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 392 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 392:
Dead Thing Specialist, Mining Geologist, and Original Book Boyfriend, George Varhalmi.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“Why didn’t he contact me?”
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!
13 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 392”
Vincente Giordano in a coma? Allegedly. And she had his power of attorney? What. The. Hell.
“I don’t understand any of this.” Her gaze bounced between the two very scary—if freakishly handsome—men.. “Why didn’t he contact me?”
“Not his way.”
“Have to ask him.”
Their explanations tumbled over each other. She had no idea what the first meant and the second? Considering his alleged condition, that was a feat not even her considerable journalistic skills as an interviewer could accomplish.
The brutes stood there, as if awaiting her orders. How could that even be? Vince was a mobster. These guys were his goons. But they acted like she was…what? In charge? “Look, I’ll be honest here. Vince and I had a couple of dates. That’s it.”
They exchanged looks. Reggie tried again. “Can you start at the beginning?”
“You’re his,” Thing One said.
Thing Two added, “You need to be in there with him.”
“Because,” they said in unison, staring at her like she’d grown a second head. “You need to—”
“Get the hell out of here and back to reality.”
“That won’t be possible, Ms. Jackson.” A third man had entered the room while Frick and Frack kept her occupied. “I am Dante Caruso. You will remain here for as long as Vincente requires your…assistance.”
Dante gestured to the open doorway. She heard the beep of medical equipment. Unbidden, her feet propelled her inside. Vince lay unmoving. Her heart stopped working.
And she understood.
250 Chicago-style Moonstruck Mafia words
From Beyond The…
It had been fifteen days since Clarkson had been lowered into the chilled earth. My hats off to you, Mon Ami. To your last breath, you were a sparkling bundle of afterlife joy.
Me? I’d spent the past fifteen days rotating in and out of every gin joint, booze bar and watering hole in the County.
I’d finally ended up at Tipsy Ted’s Tavern in Drool City.
It had been one of his preferred spots. Something about the deep-fried beef heart. A house specialty. Our favourite hops slinger was Sweet Sheila O’Banion. Clarkson loved Sheila’s brogue. Even though she was born locally, she mimicked Maureen O’Hara…you know, she played the Irish beauty in Ford’s, The Quiet Man.
Maybe you don’t.
Anyways, I was getting a little blurry, maudlin, sloppy.
“You’re lookin’ down in de dumps, Pete.”
“Ah, Sheila, missin’ the man, I am,” I answered back enjoying her presence.
“He’s still ‘ere, I’m tinkin. Such a joyful fella.”
I swam into her glorious eyes.
Swimming in suds.
“Why didn’t he contact me, Sheila? It’s been over two weeks.”
At that moment I could see the transformation. She was truly channelling Maureen.
“’Tis de memories dat yer man, meant. Yer man never intended ter cum back. Not in de flesh. Yer man jist wanted yer ter be content wi’ de memory av ‘imself.”
And there we were.
She brought me another jug.
I could finally let go.
Vance Sterling had been missing for weeks. His disappearance drove Susan mad—she spent sleepless nights in bed, hugging tight to her pillow, crying over and over “Where could he be? Why didn’t he contact me?” She was especially distraught after seeing the local newspapers as lurid headlines screamed about a serial killer.
Quickly, Susan designed flyers, but in her haste, could not get the image right—the inaccurate representation alarmed her greatly: the picture didn’t capture Vance’s true character, his innocence and lovability. How could anyone find him if the colors were off, the picture blurred and fuzzy? But, frantic with grief and worry, she printed them anyway, bundling them up in industrial-sized rubber bands, and carted them out to her car, throwing the parcels in her trunk.
Susan distributed the circulars everywhere: dive bars, sleazy motels, back alleys, homeless shelters, under bridges where tramps congregated. To no avail.
The lack of response further increased her anxiety, taking a desperate toll on her health. She stopped eating, spent long days worrying, wasting away in an alcoholic stupor.
Her newly acquired husband of only four weeks felt neglected and unsympathetic; dismissive of her pain, he distanced himself, becoming reserved and aloof, displaying little emotion other than jealousy. Contemptuously, he wondered in dismay, Why such a fuss, why all the turmoil? How many places could a toy stuffed mouse be?
Word count :229
“Why didn’t he contact me?”
“Face it, Rourke, you’re just not that interesting.”
“Both of you, shut up,” I said without taking my eyes off the screen in front of me. “You can worry about your love life when you’re off duty.”
Duty meant staring at a screen for eight hours while sitting in an armored truck with four other people.
I watched as children made their way into the building filled with classrooms, textbooks, chalkboard, and teachers. I imagined the voices, the chatter and the laughter, before the school’s bell rang for order. I wondered if the children, their parents, the teachers, or even the principal had any idea they were sitting on top of a military bunker, filled with guns, ammunition, and explosives.
“I should have heard something from him by now.”
“Sorry, Rourke, you were a one-night stand, and apparently not a very good one.”
Everyone’s snickers brought the lieutenant to his feet.
“Enough, Marines,” he barked. “We have a job to do. Get back to it.”
“Movement in the second quadrant,” said a near whisper in my headset.
I focused on the screen, spotting a man walking along the back of an adjacent building towards the school.
“Got him. Is identity confirmed?”
As the man slipped through the school’s basement door, I locked on the school’s coordinates and pressed the red button in front of me. Seconds later, the building exploded.
“Good work, Marine.”
“Thank you, Sir.”
Somehow, it didn’t feel very good.
Word count: 249 firstname.lastname@example.org
“Oh my glory.” Horror and disappointment skittered down into Chester’s gut as they peered around the corner. “That’s my cousin, Avery Lippincott. What’s he doing here?”
Hermione frowned. “Which one is your cousin?”
“The one with the torn denim vest talking to the tech.”
She bit her lip. “Are you sure?”
“Of course. Why?”
“Because our intel said that guy is Max Louderhorn, the social media voice and financier of the Eagle Militia.”
“Wait, you’re saying he’s part of that crazy, violent separatist group we’ve heard about on the news?” Chester swallowed hard as he looked back at Avery. “That’s insane. Why would he do something like this?”
“No clue, Doc. But according to all the shit he’s posted on social media and their website, he feels that a demonstration is needed to show the corruption of all our shared values, etc.” She scanned the room. “That door behind them. That the only way out of this room?”
He shook his head. “This doesn’t make sense. Why didn’t he contact me? Violence isn’t the answer.”
Hermione grimaced. “I don’t know, Doc. But with militia groups, violence seems to be their go-to action in my experience.”
“How do you know he’s here for me? Maybe I can talk him out of this if I just go over there.”
Avery took out a pistol and shot the tech in front of him, point-blank.
“Yeah, no, I think we should find a way outta here without him seeing you, Doc.”
247 ineligible #WIP365 words
Story: December Chills
Their team had gone for camping in the forest.
She tried to express her love for him, but couldn’t muster courage.
She knew he was interested in her.
Whenever she looked at him, she found him already staring…
She overheard him requesting for her mobile number from another friend.
She waited for his call.
“Why didn’t he contact me?”
On the last day, she couldn’t find him.
She had wondered far from their camp.
There was no network connection in her phone.
It was getting dark.
The sounds of wild animals scared her.
Her phone suddenly rang.
It was him.
Words Count- 100
December Chills – Anita
Working for one of the biggest tech companies in the world means I know more about most people than their families. Most of the time I’m the human behind the app as people activate their new devices. But it’s our overnight people who have the tough job of compiling everything the devices record. The important stuff is saved for me and my co-workers to review the next morning. The company only wants us to save personal information so we can target ads and such to the users, but we listen to better tailor the ads.
“Why didn’t he contact me?”
It’s a woman, deeper voice, sounds worried. I start jotting notes as I listen.
“You haven’t heard from him?”
There’s a pause. “No. I figured work was busy and I’d see him this morning.”
Another woman speaks, her voice higher pitched and business-like.
“All right, thank you. Are there any marital problems?”
“We’ve been married forty years. He’s never done this before!”
“We’ll be in touch.”
The woman starts crying. There’s about ten minutes of audio to review and a man’s voice starts off this stack.
“I should call my wife.”
“Nah, dude, she’ll be fine. Come on, you never go out with us after work.”
A short pause. “All right, fine. But I’m going straight home after one cup of coffee.”
Five minutes later, I jump. Metal screeches and broken glass tinkles over my headphones. The man groans out to call 911 and the recording ends, silent.
Why didn’t he contact me?
The question bounced around Jamie’s brain as he ran through the hospital halls to the VIP wing. Staff grumbled or shouted at him to slow down, but he ignored their calls until a heavy hand caught him by the shoulder and almost yanked him off his feet. The sudden stop spun him around, anger boiling up from his lungs, ready to explode on his tongue.
The rage died unspoken as he recognized the man standing in front of him.
“Kim’s this way, Boss.” The aptly nicknamed bodyguard jerked his chin down a side hall he’d just passed.
“If you’re here—Who’s on his door?”
Bear just chuckled.
“Trust me, Boss. He’s got no lack of protectors.” The guard led the way down the hall. “Official, unofficial. All lethal. The crew will be glad to see you.”
Bear rapped on the door of room V108, a complex rhythm Jamie recognized as intentional. The door was opened from within, and Cook ushered them in with a cautionary finger to his lips.
“He woke up for a few,” Cook murmured, “but he’s still pretty out of it. Probably another 24 to 48 before the drugs clear out of his system.”
Jamie crossed the room to the bed.
He lifted Kim’s unresponsive hand, wondering when the younger’s hands had gotten so long, when the boy he remembered had grown so tall.
They’d been close as brothers once. Closer, even.
“How did we get so far apart?” he whispered.
250 WIP words
“Sam Hall should have swung by now.” The Lady Paladin glared out the courthouse window at the empty gallows. “Why didn’t he?”
“Contact me at day’s end!” The Bailiff hurried by with an armload of paperwork.
Lady Paladin stood sternly in her silver armor; senses trained on the murderer in the cells below who should have been a corpse to dispose of by the time she arrived. She held her position until the sun sank into twilight, and a weary Bailiff returned to plop down behind his desk.
“Sorry about that,” the portly man sighed heavily. “A gallows pardon for the hanging of the year really threw a wrench in the works.”
Lady Paladin narrowed her eyes incisively.
The Bailiff slid a silver ring set with amber across his desk.
“The Arch Wizard appeared and spared Sam’s life.”
Lady Paladin’s fist clenched on her sword pommel.
“That old hermit lacks the authority to pardon convicts.”
“Well, he told me to give you this,” The Bailiff tapped the ring. “And tell you to escort Sam, alive, to the capital city.”
She lifted the ring, immediately feeling the powerful binding spell coursing through it.
“Why didn’t he contact me himself?”
The Bailiff shrugged.
“Who understands all that hocus pocus?”
Rodriguez pulled out her padlet and began to read.
“The victim’s last recorded contact was with his wife. He tried to place a call with her at 23:17 hours but left no message.”
Walker raised his hand, halting her testimony.” You said that he called her. Is there any proof it was him? If he didn’t leave a message it could have been anyone. If the phone records identified the caller’s phone as being his, it could still have been used by someone else. We should never assume anything to be a fact without indisputable evidence to corroborate our conclusions.”
Rodriquez nodded, granting him his point. She continued with her report, her face impassive.
“His wife found his body eight hours later. Her first call was to his brother, the twin. He wasn’t available either, but she sent him a text. The text read ‘Why didn’t he contact me?’. Nothing more. She then reported his death, calling it in at 09:42 hrs. She was mostly incoherent, claiming his death was due to supernatural causes.”
The victim said nothing. If it could be proved he’d made that call, there was no evidence to suggest when he’d died, although the condition of the body they’d found could have given rise to the wildest speculation. In fact, based on the degree of desiccation of its flesh, he could have been dead for a hundred years or more. It was only because of his dental records that they were sure it was him.
249 words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
“Why didn’t he contact me? He’s my father, doesn’t he care that my mother died?”
“I remember your dad he always looked like he adored your mom and I know he loved you.”
“He divorced mom not me, where is he?”
“I’ll be here,” Nancy insisted taking my cold hands.
An hour went by and still Dad hadn’t appeared. At the wake people came up to me and told me how sorry they were.
A man entered hurriedly and came up to me and said, “Sorry I’m late. I can’t believe they are both gone.”
“Who are you and wait a minute…both?”
“I’m Paul Barnes. We cremate your father yesterday.”
“Dad’s dead? When did he die?”
“Three days ago at 11 a.m.”
“Mom’s heart stopped then.”
“So did Calvin’s. I brought the ashes as per your mother’s wishes that he be buried with her. They were remarried a week ago.”
“Why didn’t they tell me?”
“I’ve never known two people so in love. I can believe they died at the same time. Neither could exist without the other.”
“So I’m an orphan?”
“I’m sorry we lost our parents.”
“What do you mean our parents?”
“I’m the reason they got divorced. Dad was mad mom gave me up when she was fourteen.”
“She probably had no choice.”
“Her parents made her.”
“I’m sorry about not telling you about dad.”
“I guess I’ll forgive you since you brought dad. I’ve always wanted a sibling. Welcome to the family,” I replied.
Tea and Medals
Tower grabbed a beer, before joining his team in the back. They were sitting at their usual table, but they seemed more subdued than usual. He drew a deep breath and nodded.
This was a conversation he was not looking forward to.
“What did Top say?” He asked the question knowing that time was of the essence.
He didn’t even have to look to know who would reply. Rob was the unofficial spokesman for the trio.
“He’s reviewing the footage and reports and talking to the brass about the best way to deal with Kat’s insubordination.
‘Insubordination,’ he thought. The woman had ignored orders and come to their rescue— but those orders didn’t apply to her, she was crew, not military. He wondered if they could use that to her advantage.
“He’s already thought of that and is taking that tack,” Rob informed him before he could say anything.
When Tower looked up, Rob shrugged.
“Kat’s done nothing but…”
“Protect us, we all testified to that.” Rob Agreed.
“Why didn’t he contact me?” The question was out before Tower could think.
“Tower, you were in charge of the unit, you were responsible for everything that happened. He wanted to cover for you.”
“You mean ‘Crash’? She’s in medical and sedated. We work this right, she’ll be getting a medal rather than time in the brig.”
“Brig, she’s not even military.”
“Not yet, but if Top gets his way…”
“She stays,” Tower finished with a smile.
#ThursThreads Week 392 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to see you next week – the day after Christmas, Boxing day.