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 499 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 499:
Programmer by day, writer by night, Katheryn J. Avila.
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And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“He didn’t have a chance.”
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 499”
“Where are you taking me?” Eryel tried the door handle again, but despite no visible locks, it wouldn’t open. Breathing slowly, he felt his magic shift along the exhale to seek the hidden mechanism.
The driver caught his eyes in the rearview mirror before glancing at the navigator. “Someplace out of the way until after the coronation. That’s all we were told.”
He flicked the internal lock as the men spoke, using their voices to hide the click.
“Turn left up there.” The man with the map pointed to the fork in the road on the horizon, and Eryel knew it was his chance, maybe his only chance.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered fifty feet down the road.
“For what? Missing the squitchler match? I’ll catch it on the radio.”
Eryel pulled deep from his power reserves as the fork in the road came nearer. “No; for this—” He shoved at the earth, forcing the ground to rise even as he cushioned himself in air.
The driver shouted; he didn’t have a chance to choose left or right, but that was the least of his worries.
The world flipped, and Eryel unclipped his seatbelt and popped open the door as soon as the car came to a rest. If the Bricklethins took him, they’d be after his spouse as well. Once he reached the woods, the dryads would hide his tracks. He would save his family and the throne. They picked the wrong elven prince to mess with.
Frank Hank Talk
I’d gotten Frank’s attention. Snappy use of thorns and such are bound to give a self-absorbed fellow like Frank some pause. He was a fellow so wrapped up in his own misbegotten shenanigans that for the longest time he’d not given sufficient attention to his own family. And now, slowly spinning around to give his family the consideration he knew he must, he also had to face the fact that his friend, someone who might aid him on the quest to rescue his ex-wife, was also somewhat on the lam, and at high risk.
“Why are you after Hank?” he asked. “What’s he done to you?”
I started to reel in him.
He didn’t have a chance.
“Quite a few people, I imagine. The Feds, for one.”
“Feds? Why? What’s he done? What do they think he’s done?”
I slammed him with it. “There’s the matter of the murder of one undercover agent. He’s…well you’ve heard the term…he’s a person of interest.”
That set him back on his heels. He wobbled there for a second and then plunked down on a flour-dusted chair.
“I don’t believe it…Hank’s no killer.”
I smiled. “That is not a certainty. What is certain is that he’s a runner. Like you. Both of you are long-distance slugs who can’t deal with life full frontal. About time to change that, I’d venture.”
I gave him a couple of minutes to process.
That’s all we had.
A few minutes.
Time’s a serial killer.
(Sorry forgot the prompt! Delete the first one lol)
“Dead! Every last one of them!” Standan threw up his hands and paced before the Master. “A waste of life! A waste of resources! He didn’t have a chance!” He spoke to his rage more than the remainder of their gathered people. “Careless! Reckless!”
The Master’s expression remained impassive, his arms folded across his chest, lost somewhere in the sleeves of his regal robe.
“You see failure everywhere,” Corgain interrupted. “You live.” He stretched his digits out into the sparsely lit room. “We all live.”
“And for how long?” Standan shot back.
Teegan watched the men argue back and forth, understanding every word despite his four years of age. He thought Standan a brave warrior, yet he had not gone out to face the dragon. Corgain had, the only one to return, his bandaged wounds—now seeping through their cloth—evidence of the trauma.
“What happens next time?” Standan shouted to the crowd. “What have we left to defend ourselves?”
Teegan’s sorrow fell unchecked as he looked up at the Master. The wisest of men would have answers and know what to do. “Why did he do it? Why did my father lead the charge?”
The room went still, the question burning equally in everyone’s mind.
The Master smiled. “Because that is what heroes do.”
Teegan wiped his nose on the back of his hand and steeled himself. “Then I will lead the next.”
234 words @AngoraShade “The Youngest Hero”
He Didn’t Have a Chance, by Joseph P. Garland, @JPGarlandAuthor. 250 words
The icy sleet harmlessly exhausted itself against the bedroom window as the couple sat beside each other in their bed, their pillows up against the headboard so they could read. It was a pleasure that’d become part of their routine. On a Thursday night after drinks and dinner over at Teddy’s on Amsterdam.
Each took care to dress just a little bit nicer than usual. They worked in midtown lawfirms so they always dressed well for work. Thursdays were for dressing somewhat weller. You’d think they’d be used to it after these years. Yet though they walked or subwayed together each morning, the sight of the other at Teddy’s inevitably gave a special jolt. Sometimes they fell into a game of pretend, a game of are-you-alone?/do-you-come-here-often?
Then they’d flirt at the bar and flirt their way to a small table and flirt through dinner.
This was one of those Thursdays. They’d gotten to their apartment around nine-thirty, and the sleet appeared at about ten and made their bedroom even cozier than usual. A bit of Mozart played as they read, one’s hand occasionally caressing the other’s. Suddenly one of them said, “Someone tried to pick me up while you were in the bathroom.”
“Did I see them?”
“He was the guy in the British-cut suit down the bar. White shirt. Short hair.”
“Ah, him. The guy with the big…bonus.”
The putative pick-upee put down her tablet.
“He didn’t have a chance, Mrs. Olson.”
“More’s the pity for him, Mrs. Evans.”
Chester checked the clock and straightened his clothes before he stepped out of his room, locking the door behind him. He took a deep breath and headed toward the stairs. He didn’t have a chance to get some flowers for Hermione, but he couldn’t just run out and pick some up. Maybe he could make some popcorn or something.
He made it to the kitchen just as the clock clicked over to 1300 and stepped inside. Hermione stood at one of the counters, chopping vegetables while her blonde colleague named Dunwoody stirred a large pot of spaghetti sauce. The kitchen smelled like an Italian restaurant with its savory spices, and Chester’s mouth watered.
“That smells good. Can I help with anything?”
The ladies turned and both smiled. Dunwoody nodded.
“Yeah, the pasta’s done. You can dish it up for everyone.” She waved at the pile of plates on the counter beside the sink.
Everyone? So much for an intimate date. Though he shouldn’t have been surprised. Making food for just two people when a whole team lived in the house didn’t make much sense.
“Right. How many are eating right now?” He grabbed a clawed pasta spoon and served up the first plate.
“Six, but we’ll leave you and Wizard alone for your date.”
Hermione shot Dunwoody a dry look as the other woman winked and turned off the stove.
“Sauce is done. Should be perfect like my grandmama used to make it.” Dunwoody held out her hand. “Plate, please.”
250 ineligible #Sirens words
Bowie watched his sister, Shannon, stomp away, with Mick hot on her heels. “He didn’t have a chance t’explain.”
“Did he deserve one?” Fiona shook her head in disgust.
“We all deserve one but she left him no choice.”
“It’s his own fault, you know.”
He turned to look at her. “How so?”
Fee lifted a shoulder as if the answer was obvious. “He dicked around.”
“We all dick around.” Bowie laughed, because that was an obvious answer.
“True that, but he strung her along.”
“No he didn’t.”
“Well…he just did.” Her freckles disappeared as indignation flooded her face with a flush.
Unable to resist, Bowie pushed her buttons. “Typical female logic.”
She punched him on the arm. Hard. He blinked. She glowered. He hid his smile.
“Shut’jer mouth.” She pouted now.
“Still waiting for an explanation on how he strung her along.”
“A girl just…nows.”
“How a guy feels about her.”
“No you don’t. You don’t have a clue.”
He couldn’t decide which was cuter—glower, pout, or her righteous indignation. She was simply cute. In all ways. “So tell me, sweet Fee, how do I feel about you?”
Flustered, she stammered out garbled words.
“As I thought. So, I’ll tell ya.” Pulling her close, cheek against her red hair, he whispered, “I love you madly, darlin’ Fee. From the first time I laid eyes on you. And I will always.”
“I know now,” she whispered.
“Of course ya do.”
250 Boston Wolves WIP words
I entered the witches hut and the witch said, “He didn’t have a chance. Let’s not play games, I speak of Prince Andre.”
“I’m cursed! I told him I’d bring hardship and death to his people with our marriage.”
“Banning cats, Prince Andre earned his death bringing plague.”
“I should get cats? But I need the curse that was placed on me as …”
“As a child, so, that you had trouble telling your own story? That is part of it.”
The witch bid me breathe in a potion; then she dipped a quill in and handed it to me with a scroll.
“Write your story upon this scroll thus the curse will end.”
Paying her, I went back to the palace bringing a number of cats and kits for my people. Writing the tragedies of my life was hard. Hesitating, but persisting, I finished after three days with no sleep, falling into slumber. When I awoke the scroll had gone missing. I feared the curse would never end. Weeks went by and no evil befell us. I was called to a ceremony where the people said they had a gift for me.
Tears filled my eyes as I was presented a tapestry of my life and the scroll I had written. The people thought me heroic for surviving all this and ending the plague. I had ended the real curse, my self loathing. I felt humbled, for they loved the real me and so, now did I.
@SweetSheil 248 words
“Laela is alive,” Troyen said.
“Impossible,” her father said. “She perished at Enbrie with your mother and grandparents.”
“I saw her, father. We were face to face.” Troyen paced nervously. “She was warded. She must have been.”
“Then it was Gerrin who saved her,” her father said. “The old man is still alive.”
Troyen’s shoulder length hair blew in the wind, making her even more lovely, and belying her true nature.
“I was so smug,” her father said. “Gerrin, the most powerful Mage in our world. I thought that even he didn’t have a chance against my magic.”
Troyen couldn’t look at her father. She was disgusted. The man she had always admired, worshipped for his strength, looked weak to her. “Father. Listen to me— ”
“Enough, Troyen,” her father silenced her and mounted his horse. “We must inform the First Councilor. Her plot is unraveling.”
Laela wandered amid the ruins of Enbrie, her city. The city her father burned to the ground. She stepped over shards of glass, all that remained of the elegant Cerulean Court, her ancestral home, where her grandmother had reigned. They all died here. Her grandparents, her cousins. Only she and her mother survived when Gerrin took them out of the city using a hidden Mage “stairway.”
Gerrin had warded her so no one would guess who she really was, but Laela sensed that her elder sister could see through the ward.
“The ward held, did it not?” Gerrin asked.
“Yes,” she lied. “The ward held.”
“As you can see, I’m always busy.” Death pulled off her helmet, gifting me a smile. We’d just ridden across the city, her motorcycle drawing a focus of carnage everywhere she went. I’d felt safer, though, sitting behind her on the pillion, with my arms linked around her waist. But it had been terrifying, nonetheless. She drove as though she was impervious, which I suppose she probably was.
The thirty-five who’d just died were less fortunate. But it had been their time to go: the burden of paying the beneficiaries being passed on to the accidents’ slightly luckier survivors.
“It’s very good of you to agree to a ride-along,” I said, still trembling from the shock of the last near-collision we’d survived. “The insurance companies insist on it, even though the hospitals inevitably benefit from what you do. The savings on palliative care run into billions but with the careless drivers paying the deceased’s dependants for the loss of their remaining years. It’s a masterful strategy, but it depends on people knowing it’s going to be fair.”
Death nodded. She shook out her hair, removing her gauntlets. “Okay,” she said, running through the incidents in her head. “Remember that bus driver? The one with the I-beam after the collision with the Nissan? He’d got three years to go and pancreatic cancer. It was going to be ugly – he didn’t have a chance.”
And it went on, death after death. The good and the bad, held in a careful balance.
250 words – twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
Sofia poured a bottle of her most expensive pheromones into the bath, watching them swirl together with the water in a hypnotic blend. Slipping through the rose petals, she eased into the tub and closed her eyes. Images from the night to come filled her head. Marcus wouldn’t be able to resist her, she was sure of that. The soap slid across her skin and a smile slid across her face. It was sure to be a memorable night.
She walked into the restaurant, head swiveling as she breathed in the scents. One side of her mouth raised in half-smile as she took one big whiff. He was here. She walked towards his table, black eyes flashing gold in the candlelight.
Marcus’s eyes grew wide and he swallowed hard when he saw her. He stood up to greet her, knocking his chair over in the process. She’d left a wake of salivating tongues in her path, every eye in the restaurant on her.
Sofia flashed him a provocative smile, “Hello Marcus.” She reached for an embrace and flicked her tongue across his ear as he leaned in, hearing his breath hitch as she did. He tasted of salt and bergamot, the same as his scent.
“Let’s skip dinner, huh?”
On their way out the door, she leaned in, “Do you run, Marcus?”
A low growl issued from the back of her throat.
Poor Marcus. He didn’t have a chance.
@TeresaMEccles 244 words
Sitting in his favorite chair, Donald sighed and flipped through a photo album. Baby pictures, his first steps, school pictures, and then a teenaged Dana appeared.
His gnarled fingers traced and retraced the outline of her dark hair and full lips. “I should have kissed you.” He dozed.
“Hey, Donkeyface! Wake up. Today’s a perfect day to go sledding.”
His eyes opened.
“My name’s not Donkeyface. It’s Donnie.”
“Yeah! Yeah! Donkeyface! I know that, but you’re so slow. Come on. I’ve got the sled. It’s a perfect day.” Glorious sunlight glistened off freshly fallen snow.
He jumped out of the chair, running on the legs of his youth. “Wait, for me! I’m not as swift as I once was.”
“Even Chocolate’s waiting. Hurry up, or I’m leaving you, again.”
He ran, filled with an unexplained joy. “Chocolate. Here, boy!” His hands filled with warm chocolate fur. “I’ve missed you so much.”
The chocolate retriever barked.
“Dana! Is it really you? How?”
She threw the sled on the ground. “Chocolate and I came back.”
He commanded the front position. Then she snuggled behind. “There’s a bump at the bottom, but I’ve got you, my love, forever.”
An hour later, a detective looked over scene. “It’s obvious his heart gave out. He didn’t have a chance.” He looked at the traffic officer. “Where did the dog’s and little girl’s tracks go?”
“Nowhere. They appear and then disappear. Several witnesses saw him coming down the hill, but he was completely alone.”
The man by Crystal Lake still bothered Jacqueline. He didn’t have enough gear to have hiked in, let alone weathered last night’s unforecast storm. Jacqueline must have looked just as suspicious to him. And she was hiding something.
Jacqueline lost the trail that had seemed so apparent before. Constantly looking over her shoulder didn’t make navigating any easier. She needed to find Jill and consider what to do next. Until then, she didn’t want to give that man anything he didn’t have.
A chance for Jill and her to sort things out seemed the best start. Who do you go to when your girlfriend suddenly grows fifty feet, anyway? A superhero? Most of them were affiliated with PRUDENT, whose corporate side was as bad as any government. DENT, especially, had a reputation for disappearing powered individuals.
Was Jill even powered? Maybe it was just a one-time freak occurrence, like the storm. The rubble of the cave where they sheltered from the storm was too much for Jacqueline to pretend it hadn’t happened. She picked her way down parallel to a section of land that had slid toward the river.
Jacqueline rushed toward her 5’6” girlfriend, curled and shivering in the mud by the river. Jill looked up fearfully through forest-tangled hair, no recognition in her eyes.
“Jillian, it’s me. Jacqueline?” Jacqueline crouched slowly and spoke softly.
Jill cocked her head, “Jacqui?”
“Yes,” Jacqueline gingerly opened the blanket from her emergency pack. “I’m going to help you.”
247 PRUDENT words
Sitting on a branch, I glance over at Oliver. He scampers up to join me, a walnut held in his little red-brown paws.
“You’re not going to be so lucky one of these days,” I remind him, as he works the meat out of the nut.
His brown tail twitches, as he finishes the walnut, discarding the shell, which falls to the grass below. He scampers down the tree, across the grass. He zig-zags between cars, scampering to another tree. They say squirrels forget where about 85% of their nuts are, but Oliver remembers them all.
“Watching Oliver again?”
My friend Petunia joins me, as Oliver does another dance between tires. Somehow, he avoids being squished this week. Petunia scratches between his ears and he snuggles up to her. Swallowing the last bit of walnut, he scampers off again.
This time, his zig-zag dance isn’t so lucky. I sigh.
“He didn’t have a chance,” Petunia says, as Oliver floats up to us. “Sorry that car aimed at you.”
“It’s happened before. Can I go back?”
Sighing, I stroke his transparent head. “After this, you have to stay on the other side.”
Oliver nods, and I tap his head. He solidifies again and soon, his little tail twitches on the street. Then he scampers off for another walnut. Petunia gives me the side eye.
“I know,” I say.
She sighs with a smile, making her way back to her office. Horace will have words, sure, but as always, I will win.
He didn’t have a chance
Detective Kate Danvers looked at the scene and shook her head. “What have you got Peters?”
Corporal Mike Peters looked at her and shook his head. He’d been the first officer on scene and he still couldn’t quite believe what had happened himself, and he’d had enough time to process the scene.
Kurt Hatterfeld, wanted felon sat on the curb as the medics continued to stand watch, and the ‘victim’ of his car jacking stood talking to his partner.
“Haterfeld is what happened. He carjacked the lady’s car…”
“And ran it into the pylon?”
“Then what happened?”
“She happened. Said something about he was armed with a .45 and she had a Cadilac Escalade… He didn’t have a chance.”
#ThursThreads Week 499 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope you join us next week for the FIVE HUNDREDTH challenge.