Welcome back to the home of Weird, Wild, & Wicked Tales. Today is Thursday and that means it’s time to start flashing. We’re almost to the end of our eighth year of weekly prompts! This is Week 407 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 407:
Dead Thing Specialist, Mining Geologist, and Original Book Boyfriend, George Varhalmi.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“Things are going south.”
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!
15 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 407”
Prompt : things are going south
Word count: 246
E. Mail id : email@example.com
Dr. Scott took off his spectacles, stretched his neck and straightened his back trying to release the muscular strain he had been feeling for many months now. His cervico- dorsal spine had a story to tell. Story of perseverance, perspiration and sheer mettle. The team had worked so hard, putting everything else on hold.
And finally it looked like they would have their day. He could almost see the morning news flash, “ And now we have The Man himself, in our midst, Dr. Charles Scott, who made it all possible, placing us on the world map like never before !’
It felt surreal. Countdown had started. His speaker came alive. Ms. Faye informed him, “ We are ready “.
Purposefully, Dr. Scott strode into the control room. The life size screen zoomed in. The blazing contrast of black metal and orange red flames making a 180 degrees angle. Landscape like ! An artist’s masterpiece! Dr. Scott’s masterpiece!
Five…. four …. three …. two … one. The launch was successful. The rocket was air borne. Piercing through earth’s atmosphere at gastronomical speed. With bated breath the room stood in absolute silence ….. it almost escaped gravity and then BOOM !!!!!
With trepidation mounting, his heart pounding, Dr. Scott suspected, ‘things are going south !’
The news flash in his mild altered quickly, “ The mind blowing event that could have made the man till things went south !! “
Years of aspirations lost in space…
Dr. Guncha Gupta
Kitsune weren’t common anymore after the loss of the Japanese dynastic regimes, but we were even less common in the New World, and being alone and aloof had helped keep my heart safe.
That crumbled the moment I met Jeff Holliday in Nightingale’s infirmary, the aloofness went out the window. Just a few moments talking to him, and I hadn’t been able to walk away.
I’m so fucking screwed.
I’d taken to wandering the edges of the compound, looking outside the walls for something, but I didn’t know what I wanted to find. But something was definitely missing.
My fellow club members seemed to be finding love and companionship around me like it was all the rage. First Scott with Oriana, then Karma with Eric, and now Michael with Haley. Even Attila seemed to be romantically restless.
Things are going south fast.
I’d never felt romantic inclinations for anyone in my long life and I hadn’t been about to start. Until Jeff.
Now he’d been avoiding the compound for the last two months and Haley looked the way I felt. Oh, sure, she still got excited when she figured out something to investigate and she appeared content with Michael’s love. Who wouldn’t want an archangel’s undivided attention? But I could scent her wistfulness and it mirrored my own.
Which is all kinds of wrong.
223 ineligible #ConcreteAngelsMC words
George Foster’s mansion was built in a sparse neighbourhood watching as the community he loved grew around him. He’d say hello to all in the neighbourhood as he walked home from work. When the pandemic flu came he devised ways to help the suffering neighbours, leaving them baskets of food paying their mortgages, rents, and the doctor secretly so they’d be okay. Two years went by and continued with his secrecy, but people knew saying nothing knowing he was embarrassed by praise. The flu waned people had died and George was sad but life continued to go on as normal. George went to work building his business hiring workers from the neighbourhood and when he wanted to retire in nineteen twenty seven he made sure the workers would be looked after well by the new owners and would prosper. The neighbourhood grew and prospered. One day they noted George was sad and he became sadder and sadder. Then in alarm they noted a notice of eviction on George’s home and Henry dared to ask him, “What happened George?”
“Things are going south. I’ve lost all my money on the stock market. I’ll soon have nowhere to leave.”
The whole neighbourhood came together helping George find a home, they fixed it up and helped him sell his mansion furniture they even contributed themselves. George never went hungry always had help in his old age and when he died at ninety he had the most attended funeral the city had ever seen.
Walker flicked on his torch, applying it sparingly. He traced the furthermost edge of the door-frame but found nothing, deducing that someone who’d had a key had opened the door. It could have been a person the owner had known; either that or someone they’d trusted.
“What time did the neighbour make the call?” Addis was still slouching outside, his back against the wall. He had a flush of icing sugar dusting his fingers and a rim of it around his mouth. It had been his car they’d used to get to the crime scene; Walker’s own Volvo currently being in the garage.
“Miss Duquesne reported the disturbance at 21:12 hours,” Walker said, riffling through his notes. “She said she heard a pair of raised voices and then a gunshot. The building superintendent’s statement agrees with hers in principle, but his timeline differs by more than half an hour, putting the time of the shot at about 20:30 hours.”
“So, we already have discrepancies. What’re we gonna do?”
Walker coughed and then spat, directing the gobbet outside. “We gather evidence then we use reason. But we’re not even though the door yet and already things are going south. It’d be nice to have a straightforward crime for once; one where the perpetrators follow the rules and don’t deviate from the book. Would that be too much to ask, once in a while?”
Addis shook his head, pityingly. “That’s crooks for you. Twisted, one and all. Who’d have thought it?”
249 minority reporters ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
The Interview: Writing Humour in the Time of COVID-19
“So, this Coronavirus thing. It hasn’t really altered your life?”
“I wouldn’t say that exactly. I’ve had to make a few adjustments. But on the whole, I just stay at home like a good citizen-soldier, fret some, drink more than I should, and write.”
“Others are not so lucky.”
“I know. Bloody sad. Not much I can do about it. ‘Course, I want to do my bit.”
“You mentioned earlier that you aren’t writing that much humour these days.”
“That’s my biggest regret. What I would really like to do, same way I approached the Trump phenomenon, is poke around its edges and find some guffaw cracks. Problem is, there is little that a buffoon and a pandemic have in common. Yeah, both are larger than life…both are bad for your health, so, like I did with the Donald, I tried to find some Coronavirus laugh lines…you know, the corona beer shtick, the less funny corona typewriter connection, the obvious ones…”
“How did that work out?”
“It all went north.”
“Huh? Isn’t the saying, ‘Things are going south?’”
“Yeah. For sure. But look at it this way. You go far enough south and presto, you’re heading north.”
“Fine. So, what went north?”
“Clearly not Trump’s whimsical notion to sent troops to the Canada /USA border.”
“He backtracked on that, didn’t he?”
“Oh, yeah, the man’s a human slinky.”
“And perpetually going south!”
“DNA, man. Donnie’s Nuts Again.”
“Now that’s funny.”
Three friends were discussing their next vacation in a conference-call.
One of the friends said:
“Like the birds, I am planning to go South!”
“Of all places? Why?”
“Not a single COVID-19 case there!”
The second friend said:
“I will keep going North and meet you at Antarctica!”
“How will that be possible?”
“If I keep going North, I will eventually go South!”
The third friend said:
“Sorry guys! I’ll settle for staycation. No vacation for me!”
“Things are going south.”
“Massive loss in Stock market… Don’t think I will be able to afford any vacations…”
100 words story
At first, he thought he imagined it, but there was a knock at his door.
Andre had been in total Wuhan-style-lockdown, since the virus took off in country, two months ago.
He heard it again, louder this time, and moved closer to the door, listening intently.
“Who is it?”
“It’s me” came a soft voice he could barely hear.
“Me who?” he snorted.
“What do you mean Laura who? It’s me goddamnit!”
“What the fuck are you doing here?”
“Jesus Christ! Open the fucking door. I need to talk to you!”
Andre’s mind was flooded with thoughts and emotions. Laura and Andre had an affair 8 years ago, that ended badly. She broke his heart in ways he didn’t know a heart could be broken. He left town, got a new job and tried to put his life back together.
“Are you wearing a mask?”
“No! Me and the girls tested negative.”
“Where the fuck is Steve?”
“Oh my God! I’m sorry! Wait a minute. Let me put something over my face. I haven’t been tested!”
He opened the door and there they were, Laura and her 2 kids, Eva and Lily.
“Steve got it and it killed him. I lost my job. I can’t pay the bills and we . . . things are going south . . .
we need a place to stay till it’s over.”
“Come on in . . . here . . . let me . . .”
Word Count: 250
Shyam’s commanding officer stared into her mug heavily. Her thirst for something stronger rattled the small dim back room. Shyam understood what she was feeling. He was no strategist, military or political, and in severely over his head. Commander Batra was the only person he knew with both power and integrity. He was putting her in a difficult position.
“Thank you for hearing me out, Commander.” Shyam touched his forehead to their table with a deep bow.
Commander Batra pushed away her untouched ale with a heavy sigh.
“Better that I hear you, than someone else.”
She leaned both elbows on the table, visually reminding Shyam she could break him with her bare hands. Her narrow crimson eyes finished her statement. It was good for him that she was the one hearing him; not good for her. Still, something had to be done, and Shyam couldn’t do it alone.
“Things are going south.”
“What things?” she pinched the bridge of her nose.
“Men, material, everything!” Shyam hissed urgently. “Production on the new reef breaker isn’t set up for a few scout ships; we’re building a full-scale invasion fleet.”
The temperature in the back room dropped as Commander Batra’s eyes took on an executioner’s sheen.
“How do you know this?”
“I snuck into the south dockyard last night…”
Commander Batra’s broad shoulders slumped. With lowered head, she made a circular hand sign and Shyam found himself flanked by the Empress’ secret police.
“You shouldn’t have done that.”
246 Cat’s The Pajamas words
You have used Indian name & surname – Shyam & Batra respectivevely 🙂
The voice on the cell phone faded in and out. As a Wolf, Rudy didn’t have to strain to hear it. Male. Faint trace of an accent. He had a good ear for both accents and voices. This one didn’t sound familiar. And that concerned him. He’d been off the grid for ten years. This anonymous caller should not have been able to track him. This morning? He found a bag at his hotel door—a burner cell phone that rang as soon as he opened the package. He answered without speaking.
“I know who you are. Why you do what you do.” The sound of heavy breathing, like the caller had been running. “Things are going south.”
As much as he wanted to ask questions, Rudy remained silent. Was that a euphemism? Or a statement of fact? Odd this call would come now, when he was relocating.
“You need to watch your back. People are looking for you.”
What else was new? Assassins. Several intelligence agencies. The American military. Those were just the ones off the top of his head.
“I’ll do what I can to muddy your trail. But just a word to the wise? Go north. Or west. Or Australia.”
Rudy held his tongue until the phone clicked in his ear. He disassembled the phone, crushing the guts of it, and flushing it down the toilet. Down in his car, he closed his eyes, stabbed the map.
New Orleans. It appeared that things were, indeed, going south.
250 Moonstruck: Betrayal new words
It was Thursday night, and I was home from work, watching the news. It was bad, but it had been bad for three months, so that was nothing new. More news about the world, and how it was in chaos. Looking like more wars in the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Apparently it was tornado season in the middle of the USA. And the stock market was crashing, draining everyone’s retirement funds, so we’d all live in poverty in our retirement.
And then there was the pandemic, killing more people every day, and threatening to kill more people than World War II had. Maybe even more than the Nazi’s had killed in the Holocaust. No one knew.
The world was also out of toilet paper and hand sanitizer, where too many people had panicked, and took out their credit cards, and bought 800 rolls and 30 gallons all at once.
Watching the news, I found myself remembering my grandmother, and what she used to say whenever one of those days you tried to forget came along. “Things are going south, today.” I’d never really understood why that was the thing to say when the day fell apart. Until that Thursday night, watching the news. That’s when I realized it was the perfect thing to say. Because. Things really were going South. No doubt about that.
“Camilla, stay with me.” Val’s voice breaks through the darkness, followed by immense pain from the wound in my thigh. “Stay awake.”
With a groan, I struggle to sit up. My elbow slides out from under me, and I let my back hit the ground again.
Another round of pain provokes a cry, and I realize Val removed the knife. It’s not the worst pain I’ve endured, but it comes with a fog. My vision blurs, and my head feels heavier by the second.
“What’s…happening to me?”
“Poison. That bastard used poison-laced throwing knives.” Val rummages in his bag. Behind him, his tail twitches in what I’ve come to recognize as anxiety. The twitching only stops when he finds something in the bag – an unlabeled jar. A second later he’s lathering my wound in a weird goop he scoops from it. “This will draw the poison out, but you need to stay awake until it’s out of your system.”
“You might not wake up.” He wipes his hands, bandages the wound, and pulls me up into a sitting position. I try to help him sit me up. But I can’t.
“I can’t move.”
“It causes paralysis.”
“Of course it does.” Val adjusts me so I’m sitting against his chest, my head resting back on his shoulder. “Things are going south so quickly” With a sigh, I let my eyes close.
“Don’t.” He speaks in my ear, voice triggering a shiver of goosebumps. I’m suddenly glad I can’t actually move.
250 rushed #TeamRPG words
Before Its Prime
“South-paw, this is Papa Three, do you copy?”
There was a long pause, and I was about to repeat when South-paw answered in his slow drawl.
“Hey Papa Three, how are things?”
Several answers came to mind, ‘Hell in a handbasket’ would have been my first choice if they’d been getting better. As it was, hell was a bit optimistic.
Things are going, South-paw. How’s by you?”
“Well, you know… no use complaining.”
That hadn’t stopped him yet.”South-paw, you hear anything on the op?”
“Just to dig in until daylight.”
I looked at the calendar and sighed. “Tell me you brought the cards,” I answered
“I brought the cards and a six-pack. I’ll be fine.”
I shook my head, it was going to be a very long night, indeed.
“Six pack is not going to cut it,” I warned him
“What, it’s only one night.”
“South-paw, didn’t anybody tell you, daylight will be here in 179 days.”
There was a long silence. “Oh. Better order some more— you got Prime?
177 words (not including title)
#ThursThreads Week 407 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.