#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 469

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 tenth year of weekly prompts. It’s amazing we’ve gone this long! This is Week 469 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 469:

West Virginia Writer, Tired Momma, Sci-Fi Geek, and Aging Gen Xer, Karen Carr.

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And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“I don’t belong on the ground.”

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 469”

  1. “You need to be on the ground, at grass-roots level.”
    “On the ground? At grass-roots level?” Doug boomed, like a skipping record with the speakers pumped up. He lowered his voice again: “I don’t belong on the ground.”
    “There’s nowhere else to be, Douglas.” He only used the full ‘Douglas’ when he was upset with him. “You should be going door-to-door, in the community, proselytizing to the people.”
    “That’s not my shtick. I’m here, sitting in the gallery of a theater, waiting for the opera to start. An opera which I recommended to you, which is why you’re here. Trying to teach you a little culture.”
    “I like trying out new things, Doug. I thought, why not? My Italian isn’t the best, but why not give new things a try? This is what you should be doing too, going from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. You see?”
    “I’m above the people, Arnie. Figuratively. Literally. It’s why I gave the interview in the back of the limo this evening. The people see how I live. On television. A self-made multi-millionaire. TV’s a wider reach than going door to door, engaging with idiots like Joe the Plumber, one-to-one. That kind of nonsense is well above my pay-grade.”
    Governor Douglas Botond sat back and glanced across the theater to see that the news crew – interviewer, soundman, and cameraman – had set up in the balcony across from them, shooting him. Doug glanced down at the radio mic still attached to his lapel.
    “Oh…shit!”
    248 words @ragtaggiggagon

    1. If I could have picked two winners, your entry would have been in the winner’s circle. I love your world building, the way you were able to masterfully create such a villain, and how you brought justice at the end. I mean, who doesn’t love a pompous politician getting their comeuppance? Great job!

  2. “I don’t belong on the ground.”

    “You don’t have a choice.”

    She glared but he held her gaze, his expression implacable. “That’s not—”

    He raised his hand in the universal stop sign, cutting her off. “You say the word fair and I’ll ground you for another 30 days.”

    She paced away, fuming. It was unfair. She belonged up there. In the sky. Playing tag with the stars. She was a good pilot. A damn good one, and she chafed at being stuck here on the ground. There had to be a way around this situation but she couldn’t see beyond her frustration.

    “You screwed up.”

    Gods but he sounded so disappointed in her. But she hadn’t kissed the FUBAR stick and if she defended her actions, there would be repercussions. Even more than currently had her chained to earth. She didn’t answer him.

    “No explanation?” He was pushing now.

    Refusing to turn around, she shook her head. “I seem to remember someone once saying that an explanation is only another name for excuses.”

    “You would pick now to throw that back in my face.”

    “Not throwing anything anywhere,” adding belatedly, “Sir.” She faced him finally. “It is what it is.”

    “And you accept full responsibility?”

    She held his gaze this time, her own expression implacable to match his, but she didn’t speak. She couldn’t. The admiral’s son was the fuck-up and he knew it. She didn’t need to explain the facts.

    He nodded. “You’re right. It is what it is.”
    ****
    250 totally unrelated words to anything I currently have on the plotting board
    @SilverJames_

  3. Yo-yo Boy

    It’s easy to get caught up in old memories. Even someone else’s. As Glitch Henderson and I sat in the two ratty old heirloom loungers at the rear of his garage, smoke swirling in the late morning warmth, the smell of gas and oil oozing in the air, both mixed in with a maelstrom of errant down-home urban odors including the aromatic whiff of greasy spoon fried eggs and bacon swirling down the back alley, Henderson got downright nostalgic.

    “Henry was a mess as a kid.”

    “A mess?”

    “You know, one of those skinny fidgety kids. Never looked comfortable anywhere. ‘Course, as I told you, his mother was no prize and she died pretty quickly…and then he up and stayed.”

    “I’m surprized that the child welfare authorities permitted that. Kind of unusual.”

    “Yeah, I don’t remember all the hoops my old lady went through…no relatives they could find…and he was so squirrely, maybe they just took the easy route. Left him with us.”

    He butted out his smoke with his foot and lit up another. His residue of smoking pleasure continued to fume away even after his lead-footed effort to extinguish it. The Smoky the Bear in me wanted to yell out, ‘I don’t belong on the ground,’ but I held fire. There was no point in aggravating him with my sporadic environmental urges.

    “How long did he stay with your family?”

    “Ran away at thirteen.”

    “Ever come back?”

    “All the time. Like a yo-yo. A damn yo-yo.”

    250 WIP

    @billmelaterplea

  4. Aeryn climbed the stairs of the underground to the street and was greeted by a sudden downpour.

    “Just perfect. The worst ever day just got worse.”

    She turned the key to her small flat and was stopped at the threshold. She couldn’t move.

    “She sent you, didn’t she?” Aeryn said, not bothering to hide her annoyance. “And will you please drop this stupid ward?” After a couple of beats, the ward dropped and she went through.

    “Well, good evening to you, too, Your Royal Highness.”

    “Don’t call me that, D’arcy. And kindly drop the invisibility ward, too. I’m not in the mood for games.”

    D’arcy appeared, sitting on a lampshade. “Well, you are a princess. A fae princess. Heir to the fae throne.”

    He instantly vanished again.

    “Stop doing that.”

    D’arcy reappeared. Aeryn gave him a stern look.

    “I don’t belong on the ground,” he said with a smirk, perching on the leaf of a rubber plant.

    Aeryn shooed him off. “Why are you here, D’arcy? I’m no longer part of the fae realm. I’ve chosen to live in the mortal world.”

    “And does the Queen know? By the way, she has assigned me to head your security detail.”

    “Security detail?” She hadn’t sensed the presence of other fae. “Where?”

    “Um … well, me. I’m your security detail.”

    “Ha! Well, you can go back to my mother and tell her I won’t be requiring your services “

    “You can tell her yourself, Aeryn. She’s summoned you to the fae court. Tomorrow noon.“

    Catherine Verdier
    @CatheVerdier
    250 Words (from my YA paranormal WIP)

  5. I kept thinking about Viper. Just the idea that she was out there all alone with a baby to defend had me sweating bullets. Intellectually, I knew she could take care of herself, but the sexist, white knight syndrome had me in its grip, and I kept thinking about ridin’ in and savin’ the day.

    We reached the airport a little over forty-five minutes later and I hustled my ass out of the van so Hancock wouldn’t get caught on the road during the incoming storm. He nodded his thanks and took off while I headed for area set aside for private planes. I could see the Whitmore plane waiting just inside our designated hangar and figured I’d get an earful from Amber about making her wait while weather was coming in.

    I wasn’t too far from wrong.

    “Took your sweet ass time comin’ down the mountain, Boss.”

    I trotted up the steps into the cabin. “Sorry ‘bout that. Wasn’t anything I could do. The roads had gotten icy and my driver wasn’t takin’ any chances. We’re good to go when you are.”

    “We were just waitin’ on you.”

    “I love it when you say things like that. It’s good to see you.” I buckled myself into one of the seats as she grinned broadly.

    “Hell yeah. It’s been a while, Boss. I don’t belong on the ground. Been here too long as it is.”

    I snorted. “I’ll try to work more air travel into my future schedule.”

    248 ineligible #ConcreteAngelsMC words
    @SiobhanMuir

  6. Petunia opens the living tunnel to the Dark Plane, knowing we face an angry, seven-foot-tall deity on the other side. I’m not saying we broke a rule tonight but…

    The stone floor and walls echo as Petunia’s purple kitten heels stride over them. Despite the height difference, Horace’s attempts to loom over his secretary fall flat. Arms crossed, pink cat eye glasses catching the light, she beats him to the punch.

    “We did what we had to do.”

    Her office door whispers shut. My throat is dry as I try to swallow.

    “I will deal with Petunia later.” The walls tremble with anger. “As for you, you have once again violated the non-interference policy.”

    I clutch my scythe, purple robes wrapping around my heavy frame, their sparkle dimmed. “You saw her hourglass.”

    He straightens, becoming more frightening. “The hourglass is only defeated when a person takes their own life. You may remain in the service of Death but have your powers revoked for two months or, you will return Destiny, your powers, robes, and scythe.”

    I don’t belong on the ground. I like my job, despite everything.

    “Make your choice or I shall choose for you.”

    His voice bounces off the walls, rattling my brain. His eyes burn orange and red, anger running hot through them.

    “Given your inability to articulate your choice, I will only revoke your powers for one week.”

    Destiny and I tumble out in my backyard. I get to keep everything. But at what cost?

    @Aightball
    249 words

  7. A sharp wind wicked the spit from Soaru’s tongue, reminding him he had left it out last time he licked his lips. Thus dried, the tip stuck on its way back in. Soaru was too intent on his project to make any further attempt at retracting the tiny pink break in his concentrating countenance.

    “Gee, Soaru, what’re you working so hard on?”

    Aadi’s voice over Soaru’s shoulder would have made him jump if he weren’t so engrossed in lashing the wing to its frame. It was a matter of life and death that it be secure.

    “I’m making a glider!”

    Soaru rasped a parched response. The watery relief of taking his tongue back into his mouth was greater than expected. Aadi dashed a quick circle and a half around Soaru’s project.

    “What for?”

    Soaru sat back with a satisfied sigh at his completed contraption.

    “I don’t belong on the ground!”

    Aadi arched an eyebrow and curled their tail dubiously.

    “Normal people climb trees for that.”

    Soaru fixed his prized goggles over his amber eyes resolutely.

    “Not me! This glider will let me fly like an elvish airship!”

    Aadi shot a wild glance over the edge to the clouds whirling ever westward below.

    “You’re not going to jump off the island?!”

    “Yep!”

    Soaru positioned himself under his glider, hang bar firmly grasped in both hands. Before he could run for the edge, an unexpected gust hurled the aspiring aviator skyward, his exultant startled shrieks trailing behind him like a kite string.

    250 Cat’s The Pajamas words
    @DavidALudwig

  8. Spitting dirt, I wiped my face and grimaced. This wasn’t the first time I’d woken up with a faceful of mud, but this time was different. I didn’t belong on the ground, I belonged under it.

    Then I heard that laugh.

    “You thought you could escape from me that easily?”

    I spat a chunk of grass and worms in her direction. It matched her soul. “Easily? Do you have any idea how much work it took for me to get that fool to kill me?”

    “That was your fault. You’re the one that convinced him that your very existence was the key to his remaining on the throne.”

    I climbed the rest of the way out of my grave and looked at what should have been the hole in my chest. She’d learned a new trick. “That was before ‘Til death do you part.’”

    “Quit whining. We’re parted, okay? Your oath has been fulfilled, you are a free man before queens and gods.” She reached out a hand to help me up.

    “Why am I back then?” And why did the touch of her hand on mine get me so excited? Hadn’t I learned that lesson the hard way?

    “Because He’s back. And that oath binds you from beyond the veil.”

    213 words
    @drmag00

  9. “I’ve only been able to do one thing: Make others feel better.” Lucky contemplated how to say the next thing without sounding judgy. “You’ve been able to try so many things. If there was one power you could have, what would it be?”

    Mel stilled, and the air chilled. “You mean if I wasn’t me? Who would I be?”

    Talking with her was always so off-putting. She wasn’t the enemy. She wanted to be something much more. Nothing came out right, and Mel became defensive.

    “No. You are who you are. But has there been one power that you wish you had – forever?”

    “There’s always a drawback to a power.” Mel lowered her eyes, and her purple hair covered the side of her face, as if she was thinking of a specific instance or an event. “Fire was impossible to control, and one I never want to experience again. Being invisible –there’s this bloke, Derek, who works for The Municipal, and I tapped into him a few times. You might think it’s cool because people don’t see you, but damn. It’s not like you’re transparent and non-corporeal. People run into you, fall over you. It’s dangerous.”

    “So with the positive, you get the negative.”

    “Yeah. Living in someone else’s shoes, so to say, isn’t always what you expect.” She tapped her fork on the side of the plate, creating a symphonic echo. “To tell you the truth, though, I don’t belong on the ground. I need to fly.”

    @LouisaBacio
    248 words

  10. The Battle Within

    I looked at the regulator and let my breath out slowly as I counted to ten. Part of me knew Command was right, but I wasn’t comfortable in the position of overwatch. I belonged in the field until I didn’t. Watching is harder than fighting.

    “Tophat, what are you thinking?” Freestyle asked as we watched the feeds.

    “I did the threat assessment, I did the case study. My team, my plan. My people are on their way to the dark side and command is telling me I don’t belong.”

    “On the ground,” Freestyle reminded me. “You don’t belong on the ground – they need you in the chair.”

    They’ll need me when things go pear-shaped. Freestyle didn’t say it, but the message was implied. Things always went pear-shaped.

    That’s Freestyle for you— keeping everyone on an even keel, even a cranky chair-bound unit commander. I tensed as the screens went blank and I strained to hear the comms. The enemy had been waiting. My opposite number had run their numbers and done the math as well.

    I listened and finally, the heads-up display lit up. They were inside. Freestyle’s fingers flew across the controls, bringing everything into sharp relief.

    I checked the readings as they scrolled up in front of me. There was a build-up of almost toxic levels and I nodded. “Four units of insulin, then recheck – team two, watch the liver we may need to lay down cover fire.”

    Ketoacidosis is serious business.

    249 Words not including title
    @mishmhem

  11. #ThursThreads Week 469 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.

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