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 396 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 396:
Fantasy Author, and Holder of Several Stories, David Ludwig.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“What else do you want me to say?”
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!
25 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 396”
I wasn’t about to tell Jeff that Michael was the Archangel Michael and his older brother Luke was a far more famous fallen angel folks were meant to revile. Besides, I liked Luke, and who could say they’d hung out with the Devil and actually had a good time? Jeff would learn who everyone was soon enough. Or I’d have to cut him off to protect everyone, including him.
“I don’t know if I can handle this.”
I sighed. “What else do you want me to say? They’re people, just like humans. They just have some skill sets we don’t.”
“Like breathing fire?”
I remembered Torch’s breath and Michael’s flaming sword. “Yeah, like that.”
“This is insane, Haley.”
“Why? Because they’re more effective at hiding who they truly are than everyone else? Hell, I bet they’ve perpetuated the idea that they’re myths just to keep us dumb humans from finding out the truth.” I shook my head and let my gaze fall on the day outside. The clouds had rolled in with the wind and hidden the sun.
“Look, Jeff. You’re my family and I wanted you to know that I’m going ahead with my relationship to Michael. He’s worth every effort on my part, even if he’s not human.”
“Wait, Michael’s not human?” Jeff looked like he’d swallowed too much peanut butter. “What is he, then?”
I grimaced. “I had to sign a contract, Jeff, to protect their secrets. That’s all I can say.”
245 ineligible #ConcreteAngelsMC words
I love the commanding personalities of your characters, and your original spin on specific angels.
Monty named the puppy “Tubby.” The appellation was in place when I arrived, and it had nothing to do with his physique. At least, not the dog’s. If Monty had been assigning names based on physical attributes, “Tubby” would have been “Michael Jordan.”
Boy, could that mutt leap! Like his legs were on springs or he wore rockets for shoes. Up, down. Up, down. He just loved to jump, I guess.
Monty doted on that dog, feeding him table scraps and teaching him tricks. Roll over. Shake hands. Play dead.
Little did I know how significant that last one would be.
He was smart too—the canine, not Monty. Monty was sort of an eejit, if you really want to know. But it took me a while to figure that out. Maybe in that way, I’m an eejit too.
The last fight we had was a humdinger. He came home drunk, as always, making me late for work because he’d taken off with the car the night before. So natch when he came staggering through the door, I let him have it. Right between the eyes. Verbally, I mean
The louder I yelled, the more violent things got. Finally, I grabbed the keys and stormed out. Tubby was in the background jumping his ass off and I did not see he was right on my heels when I backed out the driveway.
The next thing I knew, he wasn’t just playing dead.
What else do you want me to say?
Great voice throughout, I especially loved “He was smart too–the canine, not Monty.”
Boneless Bob wallowed in his pool. Since his accident, he’d lived nowhere else, sleeping on his back in the shallow end. His doctor had succumbed to his requirements and visited him at home every month. Today was the day of their appointment, and Bob had put on a pair of Speedos out of respect.
“It’s most peculiar,” Doctor Swan said, retrieving his thermometer. “Of course, you’ll need to keep an eye on the filtration. There’s no knowing what kind of bugs could be breeding in here.”
Bob slid back into the deeper part of the pool. He’d begun to adapt to his change in circumstances, the webbings between his fingers aiding his mobility.
“Is there anything else I could be doing?” he asked. “I’ve tried crawling out onto the side of the pool, but I can’t even maintain a sitting position. And as for standing: Well, you can guess how much success I have with that.”
The doctor slipped back into the water. He’d chosen a single-piece maroon costume that flattered his physique, emphasising his shoulders and minimising his waist.
“What else do you want me to say? You’ll have to accept your limitations, I’m afraid. Most people would be more than happy to spend the whole of their life beside a pool. Your insurance company were very generous. The nuclear power company – let’s say they’ll see you want for nothing, as far as is practicable.”
Bob said nothing more. He just watched as the doctor swam with grace.
250 ambulance-chasing claims ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
I love your clever and original stories with their dark undertones like this one!
Wiz paced the length of the room, muscles rippling beneath his T-shirt as he flung out his arms. “What else do you want me to say?”
He sounded so angry and there was no warmth in his eyes as he glared at me. What did I want him to say? That he loved me? That I was his…mate? Wasn’t that what the other old ladies called themselves?
“I don’t have time for this, babe.” He turned his back on me and stomped to the door. Evidently, I wasn’t worth more than a few moments of his time.
I’d waited too long to respond, hadn’t thought fast enough on my feet. He’d surprised me earlier and I’d just blurted out the words that brought us to this impasse.
“Did you ever care?” The words came from the very darkest bottom of my soul. “Or was I just a pity fuck?”
His lips pressed so tightly together a white line appeared around them. I caught that red glint in his eyes. My time was up. I sank my teeth into my bottom lip, hoping the physical pain would keep my face from giving me away. Wizard’s chest rose and fell, his nostrils flaring as he breathed deeply. And there it was. The same look of disgust on his face that I’d seen on my brother’s.
“No.” I backed away. “I get it. Totally. Sorry to have bothered you. I won’t again.”
I whirled and ran, ignoring his voice.
250 Night Wish WIP words
I’m a big fan of Wizard for his sheer coolness, so it’s hard seeing him and Jen in these circumstances.
Astrid looked like she was about to blow a gasket. The woman who was always the calm in a storm was about to lose her shit and Gavin didn’t even know it was coming, poor fool.
“Astrid, come with me. I need you!”
“You don’t need me. You need to be adored and worshipped and told how amazing you are. You do not need me.”
“I do need you, Astrid. You’re so good for me.” Gavin’s voice had taken on a whining air.
“What else do you want me to say? That I love you? Because I can’t. I don’t love you. That you’re good for me? I can’t say that either. You aren’t good for anyone.”
Gavin’s ego was too enormous to let this go.
“Astrid, my love. What will I do without you?”
Astrid’s face was a steel mask. “You will go away and keep doing what you’ve always done, little man.”
“Yeah? And what’s that?”
A cold smile played with her lips. “You will reflect the light of those around you because you have no light of your own.”
@TeresaMEccles 182 words
The brilliant burn at the end is a very compelling close to this story!
A flash of shining red hung out of the closet. I looked back toward the bed where she lay sleeping. I didn’t regularly dig through my bedmate’s things, but she’d been keeping something secret.
I pushed on the mirrored roller as gently as possible. It squeaked and stopped, like something was on the floor blocking the path.
Cece murmured and flipped over, twisting the sheets with her. Any minute now, she might wake.
On tiptoes, I grabbed the hanger and pulled out the garment. The material fell in a cascade … a cape? One that looked very familiar. My mind flashed to images of the masked Red Robin, kicking ass in the dark alley a few nights ago – right before I was supposed to meet Cece after work and she was “running late.”
I knew those delicious curves and that shock of short flame-red hair. Where was the rest of the suit?
“Mmmm. Where did you go?” The woman in question sat up, sheets clutched to her naked chest.
“Look what I found?” I held up the cape, tempted to put it on and spin. Did it give super powers like Spiderman’s or Batman’s costumes, or was it all her natural ability?
Her eyeliner had smudged during our lovemaking, giving her an even more sexy, smoky look. How was that fair, when I looked like a raccoon in the morning?
“Halloween costume from last year,” she shrugged. “What else do you want me to say?”
You painted this scene most charmingly for both the senses and emotions!
Anton Bragg rapped dourly on the door to the best room in the country coaching house. He hated games at the best of times, was never good at them, and Lord Farrow breathing down his neck to recover his stolen property and catch the culprit wasn’t a good time at all. Yet somehow here he was, following a long route of breadcrumbs for evidence of what he figured out his first visit to the scene of the crime.
“I said no breakfast!”
The accent was different, but Bragg wasn’t surprised to hear the voice of Honesty, the provincial librarian.
“It’s afternoon, miss. And I’m not room service.”
He strangled his response with thoughts of his hands around her pretty throat. The click of heels on wood flooring led to cautious cracking of the door by a crimson clad debutante.
“Officer?” Irritation turned to interest.
She was blonde instead of brunette, her hair in mussed ringlets that would have taken hours to set. Even her eyes were different, but she had to be the same woman.
“I’ve had enough, Honesty. Now tell me what I want to know.”
Watching her puzzle out the meaning of his statement made Bragg regret his phrasing and introduced a shadow of doubt if this was the same woman after all. She was good.
“You, want me to lie about something?”
“No! You know what I mean!”
Her demeanor turned icy at his outburst.
“I don’t. What else do you want me to say?”
248 Ineligible words
At work, Monday, I remembered my Mother, and the time she read one of the stories I wrote. A story about a lonely, depressed guy, who crashed his car, and got himself killed. And how it was his escape from the hell that was his life.
My Mother, bless her, practically threw the story at me. “Why do you always have to write such awful stories? Why can’t you write something happy for a change?”
I wanted to scream, “That’s not how it works! That’s not how I work! I can’t write what I don’t feel!” But, she was my Mother. I spoke without knowing what else to say, “I’ll change it.” Then, I did. Same car wreck. But he gets through it uninjured, no one else gets hurt, and he wakes up to life, and decides to become a better person.
“Better.” That’s what she said.
I smiled, and nodded, “See? I can do that,” while my brain screamed, “What else do you want me to say? It’s what you wanted!”
It was one more detail in life that turned everything into a game. A stupid, silly game, all about making everything happy, and fun. And the movies on the inside of my eyelids responded, as people started smiling, and singing happy songs, as they cut each others hearts out.
I found this story intense and incredibly relatable.
“Aisa! Aisa wait!” Garret’s hand caught my arm, rough and gentle all at once, and spun me to face him. His eyes were wild with frustration and hurt. . .and love.
Love that made me quake in fear.
“Let go of me.” While my voice was calm I was far from that state.
His grip loosened only a fraction. He would never purposefully hurt me unless I lost control, but when you have crazy strong strength it’s not always easy to regulate your grip. Especially when emotional. Warm brown eyes searched my own for that reciprocation of love that I couldn’t dare show. “No. Not until you talk to me.”
“There’s nothing else to say.”
“Bullshit! There is everything to say.”
My lips pursed. “Please, Garret, let me go.”
“No. I am not letting you walk out of my life like this. ‘It’s safer for you this way’ is not an excuse to leave! How many times do I have to say I don’t care about the shadows that follow you?”
“You should care. I am a ticking time bomb. One day I won’t be me anymore. I will hurt you, intentionally. It’s saf-”
“Don’t.” Garret’s voice wavered, swallowing hard. “Don’t you dare say it.”
“Then what else do you want me to say?!”
“I want you to say ‘I love you too’ like I see you do! I want you to let your walls fall!” His gaze held mine, intense, daring. Demolishing life-long walls, however, was a messy business.
250 blinded love words
For all the enticing fantasy, the intense love between Garret and Aisa is what really makes this one for me.
“I already told the other cop everything. This evening has been devastating,” I stated dabbing my eyes, squeezing out tears in front of the new cop and fainting.
“Can we get a doctor here?” the cop yelled.
Doctor Julian Donovan complained, “Another one Gabriella?”
“It’s an average Friday night for me; what else do you want me to say?”
“It’s normal for you to be found with headless dead bodies?”
“No, there’s usually enough time to dispose of them before the cops come.”
“What did this one do?”
“He patronized me, then touched me indecently.”
“I found out he’d blackmailed using his position to coerce women to sleep with him or …”
“So you basically had your own #MeToo moment?” he chuckled.
“It’s nothing to joke about it’s alright for men you don’t have to fear walking down the street be cat-called or propositioned at work constantly then threatened with losing your job if you don’t give in and if you don’t give in then they touch you anyway.”
“On behalf of all men I’m sorry,” Julian replied, smiling, “Gabby this has to stop they’ll catch you and find out… I’ll cover for you but Gabby can you kill out of town from now on?”
“Will do!” I agreed.
Poor Julian was next on my list. Leave no loose ends my father always said and I lived by that motto I’d wait until nightfall and then devour him after all I’m a black widow spider and he’s my mate.
Playful and dark, and then the last paragraph brings it all together wonderfully!
She was staring at me again, obviously waiting for something, and it was into a cold silence I began to weave my spell.
“I’ve never tasted anything like it,” I began trying to think on my feet. “The combination of flavors and textures only enhance the effect.”
While she didn’t say anything, her body language was working overtime. She was anxious, and she was sharp – looking for any hint of duplicity.
“My mother was a gourmet chef and she never made anything that tasted like this,” I added, hoping she wouldn’t catch on to the subtle thread I was following with my answer.
“It was aromatic, and presentation- oh, people never put enough into presentation…”
She gave me a pointed look and nodded to the pastry on my plate.
“What else do you want me to say?”
“Do you like it?” She finally asked.
I smiled. What can you say about a chocolate brownie mug cake with enough Tabasco to burn a hole in the middle of the sun?
I paused and smiled. “It needs salt.”
Being fey and not being able to lie can be a real pain sometimes.
190 words, not including title
I loved the dance around giving an outright poor review, but having the narrator be fey and unable to lie was the icing on the cake for me.
~Saving the Planet~
Sephora and Serenity are perpetually bathed in each other’s shadow. Serenity’s silver beams equivalate Sephora’s fiery rays, but neither outshines her sibling. They watch over mankind, as a shepherd guards his flock. Slowly, the people began forgetting to pay homage to those celestial deities. In the twilight hours, the two carry on an ethereal conversation:
“Sephora, you’re too hot-headed,” complained Serenity, “Give humans a break! They’re easily one of the weakest creatures on the planet, yet they’re intelligent enough to understand at least a few simple concepts.”
“Oh, really?” Sephora retorted, her voice dripping with sarcasm, “”Pray, tell, which concepts are those?”
Serenity stuttered, “Well… um, they-”
“See? They’re worthless! Worse than worthless – they’re positively parasitic!”
“They aren’t all bad. Some are beginning to realize how important it is to care for their world. Surely, that’s to be commended?”
“Too little, too late, Sister,” came Sephora’s sardonic reply, “It’s time to eradicate the disease.”
Serenity saddened, “There must be something we can do?!”
“Sure! Watch this,” Sephora hummed, vibrating every cell of her gaseous form until rivulets of viscous lava began to erupt from her molten surface.
Serenity gasped, “Sephora! No – don’t!”
Too late. Like a pea in a microwave, she nuked the planet below. “There,” she said sweetly, “No more problem. The rest of the planet will recover nicely, I think.” Serenity’s silvery glow muted to a bleak, blue glimmer. Sephora sighed, “Well, what else do you want me to say? I’m sorry? … I’m not.”
247 Words @EmpathUtopiast
I quite enjoyed your naming and characterization of your celestial goddesses!
#ThursThreads is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.