be a new guy in office on the 20th. Maybe he’ll be able to help.”

    Draygor pulled back on the yoke of his flying platform, raising it until he was face to face with the soldier. He glared directly into the corporal’s eyes, projecting a bolt of mental energy powerful enough to fell a grazing Bug Blatter Beast from Traal.

    Goober shrugged, affecting a practised air of nonchalance. He was a veteran of sentry duty; he’d been dealing with protesters for almost four years. “While you’re waiting, I can offer you and your guys a cap apiece,” he said. “They’re only in red but I’ve got hundreds in all sizes, particularly the children’s ones.”

    250 alien gunships ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com

  4. Sinjen glowered at the video on the computer screen. Sade’s idea of security was a Ring Doorbell. “What is he doing here?”

    Ariel peered over his shoulder. “What the…” The fae didn’t finish his statement as Sade strolled in.

    “Is that Nikos?” Vampire and fae exchanged looks as Sade added, “He should be here to negotiate.”

    “He shouldn’t be here at all,” Ariel muttered.

    “Dragons don’t negotiate.” Sinjen’s voice was as hard as his expression.

    Sade favored the two men with a look meant to wilt their hostility. “He has more to lose in this deal than I do.”

    “He’s a dragon.”

    “I’m aware of that, Ari.”

    Sinjen’s glare focused on her. “Dragons never lose.”

    Sade curled her lips between her teeth to keep from laughing at them. Exerting extreme willpower, she manged to keep her voice level and noncommittal. “He’s never won the game he insists on playing with me.”

    “Which is why he’s still playing it,” Sinjen growled.

    “D’uh,” Ari agreed.

    Sade covered her face with one hand. “The fact the two of you are getting along should make me nervous. And since you are both obviously ganging up on Nikos…”

    The doorbell chimed again, cutting her off.

    “Never mind. You two behave.”

    She answered the door and ushered the very handsome Greek dragon shifter into her condo. Before she could speak, Nikos blurted out, “I need your help.” His gaze landed on the other men. “All of you.”

    “Oh…shit.” Sade pretty much summed the situation up.
    ****
    250 words that came from dabbling in thoughts of Penumbra Papers
    @SilverJames_

  5. Hunter Lee drummed his fingers nervously above his knees. The broad-shouldered treasure hunter had spent most of his life dreaming of living luxuriously but, if the duchess’ sitting room was any indication, his imagination had fallen short. There wasn’t a thing in the room he didn’t feel in danger of dirtying or breaking by looking at it wrong.

    “How thoughtless of me. Did you want something stronger?”

    “Huh?”

    Duchess Antoinette’s cultured query reeled Hunter back into the moment. She nodded toward the cup on the table in front of him.

    “Your tea. You haven’t touched it.”

    “Oh! Nah, tea’s fine!”

    Hunter pinched the handle of his cup delicately and raised it to his lips. His pinky finger shot straight out as he did so. That’s how tall poppies drank, wasn’t it? Had the duchess been drinking that way? He should have paid more attention. And where the brink was Jerem? He should be here to negotiate with the duchess, not Hunter.

    After draining too much in one sip, Hunter navigated mental images of the fine porcelain shattering in his hand to set it safely back in its saucer. This far out of his element, his nerves blocked him from looking directly enough at the duchess to get a good read on her. He cleared his throat.

    “So, ah, Jerem says ya might have anotha job for me?”

    “That’s right. Something more intimate this time.” Duchess Antoinette lifted her own cup. No pinky. “What else can you do with ropes?”

    249 Cat’s The Pajamas words
    @DavidALudwig

  6. Tension crackled through the air, palatable enough to set her nerves alight. It was almost time for the art opening, and the Solstice, and the last thing she needed was to try to hold her makeshift family together.

    Shilah hadn’t only abandoned her, he’d deserted them.

    “You know what I’m saying. He should be here.”

    “To negotiate? No thanks.” Jonah turned away from her, hiding his face in the shadows.

    When he got upset, Jonah’s face scrunched up, and Lorelai knew he fought not to cry, or shift into his Wolf form and run away.

    “He’s the one who decided to leave,” his voice cracked. “If he wants to come back, he can make that decision, too.”

    Conflict ripped miniscule slivers from her heart. So small, one shouldn’t be able to notice. Collectively, it added to lasting heartache.

    “If this, the three of us living together, is going to work, we’re going to need to work at it, which means pushing boundaries, going out of our comfort zones. Talking.” Lorelai rubbed her palm over his shoulder, offering comfort.

    Jonah shrugged, breaking contact.

    “If you don’t want to come, I understand. But hopefully, you know why I’m going.”

    “Sure. Because you’re choosing him over me. I’m here, but instead you’re chasing after him.”

    “It’s not like that. I need to do this.” They could continue, fighting in circles. Or she could take action, and do the only thing possible to save the relationship. “I love you.”

    @LouisaBacio
    245 words

  7. Last Call

    The corporate lawyers flooded into the board room, quoting Latin legal phrases about due process. They were just a series of fractured phrases crashing together in my head.

    Habeas Corpus Delicti, Ex Parte, post facto, quid pro quo

    It sounded like a conjuring in a bad ‘made for television’ movie but even as they spoke I couldn’t help but think, ‘He should be here.’

    “To Negotiate this settlement we can proceed without Daniels being present,” the chief lawyer stated.

    “How?”

    “How what?” he asked, and I could tell from the expression on his face he was trying to find out who had invited me and fire them.

    “How can you ‘settle’ a complaint that has no grounds, against a man who’s not here and give away the company he created?” I asked. “You do know that he’s your boss, right?”

    “And as such, we have the right, no the duty to keep the company solvent in his absence,” he chief lawyer said, to a course of what sounded like Latin agreement.

    “He should be here,” I sighed

    “Should doesn’t stop the clock. If and when he returns, we will bring him up to speed.”

    “If and when?” I asked. “He went to the bathroom. He’s been gone three minutes.”

    In the background under their breaths, I heard the final portion of their incantation.

    “Ipso facto, quod erat demonstrandum.”

    I’m not sure what was proven, but in the morning I was there and they weren’t. Perhaps they mispronounced ‘demonstrandum.’

    250 words not including title
    @mishmhem

  8. #ThursThreads New Year Edition is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week in the New Year!

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