#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 408

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 408 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 408:

PT WyantDog

Mom to two rescue dogs, a maker of junk journals, and a starter of lots of things, P.T. Wyant.

Facebook | Twitter |

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“Hell in a handbasket.”

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 408”

  1. “Sir, sit down.” The doctor wasn’t small, per se, but she was smaller than the doped-up bruiser shouting and wilding his way through the understaffed, over-capacity ER.

    “Whoa, what the hell is he on?” Billie squeaked as he yanked his IV port out, blood dripping down his arm.

    “Call code gray,” Rob said. “He can come down in a holding cell.”

    Sir. Sit down before I make you sit down.” The new doc—shit, he’d forgotten her name—spoke with a comfortable arrogance. She was used to being obeyed. “I won’t warn you a third time.”

    “Ugh, I am Doctor. Hear me roar.” Billie scoffed and pushed the code button on the desk phone, the automated voice sounding out over the PA system. “He’s gonna flatten her.”

    The doc’s body language suggested otherwise. Her stance pivoted to make her torso less vulnerable to a strike. Her hands curled into loose fists, knees and elbows unlocked and ready to shift at the slightest provocation.

    “I don’t think so, Bee.” Rob leaned back against the nurse’s station with a smile. “My money’s on the doc.”

    “She’s…definitely fiery.”

    The man grabbed the doctor by her lab coat. Rob jumped forward, but the hellion in question efficiently disengaged and spun the man into an unforgiving headlock, cutting his tirade short with a squeak.

    Impressive. Oh, I think I like you.

    “More than fiery,” Billie amended. “More like hell in a handbasket.”

    “Well,” Rob thought with a sly grin. “I don’t mind getting singed.”

    @caramichaels
    249 words

  2. A dragon, a gargoyle, and a werewolf walked into a bar. That they were in human glamour didn’t matter a whit to the human and the vampire sitting in the back booth.

    “Welcome to Déja Vu!” the bartender yelled. “Just sit anywhere.”

    The three didn’t need his invitation. Their gazes had already locked on Sade and Sinjen.

    “Fuck me, when did my life turn into a bad joke?” Sade muttered.

    “Language,” the vampire chided in his modulated English accent.

    “Fuck you.”

    “Later. First, we need to ascertain what the three monsterteers want.”

    Sade rolled her eyes and scowled at them. Caleb, her werewolf partner, slid onto the opposite bench, followed by Roman, the Legate of New Orleans and the gargoyle who’d protected her since childhood. Nikos, Drakon of Clan Kholikikos, opted to lean a shoulder against the wall at their back.

    “Problem?” Sade didn’t try to keep the growl out of her voice. She was on R&R while recovering from injuries received in the line of duty as senior agent on the FBI’s MAGICAL unit.

    The three magicks exchanged glances before staring at Sinjen. The vampire stared back. The stalemate lasted until the waiter bustled up, drinks on a tray. They’d been in before and he was good at his job.

    “Duty calls,” Roman said.

    Nikos added, “We’re all going to—”

    “Hell in a handbasket,” Caleb finished.

    “What does that even mean?” Sade groused, pushing Sinjen to get out of her way.

    “Wait. Do you mean that figuratively? Or literally?”
    ****
    250 Penumbra Papers words that really needs to be added somewhere in the current WIP
    @SilverJames_

  3. “The world is going to hell in a handbasket,” I said as I stared down the stairs to the laundry room.
    “You say that every laundry day, mom.”
    “I swear a few more days in social isolation and I’m going to be bald.”
    “Your computer is binging. I think Penny needs her diaper changed she smells. Kelvin is running around in his underwear with a blanket around his neck pretending to be superman.”
    “Please just this once?” I begged.
    “Okay, but I still have to do the homework my teacher assigned for math so I need your computer this afternoon,” my teenage son Jack replied.
    Closing the door to the laundry room downstairs and answering my computer I worked. Two hours I looked at the clock surprised and wondered why it was so quiet. I walked downstairs to find fresh laundry folded and placed in the children’s baskets. Penny was asleep on the floor a blanket covering her. Kelvin was watching a video that was teaching him how to count while Jack encouraged him.
    “You did the laundry and you looked after your siblings all this time?”
    “I’m sixteen I know how hard it’s been since dad died. I thought I’d help a little, but don’t expect me to do this all the time it will ruin my rep.
    I just smiled I guess I was doing such a bad job at being a mom; I might survive physical distancing after all.
    242 Words
    @SweetSheil

  4. I never thought summoning Loki would end up with my back against the wall. Scratch that. I sort of had a clue. I mean, he was a trickster, and mischief, but, I thought that was all Norse propaganda.

    How in all that is holy did I end up here: pinned down in a warehouse waiting for some Vampiric overlord to show up and either blow me to smithereens or make me into her love slave?

    All while Loki cast me a maniacal smile, assuring me all was going to be okay.

    He might be immortal, in this realm, but I was human. The only thing that might live on would be my half-finished book of poetry that even upon my death, no one would want to read.

    “You do worry, too much, pet,” Loki giggled, and reached out to touch my newly bought hair. He then shapeshifted into a mare—human hair, my ass. I’d been ripped off again.

    “When I swore that you’d be my patron god,” I huffed, and again rubbed on the dirty glass to catch a glimpse of that below. Red and blue lights illuminated the scene like an episode of SVU. “I never thought that meant your turning into a damn horse. What am I supposed to do with that? We are on the freaking third floor. And I don’t see any wings, wanna-be-Pegasus.”

    “Trust me,” was his psychic response.

    Great. Now I had Loki in my head. Yep, this was hell in a handbasket.

    250 words
    @TinaGlasneck
    #Summoning Loki #WIP

  5. Deportee

    Since COVID-19, there wasn’t much work for a private dick. People still had their mucky little mysteries.

    Love was still going off the rails.

    Dreams were still going up smoke.

    Metaphors were clearly getting old and tired.

    Like me.

    An old and tired dick metaphor.

    So, when I got Reuben Salerno’s phone call, I almost did a jig.

    “Here’s my snag,” he said, with a slight growl in his throat, “I tested positive…”

    “Sorry about that,” I commiserated.

    “I’ll be fine. Or I won’t. That’s not the problem.”

    “I’d say it was a hell of a problem, Mr. Salerno.”

    “That’s my worry. I’ll try and tough it out. It don’t matter to me if I go to hell in a handbasket or a shroud. Here’s the thing; Two days before the lock down, CBP raided my restaurant. Salernos.”

    “I know it,” I said.

    “Yeah, well, half my staff got deported. Or whatever. One of them…Rosita…”

    “Yeah?”

    “We are…”

    “You are?”

    “Yeah. We are. We were.”

    “What do you need from me?”

    “Two things. One, the main one, find her. Whatever it costs.”

    “I can work with that,” I preened, smiling like the devil was licking my toes. “And the second?”

    “Bring her back to me so I can make her legal.”

    “A tall order. What if…”

    “What if I buy the farm?”

    “Yeah.”

    “Then you and her are my sole beneficiaries. But only if she is legal.”

    “Tall order.”

    “You game?”

    “You have my full attention, Reuben, my friend.”

    250 Words
    @billmelaterplea

  6. Hoth cracked his whip. The demons reared up, spitting as they tried to turn between the traces, their venom splattering the windshield behind them. Our coach lurched, teetering on a pair of wheels as it skipped across yet another pothole.

    The road was poorly paved, even though there wasn’t any shortage of good intentions.

    “So, your actual politician’s a shoo-in these days,” BLZ said, grinning as the coach shuddered. “They get priority treatment; there’s no slumming it for them.”

    “I guess they’re used to the eternal torment,” I replied, looking back at my companion. “Their eternal souls have already degraded before they get here. Lying for a living’s perfect preparation for them being here.”

    Away in the distance, the horde was still crawling. There was an infinite number of them, each one ripping his (or her) stomach open on shards of broken glass, their blood being drained away to feed the infernal beasts. Nothing went to waste: a use was found for everything. Even their screams were recycled; Simon Cowell remixing them with blackboard chalk screeches for his Christmas single every year. Lucifer had had a very special place reserved for him. One with an executive bathroom and a sound-proofed seclusion booth.

    “Corporate types, too. They get limousines. You might think this is fancy…” BLZ motioned at the upholstery, idly snagging at it with a claw. “They get virginal vellum, exfoliated by lost maidens. There’s definitely no going to hell in a handbasket for our most privileged supporters.”

    248 words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com

  7. I carried my basket with care, checking its contents every few minutes. This was my least favorite part of my job, but I take the responsibility seriously and refuse to deliver damaged goods, no matter who the recipient.
    Though I was only half-way through with my journey, I felt the basket begin to lurch and shake. They aren’t supposed to come-to until after they reached their destination. I’d need to speak with quality control about it, but for now, I needed to check on my passenger.
    Peeking into the basket, I could see the woman struggling to sit up, so I stopped walking. Once the basket stopped swaying she was able to sit and look around. I saw her head tilt up and we caught each other’s gaze.
    This one surprised me with her lack of fear when she saw me. Her eyes studied me with curiosity.
    “Hello.”
    I didn’t respond, hoping she wouldn’t pursue conversation.
    “I’m Marie. What’s your name?”
    I continued walking then, again without answering.
    “Hello? Can you hear me? What’s your name?”
    I indulged myself in a puffy sigh before responding, “I’m Dabria.”
    “The angel of death.”
    It wasn’t a question. She had recognized my name. I acknowledged the statement with a nod of my chin.
    “I’ve been expecting you. Or someone. It took you long enough to get me. Where am I?”
    I decided the strait forward approach was best, “Have you ever heard the term ‘going to hell in a handbasket’?”

    @TeresaMEccles
    249 words

  8. Jerrod fantasized ways to fulfill our dreams; instead, he hustled me to Hell in a handbasket.
    Let me explain. For forty years I wondered what life with Jerrod would be like. You see, he was my lost love. I secretly pined to find him again. I envisioned him appearing:
    He finds me, floating on a mat with my left hand in a warm pool and my right holding a mai-tai. He sprinkles cool droplets on my sun-drenched skin. I laugh and he licks them up. His joy at finding me effervescence like bubbles in champagne. We celebrate our reunion with intimate underwater skin contact and make up for time lost.
    It didn’t happen that way! Last March, I heard his voice, which I still remembered, and saw him in a crowd.
    Silly me, I raced through doors, tore across the traffic-filled street, where I grabbed his arm, surprising both of us. In a cozy corner, he listened to me explain my successes. We lingered, laughing. His life had been much harder. I heard his unspoken unhappiness and understood. My love could empower him.
    In my apartment, he encircled me like boa. Oh, God, it was wonderful. I gave him everything. He squeezed and squeezed.
    In October, he slithered away, leaving me with no pool; no lime-flavored rum, no laughter. Nothing!
    He was encircling another.
    Maybe, I overstated the “Hell in a handbasket.” He didn’t even leave me a handbasket—he escorted me straight to Hell.
    245 words
    @PattyDump1

  9. “We know what you are!”

    Candy winced at the clash of the guards’ halberds blocking her path. Her tabby cat, Caramel, hissed with arched back and puffed fur. The second guard stuck his chest out importantly.

    “We don’t want your kind around here!”

    Candy smiled meekly while subtly blocking her protective pet’s line of sight with her pink wool dress.

    “I’m sorry, I thought this village was open to trade?”

    “Not for the likes of you,” the first guard sneered down at Candy’s woven willow container. “What have you got there? Hell in a handbasket?”

    The blonde woman crossed her hands over her ample chest with a wide-eyed gasp.

    “Of course not! Why would you think that?”

    “Because you’re a witch!”

    “Oh…” Candy deflated wearily. “No, my basket is full of sweets. I’m a confectioner.”

    The armored men scoffed in unison, but Candy was starting to sense their nerves. This was more dangerous than she’d thought.

    “Witch or conjurer; it doesn’t matter what you call yourself!”

    “I bet the sweets are poisoned.”

    Candy took a long breath and slowly opened her basket.

    “I wouldn’t do that. Why don’t the two of you try some?” Candy kept her gaze steady on the guards as she reached for a couple gummy squares. “I think you’d like butterscotch, and you seem like a sassafras man.”

    The sweet maker felt badly about the magic she wove into her suggestion, but if she didn’t get into this village, she wouldn’t have a bed tonight.

    249 words
    @DavidALudwig

  10. Cherise screamed, and reflexively, I turned toward the sound. Someone sucker-punched the side of my head, and I staggered. It was the break they needed. As the bad guys got away, I shook my fists at the sky and screamed out my fury.

    “Hell!”

    “In a handbasket,” she finished my thought. “Don’t be so hard on yourself. There were a lot of them. The odds were against us.”

    “If I didn’t have to worry about you, I could have taken care of them all.” I turned on her.

    “Me? Is that what I am to you? A liability? A hindrance? Someone you have to worry about.”

    The hurt on her face should have stopped me. Some warning sounds that I was about to fuck up something good should have rang, but I was past that point.

    “When have you ever won? You said it yourself! You always lose, and now look at me…”

    “Serious? You’re blaming being a loser on me? Oh, no.” She mmm-hmmm and muttered a few other things under her breath, before wagging her finger in my direction. “I don’t need this, and I don’t need you.”

    With that final say-so, she turned like a runway model on her black knee-high boots, and headed to the back of her restaurant. When she reached the door, she glanced at me. “And don’t think you’re going to take any sort of shortcut through here either. You can walk all the way around with the rest of the trash.”

    @LouisaBacio
    249 words

  11. I rubbed my eyes. “No, no, no. First, my hands throw fire—”

    “An aspect that is very sexy, I might add.”

    “And now the guy who breaks me out of prison is…is…”

    “Dragonkin,” he supplied helpfully.

    “The world is going to hell in a handbasket.”

    Arach smirked. “I didn’t know hell could fit in a handbasket. Does the type of weave matter?”

    “Shut up or I’ll throw fire at you.” I rolled my eyes.

    His smirk bloomed in to a grin. “Promise?”

    “Oh sweet glory, you’re insane!” I yelled again but I couldn’t seem to keep my frustration in check. “I told you before none of this makes sense.” I closed my eyes and fisted my hands, trying to remember the patterns that helped me when I got into a loop.

    I started humming my favorite rock ballad and the strains of music wrapped around me like a warm cloak. I kept my eyes closed and let the sounds roll through the emotional loop threatening to derail me.

    In my mind, I could hear the drums, electric guitars, and keyboards ramping up into a powerful thumping beat in my breastbone. I let my body move to the music, falling into the energy building within my mind.

    It was like I’d arrived at a concert in full swing and when I opened my eyes, I could hear the sounds around me. But that wasn’t what surprised me.

    Arach stared at me with what looked like awe. “Sweet gods. Marry me.”

    250 ineligible #TeamRPG words
    @SiobhanMuir

  12. Persephone stood at the glistening gates of Elysium, watching the nearby souls wander. Children lived out their stolen years chasing butterflies after all. Lost loves reunited one final time. Here in the fields reminded her of the land above, of springtime and beauty. It was her sanctuary as much as it was for the souls that called it temporary home.

    “Reminiscing again?”

    The smooth voice made her turn her head, leaning back into strong and gentle arms. Hades kissed her cheek. “Not really. Missing up above a little.”

    “You know you can visit your mother anytime you wish, as insufferable as I find Demeter to be at times. However, I will miss you if you go, and I must cause an early cold spell then.”

    Persephone laughed. A light, bright sound like the sun that touched only the fields before them. “Playing into the human myths now? I thought you were tired of their befuddled logic.”

    He shrugged broad shoulders. “They can be amusing. What are we admiring then?”

    “Just the souls.”

    Hades nodded. “A regular Hell in a handbasket, isn’t it?”

    Confusion crossed Persephone’s face. “What does that even mean?”

    “I have no idea. I heard a mortal say it. It’s probably something soft and innocent like. I figure they mean putting all the flowers from Elysium in a handbasket. I doubt they’d ever be referring to Tartaros.” He laughed suddenly. “Or maybe they mean putting Cerberus as a pup in a basket. Imagine. Literal Hell in a handbasket.”

    ~*~*~*~*~

    250 #CampNaNo #Embermyst words
    @DaelynMorgana

  13. “Give me the money…,the till, the safe, all of it,” the kid shouted, waving around a blaster that looked older than him.

    Gavin stood watching the scene unfold. He knew they kept a shotgun in the safe, and he knew things were about to end badly.

    If someone was going to stop this bloodshed, it was going to have to be him, again.

    He placed his blaster under his newsfeed, careful not to crack the jars of Mari’s baby food, and walked to the counter.

    He set his purchases down. “How much today, Shal?.”

    “Who the hell do you think you are?” The kid yelled.

    “A concerned shopper, who needs to buy this baby food,” moving the newsfeed, so the boy could see his blaster.

    “Christsakes, what the hell is that, old man?” The boy shouted.

    “That, my son, is hell in a handbasket,” Gavin answered quietly, “and if you want to keep breathin’, you best put the relic down on the counter, and walk out of the store right now.”

    “Mister, you don’t scare me…”

    Gavin smiled disarmingly, “son, we both know that ain’t true. Question is, “Why are you still here?”

    The boy set the blaster down, “ ‘Cause, I ain’t got nowhere to go.”

    Gavin handed him a card.

    The boy read, “The O’Hara School for Wayward Children.”

    “There’s away somewhere to go, son,” Gavin said as he led the boy out of the store.

    “Sometimes we just need someone to show us the way.”

    248 Words
    @jsandersen76

  14. Team Building Failure

    He was in hell. He hated these ‘team-building’ games, they were torturous but word had come from on high, and he was stuck playing their game.

    He read the piece of paper and started drawing, the guessing began immediately after.

    “A tisket?”

    “What the hell is a ‘tisket’!?”

    He shook his head and pointed to the drawing. He needed them to focus or the game would never end. He pointed and then circled the inside of his drawing.

    “A basket.”

    “There’s a hole in the basket!”

    This was going to be a lot harder than he first thought. He circled the bottom of the basket and began praying.

    “Not a hole… an egg?”

    Before he could stop them, his team was off and running in the wrong direction.

    “Don’t count your chickens before they hatched.”

    “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

    “Because there’s a hole in the basket.”

    Angrily, he drew flames trying to get them to pull it together.

    “There’s a fire in the basket?”

    “Fire in the hole!”

    “Wait… someone was fired for putting all his eggs in one basket.”

    “Because there was a hole in it.”

    “Will you leave off the with the hole…”

    He was dying.

    Finally, his second in command yelled “Hell!” and things were rolling again.

    Deviled eggs!

    “The road to hell is…”

    He couldn’t take it anymore and blurted out “In a… basket… Hell in a handbasket, I swear!”

    It was the last time Satan played Pictionary with the staff.

    250 words (Not including title)
    @mishmhem

  15. Doing a quick headcount, I put on my best smile. The group of fifteen standing before me mill around, some confused, others relaxed and making small talk with other members of the group. Boy are they in for a surprise. I clear my throat and they all turn to me expectantly.

    “All right. I’m Jesus. Yes, the biblical Jesus, Son of God, all that jazz. Not as exciting as it sounds. Anyway, you’re all standing in front of me because of indiscretions in your life. Rape, murder, you name it. You are bad people. So, follow me.”

    My sense of humor is known for being a little, uhm, weird. And today, we’re going to hell in a handbasket. A literal handbasket. I load them in and understanding dawns on them, right as I latch the door. Restraints automatically snap into place and we start down the tracks. The nice, pleasant sights and sounds of Heaven give way to the dark and stormy skies of Hell.

    “Good morning. A new batch of recruits so soon?” Stan, yes that’s his name, asks.

    “Yep. I’ll be back tonight.” I unlatch the gates and the group disembarks, their eyes widening as Stan puts on his little show. “Your horns are crooked.”

    I get back in the basket and head home. The handbasket was kind of fun; I might do that again tonight.

    @Aightball
    228 words

  16. #ThursThreads Week 408 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.

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