Welcome back to the home of Weird, Wild, & Wicked Tales. Today is Thursday and that means it’s time to start flashing. We’re at the beginning of our ninth year of weekly prompts. It’s amazing we’ve gone this long! This is Week 417 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 417:
Writer, adventurer, and perennial student of life, Teresa Eccles.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“Give us a couple of hours.”
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!
13 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 417”
He woke with the thought and it lingered with him throughout the day without understanding who’d said it or why. The TV hadn’t been on while he slept to plant the seeds in his subconscious.
Walking through the rose garden, he tried to make sense of the phrase as he desperately tried to recall the events of his dreams, but those details remained elusive to him, driving him to the edge of insanity.
Nothing he did, including singing the chorus of his favorite song stopped the maddening words from repeating. The people laughing and talking in the shade of the Poplars gave him no clue to the ominous omen or respite from the words that seemed to get louder in his mind.
He pulled open the door to cleaners, the last errand he needed to perform that day, then he could return home and lay down in hopes of the words evaporating while he napped.
The woman behind the counter looked at the computer screen and sighed. “I’m sorry. Your suit isn’t finished. Give us a couple of hours—”
His laughter cut her off as he bent at the waist as his guffaws exploded, erasing the sound of the machines buzzing and whirring. He should’ve known. It was how it always happened. His clothes were never ready on time.
Like a Statue
Gyp Wiley was in one of his spirited philosophical moods last night for our weekly Zoom chat. Sadly, self isolation had been wearing him down.
“I was getting there, you know, Harry?” he opined, four shots of vodka in. “This statue thing. My first thought was, leave them alone. What’s the harm? They’re dead. Might even be art.”
Just then, his image froze so I grabbed a pickle and gave ‘er a chomp. In no time, he was back.
“You froze up, Gyp…” I said. When you’re zooming, you don’t know when you have a viral seizure.
“Where was I?” he asked, suggesting to me that he’d moved onto number five with the gullet.
“Dead art…something like that.”
“Oh. Yeah. Art. Anyways, I got the Confederate General thing, I suppose. Thing is, most often these statues are in the centre of some town. Always there. Reminding people of bad times. And the pigeons…gotta be a big bill for the cities…”
“Hadn’t thought of the cleaning costs of the statues,” I offered, appreciating the clarity of his potato-juiced brain.
“Give us a couple of hours, Harry, and who knows what brainstorms we’ll chase?”
I didn’t have the heart to tell him no one was listening, that our nonsense was just two old reprobates killing time.
“Thing is, Harry. COLUMBUS? I don’t get that.”
“Columbus will do fine, Gyp. Thousand of his stone images around the globe. Couple might survive.”
“World sure is changing, Harry.”
“Always is, my friend.”
The bass player peeled the top from his coffee. He gave it a sniff and put it to one side.
“Well,” he said. “I guess it’s early. I was expecting more people, but…” He looked up at the banner above the stage and scowled, his jaw firm and his arms crossed across his chest.
“Give us a couple of hours; we’ll be turning them away then.”
Hollis smiled, feeling nervous, regretting his fifth drink. It had seemed such a good idea a month ago. They’d managed to get the hall for half the usual price, the parish council more than happy to negotiate. The local band had been keen to play too. They’d had no bookings for months and the offer of free drinks had clinched it.
“So, whose idea was the theme?” The bassist glanced toward him and then away again, watching the exits. The other band members were outside, two of them smoking, and the other one on an errand. He was the drummer and he had a van; he was always in demand.
Hollis rolled his reel of tickets between his palms. He hadn’t broken the seal yet. He might still be able to return them for a refund; he’d kept the receipt.
“It seemed like such a good idea,” he began. “Giving back to the community. A coronavirus fund-raiser for the local hospital. You’d have thought a masked ball would have been more popular. It’s such a shame about the second wave, don’t you think?”
249 words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
“You were ordered to report any contact with Emile Padimon to Naval Intelligence.”
The steely young officer reprimanded Miko Omura sharply. She pinched the bridge of her nose between steepled fingers while she composed herself. He probably worked long and hard to achieve his rank, that he felt entitled him to speak to her that way. He was certainly committed to climbing the command ladder all the way. It wasn’t his fault Miko had been sailing since his grandfather was in diapers.
“I understand, and I will report it.”
The humans had no concept of how much Miko bit back to arrive at her signature terseness. Even the half elves only had their own interactions with the humans to compare against. The naval researcher was alienatingly more intelligent than anyone she encountered most years. No one grasped the enormity of her meaning when she said her former professor was still smarter than she was.
The young officer coughed, “Well?”
Miko glanced over her shoulder at the closed door to her home office and sighed.
“I will report it, AFTER he leaves.”
The human’s hand flew to his holstered sidearm with wide eyes.
“He’s here now?!”
“Yes,” Miko pinned the officer’s pistol in its holster with a finger and a piercing glare. “And we still need him.”
The human straightened up and removed his hand from his weapon.
“You understand we must take him into custody?”
Miko took a moment to regret the situation then nodded.
“Give us a couple hours.”
250 Cat’s The Pajamas words
Abby whirled towards him as she shouted at him giving him grief for the results of his actions.
“Abby!” Wilhelm shouted above her to be heard “I need your help. If you can give us a couple of hours-“
“US! There is no us in this mess. There is you and me and then there is the pack that you screwed over…” Abby yelled. Wilhelm sighed and said “Abby, I need your.. no the pack needs both of us to work together to fix this. Truthfully, I don’t think we can fix this unless we all work together, all 250 of us. I may never gain back what I had before life went to shit for all of us. I may never be an alpha after this but I’ll be damned if I don’t work my way back up to be deserving of everyone’s trust again. I will even start my way at the very bottom for the rest of my life.”
Abby eyed me as she agreed that regaining the packs trust would take a long time, maybe as long as my entire lifetime. “That will necessitate that you come clean. In a Pack Meeting. I called for one as soon as you told me what you’re sorry ass did to us all. You have that long to come up with a preliminary plan to rid us of our enemy, those horrors known as vampires. And you had better hope you have some of the pack on your side…”
@ssogioka 250 words
“We really should consider finding our way back to the herd.”
Roxanne shot him a surprised look. “You want to go back? I thought you refused. Damn, this was easier than I thought.”
Ambrose snorted. “It’s not for me, human. It’s for you. While we’ve survived one attack, I’m not counting on our good fortune continuing.”
“You’re one of those pessimists, aren’t you?” She shook her head as she checked her gear. “Just waiting for the shit to hit the fan. You know that just brings you more shit, right? I’m all about preparing for the worst, but expecting the best.”
“Give us a couple of hours and you’ll see that’s not how it works here.” He pulled his shirt over his head and resettled his own gear. “Come on. We’ll head to higher ground to get a sense of how far we are from the outpost.”
She followed after him as they climbed into the pine-covered hills. It seemed odd to him that there’d be hills out in the middle of the plains, but he’d rarely gone much farther than a few tens of miles away from the village, and never as far as they’d run today. None of the scouts had ever mentioned forested hills beyond their borders, but then he hadn’t known about the old temple in Cedar Fell before they got there, either.
“Do you know where you’re going?”
“Up. That way.”
“Thanks, Dr. Livingston.”
He didn’t get her reference but he definitely got her sarcasm.
250 ineligible #Siren words
“You’re going to two different stores right and you are wearing masks, right?”
“Mom we’re safer than you, now just chill,” David answered.
Give us a couple of hours,” Louisa said.
I knew they both forgotten my birthday. How could I complain the days were endless during pandemic lockdown of course they forgot! I was supposed a huge party with all my friends to celebrate my fiftieth birthday; but instead in March I cancelled it hoping to reschedule it in maybe August? That wasn’t going to happen we wouldn’t be socializing until there was a cure for Covid-19.
The kids came back cleaned the groceries and put them all away.
David went to his room and came out with new clothes putting his in the laundry. Louisa went to her bedroom to strip and then deposit her clothes and mask in the washing machine along with David’s.
“Mom look out the window,” David cried.
“I looked out the front door, on the curb stood all my friends, six feet apart and singing ‘Happy Birthday’
Someone had placed presents on the porch and a cake (with a note saying it was made in gloves and a mask)
I was so touched I wiped away tears. It was the best of times during the worst of times. Pandemic birthday or not I was happy. The kids produced cards they’d picked up at the grocery store and some flowers we ate the cake first and Ubered some fast food. My birthday was wonderful.
“Give us a couple of hours.” Sabino Lopez announced as he walked into the home, he shared with his girlfriend Viviana Garay. He walked inside, walked out checked the numbers on the brick wall. 23324, walked back inside and felt his insides freefall to his balls and felt rabid as he scanned the empty house. His priced, seventy-five-inch screen T.V. dangled off the wall shattered like his heart.
He walked around, stepped on broken glass. On the kitchen counter was a small polaroid photo. It was Vivian in the arms of another man on the bottom of the Polaroid she’s written: “See you later, broke-ass loser”. His excessive muscles clutched her with both gusto and lust. The damn trainer he’d paid to get her back in “shape”. It was Tuesday, June 10, 2015, the day his heart shattered.
*** Four years later***
Sabino and his friend Tomas walked into Café sin Amor. The lines were crazy and since a famous Mexican Comedian had given them some publicity when he had been in Phoenix, AZ, it was now the non-stop busy. So, much so that Sabino opened three more but the one on the westside of Phoenix was his baby. As he made his way past the line into the back of the coffee shop, he heard a familiar laugh. A laugh that irked him and he rounded the corner to see her! She was dolled up and quite chummy with his Alfredo.
She turned and her eyes lit up when she saw him.
A meeting of the mimes.
I watched as the Alien leaders paraded down the aisle to meet with our officers, doing my best to imitate the ‘at ease’ stance the other pilots had adopted, but ‘at ease’ is a relative term, and it was anything but easy.
While we stood in the back, trying to act like this happened every day, several of the alien pilots joined us and there was an odd sensation, like looking at yourself in a funhouse mirror. They were a different version of us. Just by the way they moved, I could sense Dancer’s sense of humor in the creature with the two legs and a strange puff of fur on top of their heads.
They made burbling noises that made no sense and looked at us as we commented on the similarities between our brass and theirs. When Dancer tried to speak with the alien that moved like her, the alien put it’s long arms to its head and clawed at something.
When the officers turned towards us Dancer shrugged, her arms undulating like a tree in the breeze, one hand pointing to us, another to the other pilots and the other two clasped together, indicating the two groups coming together.
The universal gesture for ‘Give us a couple of hours.’
212 words, not including title
The kiss is short-lived, and I don’t get a chance to respond before he pulls away. Oriza is back, and he turns to face her, moving to stand between us.
“Just give us a couple of hours, and we’ll be gone.” Valmong’s voice is firm, leaving little room for argument although he’s clearly prepared to fight if he has to.
His mother’s eyes move between us, lingering on me in a way that feels familiar – a battle of wills I’ve had with Valmong in the past. I can feel her assessing me, trying to come to a conclusion. She must see something she doesn’t hate, because her face softens slightly, the scowl losing its edge.
“Take whatever time you need.” She finally looks away from me and back to her son. “But remember what I told you, Valmong.”
She’s not your problem. Does she know I overheard them?
Valmong nods, the gesture a dismissal before he turns to lead me back into the smaller room.
When he closes the door, his entire body sags against it.
“You don’t have to do this. I can go. The last thing I want is to cause you trouble with your family.”
“Whatever issues I have with my mother, know that you have nothing to do with them. To be honest, you can’t make them any worse.” He pushes off the door and moves to the bed.
With a sigh, he lies down. “Like I said, just a few hours and we’re gone.”
250 #TeamRPG words
I suck at damage control. And thinking on my feet. And now I must do both, in a few seconds, and hope it all works. Did I mention I’m invisible?
“Help!” I hiss at my best friend and boss Adrianna. “Mom saw me and I can’t seem to wipe her memory again. What do I do?”
Adrianna shrugs, her emerald green robes glittering despite the absolute darkness of the barn. Meanwhile, my mother stands right in front of us, in jeans and a t-shirt, looking around and calling my name. If Mom finds out I work for Death, she has to die, it’s the rules.
With that, Mom gasps and I surmise my cover is blown. Sparkling in front of my mother in purple robes is not how I expected to have this conversation. Adrianna is next to me and given the roving nature of Mom’s eyeballs, she can see us both.
“Give us a couple of hours and we’ll explain.”
Mom looks between us again then slowly sits down on a hat covered ledge. I’ve never seen her so quiet and I hope our next move doesn’t end her life.
193 last minute words 🙂
#ThursThreads Week 417 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.