#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 452

Welcome back to the home of Paranormal & Dauntless Romance. 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 452 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 452:

Stacy Bennett

Jersey Girl who pumps her own gas; romantic fantasy author with a Jungian soul, Stacy Bennett.

Facebook | Twitter |

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“Could happen to anybody.”

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!

17 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 452”

  1. As the siblings prepared their gear at the mouth of the abandoned temple, something burst into the clearing with the staccato rattle of breaking branches. Ned and Nerisse sprang to their feet, blades drawn.

    Torval picked himself up from the ground, brushing dirt from his clothes with a torrent of coughs. “Hello.”

    Ned sighed and sheathed his sword. Nerisse brandished hers at him.

    “Torval! You’re late!”

    “Apologies,” Torval said, adjusting his cap and spitting out a leaf. “I encountered a horde of vicious bandits–”

    Ned glared.

    “…troupe of lissome traveling dancers,” Torval revised.

    “Of course.” Ned rolled his eyes. Typical. “Could happen to anybody.”

    “I was performing a service,” Torval said haughtily. “They were in need of–”

    “Don’t say it,” Nerisse snapped, turning back to her gear. “You’re a pig. And this quest is important. Lives are at stake. You know that, don’t you?”

    “Why would he?” said Ned, shouldering his pack. “This is all a big joke to him. Isn’t it?”

    “I am HURT,” Torval said, hands on hips.

    “Save it.” Nerisse’s expression was cold. “This is going to be hard enough without the charm we lost.”

    “Yes.” Torval nodded mournfully. “You mean this charm?”

    He produced a glittering amulet. Nerisse snatched it away from him. “How did you–”

    “Found by one of the dancers.” Torval grinned. “I knew we needed it.”

    Nerisse smiled. “I’m sorry. Thank you.”

    “Anything for you, Nerisse,” Torval said.

    Ned kept quiet, but watched the thief closely. He didn’t like the sound of that.

    250 words / @daniel_swensen

  2. Nudging the body with my motorcycle boot, I tried to downplay the situation. “Could happen to anybody.”

    Her upper lip curled into a snarl. “But it happened to me.”

    I lifted my hands, palms out, as a barrier between us. “Not my fault.”

    “Then who’s fault was it, Rook?” Her eyes narrowed into a squint so angry I backed up an involuntary step. “Mine?”

    “No, babe,” I hurried to say. “But it wasn’t mine either.”

    “So what you’re actually saying—”

    “Shit happens.” I cut her off. No time for rants. “And we gotta hit the road.”

    “I’m not going anywhere with you.”

    “Yeah, babe, you are.”

    She crossed her arms over her chest and jutted out her chin. Cute. But we didn’t have time for cute shit either. “I’m calling the police.”

    I stared, not quite sure I’d heard right.

    She hurried on. “He kidnapped me! I have to make a police—”

    “No cops, babe. Ever. Club business.”

    She blinked at me, mouth open on a word that refused to come out. I reached for her, got my hand on the back of her neck and reeled her into my chest before she could react. “Babe,” I whispered into her hair. “The club takes care of our own. This asshole took you. I got you back.”

    “And that’s all there is?”

    No, that wasn’t all, but I wasn’t about to explain that the Nightriders would be raining fire down on the Hell Dogs. “You’re safe, babe. That’s all that matters.”
    ****
    250 random WIP words
    @SilverJames_

  3. Death’s a Bargain at Twice the Price

    Mona’s outburst against my egregious overuse of cliches raised the temperature of the room. Or maybe I was just feeling the fervor from my linguistic laziness.

    Imminent extinction will do that to you.

    Private Dicks and Dinosaurs.

    Doomed birds of a feather.

    I was in terrible company.

    As I was subsumed in the semantic swamp of my own making, Skippy rushed to Mona and gave her a slap. “Keerist, Mona, get a grip. Maybe the gumshoe’s got a point.”

    The slap and Skippy’s surge into her crazy-making space forced Mona backward. She rubbed the offending cheek and yelled, “That smarted, Skippy. I don’t like that.”

    I had left Mona’s small pistol by the phone earlier. She retrieved it and gave it a stare like she’d just discovered penicillin.

    Suddenly her arm holding the weapon swung towards Skippy. “You shouldn’t have slapped me, Skip. You just shouldn’t have…”

    “Mona, baby, heat of the moment. Could happen to anyone. Sorry, Babe…I..”

    Her gun fired before Skippy was able to complete his final thought. The slug slammed smack dab between Skippy’s surprised eyeballs, just above the bridge of his nose. His trigger finger must have reflexed instantly, and his huge gun fired away…puncturing Mona in her stylish light cream business suit right between her breasts.

    They both slumped to the waiting white carpet.

    I didn’t need a coroner to know that the two killer-lovers were toast.

    And the white carpet was a sodden sea of blood.

    250 WIP
    @billmelaterplea

  4. Bianca splashed cold water on her face to decrease the blush still marking her cheeks. The sexual tension between herself and Shandor was off the charts and he hadn’t done anything but take her to lunch.

    And look beautiful. And be sexy, and kind, and friendly, and hot.

    She groaned and splashed more water on her face. That kind of thinking would get her into so much trouble. She wasn’t looking for love or romance or even a relationship. She was starting over and it didn’t mean including a hot, sexy firefighter. But apparently sexual attraction didn’t wait on her plans and had broadsided her.

    Yeah, it could happen to anybody, and she was currently in the hotseat.

    Or is that ‘hawtseat’?

    She giggled nervously as she dried her hands but was saved from thinking more thoughts when Trey’s ring trilled from her phone. She frowned and pulled the phone out. Why would Trey be calling? They were usually busy with school.

    “Hey, Trey. What’s going on?”

    “Mom, have you seen Dad?”

    Bianca straightened and met her own gaze in the mirror. “No, I haven’t seen your father. Why?”

    “I just went by his place to drop off some of my receipts and he wasn’t there.”

    She rolled her eyes. Denton had always demanded to know what all of them spent while they lived with him, and now he’d drilled it into the kids for college expenses.

    Reason eight thousand nine hundred and twenty-six why I got away from him.

    250 ineligible #ElementalHearts words
    @SiobhanMuir

  5. My Camaro had travelled its last mile. Its hood was concertinaed in on itself with its engine flooding its fluids across the road. I’d been generally fine but still a little stunned, although I’d not confirmed the status of my passenger in the trunk.

    He’d been unconscious an hour ago. He was probably still fine, having collected most of his bruises before I put him in the car.

    The woman from the Buick in front was of an indeterminate age, her cat-eye eyeglasses dominating most of her face. I couldn’t tell if she was upset or not; her lenses too dark for me to see her eyes, but her manner was definitely ‘off’, or so I’d thought.

    Maybe she’d been under the influence. I know I could have used a shot of something right then.

    “I’m so very sorry,” she said, standing rigid like a mannequin, her hands splayed like the branches of a tree. She had an odd odour like Clorox about her, her skin a peculiar shade of grey.

    “It’s okay. It could happen to anybody.” I’d already tried my phone, finding it had no service. I’d considered borrowing the Buick for a while, letting the woman drive, but I was beginning to reconsider her fate.

    Maybe she could be company for Bruce. If he ever woke up.

    The woman nodded and did that thing with her jaw, her lips stretching wide so I could see all three sets of her teeth.

    I began to run…

    248 words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com

  6. I pocketed the flashlight, took a deep breath, and let it out. Bending down like a dog, I began to crawl.

    Let me tell you up front, I hate dark places. Creepy crawlies make my arms shiver. Spiders make me screech to myself. Mice… Uhhhh!

    A labyrinth crawl space loomed. I had no idea how deep or far my belly-crawling passage would be. The flashlight did not illuminate where I needed to go because 150-year-old trees had been chopped down to use for floor joists, barely above the dirt floor. Stale air snaked out of the hole in the foundation, with just a hint of fragrance, though, that I loved more than my fear: New puppies.

    Momma dog watched me just out of reach, not making a sound as I began my crawl to rescue the puppies that were nearly six weeks old and had never seen a human. If I didn’t get them out, and soon, they would turn into feral dogs.

    It could happen to anybody.

    I got stuck under a log.

    Momentary panic had me squirming backwards to find a bigger opening. The far corner of the building threatened to be too shallow. Just as I thought I wouldn’t make it, the first puppy, a brindled fat lump of puppy fur, came to find out who was intruding into their den. I picked her up and held her to my eyes. She licked my nose, and puppy scent surrounded me. I was in love.

    247 words
    pattydump1@embarqmail.com

  7. Bria sat next to me on the sofa, as I watched some random program on TV. I don’t know how long she’d been there. Probably as long as I had, I figured that’s how I worked.

    “I know you’re not real.”

    She smiled, and those green eyes lit up, and told me everything was OK. “I know.”

    “I know you’re my brain cells writing up a fictional character based on a real person named Bria.”

    I always forgot to be miserable when she laughed, which she did, “I know.”

    “You know, there’s a lot of people who’d call me nuts, crazy, Fruit Loops…”

    “And all the other words they use, yes. I know.”

    “Someone like you could happen to anybody, you know.”

    She shook her head, and that smile melted everything inside me, “No. Not anybody.”

    “I’m not special, you know. This could happen to anybody.”

    Again she shook her head, “No, it can’t. It won’t. It doesn’t.”

    “Why?” I asked the question, even though I already knew the answer.

    “You remember. You don’t forget. You haven’t forgotten me, even though you’ve tried.”

    I wondered what it meant when someone that didn’t exist anywhere but in my mind talked to me, took my hand in hers, and squeezed it.

    “I’m not real. But, I’m part of your heart. Part of your soul.”

    Maybe I should have told her to go away, but I didn’t. Because, she could speak all the words I couldn’t. Words I didn’t know how to say.

    250 Words
    @mysoulstears

  8. “Excuse me.”

    I did not realize how pretty she was when I tapped her shoulder. Even with her smirk and glare at my interruption, she was pretty.

    “What?”

    I didn’t need her Jersey Girl attitude and I daresay she didn’t need my Upper East Side presumptuousness but I try to put memories of Cheryl to the side. The one from South Orange that broke my heart. No. She was long behind me.

    I lifted my right hand, and she saw her purse.

    “You left in at the bookstore.”

    “Ah. Thanks,” she said as she took it.

    “No problem. It could happen to anybody.”

    She opened it and, satisfied, she looked guilty for her suspicions.

    “Look,” she said. “It’s barely eight-thirty on a Thursday. I’m on West Eighty-Fifth and there’s a nice bistro on Broadway up there. You hungry?”

    She was right. It was barely eight-thirty on a Thursday. I was hungry.

    “Lead on.”

    She put her hand up and out, and within a minute we were heading north in the backseat of a cab. Neither of us said anything until we caught a red light at Sixty-Fifth by Lincoln Center. The long one. I stole a glance at her, but she was looking out the window and second thoughts seemed to bouncing from the window to me.

    “It’s old fashioned. Comfort French,” she said, still looking out.

    I looked down between us. Her hand was a little farther from her lap than was natural. I wondered if she meant it to be there and gazed at it until we slowed and stopped. I passed a ten to the driver with a “Keep the change.”

    I held the door for her. When we were on the sidewalk she said, “Thanks, I’m Cheryl,” and she led me into her neighborhood bistro.

    The Bistro on Eighty-Fifth: Joseph P. Garland @JPGarlandAuthor, 299 words.

  9. From a safe distance it would have looked like haze on the horizon, maybe smoke or storm clouds. From two nautical miles out, it was a hole in the sky, immolating in black fire. Most of the crew refused to look directly at it. Even Lute, a demon, was uncomfortable watching it at his captain’s side.

    “What do ye reckon be on the other side?” Captain Cat N. Kinnery flexed her claws eagerly into the deck rail.

    Lute coughed, realizing he felt uneasy saying the name at the moment.

    “The Abyss. Probably.” He managed with uncharacteristic reticence.

    Cat nodded and purred, her golden eye fixed on the rift and erect tail twitching.

    “I want to see!”

    “Bad idea!” Lute jumped, nearly manifesting his wings in an adrenal rush. “Bad idea, Captain. It’s way too dangerous!”

    Cat cocked her head.

    “Hellships come an’ go from rifts. What could happen?”

    “To anybody? Death and damnation come to mind.”

    The catling captain clambered to a coiled crouch on the rail.

    “I were thinkin’ to me specifically. O’ course I wouldn’t risk the ship.”

    Lute sighed his relief, which settled to a weight in his chest.

    “You’re, going to want me to go with you. Aren’t you?”

    “Nah, I know how ye feel about yer ancestral homeland. See ye back at the island me hearties! Don’t wait up!”

    Captain Kinnery called to the rest of the crew with a wave before throwing herself overboard, her mystic tattoo illuminating as she landed atop the waves.

    250 Cat’s The Pajamas words
    @DavidALudwig

  10. It could happen to anybody ,I kept telling myself; but I knew deep down it wasn’t true. Normal people don’t fall in love at first sight and then burying the love of their life a month later. They don’t consider what digging him up.
    Was I doing the right thing? I wondered for the hundredth millionth time. I dug the grave watching all the time for someone else to arrive other than the guard I paid off generously.
    The grave had only been covered with the backhoe three hours ago so the dirt was soft and yielding. I put my back into it. The dirt seemed insurmountable; but I found myself continuing despite the pain between my shoulders. Finally, my shovel hit the top of the coffin.
    I pried it open with the crowbar I’d brought along. Tristian was struggling to breathe. How could he be alive? I wondered but I was prepared this is why I’d dug him up. I whacked him with the crowbar over the head; but he fought back and hit me. I lay in the grave struggling for my last breath. I heard.
    “She loved him so much that she worried that they had prematurely buried him. She was correct, but too bad she fell and bumped her head and it killed her. “
    But I wasn’t dead I tried to cry; but the soil was filling my mouth and the last thing I heard? Snickering from Tristian that he covered with fake sobbing.
    249 words
    @SweetSheil

  11. I smile at the little girl with the teary eyes as she rubs her drippy nose.

    “There, perfect. Let me talk to Mom a minute and then we’ll get you ready to go home.”

    She nods as a nurse wipes her tears, the tip of a sucker wrapper sticking out of her jacket pocket. There’s a roll or two of stickers in there, too, set with whatever was on sale this week.

    After giving Mom instructions to keep the stitches dry, I leave the room. Kids crash their bikes; could happen to anybody. Stitches aren’t as cool as a cast, but they’re still cool.

    “Can you pop into room three b? Broken arm.”

    A nurse hands me a chart. It’s an oddly busy night with kids in ER. I’ve never had more than a couple in a week; tonight I’ve had five and counting.

    X-rays are already called up on the computer, the break visible in the forearm bones. A man I assume to be Dad sits next to the gurney as the boy sniffles.

    “What happened?” I ask.

    “I was riding my bike and then a car hit me.”

    I look over at Dad, who confirms the story. There are bad drivers everywhere of late.

    “Well, let’s take a look at that arm.”

    A couple hours later, happy with his pink cast, he and his dad leave. But my brain won’t stop thinking
    about all the kids we’ve seen tonight. Something’s up, and I want to find out what.

    @Aightball
    250 words

  12. The streets are quiet as we make our way through them, but I can’t decide if that’s a good thing or not. Ahead of us, the compass leads the way with its beam of light. Valmong reassures me that this town doesn’t have a night life to speak of – that we’re safe weaving in and out of side streets on our way out. Still, I can’t help but look over my shoulder, the encounter in the forest still fresh in my mind. I pull my cloak tighter around me, shivering at the quickly dropping temperatures.

    “Do you actually think we’ll find the Nevari tonight?” I wait until we’re at the north gates before speaking, too nervous to disturb the silence of the city streets. “Or even the workshop, for that matter?”

    “If we’re lucky.” We continue walking, the compass leading the way farther north, beyond Aerdale altogether.

    “She must be scared out of her mind.” Another breeze brings the temperature even further down, and I find myself inching closer to Valmong. “Especially if she didn’t actually kill her dad.”

    “You don’t think she did it?” Valmong glances at me, eyes skeptic.

    “I don’t.” I meet his gaze. “I guess you do?”

    “Like I said before, I don’t really care.” His gaze goes back to the beam from the compass, turning thoughtful. “I supposed she could have been framed. That could happen to anybody. Especially to anyone with a less than friendly relationship with Noquate.”

    245 #TeamRPG words
    @katheryn_avila

  13. Flavour of the Week

    “Edie, it can’t be that bad,” I heard him say, and I just wanted to laugh, but instead I kept my tone even as I warned him.

    “Never. Never say that.”

    “What’s the worst that can happen?”

    I may have rolled my eyes at his naivete, but it was an innocent enough question, and, unless you’d been living under a rock oblivious to all the shoes that were dropping all around you, it would have been a sensible question, but the man had been standing next to me throughout the entire incident.

    When I looked at him I could actually feel his hopes fall.

    “What?”

    I sighed. “Think to yourself, ‘what is the worst that could happen to anybody?’”

    He nodded.

    “Now, take that image, stretch it out, turn it on its side,” I know I should have stopped there but it had been a really, really long day. “Multiply it by 10.”

    I let my breath out. “Think about the last time something went right on this assignment.”

    I smiled. “Raise it to that power. Now, think about the possibility that we’ve been set up, and rather than us having an assignment, our job is to distract the enemy from what is actually going on.”

    I watched as his face fell. “We’re screwed…”

    I smiled. “Now you’re catching on. Now pass me the triangular bandage, we’ve still got three hours to get the intel and get out of here.”

    Who knew 27 herbs and spices could be so deadly?

    250 words (not including title)
    @mishmhem

  14. #ThursThreads Week 452 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.

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