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 397 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 397:
Desk Jockey by Day, Writer by Night, Pecking her way through life, Miranda Gammella.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“No, I get it.”
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!
9 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 397”
“So that’s the deal. You smile, you wave, attend some fancy parties, look good on Elle’s arm for a few months. You’ll collect a nice paycheck in the process, and it’ll all be over before you realize it started.”
“I get it. It’s not exactly a traditional job offer, but—”
“You don’t get it, or you’d understand I said no.”
“Still saying no.”
“Damn it, Jonathan.”
“Fuck.” Gina shoved her chair back, the feet screeching loudly against the tile floor. “You are—difficult.”
“I’m not trying to be. I said no. I’ll add that I’m sorry to waste your time.” I tapped my thumb against the rim of my coffee mug. There were plenty of people who’d happily take their fifteen minutes as celebrity arm candy. “I’m sure you won’t have trouble finding someone to say yes.”
“I don’t have a list of people I’m willing to trust with Elle.” Gina’s body started to fidget, foot tapping, fingers twirling around each other. “I don’t have anyone beyond you.”
“You don’t have me.”
Gina made a sound—something between anger and misery. I stared her down, noting the frustration in her pinched features, eyes hidden behind oversized shades. Those eyes might offer clues about the truths behind her job offer. She damn sure wasn’t telling me everything.
“If she wants security, I’ll provide it.” I said. “But I’m not escort material. I’m not the guy at her side. I’m the guy who’s got her back.”
Soliloquy at Dusk
We have been walking since dawn. Through the dense wood, a tangle of skinny pine, twisty arbutus, and ever-reliable fir.
“Never been this lost before,” she says, just as a scrub branch gets away from me and smacks her in the kisser.
I stop, turn, and touch her cheek. “Sorry. I’m not much for leading the way. You okay?”
“That hurt, Sammy,” touching my hand and smiling. “Yeah, just cold hungry and…”
“Lost,” I toss in. “I know. We should rest. I feel like we’re not getting anywhere.”
“Really. And I thought you were a real Hawkeye.”
“More a Natty Bumbler, I’m afraid.”
It’d been my idea for a pleasant day hike. The first part had gone well. Breakfast at a truck stop, then a leisurely drive up to the State Park, talking, getting to know each other better.
“Two maybe three hours…there and back,” I had said, but though the hike had started out warm and promising, we’d lost track of time.
And our direction.
As the warm sun had disappeared last night, I stated the obvious. “We’re in trouble.”
“I didn’t sign up for this,” she’d cried. “This isn’t me.”
“Pull yourself together,” I said. “Getting all panicky won’t help.”
“No, I get it. Sorry. I’m scared, though.”
“Me to. The smart thing’s to find a safe place for the night.”
Which we did.
Now we were buried in a jungle.
“Listen,” she said. “You hear that?”
The party started and a man saddled up to me. “I’m Scot with one t.”
He was handsome, in a boyband tribute sort of way.
“I’ve never seen you here before,” he continued. “No wig?” He leered. What started off as a promising conversation moved to discomfort.
It could be that he told me how to spell his name without asking me my own.
Scot-with-one-t didn’t get my drift as I stepped back and remained quiet.
“Everything you see here is filled with icing.” The room overflowed with birthday décor and light music played. “Who knows where the night might go.”
He did that wink-thingie where men think they are being seductive, and instead it increases the creep factor times ten. He then tried to wrap his arm around my shoulder.
My gaze grazed over him, and like a randy creepoid, here he was with oranges in his pants. He saw me staring, reached in and took one out, to offer it to me.
Strippers might push their shirts into their pants to symbolize their length, girth and all to music, but to pack fruit in his pants was just beyond my understanding.
“Whoa.” I raised my hands.
“No, I get it. Did I come on too strong?”
“Undaunting. I think you need to find someone with blue hair to help with your little hard-on.” I pointed at his fruit bowl.
Many came to New York to make their way. Everything had a price.
Good thing, I wasn’t for sale.
Anton Bragg stomped out of the coaching house unusually heavily, even for the sturdy sheriff. Lady Rosalinda Estienne checked in that morning and paid in gold. The proprietor and the driver both confirmed her story about coming in from the next town on a three-day ride. A perfect alibi.
Bragg was still mostly certain the lady was actually the provincial librarian, Honesty, who had been in town for the last month. He was also sure that she was the one who burgled Lord Farrow’s home and left behind a single black rose. She wouldn’t have had time to fence the stolen property, but previous jobs could have produced the gold to pose as a noblewoman.
It was killing the no nonsense young veteran not being able to prove what he knew. Thinking about how that woman had managed to tangle such an open and shut case, and what game she was playing made him sick. Bragg was so perturbed he practically collided with the shining figure standing at the corner of the coaching house.
The figure stood impassively statuesque in silver armor including a featureless mask. With white cape and tabard the figure looked like a fairy tale knight. Why did this town get so weird?
“Tread carefully, good sir.” A deep voice echoed from behind the mask as from a cavern. “You understand your adversary not.”
“No, I get it.” Bragg scrutinized the odd figure. “That woman’s trying to drive me crazy.”
An old-fashioned bell jangled above the door as Bryson Whiteclaw stepped inside. He closed the door behind him and stood to one side surveying the store. Three tourists—two women and a male—sorted through a stack of Pendleton blankets. The guy looked bored out of his mind. Four teenage girls stood around a jewelry display. They noticed his entrance, not caring he was the sheriff. Another man might blush at their comments. But he wasn’t another man—or a man at all. He was a Wolf. His nostrils flared. Interesting. He followed the scent.
A stuffed buffalo perched precariously on a shelf four feet off the floor. Bryce reached for the toy, halting when a small, booted foot nailed him on the shin.
“No, I get it.” Chubby fists planted on hips, bottom lip protruding, the adamant toddler favored him with a defiant glare.
Holdings his hands up in an “I surrender” gesture, he backed away. Three tries before the little boy snagged the stuffy. By then, only Bryce’s stoic cop face saved him as the kid turned in triumph.
“No.” The feminine scent belonging to that voice wafted over him and he stiffened. Everywhere. “Not yours, Ben.”
The woman glanced his way before retrieving the buffalo and stashing it on a higher shelf. She grabbed the boy’s hand, tugging him away.
“MINE!” Ben yelled, resisting.
Yes, mine, his inner wolf howled in the same tone as the kid’s.
Yes, Bryce agreed. Ours. He followed them out.
250 words Moonstruck Wolf words
Riley knelt in front of her, his hands wrapped around hers, and his expression so hopeful. But he’s human. And she definitely wasn’t. Oh sure, she’d know he was her one-and-only, but when she realized that, she’d thought he was one of the Elder Races. And he definitely wasn’t.
“What can’t you do?”
“Be with you.” She bit her lip, her heart tearing in half.
This is some fucked up, cruel joke, Goddess. Seriously.
“Why not?” His voice echoed through the clearing and he looked away, visibly controlling his emotions. “I’m sorry for yelling. Why can’t you be with me? We’re together all the time for work.”
“I know. But it’s work.” Moriah gave him a lame smile. “We’re not…you know, intimate.”
“We might as well be, Moriah. That’s what I want with you.” He gave her a hopeful smile.
She released his hands and looked away. “I’m sorry. It’s not what I want.”
“No, I get it. Really, I do. You don’t see yourself with a muscle-bound halfwit like me.” Riley rose to his feet and stomped over to their gear. “Believe me, I’ve heard it all before.”
Her heart ached. “Where have you heard that?”
He slashed the air with his hand. “It doesn’t matter. It’s just this time I thought you were different. I thought you saw me for me, not for what I’m not.”
His words hit so close to home she flinched. She saw him as human, not Elder Races.
249 ineligible #WIP365 words
“You don’t have a mirror, do you?”
Frankie rolled her eyes. She was enjoying this.
“They’re quite acceptable,” she said. “They’re very you. They’re maybe a little boyish, but they’re not much smaller than Puck’s. He gets by; I’m sure you’ll do well enough.”
“Well enough? Well enough? Did you think that’s what I wanted? You promised me a full rack – twelve points, like the Monarch of the Glen. Instead, all I get is a couple of nubs. They’re not even as large as yours, and you’re just an incubus.”
Frankie sighed. She sounded bored. “I’m a succubus,” she said. “You really should pay better attention. A slip of the tongue here could be fatal. You asked me to make you a demon – with the scales, horns, tail; the whole shebang.” She ticked each point off on an invisible list as she said them. “Of course, I had to infill a few of the specifics. You were so deliciously vague. It was such an opportunity; I couldn’t let it pass.”
The mist cleared for a moment, and I saw what she’d done. She’d given me the tail; a sinuous one with a barb at the tip. The scales too; earthy red, like terracotta but with an oily gleam.
And then I reached my chest. “No, I get it,” I said. “I didn’t mean that.”
Frankie nodded. “Yup. Exactly as specified. Now, let me introduce you to this incubus I know. And I must warn you, he plays rough.”
250 infernal words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
I looked at myself in the mirror. I closed my eyes and tried again, noticing the halo of ringlets framing my face. Golds and shimmering blues, cascaded from the crown of my head.
“Trust me on this, they will die of envy.”
I looked at the hairdresser in disbelief. “No. Hell no!”
“I get it, it’s not what you expected, but you have to admit, it’s stunning. And it will look so good in the photos.”
Stunning was not the first word that came to mind. It wasn’t even the forty-seventh word I’d used to describe it, but I really didn’t have time if I wanted to be able to fix the monstrosity he’d created before I reported to the station for the awards ceremony.
I paid him, figuring if I didn’t argue, I’d have just enough time to get home and wash out the shellac he’d used to hold my hair in place, but then the emergency tone went off on my phone, and instead of washing my hair, I was on my way to the station.
I shouldn’t have bothered -the chief took one look at my hair, which hadn’t moved in gale-force winds and shook his head. “Sorry Dana,” he said. “But the first rule of EMS is don’t be part of the problem.”
“Fire hazard?” I guessed.
“No,” he deadpanned. “The ladder company might hurt themselves laughing.”
I sighed. Everyone’s a critic. The fact that he was right didn’t really matter.
247 words (not including title)
#ThursThreads Week 397 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.