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 521 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 532:
College professor, equality enthusiast, and romance author, Louisa Bacio.
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And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“I would tell you if I could.”
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 532”
I’ve taken a case every so often without having a full deck of cards to play with. Simple fact is, there are people who don’t want to share even the basics.
Glory Winters was one.
“You want me to do a full study of your sister, but you won’t tell me why, Ms. Winters?” I asked. Glory was maybe in her late thirties, prim looking, though you’ll have to figure out what I mean by prim. I have no idea.
Still, she oozed ‘prim.’
“I would tell you if I could,” she peeped. “ Honestly, I don’t like spending money if I don’t have to. But she is acting strange these days.”
“Strange? What kind of strange?”
“Dear me, this is so hard.”
“It’s a simple question, Glory…may I call you Glory, Ms. Winters?”
“If you must.”
“Fine. Glory, strange how?”
I see her calculate her response. She presents as a human cash register. I can almost hear the click, the pinging of her thoughts.
“Jory’s my twin. I’m the elder, of course. The more grounded. Jory ran off decades ago, lived a … a disorderly life. Even thousands of miles away, I knew what her life was like. The horrors. The drugs. I lived it all…second-hand. Five years ago, she returned, met Frank Talbot, had two children, settled down. Life’s been normal since. At least …until three weeks ago…Now, I can’t…sense…know her thought.”
Twins, I thought.
One life in two bodies.
I should have said no, but I didn’t.
“I’ve never understood why people enjoy getting scared silly.”
Beau looked at her as if she’d sprouted a second head. His gaze was so intense she fought the urge to reach up to check.
“Ah, cher. What’cha don’t know can hurt chu.”
“I don’t believe so. Seriously, think about it. Monsters aren’t real.” At his narrow-eyed expression she hastened to explain. “Horror novel and movie monsters don’t exist. Human monsters? Well, yes. It seems like there’s one on every corner. My point is, why do people think it’s fun to get scared by stuff like haunted houses.”
“We live in N’Awlins, cher. How can y’not believe?”
Resisting the urge to roll her eyes because that was something only teen girls did and she was long past that stage in her life, she said, “In ghosts and things that go bump in the night? Of course I don’t. They aren’t real.”
He studied her a long moment. “So you truly don’t believe in monsters?”
“Not the kind you mean. All figments of the imagination.”
“I wish that was true. As it happens, things that go bump in the night often have teeth and claws.” He would know, being one of the fanged and furry.
She sputtered out a laugh. “Like rougarou? No such thing. Men don’t turn into wolves.” She realized he was serious. “Wait. You don’t really believe in that stuff. Do you?”
He turned away. “I would tell you if I could,” he muttered. “But you aren’t ready.”
249 Moonstruck Wolf: Cajun Cops words
I loved the empty mansion next door, sprawling and surrounded by a fence, nothing like the century old farm house that I lived in. I wanted the elegance the grandeur to be mine. Then one day a moving van came, imagine my surprise when Madeline moved in invited me to tea. Madeline spoke of her son who at eighteen was only two years older than me. Everyday after school I came for tea and etiquette lessons, a joy for someone whose parents were poor drunks. Instead, I was Princess Gwendolyn living the life I had been denied. Her son Andrew, soon joined us in the dark parlour where we had our tea, but even the darkness did not hide his charm, or handsomeness.
When I turned eighteen, they had a birthday dinner for me in the parlour.
“Andrew has a surprise for you I would tell you if I could. But I don’t want to ruin the surprise.”
Dropping to one knee, Andrew begged me to marry him. I said yes. His mother brought us a celebratory drink. When I looked over at Andrew, my eyes must have deceived me, for he was in fog, a wispy film forming into a see- through person. I blinked begging the image to disappear, but it didn’t.
“Oh, good, the drugged wine has let you truly seen my son,” Madeline said,” Now you can join him as his bride.”
I was angry at first; but every Hallowe’en we live on haunting the neighbourhood.
My cousin sat across the table from me, “Sometimes, you’re so smart you’re an idiot, and can’t see the obvious.”
“You really don’t believe what I have said.” I backed away from the table.
“There is nothing wrong with you! Nothing! You’ve just bought into all the lies about defective brain chemistry that the Deep State wants you to believe!”
I stood up. “There is no point in explaining to you. No point. I would tell you if I could. But you would not listen.”
She stood up too, and glared at me, “You’ve become one of them!”
I took a breath, held it, counted to ten, slowly let it out. “Because you can’t see what is there. What is there is invisible to human eyes. Our eyes can’t see it. So, for you it doesn’t exist.”
She started ranting about how depression was a made up, fictional illness, designed to suck money out of all of us by making us spend endless amounts on medication and treatment that didn’t work.
I didn’t listen. I knew too well what she had to say. What she believed.
She wasn’t me. She didn’t look in the mirror and see the hollowness, the emptiness, that I saw every time I looked. She didn’t know the feeling of walking by the street, and knowing freedom from that emptiness was two steps to the side. One hit and it would be over.
She was totally blind to what she could not see with her eyes.
“It’s a foul day,” I said, testing his mood. “Too inclement to go out and woo. I’d hoped to be dallying with a lady this afternoon, but if this weather continues, I doubt she’ll show.” I offered Simpkins a drink from my flask, waiting for him to comment. He knew everything that happened in the village but rarely spoke out of turn. He worked for the family at the manor, organising hunts and managing the lord’s birds.
He took a sip and passed it back, replacing its stopper. “People have been talking,” he said. “Rumblings in the firmament.”
We studied the clouds together, he and I. The sky was dark like a bruise, and the fields had merged with the lake. There was little chance that the weather would change.
I tried again. The whiskey was loosening my lips. I respected this man: he had an integrity few people had these days.
“Does the lord know?” I asked. “It would be useful if I knew.”
Simpkins took the flask back again. He uncorked it and took a long pull of the liquor. He lowered his voice and looked around, checking the door.
“I would tell you if I could,” he said. “The Governor’s closed his mind as of late. He doesn’t talk like he used to: he spends more time in the city too.” He tapped his nose and stared out into the rain, his eyes shielded by his cap.
“Yes,” I said, nodding. “We’d both noticed that as well.”
250 words – twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com
“Did you get your mission!?”
My sibling swung eagerly into my fifth-floor room through the window. We weren’t supposed to infiltrate our own stronghold, but the elders mostly overlooked it. It was good practice, after all.
I nodded. Then I resumed cinching my dark armor over the black robes indicating my new rank.
“Well?” My peer prodded, their robes as green as mine had been.
I ran my hands solemnly over the circles on my bracers where my emblems would go if I advanced further in rank. I sighed.
My sibling crossed their arms, “I would tell you.”
“If I could, I would,” I responded.
That just excited Li further. Their eyes shone, and they practically vibrated as I checked my weapons and concealed them on my person. We were trained to deal death with as little as our smallest finger, but it never hurt to pack a dozen or so alternatives.
“It’s a big one?”
The weight of my arms and armor was steadying. The weight of what I couldn’t tell Li was stifling. The elders tried to compartmentalize information, even among themselves. Nothing was deadlier than knowledge.
Would my last act in the stronghold be one of defiance?
“I won’t be coming back. Even if I succeed.”
It was more than I should have said. But at least we got to sit with it together for the rest of our last night.
234 Cat’s The Pajamas words
The rain had stopped but it was clear from looking out the window down to the street that it had done nothing to break the heat. If anything, the humidity had ratcheted up.
“Do you want to go for a walk?” she asked from behind me.
She was standing some feet away. I turned.
“I think we should. I need the air.”
“Even this thick stuff?”
“There’s something strangely affirming, cleansing about it,” I said as I stepped to get a windbreaker and cap from a hook by the door. When she was ready, we went down the two flights of steps and down the stoop to the sidewalk. We turned left and were soon in the park. I inhaled the petrichor for a moment as we crossed in, her arm through mine.
“I would tell you if I could,” I said.
She pulled herself closer. “I know you would. And when you’re ready to, I’ll be ready to hear whatever it is you have to say.”
I pulled my arm away and hers popped from me. For a moment I think I’d startled her but hurried to wrap it around her waist.
“I know,” I said. “I know.”
201 Words, @JPGarlandAuthor
Zeke stretched as his feet hit the tarmac outside the private landing strip. He’d been expecting one of his friends, instead, Karl stood waiting for him.
“Hey cuz,” Karl greeted him as he picked up his duffle and gestured toward an SUV on the other side of the fence.
“You draw the short straw?” Zeke asked, knowing full well that Karl never ‘drew’ anything he hadn’t dealt himself.
“You know how it is. How was your trip?”
“I would tell you if I could trust you, but we both know I can’t do that.”
“I am completely trustworthy,” Karl objected, feigning indignation.
“As long as I trust you to keep your best interests in mind.”
Karl nodded and sighed. “Unfortunately, your brother, pointed out that protecting you was in my best interest.”
Zeke chuckled at that. “In that case, let’s get something to eat.”
“Don’t push it.”
“In that case I know a little bistro down on Bourbon Street.”
“See, all we need is a little bit of common ground to get along.”
“A litle common ground, and a lot of bourbon.”
“Pretty much defines our relationship.”
“At least there’s bourbon.”
193 words not including title
Roxanne pretended not to listen to the men talking.
Well, not really men. One’s a centaur, and one’s a horned goblin. But they’re both definitely male.
Corlith’s words came back to her on repeat. You’re not hot for her are you? ‘Cause you’re blushing like someone slapped your horse’s ass.
She’d tried to go fill the water skins before she heard more, but her feet had stopped just out of sight and their voices still carried to her.
It all came back to the kiss they’d shared in the Goddess’s temple. She’d kissed a centaur and she liked it. And Corlith wasn’t wrong. They weren’t even the same species. The logistics of anything more than kissing were beyond her powers of imagination, too.
But still, the idea that Ambrose might have feelings for her…
Yeah, you’re being an idiot, Bailey.
She normally couldn’t care less what men wanted from her. She hadn’t found anyone who lit her fire and she’d been around a lot of men. But there was something about Ambrose that made her heart flutter and her cheeks heat like a teenage girl with her first crush.
“Are you all right, Roxanne?”
She blinked to find Ambrose peering at her with raised eyebrows.
“I, uh, I would tell you if I could, but I’m not sure.” She shook her head. “We need water, right?”
“Yup, water. Do you need some help?”
He pointed at the water skins. “You going to fill those or just hold them?”
250 ineligible #Sirens words
#ThursThreads is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.