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 463 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 463:
Book enthusiast, lover of coffee, and Fantasy and Suspense author, Tina Glasneck.
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And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“I didn’t mean to take it.”
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!
16 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 463”
The pendant weighs heavy in my hand, and it’s all I can really feel. That, and the pressure in my chest as my heart numbs, and the sounds around me go in one ear and out the other.
“I’m sorry, Princess, but we must go.” I’m not even sure which of the knights helps me to my feet, guides me to a horse. But I’m glad she does, because I can’t see through the tears, through the blood that poured from my best friend as I watched him slip away.
We can’t even take him back with us.
My grip on his pendant tightens. I didn’t mean to take it, but I’m glad I did. It’s all that keeps me tethered, keeps me from losing myself to the grief.
Dead because I couldn’t keep myself safe.
Blinking the tears away, I take a deep, shuddering breath. The knight offers me her hand and pulls me up onto the horse. Pressing my forehead to her shoulder, I squeeze my eyes shut. If I look back at him, I’ll jump from the animal and refuse to leave. And I can’t do that.
He wouldn’t want me to.
So I hold on tight as she urges the horse into a run, bound for home.
214 new fantasy WIP words
“Mom? Dad? Thank goodness you’re here.”
“What’s wrong?” my mother asked.
My father scrolling his phone and half-listening suddenly shouted, “You didn’t!!”
“I didn’t mean to take it.”
Dad then showed mom.
“How did this happen?” mom asked.
“I saw it in the glass case at the museum, it whispered to me. ‘Take me.’ The case opened and suddenly I held it. I was scared, I wished I was home, suddenly I’m here.”
“You know what this means don’t you, Jalen.”
“She ‘ll be famous:”
“I don’t want to be arrested; can’t we take it back?”
“Kiaran remember the stories I told you about your great- great- great- great- great- grandmother?”
“But that was only a story.”
“Apparently not,” Dad stated.
“I don’t want to be the next scion of Teresian.”
“We are never chosen to lead.”
“Who will follow a sixteen-year-old ruler?’
“You are the chosen one; we owe you allegiance and the people will fall in line,” Dad answered.
“Will they believe that when I barely believe it? They’ll just arrest me.”
“You’ll show then how you can wield the scepter and they’ll accept that you are the chosen one.”
The police came and I showed them how the scepter called to me. They took me before a judge and I showed her. I am now a ruler, learning day by day how to help my people, trying to be the best I can be; all because I visited a museum. Some days I wished I’d stayed home.
Cookie Day.Pre-made, carved in circles from a tube.
Mother was reluctant to let her daughter help because the little girl was not yet three, but Fariza insisted, so mother gave in; she took two knives from the drawer and gave one to Fariza, supervising so the girl did not hurt herself.
They sliced carefully, counted a dozen, then put them in the oven.
“Do you know what shape cookies are?”
“Brown is not a shape, it’s a color. But the shape I’m thinking of rhymes with brown.”
“No, try again.”
“No, you are thinking of ‘sound’, but that’s not it.”
Fariza lost interest in vocabulary. “Sprinkles?” she wanted to know.
“Maybe. Ask nicely.”
“Please? And frosting?”
“That’s asking for a lot.”
“But you wuv me.”
“I do.” Mother made a circle with her arms and hugged her daughter. “What shape is this?”
“Yes. Love is a circle, like these cookies. What else is round?”
“I dunno. I want cookies.”
“If you tell me something round then you may.”
“Nothing. I have to go to my room for a second; will you leave things alone? I’ll be right back. If you don’t touch, you can have two cookies when I get back. How’s that?”
“Okay. I’ll be good.”
Mother called out from the other room. ”Are you behaving yourself?”
Mother returned and looked at Fariza’s chocolatey mouth.
“I didn’t mean to take it. It jumped.”
Off the Rails
Lacey Samuels offered me coffee. I accepted. “Me too, Mom,“ Louella chimed in. That got her a motherly hug and a third cup poured.
I explained to Lacey her daughter’s request and my ethical requirement that she approves my search for her estranged husband.
“I’ve taken a dollar as retainer. If you kibosh the investigation, I’ll return it.”
Louella was squirmy with a pinched look that suggested she could swing her deal if only the adults in the room would let her. Lacey touched her shoulder gently and smiled. “Hank, Henry, could be anywhere. He’s a wandering man. I didn’t know it when we got together but early on, it became clear.” She looked over at her daughter as she recounted life with her errant spouse. “Even the day Lou was born, Henry was out…galivanting.”
“Is that what it’s called these days?” I asked.
“Emphasis on gal,” she noted.
“Over the years,” she continued, “he kept promising to cool his jets but…I didn’t mean to take it for so long but I did. The usual reasons. I guess he got comfortable with my…forgiveness. Then, half a year ago he added to the mix.”
“Mingling illegal business with his tomcatting pleasure. Terrible stuff, selling opioids…him and those people…”
“His roommates…they are a den of…”
“Yet, you’ve let Louella go there.”
“She’s damn willful. I don’t want her running away.”
“Parenting’s a balancing act,” I added.
“With no net,” she tacked on.
Bubbles foamed in the sink. He had already drunk three cans. This was the fourth. Teary-eyed and inebriated, thirteen-year-old Amos swayed at the kitchen door as I emptied the can down the drain.
“I didn’t mean to take it,” he whined.
“I think you showed intentionality and volition in stealing your father’s beers from the fridge and drinking three out of four of them. Just wait till he gets home.”
“Please don’t tell him. Say you drunk ’em.”
“Your father knows that I don’t drink beer.” I frowned in feigned concentration.
“What?” he asked.
“We’ll replace them this afternoon before Dad comes home from work. With your allowance money.”
“Oh. Okay.” He nodded agreeably. “And…we won’t tell him?”
We drove to the mall, to the only liquor store that sold his father’s specialist IPA lager. Amos took four of them out of the fridge, and brought them to the cashier.
The man, wearing an apron and with a salt-and-pepper moustache, stared first at Amos and then at me.
“Can I…see some ID?” he asked.
“They’re…for me.” I beamed at him.
“You’ve to make the purchase, lady,” the cashier insisted. Nodding at Amos, he added: “I can’t sell to the kid.”
“I’m not a kid,” Amos objected. “I’m actually a teenager if you must know.” His speech was so slurred that the cashier immediately took the four beers off the counter and onto his side of the till.
“Get out!” the cashier roared. “Both of you!”
250 words @ragtaggiggagon
“Keep down, these roads are crawling with Bolsheviks.” Catarina steered the wagon into the city. She was conflicted. She was helping Ana, an aristocrat, evade the very revolutionaries she supported.
“Why are you helping me? If they find us …” Before Ana could finish her question, Catarina jolted the wagon to a halt.
“Get out,” Catarina ordered her.
Catarina had stopped the wagon inside a stable and grabbed her satchel.
“You’re leaving me?”
“Hide here till I get back. I’m going to find my brother.”
“He’s in the Czar’s prison, is he not?” Ana said. “What will you do?”
“I haven’t figured that part out yet,” Catarina replied.
It was almost dark when Catarina headed back to the stable. She had found out through a fellow Bolshevik that her brother, Aron, had escaped from the prison along with other Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks had control of St. Petersburg and it was rumored they were holding the Czar’s family, the Romanovs, hostage.
“Stop!” someone shouted at her. It was a cop.
“Shit,” she muttered. “I didn’t mean to take it.”
“What?” He scratched his head, appearing perplexed. Catarina pushed past him and ran. She was out of breath when she got back to the stable where she’d left Ana.
“What happened?” Ana asked.
“Never mind.” Catarina put one hand on Ana’s arm and locked eyes with her. “Tell me the truth. Are you a Romanov? Are you the Grand Duchess Anastasia?”
238 Words (from my YA WIP)
Hermione scowled and took a drink of her beer. “I’m not afraid of anything.”
“Yeah, I’m gonna have to call bullshit again.” Dunwoody snorted. “Your ex did a number on you and now you can’t see a world where love and military SpecOps exist in the same place. Hell, woman, you should read some of those military romances I keep telling you about. It might give you some insight.”
Hermione groaned. “You know those things are fantasy, right?”
“Oh my glory, are you a fiction snob? Of course I know they’re fantasy. I was in the military, remember? But one thing romance authors get right is relationships and they show how to work through problems that seem insurmountable.” Dunwoody shook her head. “I can’t believe you actually insulted me about romance novels.”
Hermione sighed. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to.”
“Take it from me, they’re worth the read when the shit hits the fan. Life might suck, but everything works out in the stories. You could learn a lot from them, including learning how to heal from the bullshit of your past.” She sipped her beer again, getting a faraway look on her face.
Hermione tipped her head. “If they’re so great, why haven’t you found your…what do you call it? Happily-ever-after?”
Dunwoody sighed and picked at the bottle’s label. “Because I as too chickenshit when I had the chance.” She met Hermione’s gaze. “Don’t be like me. Learn from my mistakes and talk to Chester. It’s worth it, believe me.”
250 ineligible #Sirens words
On Taking the Elephant
Trust me, I didn’t mean to take it. I wasn’t even sure I saw it at first.
I’d just lost my job, fourth one this year, a record for me. I was out scrounging for change, for something to eat, for a new gig, for a chance. Instead I found the old gang, hanging around Lou’s, tagging on an early buzz.
What the hell, I thought. A couple of tokes and a swig and I’ll be back out on the prowl. But we all know how that goes. It was about two in the morning when I stumbled out from behind the dumpster at the zoo. Lord knows how I got there.
That’s when I saw it, in all its massive glory. If it was pink I would’ve assumed I was hallucinating, the DTs or whatever. But it was just a big, gray, fat ass pachyderm; floppy ears, trunk picking at its belly, sitting there on its butt, looking straight at me.
I looked around for a keeper, I did. But it was just me and him. I saw the broken down fence he must’ve trampled to get out. I walked over, touched him to make sure he was real. He stood up then, took my hand in his trunk, and we just walked away.
I’m not sure where we’re going, but it goes to show you just never know how you’re day’s going to turn out.
The security guard lowered his taser. He wasn’t sure what to do. If he shot her, he would be filing paperwork for weeks. If he let her go, he’d have failed in his duty. If only there’d been somebody he could call on for backup.
“What ya gonna do, officer? It’s your word against mine. The cameras are out of action: I could say anything when we get to court. The judge will go easy on me whatever you say. I could say I was confused and swallowed it by accident.”
The guard holstered his weapon. The old lady had a point. The only thing she need say was “I didn’t mean to take it,” and he would be lucky if he didn’t end up on a charge himself.
“Come on,” he said. “What about the merchandise? The store’s insurers are bound to insist you remain in custody until it passes through. They might even insist you drink a pint of prune juice to help things along. The sooner you give up what you took the quicker you’ll be back on the street. Although you’ll never be allowed in this jeweller’s store again. Or in any shop in town.”
The woman shrugged, raising her finger. He could see where the ring had been less than a minute ago.
“Then I’ll just go visit another town, somewhere where my face isn’t known. But in the meantime, I guess we’ll all be going through the motions. In one way or another.”
249 words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
Nicole Singer emphasized the title admiringly. She smiled at the little lass perched on her counter. The sailor before Nicole had a completely different air than the withdrawn wounded girl she rescued from the surf two years ago. The shopkeeper might not have recognized Caitlin, if she weren’t still the only person Nicole knew of having cat ears and a tail.
“Captain Caitlin Nicole Kinnery!” the girl purred proudly.
“Oh! You never told me your full name before!”
“I made it up after going back to sea!” Caitlin beamed, then lowered her ears to look soulfully up at Nicole. “Ye don’t mind that I used yer name in me own?”
“I think it’s wonderful!” Nicole laughed. “Come this way; I want to give you something to celebrate the occasion.”
Opening a fine silver cage, Nicole removed the little yellow canary who had recently learned to sing. Presenting him to Caitlin, Nicole chose to believe it wasn’t hunger her feline eyes shone with.
“Can ye really afford to give me one o’ yer fine birds?”
Captain and canary evaluated one another.
“Of course! I would give you that hairbrush you liked so much, but I can’t seem to find it.”
Caitlin’s ears drooped and she sheepishly produced a jewel encrusted brush from her pouch.
“I know ye can’t afford to give me this. I didn’t mean to take it.”
Nicole closed the girl’s hands back around her treasure.
“It means more to you. I want you to have it.”
250 Cat’s The Pajamas words
Lord Drayden turned to me and held out a large, brass key, his face inscrutable.
My hand itched to take the damned thing and run. But I’d never make it to Domick if this was a trick. “Why now?” I asked.
“Because you asked so nicely,” he teased, drawing closer. A dangerous smile lurked on his lips.
“And what do you want in return?” I asked, wary of any gift from this dark lord.
“Nothing,” he crooned. “What could I possibly want?”
Yesterday’s conversation immediately sprang to mind. My heart raced remembering him in the corridor, his nearness and heat. And lies.
“Showing generosity now won’t change my answer” I growled, anger pushing aside the butterflies in my belly. “Sharia told me…what you did.”
“Did she?” His face clouded and his voice promised punishment.
“Yes. I know what kind of deceitful monster you really are,” I said, letting my anger burn away my rising fear and my caution. “Your own queen feared you, hated you. She defied you and you killed her!”
He drew back as if struck, nostrils flaring. Then he seemed to grow taller, his eyes blazing, jaw tight. I’d never seen him so furious.
I trembled. “I didn’t mean to—“
“Take it!” he snarled, thrusting the key into my hand. “Take it and your mundane friend and flee this place if you like. But beware, little one,” he drawled. “There are snakes whispering in your ear and their words are as deadly as poison.”
Her hand hovered over the cash. “I didn’t mean to.”
“Take it,” Lucky said. “I thought you were here because you wanted to be with me. Not because you wanted something.”
“It’s not like that.” Panic settled in her chest, and held her tongue. Why did she ever believe things might change? People always thought the worst of her.
“You steal people’s powers, don’t you?” Lucky lashed out. “Why is this any different?”
“You have no idea what my life has been like. You have no right.”
“Don’t I?” Lucky laughed on the edge of sanity, and plopped in the blue velvet lounge chair. The one they’d kissed in a few short days ago. She bent over, elbows propped on her knees, and her head in her hands.
Despite being the one accused of committing a crime, Melody’s heart went out to her lover. She’d assumed the other woman lived a gifted life with a power she controlled, a good job, a beautiful home, a family.
What had happened here? Everything seemed to be going well, and then hell. When she woke and Lucky was gone with a stack of bills on the bedside table, did she pick them up? Yes. Mostly she wanted to see if there was a note with it. They hadn’t been there the night before, had they?
At that moment, Lucky walked back in, and saw her holding the money. The look of shock on both of their faces clashed.
How could she?
Dust poofs around Destiny’s hooves as she lands quietly in a recently disked cornfield. It hasn’t rained in Iowa in at least a month, despite determined weather systems bringing plenty of moisture to us.
Being able to control the weather has two sides: on the one hand, if I’m unhappy with the forecast, I can change it. On the other, I can change it and that isn’t always a good thing. In this case, I’m…cleansing, let’s say, an area of the afterlife that has been a problem. It’s a Plane that has to exist because there are unsavories who need a place to go when they die. But those unsavories have been causing some issues and I borrowed the rain to make them behave.
“Carla, you must return the rain. Your state will see a water shortage soon.”
Horace, The One True Death, stands beside me in the field. The sun blisters us and the ground, where deep cracks have formed.
“I didn’t mean to take it. Not really. But it’s working, isn’t it?”
He nods, in full skeletal Death mode. “Yes, they are wet and miserable. I feel as though they have learned their lesson. There were no problems during their recreation period today.”
I nod, and the clouds roll in. The ground soaks up the rain, long overdue. Horace nods and disappears back to the Dark Plane. In the background, there’s a cheer and I realize the unsavories are happy. I hope they learned their lesson.
The Spider in Her Shell
Leath’s shoulders sagged when he saw the sensor light go off. Daneth had stacked the deck against him as usual, Sensors for sound, temperature, and movement meant the only way to infiltrate the building was to levitate and let the building move around him.
Physics, magic, and technology didn’t work that way, but he had to try. Daneth would destroy the world if he didn’t
“Is that the best your vaunted school can do against me?”
Leath sighed and let the energy from the levitation spell seep into the ground.
“Old school, I gloat— tell you my plan, have a big count-down timer on display and let you watch it until you prevent the firing pin from hitting the primer with a carefully placed credit card.”
“And your preferred method?”
“I press the button and you watch the world vanish in a wave of fire before I kill you.”
“That doesn’t sound very sporting.”
“I’m a dragon.”
Leath winced. “So, we’re not doing this old school?”
Leath waited. Instead of a wave of fire consuming the world an angry cry filled the tower and the sound of everything collapsing as the dragon’s rage took the building down.
Leath ran, picking up his ferret familiar as he ran. It wasn’t until he’d reached a safe distance he noticed the firing pin in the creature’s hands.
“I didn’t mean to take it…”
Leath smiled. When all else failed – chaos was his friend. A ferret named chaos
248 words not including the title
#ThursThreads is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.