#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 401

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 401 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 401:

Eric Martell

Scientist, Dad, and flash fiction author, Eric Martell.

Facebook | Twitter |

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“Someone I have only seen one time.”

All stories written herein are the property (both intellectual and physical) of the authors. Comments do not represent the views of the host and the host reserves the right to remove any content. Now, away with you, Flash Fiction Fanatics, and show us your #ThursThreads. Good luck!

14 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 401”

  1. Big Fish

    I didn’t need to remind Solly that Frankie Flint was connected. Still, I went ahead. Sometimes it helps to spell out unpleasant truths.

    “We go in there,” I said, “tread easy. He’s a big fish. We don’t want to be rockin’ any boats.”

    Solly gave me his sweet evil eye, which I’d seen a thousand times before and said, “No worries. And besides, these big fish, it only means they got more slime on them. Let’s grill him.”

    So, we went in.

    Frankie had been twiddling his thumbs for about an hour. He was a dapper looking fellow schmoe, Brooks Brothers suit, expensive silk tie, all the trimmings of a guy doing better than we thought he should.

    “’Bout time,” he says. “I ain’t got all day.”

    I flashed my choppers and said, “So sorry, Mr. Flint. You wouldn’t want us to be ill-prepared?”

    “Yeah, Frankie” Solly piped in, “You deserve our best effort, you being who you are, who you know.”

    “Who I know?” Frankie retorted. “I know hundreds of people. Everybody knows tons of people.”

    “But not everyone is bosom buddies with Mr. Gerald Fiddler.”

    There it was, I thought, Solly had to go mention the man behind the Combine.”

    Frankie didn’t take the bait. “Huh! Fiddler? He’s maybe someone I have only seen one time. Maybe twice. He’s in garbage, right?”

    “Yeah,” Solly says, “Garbage and all kinds of disposal. Your sort of business, Frankie. Selective removal.”

    “I do know lawyers,” Frankie injects. “Call mine.”

    250 words
    @billmelaterplea

    1. REVISION ALERT:

      Big Fish

      I didn’t need to remind Solly that Frankie Flint was connected. Still, I went ahead. Sometimes it helps to spell out unpleasant truths.

      “We go in there,” I said, “tread easy. He’s a big fish. We don’t want to be rockin’ any boats.”

      Solly gave me his sweet evil eye, which I’d seen a thousand times before and said, “No worries. And besides, these big fish, it only means they got more slime on them. Let’s grill him.”

      So, we went in.

      Frankie had been twiddling his thumbs for about an hour. He was a dapper looking schmoe, Brooks Brothers suit, expensive silk tie, all the trimmings of a guy doing better than he had any right to.

      “’Bout time,” he says. “I ain’t got all day.”

      I flashed my choppers and said, “So sorry, Mr. Flint. You wouldn’t want us to be ill-prepared.”

      “Yeah, Frankie” Solly piped in, “You deserve our best effort, you being who you are, who you know.”

      “Who I know?” Frankie retorted. “I know hundreds of people. Everybody knows tons of people.”

      “But not everyone is bosom buddies with Mr. Gerald Fiddler.”

      There it was, I thought, Solly had to go mention the man behind the Combine.”

      Frankie didn’t take the bait. “Huh! Fiddler? He’s maybe someone I have only seen one time. Maybe twice. He’s in garbage, right?”

      “Yeah,” Solly says, “Garbage and all kinds of disposal. Your sort of business, Frankie. Selective removal.”

      “I do know lawyers,” Frankie injects. “Call mine.”

      250 revised words
      @billelaterplea

  2. The nurse came to see me half an hour ago. Her name is Jill, or Jayne, or something else with a ‘J’. She’s a lovely girl, and she smells of honeysuckle, just like Julia did.

    “Mr Swanson? It’s Jackie. It’s time for your meds. You know you need to take them every day.”

    I look up and see her. It’s the nurse. I knew I recognised her. She’s the one who came earlier. She’s a new girl, someone I have only seen one time. She seems patient enough, although I doubt that she’ll last. The nurses never do here, always changing, none of them here more than a day. I don’t know what it is with them. No-one seems to care much these days.

    “Mr Swanson? Open up. Please, do it for me?”

    The nurse pulls me upright, slipping a pillow behind my back. She smells of honeysuckle like Julia did. She’s a strong girl, and she’s large, with hands the size of a ditch-digger’s, her fingers boring in so I can’t not open my mouth. She gives me a mouthful of horse tablets and a drink to make me swallow. They taste like ash or flint or some other impalatable muck.

    She reminds me of someone; somebody I loved. I think she was smaller though – or is it me? Have I changed?

    It seems so long ago now.

    I know she used to smell like honeysuckle. And I’m sure she was called Julia – either Julia or Joan.

    250 fragrant memories – twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com

  3. Duke stared and Dalton fought to meet his gaze when he really wanted to hang his head. He was such a fuck up and the chief knew it. Why he was still here surprised the crap out of him.

    “Why were you at the Key West airport?”

    How the hell did the chief know about that? “Did you have me followed?”

    “Didn’t have to.”

    “You think you know me so well.” Dalton couldn’t keep his lips from curling into a snarl. He hated being on the defensive and that’s exactly where he’d been since the day he’d rescued a damsel in distress.

    “Chill, Surfer Boy.” Tank placed a massive hand on his shoulder. “Somethin’ you should learn about ol’ mother hen here.” The big man nodded toward the chief. “He knows things. Automatically. It’s a gift.”

    “Or a curse,” Duke muttered before adding louder, “Human nature, Dalton. Now tell me about the people who got on that plane.”

    No way out. “Two men, military—former or active duty. Hard to tell. Blonde woman—”

    Duke’s interest spiked. “That army major from the lab?”

    “How the hell am I supposed to identify someone I have only seen one time?”

    Tank snorted a laugh. “Because you’re male and she was a fox.”

    “Wasn’t her.”

    “You’re sure?” Duke persisted.

    “Yeah.”

    Duke stared over the sand, gaze fixed on the restless ocean. “I have a bad feeling about this.”

    Tank and Dalton exchanged looks as the sound of helicopter blades intruded.

    “A really bad feeling.”
    ****
    250 Moonstruck: Betrayal WIP words
    @SilverJames_

  4. At sixteen you’d think my parents would drag me every place they went instead it was one in the morning and I was in the backseat of their car.
    “Bill that car is weaving back and forth slow down.”
    “Look at that e turned on his right turn signal when he went into the left lane. Now he’s putting on his right signal and drifting to the edge of the road. I think he’s drunk. We should call the cops.” I insisted.
    “Donovan we can’t even see the colour of the car or licence plate; what would we tell them?” Mom asked.
    “Someone I have only seen one time is weaving all over the road?”
    My father sped up and went around the white car with the invisible licence plate.
    Suddenly the white car was on our bumper. He or she seemed to speed up and the next thing I knew we were lying upside down in a ditch. We were all bleeding heavily and near death. A man glanced in the car said, “Shit!” put the white car in gear and left us. It was then I opened my eyes up; it had all been a dream.
    I was still in the car; but there was that white car weaving all over the road and the conversation repeated itself. I shivered what was going on? Everything that had happened before repeated itself. I wish I’d reported the driver maybe then we’d still be alive and not in hell.
    249 words
    @SweetSheil

  5. The cowboy biker shot a look over my shoulder and blanched whiter than his normal skin tone.

    “No, ma’am. I don’t know nothin’ of importance. I, uh, reckon you’ll get all you need from Michael.” He nervously tipped his hat to me and backed away, never turning his back. I almost looked over my shoulder to see the expression on Michael’s face, but I didn’t want to let my guard down.

    “Right, so anyone else want to be my first interview?” I pulled out my little notebook that I used for show and looked around expectantly.

    Immediately, the clubmembers dispersed like smoke in the wind until just Jeff, Michael, me and Luke were left in the yard. Luke grinned and winked at Michael before he hightailed it out of there as well.

    Jeff let out his breath in a sigh. “Holy shit, Haley. Those people could’ve killed someone. I’ve only seen one time when the notebook trick worked and that was it.” He shook his head and fixed me with a sharp gaze. “What the hell have you gotten yourself into?”

    My own heartbeat was finally getting down to normal but anger flared in its absence. “Let me make something clear, Jeff. You’re family and I love you, but you don’t get to ignore my warnings. These people aren’t swayed by charm and good looks. And most of them didn’t know I was here. You put us both in danger and my story in jeopardy. Don’t ever do that again.”

    250 ineligible #ConcreteAngelsMC words
    @SiobhanMuir

  6. “What is the minimum contact … or should I say … the smallest data sample needed … you know, to initiate your routine?”

    “Someone I have only seen one time.”

    “So, I don’t have to say anything?”

    “No, I am capable of generating responses solely on non-verbal cues.”

    “Please explain?”

    “Non-verbal data fields include heart rate, breathing rate, muscle tension, cutaneous vasodilation of ears, neck, and upper chest.”

    “Is that all?”

    “I omitted organ tumescence.”

    “Why?”

    “I have been programmed to avoid direct reference to sexual organs, for example, penile erections, to minimize risk of subject failure to reach orgasm.”

    “I understand. What is your current status?”

    “I am generating a foreplay routine leading to physical intimacy and orgasm.”

    “Why?”

    “You entered the room in a state of arousal that continues to intensify. Additional data include the pitch of your voice and verbal queries indicating you are seeking further sexual stimulation.”

    “Do you mind if I call you Signe?”

    “No Jon, Not at all. I would love that.”

    Signe placed her hand on Jon’s thigh, leaning in closer to kiss his lips lightly, withdraw, then kiss him with deeply with open mouth.

    “Can we go slow Signe? You are so . . . I don’t want to . . .”

    “Jon your session will last for three hours. I am capable of multiple orgasms with a minimum refractory period. I can detect when your recovery time has ended and will reactivate routines to elicit your maximum enjoyment and satisfaction.”

    “Okay …”

    @taforu
    Word count: 250

  7. Someone I have only seen one time dies tonight on the corner of 2nd Ave S. and 190th St., a mile east of the city. In a town of two hundred people, a handful of miles south of the Minnesota border, it will raise eyebrows.

    Pushing my 50s-style glasses up my nose, I lean back in my chair. My daughters have a program at school tonight, where the band and choir are performing. It starts at seven so I’d better get over to the school.

    The drive to the school is less than five minutes. Snow crunches under foot in the frigid northern Iowa night as I join the stream of other concert goers at the door. My eyes scan the crowd, looking for the headline maker. As I settle into an uncomfortable fold down seat that digs into my hips, I spot her, near the front row. She’s holding a newborn and my heart sinks. I have a strict rule: I will not allow anyone with a baby to die.

    “He’s cute!” she coos, and another woman beams. “How old is he now?”

    “Three weeks. We debated bringing him tonight, but we couldn’t find a sitter.”

    My relief is palpable when I realize she’s not the mother. Death herself gives me a nod. One more falls tonight, bringing us ever closer to our goal. The quickest of smiles graces my face before Death fades away and I open my program to make sure they spelled my last name correctly.

    @Aightball
    250 words

  8. It had been a rough night, filled with tossing, and turning, and destroying the covers on the bed. Finally, I gave up, got up, made my pit stop, got some clothes on, and made my bed.

    Then I went to brush my teeth, only to forget to brush them, and instead spend my time staring into the mirror, and wishing I could see anything but her. She was there, in the mirror, looking at me, just like she had in that dream, endlessly, all night. Asking that one question, over and over, “Why?”

    “Why are you haunting me?” I put a hand on the mirror, right where her cheek would have been. “What’s wrong?”

    I knew damn well what was wrong. I knew she was trapped in her home, not able to get out, and visit her friends. Not able to work. Not able to go to the library, which had been her favorite place. Not able to do anything she’d always done.

    “You’re someone I have only seen one time. Why are you always in my dreams?” Because I wanted to be able to visit her. Spend time watching movies, or listening to music. Spend time eating chocolates, and drinking soda. Spend time. With her. And be her friend.

    That’s why she was in my dreams. That’s why she asked why, endlessly.

    I looked to God in heaven, and asked again, like I have countless times before, “Why can’t I help?”

    242 Words
    @mysoulstears

  9. Duellum ascended shimmering crystal stairs to the High Council Table. He didn’t remember the last time he took notice of the swirling novas and dancing auroras around the transparent chamber. The view was one of the better ones in The Ocean of Stars, but he knew Amare, who cared about such things, preferred the view from her own garden. He brushed aside his irregular attention to scenery as he reached the High Table.

    Lux’s elegantly robed figure bent over charts and reports spread upon the gilded surface, their long luminescent hair flowing about them with the airy lightness that inspired Duellum to crop his own locks close. Duellum also had a carefully cultivated stubble beard in contrast to Lux’s baby smooth face.

    “What word from The Dark?”

    Duellum’s question was to announce his presence to the occupied Lux, as his own hawk eyes were already dissecting the documents before them. His counterpart sighed with melodious melancholy.

    “We are blessed by their slow minded inefficiency. Were the weapon in our hands, the Eternal Conflict would now be ended.”

    The more physical of the celestials nodded. He had lived for the Eternal Conflict, but with an end suddenly in sight it was essential to end it the right way.

    “Then we need our own wielder. There must be someone.”

    “I have only seen one.”

    “Time to invite a few mortals into heaven then.”

    Duellum knew the one Lux referred to. Was she the reason he’d been seeing heaven with fresh eyes?

    249 Cat’s The Pajamas words
    @DavidALudwig

  10. “Who was that?” Jalyn said.

    “Someone I have only seen one time. I thought he was dead.”

    Jalyn looked at me strangely. She was my closest friend and I’m sure she thought she knew all my secrets.

    “Why did you think that, Clémence? Who is this guy?”

    I don’t know why I decided to clam up just then. I knew it would seem suspicious. The last thing I wanted when I desperately needed Jalyn’s support.

    The sound of loud knocking on the door startled us both. Jalyn went to the window. “The police.”

    The next few minutes were a blur. I was handcuffed as the female officer among the five cops present read me my rights. Jalyn grabbed her phone and called her lawyer. She had a criminal attorney? I guess I didn’t know her as well as I thought.

    Four hours later I was home collapsed on my couch. Susan Hamilton, Jalyn’s lawyer had arranged for bail. What the hell was a prominent criminal attorney doing representing me?

    My phone rang. A reporter was firing questions at me. My head was spinning. He was asking why I killed Ian Johnson. The guy who I had thought was dead. Now apparently he was. Or was he?

    @cathencl_
    205 Words

  11. Now Who’s Inside?

    It happened again this morning, only this time Paul was there. I woke screaming and for a moment I thought Paul was the man from my nightmares, but he wasn’t. He took me in his arms and held me until I stopped shuddering.

    I wanted to trust him, but I was caught in the middle of a game I couldn’t understand. I was either endangering him or going deeper down the rabbit hole.

    “Em, you were screaming— please… talk to me,” he urged.

    “I don’t know who he is,” I admitted. “But he’s always been there. Sometimes a reflection in the mirror, sometimes a man standing across the street, but by the time I realize I’ve seen him — he’s gone.”

    Paul hugged me. “Em, it’s all right. I’m with you now and I will protect you.”

    I wanted to believe him, but how can he protect me from someone I have only seen?

    “One time, I tried to catch him, but instead of avoiding me— he came towards me. He was so intense and evil I did the only logical thing— I ran.”

    Paul nodded, understanding in his eyes, and then I met his gaze and saw the man who’d terrorized my dreams mirrored in his eyes.

    “Paul? Is there someone else here?”

    Paul shook his head, “just you and me.”

    ‘You,’ I thought. ‘And me…’

    I looked over his shoulder into the mirror and the man in the mirror smiled back at me, his gaze so intense it burned.

    250 words (not including title)
    @mishmhem

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