#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 522

Welcome back to the home of Paranormal & Dauntless Romance. Wow. Year 10. A whole decade. I’m astounded.

Today is Thursday and that means it’s time to start flashing, like we have for 10 whole years. It’s amazing we’ve gone this long! This is Week 522 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 522:

Writer, adventurer, and perennial student of life, Teresa Eccles.

Facebook | Twitter

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“This is the way the world ends.”

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!

15 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 522”

  1. There was nothing in the meat department. It wasn’t a surprise. There hadn’t been any fresh meat in over three years.

    There was nothing in the dairy department either. No cheese. No milk. No fruit juice. Nothing. Again, it wasn’t a surprise. Those shelves had been empty for at least a year. Honestly, I’d lost count of how long it had been.

    Paper products of any kind? None. No paper towels. No toilet paper. Nothing. Just empty shelves.

    Beer? Soda? Wine? Gone.

    All they had were cans. Peas, corn, apple sauce, spam, and a few other odds and ends. That was it. And it was all limited to one item per customer. They took your name and credit card information down when you paid. You couldn’t come back until the next day. They sent that information to other stores so you couldn’t shop there either.

    “This is the way the world ends, isn’t it? We all starve to death. Slowly.”

    I thought about the prediction of the collapse of civilization a team of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology had made in 1972 that our civilization would collapse in 2040. It said we were using the food, land, water, and other resources of the planet, faster than the planet could replenish them, and we would run out of resources.

    I knew, waiting in the checkout line to pay for my little collection of cans, that we’d done exactly that.

    240 Words
    @mysoulstears

  2. “You sound like Ms. Perkins. She keeps going on about furthering education. There is something more to getting a job besides taking on a lot of student debt.”

    “Mmm…she suggested I go to community college first as it would fit my grades.” Moira made a face before flopping on Scarlet’s bed, feet hanging over the edge. “Just because mommy and daddy aren’t paying for my job like some of those no talents idiots.”

    Scarlet’s lips quirked a bit before shrugging, spinning around in her chair to look at the girl and froze when she saw the shadow sitting there, one hand pressing down on Moira’s head.

    Scarlet’s lips tightened while the being stared at her, white eyes burning.

    “This is the way the world ends.” The menacing voice echoed in her head, fingers sinking into the other girl’s skull.

    Scarlet jumped up from her chair and she took one step before it vanished. Moira sat up, staring at her.
    “Are you okay?”

    A pounding started in the back of her skull. She threw a tight lipped smile at the girl. “Yeah. Are you thirsty?”

    “Eh, got the start of a headache. But I’m always open to snacks.”

    “Yeah, sure. Just hanging out. I’ll get some aspirin for you too.”
    “Thanks, Scarlet. You’re the best.”

    She huffed out a breath in the hallway, going downstairs. She wasn’t the best. She just saw things that would put her in a psych ward for the rest of her life.

    246 #campnano words
    @solimond

  3. The last sound Meg’d heard before oblivion claimed her was a shouted warning. Unconscious. She’d been knocked out. Surrounded by absolute dark, she actually touched her eyes to make sure her lids were open. They were. The sounds of her slightly panicked breathing echoed in the void surrounding her. Cautiously, she stretched out one hand and found…nothing. She reached in the opposite direction and touched a rough-hewn rock wall. Crabbing backwards, she pressed her back against it.

    Her eyes slowly adjusted and the blackness wasn’t quite so oppressive. Faint light seeped in from somewhere. She found her pack a few feet away. Hooking it with a toe, she pulled it to her and scrabbled inside for a flashlight. Switching it on, she almost screamed at the blinding pain in her eyes.

    “Dumb ass.” She closed her eyes and slowly let them readjust to the light. She was in a cave—she remembered entering it with Kin. And then… She swung the beam around. Yes, indeed. There’d been a rock fall, the cave entrance now completely blocked.

    This is the way the world ends? Are you kidding me right now? This is not the way I’m going to die.”

    Something growled and she froze. Slowly swiveling her head, the flashlight beam tracking with her eyes, she looked deeper into the cave. The eyeshine of a large predator glowed just beyond the reach of her light.

    “Okay,” she whispered, voice quavering. ‘Maybe this is the way the world ends. For me anyway.”
    ****
    250 Hard Target: Crossfire WIP words
    @SilverJames_

  4. “This is the way the world ends,” I murmured, staring at the screen with multiple cameras angles.
    “Hmm?” My partner, Henry cocks a brow. “What’s that?”
    “T.S. Elliot. This is the way the world ends: not with a bang but a whimper.” The shuttle sat on the launch pad readied for lift off. We only had a matter of hours to get every person off planet before “the end.”
    “I’m not following,” Henry replied.
    Of course. He was a hologram after all. I was the last human. Humanity had been shot into space to find a new home. Me, I was the captain going down on a sinking ship. “Start the countdown.”
    “Countdown commencing… In three… two… one… Rocket ignition.”
    Over the years different planets had been located and explored. Half of them were inhabitable, but without cryo-sleep, most wouldn’t survive the thirty year expedition.
    “Lift off of ARK 4.” Henry shimmered in front of me before regaining his corporal form. “Seven more to go, sir.”
    “Perfect.”
    “Sir, incoming message from ARK 2.”
    “On screen,” I replied, curious.
    The video crackled to life filled with screams. Fire and debris littered the area. The captain of the ark appeared, bloodied, and battered. “Worm hole…” Then fell.
    The pop of a sonic boom caught my attention. Flashes of light filled the screens as several ark ships crashed into each other, falling to the sullen earth in flaming pieces.
    It appeared that whimper was a bang, and we were all going to die.

    250words
    @tlreeve

  5. Chester laughed. “Wow, you have all your bases covered.”

    “Yeah, well, though we might not be guarding national secrets, but we take our security very seriously. Especially when it comes to our snacks.”

    He blinked. “Snacks?”

    “Oh yeah.” Hermione nodded sagely. “Never get in the way of Dunwoody and her Cheesy Corn Puffs. It’s like a religious experience for her, and if they’re gone, the world might as well pack it in.”

    He couldn’t swallow his grin. “You gotta be kidding me.”

    She folded her hands together and bowed her head with a serene expression. “This is the way.”

    “The world ends because of a dearth of Cheesy Corn Puffs?”

    “Well, maybe not ends, but it definitely gets hard to be around Dunwoody if we’re out. The Quartermaster makes sure we have them on hand all the time.”

    “Good to know. But I have a question. What is one thing you can’t go without? The sillier the better. What’s that one thing?”

    She sat back in her chair and dropped her hands to her lap. It took her a few moments to think of something, but when she did, her eyes widened and her cheeks flushed.

    “It’s really silly.”

    He nodded. “Excellent. What is it?”

    “Organic chocolate gems.”

    He grinned. “Chocolate gems?”

    “Yeah, they’re like M&Ms but without corn syrup in the candy shells. Perfect little balls of happiness and you can eat as many or as few as you like.”

    241 ineligible #Sirens words
    @SiobhanMuir

  6. “Time’th up, you guyth,” the voice lisped into the silence. “Ith there anyone thtill left there now?”

    The yellow, slab-like, terraforming ship hung above the largest of the planet’s three continents, its gravity-wave dislocation beam ripping huge swathes across its crust. Nothing below would remain after he’d finished. Time would end right here for this world.

    #

    “Do you think that went well?” Colin took his finger off the ‘talk’ button on the console, brushing away an errant flake of pastry from the switch. “Only I think I might have jumped the gun on that latht one.”

    “I wouldn’t like to say. I wasn’t awake,” Supervisor Grant murmured, opening his eyes again. He yawned and blinked at the monitor, his jaw falling when one of the larger fragments of the planet’s mantle provoked a splash of x-rays when it dropped into the singularity that had now replaced it in its orbit. “Not that we can undo anything you’ve done if you’ve done it wrong.”

    Colin pondered a moment, reviewing the last hour. He’d positioned the ship in a geosynchronous orbit, aligning it directly over the busiest radio hot spot he’d found.

    “Did you use the ‘Voice of God?’” the supervisor prompted, hitting the toggle and booming ‘This is the way the world ends’ into the void. “Only, I’ll have to issue a failing demerit if you didn’t.”

    “Yeth, of courth I did,” Colin replied, a little too quickly. “But I think I might have gone off script jutht a bit.”

    250 words – twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com

  7. The Flying Flotsam of Fate

    So, this morning, I am thinking, a no small task for me some of my nearest and dearest have suggested, what will happen if that giant Chinese hunk of space junk chooses me to crash into?
    And then I rethink that phraseology.
    Rocket debris. That’s what it is.
    It’s not junk…A Chinese junk is at least two other things and I have really tried to be politically correct these past few years.
    So I settle on debris.
    Debris crushing you seems almost poetic when compared to junk.
    Anyhow, with that awkwardness out of the way, I get back to my worrying.
    I like to fret about things, though my last seriously vexatious unease was the fact that my toaster simply was not getting the job done.
    Pale toast.
    I hate pale toast. You spread a hunk of butter on pale toast and it’s like a moon glowing in a sickly yellow sky.
    In my toaster’s heyday, it produced toast with a rich auburn sheen.
    My toast in those days looked like a limb of arbutus.
    No longer.
    Back to death hurtling from the sky.
    It’s gonna land somewhere.
    In the next few days.
    And someone, many someone’s will buy the biscuit.
    SMACK!!!
    Only a fool wouldn’t give it some pause.
    Think, “This is the way the world ends for me. A human hamburger paddy.”
    I’m nobody’s fool…except my own.
    So, I’m on the lookout for a bunker.
    Anyone got one I can borrow?
    Or rent?

  8. So, this is the way the world ends; not with a whimper, but a big bang? Okay, so more than a whimper, though we had our tears and recriminations a few days ago when the scientist explained how the polar ice caps had melted. The sun had gotten hotter each summer and the winters colder until we weren’t capable of sustaining life in a few years. Now if that wasn’t bad enough when we gotten comfortable about someday soon perishing from hunger and thirst, they laid another bomb on us. The asteroid 666 was going to hit the Earth and destroy all living creatures. The rich had already migrated to Mars and were proceeded to start a settlement there. Meanwhile we’d be incinerated on this planet while the rich enjoyed their lives. They’d terraformed the planet and a few thousand years they’d probably be searching for a new planet before they destroyed Mars.
    My daughter, my husband and I crept into our bed while we watched 2012. The clock ticked loudly for the time was quickly nearing the end. We held hands smiled, said our goodbyes and then it happened. We saw the flash, then felt the quick burning and then we felt no more as the end came not with a whimper but a bang as the Earth imploded in a hundred billion pieces. Our ions were flung into the cosmos; where we floated for eons and life changed began again, newly formed on another planet, far, far away.
    250 words
    @SweetSheil

  9. Jian wasn’t at home. Pigita knew as well as anyone that the hero basically lived at PRUDENT HQ. And the guards knew Pigita well enough to clear the lobby in less than a minute from her kicking in the front doors.

    A rise of her little hairs inspired the supervillain to leap onto the main desk before an electrical current consumed the floor. Pigita vigorously inhaled the thrillingly sharp scent.

    “Tinkerbell! Where you been? And where’s Jian?”

    The black armored hero descended on a floating platform while her drones encircled Pigita.

    “I thought Kinetica could handle you,” the hero’s tone was severe behind her tinted visor. “And I’m The Tinkerer. Not Tinkerbell.”

    “But you’re so tiny!”

    The heartless hail of drone fire failed to interrupt Pigita’s laugh as she unleashed her beast, stopping the small caliber bullets with her skin. She started smashing drones before they could cycle in heavier ordinance.

    Tink pulled back, calling in more drones. Pigita used her opponent’s arsenal as destructible platforms to follow above the electrified lobby. Then the villain knocked the hero through her platform into the shocking surface with a spinning knee drop, shorting out both Tink’s powered armor and the floor.

    Pigita landed, sighed, and shook her head.

    “This is the way the world ends? Your best goes missing, and the rest of y’all can’t make up the difference? Ain’t you supposed to be the one with a file on how to beat everybody in the world?”

    Tink groaned, “I’ll update yours.”

    250 PRUDENT words
    @DavidALudwig

  10. Solar Medicine

    “All systems report clear for launch,” the computer purred.
    “Groves, confirm mission readiness,” I said into my headset. There was no way in hell I was trusting a mission this critical to the eyes of a computer.
    “Clean and green, sir.” Groves answered from her desk in the middle of mission control. “All systems have reported in and are operating optimally.”
    “And the crew?” I asked.
    Groves shook her head ruefully, as she opened the voice channel.
    I could hear my handpicked crew finishing an enthusiastic, if not particularly tuneful version of I Can See Clearly Now, then pausing to catch their breath and launching into We Didn’t Start the Fire.
    “All things considered, sir.” Groves said with a smile, “I think they’re calmer than we are.”
    “Of course, they are…” Miller said, his voice dripping with condescension. “When they fail, they won’t have to live with the consequences.”
    I stared at Miller coldly as I ordered, “Commence Countdown.”
    The computer flashed from 10 to 1.
    “Clean launch, repeat…we have a clean launch.” Groves added.
    Miller looked at me, “So, this is the way the world ends…five pyromaniacs strapped to a rocket full of nuclear bombs trying to restart the sun.”
    “The science is good, and those heroes signed up for a one-way trip to the sun to save us all, which is more than I can say for you.” I growled as the ship rocketed out of view.

    239 Words (not including the title)
    @Whirlwindsof

  11. Chess Match

    Lowell ran his palms down his pants leg, trying to keep his nerves at bay. It had a soothing effect, but it did nothing for his churning stomach. He tried to think, but it was like watching a test pattern on the tv, nothing but static.

    He looked across the field of battle as his opposite number carefully maneuvered his troops across the field, he had to give his men the time they needed to get into place.

    If they did their job— there would be no battle, but if they failed, and he didn’t have his troops properly prepped, they would lose.

    Relying on outsiders was a losing proposition, but he had hoped the promised payoff would keep them loyal to his cause.

    The problem with loyalties that were bought and sold on the open market, was the fact that someone was always willing offer better pay.

    He just never thought his opposition would stoop so low, and that is why he lost. He saw the flash of light and smiled, a moment before the sniper fired, not aimed at the General, across the field, but at him.

    The last thing he saw was the officer as he saluted him, a smile on his face.

    He watched as the deadman’s switch fell from his hands. He hated himself, but if they were going to cheat, he was going to cheat bigger. His last thought was ‘this is the way the world ends,’ as fire rained from above.

    248 words, not including title
    @mishmhem

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