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 471 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 471:
Scientist, Dad, and flash fiction author, Eric Martell.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“The war isn’t over yet.”
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!
9 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 471”
Ambrose raised his eyebrows. “And the war?”
“Isn’t over yet. We still have a few moves left.”
He snorted. “Oh yeah? What do you suggest?”
“Look, you know this region better than me, so you should have the most insight. The satyrs essentially have the same capabilities as Big Horned Sheep or mountain goats, right?”
He frowned. “I don’t know those creatures, but the satyrs are sure-footed and know these cliffs well. Their guards train on them daily.”
“Perfect.” Roxanne nodded with satisfaction. “While the dryads are related to the trees, they don’t have much connection to the gnarly evergreens or the cliffs. The satyrs can use that to their advantage.”
She pointed at the map and met Zephyr’s dark gaze. “Make the dryads come to you. You can fight them on the flats. Use the cliffs. They’re your defense and your strength. It’s literally the high ground. You still have archers, right?”
Zephyr nodded, her horns reflecting the wan sunlight coming through the trees. “Yes, Ewe Bailey.”
“Good. Position them here, here, and here.” She pointed to spots along the ridge line. “That will funnel them down this valley and into the box canyon. Then we can hem them in and maybe get them to negotiate. Unless they’re hell bent for leather to fight to the last being.”
219 ineligible #Sirens words
The bells in every church tower across the country rang out, their peals ragged and lacking form. It was a final effort from the few of us who remained. A defiant gesture of resistance and courage.
“Don’t believe what the government tells you,” Manson said. The war isn’t over yet. It’s barely begun.” He polished his binoculars, an analogue pair that looked like a museum exhibit. They were bound with leather and had lenses made from glass, lacking the electronics of the surveillance devices we used before the world turned upside down.
“But we’ve beaten them. No one’s seen a mole-man for months. The only ones left are breaking rocks in prison camps. And even then, they’ve been de-clawed and neutered.”
Manson shook his head and came back from the window. The scars on his cheeks looked like farmland furrows, deep and irregular. It was unlikely that they’d heal; the velveteen scourge was riddled with diseases, the barbs they used to hook their prey equipped with venom sacs. A simple scratch would become a wound in under an hour, and if it wasn’t cauterised quickly, it would continue to spread. The slightest break in a victim’s skin could become fatal. It was this that been their deadliest weapon.
That and the fact they could appear from anywhere. The mountains had been the only places where we’d been safe.
“The rumblings in Osaka have begun again,” Manson said. “The seismographs are all wrong. They’re coming back to finish what they started.”
250 words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
Mary Pat watched the man sitting across the restaurant, her perusal blatant. “Why do you make everything a battle, Kathleen?”
I gave her the side-eye. “Why do you make everything a lark?”
My best friend laughed, the pealing sound causing heads to turn. Mary Pat was petite, with curly brown hair and sparkling green eyes. She was curvy and flirty and those of the male persuasion had always swarmed to her like bears to blackberries.
“What’s wrong with him?”
I glanced at her target for the evening. “Nothing.”
“Then why aren’t you interested?” Her face softened as she studied me. “It’s been over a year.”
It had been eleven months, one week and six days. Not that I was counting. The knock on the door in the middle of the night. The uniforms and Boston PD’s chaplain standing on the stoop telling me Tommy was dead, executed in the arms of a prostitute. My husband had been a dirty cop and I still didn’t know if his own had taken him out or if the Irish mob finagled the hit.
Two men sat at a shadowed table in the same restaurant, one’s gaze fixed on Kathleen Gallagher.
“The war isn’t over yet, boyo.”
“I know, Mick.”
“Tis a hellava thing, Devlin.”
“Ya need t’stay away from the lass.”
“But ya won’t.”
“I can’t. She’s mine.”
“You think she’ll forgive ya for makin’ her a widow?”
Devlin flashed his boss a cheeky grin. “As ya said, the war t’isn’t over yet.”
250 Moonstruck Mafia WIP words
Back In Town
As I listened to Henderson reminisce about Henry Samuels, on the man as boy on the run, I found myself having some sympathy for the emotionally devastated kid, the dervish that he must have been.
“So somewhere, you reconnected?”
“Yeah. Years later. I’d re-upped once and then returned home. By then my old lady had passed on and I inherited the house. I was still there one night, fifteen years ago, something like that, a miserably hot summer night, and I was in the back yard knocking back a few cold ones when he suddenly showed up…I cracked open a brew and we sat there in the sweltering night getting reacquainted.”
“Where had he been?”
“His story was pretty basic. On the road. Doing shit jobs, reading a lot but never quite staying in one place, never comfortable in his own skin. Said he had fathered a kid down east, a boy seven years earlier, but never saw him. Said that now he just needed to get settled. He felt that I was probably still in the Marines being all Gung Ho. Said, ‘I figured you were a lifer…the war isn’t over yet so I figured you’d be a lifer.”
“So, you helped him?”
“Yup, gave him a job at the shop, he met Lacey, married her, had Louella, and then let it slip through his fingers.”
There was something missing in Henderson’s story. “Have you ever met Lacey?”
“Never. Didn’t even get invited to the wedding.”
Monarchs are much more dangerous than ships or soldiers. Other than their host, Great Admiral Josiah Bennett was the only one without royal blood or command of a country. In all his years in battle and on the seas, he’d never seen as imposing an assemblage as he now found himself part of. Convening the heads of state themselves in a purportedly neutral location gave the gathering gravitas. Not even Admiral Bennett could read the full motives of those present.
Queen Alessandra de Blanche of Terre Reine signed her name to the peace treaty and passed it decorously to Sword Sultan Ra’d. Even with the grand table of the FS Philosophy brought tactfully out to the main deck, things were not so equitable as flowered words and polite posturing suggested. Sultan Ra’d wouldn’t have fit comfortably inside the quarterdeck. While seated he could reach its roof. What’s more, storm giants like the Sword Sultan were known to be able to call lightning from a clear sky.
Bennett didn’t trust the number of concessions Ra’d had made in the treaty. Everyone was war-weary. No one was showing their cards. After a sequence of handshakes that would have been comical under other circumstances, peace was declared, and Bennett returned to his own ship.
“I’m glad the war’s over!” Bennett’s first officer sighed. “I don’t mind saying I was not looking forward to invading the Sword Sultanate.”
Admiral Bennett scowled through his mustache at the western horizon.
“The war isn’t over yet…”
249 Cat’s The Pajamas words
I admit it I like attention, any attention is a good thing, right? Night after night day after day. I sought his interest. We’re roommates ;you’d think we’d share a word or two. I’m a good house guest even if he tended to ignore me. I clean up after him. I washed floors and windows. I did the laundry. I really want him to really notice me. He’s cute; but I think he thinks of me only as a roommate, not as someone he could date or fall in love with, Frankly I’m tired of all the women he brings home; they treat him like crap. The last one screamed at him for an hour and was still here after he went to work and I made sure she’d never come back I told her I was his wife. Luckily Henrik didn’t find out what I did. I think I overstepped my bounds with that attempt.
I decided I’d make him his favourite foods to make it up to him and maybe he’d finally notice me.
Henrik smelled the food as he came in and I saw him smile and then he said, “Janelle, you sweetheart.”
“It’s not Janelle, it’s Frankie, ”I replied.
That’s when he really saw me and he fainted.
The war isn’t over yet; he’ll get used to the fact I’m dead and then we can have the relationship we should have had when I was alive. It’s the dream, right? After all he’s always been mine.
Standing in front of a sea of black robes, my eyes roam the crowd, looking for the strongest ones. All eyes are on me, their leader, as they wait for instructions. The war isn’t over yet; there are still tensions in the Death community. And until those tensions have been settled, I cannot retire.
“Attention, Deathers!” My voice projects across the sea of humans, thousands of them ready to cross souls over to the afterlife. “I am sure you know there is a war among the Planes. War is always about power, who is going to rule and who will answer to that ruler. At the heart of this war is my job: I am set to retire and the Council disagrees with whom the universe chose. Thus, the war is being fought to determine who will rule the Afterlife. I need volunteers for our army. We have Deaths from all countries represented, but we need Deathers.
“This is not going to be an easy job. You may be injured or even killed. But if you are willing to step forward and help us win this war, so that the new chosen Death may be installed, please see me after you do your rounds tonight.”
The Deathers take to the sky, but curiously, thirty stay behind. They walk forward, scythes clanging against the stone floor.
“We’re willing to fight.”
I beckon them into the conference room. There is training to do and precious little time in which to do it.
Cold fire sang in my veins as the charges were read. So many cliches and platitudes were running through my mind.
‘To the victors belong the spoils.’
I tensed as the heroic stand made by a small group of soldiers on the frontier became a bunch of radical terrorists taking over the post and trying to kill the settlers.
We’d held our position till the last of the settlers had managed to get off the drift and escape into the hinterlands of Theta Quadrant. Most of us had been killed covering the retreat, only a handful remained with me in charge. The commander sacrificed himself as a rearguard to make sure we made it out.
‘History is written by the victors.’
There is no comfort nor quarter for us. There is only the fight to survive and stay one step ahead of the coming tide.
They rounded us up, soldiers following orders from a union that no longer existed, They tried us there or in absentia. Hold the line, gave way a long time ago. All that remains is ‘protect the weak.’
Survive, rebuild, never give up, never surrender— the cliches go both ways. We may have lost the battle, but the war isn’t over yet.
They came as we buried our dead, and as they prepared to pound us into hell, we rose from the world where we’d been planted.
The truth can be twisted to tell their tale, but they can’t fight our ghosts.
246 words (not including title)
#ThursThreads Week 471 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope ot catch you next week.