#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 366

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 366 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 366:

Cat afficionado, Editor, and Mid Week Flash host, Miranda Kate.

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“Why are you telling me this?”

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!

21 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 366”

  1. Eleventh-hour

    “You never did listen. Never!”

    I am silent. I am stone. My brain is afire with voices, flaming, ferocious voices. I am in a crowded tavern. The drinks are flowing. The chatter shapes the ceiling. Madness spills on the table, dribbles onto the sawdust floor.

    I am being crushed.

    WE are being crushed.

    “You’re not even listening now. Why don’t you say something? What the hell is wrong with you?”

    I raise my hands. Defensive. Threatening! I need to sculpt my thoughts. How can I answer without moulding my feelings? I have flown off the handle so many times before. Now, so many voices, screeching tires, busy streets, movement all around. I need to rest, to catch my life’s breath.

    “I’ve tried with you. You know I have. But I am tired of your…what the hell is it? Your aloofness? Your damn distance. I can’t get through to you. This isn’t a marriage? It’s a bloody black hole.”

    The fire in my brain, the pounding, the thunder, the heart. The abacas shifts. The meaning. The hope.

    The escape.

    There is no escape. Why are you telling me this now I wonder? I can’t say that. Surely this is not the best time, though? Why won’t the right words come?

    “This isn’t a game. You can’t stay all mute on me. Use your damn voice. SAY SOMETHING!”

    She’s walking away.

    I reach out.

    Air.

    Lonely air.

    Blue air.

    And silence.

    A quiet wind.

    And just a hint of morning sun.

    250 words
    @billmelaterplea

  2. Freedom Fighter

    Bullets fizzed into and ricocheted off all the surfaces, around Sergeant Shaw. He was already bleeding from a shoulder wound, but he was on a mission. He clicked a new magazine into his Sig Sauer handgun. Then with a nod, he rolled out of cover, fired a few shots, slid behind a bench, and fired again. One of the Militia cried out in pain. The bullet fire lessened.

    Shaw took aim and shot the lock off a door. He knew to be a walk-in freezer. Running to it he threw it open revealing a man, cold, bleeding, and familiar.
    “Captain Reynolds. Time to go.” Shaw leant an arm and hauled him up. Dumping him against the racking, he dived for the door, fired two shots, and downed another man.
    “You should know something, Shaw.”
    “Yeah, what?”
    “I’m allergic to bullets.”
    “What? The metal brings you out in hives.” Shaw looked incredulous.
    “Worse bullets bring me out in holes.” Reynolds looked at Shaw with a grin. The two chuckled
    “Why are you telling me this, Captain?”
    “I don’t want to be shot full of holes, and you looked like you needed a laugh.” Reynolds raised a finger. Shaw took a breath, threw himself out the door, firing his gun as he flew back into the kitchen. Two men fell, never to rise again. On his feet, Shaw grabbed a fallen AK47 and tossed it to the captain.
    “Time for a beer and a break,” he said with a victorious smile.

    250 words @MBWorkhouse twitter and facebook.

  3. Search and Rescue

    Ally tugged at my dress, pointing at the TV, where the sad, scraggly face of a dog filled the screen while new age music played along.

    I sensed a connection, a look in her eyes I couldn’t t remember seeing before. She stood transfixed until the ad played out. Ally slipped her hand in mine, looking up at me, like she was sending me a ray of light from her parallel world.

    Ally didn’t talk much. She was special in her own way. I don’t like to use that word, but she had different needs. On the way to the animal shelter, Ally sat silently in the passenger seat, her hands planted firmly beneath her, like always, bracing herself against the world.

    Inside the shelter, I filled out the paper work and we wandered back to where he was caged. This was his last weekend, set to be put down, if not adopted.

    “He’s great with kids. His previous owners lost a kid to cancer and well . . . they wanted to get away from everything . . . so here he is . . .” remarked the caretaker.

    “Why are you telling me this?” I asked.

    “Well from the looks of it – those two have already bonded and it just seems like a good fit . . . that’s all.”

    Back in the car, Ally and the dog sat in the back seat, his head resting on her lap, beneath her hand.

    “Mom, can we call him Skye?”

    Word Count: 249
    @taforu

  4. The more I dug into the stories of ancient cities, and civilizations, the more questions I had.

    “How did they cut the stones so precisely at Puma Punku?” Stonework the best stonemasons of today could not match. With extreme precision, the stones fit together like pieces of a puzzle, or a prefabricated kit. Stone that weighed tons, some of them over 100 tons.

    Mexico was filled with such places. Teotihuacan, Cholula, El Tajin, Tulum, Chichen Itza, and Monte Alban. We thought we knew when those cities were founded, but we couldn’t explain some of their pyramids, and monoliths, or their alignments with stars, the sun, and the moon, and how the tracked the seasons.

    My curiosity became so overpowering, I began to plan vacation trips to such places. We started at Chichen Itza. Six months later, Teotihuacan. My family, my wife and kids, went on tours of the nearby towns and cities. I spent all my time exploring the ruins, taking endless pictures.

    These mysteries became all I could talk about with my wife. I wanted her to care about it. I wanted her to be interested in what I was finding out, and learning.

    I should have seen what was coming from her, and my family. I remember her asking, “Why are you telling me this?” every night. I didn’t understand it was her asking why I’d lost interest in her.

    I wouldn’t understand until it was far too late.

    240 Words
    @mysoulstears

  5. Death grows impatient, pacing back and forth in the shadows as we wait for the last of the sunlight to die out.

    “You’re going to burn a path into the grass if you don’t stop.” I stretch, sore from sitting in this tree. But it’s a good hiding spot, in the security camera’s blind spot and with a clear view of the visitor center’s back entrance.

    He looks at the ground, where there isn’t so much as a hint of his presence. After all, Death can’t quite affect the world around him here. Otherwise he wouldn’t need me. When he looks back up, he glares.

    “Made you look.” I stifle a chuckle. “For an immortal being, you have no patience, do you?”

    “For a mortal one, you’re much too comfortable with me.” There’s a gravity to his voice any other mortal would tremble at.

    Before I can respond, the back door opens – the security guard I’d seen smoking the day before out for another cigarette. He props the door open with a rock and walks a few feet away. Ten seconds later he’s out cold and we’re inside. The door shuts with a soft click.

    “I never told you my name.”

    “You were just complaining-”

    “Arius.” He says it like it’s a shameful secret he hadn’t meant to share. “Haven’t given someone my name in eons.”

    “Why are you telling me this?” 

    He seems as confused as I am, but then the expression clears. Arius shrugs and walks past me.

    250 WIP words
    @katheryn_avila

  6. I stopped talking and waited to see what Jeff would say. It was a lot to take in, and it totally destroyed what we thought we knew of the Concrete Angels Biker Club. Well, normal biker clubs.

    “Why are you telling me this?” He sat back, his mouth drawn tight.

    I shrugged, trying to dispel my unease. “I know you liked Samurai and Talon, and they treated you with respect and kindness.” I shrugged again. “I just didn’t want to hide this from you. I wasn’t even supposed to tell you, but you’re my family. The only one I have left that I can trust, and it’s a secret I didn’t want to carry alone.”

    Jeff bit his lip and raised his gaze to mine. “You shouldn’t have told me. What if I was too scared to accept it?”

    “Are you?” My voice sharpened.

    He grimaced and gave a one-shouldered shrug, his gaze sliding away. “I don’t know. They’ve been really nice to me and I do like Sam and Talon. But what you’re telling me is so fantastic and out there, y’know? How can you be sure they aren’t having you on?”

    I sighed and glanced around the park, glad the weather kept most people inside. “I’ve seen them do their thing, Jeff. I can’t tell you everything because it’s not my story to tell, but believe me, they’re not human. Or at least some of them aren’t. Didn’t Loki give you the heebie-jeebies?”

    Jeff shivered. “Yeah, he’s scary.”

    250 ineligible #CockyBiker words
    @SiobhanMuir

  7. Never enough time cleaning, looking after three kids doing the laundry and holding a full time job; I never had five minutes to myself. I screamed, “I wish I had more time.”
    A creature who appeared to be a giant bunny was suddenly beside me.
    “I could give you time.”
    “Who are you and why are you telling me this?”
    “You need time and I can give to you.”
    “You can?”
    “I can,”
    “What are you hiding are you the devil?”
    “That is not my name; let’s just say I’ll require a favour, I’ll ask you for later and you will agree.”
    “Okay,” I answered.

    I had time to spare every day until my children grew up. The creature appeared before me asking me for all my time left.
    “I can’t,” I protested.
    He gave me a day before I had to obey. The next day an another giant bunny (obviously his mate) appeared with him by his side.
    “I don’t want to die,” I admitted.

    The man bunny looked sheepish and the woman bunny said, “My husband and are Púcas. My husband was trying to trick you; but in doing so he tricked himself. You see he gave you endless time, but if he gave you endless time it can’t end now can he. When you are ready to die just use this ring and call us.”
    The Púcas vanished. The one thing I know now is there’s always time for everything. You just have to believe it.
    249 words
    @SweetSheil

  8. The girls, 11-year old Cara and 8-year old Maria, knew the drill. They quickly, quietly ran toward the front door and closed it silently behind them.

    Their mother, Sandra, got back to her feet and said, “Josh, that’s the last time you’re gonna knock me down. I’m not gonna watch you sit in the dark and scream at the slightest giggle from the girls anymore.”

    Sandra kept out of her husband’s reach as he struggled to raise himself from his chair in the darkened den, just as she had hidden herself and the girls from him all those other times.

    “I’m not going to tell you again, Sandy,” said Josh, a former NFL defensive tackle. “Either get those kids under control or I’ll…”

    “No you won’t.”

    “Damn it, there’s no way to make the headaches even marginally passable, other than that damn medication or I drop dead.”

    Turning to the door, Sandra said over her aching shoulder, “You’re right, you won’t have to tell me again. I get it. You don’t like taking your medicine. That was the reason you gave the last time you belted me. So, remember that gift you gave me three years ago for when you were on the road?”

    “Yeah. What of it?” Josh said.

    “Well, it’s in your side table’s bottom drawer.”

    “So what? Why are you telling me this?”

    “You said it was for our protection. So, while we’re away, why don’t you take it somewhere and finally…protect us?”

    249 words
    @JAHesch

  9. Britt eyed the older woman, bewildered by Katherine Tate’s demeanor and the entire gist of this conversation. Her brain scrambled for an excuse she could use to extricate herself. No subterfuge came to mind so she chose bluntness.
    “Why are you telling me this?”

    Katherine fingered the pearls around her neck but didn’t speak. Britt attempted to wait out the other woman but impatience got the best of her. “Your son wants nothing to do with me. And that works just find and dandy for me because I don’t want anything to do with him.”

    “You don’t?”

    “No.”

    “Are you sure?”

    She gaped. “Am I sure? Of course I’m sure. The only reason I told him in the first place—and he didn’t believe me in the second place—was because he has a right to know. You can tell that bull-headed moron that it’s not my fault he can’t keep his little cowboy wrangled in his jeans. And it’s not my fault that the stupid condom broke. If he plans on sticking it to every willing female he crosses paths with, he needs to check the ‘best if used by dates’ on those suckers.”

    With a full head of steam up, Britt kept going. “You can tell Boy Wonder that I don’t need or want him. This baby is half his so he can damn well pay his share of support but me? I’m off limits.”

    Katherine’s smile was smug. “You’ll do, my girl. You’ll do quite well indeed.”
    ****
    250 Tornado Twins RDR#9 WIP words
    @SilverJames_

  10. Lilith preened. She arched her back, displaying her slim, lithe body to its full advantage. She turned toward me, her lips a stark, red gash splitting the pallor of her face, framed above by the torrents of her dark hair and below by the waves of emerald green, the scarf she wore wound around her neck isolating her fabulous features from the severity of her shoulders, her angular collarbones standing out like rails beneath the sheer gauze of her skin.

    “I’m satisfied,” she said, settling back smugly. “I’ve eaten well for the first time in years.” She drew her tongue across her lips as though she was re-tasting the feast she’d enjoyed, and I wondered what it was that had given her so much pleasure.

    “Why are you telling me this? Did you leave anything for me?” I was excited for her, of course I was, but I was jealous too. Looking around her cell I saw an uncapped jar, the underside of its lid and the walls inside smeared with a gruesome red stain, a bright smell of copper assaulting me as I drew in a breath, tasting the air.

    “It was the nurse. The new one. I asked her to retie my scarf. She thought I looked docile.” She buffed the nails of her right hand against the sleeve of her canvas coverall, its buckles broken and its straps hanging loose. It was then that I saw the body beside her bed, forever blinded and lying still.

    249 gobbets ~ https://twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com/

  11. Sera stands facing the locked door with only her blaster as a weapon. If she is going down, she will give them hell in the process.

    Tears stream down her face as the metallic life-forms batter the door. In those moments before the door gives way, Sera’s mind goes back to when she last spoke with her mother.

    “You have a hard path in front of you. There are beings like none we have ever seen who will try to kill you, Sera. You and your entire crew. My visions do not tell my why.”

    “Are you telling me this to try to keep me from going, mother?”

    “No, my precious Sera. You must go, even though you will face unimaginable trials. You must persevere. You are the key to our future. Do you understand this?”

    Sera looks at her mother and nods, tears streaming down her cheeks. Her chest tight with grief, she feels unable to breathe.

    “Take this,” her mother hands Sera her grandmother’s pendant. “Never take this off, Sera, remember this when you need help.“

    Sera grasps the pendant now, between her hot palms.

    “Where are you?” she screams into the darkness as the door caves.

    “This is the time. I need your help!”

    Heat unexpectedly sears through Sera’s body and blasts the alien in front of her. All around her she hears the silence of the empty ship. They’re all gone. Just like that.

    Unable to fathom what just happened, Sera sinks gratefully to the floor.

    250 words on the dot
    @teresameccles (TW & IG)

  12. I grin as I stand with my morning shift ER co-workers, hoping the night wasn’t horrible. Report can take ten seconds or ten minutes, despite the fact that our patients rarely stay. The overnight charge nurse pulls out a clipboard and report begins. Nothing exciting, which means the day shift is going to be HELL.

    “Have a good day guys. Fresh coffee is on.”

    The night shift filters off and I yawn. The day shift charge nurse pairs up the EMTs, then sets us nurses and techs to stocking bays. I head off with Nadia, and we make sure our main trauma bays, are fully stocked.

    “Oh my god. Eliza’s poop last night was awful. I mean, the kid’s on formula, right? But holy lord, I swear, whatever is in that damn formula is making her butt stink. God.”

    Nadia raises an eyebrow, counting rolls of bandage tape. Then, she starts laughing. “Why are you telling me this?”

    Realizing my mistake, I smile, as my cheeks warm. “Sorry. I haven’t had a conversation with an adult since the baby was born. Literally, Jacoby and I only talk to and about the baby now. And I think I tried to tell you something non-baby related. And failed.”

    Refilling the cupboard, she smiles at me. “It will get better. I promise. Next you’ll be whistling the Sesame Street theme to random strangers.”

    She whistles as she walks away and I can’t help the belly laugh that pours out of me. Damn.

    @Aightball
    249 words

  13. Jake looked puzzled, understandably. He sat on the edge of his hospital bed and stared at the floor. Or his bare feet perhaps. But at nothing in particular. His head was bandaged and hurt like hell.

    “You haven’t asked, Jake,” the beautiful redhead said. Savannah James was looking out the window, her grin deliberately hidden from him.

    “Why are you telling me this?” Jake said.

    “Telling you what you refuse to believe?” Savannah said. “Because you have to believe it. You have to believe me.”

    Jake finished lacing his shoes and stood up. “Let’s get the hell out of here.”

    They said nothing in the rental car as Savannah drove uptown. The upper east side was unusually quiet for the early evening rush. Savannah waited for the inevitable questions, but she wasn’t anxious to answer them.

    “How do you know about this terrorist plot?”

    “Can you just accept that I do?”

    “No. Unless you’re part of it.”

    “I’m not.”

    Savannah said it coldly. Inside she was churning with conflicting emotions. Should she tell Jake everything? If he behaved as she suspected he might, the consequences would be devastating.

    “I’m an FBI agent, Ms. James. I need to know what you know if you want my help.”

    Savannah winced at the ‘Ms. James’ and the wariness she heard in his voice. A voice as familiar to her as her own. He didn’t remember her. He didn’t remember anything about their lives together.

    “Do you believe in time travel, Jake?”

    248 Words
    @cate_derham

  14. “Thank you so much for responding to our summons, Maester Alighieri!”

    The tonsured Brother Everard bowed as deeply as his pot belly allowed. Sforzando Alighieri tossed his long prematurely grey hair back with one hand, grateful for the brief air on his sweaty neck. The hill up to the temple had been steeper than it appeared.

    “As a humble researcher, I’m honored to be summoned by The Celestial Temple.”

    “Please, come in.” the priest bowed and ushered Sforzando inside. “We have fresh tea in the welcome room.”

    Sforzando stood head and shoulders above Brother Everard, despite the priest’s subtle orc heritage. The young arcanist occasionally struggled to find fashionable clothing in his size, but never to make himself the center of attention. In the welcome room Sforzando lowered himself into a high-backed basket chair while Everard attended to the iced pitcher of tea.

    “Lemon or sugar?”

    “Lemon, please.”

    The holy half orc passed Sforzando a tall glass with a lemon wedge on the rim before shoveling several scoops of sugar into his own glass.

    “The whole temple is thrilled to welcome the man who single handedly lifted the art of Song Magic out of myth and legend into a modern science! Maester Alighieri, you are truly a saint!”

    Sforzando laughed earnestly.

    “I’m no saint! And please, just Sforzando.”

    “As you wish, Maester Sforzando. This winter an infant was brought to this temple to be raised in faith.”

    “Why are you telling me this?”

    “She is the new Songstress.”

    248 Cat’s The Pajamas words
    @DavidALudwig

  15. The erratic beep, beep of the checkout scanners around me reminded me of the beep, beep of a heart monitor. I watched the cashier scan each of my items. A bag of Doritos. Carrots. Gallon of milk. Tissues.

    My expression fell, following that item all the way to the end of the belt. Hazel eyes drifted up to the young woman. She was African American. Her name tag read “Faith” in bold, black letters. Tight braided hair that fell past her chest. Warm brown eyes. She couldn’tve been more than seventeen. She looked bored.

    “First job?” I asked softly, randomly.

    Faith gave me a weird glance. I knew that look in retail. “Um, yeah… Why?”

    “Just curious.” The beep, beep of the scanners overtook the awkward silence. I sucked in a breath. “Cherish this job, hun. I know it feels demeaning and customers can be royal asshats. But cherish it while you have it. This world is cruel. It only takes one second, one pop of a gun for tragedy to strike and life to be stripped away.”

    She gave me a haughty look, understandably. “Why are you telling me this? Because I’m black?”

    I couldn’t blame her. I was white. To her I was privileged. I held my calm, looked into her eyes with grief in mine. “No,” I whispered. “Because violence is everywhere. It doesn’t discriminate and even when we think the world’s problems won’t affect us they have a funny way of showing up on our doorstep.”

    ~*~*~*~*~

    250 moments of memory honored #RIPbeautifulsoul #RIPAlexus
    @DaelynMorgana

  16. An onslaught of rap blasted from the garage’s speakers. She’d have to yell if he was going to hear her.

    “Hey honey, we need to talk.” Marta rubbed her stomach. Ever since she’d found out she couldn’t help think about it.

    Chevy popped his head out from under the rusted blue Mustang’s hood. He briefly gave her a glance-over, and his gaze hesitated at her growing middle. “Mmmm, now? It may not be the best time.”

    “Why?”

    “Are you telling me this? Really?” Chevy stretched, his denim jeans taut across his hips, and the smallest patch of stomach showing. “Whatever it is, I don’t want to hear it.”

    Tears threated to spill. It didn’t matter what it was. Any little thing, but him putting her off, right now hurt the most. “Why not?”

    “I’m busy.” He gestured toward the car with the wrench.

    “I swear, you love that car more than me, and you’ll probably love it more than your baby.”

    “Hey, don’t talk like that about Sally. She’s my baby. You’ll see. Once she’s purring, you’ll appreciate her.”

    “I doubt that.”

    He’d been working on the heap for the 18 months they’d dated, and past year of their marriage. At this rate, that baby might never graduate to road-worthy.

    “All right, what’s this about anyway? Don’t cry. Go on, tell me so I can get back to it.”

    “Never mind,” she slipped the ultrasound picture into her back pocket. “I’ll tell you when she’s done.”

    246 words
    @LouisaBacio

  17. “I’ve seen something.” Her low voice carried just a hint of whiskey burn, a rasp I wasn’t sure was attributable to cigarettes or emotion. Maybe both.

    But she was nervous. A first year rookie who’d only passed psych on the second or third try could tell that much.

    “Okay,” I said. “Some sort of criminal activity, I take it?”

    “You’re deductive reasoning is outstanding, Detective.” She lifted her head just enough for me to see her eyes roll. She closed them tight, and I swore she counted. There was some serious sass lurking beneath the timid exterior, and I clamped my lips together to control my grin. “An arson. And dead people.”

    “Dead?”

    “Faceless.” She scrubbed her hands over her eyes. “Why can’t I see you? Why—”

    “Why are you telling me this?” I held my hand up before she could speak. “Wait. Allow me to rephrase. Why are you telling me this?”

    Her guileless eyes fixed on me.

    “Because you’re the unlucky sonuvabitch the desk sergeant pawned me off on,” she said. “No one ever believes me. But I can’t ignore what I see—not and live with myself.”

    She didn’t expect anything from me, which made something dumb and primitive rise up in me, determined to prove I was more evolved than other man-apes who’d disappointed her in the past.

    “You’re telling me this is about murder?”

    “I don’t know.” She shrugged. “I only know they’re dead, not how they got to that state.”

    @caramichaels
    247 #TeamTrouble #WIP365 words

  18. #ThursThreads Week 366 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week. 🙂

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