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 424 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 424:
Dead Thing Specialist, Mining Geologist, and Original Book Boyfriend, George Varhalmi.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“Going down that road was a bad 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!
11 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 424”
Dead End with a Twist
COVID was shooting the hell out of the private dick business.
At least in my pain in the neck of the woods.
The rich and the smart, you know the type, well they’d hunkered down.
They’d been my stock-in-trade since I was a fresh private dick.
I’d apprenticed under Slick (The Whistler) Hannigan.
Slick taught me all the tricks.
Except how to survive a global pandemic.
Slick’s gone. Laid rubber for the big Eye in the Sky six year ago.
Now, I’m on my own.
And my usual client source, at least for a time, were all hot and bothered about spreading disease.
Lazy wandering husbands and cautious wayward wives taking a sabbatical would be my economic ruin.
To counter that, I needed to support the wingnuts. If anybody was going to get philanderers back doing what they do best, it was the anti-vaxers and their COVID equivalents.
So, I tweeted and trolled and revved them all up.
It was Russian easy.
And Trump was a great help. From the get-go, he was my cheerleader-in-chief. Late February, he set the tone…”It’s going to disappear. One day, its like a miracle, it will disappear.”
Love that big-ass guy.
Of course, I knew going down that road was a bad trip. I mean, seriously. That was my dilemma. Long term gain required short term stupidity.
And when people started going cabin-fever wacky, I knew business would bounce back like a high-end mattress.
Lemons and lemonade.
“If someone bad got a’hold of the stone, they could use it to…what, coerce folks to start wars, steal property, kill people?”
Oh. “And who has the stone now?”
Tekhne’s expression grew cold and forbidding as they waved their hand and the scene changed. A man with pale blonde hair, icy gray eyes, decked out in more armor than I’d seen on a SpecOps soldier, sat on a gray destrier in matching plate armor and surveyed something I couldn’t see. There was a cruelty to his expression that made me shiver.
“We believe General Dorian Warmonger has the stone.”
“Wait, wait, stop. Dorian ‘Warmonger’? Are you serious right now? This guy has a name like that and you didn’t see him coming? Warmonger, literally a ‘dealer or trader in war’. No one thought that might give a hint to what he’s up to?” I raised an eyebrow.
“I believe he’s only recently taken up that moniker.” Tekhne smirked a bit as they shifted the view in the temple. “But he does embody the name exceedingly well.”
I snorted. “Yeah. He does that. If he’d chosen “butterflyslayer” or “Knittingmaster” no one would’ve taken him nearly as seriously.”
To my surprise, the goddess laughed. “That is certainly true. And no one would write songs about the Knittingmaster.”
“Not unless they’d gotten into some good Smokegrass, but going down that road was a bad trip, believe you me.” Arach shook his head ruefully and I filed that away to ask about later.
250 ineligible #TeamRPG words
Sylvia smiled and I drowned in it. She just made me do crazy things, mundane things, anything for her. I went to sleep thinking of her, I woke up thinking about her and – if I wasn’t with her – I daydreamed about her. She ate up my life whole and spat it out – and I didn’t care a jot.
I’ve been told that I’ve been bewitched. That she was mad, bad and dangerous to know. My best mate, Phil, said he didn’t know what I saw in her. Maybe there was a spell cast on me. He said she reminded him of Clair that he used to go out with and then forced him with a lie into a shotgun marriage. He said don’t follow a girl simply for her smile, going down that road was a bad trip guaranteed.
I almost fell out with Phil over that. It was never just her smile, even if I couldn’t put my finger on what else it was.
She was gone but she remained still. She was between the worlds.
He had grown used to finding subtle reminders of her, a hint of the scent that she wore or an almost-heard echo of her voice. He’d toyed with the thought of hiring an exorcist – for the whole of one day – but then he’d realised how much he’d miss her, and then he’d vowed he’d never do that. He would begin to get used to not having her around, then the next day she’d be upstairs, the sound of her heels stabbing at the laminated floor of the nursery, walking from where they’d placed the crib to the window, their voices absent as they always were.
It was Esther he missed the most. Their baby had never been born, so he’d never bonded with her in the way Esther had. He’d refused to give her a name, calling her a blob or a yet-to-be-born, but he knew Esther had already christened her in her heart’s mind, calling her Alice or Prudence or another of the names they’d discussed until he’d refused to talk any more about it. It was presumptuous, he’d said. It would bring bad luck. It would be an invitation to fate for them to do such a thing, making promises that they might not be able to keep.
And he’d been right. So very much so. But going down that road was a bad trip and it was one he might never return from.
250 words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
Easy’s old lady, Sam, sat at one of the picnic tables. She’d unloaded a shit-ton of food from the back of her Jeep with willing help from a few of the provisionals. Sam could cook and the brothers always appreciated her talents in the kitchen. Good thing Easy was a Wolf with the crazy metabolism we all shared.
I glanced over at her. “Huh?”
“Don’t huh me, Wiz. What’s wrong?”
“I call bullshit.”
I rolled my eyes at her.
“Still callin’ it, big guy.” She gazed around the courtyard, her eyes grazing the parking area over by the Barracks. “Where’s the slug bug?”
She rolled her eyes at me. “The red VW bug belonging to that very pretty lady you dragged to the club party the other night.”
Good thing I had one of the best poker faces in the club—and that Sam was human instead of a Wolf. “She’s gone.” I managed to keep my voice flat and noncommittal.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
She laughed. “Just giving back some of your own medicine, Wizard.” She tilted her head and studied me. She blinked several times and then her mouth formed an “oh.”
“Gen’s a civilian. She’d never fit the life.”
“Wow, Wiz. Sorry. We liked her.”
“Nuthin’ to be sorry about.” As Pink once said, Going down that road was a bad trip. “I’m a Nightrider, Sam. There’s no shoulda, coulda, woulda. And there’s damn sure no regrets.”
250 new Night Wish WIP words
Rebecca’s ghost stood in front of me as I grieved deeply for her. I heard her voice in my head,” Everything has a time and a season would you deny all that you’ve gone through and go back and never meet me to takeaway the pain? Or will you celebrate the joy that you had and share that with the world?”
Some people would say going down that road was a bad trip again but how could I deny that all that trauma and strife had brought me happiness too? Surviving a mother who died from cancer, an abusive alcoholic father and teen years selling my body for my next meal. Meeting Rebecca Gottfried when I was sixteen. Rebecca ‘s car broke down and I rescued her from some thugs; she rewarded me with a fancy dinner. She asked me to accept a bed at her house for the night. At first, I thought she was a client but she quickly defused me of that idea and soon she gave me a new life and education and a new mother in her. That love led me to my wife. Rebecca loved being my kids’ grandmother. Rebecca died yesterday and I felt like my life was over and still her she was loving me and looking after me in my darkest moment when I considered joining her, she came to save me. I smiled back at her as she disappeared into thin air and vowed to make her proud of me.
Jasna Saifullah parted her palanquin’s veil with two fingers. She immediately spied the docks of sand sailers that were her destination, but allowed her hand to linger until she had appreciated the searing brilliance of the noon light. In many ways her life had become too comfortable, but on days like this she appreciated her covered conveyance. There was a time even the men carrying her through this heat would have considered her beneath their notice.
Growing up in the back-alley brothels around the docks had been motivatingly hellish. No life of silks, incense, and servants would ever erase her memories of Mina’ Alsalam’s dark corners others of her new caste could never imagine. Frigid in the winter, sweltering in the summer, and always suffused with every odor a body could produce until the rancid reek seemed to sweat from the stones themselves.
“No,” the self-made admiral interrupted her palanquin bearers before they could descend to the docks. “Take the High Road around.”
As far as Jasna knew, her mother still lived on Lower Market Street. If she still lived at all. Either way, going down that road was a bad trip. The Sword Admiral’s life only began the day she drove a stiletto through the temple of her mother’s master and left that useless woman behind. Jasna had fled to the docks, joined a ship, and never looked back.
Avoiding the main road between Jasna’s estate and her ship was inconvenient, but worth her servants’ sweat.
247 Cat’s The Pajamas words
Going to make it big, gonna be a star
Down to the Crossroads I’m gonna barter for my dreams
That is the place I’ll make my name famous
Roads to top are few and far between
Was Looking for an easy trip to the top
A route with all glory but none of the guts
Bad news, boys – ain’t no trip like than
Trip was trap – and now they got me
Bad news for my soul
A Deal is Crossroads is deal forever
Was not the deal I was promised, but it was the deal I did
Road to hell is paved to broken souls
That thought they could cheat the system
Down at the crossroads, sold for a bag of dreams
Going down that road was a bad trip
131 words (with title)
The tree is mad at me. To be fair, the tree has an attitude problem and is often mad at me. It sits on a beautiful six acres of land, my house nearby, no noise since we’re far from the main roads. My parents live a mile up the road and my grandparents a mile from them.
“I lost a branch last night.”
Pausing with a handful of creeping Charlie in my hand, I blink.
“There was a decent thunderstorm last night, but I haven’t seen any branches yet. At least not from you. And how is that my fault?”
The autumn blaze maple shakes her leaves at me, dripping rain all over me. It kind of feels good, as humid as it is out.
“You control the weather.”
Resuming my weed pulling, I shrug. “I can’t help it when Mother Nature gets riled up. I did that once and going down that road was a bad trip.”
“Well, it doesn’t change the fact I lost a big branch in the storm.”
“Who pee’d in your sap this morning?” I mutter, yanking a stubborn dandelion.
“Ha. Ha. The branch is behind me.”
Taking the wheelbarrow, I smile at the tree.
“Well, at least the weather will improve for a couple of days. But watch out for the weekend.”
I walk away, dodging a couple of well-aimed twigs. Perhaps flinging that annoying demon into a tree wasn’t the right decision after all. At least I could’ve picked a different tree.
Trouble loves company
“So what happened, exactly?” I asked wondering how my best friend and her brother had ended up in traction in the hospital, looking more like the mummy’s errant twins than two of the best reporters in town.
“I can’t say…” Evan answered
“Can’t or won’t?” I asked.
“Going down that road was a bad trip,” Marta began.
“Downhill,” her brother added.
“Into traffic, picking up speed, heading towards a brick wall.”
“In front of a glass factory.”
“Right before a sixty-foot drop.”
“Into a tank full of piranha.”
I watched them as they continued to describe what had happened, at least metaphorically.
“That was then swallowed by an Orca.”
I shook my head. I’d seen these two get into trouble before, but usually one was worse for wear than the other— this time they were both a mess.
“So, you both hit the same rough spot?”
“No,” Marta answered. “I slipped up and bozo head here went after me.”
“Down the hill?”
“Well… no one would have believed her without the video…”
175 words of mostly sillieness
#ThursThreads is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.