Welcome back to the home of Paranormal & Dauntless Romance. Today is Thursday and that means it’s time to start flashing. We’re at the beginning of our ninth year of weekly prompts. It’s amazing we’ve gone this long! This is Week 503 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 503:
Speculative romance author and ray of sunshine in a dystopian hellscape. Also, she likes pie, Nicola Cameron.
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And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“I cannot see her.”
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 503”
The yelling brought Maude back from the kitchen.
“Henry,” she said in an exasperated schoolmarmish tone, “ This is how you treat guests in MY house? Put that weapon away and behave yourself.”
I would’ve thought such a reprimand would have little impact on a disturbed fellow holding a weapon.
I was dead wrong.
Henry Samuels stuffed his gun into a deep pocket in his blue silk robe. Then he slumped down into an overstuffed chair just inside the living room.
“Better,” Maude decreed. “Tea’s almost ready.”
She then left her three male visitors to sort out their interpersonal issues.
“What the hell was that about, Hank?” Frank broke the seconds of silence.
Henry Samuels looked up, asked, “Frankie? What the hell you doing here? And who’s he?” pointing at me.
Frank Luxton looked at me and asked, ”You’ve never met him.”
I gave Samuels and Luxton a brief recap of my search for Samuels initially instigated by Samuels’s young daughter, Louella.
I then threw in, “She needs her father.”
“I cannot see her the way I am now. Just can’t. The Feds still want me.”
“Yup. But now we need you…at least Frank does. You know Solly Vapors?”
“Heard of him. Never had the pleasure.”
“He’s got Terry…I owe him and…”
“Here’s the tea,” Maude announced, and we all went silent.
For the next half an hour, we drank tea and ate Maude’s chocolate chip cookies.
“We ready, Gentleman?”
Then let’s go give Solly his due.
The ship floated through the vacuum of space, lulling starboard amongst the debris of the alien craft they’d been forced to destroy.
“There’s nothing there, Captain!”
She grit her teeth and checked the scans again, trying to tame the beeps and flashes of lights on her control dash, indicating the numerous other problems on board.
“Check again, Ace! Stanor has to be out there!”
Her first mate ran from window to window. “No, Captain. I cannot see her. Her security cable is severed.”
There was a loud bang as debris hit the hull, followed by the hiss of an overhead vent rupturing, spewing carbon dioxide. She yelled her frustration as she spun the ship the other direction and was greeted by a force big enough to jolt the ship back. She knew Stanor wouldn’t have long after that lengthy spacewalk. A suit only held so much oxygen. And after a surprise visit from dangerous extraterrestrials, Stanor would be lucky to not have been vaporized in the fray.
Another jolt. A flash of metal. She steadied herself with an iron grip on her controls.
“Wait! I see something!” Ace shouted.
Sure enough, Stanor was floating some hundred meters out, flailing like a fish out of water.
“Hurry, Ace! Get the harpoon ready!”
A flash of light from straight on made them shield their eyes. A moment later, Captain Suzi’s stomach dropped at the appearance of an entire alien fleet.
“I can’t do that, Captain. We’ve got bigger problems.”
248 words @AngoraShade
I gave her a swift injection and slipped the mask from her face. She’d been slightly built before, but now her ribs were like blades, sharp enough to slice through her skin if I pushed firmly against them. She would be weaker and disoriented for a while. Long enough for me to take advantage of how I’d revised our relationship.
Long enough for me to establish control.
She woke with a growl, and her hackles rose. She raised her hands to her eyes and quickly took them away. She did it a second time, her chains rattling against the concrete. And then a third time. “You bastard,” she snarled, low and quiet, cautious, probably eaten up by fear. “You’ve done it to me, haven’t you? I cannot see.” Her face turned toward me, the sound of my breath drawing her attention, her ears now her primary method of finding me.
I switched on the music and watched her sink to her knees, trying to locate me through the noise. She angled her head away and then back, alternating ears, attempting to judge our relative positions. I turned the volume higher still, Ramstein’s Du Hast becoming a wall of sound, a sonic assault.
I raised my hands in triumph. I did a clumsy pirouette.
And then I fell to the floor beneath her – a length of broken chain rip-sawing the breath from my throat.
“You forgot,” she said, grinning as the blackness fell, “just how much your foul carcass stinks.”
250 words – twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
The crowd thickened at the entrance to the subway and the pretty blond woman disappeared into their midst.
“I cannot see her.”
“Somebody get eyes on her, STAT.”
“Workin’ on it.”
Two-way radios crackled as men hustled to find their quarry. The man in the SUV at the curb stared out the windshield. “Well, this isn’t going as expected. Danny Boy won’t be pleased.”
Jacko didn’t respond. In this outfit, better to keep your thoughts to yourself. Snatching an assistant district attorney off the street? That ranked at the top of the stupid list with the Red Sox trading Babe Ruth. Or the Pats letting both Tom Brady and the Gronk get away. But what did he know? He was a low-level bookie, not one of Danny Boy’s usual thugs. The man in the front seat next to him? Now he was a horse with different stripes. George Garland was not a guy to be messed with.
Radios crackled again. The woman had vanished.
In a few minutes, the rest of the men returned to the vehicle. One of them opened the driver’s door and gestured for Jacko to get out. He did, with alacrity. The crew was debriefing the boss as the door slammed and the big engine fired. As the SUV sped away, he headed into the subway. He downed the contents of the flask in his coat pocket then put his phone to his ear. He got voice mail.
“Meet me at the usual place. I got big news.”
250 Boston Wolves WIP words
The welcoming face of Gypsy Rose was disconcerting. I’d never have thought it possible that I’d visit the infamous avatar. I hadn’t believed in the stuff. Not the “cross my palms with silver” stuff at the fairground; or the internet sensation that was today’s behemoth. But too many friends had used the tech service and swore by it’s results. Predictions of future love, luck, careers; and babies.
Shell and I had been trying for time untold. She’d been up and down more than a rollercoaster – and lately a lot more down. It was Ben who’d seen the effects on us who’d suggested looking to the future. ‘Information is King,’ he’d said. ‘Either way you can plan.’ I agreed. It was the not knowing that was tearing us apart. Shell couldn’t face it. But I’d felt compelled.
It was infamously expensive to book, but ‘future truth has untold value’: so their advert says.
I went into a Future Told office with excitement and trepidation. Ben sat with me as I watched my future play out in some modified VR headset: Children. “I can see children,’ I said. I patted a boy’s head. I could feel myself grinning like a buffoon back in the office.
“Brilliant!” Ben exclaimed. “How’s Shell?”
I looked around the garden. I ran into the house.
“Oh God. I cannot see her.”
I ran up the stairs. In the bedroom I could see the residue from one person: me.
“You can’t tell Shell.” Ben implored later.
Twitter tag and word count?
The house was quiet and still. The playdate had been over for a couple of hours yet the playroom was still a tip. Susie had been straightening the room for an hour after she washed up and the twins had their nap.
Tim gave a high pitched giggle letting Susie know he was awake again. She went in to fetch him and placed him in his bouncer where she sang quietly to him while she continued to clean.
Twenty minutes passed and Susie, having finished tidying stopped and listened for signs that Luna was awakening. Strangely there were none so she raced to the bedroom to check on her.
“I cannot see her.” Susie cried aloud.
Glancing around wildly she looked where she could hear a soft murmur. There in the giant stuffed panda’s lap was Luna snuggled in its paws still asleep. Her relief was immediate and Susie replaced Luna back in the crib with a kiss. She didn’t see the panda wave its paw at Luna as she left the room.
Tim and Susie played a little until Luna awoke and the twins played together in the safe play area while Susie prepped dinner.
196 words. @lindorfan
Greg Gunnar sighed as the college girls from Crystal Lake exited Brad’s office. By the brunette’s look, the meeting had not gone well. Greg had worried she’d give Brad the runaround. Agent Brad Bass was a lovable doof but not the best situation handler. This was going to be a whole pie night. But first, damage control.
“How’d it go in there?” Greg fell into step next to the girls like he just happened to be passing by at that moment.
The brunette shot him a look he was sure had Brad crying on the inside. Ouch.
“Okay!” The bright-eyed one with freckles seemed much warmer if not all there.
“Greg Gunnar,” Greg extended his hand. “I was the one flying the helicopter?”
“Jillian Gulliver!” Freckles had a surprisingly powerful grip.
Greg pressed the elevator button.
“I hope everything’s in order now.”
“None of your business,” Jacqueline stood between Jillian and Greg.
“I get the sense you don’t really want to talk to us. Hopefully, the hospital was more help to you.”
“None of your business,” Jacqueline repeated pointedly.
“Because if they weren’t,” Greg produced a card from his jacket pocket. “You might give Doctor Cari Murray a try. She has experience with… unusual cases. And is very discreet.”
“I don’t trust you! I cannot…”
“See her,” Greg extended the card. “I get the apprehension about a big organization like PRUDENT. I don’t agree with it, but I get it. Doctor Murray feels the way you do.”
249 PRUDENT words
I cannot see her. But I can smell her, her perfume, her shampoo, her arousal. I can hear her, her bare feet slowly stepping across the carpeted floor. I cannot feel her. But I can feel the blindfold she put on me, a little too tight, and the restraints she attached to my wrists and ankles, a lot too tight.
There was a time I would have begged her to release me. There was a time I would have begged her to chain me up. All I wanted now was the end, though I did not deserve it.
I cannot taste her. But whatever she’d drugged me with to get me here left a sour taste in my mouth and an erection so powerful it hurt.
This had once been a game to her, watching me follow along like a puppy dog at her heels, letting me catch just a glimpse of forbidden skin or feel her breath, hot against my ear, just enough to make me think that someday, if I played my cards right…
But I’d run out of cards, and all that I had left was my inadequacy. I wasn’t too inadequate to cut the brake lines in her husband’s car, though.
She knew it was me as soon as she saw my face, and she slapped me. Then she drugged me.
I can feel her on the bed with me, mounting me.
I cannot see her, but I know that she is smiling.
We’d almost reached the airport when Anubis revved his engine and swerved around us, damn near clipping the front of our vehicle.
“Sonuvaprick!” Trigger jerked the wheel and slowed down as Anubis rocked back and forth as if trying to get someone’s attention. “What the fuck is he doin’?”
I swallowed my heart back down into my chest and cleared my throat. “Keep driving at the speed limit and watch.”
Anubis continued his antics then cranked the throttle and surged ahead of us like a bat outta hell. He pulled some serious Gs going around a corner, damn near laying his big bike on the ground.
A police cruiser and an unmarked car shot past us and sped after him, wheels squealing as they took the corner fast. Trigger’s jaw dropped and I shook my head as Anubis led them on a merry chase away from us. We kept going past their turn as if we had nothing to do with them, just ordinary people doing our thing.
“Fuck, Neo wasn’t kiddin’ that they were keepin’ an eye on you.”
I nodded slowly. “Yeah, or it was that nosy cashier at the hardware store. She kept looking at me like I was familiar even if I’d never seen her before. Maybe she was the one who passed along my face and name to the cops and Backlog.”
Trigger frowned. “I cannot see her doin’ that, but then, lots o’ people around here ain’t what they say they are, right?”
249 ineligible #ConcreteAngelsMC words
The Way She Moves
The world is flat and dark when I cannot see her. The shadows reach into my very soul where fear and doubt overwhelm me to the point I cannot move.
And then I see her, her smile lights a thousand worlds, and her breath warms my skin and chases away the cold. When I see her, I can dance. I glide between the spaces in between, my movements becoming an intricate mating dance, witnessed only by her.
She is my world, and I am but the moon, chasing after her, following in her footsteps, there to protect her from prying eyes.
We dance around the fact that we cannot be, one without the other, as our orbits turn elliptical and we dance around the sun once more.
She is my world, and of her eight sisters, she is where my hearth lies. I can travel on in darkness with no other life in sight, but only if I can see her shine.
162 words (not including title)
Never let it be said I don’t support my nieces and nephews. The problem is this softball game is taking place at sunset, middle of the summer Iowa, and there are zero trees to shade the fans. I am going to die of heat stroke. Allegedly, somewhere out there, is my niece.
“I cannot see her,” I finally say, adjusting my shades. “Where is she?”
My brother gives me the side eye, adjusting his ball cap. “Right field. You do know your right from your left?”
I punch his arm, laughing. “Of course, I do. But I don’t know what it means in this context.”
My brother is four years younger than me, and we’ve done nothing but pick on each other since we were kids. He rolls his eyes, adjusting his feet on the bleacher in front of us.
“Over there. In the white jersey with the black stripes.”
He gestures to his right. She’s bent down, hands on her knees, staring at the batter.
The ball flies toward her. My niece springs into the air, snaps up the ball, throws it to another girl, and in the span of ten seconds, the batter is benched, along with another teammate.
“Told you she was good.”
His proud dad smile radiates from under the cap, as he claps his thick hands together. I let out a woo hoo as the teams switch places on the field. Maybe I can learn to like this stuff after all.
#ThursThreads Week 503 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.