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 493 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 493:
Scottish Word Slinger, Dauntless romance author, and #ThursThreads host, Siobhan Muir.
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And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“Wait and see what it does.”
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!
10 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 493”
Frankly Speaking, Everything’s Jake
Jake Finnegan was more than happy to give me his list of Malls that historically had a Santa Claus. He also had a list of actors, drunks, dreamers, roustabouts, granddads, and retired bus drivers, everyone in our town who’d ever donned a Santa Claus suit in public.
“I’ve deleted the dead ones,” Jake added. “Leastwise, the ones I know about. A lot of these guys, hearts in the right place, but they are usually older, ill with something, diabetes, heart issues, so Covid and pretty much every other disease has taken a bite out of them.”
There were three pages. “All of these guys?” I asked.”
“Not just guys…some gals as well. Equal opportunity all the way.”
As I was nodding my head, thinking how best to track Frank down, Jake added another wrinkle. “This…this Omicron doohickey…”
“The variant,” I said, showing off my grasp of current affairs and pandemics.
“Right, the Omicron variant, I would imagine Santa and his helpers are going to be mothballed by the end of the day. Even with plexiglass and all, no one wants to see this bugger spread unnecessarily.”
“Except you know who and his acolytes,” I offered a liberal democratic observation, testing Jake’s political leanings. “They will likely want to wait and see what it does, who it infects, kills.”
“Pathetic, ain’t it!” he said, reinforcing my faith in the human being doing human resources.
We shook hands and I continued my search for the elusive Frank Luxton.
Three children circled the box, stopping as if on cue.
“Where’d it come from?” Grace asked.
“No clue.” Cody answered.
Micah stated the obvious. “No name on it.”
“And no address,” Cody added.
Grace reached out. Micah growled, “Don’t touch.”
“Why not?” She frowned.
“We don’t know where it came from, who sent it, or what it might do.” Micah stared at it. “And it’s making noises.”
They all leaned closer, heads tilted so one ear was closer to the box to hear better. Scratching sounds followed a muffled snuffle.
“It’s almost Christmas,” Grace said. “Maybe it’s a present from Santa.”
Being older, Cody rolled his eyes and looked superior. “Everyone knows there is no Santa. That’s just a made up story.”
“Who says?” Grace got right up in his face. “Santa is too real! I’ve met him. Just ask Joy.”
“Ask me what?” Grace’s older sister sauntered up, trailed by Liam. Liam was always following Joy around.
“About Santa,” Grace explained.
“Oh. Yeah. He’s real. Dad and I met him in the woods not far from here. Last Christmas Eve after the party at the fire station.” She gazed up at the stars overhead as if looking for something. Or someone.
The box thumped and the three younger children froze.
Liam, a young Wolf, knew what was inside by the scent. He grinned. “Wait and see what it does.”
A furry puppy tumbled out, wearing a big red bow. Above them, a voice echoed, “Merry Christmas! Ho, ho, ho.”
250 words making a silly scene set in my Moonstruck Wolves world, with the kids
“The tea makes you want to snuggle in warm blankets.”
A snort sounded above her. “Seriously?”
Merida nodded with a tiny smirk. “Try it if you don’t believe me.”
The stranger humphed and brought the tea to her lips as Merida worked. A disbelieving murmur followed and Merida swallowed her grin. Once she’d gotten the wound cleaned, she patted it dry and inspected it for bits of dirt or grease from the chain. It had looked worse when she unwrapped it and she thought it would heal fairly cleanly.
“Okay, I’m going to put a little Frankincense oil on this.”
“What?” Again the sharp tone mixed with a sharp look. “What the hell for?”
“Frankincense is a natural antibiotic to kill infections. Works just like a regular antibiotic gel.” She paused and met the woman’s gaze. “Are you okay with that?”
Merida waited as the woman’s stare grew intense. She had the weird feeling the woman hadn’t had a lot of kindnesses freely given and responded as if the world lay full of threat. It occurred to her that asking for consent might be the only way to get the woman to trust.
What the hell do I need her to trust me for?
But she’d trusted her gut in all the most important decisions in her life, and that trust always paid off. Wait and see what it does. For her, and for you.
The voice of wisdom was old and infrequent, but like her gut, was always right.
250 ineligible #WIP500 words
Crunchy and taste good with Ketchup
“You gotta get a direct hit,” Thomas said, picking up a rock. “It’s not good enough to just get close; they’re pretty placid until they get riled.”
We had gathered enough ammunition to lay down a steady barrage, none of them so large we’d struggle to reach the herd. Accuracy was the only problem we had foreseen; that was why we’d collected as many rocks as we had.
Thomas took his first shot.
It fell in the mud, a good ten feet short of the closest caribou. It raised its head, sniffed and rolled its eyes, chewing vacantly at its cud.
My first rock was a half brick, covered in moss. I got within a yard of Thomas’ target, spooking it. It stopped its masticating and gave out a little indignant grunt. I think it knew something was up.
And I think it saw me too.
Thomas’ next shot hit it plumb on the head.
“Bazinga,” he said, taking a bow. “Now, just you wait and see what it does.”
The caribou stood up, shaking itself out into a larger, darker shape. It gave a deep, resonant belch and transformed into a dragon, its horns morphing into a scaly pair of wings.
Then it spat a plume of fire at us.
Thomas was the first over the fence. “I think that explains a lot,” he said. “Santa never needed to teach his reindeer how to fly. That was never going to be a problem.”
250 words including title – twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
Fyodora poked the box with one slippered toe. “What in the world is that?”
“Dinna ken,” Callum said, crouching down to peer at the package that had been delivered to the house that morning. About the size of a hatbox, it had lotus blossoms and Egyptian hieroglyphs engraved on each side.
There was also a sturdy lock keeping it closed. The note that came with it said, “Please deliver to the ministry office in Cairo. Do NOT open it.”
The vampiress growled. All she wanted to do was leave England with her new mate as soon as inhumanly possible. *But no—we are now a delivery service for Lord Tate and his damned Ministry of Antiquaries.* “What are we supposed to do?”
“Wait and see what it does.” Callum grinned when she growled again. “It’s all right, leannan. I think we can handle a wee box—”
The box leapt into the air. The dragon shifter lurched backwards, landing on his ass just as the box thumped back to the carpet. “Or not,” he added.
And blinked as a low, seductive voice came from the box. With dismay, Fyodora recognized what the voice was saying.
And by default, what was in the box. *Tate, you bastard.*
She snapped back in the same language. The voice said one very rude word, then fell silent.
Ignoring a surprised Callum, Fyodora grabbed the box and headed upstairs to bury it in her biggest, most soundproofed trunk. “Bozhe moi, I hate naiads,” she muttered.
“…and a merry freakin’ Christmas to you too,” Jane muttered to herself. She sat at her post, shivering and alone. This wasn’t what she’d joined the resistance for. She wanted to go with the others attacking Apex Technologies in the city, but they’d stuck her out here in Area 251.
“Jane… I brought you food. And coffee.” Gia handed her the thermos and sat on the ground alongside Jane. “Looks like a snowstorm is forming in those clouds.”
“Let’s wait and see what it does,” Jane said.
Gia checked the weather app on her phone. “Looks bad,” she said, showing Jane the screen.
“I don’t know, Gia. It’s kinda vague. Jesus, you’d think in the 23rd century they’d learn to predict weather accurately.”
A sudden blast sent them hurling a full twenty meters away.
“Holy shit! What was that?” Jane managed to stand up and go to Gia. She was stunned but otherwise seemed okay. “Jane, over there.” Jane saw two shadowy figures in the distance and drew her weapon.
“It’s Jeremy’s hired thugs, Sphinx and Grit,”
“How’d they find us?” Gia said.
Before Jane could answer, lasers pinpointed the two assassins’ position and, an instant later, Sphinx and Grit were vaporized.
“Sam?” Jane looked at Gia incredulously. “I thought you said Sam was seriously defective. How’d you get him to function again?”
“Well, it turns out this model can regenerate himself … I mean itself … I mean, whatever.”
Jane laughed. “Gia, Sam may be an AI, but to me he’s a real person.”
“We should have taken the expressway,” Agatha griped.
“I’m not paying good money every time we go into town,” Her husband retorted. “The old forest road goes through and is just as good.”
Agatha clutched her seat as their car thumped through a pothole.
“If it’s even open…”
She watched the night dark trees with a sour sigh. Arthur’s opinion of what their front-wheel-drive compact could handle was similarly inflated to his opinion of his own abilities. If he got them stranded in the middle of nowhere again so help her…
Arthur slammed on the breaks! Agatha caught herself with her palms on the dash and a curse. Before she could scold him, she noticed a wild look in his eyes fixed on the road ahead of them.
“Get my gun out of the glove box!”
Arthur had the beginning of his bad idea smile. There was something with horns in the brush ahead.
“What is it?” Agatha hissed.
“Get. My. Gun.”
Agatha shook her head, “Wait and see what it does!”
It came out of the bush. Toward them. Dragging a tree. It was a nearly naked man with the head and hooves of a bull! Agatha fumbled with the glove box and somehow got the gun to Arthur, whose bad idea smile spread as he checked the cartridge and stepped out of the car.
Two shots later, Arthur and his side of the car disappeared under the creature’s tree and Agatha into the passenger side airbag.
248 Menagerie words
The wind blown snow glittered in the Wyoming sky as their snowshoes sifted through seven inches of fresh powder. John and Jo drove as far as the sno-cat would carry them, then snowshoed to where the dead livestock had been spotted. A helicopter pilot snapped some photos of irregular bloody splotches in the snow, but no carcasses were visible.
John had his .30-06 slung over his shoulder and Jo was carrying her crossbow. They had no idea what to expect. There had been no wolf or grizzly sightings on the ranch all winter but even so, this was not how they killed.
Cresting a ridge, they saw a blood red swatch of snow about 50 yards ahead, when suddenly something fluttered rapidly in the snow, sending a plume of fresh powder up in the air. “What the hell was that?” John yelled out. Jo didn’t answer but instead loaded and cocked her crossbow, scanning the snow through her telescopic sight. Something was moving quickly toward them, kicking up powder as it came closer. Jo led with her bow and fired a direct hit, stopping it in its tracks. They could see it, heaving in the snow, a ray-like animal with serrated wings, oozing black fluid from the arrow wound. John chambered a round, ready to fire.
Jo waved him off, “Wait and see what it does.” A moment later, the thing opened up, swallowed the arrow whole and disappeared under the snow.
“That’s enough! We’re outta here. Let’s git!”
It had been two and half years since June died. The matriarch of our family…the glue that kept us together. When she died, we tried so hard to stay together. Having Christmas together, as a family; but it wasn’t the same. We all missed her and the foods she had prepared that we tried to replicate reminded us of how much we missed her.
The first Christmas we tried to make her date squares; but there were some ingredients missing in her recipe. something she’d left out of the written recipe.
“Wait and see what it does,” Rhonda had insisted.
It turned out burnt and tasteless. Last year trying again; it didn’t work… maybe because of the missing ingredient alluded us, and the fact that we were all sad and missing each other because of the pandemic, only able to speak on Facetime. This year we were determined we would succeed we needed her more than ever and if her date squares could bring us just one minute of pleasure and happiness then we were going to try.
We slowly mixed the ingredients making sure they weren’t dry. We layered them all in the pan and baked them vigilantly watching. The aroma which came as it baked, filled the air and we cautiously hoped it was thee recipe.
Tasting them after cooling and smiled, June had been with us. We had a little piece of her after all. Merry Christmas to us and to all a good night.
#ThursThreads is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week. 🙂