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 430 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 430:
Fantasy Author, and Holder of Several Stories, David Ludwig.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“Aren’t you worried about tomorrow?”
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!
36 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 430”
She whirled around in a panic..”Aren’t you worried about tomorrow? The final exam is tomorrow where they will examine us to be fit as the princes consort!” Addy was excited beyond belief that one of us would make it. After all we had been through so much already and rose to the top out of 85 other girls.
“Addy,” I said “I am tired. So very tired of the maneuvering and politics that I have already been through. I don’t know if i really want to continue.”
“Sherry, you HAVE to. One of us from town has to win. Think of all the good we can do. How many people we can help!”
I looked in the mirror as she said this and examined the dark circles under my eyes. “Addy, look at me.” I yelled as I whirled around. “Do I look like someone who can handle this for a while or possibly for life if I bear the Prince a child? I am exhausted now. Besides, ill be set for life even if I don’t make it. They do give us a nice settlement for uprooting our lives to compete for his attention.”
“But..” Addy sputtered “why can’t you do it for the good of everyone? ” I replied “Addy I am already here aren’t I? Doing this for the good of the village? They have already benefited. How does this benefit me?” Addy subsided as she quietly ruminated about everything we have gone through.
Twitter handle @ssogioka
I find Sherry’s fatigue relatable, and Addy’s enthusiasm admirable!
The sky was orange every day now. I remember when that was news, but now the whole world is on fire. Still, even in the end times, there is pleasure to be found.
I kissed her gently, first on the lips, then moving to whatever struck my fancy. And there was quite a lot to strike my fancy. So that took a while.
Afterward, I felt her tense up again. “Aren’t you worried about tomorrow?”
“Not when I’m with you.”
She shifted away from me, sat up. Her formerly red hair caught the sunlight and burst into flame once again. Gods, she was beautiful.
“How can you be so calm? We can’t get away, and the fires will be here by mid-day.”
“I did all my worrying back when this started. But I yelled and I donated and I marched and I fought and the hellmouth opened anyway. I’m too tired for that now.”
“Do you think they’ll really be okay?”
“As okay as anyone can be, in their underwater dome. They have oxygen, shielding from the sun, and all the plant life they can eat. Our grandkids are bright and self-sufficient. They’ve had to be. If there’s a tomorrow after tomorrow, they’ll be here to see it.”
“I know. It’s just. This isn’t what I dreamed of.”
“I did. You, and me, and a quiet place where no one could bother us. It’s ending a little sooner than ideal is all.”
I kissed her again. Nothing else mattered.
This is a gorgeously painted and poignant scene!
The good news was I wasn’t going to have to take up weaving. The bad news, alas, was that I was going to have to make googly eyes with Erv Finecastle.
Being a freelance Private Dick, I didn’t have an ironclad, union-sanctioned job description. Usually I was game for anything that squeezed out a living and managed to keep me on the vaguely straight and narrow path your archetypal President of the United States might wander down.
That left a lot of manoeuvring room.
In the beginning, apprenticing under Slick Hannigan, the woman I was seeing, okay, more than seeing, Lucy, or was it Lana, no, it was Lucy, but not thinking long term as I’d never thought long term about anything, ever, asked me one morning as we flounced around in her antique waterbed, “aren’t you worried about tomorrow?” and I’d brilliantly answered, “It’s tomorrow already,” which, technically, it was, but turned out to be the wrong answer.
“Wrong answer, darling. Time for you to leave.”
Which I did.
I still wonder what the right answer was.
Maybe it was Lana.
So, where was I? Right. Irv Finecastle. My job was simple. Get to know Irv. Determine whether he was a. a.) a philanderer and b.) a murderer.
As Irv was a local realtor, the best approach seemed to be to present myself as someone hungry for a home.
So, masked up, I strolled into Finecastle’s Fine Castle Realty the next morning.
I am definitely getting into this weekly detective serial!
Kendra sipped her tea. “How did you get the sword?”
“Darius met a witch the Summer Queen needed to perform the High Beltane Rituals and he fell for her. So the sword was passed me.” Phinn shrugged. “It makes more sense for me to have it. I’m the soldier.”
“Isn’t it a bit archaic? I mean, battles haven’t been fought with swords for at least a century.” She stroked the demon’s head and the damn thing purred with what sounded like contentment.
Too bad she’s not stroking me.
The thought made him groan and she mistook it for physical pain.
“How are you doing? Are you hungry at all?” She rose gracefully and poked through the small kitchen area. “There’s a little here that we could make into a meal, mostly hard tack bread and dried meat, but it’s something.”
He almost denied being hungry when his stomach growled.
“Yeah, I guess that answers that.” Kendra smirked as she put together a small meal. “So now that we’re here with the sword, what are you going to do?” She eyed him as she brought the plate full of food. “You’re going to keep the sword away from Winter, aren’t you?”
“Worried about tomorrow?” He raised an eyebrow.
“I’m worried about all my tomorrows. When the Sidhe go to this much trouble for something, it’s never a good thing.” She settled down beside the bed. “I’d rather we go home to our world where the Fae have less power.”
248 ineligible #WIP365 words
Your worlds and characters are wonderful, and I especially love the purring demon! Throw in a fancy sword and the Summer and Winter courts and this felt tailor made for me!
Tomorrow was Friday, the day of the final exam in our Operating Systems class. Everyone I knew from the class was cramming, spending all night going over every detail, every note, every page of every text we’d ever crossed during the semester.
Except me. I was standing in line to watch a movie, all alone, without a date, or friends.
“You know, if you don’t pass this test, you’ll fail the class, and you won’t graduate. You’ll have to take another semester, maybe another year, to graduate.” I had to smile as I remembered my talk with Heather earlier in the day. “You’d better study.”
“I’m good.” I know. It sounded arrogant, flippant, maybe like I didn’t even care.
“Aren’t you worried about tomorrow?”
“No. I’m not. Not really.” I knew, from the look on her face, I was going to have to explain why. “Because. If I don’t know the material by now, it’s too late. You can’t cram 18 weeks of classes, and the ocean of things we’re supposed to learn in those classes, into one night of study.”
I had interrupted her. “But, nothing. If I don’t know the material by now, I’m not going to know it by tomorrow. If I’ve done what I’m supposed to do, I’ve learned it in the 18 weeks.” I don’t know if she thought my grin was arrogant, or proud, or the grin of an idiot, “At this point, I’m ready as I’m ever going to get.”
Your evocation of the school experience truly resonates with me, and I identify with the narrator.
The music blaring from my daughter’s room was rattling the notes I had spread out on my desk, as well as my nerves. “I’m trying to work here, kiddo.”
“Relax, mamasan,” Stephanie said. She lowered the offending sound system Jake, her dad, bought her. “What’s up?”
“What’s up? You tell me. Aren’t you worried about tomorrow?” God, she looked just like her dad. At sixteen, she was already a beauty.
“You mean my exam? No worries, I’m gonna nail it.”
“Glad to hear it. Now can you please try studying without the rap music?”
Stephanie rolled her eyes and made a “W” with three fingers to signify Whatever.
“I’m happy you know the alphabet. Comforting to know my tuition money isn’t wasted.”
In my home office my desk phone was ringing. It was Jake. Stephanie’s dad as a result of a one-night stand seventeen years ago.
“Jesus, Danielle, what the fuck am I supposed to do with this?”
He was referring to the report I’d emailed him earlier. A summary of the digging I’d done for the Democratic National Committee as part of the vetting process on Senator Peterson. Peterson was the clear favorite to win the party’s nomination for president and the DNC wanted to be sure there was nothing embarrassing, or worse, in his background. That was my job. And I was good at it, which is why Jake hired me.
“You tell me, Jake. It seems Peterson is not so squeaky clean after all.”
I am a big fan of unconventional families, your characters, and the chemistry between them!
“Aren’t you worried about tomorrow?”
“No.” She knit her brow and after a moment’s hesitation, asked, “Should I be?”
“Lots of things.”
“Can you be any more vague?”
She laughed, despite the surge of nerves turning her tummy topsy-turvy. “Don’t give up your day job. You’ll never make it in stand-up comedy.”
He slapped his palm over his heart. “Ouch.”
Pacing to the window, she pulled back the curtain and stared out into the generic motel parking lot. Nothing stirred. An unmarked police car squatted four spaces down, the windows fogged from the officers keeping watch from inside.
“Come away from the window.”
She glanced at him. “Nobody’s out there.”
“Maybe, but what you can’t see can hurt you.”
She dropped the drape and turned. Moments later, glass shattered and something whizzed by her cheek. Before she could even take a breath, he’d tackled her onto the bed, rolled across it and stuffed her between the bed and the wall, his body covering hers.
More shots followed in quick succession, but not all them came through the window. The police outside. They were sitting ducks! She gulped back panic. The weight warming her back disappeared and she heard the door open. She peeked over the mattress. And froze.
“Get the girl,” the man standing at the door growled.
The detective assigned to protect her grabbed her arm. “Gotta do this quick,” he said.
Closing her eyes, she waited for a bullet that never came.
250 totally random Moonstruck Mafia Wolf words
Your easy comfort with dialogue is always a joy to read!
The alien craft squatted beside the fusion-drive launch vehicles, its lines at odds with anything built on this planet. It looked ready, even now, even with its charge cables attached, and she already knew it could be in orbit before the array of instruments surrounding it registered its disappearance.
“It’s looking good, isn’t it?” Mary-Beth eased back into the deckchair she’d been sitting in all day, enjoying the spectacle of the technicians massed around what she was now calling her ship.
“Aren’t you worried about tomorrow? You’ve got to be scared. Just a little. Right?” The man in the uniform shook his head, looking as much at the woman as the alien ship out on the concrete.
Mary-Beth shrugged, pulling her face into a grimace. “It is what it is,” she said. “Whatever happens, I’ll be a pioneer.” She grinned, knowing the pilot would be jealous, wishing that he could be in the seat she’d be occupying in less than a day. She’d already established a synergistic liaison with the craft, and she could feel it sounding out her mind as she studied its, sensing the adjustments it was making as it attuned her to its needs.
Symbiotic was what the scientists had said, but they were only guessing. There were no words to describe the relationship they were creating.
At least none in any Earth-bound language.
Tomorrow was going to be a day filled with firsts and more than a few surprises.
243 words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
You are a true master of details; like the ship’s lines being at odds with anything built on this planet!
word count: 146
Watching for Sin
They watched the sky for a good hour, but nothing came for them.
After they ate the cold can of beans, when her brother fell asleep, Mazie snuck back outside to re-scan the horizon, still nothing. But the radio had said it clearly, all was lost, there would be no saving the world from sin. “I wonder when sin will come for us?”
Always a light sleeper, ten-year-old Abra appeared again on the porch, “what are you doing up?”
With a nod, “I know, but get some sleep,” turning back toward the house, bare feet pale against the worn wood.
Mazie looked out over the fields, “aren’t you worried about tomorrow?”
“Hell no!” Abra answered, “tomorrow better worry about me.” He might be just as scared as his little sister, what with them there alone, but he sure didn’t want to show it.
I love the children waiting for sin like a physical disaster, and wonder how they ended up alone eating cold canned beans.
I sighed at the sight of my client on her back, legs lifted to dangle the iron ball shackled to her ankle over her face. The metal sphere was easily the size of her small head, yet she batted it back and forth like a ball of yarn. My stack of charges against her, and possible defenses, seemed to weigh me down more than the twenty-pounder meant to restrain this strange little girl. I collapsed on the stool in the corner of her cell and wondered yet again how I got stuck with her case.
“Last time, we talked about possible strategies. The top lawyers in Terre Reine couldn’t get you out of most of these charges. I think our best bet is to say you resorted to piracy to finance your defense of the world against the hellship threat, and try to negotiate the sentence down to something you can live with. Literally.”
Balancing her ball on a pointer finger, my client looked at me upside down from the floor. Her mismatched eyes were full of innocence, despite their uncanny catlike slits.
“I took up piracy ‘cause it be fun.”
“Aren’t you worried about tomorrow?” I groaned.
“Nope!” She hugged her ball to her chest as she rolled up to a sitting position facing me. “I never been to a trial before; I be lookin’ forward to it!”
“Don’t you understand, the prosecution is seeking the death penalty!”
“Ooo! I never been to an execution either!”
247 INELIGIBLE Cat’s The Pajamas words
My father achieved it all ~ a loving wife, spotless home, his dinner ready for him. His oldest son of four a judge, his daughter a politician, his other daughter a doctor and then there was me a lawyer at a prestigious law firm making millions of dollars. Not bad for a bus driver and hard work.
Working hard, put in plenty of long hours coming home to a loving wife who didn’t work I felt blessed. Then she asked for a divorce suing for custody of my 3 kids. I countersued for custody, won, kept the biggest percentage of my money (since I was smart enough to get her to sign a prenup.) she had limited visitation. I hired a nanny and she raised my kids.
I was always buying the children’s way out of trouble. Blaming their mother’s influence and using some information, I uncovered about her new boyfriend, I took full custody. My ex-wife asked me, “Aren’t you worried about tomorrow?”
I told her, “No it was all about winning.”
I’m dying. I called my grown kids hoping for a few minutes to say goodbye. They all refused, spouting some spiel about me not being there for them. Regretful for my past ways I wished they loved me like their mother; I know where I’m going is a trifle hot. I wish I could go back in time; but it’s too late and I made my bed now I’ll lie in I as the flames grow higher.
I am a fan of poetic justice, and the line about “coming home to a loving wife who didn’t work” definitely set me off against the narrator.
Rain beat on the roof as a crack of thunder split the air. Anja jumped.
“I’m worried about tomorrow, aren’t you?”
“Worried about tomorrow?” Tomas repeated, “Not overly. The doctors and nurses know what they’re doing and you’ll be in good hands.”
Anja knew he was putting on his brave face for her benefit, but didn’t call him on it.
“I just . . . the idea of going under anesthesia always makes me nervous. I know this is a routine procedure,” putting air quotes around the word routine, “but routine for who? It’s not routine for me, I’ll tell you that. The only other time I’ve had surgery was when Dean was born and I had the C-section. I was nervous for that one, but I was looking forward to the end result more than I worried about the procedure, you know? But this . . .”
Tomas put his arms around Anja and pulled her to him.
“It’s going to be alright. The medical staff perform this procedure every day. They know what they’re doing.”
“I know. It’s still scary. What if I don’t come out of anesthesia? What if they find something else while they’re in there? What if I develop sepsis afterwards?”
Tomas leaned away from her and held her shoulders.
“Stop borrowing trouble. You are going to be okay. Alright?”
Anja heaved a loud sigh, “Alright. I guess. I’m just not ready to go yet. There’s so much I want to do. . .”
“And you will.”
“Yes, I promise.”
@TeresaMEccles 249 words
Clever couching of the prompt, and I love Anja and Thomas’ relationship.
The dawn exploded like fire. On this her seventeenth birthday, she had wandered the valley she knew so well. She had to give it up to be sacrificed to the Mountain Mage. Now, though, twilight sheltered her from that darkness. Ahead, a shallow ford meant getting her feet wet; behind, meant returning to her fate. She sighed. “Time to go home.”
Golden light flashed from the water. “Alia, take me.”
She froze … looked around.
Then with pulled-up skirts, she bent, clasped the luminous stone, and cradled it in her palm.
“Alia, my dragon heart will protect you.”
She almost dropped the stone and her garments. “I must be over-tired. I’m hearing things.”
“Not so, but scurry home now like a frightened rabbit. Know I am with you. When you need me, I will come. Until then, tell no one you hear my voice.”
Alia argued with herself. Twice she dropped the stone, but within five steps, turned to retrieve it.
Crossing the home threshold, she yelled, “Grandma, look what I found!”
Her grandmother nodded. “Pretty! Aren’t you worried about tomorrow and meeting the Mage?”
She shrugged but all night debated leaving the stone behind. Before dawn, she buried it in the garden and walked away.
“Alia, you need me.”
“I’ll have the Mage’s magic.”
“For only a short time. Take me and you won’t have to worry about any tomorrows.”
“No, I’m leaving you here. I want to make my own way.”
“I knew you’d be hard-headed.”
I am very enticed by the Mountain Mages and dragon hearts, and want to know more!
A cool fall breeze flutters the flames in my fire bowl, as stars start to pop overhead. Once it gets dark enough, I’m setting up my camera for star trails. I have a long day ahead tomorrow but I want to relax tonight.
“Aren’t you worried about tomorrow?”
My brother’s bottle cap clatters to the floor. He props his feet up on an empty plastic green lawn chair and twirls the sweating bottle between his fingers.
“Not really. After tomorrow, you and I can get back to a normal life. After tomorrow, we can kiss working for Death goodbye.”
I set my empty aside and slump down in my chair. Working for Death the last year has been okay, the money is good, but I’m tired of making money off people’s grief. Tomorrow a brand new One True Death is installed and my service is no longer needed. I can’t wait.
“You know he’s going to pull some bullshit,” Brandon says, referencing our current boss Horace. “He likes us.”
“Don’t remind me.”
Horace tried to force the job into me, but I stood my ground and said no. The universe did it’s job and picked a successor for him. Brandon grins, giggling. He finishes his drink and we start another. We sit in silence a moment and then Brandon speaks.
“Well, regardless, I’m ready to be done. Cheers to freedom.”
I clink to that, already dreaming of the extra sleep I plan to get.
This is a great moment in a setting I realize I don’t know as well as I would like to.
Amber drew a deep breath as she tried to salvage what she could of the mission. They weren’t kidding when they said that the first casualty of war was the battle plan. It was as if the fates had taken special pleasure in tormenting her people and punishing them for trying to defy the will of the fates.
There was no way they were going to get through this unscathed. She looked at the remnants of her unit. They could still pull it off if they pulled together.
It was time for the St. Krispin’s Day speech. She looked around and nodded.
“We may be bruised. We may be beaten, but we are not out. We can do this, we have withstood the first and second onslaughts and we remain unbowed and unbroken. If we can survive this wave— we can pull this off.”
I looked up as I heard the scream and felt the rumble at the doors as they stormed the doors.
Her second in command looked up worriedly, “Aren’t you worried about tomorrow?”
I snorted. “Hell, we probably won’t make it through the next batch of Football fans.”
God, I hate working the dining hall on game day.
201 words not including title
An immersive moment with an excellent twist at the end!
#ThursThreads Week 430 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.
Bysen shifted in bed, unable to get any sleep despite the lavish accommodations. The mattress begged her to fall asleep, but her racing mind wouldn’t let her. After another five minutes, she left her bedroom. The sitting room was empty, the embers in the fireplace only giving off a faint glow. Across the room, her brother’s door was ajar, letting out the sounds of his snoring.
Suppressing a chuckle, she crossed the room to close the door. The hinges squeaked, and though her brother seemed fast asleep, he shot upright.
“Bysen?” Canaan’s voice was groggy. Snapping his fingers, he lit a fire in his hand. “What are you doing?”
“Sorry. You fell asleep with the door open.” She tried to hide how on edge she was, but it was a lost cause.
“You okay?” Of course he knew she was still rattled from the attack. Why wasn’t he?
“Aren’t you worried about tomorrow? About another attack?” It would be his wedding day, after all. So many people. So many strangers.
Another attempt on his life was inevitable.
“Alan increased security tenfold. And they wouldn’t try again so soon. They need time to regroup after what you did to them.” A rueful smile lit his features, but Bysen didn’t share his confidence.
“Go to bed, Bysen. It’ll be fine.”
Bysen begged to differ, but Canaan’s tone left no room for argument. She closed the door on the way to her bedroom, knowing full well sleep would be out of reach.
250 WIP words
I want to know more about Bysen and Canaan and their circumstances, but even just this nighttime exchange will stick with me most compellingly.