#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 517

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 517 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 517:

Book enthusiast, lover of coffee, and Fantasy and Suspense author, Tina Glasneck.

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“We always could.”

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!

11 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 517”

  1. Chew on This

    “He isn’t like he used to be,” Frieda said, looking at Max. Our amiable pooch was sprawled on the floor, blocking the front door, refusing to get up.

    Max had a look, squinting out of one open eye, looking up at us as if he had an agenda.

    “I dunno, darling. He’s always been a smart animal. One step ahead of me, anyways. He wants something.”

    “He hasn’t been eating, at least the way he always was, before…”

    “You’re not bringing that up again. Holy moly, we checked with the Vet. She said, sure, but look out for behavioral changes…” I answered being the more wedded of the two of us to a shift in diet for Max.

    “Well,” Frieda says back, “ what do you think this occupying the doorway behavior, chopped liver?”

    I could see Max’s ears perk up at the mention of organ meat.

    “I hate to admit I was wrong. Maybe we could try those Quinoa Doggie Breakfast Balls I picked up…see if he’ll nibble on them?”

    “You try them,” she said, a little more directly than I am accustomed to hearing her speak. She went to the cupboard and plucked one out of the package. At the sight of Frieda clutching one of the veggie food pellets, Max let out a low growl.

    “Point taken, darling. I suppose we always could just run out and pick up some chopped liver.

    Whadayasay, Max?”

    In seconds, Max was on his feet…ready to go shopping.

    250 words
    @billmelaterplea

  2. It looked like you’d expect a room at the O’Hare Hilton to look. Light cream-colored walls. Tasteful prints. Nice furniture. King-sized bed. You could watch take-offs and landings though the drapes were closed.

    It was a good thing I’d set my alarm. It left me time to catch my eight o’clock to Seoul; I’d fallen asleep. I took the room for the time between my flight from Boston and the one to Korea for the obvious reason. Who was beside me.

    She was going the other way. From Hong Kong and connecting to D.C. I hadn’t seen her in I knew not how long when I got a call at my office from someone the receptionist said would only claim to be an “old friend.”

    I’d thought of her now and then. Apparently so had she with me. It was only the chanciest of things that she’d mentioned her tentative flight itinerary. I made some changes to mine so we’d pass almost like literal ships in the night.

    She was jet lagged. It took a couple of shoves to awaken her. When she was up, she headed to the bathroom for a quick shower. Still a great ass. I waited till she was done. She came out, dressed and ready to go home.

    I looked at her, a towel around my waist.

    “We always could…”

    She smiled and gave me a peck on the cheek. And with a “but we won’t” she was again out of my life.

    Joseph P. Garland, @jpgarlandauthor, 248 words

  3. As a leaden sky dropped snowflakes of winter white, Meg leaned back against the man she’d tried so hard to resist. This was not the time. This was not the place. And this should not be the man. She’d grown up in her mother’s shadow. Alana North might be a fabulous actress but her taste in men ran to extremes. Six marriages, the first to Meg’s father, the very stiff-upper-lip British army officer. While Major General David Muir was stand-offish and cold, he was also a man who could be depended on. In her teens, she’d figured out that the poor man was baffled by a little who wavered from pink tutus and Hello Kitty to climbing trees and wanting a polo pony.

    Her five step-fathers included a drugged-out rocker, a movie mogul with mistresses, a tortured-soul of a struggling actor, a Hollywood real estate czar, and the pool guy. She rolled mental eyes at the cliche and wondered how her own life had devolved into the same.

    Frasier Kincaid. Enigma. Hot. Cold. Intense. Laid back. Man. Except he wasn’t. Not exactly. That’s what he’d said. “I’m not exactly human.” And she’d seen his wolf.

    “What?” Kin’s question whispered across her ear.

    “The change. How does it work?”

    “It just does. My kind, we always could shift.” Which was a lie. Sometimes, having the gene wasn’t enough and a Wolf couldn’t shift. Sometimes they died trying. He’d been a lucky one. A survivor. Until now. Without Meg, he wouldn’t survive.
    ****
    250 Hard Target: Crossfire WIP words
    @SilverJames_

  4. My mother’s house was packed with paper. There wasn’t a spot in it that wasn’t littered with either an opened envelope or a torn napkin, the total mass easily equivalent to an acre of trees. I often wondered how quickly they’d all catch alight. I always stuck a box of matches in my back pocket when I called around, feeling their heat, happy knowing they were there.

    “You ought to have a clear-out,” I said to her last week; while I was looking for a place to perch. “It’s beginning to get a bit silly.” I moved a stack of faded National Geographics from the chair near her bed and balanced it on the pile of New Scientists teetering beside it. There was an opened box of Costco till receipts jammed against that, none of them in any kind of order, with a carton of alkaline batteries weighting those down, the cardboard at its base green with acid.

    “A clear out,” my mother said. “We always could do that. But what if the IRS came by? Where would we be then? And what would Gilbert say if he were here now? I think he’d be ashamed of how lax we’d got, don’t you?” She turned over, wrapped her sheets around her and began to snore, content as she was, taking comfort from the clutter around her.

    My father would remain at rest while it was here.

    Or so she thought.

    I slid open my box and released a flame.

    249 words – twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com

  5. “That’s the craziest plan I have ever heard, Lily.”

    “Well, I admit it’s not perfect.”

    “Not perfect?” Elle pointed a finger at her twin sister. “Convincing the Royal executioner to stick a dagger in his own heart? It will get me killed.”

    “Gerard will make sure that doesn’t happen,” Lily said.

    Elle wasn’t so confident. Their brother, Gerard, wasn’t fully trained in magic and more than a few of his attempts using magic had failed.

    “You actually want me to impersonate you?” Elle asked Lily. “To convince everyone that I’m the queen?”

    Lily smiled. “Yes! We are identical twins after all. And we always could fool Uncle Albert.”

    Elle sighed. She didn’t like it, but they had no choice if they were going to save their kingdom. Albert was an ambitious regent who would not surrender rule easily.

    “And what will you be doing while I’m being you?” Elle asked.

    “Leading the Rebellion, of course.”

    “You mean that rag tag army of undisciplined apprentice mages? That rebellion?”

    Lily raised her arms in surrender. “I know. I know. But they’re all we’ve got. Hopefully, our cause will bring us more volunteers.”

    “Shhhh.” Elle put a finger to her lips. “The guards.” Outside the private chambers, guards could be heard changing shift. They were loyal to Duke Albert.

    Lily kissed her sister and whispered some words of encouragement before uttering a vanishing spell and disappearing.

    “Well,” Elle said aloud to herself. “I believe I have a date with the executioner.”

    Catherine Verdier
    @CatherineVrdr
    250 Words

  6. ‘You can hover?’ I stared at Caleb who was floating about five inches above the floor, just above the laser grid.
    ‘My people can overcome gravity.’ He nodded, half shrugging as if it was nothing.
    ‘Since when?’
    ‘We always could, but it is not something we like to advertise. You mortals are a bit touchy about the healing thing as it is.’
    I stared at him incredulously. ‘The whole blood thing doesn’t help either.’
    ‘Can we get on with this please?’ The third member of our crew appeared beside me, without having made a sound. I bit back any sharp response; our benefactor had insisted on coming on the job to ensure we adhered to his instructions but until we got into the vault and retrieved his stolen property, he was useless. Without the source of his power, he was just a grumpy man who knew where to hit to make it hurt the most but he could use no magic and he was as vulnerable as I was. Once we got in the vault and reunited him with his source, our exit should be easy. He could just transport us out of there.

    Of course, him being the Devil himself meant perhaps we should have made sure we had a Plan B ready as well.

    216 words
    @Lexikonical

  7. “Dad, his wife was killed by the shady thugs he’d been in debt to. That doesn’t seem like a trust-worthy guy.”

    Paul Sr. scowled. “Those were just rumors.”

    I damn near spit out my steak. “Rumors? Dad, Aeryn Stratton died because of him. Dead is dead, there ain’t no rumor about it.”

    Paul Sr. looked away, letting his gaze roam over the parking lot as if he didn’t want to acknowledge the truth of my words. And they were true. Aeryn Stratton had died. Viper had been born in her place.

    “Rumor had it she was a suicidal drug addict so it was no great loss.” My dad’s gaze returned me as my whole body stilled. “I know you had an attachment to that girl, but I’d say you dodged a bullet breaking up with her when you did. She was too weak for you.”

    Fury flared deep in my chest and my fists clenched around the knife and fork. No great loss? Aeryn too weak for me? You self-righteous, arrogant sonuvaprick! She was everything.

    I took several deep breaths to calm the hell down, but his words played on repeat in my head and I couldn’t find my usual equanimity.

    “Dad, there’s a lot of things we agree on. We always could find common ground on most issues, but in this you’re flat-out wrong about Aeryn Stratton. If you think I’m gonna sign off on you trustin’ Laurie Stratton for anything dealing with the company, you got another think comin’.”

    250 ineligible #ConcreteAngelsMC words
    @SiobhanMuir

  8. “You did very well. Once again, we are in your debt.”

    Jillian winced as Jian secured the bandage around her hand. The soothing cool poultice instantly cut the burn of her injury. For someone who’d never had so much as a bruise, Jian was very good at first aid. It still hurt, though.

    “My fault. Plugged robot in,” Jillian apologized.

    Greg glanced back from the foot of the technological titan they had just battled.

    “No, this one’s on us,” the engineer grimaced. “Me. This one’s on me. You bypassed one safety protocol. The others should still have been enough to keep Mechaman from going berserk.”

    Greg’s partner, Brad, grinned broadly as he descended the grapple line from the cockpit—where he had shut the robot down while Jillian and Jian had kept it occupied.

    “But everyone’s okay, right? And we got to experience Mechaman’s capabilities firsthand!”

    “We will learn from this,” Jian assured Jillian. Or, perhaps, instructed Greg.

    “I don’t think I can handle you being a superhero,” Jillian’s girlfriend, Jacqui, pressed her forehead against Jillian’s back. “I can’t stand you getting hurt like this.”

    Jillian squeezed Jacqui’s hand on her shoulder with a gentle smile.

    “It’s not bad.”

    Jacqui still blamed herself for the accident where Jillian got her powers, so Jillian fought her mental fog harder to avoid losing words when talking to Jacqui. Greg cupped his chin thoughtfully.

    “We always could apply Doctor Murray’s principles for your size-changing costume to something a little more protective.”

    248 PRUDENT words
    @DavidALudwig

  9. Jake stood up from his desk and walked to the balcony, trying to remember the last time, it had been this quiet. With five people, one cat, five enthusiastic gremlins, and one cranky purple pickle, the compound was seldom this quiet anymore.

    Although if he strained, he could still hear Peter racing around his terrarium. The maeunpikeuli was still adjusting to life as a free cryptid. Well, free was a bit of a stretch, since the terrarium, while the length of the first-floor wall, was still sealed, locked and warded. One did not take chances with angers embodiments of vengeance.

    But Peter was starting to realize that he had free reign of his space, he was fed well, and no one had asked him to kill anyone in over a month.

    Jake heard the door open and saw Angel coming in, her arms full of Woodman’s shopping bags.

    Jake jumped down to the first floor, and took the bags, setting them on the counter. He started the unpacking, “So you settled on stir fry for lunch, then?”

    “Dinner actually. I remember I saw pizza in the fridge this morning,” she said. “Figured we always could have….”

    “No,” Jake shouted as she opened the fridge door. “That’s Cheese,” as a creature leapt out of the fridge and raced around the kitchen. “It’s not a pizza.”

    “God damn it, Jake…” Angel said calmly. “How many times do I have to teel you.”

    “Creatures go in the lab, or… the beer fridge.”

    249 words
    Joel Sandersen
    @Whirlwindsof

  10. The Test

    Dee and Cee entered the chamber, noting the others presented as representatives of their species. The Arbitrator was there to evaluate them and judge their place in the Yarian Empire.

    She tensed, knowing that some of them were here willingly, and others had been rounded up so the Yarians could test their level of evolution according to their standards.

    Dee hated being tested, but it was the only way to verify compatibility, especially when based on arbitrary values set by an alien’s ideals of what the proper course of evolution was.

    She listened as the Arbitrator lectured them on the test, and how they had to arrest the incoming force and redirect it towards the target.

    She listened as he repeated it after each failure as if it would change the outcome. But one by one, the test subjects failed.

    Brawny children from high gravity worlds failed, beings from Argoth who were smarter than she could ever hope to be had been all but crushed by the weight.

    It was down to her and Cee, and before they could say a word The Arbitrator directed the pendulum at Cee.

    He vanished a moment before the force struck him, only to return through the door above and Dee smiled.

    “When did you learn to walk through walls?” The Arbitrator asked, flabbergasted.

    Dee looked at him sideways and shook her head, almost feeling sorry for the man.

    “We always could,” she answered.

    “This test was for you,” Cee added. “And you…”

    “Failed.”

    250 words not including the title
    @mishmhem

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