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. Ten in TWO WEEKS! It’s amazing we’ve gone this long. This is Week 508 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 518:
Scottish Word Slinger, Dauntless romance author, and #ThursThreads host, Siobhan Muir.
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And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“He wants something.”
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 518”
Even though he told us
Built like a rugby forward, Billy Baxter was, at heart, a big, girly, sweet-natured blouse. I don’t say that as an insult; if you were to say it to his face, when he was here, Lord rest him, he’d have laughed and nodded along with the assessment. Prior to the wedding, he had been completely oblivious to the caper we had planned for his stag-do, near the chalet we had rented deep in the woods.
A trusting soul, Billy was one of those few men remaining in the world too naive to live in it. Of course, we love to cling to that notion.
But that’s not what killed him.
We gathered around him after strapping him naked to the lamppost, singing and dancing like morris dancers around a maypole. He tried to speak but it was just a loud hum.
“He wants something.” I pulled the gag off his face.
“You can’t leave me here, lads!” he roared. “The doctor said I’ve got hypertension and the cold weather could kill me!”
“Billy, you’re built like an ox!” I shouted back. “You’ll survive here no problem overnight! We’ll see you first thing tomorrow morning.”
The gag was shoved back into his mouth and we departed, whooping and laughing, condensation emanating from between our lips, the night chilly enough that it could’ve snowed.
We weren’t to know. That’s what everyone says. We weren’t to know Billy had high blood pressure, even though he told us.
249 words @ragtaggiggagon
He wants something
“He wants something from me.”
“Of course he ‘wants something.’ They always do.” Sometimes I admired her naiveté, but sometimes it was just annoying. This was one of the latter. “But answer it already.”
She did as I slipped into the bedroom to give her some privacy. And because I generally cringe when I hear her side of the conversation with him. After I scrolled on my own phone for a bit, silence came from the living room, which was the signal for me to go back out.
She was lying across the couch, staring at the phone. I don’t think there was anything on the screen, though. She was just staring into space and her phone’s home screen was as good a place as any.
“You were wrong,” she said, not interrupting her staring. “We were both wrong.”
She let the hand holding the phone drop into her lap and twisted to look at me.
“He doesn’t want anything from me. He says he’s found someone else.”
She turned away again, lifting her hand and phone in front of her face and stared at it again.
I was tempted to say I never liked him—which was true—but resisted. This was a time when her naiveté was painful. To both of us. I reached over the back of the couch and put my arms around her neck. And whispered that I’d always love her. I couldn’t see. But I think she smiled.
244 Words, Joseph P. Garland, @JPGarlandAuthor
Our Travelling Man
Vinnie Slocum is our travelling man. You know, the one in your group who could never settle, who had just the correct number of social graces, his ultimate value being I suppose that he neither overstayed his welcome nor made it too frequent. He knew there were limits, even as we did.
Some in my coterie were a tad more tolerant
In the early days, once we’d determined that this would be his lifetime predisposition, we often talked amongst ourselves on those occasions when we assembled for a celebration of some sort, a birthday say, or to honour someone’s work success, about what the years down the pike would be like.
We even talked about buying him a house.
A condo, actually.
In a distant city.
Eventually, we spread out all over the map.
Liz and I moved to an Island.
A hard to get to Island.
It wasn’t that we were hiding out from Vinnie.
She wasn’t thinking that.
Maybe I was.
So when I came in one day from doing yard work, she said, “Vinnie just called,” and I bounced back with a pretty snarky, “He wants something, right?” and she said…”To come for a visit, naturally.”
I went sort of quiet. Of all of us, she was the most…lenient…Lennie lenient.
“So, what did you say?”
“Well,” she said, “ I said I’d ask you.”
“No, “ she smiled, “I said come on up.”
And I thought, nothing ever changes.
We had an odd thing happen yesterday: it was raining on one side of the house, dry on the other. And the sun was shining. It rained for about 20 minutes–or, half-rained. And not just a drizzle—these were fat drops of liquid.
We watched this freak event from the safety of the screened-in porch—on the rainy side. Don was out by the front of the house and called out through the open door.
“Dry over here,” he yelled.
“Well, we got buckets of rain on our side!”
This shouting dynamic excited the dogs, who were not used to us screaming at each other; they were oblivious to the incongruous weather pattern, so they could not understand why all the loud voices–they only knew it was unusual.
But one of them stood at the door, whining and looking out. The others were content being inside under the protection of the porch.
“He wants something,” I said.
Of course, the one who wanted to go out was the one who hates wet grass. Hates it! So, I opened the screen door, but as soon as he set paw on the damp ground, he looked at me, then turned around and came back in.
After the precipitation ended, I let them all outside to see the newly formed rainbow, but not one of them was interested.
“He wants something.”
“I’m not sure I can give it to him.”
“He’s so…so…” Meg shrugged when no words would come. How could she explain? Kin was intense. Fierce. Terrifying. If she allowed, he’d overwhelm her. Take control of her. Never let her go.
Loch continued shaving small slivers off the piece of wood he held. His control of the combat knife he used fascinated her. When he didn’t speak, she added. “I don’t know what to do.”
They sat in silence for almost an hour before Loch stood. Meg glanced up at him.
He handed her the small figure he’d carved—a wolf in a play bow. He walked away before she could respond.
Five minutes later, he located Kin. “Well, lad, you’ve gone and done it now.”
“You’ve confused the poor girl enough. Ya better nip this in the butt, and soon.”
Kin growled. “I’m thinkin’ ya meant t’say nip it in the bud, for I’m fair certain ya wouldn’t be mentioning Meg’s very lovely ass t’me.”
“I meant what I said, man. Nip her in the butt. Mark her.”
“She has a choice in this.”
“Does she? Really?”
The penetrating look Loch pinned on him made Kin back up a step. He considered before speaking. “The woman always has a choice.”
“Not when the bond is already there. I can all but smell it stretchin’ between the two a’ya. Go claim yer mate.”
Good advice that. Smart man, Kin decided.
260 Hard Target:Crossfire WIP words
“He wants something.”
“Who wants something.”
“Glendon. I don’t like the way he looks at like you’re a piece of candy, he wants to break off a bite of.”
“He must know he doesn’t have a chance.”
“No one looking at you would know you are forty, or realize that you have two grown men as your children.”
“It’s true you are still as beautiful as the day I met you while I look like an old white-haired man.”
“White-haired warrior muscled and chiselled to perfection. How can I discourage, Glendon?”
“Let’s invite him and your sister Celina to our renewal ceremony.”
We had our renewal ceremony and Glendon and Celina fell for each other and married; unfortunately, nothing went as planned. This morning we had to defeat insurgents, now the punishment phase had to take place.
As the treasonous citizens were brought before us a tear slipped from Celina’s eyes and she said, ”I’m sorry Miranda I wanted what you have and didn’t think about the cost.”
Glendon said, ”I’ve always hated you Tristian.”
“I condemn you Glendon to death, Celina to a life of servitude to be decided by the people. “
The people have decided to forgive Celina and so have I. Celina serves the people as nursemaid to any children of the castle. She is their teacher and their nanny. Celina is happy continuing to serve despite her sentence being commuted. Her new husband the footman and her are expecting child. Life is good.
Oceana watched. On the 6th day of Rose’s journey from the lake to the ocean, Sword had left the kingdom. He’d gone to the surface, to the beach, where he remained. He waited there, day after day, for Rose to arrive.
He’d gathered several large pieces of driftwood, and beach grass, and made a lean-to. Carving the wood to size, and shape, then trimming and cutting the grass, was no problem for him. He’d used the gift the wild magic had given him, to carve everything as needed.
Oceana wasn’t worried about him. She knew he would defend himself with his wild magic swords, that they were part of his arms, and he used them naturally. “He will be fine. But he is young and impatient.”
The fairies in the castle asked where he was, why he had left. Ocean explained, “He wants something.” It was true. Sword did want something. He wanted Rose to arrive. He wanted to see her. Spend time with her.
“If ever there were two hearts meant to be together, it is those two.” Oceana knew. Rose and Sword had found each other, and nothing in life would ever keep them apart. She waved her hand, and the image of Sword, pacing nervously on the beach, faded. She closed her eyes, whispered, “Merlin,” and waited, as an image of Merlin, the dragon, formed in the air.
“Ah. Oceana. Want to know how Rose is doing, do you?”
“Please, Merlin. Is she safe?”
The dragon continued to roar. It swooped overhead and circled the light fitting. It threaded the air with an ochre and cinnamon trail, stirring memories of my local bakery and its spiced buns.
It was a mistake my skipping breakfast today, I thought.
“He only does that when he wants something,” Duncan said, ducking when the Japanese Singetail swooped lower, parting his hair and leaving a shower of sparks behind. “He’s usually much better behaved than this.”
I sympathised with him. I’d kept dragons myself as a child. I’d moved on to more exotic beasts before I became a teenager and considered this species an easier starter pet.
“Have you tried giving him anthracite? I suggested, not wanting to get too involved. “They only play up like this when their diet is wrong. It’s a mistake many beginners often make.”
Duncan shook his head, and I knew he wasn’t listening. He’d not invited me here to give him advice.
The dragon had stopped circling for a while now. It had settled on one of the wall sconces beside the hearth. It glowered at us, its yellow eyes flicking first at Duncan and then across at me, recognising me as the adult in the room.
“I could offer you a prestigious placement on one of our residential courses,” I offered, deciding to be tactful. “Of course, you’ll have to leave Fluffy here at home. We’ve a strict no pets rule on the dorms, and I can’t show anyone any favouritism.”
249 words – twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com
“You okay, Viper?” I leaned close as if to kiss her.
“Yeah, I’m good. Just kiss me so it’s done and we can sign the marriage license. Abigail needs to get it on file.”
I wanted to protest. Despite how fast it had to be done, this was supposed to be a joyous occasion. We were going to spend our lives together as partners and it was a good thing.
I felt my brows lower and the corners of my mouth dropped. “What?”
“Come on. Kiss me and we can get back to the way things were.”
“Hold on, now. I don’t wanna go back to the way things were.” I straightened and stared down at her. “This here is a weddin’ and I like it. I want to be married to you, Viper. I wasn’t kidding when I said I’ve been waitin’ months. What the hell?”
“Look, Trigger, I love you and I’m glad we’ll be together, but I promised myself I’d never marry again. I’d never be under someone else’s control – because that’s all marriage is. I’ll never be my own person again.” She shrugged, resigned to her fate, which sparked more anger in my chest. “But this is for my safety and that of the club. Loki wanted me to marry and said I could choose anyone, so I chose you. Because when he wants something, he gets it. So let’s get this over with and sign the damn license.”
243 ineligible #ConcreteAngelsMC words
“He wants something,” Gus grunted.
“Doesn’t he always?” Vape sighed.
“I’m serious, V,” Gus glanced around before softening his tone. “Don’t upset him this time, yeah?”
“You know me.”
Vape winked on her way by the door goon, her stomach twisting in knots. No sweat, she reminded herself. No sweat.
“You’ve been costing me a lot of money, Vanessa,” Mr. Malas rasped, turning in his chair with knobby fingers drumming like a mob movie boss.
Vape shrugged, “I had a string of bad luck.”
“Bad luck?” Mr. Malas’ wispy white eyebrows rose. “The world sees you as a supervillain now! Do you have any idea how much it cost to get PRUDENT off your trail?”
“You and I both know that was a business decision. I’m a good earner.”
“Not with Jian herself breathing down your neck!”
Vape’s stomach twisted again. Don’t throw up, and don’t sweat.
She smirked, “Jian’s in Europe.”
“We have enough trouble with The Nightmare consuming all the territories,” Mr. Malas continued. “We can’t afford to have PRUDENT watching us.”
Vape nodded wanly. A sweet, sharp scent teased her nostrils. This was a don’t talk time.
“I have been having trouble getting Madam Gadirova to a sit-down. I want you to steal her family talisman from her penthouse. As an incentive. And no killing this time, or so help me…”
“Don’t,” Vape smiled harshly, chloroform seeping from her sweat glands. “Threaten me. Remember which of us is the supervillain.”
248 PRUDENT words
Exhausted, I leave the kitchen. As I enter the room, I wish fervently for someone to message my shoulders to relax all my pent-up exhaustion. What I wouldn’t give for a good night’s sleep!
All is quiet as I glance at my watch. Five minutes. Then all hell will break loose again. I am not sure I even care.
Oh, for a good nap! That’s all I need, but I should try to finish dusting and fold the laundry, that mounting skyscraper of fabric. Concentrating, I light brush over the furniture nearest the kitchen.
Across the room, Bruce moves. Then his eyes follow me as if they are laser beams ready to strike. He wants something.
Neck pain radiates up my neck. I hate being stared at.
If I ignore his need for attention, maybe I can at least get this room done. After four months, he should be able to understand I can’t always focus on him.
“Thwee-tt. Thwee.” He almost whistles to get my attention.
My watch indicates have two minutes left, so I move faster, just glossing over the surfaces. Once again, the laundry will need to wait.
I round to face Bruce—“Beep, beep, beep.” My time was up.
The sound of air brakes on a semi-tractor being hit too hard echoes around the room. That screech bursts forth, and then the dreaded squeal erupts.
The bottle is ready.
So is the baby.
If only Jules would return from his business trip early tonight!
#ThursThreads Week 518 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.