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 372 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 372:
Tattooed Texan, Basset-hound mama, and all flavors erotic romance author, B.A. Tortuga.
Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“Gonna be a busy night.”
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 372”
It took him a little while to climb the rise. Damn horse throwing him had left him with a bent left arm and a buggered right leg. Almost had to drag the limb as he scrambled up the incline.
“Might get a good view of the land up there,” he said out loud, hoping saying it would make it happen.
It was a scorcher of a day, the sun beating down like a storm of fireballs.
He was used to some heat. Years on the farm, soil burnt to dust, the last of the well water dripping like the sweat of the earth it was.
No life for man, woman or beast.
“I’ll find us somethin’, Martha,” he’d told her. “A week. Maybe two.”
She didn’t let on how scared she was for him, for her, for their two kids.
“Well,” she’d said, finding a smile from somewhere, “Gonna be a busy night of lovin’ if’n you’re gonna be gone from me for a while.”
They’d held each other all night, barely sleepin’, wrapped in each others arms, each others worries.
In the mornin’, he left before she arose. That way, he wouldn’t have to look back.
Now, horse skedaddled, sky burning his brain, water nothin’ much more than a memory, he reached the top of the hill, looked out over more desert, and a too far mountain.
“Gotta rest,” he said, not wanting to, knowing if he did that the next voice he’d hear might be death laughing.
A new town and a new job as a deputy; I was excited until I had a talk with the Sheriff about my duties.
“The Stampede starts today.” he announced, “Gonna be a busy night.”
“Drunks, johns, and hoes, that’s how we make our money for the year. You can solicit them johns and get me a few that will pay a fine and I’ll be your back-up,” he explained then producing the skimpiest little cowgirl outfit I’d ever seen.
“I’m not wearing that.”
“I’m retiring soon.”
What could I say? I put it on. I managed to bring in some drunks, some johns, and a few hookers, when he came along.
He was tall, about six four and muscular, dressed in a typical cowboy attire.
“What’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this? Did that sound as corny as I thought?” he laughed.
His laugh was a deep timbre as was his voice and they sent delicious tingles up and down my spine.
“I’ve been watching you between my events, tie-down roping, team roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, bareback bronc riding, bull riding…”
“No barrel racing?” I interrupted.
“I don’t do barrel racing. Those guys are crazy.”
“I’m Beau and you’re Annie. Meet me for a late dinner?”
The sheriff laughed in my earpiece, but he nodded at me.
I’d bagged my own cowboy, dinner turned into dating and dating turned into marriage. The cowboy loves being married to the new Sheriff.
Detective Bastion Gutierrez stared down at the body stuffed between two Dumpsters behind the old paper mill on the west side of Cheyenne.
“Who is she?”
His partner, Detective Elliot Ness, no relation to the famous FBI agent, checked his notes.
“There wasn’t any ID on her, but see that brand on her wrist?” Bastion nodded. “I’ve seen it somewhere before. It’s distinctive. Might’ve been from one of the Latino gangs from L.A.” He took out his phone and snapped a picture. “I’ll reach out to my buddies in Cali and see what they say.”
Gang killing, here in Cheyenne? It didn’t make sense. Wyoming was too far north, and that’s the way he liked it.
He’d moved from California to get away from the gang violence, and to outrun the incriminating stares of his friends and neighbors. No one understood why he wanted to join the police. It was the ultimate betrayal and his mother sent him to live in Denver with her brother. Tio Rodrigo showed him how being a cop was an honor and helped the community.
“Hey, Detective? There’s another body over here.” One of the uniforms waved them over.
“Shit, how long have we been here and not noticed it? The crime scene is gonna be fucked.” Elliot scowled as he headed for the uniform.
Bastion shook his head. “It’s gonna be a busy night.”
Unfortunately, that’s what happened around Cheyenne Frontier Days. The rodeo always brought out the crazies. And the killers.
248 ineligible #WIP365 #CheyenneCowboys words
The light flashed green, then red, red again.
“Gonna be a busy night. I hope there are enough bags in the basement.”
The light shone a pale yellow tinged with red. Another one on the edge.
Faint moans could be barely heard; Tears rolled down his cheeks burning like hot sauce.
Another small body wrapped in black plastic was shoved through the flaps on the wall, it reminded him of an old cafeteria in a mad house.
Joe picked it up, held it briefly to his chest and muttered a tiny prayer though he didn’t believe in prayer.
Trudging down the stairs to the freezer to store the little body his knees gave out just a little as he hit the bottom step. The freezer door was open and the pile of little bodies stacked up shook him. As he got closer he could see the little ones in the cheaper clear plastic bags. One had its eye open and was frozen that way, stuck to the plastic just staring out at him.
This was hell. Disease and Pestilence were wiping out the children first, Death was shoving them through the door. Joseph tried to wrap them in a white light of purity, wasn’t he the patron saint of a happy death? Not here, not now, not in this time and place. Light wouldn’t penetrate the black plastic, the black plastic, the black… he awoke suddenly to hands around his throat and flailed wildly at the surface of his nightmare.
The first time he saw her, he desired to whisk her away.
Her exquisite beauty cast a spell.
He could not wait to lay his hands on her…
He had been working diligently to make a secret passage to her room.
He was excited that all his sleepless nights would finally make his dream come true.
“Gonna be a busy night”, he thought as he bridged the final barrier.
He was the focus of her attention.
“Gonna be a busy night”, she thought as she got ready for him.
She’d protect her museum’s prized sculpture from any heist.
Gonna Be A Busy Night, by Terry Brewer, 249 words, @stories2121
The hours are good. Fixed. Suburban life is more relaxed than the Emergency Department of Columbia-Presbyterian in Manhattan. That’s where you become a trauma nurse. On Friday night, I arrive at 10:45 to prepare for the night shift, 11 to 7. At 10:59 I leave the locker room. Tonight is quiet. Heart attack in 1, broken arm in 2. By 12:30, the ER is empty except for the two doctors, we three nurses, and the receptionist.
Terry, a doctor, sits with her kindle. “‘Gonna be a busy night.’ I tell that to myself every night. And it never is.” Rookie. She should be glad. We look up when the phone rings. At about 12:43; just a car crash. Some broken bones. We go back to what we are doing.
Everything, and I mean everything, changes at 1:52 am. Sleepy nightclub, sleepy town. Everyone mellow, ready to go home. Turns out, everyone was not mellow. Asshole with a grudge and a semi-automatic.
It’s been a while. My triaging skills were honed in Upper Manhattan. No one else in the ER has been there. Now they’re about to be, all looking at me.
“I’ll triage as they come in. Once you see anyone I send through, just treat ‘em as you would a single walk-in. You’ve seen it all. For you each is a walk-in.
But not for me. I’m triage. I decide who I send through. Who I don’t because it’s too late. Yeah, it’s gonna be a busy night.
His father freshened up his tea-water, adding a slug of cider to make it up to the fill line. He raised his mug in salute.
“Gonna be a busy night,” he said. “Profitable and filled with opportunity.”
Junior had been the first to see the sand plume, the caravan sending up a cloud that could be seen hours away. The trading post had a ramshackle appearance, much of the wood in its walls smoothed and bleached by the sandstorms that came daily, scouring away at the glass in the windows until they became opaque, blind to the dim rays of the sun which never rose far above the horizon. The two of them lived mostly alone, their visitors usually staying for only one night. There was nothing here to keep them; it was just a place between two more, the total distance too far for the prospecting colonists, who’d all been drawn to the copper mines to the west of this place.
The old man switched on the sign on the roof, the neon beginning to flash. ‘Welcome,” it said first, then ‘Traders’; the two words alternating red and then white. It buzzed like an insect; its circuitry patched together from the skimmings of the merchandise that passed through here. The hitching posts were ready, the hoof marks from the last set of trail horses still as they’d been left three turns ago. Phobos was in the ascendant and the light was beginning to fade.
245 dollars for a night at Trader Joes ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
Hunter Lee squinted out at the sunbaked sand of the arena from the ready room shade. Heat radiated in search of his exposed skin, promising a rough ride. The cowhide vest covered about as much of his chiseled torso and broad arms as he was used to, but the ass-less chaps were not his idea of a good time. He held the ten-gallon hat Jerem gave him over his crotch and kept his other hand over his exposed bum.
“This is the most degrading thing I’ve ever done for money…”
The effeminate Jerem looked up from his checklists at Hunter’s grumble.
“You expect me to believe that? Remember, I’m the guy you come to every time you hit bottom.”
Hunter clenched his fist angrily, then hurriedly relaxed it to restore coverage.
“That ruin should have been my biggest score yet! Instead that girl beat me to it!”
Jerem returned to his lists with a hum.
“Try not to mention that. The Duchess and her ladies aren’t paying to see a performer who got beat by a little girl.”
Hunter slapped his hat against his thigh impatiently.
“Fine! But do I have to rope from horseback? You know how I feel about horses!”
Jerem peered over his half-moon spectacles.
“Says the man who rides a twenty-foot crocodile. The ladies are looking for an authentic experience.”
“Authentic my ass!” Hunter snorted.
“It’s gonna be. A busy night should see you financially solvent again though.”
242 Cat’s The Pajamas words
Lightning sizzles across the sky, cutting it in pieces with a crack of thunder. Max looks towards the horizon at the black wall-cloud hanging with menace. Hurrying, Max climbs into her pickup and races home.
Max runs down her mental checklist as she arrives home, thankful to see Burl’s truck already there. Hopping down from her truck she moves to the barn.
“Burl! How long you been here?”
Her neighbor gives her a grim smile, “I just got here a couple of minutes ago. Where you been?”
“I ran to town for some supplies. Thanks for coming over. You musta been stocked up already.”
“Mm-hmm,” pausing to eye the sky, Burl continues, “If a fella’s not ready by now, he ain’t gonna be. A busy night’s ahead of us, by the look of those clouds. I’ve already turned the livestock out to pasture. Let’s get your truck unloaded so we can hunker down.”
The two friends work efficiently and soon gather the dogs and head to the storm cellar as the wind begins to whip up dusty dervishes.
Looking across the plain as she closes the door, Max’s eye fills with a dark funnel.
“This is gonna be a bad one. It’s headed right at us.”
As the sound of a freight train bears down on them, Max reaches for Burl’s hand and begins to pray. Ears aching with pressure, Max feels the cellar shudder. Closing her eyes, she hopes they’re able to come out of this one alive.
I love sirens! That means it’s gonna be a busy night, sitting with my notepad at the scanner. Of course, that makes a busy morning, too, because Mary and I will have a lot to discuss over coffee. I walk outside, dog at my side, checking where the sirens go. When Betsy has finished her evening potty run, I hurry back inside, sit near the scanner, and wait.
The technical chatter is lost on me, but I’ve learned a few of the ten-codes. And 10-50 is an accident. And while the media has to wait for the official release of names, I don’t; I’m Linda McDowell and I know what happens in the hamlet of Benton, Iowa.
I fidget til I hear ’10-99’, where they run the driver’s license number. Oh, Mary is going to love this! They’ve identified the Collin’s boy, all of sixteen-years-old, as the at-fault. He ran a stop sign, a chronic problem of his. This time, his victim is…oh my! His mother Marsha!
By the time the ambulance has been sent back empty, I’m ready to move onto the next thing. I swear I can hear Marsha giving her boy a piece of her mind, considering the town is that small. My phone rings and I reach for it, already certain who’s calling.
“Linda! Did you hear about the accident?”
“I sure did. Come on over, I’ll make coffee.”
Mary hangs up and I hurry into the kitchen. The town is going to be a-buzz tomorrow!
February 14th, Valentine’s Day. The day the boss called me into his office, and handed me my termination notice. Two weeks, and I’d be let go. “It’s for the best,” was all he’d say.
I wondered why, but not why all this was happening. I wondered why no one understood.
But, with no job, I had no income. And I had no family anymore. I had no need for the house, so I put it on the market, and abandoned it, and moved into the cheapest apartment I could find. Two weeks, and I got lucky. Someone bought the house.
That was what I was waiting for. “Gonna be a busy night.” I bought a used RV, a small one. Like one of the Ford Transits, but with a bed, a functional shower and restroom, and a mini kitchen, with a mini refrigerator. It was perfect. “Just what I need to visit places.”
And I had plenty of places to visit. The petroglyphs of Winnemucca, the Great Serpent Mound in Ohio, the Etowah Indian Mounds, just to get started with. I had so many places to visit.
That night I dreamed of a world filled with places like Atlantis, with technology we don’t have today. Of a world that was destroyed, somehow, and then washed away by a giant flood. And I heard that line from the Battlestar Galactica movie Razor once again. “This has all happened before.”
“How bad is it?” For the first time in my career, I didn’t want to know. It weighed too heavy on me, knowing I should have taken her seriously.
“Gonna be a busy night, Davis.” Cap dropped the report on my desk. “It’s just like your Oracle said. There’s at least five bodies on site.”
“They died in the fire?”
“No.” A new voice joined the conversation. Dr. Rachel Murray, County Medical Examiner, was covered in soot and dirt.
“Were you on site?”
“Did you think I wouldn’t be after receiving your message?” She griimaced. “I made certain I was on call.”
“Your oracle’s either the real deal, or a disturbingly fearless criminal.” She picked at the dirt beneath her fingernails. “I’m rather inclined to believe the former.”
“She’s not my oracle.” I fisted my hands to keep from balling the papers on my desk in a fit of temper. Or in a last ditch effort to hide any betraying tremor.
“And those bodies were not fresh,” Rachel said. “But had the fire gone unchecked, it would have incinerated any number of sins.”
She told me the truth.
“Gut instincts aside,” Cap said, “we need confirmation. She better have a concrete alibi. Oracle abilities are unreliable at best, and unfortunately there’s no blood or skill test to validate her.”
“So she’s a suspect until she can prove otherwise.”
“And probably even after that for some. If she’s the real deal—” Rachel sighed. “Protect her, Davis. She’ll need you.”
250 #TeamTrouble words
#ThursThreads Week 372 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week. ?