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 405 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 405:
Thrivin’ American Mutt, Reader with Honest Reviews, Luanne Bennett.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“They think I don’t hear them, but I do.”
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!
16 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 405”
I stared into the mirror. Wasn’t much I could do. Dark circles were dead giveaways of my lack of sleep. I pulled my hair back into a ponytail which only accented my pale face and fat cheeks. Not my best look—not that I had a good one.
Wiz walked up behind me. I tried to meet his gaze through our reflections. His eyes were so intent I had to look away.
“They think I don’t hear them, but I do.”
I lifted one shoulder in a desultory shrug, like what they said or that he heard was no big deal. No way he couldn’t hear. They said it so he would. “Does it matter?”
“They hurt you.”
“Not really. I’m used to it.”
Anger suffused his face and I blinked. I’d never considered ever using that term to describe a surge of emotion in someone’s expression. Writers used the word, not real people. Or so I’d thought. I flinched as his temper spilled over.
“I would never hurt you, Jen.”
Wiz might think that but he already had. Numerous times. Emotionally, anyway. And that hurt much worse than a physical hit, which is what he meant. No, he would never hit me. But that old adage—sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never break me? A lie. His words had shredded my heart.
He turned me to face him and cupped my cheeks in his big hands. “Babe?”
Time to go before I broke. Again.
250 current Nightrider WIP words
Prompt: They think I don’t hear them, but I can
Email id : dr.gunchagupta @gmail.com
Word count: 246
“They think I don’t hear them, but I do !”
I hate them. I fear them. I cannot talk aloud for fear that they will know what I am thinking. There are times I feel they know what I am thinking !
Dr. Preston says, “I must not fear them. They are simply voices in my head. “
But I do not believe him. Why, the other day I heard them tell me to stay away from Janet. I saw her on the swing in the park across my house. I wanted to join her but they threatened to push Janet and hurt her if I went anywhere near her.
Dr. Preston says, “ I hurt Janet, but that’s not true.”
“They think I don’t hear them, but I do !”
I don’t trust Dr. Preston either. I stole a look into his drawer the other day. My name written in bold black letters on the file. I do not like back colour. I do not like dark. I am afraid of the dark. They chase me in the dark. I do not like the pink coloured file folder.
I read a page in it. Dr. Preston thinks I am asocial. Avolition he writes !
I looked up Avolition. Lack of motivation supposedly !
They don’t know me after all. I am motivated. Angered and motivated. I shall push Dr. Preston !
“Taye?” Yuri eyed the DJ, aborting a reflexive reach as Taye’s chin slipped from the palm supporting it.
“Huh?” Sleepy eyes popped wide as Taye just barely avoided faceplanting on the workstation. He bobbed up drunkenly, head thumping the microphone boom. He swatted the offending hardware away, rubbing his head. “Wha—?”
“You okay there?”
“‘m just tired.”
“Believe me, I got that part.” Yuri smirked. “Who kept you up, hm?”
“Everyone.” Taye’s knuckles turned white as they fisted against his ears.
Yuri’s smile slipped as he realized Taye seriously meant that.
“Everyone’s so loud.” Taye rubbed his temples, muttering, “They think I don’t hear them, but I do.”
“Who?” Noisy neighbors, maybe?
“Why can’t I keep you out?” he groaned, but not to Yuri. No, to whatever was going on in his head.
Definitely not noisy neighbors.
He lurched to his feet and staggered, crumpling to the floor as his eyes rolled up.
“Holy shit, Taye.” Yuri rushed forward, crouching down, still hesitating to touch. Taye didn’t do contact. Period. Last time someone had touched him, he’d called in sick for a week.
“Please,” the DJ whispered. “Make them stop.”
Some sort of psychosis? Or…psychic? The line between the two was uncomfortably thin for someone without an MD or PhD after his name. Cautiously, Yuri shifted closer, holding his hand out, palm up.
Taye shrank back.
“It’s an offer, not a demand. If you need to hold on to someone, I’m here.”
“I—can’t.” I want to went unspoken.
250 superhero WIP words
I’m not quite ready to tweet this message. Trust me, I don’t say that often. Tweeting’s like breathing for me. Even has the gasping sound some say I have. I don’t hear it, though. All I hear in my great breathing. I’ve always had great breathing, great lungs.
Still, I know that some haters will get their knickers in a knot.
You like that? I think FDR said it. I like it. Better then twisting hankies. Who knows what a hankie is these days.
Yeah, that’s the ticket.
That, and it won’t hurt mentioning old Franklin… Four terms…that was impressive. What a guy!
Anyways, you can see it for yourself. This Chinese Virus, cause that’s what it is, even if the fake news wants to call it something else, that’s what it is. Let me tell you, it’s not going away anytime soon. I mean, when I say that, I know it’s eventually gonna go away but, it’s big, gonna get bigger before it gets better.
It might even be the greatest Virus ever.
I see so much getting postponed.
So, I’ve dropped a hint here and there.
Run it up the flagpole, like that old movie said, see if anyone saluted.
And I’ve listened.
Staff in the corridors.
They think I don’t hear them, but I do.
“He wouldn’t dare,” some say.
“He couldn’t do it, could he?”
Just watch me. I say.
“We’re cold. Let us in.”
Katherine awoke to the sound of voices, so indistinct they might have been part of a dream. She sat up in bed, alert, listening. Outside, snow pelted the windows with a sound like a thousand tiny footfalls, the particles nearly horizontal with the wind.
“Jean?” She called her daughter’s name as she padded barefoot into the chilly corridor. Around her, the old house creaked like a ship on stormy seas.
When the two of them had first moved here, she’d told her daughter they would get used to the noises, in time. But, months later, neither of them had.
Jean’s bedroom door lay ajar, pale moonlight spilling through in one broad, milky beam.
No answer. Katherine pushed the door open with a soft creak.
Her daughter sprawled on all fours on the cold wooden floor, head down, ear to the time-scarred floorboards. Her eyes were open wide, unblinking, reflecting the moonlight like silver.
“Jean? What are you–”
“They think I don’t hear them, but I do.” Her daughter’s voice, as chilly as the blowing snow. A hole opened in the bottom of Katherine’s stomach.
“We’re cold,” Jean whispered, a haunted smile crossing her face. “We’re cold…”
“…let us in,” Katherine finished.
“Let us in,” the voices echoed, voices belonging to neither of them.
“I hear them too,” Katherine said to her daughter.
She turned to face the window, and the billowing white figures that floated outside.
244 words / @daniel_swensen
Matsuko glanced at her hands and tilted her head. “I almost blew up the town. If I knew how to control it, I could blow the door open. But I don’t have the skill.”
I perked up at her statement. “Perhaps I can help teach you to hone your skills. But this isn’t the most convenient place to do so. I propose we leave.”
She snorted with what sounded like amusement. “Absolutely. Leaving would be lovely. Do you happen to have the keys to this establishment?”
Her sarcasm delighted me. “No, but I know where they can be found. The guards tend to talk. They don’t think I hear them, but I do. Exceptional hearing, you see. But we don’t actually need the keys. Just a plan to get past them once the doors are open.”
“Wait, you can get out of here anytime you want?” She tilted her head with a frown. “Then why are you still in here?”
I laughed as I stretched. “I needed the break. My father and my enemies can’t get to me here. I was using it as a safe place to rest with both eyes closed. But now, I’m rested and adventure awaits.”
I strode to the door and inserted a claw, rattling the tumblers of the old lock. They turned surprisingly easily considering how grimy they were, and the door squeaked open.
“Ready to leave, my dear?”
235 ineligible #TeamRPG words
Valmong and Oriza’s conversation turns very heated, very quickly. I’m supposed to be unconscious, so they think I don’t hear them, but I do. Maybe I shouldn’t be eavesdropping, but it’s hard not to when the cabin walls are so thin.
“She nearly got you killed – is that what you want?” Oriza’s words – harsh but true – dig guilt deeper in my chest.
“You’d rather me leave her to fend for herself?” Valmong whispers his reply, exhaustion in every word.
“Yes. She’s not your problem. And you’ve brought her to my doorstep!”
She’s right, of course. Valmong doesn’t owe me anything.
When I enter the room, I try be loud, so they don’t think I was sneaking around. Valmong’s back is to me, but Oriza sees me. Her eyes narrow to slits in a glare that feels like a slap before she turns and storms out.
“Don’t mind her.” Valmong winces as he stands and faces me. His lack of a shirt leaves the bandaging of his injury in full view, reminding me of exactly why his mother is so upset. “She’s just not used to my bringing friends around.”
“So we’re friends?”
He dodges the question with a shrug and half a smile. “How do you feel?”
“I’m fine.” I brush away his concern. “You, on the other hand, could use some healing.” Motioning for him to sit back down, I bring my violin up to my chin.
He closes his eyes as the first few notes dance around us.
250 #TeamRPG words
Sorry just realized the 1920 next to December if fixed made it 251 so this is it fixed t 250 words
I should have been one of those who died but I missed out on contracting the disease working on the front lines. Suddenly I was one of the afflicted. The fever began first then the chills then the breathing difficulties; somehow when I thought I was on my deathbed the tide turned and I beat it. I should have been thrilled and grateful that I had survived instead I was morose and refusing to take my place as a doctor on the front line again. I wouldn’t risk my life again. Until I heard the voices and they would stop demanding that I help more and put my life on the line again. I tried to ignore them and watched out the window as the lines got longer waiting for care to defeat the disease.
I took up my microscope and injecting rats with the disease. I toiled night and day as the world turned upside down and death toiled into the billions around the world. Finally I succeeded and the disease was eradicated.
I was asked to give a speech, “They think I don’t hear them, but I do we all do those we have lost to this disease,. If only we had listened to the experts and put some distance between ourselves self-isolating and flattening the curve then maybe they wouldn’t be gone. Don’t ever let history repeat itself like it did from January 1918 to December 1920. Be wary another pandemic will come. We must be ready.”
They think I don’t hear them, but I do. Or at least I hear the hum of their talk with words bobbing up every now and then.
It certainly bests the sound of breathing, the crackle of my neck turning left and right on the cot, or the heartbeat that longs to feel hers, just to make some poetry that probably doesn’t rhyme anymore.
But out in the hallway, I’m pretty sure the guards are talking about me. I hear “bastard.” And maybe that was a “poor,” which I’d appreciate if this wasn’t the eve of the dawn we’ve been waiting for. Or dreading.
There! I’m pretty sure that was a “governor,” but it just as well could have been a “southerner,” or a “lovin’ her.” They all could apply to me. Though I’m not sure Yankees understand family and honor like we do.
I probably deserve the dance I’ll do when the sun clears the horizon. Eye for an eye and all. Carpetbaggin’ sumbitch deserved every last ball I put in him. Wish’d I had Daddy’s LaMat to wipe the grin off his face with a shotgun blast, too.
But some Yankee’s probably got that, too. Took everything, eventually, didn’t they? Saber, gun, horses, farm, Mama’s honor, my…
I heard the lock clank.
“All right, I’m afraid it’s time. Ya know, I’d have shot that scoundrel, too, Missy. If it’s any consolation. I take no solace in hangin’ a twelve year old girl,” the red-nosed sergeant said.
The baseball cap hid his eyes, but the face beneath it was kind. He looked like a favourite uncle, someone who’d be equally adept at tying fishing flies or shoelaces, with a pair of gentle hands and a lap which was always ready.
“They think I don’t hear them, but I do. Every single one. It doesn’t matter if they go to church or not; it’s all the same to me. They could be reaching out for Yahweh or Allah; I hear them all, every message coming directly to me, the ones with the quietest voices booming out the loudest, their integrity and passion melding together into a single plea. I wish I could do more; it just keeps getting harder, the pledge that I made to not interfere making it impossible to help them as much as I’d want. It’s such a mess, but it’s a mess of their own making, the free will of their leaders creating every problem they face. It used to be so simple; shamans and offerings, the decisions they made smaller in scale, more localised. I could grant them their wishes, knowing that the rains they wanted would bring them the harvests they needed, whilst rewarding the faith of another tribe the next year, spreading my favours everywhere.”
The other man was insignificant, a hint of a shadow in the night. He was a melange of sharp edges which suggested teeth or horns.
“Then I come along and press ‘reset’,” he said, grinning darkly.
250 solemn words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
My spring flowers are late this year. I’ve given them light and love, nourishing soil and water, taken precious care of them as every year. But this year’s different, and the flowers know it. They think I don’t hear them, but I do.
My flowers are scared. It’s that woman in The Dark. It wouldn’t suit my image to admit that I hate her. But I do. Mortals have no business being that beautiful. My fellow deities are more concerned about her strange power beyond even our abilities. The other gods underestimate what beauty can do, but I do not.
100 Cat’s The Pajamas words
They think I don’t hear them, but I do. The little creatures that dance and fly through the air, ruffling people’s hair or clothing. Everyone attributed it to a breeze, even though it was non existent. From the corner of my eye, they were dancing lights. Upon looking at them directly, I could see the diaphanous wings and the slender bodies. They spoke to one another in chiming sounds. I didn’t know what they were saying but I knew when they were laughing. It sounded like when the church bells went batshit crazy over some holy holiday. Like when the new Pope was selected. One got close to me and I reflexively reached up to run my hand through my hair and saw it swerve away. I knew if one landed, I would react too over the top. Touching them was not something I looked forward to and I didn’t want it to happen. It was just a matter of getting home and hunkering down for some social distancing. The last time I touched one, it zapped my hand and I saw things too clearly that I would have preferred to not know.
If I didn’t see in their realm, then I wouldn’t see the great horns of the Horned Hunter in the distance. I could hear the horn and the baying of the hounds and it sent a chill down my spine.
They think I don’t hear them, but I do. And sometimes, I have to make a tough decision: listen and act or listen and ignore. That’s the funny thing about prayer; I hear it all. But there’s no way I can act on everything. People say I don’t exist, or I don’t listen to prayers, but I do. And being on the good side of the Planes, it’s hard saying no.
It should be noted that I like to make an entrance. I’m talking the kind of entrance that God deserves: full trumpeting chorus, my golden throne carried by my team, white robes as gleaming as I can make them. And Jesus hates it.
“Yes, again,” I say, smiling as I bring some light to the Dark Plane. “If Death can send a plague to basically turn earth off and back on again, then I can make an entrance before I let it be known how hard it is not answering all those prayers.”
Jesus sinks into his chair and covers his face with his hair. Meanwhile, I dismount my throne and wait for it to be installed in the front row. Time to review my notes, because Death is going to get a piece of my mind and she is not going to like it.
218 words (not my best…stupid anxiety)
There was a problem with one of the fuel feeds. It wasn’t constant and it wasn’t repeatable but I knew I had to do something about it. I knew that as things got worse, it would be easier to detect, but detection would quickly result in a fireball and then decompression and a very big hole in the hull of my ship.
Hull breaches in space are, what we in technical circles call, ‘bad.’
Something needed to be done and, being me, I’d climbed into one of the access panels and was trying to track down the problem. I get as far as circuit 23 when I realize someone has entered the alcove.
They’re alone, or so they think.
I don’t hear them, but I do understand what they’re doing and I also realize that the leak is no accident. Now I have to find the problem, fix it then report it without the problem, or me getting buried because let’s face it – only people with security clearance can get into the panels in the first place.
Dammit. I’m a mechanic, not a detective. Well, first things first – First I save the ship, then I deal with the saboteurs.
Of course, they’ll come back when their little problem doesn’t become a big problem. If they’re smart, they’d leave it alone, but blowing up the ship you’re on doesn’t strike me as smart, or sane.
As if my life weren’t interesting enough as it was.
244 words (not including title)
#ThursThreads Week 405 – The Quarantine – is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.