Welcome back to the home of Weird, Wild, & Wicked Tales. Today is Thursday and that means it’s time to start flashing. We’re half way through our eighth year of weekly prompts! This is Week 390 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 390:
Resourceful time thief (aka boy-Mom), and Author of dark romance and fantasy, Jaclyn Roche.
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And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“Don’t know if I can handle two.”
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!
12 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 390”
Murmuring voices stopped me. I hovered behind the closed half of the swinging doors, wondering if I should just walk out into the main room. Then I recognized one of the voices.
“Don’t know if I can handle two.”
I choked on the air trying to escape my lungs. That was Wizard’s voice. Handle two? Two what?
“They’re hot,” the second voice said. “And taste sweet on the tongue.”
A knowing snicker from a third man. “Spread ’em open wide and bury your face, then they sure go down easy.”
My brain went there. Automatically. Just last night I’d walked into the courtyard to find Domino and two women sprawled on top of a picnic table. Note to self, buy industrial strength bleach and sanitizing that table before ever sitting there again.
I finally recognized the second voice. Easy. I had to cover my mouth before any sound came out. Getting caught eavesdropping was a big fat no-no. Club business and all that bullshit. But Easy was married. Or at least Sam wore wedding rings, and she wore his property patch which meant the same thing in the MC club world. I didn’t know her well but what I did know? No way would she put up with any wayward hanky-panky from her man.
“Okay,” Wiz said. “I’ll do two.”
Unable to contain my anger, I burst through the door. To find Wizard, Easy, and Digger stuffing giant cinnamon rolls into their mouths.
“Want one, baby?” Wiz asked.
250 Nightrider #WIP words
Some days, you just don’t want to leave the tavern.
It was a miserable November evening. The rain was plunging down like an overflowing toilet.
We were bidding farewell to another buddy, K. C. Pickles, who’d recently taken that long walk off of a short pier.
Literally, I might add.
Anyways, there we were. Suckers for memories.
Smack Waible kept on repeating, “Remember when he’d say, I only got time for one?”
Smack then tossed back another brewski and gurgled like a stream on stones as it gargled down his throat. Smack’s always been an entertaining imbiber. He has a harmony of belches and graciously offered a concert every time we got together.
After draining the dark ale in his extra large personal pewter stein, he gently replaced it on the table and hailed the waiter over.
“Fill ‘er up, Sammy.” Sammy took the giant mug of mass consumption back to the beer taps.
“Like I was sayin’, remember…?”
I jumped in. “We remember, Smack. We remember. K.C’d always say, ‘I only got time for one. Don’t know if I can handle two.’ “
“Yeah,” Smack snuck back in, “then he’d say, ‘hell, maybe I’ll shoot for three?”
“Man could hold his hops,” Sammy said, plopping Smack’s full to the brim stein back on the felt table. “Who’d ever figure he’d pull the plug hisself? Rocks in a bag around his neck and whammo, jump into the lake. Gutsy!”
“Damned efficient, too,” I said, “Gotta give him that.”
“I don’t know if I can handle two more weeks of this shit.” Mina sprawled face down on the bed, the mattress almost swallowing her words. “Did you see him at rehearsal? Who looks that good sweating for fuck’s sake? He was a human salt lick by the end and all I wanted was a taste.”
“I know.” She buried a shrieking growl in the bed. “How am I expected to last another fourteen days with my dignity intact?”
“Dignity’s overrated.” Yuri settled in the deep armchair in the corner of the bedroom.
“Ever been stuck in a gravity well?” She thumped her small fist and he grunted as the gravity around him sucked him hard against the chair. “Because I can make that happen.”
“Let me go, she-demon.” He squirmed against her power’s hold. “I’m just suggesting that sweat kink of yours isn’t one-sided.”
Mina turned her head enough to reveal one dark eye and one flushed cheek.
“I think if there hadn’t been that whole pesky in public aspect, he’d have happily banged you on the stage.”
“I do not bang.”
“Don’t knock it till you try it.” Yuri’s sly tone drew a gasp from Mina.
She bounced upright in a weird mix of flailing limbs and catlike awareness of where she meant to land. Her gaze locked on him.
“You had sex with Sean.” She held up a finger. “Correction. You banged Sean.”
He wagged his eyebrows.
“That’s why I know it’s fun.”
250 superhero WIP words
In the Old City, under the swirling snowflakes and the town’s bright Christmas lights, the people gathered for the eerie annual calling to the Underworld. The village was alive with the Krampuslauf—men paraded around on Main Street dressed as the half-goat, half-demon creature. They dragged chains and ran as if possessed up and down the street.
All the while, the crowd chanted: “Krampus, come” like it was a prayer as a coven of witches appeared, carrying blazing torches, and with their robes trailing behind them, they moved to the center of the street. One of the sisters quickly drew a sigil into the snow.
“They are summoning the demon,” I said, matter-of-factly.
“It’s all in fun and games,” Frank joked. “It’s only a symbolic way to understand the balance of good and evil. Nothing will happen.”
But I knew better.
“And the witches, do they usually come?” I pointed at them.
Then I heard the unthinkable — the witches’ whispered incantation caught by the wind.
Had Krampus decided to switch from swatting to something more? My stomach flip-flopped sensing doom.
The ground grumbled, the snow-covered asphalt cracked, and out of the sigil’s center arose the sinister Krampus, closely followed by a scythe holding reaper.
“Don’t know if I can handle two. Krampus and a reaper?” Frank looked on.
“No, I screamed, but it was too late. The black-garbed reaper swung his scythe, decapitating one of the chanting witches.
And Krampus roared.
“Run!” Frank shouted.
A bloody Christmas was coming.
244 words #Krampus #WIP
I wrapped my arms around Michael’s waist and swallowed hard. Had it really come to this? He started the bike and we wound our way through the quaint downtown streets of Cheyenne before heading for the freeway. My mind spun along with the wheels.
I needed to be somewhere safe, sure, but wasn’t my job to get in people’s faces and expose the truth? Isn’t that what you wanted? The traitorous voice wasn’t pulling any punches. But I’d already gone through one crisis. And I don’t know if I can handle two. Not that the cops or the murderers were giving me much choice in the matter.
So what’re you gonna do about it, Hale?
Tori’s voice echoed in my ears as the miles sped by and I didn’t know the answer. Normally, my mind worked great under pressure, but that’s when I had a clear picture of what I was doing. Or where I was going. At the moment, I sat on the back of Michael’s bike and let him take the lead.
We parked in my reserved space in front of my apartment building. Snow remained piled up against the foundation and in the places that didn’t get sun, but the walkways were clear and the steps had been salted. I headed up the stairs to the covered hallway and walked along it until I got to my door.
And my instincts screamed a warning.
The door stood ajar and my gut froze.
245 ineligible #ConcreteAngelsMC words
I could see the doubt in Debran’s eyes when I told her my plan.
“You know that’s crazy, right?”
“Yeah, it’s crazy. That’s why it’s going to work.”
“But my mom will never let you in the house.”
“You’re mom is a bitch, but she’s gonna let me in the house. Leave that part to me.”
“Okay, say I do go along with this plan. You’ve barely recovered from the accident. I don’t know-”
“If I can handle two months in the hospital, weeks and weeks of physical therapy, plus all the psycho-therapy I’ve been to, I can handle this.”
Debran does not have a poker face, so I was not surprised at her next words, “What do you want me to do?”
Since my plan had hinged on her help, my sigh of relief was genuine, “All I need you to do is switch the urns while I’ve got your mom distracted.”
“Switch the urns?”
“Yes, you know as well as I do that Brennan would have hated being stuck up there on the mantle. He would have wanted his ashes to be scattered in a river somewhere. He told me as much, actually. I’ve found a duplicate urn online that looks just like the pictures of the one your mom has. When it comes in, I’m gonna fill it with sand, give it to you, and you will switch them out. No problem!”
But, no matter how well-laid the plans are, there’s always a problem.
247 Leftovers words WIP
The Sermon On the Mount
The dark clouds lifted, and Jesus called to his disciples, gathering them together as one group and leading them up the mountain.
“What is this shit?” one of them said. “I ain’t ready for climbing!”
And the others agreed.
Jesus kept walking. When they reached the summit, he turned and asked them to sit.
“Listen up guys. This is the Sermon on the Mount. That’s not what I call it, it’s what they call it—or, they will anyway. Good stuff here, so pay close attention.”
Then John said, “Do we have to write this down?”
Then Simon Peter said, “Are we supposed to know this?”
And Phillip said, “I don’t have any paper.”
And Matthew said, “Is there gonna be a test?”
And James said, “Does spelling count?”
And Thomas said, “WAIT! Those other disciples didn’t have to learn this!”
Then Andrew said, “Can I go to the little boy’s room?”
And Judas said, “What does this have to do with real life?”
And Jesus looked at them. “I’m glad I only have to go through this whole crucifixion thing once. Don’t know if I can handle two.”
And He wept.
Word count 192
Party animal Dougie Wainwright disappeared on December 3. The professor had feared that the dark, wet Tuesday would dampen the moods of his students and have a negative impact on the psychedelics he was supplying them with. The professor had brought thirty pills to the event, distributing them to his group.
The unity of all of Dougie’s experiences occurred a few seconds after he took the first pill. The moment and the infinity became one. Everyone else was happy with one pill. But Depraved Dougie (as he was often called behind his back) approached the professor for a second.
“Don’t know if I can handle two, and I’ve built up resistance to this stuff. Are you sure you’d manage another?”
Dougie’s dilated pupils showed an eagerness and pure love that suggested that he would. The professor popped the second pill onto the undergrad’s tongue. It dissolved, slowly, and – imperceptibly at first, as the professor looked on – Dougie’s tongue began to dissolve too. Then his lips, his cheeks, his jaws seemed to fade. The professor observed Dougie Wainwright just fade away, from head to toe.
Party animal Dougie Wainwright disappeared on December 3. He still shows up as a shimmery presence in the college library or the cafeteria. Occasionally, he will interrupt a web chat with a comment, or make contact via a messaging app on somebody’s phone. Scientists have deemed his communications as untraceable. Besides, other than stating how awesome his experience is, he doesn’t say much.
247 words @ragtaggiggagon
She woke up naked. The sun was partly hidden by the Paris rooftops opposite her apartment. She instinctively looked over her shoulder but there was nobody there.
“Lucien? Lucien, where are you?”
Covering herself with the bedsheet she climbed out of bed. «Why do I cover myself?» she thought.
A look around the airy apartment in Montmartre confirmed she was alone. The sun was glaring at her now. It was mid-morning. She looked for her phone. No messages.
“Lucien? Where the hell are you? It’s Danielle. Call me.”
Her phone rang immediately, scaring the shit out of her. But it wasn’t Lucien.
“If you’re looking for your lover you won’t find him in this city.” She didn’t recognize the voice. An Algerian accent she guessed. «Who the fuck are you?» she thought. He hung up before she could ask or even breathe.
She had no idea where to turn. She called her best friend, Berenice.
“Your lover? You mean Lucien?”
“Of course Lucien. I don’t know if I can handle two lovers.”
“Danielle, calm yourself. I’ll be right over.”
Berenice listened in when the second phone call came through. It was the same voice. The same accent.
“Who is this,” Danielle demanded.
The man snickered. “You don’t ask questions. Just follow my instructions if you want to see him.”
What he said next made her world spin. Lucien was not a hostage. He was this man’s leader. And the implication was that they were terrorists.
He threads another wire through the marionette’s flesh, pulling it tight. He attaches it to one of the crosspieces and raises them both, letting the puppet dangle below the control bars. It hangs heavily, more a model than the living creature that it’s meant to be. He hasn’t practiced enough, and I feel the need to reach out and take over the control of the subject myself. Give him direction. Teach by example.
But he needs to learn. I was like him once and my mentor exercised control over himself then, watching me fumbling with the articulations of my own doll, standing in silence as I struggled to make it look as though it was walking for itself. I can’t believe I was ever as clumsy as this boy is now, but I may have been. My perspective has changed and today I’m the one in the audience, witnessing his performance.
“I don’t know if I can handle two controllers. Are you sure you can’t operate one while I do the other? Let me perfect my coordination with one hand at a time before doing both together?”
I shake my head. The Puppeteers Credo forbids that I speak or do anything to assist. He must learn it for himself while I watch. Suffer the anxiety of knowing he is being judged and still succeed.
The marionette begins to bleed, fat drops spattering heavily onto the ground. The anaesthetic will wear off soon and his task will get much harder.
249 words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
The withered hawkish administrator of the orphanage drummed knobby fingers on her peeling desk. Theodore Marius tugged uncomfortably at his coarse wool collar. They had been friends once, or so he thought, but lost touch when he went off to pursue his great destiny. As badly as things turned out for Theodore, it looked like Agatha had seen twenty more years in their time apart than he had.
“I know it’s an unusual request…”
Theodore swallowed nervously. He didn’t have a lot of time. If they caught him here it would be bad for everyone. Agatha curled ratty nails back over her desk.
“Unusual? It’s unprecedented! This institution is for people! Not…”
She waved a hand at the door to the next room. Theodore stood and placed the modest purse with all his gold on the desk earnestly.
“Please, Agatha. You know I can’t take them with me. Not with the Brotherhood after me.”
His old friend seemed to soften but stood shaking her head.
“I don’t know if I can…”
“Handle two little girls? They’re really not that different once you get to know them.”
“Two?” Agatha hobbled over to the door. “Better count again.”
The administrator pushed the door open, drawing the wide-eyed attention of four generally girl shaped pink slimes.
All four slimes threw their arms up excitedly toward Theodore. Then the fourth one shivered and a fifth split off to imitate her sisters.
#ThursThreads Week 390 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.