#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 513

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 513 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 513:

Speculative romance author and ray of sunshine in a dystopian hellscape, Nicola Cameron. Also, she likes pie.

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And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“That could be bad.”

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!

10 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 513”

  1. Angel of Misery

    I pushed the doorbell. You can never tell if the damn things are working. I mean, they usually sound off inside a house. That’s the point of them. There was no great chime gong ringing away that I remembered when I’d last been here a year earlier.

    So, I did what I usually do. Pounded on the door with my fist.

    That was pretty loud, but it still didn’t get a response.

    From inside.

    But outside.

    A different kettle of noise by-laws.

    I could feel eyes on me. I turned and caught sight of an old guy, older than anyone has a right to be.

    Or ever could be.

    An actual Methuselah.

    In a ratty tartan robe.

    Seems like I had woken the almost dead.

    “They left,” he mumbled through his gums.

    I could actually see his gums.

    Time for me to make an appointment with a dentist.

    You should never put off dental care.

    Thanks, Methuselah.

    “When?” I asked.

    “Seconds ago. The three of them roared off…Seconds. Maybe less.”

    Time was definitely relative.

    “In Liz’s car?”

    “Mrs. Samuels!” he clarified.

    I bowed to antiquities convention.

    “Yeah! Mrs. Samuels.”

    “Yup. Her car. Tiny thing.”

    “Her car?”

    “No. Her. Wasting away of late.”

    “Which way did they go?”

    He raised his arm, a finger got to work, pointed east.

    “Thanks,” I said.

    “They were being followed,” he added.


    “Yup. One of them STD’s.”


    “Whatever. Black. Big.”

    Someone was hunting the Samuels family.

    That could be bad.

    250 WIP

  2. The fuel mixture must have been off or something, because the engines hadn’t sounded right since we took off. The props were still spinning, though, and as long as they kept going ‘round and ‘round, we had a chance to get out of this mess.

    Charlie poked his head into the cockpit. “Hey boss.”

    I was nobody’s boss, but get him to realize that. We’d picked him up at our last stop – he was running from the same people we were – but I already wanted to see if he could fly without a chute.

    “Yeah, Charlie?”

    “I was running some numbers,” at least he was good with them – I couldn’t pass fifth grade math, even on the third try. “Looks like we have two options. There’s the landing strip in Paraguay, but I haven’t heard from them in ages. Don’t even know if they’re still operational. I know we can land at Tres Hermanos in Bolivia, but do you think we’ve got enough fuel to make it to that?”

    “Could be.”

    “Bad news, Ernie,” called the voice of the third member of our motley crew. Who’d bring their ex on a journey like this, other than me? Sure, hon, let’s spend forever together running for our lives when we couldn’t even last through our honeymoon without getting on each other’s nerves.

    Rachel popped her head in the doorway next to Charlie’s, her eyes twinkling. Oh, right. That’s why I could never get rid of her. Those eyes.

    “We got company.”

    250 words

  3. The team perched on a ridge overlooking the river valley. Lines of people, some in carts but most on foot, struggled across the curving bridge spanning the river. Roaring was a good term, Duke decided, since he could hear the noisy water all the way up here. A few trucks chugged up alongside the pedestrians. The vehicles were filled with crates, many with children perched on them. At each end of the bridge, a group of uniformed men In the distance, a column of tanks snaked along the road.

    “That could be bad,” Dalton said.

    “What was your first clue, Sherlock?” Tank shot back without taking his eyes from the binoculars he held.

    “Thoughts?” Duke asked.

    “We can’t bring it down all at once,” Tank said. “We blow the far side span first. The tanks on the bridge are dead meat that way. No retreat.”

    “Can we let some of them get on this side?” Dalton, shading his eyes, counted the tanks rumbling into view.

    Duke glanced at the younger man. “Why?”

    “The more we take out on our terms, the less the Russians will have to work with.”

    A wolfish grin tweaked the corners of Kin’s mouth. “We have grenades. The Ukrainians have had good luck taking out tanks.”

    “Good point. Okay. Let’s get down there and have a conversation.” Duke, staying low, headed down the mountainside.

    They were met by a tall man in his mid-fifties. “You are American.”

    Duke offered his hand. “We’re here to help.”

    250 Hard Target: Crossfire WIP words

  4. “Okay, start at the beginning. Why do I need a new body?”

    “You need a new body because it’s the only way you can touch anything in this castle.”

    Nichelle nodded. “Uh-huh, and why do I need to touch anything?”

    “To fulfill the requirements of the quest.”

    “Can’t Marcario fulfill this quest, collecting whatever it is you need?” She gestured at the man beside her.
    “He can, but it must be a joint venture. Both of your skillsets will be needed.”

    “To complete this quest for you, specifically.”

    “That’s correct.” The dragon nodded.

    “And what are we supposed find for you that you can’t find for yourself?” She tilted her head. “You look very capable. Why in the world would you need us?”

    “I cannot leave my post as a guardian of this hall.” The dragon swept its tail around to encompass the whole space.

    Nichelle turned to scan the large room with columns, tattered pennants, crumbling walls and steps, and the old, dusty dragon’s skull. She turned back to the dragon and raised an eyebrow.

    “You’re guarding this place? From what? Termites and moths? Or maybe dust bunnies.” She shook her head.

    “I’m guarding this place from other creatures that may follow your psychic scent. That could be bad because these beings would destroy your living body while you quest for me.”

    223 ineligible #WIP500 words

  5. Barnaby’s head rose from the grave. His hat was smeared chalky-white from the alum in the soil. He looked like the shade of a mole dressed in a suit it’d recovered from one of their exhumations.

    “I prefer doing this in summer,” he grumbled. “The earth’s softer. You get fewer hours of undisturbed darkness, but the digging’s easier. In the August of ’83, I managed to liberate a dozen folk in one night. And the anatomists paid me a full florin for each one.”

    “But you were still down to your last farthing by the end of the week.”

    “Excavating’s strenuous work. You get powerful thirsty.” Barnaby clambered onto the tarpaulin beside the hole, shook out his trousers’ turnups and then dragged his hands across his face. His eyes reappeared from the grime; his cheeks as grey as many of the corpses they recovered. He had a similar odour of rot about him too.

    Sometimes Rudge wondered whether his companion had been pulled out from a grave himself or if he’d managed to dig himself out after he’d woken up in one.

    He’d heard stories about men like that. Superstitious nonsense. But sometimes, there was an element of truth in the tales.

    He rapped on the lid of the casket. It rang dull, as though filled with concrete. That could be bad if the grave had been flooded and filled with water. A saturated decomposing corpse wasn’t any good to anyone. Even Sweeney, the Pie-maker, turned down carcasses like that.

    250 words – twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com

  6. Today began like any other I went to work and came home; imagine my surprise when I entered my apartment to find a man siting on my sofa like he belonged there… I lived alone. I didn’t see his face.He leaped up took me in his arms and kissed me soundly.
    I looked at him blankly and he said, ”That could be bad. What did I do?”
    “Zeke what are you doing here? We broke up ten years ago.”
    “We almost broke up ten years ago, but then we went to counselling worked hard and got married.”
    What was going on had I somehow slipped into another dimension? I was single. Not dating anyone and had often bemoaned breaking up with Zeke and yet here he was offering me my great fantasy…a life with him. I threw caution to the wind and embraced the new reality. Some other me had lost Zeke but I had him and I was going to make the best of this life and hope to heck it never changed back to the reality of my past.
    Our children a boy and girl, are two and four. I stepped out the door went to work while Zeke took them to daycare. When I came home, they were gone like they had never been. I looked up Zeke on Facebook he died five years ago. I wanted that universe back where I was so happy. I stepped out the door and magically I was back, happy again.
    250 words

  7. My SUV just did a death rattle. Sighing, I get out and pop the hood, groaning when I see the problem.

    “That could be bad.”

    I frown at my boss, Horace. He’s over two hundred years old, so what the hell does he know about cars? He leans on his scythe, skeletal fingers interlacing as he stares into the guts of my car. The bare corn fields let the fierce Iowa wind whip us, sand making my eyes water.

    “Thanks, Captain Obvious,” I roll my eyes. “That’s a serpentine belt. When that goes, the car goes. I’ll be lucky if it didn’t shred anything else. Fuck me.”

    Horace’s skeletal face conveys his amusement. His eyes burn brighter, and his jaw bobs up and down as he laughs. This is going to be an expensive fix, so I’m glad one of us finds it amusing.

    “What do you do now?” he asks.

    I put the hood back down. We’re on a two-lane county road, so no one’s going to wander past. This isn’t a busy road, and it’s still early for farmers to be out in the field.

    “I call a tow truck.” I pull my phone out.

    “Your dad is capable of fixing it, yes?”

    “Yeah. He’s done it before.”

    Seconds later, my car is parked at home and Horace nods to me before disappearing back to his Death realm. Well. That’s cheaper than a tow truck, I guess. Now to see if Dad will fix it. Damn it.

    249 words

  8. The Good, The Bad, and The Manticore

    He watched the woman in the cafe as she sat down, and smiled. The way she dressed meant money, the number of tries, and the fact that she had to get her barista to help her to get online, meant her security would be lax and while she worked on her story -he could work on passwords.

    He took a deep breath as she navigated her browser and smiled as he found her computer.

    By the time she left her review, and an electronic tip, he had her MAC address and her signal. He had her bank acount, and knew he should have gotten out, but he found her online files and he started to read.

    His phone pinged IM from his scout down the street. He looked up. “Duwee, get out of there.”

    “WTF” he typed back as he continued to go through her files. “This chick’s a writer… looks like paranormal shit.

    “Cops, bail.”

    “That could be bad,” he typed back, but the person who answered it was the woman.

    “You’re under arrest.”

    She picked up his phone and typed a message to scout. “I’m Manticore, and we need to talk.”

    200 some words

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