#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 403

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 403 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 403:

Lawyer extraordinaire, can say the alphabet backwards, and sometimes writes stuff, J. Thomas Ganzer.

Facebook | Twitter |

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“I’ll take over now.”

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!

11 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 403”

  1. DEMIC

    The day the clouds disappeared, and the sun increased its ferocity, we were digging our third community trench on the south side of town. By then, there was no fuel so this trench, more a massive hole in the ground, really, was being dug with pick and shovel.

    Each day there were fewer of us. The original plan to break into teams of food gatherers, body collectors, communications, and diggers had become problematic as people fell by the wayside.

    The recriminations didn’t help with morale.

    I guess you could call it morale.

    Or resignation.

    Some of us were focused on keeping spirits up.

    Maybe we were fools.

    We still had short wave. We knew that most of the factories in the world has closed.

    There were no more flights to anywhere.

    “We saved the bloody planet,” Hobart muttered as he sent a shovel full of soil over his shoulder.

    I knew what he really meant.

    Our industrial age was over.

    Mankind was close to over.

    “Not the way they planned, eh my friend,” I commiserated with him.

    Hobart was close to exhaustion.

    The latest horse drawn buggy of bodies had just pulled up.

    Seven bodies.

    One was Hobart’s daughter.

    Eliza.

    Pretty girl.

    Now, pale, wan, dead.

    “Hobart,” I said, lowering myself into the trench, “I’ll take over now.”

    “I’m fine,” he said.

    “No, you’re not. Look…”

    He turned and saw Eliza.

    I couldn’t hold him. It was still prudent not to touch.

    “NOOOOOOO,” he screamed.

    Me?

    I kept digging.

    250 words
    @billmelaterplea

  2. 1919

    As Alice put another compress on Frankie’s forehead, I had my hand on her shoulder and felt her shuddering.

    “Don’t cry, Alice,” I said. But when I looked in her eyes, they were dry. She’d been suppressing coughs, so she wouldn’t wake Frankie.

    “It’s okay, honey. I’ll take over now,” I said.

    “Thank you, Frank,“ Alice said, pressing her cheek to mine. As she left the room, I heard her cough hard. 

    I’d gone to France because I was drafted, not to make the world safe for democracy. 

    I stayed alive there to take care of my buddies, but you can’t take care of someone vaporized by an 88mm shell dropped on his head. 

    I fought to get home to Alice and Frankie, to see my boy grow up. To feel the warmth of my wife again. Now I felt heat. 

    I heard the bed springs ring in the next room, then heard that cough again. And again. And again.

    Frankie stirred, but his breath came like a fingernail swiped on a washboard. It sounded so much like guys who’d caught just enough Heinie gas to singe their throat and lungs, but not kill them. Not until they got to the hospital in Étaples. They’d die there the next day. Fever. Lungs giving out.

    Like Frankie’s did that night. Alice lasted four more days. I’d been home two weeks.

    Some nights, screaming, I awaken from this nightmare where that 88mm fell on top of me instead.

    I wish.

    250 words
    @JAHesch

  3. Floating. Surrounded by warmth. An odd sensation.

    A drum beat nearby. Thump-thump. Thump-thump. A slow, soft brush joined the rhythm. Whooshy-whoosh. Whooshy-whoosh.

    Beep. A new sound. Discordant. Beep. Beep. Beep. Steady. Sure.

    Thump-beep-thump. Whooshy-whoosh.

    Nothing made sense.

    Squeaky-squeak. Squeaky-squeak. Someone needed to grease that wheel.

    Maddening. All this noise. Needed to stop. Stop now.

    Floating. Surrounded by darkness. An odd sensation.

    Then came silence. Bliss.

    The machines in the ICU did their job, hushed sounds blending into a background murmur. Propelled by silent electronics, the door whispered open, admitting a waft of cold air and a dark figure. The man standing at the foot of the bed lifted his head.

    “What are you doing here?” His ragged voice hinted at suppressed emotions.

    “I’ll take over now.” No emotion in that voice, just iron-clad control.

    “No.”

    “Go home. You don’t belong here.”

    “But—”

    “Go. Home.” Implacable. Compelling. End of argument.

    The man stared at the damaged body lying in the bed, swallowed by medical gadgets and wrapped in tubes and wires. He swallowed, Adam’s apple bobbing, then his tongue darted out and he licked dry lips. Turning, he shuffled out.

    “He’s gone. You can wake up now.”

    She opened her eyes. “You didn’t kill him.”

    “Not yet.”

    She closed her eyes. “What happens next?”

    “You get well.”

    “And then?”

    “And then we go to Plan B.”

    She smiled. “You don’t have a Plan B.”

    “I’ll make one up.”

    “Okay.”

    “I’ll keep you safe.” A promise he would die to keep.
    ****
    250 totally random words but maybe for a Moonstruck Mafia project…
    @SilverJames_

  4. Lachlan stares at her mother. The gentle shhhhhh of oxygen fills the hospital room with its white noise. She looks from her mother to the monitor, the numbers showing her mother’s precarious health.

    She can’t remember the last time she felt so alone. Her mother hangs onto life by a thin thread and Lachlan has no one to talk to, no one to bounce ideas off of, no one to help with excruciating decisions. Hot tears roll down her face, gathering at the tip of her chin. Lachlan tilts her head to wipe her chin across her shoulder and palms her eyes like a toddler, wiping away her tears.

    “Oh, God. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m just so . . . tired. I’ve spent so much time here, it feels like there is no outside world. I just need a break.” Lachlan spoke the words into the universe and drifted to sleep.

    Startled by the warmth of a hand upon her shoulder, Lachlan jerked her head up and looked into eyes that seemed to be made of liquid gold and emanated kindness and compassion.

    “I’ll take over now.”

    “Who are you? What are you doing here?”

    The stranger didn’t answer, but offered Lachlan a sympathetic smile as he laid a gentle hand on her mother’s forehead.

    Lachlan jerked awake at the unrelenting monotone beep of the monitor. Her heart jumped into her throat as she watched the staff turn off the machines, honoring her mother’s DNR.

    246 words
    @TeresaMEccles

  5. Ryan’s voice sharpened. “And you have proof of all this?”

    “I definitely have proof of the ADA’s murder, and connections to all the rest. But I already have guys after me and I need a signal boost.”

    “Are you all right?”

    “Yeah, I’ve been laying low and keeping my head down, but I gotta get this to someone I can trust so I’m not the only one who knows. I can’t let the story die with me.”

    There was a short pause. “You’ve always written fluff pieces, but you never struck me as a person who sensationalized things. Are you sure you want to do this?”

    “You’re the only one I can trust to do it right and run with it.”

    “All right, I’ll help you, but I need to know more before I’ll take over.”

    “Now, I just need your help getting the story beyond the small papers and stations. This has to go nationwide.” I bit my lip as I glanced out the windows again. The snow seemed to have stopped. “I don’t really need you to take over. I need you spread it far and wide and credit a confidential source. This is too big and too entrenched to identify the people who’ve put this story together.”

    “Whoa. What have you gotten yourself into, Haley?”

    “Nothing you wouldn’t have done, but when I was first looking at it, it was one FBI agent and one US Marshal. Digging proved it was much, much bigger.”

    247 ineligible #ConcreteAngelsMC words
    @SiobhanMuir

  6. An eight hour interview and now a new cop; tall and gangly, he looked at me like he was my best buddy. Like I’d fall for that!
    “I’ll take over now,” the man said then to me he said, “I’m Sergeant Edwards; unburden yourself to me and I’ll see you get a fair shake.”
    “Lawyer,” I repeated.
    The lawyer came in like a whirlwind. “Give me your hand,” she demanded.
    I obediently put my hand through the bars.
    “Just as I suspected you’re one of us,” she said without speaking.
    “I’m very expensive,” she said aloud, but I heard in my head, “But family is free.”
    “Anything,” I said aloud.
    “You might regret that, niece,” I heard in my head.
    She quickly arranged bail and before I knew it the charges were dropped and another person was arrested.
    “How do you know I was your niece and how did you get the real murderer?” I asked.
    “Child, my powers are infinite identifying family and identifying evil. You haven’t fully come into your powers that your mother had Helena Junior, but you will and then you can join the family business.”
    “What is that?”
    “We hunt the evil that lurks in this world and vanquish it.”
    “I’m in,” I said.
    “We thought you’d feel that way. Welcome to the justice league,” Clytemnestra said showing me more relatives waiting to greet me.
    Lurking in the shadows we right wrongs. I feel very useful, for my power is used to compelling confessions.
    249 words
    @SweetSheil

  7. Tales of An Online Existence – Lifes, Loves and Covid666:

    The genie shook his head, enjoying my predicament. “Nope, nothing doing. She’s already infected. You’ve only given me three: you need five before you can go.”

    I was floundering. I’d gone through my professional contacts, supplying their domains and their web host registrations. I couldn’t understand it; I’d thought it would be easy. Five people out of the thousand I knew – I was betraying blood relations now and still getting no closer to the magic number.

    “What about Aiden457? He’s a cousin, but three times removed. We’ve never gamed; he’s the most expendable of my monkey-brained family. He has to be a likely candidate. He’s as close as you can get to living off the grid in a virtual realm.”

    “Hmm, no. We’ve got him already. You have to give five to stay alive. Did I say that? Did I say?” The viral genie tightened his fist, increasing the pressure on my head. Even though we were both digital representations here, I would die if he closed his hand any further. My body was a blind-eyed maggot, mouldering in its pod, somewhere beyond Virtuality. There was nothing of me in it: it was an appendix, a throwback to primitive times. We were all fashioned from ones and zeroes in here. More elegant, much closer to the truth.

    The genie’s eyes bored into mine, spittle spraying through me. “I’m feeling bored now,” he said, smashing my head. “I’ll take over now – give me all ya got, dead man.”

    249 words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com

  8. “Can you get back into the system, or not?”

    Vedania looked sharply down into the pit of exposed panels and conduits. The pillowy Bluebelle smiled softly at her from her nest of technology.

    “I can.”

    When the chief engineer made no further movements, the government envoy above her pinched the bridge of her nose and fought to keep her tone cordial.

    “So will you do it?”

    Bluebelle cocked her head inquisitively against her palm.

    “We’re hurtling at nine times the speed of light through uncharted space. What will we do about navigation if I interrupt the computer now?”

    “I’ll take over.”

    “Now, now,” Bluebelle soothed. “I think we should see where the robots are trying to take us.”

    Vedania groaned.

    “You’re the one who said the station wasn’t designed for faster than light travel!”

    “Hhmm… Actually, it wasn’t designed to move at all. Really, nothing’s working as intended. But I think we’re in good hands.”

    Vedania sighed, “Alright, where are they taking us?”

    With another hum, Bluebelle leaned back into the control panel in front of her in that way of hers that made it seem like she was having a private conversation with the computer. Several rapid commands and who knows what else later, Bluebelle looked back up at the younger Vedania.

    “We seem headed for a distant planet called Earth.”

    Vedania crossed her arms with a scowl.

    “Never heard of it.”

    Bluebelle cocked her head to the other side.

    “Does that surprise you?”

    245 Four Sisters super robot AU words
    @DavidALudwig

  9. Hurrying over to the wall, I reach up and take the batteries out of the smoke detector. Yanking the pan off the stove, I thrust it into the sink, the water in the sink hissing when it meets the pan.

    “Fuck.”

    Mom was right: I can’t cook to save my life. And my parents are going to walk through the door in about, oh, ten minutes expecting dinner.

    “Deep breath,” I mutter to myself. “You remember how to make meatloaf.”

    Squishing crackers and ketchup into a mound, I put it in a pan. Dinner will be late, but I did say we might eat by two today; we can run errands while it cooks.

    The door opens and my breath catches. Shit. What goes with meatloaf? Grabbing a sack of potatoes, I rinse off six then search my drawers for a peeler. This is a disaster. Did I salt the meat?

    “I’ll take over now.”

    Mom’s reaching for a potato. I find a paring knife and she starts peeling. I put water on to boil. Turning around, I blink; Mom’s gone. The potatoes are on the counter, waiting to be peeled. Dad stands in the doorway, smiling at me.

    “You learned to cook.”

    Nodding, the ache in my chest grows into tears. That first meal ended up fine, even if we ate at three in the afternoon. Now Mom’s gone and Dad and I will have to see if we can recreate that moment.

    @Aightball
    244 words

  10. Clued In

    Homicide Detective Brandy Travers wasn’t sure where the conversation was leading, but she knew that her partner had latched on to something.

    She sat back, watching the suspect, Carol D., and the way she reacted to Dan’s questions and everything she saw indicated that the woman was telling the truth.

    Dan wasn’t as easily convinced, especially since Carol D. had brought a lawyer with her. If anything the lawyer had been a big help in getting anywhere with Carol. When they asked for her phone, she’d looked at her lawyer and he gave her a single nod.

    She even unlocked the phone so they could go over all her media, her texts and her call log. Brandy watched as Dan took the phone out of the conference room, then excused herself.

    “What have you got?” She asked, knowing that Dan was like a bulldog when he thought he had the scent of a bone.

    “A lot of nothing. Either Carol is clean or she’s really, really good.”

    “What does your gut say?”

    He looked at his belly for a moment as if having a conversation. “Nope, gut says nobody’s that good.”

    Brandy nodded as she reached for the door and opened it. “So… I’ll take over.”

    “Now,” she added as she reentered the room and addressed Carol D. “What do you think?”

    Carol D. Looked at her, steepled her fingers and said. “It was Col. Mustard in the library, with the candlestick.”

    242 words of silliness (not including the title)
    @mishmhem

  11. #ThursThreads Week 403 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.

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