#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 533

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 533 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 533:

The cover artist, romance author, and authentic Canadian, Kris Norris.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“They aren’t real.”

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!

16 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 533”

  1. The Walk in the Park Case

    My client, May Latimore, was pushing seventy. She looked healthy but, as she explained, ”you never know when…poof…and you’re toast.”

    I’d smiled hoping she would return my grin.

    It hadn’t worked. What did work was the five hundred clams retainer that was now in the bank. And I had an old picture of her son, Victor, who was likely somewhere in one of our city’s numerous finer homeless encampments. May had been spurred on to seek Walter out after watching a news report where he, she thought, had been in the background of one camera scan.

    “It’s a long shot,” I reminded her.

    “Take it,” she’d said.

    And so here I was, visiting the sidewalks and the parks of our city looking for a thirty-nine-year fellow who had not been seen by his mother in the flesh for over five years. One day, he’d simply left her house where he had lived his entire life.

    “Never married?” I’d asked.

    “No. He was my boy…”

    With my focus on the streets, I looked for someone living rough who might have a moment to spare. I approached a fellow sitting on a curb next to a community park. He was dressed in clean sweats. “Hey, man,” I said from a distance, “I’m looking for this fellow…” and flashed Vic’s photo.

    He looked up, indicated across the street at a row of cars, and said, “They aren’t real.”

    I could see his point.

    I trudged on.

    250 words
    @billmelaterplea

  2. “You can’t actually believe this shit?”

    Erin glanced sideway at her older brother as she straightened the board and placed the planchette in the middle. “You’re going to back out now?” She tisked through her teeth. “Coward.”

    Bernie threw up his hands. “They aren’t real!”

    Erin cleared her throat. “Shut up and put your fingers on this thing. We’re gonna talk to ghosts.”

    Bernie shook his head, but reluctantly complied. “This is stupid.”

    Erin put enough pressure on the planchette to guide it in three counterclockwise circles, as the Ouija directions suggested. She stopped and waited, brow narrowing. This was going to be perfect: the board, candles, incense, and Marty’s plan to jump out and scare the crap out of Bernie! “Oh, dear sprits. Do you hear me?”

    Bernie chuckled. She shot him a dirty look, but his smirk remained.

    “Are there any spirits who would speak with us?”

    Somewhere outside, a wind chime rang, but the room was still. The planchette however, was not.

    “You’re moving it,” Bernie said.

    Lying. “I’m not.”

    The planchette traversed the board, moving in jittery slips to the upper left, where the magnified lens hovered above yes.

    “Um…” Bernie began. “Who is it?”

    The candle flickered and Marty jumped out from behind the kitchen door in his werewolf mask.

    Bernie was white as a sheet. “You assholes!”

    Erin gripped her sides in laughter until Marty took off his mask, obviously stunned. “What?” she asked.

    Marty’s jaw fell open as he pointed. “It’s still moving.”

    250 words @AngoraShade

  3. “They aren’t real.”

    The chief of staff looked up from over the huge map that dominated the center of the room. The map had models of tanks and planes spread on both sides of the Channel. Over recent months, the numbers grew on both sides, but mostly in Britain. How they were doing this so quickly?

    German Intelligence established that Patton was up across from Calais with his army. They even had photos of the tanks that were clustered near the coast. Fields and fields of jeeps and trucks, halftracks and ambulances. They’d intercepted plenty of radio transmissions, the mundane communications of a large, restless army in the springtime.

    Calais. That’s where they’d be landing. Those other assemblies of troops and tanks across from Normandy were a feint. The Wehrmacht would not be fooled.

    Now this idiot of a captain had come to him with this crazy notion. The chief of staff had half a mind to have him taken out back and shot. Dummkopf!

    Not real? Real as the nose on the face. Calais. That’s where they’d be coming and that’s where we’d be ready for them.

    188 words: @JPGarlandAuthor

  4. “They aren’t real.”

    Luc couldn’t help himself. He was a Wolf and an unmated one at that. His gaze darted to the curved neckline of her blouse. “Damn sure look real to me,” he muttered quietly. By the time she glanced back at him, he’d fixed on her face once more.

    She twirled, the gypsy skirt she wore flaring to reveal her shapely legs. Her eyes danced with mischief as she grabbed his hand and tugged him along in her wake. “But they might be.”

    How did he get in these predicaments? This was more Beau’s catnip than his yet when Sunny called insisting they meet at St. Louis #3, he’d come. Cemeteries weren’t his thing. At least she wasn’t dragging him to Marie Laveau’s tomb at St. Louis #1.

    “Cher, I’m kinda confused. What’re we talkin’ about?”

    “Ghosts, of course.” There was an implied “silly” tacked on the end.

    “Darlin’, it’s almost noon. No self-respectin’ ghost is gonna be hangin’ out in broad daylight.”

    She danced a few steps, twirling under their clasped hands. “Who says? Show me the rule that ghosts only come out at midnight.”

    “I’m sure there’s one somewhere. All those ghost huntin’ shows are filmed at night.”
    “That’s to make it spooky. Besides, they end up scaring themselves more than they find ghosts. And why do ghosts have to be scary? I mean, really. There are far scarier things out there in the Universe.”

    She had a point, since he was one of the scariest.
    ****
    250 still-in-Halloween-mood Cajun Wolf WIP words
    @SilverJames_

  5. Brandon stood up then pulled her close to wrap his arms around her. She was so surprised, she closed her arms around his waist as an automatic reaction. He sighed and warmth flooded through her.

    “Thank you. I needed this.”

    She was so stunned she couldn’t even smile as he released her and headed over to help saddle the horses. She stood there a few moments, trying to understand what happened. Was Brandon admitting he missed her? Was he saying he’d forgiven her for disappearing all those months before?

    They aren’t real unless he says them outright. Don’t jump to conclusions.

    But she could hope.

    Shaking herself into the present, she tacked up Aristotle and checked everyone had their things before they moved out.

    “Are you all right, Iliana?” Aristotle’s voice intruded on her thoughts.

    “Mm-hm, yup. I’m good.” She didn’t want to voice her thoughts, even to Aristotle.

    “Are you sure? You’ve been awfully quiet.”

    “Yeah, just thinking. It’s the desert. It brings out the introspection because, what else am I gonna do out here?”

    “Try not to get killed?”

    “Ha ha, so funny. How far is the border with Torhaine?” She shoved her thoughts about Brandon to the back of her mind as she focused on the path ahead.

    “About three more miles due west, and the next settlement is Quansea on the coast.”

    She blew out her breath. “Thank goodness. I’m so ready to be done with this desert.”

    242 ineligible #IvoryRoad words
    @SiobhanMuir

  6. In the picture it was night, with the moon fighting to break through the clouds, and two black dragons illuminated in its white light. “Dragons.” I looked at my therapist. “They aren’t real. At least, that’s what everyone says.”

    She didn’t say anything, instead using her silence to urge me to say what I actually thought.

    “What if they’re not physical?”

    “What do you mean?”

    “What if we can’t see them, can’t touch them, can’t shoot them with our guns, can’t take pictures of them. And despite all that, what if they’re still real.”

    “What do you mean?”

    “What if they’re like demons, angels, spirits, or ghosts?” I scratched my chin. “What if they are real, but live in other dimensions, or don’t have physical forms, so we can’t prove they exist?”

    “Do you believe in demons and dragons?”

    “Not really. But I think they are good names for the parts of ourselves that haunt us. The voices in our heads. The nightmares in our sleep. The dark thoughts, the anger, the rage, we all have.”

    “But what do you think of those parts of ourselves?”

    “Those are real. I think we all have them.” I took a deep breath, “My father told me, the last time I visited him before he died, that there was darkness in me. That it was part of me.”

    “And?”

    “I don’t know. Maybe we’re both black dragons and white knights. Darkness and light. Maybe in some of us, darkness wins.”

    247 Words
    @mysoulstears

  7. “They aren’t real, the monsters.” But Nana whispered when she said that. I knew that if I asked her why she was being quiet, she’d tell me that she was trying to keep me calm.

    She’d intended to comfort me until I fell asleep, but she drifted off before I did, and good thing she did. I’d no sooner heard her first soft snores than I caught their scent.

    I gently extricated myself from her embrace and padded outside. The moon was merely a crescent, but I wasn’t going to find the monsters with my eyes. Even if they weren’t diaphanous, they moved so quickly that most of the time you’d swear you’d seen was a waving branch or, if you were unlucky enough to have them in your home, the passing of a shadow.

    Their nest was up the road and into the pines. The straw cushioned my steps, and I entered the sacred circle without being accosted.

    The night air was damp here under the trees, and I breathed deep, letting it fill me. This was a place of power.

    My power.

    I fingered the necklace I wore, purple amethyst in the shape of a star, then unclasped it. As it fell to the ground, my body went with it, and I joined my family for their nightly hunt.

    By morning, I was back in Nana’s arms, and when she stirred, we shared a smile.

    I hoped her turn wouldn’t come for a long, long time.

    248 words
    @drmag00

  8. Offer led us into the compound behind the farm. There were a dozen of the creatures tethered to stakes, their eyes hidden by blinkers. One of them was in calf, its stomach distended. It was distressing to see them being treated like that.

    “The Malaysian Crumplehorn’s my favourite,” he said. “Either that or the Ghentian Silverspot. You’ll not see a collection to match this anywhere outside China or Japan.”

    Lacey sniffed. It was one of his tells. I already knew he was seething beneath his calm facade.

    “There’s none of them I’d choose to take into battle,” I said. “The Cambrian Forktail is the worst. It looks like it’s been mistreated since it was hatched.”

    Offer pushed back his shoulders and glared down his nose. His eyes were hidden too, twin disks of smoked glass disguising his emotions, although his posture telegraphed his mood as clear as day. He wouldn’t be prepared to negotiate any of his valuations of their worth. The Ministry would have fined him for abuse and taken them away fifty years ago. He would have been lucky to avoid imprisonment: thirty years was the minimum penalty the courts might have awarded for his offences.

    “I can do what I like with them. They aren’t real, according to the Government. If you think you can keep them better, you know what you need to do.”

    Lacey took a deep breath, readying himself for his tirade. He was as much a dragon as any of the beasts here.

    250 words ~ twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com

  9. The house was old, dusty and brooding, but well kept, if the old lady hadn’t passed on to her reward it wouldn’t have become available, but here it was and all mine at sixty-five. Lonely I decided to invite some young people to live with me.
    Avril was a sweet twenty-year-old , a bit old fashion in her dress and manner. Allan, a brash young man sang and made the place a little livelier. Everything seemed to be going smoothly, until he came along.
    A squatter, Adam tumbled in like he owned the place. I took pity on the wife and little girl and let the squatter stay. Annie liked to talk to me as for Eve and Adam, they ignored me like I wasn’t there.
    One day as I rounded the corner headed for my bedroom Adam looked up his whole body shook and he shouted,” “They aren’t real.”
    “Who isn’t real?” I asked.
    “You….,he commented then promptly fainted.
    Annie just said, ”I told you so.”
    Eve just asked, “Can we set some ground rules?”
    “Such as?”
    “You don’t show yourself to Adam and you can do whatever you want in the house.”
    “Deal.”
    Eve looked relieved and everything was fine until Allan had a concert one night. Adam , Eve and Annie moved out but not before Annie promised to come back. Annie’s now all grown-up and here to haunt away; That’s good because with the housing crisis, it’s getting harder to keep those squatters away.
    248 Words
    @SweetSheil

  10. “Hey, did you see the new prisoners?” Inejiro raised his chin inquisitively.

    His fellow guard, Gekko, was also trying to warm her hands over the flaming cauldron between them. Kurojo and its grounds were the only parts of Kikirin where summer nights got this cold. Even fire wasn’t as warm inside the castle’s walls.

    “No, I was off duty. But I heard they were pirates?”

    Like its warmth, the fire’s light didn’t go as far as it should. Darkness in Kurojo was like a physical shroud, yet there was always a sense of being watched. Inejiro shrugged.

    “Could be. I’m more interested in what they are than what they do.”

    Gekko arched an eyebrow, “How do you mean?”

    “This was the strangest-looking group I’ve ever seen! Almost none of them were elves.”

    “So mostly halflings, then?”

    “No,” Inejiro paused. “Though, now that you mention it, Liu said they saw a fisher catfolk last night!”

    “Fisher?”

    “You know, the little catlings?” Inejiro lowered one hand to hip level.

    “You know they aren’t real.”

    “They used to be!”

    “Yeah, as in they aren’t anymore.”

    “Well, Liu says they saw one.”

    “They were probably teasing you.”

    Inejiro shifted his polearm to his other shoulder.

    “I don’t know. Compared to some of the others, a fisher isn’t so hard to believe.”

    “Wait, did Liu say last night? Weren’t the prisoners already processed by then?”

    “Huh… You’re right.”

    A chill ran up Inejiro’s spine. His sense of being watched was even more intense tonight.

    249 Cat’s The Pajamas words
    @DavidALudwig

  11. My mind a muddled mess from my latest nightmare and the vision of Nolan’s attack, I make my way to the library. This late, the halls are empty, so I don’t expect to encounter anyone. Most, if not everyone in the castle are fast asleep and I can almost hear their collective breathing, the stillness that comes with slumber. As I walk into the library, though, I’m greeted with a faint light coming from the stacks. Shadows dance in a what appears to be a deliberate rhythm, and I follow them quietly until I find Nolan sitting on the floor between shelves, small balls of light bouncing between his hands.

    “Can’t sleep either?” He whispers the words, but I hear them loud and clear.

    “Unfortunately.” I hover at the end of the aisle, continuing to watch him.

    “More visions?” He stills the dancing light, before meeting my eyes.

    “More like nightmares.” A chill settles between us, and I shiver, rubbing my arms together as I make my way closer and sit against the bookshelf beside him. “I keep telling myself they aren’t real, but that doesn’t actually help.”

    “How do you know the difference?”

    “Visions feel solid. Nightmares are…something else. A little fuzzy, usually.” I yawn, dragging out the last word before resting my head against his shoulder and closing my eyes. “I’d kill for a little dreamless sleep.”

    The featherlight touch of his fingertip grazes my forehead, and I jolt awake, back in my room.

    246 untitled fantasy WIP words
    @katheryn_avila

  12. October is my favorite month because I’m a Halloween junkie. My entire house is decorated for Halloween all year long. But I know when I’ve seen a ghost and it wasn’t one of my decorations. This was a real ghost. My boss says they aren’t real.

    For context, my boss is The One True Death. And he says ghosts are against the rules of Death. Well, have I got news for him. There’s a legit ghost in my house and she’s driving me ape shit. I’ve asked her to leave but she won’t. So, I have no choice but to ask my boss for help. The guy who’s dead, rules the afterlife, and doesn’t believe in ghosts. This is my life.

    “Carla, I would like to help, but ghosts are not real. Therefore, I cannot. It should be noted that your job is to guide the dead to their afterlife, so this would technically fall under your jurisdiction.”

    Horace, in all his skeletal imposing form and billowing black robes, stands in my living room. Before us is my new housemate, transparent but very much standing in my couch.

    “She won’t go.” I gesture to my couch. “Your turn.”

    He sighs. The woman flickers, staring at us.

    “Ghosts are against the rules,” Horace says.

    “Regardless, there she is.”

    If was human his eyes would roll. Nonetheless, he takes the figure’s hand and they disappear. The entire feel of my house changes. Horace’s in denial about ghosts, but he’ll never admit it.

    @Aightball
    250 words

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