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 459 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 459:
Jersey Girl who pumps her own gas; romantic fantasy author with a Jungian soul, Stacy Bennett.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“Can you give me an example?”
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!
13 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 459”
“You care about Aron and he also cares about you. Isn’t that love?” Maddie studied Bel as she thought about Maddie’s question.
“I think it’s a bit more complicated,” Bel said.
“I don’t understand. Can you give me …”
“An example?” Bel interrupted.
“Well, I was going to say, a dictionary. But an example would be nice.”
Bel looked at Maddie and wondered if an AI could really understand human emotions. She hadn’t really considered it. Maddie was her friend, confidant even. She didn’t think of Maddie as anything but a girl like she was.
“Maddie, do you remember when we watched the redbirds in the woods yesterday?”
“Yes. They were cuddling, you said.”
Bel grinned. “I might have been exaggerating, but yes.”
“And that’s love?” Maddie asked.
“Bel, do you love Aron?”
“I’m confused,” Maddie said.
Bel’s mother sat in front of her work computer, but she was completely unproductive. She was distracted by the fact that Bel’s genetic engineering continued to degrade. “We were so certain. So arrogant,” she told Maddie.
“Bel is dying,” Maddie said. “But she doesn’t have to die, Emma. I have the power to prevent it.”
Emma watched as Maddie left the room. The shopkeeper where Emma purchased Maddie had told her that Maddie had abilities he didn’t understand. Emma wanted to believe it, but she doubted that there was anything Maddie could do.
234 Words (from my YA Dystopian WIP)
Prim. Proper. And hotter than an August night in the bayous. This woman did things to him. To his head. Other parts of his anatomy. He fidgeted, very happy he hadn’t tucked in his outrageous Hawaiian shirt. It did a good job of disguising the evidence.
“I don’t understand, Officer LeBlanc.”
“Beau,” he murmured. “Call me Beau.”
“Can you explain, Officer LeBlanc?”
He got shifty-eyed then focused on her. “I thought my partner did that already.”
Her attention focused on Luc, his partner. “Perhaps you can give me a straight answer.”
Being smart, Luc kept his mouth shut.
“Can you give me an example?”
Schoolteacher, Beau reminded himself. Or she had been before taking the headmistress gig. Not that he had ever crushed on any of his teachers. Oh to the hell no! He’d gone to parochial school and the nuns were a fearsome lot. Best defense is offense, he decided.
“An example of what?”
“Of what you are looking for.” She raised a hand like one of those placement models on a game show and swept her arm out. She peered at him over the top of her reading glasses. “This is a library. We have over ten thousand volumes.”
Who knew he had a teacher-librarian kink? He wondered if he was drooling and barely managed to stop his hand as it rose to wipe his mouth. Luc came to the rescue. “Records, ma’am. From the Eighties.”
Her eyes widened. “The murders.”
“Yeah, cher,” Beau said. “The murders.”
250 words Cajun Wolves WIP
Finding a therapist was easy but getting to the building was not: the drive was 90 minutes roundtrip.
Leave at 7 am, drive down the hill, turn left at the light, go west for 50 miles. Once in the city, she needed to find the doctor’s office.
The intake conversation did not go well.
“Have you been to a psychiatrist before?”
“No, not really. Dr. Google. Does that count?”
“No. Like you said. Not really. So, what brings you here today?”
“I’m crazy. They say if you think you are, you’re not, but I know better.”
“What makes you think you’re crazy?”
“Tell me more. What about your shadow?”
“It’s too clingy.”
“How so? Can you give me an example?”
“It needs me—won’t let loose. It’s glued to my feet, sewn on like an emblem. We drift in the sky, and pretty soon I will drop, falling through the air, shattering into a million tiny pieces, scattered on the kitchen floor, waiting for people to grind me into dust. If I say I’m leaving, it gets scared and blocks the door, totally guarding the exit, refusing to let me go.”
‘I get lost, especially at night,’ it says. ‘Stay with me. Can’t you see my tears? I will die without you.’
“I don’t want to be a murderer.”
The janitor rolled his eyes. “I don’t think I can help you.”
The Easter Case: Fun and Gamines
I wondered about Louella as she related the encounter with her father’s nude artist housemates. She seemed…unfazed as she related that they would so cavalierly suggest she should take her clothes off and let them paint her.
Unseemly territory but I needed a clearer picture.
“So, what happened?”
Mr. Glitch came in the room and said, “Kid, breakfast is ready.”
“My father’s boss. Mr. Glitch Henderson. He lives in the house too. He owns it…”
“Glitch Henderson, eh?”
Ah, the oh so very young, I thought. They leave me in stitches.
“So, Glitch, Mr. Henderson made you breakfast?”
“They were yummy.”
“And your dad? Where was he? You were visiting him, right?”
“He had to go make a delivery.”
“Mr. Glitch didn’t say.”
“Eventually your father came back?”
“Course. He’s my dad.”
“’Course he is. So, who else lives in the house?”
She mentioned three other residents of the Boarding House. Two sisters, or maybe they were mother and adult daughter, Maxine and Penny, and Zeke who lived in the basement and worked nights.
She’d never seen him.
“You mentioned they were all ‘fun’? Besides the…the body painting, can you give me an example of what else is fun?”
She looked confused as if trying to describe what fun was simply wasn’t fun.
Finally, she said, “They have lots of parties, lots of people…”
I nodded. A party house! No wonder the kid liked it.
Simon and Martha’s screaming matches were neighbor-waking. Their constant bickering kept Victor on edge, triggering memories of his own parents’ fights. He had been clean six months, until the previous night.
As he sat against his door, legs splayed, blinking vapidly, Victor heard their conversation as they walked towards their apartment.
“Can you give me an example?” Simon was asking Martha.
“When I thought I was being followed, you were angry with me over the phone because you were concerned for my safety.”
“That was inappropriate.”
“What about appropriate anger?” Simon asked.
“Well…when I put my hands to my eyes because I thought the car across the street was going to hit that dog? Remember that?” Martha prompted.
“And I braked and I yelled at you that I didn’t know why the hell you’re covering your eyes in fright?”
“That was appropriate anger,” Martha said. “I shouldn’t react to things in ways that could affect your driving.”
“O-kayyyy,” Simon nodded. “Now we’re getting somewhere.”
They noticed Victor, his jaw set loosely, drool rolling from his lower lip, eyes dilated and capillary-pink, reclining against his door.
“Hey Victor!” Martha and Simon said in unison.
“Uhh,” Victor acknowledged.
They stepped over his legs to get to their front door.
“There but for the grace of God,” Simon said quietly as he put his key in the lock.
“Shut your mouth and stop judging,” Martha hissed.
The door slammed shut behind them. The shouting continued.
247 words @ragtaggiggagon
Once the police learned I was conscious, of course they had questions, mostly about, “Why were you there? What were you looking for? Did you find an explosive device?” The idiots kept asking that same set of questions, endlessly, like some robocall message on an answering machine that repeated all day, every day.
“She had a feeling.” I kept explaining that. They kept ignoring that.
After an hour of answering the same questions over and over again, they finally shut up. That’s when Deborah spoke, “You guys don’t know what happened, do you.”
“A building got bombed. You two were inside. Maybe you set the bomb up, and didn’t make it out.”
I’d have laughed, but laughing hurt too much right then.
She’d laughed in their faces. “It wasn’t a bomb.” She nodded to me. It was my turn to speak.
“It was a wall of air. Crushed the entire front of the building. No damage to anything around it. Just the building.”
“Explain to us how that works. Can you give me an example?”
“Works like crushing a can with your foot.”
“Seriously? Crushing a building with air?”
Everybody looked at Deborah. They knew she felt things, sensed things, they couldn’t. I did what I always did. Protected her. “Yeah. Air. Probably used an electromagnetic field to make it.”
They left, with the always expected, “We’ll be watching you. Don’t leave town.”
“I see they’re as silly as they always have been.”
Deborah nodded, “Some things never change.”
The water seethes. Eyes look up from beneath its surface. There are flashes of silver scales and the gleaming of teeth.
The guardian is relaxed. He’s been here for centuries. There have probably only been a couple of dozen people who’ve ever crossed the bridge behind him, the remainder being pulled down into the deeps that border it on both sides.
“You wanna try again?” he says. “It’s only a riddle. You don’t even need to know the answer: I’m providing that.”
The Jeopardy music begins again, the bland Muzak a harsh counterpoint to the business at hand. If I don’t guess the question he’s expecting, my soul will be forfeit. An eternity in purgatory awaits – after the piranhas have had their feed.
“Can you give me an example? I never watched the TV programme.”
The guardian nods. He’s got time on his side. There are already a million souls in the line behind me, jabbing at my back with a billion needle-sharp elbows.
“Let’s think,” he says. “Suppose I say ‘Benjamin Netenyahu’. You’d say, ‘Who used to be prime minister of Israel?’ It’s as easy as that.”
“I still don’t get it. What if we do it the other way about? What would you say if I said ‘The question I need to ask’ for my answer instead of what you said? What would your question be?”
The guardian grinned. “That’s easy,” he said. “I’d ask you ‘Why is a raven like a writing desk?’ – Oh, crap.”
250 words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
Kendra let herself into their suite and stopped in surprise. Phinn stood beside a folding table and chairs, setting out a meal. He gave her a warm smile as she closed the door and threw the latch.
“What’s going on? Why are you here so early?”
He smirked at her sharp questions. “Can’t a guy set up a nice supper for his lady?”
She snorted. “Yeah, but I’m not really your lady and you haven’t done this before.”
He shot her an unreadable look as she shrugged off her shawl and hung it on a hook near the door before digging the sprigs of lavender and rosemary out of her pockets.
“I was walking back from the curtain wall and the whole place is abuzz with people running here and there. Do you know what’s going on?”
A long period of silence followed her question and she finally raised her gaze to see what he was doing. He kept unpacking food and setting it out just so.
“Can you give me—”
“An example?” She raised a brow.
“A minute. I want everything to be set.”
“Why? What’s going on?” Unease settled into her bones as she watched him finish setting the table complete with lit candles.
“It’s a special night and I want to get the atmosphere right.” He sighed, straightened his shoulders and gestured to the other chair. “Come join me. I have…news.”
235 ineligible #CloudburstColorado words
I strode into the station; anyone looking at me would see a male cop one hundred and thirty pounds of muscle; but slim built even my magic was not going to hide my true size as that would defeat the purpose.
Moving up the ranks in five years, now was a Lieutenant, none of the men under me knew I was a woman, women had been forbidden to be in any position of power over men. Change was coming once I made Captain, I would reveal myself.
My partner and underling Sergeant sputtered about how women if we gave them rights everyone would want them.
“Can you give me an example? I mean aren’t women just asking for the right to be human. to work in any job they want?”
“Loo, Women need to stick to their traditional roles of pregnant barefoot and in the kitchen serving their men.”
“That’s the most ridiculous…”I began when we were called to the scene of a robbery.
As we entered the scene, I ordered Sergeant Woods to take cover. Woods burst ahead ignoring orders. I took out the perp with a shot to his shoulder and placed him in cuffs. Woods laid dying in the alley. I shimmered back into myself and he gasped, “But how?”
“I earned my position.”
Woods died and I made Captain, everyone knows I’m a woman now. more women have joined the ranks but there’s a lot of work ahead. I’m up to the task; are they?
Silvina Lucioni pinched the bridge of her nose and gave up trying to conceal her scowl. Whether she believed Vice Admiral Badeaux’s story was even less important than whether it was true or not. Right now, the seasoned ambassador’s chief concern was what in the abyss could be done with the information spread on the desk between them. She tapped rheumatic fingers against one document, as if to stir up something tangible.
“You are, sure? These are all the same person?”
“The descriptions fit,” the younger man shook his head. “But the only thing we’re sure of is the ship is the same. Our stolen prototype.”
Badeaux looked sick and pale, with dark bags under his eyes. He’d clearly been losing sleep over this and Silvina was not in the mood for hand holding. Obviously, the Great Admiral himself couldn’t meet with Silvina every time but sending Badeaux instead of Bennet felt calculated in this case. The council wanted her to convince the queen to pressure Bennet into going after this pirate.
“I find it hard to believe any individual could do many of these things. An elite squad perhaps, but not one person.”
“She’s not a natural person,” Badeaux whispered. “The things she can do…”
“Can you give me an example?”
The Vice Admiral shifted as if afraid to say it.
“They say she can appear anywhere and everywhere, like a wisp that wanders in and out of time…”
“So she’s a mage…” Silvina hummed.
“More like a demon.”
250 Cat’s The Pajamas words
Don’t talk to strangers
“Hello, you’re on the air with Dr. Francis,” DVM Mark Francis stated as the board op took the first call.
“I was wondering if you could help me with my dog. He hasn’t been acting like himself lately.”
“Well, that’s why we’re here— although please remember, while we can offer advice we should not be seen as a replacement for your vet.”
“It’s not serious, at least I don’t think it is it’s just— he’s not acting right.”
Dr. Francis nodded to himself as he listened, not only to the man’s words to his tone and how he spoke as if he had all the time in the world.
“So— can you give me an example?”
“Well, someone broke into my house,” the caller answered. “And he froze… like he wasn’t sure if he should attack, herd the person out, or get lovies.”
Dr. Francis smiled at the phrase ‘get lovies.’ It never ceased to amaze him how the coldest person out there could melt at the thought of their dog.”
“Well, those are three very different drives coming into play and all of those are normal reactions, albeit any given dog will usually only have one reaction. What did you want him to do?”
“I guess I just wanted him to scare the person away.”
“And did he?”
“Sort of,” the man answered. “But I think that was more the three heads than anything he actually did.”
“Three? Sir, what’s your dog’s name?”
250 words not including title
#ThursThreads Week 459 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.