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 373 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 373:
Programmer by day, writer by night, Katheryn J. Avila.
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And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“We need confirmation.”
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 373”
A Body of Evidence
The rains started a lifetime ago.
Would they ever stop?
The last thing I needed was a 4:00 am wrong number.
“Yeah,” I said, holding the intrusive beast against my ear, “This better it good.”
“Sorry, Jocko. I know it’s early.”
It was Mac Aldred. A seriously insomniacal cop.
“That makes two of us, Mac. What do you need to tell me that can’t wait till I get prettier?”
“Neither of us have that long, counsellor.”
“You’re right,” I gave in. “Tell me.”
“Remember the Travis case?”
And I did. More than any other. Sheila Walker Travis. Disappeared from her West Vancouver villa five earlier. No trace. Nada. With no body, nothing to go on, the case had just lingered like a cancer.
It hadn’t helped that Sheila had been a big part of my coming of age story.
I’d squirmed about the ethics but kept the file in my desk, waiting for something.
Waiting, but praying she’d just done a walkabout and was sunning her beautiful body on some distant beach.
“Well,” Mac broke in, “the torrent we’ve been drowning in provoked a mother of a mudslide on the highway north of her house. All sorts of crap and corruption slammed down to the beach below.”
“And” I asked, already knowing the answer.
“A pile of bones.”
“You think it’s her?”
“We need confirmation, but yeah.”
“Okay. Thanks Mac. I’m on my way.”
I hung up.
Someone will pay, Sheila, I swore.
The Small Box, by Terry Brewer, 246 words, @Stories2121
She’d been dead to me for years. Since the afternoon when I came home early and found her in bed with my husband. She was gone when I returned two hours later. He was on the living-room sofa, nursing his single-malt scotch.
“I can’t explain what happened.”
“Bullshit. You know exactly what happened. You don’t want to explain what happened.”
He thought, looked into his glass. It was probably his second. Maybe his third.
“OK. You want to know? You really want to know?”
“She came over to drop something off for you. It’s on the table.” He nodded to the crescent table under the front window. A small box.
“I let her in. She was dressed particularly well. Like she hoped you’d be here for her. But I was here for her.”
Another gulp. Glaring at me.
“I told her if she didn’t go to bed with me I’d tell everyone we know about you two. OK? Everyone would know about the two of you. That’s what happened.”
He took a last gulp from his single malt, banged his glass on the coffee table, and grabbed his jacket and keys and was gone.
We tolerated each other for a year. Until the divorce.
I think she believed she’d betrayed me, that he’d soiled her. I never saw or spoke to her again.
Then the call. A body. Dead for two, three years. Did I know her? “We need confirmation.”
I opened the box.
“Think we found your girl.” The voice ghosted from the shadows congealing around the dumpster in the alley, not that the men gathered there didn’t have excellent night vision. They were wolf shifters after all.
Nate Connor’s body vibrated with anger. “Where?”
“Little town outside of San Antonio.”
Mac McIntire squeezed Nate’s shoulder then said, “We need confirmation.”
The outlaw biker called Gunner nodded. “We’ll get it. Word is Hell Dogs are gearing up down that way. The Mexican cartels run the gangs in San Antonio. The closest Nightrider presence is here in Dallas. Tarpley’s off everyone’s radar so we should be able to infiltrate.” The Wolf studied Nate, causing him to growl. “Gotcha, dude. She’s your girl. We’ll find her. Just because we don’t gotta presence doesn’t mean we’re blind. We’ve got eyes and ears. There’s a social worker. She’s protecting a teenage runaway that matches your girl’s description.”
“Hope is not a runaway. She was taken.” Nate bit out each word, their taste bitter on his tongue.
Gunner grimaced in sympathy. “Hell Dogs and the cartels are partners in human trafficking. We’ll do everything we can to help.”
Mac raised one eyebrow in what was otherwise a perfect poker face. “What’s it gonna cost us?”
“Not a damn thing, Sergeant Major. Our national prez has declared open season on the Dogs.” Gunner grinned. “You’re a legend, McIntire, even to us grunts in Force Recon.”
“You were a Marine.” Nate visibly relaxed.
“We’ll hunt. The kill is yours.”
249 “Fighting for Elena” WIP words — Yippee!
“We think we have an idea of who shot at you, Sanchez.” Bruiser’s voice came through Enrique’s ear buds as he raked the clean straw bedding in the stall.
“Who are we looking for?” He couldn’t help the growl in his voice, but he kept it down so none of the other stablehands would hear it.
“Someone smaller than average, around five feet in height. Could be a kid or a woman given their build. I’d say no more than a buck fifty in weight.” Aaron “Tae Kwan Do” Chin sounded frustrated. “I went over those videos with a fine toothed comb and then I got serious, and I still didn’t get a good look at the face. The suspect knew where all the cameras were and kept their head turned. They were wearing a sweatshirt, which was strange in the heat, but that day a storm came in so no one thought twice.”
“That’s not much to go on. We need confirmation before we send anything to the LEOs.” Enrique chewed his bottom lip as he thought of ways to catch the bastard. “Did you see anyone with the same look coming out of the gate?”
“Is a frog’s ass airtight?” He could hear Aaron roll his eyes. “We got the suspect coming out while everyone was worried about you in the arena. Again, they avoided the cameras, but I did catch something dangling from their wrist this time. Looked like a rosary. Not much but better than nothing.”
250 ineligible #WIP365 #CheyenneCowboys words
The woman staring me down was almost certainly not human. Bark brown skin, summer-leaf green hair, solid as an NFL lineman—those didn’t necessarily give her away, but the roots abruptly spreading across the flooring did.
The tile cracked.
Okay, angry nymph.
Between me and the nearest exit.
“That’s me.” Damn it.
“You didn’t believe Pandora.”
“You know so many of them?”
A switch flipped in some dark corner of my brain, as the nymph’s presence and words formed an uncomfortable realization.
“The woman claiming to be an Oracle?”
Oracles hid away from society. Frequently in forests. Forests filled with nymphs. Nymphs who aggressively sheltered the Oracles.
“Human brains are so slow.” She made a vee and pointed at her eyes. “I’m actually watching you piece this together. What did you do to her?”
“No—nothing.” My voice trailed away. What I did do and what I didn’t do were pretty much the same in this case. “Not everyone who walks in with a story is a truth-sayer. We need—”
“Confirmation? Validation? Fine.” She sighed, the sound of whispering leaves. The roots retreated into her. “But don’t come looking for her when you get it.”
“Nymphs and Oracles,” I said. “Why didn’t she bring you along in the first place?”
“Like a magic act?”
“I would have believed.”
“Don’t worry, Detective, she’ll make a believer of you on her own.” She turned away with a wry smile. “Then again, maybe you should worry.”
250 #TeamTrouble words
“We need confirmation of your name and date of birth. We can begin then.” Michael raised his eyebrows and poked at his tablet, beginning to fill in my information.
“Melissa Lang. January 12th 1993. You need to know my height and weight? My sexual orientation? My favourite cheese? Or do you need anything more intimate?”
He stopped, then cleared the tablet’s display. “As much as I’d like to know, I don’t have the boxes for those details. I have to follow the script rigorously; no deviations allowed.”
He slipped the device into his pocket, dropping his ‘business’ persona. “It’s difficult, I know,” he began, reaching out and taking my hand. His was large and warm and folded easily around mine. It felt like he could have crushed rocks with it if he chosen. It was providing a much-needed comfort for me now, giving me the anchor point I’d been longing for, but not known.
“I didn’t really expect to wake up,” I confessed. “I hoped I would, but everything just seemed so … fantastic. Like a TV movie made on a budget. I wanted to believe those stories they told us but when it came to having faith in what they promised, I was never truly convinced.”
“But you still signed on the line and paid your money. That’s all the evidence we needed.” Michael crossed his arms and unfolded his wings, turning his head so the light glanced across his halo. “That’s how we keep the wrong people out.”
250 pledges for Jesus ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
“We need confirmation.”
“Johnathon, if we’re going to do this, confirmation is a must.” Shari looked over at him with her arms crossed and waited. She noted the tell-tale smirk on his face as he also crossed his arms.
“You really think we need to confirm it?”
“Yasss! I really think we need to make sure our heads aren’t in the clouds just because of cuteness. We’ve waited a long time for this, haven’t we?” Shari glanced down at a photo and then looked back at Johnathon.
“All we have to do is say it into the universe and it’s done.”
“But if it doesn’t fit, putting it out there in the universe isn’t going to matter, if the name doesn’t fit.”
“God, the struggle is real.” Shari said to him.
“Who would have thought naming a puppy would be such an issue?”
“Well where I come from you just name a puppy what you want.”
“Well, Mr. You’re married to a woman who writes and where I come a name has to mean something.” Shari picked up her iced tea and took a sip.
Johnathon chuckled. “Well at this point I’d be fine if you called him, Confirmation.”
Shari sputtered at what he said and out came the iced tea. Johnathon jumped out of the way and patted her on the back and once she was able to talk, she looked at him.
“Confirmation it is.”
Sorry forgot this: 240 words and @authornprince
Sun beat on the black asphalt. Dale turned, watching Number 12 roar past him, slamming to a stop in the pit. The driver revved the engine, sending exhaust waffling into the air.
Crackling snapped and popped in Coop’s ear.
Coop shook his head, waving Dale off.
‘Damn, newbie,’ Coop thought. Teaming with Dale wasn’t his choice. Young, untested, and eager to please wasn’t a good combo for this mission. He calculated the chances of completion at seventy-five percent. If he hadn’t needed a warm body for the heavy lifting, he would have insisted on working alone.
Number 12 bounced, tires spinning and squealing as the pit crew dropped it to the pavement. The racecar shimmied while bodies dove over the barrier dragging hoses and equipment with them. A wall of smoke engulfed the area and the car scudded onto the track.
“What’s the deal?” Dale’s voice exploded in Coop’s earphone. Coop did his best to remain calm when he saw Dale rushing toward him.
“We need confirmation,” Coop yelled over the track’s din.
“We’re not getting many more chances,” Dale shouted.
Coop shrugged, heading toward the crew, but the sound of sheering metal, stopped him cold. Hearing an explosion, he swung around to observe a fireball rising from the track. A quick glance at the monitor confirmed what Coop already suspected.
He let his gaze scan the chaotic pit area. A helmeted figure in the team colors faced Coop, gave him a thumbs-up, then silently disappeared into the crowd.
Mother Josephine stood like granite between Sforzando Alighieri and the door to the cloister. He hadn’t noticed when his half-orc guide, Brother Everard, dropped behind him but there was no one between Sforzando and Josephine. Easily a head shorter than him, there was still something about the sour-faced woman that frightened Sforzando.
“I, ehm, I’m here to meet the child?”
The old priestess harrumphed dismissively but deigned to scrutinize Sforzando further with sharp clear eyes.
“This is Maester Sforzando,” Everard offered delicately. “He’s here to train the child?”
The Mother’s eyes narrowed and Sforzando could feel Everard step back, abandoning him to the terror of every religiously schooled child.
“Neither Songster required training to fulfill their destiny. What can this layman possibly teach young Melody?”
“We talked about this,” the bulky Brother squeaked from a safe distance. “The elders all agreed it was a good opportunity…”
Josephine cut Everard short. Sforzando took a breath and centered himself. It didn’t seem like his smile that had charmed the Queen would help here, but he was too nervous to go forward without it.
“My studies of Song Magic have shown good results; I’ve even taught myself to perform it without being a Songster. Perhaps Melody can teach me something?”
The Mother uncrossed her arms with a reluctant sigh.
“Before I let you through, I need to know; are you confirmed?”
Sforzando scratched the back of his neck.
“Actually, I’m not religious.”
Her arms re-crossed.
“We need confirmation.”
247 Cat’s The Pajamas words
Lucy had looked forward to this trip for weeks. She’d never been to New Orleans and was excited to eat beignets and try chicory coffee. She had extended her stay in hopes she’d get to explore the city and catch one of the haunted cemetery tours and explore a voodoo shop.
However, the trip began with no hot water for a shower. And then when she tried starting her car, all she got was the click-click of a dead battery. The ride-share couldn’t pick her up for 15 minutes, and of course, this was when TSA decided to pull her bag for inspection. While Lucy appreciates the thankless job of the agents, this one took everything out of her bag. Everything.
Once she’d repacked her bag, Lucy rushed to her gate and learned she had missed her plane.
“But it’s RIGHT THERE.”
“Yes, ma’am, but federal law prohibits us from opening the doors once they’ve been closed. The next flight is in three hours, would you like a seat?”
Three hours later, Lucy boards her plane. It was a turbulent ride and the man sitting next to her suffered from motion sickness. Fun.
Finally dragging herself to the check-in desk, Lucy gives the clerk a weary smile.
“Lucy Nichols. I have a reservation.”
“Lucy Nichols? We need confirmation.”
“Confirmation of I.D. A driver’s license?”
“You got the last room available. Right across from the elevator. That okay?”
Lucy gives a hysteric laugh, “Yeah. That’s perfect.”
On Thursday, I had a fight with some guy at a gas station. I was tanking up, heading to Colorado, to explore what I could of the Anasazi Indian settlements, and their arrangements on the ground, when he asked where I was heading.
“Researching the Anasazi settlements.”
“Oh. Another one of those Ancient Aliens people?”
“No. Not really. Something else.” We got talking about my idea that we’d been technologically advanced before, but something happened, and he laughed at me.
“Yep. One of those Ancient Aliens people.” It was an insult. “We need confirmation before we can even think about that type of stuff.”
“And I suppose you’re going to tell me that chem-trails are a real thing?”
“Hell, yes! I can see them hanging in the air after jets fly over!”
It was my turn to laugh at him. That’s all I remember until I woke up in a strange room, with someone explaining to me, “You have a broken nose, and jaw.” I spent the night in the hospital, getting my nose and jaw put back together, and getting stitches in several places.
Chem-trails. What an idiot. I decided I’d never talk to anyone about my idea again. Not until I had it all figured out.
I work with the dead because they don’t talk to me. Well, not much, anyway. Long story. Hands shaking, I grip the sides of the podium and look straight ahead. Voices begin shouting but I can’t hear anything except a roar in my ears. Another breath and I pick out one demand: ‘we need confirmation!’
“Uhm. Hello. I’m Carla. At this time the-the—” I take a breath, determined not to have an anxiety attack. “Uhm, the state ruled the death a homicide. Thank you.”
I slam the doors to the county morgue and sliding to the floor. My boss hurries over, worry all over his face. Breath after breath pulls in through my nose, out through my mouth.
I lock eyes with him. “Don’t you ever make me do that again.”
The reporters continue shouting, wondering how a motorcycle accident could be ruled a homicide. I accept a hand off the floor and sit in the first chair we pass.
My boss sits next to me. “Promise, from now on, I’ll deal with the press. When’s the body coming back?”
“I pick it up tomorrow.” One final breath eases the last of the anxiety. “Why’s this such a big deal? I mean, beyond the obvious?”
Jared shrugs, putting a bottle of water in front of me. “He’s the beloved football coach. Lots of rumors going around.”
“Well, let ‘em percolate.”
I sip my water and Jared nods. We don’t police the rumors, we report the truth.
Big and Bad
Sam kept an eye on the fuel gauge as they expanded the search grid. They had been under blizzard conditions for the past five hours and anybody with any sense was inside. She looked over at her partner and gave him a wry smile.
“So, who’d you piss off to draw this detail?” she asked Jenkins.
“What makes you think…”
“Dude, you’re on patrol, in a blizzard— with me. That usually means you’re on your shift supervisor’s shit list.”
“Sam, you’re not that bad.”
“Me, no—, but we both know that a) weird shit tends to happen around me and b) it never hurts me— it gets the people with me.”
Jenkins let out a sigh. “Honestly? I volunteered.”
Sam looked at him. “Why in the name of all that’s holy would you do something that suicidal?” She shook her head as she focused on the snow ahead of them.
“Sam, you’re one of the best deputies we’ve got— you’re calm, you don’t get riled…”
“Stop right there, Jenks. I get riled. It takes quite a bit— and it’s not pretty when it happens, trust me, if you see me getting riled, you want to hide, in the Expedition, with the shotgun.”
She rolled her eyes when she heard Jenkins let out a snort and shook his head. “Darlin’ we’re out in the middle of a snowstorm, looking for what sounds like a Yeti – and you think you’re the scariest thing out here.”
“No, we need confirmation.”
248 words not including title
#ThursThreads Week 373 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.