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 476 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 476:
Scottish Word Slinger, Dauntless romance author, and #ThursThreads host, Siobhan Muir.
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And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“You have a question?”
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 476”
Graduation day. It was supposed to be a good thing—an exciting thing—but it was taking me away from the person I’d fallen in love with even if we’d never done a thing. I knew he felt it too. There was the blush to his cheeks when our eyes met and the way his breath caught if I stopped by during office hours for his help.
I waited until it was official, until the diploma was safely in my parents’ car and they were heading back home. I watched him walk back toward the north end of campus, to the classroom buildings on our private campus. His raven hair gleamed in the sunlight above the aqua robe, and I heard his laugh as one of the other faculty shouted something from their car. I kept my distance, not catching up until he’d gone down the steps to the lower-level entrance and disappeared into the school.
I opened the door, stepped through, and collided with something— someone— solid, and an arm wrapped around my waist to steady me. “Hello, Kevin. Did you have a question?” He sounded amused.
This was my one chance, and he hadn’t released me yet. That had to be a good sign. “Hello, Professor. I was wondering if you date former students.”
His fingers tightened in my graduation robe. “I guess there’s always a first time. Do you kiss on the first date?”
“Who needs to wait for the date?”
Though the press conference was held inside, rather than on the steps of the courthouse, it was still a circus. The police commissioner’s remarks were brief. He then turned things over to the legal eagles. Maura’s boss gave a grandiose statement full of empty promises and fake sincerity. When he finished, he pointed to a pretty reporter in the front row.
“You have a question?”
Standing beside him and about half a step back, she barely managed to hang onto her trust-me-I’m-a-professional face. Alex Crenshaw, the Suffolk County District Attorney, was a sleazeball.
Do you suspect there will be more bodies found?”
Looking appropriately concerned, Alex shook his head. “No. As the commissioner stated, this was apparently a small…disagreement between members of a local criminal gang.
A local criminal gang?The Eastside Rovers were responsible for a third of the gambling and prostitution crimes in the whole of Boston. The O’Ferrell brothers, the Rovers’ alleged masterminds, were currently MIA. Maura expected their bodies to be fished out of the bay any day now.
“Will the gun violence affect the general population?” a male voice yelled from the back.
Alex inhaled and exuded an air of earnest concern and launched into his gun control spiel. It was no secret that Alex had his eye on the governor’s mansion.
Movement caught Maura’s attention. A tall man, impeccably dressed and the bane of her existence, leaned against the rear wall. Ronan O’Connor, Irish mob boss. And the man starring in all her dreams.
250 Irish Mob Wolves WIP words
The Gritty Nit
As Midge and I dueled on the porch about her greater and lesser appealing qualities and my often-wavering moral code, a car drove up and parked on the street. In the fading evening light, barely lit by a quivering streetlamp, Glitch Henderson stepped out onto the street.
“Got hung up…sorry for the delay.”
“No problem, “I said. “Midge and I were discussing macroeconomics. She’s quite knowledgeable.”
My flip answer got a wry smirk. “Let’s go into my Den.”
He led me past Midge, swinging back and forth on the porch chair, sucking her thumb, or wanting to, and into the house. His Den was on the immediate right. He may not have looked like a big spider, but I was bloody sure I wasn’t going to become a fly.
“Drink? Or maybe you prefer a smoke?”
“Drink’s fine. Whatever you have.”
We settled in, Henderson in a big old stuffed chair and me across from him on a settee.
“You have a question? Or maybe three?”
“Maybe even more. Haven’t added them up. Here’s the first…Midge just boldly stated that…I think I got this right, that I’ll ‘never find Henry. Not ever.’ She seems pretty sure.”
“Midge is always sure…about everything. Even when she is wrong. I wouldn’t waste my time, your time…on Midge. Unless she attracts you. Midge likes variety.”
There it was again. Henderson was sounding more like a pimp than a landlord.
“Let’s stay focussed, Henderson. IS HENRY SAMUELS DEAD?”
Sword Admiral Jasna Saifullah ascended the soaring gangplank with another human at her right hand. Both clad in white, they shone like burnished blades under the late spring light. The admiral and her golden mask were well known by her giant and giant-kin crew who snapped to attention. In contrast, her companion’s identity was obscured by the raised hood of his cloak.
Once the admiral and her guest were on deck, First Officer Saffi Bashar crouched casually closer to the humans’ level, lanky arms draped over her knees.
“Welcome aboard, Admiral!” The wild-haired storm giant beamed.
“Commander Bashar,” Jasna’s acknowledgment was as rigid as her posture. “Meet me in our cabin when the ship is ready to make sail.”
Saffi nodded expressively. Then she shot a hand over her head with an excited ‘ooo!’
“You have a question?” Jasna sighed.
“Yeah!” Saffi cocked her head and pointed at the admiral’s companion. “Do I know him?”
The hooded human’s black-gloved hand tightened on his diamond-headed cane. The air on deck seemed suddenly heavier, though neither the admiral’s posture nor tone changed.
“You have never met him.”
The first officer drummed her fingertips together with giddy exuberance and a barely contained squeal.
“A qualified yes! Color me intrigued!”
Jasna dismissed her curious crew to return to their duties, then lowered her voice for a conspiratorial aside to Saffi.
“We’re going after Cat N. Kinnery, and he’s going to help.”
“Your nemesis? Oh, this is gonna be good!”
247 Cat’s The Pajamas words
“You mentioned a tour of the cool facilities.”
She laughed and it zinged through Chester like a burst of adrenaline.
“Yes, I’ll show you the pool, hot tub, and sauna that can be used after you bust your ass on the obstacle course through the woods.”
He gave her a weak smile. “Oh, good, that too.”
She laughed again and started the tour, giving him all the inside stories on how and why each amenity was built. He followed along, enjoying the cadence of her voice and the knowledge of the house.
“How do you know so much about this place?”
“Well…” Hermoine paused as they headed across the grounds from the obstacle course. “This was my parents’ vacation cabin, and when they decided they were too old for roughing it, they gave it to me. I donated it to the Sirens for a training facility and barracks.”
Chester coughed. “This is your parents’ idea of roughing it?”
She grimaced and rubbed the back of her neck. “Yeah.”
He reined in his incredulity and nodded. “All righty then. I think you’ve really done wonders for the place and made it a great training facility. Top notch. Nicer than all the gyms I’ve been to.”
She snorted. “It better be. Okay. Do you have a question, or rather, any questions before we go in for dinner?”
“Yeah, just one.” He shifted in front of her and gathered his courage to meet her gaze. “May I kiss you?”
246 ineligible #Sirens words
We continued to drift, inert, between the planets. The Star Chaser’s drive was a cube of slag, and our life-support was dying.
“Well, that went well,” Arkwright said. “Not at all like what I warned you would happen.” He sighed noisily, giving it emphasis, making the most of being irony-enabled.
“There’s nothing worse than a smart Alec android,” I said, beginning to feel troubled. “So, let’s just put this behind us and work out what to do next.”
“You really think you’ll be able to contribute? It was one of your suggestions that led to this. Maybe you should sit alone in the corner and let the one with the better intellect think for a while.”
I left him to his computations for a minute then, when the light behind my eyes began to go red, I interrupted him, knocking loudly on the top of his brainpan.
“You have a question?” he said, blinking peevishly. “Or maybe you’ve another idea. Our hull’s still intact, so I guess you could probably make our situation a little worse; if you tried.”
I knocked at his head again, then mimed as though I was being hung. I let my tongue drop from my mouth, flapping my arms like a chicken.
I dropped to my knees. Death was waiting.
Arkwright harrumphed. “You’re complaining about the fan? Don’t you think it makes too much noise? I turned that off – it was making such a din. Makes it impossible for a droid to think.”
249 words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
The tension between us is thick. I want nothing more than to run away, ashamed at having pushed my magic too far. At needing the other mage’s help to heal after our match. By comparison, although I overpowered him, he looks unscathed. His eyes – what I can see of them beyond the mask – are focused on the task at hand, while his fingers linger on my temple, soothing the magic-induced headache that triggered my nosebleed.
I need to fill the silence, to say something. He notices, because he breaks the tension first.
“Did you have a question?” His eyes settle on mine.
“Yes.” This close, his gaze is intense, difficult to meet without flinching. So I focus on his mask, instead. On the patterns etched into it. “The etchings on your mask – do they mean something?”
“They’re runes.” His fingers shift from my temple to my forehead. The effect is instant – a soothing warmth spreads through me, and the headache is nothing more than a faint memory. “My understanding is this region doesn’t use runes in its magic.”
“We don’t.” My eyes trace the symbols, wondering what they’re for. Though I don’t know rune magic, I’m vaguely familiar with it. From what I recall, they’re normally used for stabilization. To make a spell permanent.
What kind of magic did he tie to the mask? I want to ask, but a second later the princesses are in the room, and Celeste is fussing over me.
244 untitled fantasy WIP words
With age comes Wisdom
Snow; sand-drift; hail, it all blended together after a while and still he walked. The Sphinx with its serene countenance, right before it tried to eat his liver, that was fun. Illusions of a thousand delights it offered him, and the genie, not to be outdone offering one thousand and one.
He let his breath out in a huff as he reminded himself that he had a job to do, and they were here to stop him— or prove him worthy.
Twenty-seven steps up the ladder, down two as penance for helping Sisyphus up the hill, then glide to a sudden stop as if on command. He waited in line, as other petitioners made their needs known.
The oracle sat on her jeweled throne dispensing wisdom. Finally, after what felt like eons, it was his turn. He brought her the agreed on price for her answer: peacock feathers in every hue, the seeing eye, and the light of the searcher.
“You have a quest…”
“Ion – that was 5 dollars on its own and 10 if you bundle it with Hallmark and Turner Classic, right?”
“Unless you wish to move up a tier,” the oracle said gesturing towards the next line over.
“Gods no, they aren’t paying me enough.”
With a wave of the oracle’s hand, he was back in his seat, and he took the caller off hold.
“I’m sorry ma’am. Those are you options.”
“What about Hulu?”
He sighed. “Let me consult the ora…er… boss.”
249 words – not including the title
#ThursThreads is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.