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 419 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 419:
Computer IT master, flashfiction writer, and human, Mark Ethridge.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“Just one last trip.”
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!
12 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 419”
The party lasted all night. Booze, sex, rock-n-roll. By dawn, bodies littered the clubhouse. Brothers and their women sprawled across every surface—pool tables, bar, floor, all available furniture, some naked, most barely half-dressed. MC life at its finest and most debauched.
Outsiders view us as a living cliché. Living is the operative word there. We ride hard. Drink hard. Play hard. And we take care of our own. We don’t depend on the law. We make our own justice. We have rules. Break them you pay the consequences.
I grabbed a tequila bottle, guzzled what was left. It burned going down, but not long enough. The thing about my kind? Our metabolisms burn hot and fast so getting drunk is a transitory thing and death comes hard. I’m a Wolf. My crazy DNA gives me an inner animal and the ability to shift into him. I’m also a Nightrider, a one hundred percent 1% outlaw biker. And I love my life.
Not sure when I became the club’s philosopher. I guess the things I’ve seen and done down through the years. Just like now. The brothers making this ride gathered at our bikes. The container wasn’t much to look at—just a stainless-steel cylinder a foot tall and six inches in diameter. It weighed about ten pounds. The Russian slipped it into the left saddlebag of his Harley. We were releasing one of our own. Just one last trip then Gator would be wild and free forever.
250 Nightrider MC words for a future project
The Hip Replacement Gang met weekly in The Always Golden Years Games Room. Bunny Smathers was the organizer. Nurse “Fidget”, the name Bunny had given Mona Stark, the charmless but nervously efficient Executive Director of the facility, took her time agreeing to the support group. Bunny had argued that half of the group had already had a hip or knee replacement and the rest were bound to need a procedure.
“Fine,” Fidget finally relented. “There better not be any problems.”
“Average age seventy-eight, Ma’am,“ Bunny said, keeping as straight a face as the moment allowed. “A gaggle of wilting flower children supporting each other. What could go wrong? We’ll just be going with the flow.”
Later, at our first meeting, Bunny admitted she might have laid it on a bit thick. “She didn’t grok. Least I don’t think so.”
And so, we began.
It was mostly because we knew we were sitting ducks for the Corona virus.
“Why I picked a Florida Retirement home in the first place bedevils me,” Simple Slim McVey moaned.
“Sun? Sand? Too many Annette Funicello movies? Doesn’t matter a whit,” chimed in Bunny. “Don’t let it mess with your head. Take control. The Man’s finally got us, he thinks. Me, I miss psychedelia. Just one last trip would be so cool.”
“Bunny, wouldn’t mixing…you know…?”
“Yeah. That. Would that mix well with your meds?”
“We’ll find out. Took some California Sunshine at brekkie.”
“Then, have a beautiful journey, Bunny.”
Her bright pink hair blows back as Ellie’s smile cracks open her face. I can’t remember the last time I’d seen her so carefree. She is my over-achieving child who seems to always want to one-up both her older sister and her younger brother. Maybe it’s a middle-child thing.
As soon as she graduated from high school she had gotten a job and moved out of the house, ready to be on her own. It didn’t take long for the home-work-home rut to entrench itself in her life. She is too young to have found that rut already.
But, today. Today she is young and wild and carefree. The wind blows her hair away from her face and splashes waves of water into it. Water droplets hang from her eyelashes. The tube she rides on bounces across the wake of the boat which is pulling her. I cannot hear the laughter bubbling out, but I see it spill forth as she tilts her head back.
“Ellie, it’s time to go back to the house.”
“Just one last trip? Please?” She draws out that last word like she used to when she was little.
I can’t deny the joy on her face and we take the boat across the lake again. Childhood, ephemeral and fleeting, has found her in the water.
Her dark eyes followed him, her lips twisting into a smile. She had an advantage over him; she was in control of what happened here. Back in her room they’d been equals, but she was a god in this place. He would have to be careful now or she’d destroy him.
She’d enjoy doing that. He already knew how cruel she could be.
“Do you want another chance? Go on, try me.” The Sphinx sat back on its haunches, unreadable and alien. He’d already used up two of his chances. His next would be his last.
“Could I ask you a question instead?” he asked, trying to recover some control over the situation. “If you can’t guess it, I go free. If you get it right, well… we know how that ends.” He could see the doorway behind her, the settee, and the TV beyond it. It seemed impossible that he was here, being quizzed by a mythical creature.
“That’s a novel approach. Irregular.” The creature that had been Stacy nodded, reaching a lazy paw toward him. Its claws were long, slightly curved, and fully extended.
“So that’s a yes?” Duncan declared. “You’re prepared to do that?” He was bleeding already, his ear lying disregarded between them. The pungent smoke filling the chamber pricked at his eyes; his ‘just one last trip’ that had brought him here. He hoped that this was a hallucination; something they’d laugh about tomorrow.
Stacy yawned. “Yes. Why not?” she said. “Amuse me, little man.”
250 words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
“How are you holding up?” Kendra immediately took off the enchanted jewelry.
She nodded. “I’m sure you’re fine. You’re still breathing and there are no knives in your back. But just in case that’s a catch-all phrase used by military men to blow off emotion, how are you really?”
Phinn scowled but didn’t argue.
“Come on, Phinn. You saw your dad who you thought was dead.”
“No, I’d consigned him to death because I never expected to see him again.”
She inclined her head. “Okay. And now that you have?”
He swallowed hard and his hands curled into fists. “I want to rip his head off and shit down the gaping wound. Once chance to do that is all I need, just one.”
“Last trip home for a family reunion, eh?” She grimaced. “Did you have any idea that he was the Prince of Winter and the Queen was your grandmother?”
Phinn shook his head. “None. I don’t think my mother knew who he was in all the years he was with us. What the fuck was their game? Why did he seduce my mother and have three sons? What was the point if he was just going to leave?”
Kendra frowned and rubbed the back of her neck. “Maybe he did it so one or all of you would come looking for him, and get ensnared into the Winter Court. You’re half Summer, aren’t you?”
“Yeah, but not enough to matter.”
244 ineligible #Cloudburst words
Jerem Matis rolled over onto his stomach to continue watching the light bleached sand while his other side baked. His half moon spectacles lacked his usual correction, but in the oven of the Sword Sands the smokey tint of this pair was more appreciated. Much longer in this heat and the urbane half elf would need to join the twenty-foot crocodile in the shade of the broken cliffs. Schooner behaved himself well enough around Hunter, but there was still something feral, uncivilized, about the beast.
At last Jerem’s human friend burst from the sands with a great gasp. The line between the beach Jerem was tanning on, and the surrounding expanse that would swallow him should he step on it was too subtle for his sensibilities. Hunter hauled a golden urn out after him, sand pouring from him and it as he walked to the artifact pile between Jerem and Schooner.
“You were under a long time on that run.”
“Guess so,” Hunter struck his chest with a fist and coughed up a shower of sand before flashing his blunt grin. “But feels good finally beatin’ Cat to a haul!”
As Hunter walked back to the edge their small island trembled again and ground thunderously deeper into the sand soon to swallow it.
“You’re not going under again, are you?!”
“Just one last trip.” Hunter clucked and winked before plunging back into the sand.
Jerem was never telling Hunter Lee he wanted to get out of his office again!
249 Cat’s The Pajamas words
My son had pursed his dry lips and said, “Just one last trip, daddy.”
“I was about to answer that we couldn’t go when my wife who had heard said, “Where do you want to go?”
“I want to go to the forest and see deer.”
“Then we go,” my wife replied.
I argued in vain; but my wife organized everything renting a cottage in the woods. Deer wandered up to the door every morning. My son was able to get up out of bed for the first time in months to eat a small breakfast and watch the deer from the window. The peaceful wind whispered through the trees and I forgot for a few moments that my son was dying. Three weeks past of our rental, happy and content with laughter, board games and viewing wildlife. The day came that it was time to come home. We packed up all the equipment and supplies into the car and went to wake Darrin from his slumber.
My wife went into the bedroom and I heard a loud gasp and something drop. I ran into the room and I knew at once Darrin had passed.
Days later the funeral director gave me a note written in Darrin’s hand, “Thank you for the best trip of my life. I love you both, your son, Darrin. Please spread my ashes there.”
I bought the cabin, we live there now, near our boy. I dream he’s here with us, always, communing with nature.
Decommissioned has such a harsh ring to it. Like putting a ship in the shipyard to become a monument. Deathers don’t become monuments; they reunite with their family in the afterlife.
Wrists puffy from typing, Death sits behind her desk, the opulence of the room dimmed. The gold doesn’t shine, the purples and greens accents have lost their sparkle.
“How does this sound: Margaret faithfully crossed over the souls of the departed for fifty years. Now Margaret retires with her husband, and infant daughter. We thank her for her tireless efforts to give the departed a dignified send off every night. And then I’ll introduce her family members, yada, yada, yada.”
“Sounds good to me. How will she cross over?”
“She requested ‘just one last trip’. What does she ride?” Death asks.
“A chestnut horse with silver wings. Let’s give her one last flight. Then her husband and daughter can walk her over,” I say.
Her horse will retire to a beautiful pasture with other retired horses.
Death nods. “Where is Margaret?”
I scroll down to her name. “She will be passing in the next five minutes and her body will be found when her oldest daughter comes to bring her supper.”
Death sighs. “Why can’t she keep working when she’s so happy?”
We walk into the main hallway, and I shrug.
“You could change that.”
A grin spreads across Death’s face. “I can!”
She walks away with an extra bounce in her step. I hope everyone appreciates the change.
Just one last trip would be enough for Pete to take action to ensure it didn’t happen again. He had been training hard; he felt ready to take on the bullies.
As he made his way down the corridor, Big Davey Magee extended his foot, sending Pete into a tumble and sudden standing position again. The acrobatic dive and recovery was so impressive that everyone laughed and applauded. Nobody then expected Pete to whip his leg around to smack Big Davey’s chin with his heel. Big Davey crashed to the floor himself. Clutching his jaw and looking up, dazed, the bully didn’t expect the wave of attacks from Pete’s friends, who set upon him like a pack of rabid wolves, kicking and punching. The school’s PE teacher’s whistle went off as he appeared at the top of the corridor. Sprinting towards the mob, he blasted the referee’s whistle hanging round his neck.
The melee continued until Coach Hassett reached the students crowding the periphery of the action. Pushing his way through, he saw a bloodied and savaged Davey Magee on the floor, blood pumping from every orifice in his head apart from his eyes. The crowd scattered. Davey, unconscious, had visions of the brutal man who had been his father, as Hassett tended his wounds.
Then Pete picked himself off the floor, slowly, his own daydream interrupted by the sounds of the first class bell, and a smirking Davey headed off down the corridor.
Just one last trip, thought Pete.
“Hey, it’s nearing midnight. Some of us need to work tomorrow.”
“Okay! Okay! Just one last trip down memory lane.” My sister and her new boy begged me with their eyes not to cut the evening shot.
“I have a great idea. Why don’t you two spend the night here on the couch, and I’ll just go crawl into bed and get a good night’s sleep.”
Feeling the aching sadness that comes from separation from the one I love , I turned out the lights in my room and opened my French doors, slipping out onto the patio.
There overhead was the universe of brilliant stars. The moon shone down dancing with leaves.
I looked up. “Dearest Moon, shine brightly on my love. I know he’s on the other side of the world, but my heart goes out to him, like darts from Diana’s bow. Let them shine directly onto his heart so that he can feel my love. All he has to do is look at the moon.”
I blew a kiss to the heavens and sat on a patio chair. A cool breeze blew through the trees. I heard a sound behind me and startled looked up.
I saw Harold’s image. He stood in civilian clothes and held out his arms to me. “Hello, Beautiful. I wanted to surprise you. I caught those rays of light you sent.” He kissed my forehead.
“I have missed you so much. Are you really here?”
I melted into him.
Cocktails for One
We were hauling ore out of Chaos Rift, it was a semi lucrative gig. We take the ore sell it, then use the profits to buy supplies.
Some of the bigger operations on the Rift would pre-order their supplies and the haulers would simply pick up their order and bring it back. You made less on those deals, but there was less risk.
I liked hauling for the smaller family run mines. They tended to see us as part of their extended family until we didn’t have what they wanted and then you were nothing but a freeloader, until they needed you again.
Last time I was on Coriander’s Dream, I’d promised Madras that I’d get her some smokes and a bottle of rum. She’d laughed, and told me she’d settle for some good luck. Madras is an old soul who haunt the rift more than live there, and I like to keep her happy.
I came up to the hatch, cycled through the lock, waiting until I was inside to remove my helmet. It probably saved my life. The man in Madras’ chair fired a warning shot that would have killed me otherwise. Pirates.
“How many smokes you got?” he demanded aiming at my head.”
“Last trip you had seven.”
I shrugged. The nature of the business was fluid. You used what you had and leveraged it into what you needed.
I hated wasting good rum, but I needed firepower and I had an explosive temper.
250 Words not including title
#ThursThreads Week 419 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.