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 460 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 460:
Scottish Word Slinger, Dauntless romance author, and #ThursThreads host, Siobhan Muir.
Facebook | Twitter | Patreon | EdenBooks |
Happy Earth Day! Take some time to enjoy the flowers and weather (hopefully good) where you are. And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“What did you want him to do?”
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 460”
“He was too limited to figure out the truth, you know that.”
I shuffled my feet, “Apparently.”
“I told you to take no actions. Let me handle it.”
I nodded, “Yeah, you did.”
“So you acted anyway.”
“What did you want him to do?”
“You know damn well what I wanted him to do. I wanted him to learn. To wake the fuck up. To see that reality doesn’t work in the black and white way he thinks it does.” I was angry. I’d grown tired of the insanity of people, of their inability to accept the truth, their insistence on believing what they wanted to believe.
“He’s not grown up enough to understand.”
“Maybe we should just kill his stupid ass, and make the world a better place!” I was really angry.
“You’d commit murder of another because they are trapped emotionally, and mentally, in a maze they can’t even see?”
I looked at the picture of the doctor I’d all but killed. “Apparently.”
I sighed, and kicked the ground, “I know. I’m no more grown up than he is.”
“You have made a mistake. They happen. Learn from the experience.”
I nodded. “I should undo the damage, shouldn’t I?”
“I will undo the damage. You will resume your studies on Earth.”
That was better than I’d expected. After all, injecting a biological weapon into a human to demonstrate to them that chronic pain is real, by leaving them in chronic, permanent pain, was judging someone else.
“What did you want him to do?”
“I don’t know.” To say she was not expecting the two men who faced her was a big, fat understatement. One looked noncommittal. The other glowered. That’s because one had a good poker face and the other pretty much hated her guts. Sade paced away. She stopped, turned, and added, “Something. Anything.”
The two dragons exchanged glances. “He sent us,” Xan said. “Is that not something?”
“Don’t you two have better things to do?”
Stavros did not change his bitter expression. “Yes. As the Drakon’s Dankána, I have much better things to do than deal with your puny human concerns.”
She marched up to the dragon and went toe-to-toe. “You hate me, Stavros. I get that. I don’t give a flying Philadelphia fuck. You obviously got back in Nikos’s good graces since you are now his second. I am guessing that Nikos is just a little miffed that a puny human wizard stole a major dragon relic and is now happily realm hopping ranks a little higher than my puny human concerns. You should be—” She spread her arms wide. “Out there. Searching for the little fucker, not standing here all up in my business and acting like I need bodyguards.”
“Agent Marquis,” Xan said, tone carefully neutral. “You are the one who this little fucker has trapped in those same realms. The Drakon finds it prudent for us to be around to get you out.”
He had a point. Dammit.
250 Penumbra Papers WIP words
Julius reclined in the back of the squad car, silent now, cuffs binding his arms behind his back.
“What did you want him to do?” his wife shrieked at the police officer as he got into the driver’s seat. “He wasn’t drinking in public!” She pointed at the hall door. “This is a private residence!”
Half-in, half-out of the car, the police officer blinked once at the woman standing furiously before him.
“Ma’am…ma’am! He was violating his probation by drinking at all.”
The officer raised his hands in what he hoped would be construed as a calming and open gesture.
“Don’t you raise your hands to me!” She drew her fist back under her arm, like a bowler keen to get a strike, and he watched, as though in slo-mo, the punch following through to crack him full force in the chin. His lower jaw smacked into his upper jaw, his head flew up, and he struck the roof of the car with the back of his skull.
The police officer folded onto the asphalt but rather than flee, Julius’s wife stood her ground, drawing her foot back, her pointed-toe heel ready to hit the officer again.
“Na’an! Na’an!” the officer pleaded, extending his arms to protect himself from the whumping blow as a roundhouse kick glanced off his face. She snatched his handcuff keys out of his pocket and opened the back door.
She drew her face near the officer’s.
“Stay dead,” she whispered, “or I’ll kill you.”
250 words @ragtaggiggagon
Katrina picked up the pitchfork and walked purposefully toward the hay wagon, her peasant dress sweeping the dust under her feet. It was a rare warm day for early spring on the Steppes.
“Oww.” Ana pushed the rough cloth blanket off and sat up. “Hey.”
“Cossacks.” Katrina spat the word.
“What?” Ana said as she climbed down from the wagon.
“Two of my hens are missing,” Katrina said, picking up Mathilda, her sheepdog.
“Maybe it was a fox.”
“Maybe it was you,” Katrina said, pointing the pitchfork at her.
Ana pushed it aside. “It wasn’t.”
Just then, Tsarist soldiers appeared in the distance. “Hide,” Katrina said, pushing Ana toward the farmhouse. Ana started to say something but decided to stay silent.
“They’re not looking for me,” Ana said after the soldiers rode away.
Katrina looked away. “They’re looking for Aron. My brother.”
“Your brother is a Bolshevik?”
Katrina turned toward her. “He’s a revolutionary.”
Ana hesitated, not quite knowing how to respond. “So now he’s on the run?”
“What did you want him to do?” Katrina said. “Be conscripted into the Tsar’s army?”
Ana paced around the small kitchen. “I don’t know. It’s all very confusing.”
Katrina looked at her. She resisted asking questions when Ana appeared suddenly at her door the day before offering her gold coins in exchange for taking her to St. Petersburg.
“You’re fleeing from the Bolsheviks, aren’t you?” Katrina asked now. “Why should I help an aristocrat?”
244 Words (from my YA WIP)
“Fire!! Fire!! Fire!!”.
The disembodied voice belonged to a wizened old man, a depleted-used-to-be once-upon-a-time sailor with a crumpled-up hat clenched in his fist and an ill-fitting, no-longer-snow-white-would-never-pass-inspection uniform, now aged-yellow and dirty-footprint-gray. When the audience failed to react, the Navy man repeated his warning:
“Fire! Fire! Fire!”
No smoke appeared; no flames licked the walls. A few people looked around, but no one moved to push open the doors or grab their coats and gloves. There was no indication that anything even remotely resembling a fire was in the area at all. But the guy was insistent. He tried once more, checking the clock on the wall. It had been over two minutes now, and he wondered if no one had heard.
“Fire! Fire! Fire!”
This time, someone called 911, and police entered the packed theater, rushing the attendees through the door, into the night. The officers sniffed the air and commenced a rigorous search for a conflagration. Finding nothing, they approached the old man, who sat patiently waiting in the empty auditorium. It was only then they recognized him.
When they arrested him for trying to incite a riot; he argued he was protected under the First Amendment, but they handcuffed him anyway.
For the third time that week, the officers led him out, telling him he would have a warm meal and a place to sleep for the night, and winked at each other, saying to themselves, “What did you want him to do?”
I gazed from the backdoor of my grandmother’s mansion; sure that my life with Jackson was over. He wasn’t coming he couldn’t accept me for me. Filtered light streamed from the clouds; but across the lawn and into the nearby field mist hung like a veil blocking out any light. It suited my mood, dark and foreboding.
“What did you want him to do?” my grandmother asked from behind me.
“Accept me and love me,” I answered.
“Sorry, darling girl, this one wasn’t meant to be.”
The mist lifted slowly. I could see the cypress trees now furling themselves 70 feet into the sky. The grass flowing and moss growing by the banks of the swamp. This filled me with joy. I loved this place like it was part of me.
I heard a sound like wop, wop and then the wind picked up. The helicopter landed and a man stepped out bending his six-foot three height.
“Nia, you are the light of my life. I want to be part of your life. Is there any chance you could forgive me and love me too?”
“Where have you been?”
“Will you keep me there?”
“Will you accept me like this?” I asked turning into myself.
“Only if you accept me, and be my Queen Bitch,” Jackson cried turning into a wolf.
“And you be my Alpha King.”
Behind me my grandmother said we’ve got the pack together for a wedding I see. Welcome to the family Jackson.
The cockchafer beetle sported a spangled suit and hat and a pair of tiny boots that were green. It was also wearing sunglasses.
“It’s an original look, I’ll give you that,” the Professor said. “Okay: carry on.”
Gwyneth nodded. She furrowed her brow. The beetle remained immobile, except for its upper mandibles, which ground themselves together. There was a tiny noise which if it were amplified could have sounded like a raspberry.
The professor shook her head. She began noting deductions on her clipboard. The passing grade for Beginners’ Mesmerism was set deliberately low: beetles were particularly resistant to coercion. The students’ scores in the practical tests always started at a hundred, with points being subtracted for unforced errors and hesitations. The insect had started to tremble now; probably laughing at the novice’s attempt.
Gwyneth redoubled her efforts. A vein on her temple popped out, writhing like an ink-coloured worm. Her hands, which were supposed to remain on the desk, had lifted free as though she was trying to direct a puppet.
The beetle remained immobile. The only thing moving was the professor’s pencil; more marks being deducted.
A book lifted from the bookcase, slamming down on the bug. Gwyneth smiled for the first time during the test, falling back into her chair.
“What did you want him to do?” the professor asked drily, adding a zero for the grade. “I hope you weren’t trying to make him dance: Scarabaeidae are notorious for having a poor sense of rhythm.”
249 words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
Caitlin Nicole Kinnery stretched with a fanged yawn wide enough to accommodate her canary, who fluttered from her shoulder to her hat. The catlike captain teased her claws over Brig Potts’ baked clay shell, warm from hours standing in afternoon light. She crawled over the golem’s head to his other shoulder.
“Hey, Rika?” Cat tapped Brig between the eye slits. “Brig be pretty good at holdin’ still, aye?”
“Hm?” a feminine voice emanated from the golem’s face plate. “What was that?”
Cat looked across the shimmering dunes her ship sailed slowly over to the solid land on the horizon.
“I were thinkin’ o’ takin’ Brig ashore in Freehold.”
“What?! Absolutely not!”
The golem himself remained statue still, but Paprika’s voice from the other end of their mystic connection rose to her usual fire and edge.
“Ye didn’t even hear what I wanted him fer!”
“Brig is a huge runaway golem! Anyone in Freehold could recognize him! I agreed to let you use him on your ship, but going into Freehold is too risky.”
“Aye, but I commissioned a disguise fer him in the last port.”
Cat purred, “The biggest doily ye ever seen an’ a hat o’ very convincin’ flowers.”
A heavy sigh preceded a long pause.
“What did you want him to do?” Paprika’s fire fizzled under the futility of denying Cat.
Cat’s tail swished eagerly.
“I want him to dress up like a big planter an’ sneak into the summer shindig with me in his chest!”
250 Cat’s The Pajamas words
The Easter Case: Raw Bits and Pieces
The main difficulty with having a twelve-year-old client was the compelling urge to protect her. Most kids need some guidance. In Louella’s case, her sense of safe boundaries seemed in doubt. The very fact that she appeared at the door of a Private Dick suggested she was both gutsy and willful.
A potentially deadly combination.
My first step would be to drive her home.
So, I said, “I’ll give you a lift home.”
“Is that safe…with COVID?”
The kid was no fool.
“You can sit in the back seat. Window down.”
That seemed to be a reasonable answer.
I would have to keep on my toes.
We scurried down the back stairs to my car. She bundled in the back passenger seat and I got into the pilot’s pew.
She and her mom lived twenty minutes to the east. It was barely noon. Typically, I like quiet when I’m driving but it seemed de rigueur to chat Louella up. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d attempted that…a simple teeth-pulling conversation with a youngster.
“Louella, mind a few more questions?”
Silence. Then, “Okay. Sure.”
“Well then, just so I can maybe get to know your dad a little better, last weekend when he didn’t show, what did you want him to do with you?”
As I said it, it sounded clunky.
“I mean, what were the plans?”
She knew exactly what I was asking. “There weren’t any. My dad, he never plans. Never.”
My brother stands beside me, both of us staring at the skeletal man with the always-billowing robes. Standing between us is a woman, whose soul was meant to be crossed into the afterlife tonight. She rotates her gaze like a ping pong match is taking place, clearly waiting for the climatic finish.
“What did you want him to do?” I finally ask, my own purple sparkly robes still as I lean on my scythe.
“I don’t know. Dance? Sing? Swing that great scythe and sweep me away to Heaven?”
My brother, clad in his royal blue robes, stifles a giggle. “Well, he’s not that kind of death, I’m afraid. He’s all business and no fun.”
Horace tilts his head, his empty eyes staring at the woman, a blue flame twinkling in each socket. It’s true, though, his sense of human is arid. He tries, though, he really does.
“Dance?” Horace asks. “Like this?”
He swings his hips from side to side, swaying like a stiff tree is a strong wind. The woman giggles, her brown eyes fixed on Horace. She mimics him and he swings his hips a little harder. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say he’s having fun.
“Sure. Dance me to Heaven!”
Oh boy. God’s got a feisty one incoming. I wonder if I should warn him?
You can’t always get what you want
The two men watched the security footage, trying to work out exactly when things had gone wrong. Two different agencies, one case. Williams wasn’t sure he wanted to work with the man, everything screamed ‘unprofessional’
“It’s not my fault,” Perrin said in his own defense. “It was Barrows,” he added nodding towards the man in the video. “He never does what you want.”
“What did you want him to do?
Perrin reviewed the tape and shook his head. “First, let’s agree that there is a difference between ‘want’ and ‘expect.’
“Okay, now that we have that out of the way, I’ve been watching this guy for a long time, and I’ve learned to expect certain things from him.”
“Like his perverse need to prove me wrong. I say he’ll jump right, he goes left. I say he’ll go left, he backs up.”
“And if you tell him what to do?”
Perrin snorted, “Well, then all bets are off.”
The two men watched performing a post-game analysis of the man’s actions. His graceful moves counterpoint to the butchery happening in his wake.
Perrin cringed as he watched the actions he’d missed. “Case in point,” he said as he noticed the result of the man’s actions.
“Was it really that bad?”
He shook his head and gestured towards his hair, “I asked for high and tight – he gave me a mullet”
232 Words (not including title)
#ThursThreads Week 460 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.