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 512 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 512:
Editor, dog and kid mom, and gourmet (mostly) chef, Catharine Lindsey.
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And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“I did my share.”
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 512”
“So, I am free to go,” I declared…
Grimshaw said, “As a bloody bird.”
With that ornithologically idiotic Federal permission slip I got back in my car and drove straight away to Lacey and Louella Samuel’s home. I doubted that Henry Samuels would have hightailed it there given his unexpected exit from my car, a car that he knew was headed directly there for a rendezvous with his child.
And with his estranged wife as well.
I had no idea what was going on in his rabbit-skittish head, but I still owed my now thirteen-year-old client Louella an update on her skedaddling dad.
A year had slowed down the tending of the small pink house. The heatwave of the previous summer had peeled away paint.
The lawn was ragged, splotchy.
It took me back to my growing-up years. After my old man left, I did my share to help my mother keep up our place, but I was never handy, and probably more than a little lazy. And the bank had eventually claimed their hunk of fiscal flesh and foreclosed.
From then on it was two-and three-story walk-ups. No lawn to cut but a lot of leaks in the windows, and overflowing toilets.
Then there were the charming alcohol-fueled neighbors.
At least Lacey had been able to hang on to the house.
I parked and slouched my way up to the door. I’d hoped to be bringing good news.
Truth was, I was often an angel of misery.
Broken Woman Text Message
You’re her mother. But I did my share. My share was trying to get her into treatment for both her mental health and for her addictions, or into a women’s refuge because she claims that I assaulted her, or to the local hairdresser to do a patch test for a dye job she never turns up for, or going to the cop shop after she’s been arrested so that someone’s there for her after she’s processed and released, or driving her to court because of an assault on the bus driver, or whatever else. My share was driving her to these places, waiting for hours at a time (whether it’s for the addiction service in the city, or trying to get her committed for psychiatric assessment because she’s destroying the furniture here after drinking too much again). You’ve done a lot as her mother, trying to get her into treatment. But my share involved sitting on hold for hours at a time (when she wasn’t here), waiting to talk to somebody like her GP or a hostel or whoever, only to be told “I really need to speak to the her personally, because of Data Protection” or “I can’t discuss specific patients, but her reactions might not necessarily indicate mental illness. Everyone responds to things in different ways. Maybe she’s just different.” I did my share, Mildred. I’ve had enough. I have to let her go. I’ve done my share.
244 words @ragtaggiggagon
Rose did not know how long she slept after finding that woman in the woods. It may have been a few hours, or more than a day. When she got hungry enough, she woke up.
The rabbits, and birds had gathered plenty of fruit and nuts for her to eat. She sang a happy song as she munched them. “I wonder if Mystica can do anything with that woman?” She thought for a moment, and everything about that woman felt wrong. Cold and dark, and somehow, broken. As if something inside her didn’t work.
Rather than keep thinking about the woman, and the things she’d done, Rose decided it was time to resume her trip to the ocean, to visit Sword. She climbed onto her crescent moon shaped boulder, and said, “Let’s go!” The boulder floated off the ground, and started moving forward. The trees once more started opening a path for Rose to travel. All the animals did their best to protect her, and keep her safe.
“I did my share, I know. I found her. I stopped her. That’s all I know to do. Mystica and Merlin will have to do the rest.”
As before, wherever Rose stopped for a break, she called the Wild Magic to grow roses, and to keep them there, because she liked the roses, and the color they added to the forest.
She had a gentle manner. It was most disarming. The exasperation he’d felt drained away, his initial resistance now seeming petty and cruel. He should try to be considerate and calm, following her example. She didn’t need to be kind to him, but she had no reason not to be. She chose to be pleasant, so he should too.
She mopped at his brow, applying only light pressure, careful not to drag at his wound.
“Let’s try again,” she said. “What were you doing before you came here? Were you only observing? Or did you take an active part in the fighting? There’s no shame in a soldier running away when he sees other people dying around him.”
Madigan stiffened, his neck and shoulders becoming like stone. “I did my share too. It was more good luck than anything. Charlie was firing indiscriminately at us from up in the trees. They’d got snipers hiding there – we had to cross fifty yards of open ground to reach our objective. They were hosing us down with Chinese AKs: they didn’t need to be marksmen. But that’s why they often use children; they’re agile and small and only need a minimum of training. Hoss managed to hit one: he must have only been eight or nine. But we didn’t stop to see if he was still alive. There was too much going on to do anything like that.”
The nurse nodded, her almond eyes suddenly flaring.
“It’s hell out there,” she said.
250 words – twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com
Meg stared at Dalton before shifting her gaze to Loch for an equally long stare. Neither man spoke. They weren’t stupid. When confronted by a woman with hands on her hips, pursed lips, and fire in her eyes, a smart man invoked the right to remain silent.
She finally rolled her eyes and grimaced. “You two are nothing but trouble.” She pivoted and headed back toward camp.
“Double the trouble, double the fun,” Dalton murmured as Meg marched away.
“You were supposed to distract her,” Loch said.
“Hey, I did my share.” Dalton dug through a bush and snagged the boots he’d stashed there. “Here. He’ll need these.” He held up the combat boots and scrunched up his nose. “Jeez. A little baking soda would help.”
Loch had squatted and was fishing out a pair of combat pant, a T-shirt, and other items. “Try sniffin’ yer own, surfer boy. Yers smell of spoilt onions.”
“Dude, seriously? Why the hell are you smellin’ my boots?” A low growl raised the hair on Dalton’s arms. He glanced toward a dark shadow between two new-growth trees. “Oh hold your horses, dude. You should thank the gods that we came along when we did. Otherwise, you’d have been caught with your pants down and your fur on.”
The large wolf stalked onto the path. Dalton held up his hands and backed away.
“Fine. Your feet don’t stink.”
A cleared throat froze all three.
“Who is that?” Meg was back. And pointing at Kin’s wolf.
250 Crossfire WIP words
“What’s all this crap?”
“That? It’s not mine. It belongs to Junior. He left it here when he moved. Or, should I say, when I threw him out.”
“What a pile of junk!”
“You’re tellin’ me! And that’s not even half of it. You should have seen it before I’ve already gotten rid of twice that amount.”
“What did you do with it?”
“Took it to the dump. As I said, it’s trash. Not worth anything.”
“Are you sure? There could be something valuable in here.”
“There’s not, I assure you.”
“It could happen. You never know. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.”
“I know. I’ve heard. Go ahead. Sort through it if you like. Maybe you’ll find something of value. But you’ll need a Hazmat suit.”
“Haha! I don’t have one, so I’ll take my chances. You gonna help Lou?”
“You’re kidding, right? I did my share—more than my share.”
“Be that way. Lemme just pull my car up.”
“Sure. If you do find anything worthwhile—which I highly doubt—I get first dibs though, because technically it is my property since Junior abandoned it. Just pop open the trunk and start shoveling!”
“Well, I’m not gonna take it all. I am kinda picky.”
“Whatever. Hey, Doug, don’t look now, but that grey SUV that just pulled in? It’s Junior. I gotta worn ya—he’s a real hot-head!”
“Hey, you guys! What are you doing, throwing out my belongings? There’s a lot of valuable stuff in there!”
“What if we get married?”
I blinked. “What?”
“What if we get married?” Trigger’s grin spread across his face. “Then Laurie can’t come after you.”
I snorted. “Trigger, did you hit your head recently? There ain’t no way Laurie Stratton will not come after me, even if I’m married to someone else. He’s an entitled prick and what’s his is his in his mind. A marriage license ain’t gonna change that.”
I set Harley down in her crib for her nap with a warm smile. It didn’t matter what was going on in the world, she’d always make me smile.
Thank you for that, Lil Bit.
“Get some sleep now, Harley Girl. I love you.” I tucked her in and left the room, closing the door behind me before facing Trigger again. “Marrying you isn’t a solution. At least, not to the Laurie Stratton problem.”
“We could just shoot him,” Trigger remarked drily.
Laughter bubbled up from my chest. “You have no idea how many times I’ve fantasized about that.”
I shook my head. In the past, I did my share of law-breaking, but I drew the line at out-and-out murder. Killing someone in self-defense? Hell yeah, I was game, but not going in with the intention of taking a life. I left that to folks like Loki, Attila, Luke, and even Michael on occasion.
And let’s be honest – that might be the only way to stop Laurie.
238 ineligible #ConcreteAngelsMC words
The Tavern, 243 Words, @JPGarlandAuthor
I, the subject of this beckoning, ignored it.
“I’m talking to you.”
This happened often when I went out. Too often so I didn’t go out like I used to. That was a while back.
Still, sometimes you want to go outside. Not to talk to anyone. I’d long known few men and no women wanted to have anything to do with me. That was one reason I moved from town to town, staying in inns for a few days before moving to the next town and the next inn and, at times like this night, the next tavern. I picked up enough helping in the fields to afford this nomadic life.
It was always a toff who challenged me. I didn’t need to look. The accent and the attitude were always enough. Always ones who thought I should be doing what they never wanted to do themselves. Who thought I should be doing what they needed doing for themselves. To protect King and Country.
A second one told the first to “leave it.”
“Not till I have a word with this coward,” the first slurred, clearly drunk before he entered the place. Oh, he’d prove himself. I felt the familiar tug on my shoulder, but I didn’t move. I waited as he realized I was stronger than I appeared to his drunken eyes. Only then did I turn.
“I did my share,” I said and then returned to my ale.
“You gave this costume the ability to match miss Gulliver’s size?”
Jian examined the exotic outfit constructed by Doctor Murray. The doctor sighed uncertainly.
“I’m pretty sure I did.”
“My share shall be to help her access that ability then,” Jian passed the costume to Jillian Gulliver before placing a hand against her own silk dress. “Though my costume was infused with the prayers of many masters, it did not share my invulnerability until I attuned to it. Have you ever meditated?”
“Not well,” Jillian accepted the outfit intended for her sheepishly.
“That is alright. I can talk you through it. Would you be more comfortable trying in your regular clothes first?”
Jian continued, “An item should be special to you in order to attune with it. Even then, very few items are able to share the superpowers of their bearer. I would recommend wearing Doctor Murray’s costume if you are comfortable doing so.”
Jillian nodded and motioned for the others to face the other way while she changed.
“If we’re going to be meditating, I’ll have the boys bring down the big mat,” Doctor Murray moved to the exit of their blind shelter. “Don’t start without me!”
“Is there anything I can do?” Jacqueline Beaufort, Jillian’s girlfriend, asked from Jian’s side.
“You are welcome to meditate with us. You are important to miss Gulliver. By meditating with her, you may be able assist her in attuning future items as well as increasing mastery of her power.”
249 PRUDENT words
II lived with my grandfather who was old, like real old and decrepit. He was born in like 1954, or something. He didn’t talk much about his dad or his own life, I was curious. I gathered all my courage and asked, “What did you do when you were young. Did you go to college?”
“Yes, I went to college on the G.I. bill
“What’s a GI bill?”
“If you served you get some of your education costs covered under the GI bill, if you qualify.”
“You were at war? But you’re too young for the Second World War.”
“I was drafted for Vietnam.”
“I was eighteen.”
“How long were you there?”
“I did my part.”
“That war was really stupid.”
“So, everyone who wasn’t there says. War is not easy to talk about my dad didn’t talk about his stint in World War Two. The horrors are ingrained in your mind. Just be thankful you haven’t been drafted.”
“I’m a woman.”
“Equal rights means that you could be drafted.”
“I’m an abstainer.”
“That won’t fly. Do you know how many of my peers went to jail or had to flee to Canada?”
“The number was high. You got this official letter today, ”he said handing me a letter.
I gasped. I was drafted for the war against Russia. Grandpa was right being a woman didn’t make me exempt. I was headed to basic training next week. So much for college, I’d be lucky to last the month.
I retched again and she rolled me over. Again. I’d woken up staring at a pool of my own vomit more times than I could count, but this time the disgusting puddle in front of me was streaked with blood.
It was getting worse.
I tried to push myself into an upright position and cried out in pain as the stump where my left hand used to be bumped the guardrail. “Fuck me!”
Even my curses were feeble now, not much above a croak.
“C’mere. I’ve got ya.” She put her arms around me and helped me shift to a more human position.
As the room started to come into focus, the rest of the situation joined it. I did my share of waking up feeling this shitty when I was younger, but that was my own damned fault. This, though, this just happened.
She scooted next to me and took my right hand in hers. They’d cut my left one off trying to stop the disease, but not soon enough to do any good.
“How long…how long was I out this time?”
Her eyes didn’t leave mine, but they were filled with unshed tears. “Three days.”
“Three days.” I swallowed, the mixture of saliva and bile and blood almost choking me. “Not long now, is it?”
She wiped away the tears with the back of one hand and tried to smile for me. “No. No it’s not.”
“Stay with me? Until, y’know?”
The spirit writhed in the booth across from me.
“It’s made of your bones, so you ain’t going anywhere.” I gestured to the circle of dust surrounding the booth.
“Your time, your diner, your booth,” The spirit stared at me warily.
“You’re thinking…I did my part…I did my share…I anchored this damn street through the riots…the stagflation and even that damn interstate.”
The spirit snarled, I’d hit a nerve.
“You fought for this place.”
“You kept downtown alive.”
“You served hot food and strong coffee to all the right people.”
“Hell, you even kept all those damn gentrifiers out.”
The spirit smiled proudly.
I poured some salt and sugar on the table, adding ash from a burnt menu and began drawing a rune.
“And what thanks do you get?”
“Those two kids are changing everything …helping the people you’d worked so hard to keep out.”
“So why are I helping them, and not you?” The ghost nodded angrily.
The rune began to glow. “I’m helping them because a bigot’s a bigot regardless of the color of their skin…regardless of the people they keep out…”
The spirit panicked as the rune consumed their energy.
“Your daughter, her husband…they’re the reason this place is still open…they welcome anyone…even the spoiled college kids you’d tried so hard to chase off.”
I looked at the fading ghost, “Easy way or hard way, remember?” I smirked.
“You chose the hard way and to be honest, I’m glad you did.”
Lessons in diplomacy
I had just finished shutting down the board and making my report when I heard Sgt Hightower come over the squawk box.
“Crash, you up to a little recon work?”
That piqued my interest, considering the fact that every delegate in the fleet had their own designated pilot.
“How much trouble am I going to be in?”
It’s only taken me, what, 17 years to learn to ask that question before I head out.
“Not much— we’re just checking out a few things.”
“What things?” I asked warily
“There was a blip on the scanners, just out of base station’s scanner.”
“And you can’t notify patrol?”
“No, that could be bad.”
If there is one thing I have learned since leaving Earth, it was that when Hightower classifies something as potentially bad— well let’s just say he’s not prone to exaggerations.
Considering the fact that we are now both considered Liaison officers to specific races and the last thing either one of us wants are complications, I nodded and started preflight.
“Anything else?” I asked.
“We’ll need some steaks.”
“Three… Four if you want one.”
“I’ve got the wine,” he added stepping aboard with a picnic basket, he handed me a set of coordinates.
He took over, turning flight prep into meal prep, and I did my share. By the time we took off, the steaks were grilling on the manifold and we proceeded to liaise with the Askemiri.
I could get used to this job.
250 words, not including title
#ThursThreads is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.