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 477 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 477:
Science fiction/fantasy writer making stuff up on a trampoline in West Texas, Bokerah Brumley.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“Those are your options.”
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!
12 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 477”
The Dean of Students quietly closed the door behind him, but it may as well have been slammed.
“Those are your options,” I mimicked. The only vampire on campus—the only known vampire—and he thought I’d bow down to his ruling that I publicly receive the injection each morning to blunt my hunger and prevent my fangs from extending or withdraw from school. I would not be their entertainment. There was no way, not so close to my queen’s victory of having vampires succeed in mundane activities such as attending college with mortals.
I’d learned from a young age to control my urges and only take what was needed, and my parents kept me well-stocked with donated blood. It wasn’t my fault the college looked the other way at my bottles of wine in the fridge. Dry campus; yeah, right. I’ve had my fill from drunk coeds who never realized I was drinking from their femoral artery during foreplay. I did receive consent for the sex before we ever broke up a bottle of anything; I’m a vampire, not a monster.
Picking up my phone, I did the one thing I hated but was necessary: I called my mom.
“Devyn, it’s barely breakfast there; are you alright?” Her concern turned to outrage as I told her of the Dean’s ultimatum. “I shall have your father pay a visit tonight. Have a solid alibi in place, darling.”
I smiled as I pictured my father’s method of diplomacy. “Yes, my queen.”
Beitzen towered above her. The dragon was impatient, wanting to be away. Cassandra had to decide quickly or risk losing face.
“You have to make a choice,” the ostler said. “But you need to be careful; it’ll bind you both for life.”
Cassandra looked up. The scales on Beitzen’s chest were as large as the plates that she ate from when she dined with the King in the Founders’ Hall, graduating from a ruddy scarlet near the dragon’s wingtips to a dull gold on his breast. It was like being stood in the shadow of a sun; its body-heat sufficient to char the flesh on her hands if she strayed too close. Beitzen could be a great protector to her, but only if she made a commitment to him now.
“Think of it as a partnership, if that helps,” the dragon prompted. “Your family and mine, sharing our objectives. The short-lived and the millennials, mutually in accord. Bound by the laws of both our communities, of course.”
“Or you could align the people of your nation with House Elsass.” The ostler insinuated himself between them, his wrinkled face crackling into a smile. “They’re both equally powerful, in their own way; Beitzen and the Bismarck family and Hessen and the lineage of the Elsass. Those are your options, as I see it. But you’ll have to make your choice quickly. The Dragon elite may seem as though they’re immortal, but they’re notorious for lacking patience.
244 words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
“You can’t be serious.” I stare at my father, regal on his throne.
Beside me, Celeste exchanges looks with Kieran, both princesses as displeased as I am.
“It’s a condition of tonight’s negotiations. A token of trust.”
My eyes glance at Nolan – the only other mage in the room. He doesn’t comment, eyes as stoic as usual behind the mask. We’ll both have to go in without armor, guard our respective princesses without anything to protect us.
“So if something happens, I’m just supposed to fend off attackers in a dress?” The thought of formal wear constricting movement, making life difficult, triggers anxiety in my chest.
“That, Eleanora, or you don’t attend at all. Those are your options.” Once upon a time, the sternness in his voice would have made me flinch.
“And you honestly trust them? Enough to risk our lives?” It’s not my place, as a mage, to argue with the king. But as his daughter, I really couldn’t care less.
His lack of an answer is telling.
When I storm out, it’s Nolan who catches up to me.
“You can’t be okay with this.”
“I’m not – but hostility won’t change anything.” He stops me with a hand on my elbow, making me turn to meet his eyes. “For what it’s worth, I think we’re more than capable of keeping them – and each other – safe.”
The intensity of his eyes gives me pause, and I struggle to form the words, “I hope you’re right.”
250 untitled WIP words
Record prices of over $1000 were being asked for apartments, prices I couldn’t afford. The apartment seemed too good to be true at a price of $350 a month.
A tall man with dark brown hair and a handle bar mustache, dressed in a waist coat, and suit answered the door and ushered me in the building.
“I am William Brooks. This building has seven apartments, rented out to a select cliental. I do ask something of my tenants for their reduced rates. Don’t get me wrong. I am agoraphobic. I can’t leave my house; so, I get my tenants to purchase things I’m unable to get.”
“You don’t use a computer for that?”
“I have a fear of computers too,” William said.
After seeing the corner apartment, I moved in and proceeded to purchase items for William. He was charming and I admit seeing him so often, I was falling for him, so when he invited me to dinner with all my favourite foods I accepted.
William turned sideways and I knew the truth.
“I should leave now and never come back,” I shouted.
“Those are your options or you could stay and live with me.”
“I’m living challenged?” he laughed.
“How can I have a life with a ghost?”
“Take a chance on me,” he begged.
I did and something amazing happened, William was under a spell and with my love he became a person again, my soulmate forever more; as we lived happily ever after.
Mick studied the man who sat smirking behind the behemoth desk separating them. J.D. “Danny Boy” Moore was an idiot filled with inflated ego and bluster.
“Do you really think that old man can take my territory?”
Mick blinked slowly. “Do you really know Brian?”
Danny Boy brayed out a laugh. “I know that you and your asshole brother are his pit bulls. All bite and no brains.”
It was hard but Mick kept his expression blank. He and Ronan weren’t Brian’s dogs. They were his Wolves. He really wanted to smirk back but remained silent and poker-faced.
“It’s like this, O’Connor. I’m in charge of Boston. I own the mayor, the police, and the governor comes to me for advice. I have the money, the power, the clout and machinery that makes crime in this city profitable. Now, your crew can accept that I’m the boss. You walk away from O’Hara and acknowledge that I’m in charge.” His smirk grew. “Or your mams can bury what’s left of your bodies after they’re fished from the harbor.”
Mick didn’t react.
“Those are your options. What’s it gonna be?”
Rising, Mick turned his back and strode to the door. He didn’t turn or other wise acknowledge the other man’s challenge.
“Tuck your tail and run away, coward.”
He exited the house and continued down the street. He ignored the historic homes lining this Beacon Hill block. A deadly shadow leaned against a brick gatepost. “Message delivered. Danny Boy’s all yours, Devlin.”
250 Moonstruck Mafia Wolves WIP words
Why the hell did I agree to this? I’d never needed a man’s help before. I’ve also never been targeted by a professional killer before, either. Of course, I didn’t know if the killer knew I’d been around and found the bodies and the baby, but I couldn’t count on that.
“What are we doing?”
“Eating breakfast.” He tilted his head. “That’s what it’s still called, right? I mean I know we’ve been apart for thirty years but I’m pretty sure it hasn’t changed.”
“Cut the shit, Paul. What are we going to do next? Stay here? Move to another place? Run?”
He shrugged as he took a bite of bacon. “What were you gonna do when I showed up?”
I shook my head. “I was making it up as I went along. Leaving was the first step.”
“Right.” He grunted. “So we could either stay here in the middle of nowhere without the club to back us up, and possibly get hit by a professional killer. Or we could pack up our shit and haul ass somewhere else, possibly back to the club, where we’d have someone to watch our backs. Those are your options as I see it.” He frowned a moment. “Why did you leave the club and hightail it down here, anyway?”
I grimaced and ate for a few moments before swallowing my pride with my food. “To get away from you.”
I expected him to scowl, but he threw back his head and laughed. “Well done.”
250 ineligible #ConcreteAngelsMC words
The Bride to Be, by Joseph P. Garland, @JPGarlandAuthor, 247 Words
As the stranger walked away with a smirk, cutting through the crowd watching me walk from the limo to the church, I tried to compose myself. “Sweetheart, tell the groom he’s going to be a father.” That’s what she said.
Maggie, my maid-of-honor, turned. She was just in front of me and didn’t know I’d stopped. She came to me. I could see Dad waiting by the church door to walk me down the aisle.
“Let’s get inside,” I told her. We did.
“I need a moment,” I said to Dad, and he moved aside. The organist was dabbling, waiting for the signal that I was ready. When Maggie and I were in the vestibule, I pulled her to the right.
“Some stranger just said Jimmy’s going to be a father.”
“And you believe her?”
“I don’t know what to believe. It really shook me. I mean, he wouldn’t cheat on me, would he?”
“When could he? You two were inseparable.”
I nodded. “Right. Let’s do this.”
She was about to get Dad when she said, “Except, you know, for that trip here last month.”
“Here” was New Orleans, where Jimmy attended a conference five weeks before.
I knew. Maggie knew. We both just knew.
“What do I do?” I asked.
Dad was getting antsy, and so were the bridesmaids and groomsmen.
“Do? You can walk down the aisle. Or we take the limo to the airport and figure out where to go. Those are your options.”
Henry Samuel’s Spiral
I could not have been any clearer. My voice had boomed. Henderson was taken aback, unuse to loud retorts.
My “IS HENRY SAMUELS DEAD?” assault really only allowed three answers. Yes. No. And who the hell knows.
I told him so. “Those are your options,” I frowned. “Pretty cut and dried.”
I sipped my brandy and waited.
Finally, he broke his silence. “No way I can win,” he scowled. “No bloody way you’re trapping me.”
I lifted the glass, took another sip, then replied, “No trap intended. Either you know what Midge was suggesting when she said I’d never find Henry or she was speaking out of turn. Either way, I think you have a problem. It is either a case of loose lips or…looser hips.”
It was a bad pun but I blamed the brandy.
“Look, Henry became my…my pet project some years ago. When he was a kid. I told you how he and his mother, his doomed mother, came to live in my mother’s house. Whatever business I do, and I’m not in the mood to blab about my various enterprises, I’ve got a link to Henry. Whatever you think of me, Henry…I don’t want to tell you this but screw it, I will, Henry has as dark a soul as you can get. I know that does sit well with you…having met that little girl of his, but, hell, she’s well rid of him. He needs to be dead.”
Garii Lunark loomed importantly over their elbows planted on their table. Garii wasn’t the biggest dwarf around. It felt good to loom.
“You need me at least as much as I need you.”
More than! Blast it! Garii meant to say more than. Their old friend, Cat N. Kinnery, smiled up across the table. Cat was on the literal shortlist of people Garii could loom over. It was nice of her to sit down in her chair instead of up on the table. No! Not nice! Garii was in control of this negotiation.
“How do ye reckon?” The petite pirate grinned.
“Well, you see, I happen to know you want Mahmud’s Scroll.”
“Mm-hmm,” Cat purred.
“I can get it for you.”
“I can get it fer meself.”
What could Garii say to that? They could get the Scroll easily. Quietly. But Cat enjoyed things being hard and loud. Garii needed Cat more than she needed them. There went being in control.
“Please, Cat, I need this contract to go well. If the sultan thinks I couldn’t handle it, I might never get another in with the national government.”
“Ye can’t handle it.”
“I didn’t know the manticore was a nesting mother! And a mean one at that! Sure, you could get the Scroll for yourself. OR, you could help an old friend, fight a manticore, AND get the Scroll. Those are your options.”
Cat slid her eyepatch to her other eye. Garii sighed.
“And I’ll owe you one.”
250 Cat’s The Pajamas words
Those are your options
I looked at my C.O., wondering what the chances were he’d let me off with just a reprimand. I mean, I’d followed his orders but I didn’t follow his intent.
I always knew that my sense of humor would get me in trouble, but somehow I figured it would happen when I was out in the ‘real world’ not in Basic. Not this close to graduation. Now here I sat reprimand in one hand and a dishonorable discharge in the other.
It was too late to quit, but it was never too late to get kicked out.
“Smither’s I’m giving you a choice – go through Basic again— this time doing what you’re supposed to do— not changing the order of thing to suit your needs or… “ he nodded towards the unfiled paperwork.
“Sir, isn’t there something else I can do?”
He shook his head and said, those are your options.”
So— I promise that the second time in Basic, I will not alphabetize our orders; I will listen to my Sargent; and I will not, under any circumstances whistle the theme for Hogan’s Heroes while in formation.
187 words not including title
#ThursThreads Week 477 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.