#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 363

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 Sixth year of weekly prompts! This is Week 363 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 363:

Typo Sniper, author, and #MenageMonday host, Cara Michaels.

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“As he should be.”

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!

17 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 363”

  1. The list of strange places around the world grew every week, and I spent more time at the library, and more time on the internet, looking up everything I could find. Gobekli Tepe was the first. But it was followed by Nan Madol.

    A monolithic city built on a coral reef in a lagoon on an island in the Pacific Ocean. 130 buildings, all made of carved basalt stones, many of those stones weighed five tons, and some weighed much more. No one could explain how it was built. No one could say how old it really was, although carbon dating indicated it was from 200 BC. No one could say how it was built, though archaeologists believed it would have required all the islands inhabitants to build it.

    There were other details of Nan Madol that stood out to me. Its location, in the zone of the Pacific ocean where typhoons formed. A place where such storms were exceptionally rare. The legend of the islands curse, “You must respect Nan Madol.” A curse with a long history of lost ships, and dead researchers, who had dug in the ruins. How it was located at an electromagnetic hot spot of the Earth.

    I was in the library so frequently, reading so many books, doing so much research, people began to ask the librarians about me. “He’s a researcher. Studying ancient cities. Spends time learning. Here all the time. As he should be.” That’s how they explained me.

    245 Words
    @mysoulstears

  2. Writing Rules by Mason Bushell

    “Your assignment is to write a two-hundred-and-fifty-word story about whatever you like. The only thing I asked is that you follow the writing rules on the whiteboard. Begin,” instructed the teacher.

    Damian set to work, he loved creative writing. Over the next few minutes, he put his story down on his page and smiled at his creation. Glancing up over the heads of his fellow students, his smile vanished. Using a red-pen he began to adjust his story. He removed adverbs, he removed dialogue tags, he removed adjectives, he removed clichés, he removed the lines that made his story head-hop. It took him longer than it did to write the story to bring it in line with the list of rules on the board. At last, he sat with his hands before him on the desk, a happy student.

    Over the next few minutes, the other students came to the end of their pieces, one by one. The teacher picked them alphabetically to read them out. Damian smiled throughout, he knew he had the best piece.
    “Damian, you next please.”
    “Yes, Sir.” Damian rose, holding up a blank sheet of paper.
    “Where is your story, Damian? I saw you writing one.”
    “I did, sir. However, I was forced to remove every word I wrote, in order to be within those rules. You see, for a person to write as he should be writing, he must break the rules. Only then can he tell a story to his best ability.”

    249words @MBWorkhouse Twitter and Facebook

  3. “Good morning. How’d you sleep?”

    I blinked, pulling my attention back to Michael’s face rather than his sexy body. “Uh, good. You know, as well as I could in a party dress. How did you sleep? Those chairs can’t be that comfortable.”

    He shrugged and handed me a steaming mug of coffee. The set of angel wings tattoo over his heart flapped with his motion. “It was comfortable enough. I sent my brother over to the clubhouse to deliver us hot breakfast when Grub finishes cooking. I expect him to return with plenty of goodies.”

    I raised my eyebrows. “Such as?”

    “He should be bringing eggs, breakfast sausage, and some sort of pastry.” Michael gave me a lazy smile. “I made the coffee and tea, and I have some smoked salmon if that’s your preference.”

    “Actually, my preference would be to get out of this party dress and into something more comfortable and warm.”

    He nodded and ambled out of the kitchenette to a pile of clothing on one of his bar stools. “Luke dropped these by before getting breakfast. It’s just a T-shirt and sweats from Dollhouse, but they should fit well enough.” He handed the pile to me.

    “Dollhouse?” I set my coffee down before taking the clothing.

    “One of our members. She’s about your size.”

    I frowned. “Is she Luke’s old lady?”

    Michael’s eyes widened. “No. She’s the club’s resource manager. She’s no one’s old lady.”

    “Do you have an old lady?”

    He smiled. “Not yet.”

    249 ineligible #ConcreteAngelsMC words
    @SiobhanMuir

  4. Thing One and Thing Two stood at attention before the ornate double doors, their faces devoid of expression. Something new and different, Sade noted. Stavros hated her with every fiber of his being and Xan? She was never sure about Xan. He wavered between wickedly sarcastic, wickedly funny, and just plain wicked.

    The pompous man bowing and scraping at her side mumbled his thanks, the king’s thanks, the queen’s thanks, but funny, no mention of thanks from Nikos. If she hadn’t been ordered here by her boss, FBI Director Bailey, she’d have stayed as far away from the Kholikikos dragons as possible.

    Her guide pulled up short as Stavros and Xan executed a smart quarter turn, crossing heretofore unseen— and very sharp—swords, blocking her way.

    “Hi, guys. Good to see y’all too.” She reached for the door handle, jerking back in time to avoid Stavros slicing off her hand.

    Xan grinned cheekily, announcing, “The Drakon is ready to receive you now.”.

    Passing between them, Sade muttered, “As he should be, since he made me fucking wait for gawddamned forever downstairs.”

    The dragon enforcer gazed at her across his desk. “Good morning, beautiful Sade.”

    She growled. “No. I will not go out with you.”

    “You will, but that’s not why I summoned you. I have a job for you.”

    That phrase ranked right up there with “Here. Hold my beer.”

    “Doing what?”

    “Chaperoning Princess Nerina and her friends.”

    How hard could wrangling some teen-age dragons be?

    Yeah, famous last words.
    ****
    250 future Penumbra Paper words
    @SilverJames_

  5. The world was about to change, though I was the only one who knew it. I’d let the bullet fly, but it hadn’t reached its target yet. I’d frozen time here, at this instant, to savor the power I held over humanity.

    A man was going to die seconds after I released my hold. An important man – one of many – but his death was going to reveal certain truths that were never meant to be widely known. He held power over all that lay within his domain, a king without the name. Nigh unto a god, as he should be.

    Or so he thought.

    No one in the world believed in me, in the sense that people believed in gods. Didn’t matter. I could exercise my will over them whenever and however I chose. Rapes, deaths, fantastic fortune, miracles – all were within my power, and I used it often. Reality was so random that no one ever knew.

    There was no purpose to my actions other than whatever suited me at the time. It had been fun watching men and women gather power in secret cabals as if they knew secrets that made them immune to fate. And now it would be fun watching it all burn.

    I put the gun in the hands of the woman I’d chosen to be the shooter. She was a good woman, by all human measures, and now she’d be a murderer. It was totally senseless, but that was part of the thrill.

    249 words of an idea I’m going to tuck away
    @drmag00

  6. The Nightly News

    I am in my CNN wasteland.

    Whoopie…

    I have the opportunity, now, to see him every day. And every night. As much as I’m repelled, I am drawn in by his…what is that hold that he has?

    A bizarre magnetism?

    A nightmare personified?

    Some slobbery, rubbery, symbol of the times?

    He‘s become our presidential hobgoblin.

    And I, and all of us, are all his looky lou’s.

    Though some of us expect that one day, in a fit of pique, he’ll call us a bunch of looky losers, we will not abandon him.

    He’s living proof, to remint a Goldwater phrase, that extremism in the defence of stupidity is no vice.

    If he ever does go totally off the rails, legions will still follow him, lemming like, over any cliff he might take us to.

    “Turn that thing off,” he says. “I can’t take any more of that fool.”

    He’s the rational one. As he should be, being a deeper thinker than me.

    “A couple more minutes. That’s all…”

    “Jesus, it’s on all day. And half the night. Your head’s going to explode from Trump news overload.”

    He’s right. I can’t deny it. Still…

    “Do you remember when we watched Walt? News was…half an hour, tops! Now…”

    I do remember Cronkite.

    “What did they call him?” I ask.

    “The most trusted man in America.”

    “Right. And now, for half the damn country, this goober has that moniker.”

    “Strange, isn’t it,” he says, as I turn the television off.

    250 words
    @billmelaterplea

  7. Dodd stared at the slashed canvas. He still couldn’t believe Professor Addison had destroyed his work in front of the entire class.

    “Cliched,” he said with the first cut.

    “Uninspired,” he branded the second slice.

    “Laughable,” his final slash of the utility knife toppled work onto the floor.

    No one breathed, waiting for Dodd’s reaction. He stepped forward, retrieved his painting and left. When he arrived home, he threw it in the corner where it remained.

    “You should know, Professor Addison is embarrassed,” Katie said smoothing the canvas pieces together.

    “As he should be.”

    “Aren’t you’re being a little harsh?” Katie glanced at Dodd before returning her attention to the canvas.

    “Me? Harsh? What if this was your work? How would you feel?” Dodd turned and strode to the loft’s windows.

    “He regrets his actions.”

    “No. He regrets my canceled payments.”

    “He says he understands. He doesn’t expect you to pay his fee, he just wants you back.”

    Dodd laughed as he faced Katie.

    “So, tell me, Katie, how many others have left his class? I wonder why? Perhaps they worry the tyrant will mutilate their work?” Dodd gestured to his painting.

    Katie hung her head, and a ping of sorrow coursed through Dodd’s heart.

    “Is there any way I can convince you to return? Consider your future,” she begged.

    “Your husband is a brilliant artist and jealous of anyone who might surpass him. His actions tell me, my time has come. I promise you — The future will be different.”

    250 Words
    @JoHawktheWriter

  8. “That was harsh.”

    “Well, he had it coming, Tess.”

    “I mean, Jules, that shit was really harsh. Even for you.”

    “What? I gave him a chance to apologize like a normal person. Instead, he said they were just friends and I was being paranoid.”

    “Yeah, but – “

    “And then he had the temerity to suggest I should “talk to someone.” Like I’m the one who needs therapy.”

    “I know, I know, Jules. But shouldn’t you, like, I don’t know, end this already? He said he was sorry.”

    “As he should be.”

    “But seriously, you’ll never get all that blood out of the wheel well.”

    Julie sneered at her best friend. “Listen to you. “Wah, there’s blood in the wheel well. Wah, his hands are still on the table. Wah, I’m tired of listening to him gurgle.” Do you even hear yourself?”

    Tess threw up her hands in exasperation. “Fine, whatever. But I’m not cleaning it up.”

    Julie sauntered over to the Camaro and peered underneath at the bloody, hissing mess that was her ex, his torn and oozing flesh wrapped around the gears. She shook her head and gave a low tsk-tsk. “You sorry yet, David? Bet you are. Now die quietly like a good boy. Tess and I are going for scones, be dead when we get back, m’kay?”

    The two slipped out of the garage, down the detergent-soaked driveway and walked arm-in-arm down the block.

    “Hope that cute guy is working today.”

    “Jesus, Jules, you are impossible.”

    249 words
    @J_Thomas_Ganzer

  9. Cold and tired, as he should be, after hiking 5 miles, 2 miles high, in June rain, he looked towards the sun, hidden by a winter sky. He calculated the daylight remaining, as he crested the peak, only to peer out, over a vast snow field down below. Seized by panic, he quickly realized there was no choice but to cross that field, for he had come too far to retrace his steps.

    Bushwhacking through a white jungle in the June thaw, without snowshoes, he sank deep in snow with each lunge. He gathered pace, hoping the faster he moved, the better his chance of survival. Soon he glimpsed a stand of Jack Pine down below, the fear slowly receding, at the promise of dry land.

    Parting the low mist with his next step, he fell through snow till his knees buckled and he knew . . . he was buried in a drift. He felt his life force drain, imagining the headline: Lone Hiker Found Dead. Several minutes elapsed, entombed in a white sarcophagus; then he rocked back and forth, melting the ice with his body heat. He carved hand holes in the snow and struggled to climb free.

    Reaching a clearing admidst the pines below, he tore apart his maps and moments later their white smoke rose, giving off heat, to rescue his body core, and thanks, to some greater force above. Over that night’s campfire, he pondered his careless gamble and close brush with death, smiling.

  10. I remember the fire. It should have been the last thing I ever saw. I completed enough of the ritual to trap my soul, but not to attain the immortality I coveted. Self-proclaimed heroes saw to that. Now sight returns to my long dead eyes.

    My old throne room fades into focus, barely illuminated by soft floating mage lights. My vantage of the burned and stripped stone chamber indicates I am on my throne. Much more suitable than the floor the heroes had thrown me to. I can only move my eyes.

    A fat little man with stringy dark hair kneels at my feet. Not the most repugnant thing I’ve seen in my time. He seems deeply reverent of me. As he should be.

    His lips are moving. Chanting. My other senses haven’t returned yet. Charred remains of my books and scrolls are arranged under the floating mage lights. He is completing my ritual. If he can restore my voice or mobility, I can handle the rest. If he can do that, he will be rewarded.

    “There, now we can start getting to know one another.”

    His nasal voice grates on my restored hearing as he stands to look in my eyes. Testing my voice, I find my jaw and tongue still immobile. I glare my dissatisfaction.

    “Tsk-tsk, my love. We can’t have you trying to cast spells before you understand the rules.”

    Love? Rules? My eyes find the engagement band on my left hand. Not good.

    247 Four Sisters words
    @DavidALudwig

  11. As he should be, my father is pissed. Teenage exploits often come back to haunt people. The plain beige, fake leather covered chair is suddenly sweaty-hot under me.

    My father turns to me, crossing his arms. “Explain how nine months passed with your father and I not noticing you were pregnant.”

    Shrugging isn’t the answer, but it happens anyway. “I thought it was taken care of.”

    The doctor looks at me again. “Please explain how you handled it.”

    “My friend’s Mom knew a family that wanted a kid but couldn’t have one.”

    Dad frowns. “Eliza, you were fifteen! I’m a grandfather! So’s your other Dad! How in the hell do you want me to take that?!” He looks at the doctor. “Why the DNA test?”

    “The child was in need of a new liver. To find a donor, we did a DNA search. Because Eliza registered her DNA recently, we made the match.”

    I knew that stupid kit was a mistake.

    “And how is the child now?”

    “I’m not at liberty to say. The child doesn’t know that we’ve found the birth mother, so there is no obligation to meet her.”

    Her. I only hear the cry upon birth; I never met the baby.

    “We have a lot to discuss.” Dad stands and shakes the doctor’s hand.

    An awkward half hour drive home follows and then the firing squad gathers: both of my Dads sitting across from me. My heart sinks into my stomach, knowing I have to explain everything.

    @Aightball
    250 words

  12. “Is he dead?” I said. Ivy was standing over the body.

    “Yup. As he should be. Staked. Twice.” She didn’t seem too upset despite the fact that Sling was a master vampire and leader of Ivy’s clan.

    Vampires didn’t truly die until they were staked a second time.

    I looked at her.

    “I didn’t do this, Ayren.”

    I wasn’t sure I believed her. At the same time I hated myself for doubting her. In the year since Ivy and I had been roommates she hadn’t ever lied to me. It wasn’t in her DNA to lie.

    Did vampires have DNA? I wondered.

    Ivy’s dark brown eyes met mine. She didn’t say anything but I knew what she was feeling. Ivy was torn. She had sworn loyalty to Sling. She was bound to him. But she hated him.

    Sling had punished Ivy’s parents for disobeying him. He denied them a ready supply of blood, forcing them to go underground for it. Ivy’s mom particularly suffered. Ivy did what she could to keep them ‘alive’ but it was difficult.

    “You have any clue who did this, Ivy?”

    “Werewolves, Ayren. They want a war.”

    She was right. There was an uneasy climate in the city. Pittsburgh’s human and supernatural communities had been peacefully coexisting but it was all unraveling.

    I never heard a sound. Ivy shoved me out of the room. She had sharper instincts than most vampires but she wasn’t a match for the creatures who now had us trapped.

    250 Words from my #WIP
    @cate_derham

  13. Untitled

    Sam tilted her head, watching as the man made his way onto the ship
    “He’s going to be trouble,” she stated as she headed back down to engineering.
    “How so, Goose?”
    She turned, looking at Gavin, the ship’s second mate and frowned.
    “You can’t see it?”
    “See what? Goose, you aren’t making any sense.”
    “He’s not what he seems.”
    “He seems to be rich and willing to pay for privacy.”
    “Okay— he is what he seems,” she admitted. “But it doesn’t mean he isn’t trouble.”
    “Passengers are always trouble,” Gavin assured her. “But they’re what keeps this ship running.”
    “I thought that was fuel and elbow grease.”
    Gavin snorted. “They pay for the fuel and the feed, little goose.”
    “Well, why didn’t you say that?”
    Gavin shook his head and gave up. There was no winning an argument with the mechanic, unless you operated on her level, which no one ever managed.
    “Just pay nice,” he urged.
    “I always play nice,” she protested.
    “Goose, try that thing we talked about…”
    “Lying?”
    “Being diplomatic,” he corrected.
    She simply nodded, “Lying.”
    “No.”
    She let out a heavy sigh, obviously not getting it.
    “Just treat him…”
    “As?”
    “He should be treated.”
    “With fear and suspicion?”
    “Like an honored guest, you don’t want to interact with.”
    “I can do that.”
    Gavin breathed a sigh of relief. It was as close as he’d ever get to winning.

    233 words
    @mishmhem

  14. #ThursThreads Week 363, the last week of Year 6, is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to see you next week for the Year 7 Anniversary! There will be prizes. 🙂

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