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 487 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 487:
Dead Thing Specialist, Mining Geologist, and Original Book Boyfriend, George Varhalmi.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“I can’t abandon them.”
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 487”
The stars danced above my head, or perhaps it was the elder god’s priest who made them swirl faster as he stroked my arm with one hand and his “dog’s” head with the other. “You’re taking this remarkably well for a human. I’d like it if you survived Apotheosis, but those decisions are above my paygrade.” A shadow formed behind the stars, something larger than our moon, as he spoke of the coming Reaping.
I’d thought this was just going to be a one-night stand after meeting a hot guy at the park as he walked his dog. His dog turned out to be an extra-dimensional creature in the guise of a Shiba Inu. Still cute, just sort of evil.
“On my planet, you’re my wife now.”
“I’m your what?” Apparently, I remembered the great sex and his “I’m actually a humanoid creature from another dimension” but not the wedding vows.
He smiled, and the human façade cracked a little around his eyes, showing yellow sigils tattooed beneath. “Wife. Mate. My kind only love once, and it’s for life. When you stopped to pet Puppy, I knew. If you didn’t want me, I would not have wanted you.” Someone needed to talk to his kind about the differences between lust and love. “I may be Hastur’s priest and that has its own rules, but I can’t abandon them—my family’s heritage—not entirely. You’re my wife now, and I’ll prepare you for evolution as much as I can.”
After my shower, and my pain pills, I sat down at the kitchen table, and Deborah put a plate of bacon, scrambled eggs, toast with jelly, and a glass of straight whiskey in front of me. “You need it.” She rested her hand on my shoulder, “Harvey. It’s not your fault, what happened to me.”
I didn’t say anything.
“It’s not your fault I’m broken inside.”
I tried to eat something. Failed. Grabbed the whiskey, downed it, trying to wash away everything I felt. Failed. Again.
“You got me out.”
“I wasn’t soon enough.”
“You got me out.”
I poked at the eggs with my fork. “Is she broken already?”
Deborah didn’t say a word.
“I’m already too late again, aren’t I.”
“Please, Harvey. Eat something.”
I shoveled in a bite of the eggs, then a slice of the bacon. Then, I looked at her.
“You already know. Why are you asking me?” Sometimes, I swear she could look right through me, straight to my soul. “You already know.”
“Sometimes, I think I have enough scars, and maybe I should stop. Forget everything. Go somewhere, and drink myself dead.”
Those empty eyes she had. Me knowing she couldn’t care about anyone, or anything, that she was empty inside, as she looked through me. Her empathy reading me like a book. “You won’t.”
“I won’t.” I finished the eggs. “I can’t abandon them. Other hidden ones.” I even tried to smile, “Her.”
“You’ll save her, Harvey. Like you saved me.”
Ronan looked up from the paperwork he’d been studying. Brendan stood in the doorway, shifting foot-to-foot, looking everywhere but at him. He waited, knowing the other man wouldn’t have intruded without reason.
“Uh…boss?” Brendan still didn’t meet his eyes.
“What is it?”
“Well, ya see…” The younger man inhaled and finally met his gaze. “Finn came t’me because things have gone missin’.”
Ronan straightened. “Someone’s been stealin’ from the bar?”
“Sort of? Who?”
“Yeah, it’s been small stuff. And the girl, she’s been actin’ suspicious.”
“Bowie’s. Fee. Fiona. She’s been sneakin’ out of his place. Plus she’s been helpin’ Finn out in the back.”
“That’s the thing, boss. She slipped out the back door about five minutes ago.”
Ronan pushed out of his chair. “Let’s go.”
They found her behind the dumpster and confronted her.
Fiona, eyes brimming with tears, faced them down. “I can’t abandon them.” Her chin jutted at a stubborn angle despite the tremor in her voice.
The three men exchanged wary glances. Female tears plus a fiery temper boded ill for them. Something yowled, a pitifully weak sound. That’s when they saw the milk carton and the rag-filled wooden box at her feet.
Green eyes snapped at them as she squatted and snuggled four tiny kittens in her arms. “And I won’t let you hurt them.”
Bowie rubbed the back of his neck. “Cats. It had to be cats.”
What were Wolves to do?
249 Moonstruck Mafia Wolves WIP words
“When confronted with Choice A and Choice B you go for C.”
“There’s only one flaw, Jane.” Gia’s hologram was relentless. She poured herself a second cup of coffee. “There is no C.”
Somehow I knew that. “When are you returning from Paris?” Holograms were useful, but I needed Gia here in the flesh. Gia was like a sister to me. Without her my mind kept flashing back to that night two years ago.
The night I nearly took a drug induced dive off a ninety story building. The night I ran to my toilet to throw up when I found the dead body of the sweet, respectable scientist I’d been sleeping with while posing as a researcher for Apex Technologies to steal its rival’s secrets.
The same night a second wave of drone attacks had completely obliterated the government’s military software and hence its ability to respond. An eerie dawn confirmed the worst. The end of democracy.
Apex and Tri-Corp had achieved their goal. The Big Tech companies swiftly divided the country into eight sectors and an outlying area. Those citizens banished to the outlying area included my family. Or what was left of my family after the drones. It was the last time I saw my parents and my little brother. I’ve been searching for them ever since. I can’t abandon them.
Sometimes I wish I didn’t live in the 23rd century.
Gia’s hologram reappeared. “You’re not a killer, Jane. You were framed.”
I wasn’t so sure.
250 Words (from my sci-fi thriller WIP)
I looked directly at him for the first time. He looked directly back. He was noble and self-assured, with the lineage to support his claim. I was a nobody without a genuine name to call my own. I’d never known my birth parents; I’d been a foundling. The state had been my first mother, my original father a carnal opportunity no one had recorded. I’d been named Antonia after St Anthony, the patron saint of lost causes. He’d also given me my birthday, June 13th. It was as good a day as any, I’d been told.
“Of course, you’ll have to leave this place,” the Earl said. “It wouldn’t do for you to stay. Think of the scandal if it came out. The monarch’s illegitimate child hidden in a town like this. It doesn’t matter that you’re almost a woman; there’s a principle to these things, a code of honour that needs to be satisfied.”
“What about my parents? The ones I grew up with. They took me in and gave me a home. I can’t abandon them, whatever your mandates dictate. We’ve grown accustomed to one another; we’ve become family despite the lack of a blood link. We’re bound together by more than a fluke of circumstance: we’ve a love that trumps any legislation you might want to direct against us. So, I think I’ll have to respectfully decline this offer you’re making.”
“Did I say you had a choice?” the Earl snapped. “I think you’ll find you’re mistaken.”
250 words – twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
Chilling in an ice dome under a rockslide isn’t my idea of a good time. Puca, the little black bunny, is caught outside with a hind paw in the rubble. Tondra is using her wind powers to deliver Puca’s pitiful cries for help to our target.
It’s not a bad plan. Except for the part where we’re all just waiting to pop out and talk to the Great Nature Spirit, rather than kill him. It’s hard being the sole voice of ruthlessness in the party. I am the most powerful and most experienced of us by a heck of a lot. And I know what it took to become so.
Unfortunately, I don’t know how many Greater Spirits we’re up against or what their powers are. I bring a lot to our party but they don’t need me. Still, I can’t abandon them. I’d never make it on my own.
A deep voice rumbled over the mountain trail, “I am Father Nature. You realize that I know rabbits don’t talk?”
Puca plucked her paw from the rubble and returned to her usual chipper chatter.
“We weren’t trying to trick you, sir, just get your attention!”
The confusion in the Great Spirit’s voice provided welcome confirmation my runes had rendered us undetectable to him. Yuki sloped our shelter to let the stones roll gently aside to Father Nature’s astonishment.
That was the moment to kill him. If it wouldn’t have left me alone against an unknown number of Greater Spirits.
250 The Ice Queen words
“Time to go, Doc.” Hermione had morphed back into Captain Wilcox and she wasn’t wasting time. “We’re losing our window to get outta here without casualties. Leave the last of the samples.”
“Abandon them. We don’t have time.” Wilcox held her rifle against her chest with the barrel pointed at the floor as she glanced out of the tiny window in the door.
“But they’re almost—”
“Now, Dr. Martell.” She grabbed his arm and dragged him away from the desk. “You’ll have to leave them. We’re out of time. Dunwoody, Subramani, secure our exfil. We’re moving out. I’ve got your sixes.”
“Copy that. Come on, Dr. Martell.” The woman with east Indian features and beguiling brown eyes gestured toward to door. “Do you have your vest on?”
“Yes, uh, yes, ma’am.” He nodded as he shoved the last of his samples into his currier bag and straightened his shoulders.
“Good. I need you to stay between me and Corporal Dunwoody. Move when we move, stay low when we say so, and you’ll be out of here without a scratch. Copy?”
“Copy, er roger. Uh, yes, ma’am.” He still wasn’t used to their lingo.
192 ineligible #Sirens words
It’s quiet in the barn tonight, just the early spring bugs buzzing around. The calf’s tail swishes away an early fly. Farm life can be a harsh reality. We lost Gracie’s mama right after she gave birth to twins. I can’t abandon them, so Dad and I are bottle feeding them around the clock. I’ve been showing cattle for as long as I can remember, and Gracie here should be another blue-ribbon calf.
“How’s she doing?”
I look up at Dad, his coveralls smudged with blood and yuck. I smile, patting Gracie on the head as she takes a breather from her bottle.
“Doing good, taking the bottle fine.”
Dad doesn’t like us naming the cows, says it creates an unhealthy attachment. After all, our cows are all going to market to become someone’s dinner. But I always name my calves for showing, knowing full well they’ll be sold soon after.
“Good. Delivered a healthy calf. Got another one in labor, but Dr. Stephen’s on his way for that one. I’ll let you know how it goes.”
Gracie finishes her bottle and I take her back to her stall. I clean up the bottle, then wander over to the other barn to see how the birth is going. Dr. Stephen helps deliver the calf, which Dad rests in the hay; this calf doesn’t look good, but I’m pleased when mama starts cleaning it. Moments later, the calf is up and feeding and I breathe a sigh of relief.
248 (very tired words…)
Leave no man behind
It was the perfect storm of cliches and standing arguments that led to even more cliches until the cause was more important than the actual fight.
This was the hill I was going to die on. There was no doubt about it— I just wasn’t sure how many of them I was going to take with me.
Leave no soldier behind, no quarter asked, none given. With your shield or on it. If one falls we all fall… a house divided— you know all the usual suspects. We tried to stop things before they got too bad, but the fight had already gone too far and we were left with a bitter taste in our mouth.
As I gathered the fallen to me and my commander told me to leave them, I swore and shook my head. “You know I can’t do that! I can’t abandon them.”
He just sighed and rolled his eyes as I finished the mop-up operation.
It wasn’t anything earth-shattering or important but dammit it, it was a matter of principle and it all came down to the usual argument – pineapple does not go on pizza, but it’s great with rum and cake.
199 words, not including the title
I looked into the room.
“I can’t abandon them,” I cried.
“You’re on your own,” David answered surprising me and then leaving.
On the wall was a broad sword and a battle ax, which I took down.
I turned on the flashlight on my phone and snuck up on the man in the corner holding my sister, Melanie with Sharon by her side.
“Let my sisters, go,” I commanded of the man holding her.
“You’re going to stop me?” the laughed as the men around him pulled guns.
He waved at them to put them away.
“They owe me money.”
“No, George took from this man, Sarah,” Sharon answered while Melanie cowered.
“George is dead; that means they owe me,”
“How much money is it?” I asked.
“I can get you that tomorrow; if you let them go.”
“Sarah, I’ll let them go; but you’re staying, until we go to the bank tomorrow and you pay me,” the man countered.
“No, Sarah you can’t,” Sharon and Melanie protested.
“Go, I’m staying,” I said and put down my weapons after they walked out the door.
I don’t have twenty-thousand. I called my friends and we had a good meal; the place mysteriously burned down after that. Thirty-thousand dollars was posted to my bank account. Not bad for a night’s work. Once a hit woman, always a hitwoman; thank goodness my sisters don’t know about my job, or my undead status. They’d always have their big sister protecting them.
#ThursThreads is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.