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 516 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 516:
Programmer by day, writer by night, Katheryn J. Avila.
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And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“She can hear us.”
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!
13 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 516”
“Why are you traveling with a human anyway?”
Ambrose looked up from unstringing his bow and eyed the Goblin prince. “Why wouldn’t I?”
Corlith rolled his eyes and shifted uncomfortably, trying to give his groin relief. “Oh, I dunno. Maybe because they’re as common as jewels growing on trees?”
Ambrose snorted. “I admit she was a surprise when I met her, it’s true.”
“How did you meet her?”
“She came to request my return to my unit.” Ambrose shrugged. “We got a little sidetracked.”
“A little?” Corlith shook his head. “There are no centaurs near the Goddess Temple, so I’d say you’re way off track.” He tilted his head. “Are you lost?”
Ambrose barked a laugh. “Not unless you’re leading us astray.”
“Heh. Not likely. I want to get home as soon as possible.” Corlith tapped his chin thoughtfully. “About Roxanne. You’re not hot for her, are you?”
“She can hear you, you know.” Ambrose shot a look over his shoulder, but Roxanne had gone to fill the water skins. Relief shot through him. He didn’t want his odd feelings out in the open.
“Because that would be really weird. I mean, you’re not even the same species.” Corlith squinted and wrinkled his nose. “I can’t imagine the logistics of that, and my imagination is damn good.”
“Stop, Corlith. There’s nothing untoward going on.”
“Are you sure? ‘Cause you’re blushing like someone slapped your horse’s ass.” The Goblin prince grinned. “Have you told her?”
“No, there’s nothing to tell.”
249 ineligible #Sirens words
The clock struck 11:11, the magic moment when the witches’ sacrifice allowed the last humans their minute of blissful noise in a world that had gone silent. Families huddled together around braziers of nearly dead coals, waiting for those sixty seconds they could speak freely without fear.
Cora watched the monsters as her parents whispered to her aunt and uncle of their plans to escape. She had found the raft three days before and made sure it didn’t belong to anyone returning for it before she braved speaking up about it to Father. It was their chance of leaving the mainland and finding their way to someplace without creatures that could track you by any spoken word across any distance to steal your voice.
A newer monster, she thought it was once her friend Selene, pressed its face to the glass as the adults planned. Eyes darting, former-Selene’s fingers pulled at the window as if to open it. “Dad, she can hear us.”
A wave of cold swept through the room, so frigid it stole Cora’s breath. Beneath the wind’s whistle, a whisper danced along her spine and dug icy tendrils up into her brain. “We always could. Silly humans thinking you could escape.”
The clock struck 11:11, and former-Cora watched another family of humans sharing their plans for escape. “Did you hear about the Collins? They must have spoken after the safe time. We leave at dawn.”
She would tell the others.
Whispers of Layla
There was a reason my middle name was Thomas. And believe me, I delighted in pointing it out at every opportunity. I suppose it set me apart but occasionally friends and near friends would advise that they respected my strength of character. “It’s so easy to believe stuff,” they’d say. “We admire your capacity to resist the beliefs of others.”
I did pay a price. Two close friends who claimed to have been abducted by aliens dropped me from their social calendar.
Quite abruptly as I recall.
Haven’t seen them in a while.
I should give them a call.
Except I moved away.
Bought an old house.
The realtor, old fellow named Will Chambers, handled the deal. “Owned by the Cunningham family for eons. Last one living there was Layla Cunningham. Belle of the Ball, as they say. Lots of suitors. Beautiful woman. Fact is house comes with a magnificent portrait of her.”
We entered the stately old mansion and there in the Great Room hung her picture. “Kinda gets you, huh?” Chambers asked.
“Another thing,” he whispered, ”and I don’t put much stock in this nonsense, but folks hereabouts think she’s still…present, that she can hear us talking. That’s why I whisper. No point in taking chances.”
I resisted scoffing but the portrait seemed to have a hold on me.
Why I bought the house, I suppose.
I talk to her now and then.
I hope she’s listening.
She Can Hear Us
I didn’t need to see anything to know it was her. The fragrance she always let off. She probably didn’t even realize it, like some mystical insect that for all I knew would decapitate a mate and suck all the marrow from its corpse. I didn’t care. Knowing the danger, I didn’t care.
“It’s me,” I said quietly, and I heard a rustling. “I know. I’ve been waiting.” I felt her fingertips graze my cheek. They were a bit damp from the evening’s humidity. The garden was partway down a slope that led to the brook. I’d seen her leave the reception and disappear into the rose bushes.
I hoped I wouldn’t be too obvious in my anxiousness but my anxiousness was too obvious to be avoided. After a look around, I’d gone through the patio and down the lawn. I followed where she went in.
Then those fingertips on my cheek. I reached and my right hand found her waist, and pulled her body towards mine, and my “obvious anxiousness.” Her other hand reached, not caressing but holding my face, pulling my lips to hers. My hands moved down to her bottom and I pulled her even closer. We kissed.
Neither of us could temper the sounds of our developing passion.
Suddenly she pushed away.
“Oh no. I think she can hear us.”
I froze. Things got very quiet.
“Maybe it’s nothing,” I said.
“You’d better hope so. She’s your wife.”
“And she’s your sister.”
“She can hear us.” By Joseph P. Garland, @JPGarlandAuthor 246 Words
“She can hear us.” Maxen stared at a faux-sleeping Verity. “We should get her out of here. Preferably before that asshole, Nicholas, finds out what we’ve done.
Running my fingers through my hair, I exhaled. “This is all fucked up.”
Things went sideways—quickly. The job was supposed to be simple. Take the daughter of the Fallen Reapers leader and bring her here. What we hadn’t accounted for was the number of guards on duty, nor their firepower.
“You can say that again,” Royal muttered, placing a cigarette to his lips before lighting it. The brief flare of flame illuminated the tattoo on the back of his hand, along with splattered blood. “What the fuck was Neo thinking?”
“He was thinking…” Neo said, joining us in the basement, his footsteps heavy, loose, and unhurried.
“Verity is now where she belongs.”
I shook my head. “You’ve started a fucking war, and you know it.”
He gave a nonchalant lift of his shoulder. “We’ve been heading in this direction for years. Moving up the timeline won’t change the inevitable outcome.”
“We’re not ready,” Obi added, from the entrance to the space. “You know it and I know it. Don’t be a dick. Drop her off somewhere and walk away.”
Neo shook his head, knelling beside her. “No. I think we’ll keep her. The Fallen Reapers will be destroyed by our hands, and we’ll have our prize all to ourselves.”
“Our prize?” I cocked a brow.
I flinched at Neo’s manic grin. “Verity.”
Rose did not follow the foxes, “Wow, are they shy!”
An owl circled her crescent moon boulder, then silently landed on its highest point. “Hello, wild magic fairy.”
“Hi. I’m Rose.” She waved at the owl.
“I don’t have a name.” The owl looked around, “None of us do. Names are used by humans, fairies, and dragons.”
“Would you like to sit next to me?” Rose patted the boulder next to her. The owl dropped to that spot.
One of the foxes peaked out of the trees. “Look to your left, Rose,” the owl directed. Rose looked, and spotted the fox.
The fox spoke again, “She can hear us.”
“I know,” said the owl. “She can.”
“Is she dangerous?”
The owl studied Rose a moment, then spoke to the fox, “She has the potential to be exceptionally dangerous. But she doesn’t want to be. She doesn’t want to harm us.”
“How do you know?”
“I’ve watched her for hours tonight. She hasn’t harmed anything. All she does is watch.”
Rose nodded, “Please come out and talk with me. I would love to meet you.”
The fox inched into the open. Rose saw he was scared. “What flowers come out at night?” She whispered to the wild magic, “Moonflowers.”
Several small vines grew from the ground, and grew in the direction Rose was heading. Soon, they were full grown, and flowers erupted from them, lighting up the night with dozens of Moonflowers in neat rows. “Aren’t they pretty?”
Felicia gazed up into the clouds, trying to see beyond them, hoping to glimpse a pair of wings. But the sky was full of hiding places. She could spend all day here and see nothing; most people did, but that rarely discouraged them.
“Do you think she can hear us?” she said. “People say she can sense our unspoken words before we’ve even begun to form the shapes of their syllables. And if she’s immediately overhead, she can pluck our thoughts straight from our heads, excising them without us ever knowing they’d been there.”
“People say a lot of things.” Hooten kept his eyes to the ground, hunched into himself. His haste pushed him along, but his anxiety made him walk in odd staccato spurts, wanting to be away but also afraid to leave her alone.
“Are you a sceptic? I don’t mind if you don’t believe.” Felicia smiled like a child at Christmas, knowing she knew a secret few others could share. If anything, it made it better for her, more exclusive. The Lady of the Skies chose who she showed herself to, selecting only the purest and the least spoiled in their hearts.
Hooten scowled and shook his head. He looked back at the car, gauging how far they’d come, probably wondering how quickly they could get back inside. He made her feel self-conscious, introducing an element of doubt into her thoughts.
“I don’t care what you think,” Felicia said, defying him. “I still want to be chosen.”
250 words – twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com
Jian, the greatest superhero in history, was completely invulnerable. Still, Jacqueline Beaufort held her breath, imagining scaling the ninety-six-foot tall rampaging robot to disable its weapons systems herself. Her stomach turned, knowing that her girlfriend, Jill, was about to join the fray.
“Don’t worry about Jillian,” Greg Gunnar reassured Jacqueline, eyes on the fight, then tapped his earpiece. “She can hear us, and we can call her back any time.”
Jacqueline nodded, not entirely comforted. Jian leapt to bury her namesake sword in the robot’s left gauntlet, wrenching it to produce a prodigious spark shower. A right rocket from the robot blew the superhero through a wall and out of sight at the expense of the mech’s own left forearm!
Gunnar shouted over the comms, “Right gauntlet is still online! We need it down, now!”
Jill squared off with the massive mech from the center of the hangar, growing to fifty-five feet tall in her… Superhero costume. She actually looked like she knew what she was doing. Though, Jacqueline didn’t like how the metal monster looked down at her girlfriend.
Jill charged, and the mech countered with another rocket! Jill tripped over her own feet and flopped under the projectile!
“Jian’s sword is in the right gauntlet!” Jacqueline called over the comm, her eyes on the embedded super sword.
Jill rolled to her feet and leapt past the bot’s one-armed defense to slap the sword the rest of the way through.
245 PRUDENT words
The woman sat alone at the table, fingers poised over the keyboard like a pianist ready to embrace the opening chords of a familiar song.
Sometimes her fingers seemed to take on a life of their own, and the old ghosts settled down as she moved in time to the soft sound as the wind rustled through the broken windows.
Our words or hers, we had no idea, but we watched as the last light from the setting sun spilled through the window illuminating her work.
Hot steam from her cup curled to meet the backlit dust and we could see the battles of old unfurl in her mind and land on the page.
Another lost soul sat pen in hand tapping his lip in time to the memory his heart held.
Evening has come and the writers are here, creating their own worlds and fighting wars only they can see.
Loneliness, heartache, depression, and fear finding that the pen is indeed stronger than they ever could be. While their forces are ever-present, there is a legion of words that stand against them.
The writers bring their ghosts to the table as we sit and wait to see what will be.
Alone, she can hear us, and her words bring us back from the edge, keep us from fading into the evening air.
We call to her and she answers – you are not alone. And from her, we learn to fight to be heard above the din of silence.
250 Words (not including title)
“What do you think the odds are of her staying?” Tyler shifted his weight side to side from one foot to the other. Unless he was dead asleep, he rarely ever stopped moving.
“You know, she can hear us talking, right?” Marco shook his head. “She’s got a shifter’s senses, just like us, and she’s under the same roof.”
“Then let her hear us. We don’t got anything to hide. She’s meant to stay, though. Why doesn’t she feel that, too?”
“She does.” Marco glanced in the direction of the guest room that Janie was in. “I think she’s just trying to ignore her instincts, though. She’s warring with herself, and from what I know about her already if we push too hard, she’s going to run.”
They shared an oversized bedroom, separated into two living halves with a connected lounging area and balcony. Some might find it strange that they shared a room but not a bed. After being together their entire lives, they’d gotten used to the sound of each other’s heartbeats at night. When they found the right mate, the union would be complete.
Tyler’s nostrils flared, and he turned toward the bedroom door. “Her scent permeates the house. I’m not going to do anything, but it doesn’t mean I don’t want to.”
Soft footsteps padded down the hallway to their room. Janie stood on the other side. “Are you going to keep talking like too horny teenagers, or are you going to do something about it?”
Zoe paused, wondering if it was even possible.
The twins were loudly arguing about who was quieter.
Kensie was on the verge of tears – the only thing she was more scared of than graveyards was getting in trouble – and Mike had wandered off looking for ghosts, most likely.
“Zoe,” a voice crackled in her ear. “you’re at least 75 meters off mark.”
“You try wrangling this bunch, GT. It’s like herding cats using a corgi with ADD.” Zoe answered.
“Listen up,” Zoe growled. If we don’t pull this off, they’re gonna take grandpa from us…from the school…from Grandma Maddie…from Grandma Mani…and they’re gonna bury him in the Capitol instead of with Grandma Sam and Grandpa Thomas.”
“So get it together all of you, ‘cause we’re trespassing on Lady Morrigan’s grounds and if she can hear us…”
A wry laughter and the telltale click of a lighter echoed from the shadows, “of course she can hear you, I’ve heard jazz funerals quieter than you six.”
“Don’t laugh GT, you’re broadcasting on five different channels, including the main channel in the Marshall’s office.” Vicky added.
“If you plan on pulling this off, you’ll need…”
Vicky stopped when she heard the tapping of a familiar cane on the cobblestone walk.
“They’ll need you to find a place for their grandfather’s urn, Victoria.” Amanda said smiling.
“What? how?” Then it all set in, “Lettie…” Vicky said appreciatively.
Zoe smiled, “Sometimes the assistant isn’t just a pretty face.”
245 Words (including title)
#ThursThreads Week 516 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to see you next week.