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 490 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 490:
Programmer by day, writer by night, Katheryn J. Avila.
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And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“I’d have thought you’d be happy.”
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!
13 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 490”
Further Along the Frank Trail
Frank Luxton may have gone to ground, but he couldn’t get far. The Frank Luxton’s of the world simply don’t know how to get lost. Even if you want them to.
I got on the horn to my client, Solly Vapors, said, “Solly, Frank’s playing hide and seek. You must know his favorite cubbyholes. Could you ask your charming acquaintances in the used- everything business to keep eyes peeled?”
Solly immediately took offense. “Peeper, you think I’m some schnook asleep at the wheel? The word’s out. You’re just one spoke in my wheelhouse.”
“No offense, Solly.”
I didn’t need Solly writing my name in his seriously-you-didn’t-want-to-be-there bad book.
“Not much taken. Here’s something to get your smarmy little bloodhound instinct salivating,” Solly said.
“Frank’s ex, Terry…not Luxton anymore, Terry Kane, runs a little sweets shop in the west end, calls it Kane’s Kandy with a K Shoppe…with a pe…fancy like… high-end goods…in the front, god knows what’s in the back. Might land there.”
This got me to wondering why Solly was giving me a pretty substantial lead that he was perfectly capable of following up.
“Solly, why aren’t you checking her place out?”
“Peeper,” Solly suddenly got huffy, “I’d have thought you’d be happy I’m doing your work for you. If you gotta know, Terry and I have …history.”
“Oh,” I said.
“Yeah. Oh! She ain’t sweet on me no more.”
Solly hung up.
Poor, Solly, I thought.
Soured on love.
I couldn’t stop grinning.
The kneeling crowd numbered in the thousands. Perhaps tens of thousands. Jacob didn’t know. Yesterday, he’d been one of them. Well, not exactly. He’d been two squares back in the merchant district, trying to sell the rest of Mama’s woven winter blankets.
And then, of all the stupid things, magic had named him their king. Him. The boy who spent more time hiding from trouble (and trouble causers) than he did trying to do anything. He was just a weaver’s kid. That’s all.
The royal guards walked among the rows of commoners, of which he’d been a part just yesterday. He’d considered the crown embedded in the stone to be a joke played on the village, a way to make them thing they could one day escape being pig farmers and blacksmiths. He’d been laughing as he grasped each side and pretended to use all his might to lift it, only to have it shoot up sparks and come free in his hands. It’d been there since Grandpa was a lad, maybe before.
“I’d have thought you’d be happy,” his advisor murmured. “Smile for your subjects. Waving wouldn’t hurt, too.”
“I’d have thought you’d be happy that it wasn’t entailed to the male line. The castle in Scotland is yours,” the lawyer said.
I admit for a moment, I was reminded of the dreams I’d had since childhood of a scary castle.
Unstaffed and deserted, except for a couple who lived on the grounds acting as housekeeper and groundskeeper.
Picking the largest room, I settled my things falling into a deep sleep. I awakened to a man pulling a Scottish terrier away from my blankets.
“You can see me? I’m Henry this was my castle.”
“Can you find my bible? I don’t think they’ll let me and Roger, in Heaven without one. I need it placed on my grave outside, ” he said.
“Where is this bible?”
“It’s in one of two places that I can’t go.”
I agreed to help and searched the chapel with no success, which left the other place the well. I hesitated and then decide it wasn’t worth being haunted. Grabbing rope, I went to the old well scaling down the sides. I reached the bottom of the well searching the bottom, then the walls, finding an old bible; just where Henry said but the rope broke. I was buried a week later with the bible. As for Henry and Roger I took his hand and we went into the light. Heaven forgave all our transgressions. Now we watch over the castle keeping people safe, wishing all peace and light.
Maura’s shoulder’s slumped as she recognized the figure standing in her office door. “Come to gloat?”
Ronan shrugged. “What’s to gloat about?”
“You won. I’d have thought you’d be happy about this turn of events.”
“Why would you think that?” He looked puzzled.
“Simple. You’re getting everything you want.”
She spread her hands and arms like a model on a Hollywood game show. “Looks like it to me. Charges have been dropped. Your brother’s a free man. And you’ve made my job untenable.”
“I didn’t want that,” he said, his voice a quiet rumble with a hint of growl.
“Maybe not, Mr. O’Connor, but we are both aware of my boss’s…” Maura stopped, gathering her thoughts. What could she say? Alex Crenshaw was a sleazebag of the first order. He was as crooked as… Metaphor and simile comparisions failed her. “Alex comes out smelling like a rose and I look incompetent.” She glanced past him to the hallway. “Actually, I’m expecting my pink slip any moment now.”
Ronan folded his arms across his damnably broad chest and shook his head. “Crenshaw may want to make you the goat, but he’s not stupid enough to cut you loose.”
He tilted his head slightly. “One, you’re the most competent assistant DA he has. Two, you know where the skeletons are buried.”
That revelation shocked her. “No I don’t.”
“Does he know that?”
She shivered, positive someone had just walked over her grave. “No.”
“I rest my case, counselor.”
250 Moonstruck Mafia: Boston Wolves WIP words
“Carla! It is time for your performance review!”
I suppose I must suffer through one last performance review before Horace retires for good. He hustles over, in full skeletal form, black robes billowing in their own unseen breeze. I sense that he’s grinning; he loves doing this.
I follow him into the office, and settle into a comfortable purple armchair. I huff out a breath.
He opens a folder. “You have done well. Only five complaints this year, one of which was from a rather old bitty who did not like anyone. Thus, you will receive the standard salary increase of one hundred dollars per month.”
“I’d have thought you’d be happy.”
When he lapses into contractions, he’s no longer in a jolly mood.
“My brother got a four hundred dollar a month raise and we both hold executive positions on the Dark Plane.”
As if it dawns on him, he sighs. “It is how we have always done it.”
I lean on the desk. “The least you can do before you retire is make the wages fair.”
I bounce a lightning bolt on his desk with my finger, a subtle reminder of my temper. His head bounces a moment with the bolt and then he sighs.
“I will have Petunia print out new paperwork.”
I stand up to leave. Before I shut the heavy door behind me, I turn to him and smile.
“Enjoy your well-earned retirement.”
He sighs and waves me out the door.
Gia’s 3-D hologram was singing in my ear. “Wake up, Jane.”
Damn…that was a particularly vivid dream.
“Jane, did you remember something?”
I pushed myself up and paced. “I love you like a sister, Gia, but you are relentless sometimes.”
The gaps in my memory were still there. Maybe they would always be there. Courtesy of Jeremy and the drug cartel he enlisted to abduct me. They force fed me Jolies for three days until my mind was mush. I don’t know how I managed to escape, but I did.
“Jane, you have to hack into Jeremy’s computer and locate his personal file. It’s the one thing that can exonerate you.”
“Yeah, not that simple, Gia.”
Jeremy was CEO of Apex, the high tech firm that essentially was the government now that democracy was dead. He was also my lover until he caught me hacking into Apex’s main computer. That’s when he had the cartel abduct me.
There was that one memory that wasn’t erased. Hanging naked by my feet in the cartel’s warehouse while Sphinx and Grit taunted me with a knife and gun, respectively.
Sphinx leered lustfully. “I’d have thought…”
“You’d be happy if I was dead,” I interrupted, guessing the rest of Sphinx’s sentence.
“You’re gonna wish you were,” he said, smirking.
Living in the 23rd century really sucked.
“Listen to me, Jane,” Gia’s hologram said. “I know you didn’t kill that scientist. You’re not capable of killing anyone.”
I wasn’t so sure.
250 Words (from my dystopian WIP)
Edith watched him out of the corner of her eye. He was unapologetic and proud, his chest forward and his shoulders pushed back.
“I’d have thought you’d be happy,” he said, choosing a fine, lint-free cloth. “It was very much what you asked for, wasn’t it?”
The alchemist took her right hand and lifted it, holding it up against the light. It was already a porcelain white, but it still wasn’t satisfactory. There was a flaw in the glaze, a roughness in its finish, an irregularity in the way the stain had fused. She tried to resist him, to snatch it back, but there was nothing she could do. Her muscles wouldn’t respond to her will; they’d become like stone.
“I think you’re going be one of my favourites. You had the cheekbones, the jawline, a perfect nose. There was so very little I had to correct.” He manipulated her fingers, articulating the individual sections of each one, sensitive to their alignment and the curve of her palm.
A tear brimmed against the rim of her eyelid, then dropped down her cheek. An hour ago, she would have cursed, would have brushed it away, would have worried about her makeup. Two hours ago, she should have refused the offer he made.
Perfection. And immortality. And a face that would never age.
She’d thought he’d been joking. Or that he’d been a vampire. Either way, she’d nothing to lose.
A model was always super-aware of how she looked.
247 words – twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
Dalton glanced at the sitting room windows reflecting the light of their camp lantern rather than revealing the night outside.
“Hey, anybody know where Myra is?” he asked.
Z retrieved the joint from Alvina while she blew her last hit into Gavin’s mouth. Z took a puff before answering Dalton.
“Last I saw, she was headed for the basement, bro.”
“I’m gonna check on her then take a walk around.”
Dalton grabbed a flashlight as he stood, allowing its dusty beam to lead the way to the chilly basement stairs. Before he put his foot on the first dark step a rush of vertigo forced him to clutch the flashlight while reaching for the rail with his other hand. He stayed on his feet but found himself at the top of the tower stairs. Not the basement ones.
“Guys! The house moved me!” He yelled down.
An intense minute later the four had been transported to enough different places to be confident no one else was getting to the basement.
“Babe?” Dalton yelled from the top of the stairs.
“What?” Myra called back, eliciting relieved sighs from the others.
“Would you still have gone down there if you knew none of us could follow?”
“Thought you’d be happy,” Dalton grinned. “Apparently the house wants you to itself!”
Myra squeed excitedly, “I think this is its heart!”
Dalton turned to the others.
“Let’s spread out and see if anyone else can get a one on one with the house!”
250 Menagerie words
I turned the volume up and stared straight ahead, failing as usual to keep my expression neutral. Linda tried to catch my eye, but I pretended I couldn’t see her. She always had more patience, though, and eventually I snapped the knob to the left until it clicked.
When she spoke, all I heard was anger. “I’d have thought you’d be happy. Isn’t this what you always wanted?”
“Jim, look at me. Talk to me. I’m here. You pursued me for-fucking-ever, and I’m here. Why the hell do you look like your dog died?”
Barely able to whisper, I gave in. “It wasn’t supposed to be like this.”
“What the fuck does does that mean?”
“You were supposed to reject me again. Because then I could stop the pain.” Now the tears.
“I had it all planned out. You were going to say no, and I was going to go home, print out my note, and then take a bottle of tranquilizers. I was going to make it easy on anyone who found me. There was an envelope with my will, all my account passwords, and my keys to the office.”
“But you said yes. Why? Why, Linda?” I was shouting, eyes so full of tears I could barely see the road.
Her voice was so choked as to be nearly unrecognizable. “Because I was drowning, Jim. Because I was drowning and you saved me.”
“Will you let me save you?”
“I have two sisters who are both geniuses. Clara is a choreographer in LA with an internationally acclaimed dance company, and Vivien is an astrophysicist working at JPL on the Mars Rover program.”
“Oh, so you were the slow kids at school, I see.”
Chester barked a laugh. “Yup. The Nerd Herd.”
Hermione joined in. “Wow, you had your own group name?”
“We earned it. I mean, one kid in drama and the other two were geeky scientists? We should’ve had t-shirts made.” He nodded with a smile. “I might still do that for the winter holidays. It would be good to get the Nerd Herd back together.”
“Do you see your family very often?” She couldn’t help the wistful tone in her voice. She didn’t have much family left.
If you don’t count the other Sirens.
He shook his head. “Only at major holidays. Clara is so busy with her dance company she’s not home often, and Vivien loves to work. It’s hard to convince her to break away. Or harder than I’d have thought.”
“You’d be happy with everyone back home, I take it.”
He nodded. “Yeah. I mean, we’re all so busy, but I love seeing them. They’re amazing women.” He shot her a smile. “What about you? Do you have family?”
She shook her head. “Not in the way you mean. The Sirens are really my family now.”
“Were you ever married?”
She shrugged. “Yeah. It didn’t work out.”
245 ineligible #Sirens Words
I glanced at the acclaimed painting. A lovely Irish lady stood in a field of clover, offering a hand and a look of seduction. My crazy brother painted her years ago after a dream. He’d given that woman his heart.
Since then, I’d arranged dozens of ten-minute dates with charming women, but he’d politely introduced himself and then said good-bye. After the last one, he’d told me he would never go on one again. Of course, that’s when fate intervened.
“No, I’m not going. Not in a million years, especially not in some public bar where people will ask for my autograph.”
“Hey, the bar’s patrons are regulars, not groupies.”
He turned to his canvas, so I nudged him. “She wanted to meet you at the burger barn.”
“Why, why, why, do I let you talk me into this crap? I hate burgers.”
“So does she.” I snickered. “If you’d agreed, she wouldn’t have shown. I’d have thought you’d be happy. She’s agreed to meet you at Campbell’s, and she’s a real hot-blooded woman, not cold paint on a canvas. One Irish coffee. Just one. And I’ll let you leave.”
“You’ll be there?”
“Just for introductions.”
I gazed at the Irish lass again and smiled. His dream-girl’s flowing red hair, twinkling green eyes, and perfect heart-shaped face were a dream to him, but I’d met and become her friend. She wasn’t just a woman on canvas anymore.
It was time for reality to smack him in the face.
I watched as they pulled my car out of the mire of asphalt that was and wasn’t there. It was a weak point between the planes that would exist for ten minutes tops. Before the planes fell out of phase again and then my car would have been crushed.
The conjunctions were coming more frequently now and it was getting harder and harder to transverse the area. Another week or two and it would be as if the conjunction never was but we still had to get through that before we could allow normal traffic on the road again.
Reality shifts like these tended to be dangerous for even the most experienced of us— and I’d had fifty years to adapt to it. My mother had come through one of the rifts, about sixty years ago, when my dad had been a young park ranger.
I’d been hoping to use the conjunction to see mom— but with the randomness of it all, I knew it was going to be another long wait before I could take the time to explore.
My half-brother, Marcus looked at me and patted my shoulder. “I’d have thought you’d be happy,” he said.
I shrugged, “They didn’t kill me this time, so I guess I’m happy.”
He nodded knowing full well that someone was using the rifts as guided missiles and the children of Atrio were targets.
What can I say, mom, got around and made a lot of enemies over the centuries.
249 words (not including title)