#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 420

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 420 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 420:

Nikki Prince1

Lover of Words, Creative Writing MA, and Interracial Paranormal and Contemporary Romance Author, Nikki Prince.

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“You could change that.”

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 420”

  1. A Particularly Canadian Political Discussion

    It was a symbol, a painful reminder of past policy. And more than just policy. It reminded us of a host of ills perpetuated by the state.

    That was Donovan’s argument.

    He had a point.

    I felt compelled to counter. “It’s not like it’s the same as a statue of a Confederate General,” I said. “It isn’t Jeff Davis or Robert E. Lee. There’s a big difference.”

    “I know that,” he snapped. “I’m not saying it is.”

    “And they’re everywhere. Everywhere.”

    He was quiet for a time. Simmering, I suppose. Wanting to take direct action. That was the measure he used. His political yardstick. He had gone beyond dialogue. He was willing to go solo but also saw value in swaying opinion.

    Mine.

    “You remember how it felt…2003. Watching Saddam Hussein topple to the ground in a fury of rebellion?”

    I nodded. It had seemed like a popular uprising at the time. Even with the assistance of the U.S. Marines, the will of the people had been achieved with the yanking down of the thirty-nine-foot year old statue of the Iraqi dictator.

    “That country is still in chaos,” I reflected.

    “Isn’t that what we want here?”

    “No. I want equality. Respect. I don’t see…”

    “That’s your problem. You’re an armchair radical. In one moment of pure action, you could change that.”

    “By ripping off a bunch of Maple Leaf flags on Canada Day?”

    “Liberating them.”

    So, off we went.

    Two unflagging revolutionaries to the core.

    250 words
    @billmelaterplea

  2. “My stupid boss wants me to go out of town next week and take a plane. All those Covid germs circulating, I’ll probably catch something.
    “You could change that. We are but ants on this world you know, mom.”
    “That makes no sense ants do exactly the same thing over and over.”
    “That’s my point, sometimes you’ve got to say no. Lose your job, or your life; what’s more important? I’ll get a job and help out if that happens.”
    “You’d have to get a fast food job. That would risk your life. I’ll have to go.”
    “I’m putting my foot down, mom,” Cal insisted.
    “I have to go.”
    “I was reading about a theory where everything started last week.”
    “That’s sounds ridiculous.”
    “Is it if it’s so ridiculous then why are people saying it’s possible.”
    “Then I never got married, lost your father when I was pregnant and you don’t really exist.”
    “No, I think it’s more like sped up time at least that’s my theory, so I don’t think you should risk the short life you have and go on a plane.”
    “Love you mom.”
    “I love you too and that’s why I’ll just have to find a new job if my boss doesn’t like this idea. I’m going to tell my boss to either teleconference this or send someone else.”
    My boss went for the teleconferencing she liked the cost aspect. I’m still a little freaked out about this theory though everything starting last week seems scary.
    250 words
    @SweetSheil

  3. “Believe me,” she said, her smile bewitching. “Your options are infinite. You think you’re too heavy or too tall? You could change that. Anything’s possible if you’ve the will to wish it.”

    It was certainly an attractive offer. She was perfection herself; her hair long enough to fall onto her shoulders and her eyes ablaze. She seemed as familiar as a sister but with none of the inconvenient taboos. She was offering me a dream and promising it could be real.

    I had to do it. I couldn’t not agree. I might never get the chance again.

    “Okay,” I said. “Do it.”

    She nodded then stared beyond me, muttering syllables that sounded like no language I’d ever heard. She reached into a gap that suddenly appeared and pushed me though, sealing it quickly behind us. A loud shrieking assaulted me: there were feathers and flashing lights and a lightness that flipped my stomach into my throat.

    I was behind a mirror and I was wretched, clinging onto a perch. My eyesight was sharper, but I had no hands, my wings useless for anything but flight. My voice… I let out a squawk of rage, my words unrecognisable as language.

    I was a bird and I was in a cage. She held me up to her face and kissed the air between us, her dark eyes sparkling with delight.

    “There you go,” she said, “I’ve made you mine. And I kept my promise – you are a pretty boy, aren’t you?”

    250 words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com

  4. “Flint.” Loki caught me just as I slipped out the door to the rec room. “A word if you please.”

    Not much freaks out a gargoyle, but when Loki asked for a word, even I swallowed hard and followed him to his office without argument. I suspected he wanted me to shut the door but I refused to do so without prompting as he settled behind his desk and put his feet on the surface.

    “How was your night last night? Good lay?”

    Unease surged but I shrugged with nonchalance. “Good enough. The lady was in trouble and I was in the right place at the right time to help. She was very grateful.”

    Loki’s grin widened. “Det er bra. Will you see her again?”

    I tilted my head from side to side. “Maybe. Why?”

    He gave me a one-shouldered shrug I didn’t believe for a second. “It’s been a long time since you’ve spent the night away from the compound. It’s not your usual, ja?”

    I snorted. “I spend a lot of nights away from the compound, especially when the holidays get too frenetic.”

    He raised his eyebrow. “Once every month is not a lot. And you’re mostly alone. Of course, you could change that if this woman becomes more important to you.”

    I held myself still, not wanting to give the Norse God of Mischief any ammunition. I saw how he badgered the other members when they found partners and I wanted none of that.

    247 ineligible #ConcreteAngelsMC words
    @SiobhanMuir

  5. “I am who I am, baby.”

    With great exaggeration, she rolled her eyes. “You could change that.” She pivoted and walked away, pausing to look back over her shoulder. “If you tried.”

    He watched her strut away, enjoying the view. The odor of mothballs, like walking into a closet full of winter coats, wafted back to him on the breeze. He’d managed to irritate her. Ah well. Best laid plans and all that. She stopped at the corner, trapped by the traffic light and a small cluster of pedestrians. Leaning against the fender of his car, he considered her argument.

    “No, baby,” he muttered. “I can’t. I can’t be anyone else.” His inner wolf stirred, agreeing with his assessment.

    The light changed and she charged into the crosswalk, leading the pack of pedestrians. He heard the roar of the powerful engine and caught a flash of silver—a sleek sports car barreling down the street. He didn’t stop to think who might see. Didn’t care. The only person he cared about was standing like a deer in headlights in the middle of the intersection.

    He hit her with the force of a defensive tackle and they flew a few yards before crashing to the pavement. He twisted to make sure he hit and she was cradled on top of him. The car roared past, dodging through the vehicles with right-of-way to the accompaniment of squealing tires and honking horns.

    “I am who I am, baby.”

    “Thank the gods for that!”
    ****
    250 Moonstruck Mafia words
    @SilverJames_

  6. Dozens of armored knights shone in the frontier courtyard. Two more patrols were currently out, another two rested inside, and this wasn’t even the largest regional keep. Any thief or assassin would be insane to come here. Olivia Blacklark tried not to think about it as she scaled a tower wall in her cloak dusted with the same stone as the masonry.

    Even her trained eye barely registered the figure in his own infiltration cloak crouched atop the tower, gargoyle-like in his stillness, staring into an upper window of the main building. Olivia scanned for guards before speaking softly.

    “Donovan, what the brink do you think you’re doing?”

    The furious young man clenched his fists under his cloak enough for Olivia’s sharpened senses to detect the unsheathed blade in each hand.

    “Even you can’t kill them all. Use your head.”

    “Though their survival hinges on it, the guilds are too weak to do what is necessary. I am alone.”

    “You could change that,” Olivia hissed urgently. “No one alive has risen through the Assassins’ Guild as quickly as you, and I know you could do just as well with the Thieves’. Our work must go on. If you unite the guilds, we’ll be strong enough to outlast the knights.”

    She felt his resistance to the idea. Gods, she hated dealing with assassins.

    “Do this for me and I’ll tell you how to find the knight who killed Felix.”

    Donovan Hughes turned his yellow eyes back to Olivia and nodded.

    249 Cat’s The Pajamas words
    @DavidALudwig

  7. Night fell in an ever tightening circle of darkness until the last ray of light winked out. The nocturnal creatures stirred. Something rustled in the underbrush. Diana stretched and jumped down from her perch, cocking her head to the side, listening. The tree behind her shivered. Someone approached. Leaves crunched, and the ground shuddered.

    Diana smiled. Only one person tromped through the forest with impunity this close to her home.

    She stepped out from the shadow of her tree. “Jonah, what brings you here this moonless night?”

    “I’ve come to bring you home,” he said. “It’s time.”

    The tree held its breath.

    She motioned to the giant oak behind her and the surrounding forest. “This is my home.”

    The gentle giant of a man caressed her cheek. “You could change that. You could marry me.”

    Years before, she could have, yes, but now? Now, she was tied to the tree.

    She kissed his palm and stepped back. “I can’t.”

    “But they have forgotten. We can—”

    The tree’s branches shook. One reached out and tapped her shoulder. Diana didn’t need the reminder. She understood their agreement.

    His eyes widened. “The tree—”

    She nodded. The branch curled over her shoulder.

    “You’re—?”

    “Yes, I belong to him now.”

    “But I love you.”

    “I know. I love you, too.”

    He bowed his head, his shoulders drooped, and he left.

    Tears pricked her eyes. In her heart, she knew he’d not return again.

    Behind her, the tree hummed.

    Word count: 243
    @marcibaun

  8. I rub my eyes, disbelieving the scene in front of me. A pair of blue eyes stares at me from a double paned window in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

    “The fuck?” I mutter

    My wife stands beside me, eyes wide. Then the window slides open.

    “Are you here with my groceries?”

    Oh god, the eyes have a voice, a wrinkled face, grey hair, and is wearing a flowered everyday dress.

    “Uhm, what?” I squeak.

    “You seem surprised to see me.”

    The award for understatement of the year goes to Floating Granny. We’ve got to get ourselves together so we can make sense of this. A two-story house, with yellow shutters, and grey-blue siding is floating in the ocean. Intact.

    “Uhm, yes, yes we are.”

    “I do apologize. It’s just that I ordered seventeen cans of tuna and wondered if you could change that; I meant to only order seven.”

    Without warning, a tether attaches to our boat and then she’s aboard. Her brown S.A.S. shoes make no sound as she sits down, crossing one knee high covered leg over the other.

    She sweeps an age-spotted hand toward the house. “It was swept away in a mudslide a couple of years ago and my husband and I decided to accept the adventure.”

    If that isn’t the most fantastical thing I’ve ever heard. There’s some weird juju going on here, but I don’t believe in weird juju. I have a feeling my relaxing day is about to get super weird.

    @Aightball
    250 words

  9. Reflections

    William thought about everything that had happened that night and sighed. It was hard to tell where it started to fall apart.

    His perfect dinner with Marie was ruined before it began, the bread was bad, the wine had lost its flavor and the meat had a greenish tinge to it.

    Marie had been a trooper, suggesting that they go out for dinner and leave the clean-up for later. William had been reluctant to leave, but the moon was out and he really did want to salvage the evening.

    They settled for a quiet walk along the beach. That had been magical until they’d found a dead body washed against the pier. Now instead of romantic moonlight, the night was broken by flashing red and blue lights.

    He waited while the detectives took Marie’s statement, but things just weren’t fitting together. The narrative kept changing. When William went to tell the detectives what had happened he found himself at a loss.

    “I was just trying to propose,” he said in a half whine and realized his mistake.

    The detective shook his head. “What’s really going on?”

    William sighed. “Somethings missing from this entire story and I don’t know what it is, I don’t think I can find it.”

    “You could change that,” Marie told him, gently rubbing his shoulders.

    “But how?” He asked unsure where to start.

    “It’s called a re-write,” Marie replied and he was once again staring at a blank page, wondering where everything went wrong.

    @mishmhem
    250 words, not including the Title

  10. #ThursThreads Week 420 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.

  11. What does a girl dream when she’s just 10 and meets a boy? Let me explain through these examples:
    I wrote Mark today: “Preserved?” “You could change that word.” There! Thanks to him, I used the #Thurprompt today. Is that fair?
    I’m sweaty and tired because my hubby is putting up new siding. He’s doing the work. That necessitates tearing out the 100+ year-old board siding, the decades-old blown-in insulation, re-insulating, boxing the outside, covering that with aluminum bubble insulation, and then putting up the new concrete siding.
    I really feel guilty because I am just a go-fer/trash-picker-upper. I don’t do ladders. With a 95+ heat index in the sun, sweat pooled down our backs, soaking our clothes today. The thermometer must have been broken! But our house is starting to look great!
    Some people are meant to be together. How did I get so lucky? I had choices: a future wife-beater, Harvard grad, military colonel, and a foreigner, but settled for my childhood friend, whom I consoled after my best friend dumped him. I thank God for him every day. We’ve been friends for 55 years, married for 44. Tomorrow our son and daughter and her future husband will be arriving to help. Again, how did I get so lucky because our adult kids are so willing to help us when we need it? What more could a girl dream when she’s just 10 and meets a boy for the first time? Cooler temperatures!!!
    246 words
    PattyDump1@embarqmail.com

  12. I know I didn’t make it in on time. That’s just fine. I owe Mark a big thanks because without his prompt, I probably would have gone and soaked in a cool bath. Tomorrow is supposed to be even hotter! Best of luck to the winners. Thanks Siobhan for flashing us for so many years. You are a gem.

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