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 454 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 454:
Scientist, Dad, and flash fiction author, Eric Martell.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“That’s what I’m saying.”
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 454”
The sounds of splashing came from his en suite, rousing him. Climbing out of bed in the early dawn light, he stood in front of the door, frowning. Water seeped into his bedroom, over the threshold and under the door. It slid a few inches across the floor and touched the tips of his bare toes.
“What the…?” He took a step back.
He stood alone in front of the closed bathroom door, staring at the corona of light running along its frame. Someone was in there, in his bathroom, using his bath, and flooding the place. He heard humming. He should have been alone. He hadn’t had a visitor to the house in over two weeks – and that had been the social worker, checking him to ensure he wasn’t self-harming.
The humming got louder, and then a baritone voice burst into song.
“Shut up and take your medicine,” boomed the voice. It was a lyric the man had never heard before, more of a sing-song admonition than a piece of music.
He opened the door and pushed it inwards. The bath was running – overflowing, in fact – so he ran to it and turned off both faucets and pulled out the stopper.
The bathroom was empty.
He collapsed onto the toilet and looked around in dismay at the thick film of water all over the floor, anxious and uncertain. Had he taken his pills the previous evening?
“That’s what I’m saying,” the voice said. “You haven’t.”
246 words @ragtaggiggagon
Death is Often Disappointing
It wasn’t a thought I was all that proud of. Except for its panicky spur-of-the-moment brilliance.
I called Irv Finecastle, asked him to zip over to Mona’s and do it quickly. And as quiet as Mickey Mouse.
Irv wasn’t my client, per se, but he was the only one, I hoped, who knew that Mona had wanted to hire me after Effie had shown me the door. That thread needed to be fused.
Irv arrived in fifteen minutes. He was alone and entered using his lame-duck paramour’s key.
I had Wick’s police-issue revolver pointed at him.
“What’s going on?” he asked, and then his wandering eyes zeroed in on the various bodies spread around the room like a bad train wreck. “Holy crap, what have you done?”
“Surprisingly little up to now,” I answered quite honestly.
“Are they all….is Mona?”
“Yup. Saving grace…It was sudden. Maybe even painless.”
“That’s what I’m saying, Irv. Not me. I’ve just been an innocent bystander in your mess. That’s the way I want to keep it.”
“Who are the two dead guys?”
My bullet struck him squarely between the eyes.
Irv sunk in a pudding heap to the waiting carpet.
I wiped down the few things I had touched, placed Wick’s weapon in his stiffening right hand, exited the penthouse, and used the staircase to make my escape.
With any luck, the cops would put two and two together and not come up with five.
“What’s going on, Dr. Martell? Why the hell am I on the floor and who are all these people?”
“From what I understand, the entire campus has been taken over by terrorists.”
Avondale frowned as he lifted a hand to his head. “Terrorists?”
“That’s what I’m saying. Apparently the Eagle Militia has taken over the Big Timber Research campus because they’re looking for someone. These people are from Building Two getting away from the terrorists in Building One.”
“I thought you said they attacked all the buildings. I think I remember gunfire in Building Two too. Is that right?” Avondale rubbed his face.
“Yes, they did. You’ve been unconscious for a while. We brought you to Building Three to escape.”
“Okay. So who is Captain Wilcox?”
Just her name settled some of the anxiety coursing through Chester. “She was sent in here to rescue us with her team, but she’s the only one who made it into the below-ground labs before the Militia took the campus. She’s trying to find us a way out now.”
“But who is she, Doctor? Do you even know if she’s who she says she is?”
Chester took a moment to answer. Did he really know Hermione was who she claimed to be? Oh, it’s Hermione now, is it? No, he didn’t have any proof that could be used as hard data. But everything she’d done to keep him and the others alive, including the guards, told him she wasn’t working with the terrorists.
249 ineligible #Sirens words
“So what do you think? Do you think that we can do it?”
Eddie took a deep breath, closing her eyes slowly. Deep breath in, deep breath out. She wasn’t going to rage in the middle of the city. She was calm, she was cool. She was trying to be fucking collected. “Why…why did you just kidnap the Prime Magister? What good idea could have been brewed between the quarter of brains that you have between the two of you?” She turned away from the uncoincous body tied to a chair and turned towards the two forms that stood behind her, claws hands fidgetting.She knew not to expect much of halfkin, but it was difficult not to snap because she had to explain everything three times.
“Well, we bring him heres and then he can’t stop us from what we be done, right?” The one on the right started to explain while the other nodded his head like a bobble toy. “So keeps him here and we gets left alone.”
“Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. Good answer.” The other chimed in as they beamed at her.
Oh dear lord. Give her any kind of strength. “You brought the man here. To our hideout. Where we do things. Now we need to find some place new and hope that he never saw your faces. Because I don’t know about you, but I would rather not end up dead.”
Both dogish faces fell and they gave her big eyes. “We sorries.”
Melanie lay flat on her back on the gurney, clad only in the hospital gown, waiting for the warm blanket. And the doctor. She had a debate with herself which would arrive first; she was betting on the doctor, but fervently hoping for the warm covering.
This is gonna hurt. I know that. I’ve done it before. But I am strong. I can do this.
Country music played in the background; she despised country music.
Give me some Paul Simon or Neil Diamond.
“You must be cold. Would you like a warm blanket?”
“Yes, please. How long the doctor will be?”
“I saw him just now, scrubbing up. It will only be a minute.”
Mel waited, reciting the Lord’s prayer, trying to block out Johnny Cash.
All her belongings—purse, clothes, cell phone—were in the plastic bag ensconced under the bed. There was no clock on the wall, at least not that she could see, but the blue curtain surrounding her limited the view. It was impossible to know how long she had been there; the minutes continued to slide by.
Johnny gave way to Dolly gave way to Patsy.
More waiting. More scripture reciting.
The same nurse peeked in.
“Just checking on you. Do you need another cover?”
“No, I am warm enough. Do you think Dr. Martins will come soon?”
“Oh, yes, of course. That’s what I’m saying. It will only be a minute. I just saw him by the basin, scrubbing up.”
Sade eyed Caleb. “There’s no trace of him anywhere?”
“That’s what I’m saying.”
She sat down abruptly. Her brain might be in control but her knees refused to cooperate and buckled. She would not panic. Pissed. She’d stay pissed because Sinjen had refused to accept her calls and requests on his voice mail to return them resulted in silence. Had he not been ignoring her, but was incapacitated in some way? A lump the size of a fist lodged in her throat. Nononono. No panicking. Sinjen was a master vampire. At the height of his powers He would not just…NO!
“Don’t go there,” she ordered herself. Caleb gave her an odd look of concern mixed with confusion. “Something’s happened to him.”
“I know that!” Sade sprang up and prowled around her office. “Sinjen would not walk into the sun.” She stopped at her window, inhaled deeply and told the view outside, “I would know. If he did that. I’d know.” And she would. Sinjen was under her skin. She couldn’t touch his mind like he could hers, but she’d know if he ceased to exist. Still, whenever she thought about him there was only a void where his psyche should be.
“No sign of a struggle at his apartment,” Caleb added.
She headed for the door.
“Where are you going?”
“I’m going hunting.”
“I’m coming with you.”
Sade shook her head. “No. This is on me.”
Because it was. She would find him. Or else.
248 Penumbra Papers WIP words
“You were never there. Why would you be?”
Dirk presented the obvious as they stepped from the searing light of the street into the soothing shade of the boardwalk.
“That’s what I’m saying?” His twin scoffed derisively.
“No,” Dirk shook his head emphatically. “That’s what I’M saying. I’m the smart one. I’ll do the talking.”
Kris rolled his eyes with a dramatic groan as they wove their way through the noon crowds.
“One problem with your plan, genius! They saw us together. Naked! Got a good look at my full ass on my way out the window.”
Dirk socked his brother hard in the shoulder.
“So keep your pants on and your mouth shut! I got a plan. Dumbass.”
“Ooo! You got a plan!” Kris waved his fingers in the air before slugging his twin in the gut. “Idiot!”
Dirk clenched his fists with a winded sneer and was about to retaliate when the parting crowd exposed the pair to the gaze of granite skinned club guard. Both boys straightened attentively.
“Andres!” Dirk tried not to wheeze through his tight smile. “Good to see you!”
“What’re you fools still doing in town?” The terrifying tough growled.
“If this is about the rumors concerning my brother, I can explain everything!”
Andres barked a single sharp laugh.
“Like you’ll explain last night’s murder to the watch? The witnesses can identify you. And the boss isn’t interested in explanations.”
“Murder?” Kris looked incredulously at Dirk. “And I’M the dumbass?”
“You boys better run.”
250 Cat’s The Pajamas words
Jack heaved the pack onto her back, checking her map before she did.
“We’re still moving in the right direction.”
She and Devin had started this journey with one end in mind – freedom. A few more turns would have them there.
Devin nodded and mumbled agreement, her eyes were wide with fear of being caught.
The sisters wound their way through hallways and doors until they came to their way out.
Devin looked at it and started shaking her head, “No. No, I can’t.”
“I can’t. Ever since…” Her voice trailed away; tears sprung to her eyes.
“Devin, ever since what? What is it? You were never afraid of anything before.”
“Yeah! Before!” Devin yelled. “Ever since they stuck me in the closet. Ever since they put spiders in my clothes. Ever since-“ she paused and her voice quieted, “Ever since we were brought here. That’s what.”
“I’m saying, you have to Devin. I know it’s hard and I wish you would’ve told me about all this sooner, but we’re getting out now and in order to get away from here you HAVE to go in.”
“Why don’t you go first?”
“Because I have to erase our tracks here. Nobody can know we went through this way.”
Devin stiffened her back, her jaw locked to keep it from trembling.
“This is it, Devin. When we get to the other side of this tunnel, we’re free.”
With steel in her eyes, Devin nodded, “Let’s go.”
Her memory triggered, sending her to her childhood. Times she blocked that she’d rather never think about. The home for unwanted and illegitimate children of sups. Those whose powers hadn’t yet materialized. Yes, she was in the dark, holding hands with another girl, who reassured her all would be fine.
She flashed back to present day, surrounded by an audience and judges awaiting something spectacular in … she glanced at the clock again … thirty minutes. Not to forget the woman beside her that she didn’t know—the one she promised to help.
“I’m Melody, Mel for short.” The contestant finished a quick shake, and wiped her hand on her slacks.
She turned to the stove, stirring the beginning stages of some need-to-be-fabulous dish. “Gumbo sounds good. Think this can be made into that?”
Lucky nodded. “That’s what I’m saying. Add some of that stock, and I’ll check the supplies for chicken and shrimp.”
Making something delicious from nothing happened to be one of her favorite pastimes. Rarely did she have others to share it with. Fortunately, the shrimp were already peeled. She sliced one chicken breast, and added both to the broth.
Melody. The name rang true. What was it about her that seemed so familiar? “Let’s mix a little flour with broth, and slowly stir it in to thicken. It’s better to do it beforehand, but we don’t have much choice right now.”
“Thank you.” Mel placed a hand on her shoulder. “Guess I’m lucky you showed up.”
A lot of nothing.
“It had been a long day,” she said staring into the mirror behind the man interviewing her. “Mean— long.”
He nodded, trying to prompt her to say more, but she kept staring.
“Are you all right?”
She nodded, taking a sip of water. “Just tired.”
“So, you were up early and you got a lot done?”
“No,” she said shaking her head. “I was up early and I tried to get a lot done.”
“I don’t see the difference.”
“That’s because you’re assuming that I actually got something done.”
“So— you didn’t get anything done?”
“No, no— I did things, I just wasn’t all that productive.”
“So— you did a lot?”
“More like I spun my wheels. My fingers wouldn’t work and every time I tried to type, they’d misfire. I spent more time on the backspace than on the rest of the keyboard.”
“So, you didn’t finish the story?”
“That’s what I’m saying,” she agreed then paused. “Well… I finished it— or it finished me. I don’t know.”
“I’m going back to bed.”
175 Words not including title
Not so much a story as a state of mind.
#ThursThreads Week 454 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.