#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 529

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 529 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 529:

Slightly past-it Canuck and word chucker, Bill Engleson.

Facebook | Twitter

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“I can’t let you fall alone.”

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 529”

  1. “What are you doing?” Crystal screamed.

    Anton finished climbing over the side of the granite parapet, crouching next to her on the narrow stone ledge just beyond. “I could ask the same of you, love. What possessed you to climb out here?”

    She glanced at the dizzying vista of forest-covered mountains and wanted to puke. All she’d meant to do was step onto the balcony and check the weather. When her favorite brooch had popped off her bodice, tinking as it landed on the ledge, it seemed—okay, not reasonable, maybe, but doable to climb over the parapet, grab it, and climb back to safety.

    Except her foot had slipped on some moss. Just a tiny slip, and she’d recovered, but after that her panicking hindbrain became irrationally convinced that if she moved again she’d slip and plunge to the rocks at the base of the castle.

    “My brooch fell off,” she mumbled.

    God, that sounded stupid even to her.

    But Anton smiled. “We’ll get you another one. Come on.” He eased her back over the parapet, then vaulted it with his usual grace. “No harm, no foul.”

    Knees wobbling, she threw herself into his arms. “Thank you,” she moaned into his chest. “And I’m sorry. And don’t ever do that again!”

    “At the risk of repeating myself, I could say the same to you,” he said, tilting her chin up for a kiss. “After all, you’re my grand duchess. I can’t let you fall alone.”

    250 words. ©2022 Nicola M. Cameron

  2. The Penitents
    Sandra felt agoraphobic dread entering the vast church. Walking up the aisle, she focused on reducing her rising panic through deep breaths, staring ahead at the pair of arched stained glass windows beyond the altar. These symbols meant the World, she thought to herself as she took in the black lettering in Ancient Greek on the colorful backgrounds of each window. It was the now and forever, it was the Word made flesh, it was the beginning, the middle, and the end: The Alpha and the Omega. Life’s struggles seemed to pale by compare with the enormity of Creation.
    “I can’t let you fall alone.” The voice came from behind, and even the whispered words produced a jarring, echoic effect throughout the cathedral.
    She turned her head. The hood of Brother Thomas’s cowl hid most of his face.
    “Excuse me?” she asked, looking him up and down.
    “We will take this complication to the bishop together.” He shifted his weight from foot to foot nervously. “We both committed carnal sin.”
    “I would never shame you, you understand. I do not blame you for my impetuosity.”
    He nodded.
    “You are a good soul, Sandra.” He removed his hood to reveal his face and tonsure, his visage handsome in the candlelight. “But I’d rather I share any penance with you.”
    The bishop emerged from the sacristy to stand at the altar. He raised his hand, beckoning them forward. They faced him, Sister Sandra rubbing the swollen belly beneath her vestments.

    250 words @ragtaggiggagon

  3. The hallway ceiling collapsed; the demons from above gnawing their way through in impatience. They emerged from the dust, showering us with their venom, splinters of wood and other shrapnel, blocking our way out.

    Antoine pumped another round into the breach and lifted his gun.

    “I can buy you some time,” he said, decapitating the first through the door. “But I can’t hold them back for long. You’ll have to take your chances with the nest in the kitchen. You might be able to blast through if you use the grenades.”

    He shrugged the bandolier from his shoulder, the casings of the explosives ripe tubers, pregnant with death. We hadn’t tried them on the demons yet; maybe we could wipe them all out if we used enough.

    “Go. Get out of here.” Antoine fired another round, a gut shot separating another demon from its limbs. The ichor splattered back at us, acidic enough to warp the Kevlar bracers on my arms. I felt the heat as it began to eat through and shed yet another piece of my armour. I would be naked if this continued: they seemed inexhaustible, both in their numbers and vigour.

    “I can’t let you fall alone. We should stay as a group.” I hesitated, firing my revolver at another, punching its way through the wall.

    Antoine shook my hand away and charged at the group at the door, the grenade he’d been saving making my argument moot.

    Time to do or die. Or maybe both.

    250 words ~ twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com

  4. It was Thursday night, Friday morning actually, when my phone rang. It was on the sidetable next to my bed and I was deep asleep when its insistence woke me. I knew who it was and why she was calling and tried to recover some consciousness as I reached for it.

    I didn’t bother turning a light on as I swept the phone to answer. We’d done this so often by that point that I knew to answer it with “I’m here for you.”

    “That’s what I needed to hear. I’m going to try to get some sleep now,” she said, as she chortled and fought to speak, her voice echoing against the tiles of the bathroom that was her refuge on the nights—or early mornings—when he’d done it to her again.

    “I love you,” I told her.

    “I know.”

    “Sweetie,” I said yet again, “I can’t let you fall alone. I won’t. If it’s an abyss with no bottom, I’ll be with you.”

    “I’m not quite over the side yet, love,” she said. “I’m still on the edge but if—not when—I do fall, I know you’ll be with me.”

    I said nothing.

    “Goodnight, my love,” she said finally. I had just enough time to say I loved her before my phone went dead and I knew she’d be trying to get to her bed for some sleep. Me? I knew I couldn’t go back. So I made coffee and wrote.

    I Can’t Let You Fall Alone by Joseph P. Garland @JPGarlandAuthor. 245 words (inspired by my novel “I Am Alex Locus”)

  5. When we were growing up, we’d always wanted to be astronauts, exploring the planets and their moons. That’s how we wound up walking on Miranda, working on a detailed mineral inventory for one of SpaceX’s mining companies.

    “It’s a pretty view, isn’t it?” Donna paused and looked over the edge of the Verona Rupes.

    “Yep. 20 kilometers. It’s a long way down.”

    She laughed. “I want a better view.” I watched as she walked right along the edge of the cliff.

    “Not a great idea, you know. There could be loose rock.”

    “I’ll be careful.” She continued walking along the edge.

    Until she found the loose rock, which gave way under her foot, and I watched as she pitched forward, over the edge of the cliff.

    “Well, damn…” That’s all I could say. If she’d fallen on any Earth, or Mars, I’d have waved bye to her, and called for a team to come fetch her remains. But this was Miranda.

    I walked off the cliff after her.

    “Damn-it, woman! You know damn well I can’t let you fall alone! It’s a long damn walk back!”

    I wondered how long it would take to reach the bottom. I’d never fallen in such weak gravity before.

    All Donna could say was, “Oops. Sorry. Good thing the suits recycle the air.”

    “Maybe we can try to catch something on the cliff, and stop our falls?”

    Donna laughed. “Where’s the fun in that?”

    240 Words

    And no, I don’t know if anyone would survive a 20 kilometer fall on Miranda. But it was fun to write.

  6. “Good morning, Master Rory.” Nobutake sat beside her with a groan. “I’m getting too old for this traveling around and sleeping on the ground thing.”

    She chuckled. “Yeah, me too. Not my favorite way to see the world.”

    “No. I admit I prefer my quiet and structured life at the Ivory School.” He let his gaze rest on her face a moment. “What are you thinking of with such unease?”

    She chuckled again but there wasn’t any humor in it. “That seems like an odd question given why we’re out here. I’m worried about Brandon, I’m still mourning for the loss I had at home, and I’m worried about keeping these kids alive.”

    He dipped his chin. “Condolences on your loss. I wasn’t aware you experienced a death in your family.”

    She nodded. “Thanks. Yes, that’s why I wasn’t at the school when the kidnappers came.”

    “A fortunate thing, I think, all things considered.”

    She shrugged. “Yeah, maybe. At least I was able to come after you all. How is your leg and arm?”

    He grimaced. “Not as good as I’d like, but much better than the first night. Thank you for the salve.”

    “Hey, I don’t want you sick and I can’t let you fall.”

    “Alone, I might have, but you’ve made sure I have the tools to heal, and I’m grateful.” He took one of the dry travel cakes and wrinkled his nose. “Though, these might make me question if we’re really living.”

    245 ineligible #IvoryRoad words

  7. Petro pushed his chair back from the table, the legs scraping the floor. Raising his glass, he saluted each of the men on the Hard Target team. “To your good health. To the stars for guiding us to safety.” Lines appeared around his eyes as his expression sobered. His voice grave and echoing with sadness, he added one last toast. “To absent friends.”

    The men from Hard Target all stood, their glasses raised as they echoed that last sentiment. “To absent friends.”

    As they all settled in their seats again, Corey placed her hand on Duke’s forearm. “It’s okay, love. They’re gone, but they aren’t forgotten.” Her voice carried a trace of guilt. Duke, Tank, and Dalton had been the only members of SEAL Team Atlantis to survive her rescue.

    Meg watched Kin closely. The shadows in his eyes were cause for concern. She knew so little about this man who had claimed her heart. She leaned closer until their shoulders brushed and she whispered in his ear. “Who?” she asked. “Who did you lose?” Part of her was terrified it was a former lover or worse. A wife.

    “I can’t let you fall alone.” The words came back to haunt him. He’d let his brother down. He’d let him fall. Alone. Warm lips touched the skin of his face. He blinked. Focused. All eyes watched him. He shifted, put his arm across Meg’s shoulders. “A brother,” he said. “Who fell into darkness.”

    “I’ll never let you fall,” Meg promised.
    250 Hard Target: Crossfire WIP words

  8. “I’m taking all the blame here.”
    “I can’t let you fall alone.”
    “They’d never believe that you killed him by accident, while defending me. “
    “But that would make me a coward.”
    “Alive or dead, which would you rather be? I am bruised and my clothes are ripped They’ll believe me. I had to kill him to survive. You just arrived found me broken on the floor and him dead on the floor. Call for an ambulance and the police.”
    The ambulance arrived, it was showtime I went limp , looking catatonic. They took me to the hospital where I under went exams that were invasive. Finally a cop came in In was no act, I struggled in his presence to speak until a female cop came in.
    I told them what happened leaving out Henrik’s arrival and he’s subsequence killing of my assailant. It took three days and I thought they would drop the case as justifiable homicide; but it turns out the male cop was the victim’s cousin. So, I sit here( after my trial by a judge that was the great-uncle of the victim); tomorrow I face death. I hear my cell door creak open and Henrik leads me to safety in a guard’s uniform. He’s saved me again. We move away and I live my life in the shadows but I live, free with my love Henrick. But always there is fear that they will seize me again and the rope that waits for me.
    250 words

  9. Karasu balanced on the scaffolding over the dig while his pseudodragon, Puck, balanced on his shoulders. Mukuro would be getting off work soon. They had already seen each other this week, but Karasu felt like surprising her with another visit.

    Mukuro emerged and began her rituals of purification and grounding. Karasu felt Puck’s urgency to greet their friend, but warlock and familiar both managed to wait for the geomancer to finish. Then the pseudodragon spread his wings to glide heavily toward Mukuro with a happy chirp.

    “Puck-chan! Karasu-kun! How long have you two been there?”

    The dark-haired purple skinned geomancer cradled the red pseudodragon to her chest. Karasu grinned and transitioned to a one-handed handstand over the pit.

    “Oh, about an hour.”

    Mukuro climbed out of the dig to Karasu’s level and beckoned him.

    “Come on, get off of there.”

    “Or you could join me,” Karasu swung up onto one foot and leaned back to show off his balance.

    Before Mukuro could insist, the earth shook, and light and heat blasted from the pit. Karasu slipped! Mukuro’s hand latched around his forearm. She pulled him back onto the scaffolding and into her embrace.

    “Mu-chan, that was risky.”

    “I couldn’t let you fall alone.”

    She looked away bashfully but didn’t let go. Her heart raced. His matched hers. Unlike Karasu, Mukuro didn’t have a pseudodragon to let her know what he was feeling.

    “And I can’t let you fall alone either.”

    Karasu let his kiss convey his emotions.

    247 Cat’s The Pajamas words

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