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 519 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 519:
Cat afficionado, Editor, and Mid Week Flash host, Miranda Kate.
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And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“It’s a mistake many beginners often make.”
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 519”
It’s a mistake many beginners often make. Early on, our magic is tied to emotions, so it’s easy to lose control. When we invite that raw power in, it latches onto our mental state, and mine wasn’t in a good place when I started out.
But I’ve been doing this for years. No incidents in over a decade. And yet here I am, surrounded by unstoppable fire with no clue how it happened.
“Deep breaths.” Talking to myself is normally a last resort, but the last thing I need is for Celeste or someone else to find me here, panicking. The fire grows with each inhale, then softens with each exhale. If it wasn’t so terrifying, it’d be almost beautiful. I let the air out of my lungs once more, until finally the only remnants of the fire are some stray embers and the ashes of what used to be target practice dummies.
“What happened here?”
Nolan’s voice catches me off-guard and I jump, turning in place to see him leaning against the entrance to the training chamber. A small flare sprouts between us, but he douses it immediately.
“Working on some new fire spells.” Doing my best to remain calm, I try to sound relaxed. To be relaxed. But that’s become a struggle around him lately.
“Mind if I join?” There’s a smile in his voice, a hint of excitement.
“I’m actually done – but the room is yours.” I push past him, unwilling to let him see my embarrassment.
250 untitled fantasy WIP words
She fitted the rifle to her shoulder, laid her cheek along the stock, and closed one eye peering through the scope. The target—a shirt pulled over a bush—appeared in the scope’s crosshairs. She inhaled, held her breath, exhaled, pulled the trigger.
Nothing happened. Well, snickers broke out from the males standing behind her, but the rifle didn’t do a bloody thing. It was loaded. She’d checked.
“It’s a mistake many beginners often make.” Petrov sounded smug.
Meg turned her head. Eyes narrowed, she glowered at the older man and the teen standing next to him. Maxim had the sense to take a backwards step to put further distance between them.
“I’m not a beginner.” She bit off each word.
Puzzled, her expression morphed from anger to confusion. “I was being safe.”
“No. The safety. You left it on.”
Okay, maybe her noob status was showing a little now. She had no idea a hunting rifle had a safety, which was, in itself, a d’uh moment. She found the small mechanism, clicked it off, and resumed her firing position. Following the same procedure, when she pulled the trigger this time, all sorts of things happened. The rifle bucked. There was a deafening crack. The shirt flapped. And her right cheek and eye hurt like she’d just been kicked by an elephant.
Maxim said something in Ukrainian she couldn’t translate. Petrov answered in English. “Yes, she will need ice for the eye. Good shot, though. You killed my shirt.”
250 Hard Target: Crossfire WIP words
It’s a mistake many beginners often make. And more than a few with experience also step into it.
Bagnall read the letter that Waverly had written about his work, his organization, and, in point of fact, about him. Layered in the dozen paragraphs was a snake pit of innuendo, mixed with an ant’s nest of biting personal attacks.
Maybe they were libelous. They were certainly unpleasant to read. Waverly had never been one to keep his opinions to himself, though from Bagnall’s perspective, Waverly, in face-to-face dealings, stealthily avoided outright slander.
Bagnall had formed a fairly reliable profile of Waverly over the years. Direct action was not in Waverly’s genes. He was more a sniper than a fighter. From the safety of his bunker, he was more than content to lob grenades at his targets.
He eschewed physical confrontation.
Many under attack, new to being assaulted in print, would feel the understandable urge to fire back. Beginners would wrap themselves in the shawl of umbrage and then poke back. “How dare he say that about me,” they would espouse. And once the beginner had reciprocated there would be that glow of self-satisfaction.
Tit had trumped Tat.
So often it would be a short-lived triumph.
Waverly, or his ilk, reveled in the written joust. They lived for a response, a recognition that they had gotten painfully under the skin of their foil.
They had no intention of relaxing their barrage.
They hated silence.
Stillness was death to them.
“Fascism for Dummies”
You know you want to create an authoritarian regime that crushes your opponents and elevates you, and those you favor, above all else, so you rush right in on day one and try to take over everything. And it fails. Don’t worry – it’s a mistake many beginners make.
For your attempt to create a nationalistic or theocratic (or, for the particularly ambitious, both!) government that will allow you to codify your “just following the natural order of things” beliefs into law, backed by a police state with virtually unlimited authority, play the long game.
You will need to get your people into place in offices at all levels first. To do this, work the populist angle. People love hearing that you’re on their side against all those people who are responsible for all the bad things in their lives (because everyone’s life sucks, right?). It’s best if you can couch that blame in language that hides your true motives, at least early on. Talk about threats to the country. The good ol’ days. Lament anything that changed things from the way they used to be.
The lynchpin, however, is the judiciary. If you can get your people in place – it’s particularly fun to use the system to do this by breaking norms but not the so-called rules – you can validate or invalidate any laws or governmental policies you want. That’s when you can really go to town.
Chapter 2: When is it time to set up death camps?
I can hear Dunwoody say it’s a mistake many beginners often make as if I’ve never loved.
But had she? Had Hermione actually loved for real? Her ex had been a controlling misogynist, and a narcissist. She didn’t think it had been possible to love him even if she had. Instead, she’d been in love with the idea of him and their marriage until it became clear it wasn’t what she really wanted. Him or the marriage.
Chester, on the other hand, was kind, funny, generous, ridiculously smart, and yet attentive to her as a lover. Granted, she hadn’t known him long, but he carried none of the energy her ex had.
She propped her beer against her knee and stared blindly out at the darkened yard. Shit, am I afraid of trying anything long-term with Chester?
Technically, she’d have to wait until they solved the domestic terrorists hunting him down, but other than that, nothing stopped either of them from connecting.
Except he tried and you ran like a chickenshit.
Hermione groaned and rubbed her face with her hands. She should take her ass to bed. Or better yet, take her ass to his bed and apologize for being such a wuss. Would Chester accept her apology?
She scowled. Does it matter if he accepts or not? Woman up and get it done, Wilcox!
Sighing at her inner drill sergeant, she unfolded herself from the chair and grabbed her beer bottle before heading inside.
245 ineligible #Sirens words
I sat in a pile, my back against the trunk of a tree that offered a little shade beginning. I was on my second bottle of water, taking in the carnage around me. The blare of the PA system was becoming more annoying with each announcement of some other fool who was finishing.
“And number four hundred and eighty-two sprinting to the finish.” Like that. Fewer and fewer people were near the finish line now, fewer than when I’d crossed.
It’d gone so…wrong. It was chilly when the race began, not much past dawn. We were all in our bright singlets and smiles. Bouncing right to left again and again as we waited for the marathon to begin.
I’d scoped out the course with some teammates. My training went well, and they’d be here and there on the course encouraging me.
It began, and I felt great. Better than I expected. Waving to the crowd as they called my name. I slapped hands with kids who stretched their arms out.
Great. Until it all went south. Mile twenty. People started passing me. Then floods of them.
Mike, my best training partner, came over.
“What happened?” he asked. “You looked great.”
I took a sip of the water. “I went out way too fast.”
He put his hand on my shoulder. “It’s a mistake many beginners often make,” he said. “You won’t make it a second time.”
“I hope,” I said. I finished my water, not yet up to standing.
249 Words, @JPGarlandAuthor.
She adjusted the selector on his detector unit and rescanned the hole. The instrument remained stubbornly silent this time, even though she drew its sensor coils directly across his find. She put it down and then knelt, easing out the gleam of metal he’d called her across to see.
It was a modern twenty pence piece. Nothing more.
“It’s cupronickel, not silver,” she said. “You’d got the wrong mode. But it’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s a mistake many beginners often make. Write it off as a valuable learning experience. A life lesson.”
Gerald shook his head. “It’s easy for you to say that. It’s a matter of prestige. Honour.” He scuffed at the ground with his toe, kicking up a gout of dust. “A man needs to maintain a certain degree of gravitas. Without it…” His voice tapered off.
The two of them looked down into the hole. The soil was more clay than loam at the bottom, its sides banded with changes of colour as it got deeper. There were irregular stones mixed in with the spoil, but otherwise, there was nothing to distinguish this from any of the other pits they’d dug today.
She patted his shoulder and presented him with the coin he’d found. “At least it’s been a profitable day,” she said. “You could buy yourself a drink – if you find another twenty of these. But nothing too strong. You don’t want to take any chances when you’ve a spade in your hands.”
250 words – twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com
Vanessa “Vape” Lane had mixed feelings about the supervillain label. Powered individuals who used their abilities to police the world were called superheroes. Those who opposed them or used their Powers for themselves were called supervillains. It sounded kind of cool but also felt judgy.
Skirting security in syndicate-owned buildings required patience and precise timing. It left time to think. With no complete route to the penthouse undetected, Vape relied on a combination of maintenance crawls, air vents, and elevator shafts.
The old-timers remembered when rooftops were a viable access point if you could get to them. These days, it’s the first thing people think of.
She could use her Power to knock out the guards. But that would be a last resort. It’s a mistake many beginners often make, over-relying on their Power. That got you noticed. That got you on the supervillain list, and if you really overdid it, some clever hero might figure out a counter to your Power.
These days, Vape preferred to go unnoticed.
Interestingly, the front door was the weakest point in Madam Gadirova’s defenses. Once you got into her private elevator lobby, anyway. Vape used her Power to produce enough acid from her palm to disable the lock, carefully matching it to a type any cat burglar might carry with them, and she was in.
Any indications of affluence outside the penthouse were nothing next to the opulence of its entrance.
Vape hated rich people. One day, she’d be one.
247 PRUDENT words
#ThursThreads is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.