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 461 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 461:
Cat afficionado, Editor, and Mid Week Flash host, Miranda Kate.
Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“He’s all business and no fun.”
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 461”
“Our surveillance culture, when applied to social policy, is likely to have consequences that extend far beyond one individual. Yes? No?” The professor scanned the lecture hall. “Laws need to be enacted using scrupulous methodologies and with an acknowledgement that they may not function as anticipated when we pass beyond individuals to the universal.”
“He’s all business and no fun,” Nikki whispered in Alan’s ear, turning the lobe moist. “Why don’t we quit this class and go to the basement?”
“Do you mean my sex dungeon?” Alan joked.
He pulled back to look into her eyes and she smiled and nodded.
The two undergrads got up from their seats near the back of the theater and went out the door once the professor turned to write on the whiteboard.
They fled through the Sociology Department and down the steps to the basement, where row after row of terraced student lockers stood to attention. The pair walked along one row and Alan put his back to the wall and sat down, legs splayed as Nikki straddled him and they started kissing.
The hum of the camera gave Alan pause. He took his hands off Nikki’s flannel blouse and looked up at the beady CCTV eye with the red light just above it, hanging from the corner. It had shifted its position.
She continued to kiss him.
“Wait,” he insisted. The camera was directed straight at them.
Alan shifted, forcing Nikki to get off him, and stood up.
@ragtaggiggagon 249 words
Craig is a boy. He works with numbers. Jenny is a girl. She works with numbers too.
They meet on a dating app. Craig and Jenny like each other, so they start talking. Every day.
They decide to meet in 3D. At a bar. They drink beer and talk. Craig says he hates his job. He says he likes Jenny and likes beer. Jenny says she hates her job. She says she likes Craig and likes beer.
Craig and Jenny pool their money and move in together. They drink beer and hate their jobs and gripe and fuck.
Jenny hates her job so much she quits going. And she starts hating Craig. And hates fucking Craig.
She sits around and drinks a lot of beer and hates Craig. Drinking a lot of beer helps her put up with Craig.
Craig drinks beer and thinks about how much he hates Jenny, so he brings his work home with him and yells at Jenny for being home and making noise. Jenny tells Craig to go fuck himself. To get away from him, she turns tricks at the truck stop.
Pretty soon nothing is going right.
They go to a counselor who asks Craig what he hates about Jenny.
He says, “Everything.”
The counselor asks Jenny what she hates about Craig.
She says, “Everything.”
“You need to break up,” the counselor says.
They share a mutual hatred for the counselor.
“He’s all business and no fun.”
This common interest brings them closer together.
The Easter Case- Neighbourhood Ears
Louella Samuels and her mother lived in a small pink house in a section of town on the downslide. Lawns were cut. Or would be when the season demanded. There might be enough money for some touch-up painting. In the summertime, the smell of burning meat would clash with the stink of fierce urban swelter and maybe something else that clung to the air like pollen.
I knew it well. If, as Louella said, her father Henry never planned anything, my old man had been the polar opposite. My mother had nailed it just after she shot him twice on my eighth birthday: “He’s all business and no fun. I didn’t sign up for no fun.”
I’d found them in the kitchen. The old man was sprawled out by the sink, my mother, sitting at the kitchen table, head resting on the red plastic tablecloth, the gun, his war souvenir I think, leaning against the birthday cake, icing on the barrel, her muttering over and over, ”all business, no fun…who can live like that?”
I remember the sirens. Neighbours had called the police. In neighbourhoods like mine was, like this one probably is, the only secrets are the silent ones. The ears are always there, partly to beat the boredom, mostly to make sure whatever is going on behind closed doors, the occasionally open windows doesn’t spill out.
“Well, Louella, let’s go meet your mom.”
She nodded, looking sad, perhaps.
Or maybe it was me.
It’s time and I have the herbs for the spell.
They needed to leave the Winter Court and all Kendra had to do was figure out how to escape. The Fae weren’t stupid or unobservant, and they were wily as hell. Getting past them, with or without the use of magic, wouldn’t be easy. She’d gathered the herbs and kept them in a safe place for the time of use, but she still needed to finish the disguises to get them out past the guards.
Nodding to the guards she passed, she descended the stairs off the parapet into the relative warmth of the courtyard below. She’d snagged bits of clothing over the weeks she’d been at the castle, trying to piece together outfits that would fit both her and Phinn. Hopefully she had enough accessories to fool the casual observer, even Fae ones.
She hoped Phinn would go along with her plan. He didn’t strike her as a guy who was too serious, at least not at first. It had been hard to tell recently with him being out of their suite so much. It’s not like he’s all business and no fun.
Hell, she was more serious that he was. Samhain was just around the corner and she hadn’t prepped her altar at home yet. She needed to get back to her world and Phinn needed…
What? What did he need?
She grimaced and hurried her steps into the castle before the wind mocked her for her thoughts.
250 ineligible #CloudburstColorado words
Sitting in the ornate, stone conference room for Death, a deafening silence fills the room. The Death Council, which is comprised of three people who have a debt to repay before they can enter a peaceful death, fumes at the announcement of Death’s successor.
They fold their hands, shrouded gazes sweeping the room. Their collective voice echoes off the stone walls. “No woman can rule. It is written so.”
There’s a collective eyeroll in the room. God shakes his head and even Horace, the retiring One True Death, looks irritated. Normally he’s all business and no fun, so it’s interesting to see him upset with the Council. My brother Brandon growls, and I place my hand on his arm.
“For Pete’s sake, what’s wrong with you guys? Girls? Whatever the hell you are!”
“It is tradition.”
“Get over it. Times are changing. Tradition goes out the fucking window all the time.”
They stand, hands reaching across the oak table. Brandon disappears with the Council. Reactions come seconds too slow and then I hurry to my feet, rushing for the six foot thick door. My horse Destiny bounds over, and I throw myself onto her pure white back.
We run into corners I didn’t know existed before tonight. Finally, in a room hidden in the recesses of a wall, we find the Council, with Brandon. He’s tied to a chair, the Council forming a protective circle around him.
“He is ours.”
Brandon stares at me and then he’s gone.
250 words (take 2!)
Not sleeping well I’d doze off for a couple of hours and then I get on my computer to have zoom calls with my colleagues. I needed a vacation but my agoraphobia wouldn’t let me leave the house.
My computer pinged I had zoned out and people were talking, “He’s all business and no fun.”
“Who?” I asked.
“The big boss, Everett Jones.” Kim answered.
There’s been some murders or at least some mysterious deaths. Wasn’t there that trouble in her neighbourhood last year?” Penny exclaimed.
“Enough I don’t want to hear anymore,” I replied shivering, ”I’m taking the rest of the day off.”
Drifting off to sleep, I awoke sometime later in the pitch black of two a.m. , bloodied bare feet, on a lawn three doors over, their front door open. Had it begun again?
Running home, I rinsed my feet under the garden hose. hoping any traces of blood were gone. The police came the next morning my neighbour was dead murdered. Was I seen?
“You are our only witness to his wife murdering him,” the policewomen explained.
“ I was sleepwalking.”
“We’ve brought a psychologist who can hypnotize you so you can remember.”
I submitted, the bad news when I’m sleepwalking, I kill people, that’s why I’m afraid to leave the house. I won’t have to worry about that anymore I’ll never leave my new abode again, The Lightfield Centre for the Criminally Insane. Finally, I can sleep, no more sleepwalking. Peace at last.
Sunshine Magnolia Bloomsbury tipped back her head, her face to the sun. The back of her neck prickled so she opened her eyes, lowered her chin, and took stock. Tourists were coming back to Jackson Square. Most people paid her no attention. But one was. And boy howdy was he. She blinked slowly, taking him in. He was tall. He was muscular. He was brutally handsome. And he was a man she should not be associating with. He was an overprotective alpha male and a deputy sheriff. And his animal magnetism teased her senses like milkweed did monarchs.
She couldn’t see his eyes behind the aviator-style sunglasses perched on his aquiline nose, but she knew they were fixed on her. Little fingers of anticipation danced across her skin, as if his fingertips trailed along her entire body. “Luc.” She breathed his name.
Someone walked up and tsked.
Sunny glanced to the man standing beside her. She should have shoved her shades on before doing so. The eye-searing colors of his Hawaiian shirt could blind the unwary.
“He’s all business and no fun, cher.”
“That’s not true, Beau,” she murmured, thinking of all the fun she and Luc had last night. As Luc stalked toward them, she beamed. “Thought y’all were workin’ a case today,” she chirped.
“We are but we’re takin’ a break.” He hauled her up for a deep kiss.
Sunny giggled. “You’re ruinin’ my street cred!”
He glanced at her paintings on the iron fence. “Seriously?”
250 Cajun Wolf WIP words
Ana hid behind the hay wagon where she’d spent the night, and watched the brief exchange between Catarina and a young man in front of Catarina’s farmhouse.
“Who was that?” she asked after he left and was out of sight.
“What did he want?” Ana asked.
“He wants me to marry him, but I refused,” Catarina said. “He’s all business and no fun.” She hesitated. “He also brought me this. My brother is in a Czarist prison in St. Petersburg. He managed to smuggle this letter out to me.”
Ana started to say something, but she thought better of it.
“Do you still want me to get you to St. Petersburg?” Catarina asked her. Ana nodded.
“I will need money,” Catarina said. “Bribes. That’s all they understand.”
“Ana reached into a small pouch. “I have money.” She took out several gold coins.
“Get in the wagon and hide under the floorboard. Bolsheviks control the highway.” Ana obeyed. Catarina started up the wagon. “If we spot the Czar’s soldiers, we will trade places. Understood?”
She had no use for aristocrats, but Ana was a young girl her own age, and she was alone and frightened. Catarina hadn’t asked too many questions, but she suspected who Ana really was and why she was fleeing. Could she betray Ana now that they were becoming friends?
Shell sat on her hands rocking backwards and forwards like a metronome. Somehow doing this would stop her bursting out her myriad questions. She was desperate to find out how Kayleigh’s date with Gordon had gone.
They’d be in Eric’s Cafe on Thursday night when he’d asked Kayleigh out. He seemed so out of place in the stupidly named bar. Everyone else was young and vibrant – and many more than a little out of it on drugs. Shell had spat out her expensive cocktail when Kayleigh told her.
“Gordon, asked you out?”
Kayleigh shrugged. “He seems nice. Gentle and straightforward. I mean I’m not into the powder sniffers. You know that.”
“Of course. But look at him. Suit and tie. Always so neat. I can’t imagine he ever let’s go. Bet he’s all business and no fun.”
“I think he’ll be interesting. There must be something there. I mean why would he be in here for a start? Anyway he’s cute.”
Shell laughed. “I can’t see past that tie. So last year. Well more like so decade a go.”
“Anyway I’m out with him on Saturday. He said be prepared for anything. I’m quite intrigued and can’t wait.”
That was Thursday. Now as Kayleigh sat down what would she have to report?
“Just don’t ask, Shell. Never mention this again.”
“What!? You are kidding. Give me something.”
“Put it this way no one would have been prepared and we’ll have to see what the police have to say about it.”
Aidan had got his camp stove working and was making a brew. His kettle was spewing out steam, fogging the air inside the shipping container. It wasn’t quite the smallest place he’d called home, but it was handy for the docks. He could be up and be at work in five minutes.
“You going in today?” He looked toward the doorway. Its frame was buckled where it had been forced, Aiden having used a crowbar to force his way inside.
“No. I think I’ll just forage. Bust open a few more crates. It’s too cold to sit behind a bench, gutting herring.” Penelope pulled her fleece around her and shuddered. “I don’t know how you do it every day.”
“There’s a bunch of forty footers at the back of the yard. Some of them haven’t been opened yet. You’ll have to climb to find the better ones, the ones I’ve been saving for when the weather gets rough.”
Winter was a bad time to work at the canning plant. It was always cold inside – the factory was refrigerated to keep the fish fresh longer – it was just that January and February brought storms, reducing the number of trawlers that’d put out to sea, this usually resulting in staff layoffs.
Penelope whistled for the dog, catching the terrier’s attention. “Looks like it’s just you and me,” she said, reaching down to ruffle its ears. “Daddy’s going to the office, yet again. I swear he’s all business and no fun.”
250 words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
“Maybe you should cut him some slack. His job has a lot of responsibility.”
Affa filtered out the voice of her friend and stared at the door to the main office. He was behind it. He was sat in his office doing the paperwork, again.
“This job has changed him,” she muttered bitterly, her fingers drumming on the arm of the chair. “He’s all business and no fun these days.”
“It’s hard to adjust to this position.”
“Adjust? It’s been two decades.” Her head snapped round, fixing Salaraz with a pointed glare. She was always sticking up for him, hoping he’d reward her fanatic adoration. Her friend’s eyes opened wide with innocence; the red irises engulfed by the pupils. They had been waiting for an age; placed out of the way in the waiting room. “Look at this place.” She stood up angrily. “It’s like some human lawyer’s office.”
“When you’re the Crown Prince of Hell you have to keep up certain appearances.” Salaraz shrugged and started picking at her pointed fingernails.
“He should be on Earth causing havoc. Instead he’s here, doing a soul audit.”
“Souls won’t count themselves.”
She watched her friend and tried to remember why she kept her around. She came up blank. Salaraz didn’t catch the slow smile spreading across Affa’s face as she made a mental note to adjust the rotas in the office later tonight. It was time to give Salaraz a triple shift in purgatory.
243 words @Lexikonical
Saffi’s signature slouch erased her height advantage over Andri, which made holding hands comfortable. Though her posture looked anything but comfortable to the slight Andri. Pausing at the next overlook, they took an appreciative inhale of rare Jadallah mountain air.
“You nature lovers are so cute!” Saffi squeezed Andri’s hand.
Andri laughed, “Come on! Even you have to admit the view is gorgeous!”
“Yeah, it is.”
Saffi pressed her forehead against Andri’s. They exchanged a quick kiss and returned to contemplating the panorama. And catching their breath. The elevated climb tested both the engineer and the artist.
“I’ve missed this.” Andri sighed. “It must be time to visit the family again.”
“Hopefully not while I’m in port.” Saffi bumped her shoulder against Andri’s.
“Why not? Don’t you want to meet them?”
Andri searched Saffi’s glittering green eyes. The naval engineer cocked her head quizzically.
“Is that where we are?”
The celebrated artist shrugged, studying Saffi’s expression. They could paint her face with their eyes closed, but still couldn’t read her mind before it was made up.
“We have been dating for over a year.”
Saffi ran her free hand through her wild white hair and nodded acknowledgment.
“I guess I should introduce you to Admiral Saifullah, then.”
Andri narrowed their eyes, unsure whether Saffi was joking.
“You want to introduce me to your boss before your family?”
“You DO NOT want to meet my family. My father? He’s all business and no fun.”
“And your mother?”
“A cold conniving bitch.”
250 Cat’s The Pajamas words
#ThursThreads Week 461 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.