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 462 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 462:
College professor, equality enthusiast, and romance author, Louisa Bacio.
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And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“You need to break up.”
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 462”
I turned the lock entering the house I ran upstairs crawling in next to my husband.
“Kirsty? Kirsty is it really you?” Henry asked.
Something had happened to him his hair had turned gray flecked with white and wrinkles had formed near his eyes. Henry eyes were cold and dark, I became afraid.
“Where have you been? You just can’t run away for twenty years! Did you just say “You need to break up?”
“That’s not funny, Henry. Kerry must be ready for school.”
Henry looked puzzled then his face changed and he said” Kerry lives with her husband and daughter in San Francisco. People thought I killed you and your friend Treena.”
Henry took me to a doctor and they diagnosed trauma induced amnesia also a head injury. I went home with Henry.
I thought we were putting our life back together; that I would remember where I was for twenty years and everything would be normal; but today it all came rushing back.
I came home early, Kerry was at a friend’s, Henry was in bed with my best friend Treena. They tied me up and took me to our cabin in the woods. Treena and Henry argued, he shot her burying her behind the cabin. Henry had kept me chained there. Last week I’d somehow got free and forgot everything. The police arrested him and found Treena’s body; but things will never be the same, Kerry thinks I’m lying. Henry has won he’s taking everything from me.
Alan must have let himself in with the spare key he had held onto after staying with us for two months three years ago. Coming out of a deep sleep, I saw him staring at me from the foot of the bed. The bedroom light was already on. At first I didn’t recognise him with the full beard. But when he opened his mouth, I realised who was speaking.
“You’re not fit for a relationship with my sister.”
“How dare you!” I got out of bed and sat with my bare feet on the hardwood floor, pausing in my movements as he made a move of his own.
“You need to break up.” He pulled out a pistol from his belt and flashed it. “Understand?” His teeth were gritted.
“What are you doing, Alan? You gonna kill me now? You call over here in the middle of the night, when Charlene is the one who’s staying out drinking and and and probably carousing–”
“You’re enabling her.”
“You have a very prejudicial view of the situation if you think that I’m somehow encouraging your sister, Al. She needs to get back to the Twelve Steps.”
I reached for the spectacles on the bedside cabinet, put them on, and stood. We faced each other. Alan hadn’t been right for about a month. He had been declared a missing person a week ago.
“You want some coffee?” I asked. “Put down the gun and we’ll talk.”
Sometimes, you can’t choose family.
249 words @ragtaggiggagon
Our server delivered our drinks and flashed her patented “friendly waitress” smile. “Need anything else?”
Nina shook her head. I smiled back and said, “We’re good, thanks.”
Nina didn’t take long to get to the crux of her urgent demand we meet for happy hour. “What are you thinking, Mel?”
I didn’t roll my eyes. Instead, I widened them and asked guilelessly, “About what?”
“You know what. That biker you’re hanging out with.”
“He’s a biker. They’re criminals.”
Okay, she might have me there. The Nightriders all wore 1% patches on their vests…er…colors. I’d binge-watched “Sons of Anarchy” on Netflix after Rocker and I met. I wasn’t totally naive. But I also wondered about her insistence. She’d partied with me at the clubhouse. And had fun. But she’d also been…weird around Rocker.
“You need to break up.”
“With him?” A thought struck me. “Or with you?”
My purported best friend’s eyes narrowed before she waved a hand and laughed airily. Was that calculation on her part? Or shock? We’d known each other for years and I always thought she had my back but lately? Maybe hindsight truly was 20-20. An expression crossed her face as she looked past me. Pure, unadulterated lust she couldn’t hide.
A hard chest pressed against my back. Rocker. Nina had just broken Rule #1 of the Girlfriend Club. “You’re right,” I said. “We do need to break up.”
I took Rocker’s hand. “Let’s go, honey. I’m done here.”
250 future Nightrider MC WIP words
“We need to break up.”
I lug the suitcase out from the closet and put it on the bed, begin sorting through my clothes. Hot tears fall, dripping down my face as I throw things inside, aiming for its open mouth. Jeans and T-shirts, underwear, jammies. The only two pairs of shoes I have—worn-out sneakers with chewed-up laces—remind me of who I am, what I have become. So much for first love, early promises, unblemished dreams.
Really? We need to break up? After all this time? Twenty-seven fucking years? Now that you have quit your job on the Board of Directors, now that the kids are grown, now that I am old and ugly and fat, you want to move on and find a new place in this world?
You and your Innovative Ideas my ass—We need to break up?? Where the hell did that come from? Your mother? Your sister? Your so-called best friend?
WE don’t need to break up—YOU do! You need to break up with your sexy young girlfriend, the bottle of scotch hidden in the basement you think I know nothing about, your outdated chauvinistic notions of what marriage looks like, what a relationship is supposed to be.
I take his cell phone, his car keys, his checkbook. I empty his wallet, keeping his money, his credit cards, his ID. I put them in my suitcase and place the suitcase in my car.
I dry my face.
How’s that for breaking up?
It’s Not About You
You can’t pick your parents. They barely can pick you. Adoption aside, which in itself is sort of a lottery, having a kid is a huge gamble.
Getting born is a huge gamble.
Not that there’s a choice.
I suppose it works out for some.
Most people likely want to keep their kids.
Curious maybe about how the story ends.
Oh, a few might decide to leave a gurgling bundle outside a church one winter’s night.
Maybe with a note.
And then, for some parents, the equation of their life simply doesn’t compute. What is the number that gets bandied about? Right! Fifty percent of marriages fail.
I know something about that.
As I walked young Louella Samuels up to her mother’s door, I caught a glimpse of the tired woman peeking out of a living room window.
I’d known that weary look most of my life.
The flashback was intense.
I was six the year my parents finally imploded. When the definitive blast came. Mom and her buddy, Stella were in the kitchen. I was in earshot, listening as Stella read my mom what I guess was the riot act. “Next time he’ll hurt you really bad, Jennie. Worse! You need to break up with this asshole now. Take the kid, split. Get safe. There are places…”
And there were places.
We bounced around for a couple of years.
He always seemed to find us.
Louella’s mother opened the door.
The selkie evaded him each time he tried to return her cloak. He hadn’t meant to pick it up when he gathered his laundry after washing it in the river. He hadn’t realized until he was back home and felt the soft pelt.
“I didn’t mean to take it. I’m just trying to give it back,” he yelled, setting it upriver while he worked on this trip’s laundry. The water was so cold now his hands were numb and the soap didn’t lather.
“You need to break up the bar or soak it first. Soaproot would be better.” Tall and curvy, the selkie picked up the skin and set a handful of stalks and leaves on the bank before stepping down in the water. Halfway out into the river, the maiden kept watching. “You’re not like most men.”
He shook his head. “You’re lovely but keeping you from the ocean or this river leading to it wouldn’t be fair to you, and forcing you into my bed wouldn’t make you mine.”
She swam to the shallows and beckoned him forward, and he hissed as the cold sank into his bones as he crawled through the cold water and mud. “I’ve been away from the ocean too long, but perhaps if you left a path of rocks for me to follow to your home, I could visit you one night.” She kissed him quickly, tasting of salt and woman, then was gone beneath the water.
He had rocks to gather.
“Can you please slow down? My brains are being rattled.”
“I didn’t know an aristocrat had brains,” Catarina said louder than she meant to, and eased up on the reins.
Ana climbed out from under the floorboard and grabbed hold of the side of the wagon. “Must you call me that?”
“Well, you are an aristocrat, aren’t you?” Catarina stopped the wagon without warning and turned to her. “Hide yourself. There’s a rider coming.”
Ana obeyed, hiding under the floorboard.
“These roads are crawling with Bolsheviks,” Catarina said. When the rider was closer, Catarina tensed. “Shit. It’s Anatoly.”
“The one who wants you to marry him?”
Catarina grunted. “Yes, but I won’t do it.”
“Really, I think you need to break up,” Ana said from her hiding place.
“I think you need to shut up.”
Anatoly halted his horse in front of their wagon “You are headed to St. Petersburg? Not a good idea. The Czar’s army and the Bolsheviks are fighting for control of the city.”
“I must get to my brother.”
“You won’t get him out of the Czar’s prison without my help, Catarina.”
Catarina hesitated. If they rode together, he would surely discover Ana.
“Ride ahead of us then,” she told him.
He turned his horse around and called back to her. “The Bolsheviks have captured the Romanovs. Except for the youngest, the Grand Duchess Anastasia.”
Catarina gasped. She knew Ana was an aristocrat. Could she really be Anastasia? She risked her life to hide her. Could she now betray her new friend?
250 Words (of my YA WIP)
The woman near the window turned back toward me. She drew the chain binding us together taut, pulling me close.
“You can say goodbye to your private life,” she said. “Five years of correction at Drake Hall will destroy any relationship.” She lifted her hands and rubbed her nose, taking all up of the slack. “Any children you have will suffer too. Not just while they’re at school: they’ll struggle for the rest of their lives.”
The transfer bus hit a pothole and slewed sideways, throwing us both together. The driver fought back, stamping first on the brake and then the accelerator, dragging us back onto the gravelled track.
I found myself on the floor with my arms pulled over my head, my shoulders straining as I hung from the chain. My travelling companion had kept her seat, having jammed her feet against the back of the one in front of us. She seemed totally at ease with what had happened.
“Your husband’s a government minister, they say,” she said, looking down at me, a smug little smile showing how pleased she was. “Whatever he’s promised you; you need to break up. It’ll be better for you both if you do. Just cut your losses; forget you ever knew him. He’ll soon bounce back; he’ll be an eligible man. With a little luck, he might already have a thing for your kids’ nanny. That’d be the best thing for everyone. And a little bit of continuity for Phillipa and Sue.”
250 words – twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
Hermione rested her head against the wall as she sat on the front porch of her parents’ cabin. Her idea of a cabin in the woods was a one room shack and an outhouse twenty yards away. Her parents’ idea of a cabin had been a ten-bedroom, eight-bathroom, rustic chic mansion with full gym, sauna, hot tub, shooting range, six car garage with a workshop overhead, and sixty acres of hiking trails through the mountainous woods.
Sittin’ here with a beer on the porch ain’t bad, though.
“I don’t know how to make these kinds of relationships work. I mean, the last real relationship I had was with my ex-husband, and it went to shit fast.”
Dunwoody sipped her beer and nodded. “Maybe you need to break up with him.”
“How can I break up with a guy I’m not even with officially?”
Dunwoody snorted. “Not with him? Come on. You’ve never turned your phone off, ever, and you spent three hours alone with him the other night. You’re so with him, you might as well be a pair of synchronized swimmers in the Olympics.”
Hermione barked a laugh. “Yeah, I don’t think Chester sees it that way.”
Dunwoody rolled her eyes. “How would you know if you don’t talk to him about it?”
“There hasn’t been time.”
“Bullshit. There’s always time to talk. We both know what’s stopping you.” Dunwoody shook her head.
“Oh yeah? What?”
She rolled her eyes. “Fear.”
243 ineligible #Sirens words
We surveyed the grand hall decked out in splendour. All the old traditions had been observed creating a heavy sense of history in the air. From our position, all the gathered dignitaries looked like mere ants. I smiled at the irony, to them we were nothing.
“You need to break up the alliance,” Willem announced needlessly. I was very aware of the dangers we faced. “If the Council signs that treaty, we’re all doomed.” Willem always was one for drama. Unfortunately, this time it was not misplaced. We both knew the vampires were ready to betray the treaty at the first opportunity and at that time all mages would have their hands bound, quite literally by the magic of the treaty.
“And how do you expect me to do that? They’re not exactly going to give me a seat at the table. We’re mercenaries, just here to keep the peace.” I touched the taser fixed to my belt. All magic was banned, but nothing was said about good old modern technology.
Willem sighed and turned his back on the party downstairs. He gave a pitiful shake of the head; he’d already given up.
“Good job it’s not down to you isn’t it,” I smirked and started adjusting my hair.
Willem’s eyes lit up, “You do have a plan!”
“Step one, you keep the coast clear while I use my feminine wiles.” I ignored his snort. “Then, if they want evidence, let’s get them some. Or fake it at least.”
249 words @Lexikonical
Sentinel never liked fragile things. Delicate beauty held no appeal for him, so of course this strange world of sand and water was filled with it. He felt like a dragon in a porcelain shop.
“Ah! Sentinel! Just the fellow I was endeavoring to encounter!”
Speaking of delicate things, the spindly elf professor approached excitedly from midship.
“Professsor…” Sentinel sighed sibilantly.
“Would you be amenable to reviewing these designs? I had a flash of inspiration in the night, that I consider most promising for returning to your native ocean, but of course having never seen one of your ships with my own eyes …”
Sentinel turned his gaze to the haphazard clipboard of splayed sketches and notes presented by the still rambling professor.
“I was a ssoldier, not an engineer.”
The interrupted academic blinked through his heavy spectacles like Sentinel had spoken in Serpent Tongue. After a moment, his train of thought came barreling back around for another pass.
“Of course! Now, do these modifications look at all similar to the ship that brought you here?”
Even identifying the drawings as being of their ship taxed Sentinel. What any of the rest of it meant was beyond him.
“You need to break up the Devil’s Reef to even approach my home.”
“Ah, yes!” The professor hung on Sentinel’s words like diamonds of wisdom. “Like the ice breakers around Kaldrim in the winter!”
“Then, even with your magic, I’m not sure how long a wooden ship can sail on lava.”
250 Cat’s The Pajamas words
27 percent and holding
(The update that ate New York)
Old tech works when new tech fails, it’s an unwritten rule of the universe. It’s a corollary to a watched pot not boiling: The update will take 5 minutes longer than you have.
You need to break up the process but it doesn’t work that way. One update to rule them all and to Microsoft blind them. It wouldn’t be bad but since Devon was forced to pull his laptop out of mothballs, it had been nothing but changes and updates.
Since the backup had been shelved in favor of a new computer, a new protective mode had been introduced, and he was bound to the mode. He tried everything to get back on track — the new computer would only be gone for 7-8 business days, the old one only needed to function long enough to get him through it.
One late night staying up until 03:00 nursing first one update and then the next only proved he was not as young as he used to be, and the tech was older than he thought.
He may not believe in the no-win scenario but 99% complete and 10 minutes left was not enough- not when that magic 100% triggers a reboot – and a second, longer update.
There was no way they wouldn’t notice that the time of death was 3 hours before the suicide note could have been written.
Devon hated computers.
235 words (not including title/subtitle)
#ThursThreads Week 462 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.