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 377 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 377:
Hard working Children’s RN, with the love of reading to relax, and sports fan, Crystal Brown.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“I’m not the one you expected, am I?”
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!
15 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 377”
I backed away from the dragon’s head but stopped. Where the hell could I go? It wasn’t like it couldn’t reach me. Hell, all it had to do was sneeze and I’d be done like an overcooked steak. I swallowed hard and wrapped my arms around my middle, hoping the end would be quick.
But the dragon heaved what sounded like an exasperated sigh and closed its eyes. I thought it might be going to sleep, but instead it started to shimmer and fade, like something out of a sci-fi cartoon. The air shifted, pulling me forward a few steps, and I flung my arms out to steady myself before there was a subtle pop! And the dragon disappeared.
In its place stood my erstwhile partner and fellow escapee, Arach Uzekamanzi.
I blinked. “What the hell?”
“I’m not the one you expected?”
“Am I crazy? There was A DRAGON RIGHT THERE!” I didn’t normally shout but it had been a rough day. “Where’s the dragon? How did you get here? What the hell is going on?”
For just a moment, he wore an expression of confusion. Yeah, like I’m the one who’s being weird. But then his eyes widened and his jaw dropped.
“You’ve never seen dragonkin before?”
“Is that some sort of trick question? Dragons are mythical beasts. They don’t exist.”
He threw his head back and laughed. “Oh my dear, you’re a treasure. Dragons do exist, and I am one, though my father may contest it.”
250 ineligible #TeamRPG words
The message had been clear. Clear in that classic way clandestine messages have of making their trenchant point yet giving nothing else away.
COME ALONE. BRING THE MONEY. MIDNIGHT.
The first e-mail promising images and documents that would put the nail in the tail of rising political donkey, Henderson Skrall, had come two weeks earlier.
My editor, Tommy (Screw ‘em) Goodwin, had been after Skrall’s hide for years. “The man’s a human burp, Laddie. He’s planning to run for Governor. Stands a fair chance. Crooked as a mountain highway. This may be our chance to bring him down.”
Negotiations went on for days with the informant. Finally, Tommy agreed to $300,000.00. Even dug into his own money.
“Is that wise?” I asked. It didn’t seem ethical as well, but I didn’t ask that.
“Wisdom’s got nothing to do with journalism,” Tommy answered. “Truth! That’s what matters. And, as you’re gonna write the story, you’re gonna deliver the boodle.”
So, there I was, parked in the alley behind the local Big Box, waiting for my wannabe Deep Throat. Let me tell you, I was nervous.
Suddenly, headlights in front of me flashed.
The archetypal signal.
I got out.
He got out.
“YOU?” I exclaimed.
“I’m not the one you expected, am I?” he said.
“No. You certainly aren’t. Why…?”
Henderson Skrall smiled. “Well, my sins were bound to be exposed. You can’t hide diddly these days, so, I thought, why not have Screw ‘em Goodwin pay me for them.”
Her hand slid further, skimming his thigh. It plunged inward, her fingers grasping at him…
“Excuse me!” Oliver’s voice shot up to a falsetto, his knee rising to block. He shuffled sideways, moving forward until he was balanced on the edge of the chaise-longue.
“What’s the matter?” She leaned back, appraising him. She dangled her stiletto on one toe, then dropped it, raising her foot so it rested flat against his leg. She moaned softly, with a fluid sensuality, and then stopped, waiting for him to respond.
“I’m not the one you expected, am I?” Oliver stood, using his hands as a shield. “Let me guess, you think we met before and now you’re feeling confused. You think I’m acting strange. You probably arranged to meet with me tonight, believing we’d be having more than drinks later. Thinking there’d be dessert to follow.”
The woman’s jaw dropped, and she fell silent. She looked confused, her comprehension struggling to adjust.
“Let me explain.” He scanned the other booths, looking for a familiar face. A face he knew as well as his own.
There was no-one. Just a dozen or more tables crammed with strangers, most of them watching them, although some were looking away now.
“It’s like this,” Oliver went on, his voice lower. “I’ve got a brother. An identical twin. And he loves practical jokes…”
225 words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
“I’m not the one you expected, am I?”
Shad Hager walked to the body of Joe Ogden, admiring the clean work a .45 caliber bullet could do at reasonably close range. A bud-sized hole, big around as his pinky, was blooming into a flower of red in Ogden’s back. The sand beneath the deputy’s chest would accept the messy side of Hager’s gardening in short order.
“I told you I’d lead you to that fella what robbed and killed Old Man Bentley after he went to the bank in Tucson. I didn’t lie now, did I?” Hager said as he holstered his pistol. “I just needed to get you out on this false trail before I could let you know you had your man all along.”
Hager heard a soft hissing moan come from Deputy Ogden and bent down close to listen.
“Don’t worry, Joe. It won’t be long now,” Hager said as he rolled the deputy over.
But Ogden wasn’t hearing his killer just then. He was experiencing years in a second.
He listened to his father teach how to read a man’s eyes, searching for the lie.
He smelled his Mary’s hair, felt her warmth against his chest as she pressed that Christmas gift into his hand. Something to keep him safe on his new job.
All his scenes overlapped, yet jelled in that instant Joe died, just as he touched off that pocket pistol into the lying face of Shad Hager.
No, it didn’t take long.
I pushed the suite door wide, bag of takeout swinging in my hand. Yuri glanced up from the piano, the almost smile on his face slipping downward.
“Oh. It’s you.” He sighed and turned back to scribbling in a notebook.
“Ouch, that stings.” The door slowly closed behind me, lock engaging with a thunk. I hefted the bag up. “I come bearing food.”
That earned me a grunt of acknowledgment.
“And pro tips for dealing with disappointment.”
“Already a pro, thanks.”
“Just the food then,” I said. “Guess I’m not the one you expected.”
“Am I really so transparent?” He huffed, blowing his bangs out of his eyes. “I think not.”
“You almost smiled.”
“Before you realized I wasn’t Jamie.”
“Hm.” He didn’t look at me. “I’ll have to work on that.”
“I expected more denial.”
“I’ll save it for your brother.” He played a few notes, changed it slightly. More scratching in the notebook. “Keep him on his toes.”
I snort laughed. Saw the slightest answering smirk curve Yuri’s lips.
“Jamie probably won’t use the door, just FYI.” I crossed to the dining table. “He prefers the Harry Potter school of appa-whatever.”
“That. He’s a shameless showoff when he’s flirting.”
“Does he do that a lot?”
“Appa…rearing or flirting?”
Yuri gave me side-eye.
“Can’t say I’ve seen him this interested in someone before.”
“He’s a damn peacock trying to get your attention.”
“Character building.” Yuri’s smile would wreck my unsuspecting brother. “It’s good for him.”
250 superhero WIP words
I’m not the one you expected, am I? by Terry Brewer, 236 words
“Cheryl, there’s someone I’d like you to meet.”
Stephanie was my best friend, and we were walking to the dorm after the last class of Thursday. Which meant the last class of the week. We were both juniors and Cheryl was a lucky in love as I was unlucky. She was forever trying to fix me up with someone. Not only fellow students, including grad students, but people she’d run into in town. I’d seen it. We’d be walking and she’d set upon some poor schmuck and asked “What do you think of my friend?”, said friend being me and said friend disappearing into the floor. She laughed and promised not to do it again, but she still did. “What if he was ‘the one’?” How could I be angry?
“This one’s different. It’ll work out. I just know it will.”
“Steph. What’s wrong with this one?”
“There is nothing wrong with this one. Trust me on this one.”
“I feel like Charlie Brown and you’re Lucy with the football. Again and again.”
But, like Charlie Brown, I bit. And now I stood conspicuously alone at the far end of the bar, waving to students I knew as they passed.
It was 8:10 for an 8 o’clock blind-date. Five more minutes. I felt hands press against my eyes from behind.
I turned, and she smiled.
“I’m not the one you expected, am I?”
And she wasn’t.
Oops. I’m @stories2121
The stunningly beautiful woman looked nothing like the picture I had finally liked and messaged back. In fact, she didn’t resemble at all, the woman I thought I was meeting for coffee on a public, first date. I looked down at my crossword puzzle, quickly concluding she was not the woman I was waiting for, who was already a half-hour late.
The woman approached my table, looked down at me entreatingly, and seemed to be holding something in her hand.
“I’m not the one you expected, am I?” she queried softly in a strange accent I couldn’t place.
“I’m sorry but I think you have mistaken me for someone else. My name is Thom, and I was supposed to meet Ina here about a half hour ago.”
“Yes, I am Ina and I am very sorry, but I didn’t use my real picture and I can’t tell you why at this moment, but I want you to marry me right away . . .”
“I’m sorry did you say ‘Marry me?’”
“Excuse me but I don’t think it works that way. Even if . . .”
“Yes, we must be married – as soon as possible!”
“That’s impossible.” I answered as her eyes began to implore. I felt uneasy under her deep gaze and suddenly thoughts of kissing her fulsome mouth silenced my tongue. As she drew closer the honeyed scent of her skin filled my senses and that was the last thing I remembered.
Word Count #246
Darrius suspended his hand above the ancient vessel. His blood pulsed, forming a tiny pool, before he turned his palm and allowed a single drop to fall. Black liquor rose, eager, like a lover yearning to possess his beloved. As they joined, he spoke the final words.
“Nunc Ostende Te.”
The explosion blinded him. The blast rang in his ears and beat in his brain. Somehow, he was still standing in a space devoid of light. The pain radiating from his chest silenced the screaming cut in his hand.
The booming in his head faded to a silence deeper than anything he had ever experienced. He reached his hands in front of him, patting the air where the table should have been. His mind raced, contemplating nefarious scenarios. His fingertips found coarse fabric. The burlap under the bowl. His fingers explored until they touched the rough stone. Darrius sighed, relived for only a second, when amber eyes materialized, floating in the darkness.
“Who are you?”
“It was you who summoned me,” the velvet soft voice oozed, seeping into his consciousness.
“The solicitation spell should have brought Sirena.”
“So, I’m not the one you expected?”
“Am I dead?”
“Far from it, darling,” the eyes blinked, glistening with a hint of seduction.
“She doesn’t love you the way I do.”
The ache in Darrius’ chest sank to the pit of his stomach.
“Thanks to your evil desires, you’ll have Eternity to experience the full depths of my dark passions.”
No lights showed. I took a minute to check the place out in wolf form. Jen would live in a house like this—a cottage with shutters and flower boxes but the wreath on the door was something shiny and modern. Maybe she’d stopped doing predictable. Shifting back and dressing. I headed to the porch and rang the bell. I punched it three times before the overhead light flipped on. I heard two locks click before the door opened a crack.
She opened it wide, stepping back without a word. This was probably the only invitation I’d get tonight. I followed her inside. She didn’t shut the door behind me. Not a good sign.
“You look good, babe.” She did, because she hadn’t changed a bit. I’d worried about that. She’d always looked perfect to me, had from the moment I laid eyes on her in that fucking pink frou-frou bridesmaid dress.
I got an eyeroll and headshake like she didn’t believe the compliment. “I’m not the one you expected, am I?”
“You can say that again,” she muttered. “I expected to never see you again.”
“That’s not the way this game is played.”
“This was never a game, Wizard.”
Hiding my satisfaction, I shrugged. “I told you once, Jen. You’re mine and I’ll never let you go.”
She flushed and her eyes flashed with anger. Good.
“I belong to no one.” She brushed past me.
My wolf perked up. He liked to play chase. “Game on, baby.”
249 Nightrider wolves words, NIGHT WISH #WIP
Izzy darts through the dark alley throwing a furtive look over her shoulder. This is the only opportunity she’d get to slip away from Domnius, and if she doesn’t find Salvo soon, Domnius will have her killed.
Relief sweeps through her as she sees the symbol painted in the lower corner of the doorframe. It’s what she’s been looking for, the symbol of rescue. Salvo’s symbol.
Izzy had grown up believing Salvo was nothing more than a myth, however, these past days had convinced her that Salvo is no urban legend. In her haste, Izzy can’t remember how she’s supposed to gain entrance.
“Okay, Izzy. Deep breath. Get your head on straight, you’ve got this.”
Raising her hand, she knocks on the door.
“What do you want?”
“I have a delivery for, uh, Oval S. Prentiss. It’s gotta have a signature.”
The door opens. An arm reaches out of the darkness, grabbing Izzy and pulling her into the darkened room.
“You seek Salvo.” It isn’t a question.
“Yes.” Izzy keeps her eyes down, as is custom.
“Look at me when I talk to you, girl.”
Swallowing past the lump in her throat, Izzy looks up. She can’t stop the gasp escaping her lips.
“I’m not the one you expected, am I?”
“Go ahead and kill me, Ananasi. Or did Domnius order you to wait for him?”
“I maybe Domnius’s right hand, but he doesn’t know all my dealings. I’m not going to kill you. And in here, call me Salvo.”
I entered through the gates and breathed a sigh of relief for I was dead and I’d made it to heaven.
St. Peter unexpectedly grabbed my arm.
“I’m not the one you expected, am I?” I muttered.
“No. you’re on the list. Just not today,” he answered.
“So when am I on the list?”
“You were on my list twenty years ago; but you never arrived, thus the discrepancy.”
“I didn’t die twenty years ago my atheist brother did!” I protested.
“Judge not lest ye be judged.”
“I’m not judging it’s a statement!!”
“Name of brother.”
“I’m Henry Charles Stanton. He’s Henry Robert Stanton.”
St. Peter picked up the phone talking to someone.
“It seems he’s in the bad place.” He commented hanging up the phone.
“Is there no recourse for him?” I asked feeling sorry for him.
“Funny you should say that; he should be here and you should be there.”
I gulped, what could I say my brother had already suffered more than he should in my stead.
“Save my brother take me now and restore him here now.” I pleaded.
“It’s never been done before,” St. Peter stated.
“He’s suffered. Take pity on him and make me pay for my sins,” I begged.
“God has spoken in my ear. She believes you both have suffered and because you were willing to save your brother God forgives both your transgressions and grants you both a stay here.”
We were reprieved and we could be together again. Thank God.
The golem trundled to the checkpoint like a massive lidded pot with arms and legs. A lithe figure huddled within the shadows of the giant’s chest cage.
“Writ of passage?” The gate guard grunted, thumb running over his harpoon haft.
A roll of parchment was revealed in the golem’s right fist. The guard scanned the document with what would have seemed unhurried disinterest—if not for his twitchy thumb upon his weapon.
“These seals are out of date. Release the prisoner and wait back in the stables.”
The girl in the golem sucked a breath through clenched teeth as her conveyance’s chest cage swung open. In a flash she was on the guard’s back, a dagger across his throat.
“I’m not the one you expected, am I?” Rika grinned darkly.
“Actually,” a familiar fat dampened drone wafted from the gatehouse door. “You’re exactly who I expected, Paprika.”
Rika turned her victim so she could see Lucretius, the slave merchant. Her golem’s chest swung closed and fists raised to fight. Lucretius’ belly laugh set his flesh folds shuddering.
“Witness the futility of opposing me.” He continued cruelly.
A clap from their master prompted a dozen more golems to crest the nearby hill. Instead of golem handlers, a single small girl in captain’s regalia walked out from between the clay giants.
“Wh-where are my men!?”
The feline featured girl tapped her oversized cutlass against her shoulder and all twelve golems behind her crumbled to pieces.
“Cat nap.” The girl winked at Rika.
250 Cat’s The Pajamas words
I flip on the news, setting onto the couch with a glass of wine. The first story is a car accident and a rock settles into my stomach. I know the victim and it was only luck that I didn’t get called to the scene tonight.
My cousin is—was—is eighteen. In college. A freak interstate accident put him in the hospital tonight. He’s in Sioux Falls, barely alive. In the midst of the ten thousand emotions swirling through my head, the feeling that I’m not alone seeps in. I whip my head around and then, in the corner, I see it.
The figure steps from the shadows, face covered, hands clasped. There’s no way to know if it’s a Council member or a Deather at this point.
“I’m not the one you expected, am I?”
I shake my head. “Why did you hurt my cousin?”
“A women cannot be the heir, it has been this way for centuries. Until you cease your sabotage of the book, the punishment continues.”
Anger takes over and my hands plant on my hips. “Grow the fuck up, Death boy.” The figure recoils. “Times change. That woman is going to be in charge whether you like it or not. If you can’t handle that, it’s time for you to resign. Seriously.”
“Save your progress for Earth, where it is no more welcome. The punishment continues until the book changes the prediction.”
I shudder as they melt through my wall.
247 words (excerpted from WIP)
#ThursThreads Week 377 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.