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 473 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 473:
Book enthusiast, lover of coffee, and Fantasy and Suspense author, Tina Glasneck.
Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“If he won’t pull his punches, neither will I.”
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!
10 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 473”
Up the Down Upside
I asked Henderson if I could do a second interview. Preferably at his home. I told him I wanted to see where Henry Samuels hung his hat these days. He didn’t embrace the idea, joked that Samuels didn’t wear a hat but he would look.
I said the hat was a metaphor. Some goobers you can never tell what’s going on behind their cloudy eyeballs. Finally, I said, “Look, his kid needs to find him. She’s asked me to help her. That’s all I’m looking to do.”
“Fine,” he said. “When?”
We were both stoic men of few words.
I drove back to Lacey Samuel’s home. She was there. I was having trouble seeing the real Henry. Lacey had said that her ex was into opioid distribution, philandering and the implication was that his boss, landlord, and bosom foster brother, Glitch Henderson, was the kingpin.
It was fact-checking time.
“Henderson says he never met you. Didn’t attend the wedding?”
She nodded. “Henry always said he wanted to keep that part of his life separate. From me, anyway.”
“Yet you allowed Louella to dip her toes in that toxic sludge?”
Wearily, she said yes. “Henry threatened me…I caved in.”
I guess the spousal abuse signs had been there.
“I’m seeing Henderson again tonight. We’ve been jousting up to now. I expect more from him this go-around. If he won’t pull his punches, neither will I.”
Which meant I would throw the first haymaker.
“You’re seriously going to fight Carr?”
Shae trailed after Jack through the woods. This wasn’t a hunt, so no one bothered with stealth. All around them, the mix of human and wolf voices bounced among the trees.
“I’m seriously going to fight Carr.”
“Jack.” Shae managed to get a hold of his shirt and slow his steps. “I know I don’t really understand this whole pack alpha thing.”
“That’s right, you don’t.”
“But you don’t know him.” Her thoughts tangled, fear crowding around the edges. Snaking into the spaces between. “If—he won’t pull his punches—”
“Neither will I.” He grinned, teeth already more wolf than man. “It’s as simple as that.”
“You could get killed.”
“Sooner or later, Death comes for us all.”
“That doesn’t mean you have to directly challenge Her to make it sooner, jackass.”
“Shae darlin’.” Silver threaded the deep brown of his eyes as the pack began to howl around them. He pulled free of her hold. “You’re far too well acquainted with both Death and Carr to see clearly here.”
“Idiots actively courting Death do not get to call me pet names.”
“You’re a reaper, right?”
“I’m a reaper, yes,” Shae said.
“So if you haven’t gotten the memo about my impending doom—” He jogged into the clearing ahead, lifting his fist high as the pack greeted him.
Don’t do this. Please don’t do this.
“I’m a reaper,” Shae said, but no one listened. “That doesn’t mean I’m your reaper.”
250 words of… something?
Maura Brannigan replaced the phone receiver with infinite care. She inhaled using the same due diligence. The last thing she needed to hear was a crack correlating her red hair with her temper. She was well aware of both. The man sitting across the desk watched her, his expression flat. Except it wasn’t. She caught glints of light in the depths of his slate-blue eyes that looked almost…feral.
“You heard.” She made it a statement.
“He’s intractable on this.”
A small muscle tugged at the corner of his mouth and she ignored the way her heart kicked up a notch at the sight of his almost smile. The man was a criminal. Allegedly. No one had ever been able to pin a crime on him or his associates. An assistant prosecutor, she should be wary of this man and the sexual tension he created deep inside her.
“My brother is innocent.”
“I’m aware of his alibis, Mr. O’Connor, but my boss is adamant. He insists I ask for no bail and that I prosecute the charges.”
“If he won’t pull his punches, neither will I.”
She studied Ronan O’Connor. He was handsome in a rugged, Irish way, with close-cropped blond hair and a day’s worth of scruff on his jaw, both tinted with glints of red. She chose to ignore the implied threat. “I think that going forward I should deal directly with your brother’s defense attorney.”
“Have dinner with me.”
Caught off-guard, she answered without thinking. “Okay.”
250 Irish Mob Wolves WIP
She tightened her grip, digging her fingernails into my hand. Her tennis shoes danced mid-air, and she fumbled for a foothold on the loose face of the cliff. The drought in Southern California made the vegetation weak—hardly anything to hold onto, except for me.
“You would let your sister die, for what? This child, who doesn’t share your blood, and means nothing?”
Wails shattered the shoreline as the child raged. The little one hadn’t learned to control her powers yet. Bad temper tantrums resulted in storms or earthquakes. Neither of which we needed now.
Fortunately, the protective barrier around the toddler held, and while the evil somnabich tried to get at her, he couldn’t. Yet.
He shifted his focus toward me. Us. “You might as well let her go. Better to protect your ward.” He spat the last word.
Marj’s eyes widened. In their hazel depths, I saw the fear of loss and moment she gave up. “Save her, and my babies.”
“Fuck that. If he won’t pull his punches, neither will I.” Somehow, my other hand grasped hers, and she found a rock for purchase. I pulled. She steadied herself, and gave a determined nod.
He drew close, and I swept my leg, connecting with his calf, and taking him down. Surprise on my side, I used the momentum to summon tidal wave. I might not be able to kill him, but I could sweep him out to sea.
“We gotta get out of here.”
Nichelle Tyler stared at the screen and scowled.
“Is he freaking serious?”
Her coworker Chad Miller had just taken credit for her work. Again. The announcement of a new plan for the City of Chicago’s water authority had come exclusively from the modeling she’d been doing for the last six months. She’d almost finished her report on how to keep the fresh water fresh while not undermining the aquifers that filtered the water from the Great Lakes and the surrounding wetlands.
And Chad’s put his fuckin’ name all over it.
What the actual hell? Fury rose like an ever expanding mushroom cloud around her. They were on a team together and he was the epitome of the kid in the group project who didn’t do any work but took credit for the others’ efforts. This was the third time he’d pulled this, and while she hadn’t said anything to be a “team player” the last two, she’d documented time stamps, notes, and implementation of her ideas this time.
If he won’t pull his punches, neither will I.
She opened up the group server, pulled out her portable external hard drive, and began her download. Then she opened her email and sent one to her supervisor about Chad’s upcoming presentation on the new plan and how it didn’t mention any of her work. She outlined where she moved the files so it wasn’t gone but could only be accessed with the supervisor’s code in the new folder.
Suck it, Chad.
249 ineligible #WIP words
Her skin flushed, and her markings reappeared. Her arms were lined with sigils, the tracks of ink following the lines of her scars.
“If he won’t pull his punches, neither will I. It’s time he learned to rein himself back. I’ve done letting him think he’s the dominant one. There’s a limit to the damage I’m prepared to take.”
“You’ve got to be careful, I said. “You could put us all in danger. You can more than hold your own against him. But what about the others? We can’t fight off the whole of the town, and it could easily come to that. These people overreact when the unexpected bites back.”
Marjorie yawned. Her jaw began to shift, her mouth and nose becoming angular. The fine down on her cheeks thickened, and her eyes retreated into her face.
I couldn’t let her be seen until her changes were done.
“It’s alright for you,” she said, her words now sounding hollow and awkward. “But you’re unattached. You’ve no need to pretend. You can choose to accept your limitations, or you can rage as you want. I can’t always choose to be the polite, weak one he expects. Not if he continues to do the things he’s doing now. He’s changed, so why can’t I?”
The growl that came from my own throat surprised me. I was always the stronger one. The one with the tighter leash on myself.
“Do it,” I said. “We can run if we need to.”
248 words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
The world seemed to fade before me into a red mist. I couldn’t help it I found myself screaming and shouting incoherently and stamping my feet. The world shifted and I felt embarrassed looking around to see who had seen my momentary lapse. Drat my father and his newest minion had seen me. I went to my bedroom for an hour then came down to the Great Hall.
“If he won’t pull his punches, neither will I.” Dad’s minion, Philip cried as he saw me, ” The woman your father hired to look after you and teach you has quit because of your temper tantrums.”
“I said, I was sorry.”
“How long do you think you had a temper tantrum, today?” asked my father King Fane.
“Isadora! It was five minutes, which caused a huge tsunami and then an earthquake; didn’t you feel it?”
“No, was anyone hurt?”
“This time because of the early warning system, ringing the bell; the people got to safety. You’re too old for temper tantrums, poppet.”
“Princess Ariel will come for your 15th birthday tomorrow; but only if there’s no more tantrums.”
”Thank -you, daddy,” I commented.
Being a princess was hard having to control your temper was even hard especially when your magical abilities got away from you. I’d have to talk to grandma about how to control them better and still get my way. Daddy didn’t know I talked to Grandma, what he didn’t know would hurt him.
Brother Hodaka is hungry. I have turned that characteristic to my advantage before, but it has also proven a nuisance.
“We have the resources to seize the surrounding islands and strangle the empire into submission before they realize they are being attacked.”
My standing was achieved by unparalleled care and cunning, yet he dares to question me. Five of our brethren are with us. Hodaka, standing under the skylight, is aware I could send him down the Garuda’s gullet with a word.
“We have survived in the shadows. We will not sacrifice all we have built by exposing ourselves now.”
“Your cowardice keeps us from pursuing our great purpose with all the gifts our Lady has given us.”
The edge in his voice is subtle. For Hodaka, it is equivalent to drawing steel. Can he see the fire in my eyes? If he won’t pull his punches, neither will I.
“You forget your place, brother.” I will the ice in my voice to burn him to the core. “You will pack your things and be gone from this compound before dawn. Never to return.”
There is a moment and then he excuses himself in his usual silence. Entering my chamber that evening I wonder if I should have had the Garuda kill him. No, that would have given weight to his words. I push my door shut behind me to find the lock missing. Hodaka steps from a corner of the room.
“It is time for a change of leadership.”
250 Cat’s The Pajamas words
Lost in translation
Leith swore as the translation software booted, and started throwing words at her like a pile of pick-up sticks.
“Went she to the hospital with a harp and a parsnip.”
She read the words and frowned as she tried to feel her way around the sentence, only to find the next sentence sounding more like Yoda than a tough macho fighter. “Punches I shall pull not for has he not pulled his?”
“Welsh is such a lovely language,” she said as she tried once again to get her dialog straight.
Staring at the page the words seemed to float around her until she almost cried as she fought her way through them. Each word falling flat as she failed to get the order right.
“Punches I shall pull not… “ she repeated as the translator and dialect coach tried to walk her through the words one by one.”
“Os na fydd yn tynnu ei ddyrnod, ni fyddaf chwaith.”
She wondered if that would count, when the director pointed to the subtitles she smiled…
“If he won’t pull his punches, neither will I… chwaith”
Close enough for flash.
187 words (not including title)
With apologies – @mishmhem
#ThursThreads Week 473 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.