#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 514

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 514 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 514:

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

Facebook | Twitter |

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“By the end of the week.”

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!

16 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 514”

  1. April’s grandmother sat on the bed, “Tell me about your nightmare, sweet child.”
    “I was lost in a forest, facing three caves. I heard a friend shout, a gun explode, and a waterfall. To move forward, I had to choose. If I chose wrong, I would die.”
    Her grandmother embraced her. “Dreams of caves are about magical Gateways into another world. Some caves have more than one entrance, but only one leads where you need to go. Do you understand that?”
    April nodded.
    “You are growing up. That means you must make decisions, instead of letting others make them for you. Sometimes the choices are very hard. Any time you make a decision, you have more than one option. The caves are options. If you choose the wrong one, you’ll be unhappy in the long run. Practice choosing carefully, and then right or wrong, you will respect yourself and handle whatever comes next. Do you understand?”
    April nodded and felt her grandmother’s pat.
    “What do you fear most, entering the cave or dying?”
    “Dying in the cave.”
    Her grandmother chuckled, “Okay, then, when you have this Dream, turn and walk away.”
    “Can I? I always feel trapped.”
    “That’s because you didn’t realize you could walk away. You have that choice –in Dreams and life. It will not always be easy to resist what others want of you, but, by the end of the week we have together, your fear of this dream will subside. Okay?”
    April snuggled into comforting arms.

    250 words
    pattydump1@embarqmail.com

  2. Dead Ends

    I felt like I had been left in the dust. My simple gesture of trying to reunite the Samuels family had been kiboshed.

    By Samuels himself.

    Why he bailed out of my car only a few blocks away from his family and then showed up at the very same destination and convinced Liz and Louella to abscond with him befuddled me.

    And made for a very long sentence.

    I doubt the Feds were the ones chasing him.

    I’d had enough.

    I was at a dead end.

    It had to be case closed.

    Time to move on.

    By the end of the week, I had dabbled in a variety of minor obligations including a few new assignments. One involved a trip to Canada. Where exactly was unclear. The west coast, most likely. The Holder family wanted to put some effort and what would likely be a significant financial investment in finding a long-lost draft-dodging relative, Barry Holder.

    They had heard from an old friend of Barry’s that he was living on an Island off the BC coast.

    Covid restrictions had been lifted.

    Travel was now a possibility.

    Whether it was wise was another question.

    Nevertheless, the car was gassed up and I was set for a drive north.

    Frank Luxton had made amends. Solly Vapors was now partners with Frank‘s ex in her Candy Shoppe.

    A sweet deal for Solly.

    I was in business with no one.

    The way I liked it.

    And off on a road trip.

    250 WIP at an end
    @billmelaterplea

  3. The meeting room, with the tall wooden table, and polished stone floor, echoes with deities shouting in thousands of languages. When I walk in, they turn, including the three shrouded members of the Death Council. My throne, made of cherry and walnut and carved in gold symbols of Death, scrapes the floor as I approach.

    “Stop shouting!” I command.

    Suddenly quiet, Gods and Goddesses from every religion stare at me. The most popular of them stands. His robes glow as he leans on the table. God glares at me.

    “The Book is open. But no successor appears.”

    “Two of my Deathers have the Book. They were instructed not to open it, but humans are curious. The Book has been trawling for energy for weeks. Yesterday, it stopped, meaning it has found someone. I intend to hand pick my successor and must act quickly.”

    The anger of a million powerful beings shrouds the room in thick tension. My father had candidates to pick from, even if they were his sons. Though I have no children, I intend to be granted the same option.

    “You have known for centuries how this works! You can’t change the rules to suit your ego!”

    When God slaps the table, the room trembles. I remain in my seat, my head held high.

    “By the end of the week, that book will be here. You will obey the choice it makes. Or I will banish you from the Dark Plane forever.”

    The room is empty seconds later.

    @Aightball
    250 words

  4. Having captured our would-be attackers and turned them over to the king, Nolan and I are dismissed and told to take a break. Apparently, we “deserve it” and should be grateful for the reprieve while Celeste and her future bride finalize their wedding details. As if there’s no chance of being attacked again. I’m frustrated, to say the least.

    But it’s been a few days and things have quieted down. The charms all over the grounds remain intact, and Nolan hasn’t sensed any threats either. Unfortunately for me, now I have entirely too much time to myself and my thoughts.

    So they start to wander. Specifically, they wander to Nolan and how I’ve yet to see his face, despite all the time I’ve spent with him since our sparring match. I’ve seen him nearly naked, and yet that mask never budges. Not even in a fight. By the end of the week, the urge to ask him about it again is near overwhelming.

    “You’re staring.” His voice breaks through the stillness of the library, but he doesn’t look up from his book. “Is my mask really more interesting than your book?”

    “Yes.” I stop pretending to read. “What is it for? You don’t always need the runes, so why do you wear it?”

    “If you must know,” he pauses with a sigh, “it’s to protect others.”

    “From what?”

    “From me.” He meets my eyes head-on, voice soft, his words careful. “I’m cursed. Anyone who sees my face, dies.”

    248 untitled fantasy WIP words
    @katheryn_avila

  5. The Barbary falcon circled overhead. Duke snapped to attention before Golda’s sharp cry faded into the normal forest sounds. He motioned with his hand. The older kids, Meg, and Petro herded the younger ones toward the edge of the clearing. Uri and his dog, Moshe, slipped into the clearing to stand guard in front of the kids.

    Branches snapped then a whistle wafted on the breeze. Yeva, the young Ukrainian soldier, stood. “It is okay,” he said. “That’s one of our signals.”

    No one moved. Three men paused on the far side of the clearing. The one in the center surveyed the rough encampment. Yeva spoke rapidly in his native language and even Petro came to attention.

    Before anyone could attempt to grab her, Galyna popped up and dashed toward the man. Her round face and almond-shaped eyes were alight with joy. The Ukrainian commander seemed as shocked as everyone else when she slammed into his legs and wrapped her arms around him.

    “Vadim!” The little girl shouted his name, her joy boundless.

    “Vadim,” several of the children whispered.

    Meg glanced to Petro for clarification.

    “Vadim Skrypka,” Petro said, his voice reverent. “He is a big star. He sings. He acts.
    And now he commands, like our president.”

    Vadim, still a bit bemused but recognizing her condition, ruffled Galyna’s hair. He dropped to one knee and hugged her. “You will be safe by the end of the week.” He looked at Duke, who nodded.

    “They’ll all be safe,” Duke promised.
    250 Hard Target: Crossfire WIP words
    @SilverJames_

  6. “Trigger, leave a note for Viper, ja? I’ll make sure she gets it.”

    Like hell.

    If I’d learned anything about Loki over the year I’d been with the club, he did his best to fuck relationships up just to see what would happen. There was no way I’d leave our relationship in his hands. Hopefully I’d be back in Colorado by the end of the week, but in the meantime, I’d tell Aeryn where I was going in person.

    But first I had to connect with Attila and make sure he knew he was going with me, like it or not. I remembered how he tried to introduce me to Aeryn at New Year’s and it didn’t go well. I hadn’t spoken to him much since then, and I bet he had a tome’s worth of questions. I gritted my teeth and girded my loins when I found him at the bar.

    “Hey, Attila, can I ask you somethin’?”

    He tilted his head to look over his shoulder, a smirk curling his lips. “Aye, ye can ask, but I’ll no’ promise to answer.”

    I barely refrained from rolling my eyes. “I’m goin’ to Texas to find out how my family is involved with Backlog and the murder of Harley’s biological parents. Loki said to take you with me as a bodyguard. You think you can handle that?”

    The big Scot snorted. “It’s no’ that I can’t handle it, laddie. It’s whether ye can handle me bein’ there with yer kin.”

    250 ineligible #ConcreteAngelsMC words
    @SiobhanMuir

  7. By the end of the week, Rose decided she was tired of always traveling during the day. “I want to see what there is to see when it’s night.” The wolves and rabbits told her the forest was a different place at night. The flowers, rabbits, and all the birds she knew, slept during the night. They hid in the brush, in the trees, in their homes dug under the ground.

    “Night is when the owls, and the cats come out.”

    Rose decided it was time to learn what the forest was like at night. That day, instead of continuing toward the ocean, she had the flowers grow a canopy, to shade her from the sun, and the ground make a bed of her favorite grasses. Then, she took a nap, and told the rabbits to wake her up when the sun had set.

    “I’m going to travel at night now, and see what I can learn.”

    She woke to find one lone rabbit tapping on the side of her head. As soon as the rabbit saw she was awake, it ran away, and hid in the brush.

    The night was filled with sounds of crickets and katydids, and of sudden movement in the brush. Rose stood in her little clearing, and watched the canopy of flowers open, to show her glimpses of stars through the tree limbs.

    “Well,” she said, as she climbed onto her crescent moon shaped boulder, “It’s time to explore the night.”

    246 Words
    @mysoulstears

  8. Holly continued packing. She’d filled two cases and a carry-on bag and was now stuffing her shoes with pairs of stockings. All the hangers in her wardrobe were bare, and the dust bunnies were blinking in the daylight.

    “I thought you said you were staying.” Pearl stood in the doorway, dividing her attention between Holly and her view of the cliff’s edge. “I’d have been gone three months ago when the other house slipped.”

    “I am staying. Least for a while. But I’m not crazy. I figure I’ll be done here by the end of the week. I’m just making sure I make the best use of the time I’m here.”

    “So, what is it that’s keeping you here?” Pearl kicked away the bottle of perfume that had rolled across the floor to stop beside her foot. “I’m guessing it’s more than just stubbornness; although, I’m never sure with you.”

    “Tell me again why I love you,” Holly said. “Anyone would think you had problems with the way I am.” She closed the wardrobe’s door, and then she began pulling drawers out from the chest beside it.

    The house lurched again, and the wardrobe’s door swung open. The window facing the cliff cracked, the glass dropping out, breaking into pieces when it hit the floor.

    “Maybe now’s the best time to tell you about Mom’s legacy.” Holly finished with the drawer, tossing it empty on the bed. “And how she never had any truck with using banks for her stuff.”

    250 words – twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com

  9. It had been eons since Lord Beelzebub felt unsure of what to do next. She had many great ideas for torture and had refined them over millennia. But the reports she’d been getting from Earth were getting more and more confusing, and the things that had always worked just didn’t seem to be…enough?

    She sighed deeply and pushed the button on the intercom. “Send them in.”

    “Yes, My Lord.”

    The demons she’d been waiting for entered her office – some slithering, some on leathery wings, others on a blurry cacophony of feet – but none of them would meet her eyes. Not in the “please don’t tear me in half, Lord” way either. That, she was used to. This was just more uncertainty.

    “Report.”

    The snake-thing raised its head. “We already submitted our report, My Lord.”

    Beelzebub glared.

    “Yes, uh, My Lord. The extra report. So it’s all, uhh, true.”

    “They are destroying their habitable environment, for profit?”

    “Yes.”

    “They are dying by the millions from a wholly preventable illness, for profit?”

    “Well, that one is more for power, but yes.”

    “And this latest one? They are sacrificing their children, over and over?”

    “For profit and power, yes, My Lord.”

    “And that’s why they’re not suffering when they come here?”

    “Yes, My Lord. They are…grateful, I think. At least this makes sense to them.”

    Beelzebub sat back in her chair and sighed. “We have got to do something, soon – by the end of the week, if possible. Home Office is not happy.”

    250 words (with apologies to Messers Pratchett and Gaiman)
    @drmag00

  10. “We are extremely grateful to you for thwarting Thunderbird and Gorgantuan,” Jian explained to the college girls she guided across the campus of the walled PRUDENT facility outside of town. “We would also appreciate you giving serious consideration to joining the Powered Response Unit.”

    The second part was for Jillian. Well, really, all of it was. She glanced at her girlfriend, Jacqui, before shaking her head.

    “Won’t join. Jacqui doesn’t trust.”

    Jacqui coughed and averted her eyes from the greatest superhero in history and the recently superpowered Jillian.

    “I, well, you know, when an organization gets so big…”

    Jian nodded gently, “I understand. We won’t pressure you. Our facilities will, of course, remain available should Miss Gulliver require a place to practice her powers.”

    The trio entered a huge hangar with scaffolding around a stout robot frame almost twice the height of Jillian’s giant form. The undergrads’ initial PRUDENT contacts, agent Brad Bass and engineer Greg Gunnar, were already there.

    “Also, Agent Bass has volunteered to train with you in an unofficial capacity, if you so wish. You may find his instruction relevant to your current circumstances.”

    Brad waved when he heard his name. Jillian and Jacqui exchanged glances, vividly remembering Jacqui’s superior performance in their single free self-defense class.

    Greg placed a proud hand on the foot of the giant robot, “And by the end of the week, we’ll start testing this bad boy. That overgrown ape won’t know what hit him if he dares to attack again.”

    249 PRUDENT words
    @DavidALudwig

  11. “By the end of the week” by Joseph P. Garland, @jpgarlandauthor, 249 words

    “By the end of the week.”

    I looked at Terry.

    “What was that all about?”

    “It’s kind of an…ultimatum.”

    “Who is he?”

    She moved her glass side-to-side. “He’s my boyfriend.”

    This was news to me.

    “it’s from way back,” she added. “I hadn’t seen him in years. I ran into him last month. Things kind of picked up from where we’d left them.”

    “And you’re telling me this now?”

    “I didn’t really tell you at all,” she pointed out. “I had no idea he’d be here and remind me of his question and his…ultimatum.”

    “Yeah. What ‘ultimatum’?”

    “He’s heading back out west. He works in tech in Seattle. He asked me if I’d marry him.”

    This was additional news to me.

    “Like I said. Things picked up where we’d left them and it was natural to slip into our old roles. You know. Boyfriend-girlfriend.”

    “I don’t know.” My head was spinning.

    “What if I want to marry you?”

    “I guess, then, you have till the end of the week to ask.”

    “And if I do?”

    “Only one way to find out.”

    I’d given it thought, of course. But now I guess I faced my own ultimatum. Such an imposing word.

    Sitting at the bar, I didn’t have to think for long.

    “Will you marry me?” I asked.

    She smiled. “Of course, I will.”

    I can’t say how relieved I was. “What are you going to tell him?”

    “Him? Oh, he’s my mechanic. He promised me my car by Friday.”

  12. Homily

    I stand and I watch with tears in my eyes.
    As the world is filled with your screaming, your taunting and your petulant sighs.

    So many words, so much noise.
    So much grief and so little joy.

    People are shouting out of both sides of their faces.
    Failing to grant their neighbors even the simplest of graces.

    Everyone else’s wrong and only you’re right.
    They must Sing only your song, or they will have to fight.

    It’s always someone else’s fault, the other is to blame.
    Your stories got old, your arguments lame.

    Left and right, both think you know me.
    But the truth is much deeper, and you know not where my home be.

    My home is with those who are quietly crying.
    My Home is with those who are grieving the dying.

    My home is not with the politician grandstanding.
    Nor is it with the tweeter’s self-centered demanding.

    My heart rests with those who seek to make peace, with those who sow love.
    It fits in their chests like my hand in a glove.

    Where have I gone; you deign to ask?
    While you attack, bite and rage from behind social media’s mask?

    I have not left you, nor will I now.
    I will continue to comfort, if you let me show you how.

    My hands are not empty, my heart is not meek,
    If you but call, I’ll be there by the end of the week.

    Joel Sandersen
    240 Words (including the title)
    @Whirlwindsof

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