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 435 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 435:
Lover of Words, Creative Writing MA, and Interracial Paranormal and Contemporary Romance Author, Nikki Prince.
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And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“Help me find him.”
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!
10 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 435”
Love’s Deathly Sameness
Slick (the Whistler) Hannigan gave me a ton of good advice during my PI apprenticeship with him. His best homily was this: ‘You don’t have to be a dick to be a good dick. But sometimes it helps.’
As you can tell, it’s as clear as mud in your eye. For a moment I almost had Irv Finecastle in the palm of my hand, but my ‘love-child’ comment didn’t go down well.
He had up and scurried back to his Real Estate office and left me holding the bill for the coffee and pie.
Just desserts, I thought.
As I contemplated the bill, and next moves, Phyllis, his ex, came out to collect payment and tip.
“Irvy gone?” she asked.
“People are always abruptly leaving me,” I moaned.
“And who are you?” she asked.
Balancing a fine line between blurting and confidentiality, I stated, ”A helper. Helping out the family.”
“Right! Helping out? Irv’s at it again, eh?”
I feigned ignorance.
“You don’t even have to say a word. Years ago, I hired one of you types.”
“Yeah. Types. People finders. Detectives. Irv ran out on me. And our baby. I hired this guy…Stick…no Slick…yeah, Slick, to help me find him. Cost me my baby bonus but…he found him. Some old Hippie Commune in New Mexico. Lasted there a month, eating raw rice or whatever…tried to come running back.”
“I took him back. He left us again. Just couldn’t keep his ambitions in his pants.”
Lydia turned the light away. She didn’t need to see him; his face was a distraction. She could smell him with her eyes closed; the stink of spent matches melded with rotten flesh. If only there’d been another way.
But she’d run out of options weeks ago.
“Okay,” she said, choking on his stench. “I need you to help me. Find him and I’ll do anything you ask.”
Filbert nodded. His leathery lips parted, revealing his angular teeth. His forehead was inscribed with runes, sigils and devices spilling down his cheeks, his brick-red skin glowing in the gloom.
She could taste his corruption, feel it etching at the inside of her nose.
“Would you swear on his life?”
The demon’s voice was a light tenor, his words enunciated and clear. It could have belonged to a child if a child had had the surety of this creature. There was no mistaking its power; it could easily do what she asked. The only question was how dear his price would be.
Her assent had barely been spoken before she felt the pain, a swift slashing stab that pulled at her throat. It only stung for a moment before the bleeding stopped – blood was too precious to waste – but she knew immediately that her status had changed. She belonged to him now: she was less than nothing to him. He could be inventive in how he inflicted her pain.
Time was on his side. He could eke it out forever.
250 words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
“Don’t just stand there. Help me find him.”
“He’s not exactly lost.”
“You don’t know that.”
“Where did you see him last?”
Her niece’s gaze frantically bounced around the barn. “Over by the tack room?”
“You’re asking me?”
“I don’t know! Okay?” Brooke tossed her hands into the air, frustration and surrender obvious in the gesture. She quick-marched to the room near the double doors at the front of the barn and peeked inside.
“He could be hiding.”
“Ya think!” She whirled around. “This isn’t funny, Aunt Justice.”
Having dealt with this miscreant before, Justice knew two things: it was funny and he would turn up for dinner. “Relax, Brooke. It’s not like he can jump in the truck and drive into Tarpley for a beer at Randy’s Roadhouse.”
Brooke muttered something under her breath that sounded suspiciously like, “I wouldn’t bet on that.”
“He’ll turn up when he gets hungry, hon.”
“But what if something happens to him?”
She tried very hard not to laugh. This was the first interest the teenager had shown in things since Justice brought her to the ranch to live after Brooke’s parents were killed. And that thought sobered her. She studied the girl and noticed the teary eyes and the not-quite-hidden expression of panic.
“He’s just a baby, Aunt Justice.”
“Okay, Brooke. We’ll find him. Check the tack room and stalls. I’ll look in the loft.”
Moments later, Brooke squealed. “Where have you been?”
Justice smiled. Wiley raccoon. Brooke would learn.
250 Fighting for Justice WIP words
“We have breaking news.” CNN’s anchor was still straightening his tie and adjusting his seat behind the anchor desk as the camera went to a close-up. “Virginia Senator Kyle Peterson, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, has pulled out of the race, citing ‘family reasons’. He would not elaborate or take questions from reporters.”
“Well, that’s it then,” I said. “My job is done.”
“Not so fast, Dani,” Jake replied. “The Committee’s urging Tom Alvarez to run. They’ve hired us to begin the vetting process.”
I looked at him, not quite registering what he’d just said. Jake was my ex. Well, not exactly my ex, since we had only that one night together. And a daughter, the result of that one night. A mistake. The one-night stand—not my daughter, Stephanie.
“Jake, Alvarez is a freshman Congressman. He’s untested. Doesn’t even have a legislative record. Throw him into a presidential race and you’ll be playing catch-up from the start.”
Jake stood up to leave. “That’s not our problem, Dani.” He opened the door. “I’ll be in my office if you need me.”
I looked up at him from my laptop where I’d already begun digging into Tom Alvarez’s life. “There’s one problem, Jake. According to the State Department, they have an informant, a guy saying Tom Alvarez’s wife is a foreign operative.”
“Damn,” Jake said, stopping in his tracks. “We need to talk to this guy. Help me find him.”
Crouching beside the breakroom door, Hermione took a deep breath and pushed it open.
“Christ on a cracker!” A white male dressed in a lab coat with pimples and thick glasses lurched backwards, his arms windmilling as he lost his balance. An Asian woman in another lab coat with bobbed hair steadied him. “Who the hell are you?”
Hermione tabbed the safety on her weapon and shoved it into the back of her jeans. “Captain Hermione Wilcox, U.S. Army. I’m looking for Dr. Chester Martell. Is he in here with you?”
A white woman with pale blonde hair and a nose ring shook her head. “No, he hasn’t been here for over a month. He was moved, but we don’t know where. Why? What’s happened?”
Hermione resisted the urge to grimace. Fuck, the intel they had was well over a month old. How the hell had that happened? She shoved the frustration away and looked for a solution.
“A domestic terrorist group, the Eagle Militia, has attacked the research campus and they’re setting up camp here until they get what they want.”
“And what do they want?” The guy with the pimples shot a look out the door to the hallway beyond.
“Like me, they’re looking for Dr. Martell.”
“I told you, we don’t know where he is.” The blonde swallowed hard.
“Then a lot more people are gonna get hurt unless you help me find him first.”
238 ineligible #WIP635 words
“Help me find him,” I begged.
“We’ll help you back home, ”a lady cried.
She took me to a home I didn’t recognize.
“He’s here child. You need to do something soon.” I heard her say into a phone.
The man came shortly after that. Speaking of things, I didn’t recall, talking as if I were listening prattling on about the weather. Saying he’d be back tomorrow and I was to stay here.
He came back the next day and he started yelling at me. I really didn’t like this man he reminded me of my grandfather. Was he my grandfather? Things had slid away from me; my memory wasn’t what it had once been of course this was my grandfather and he was looking after me since I was only a child. The next day I looked for him again. I didn’t know why I couldn’t find my son; but I knew I would have no rest until I did. It was then he came back, the man that reminded me of my grandfather. He came back with a slew of people with weird phones, cameras held in their hands.
“Do you know where he is?” I asked.
“There,” the woman answered pointing to him.
It was then I saw him as he once was my boy.
“Go into the light,” She commanded, “All is well.”
I took one more look at the man and then the world drifted away an eternity of light and goodness awaiting me.
“Argh! What have you done?!”
Deacon Butler’s clutching fists sought some stabilizing anchor in his ghostly white hair. The ship’s depths could pass for the crypts or cellars the half-elf was familiar with, if not for the sickening sway of the space. The hold was packed floor to ceiling, with far more than had been taken from his island.
“It were a good few months.” The petite pirate perched behind Deacon purred.
The grave-tender’s eyes roved wildly over the captured collection. He had to find Bartal’s coffin before the moons appeared! Nothing else could’ve been stolen since the coffin, it should be on top! The pirate girl cocked her head to study Deacon with her catlike silver eye, not covered by her gilded eyepatch.
“Ye seem perturbed.”
“The coffin!” Deacon gestured to the packed hold. It shouldn’t be so hard to spot. “Where is it?”
Deacon took a steadying breath and clasped his pale hands pleadingly. “My friend is in there. Please, help me find him.”
With an understanding ah, the girl leapt and swung from the beams to land past Deacon. Beckoning with a clawed finger, she led the way around a hidden corner in the looming loot, her own tail swishing between the tails of her tailored naval coat.
The diminutive scoundrel proudly presented an alcove constructed of piled plunder, and Bartal’s coffin laid out with space all around it, as it had been back in the crypt.
“I’ll be topside, if ye need anythin’ else.”
248 Cat’s The Pajamas words
Nun Shall Pass
Momma always told me that the best way to get away with something was to look like you belonged there. Of course, that probably wasn’t the best thing to teach a kid like me, but she was right.
As the soldiers searched the monastery looking for Adam, I joined the sisters as they went about cleaning the rooms for the monks, allowing them to follow their higher calling and not having to worry themselves with mundane tasks, like dusting.
We worked our way methodically from room to room, sometimes the soldiers would come in while we were cleaning and toss the room, sometimes we just cleaned up after them, but we continued as if their search was beyond our notice.
By the time they were satisfied that neither Adam nor I were there, the monastery was clean and dinner was simmering on the stove.
When they made a big production of leaving, I remained with the nuns. The senior nun had been about to stop me from leaving and smiled when I remained. “He is already gone,” she told me quietly. “He hoped you would remain here until it was safe.”
“Something tells me that’s not happening any time soon.”
She shook her head. “No, they think you will break from hiding and flee.”
“None will find him until he wants to be found.”
“Will you help me find him?”
“I will try to convince him that he wants to be found,” she answered.
I know right? Nuns.
250 words not including title
That damn skeleton ran. If he’d had a tail it would’ve been tucked between his damn legs. The minute things go wrong, he runs.
“Where the HELL is Horace?”
The few people around me shrug and one points to the tunnel exit. Of course he went that way. There’s one way I know to draw him out, but if he’s avoiding me, it may not work.
“He’s not in the mood,” a deep voice says.
I spin, purple sparkly robes twisting around my legs. Thunder sounds and shakes the Dark Plane. God holds up his hands, beard and hair pale, as he backs away. He better help me find him or I’ll make his life a living hell.
“Fine! Fine! He’s down below, in your machine shed.”
Seconds later, Horace gasps and starts running but I freeze him. He knows I’m pissed and it’s time for him to grow the fuck up.
“You need to get back to the Dark Plane and train your replacement, you hear me?”
“Carla! How nice to see you!”
Thunder clouds blot the sun and Horace frowns. Finally, after a stare down, he sighs.
“I am sorry. But Adrianna is so unwilling to take the job that I am ready to give up. And your temper is terrifying. But you are right. I will collect her and force start her training.”
That was too easy. But he returns to the Dark Plane with me with no lore fight. Something tells me this isn’t over.
#ThursThreads Week 435 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.