#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 524

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 524 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 524:

Horror writer, lazy impresario, cereal enjoyer, Daniel Swensen.

Facebook | Twitter |

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“How am I doing so far?”

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!

12 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 524”

  1. Istvan nodded. “Truly. I’d rather be down here with the Necros and the flesh raiders. They tend to leave me alone once I kill a few of them off.”

    “They come here?” Niklas gaped.

    “Yeah. About every couple of months until winter gets going, then it’s weekly. They’re looking for shelter and food and shit they can trade, which doesn’t include my books, so they hope to use them for fire fuel.”

    “Where did you get all the books?”

    “I scrounged them from the various buildings in the ground cities I passed through and revisited. Once I found an entire library that still had most of its fiction section.” Istvan smirked. “Previous residents had burned most of the reference and textbook sections. Guess they had an issue with learning.” He shook his head. “Fools. Would’ve been nice to have that information now.” He shrugged as he pointed at the book in Niklas’s hands. “That was one of the most recent history books that talked about New Terra. It was truly a marvel of engineering and ingenuity. They had solar cells to help recharge the batteries so if you see it some nights with lights on, that’s why.”

    Istvan pressed a hand to Niklas’s forehead. “It feels like the fever’s broken. All we need to do now is get your strength up.”

    “How am I doing?”

    “So far, I think you’re on the mend. We’ll start solid foods tomorrow. Right now, you need nutrients, water, and rest.”

    247 ineligible #WIP500 words
    @SiobhanMuir

  2. “Are you trying to seduce me?”

    “Maybe.”

    “Why?”

    Kin stared at Meg, unblinking. Some weird light flashed in the depths of his eyes and she was reminded of the wolves she’d worked with at the sanctuary. It was unnerving to catch eyeshine in the dark.

    “Are ya daft, lass? Why wouldn’t a man want t’seduce you?”

    She snorted. Like a horse. And then laughed, startling herself with the sound. “Look at me.” Something flashed in his eyes again and she went all melty inside.

    “Oh, I am, lass. I am.”

    Face heating, she hoped he couldn’t see the color rising in her cheeks. The cold night air made her skin tingle. At least, that’s what she told herself. “I haven’t seen a mirror in weeks. I haven’t bathed in almost that long. I’m wearing the same clothes I had on when you guys rescued us. And we’re tramping through the wild of Ukraine. I am not going to be featured on the cover of ‘Vogue’.”

    Little lines appeared around his eyes as they crinkled when he grinned. Charming. The man was utterly charming and under normal circumstances, she would have been oh-so-very tempted.

    “You underestimate yourself, Megan Muir.”

    “I’m not my mother.” Who was beautiful. Just ask anyone in Hollywood. No, she was made of sterner stuff, like her very Scottish father.

    “And thank goodness for that, lass.” He winked. “So, tell me, how am I doing so far?”

    “Huh?”

    “My seduction. Are ya temped?”

    Well, d’uh. Who wouldn’t be?
    ****
    250 Hard Target: Crossfire WIP words
    @SilverJames_

  3. I met her on Tuesday she was demure sweet, and she was talking to me. She asked for the former dean and I laughed and corrected her with the new one. She blushed and said she was Emma.
    “Did you want Electo-chem or Biophysical-Chem instead ?” I asked.
    Emma looked at me like I had two heads.
    When we got to my classroom door; she shook her head, went down the hall heading towards the older part of the building.
    “You’re always trying to help me,” she said when I saw her today the fourth week, I’d seen her.
    “That’s because I want you to like me. How am I doing so far?” I asked smiling.
    “Why don’t you walk with me?” She implored.
    I followed her down the unfamiliar hallway until we came to some stairs that went downward and disappeared. I entered the first room I saw and, in the corner, covered in dust was a skeleton.
    The custodian appeared and he said, “You’ve seen her?”
    “Seen who?”
    “Emma Gregory. She died in a car accident her first year here. Her parents willed her body to the university; but the professor, he sent her skeleton to the basement. Emma’s ghost wants the dean to intervene and move her skeleton back.”
    I got the custodian t to help me move the skeleton back to the chem class. We don’t see Emma’s ghost anymore, but sometimes out of the corner of my eye I see her smiling.
    247 words @SweetSheil

  4. The guitar vibrated when Siro picked it up, thrumming in time to his heartbeat. He dropped it then picked it up again with care. This time he was prepared for the pulsing vibration the guitar emitted at his touch.

    Leaning over the instrument, Siro reverently began strumming its strings. Powerful magic welled within him, manifesting as a swirling fog.

    Awestruck, he asked, “How am I doing?”

    “So far, so good,” the teacher replied. “Don’t think about the music, just let it come. Focus on the chair.”

    The teacher pointed and Siro focused on the chair as he played, music turned to magic turned to music. Siro lost himself in it and didn’t know where one ended and the other began. When the chair burst into flames, he dropped the guitar.

    “No. Pick it up. Keep playing to complete the spell. Otherwise, it will spin out of control, and all hell will break loose.”

    Siro picked the guitar off the floor and began playing again. He watched the chair burn, yet nothing near it caught on fire. When the chair disappeared into a pile of ash, he stopped playing.

    “You’re almost ready.”

    “I don’t feel ready.”

    “No one ever does.”

    199 words
    @TeresaMEccles

  5. The Comic

    Stage presence. That’s the key I’ve been told. You can have the best material in the business but if you implode on stage, if you’re a flat tire on a lonely highway with no cell service, no spare, no can of inflatable air, you might as well wander off in the desert and marry a cactus.

    I’d been warming up for weeks, coming into THE LAUGH RIOT before sunrise, trying out all the new material I could muster.

    Solo.

    To an empty house.

    I needed a test audience.

    You’d be surprised how many people are out in the streets before the sun comes up.

    I know.

    Mostly homeless.

    I figured I’d hire a few each morning and that way they would be indoors, get a bit of entertainment, offer some constructive feedback, and bobs your funny old uncle—Robert, who hit the road back in the sixties.

    Yeah, that Bob.

    My audience of three sat in the darkness but I could tell they were suspicious. “Twenty bucks each just to sit here and maybe laugh?” one, Louie, asked.

    “Yup, I said.

    “You’re nuts, buddy…but, fire away.”

    So, with Louie’s permission, I told my first joke.

    “An old comic went on a trip. He picked himself up pretty fast though. No bones broken.”

    I waited for something.

    A snicker.

    A guffaw.

    Breathing, even.

    Then I asked into the darkness, “Guys, how am I doing so far?”

    Nothing.

    Then I heard the back door slam.

    “Guys?”

    But they were gone.

    250 words
    @billmelaterplea

  6. The door eased itself shut behind her and the noise of the theatre faded. There were three brick archways to either side of the hallway and a second door at the furthermost end. None were familiar, not even the one she’d entered through.

    Exactly what she’d been told to expect.

    “You do realise you’ve made a mistake,” the minister said, the man appearing in the period between two blinks. “Letting go of the door’s handle, I mean. You’ll have to choose either forward or one of the other six ways now.”

    The door behind her was faced with metal and studded with stout bolts. There was no handle on this side: it looked like the wall had been built around it.

    “Of course, you could select one at random,” the cleric continued. “A one in seven chance, that’d be. And who knows what you’d find at the other end of the passage you chose?” He gave her a dark wink devoid of humour, the eye behind his eyelid totally black. His collar was a mottled grey instead of the usual white, its sharply starched edge gouging into his neck. The skin it had pared away was a sickly pink, a colour more akin to a bruise than the delicious flesh of a fish.

    “The name’s Lindley Polk, by the way,” the man said, genuflecting clumsily, then grabbing at her shoulder to haul himself upright. “I’ve been assigned to you as your guide – how am I doing so far?

    249 words – twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com

  7. Jerry shifted uncomfortably in his seat, wiping a bead of sweat from his forehead as he looked at the time bomb just sitting in front of him. He heard a clock ticking and realized he didn’t have much time until it went off. He took a swig from his bottle of water and fanned himself a couple of times. He knew he had to do something – but what could he do? How could he save himself from this insurmountable situation? Jerry sighed and dusted his clothes off as he stared in front of him, trying to think of any way out of this situation. But he still only had a minute left. He dryly chuckled and thought to himself “Man… I’m just glad Mom isn’t here to see her son get torn to pieces.” After a couple more seconds of silence, Jerry leaned forward on his stool, held up the microphone and said to the audience, “So how am I doing so far? Are you guys enjoying yourselves tonight?!” He was met with silence, followed by a man yelling “Tell us a joke already!”

    Word Count: 184
    Twitter: @EchoTheCall

  8. Kinetica faced the burning factory from the opposite rooftop. The few workers who hadn’t made it out were all in the same section. Unfortunately, the machines there would explode soon, and the only access had collapsed. Except for one high window.

    The height didn’t bother the novice hero. She’d never been afraid of heights. But aiming her jump would be tricky.

    Jumping forty feet down to the pavement, Kinetica felt the energy enter her legs before rocketing her toward the factory window. She covered her face with her arms to smash through and drop to the factory floor.

    “A superhero?”

    “We’re saved!”

    Kinetica’s stomach lurched as she stored the energy from her fall. Holding energy always made her sick, but she would probably need it. Facing the huddled workers with her back straight and chin raised, she hoped they didn’t notice her dizziness. Instilling confidence was an important part of heroing.

    “Is this everyone?” When the workers nodded, Kinetica continued. “Is there one of these walls that’s safe to knock out?”

    As the workers pointed out a non-loadbearing section, another explosion shook the foundations. Kinetica caught an incoming flywheel before it hit anyone. Once she had its energy, she dropped it and charged through the wall.

    “Did you get everyone out?” Tink’s voice buzzed in Kinetica’s earpiece.

    The novice looked over her shoulder, dry heaving on hands and knees, even after releasing the impact from the wall.

    “Yep. How am I doing?”

    “So far, so good. Nice work, rookie.”

    249 PRUDENT words
    @DavidALudwig

  9. I sat down across from myself. Was I ever really that young?

    The youth of his (my) face was betrayed by his eyes, sparkling in the light, but wary, apprehensive, darting away from direct contact.

    “You know who I am, right?” He nodded, but only slightly, as if he was waiting for me to tell him how he was wrong.

    “It’s alright. This isn’t exactly an everyday kind of thing.” He didn’t respond. I wanted to hug him, and I knew he’d let me, but touching messed up the device that allowed me to be here.

    “Anyway, you must have questions.” He just shrugged.
    I pointed at my hairless scalp. “1998.”

    My wedding ring. “2004, although yours might be different.”

    I sighed. There was so much I wanted to say. The ‘How am I doing so far’ question wasn’t just in his head.

    “Okay, look. Two things.” I held his eyes. “Fuck ‘em. And run.”

    He blushed at the first word. How innocent I was. “Fuck ‘em, you hear me? Everyone who tells you you’re not good enough. They’re wrong. Just wrong.

    “It won’t be much longer until you can get out of here. When you do, run. Don’t look back. And when they tell you you’re wrong, that you’re a bad kid, that you’re abandoning your family, what do you say?”

    He didn’t speak, but I saw the wheels turning, trying to see a different path forward.

    C’mon, kid. You’re smart enough to get this.

    “Fuck ‘em?”

    “Fuck ‘em.”

    250 words
    @drmag00

  10. Spelling it out

    Kitt wiped down the bar, gathering his thoughts – he knew he had to say something and soon. He was tired of their back and forth and the way Derrick was treating Carrie was appalling.

    She wasn’t a mind reader; she hadn’t grown up in a pack – she was a stubborn headstrong woman— and she was exactly what Derrick needed.

    Too bad, all those two seemed to do was lament that their women wouldn’t acknowledge them as their true mate, and how much easier things would be if they just followed their instincts.

    Carrie liked Derrick well enough, but the oaf seemed to think it was her stubbornness that was ruining everything.

    And so, he found himself giving a derisive snort at just the wrong time in the supposedly private conversation.

    “You got something to add, little man?” Derrick asked puffing up his chest.

    “Right now it sounds like what you really want is a pet, not an equal. Not a woman who’s going to bring out the best in you by challenging you.”

    “The safety of the pack depends on the alpha being accepted as the leader.”

    “The safety of the pack depends on the alpha being worthy of an alpha female of Carrie’s calibre.”

    “Yeah? So?”

    “So, you can’t brute force your way into her heart, you have to woo her.”

    Derrick scowled.

    “How am I doing?”

    “So far I only want to wipe the bar down with your hide.”

    To be honest, it was better than I expected.

    250 Words (not including title)
    @mishmhem

  11. #ThursThreads is now CLOSED…way late. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch y’all in two weeks. No #ThursThreads next week due to emotional maintenance.

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