Welcome back to the home of Paranormal & Dauntless Romance. Today is Thursday and that means it’s time to start flashing. We’re nearing the end of our ninth year of weekly prompts. It’s amazing we’ve gone this long! This is Week 511 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 511:
Dead Thing Specialist, Mining Geologist, and Original Book Boyfriend, George Varhalmi.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“I can’t decide.”
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!
14 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 511”
Trudging through the forest enjoying the sunny spring day, taking a break from my family life. The salmon would soon be running today and I could hardly wait. Fresh salmon was my favourite, I hated the other animals who didn’t follow the rules if they had a brain then they should know they needed to take little and let them spawn.
I heard them before I saw them at the stream with huge nets scooping salmon from the stream and placing them in big barrels.
“I can’t decide how many more,” I heard one of them say.
“Take them all,” the other responded.
I heard a roaring in my ears and red flashed over my eyes, before I knew it I was by the spring throwing them in.
Somehow, I resisted truly harming them, that was until the man (who looked to be about four hundred pounds) ran to the clearing and grabbed a gun. Before it was fired I grabbed the man’s arm and did something I swore I would never do again. The other man took one look at the parts of his friend and yelled ,“Oh my God Bigfoot!!”,
I was angry this meant my family and I had to move again. Would they forgive me? I’d promised that this wouldn’t happen again.
The men came that night I saw the signs when I checked the next morning; but we were deeper into the forest where men never came. We would live to fish another day.
They opened the books and started in on researching how to make an entire race of people forget. Kendra despaired it might be beyond their skills to make the long-lived Fae who remembered everything forever forget about Phinn and his grandfather’s sword.
They talked about which herbs they should use and in what quantities.
“I can’t decide if ginger or thyme would be better here. Both are for protection from evil.”
Colleen frowned as she paused in writing the spell. “I think thyme would be the better choice in that it’s used as protection from evil thoughts and intentions rather than pure evil in itself.”
Kendra nodded. “That makes sense. The Fae aren’t evil so much as narcissistic and bored, and they want what they want. As far as they’re concerned, they’re the heroes of their story.”
Colleen dipped her chin. “Exactly. They see Phinnius and you as evil for keeping the sword away from them.”
Kendra snorted. “Yeah, we just wanted to be left alone.” She opened the next book and flipped through the pages. “What about peppermint and sage? They’re for memory and since we’re futzing with the collective memory of the Fae, should we use both or just one?”
“We’ll have to invert them to allow the spell to either erase or degrade their collective memory. The same with cardamom. Both will need to be inverted to cloud their memories of the sword specifically and Phinnius in general.”
241 ineligible #CloudburstColorado words
Meg scanned the boxes and tins. Loch and Kin had emptied two packs. Uri added more items from his pack. She checked his offerings. “Golly. It all looks so scrumptious I can’t decide.”
The kids giggled and the men rolled their eyes at her and Dalton snickered. “That’s why I always carry a bottle of Tabasco sauce. It makes anything palatable. Even MREs.”
“Tis the same for ORPs,” Kin said. “Only we tend t’use malt vinegar.”
Meg laughed. Bless the military of every country for their acronyms. Meals Ready to Eat. Operational Ration Pack. They at least had more variety than the tins of meat and other foods that she and Petro had gathered up when they escaped with the orphans. She had to give props to the Americans, though. MRE sounded much tastier than ORP.
After dinner, the kids settled in and the men dispersed—guard duty, patrols, combat sleep. Meg waited until no one was paying her attention and then she slipped off into the woods. Announcing the need to answer nature’s call was always embarrassing. She’d gone at least 100 feet before she found a suitable deadfall for a suitable latrine. She unzipped her jeans and froze.
An ominous growl created chaos in her chest. She couldn’t breathe and her heart beat erratically. A huge wolf, silver in the moonlight stalked toward her. Meg stumbled backwards, tripped, and fell on her butt. The wolf lunged. She had no time to scream before it licked her face.
250 Hard Target: Crossfire WIP words
GAH! I ALWAYS find a typo after hitting post. ??♀️ That would be “MRE sounded much TASTIER than ORP.”
I don’t like being held. Maybe when I was a baby. My mother’s actions were beyond my infant’s control.
And she fed me.
Or so I’d been told.
I didn’t have any clingy maiden aunts. However, my mother had this friend, Perfume Peggy.
She must have used a bottle of the potent stuff daily. She’d drop in from time to time…unannounced, reliving the old days when she and my mother were “roommates”.
Somehow Peggy’s cloying presence crept into my thoughts as the two Feds clung to me like bloodsuckers.
“Come on, Grimshaw,” I pleaded with their handler. “Do I look like a flight risk?”
“I can’t decide, Peeper. Do you? Seriously, you aren’t much of a risk for anything. Except maybe being an irritating human hemorrhoid. Okay fellows, let him go.”
The two Feds seemed happy to release me. Once out of their buttoned-down clutches, I gave myself a bit of a shake to get the blood flowing.
I had to assume that Grimshaw and his Toadies, which I had to admit sounded like a good name for a 1980’s Boy Band, had seen Henry Samuels bolt from my car. I waited for Grimshaw to mention it, but he didn’t. It was possible that they weren’t interested in Henry. Which made them interested in me. Or maybe they were just in a pissy mood. Federal Agents could be that way, dicking around for pure Machiavellian pleasure.
Whatever it was, I needed to find Henry Samuels…and get him home.
I can’t decide how to die this time. I’ve done all the common ones – getting hit by a car, jumping off a building, contracting Ebola. I’ve done exotic ones – suicide by cop, becoming an astronaut and then opening my helmet during a spacewalk, bringing a dish to a KKK meeting and then telling everyone a Black man had jerked off into it.
No, this isn’t some Groundhog Day thing where the universe is teaching me a lesson in becoming a better person. For one thing, I’m already dead.
I guess that needs some clarification. My body is dead. I lived ninety-seven years and passed away peacefully in my bed, surrounded by people who said they loved me and all the luxuries a man could want.
My soul, on the other hand, lives on until I complete my task. We all owe a death, this is true, but I owe millions. I didn’t kill all 8 million individually – not even I had that kind of time – but I did my share. After all, if I expected my staff to get their hands bloody, then I had to as well. Besides, I enjoyed it.
So here I am, forced to die one time for each of the 8 million I was responsible for. And this time, I can’t outsource any of the work.
Maybe I’ll see if the alligators at the zoo are hungry.
Rose changed course, and flew straight up, through the tree limbs, out the top of the forest canopy. It was there, high above the forest, she found Merlin.
Sometimes Rose wondered how tiny little Merlin, not much bigger than a full grown wolf, could be so dangerous. But Merlin was the master of Black Magic, and the legendary dragon who nearly wiped the fairies off the face of the world 10,000 years earlier. Perhaps the only being on the planet who could stand against that tiny dragon was Mystics, the White Witch.
“Merlin? Why are you here?”
His razor sharp talons gleamed in the sunlight, sending reflections everywhere. Otherwise he was a black hole in the world, with no reflected light at all. “The eagles told me what was happening. I am here to examine the woman.”
“I can’t decide what to do, Merlin. She killed someone.”
“Rose. Let me take you to your chair, I know you are tired from the past few days. Once there, you can rest, and I will take the woman to Mystica. Mystica will decide what to do.”
Rose settled on Merlin’s back, and Merlin flew with the speed of a dragon, through the sky to the place Rose’s chair waited in the forest. “You should sleep, Rose. I will take care of the woman.”
Rose settled on her crescent shaped moon, and eventually fell asleep. The forest, wolves, hawks, and eagles watched over her.
“I can’t decide,” Doctor Cari Murray rapped her folded glasses against her open palm. “What to do from here.”
The unorthodox experimentalist stood with two college girls in the space enclosed by canvas sheets suspended from a dockyard crane like a gargantuan shower curtain. Jillian Gulliver was wrapped in the soft bathrobe that her partner, Jacqueline Beaufort, had held for her during each attempt.
“Unfortunately, the outfit I designed has not been resizing as I had hoped with Jillian simply holding it,” Doctor Murray continued. “My instinct is to try it with Jillian wearing it, but if that fails, it will destroy the prototype, and replacing the materials will take months. Either of you may have stronger feelings regarding such a delay than I do.”
“Do we have any other options?” Jacqueline hummed seriously.
“Want clothes,” Jillian agreed.
A double-tap on the outside of the canvas preceded a woman’s voice, “May I enter?”
Doctor Murray glanced at the undergrads. Jillian pulled her bathrobe tighter and stepped behind Jacqueline from the voice. Then both young women nodded.
“Come on in!”
The woman who entered wore a white and gold silk cheongsam and matching butterfly mask with a tight black updo. Before Doctor Murray could whistle her appreciation, Jacqueline scoffed.
“Isn’t it a bit tacky for PRUDENT to use Jian impersonators?”
“That is why I vetoed the proposal to do so,” the most famous superhero in history smiled gently before turning her attention to Jillian. “Are you the one who grows?”
249 PRUDENT words
The stifling, stale air threatens the day to be a hot. I struggle not to panic at the approaching sunrise.
Each rise of the sun brings tedium, being trapped indoors, basically imprisoned within these stone walls. While my sister-wives Claudette and Marietta settle in for sleep, I pace the darkened hallways, counting the minutes until the welcomed evening freedom.
While the other women fear the influence of Mina, I’m even more curious about our other wayward visitor, Jonathan.
Despite knowing I shouldn’t, I make my way toward the library, trailing my nails against the wood paneling until I reach the doorway.
Mr. Harker hunches over the desk, papers strewn all around, holding his pencil mid-air. He gazes toward the door, toward me.
“Miss Sasha. I was hoping to see you.” The corners of his eyes crinkle, and the dark iris widens over the blue.
I pinch the corners of my maroon dress, lifting the material slightly as I curtsy, crossing one ankle behind the other.
“Sir. How are the financials?”
He moves a few pages, bringing one to the front. “I can’t decide, good or bad.” His dark hair spikes at the front, and he’s grown pale either from his time inside or hungry late-night guests.
The vein on the side of his neck throbs and his scent lures me in closer. Being near him makes me feel young again. Too much time has passed since I entered this castle, and died.
I inhale. “Good or bad, indeed.”
Accidents will happen
“Mom, I need a little help here…”
Gia turned to see her son standing to the side of the closet door as half the household medical supplies lay on the floor having fallen off the upper shelves on her unsuspecting son.
She looked at him, wiping her hands on her apron, she set her tongs down. The forge would have to wait.
As she took a step towards him, she saw another box shift was he stood up and dodged out of the way.
“Maybe you should let me handle this before you end up needing some of those bandages,” she said as she pulled him out of the way of the next avalanche.
“Why do you have this much stuff here, I mean, are we really going to need that much? Ever?”
As if sensing his answer another box fell, and despite herself, Gia started laughing. “What do you think?”
I can’t decide if you’re being facetious or ironic here.”
“Can’t I be both?”
168 words not including title
“What you going to do, boy?” The man growled. “It’s not like you have the stones to do what needs to be done.”
Jake sighed. This asshole had been going on like this for the better part of an hour, even though he was currently handcuffed and there were manacles around his ankles next to which rested a 20-pound boat anchor.
“Honestly,” Jake growled as he took the man’s tell-tale red hat dipped in the bucket next to him, “I can’t decide.” As he pulled the hat from the bucket, he lit it drip on the man, as he began to chant in Anishinaabe.
“Lay off it, that Injun mumbo-jumbo don’t me sh…” the hunter stopped talking as his hat’s exploded into flames, and a few of them leaped to gasoline on his pants.
“What the fuck, boy?” The man screamed, panic setting in. “Put that out, you gonna get us killed.”
“That’s kind of the point,” Jake sneered, “while killing you, I mean.”
“You wouldn’t…” the strength in the hunter’s voice slackening as the shock faded and the realization began to set, “You…you…couldn’t…”
Jake shrugged as he dumped the bucket of gasoline, and lit a cigarette, “I could, and I would, but I think I’ll let you decide,” as he tossed the lighter into the boat.
“Burn to death, or let Misty eat you.” Jake said as he pushed the boat.
“Misty?” the hunter mumbled.
“Misty is the Underwater Panther; you’ve been trying to kill a week.”
#ThursThreads Week 511 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.