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 441 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 441:
PR student, All-Star Barista, and badass PA, Josh McLees.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“You can’t outrun the truth.”
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!
14 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 441”
Philip still held the half-empty canister of petrol in one hand and the cigarette lighter in the other. Awkwardly, with the hand holding his lighter, he fished out from his pocket – and lit up – a cigarette. “You want one?” he asked. He sucked hard on the cigarette and blew the smoke out slowly in a delicate plume – a counterpoint to the flames and black fumes licking the sky from the conflagration before them.
“Are you – actually – insane?” Jason asked.
“Are you insane? Hiring fancy lawyers rather than fess up to your terrible driving?” Philip roared. His tone softened, as he added: “How long has it been? Six months since we first met on the street? Six months of rehab for me.”
To underline his point, a small explosion came from the car’s engine, and both men flinched. The six employees of the haulage company, dressed in the same uniform overalls, who stood watching at the warehouse doors also stepped back, although they were farther from the burning wreck than Jason and Philip. Jason turned to them and shouted:
“Someone get a fire extinguisher and put this thing out, will you? Before the cops arrive. Hurry!”
Philip was heartened by Jason Duggan’s clear reluctance to involve the authorities. He planted his crutches down on the ground and started to hobble away, shouting over his shoulder:
“You might think you can run people down in your fancy sports car, but you can’t outrun the truth!”
245 words @ragtaggiggagon
“You can outrun a lot of things, Corwin, but you can’t outrun the truth.”
“The truth?” He barked a disbelieving laugh. “You want to talk about the truth?” He shook his head. “To quote a well-known movie, you can’t handle the truth.”
Martin frowned. “What the hell does that mean?”
“Come on, Navy SEAL, the best of the best, smarter than all the rest.” Corwin felt the corners of his mouth twist into a sneer. “You’ve known me long enough. You’re smart enough to see what was – is happening. I never hid who I was from you. Ever. I fell in love with you decades ago, but you wanted to be a SEAL and you had no time for relationships. And I respected that.” He scowled. “But then you went and put me as your next-of-kin should you be injured and Traumatic Brain Injury qualifies. Why? Why did you list me?”
“Because my dad’s dead, that’s why!”
There it was, the easy explanation that helped Martin hide. That kept the homophobes and his own fears at bay. Corwin nodded, letting the hurt finally get into his core, demolishing the fantasy bubble he’d managed to reinforce through Martin’s recovery.
“You’re right, he is, and you’re recovering so I guess we’re done here.” He straightened his shoulders. “Good to see you. Sorry I made the mistake of falling for you for real this time. I should’ve known better. You take care, now.” He grabbed his bags and walked out.
247 ineligible #StainlessSteelSEALs words
She dropped my foot to the floor and reached for my other ankle. There’d been little warning; just a moment of heat followed by numbness.
“Now, don’t look surprised,” she said. “You knew I had powers. You just didn’t know what they were.”
I pushed away from her, gauging the best route to the doorway. She’d been too obliging, too ready to take advantage of my hospitality. I’d thought I’d have the upper hand. This wasn’t how it usually went.
She sat back against the dressing table, the chair slamming against the drawers. The mirror shivered as it recovered from the shock.
“If you want to take your leave, you’re free to go. But you may find it a little more difficult getting out of this bed than it was climbing in.” She reached down and picked up my foot again, offering it so I could see where my ankle had been. She’d done a very neat job of severing it, even fusing the skin so it appeared like it had never been attached to a leg.
“Okay,” I said. “What do you want? If you want money, I’ll pay you whatever you ask. Just put my foot back as it was.”
The woman sighed. “That’d be the easy way. A few thousand dollars and we’d be done. But your wife would be no wiser and you’d still feel no guilt. So maybe it’s time you learned you can’t outrun the truth and that fate will always demand its due?”
twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com ~ 250 words
Death Can Be a Tricky Dick
The weight of sleazy past doings was clearly pressing down on crappy 2020. It was in the air like acid rain eating out our eyes.
Mona’s revelation that her mother had been a player, what my mother might have called a fancy lady, shone a dark, fresh, somewhat reddish light on her murder.
“So,” I dug deeper, “when you say by ten you were in charge, what did you mean?”
She poured herself another brandy and gestured my way. I was tempted but needed to stay sober. It’s the least a professional dick can do.
“Nothing more for me,” I said.
And then there was a bout of silence.
Mona was framing her story, laying it out in her mind, spinning it, I suppose.
My limited tact forced me to prime her rusty pump. “Whenever you’re ready.”
“Maybe I’m not. Ready, I mean. I mean, why would I spill my guts to a complete stranger?”
She had a point…but for one teensy item. “Except, complete stranger that I obviously am, I am your stranger now. On the payroll. Here to find out who whacked your mother. Trust me, I’ve heard every story under the sun. And if it is, perchance, a new twist, I’ll lie and say that’s old hat. You can’t outrun the truth. Truth’s never out of shape…it’s always running a marathon.”
That got a smile.
“How did you know I was a runner?” she asked.
I flashed a grin back.
“Did he think we wouldn’t find out and ask him about it?”
Claire’s question was rhetorical, and I just shook my head. Judge Beecham had twisted himself in knots during the interview trying to explain his way out of a predicament that could end his confirmation hopes. He would likely never sit on the Supreme Court.
Claire and I were just doing our job. As FBI Special Agents, we were tasked with interviewing the federal judge that the President wanted to put on the high court.
Judge Beecham seemed like the ideal candidate. A moderate, he was expected to sail through the confirmation process. But after a thorough vetting certain facts in his past came to light. Facts which, when the news media found out, would set off a firestorm.
“I can’t believe the story he tried to spin to us,” Claire said. “I mean none of it is consistent with anything his wife told us.”
I had to agree with that. I ran through the mental notes I’d made during the interview. Judge Beecham had been involved in some questionable activities back in his college days. He’d apparently even flirted with joining a white supremacist group.
“Let’s just submit our report,” I said. “Up to the White House to deal with it, though I can just see the news media running with the story that Beecham withdrew his name.”
Claire agreed. “It’s a no brainer they’ll make him do just that,” she said.
“Yeah. You can’t outrun the truth,”
Note: There should be a period at the end instead of a comma.
The old woman blinked rheumy eyes as if that would help her vision. Luc stared out the window at the bayou. Spanish moss dripped from cypress trees old enough to witness the War Between the States.
“Not sure what you mean, MawMaw.”
She snorted, the sound as sharply inelegant as his ancient Cajun great-grandmother. “You can’t outrun the truth, boo. Not on two feet or four. What yer cher be like?”
“She’s…she’s” His words faltered like a phonograph needle bouncing across a deep scratch.
“Funny.” Something slithered off the bank and plopped into the water. Big gator. “Sweet. Scatterbrained.”
Ours, his inner wolf insisted.
“Nuttin’ wrong with any dem things, boo.”
“She’s fragile.” He turned haunted eyes on the woman who’d helped raise him. “I’ll break her.”
MawMaw lifted her chin and cackled, her loud laughter filling the small cabin. “You don’t know nuttin’ ’bout nuttin’, Lucien Bergeron. I thought PawPaw and me did a better job o’raisin’ you. What does d’wolf have to say?”
Luc responded without thinking. “Mine. Ours.”
“So he be claimin’ dat li’l gal?” Delighted now, her eyes glowed with an inner light. She leaned back and set her rocker in motion. “You ‘member dat first time you go tru da shift?”
His body ached at the memory. His wolf tearing through muscles and sinews, remaking bones. The feel of fur. “Yeah. I remember.”
“Den listen to yer wolf. He be smarter dan a moonstruck fool like chu.”
She had a point.
250 Moonstruck Wolf (Cajun variety) WIP words
She ran. Through darkness so deep her excellent night vision was claustrophobically constrained, she ran. The ground under her feet was level and unremarkable, to the point of feeling imperceptible through her nagging fear of finding a wall in her way. Her only properly reporting sense was hearing. She was surrounded by whispers in the dark, so dire as to drown out her heart in her ears.
“It’s your fault.”
“You’ll fail again.”
She sucked a deep breath of odorless air, neither warm nor cool, through her nose and put on an extra burst of speed. The floor dropped from under her and she was dashing at breakneck speed down a dangerous incline. Warmth rose with the appearance of a faint orange glow below.
“You’re a fraud.”
“You can’t outrun the truth.”
“I be Captain Caitlin Nicole Kinnery,” She smirked into her sprint. “I’ll do what I like.”
150 Cat’s The Pajamas words
The seconds between my dad’s eyes growing ever wider and his eventual response are the longest in my life. Finally, he sputters at me.
Closing my eyes, I gradually bring myself back to normal: no bright purple glow, human all around. Now that he’s seen what I can do, things are going to be interesting. Either he’s going to accept that I’m not human or he’s not.
“Yeah. I can fly, too,” I tell him, lifting off the ground. “Just like you and Dad.”
I have two dads and they can fly and glow, too. They had hoped that, with me being born via surrogate, I would not have the flying and glowing thing going on. Whoops.
“Damn it. We prepared for this but now I don’t know what to do.”
“You can’t outrun the truth,” my other dad says. “If Frederick finds out about her, he’ll kidnap her and we’ll never see her again.”
“Frederick?” I ask. “Who’s he?”
“The leader of the Fairies,” Dad says, sighing. “And he will want you for immediate training. You need to learn how to control all of your powers and find your purpose.”
My parents are paramedics. I’ve been drawn to art and teaching. Maybe that’s my purpose. My parents link hands and suddenly, we’re underground, walking through an earthen tunnel, brilliantly lit with thousands of twinkling lights. People fly here and there and one floats in front of us, smiling.
“Welcome to Fairy,” Dad says.
Valmong sleeps, but it’s not peaceful – he tosses and turns, struggling to find the rest he needs for tomorrow. Without really thinking about it, I reach out and smooth the creases on his forehead, my fingertips light so as not to disturb him worse. He sighs and some of the tension leaves his body as he settles into a more restful slumber.
You can’t outrun the truth. Claritas’ words echo in my mind.
And the truth is, maybe I don’t want to go back home anymore. Maybe I’d rather stay here, with Val.
Is that something he wants? I pull my hand back at the thought of rejection, of what I’d be throwing away if I gambled my life and lost. Another chance to go home would probably not happen.
“It’s worth a shot.”
Nevari’s voice startles me, and I turn to look at her. She’s supposed to be sleeping, but instead is leaning up on one hand, watching me.
“What you’re thinking about Val – no use not trying.”
“How do you know what I’m thinking?”
She shrugs, “You have an expressive face. Val might be too thick to see it, but I’m not an idiot.”
At that, I can’t help but chuckle. Though I’ve only known her a short while, it’s impossible to hide anything from her.
“What would you do?”
“Go with my gut.” Her answer is immediate, and I wish I had her confidence.
238 #TeamRPG words
The only people who were my friends were either after my influence, or my money. Me I wanted power the extreme time where people would look to me as their Queen after all that’s what everybody wanted anyway. I was a power broker a lawyer, on the inside of politics. I’d grifted a little, embellished and deconstructed some deals to my favor. You tell a few fibs, not anything that really harms anyone it just advances your agenda and then of course you deny, deny, deny you ever took another position. A woman could do it one better who would believe a woman could scheme and outmaneuver them while I used my sweet honey tones that made them feel superior.
Now grandma always said that I’d get in trouble some day abusing the truth and said you can’t outrun the truth; I’d never really found that statement true.
The men I thought I’d tricked, pardoned themselves and their male colleagues and me they made me the fall guy; sure, I’d committed some of the crimes but they were behind the biggest crimes. That’s what I get for being their mouthpiece. Now I’m looking at serving ten to twenty behind bars unless? You know what P. T. Barnum said, “There’s a sucker born every moment.” I’d learned honey at my grandma’s knee I could manipulate and jury or judge, I’d play the framed innocent , but my blackmail would get me a pardon quicker. Watch out world, Everleigh Summerville is back.
The Truth of the Matter
Frank knew he was in trouble. The bet had seemed so simple six days ago – go through an entire week without lying. For six days he’d been careful -he stayed at home; avoided all phone calls, and only answered work emails.
He’d managed to avoid a confrontation with his marketing director and three customers and the situation had been settled with minimum effort on his part and then his wife asked him the dreaded question. ‘Do you want to go to my mother’s for dinner?’
“Do I want to go to your mother’s for dinner?” he asked.
Heather gave him a suspicious glare, and he knew that the next answer would determine if he lost ten thousand dollars, or slept on the couch for the foreseeable future.
There were times he really regretted the fact that had married the police department’s ‘living lie detector,’ and the fact that he had forgotten that most lies are prefaced with repeating the question, buying time to get the lie straight in their head.
“Is she making that moose dessert with all the booze?”
“I love the way the coffee fights the booze to see if you stay awake or fall asleep.”
“So— do you want to go?”
“Do I want to go?” he asked, wiggling his eyebrows.
While Frank hated going to his mother-in-law’s house, he also knew you can’t outrun the truth, but you can dress it up and take it out for the evening.
249 words (not including the title)
#ThursThreads Week 441 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.