#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 485

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 485 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 485:

Zombie Unicorn Siobhan

Scottish Word Slinger, Dauntless romance author, and #ThursThreads host, Siobhan Muir.

Facebook | Twitter | Patreon | EdenBooks |

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“That’s not why I’m here.”

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!

18 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 485”

  1. It feels good to be rid of the layers, to kick the heavy skirts away and crawl into bed. Why Celeste chose such a cumbersome dress for me, I’ll never know. I’ll also never forgive her, and force my sister into something equally terrible for her if I ever get married.

    In bed, exhaustion sits heavy in my bones, but sleep doesn’t come. Embarrassment won’t let it.

    What was I thinking, asking Nolan to stay?

    Stupid.

    With sleep out of reach, I pull on a dress slip before stepping onto the balcony. The warm air is still, like something holding its breath. I listen for my magic. The wards I placed on the newlyweds’ room sit intact, but something doesn’t feel right. Moonlight flashes in the corner of my vision. When I look, my eyes land on a group scaling the side of the building, armed with swords.

    I duck, hiding but keeping an eye on the intruders. If they’re after the princesses, they’re on the wrong side of the building.

    I’m in Nolan’s room before I realize I made the decision.

    “Nora – what?” His voice chokes, eyes lingering on my less than modest clothes. “I-”

    “Don’t flatter yourself – that’s not why I’m here.” I move to his window – a closer vantage point. “Assassins.”

    “The princesses?” He joins me by the window, offering a spare shirt.

    “Might not be the targets.” I pull the shirt over the slip. “Let’s greet our guests, shall we?”

    Time to blow off some steam.

    250 untitled fantasy WIP words
    @katheryn_avila

  2. She turned the corner to see him sparring, shirtless and breathing heavy. A high kick, right jab, crisp lunge–he moved like a predator with the grace of prey. And why was he so beautiful? She’d thought him handsome, he made a suit look good, but in this place, this activity, he could have been a greek god.

    “Gillian?” He stopped, surprise in his eyes. “You’re training?”

    “No,” she answered. “That’s not why I’m here.”

    He spun as his partner came at him, blocked, and replied with his shoulder and knee.

    She spoke before her thought was fully formed: “You baby your left.”

    He stopped. He looked thoughtful–his exact emotion was hard to read–and she hoped she wasn’t transparent with how weak her knees felt and how her eyes stared at his perfect lips when he spoke next. “Show me.”

    There were no nerves, only excitement, as Gillian stepped up. In a flash of movement, she blocked his right jab, tripped his left leg, and had him on the ground. But he regained his stumble like it had never happened, blocking her elbow to his ribcage with his upper thigh. All muscle and flesh. She could smell the musk of him, feel the heat. She stopped short of her fist to his ribs, his block ready to save his left.

    His nose almost touched hers. “You’re right. And you’re skilled.”

    Before she knew it, those perfect lips were on hers. She ached to tell him she had many skills.

    248 words @Angora Shade

  3. Maura raised her hand to knock on the door but someone grabbed her and spun her around.

    “Boss’s busy and you’re not on his menu tonight.”

    She bristled, chin raising as his meaning became clear. This guard dog obviously had no clue who she was. “That’s not why I’m here.”

    That got her an arched brow but no comment. She debated whether to push past the intimidating man. She tilted her head up to study him. She’d always been a good judge of people, or had until she took the ADA’s job. This man was older and she wondered if he and Ronan were contemporaries. He had dark hair that looked wind-tousled. His hand where shoved deep into the pockets of his baggy jeans and the expression on his face was all “aw shucks” but for his eyes. His eyes were almost golden rimmed with a band of dark green. They were hard, almost feral.

    “My name is—”

    “Maura Brannigan. Assistant District Attorney. I know who you are and I’m tellin’ ya, the boss has no time for the likes of you.”

    She sputtered, anger and outrage keeping her mouth from forming and spitting out the words her brain relayed. “The likes of me?” She stepped into his space and jabbed her index finger into his chest. “The likes of me?” She poked him again and caught a glint of red flash across his eyes. She didn’t care.

    “Enough, Devlin,” Ronan said from behind her. “I’ve got this.”

    She wished.
    ****
    250 Moonstruck Mafia Boston Wolves WIP words
    @SilverJames_

  4. Winter Decisions

    When I had woken up this morning, a morning that held so much professional promise, suicide was the last thing on my mind. Now I was beginning to think it must have been in the back of my noggin. Leaving my gun in the car was a fool’s move.

    If I lived through this, I’d get my head examined.

    No matter the cost.

    I still hadn’t feasted my eyes on the face of Hulking Guy who was waving his gun above Polly who was understandably freaking out. Eighteen she was, and likely never had previously faced the bloody aftermath of sudden death. Joey, her slimy aging suitor, was sprawled on the couch next to her, blood gushing from a fatal chest wound.

    I had no doubt that Hulking Guy planned to eliminate Polly. My simple assignment had been to find Polly and bring her home to daddy.

    Mommy too, I suppose.

    Getting shot was not part of the deal, I told myself. That’s not why I’m here.

    There wasn’t much time to think. I hucked a rock through the window, Hulking Guy turned, caught a glimpse of me, and fired.

    I was already scurrying to my car.

    He fired a second shot. It slammed into the passenger door just as I opened it.

    I jammed my hand into the glove compartment, wrapped my right hand on my classic .38 Smith & Wesson Special, turned, and drilled Hulking Guy between the eyes.

    “Mission accomplished,” I muttered, feeling slightly Presidential.

    250 WIP

    @billmelaterplea

  5. “Well…” Phinn shot Kendra a look before taking a deep breath. “First let me introduce Kendra MacGillivray of Cloudburst, Colorado. She was with me when the tracker demon came for me because I’ve left Winter.”

    “Sweet Goddess.” Phinn’s mother widened her eyes. “It’s very nice to meet you, Kendra. You can call me Colleen.” She smiled briefly before fixing her son with her wide gaze. “She was with you? As in, with you?”

    Phinn sputtered and Kendra laughed. “No, no, he was skulking around Darius and Sabrina’s place when he literally ran into me.”

    “Phinnius, I taught you better than that.” Colleen shook her head as she sipped her tea. “So how did you get to Winter?”

    “The tracker demon—”

    “Whose name is Marbles.”

    “—caught us both in its return spell.”

    “But my healing spell healed her, and she kept us from being discovered by a Winter patrol while Phinn was injured—”

    “By the tracker demon to begin with.” Phinn rolled his eyes.

    “My goodness, you’ve definitely had an adventure. It’s a good thing you’re here. Now we can have a little visit and relax.” Colleen nodded sharply as if that solved everything.

    “Yeah…that’s not why I’m here, Mom. I wanted to talk to you about Grampa’s sword.”

    Colleen’s expression grew wary. “What about it?”

    “I’m pretty sure it’s the reason Winter sent the tracker demon. I’m pretty sure it’s why Dad courted and married you. And I’m pretty sure you know why they’d be after it.”

    250 ineligible #CloudburstColorado words
    @SiobhanMuir

  6. “The Muses Don’t Like Mocha”

    The two dead men materialized in the coffee shop in the pause between moments. It wasn’t their first visit here, nor their second, nor their hundredth. Not because this is where history changed, though it was. Been there, done that, saved the world, tried the mocha.

    Overrated.

    They were here because of her.

    Corner table. Mousy brown hair. Laptop covered with activism stickers sitting mere inches from her nose as she typed, furiously, as if there were too many words and not enough fingers.

    The rest of the place was busy, but not this corner. It was as if she emitted an aura of repulsion – people walking past the table took a step away without thinking about it. Sound even seemed to dissipate quicker, something the men noticed as they pushed through the aura and sat down at the table. Maybe it was even dimmer.

    She kept typing for a few seconds, then slowly registered the interlopers and stopped, a grimace twisting her face.

    Straightening her back, she fixed them with a cold stare. “Gentlemen, if you are hoping to find some company for the evening, that’s not why I’m here. I have an important –“

    “Important book to write.”

    “We know.”

    “That’s why we’re here. Well, again. We tried this before.”

    “Before? What before? Tried what?”

    The dead men looked at each other, then back to her.

    “Look, do you want to live? I mean, past tonight?”
    238 words
    @drmag00

  7. Pingback: Project Gemini
  8. “Have you come to gloat, Paul?”
    “That’s not why I’m here.”
    “Then why are you here? I can’t believe you came to commiserate with me. You only want to say I told you so,” Sharon complained.
    “Cara mia, I don’t want to gloat, I’m sorry Henry broke your heart. I do want to offer you a helping hand on dumping his stuff and maybe take you out to dinner?”
    “You’re a good friend, Paul, I’m sorry I jump on you. It’s been a rough few days, since I found him, with his ‘good friend’ Stephanie. ”
    “Henry’s a creep.”
    “Let’s go dump his stuff, at his apartment then my cars outside so you don’t have to take the subway.”
    “His record collection is there by the door and there’s just these clothes he left and he is at work.”
    “Should we break the records and put it his apartment with his keys?”
    “I like how you think,” Sharon answered.
    I just hoped I never had occasion to make her mad like this if I was a good friend and stayed close then maybe she’d take me out of the friend zone.
    It’s three months later and Henry is still fooling around this time on Stephanie, who he moved in with. As for me I’m out of the friend zone. Sharon is dating me were taking it slow but some day soon when were both ready, I’ll propose to her and hopefully she’ll say yes.
    244 words @SweetSheil

  9. “Thirsty?” Sebastian offers a chilled bottle of water, the plastic beading with sweat.

    “Someone’s been paying attention to my drink of choice.” The voice is deep, so much deeper than expected. “I like that.”

    Fuck, he’s even more gorgeous up close, dark gaze filtered through thick lashes, his smile a lazy curve at the corner of his mouth.

    “Dance with me?” Sebastian edges closer.

    “I don’t even know your name.”

    “Seb—Seth.” Holy fuck, did he almost give his real name? This man is—

    “Vane.”

    “Sounds…” Fake. “Like a vampire name.” They shake hands and Sebastian is spiraling down into a dangerous headspace where he actually wants this to be real, attraction sparking through him like a live wire. “Or something.”

    “I prefer to suck things other than blood.”

    “Dance with me.” It isn’t a question this time.

    Vane shakes his head. Leans in close to place his lips right against Sebastian’s ear.

    “That’s not why I’m here,” he murmurs. “Well… not why I’m still here.”

    “Why, then?” His voice suddenly sounds like he has a pack-a-day smoking habit. Or maybe he just sounds desperate. Because Vane smells warm and musky, clean sweat and light cologne, and Sebastian wants to chase that scent, wants to tangle it with his own.

    “Take me to bed and find out,” Vane sighs, the heat and breath of his words making Sebastian shiver. “You’ve been fucking me with your eyes since I got here. I want to know what the real deal is like.”

    @caramichaels
    250 flirty, horny words

  10. Space warping and stretching around us doesn’t make dodging falling stars any easier. Ken and Puca are out of their depth. I’ve never faced an opponent like the Great Star Spirit before. I bet Yuki and Tondra haven’t either.

    Yuki raises a colossal wall of ice between us and our gargantuan adversary. Tondra’s speed and agility since transforming her wheelchair into a construct of pure wind is a thing of beauty. But, obviously, it’ll be up to the ice queen and me to get us out of this.

    Stars impact Yuki’s ice wall. I charge my spell. Turning to fly blind I engulf the ice in a towering inferno just as it shatters, giving us precious extra seconds of protection and a steam screen against our pursuer. I hear the low roar of Tondra blowing through to normal space ahead and feel her wind pulling us all toward freedom.

    We emerge in an odd corner of the physical world. Safe for now. Yuki and Tondra glide to an easy stop, the rest of us tumble out.

    “We made it!” Ken declares like he had something to do with it.

    “Yeah!” Puca the talking black mare whinnies. “Team Yuki back together to stop another war between humans and spirits!”

    “That’s not why I’m here,” I scowl at the sky from my back. “This time I’m going to see every last spirit dead.”

    Puca shifts to her goat form and stomps with an angry bleat.

    “Present company excepted of course.” I amend.

    250 The Ice Queen words
    @DavidALudwig

  11. “Could you give me a clue,” I said. “Just one?”

    The escape room’s attendant shook his head. He was dressed in a suit fashioned from gold leaf, the electrical potential in the atmosphere dancing like flames across his shoulders. His hair was standing out at right-angles and a fiery corona followed his hands as they traced shapes through the air.

    “That’s not why I’m here, sir. I’m here to observe, not assist.”

    The accumulator banks began to spit, the charges within them arcing across the gap between the electrodes that crowned the apparatus. I could imagine Tesla himself reappearing in the chamber beside me, his eyes alight with genius, his mind analytical and wild.

    “Maybe if I change the polarity? I could redirect the energy toward the roof of the spire. The spark could escape back into the atmosphere, returning the charge to the clouds.”

    “Wouldn’t that be dangerous, sir? And besides, it wouldn’t be as easy as that. Maybe there’s another way: a way that wouldn’t destroy the whole building and half of the hill it stands on. You need to be outrageous, be more like Nikola. What would he do? Something unexpected, I do know that.”

    I took a deep breath and realigned the charge collector. It would earth itself through the attendant, atomising him but grounding the energy all at once.

    A flash of light exploded, and the world went white. The attendant, who’d been a hologram, immediately disappeared.

    The clock stopped and the exit door opened.

    250 words – twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com

  12. I started with the first thing on the list, “Figure out what I do know.” That took me back to where the building had been. They’d been fast, it was already nothing but a concrete slab on the ground, blocked off by a cheap chain link fence, the kind with posts stuck into cinder blocks filled with concrete, and a razor wire attachment that ran along its top.

    “No entry permitted, go away.” I shook my head. “Go away? That’s not why I’m here.”

    I took out my cell phone, and added the zoom lens attachment. It worked really well for looking where I wasn’t allowed to go. Brought such places right up close. I looked over the walls of the adjacent buildings. I looked at the concrete slab that was left.

    “What do I know?” I set the phone to record.

    “I knew this building was important. I knew something was going to happen at this building. Why this building?”

    That’s when I started to break that first list item into smaller items.

    1a. Who owned the building?
    1b. Did anyone want the building gone?
    1c. Did that anyone make an offer for the building?
    1d. Did the owner say no?

    From those questions, I knew why this building. I didn’t know who. But I knew, finding out who owned it, and who made the offer, would fill in more details. And might well answer item 2 on my list, “Figure out what I don’t know.”

    247 Words
    @mysoulstears

  13. I am going to a costume party. Carla, one of my Deathers responsible for crossing over the souls of the departed, said to dress as something other than myself; God was not amused when I asked to borrow a robe and grew a long white beard.

    “Horace! You look great!”

    Carla is dressed in a gold and black Grecian dress, a fake fur draped over her shoulders, and an auburn wig. Her cat hisses at me, back arching as she runs away. I do not understand why cats dislike me so fiercely. I like cats.

    “As do you.”

    “What did God say when He saw you?” She hands me a bottle of pink liquid.

    “He was not flattered.”

    “He’s a party pooper. I’ve got a campfire going, Dad made food! Have fun!”

    We go outside to join the others. There are about fifteen people milling about, drinking, and eating. I walk toward the campfire. One girl stares at me.

    “I thought I had more time.”

    It takes me a moment to realize she can see me. I then realize what she means.

    “When you show up, someone dies. And you’re staring at me, standing close by, so it’s me.”

    I shake my head. “That is not why I am here. How are you able to see me?”

    She smiles, relief evident in her shoulders. “Let’s have fun!”

    She walks away and I follow; unless one works with Death or is already dead, they cannot see me. We need to talk.

    @Aightball
    250 words

  14. Smoother Operator

    “Overwatch, this is Spearhead, do you copy?”

    There was a pause and then a slight squelch over the comm. Spearhead smiled and then made the next comm check.

    “BigMomma, are we clear for evac?”

    This time the silence lasted ten seconds before he heard BigMomma say “Squelch,” over the radio.

    “Momma?”

    “What? I couldn’t find the button.”

    Despite himself, Spearhead rolled his eyes. “Copy that. Grendel?” he added looking at his second command in the breach team.

    Standing next to him, Grendel just shrugged.

    “Alright, you know the drill. Overwatch, you’re our eyes and back up. BigMomma, you’re our way out. The rest us spread out, you know your assignments. we move in, secure our objective and get out. Everything goes according to plan we’re in and out in three minutes.

    When no one raised any objections Spearhead nodded to his team. “Overwatch, we’re moving— let us know if you see any opposition.”

    “Copy that.”

    The team had breached the door and gotten within fifty feet of their primary target when things fell apart with Overwatch reported, “there are three bogies on your six. Divert secondary target, I repeat, go for secondary.”

    “No, that’s not why I’m here,” Grendel Growled defiantly.

    “Sorry, son, it’s just too hot. Secondary target is still good.”

    “But dad, it’s not seventy-inch LCD with Roku goodness, Mom can get an air fryer anytime.”

    “Sorry son, that’s Black (Friday) Ops, for you, you take what you can get.”

    As it was, they were almost overrun.

    250 words (not including title)
    @mishmhem

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