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 484 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 484:
Thrivin’ American Mutt, Reader with Honest Reviews, Luanne Bennett.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“He can’t hear you.”
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 484”
Responding to the job ad had seemed like a good idea. “Help wanted. Provide meals once per week, keep your own living quarters tidy, and eat a specially prepared dietary plan due to employer sensitivities. Room and stipend provided.”
The ad left out that you’d be drained by your vampire boss every other week. In between, we had enough blood boosting supplements and meals that we weren’t in danger, and all the donors had a large bedroom and private bathroom attached to a communal living space and feeding room.
We’d made a family, of sorts, and we bonded over the fact that the new ones were always screamers the first time in the chair. John William held the woman’s wrist firmly to his mouth; the rest of her body was held immobile. Still, she screamed until my head throbbed.
“You can stop that,” Mike shouted. “He can’t hear you.”
J.W.’s eyes crinkled at the corners. I knew his secret. He could hear; he just didn’t care. He paid us well, didn’t mistreat us, and we had all our needs met—including a “family” trip to somewhere nice each winter so he could see others of his kind.
When he unlatched from the newbie, his eyes met mine as he pointed toward the stairs. It seemed he wanted dessert. I was the only one he let into his private suite, the only he was slowly turning into one of his kind. We would need more donors soon.
“Hello Trixi. Stacy? Megan? Which name is it today?”
She’d never felt so naked. She wasn’t body conscious—it allowed her to be a stripper—but scantily clad before her best friend’s father’s stare made her feel small. This man ran the city.
“If you’re looking for entertainment, I’d recommend one of the other—“
“No. That’s not why I’m here.” He passed her a paper. “Read this to me.”
“Sir?” It was foreign. She felt surprised she could read it, but wondered why he asked. “Um, this is some accounting information from a city in China.”
Mr. Wu nodded. “And this?”
She scanned a photocopy, and read a few lines aloud, translated. “He can’t hear you. Dragons break silence like water through stone,” followed by a question building like a tension headache, which was not on the page. “What is this about, Mr. Wu?”
He appraised her a moment, but not like a piece of meat. This was something else. “You speak Mandarin like you were born to it, but you’re not Chinese. My daughter, her friends—I’m told you have amnesia. You’re no one. No family. No past. You spoke Mandarin without knowing at Sussie’s party. You can read this, translate it; it’s a piece of your puzzle. I want to help you.”
He handed her his business card, “You’re my daughter’s friend,” and stood, “and because I want to know who you are.”
She wondered herself as she watched the back of him. Who am I?
250 words @AngoraShade
Polly and Joey got in a rusty old Ford pickup, drove out in the country.
I’d followed at a distance.
Eventually, they pulled into a short driveway that belonged to a single-story house that had no sparkle. They parked, got out, and entered.
No knocking. They just breezed on in. Country hospitality I supposed.
If it was a party there were no other cars in sight. A garage off of the house was shuttered.
Room for one vehicle at best. It could be a late-starting shindig. Others could arrive.
I hate the unknown.
There’s so much of it.
I’m not great at stealth but it was a noisy neighborhood, crows doing their yakking business, so they provided some cover.
I found a window just above a drooping blue hydrangea and peeked in. Young runaway Polly and antique lothario Joey were sitting on the couch. A third party was hovering over them. All I could see was his back.
Suddenly Hulking Guy said, “You never learn Joey. I got enough troubles without a teenybopper dropping in.”
With that Hulking Guy pulled out a pistol and shot Joey.
Polly freaked, screamed, “Joey…Joey…What the…”
Hulking Guy slapped her face and said, “He can’t hear you, Sweetie. No one can.”
I couldn’t see the girl clearly. I doubted that whoever this hasty gunsel was planned on leaving her alive.
I’d barely heard the shot.
Twenty-twos can be quiet.
My gun was safely secured in my car.
All I needed was a plan.
“He can’t hear you,” Gia’s hologram was sipping coffee and leaning on the kitchen counter.
“I know that, but I can’t figure out why,” My frustration was showing again and it wasn’t pretty.
“Maybe because he’s dead.”
The 23rd Century still hadn’t come up with a solution for that. I poured myself a second cup of coffee and sat down at the kitchen table.
“I’m here for you, Jane.” Gia was like a sister to me.
“You’d think I’d remember if I killed him,” I said, half to myself.
“Well, yeah, except for the gaps in your memory,” Gia said, putting her coffee mug in the sink.
Like Swiss cheese I thought. “If Apex put those gaps there they are obviously covering their asses.” Apex Technologies was the global corporation that hired me to go undercover and steal secrets from its biggest Asian rival. Secrets even their best hackers couldn’t obtain.
“You were framed, Jane. You’re not a killer.”
I wasn’t so sure. But Gia showed me what she’d uncovered hacking into Apex’s computers.
“Pretty convenient of them to leave a trail, don’t you think?” I wracked my brain trying to fill in those gaps in my memory, but I wasn’t getting anywhere.
“Maybe if you find something to distract you, your memory will return,” Gia said. Her hologram had all the answers, I mused.
I had to see Jeremy. He was CEO of Apex. And my lover. He was also the most likely person to have set me up.
250 Words from my sci-fi WIP
Marcus lay motionless. His face was turned away, giving back nothing. I wanted him to be sleeping, sleeping off the bender he’d been on, knowing he’d wake up in a couple of hours. He’d be grey with fatigue and the effects of the drugs, his morning cigarette the only breakfast he could stomach.
“You can say what you like,” Davies said. “He can’t hear you. He’s done with listening.”
I shook my head, not wanting to acknowledge his words. My mentor was usually right, detection being his business, his acumen honed by decades of experience. If he said a thing was so, it would be. I’d never known him to make a mistake.
“I know it’ll be hard. But you’ve got to maintain a distance. You’ve got to remember what happened last night, where you went, who you spoke to and write it down while it’s fresh.” He put his arm around my shoulders and pulled me close, breaking his usual reserve.
“It’s difficult, you know,” I said, feeling stunned. “We don’t sit and take notes of what we do. I had too many drinks and lost track of events. It’s so easy to get confused.”
But then I remembered the other woman. The one who’d pushed past me, her hands raised, knocking his drink down his shirt. She’d bought him a replacement – the least I can do – and written her number on his hand.
If there was any of it left, it might give us a lead.
250 words – twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
Sophie glowered. “What the hell have you done, Da?”
Her father stared down his nose like some hoity-toity English lord. She knew better. He was just a two-bit Irish mobster with delusions of grandeur. “You’ll keep a civil tongue in yer fuckin’ mouth, Sophie.”
She couldn’t duck the backhanded slap he aimed at her. She held up one hand in the stop position, fingering the hidden knife she held with her other. “Touch me again and I’ll serve your balls for breakfast.”
“I swear your mother fucked some bastard. You’re not mine.”
She rolled her eyes. “I dare you to say that to Ma’s face.” She had him there and he knew it. He backed down. “What have you done to him?”
“What’s he to you?”
“Nothing.” She prayed he didn’t catch the lie. “But he’s your death sentence if you’ve hurt him.”
He smirked, waving toward a closed door. “Go see for yourself.”
The door wasn’t locked, a bad sign. She slammed it open in case one of his minions planned to jump her. There was only one person in the room. Callum. Tied to a wooden ladder-back chair. She rushed in and knelt in front of him, her hands on his knees. “Oh, Callum, what have they done to you?”
“He can’t hear you, bein’ all but dead.”
She surreptitiously cut Callum’s bonds. He opened bruised eyes, saw the mark on her face, and said, “Nay, I’m not, and I heard enough. You’re a dead man, McNamara.”
249 Moonstruck Mafia WIP words
Unconsciously, she moistened her bright red lips. “Look at the way the sun glistens off his skin as he wields that hatchet.”
I glanced out the window. Andy’s gloved hands gripped the wooden handle and slid comfortably into position. He straightened his back, lifted his arms, and then let them crash forward with a loud c-r-ack. Already the wood pile stood twelve feet long, but still, he repeated the motion time and time again. In the few weeks he’d been cutting wood, his shoulder and back muscles had defined. I admired the stacked wood that would keep us warm this winter.
Then I looked at the woman beside me. “Remember how much I hated him in school. He was such player. You kept warning me away from him.”
“Well, it didn’t work. Now, you’re married to him.”
“Best decision of my life.”
“You know, I’d pay just to sit here and watch him swing his wood and any other part of that body he wants to show me.”
“I don’t want to hear this.”
“Why not, girl?”
“It’s just wrong for you to be talking about sex to me.”
“I didn’t say anything about sex. I’m a voyeur!” She leaned closer to the window. “Hear that, Bart, I need a bootie boy to enjoy.”
She put her face to the window. “Old women need some satisfaction.”
“He can’t hear you.”
“I know. But I’m ninety and outlived four husbands. I can still admire a working man’s glistening body.”
A massive spirit looms over the resolute human swordsman and defiant black goat, diaphanous gown billowing about her. The vaulted ceilings accommodate her, though the far throne is the only furniture on that scale.
“With all respect, O Spirit, our friend was brought to this place and we are not leaving without her.”
If the human’s stiffness failed to suggest what he would have liked to say, the goat’s aggressive addendum was less subtle. Unbeknownst to the intrepid pair, the object of their search isn’t fifteen feet away in an alcove screened by a paper partition.
Yuki’s whisper seals her side of the partition in ice as she desperately controls her breathing, hanging limply against the silk ribbons binding her to a comfortable armchair.
“I see you’re as cold as ever. He can’t hear you if you don’t speak up.”
My voice prompts a fierce glare from the ice queen. The terror of her dark gaze is much more focused than before. My laugh covers a twinge of actual fear.
“Yuki would freeze him solid if she spoke loud enough to hear.”
Tondra scolds me as she wheels her chair next to Yuki’s to begin undoing the ice queen’s bonds.
“Hilarious, right?” I grin.
Yuki’s expression softens at the sight of Tondra, with whom she seems on better terms. My airy ally reevaluates our association.
“What’s your problem?”
I return my attention to Yuki.
“She’s got a nicer cell than we did. Why do you think that is?”
250 The Ice Queen words
Inheriting a beautiful mansion in the countryside, an amazing amount of money I now had the time to write, or I would once I took my three-year old son to day care. On the winding road headed for the small town of Wynwood an hour away, my car sputtered and died next to the forest.
When I visited as a child I was told never go to the forest and for a moment, I was afraid.; then I laughed, of course a child shouldn’t be in the woods. I stepped into the thick woods( my son Jonathan at my side) knowing that civilization must be on the other side of it.
At first the path seemed obvious as I travelled at a quick pace despite Jonathan’s protests.
“Who is that Daddy?”
“There’s no one there. “I commented.
“He can’t hear you,” Jonathan stated.
Jonathan had been talking to his imaginary friend again.
I picked Jonathan up and the trees bent over blocking the path. The tree opened up and a slumped, bipedal humanoid, scrambling and crawling on all fours stood in front of me.
“What do you want?” I asked.
“You entered my forest, but have not paid the price, so, you forfeit yourself and your child.”
“Spare my child and let him go,” I begged.
“You would summit willingly?”
I nodded ,and that’s how I became an oak towering tall in the forest, never to see my son again, for he will never willingly come in the forest.
“I actually love you. Please don’t go.”
“He can’t hear you, you know.”
Amanda nodded as she leaned her head against the window four stories above the street where Mike stood waiting for a taxi. “I know.”
Zoe sighed. “Then what are you doing? If you really love him, why aren’t you going after him?”
Amanda closed her eyes as tears threatened. “I can’t give him what he needs. He needs someone who doesn’t work all the time. Someone who can decorate Easter eggs and sit around filling out the Sudoku puzzle in the morning paper. He deserves someone like that and I can’t be it.”
“Why not? From what I saw, this was the first time since I’ve known you that you took a vacation, and had fun. Actual, not-doing-it-for-money fun.” Zoe leaned against the window and stared Amanda down. “Mike was good for you. He made you see there’s more to life than just work, or business. Hell he made you think about things beyond paperclips and stationary. Don’t be a dumbass. Go after him. He’s worth it.”
“How do you know?” Amanda finally looked away from Mike, still waiting. “How do you know he’s worth it?”
“Uh, because you’re up here in tears, and Amanda Pendleton never cries in the office. Ever.” Zoe rolled her eyes. “Besides, I’ve seen how he treats you and how you interacted with him. You’re in love, for real, girlfriend. Don’t be stupid and let it go.”
245 ineligible #WIP500 words
#ThursThreads Week 484 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.