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 472 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 472:
Cat afficionado, Editor, and Mid Week Flash host, Miranda Kate.
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And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“It’s barely begun.”
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!
11 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 472”
My lungs burn with every breath, and I hate that I’ve spent the last ten minutes dodging or blocking his attacks. His magic isn’t particularly strong or even clever, but he’s so fast. I can hardly think of a spell before he’s shot three my way. It’s barely begun, but there’s no denying I’m losing this match.
“Come on, sister!” Celeste’s voice, only somewhat distracting, calls to me from the edge of our makeshift arena. It takes everything I have not to yell back, ask her to switch places. This was all her idea anyway. “Kick his ass!”
But before I can do anything, a lightning bolt shoots toward me, the crackling static making my hair stand on end. With a wave of my hand and a muttered spell, a tree erupts from the ground in front of me to take the hit. The impact shakes the earth, and a moment later the tree is on fire. Maybe it’s the adrenaline, but the very real threat he poses sends me into a rage.
If he won’t pull his punches, neither will I.
Using the burning tree as cover, I keep myself out of sight. I only have a moment, so I need to make it count. Behind me, the void opens as I conjure a pair of daggers and let myself fall back. For a moment, I hover, the space a comforting envelope around me.
In a blink, I reappear behind him, finally catching him off guard.
247 untitled fantasy WIP words
Ronan picked up the glass, twisting it so the amber liquid inside glinted against the lights of the bar. A couple of the boys sat the bar and the waitresses glided between tables full of townies, more boys, and a few tourists who’d wandered in. He sat in the very last booth, in the shadows, a seat from which he could watch the room and gauge the atmosphere. His boys were in high spirits. Given the events of the day, he couldn’t fault them.
Boston’s finest had combed every office, home, and business belonging to Brian O’Hara and the O’Connor brothers. They found nothing. No stash of drugs, no prostitutes. No guns or gambling. No numbers running, loan-sharking, or chop shops. Any day the mob could confound the cops was a good one.
His brother slid into the booth opposite him. “It’s barely begun, ya know.”
Taking a sip of the Irish whiskey, Ronan gazed into Mickey’s eyes. “Brian planned for this.”
A waitress appeared with a glass of Guinness on her tray. She carefully put down a coaster with Clancy’s logo on it and set the glass on top. Ronan did not miss the surreptitious glances exchanged between Mickey and Shannon.
Once she was out of earshot, Ronan said, “Ya need t’do her and put ya both out of yer miseries.”
“Shut yer mouth.” Mick snarled then changed the subject. “Who’s next on the list?”
Yeah, Round Two would start when the bodies began popping up in the bay.
250 Irish Mafia Wolves WIP words
The priestess took a deep breath as she traced the stenciled line over the dedicant’s chest, the tattoo machine’s hum soothing her while she fought to keep the sigil clean despite his wriggling and complaints. Not worthy of the god’s blessing she was being forced to tattoo on him, Maelani knew that cash must have crossed hands above her station. A modern-day priestess, she didn’t have a choice but to do as the head of her order ordained. Not if she wanted to stay in her goddess’ favor.
Maelani planned on going to the temple of Mars in the back of the bar next door and praying for the god to forgive her. The battle prowess sigil didn’t belong on a coward who made a lucky shot. Later, she would atone with Minerva at home.
“How much longer?” the client demanded.
She smiled sweetly. “It’s barely begun. We have an hour to go, at least.” More, if he kept moving. Even more if she desired to make this painful on both of them. She did need to make a sacrifice after all, and pain was a worthy gift.
The Hunt for a Broken Egg
It struck me as odd that Henderson hadn’t attended Samuel’s wedding years ago and, in the intervening time, ever met Lacey.
So, I told him, “That’s odd, don’t you think? In twelve, thirteen years, you’ve never met the wife of … your foster brother?”
“It’s a weird world, I’ll give you that. I just never made a point of it.”
“Never even asked?”
Henderson gave me a ‘what sort of idiot are you?’ look, something I am more than familiar with, and said, “You’ve never met Henry, have you?”
“No. I’ve been hired to find him. My search…well, it’s barely begun.”
“Then let me tell you again about Henry. Even if you find him, he won’t be there. There’s something missing in him. Like I said earlier, he’s a sieve. Full of holes.”
“Yet, you rent him a room, employ him, keep him in your world?”
“I do all that. It’s not particularly hard. He’s a good worker…when he shows up. As a tenant, he’s a known quantity. No surprises. And…I keep his secrets…the ones I know. And maybe he keeps mine.”
I felt like shaking my head or maybe shaking Henderson’s head. Of course, we all have secrets. But this sounded almost conspiratorial. Henderson seemed to talk in a straight line but every so often, he dropped a bombshell, some little twist that left you spinning. The man was telling me he had secrets, almost challenging me to expose them.
It was tempting.
Hidden in a valley of eternal fog far from the rolling blue hills of her birth, Jena slept. From the colorless mist of early morning light, a whisper awoke her, “It’s barely begun. They must not find you.”
Looking around, she saw no one. Senses on high alert, she listened. No human sound disturbed the wilderness.
A cloud swirled around her as she moved. An illusion, she disappeared between trees. Later, at the edge of a gloomy glen, a sharp clatter of a horse’s hoof on a stone warned her. Barely breathing, wraithlike, she hid until the warrior on the horse moved on. In the glen, wind moaned, echoing off the surrounding trees. She shivered but glided deeper into the shifting gray light and shadows—past a crevice where a wolf’s eyes or maybe a big cat’s, gleamed. Eye-to-eye, they stared with understanding. She nodded and moved on, unafraid of nature’s wild ones.
When she was lost, she stood still as a pillar, listening. Then a screech owl called in a quivering voice, guiding her.
When male voices floated through the mist, she crouched under a tangle of berry vines, waiting.
“Find her. There’s a ransom on her head. Finn, we approach the Boyne. Return and report our location.”
As Finn moved, she glided after. No leaf crunched. No twig snapped. From fallen logs to brushy piles, from tree to rock, she moved like a trailing shadow.
Then she glimpsed her quarry, smugly sheltered, and her kidnapped baby son.
Chester breathed a sigh of relief after Wilcox left. Not because he didn’t want to be near her, but because he wanted to be near her too much, and that wasn’t why he was here. He groaned and scrubbed his face with his hands, setting his bag on the floor near the closet. He avoided the bed because that made him think of horizontal activities and again, not why he or Wilcox were here.
Stop thinking with your dick, Martell.
Yeah, when it came to Captain Wilcox, easier thought than done.
While Chester had been dating since he was seventeen, he still felt like an insecure teenager when it came to women, all big glasses, gangly limbs, and pimples with the grace of an orangutan. Granted, he’d grown into his body, and now had decent muscles on his frame, but he still had the glasses and the gracelessness.
“And the social acumen of a turnip.”
He took a deep breath and set his belongings in the closet, before using the bathroom. He washed his hands and stared at himself in the mirror. He wasn’t much to look at other than being fit and trim, and his beard was growing in despite having shaved that morning.
It’s barely begun but I’m gonna look like a mountain man by bedtime.
He sighed and returned to the room to dig out his shaving kit.
231 ineligible #Sirens words
The dark cloud churning a mile from my house picks up dirt and stalks of corn and anything else in its way. My camera is sturdy on my tripod as footsteps crunch behind me.
“Get in the basement!”
“I’m fine, Mom. I’m getting some good shots and I’ve got video going, too!”
Mom shakes her head, long brown hair pulled into a ponytail, which whips in the wind. The tornado turns and I swivel the video camera to follow. If I want to bring it closer or send it away, I can, even though I didn’t create this tornado. One of the cool things about working for Death is that I have powers…and controlling the weather is mine. The problem is that Mom doesn’t know about the Death job and cool powers, so I can’t go messing with her standing behind me.
She turns back to the house. “Well, your dad and I will be in the cellar.”
The joys of an old Iowa farmhouse: there’s no basement. My attention returns to the tornado, which is approaching a friend’s house. Double checking that Mom’s not watching, I turn the twister. It’s barely begun to turn when Mom returns.
“Those damn things are so unpredictable. You be careful.”
A minute later, the heavy wooden doors to the cell slam shut. Hail starts and I pop a protective bubble over my gear. I saved my friend’s house, time to see if I can dissipate this storm once and for all.
Lune remained focused on cleaning his claymore, in case Connla didn’t feel like answering. The taller dark-haired avenger descended the natural stone stairs to his partner’s side.
“We are free to pursue and eliminate targets at our discretion.”
The stouter wild-haired avenger growled his sympathy and joined Connla in scowling at the blasted badland where their order’s castle had stood until 800 years ago. The desiccating waste wind’s scent was unnatural, like fire without air.
“So, no coordinated action?”
Connla’s eyes blazed unseasonably to their autumn crimson. Even if they hadn’t, Lune knew his mentor well enough to sense his frustration. Lune’s clan was only nominally aligned with the Unseelie Court. Connla’s ancestors had fought in the epic battle that left their world forever scarred.
“She betrayed her sacred duty.” Connla continued.
He didn’t have to say who “she” was. Even today anybody across The Green knew about Morrigan. Lune wiped down his blade and sheathed it to listen.
“Our world is hanging on by a thread, another wound like the Doombreach would destroy it. Our ladies and lords feel that her plot was ended with her death, but no matter how many of her cultists we kill there are always more. If anything, they’re becoming stronger. I’m certain they’ve broken the prohibition against leaving The Green.”
Lune had heard it all before. He knew how it ended.
“Everyone thinks the crisis is past. It’s barely begun.”
Worst of all, Lune knew Connla was right.
247 Cat’s The Pajamas words
I woke up in a sea of people, chattering not noticing me drinking out of wine goblets, laughing and seeming happy. As for me? I was tied hand and foot to a chair in the center of the room.
I stretched and the ropes popped off my limbs.
“Naomi you’re awake?”
“Godfrey do you have something to do with this?”
“Don’t you remember the truck? Do you remember how I spirited you away and you drank my blood? You almost drank me dry and yet you live.”
“Long live our Queen,” The crowd in the room shouted.
“Don’t trust her sire. Naomi isn’t even her name.”
“Most people can pronounce my first name. I’m named after an ancestor who inspired the he Tales of the 1001 Nights.”
“No, it can’t be, Henrik,” Godfrey cried.
“It is she is one of her many greats grandchild.”
““It’s barely begun. but it doesn’t matter by law we are bonded, only the vows remain and I have chosen her.”
“I can stop this,” Henrik yelled running at me with a stake.
Godfrey moved fast but I moved faster; putting up a hand I was able to throw the stake from his hand. Almost of on its own it turned around and staked him and he turned to ashes.
“We have our new Queen Scheherazade queen of the Vampires,” Godfrey said smiling.
“Long live the Queen,” Shouted the room.
I had chosen life and death with Godfrey, now I was Queen of the eternal undead.
#ThursThreads Week 472 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.