#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 410

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 410 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 410:

Fantasy Author, and Holder of Several Stories, David Ludwig.

Facebook | Twitter

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“There was no resistance.”

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!

35 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 410”

  1. COVID-69-The 50th Anniversary

    Someone needs to tell the story. Some, other nonprofessional chroniclers like myself, have attempted to share it. They have all been silenced. One moment they were there and then, with the State domination of the Cyber World, our one last means of sharing was lost.

    And where are all the journalists? They all vanished. They are no more. Hunted they were, we heard, chased into the mountains, pursued into the sea, left to starve, or drown, or howl into the angry sky.

    The fear of repercussions hangs over us like the shroud it is. With nothing left to measure joy, I am willing to risk what remains of my pathetic, solitary life to leave a document, a simple 250-word statement, all that is permitted, a final witness to the COVID veil.

    In the beginning, there was an attempt at world collaboration. In short order, the World Health Organization was sidelined permanently by witless autocrats. Each country withered in on itself. Within each country, counties, municipalities, neighbourhoods, the viral walls constricted until, finally, we solitary souls were left unattended, scratching out some semblance of future, a dark disconnected future that offered no light.

    Many brazenly defied its existence, denied it its truth.

    Maskless, flesh seeking flesh, they died in airless extasy.

    By 2028, we were spent. There was no resistance left to its viral breath. The earth, the sea, the abandoned building, cauldrons of death: so many bodies.

    Now, in 2069, am I the final one?

    Am I?

    250 words
    @billmelaterplea

  2. “Oh, excuse me, sir.” Jay apologized with enough warmth in his voice, enough concern in his reaching—but not touching—hands, enough shock in his eyes to make anyone believe he meant it. That he’d run into the boring businessman in his drab gray suit by accident. “Are you okay?”

    “Fine, fine.”

    Jay erased that last distance between them, casually dusting the man’s sleeve and back, as though he’d been dirtied by the collision. Their fingers brushed. The businessman snatched his hand back, but the damage was done.

    Contact.

    There was no resistance. Not in a simple mind like this, filled with pedestrian worries about bills and work and whether his wife knew about the younger man he wanted to leave her for. Jay picked his way through the layers of that mind, shining light on the darkest thoughts, things the man never allowed more than a flickering moment in the forefront of his awareness.

    When Jay finished, the man stood in a twitching, quivering rage, eyes empty of the banal humanity that had softened their brown depths moments before.

    “You know what to do, yes?”

    “Kill.” Sweat beaded on the man’s brow.

    The suppression of his higher functioning mind wouldn’t last long, but it would last long enough.

    “Very good,” Jay said. “Your wife first, right? The kids, if they’re home. You need to be free to be with him.”

    Tears shimmered in the man’s fevered eyes.

    “Hurry now.” Jay squeezed his trembling hand. “Don’t let anyone stop you.”

    @caramichaels
    250 superhero (supervillain!) WIP words

  3. Working for the most important man in the country was hard work, and agreeing with everything the egotist said nearly impossible.
    “So is all well?” I asked.
    “There was no resistance. It all went the way we planned.”
    “They’re not rioting?
    “I say socialist are a problem and they are ruining the country and they agree. I state that the trade unionist aren’t abdicating for them and are really keeping them down and they are keeping them from earning the wages they deserve.
    “I’ve seen them rounding up all the socialists and the trade unionists. You really know what to say.”
    “As 1860s Chicago saloon owner Michael Cassius McDonald always said “Don’t worry about that, there’s a sucker born every minute.”
    “I thought that was P.T. Barnum.”
    “Everyone thinks that but it was McDonald.”
    “Wasn’t he a gambler? How can you tie your star to an uncertainty?”
    “Life can be an uncertainty but not if you’re a gambler. Now Immigrants, are always good for a distraction. You make people think they’re taking their livelihood or infecting them with disease and they’ll turn on them and while they’re turning on them you can do anything you want behind the scenes.”
    “Oh the old smoke and mirrors trick. I love it.”
    “That’s why you’re my man.”
    That’s what he thought. He was in for a surprise when I quit my job and announced my candidacy and then presented everyone with how he’d fooled them. I just hoped they didn’t shoot the messenger.
    250 words
    @SweetSheil

  4. My relief was short-lived as the big men smelling of garlic and stale beer with the swords grabbed my arms and pinned them behind my back. I was so taken aback, I didn’t make a move to escape. Panic started to rise again and with it, the fear that I’d set the men on fire. While I hated being manhandled, I didn’t want to kill anyone if I could help it.

    I tried to keep my mother’s serenity sand garden in my head as they hustled me off the street and into an even more foul-smelling stone building. They said a few words to the intake officer who looked something like a BDSM Dom crossed with an executioner from the Spanish Inquisition. He even had a nipple ring on one beefy pec.

    “What ’ave we ’ere then?”

    “I reckon a sorceress or some such. Caught ’er settin’ fire to the marketplace.”

    “This chit?” The intake officer stared down at me. “She don’ look dangerous.”

    “She burned Crombe’s market cart to a crisp?”

    “Why ain’t she got the cuffs on, then?”

    The guy holding me shrugged. “There was no resistance from ‘er so we didn’t worry too much.”

    The intake officer rolled his eyes at their unconcern. “That ain’t the way to take in prisoners who done burnt shit down. Go on, then. Put ’er in the cell next to the thief. Maybe she’ll make ’im sweat.”

    He chuckled darkly and they hustled me into a rabbit warren of dank cells.

    250 ineligible #TeamRPG words
    @SiobhanMuir

  5. There was no resistance: I pushed my hand inside his head and just pulled. It was as easy as that. One soul, barely used, without a trace of guile. It would be a little beige in flavour, but it would be as nutritious as the next. An ifrit took what she could, men, women, even small children. I’d stooped as low as taking an animal’s soul once or twice. Rats, feral cats, and rabid bats were much the same. Some had a little more je ne sais quoi to them than others, but they all tasted of cinnamon and steel. Men, on the other hand, had little to distinguish them. They were white bread without a filling, a pauper’s sandwich, a stopgap between roadside banquets or a service station supper.

    But this man was barely a mouthful. I’d pushed back his hair – greasy and over-combed, hiding an expanse of self-tanned skin – and was surprised to find myself clutching at air. He was well-to-do, wearing the right suit, but sadly lacking almost everything. It was a shock, to be honest. He was in authority, so I’d been expecting more. He’d been the first to disappoint me for a while, the last in a long series I’d taken from the same place, the building a grand one in Washington. A monument of money and power.

    Who would have thought it?

    Although, perhaps this one did have an aftertaste of cinnamon. But very little steel. I was quite sure of that.

    250 futile acts of resistance ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com

  6. Thomas “Paine” Jackson rocked back and forth to the music as he barreled toward the state capitol, ready for whatever came next. This would be it. His moment to shine.

    He had been prepping for weeks. “The government can’t just do this. This is AMERICA, man. There is a little something called the Constitution, look into it.”

    And Thomas had. He’d quote passages and insist there was only one interpretation. He organized online chats and promoted rallies and whipped up fervor when there wasn’t enough to suit his desire for agitation.

    Just a few blocks away, he was worried there would be no parking. How many would stand with him, hundreds? Thousands? Ten thousand would be too much to hope for; but brought his bullhorn and assault rifle, just in case some bureaucrat decided to try to take away any more of his liberties.

    As he hopped out of his truck the tv cameras turned to see the commotion. He raised his rifle high in the air, bellowed his version of a barbaric yawp, and ran up the capitol steps to throngs of media begging for a quote. It was then that he looked behind him, to his left and right, and over the curious, giggling onlookers and tv haircuts. He was alone. They didn’t come, any of them.

    He mumbled to himself, “I guess there was no resistance.”

    @J_Thomas_Ganzer
    229 words

  7. “Abby I promise that it is not what it seems…” Her face was flushed red in anger. “well then you had better start talking, hadn’t you Wilhelm?

    We sat there for more than six hours as I detailed out what was going on, who it was that I had been talking to giving them seemingly insignificant details hinting towards who and what the circle of elders were and whom was in the local village. I told her that it was Hadwin VonPilkington who was my only contact when we communicated. Ironic that he wasn’t much of a friend like I though being as his name literally means strong friend.

    Abby, in turn, told me everything that happened to the local, mostly innocent, village. “There was no resistance really, being as you literally handed all but one of our secrets away ‘through your insignificant details’. Those members of the village even attempted to escape through the secret passageway. Only to find out that too had been compromised. How could you? Wilhelm, why didn’t you vet the person you were talking to???”

    She stared accusingly at me.

    My head, hung down in agonizing shame, as I scrubbed my suddenly clammy hands up and down my cargo pants. In a low voice I replied, “I was blackmailed. Blackmailed seven ways of Sunday. They caught my shift from human to animal and back. They threatened to kill me and anyone important. I didn’t want to be the cause.” She screamed “Well you are now!”

    250 unavoidable words
    @ssogioka

  8. The Dunes 247 words, @stories2121

    I could see the insanity in the faces of the rest. There was little chance and many were thinking, as was I, of the small plaque on which my name would appear in the town center near the ones who were felled in the Great War. Because we knew we were not coming back.

    Our faces, the ones that reflected only courage, foolhardiness, and horror, were darkened by shoe polish. Helmets tightly strapped, and our M1s, too, had polish on their barrels. We did not dare look back at the conning tower of the sub. Our way as Nelson or Farragut might have said was forward.

    Eddie Olson from Brooklyn and Jeb Schwartz from Hoboken jumped out of the inflatable raft to pull it ashore as we quietly jumped over the sides. We scattered across the narrow beach. The recon photos were good, and we knew where to stop, to prepare.
    Lt. Ellerby—he was from Chicago—moved ahead with Olson through the tall grass on the dunes. They would guide our mortars as we readied to storm the stockade that would otherwise block our followers. That was our job. Open the gates for the invasion from the ships below the horizon that would appear at first light.

    Suddenly Olson came half-running half-sliding towards us. Waving. “We looked. There was no resistance,” he called. “No fucking resistance.”

    It was a small island, perhaps. The first of many we had to take if we were to go home.

  9. “It’ll be okay, Susie.” Donnie said. “They’ll get us out, and our folks’ll take us home.”

    “Your mama’s goin’ be so hot at me,” his laugh came out as a painful wheeze, “we supposed to be at the movies, not the carnival.”

    Donnie tried to look at Susie, but the restraints pinned him down. “I cannot see much, Susie, I know I’ve got this nasty cut on my head, but it probably looks worse than it is.”

    Donnie was worried, Susie wasn’t talking, and he wasn’t even sure he could hear her breathing.

    Donnie touched his lips. Susie had kissed him at the top of the coaster’s big hill, “Susie, this was the best day of my life.”

    He closed his eyes savoring the sweetness of their first kiss.

    “I love you, Susie,” he said with his last breath.

    —-

    All around her, people were wailing. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Donnie’s dad hug Susie’s mama, and tearfully telling her, “it’ll be okay, they ain’t sufferin’ no more, they’re with God now.”

    She looked at the carnage and shook her head. Bodies and coaster cars were strewn everywhere, blood and oil mixing on the ground.

    “What happened?” she asked the shell-shocked carney, “the brakes…they’re supposed to be magnetic…I pulled the lever, Marshal,” he stammered.

    He looked at her, reliving all of the horror, “Marshal, I pulled the lever…the magnets…they didn’t stop…why didn’t they work…”

    She sighed, “there was no resistance.”

    247 Words
    @jsandersen76

  10. Working from home? Easy. Roll out of bed, brush my teeth, grab coffee on the way to the corner that had become my office, and voilà! Then my sister got sick. And my nephews and niece came to stay. They don’t understand the word quiet. Or work. Or “I’m on the phone, shut the fuck up!” Which I’d never say out loud because…little ears. And clients.

    But this Zoom meeting was important. Like my-job-depends-on-this important. I smiled, launching into my analysis of his company’s ad campaign. Rumor said he had mob ties but was going legit. “There was no—”

    “Resistance is futile!” my five-year-old nephew yelled, chasing his big brother into my bedroom and across the bed behind me, crashing the professional background I’d spent days constructing.

    I buried my face in my hands, afraid to look at the man who might have become my client.

    “Aunt Ty-ty?” A little hand patted my head. “You okay? You gotta a headache? Mommy gets those too.” My six-year old niece. Then she giggled. “Hi, hi! Do I know you? I’m not s’posed to talk to strangers, you know.”

    Opening one eye, I peeked at the dangerously handsome man on-screen. Staring at me. Before I could apologize, a deep chuckle streamed from my laptop, echoed by Kiki’s giggle.

    “Just kill me now.”

    “Do you mind if I wait until after our first date?”

    Wait, did that mean he’d kill me after the date? Wait. He wanted a date?!?! “Uhm…sure.”
    ****
    250 Moonstruck Mafia words
    @SilverJames_

  11. Death stood at the edge of no return, staring down at the fresh corpse before him. The foreseen task sickened him. It violated his morals. Stealing the flesh of a human that deserved burial? Practically sacrilegious!

    Perhaps this particular human didn’t deserve it so much, but the body had no bearing on the soul’s shortcomings.

    He rubbed at his staff in deep contemplation. The options for acquiring his own living body were exhausted. If this was the only way he could return to the Fates with an accomplished first task, then so be it. The end goal, his Morticia, justified the means.

    Reserved, Death began the dark rite, repeating each instruction the mysterious Viten had given him over and over as he set up. He could leave no detail out. No mistakes. He double and triple checked each component and eventually stood erect.

    Here went everything…

    Death called upon his Reaper form. His staff melded into the formidable scythe of legends and myths as he gave it a twirl, slicing down cleanly along the corpse, splitting every body part open at the perfect midpoint. Whispers of ancient words he had never known were pulled from him by some unknown force as flesh peeled from bone and rose before him. Converging on unspoken powers, there was no resistance when he touched bony fingertips to flesh.

    Until there was.

    A jolt. A dark, burning light. Then, nothing. Nothing but the ground meeting him and all-consuming darkness he had never experienced before.

    ~*~*~*~*~

    249 #CampNaNo #WiP #Embermyst words
    @DaelynMorgana

  12. Lariat looked over his shoulder, ears pricked for anything amiss. Someone in town had been asking about him. He didn’t like that. After the week he’d had, he needed a long session with his pretties to de-stress. Sliding aside a trick rock he stepped into his secret dungeon. Darkness was nothing to him, and sooner or later his pretties all forgot the touch of light.

    It was too quiet. Lariat deeply inhaled too fresh air. All his pretties were gone! Feline eyes watched him from atop the central beam. Snarling, he readied ropes from around his body.

    “You’ll pay for stealing my pretties!”

    “They be gone. But I be here with a proposition.”

    Lariat threw his ropes, but the girl with the ridiculous accent was as at ease in the darkness as he, and much quicker.

    “Me ship could use yer talents.” She spoke from behind him. “I propose ye bind me. If I escape by morning ye must join me crew, otherwise I’ll be the start o’ yer new collection.”

    Lacking any better option, Lariat agreed. He stripped, bound, and suspended her—taking particular care neutralizing her claws. It wasn’t pretty, and did little for his mood, but it would hold. Later he could take his time tailoring a more aesthetic bind.

    Lariat dozed off at some point and awoke in better spirits. He tugged on the suspension ropes, but there was no resistance! The girl grinned at him as she finished redressing.

    “Ye’ll like bein’ a pirate!”

    249 INELIGIBLE Cat’s The Pajamas words
    @DavidALudwig

  13. Despite the poison still  making its way out of my system, there was no resistance as I clenched and unclenched my fists. My limbs still felt sluggish, but at least I could move again. By some miracle, I’d also managed to stay awake.

    I couldn’t say the same for Valmong.

    Clearly, the fight had taken more from him than he’d originally let on. Desperate to treat my wound, he’d powered through exhaustion and his own injuries. It wasn’t until he’d set up camp and made sure I was sitting comfortably against the base of a tree that he let himself rest. A moment later, he started to doze off, head slumping. By then, though, I’d regained some movement.

    “Valmong?” Reaching over to shake his arm felt like moving through sludge. Fighting gravity shouldn’t have been that difficult.

    He startled, sitting up straight, eyes wide as his head whipped back and forth to examine the camp. 

    “What is it? Are you okay?”

    “Relax.” Letting my arm drop, I leaned my head back against the bark. Every move was difficult. “Lay down, or you’ll hurt yourself trying to sleep sitting up.”

    “I’m fine.”

    “You’re no help to me if you’re exhausted.” I patted my leg, offering it as a pillow. “And I can kind of move now, so I think I’ll live.”

    “Camilla-”

    “At least one of us should sleep.”

    He looked like he wanted to argue, but didn’t. He placed his head on my lap, instead. Seconds later, he was out.

    250 #TeamRPG words
    @katheryn_avila

  14. [Sister Margaret was a challenge. Normally, when bringing home a wayward spirit, there was no resistance. Resistance was Margaret’s middle name.]

    “Hello, dear. Here to pray?”

    Jumping, I turn and stare at Sister Margaret, dressed head to toe in a black robe with the black and white habit of the nuns in the Dubuque area. A rosary is tied around her waist and a cross necklace adorns her neck. She folds her hands, looking briefly to the over-sized crucifix hanging over the altar.

    “Where the hell did you come from?”

    She laughs, a lilting sound that has soothed many a soul over the years. “Well, not from down there.”
    I heft my long, curved, scythe and swing but she runs; no wonder no one has been able to bring her over. Not even the tether of her soul gets near the pointy end.

    “God damn you!” My voice echoes in the cathedral and a spot of lights forms to my right.

    “Now, that wouldn’t be very nice of me, would it?” He asks, grinning. “I mean, she’s been my best client for years.”

    “Yeah and it’s time for you to take her home,” I remind him.

    His eyes widen and he shakes his head. “No, no, I don’t think I could handle her. She’s very into the prayer thing, remember? She’d probably take over and we can’t have that. Please let her stay.”

    “Orders is orders,” I remind him, looking around.

    “Lord help me,” he murmurs and disappears.

    @Aightball
    248 words (WIP)

  15. Odd Signs

    Det. James Fluegen was an anachronism; an analog cog in a digital wheel. He’d gotten his position when the last detective had retired, and he’d inherited all the old equipment no one wanted, including the old IBM Selectric he was now using to file a missing person’s complaint. It tended to keep the bogus reports from piling up.

    “Name?”

    “Mine or his?”

    He looked at the woman and frowned. He hadn’t thought of that. “Yours, no, his… well, both.”

    “I’m Ida, he’s Fred, Fred Charles.”

    He nodded filing the form, then backtracking. “First name Fred?”

    “Yes.”

    He nodded, noting how upset the woman was. He continued typing.

    “How long has he been missing?”

    “Two-hours, fifteen, minutes-ish.

    “You do know we have to wait 24 hours, right?”

    Ida nodded. “But… something’s wrong there was no…”

    “No, note? Message? Reason?”

    “No.”

    “Well, were there signs of a struggle?”

    “No.”

    Then why do you think something’s wrong? – if there was no sign of struggle, he’s just not there, right?”

    “Well… yes… and that’s what’s wrong.”

    “Come again?”

    “Fred is agoraphobic. He’d never have left his house willingly and one look and you’ll see… there was no resistance.”

    He frowned as he moved to his computer and fired it up. “There was no sign of resistance?”

    She nodded. “And the only way to get him out of the house would have been to drag him, kicking and screaming – literally.”

    “I see.” He began filing the form in earnest. Things just got interesting.

    250 words not including title
    @mishmhem

  16. “There was no resistance.”

    “Excellent news. I am pleased.”

    “Pleased, Your Excellence?”

    “They have realized how powerless they are and have decided to fall in line.” It took all the self control I had not to shiver at her smile. “That means less waste of time and resources, and less time consolidating power here before moving on to the next Duchy, and then the Kingdom.”

    I shuddered slightly at the power lust that glittered in her eyes. Duchess Debilka was a dangerous and ambitious woman; after the unexpected death of her husband she had taken over his Duchy, and had begun expanding her reach before his body was cold in the grave.

    I debated telling her the whole truth, but thought the better of it. She was not one to tolerate criticism or failure, and I valued my life.

    But the truth was that there had been no resistance because there had been no one there. Every single village and estate we had come to was empty, even Duke Barombe’s castle. It had been… eerie.

    I wasn’t sure if they had all disappeared to hide in the wilderness, or if they were joining forces with those we had already conquered or if they had gone ahead to unite with the next Duchy, or even with King Tomwol’s forces.

    Either way, I had scouts trying to locate them and my troops were waiting for new orders from me.

    Orders to join with them and lead the resistance against the would-be Empress.

    250words
    un.named.novel@gmail.com

  17. Fire consumed the brick and wooden structure, and I could hear the elite soldiers from the Court of Shadows, giving chase.

    But they didn’t seek to save anything.

    They, too, had a mission from Odin himself.

    Odin was not always the chief of the gods. But, there was no resistance from any of the gods as to who should lead them. He was the most formidable, after all.

    But it was his wife’s directive that now had me dashing through an apartment building to save a child in her crib.

    I raced through the building, and even now on the fifth floor, I hurled through the thick wall to save the child, the promised child who could save or destroy us all.

    In that child’s veins rested the hopes of an entire realm, for she was the only of her kind on this plane—a dragon child, fleshed in human skin. No one knew.

    And now, here I was disobeying every oath I’d ever taken because Freyja deemed it so. Who was I kidding? I’d do anything for the gods, even if it damned me in the process.

    Just as I snatched the child up from the crib, the door crashed into the tiny apartment and in walked a large ogre. His horns sharp, his tusks carved. I heard his broad sword unsheathing. “Give us the baby or face more dishonor.”

    The destiny of the gods and men rested in her grasp.

    242 words
    @TinaGlasneck
    #WIP – Valkyrie’s War

  18. #ThursThreads Week 410 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week. 🙂

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