#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 488

Welcome back to the home of Paranormal & Dauntless Romance. Today is Thursday and that means it’s time to start flashing. We’re in the middle of our ninth year of weekly prompts. It’s amazing we’ve gone this long! This is Week 488 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 488:

Patricia Oak

Florida girl and reader, Patricia Oak.

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“Yeah, it’s been small stuff.”

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!

15 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 488”

  1. The look he gave Denis was hard as steel. It paired well with his don’t-fuck-with-me powersuit. “Yeah, it’s been small stuff. Worth digging around some. Not sure what to make of her.”

    Dennis shifted in his chair, uncomfortable under the gaze of this powerful man. Made more sense to give it to him straight rather than sugarcoated. But he had to be careful. It would be easy to overstep and end up dead. “The Sphinx… That’s what you told me you heard.” He drummed his fingers on the high polished mahogany and pressed his lips together. Nervous energy sucked. “There wasn’t a lot to find.”

    He only stared harder. Right into Denis’s soul. “But you did find something?”

    Denis cleared his throat. He watched his fingerprints smear, unable to meet his employer’s gaze any longer. “The Sphinx is known to some as an international assassin ring.”

    He huffed and looked away at some more interesting spot on the far wall, crossed his leg from one side to the other, then stood abruptly without looking back. “Your information is wrong.”

    Denis’s brain said be careful. “With all due respect, sir, I’m not.”

    He turned, eyes squinting.

    Denis’s eyes were wide open. “She speaks how many languages? Perfectly? Jujitsu, has people skills, knows her way around firearms?” Brazenly dangerous now. “If the shoe fits…”

    He planted both hands on the table. “You’re telling me the love of my life is an assassin?”

    Denis gulped. “And she’s probably here to kill you.”

    249 words @AngoraShade

  2. Amanda laughed as Mike brushed off his hands and grinned.

    “So, Pizza night, right?”

    “Yay!” the girls cheered and Amanda nodded.

    She grabbed her coat and purse before following the girls to the door. “Let’s do this.”

    They stepped out into the hallway and nodded to Michele as they trooped down to the elevators.

    “It was okay, what I did to Tisdale in the office, right?” Mike lowered his voice so the kids wouldn’t hear.

    “Yes, it was perfect. I was hoping you’d show up while he was here so he could tell his daddy that they wouldn’t be getting the company shares.” She smiled as satisfaction zinged through her. “Now I just have to figure out how to get Walter and his cronies off my board so I can move on without his interference.”

    The elevator doors opened and they all stepped in, with Val pushing the lobby floor button as she explained what was on each floor to Sierra.

    “Has he interfered a lot?” Mike watched the girls, but he glanced at Amanda briefly.

    “Yeah, it’s been small stuff, though. At least, I think it’s been small. The biggest thing I’ve noticed so far is his hiding the clause about getting a husband in the will.”

    The doors opened and they entered the foyer, Mike following her out. But he grabbed her hand and held it when he caught up to her and they headed toward the garage entrance hand in hand. She liked it more than expected.

    250 ineligible #WIP500 words
    @SiobhanMuir

  3. Cleaning out dead, Great -Grandma Sophie’s bedroom; I found letters, and two pictures, under a loose floor board, addressed to Mary, my great-great-grandmother from a David. Tears were streaked across the letters.
    I was stunned and amazed. No one ever spoke of a David Hall. Mary married Frederick, my abusive, great-great-grandpa in 1918. I read the letters written every day for four years,
    “Yeah, it’s been small stuff, I miss, though. The touch of your lips; the warmth of your arms and the feel of your heart beating next to mine. I can hardly wait to be in your embrace again. To marry and have a life with you, again. Fighting hard, maybe will be home by Christmas, and you’ll marry me.” Love David
    The last letter from the War department told me everything, David was killed November 11th, 104 years ago today, before the armistice was signed. I fell asleep reading the letters; awakening, only to the doorbell ringing.
    “I’m looking for Sophie Hall- Gordon.”
    “I’m sorry, great-grandmother died last week. I’m Mary Gordon.”
    “You look like her.”
    “Mary? You look like David, are you related?”
    “He was my great-great-grandfather and he loved your great-great-grandmother, I found her letters in my great – aunt’s estate items and I had to come.”
    David and I started dating and its now Christmas 2022. I swear I looked into the clouds, as I entered the church and I saw Mary and David smiling back and us. I blew a kiss, thanking them.
    @SweetSheil
    250 words

  4. Frank Luxton, My Dear. I Don’t Give A Damn

    A couple of weeks passed. I was about to get back on the missing Henry Samuels horse again that the Feds had tossed me from months earlier. I had a few residual cases to settle including one that struck close to home. Solly Vapors, an old acquaintance had popped into the office in mid-October. He asked if I had some free time to search for an old buddy of his, a Vet named Frank Luxton who’d fallen off Solly’s tentacled radar. Solly was connected to a vast amount of second-hand items resale businesses in the city. By that I mean, he was a well-known fence, well known to some but not the gendarmes.

    “You’ve been keeping busy?” Solly had asked.

    I nodded in the affirmative, quipped, “Yeah, it’s been small stuff, mostly. Keeping me in cigarettes though.”

    “Thought you quit,” he tossed in, showing that he was keeping tabs even on me.

    “Fell off the smoke wagon a while back,” I said. “So, tell me about Luxton. What’s really going on?”

    Solly had hemmed and hawed and then added a wee bit more detail after I asked, “Is he even a friend, Solly?”

    “Was. Stiffed me with hot goods. Took me some serious penance to get out from under the bulls. Don’t get me wrong, I like Frankie. He needs to make amends. Someone else might not be too generous.”

    He had a photo.

    I said, “Okay. I’ll take a look.”

    250 WIP
    @billmelaterplea

  5. The night sky was filled with holographic ads along with government propaganda.

    “It’s the small stuff, Jane,” Gia’s hologram was saying. “That’s the key to exposing Jeremy.”

    Jeremy was CEO of Apex Technologies. Apex led the insurrection that ended democracy two years ago. When he caught me hacking into Apex’s main computer he threatened to kill my little brother unless I agreed to steal secrets from Apex’s chief rival.

    Yeah, it’s been small stuff all along, I mused. Like my drug induced near leap off a ninety story building, and the dead body of my sweet scientist lover in my flat. Then there are the gaps in my memory. Not to mention my abduction by a drug cartel.

    I had lots of time to think about the “small stuff” while I was hanging by my feet stark naked in the warehouse the cartel used.

    Living in the 23rd century really sucks sometimes.

    “I have a theory, Jane.” Gia’s hologram had taken to hanging out in my kitchen.

    “I need you here, Gia. I mean you in the flesh.” Holograms were good company, but I needed human contact. Gia was my best friend. She was like a sister to me.

    “Jane…focus.” Holograms could be relentless. “You didn’t kill anyone. You were framed. And we both know who framed you.”

    I wasn’t so sure. The gaps in my memory were still plaguing me. And I would do anything to protect my brother. If Jeremy told me to kill someone, then maybe….

    Catherine Verdier
    @CatheVerdier
    250 Words (from my dystopian WIP)

  6. “He stares at me when I’m workin’ at Clancy’s. Constantly. And he’ll flirt but anytime I suggest gettin’…well…together, he shuts me down.” Shannon swallowed some beer. “So yeah, it’s been small stuff. Still, a girl knows.”

    That was greeted with snickers. “Small? Is there anything small about these guys?” Bridget asked, batting her lashes.

    “Like I would know,” Shannon groused.

    Fiona peered at her. “And why would ya not? Bowie is…insistent that I’m his. I mean, Mick O’Connor is a big boss. You’d think he’d be right on top of things.” She grinned, pink coloring her fair skin, causing her freckles to glow. “Bowie certainly is. On top of things.”

    “Shush, Fee. That’s m’brother you’re goin’ on about,” Shannon ordered. “It’s bad enough we live in the same apartment. I don’t need t’know what the devil m’baby brother is up to.”

    Fiona’s grin turned cheeky. “He’s up to mmphhmmph.” Shannon smushed her palm against Fiona’s mouth.

    Chugging the rest of her beer, Shannon pushed off the couch. “Well, I’ve had enough waitin’ around. If Mick O’Connor is too dense to get the message That I’m interested then he’s not man enough for me. I’m tired of bein’ celibate and there are other fish in the sea.”

    “What about Brendan?” Bridget asked, smirking.

    “Ewww. M’brother’s bestie? No.”

    The sound of a throat clearing turned all eyes to the doorway. A glowering Mick O’Connor stood there, stony-faced.

    Shannon blanched. “Oops.”

    “Come with me.” Mick’s voice left her no choice.
    ****
    250 Moonstruck Mafia: Boston Wolves WIP words
    @SilverJames_

  7. “You know you got it, shoot, if it makes you feel good”

    The breeze rustled the pages of my newspaper, and I folded it over to keep it readable. With the paper not dominating my sight, I noticed the woman sitting across the way staring at me. I raised my eyebrows, asking the universal question of, “yes, may I help you?”

    She blinked, then blushed. “I’m sorry – I didn’t mean – but, is that your…finger? On the ground?”
    I looked, and sure enough, my left pinkie was on the dirt, itself getting a curious stare from a pigeon. “Shoo!”

    I leaned over to pick up the missing digit. It wasn’t too dirty, though I’d wash it later. Blowing on it removed most of the dust, and I popped it into place, flexing and wiggling to make sure it was firmly attached. Well, for now.

    “Thanks,” I said. “I would have noticed eventually, but it’s a lot easier to reattach than regrow.”
    Then I waited, because I knew what was coming next.

    “I mean, does that kind of thing happen…often?”

    “Well, sometimes, yeah. It’s been small stuff, mostly. Fingers are the most common. Sometimes an ear. Once, my whole…” Now it was my turn to blush. “Well, you can imagine.”

    “And they just reattach?”

    “Generally, unless something happens. Then I have to regrow them. That’s more work.”

    “Do they regrow the same?”

    “Usually, though I can change things if I concentrate enough. For example, when my…you know…I made some improvements.”

    She laughed, and walked over to sit next to me.

    “What kind of improvements?”
    250 words
    @drmag00

  8. Fledgling.

    She assembles the panels onto the frame. She inspects each one before she attaches it. Some small, some large; each one is immaculately fashioned, their membranes stretched tight, translucent as gossamer.

    “Yeah, it’s been small stuff. Models and miniatures. Nothing as ambitious as this. But there is a limit to what you can demonstrate using dumb science and trial and error. You need to make the final leap for yourself. Assess the mechanisms thoroughly, bearing a full load.

    Test your faith.”

    She’s perched on the ridge of the roof, studying the birds, watching the clouds that rumble and moan as they soar. There is poetry and grace in the way they glide, elegant and ethereal, immune to gravity. There is no effort to the art that holds them there, free and suspended, unburdened by fear.

    The apparatus is angular, bat-like, glowing with colour. There is a design beyond the utility – feathers, scales, a beak to cleave the air. Rubberised bands: there are gears and escapements. It shines in the evening light; it waits for destiny.

    “It takes an infinity of courage to take the first step. I’ve been up here before, watching the skies. I’ve refined and redesigned and then stripped away the weight. I’ve drilled holes in structural members, increased the surface area.” She tightens the straps, flexes her shoulders, extends her arms.

    And then she leaps.

    twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com

  9. The dust-heavy air was charged with juxtaposed anticipatory energy and indolent chill too deep for a spring afternoon. Myra ran a hand reverently over yellowed wallpaper and paused to appreciate the tumorous old wood underneath.

    “What a gorgeous old house!”

    “No kidding,” Dalton puffed his chest at the shadows beyond the grime-filtered sunlight. “This is great!”

    The teens had separated back at the foyer. Alvina’s frantic squeal rushed Myra and Dalton back.

    “Guys! Get over here!”

    Dalton led the way, “Yeah!?”

    “It’s been small stuff,” Alvina spread her fingers toward cobwebbed kitchen cabinets, her eyes hidden by the glare on her glasses. “But we have definitely had movement!”

    Myra hooked her arm around Dalton’s and they scrutinized abandoned porcelain and silverware while Alvina crept to each of her camera tripods to initiate multispectral recording. Nothing was moving now but it was impossible not to hold their collective breath. The dust by a stray teaspoon did seem slightly thinner than on other parts of the room.

    “Guys? I found the library,” Gavin’s languid lilt was less urgent than Alvina’s squeal but his friends recognized the excitement behind it. “I want to live here.”

    Their bony bookworm briefly appeared down the hall, heavy tome in hand, before a door slammed in his face.

    Gavin called in confusion from upstairs, “Guys? How did I…?”

    Myra giggled excitedly and pulled Dalton and Alvina into a tight squeeze.

    “This much activity during the day? Tonight’s going to be awesome!”

    244 Menagerie words
    @DavidALudwig

  10. LeeAnn walked in as Sherry let out a heavy sigh.

    “How’s it going?”

    “Terrible.”

    “It’s small, yeah?”

    “It’s been small. Stuff has started to get out of hand, though. I mean, look at this!”

    Sherry held up a huge stack of papers.

    “LeeAnn, this was supposed to be a little contest with maybe ten entries. How in the world did this many people even find out about it?”

    LeeAnn shrugged. “Maybe word got out?”

    Sherry stopped and shot LeeAnn a hard stare.

    “What did you do?”

    LeeAnn grabbed a piece of candy and shoved it in her mouth, shaking her head and pointing to her full mouth, making noises around the caramel as if she were trying to speak.

    “LeeAnn! You know I don’t have time to read all these essays. Why would you do this?”

    LeeAnn chewed faster, holding up her index finger at Sherry, causing Sherry to roll her eyes and put both hands on her hips as she waited.

    “You’ve worked so hard to make your shop a success, I knew that one little sign on your door wouldn’t bring in many entries. And, isn’t the whole point of this contest to bring more attention to your store? I may have posted the contest on social media.”

    Sherry’s eyebrows shot up.

    “And added an uh . . . incentive.”

    Sherry’s eyes closed in disbelief.

    “LeeAnn, I do not believe you.” She drew a deep breath and handed some papers to LeeAnn.
    “Fine. You’re reading essays, too.”

    @TeresaMEccles
    249 words

  11. Nan sat back in the control chair fighting the urge go fidgit as it filled with the cooling liquid and the ship began to respond to her movements. It was always a bit sluggish at first as the integration began. She could sense the brush of Gypsy’s mind as she handed off controls, and her own control chamber began to drain.

    There was a moment as Gypsy’s thoughts faded, then she could hear her actual voice through the transfer gel.

    “Yeah, it’s been small stuff, but you know it’s going to escalate.”

    She would have snorted, but snorting in NAV fluid was not on her agenda for the day. ‘Let’s see what we can find,’ she thought as the ship responded to the faint twitch of her left hand, opening up the scanner feeds and the local commerce traffic.

    She smiled to herself, knowing that the seat gave her not only control of the ship, but access to the computer feeds being piped in from outside. While movement felt almost as if she was dancing in zero G, she knew everything was moving around her at the speed of sound, and nothing escaped the ship’s notice.

    It was why they survived the attack on EB-7, the Andron ship, and her crew. They were in the air and gone almost before the attack began because the only ship that was faster enough, was the Andron – which traveled at the speed of thought.

    But now, the shop thought it was hungry

    250 Words
    @mishmhem

  12. A beautiful buxom brunette kneeled before me. Her warm hands trailed up my thighs.

    Seated on the overstuffed leather chair, a cigar between my fingers, I wondered if this was it, all that life could give me.

    To kneel or to be killed.

    It was the Wolves’ motto, one I’d personally crafted.

    Yeah, it’s been small stuff … but I had a hunch this was only the first part of them testing the limits, a trial by fire. That those outside of the Order didn’t fear any repercussions didn’t do it for me. I’d kept this city safe, the paranormal world hidden, and I wasn’t about to let up on it now…

    My wolf snarled as my thoughts gnawed on about the vampire drug, Temptation, hitting the streets. A drug that could cause those bloodsuckers to rage out, and feast on the humans, those humans I was sworn to protect.

    Even with the gifts, the vampires sent my way…

    Temptation was a problem even a pretty face couldn’t fix.

    Was I losing my touch? It wasn’t enough to call yourself an Alpha if you couldn’t make a coven of vampires cower.

    Like a viper on my chest, hypnotized and ready to strike, I focused on every clue. Who was supplying the streets with the drug, and what was the threat coming down the pike?

    It would take my pack to crush the vampires beneath my boot once and for all…red-lipped temptresses be damned.

    @TinaGlasneck
    244 words
    #WIP #HuntingLikeAWolf

  13. #ThursThreads Week 488 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.

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