#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 380

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 380 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 380:

Teresa Eccles

Writer, adventurer, and perennial student of life, Teresa Eccles.

Facebook | Twitter

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“She was lucky to live so long.”

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!

17 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 380”

  1. The Meaning of Afterlife

    “When you have been wronged and feel like dragging yourself through the mud to increase the pain, the strongest and most noble thing you can do is to resist the temptation.” Her mantra, illuminated in bold neon letters, indelibly stamped on the inside of her eyelids, carved into her forehead.
    But.
    The gun muzzle promised deliverance: hard, gray, cold deliverance.
    And freedom.
    Complete freedom, total and immediate. Pistol loaded and ready for action. Engage finger, pull trigger. Never mind the taste, the feel; focus on the outcome. Gotta-get-out-of-here-final-desperation-time-moment. Don’t think, ACT! NOW! YOU CAN DO THIS! DO IT!
    On her gravestone, they put the telling remark: She was lucky to live so long.
    Word count: 113

  2. “Your mother tried the same thing, you know.” Creighton sneered, his feet dangling off the ground as I lifted him higher. “She had potions and spells and colored powders and shit, but once I knew what she was, she was marked for death. Shit, she was lucky to live so long. But I rid the world of her and I’ll do the same to you.”

    Rochelle shook her head. “You’re in no position to make threats anymore, Earl. Besides, I’m not going to kill you.”

    She sounded calm and determined as I swung my gaze to her. I lifted my free hand to sign, “We’re not?”

    “You’re not?” Creighton echoed, his eyes bulging. I loosened my grip a little and his eyes went back to normal.

    “No. There’s been enough death, and I’m not going to sully my hands or the Goddess with violence.” She rose and added salt and rosemary to the circle drawn on the ground. “What I’m doing is cursing you and your organization and the organization for which you work. This web ends now. First, it will untangle, bit by bit, the knots untying into loose strands. Then the tendrils will wither and die, and the panic will set in. Those in positions of power will start to lose control until the whole web unravels and falls into disarray. But the pieces will never be found to be resurrected.”

    She met his gaze. “I curse you and yours, for all time. So Mote it Be.”

    250 ineligible #ConcreteAngelsMC words
    @SiobhanMuir

  3. The Dancer’s Wake

    “I still find it kind of odd, Harry.”

    “Odd?”

    “Well, you know, all those years of pretence. How difficult it must have been for her.”

    “It’s an amazing story, though. Even if there are a few odd bits about.”

    “A few odd bits? Gimme a break! The whole thing’s outrageous. Took a lot of nerve.”

    “Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy. Chill out. You’re getting too worked up. You gotta step back…get some perspective. Look at the big picture.”

    “Easy for you to say BIG PICTURE. You weren’t the one in the bloody frame.”

    “I’ll give you that. I’m just a concerned friend. I got your back, buddy. And, truthfully, I’m still reeling as well. Don’t forget, I’m the one who introduced you…”

    “Oh, I remember that. The Legion dance…winter of 1993 wasn’t it?”

    “No, it was ’92 if I’m not mistaking. Great Christmas party. I remember watching her dance with Duke Lassiter. The band was playing that Harry James classic, It’s Been a Long Long Time. Man, she was the most beautiful creature I think I had ever seen.”

    “Yeah, it’s coming back. You twirled a dance or two with her, right, and then I cut in. And that’s all she wrote. We were married that spring.”

    “So, Jimmy, that’s over twenty-five years ago. I gotta say, she was lucky to live so long with you and you none the wiser. Never suspected, eh?”

    “That she was a man? Nope. Not a clue.”

    “Man! Love’ll fool you every time.”

    250 words
    @billmelaterplea

  4. Canned music drifted from hidden speakers but Sade couldn’t place the tune. She’d be a total fail at Name That Tune. Or Jeopardy, for that matter. From her vantage point on the last pew in the last row of the funeral home, she watched the so-called mourners and could catch snatches of their conversations. Too bad Caleb was unable to attend. She could have used the werewolf’s nose to identify the make and model of the various Magicks occupying the place.

    This whole situation left her scratching her head in confusion. Why would a prominent Magick want a Christian funeral service? And why would so many show up to pay their respects? She settled into the shadowy corner, careful to keep from drawing attention.

    The song changed to some crashing organ opus more fitting to a Lon Chaney movie. The pew in front of her filled up and though her ears rang by the time the music softened, she caught the conversation.

    “She was lucky to live so long.” That statement received deep chuckles and a response.

    “What Dieter means is he’s amazed someone hadn’t killed her sooner.”

    There it was. Confirmation and the reason Sade was here. A crime had been committed and it was her job to solve it.

    “Well, the old witch deserved it,” a third said.

    “I would’ve stood in line to take her out.”

    “Too bad Gretal got to her first, Hansel.”

    Sade face-palmed. Some days, it didn’t pay to get out of bed.
    ****
    250 random Penumbra Papers words
    @SilverJames_

  5. Angerona’s lifeless hand slipped from Sirona’s grasp. It rested peacefully over her heart as she conjured a smile.

    “I am sorry, my child. I tried to prepare you. Know that his fate is tangled with your own.”

    Sirona bent closer, straining to catch every word.

    “Follow the Vovk Codex,” she exhaled, and the last ember faded from her coal-black eyes.

    Numb, Sirona couldn’t breathe, couldn’t cry, couldn’t believe she was gone. Not now. Not when she needed her guidance to fix this. Angerona had shrouded truth in her fanciful stories of myths and legends far removed from reality. It was a childish game of Hide and Seek and pretty rewards. Until three days ago, when the threats became real.

    “It’s not your fault. You did everything possible.”

    The words, filtered by dark despair and red-hot anguish, seeped into her mind. Ralph stood beside her. His presence didn’t comfort her, it only fueled her rage.

    “She was lucky to live so long.”

    “You imbecile. With her death, there is nothing I can do to prevent the prophecy,” Sirona rose from her spot next to Angerona to confront Ralph.

    “Without her, you will die.”

    “You can’t know that.”

    “Were you not listening? Ralph, magic is against you and your supporters. They killed Angerona. Do you realize what they’ll do to you?”

    “I don’t plan on dying.” Ralph’s face turned red and the veins in his neck throbbed.

    “You haven’t got a chance.”

    “The prophecy didn’t state names. There is always a chance.”

    250 Ralph and the Prince Words
    @JoHawktheWriter

  6. January walked away again. She had friends, but she preferred to remain aloof, passing though her lives without a ripple. The man she’d just seen buried had been a lapse, a mistake she’d wandered into, their relationship thriving despite her neglect.

    She wished she could be colder, more inhumane.

    She’d done this before: three times, in fact. She’d vowed ‘never again’ the last time and she’d do it again, tearing up her dance card and throwing the pieces away. But her life was a habit she couldn’t give up. There was no way out for her, it seemed.

    Loneliness was the cruellest of companions, but it was the one she sought.

    “Ma’am?” The gentleman with the umbrella stepped closer, shielding them both from the weather. The rain hadn’t stopped all day and the footway was wet, water sluicing down it like a millrace. Her feet were cold and she was miserable. She should turn away. She should shake her head and say nothing, denying him an opening into her world.

    “Ma’am?” He continued to walk alongside her, matching her pace. He was a little taller than her, dark haired and with a swarthy skin that made him look tanned. She shouldn’t look his way, she shouldn’t make eye-contact, she shouldn’t say a word to the stranger. That was the way relationships started. Three hundred years was an eternity when death took everyone else.

    People would say she was lucky to live so long.

    But she considered it a curse.

    249 words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com

  7. The Body in the Basement, Terry Brewer, @Stories2121, 249 words

    The ME entered the basement after the fire brigade cleared the entrance and removed the collapsd columns. There was no power, but CSU set up lamps to illuminate the dank space, covered in soot and ash from the conflagration that melted the washing machine and everything else it its path.

    She was in its path. Dental records would be needed to identify her. Assuming it was even a “her.” The ME thought it probably was, given the skeleton’s wide hips.

    “Not much for me to do,” she told the DCI standing behind her. “She could have died from a heart attack for all I know. You’ll have to find out whether she was alive and healthy when she came into this place.”

    “Good God,” DCI Eldridge said, shaking his head, “I hope she wasn’t alive when the flames got her.”

    The ME caressed the skull. A day before surrounded by skin and covered in hair. Perhaps a beautiful woman who turned heads. Perhaps a plain working-girl lucky to turn a trick or two to make rent.

    “Doc. Over here.” Eldridge’s sergeant.

    They went to what remained of the clothes dryer. The door was sealed, but something could be seen through the now-smoky glass.

    A note. They pried the door open.

    “Stephen Armstrong killed me.” Written in eye-liner.

    “She was lucky to live so long, to be able to write this and hide it.”

    “Lucky? In some ways it’d been luckier to be dead long before it got to her.”

  8. **ineligible** wife is judge but its raining outside and I was bored…

    ___________

    The soul-jarring shockwave was still reverberating through the cabins of the star schooner, when Krista’s ears quit ringing and the putrid smell of burnt electronics and crew flesh began to slowly dissipate from her lungs.

    Violently shaking her head from side to side to clear the mental fog and the piercing shrill of alarms, her mind raced back. It had only been 3 days since the two worlds had signed the peace accord and now the treaty had been broken by attacking a medical supply ship.

    “For the love of Kagon” she shouted in disbelief and rage. “We are trying to save you wretched animals and you’re trying to kill us!” Her anger briefly waned as she recalled the sardonic words of her sister: “No good deed goes un-punished.” And, given all the times she had ventured into hostile worlds, She was lucky to live so long anyway.

    “Enough with the philosophic B.S.” she declared. Well trained, time-tested instincts took over as she barked out commands: “triage team assemble in deck 2 lounge”, “get me all the units of visco-plasma we have and start transfusing level red casualties.” Medicine was in her DNA. As a child she marveled at her mother’s skills on the occasions where her mom would bring her to work at the hospital. Those memories were thrown aside like a discarded toy, when she turned and saw the enemy boarding team with their leader arrive on her bridge.

    “Hello Mom” Krista muttered…

  9. Crossing over the dead is pretty simple, provided they don’t pitch a fit. There’s always someone who doesn’t want to crossover, but most people are ready to go.

    Tonight one name is marked with a red circle. Well, crap. I stand in front of a brick building, eight stories high. A woman stands on the second floor.

    She’s over a hundred and she was lucky to live so long. Now her arms are crossed, her face set. There are ways of dealing with her, but negotiating doesn’t start with force.

    “Your daughter is waiting, Margaret.”

    Her eyes widen. After all, even if infant death was fairly common once, she never stopped mourning her daughter. A door opens and a beautiful young lady walks out.

    “Come on, Mom. Let’s go.”

    Indecision flashes in her eyes, that wish to stubbornly stay at the place that was once her home. My heart breaks as the daughter starts to leave.

    “Helen. Wait.”

    Margaret takes her daughter’s hand. The two embrace and I cross my fingers. If she goes through the door, the case is closed.

    “Is Dad there, too?”

    “Of course. He’s been able to watch me grow up and you should see all the pictures he’s taken. There’s also Benny, my cat, and Josiah the dog. We’re all waiting for you, Mom. Come on.”

    The door clicks shut and I sigh in relief. I return to the Dark Plane and turn my list in, glad she wasn’t as difficult as she could’ve been.

    @Aightball
    250 words

  10. The flight from the Motherland, as Russia was known, wasn’t in any airplane; it had taken place under the worst excesses of Stalin’s purges. It was a flight as in “flee” rather than flight as in “fly”.
    The reason she was so long-lived after undergoing so much was a mystery. Some say that she took the years of the men she had driven to untimely demises, in her struggle to depart the country. She admitted herself to knifing men, slaughtering them. She had learned how to kill as a teen, when she had butchered goats after her father had been disappeared, and she had been left, by the Red Army soldiers who had taken him away, to look after the farm on her own. Two of those soldiers had returned to the farmhouse some weeks later, but they too disappeared, their bodies never found. When their commanding officer came looking for them, she feigned ignorance of their whereabouts.
    She was lucky to live so long. When she regaled family with the stories of her flight, beginning with the soldiers’ lascivious excesses, she didn’t censor herself. She didn’t care for the age of her audience. And her tales were as brutally told to toddler great-grandchildren as to elderly daughters and sons. Hence her reputation as an Angel of Death, or a Boogey-Woman, in the extended family. And after she finally passed away, she haunted the dreams of her descendants for generations to come, with her ghastly stories from the Motherland.
    249 words @ragtaggiggagon

  11. Visiting my mountain cabin every weekend was what kept me sane in my high pressure job. I always felt that one of these they would say, “She was lucky to live so long driving all the time.”
    Normally I wouldn’t have stopped (for the hitcher was male) but he was cute and I was bored. Surprised he asked me for a ride to the nearest service station promising he wasn’t a serial killer.
    I told him the nearest station was closer to the mountain about 50 miles away but I had to check on my cat and he agreed. I drove up the mountain promising him that yes the service station was close. Frankly he was beginning to annoy me. I pulled into the driveway bounded out and checked my cat. Grabbing some supplies I got back in my truck beside him.
    “What’s your name anyway?” I asked.
    “Dave Treadwell. How about you and I go into your house and have a quickie before you take me to the gas station?”
    “All the other people I’ve picked up have been pretty vacuous women but I’ve made an exception with you.”
    I then picked up the knife and stabbed him over and over until he was dead. The stupid fool like all my other victims never noted the plastic sheeting on my truck seats. He never dreamed that my high pressure job was serial killer. Someone had to rid the world of these lowlifes; now for some peace at my cabin.
    250 words
    @SweetSheil

  12. Morrigan looked over the valley from her dark cave. The green crescent moon provided insufficient light for the army encamped below to brave her mountains. Tomorrow’s solstice would the last moon the soldiers would ever see. For tonight, their quarry spared them her gaze to focus instead on the distant castle. Seeing light in the tower window, she wondered if her sister was looking back. Indulging nostalgic fancy, Morrigan quietly sang a favorite childhood song.

    Her enemies said many things about her. They said she went mad sixty-nine years ago. A convenient excuse to dismiss her revelations. They said she was lucky to live so long with the Seelie and Unseelie Courts united against her. They didn’t understand how destiny worked. Morrigan couldn’t die without seeing the end of the world.

    They said she was dangerous. They had no idea.

    140 Cat’s The Pajamas words
    @DavidALudwig

  13. “She was lucky to live.”

    “So long as she has us, it’ll stay that way.” Nathan spun the heavy silver ring on his middle finger. “We will keep her safe.”

    “We can’t make promises like that, Nate.” Sean sank his hands into his hair, tugging hard at the strands.
    “You know I want to. Hope—she’s my best friend. For a lot longer than you’ve been dancing around being her lover.”

    “If it helps at all, I can feel her now.” I hunched my shoulders as the brothers turned on me.

    “Taye?” Nate almost ran to me, pulling me into his arms. “Are you okay, babe?”

    “I’m good.” I buried my face in the long line of Nate’s throat.

    “You’re not too tired, right?” He leaned away, brushed my hair from my face, frowning eyes searching. “You should be resting.”

    “I’m okay.” Impulse drove me forward, urged me to lay my lips against his, a primal connection to reassure us both. Sean cleared his throat. We came up for breath, grinning. “I promise.”

    “You were about to need CPR,” Sean muttered. “Maybe you can pause your tonsil exams to elaborate, hm? You feel Hope? ”

    Nate flushed and scowled at his brother. But he stepped back and gave me the floor with a wave of his hand.

    “Hope says psychic energy is like an electrical hum. I didn’t recognize hers at first, because I’m so used to psychic noise, but I definitely noticed the change to it during the attack.”

    @caramichaels
    250 poly-side-eyeing superhero WIP words

  14. Sacrifice Play
    Eva watched as the children played in the pool. They were innocent, free from the thoughts of gravity and what it would do to their youthful bodies. She knew she was lucky to live so long, but she couldn’t help but envy them their innocence. Everything was new and vibrant for them.

    At her age, it was hard to tell if the colors had faded or if it was just her perception. She had been innocent once, long ago before her parents made their decision hers. Before they paid the price for eternity.

    They thought it had been a test of character, and who wouldn’t want their child to prosper? She shook her head. Their gift was a curse. They say that there is no greater love then someone who lies down their life for others— but they never talk about the burden it leaves on the other’s shoulders. She carried the weight of her father’s heart and her mother’s soul.

    They still lived, but there would always be something missing until the day they died, and when that time came, she would be alone. They were aging faster now, and her days were measured by how many more they would have. Eternity sounds so good, until you’re in the middle of it, and the only escape is to cheat.

    She shook her head. Time was washing out the colors in her life, and leaving her wanting.

    237 Words (not including title)
    @mishmhem

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