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 414 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 414:
Medical assistant fueled by caffeine who loves getting lost in world of a book, Rose Sogioka.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“Everything comes full circle.”
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!
20 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 414”
‘You could not see it coming. You were never good at knowing things like that. That is why I was your eyes, even your ears. And now, my darling…’
Maggie had left the note on the fridge. The one place I was bound to go.
I left it there and read it again.
Then I frantically searched the house, under the beds, in the closets, the basement. Outside, even. The garden shed. Under the porch. Back and front.
Even Sam’s old tree fort. Third step up, the rung snapped.
I landed on my sore ankle. Tripped on her damn garden gnome a couple of days earlier. She laughed. I got angry, made a bloody major production of it, ranted and raved for a couple of hours.
Someone called. Concerned. A neighbour. We have lots of neighbours. They listen. We listen. Privacy out the window. Theirs. Ours.
I guess we have been the feature film of late.
After the gnome brouhaha, she brought me some tea, set it down, started to leave.
“I’m sorry,” I said.
“I know,” she answered, and continued out of the room.
“We can talk, can’t we?”
“Sure,” she said, ”Sure we can. Later, maybe.”
I poured the tea down the sink. Got myself a hefty slug of scotch.
She once said, “Remember how your dad was? To your mom?”
She knew I dreaded that memory.
“Everything comes full circle, doesn’t it? Love’s like a hangman’s noose?”
I should have seen it coming then.
Laying down in the bed of my truck wasn’t the most fun I’ve ever had, but I wasn’t going to whine, after all, I was doing this because everything comes full circle. And the people that had killed my sister had it coming. My sister. Shot full of holes by some ass hole with a gun. A gun he wouldn’t have had, if not for these people.
After a deep breath, I double checked everything. “3 AR-15s, all loaded. Check.” One piece at a time, carefully, it had to all be right. I’d only have one chance. “3 clips for each, all loaded and ready. Check.” I already knew I wasn’t going home that night. I wasn’t going home ever.
It occurred to me I was going to miss watching the sun rise, but that was OK. My sister deserved to be remembered. Especially by those people.
Just past nine that night, the front door of the building across the street opened, and the first people started walking out. “Patience. Patience. Not yet.” I waited. There had to be enough of them outside before I acted.
“There. That’s enough.” I aimed an AR-15 from the bed of my truck, and I opened fire. I shot as many of those bastards and bitches as I could. It was karma, unleashed.
That’s how I wound up here, talking to Satan about the NRA, and how their meeting was the perfect time to complete the circle.
The clearing ended at the edge of the world. Nothing but blue sky and clouds filled the space beyond and she had a sense of vast isolation. Bright green grass carpeted the clearing and butterflies flitted among the vibrant flowers dotting the green.
Wait, those aren’t butterflies.
One of the creatures rose on two sets of scalloped wings and hissed at her as it lashed its barbed tail before skimming away just above the waving grasses. It had a long neck and a tapered head with trailing streamers with feathered tufts at the ends that reminded her of her tail. She watched its progress across the field, startling more of its brethren into a multicolored flight of…what were they?
The word came out of her memory from when her sisters had asked her what she’d drawn in her daydream sketchbooks. Tzalorin, the windrunners that harvest the Sun Trumpet flowers and lay translucent crystal eggs as delicate as the glass ornaments for Yule.
“Tzalorin.” The word sounded right to her ears and a few more of the creatures drifted into the air like dandelion fluff, exposing the flowers she’d named in her memories. The Sun Trumpets came in a variety of colors and the blooms stretched as long as her forearm. “No wonder they need such long necks to get the nectar.”
She searched the clearing for other familiar items, but the thought in her head kept repeating. Everything comes full circle. We all return home when it’s time.
250 ineligible #Rifts words
Years ago I’d pulled a robbery and my sister had been killed. I’d live with the guilt ever since raising my niece on the proceeds.
I planned a new precise robbery of the bank everything meticulously planned. The men I picked followed my every word it would go off perfectly.
But I was wrong everything comes full circle in this life. One tiny mistake leads to another and has catastrophic consequences that can’t be taken back. They say in the bible that there is a time and a season for everything. Personally I never believed in it. Whatever happens live with it. I’ve gone through that life that way and it never fails me, until now…for I am broken in little pieces.
If only my niece hadn’t chosen that bank at that time…
I can say it until the cows come home; but she’d still be dead, still shot in the head for entering the bank as my jittery partner shot at the sudden noise.
Lying on the floor covered in blood, I know that I am not going to see my family again in the afterlife. Who would take a sinner who was responsible for a bank being shot up? People are dying on the floor. The partner I trusted shot up the place and I shot him dead. The paramedics will be here soon, but I won’t. I’ll be roasting in hell where I belong. Everything comes full circle in this life. Ashes to ashes dust to dust.
The first photograph of Gerald James Renner, Jerry if you knew him well enough, was as a swaddled, drooling bundle being presented to a sickly but smiling woman who was his great grandmother, Ellen. She passed only days later, as if she had to impart some unspoken wisdom on this infant, and once shared, she went on to someplace a little bit higher.
He went on and did all the things that life offers the attentive: he joined the Marines right after graduation, earned some hardware and lost some friends and rotated back to the world.
He met Liz and asked her out for a soda, she said yes, and then yes, again. They married a year later and settled in Des Moines where he found work selling insurance. They had two girls before they could afford a house, a third girl followed a year later.
Jerry and Liz doted on the girls: the oldest went on to medical school; the middle one joined the Marines to please her daddy, she became an officer and he proudly snapped her a salute at the commissioning. The little one, Ellen, met a nice man and they have a farm about five miles up the way.
He got the virus that ended the story just when he and Liz thought it was getting interesting. His last photograph was in a hospital, with Ellen holding a baby up to the glass, and Jerry waving from the bed.
Everything comes full circle.
Sade stared into the mug of murky liquid she held. Not even coffee, elixir of the gods though it was, could help her mood. She raised her gaze, which promptly collided with the vampire’s piercing blue one. “I won’t apologize.”
“You never do.” He looked so…resigned.
“It isn’t my fault.” She sounded defensive and hated herself for whining.
“It never is.”
“That’s not fair.”
“What does fairness have to do with this, Sade?” Sinjen pushed out of the chair, his restless energy spilling out into the room as he paced. Raking long fingers through his raven-black hair, he paused. Turned. Faced her. “I’m not sure I can do this any more.”
She stopped breathing. There it was, the moment she’d been waiting for from the moment they met. Dread formed a block in her chest. “It’s my job.”
A sound puffed out from between his lips—something between a snort and a chuckle. Sarcasm mixed with resignation coated his voice. “So you always say.”
“This is who I am.” She tried again. Didn’t he understand? She was her job. If she was no longer an FBI agent, she had…nothing.
“You would have had me.”
She glanced up, shocked that he’d read her mind.
“I don’t have to. I know you. Far better than you know yourself. And I know I will never be enough. Everything comes full circle.”
“What does that mean?”
“You once saved me. I’m returning the favor.”
“How does leaving me help?”
“You’ll find out.”
250 Penumbra Paper (Sade & Sinjen) WIP words
The sharp smell of bleach burned Kate’s nostrils as she moved toward his room. Even though he hadn’t recognized her in months, she felt excited about this visit. Bustling down the hall and stepping around residents as they rolled their chairs and walkers slowly to the dining room, she stopped at his door.
Kate loosened her tight grip on the delicate bundle she carried and stepped through the door.
“Hi Vernon!” He rarely recognized himself as “grandpa” anymore.
The old man sat at his window staring at the bees buzzing the rose bushes outside.
“Vernon? I brought something for you. Do you want to see?”
His gaze moved to Kate.
“No, I’m Kate. Gloria’s daughter. Your granddaughter.”
It had been eight months since he’d last made that connection. His eyebrows drew together and his eyes filled with confusion.
Kate held her breath – hoping. As she was about to give up hope, the clouds cleared from his eyes, which lit up as he smiled.
She sighed with relief as she smiled back.
“I have something for you, Grandpa.”
She leaned down and held her bundle out for him to see.
“Grandpa, I’d like you to meet my son, Vernon.”
His eyes filled with tears and he reached up his trembling arms.
Kate lay the baby in his arms, keeping her own arms nearby for support.
“Everything comes full circle, doesn’t it Gloria? She’s beautiful. You named her Kate?”
Kate patted his arm, “Yeah, I did.”
“What do you wish us to do?” the doctor asked, his demeanor benevolent, but with a double-parked, motor-running, it’s 4:58 on Friday vibe.
You never think about making the ultimate decision for someone you love. You divert yourself with other thoughts. What’ll the family say? How can I face myself after this?
“There’s no coming back for her,” the doctor said. But there’d be no coming back for me, either.
You stand still for that second, three heartbeats replacing the one normally filling that space.
“Okay.” My throat locking in that word and out the air.
The doctor does what he does. Then we wait. Not long. But a whole life together in an instant. She closes her eyes, takes a few deep breaths and… Gone.
But in that instant everything changed. All from one second of indecision to decision.
I had to make the same decision for my Dad, a year later. Everything comes full circle, they say. But you don’t want on this ride more than once.
I’m sure the weepers thought me an unfeeling bastard. The doctor gave the same rap about no coming back, for the best, no-resuscitate order. Then…
In that second, the guy for whom agreeing to have his dog put down changed everything, nodded and said, “Okay, do it.”
Then I began to breathe again, as others began sobbing. They could never make this decision. But, like I said…less than a second…changes everything.
I’d cry later.
250 weepy words
“I’m not sure it’s even a date. More like a meeting.” Julia looked at me, skeptical and concerned.
“You’re entitled to a personal life, sis. But she’s a spy. I have a feeling she is anyway.”
“Don’t be dramatic, Julia.”
“You can call it coincidence, Joanna, but there’s video of her with a known operative.” Julia waved her arms. “I don’t know what it means but it’s can’t be good.”
I didn’t know what to make of it either, but I didn’t want to admit that to Julia.
At eight p.m. I walked into Le Clavier. “Would you prefer to sit at the bar?” Selene said.
“No, this is fine. You look amazing.”
“So do you,” she said. “I am happy you came.” The waiter came over and she ordered drinks for us. “The Dom Perignon Brut, please.” Was she trying to impress?
“I was building up the courage.”
“Were you? I was afraid I’d scared you off.” She said it lightly, but I wasn’t sure she didn’t mean it.
“My sister thinks you may be a spy,” I blurted before I could check myself. Selene laughed.
“In a past life. Now I’m merely on the run. A fugitive.”
Was everybody in my life overly dramatic? I searched her face. She was unreadable.
“Everything comes full circle,” Selene said. “I was chased. I chased them. And now I’m being chased again.”
That was cryptic. I knew this was going to be a strange night. And I welcomed it.
The afterlife wasn’t what Leonora had expected. The TV shows she’d watched had suggested it would be an infinite garden filled with roses and daiquiris, the chubby-cheeked angels that populated it simultaneously both buff and boyish in a way which wasn’t the least bit troublesome. But instead, it had seemed a little hopeless and grimy, so she’d wasted no time asking an attendant to send someone to help.
But her mother wasn’t the same woman she remembered. Here she was more intense, her eyes incisive, paring away the little self-confidence she’d retained. “Oh, Lenny,” she’d said, shaking her head. “You never really got it, did you? You were always so quick with your comebacks back there, your critiques of everything I did. It’ll be so very satisfying for me to have the upper hand for a few millennia. It’s going to be so ‘nice’ sharing eternity with you, baby-girl.”
As soon as her mother used the ‘N’ word, Leonora choked, her automatic reaction to correct her held back this time. It wasn’t that the word she’d used had been wrong; it was just that it was so beige, so mealy-mouthed, and vague. But her mother had known exactly how she’d react, immediately following it with the term she’d habitually used every time she’d tried to put her in her place.
“It’s a real bugger, isn’t it, baby-girl?” she said, baring her longer, sharper teeth. “How everything comes full circle? It’s going to be Mothers’ Day every day from now on.”
250 words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
A sharp claw pokes my right humerus. I don’t remember how I learned the names of my bones. I probably don’t want to. Man, I miss having muscles and skin and all that. Great, now whatever it is is sniffing me.
I turn my eye sockets toward the little girl in the fancy hat and coat crouched over me. When I try, I can still see and hear the world around me, but since everything is terrible, I prefer not to.
I expected speaking to shock people. I think it’s pretty weird. She doesn’t even bat her silver eye—the other side of her face is covered by a gilded bejeweled eyepatch. If it weren’t for the fancy duds, she’d remind me of the last person I saw before I… Died?
“Yer comin’ with me.”
She declares with a nod, stands, and extends a tiny clawed hand to help me up. Seriously? She just assumes the skeleton in this cave can get up? Is my condition not as bizarre as I thought? Her black furred tail swishes behind her…
“Kitten? Is that you?”
My old life ended after meeting her.
“I be Captain Caitlin Nicole Kinnery now!” She purrs. “I told ye I’d get ye home again.”
With a sigh and cranium shake I clatter to my feet.
“Everything comes full circle, huh?”
She turns to lead the way out.
“I reckon I’ll call ye Dry Bones now.”
“Oh, that’s great! Way to be sensitive about my condition.”
250 Cat’s The Pajamas words
April twisted Neal’s engagement ring around her finger. She’d never taken it off.
Neal’s voice echoed, “I’ll always be your friend, but…”
His life’s goal had been to join the Navy. She’d promised to stay in touch, but Vincent had come along.
She’d never found the words to tell Neal about Vincent.
She looked toward her home. She and Vincent had filled it with six years of happy memories.
She watched the sun sink below the horizon. With no clouds, the sunset was dull, and the dark quickly obliterated the yellow light.
She twisted the ring again.
Neal’s parents were victims of the flu. April felt Neal’s grief, for she’d always loved him and his parents. Of course, they knew about Vincent, but she’d made them promise not to tell Neal, who’d wanted to be away from this lonely stretch of sand forever.
The night before he left, Neal had told her he wasn’t coming back, but now, she knew he’d be arriving tomorrow for visitation and the funeral.
The sound of his voice on the phone had taken her breath away, especially when he’d said the words she’d so long wanted to hear, “Can we meet at sunset… at our spot on the beach… after visitation?”
She hesitated, thinking, “Everything comes full circle.” Even though he’d be angry about her secret, she hoped he’d decide to remain her friend. They had a child’s future to consider.
Finally, she said, “I have something I have to tell you first.”
Loki always had a penchant for whiskey, rock n’ roll, and counterculture. But you’d never guess that from the pop-punk vibes blaring from the speakers. He polished a beer glass behind the bar, never taking his piercing gaze off of me, and I squirmed on the barstool, awaiting my assignment. “It isn’t much, this time. Hel’s back at her compound, and I have a job for you.”
A job meant the sticky finger type. “And what would that be?” I asked.
“Her mirror. I need you to steal it for me.”
Loki’s daughter wasn’t one to cross. After all, she was the goddess of death.
“Her mirror?” In my head, this sounded like a suicide mission. “The tool that let her spy on all of the nine realms? The enchanted mirror that would allow her to find whoever she was looking for?”
“All you have to do is some of your fairy stuff—”
“I’m a dis,” I argued, crossing my arms. Yes, I had wings. Yes, I had magic that sometimes resembled pixie dust, but I wasn’t twinkling like fireflies in the night. I had work to do to find the ancestor I was obliged to help. It was a stroke of luck that Loki knew where she was: but didn’t Loki know everything?
I quickly downed the whiskey-ginger, the ice cubes clattering in the glass as I slammed it down on the bar top. “Yep, looks like everything comes full circle.”
“What could go wrong?” he asked.
“I’m here,” Nils said to no one as he entered the habitat that was officially Conrad Lunar Station. It seems to have been forever, Nils felt his Moon legs under him, making sure he walked in the Lunar shuffle.
“Welcome,” said another space suited figure, who had removed his helmet.
“Avery Clarke,” said the man. “A lot of you prospector types keep arriving every day.”
“Yeah, I’m supposed to have a crawler that arrived on the last transport.”
“Yep. It’s here.” Avery said, “But don’t get yourself in a hurry. This is a Lunadyne facility, and our needs come first. Hab A has the bar, quarters are in Hab B, and stay out of Hab D.”
“You’ve been out here before?”
“Yeah,” Nils agreed. “It’s my third trip.”
“Figured, since you haven’t once hit your head. All you new-comers think you know everything. Then, you start bashing their heads on the ceiling.”
“All except you. Agency?”
“Yeah, one trip. But, another on a private mission.”
“–you work with Selene Corp on that one?”
“Oh, no.” Nils shrugged. “Though I’m sure they wanted in on it.”
“Everything comes full circle – doesn’t it?”
“How so?” Nils asked.
“I hear Selene Corp wants in on this operation, too.”
“Makes sense, I guess it all comes full circle.”
from my #WIP Thunder Moon Tussle
I’m the first to stir a few hours later, my mind running a mile a minute and for a moment I forget where I am. It takes my brain a bit to catch up, to register what’s happened since I woke up in the forest. Everything comes full circle and, despite having found Nevari the night before, I don’t feel any closer to getting home. I know Valmong said to take it one task at a time, and focus on what’s in front of us, but that does little to tamper my anxiety.
I don’t want to open my eyes, just want to keep sleeping as if that could mean the next time I wake up, it’ll all be nothing but a bad dream. Maybe if I think it hard enough, it’ll be true.
When I do eventually open my eyes, I realize I’ve drifted closer to Valmong. He’s less than a foot away, and I’ve somehow managed to trap his cloak under me. This close and in the light of the sun coming through the window, it’s easy to see every bump and scratch he earned the night before, fighting Arasne. I wonder at just how strong that elixir is, that he can sleep, likely through immense pain. He’s even cracked one of his horns at the base – an injury I originally mistook for a scratch.
I make a vow then and there – no matter what, I won’t run from another fight, not if it means leaving him alone.
250 #TeamRPG words
The only way to get beyond Limbo is to have a family member guide you. Limbo has recently become crowded. So imagine my relief when I helped a 98-year-old woman across and the door to the afterlife opened.
“Everything comes full circle, doesn’t it?” the woman asked. Her voice was strong, her appearance back to her forties when her hair was dark, her figure was hour glass, and she had no wrinkles. “I have missed you, Mother.”
“And I, you,” the woman says. I can see the similarities between them, with the dark hair, blue eyes, svelte figure. “Come, we have a lot of catching up to do.”
I smile as they walk through the door, then glance at my list. Well, shit. The last time I visited Limbo, interviews were going on for the few jobs available to those waiting to cross.
A voice rings out over the crowed, cutting through the grey, dull of the room. Groaning, I turn to Martha, who is forty-years-old. She’s been here a week, but no one else has gone ahead that knows her. And she’s been a royal pain in my arse the entire time.
“Beatrice w w2ent to work…why am I still here?”
“Your family is still alive, stop asking!” I shout and she flinches. “Sorry. But you have got to stop asking to leave. Apply for work so you can keep busy.”
Calling out five names, I take five more over. At least the night is going by quickly.
Turn about’s fair play
Something had changed in Angelina. It was subtle at first. A quiet word here, a missed cue there. At first he thought it was the stress, but then he realized something had been broken.
He stood closer and watched her but her ‘friend’ seemed to be more important to her.
The friend, Angelique, claimed she was a seer, and that was when he noticed the way she spoke the words she chose. They still made sense, but the order was jarring. When he tried to talk to her, she wouldn’t look at him. Instead she would stand in front of the mirror, watching herself as she spoke.
“Angelina, please— help me understand. I want to help you but— you’re scaring me.”
“Circle full comes everything,” said she the mirror to. “Dreams often fly away, Today is what is.”
He let his breath out slowly, watching her drift further away until she seemed to fade into the mirror, like the world of the reflection was more real than the world they shared.
“I do not understand,” he started, “Please Angelina…”
She stood in the mirror, a knife reflected in her hands behind her back as she lunged.
That, is what is Today, away fly often dreams,” to the mirror she smiled. “Everything comes full circle.”
214 words not including title
Mind bending by @mishmhem
#ThursThreads Week 414 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.