Slightly past-it Canuck and word chucker, Bill Engleson.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“Could you please tell me her name?”
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!
14 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 355”
“You have to get out of here, Haley.” Tori turned me bodily toward the door and shoved me ahead of her.
“What? Why? What the hell is going on?”
“Those detectives came in looking for you and went directly to Hank.” She hustled me back out to the elevators in the lobby. “I didn’t catch everything, but it sounds like they think you saw a murder last weekend.”
“What?” I swallowed hard. “I didn’t see a murder, I heard it and reported it anonymously. How the hell did they know to come here?”
“Carl sold you out.” Tori scowled. “I told you that guy was lower than pond scum. And why didn’t you tell me about this murder you witnessed?”
“Keep your voice down.” I glanced around then dragged her toward the windows overlooking the street, conveniently next to the door to the stairs. “I didn’t tell you because my phone was dead. And it was the fuckin’ ADA who was murdered, Tori. I didn’t really want to let them know who saw it.”
“Because it was a hit and if they’re willing to take out the ADA, they’re not gonna think twice about a fluff reporter for the Fort Collins Bugle.”
Raised voices came out of the office. “You couldn’t keep your mouth shut, could you?”
“Tell me her name, Mr. Cortland.” The detective sounded frustrated.
“I’m outta here.” I headed for the door.
“Just don’t go home.”
Right. Where was I supposed to go?
250 ineligible #CockyBiker #WIP365 words
I lost my heart the moment I saw her.
“Could you please tell me her name?” I asked the lady accompanying her.
“Mariana”, she replied with a wink.
My brother, who knows my weakness, remarked, “Not again! Her name sounds like the ‘Mariana Trench’! Think of Rekha!”
My brother reminds me of my wife, Rekha, whenever he finds me fantasizing!
Earlier, I had fallen in love with Gia, and had paid handsomely to take her home.
Rekha was furious. “Either that bitch’ll stay or I’ll!” she threatened.
This obedient husband showed Gia the door…
Rekha hates dogs; I love them…
I placed a listing on the web for her. I landed a new job. I was moving across the country, and she no longer fit my plans. It was nothing personal. We had a great run, and great memories of our time together. They say nothing lasts forever.
A guy named Chet answered my ad, and we set up a time to meet so he could look her over, take her for a ride. Chet required the service she could provide and offered cold hard cash. I didn’t refuse.
I was sad to see her go. I thanked Chet for taking her off my hands. I wished her well and tried to forget about her.
The next day my phone rang. It was Chet.
“Could you please tell me her name?”
“What’s the car’s name?”
“I called her Baylee. Why?”
“She won’t let me drive her. Says she only works for people who know her name.”
“Baylee,” I repeated.
Several hours later Chet was banging on my door. When I opened it, he threw the keys at me.
“I want my money back. She only wants you and I’m not about to put up with her shit.”
Chet raged at me while I counted out his cash and I was happy to see his backside.
In the driveway, I stroked her fender before climbing in to start her. She purred.
“I missed you too, baby,” I said as I caressed her dash.
“I promise, I’ll never let you go.”
Scared and tied to a hospital bed, I shook. What had I done? I didn’t know this place either but then that happened a lot. Would I lose my job as a high teacher because I’d lost my mind? Maybe! I had long periods of time I couldn’t account for. No, I was stronger than this I could overcome anything.
A man and a woman in white coats came in the room.
“Why am I here and tied up?” I asked.
“What’s your name?” The woman asked.
“Isabella Cortez,” I answered.
“That’s not the name she gave us last night,” the man stated.
“Quiet,” the woman cautioned the man
“Could you please tell me her name?” I asked curiously.
“Louisa Cortez,” the man answered as the woman frowned.
Louisa my twin sister was now dead, had been dead for four years; in fact my blackouts began right after her funeral. This explained everything I needed help dealing with her death it would all be okay.
Another person entered the room. Why was Louisa’s husband here?
“Louisa?” he enquired.
“It’s me, Isabella.”
“Not again,” he exclaimed looking at the doctors.
I felt the blackness come over me and once again, I was gone but from a distance I heard Louisa say,” I’m sorry, Isabella. I’m sorry I drove drunk.”
It was then I remembered I was the dead one; I would haunt her body as long as she was alive. She’d pay; forever wasn’t long enough for what she’d done.
Librarian Diego slammed the drawer, making the cabinet rock. “’Could you please tell me her name?’” he said, parroting my words. “’I promise I’ll make it your while.’ And, another one, this one my favourite, ‘You’ve no idea how much this means to me.’” He sat back in his chair, making it spin. He canted his head to one side, his expression as much a grimace as a grin. “It seems to me the power’s all mine today. I’ve been waiting for this a long time. This turnabout suits me fine. I’m only sorry it didn’t happen sooner.”
“Come on. How was I to know we’d have no power? I was convinced we’d still be okay. Who’d have thought the mobile-phone network would fail when the electricity went out?” I couldn’t believe it; I’d been sure he’d relish the opportunity to show how important his card indexes and his books were. Everybody else was panicking, stabbing at the screens of their phones, hoping to get a signal so they could link in to the rest of the world, needing to say their goodbyes to their families and loved ones. The world was coming to an end and I was still going to die alone, unable to find the twin I’d never met.
The librarian tried another drawer, rummaging through the ones in his desk. “I’m sure I had a phone directory in here,” he said. “If she was listed in it, I might find an address for her yet…”
249 words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
“We’ll need you to identify the body. Could you-”
“Please tell me her name.”
“Ma’am?” Andrew paused, having nearly missed her voice and glanced aside to the woman with guarded hope in her deadened eyes.
Mrs. Kalk slowly turned her head to lock gazes. “What was her name? What role and life did that monster make my baby play to try to stay alive? I need to know so I can curse them too.”
He hesitated. Should he tell her? It wasn’t an active case anymore. But should he? Or should he just-
“That monster lost someone and I’m sorry for that loss but that never gave him the right to take my baby and bring the dead back however he could. The dead deserves no respect here, they’re as much of the monster as him. So what was her name?” Her voice wavered on desperate hysteria.
Andrew sighed. “Veronica. Her name was Veronica.”
“Clarington. Veronica Clarington.”
She gave a stiff nod, all emotion bleeding away, and looked forward to the glass window still shrouded with black cloth. Somehow Andrew knew that the dead would not rest in peace after this grieving mother had her say. Somehow, that was comforting. He watched the way her shoulders straightened, her chin lifted.
“What are you waiting for? I’m as ready as I’ll ever be to bury my daughter when she won’t even look like mine.”
He frowned but reached forward and tapped twice on the window to signal the coroner.
250 moments of grieving
@DaelynMorgana (finally got a Twitter!)
Anne crouched and reached into the box. She drew out a sassy calico kitten. It blinked its big blue eyes at her and purred. Her heart melted.
Yup. This is her. This is my kitty.
She glanced up. “Could you please tell me her name?”
The man’s green eyes twinkled. A jolt of attraction shimmied down her spine. “Oh, that’s Persephone. She has a brother.” He pointed to the all black kitten that sat at her feet, watching her. “We named him Hades. They do everything together. They stay together.”
Disappointed, Anne almost set Persephone down, but she couldn’t quite let go of her. Her landlord had a strict policy of one pet per apartment. Maybe she could talk him into one more?She raised Persephone up to her face and stared into the little one’s eyes. She was so perfect. The little she-cat reached out and rested a paw on Anne’s cheek.
Oh, my goodness! Such a sweetheart!
Tiny pinpricks drew her attention to her left leg. Hades was climbing up her pants. Once he reached the top of her thigh, he curled up next to her body and purred.
“It looks like they’ve claimed you,” the man said.
Yup, she was claimed. Hopefully, Mr. Jamison would understand, or she’d be looking for another place.
“Okay, I’ll take them.”
The man’s smile lit his eyes, mesmerizing her. “They chose well. By the way, the name’s Mark.”
Electricity sizzled between them.
“Okay, who do we have here?”
The ER nurse raised his pen and clipboard. The doctor and other nurse were attending to the girl on the stretcher so his attention was on her friend.
“Well, you know those magical girls who appeared in America a few months ago?”
The friend was excited and fidgety but given the girl’s condition was handling things reasonably well.
The nurse kept his voice calm and level, his pen raised.
“So they were having this showdown with The Evil Sorceress and we were following it online, because there were people outside, you know?”
“What does that have to do with her?”
He gently tried to guide the friend on topic.
“Well, when the magical girls won, you could see the explosion from here!”
The friend spread her fingers and eyes to indicate the explosion.
“Right. But what do I put on her chart?”
The nurse covered his clenched teeth with a professional smile.
“I mean, we were both looking at the light, like ‘whoa!’ And then, she’s like ‘something bit me!’ And her arm turned black like that and she passed out.”
The friend’s breathing accelerated as she acted out the scene she was describing.
“Could you please tell me her name?”
“Oh! It’s Ayamu. Ayamu Endo.”
213 Magical Girl words
A frantic woman, blond hair disheveled and bloodied, runs up to me, grabbing my arm. A gash on her head drips as her frantic eyes scan the road. Placing a hand on her arm, I try to get her to breathe.
“My daughter, where is she?!”
“Could you please tell me her name?”
“Rhiannon. She’s five! I didn’t even see the bus, I—”
The woman flickers as paramedics revive her and I scan the crowd for a five-year-old. A school bus takes up the middle of the road, cockeyed but on its wheels. My scythe glows and I see the little girl as she’s pulled from a crumpled car.
“Have you seen my mommy?” she asks, her voice thick with tears. One arm is crooked and her face is bloodied. “I want my mommy!”
I pull her into a hug as she’s taken to a helicopter. A door opens, and I swallow a lump in my throat. A man with black, thick hair, brown eyes, and a wide smile walks over.
There’s two sides to the Death Industry: crossing over someone in their nineties is one thing; a five-year-old is quite another.
“Have fun with your Dad, okay?”
“I will. Bye!”
They disappear and I finish walking the scene. Near the car a figure flickers. Rhiannon and her Dad walk over.
“Mommy! I found Daddy! Let’s go play!”
God this job sucks sometimes. I cross the family over, then sit on the discarded bumper and sob.
My heart fills my throat the moment my eyes land on the young child. Hot tears drip down my face as I drink in the oh-so-familiar face, her eyes a reflection of my own.
Finally able to breathe again, I grab the arm of the man standing beside me.
“Where. . .?”
I find it impossible to complete my sentence.
Desperately, I try again, “Where has she been the past four years?”
The memory of being told my baby had died before I was even able to hold her floods through me once more. The grief and despair, which had weighed me down for years, now replaced with righteous rage.
“I don’t know where she has been. She hasn’t spoken a word since she was left on our front step last week.”
“My baby,” the words barely more than a whisper, “Could you please tell me her name?”
The man hands me a note, “We found this pinned to her shirt.”
Opening the note, I read, “Her name is Elspeth.”
My face flushes hot as I struggle to breathe.
“Elspeth? They named her Elspeth?”
The man’s bewildered look asks me why this is important.
“Elspeth was my grandmother’s name. It’s the name we had decided on, but were waiting until she was born to tell anyone. No one else knew.”
My world crashes around me as I realize I have been betrayed.
“There’s something odd about you.” More than one thing, honestly. Her bold manner, her strange speech, her fellowship with the dragonkin lad. And now this. Tears for a man who would’ve killed her without a second thought? “You aren’t the cloister type. Tell me how an armed and armored priest with your skills never taken a life until now?”
“You say that like it’s just this thing people do.”
“Regrettably, it is.” I caught her shoulder. “Lili, you quite recently brought me back from inflicted death, remember?” With brilliant magic—and no small amount of swearing, but clearly that worked for her deity.
She nodded, swiping at her tears. Blood on her gloved hand stained her dusty cheeks.
“My parents died on another man’s sword.” I drew closer, using the cuff of my sleeve to clean her face. “Even in civilized places, people force us to choose. Kill or be killed.”
“I save lives, Kai,” she whispered. “I don’t take them.” She spied the blood on her hands and tore at her gloves. “I need—”
Anything. Name it.
“A distraction. Could you please—”
“Tell me her name?” Casual. As though only a passing curiosity drove the question, and not an uncomfortable need to help this woman through her inexplicable pain.
“Your god. You said a woman granted you your magic.”
“Athana, I think. I’d never heard of her.”
“You’re not from Greylea?” The idea made sense, but she shook her head.
“I’m not even from this world.”
250 #TeamRPG #WIP365 words
“Could you please tell me her name?”
“She could, or you could ask me. I’m not deaf, I’m not stupid, and I do have a voice so please stop talking about me like I’m not here just because I’m in a wheelchair.”
“All right. Could you please tell me your name?”
“Your name is Yes?”
“No. Yes, I could tell you my name.”
The guard took a deep breath.
“What is your name?”
This was starting to sound like a bad parody of “Who’s on First.”.
“Please?” I braced myself for a repeat of “Your name is Yes?”
“May I have your name, please?” He wasn’t quite gritting his teeth.
“Doctor Lillia Yaveh.”
“Doctor Yaveh! I’m sorry. I didn’t know…”
“You enjoyed that,” Lissa whispered as the elevator doors opened.
“Maybe a little.” I glanced back at the guard as they closed. “I want him transferred to Dungeon Three. He’s young and healthy and I’m fading.”
There was no cure for the curse I’d borne since my rebellion in The Garden; I couldn’t die, but I could only live by devouring souls. Usually I drained criminals, and usually they didn’t survive, but maybe I’d only take enough to teach him a lesson…
Hours later, he lay curled on the floor: his eyes sunken and empty.
I stared at him without pity. He might live. He might die. It didn’t matter. All that mattered was that for a little while I would not need the wheelchair.
I had examined the drawer from the outside since I was small enough to view it at eye level; long with dividers separating the pens from pencils or the coins from the bills. Always locked, Daddy’s desk drawer left its treasures to the imagination. My list of possibilities changed as I aged: rabbit’s foot, will, passport, deed to his house, deed to his secret wife’s house, map showing where the bodies were buried, or maybe just an extra set of car keys.
I opened it with the tiny skeleton key left in plain sight and rifled through the drawer, smiling as I pulled out his passport, blank checks, and life insurance policy. There were no maps or secret deeds to other houses here.
Underneath a few envelopes and a set of car keys was a Polaroid photo. The thick bit on the bottom was slightly puffy, and blank. More scratched from being hidden in the drawer than faded from the sun, it clearly showed a laughing woman shoveling snow.
Maybe there was a secret deed after all. Maybe the secret deed was me.
I closed my eyes, as though somehow he could hear me through the ether and answer my call.
“Would you, could you, please, tell me her name?”
On the flip-side was written ‘ABIGAIL – AGE 23’ in my father’s steady hand. Plus an afterthought in different ink, ‘1975’.
It was a start. And an end. And maybe another start.
#ThursThreads Week 355 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week. Thanks for joining me at my new site!