#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 501

Welcome back to the home of Paranormal & Dauntless Romance. Today is Thursday and that means it’s time to start flashing. We’re halfway through our ninth year of weekly prompts. It’s amazing we’ve gone this long! This is Week 501 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 501:

Mary Decker2

Computer geek, bass player, historical reenactor, and flash fiction writer, Mary Decker.

Facebook | Twitter |

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“You gotta shut them up.”

**This week, please keep your tales PG because we will have younger writers trying their hands at flash fiction. Thank you for your efforts.**

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!

18 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 501”

  1. One good thing about living in a little rental house one block off Main Street, she could walk or ride her bike when the weather turned foul. It gave her more time to see the bunnies and enjoy the golden Aspen leaves.

    Merida nodded to herself. This envelope isn’t gonna mail itself.

    She zipped up her jacket and tucked the envelope into her backpack before she slung it over her shoulders and headed toward the post office. Snow sat in the blue shadows of the buildings, but the street steamed in the sunshine and the bite was gone from the air. She sighed as she strode toward the post office, her mind on finishing her task before she scurried back home to clean her kitchen before she could go out for a ride on her bike.

    She passed the coffee shop on her way and a couple of guys stood out front discussing winterizing cabins in the mountains.

    “You gotta shut them up tight over the winter months,” the guy in a gray baseball cap and heavy parka remarked. “Otherwise, raccoons and bears’ll get in. Heck, once I had a mountain lion bedding down on my wife’s quilts. She was furious.”

    “Oh, yeah. Better to deal with the bear than a mad wife,” the other guy agreed.

    Merida shook her head with a smile. She didn’t disagree, but she hoped her one-day wife would understand why she wouldn’t argue with a mountain lion.

    244 ineligible #WIP500 words
    @SiobhanMuir

  2. Everybody has voices in their head. Even the people who tell you they don’t. You can tell by how people behave. I call it the, “You gotta shut them up” principle.

    When I wash the dishes, I turn on music to play in the background. Because. I don’t want to hear what the voices in my head are going to say.

    When I fold the laundry, there I go, playing music in the background again. Same reason. I don’t want to hear what the voices in my head would say.

    When I’m driving my car, there’s the music again, playing in the background, so I don’t have to hear those gosh darned voices that never shut up.

    Like with my phone. I’m always checking it, monitoring TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, whatever. Always checking for text messages. Because. It beats the hell out of hearing the voices screaming in my head.

    Have a couple of drinks with friends at a bar while watching an endless stream of idiots on TV beat each other’s brains out, just shut those damn voices up.

    Yeah. Everybody has those voices in their heads. And we do what we do because you gotta shut them up.

    199 Words
    @mysoulstears

  3. Three men stood huddled up like they were in a rugby scrum. “Why are we here?”

    “Because we’re suckers.” Bowie muttered because the others outranked him in the crew.

    “You gotta shut them up.” Sean illustrated his demand by covering his ears with his hands.

    Bowie through his hands into the sky. “And just how am I supposed to do that?”

    “I dunno. But do somthin’.”

    “Totally open to suggestions here.” Bowie’s gaze darted from one little body to another.

    “Fill their mouths?” Callum offered helpfully.

    “And with what, Cal?”

    “Well…” He looked around for inspiration. “I don’t suppose there’s a way to be gaggin’ ’em now is there.” He scratched his head, completely befuddled.

    “Not without gettin’ arrested.” Bowie stated the obvious.

    Sean sidestepped out of the way as a little body barreled past. “How did we get roped into this again?”

    “Devlin,” the other two snarled in unison.

    The man himself walked up. “And how is this my bloody fault? The lot of you volunteered.”

    “Fu—” Multiple hands grabbed for Sean, cutting off the curse.

    “Little ears,” Bowie growled. “Watch yer mouth.”

    Sean shoved the others away. “Like they could actually hear me above the din.” He favored Devlin with a narrow-eyed look. “Tis your woman that’s the root of this.”

    Unfazed, Dev grinned. “You’re the idjits volunteering when she batted her big, blue eyes.” A moment later, he was on the ground under his mates who were then pounced upon by the litter of giant Newfoundland puppies.
    ****
    250 totally safe for everyone words which were hard because…Boston Mob Wolves. ?
    @SilverJames_

  4. Maude Sangria

    Frank spoke briefly to the ubiquitous Maude. Then hung up. “She said Henry’s sleeping and by all means come on over.”
    He gave me the address he had written down. It was a chuckle moment.
    “You don’t know Maude?” I asked.
    “Some old biddy sounds like. Nope, don’t know her.”
    “She’s a legend, “ I said. “Rumour has it she was a moll for King Donovan back in the day.”
    “What day?” Frank asked.
    “Tell you later,” I said, disappointed in Frank’s shallow sense of history.
    What little I knew about Maude Sangria, the wild tales that surrounded her, about her knowledge of JFK’s assassination, well, she was a classic.
    We scooted out to my car and hurried off to Maude’s.
    Ten minutes later we were there. It was a massive heritage house. Three stories and at least one hundred years old if it was a day.
    “Spooky old dump,” Frank said.
    “Have some respect, Frankie,” I admonished.
    We climbed the steps, and I cranked the brass buzzer. On the street, a hullabaloo of noisy local kids was playing stickball.
    The door creaked open and there she was, ninety at least, flaming red hair pink slacks, and a glittering golden blouse.
    “Oh, those little hellions, screaming away in the street, you gotta shut them up. Henry needs his zee’s.”
    I glanced at the young street ballplayers. They seemed like normal kids.
    “Hi, Maude. Been a while…”
    She eyeballed me.
    “Saturday morning Foxtrot class?”
    “You got it,” I said.

    250 WIP
    @billmelaterplea

  5. “The Queen Irene,” Warwick said, tipping his glass at the Venusian hanging from the ceiling, drooling onto the bowl of peanuts. “She was a leisure cruiser in the Octagon quadrant. Willis and I were apprentices in drydock, the two of us working glazing duties. He used to do onboard, while I did hull-side, cleaning the glassware between us, doing the hatchways and portholes.”

    He took a sip from his glass. “And then I was taken ill.”

    Warwick looked around, gauging his audience. The Venusian had lowered itself onto the buffet and was crunching sticks of celery, its eyes bulging as it swallowed them in threes. There was a plutocrat from Rigel, marinading in a tank of his own portable atmosphere, the positive pressure differential emitting a plume of pink gas every time he took a breath.

    “Of course, Willis was ambitious. He saw my role as the better of the two. He enjoyed the opportunities you get working onboard, the possibility of fraternising with the guests, the satisfaction of cleaning both sides of the glass. Onboard – you can open a porthole – couple of wipes and you’re done. And then you gotta shut them up; it’s only polite you do that.”

    He rolled the whiskey around his mouth, then he shrugged. “He’s still alive, of course. He was wearing a suit. But no-one knows how he got the porthole open,” he swallowed his drink, “or what the guest tried to say when he shot past him out into space.”

    250 words – twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com

  6. “You gotta shut them up, Tommy! Those dogs wake your momma up and no cookies for you tonight!”

    I sure as heck didn’t want to miss out on grandma’s triple-chocolate-with-extra-chocolate cookies, so I grabbed the leashes off the doorknob and went outside. It was cold and the sun had just come up over the horizon, but the dogs didn’t mind. They were barking up a storm at a squirrel or raccoon or shadow. Who knew with these two?

    “Monkey! Goldfish! C’mere!” Why we’d let my little sister name the dogs when she was only three, I had no idea, but they came running over to me as usual when I called.

    They about tore my arm off at the shoulder as they dragged me to the dog park, and it didn’t take that long to get there.

    We weren’t the first ones at the park this morning – Janie was here with her three mutts, and she smiled when she saw me. “I was hoping you’d be here today.”

    “R-Really?” I wondered if my cheeks were red enough from the cold to hide my blush.

    She laughed. It was a very nice laugh. “My dogs love playing with yours, so it’s nice that they get this treat today.”

    I laughed too. “Yeah, they do look like they’re having fun, don’t they?”

    “They do.” Janie reached into her pocket and pulled out a small, wrapped box. Now it was her turn to blush. “Merry Christmas, Tommy.”

    244 words
    @drmag00

  7. As the leader of the Magik folk, the werewolf should have come to me before he ventured forth across my lands.
    The now human like wolf dressed in clothes and smiled.
    “Do not trick me wolf.”
    “I wouldn’t dare; but you gotta shut them up, Queen Inger.”
    “Shut who up?”
    “Ones that whisper commands in corners and who whistle and summon me like a dog.”
    “If I was to believe this, where would I find the culprits.”
    “I don’t know; but I hear the whistle still.”
    “You will find them and then you will send for me and I will stop them for good. Swear this on your life.”
    “I do so swear.”
    Placing a summoning tracker spell on the wolf I had the guards let him go. A few minutes later he summoned me.
    “He and his minions summoned me to kill you.” the wolf explained.
    “The minions are dead,” I complained.
    “I saved your brother for you,” he argued.
    “Wilfred, how could you?”
    “It’s not fair, you became queen, because I have no magic.”
    “Life isn’t fair, I didn’t want to be saddled with responsibilities. Hand over the whistle.”
    Wilfred stamped his foot and crushed the whistle. I would think of a suitable punishment for him tomorrow; but the four-year-old obviously needed a more forceful nanny. I smiled and turned to the werewolf.
    “I’m honoured and the name is Ivan the Red,” the wolf said accepting the job.
    All again is well in the kingdom of Jämtland.
    249 words @SweetSheil

  8. Tears ran down Harry’s cheeks, soaking the collar of his t-shirt. His bags lay open on the bed, both nearly empty. He didn’t understand why he had to go.

    “Harry? Are you ready to go?” His mother stuck her head in the room and, seeing his tears, gave him a sad smile.

    “I know you don’t want to,” she brushed his bangs out of his eyes, “but you have to go. The judge said you must spend one weekend a month there and this is that weekend. Besides, your dad loves you.”

    Harry wiped his eyes with the palms of his hands and pleaded, “You’ve gotta talk to him. I don’t wanna go! I hate him! You gotta.”

    “Shut them up,” his mother nodded toward the bags, “and cut your dad some slack. He doesn’t like this arrangement either. He asked for full custody and got this instead.”

    He scoffed, “He only wanted full custody to spite you. He doesn’t love me.”

    “Harry, stop. Your father didn’t stop loving you when he stopped loving me. Just like I didn’t stop loving you. I never could and neither could he. Got that?”

    AnnaMae knew her words rang hollow, but she had to try. She couldn’t bear to see her son so miserable, but she couldn’t legally keep Harry from his dad. She reached for Harry’s book and put it in the still-open bag, making sure her encouraging note was tucked inside. Knowing his dad’s indifference, he would need it.

    @TMEccles
    248 words
    http://www.teresaeccles.com

  9. In a spaceship called The Skeld. Many crewmates walk among doing tasks and are completely oblivious to the dread that they will soon feel. “Guys a new crewmate is arriving!” Yellow shouted to the crew. The new member walks into the spaceship. “What is this place?” The new guy slow asked. Yellow charges over to meet him.

    “HiI’mYellowwhatanicedaywe’rehavingrightanywaywhatsyourname!!!!!!!” Yellow frantically said. “I’m Red and please slow down. This guy freaks me out. Can you show me around the ship and not Mr. Sugar.”

    Cyan charges over just like Yellow. “Lskfhjbgjhdbfgjhfjbdfjgbdvfnbsjdfhvbiauhgrgiugejfkf-” Cyan said.
    “You gotta shut them up. I would recommend duct tape.”

    Anything that isn’t being bombarded.

    Many days later. EMERGENCY MEETING!!!! “What is the reason to call a meeting? Did you lose your sandwich again?” Maroon questioned. “This time it’s serious. Brown died in Electrical.” White stated. “I thought you lost your banana.” Gray asked. “None of that matters right now! The only thing that I know is that he didn’t die from natural causes. He died from an imposter among us. We must find who killed him and eject them from the ship.!”

    A year later… “Crewmate log: My crew has been decimated by the imposter. I don’t want to let down the crew so I’ll report to Mira HQ, Polus, and The Airship. Afterwards I’ll try to…” White pauses. “Yes, avenge me.” Maroon’s ghost insisted. “Jump out of the ship.” White finished.

    To be continued…

  10. “Humans are a blight, disgusting parasites taking more than they give. And they’re noisy about it. There’s only one solution; you gotta shut them up.”

    The man calling himself Thunderbird monologued while herding Jacqueline and her girlfriend, Jill, toward Crystal Lake. Jacqueline needed to get Jill back to a hospital. Thunderbird seemed stronger than Jacqueline and confident in his ability to “kill them quickly if they behaved.” Jacqueline might only get one shot. She needed a branch or a rock or something.

    “You fools had no idea this is a sacred site. A reservoir of ancient power,” he continued. “Once I harness the ancient power, I will solve the human problem once and for all.”

    Thunderbird raised his arms over his head, and stormclouds darkened the sky. There were some loose rocks just back from the shore. Could Jacqueline get to them in time? Strange lights shimmered over the water’s surface to flow into Thunderbird. After Jill’s transformation last night, Jacqueline was fed up with magic. Lightning flashed, and thunder crashed, causing Jill to cover her ears and crouch with a terrified whine.

    Jacqueline dove for the rocks, drawing Thunderbird’s attention as Jill expanded like she had the night before. Jacqueline rose, rocks in either hand, before Thunderbird bowled her over with a blast of wind.

    “Then you have chosen to die in agony.”

    “No!” Before Thunderbird finished forming a hardened hailstone, the hand of a five-story tall Jill closed around him. “No killing!”

    That shut him up.

    248 PRUDENT words
    @DavidALudwig

  11. Jolie dug her toes into the sand, tunneling until the dry top turned wet and damp. The coolness soothed her warm skin, and sedated the ache deeper in her soul.

    A pack of teens – younger than her by a few years – ducked under a breaking wave. Their laughter floated through the air as effortlessly as the bubbling sea foam.

    She’d come alone. The beach was her favorite spot to think, and she had plenty of thinking to do. Being with others was part of the problem.

    “What do you think you’re doing, numb nuts?”

    The harsh tone drew her attention. A boy stood, chest wide, elbow cranked, fist ready to fly.

    SMACK!

    The punch hit square on another guy’s mouth, his lip split and blood spewed.

    Blood. In the water. Where there had been shark sightings recently. He teetered and fell… red blooming on the surface.

    Screams erupted.

    Her chest tightened. She had to do something, and fast. Otherwise, it might be too late. “You gotta…”

    “Shut them up!” her friend Mieka dashed by in a blur of yellow bikini. She pointed toward the whimpering kids. “If you don’t get them to be quiet, I will.”

    Mieka slipped her arm under the downed kid, and righted him, dragging him out of the waves.

    “Keep it together. Get out of the water,” Mieka directed the other swimmers.

    “I’m fine. I’m fine.” The teen flailed, the back of his hand streaking blood across his face.

    Mieka met Jolie’s gaze, and winked.

    @LouisaBacio
    249 words

  12. Uh-Oh…

    Gundy winced and closed his eyes against the bright lights that seemed intent on burning out his retina. Retinae? What was the plural of retina? He had two of them, didn’t he? Did they come in pairs, like dice and therefore the singular would be tetinie or would it be…

    It hurt his eyes.

    As he tried to focus on that more information came to him. He was laying on his side, on something hard, his head hurt, and was pretty sure he’d hit it on something.

    Or something hit him. What was the last thing he remembered doing? He was getting his backpack out of the trunk of a car. Was it a car or a truck? Maybe one of those sport utility vehicles?

    Work boots. No, trail boots, hiking, combat- he remembered seeing them as he fell to the ground.

    There’s been laughter then— it wasn’t friendly laughter then.

    It was about this point that Gundy realized— he was in trouble. You think? What else would it be? You don’t even have a car. Momma always said bumming rides was dangerous, but you never listened did you?

    “Those voices, you gotta shut them up and think. Fine for you to say, you’re one of them, maybe two.”

    Gundy took a deep breath and tried to gather his thoughts. “You’ve got a concussion, you’re in danger, you’re seeing double and hearing triple. This is a textbook case of FUBAR”

    242 words not including title (ineligible)
    @mishmhem

  13. Helping people to their afterlife comes with many emotions. Sometimes sad, sometimes joyous, sometimes annoying, it’s a real range of feelings. I’ve been doing this now for a couple of years and have learned to deal with the emotions. After all, Death doesn’t care how old a person is or how sick or healthy; when that hourglass runs out, that’s it, all done.

    But the woman I‘m escorting over tonight is another story. Stella had fifteen kids; ten of them have died in the last twenty years. Tonight, I’m going to reunite her with those kids, as her eighty-seven years on earth came to an end.

    “I must warn you,” she says, as a door opens. “The kids will be excited. It’s been five years since the last one passed.”

    “I’m sure they will be,” I say, before I’m nearly knocked to my feet.

    “MOM!”

    A little red hair girl, no more than ten, latches onto Stella’s legs, screaming for her siblings. A herd of kids spills through the door, and soon, my crossover disappears into the hugs of her kids. The only problem is the sheer volume of the reunion.

    “Clara! You gotta shut them up for a second!”

    Stella has a strong voice.

    “Now, let’s go over in an orderly fashion. Then you can tell me all about what I’ve missed.” She turns to me, her grey hair already turning red again. “Thank you.”

    “Any time. Enjoy the reunion.”

    The door shuts and blissful quiet makes a comeback.

    @Aightball
    250 (last minute) words

  14. #ThursThreads Week 501 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.

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