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 371 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 371:
Thrivin’ American Mutt, Reader with Honest Reviews, Luanne Bennett.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“You waited with me.”
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!
16 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 371”
When I open my eyes, I’m lying in the grass, facing a darkening sky. Somewhere to my left, the sun is almost done setting.
I don’t even remember passing out.
My head feels like it might explode. I don’t feel any bumps, but when my hand comes away so I can check for blood, I’m shocked to see the scribbles from the now blank wall etched into my skin.
“I told you not to touch the damn wall.” After how eager he’d been to move on, to finish what I’m now starting to see as a doomed quest, I half expected Arius to leave me behind. Death hasn’t exactly made a secret of how little he cares about my fate.
“You waited with me.” It’s not like he needs me anymore, either, now that I’ve located this place for him. “Why? Why wait with me when you could just leave me here?”
The look on his face tells me he’s almost – but not quite – offended by my words.
“I’m not a monster, you know. And left to your own devices, you’d likely go around touching more things you shouldn’t.” He gestures at my skin, at all the markings.
“Are these permanent?”
“Let’s hope not.” He offers a hand to help me up. Reluctant, I take it anyway. “Now let’s go. The sooner we find that book, the sooner I can get those markings off you.”
I’m not sure if he continues to hold my hand for his benefit, or mine.
250 WIP words
It had been almost a year since Nicholas Richards had left, and Maya Ann Cortez could still sense his presence in her apartment. She smiled as she caught the faint traces of his scent that still lingered in the apartment.
Outside, she pretended to move on, but she knew he would return. It wasn’t as if she could explain their relationship.
How do you explain that you aren’t completely human, that you’re immortal and when you fall for someone, it is forever? She knew Nick would return once he found what he was looking for. It was a given.
He was as bound to her as she was to him. It was the way of things for her kind. She knew Nick was mortal, that he could be taken from her, but she also knew that he would always come for her. He was in his DNA.
Today, like every other day, she made dinner but for some reason, she cooked two servings of everything and set the table, complete with candles an empty vase. Today. That was the other secret to eternity – Today was all that mattered.
She stiffened when she heard the key in her door, and turned as Nick opened the door, her smile growing as she saw it reflected in his.
Then she was in his arms, their bodies molding together as if they had never been apart.
He looked at her in relief and surprise. “You waited.”
“With me, there is no other way.”
249 words, not including title
The near-silent drip of sand against glass echoes around me. Thousands of shelves hold hour glasses, the sand telling how much longer every human has left. And in charge of it all is Maddie, a fourteen-year-old girl who died of cancer.
Maddie puts her dust rag down. “Gonna be a busy night.”
“Had, like, a hundred hour glasses float up this morning.”
“Well, busy makes the night go faster.”
She’s not herself today and I’m not sure if I should ask why; teenagers are touchy about feelings. But then the tears start to fall.
She points to an hour glass on her desk. ‘Abby Glassmaker’ is etched on the front, with her picture. It takes me a second to see the resemblance.
“Why is it Mom’s turn?” She wipes her eyes.
I pull her into a tight hug, my eyes subconsciously roaming to find my mom’s hour glass. “When the hour glass rattles, it’s time to go.”
Maddie holds me for a long time, fresh tears wetting my shoulder. That’s the downside to her job: she was bound to know when it was her parent’s time.
Confused, I blink. “For what, hon?”
She pulls back, wiping her eyes. “You waited with me. Thank you.”
I take a deep breath. “Of course, sweetie. No way I was going to leave you alone.”
The door to the room opens and Maddie bolts into her mother’s arms. I slip out the back way, leaving them to their reunion.
“You know, I wish I could stay here forever.”
I meant the words, surprisingly enough, and I loved the fantasy of always having something like this to come home to. But I also understood it was a fantasy, the rough edges and misunderstandings of life glossed over and shined up.
“Here at the compound or here in this moment?” Michael didn’t pretend to not understand. I liked that about him.
“Here in this moment with the quiet and the snow and the lack of responsibility.” I sighed. It was a lovely fantasy, but I’d grow bored and have to go find something to do. I wasn’t much for sitting around doing nothing.
He snorted. “How long would that last, Haley? You don’t strike me as a woman who relaxes much.”
It was like he’d read my mind. I laughed. “No, I don’t. There’s always something to do or something to report on.” I turned my head to scan his face. “But I might be convinced to relax if you waited with me. You definitely keep my mind occupied.”
He smirked. “I do my best.”
I lost my own smile. “But pretty soon here I’m gonna have to go back down to Fort Collins soon.”
Michael shifted beside me and his jaw tightened. “I don’t know if that’s a good idea. I don’t think it’s safe.”
“Oh come on. The big bad biker can’t drive in the snow? How long have you lived in Colorado?”
“It’s not the snow, Haley.”
249 ineligible #ConcreteAngelsMC words
Bus Ride, Announcement – by Mason Bushell
“You made me love you so much today, Toby,” Libby said.
“Really why?” he replied his eyes on the window. The two were riding the bus to the city from the hospital.
“You sacrificed your football match to come to the hospital with me.”
“Of course, I love you and nobody should have to be in the hospital alone.”
“You did more than that. You waited with me for hours.” Libby kissed him. “You did all of it without complaining once. I love you for that.”
“I only did what a good boyfriend would do.” Toby took her hand as the bus made a sharp right turn, causing a passenger to lose her shopping all over the floor. “The thing that bothers me is that you never said what the tests were for.”
“You want to know?” Libby’s eyes shone.
“Please, I’m worried about you.”
“Aw don’t be, I’m not sick.” she couldn’t contain a smile.
“Then what is it.” Toby looked into her pretty brown eyes. He could feel her excitement. She beamed as a tear rolled down her cheek.
“I’m pregnant, we’re having a baby,”
“I – Oh … wow!” Toby looked stunned.
“You okay?” Libby asked. Toby stood and went to the front.
“Stop the bus.” He demanded. The driver complied.
“Toby?” Libby looked fearful.
“Ladies and Gentleman, my girlfriend Libby Ellis, just told me, she’s pregnant. I’m so proud of her, I love her so much, and now I’m sitting down before I burst with joy.”
249 words – @MBWorkhouse on Twitter
She’s resting now. A few moments of quiet. Whatever pain she feels, it must disappear with sleep. I wonder about her sleep.
Does she still dream?
If she does, I wonder what kind of dreams they might be. Are they helpful for her?
Mine takes me on journey, familiar places, with a twist of the macabre. And those are the ones I remember.
The others, well, they do escape recall.
Sometimes, I imagine I do remember what they are. I see them floating inside my head, like goldfish waiting to be seen in a murky pond.
I need my sleep now too. But if I close my eyes, I might miss her wakening. She does that. Stirs. Arises. Wanders.
I have to remain awake.
It took me a time to understand her needs.
That first time I sensed that her thinking was not clear, I was at a loss. I even tried to get her to understand. We were lying in bed. A winter morning. There was a snowfall. I arose, opened the blinds. Below, the city was swathed in white.
She woke, and said, “You waited with me.”
“We were sleeping,” I said. “Of course, I waited. We were in bed together.”
She got up, walked to the bedroom window, looked out from our seventh-floor perch. “I was leaving for Spain,” she said. “You didn’t want to fly. But you came to the airport and waited.”
“I’ll always wait with you, my love. That’s what loves about.”
The vision finally loosed its hold around two A.M. I tried not to stare at the canvas she’d painted, at the score or so of Faceless she’d painted.
“He’s escalating so quickly.” The brush in Pandora’s hand trembled as she set it down.
“Too quickly.” She spun around at my voice, stumbling backward toward the still-wet painting. I snagged her hand and yanked her toward me. She slammed against my chest with a soft oof. “You okay?”
“Is my arm still attached?” She muttered the protest against my shirt.
“Sorry. Can’t have you destroying my only clues.” She didn’t seem inclined to move, so I settled one arm around her waist. “Especially after seeing what you go through bringing them out of your head for the world to see.”
I touched her paint-stained fingers.
She tipped her head up, her tear-swollen dark eyes still ringed in the unearthly blue glow of the vision state.
“Why are you here, Davis?”
“Was I supposed to leave you alone?” She frowned at the question, making me wonder who had done exactly that to her in the past.
“You waited with—”
“Me?” I shook my head. “I don’t do waiting.”
“Oh, I was here. But I was working.” Because waiting might drive me insane. “Working.”
“Well, that’s terrifying.”
“Tell me about it.” Studying her with a clinical detachment had barely stopped me from shaking her back to this world. “Wait until you read my notes.”
250 WIP words
I couldn’t help myself. My fingers brushed across her cheek and my thumb traced her lips. Val stirred but didn’t wake. She had to be exhausted, because how else could she sleep on this lumpy excuse of a couch. That she used my thigh as a pillow soothed my wolf.
Footsteps coming up the hallway put me on alert, but they were deliberate. I recognized the scent of my club brother, Gunner. He’d deliberately made the noises. He called softly when he saw he had my attention.
I shook my head.
I shook my head again. His face hardened. When I went hunting for Val’s bastard ex, Gunner would hunt with me. Hell, the Nightriders would be standing in line to ride at my side.
“I’ll bring you some coffee.”
Whatever. I couldn’t think of anything but the pretty woman sleeping on me and her little boy fighting for his life down the hallway.
Val stirred again so I moved my hand. I could stare at her for hours—awake, asleep, it didn’t matter. She was my mate. Not that I’d claimed her. To her, it was bad enough I was an outlaw biker. Add that I was a wolf shifter and no one knew we existed? Yeah, that shit took time to explain.
Glancing down, my gaze collided with Val’s wide-eyed stare.
“You waited with me, Rebel.” Her voice and expression held wonder.
“Well, yeah. You and Maxey are mine.” And they were. Always.
250 future Nightriders book words
He Promised: by Terry Brewer, @stories2121: 184 Words
He promised. He swore he would pull out. Then suddenly neither of us cared. Faster and faster. Harder and harder. An explosion. Followed by the crash. My eyes shot open. He didn’t pull out. He promised that he’d pull out. He always did before. He said, “sorry. I got carried away. It was great though wasn’t it.”
I hadn’t come. Now I wouldn’t. “Get off of me.” A shout, even louder than my screams of a minute before. He meekly rose and reached for his underwear and his clothes. He began to say he could finish me but he knew not to go there. He was gone.
I got the morning-after pill. It didn’t work. When I needed the abortion, he was gone. On to someone else who’d believe his promises.
I didn’t want to go alone. I was afraid to go alone. You waited with me. You held my hand. You engulfed me when it was done. I will always remember that. I will always remember you. You waited with me. You waited for me. For me. I will always remember you.
Terry Brewer @Stories2121
The old man stood tall in his naval jacket on the promenade overlooking the dock. Steely eyes loomed over his coifed white walrus mustache as the tall ship made port. The light had barely risen. Younger uniformed men offloaded the ship by the dozen, with as many again standing rifles ready against any interference. Admiral Bennet drummed his fingers unhurriedly against his wrist behind his back, keeping time for the operation below.
Midday the shift changed though the Admiral’s stoic expression had not. His aide brought him a chair and an iced tea, which the old man accepted without looking away from the work below. If Bennet blinked, no one saw it. Tightly sealed plain crates hauled out in neat lines between two able men each, as well as less subtle gilded chests of similar proportion. Under the admiral’s scrutiny there was no margin for error.
From the ship, the crates and chests went to wagons in a fortified yard also under Bennet’s gaze. The lamps were lit as the last pieces were offloaded and final checks of the wagons began. Admiral Bennet stood with a cough and mustache waggle, the only sound and most animation he’d shown all day. He turned to the younger man in silk robes who kept his company through it all.
“You waited with me.”
Sforzando Alighieri nodded with a tired smile.
“We’re not through yet.”
“You’re too important to be running errands for The Temple.”
“I could say the same about you.”
250 Cat’s The Pajamas words
The MC pulled the mic toward him. He nodded and the dim shape behind the desk faded the houselights, giving him the spot he needed.
It was time.
“People of Illinois,” he began. “You waited with me. You gave the local band some love – we all have to start somewhere – but now your patience will be rewarded. I’ll delay you no more; ladies and gentlemen, I give you Giada.”
A bass guitar began to throb, its fat strings establishing a lazy pulse. The MC disappeared; his spotlight suddenly swallowed by the dark which clothed the stage. The audience took a breath … and held it.
The ragamuffin girl could have been a child. She was small enough, her features seeming half-formed and vague. Her face was pale and her dark eyes were bottomless.
“Please… please me,” she crooned, establishing a melody.
She didn’t use a mic, but her voice was suddenly everywhere; insinuating itself in the places where words were superfluous, bypassing each individual’s ears to stimulate their needs at the most animal level. Gender was immaterial to her, although it was sex she offered. The heat of her mouth, the sharpness of her teeth, the promise of pleasures unknown to most mortals. She took the hand of one of the waitresses, eclipsing her face with her own for a moment, a warm smile briefly replacing the lipstick-red slash dressing her lips. The first one had been marked; there would be many more before she finished tonight.
249 heartbeats ~ https://twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com/
It was three days before Christmas the night I got home from work, and my daily trip to the library, digging for any information I could find, and both my wife, and our children were gone. There was a note on the refrigerator. The only part that mattered was the part where she said, “There was a time when you waited with me.” When one of them was sick. When the soccer practice kept going, and going. When she was at the doctor, not feeling well.
So many times I had waited with her.
Until I got tied into my research.
I was supposed to have cried. Or screamed. Or eaten six gallons of ice cream. Or got drunk, and been arrested. A normal man would have.
Instead, I spent the night on the internet, searching for more information. I learned about Damascus steel, Tutankhamun’s knife, the London Hammer, the Antikythera Mechanism, the Baghdad Battery, and so many more.
I learned the Great Sphinx of Giza may have been built over 9,000 years ago, instead of 4,500 years. The questions of how old the pyramids around the world were, and who made them. How some of them could actually be 10,000, 12,000 or more years old.
It was Christmas Day when I realized they weren’t coming back.
It was New Years Day when I got the letters from her lawyers.
I was in my car in a ditch hoping someone would find me before I succumbed to my injuries, the odds were getting worse as was the pain and the bleeding leg that I tied off was now turning a funny colour. I undid the tourniquet… big mistake, blood gushed from the wound. I prayed hard someone would find me. I heard cars and trucks go by but not one vehicle stopped. Why wasn’t God answering?
I wondered is this how I would die? When an angel appeared before me.
“Where were you?”
“Here, though you couldn’t see me,” the angel answered.
“You waited with me?”
“Of course, I waited. That was my job to watch over you and guide you.”
“Then I am, dying?”
“Then why have you appeared to me?”
“You need to know that God cares. That he has sent someone to save you; but it’s your choice.”
“What do you mean it’s my choice?”
“You can go home to your old life; or you can come home to God.”
“Doesn’t God decide?”
“God gives everyone choices. I’ll ask you this; have you done everything in this life that you should have?”
I made a decision for I had more to do and though I was in a coma for three weeks I’m on the mend now. I’ve a lifetime to do those good deeds meanwhile I’m going to enjoy life now if I could stop feeling like I had an angel perched on my shoulder.
#ThursThreads Week 371 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.