#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 491

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 491 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 491:

Nicola Cameron

Speculative romance author and ray of sunshine in a dystopian hellscape. Also, she likes pieNicola Cameron.

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | 

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“They’d become like stone.”

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 491”

  1. The memories of previous “holidays” weighed her down. They’d become like stone encasing her heart. She’d chipped away at some of it, seeking escape, but they rose at odd times, like mental tripping hazards.

    I’m not going to fall into their trap again.

    “You could always stay here for the holidays.”

    Kendra blinked. Had she heard him right?

    “Stay here? In the Fae realm?”

    Phinn nodded. “You’d be more than welcome. And no one would question your accomplishments or abilities.”

    She almost dismissed his suggestion, but stopped herself before she blurted something hurtful. Could she stay here? What was waiting for her back in her own world?

    I have a job, a life, friends, a coven who values me.

    But would they need her for the holidays? Not this year. The coven had decided to maximize their reach by performing the holiday rituals individually all at the same time to spread the love and blessings. But she would have to be home in her world to do her part.

    “I can’t. I’ve made commitments to my coven for the holiday rituals. I need to be back in Cloudburst to do them.”

    “Ah, I see.” He turned his head to look at the fountain.

    “Maybe you could come to Cloudburst for the holidays.” The words were out before she thought them through.

    220 ineligible #CloudburstColorado words

  2. Frank’s Folly

    I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. Stepping into Kane’s Kandy, breathing the sugary air, smelling the peppermint roses, I went into shock. The Shoppe had everything a sugar connoisseur could want. For me, with my anaphylaxis-like aberration, it was disconcerting.

    A girl, maybe seventeen, was behind the counter. A group of very tolerant sugar addicts were snorting a bowl of chocolate covered cherries in the corner.

    I captured the clerk’s attention with my winning smile and my sweating brow. ”Are you all right?” she asked.

    I gasped out, “Terry Kane in?”

    “MOM,” she yelled. “Guy for you. Looks like he needs 911.”

    A tall brunette, mid forties, dressed in a baker’s cap and apron stepped out from the back, eyeballed me, yelled, “Outside, fella. Here, let me help you.”

    She hustled me out into the musty city air. The smell of smoke and gasoline was manna.

    Conveniently the Shoppe had a few tables and chairs on the sidewalk for fresh air candy enthusiasts.

    My rescuer plopped me in a chair and took another.

    “What can I do for you, she asked, “beyond saving your life?”

    “I’m looking for Frank,” I said.

    “Who are you and why on earth would you want Frankie?”

    “He’s stepped in muck. I’ve been hired to find him.”

    She laughed. “Frank’s always messing up. Couldn’t even make chocolate bon bons. Cook up a batch, they’d become like stone”

    “So, he’s a hard case,” I joked.

    “A hard-luck case, more like,” she replied.

    250 WIP

  3. Sade cut her eyes to the unmoving fae beside her. “Ariel?” Her companion didn’t speak and frankly, she couldn’t tell if he was breathing. “Ari? What is it?” He still didn’t respond. She searched the area but could see nothing troubling. Down below, in the valley, she spotted several oddly shaped boulders. She studied them, then Ariel. Moving behind him, she stared over his shoulder to see exactly what had arrested his attention so completely. His eyes were fixed on those rocks.

    “I’m going down there,” she announced, hoping that would get his attention. It didn’t. She’d gone almost ten yards down the winding path before she caught the deep inhalation as Ari filled his lungs and the sound of skittering rocks as he ran after her. She picked up her pace.

    She arrived at the first rock before the fae reached her and the sight halted her in her tracks. These weren’t just…rocks. They were intricately carved figures. She reached out to touch the nearest but Ari slapped her hand away.

    “Don’t touch it.”

    “Why not? These statues are…well…fucking amazing.” All of the Magicks abhorred her cussing and she hoped that would distract Ari.

    “They aren’t statues. They’re—” He swallowed as his voice broke. “They’re my kin.”

    Sade gaped, first at him and then at the statues. That’s when she saw what she’d missed before. These were people. Living beings. And they’d become like stone. “Fuck me,” she whispered. “Something wicked this way came.”
    248 future Penumbra Papers words

  4. In the park my boyfriend, Ellis said, “The statues have been here even before the town existed. Legend is the statues were real people. Those two lovers wanted to marry; but the man spurned the woman believing that she had cheated on him. It was a lie by a jealous rival. Each were vindictive and mean to the other. The night of the twenty-first of December they got into a fight. A witch begged them to listen to one another; but they didn’t heed her. She waved her arms and they’d become like stone. There they stand there at the entrance to this park. Only a true stable love will save them. A cautionary story, I should have listed to it instead of breaking up with you when we were in high school,” Ellis said his eyes uncharacteristically tearing up and a tear falling on the woman statue in front of us.
    I looked and saw a woman her arms out stretched begging while the man was ten feet away looking like he strode away from her. Tears came from my eyes and fell on the male statue’s hands.
    “I know it’s probably not the best time but will you marry me?”
    I answered yes and we kissed; but out of the corner of my eye I saw the oddest thing the male statue came alive and took the now woman in his arms and she responded kissing him. The curse had ended and now true love could conquer all.
    250 words

  5. Brambleseed rubbed his hands together. They’d become like stone. He’d thought it was the weather, that they’d become numb, but his skin had turned grey. It was beginning to worry him.

    “Hey, Almira,” he said. “You’ve not been practising your hexes again, have you?”

    She smiled, giving a curt nod. “Of course not,” she said. “Although I’d thank you not to call me that. Ms Gulch is more than familiar enough for you. I’d hate people to think we were an item.” She pulled the pin from her hat and gave his hand a jab, nodding again when it bent. “It’s probably just a defective pin,” she mused. “The seamstresses and the ironmongers are all in league with one another, buying in their supplies from abroad. Things are not what they seem anymore. I can sense it in my waters.”

    “In your waters? I need to talk to you about that. And what’s the thing with the fishing rod? And the pool? I’ve started growing a beard and I don’t know why. And why are you getting taller?” Brambleseed began to shrink, his clothes suddenly hanging loose. The pitch of his voice rose until it was like a gnat’s, buzzing angrily.

    “Now stop that. And stay still.” Almira muttered a charm, then he went quiet, a pointed hat appearing on his head.

    “And now you look perfect,” she said, magicking him up a jerkin and a pair of boots. “An ideal gnome. Just the thing I needed for my garden.”

    250 words – twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com

  6. “Their hearts. They’d become like stone.” It was depressing to admit that, though it was true. “Can you understand why? Or at least partially why?”

    My daughter shook her head, “No. I can’t. I can’t understand why anyone would do that. Turn their hearts to stone. It’s like they’re not alive anymore.”

    “It’s their response to confusion. To complexity. To the feeling they have no control over anything.”

    I could see the rage in her eyes, the fire that burned in her blood. The same fire I had. “Then explain their stupidity!”

    “I can’t explain it all. It’s too broad, too deep. But I can hint at it. I can illustrate some of what I’ve learned of them, and the way they live in lies, believing they live in the truth, no longer knowing one from the other.”

    She glared at me.

    “Start with this news headline. ‘A Massive 8-year effort finds that much cancer research can’t be replicated.’”

    She didn’t say anything.

    “You know how people interpret that. The simple way. Without reading beyond the headline, simply declaring cancer research is useless.” I wondered if she understood, or if her anger had overwhelmed her ability to hear me, “They never get to the part that explains the complexities of the research, and how unique humans are. You can’t repeat specific, detailed tests with different starting points.” I was certain she was too angry to understand. “They’re two different tests.”

    She did respond. “People are stupid.” I already knew that.

    250 Words
    @mysoulstears (Note. I’m not on Social Media anywhere right now. The oversimplification of reality by humans has overloaded me, and I’m ignoring humans for now.)

  7. “That was pretty stupid. Did you think I’d just let you walk out of here?” Jeremy smirked as he got closer, invading my space.

    It wasn’t a question. More like a threat. Jeremy was menacing despite his wholesome good looks. He made a mistake though. He wasn’t accustomed to defiance. He certainly wasn’t prepared for the kick in the nuts I gave him before I ran for the warehouse door.

    Sphinx and Grit, two cartel members who did Jeremy’s bidding, were outside popping Jolies until they’d become like stone. They didn’t notice me as I ducked behind a junked car, ran for the street and made my escape. I was tough, but I was still scared shitless.

    Life in the 23rd century really sucked.

    I tried putting that morning behind me. Standing on my balcony, I stared up at a night sky where 3-D holograms popped in and out with ads and propaganda. The latter, a reminder that Big Tech was the new government, now that democracy was dead. Apex Technologies was the most powerful of the tech companies and Jeremy was CEO. He was also my ex-lover.

    “Jane?” Gia’s hologram was in my flat. “What the hell happened to you?”

    “I need you here, Gia. When are you coming back?” Holograms were okay, but I needed my best friend here in the flesh.

    “The police are looking for you, Jane.”

    “Gia…Jeremy framed me for killing that scientist.”

    “What are you going to do?”

    Good question, I thought.

    Catherine Verdier
    250 Words (from my dystopian WIP)

  8. Window open in December? Must be an unusually warm winter in Iowa. Too bad it’s going to snow tomorrow. Urgh.

    Popping the cannister off the vacuum, I take it outside to the trash can. Spying a pile of unused mulch from the summer, I sigh; I really should get that put in the shed before tomorrow. As my mom likes to remind me, the bags will disintegrate through the winter, and I’ll be left with a mess come the spring.

    Setting the cannister on the porch, I get the shed open and try to lift the first bag; frozen. Great. I had no idea they’d become like stone. It’s really not been that cold until this week. Oh well, my fault, so here we go. I toss it on the floor of the shed, and the other five bags soon follow. There, that’s that done. Now let’s hope the mouse I had the other day has either gone or doesn’t decide to get into these bags.
    I head back in, my grey and white cats hissing as I reattach the vacuum cannister and get the vacuum put away. I think I deserve a snack after all that hard work!

    @Aightball (still battling writer’s block)
    199 words

  9. “That’s it?” He flicked one of the weeping willow’s dangling branches, then screamed as his fingernail cracked. The catkins were no longer the soft, fuzzy pods they’d appeared like.

    They’d become like stone. He’d done the spell right, even if it wasn’t quite as impressive as he’d hoped. He’d thought the whole tree would go. It was a start.

    He’d done magic.

    He’d flippin’ done magic!

    “Mom! Come loo—” His voice cut off in his throat as he saw the red cloaked wizards appear on his family’s back stoop, right next to the wire of the chicken coop.

    “A new mage. We thought we’d felt ripples of potential in the area. What’s your name, boy?” the most senior one asked—the one with silver banding on the hem of his hood and a staff bearing the royal insignia.

    “Atch, sir.”

    “Your full name, boy. Atch who?”

    He snickered, even knowing he would regret it. “Bless you, sir. Are you coming down with a cold?” He made the warding motion he’d learned from Gram to prevent getting sick. “You can’t have my name as I’m not going with you.” Names have power, and they would not get his.

    “We’ll see about that.” The staff struck the stone stoop thrice, and tendrils of air shot out from it.

    “No.” He stomped his foot while picturing the ground opening up to swallow the mages. He could do it. He could…

    A hand grasped his shoulder, pinching deep. “You’re coming with us, boy.”

    250 words
    Twitter: @miya_kressin

  10. The Cryptid Crew emerged exuberantly disheveled and cobwebbed into the dawnlight. Their night in the haunted house had exceeded all expectations. They chattered as they packed their gear from the house to their van.

    “That was amazing; easily the most magical place I’ve been since leaving home!”

    Myra White used her wand to levitate the supplies the others couldn’t carry in one trip. Since Z had handled most of last night’s setup while the others explored the house, they only had to carry the bong out.

    “That part where the wall tried to eat me was crazy,” Z agreed and turned their attention to Dalton. “Thanks for getting me out of there, amigo.”

    Dalton grinned as he put the two heaviest equipment cases in the van.

    “Highlight of my night too!”

    “I liked the library.”

    Gavin staggered the gallon bag of their trash to the van. Alvina sighed as she hefted her equipment case into the back.

    “Of course, what are the odds this town’s crazy enough to have anything else legit with so much supernatural crammed into that house?”

    Silence fell over all of them. They’d become like stone. Once the others stepped clear, Myra floated the rest of their supplies into the van with a musical laugh.

    “Well, let’s get to the clearing and find out!”

    Gavin pushed his glasses up, “We could be dealing with an outright nexus!”

    “If this spell to summon the Horned Hunter is real, you guys KNOW I can do it,” Myra grinned.

    250 Menagerie words

  11. He knelt on the cushioned platform, muscles bulging and eyes clenched shut. The veins along his thighs and neck jutted almost as visually as his erect c—.

    The lines of his jaw tensed. Janna ached for him. They’d strung him out so long without any release. He’d volunteered for the role, probably some machismo bullshit on outlasting anyone else, never realizing he’d relinquished any power once he’d stripped off his three-piece suit and necktie.

    Joy Ride, the women’s group, met once a quarter and every so often held special events. When Janna tapped Luca as a potential subject, she didn’t expect him to be chosen or to say yes.

    “Do you know what happens when a man’s balls turn blue for too long?” The leader strutted onto the stage, sweeping her arm toward Luca.

    “They’d become like stone!” an audience member behind Jenna called out.

    Laughter rumbled through the crowd, way more of a cackling, a heckling of his abundant manhood.

    Not a giggle passed through her lips. She’d fantasized about licking those balls, driving him wild as much as he did her in the office. The way the cut of his pants clung to his ass when he leaned over a desk, or late in the evening when he removed his jacket and rolled the sleeves of his white buttoned-up shirt to right below the elbows.

    “Any volunteers to put him out of his misery?”

    Luca opened his eyes and focused directly on her.

    She raised her hand. “Me.”

    250 words
    Louisa Bacio

    Ahem — edit since I’ve never used that word on a ThursThreads before!

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