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 537 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 537:
Fantasy Author, and Holder of Several Stories, David Ludwig.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“Then explain this to me.”
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!
18 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 537”
“Just put it in the study,” she—“she” being my wife—when the large box arrived on Saturday morning. “My brother will come by tomorrow to put it together.”
With that, she bade me farewell for lunch with friends.
She got home at about 4. “Honey I’m home,” she called out from the foyer.
“In the study,” I answered.
“I’ll be right there,” she said. “You need anything from the kitchen?”
“No, I’m good.”
A minute or so later she came into the study, cradling a glass of wine.
“We had lots of fun and—” She stopped. “What did you do?” she asked to my feigned nonchalance.
“What do you mean?”
“You know exactly what I mean. I told you my brother was coming over tomorrow to assemble the new bookcase.”
“Well, looks like he doesn’t have to make the trip, wouldn’t you say.”
I was so pleased with myself. It took a while and a fair amount of trial-and-error, but against all expectations I’d done it. The proof was along the wall and wouldn’t she feel bad for not having faith in me?
She hadn’t even looked at me and my shit-eating grin. Instead she stepped towards it. I watched her. I’d filled it with books and it looked good. She ran her hand across the top. Suddenly she squatted down and reached for something in the corner. She lifted it and, still squatting, turned to stretch her arm out to me.
“Then explain this to me.”
Joseph P. Garland @JPGarlandAuthor. 249 Words.
I love the dynamic between the characters.
That sentence, “Then explain this to me.” It’s one of my favorite verbal weapons, especially when dealing with conservatives, who can’t explain bean dip. “Define a lot, but don’t use the words a and lot in the definition.” You can watch them fidget. Most likely they’ll throw up their hands and declare you hopeless.
The world is too complicated for them and their belief that, “Everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten”.
I’m tired this morning. That comes from Wednesday, and my 1700+ word rant about stupid people. That rant left me so angry, so stressed out, I had a stress headache. A kicking one at that. I know it was a stress headache because I ate a bowl of cereal, took a half hour nap, and topped it off with an ice cream bar, and the headache went away. Magic, right?
All I had to do was remove the stress.
My previous therapist said to me once, “Let’s not destroy his perspective of the universe yet. He’s still young. Let’s give him time to enjoy thinking he knows what’s going on.” That’s probably paraphrased, but you get the idea.
We talked about that on occasion, though we didn’t flat out say it was what we were talking of. Like the time I watched the cars go zooming past the building out of the windows in his office, and told him, “They don’t know, do they. Don’t know at all what they’re doing.”
“No, Mark. They don’t.”
A clip from what I just finished writing for #NaNoWriMo2022, today, that I edited a hair to make fit in 250 words.
I loved the spicey use of the prompt as a verbal weapon.
The Road Back- Part 3
Jimmy the Box is a regular at Dick’s Joint. He’s also a very skilled mooch. So on that mid-November morning when he slid in the door of the café almost sideways, muttering about the cold, the rolling fog that had blanketed the sea and land for at least four days, the state of the nation, it was all diversion.
He knew it and I knew it.
“Plunk yourself down, Jimmy,” I directed him to one of our four empty booths, “I’ll whip up some ham and eggs.”
He lowered his butt onto the oak bench quicker than a runaway elevator.
“Much appreciated,” he grinned like he’d pulled one over on me.
“It’s a slow morning. Coffee?”
It was a gratuitous request. Jimmy was a java head. I grabbed the carafe and mug, poured a gusher, pointed to the cream and sugar on the table. “You’re set.”
I wasn’t expecting much from him. Moochers always have a sad dog look and that carries them along most days. Jimmy’s long grey hair and snub nose made him resemble an old hippy Boston Terrier.
So when he asked, “How come you’re being so accommodating this morning?” I was almost grateful.
“Jimmy, I don’t know. It’s a mystery to me.”
He pondered that, then said, “Well, Peeper, then explain this to me. You’re the big shot detective.“
“Jimmy, maybe it’s just that it’s a bloody cold morning and you look hungry.”
He shook his noggin.
He wasn’t buying it.
I love how your descriptions of the atmosphere and Jimmy put me in the scene.
“Time t’rise and shine now!”
Meg groaned inwardly at the Irish soldier’s pronouncement, which was followed immediately by Petrov’s in Ukrainian. The kids whined too. At least she wasn’t the only one feeling tired and sore. They’d only been walking for four days. She should be in some semblance of shape by now. She’d give everything she owned for a hot bath—for stiff muscles and to just be clean. She reached for her boots, snagged one. She managed to get it on and laced while still inside the sleeping bag. She reached for the other. It was gone. Standing, she went searching far and wide around the camp.
Maxim called, “Miss Meg, what do you look for?”
“My other boot. Do you see it—” She broke off when Petrov held up her missing boot—what was left of it. The man handed it to her, his expression blank. Examining her boot, she was even more confused. “This looks like a dog chewed it up.” She glanced suspeciously at the children. “Are you hiding a puppy?”
At their chorus of denials, two others caught her attention. Loch and Kin. The Irishman stared at the Scot. “Do either of you know what happened?”
Loch continued staring at Kin. “Possibly,” he answered.
“Then explain this to me.”
“Wolf,” Kin said. “A playful one.”
“Or not. And not funny. Good thing I have another pair.”
She could deal with old boots and stupid explantions, but the whole hot bath thing? That was nonnegotiable.
250 Hard Target: Crossfire WIP words
I love how the prompt pivots us from the exploration to the resolution of the scene.
The empty crib dominated their room. She hadn’t wanted to pack it away; that would have been more hurtful, the thought that they’d tried and failed to bring a new life into the world. Her child would live in her forever, despite what the doctors had said. There was a place she would reserve for Eleanor until she passed away herself.
Donny thought she was ghoulish. He’d already moved on. It’d been only a bunch of cells to him. She’d begun to wonder how much he’d wanted their baby girl – he’d resisted choosing a name for her, saying it would make it more painful.
How could she have ever thought he’d be a good father?
“We can try again,” he’d said, brandishing a screwdriver. He’d wanted to break the crib apart, hide it away until it was needed again, thinking she’d be happy to reuse it. She’d refused that immediately, not wanting him to do anything. She would tell him when she was ready.
But it wouldn’t be for a long time.
“Then explain this to me,” he said, challenging her. “How can we go on? How can we sleep each night with that beside us – a grim reminder of all we’ve lost? I thought we had a special bond that would last forever. How can we hope to make this work if you won’t even try? How can you give up on us so easily?”
Her answer was immediate.
“I think I want a divorce,” she said.
Word count – 250 words – twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com
The timing of the emotional punches made the ending feel exquisitely inevitable.
“Are you fucking kidding me? That’s insane, Doc!”
“No more insane than letting this bastard release that neurotoxin over one of our cities and watching everyone die.” Chester tightened his hands into fists. “I heard Avery say he wanted me to develop an antidote for him and his gang. So I’ll do it, but I’ll do it on a massive scale, and I’ll give it to all of you first. So even if he releases his horrible weapon, you’ll have a way to survive. The problem is I need my equipment and enough time to get it done.”
“No, there’s no way you’re going back in there, Dr. Martell. Just make it at another lab.” Agent Reich shook his head. “We can get you anywhere you need to go.”
“You’re not hearing me, Agent Reich.”
“Then explain this to me like I’m five, because there’s no way we can get you back into the Big Timber Research Campus, doctor.”
Chester took a deep breath. “Everything you want and need—everything I need, is right there.”
“Being held by home-grown terrorists.” Hermione crossed her arms over her chest. “Getting you out without getting killed was hard enough. You now want us to take you back in there, endangering your life and those of my team? That’s insane.” She pointed at the screens showing the Eagle Militia wandering around the grounds. “They won’t hesitate to kill us, doc. The only way to get back in there is to shoot our way in.”
250 ineligible #Sirens words
Going back into a place you were lucky to get out of while it’s still in enemy hands is a heck of a call to make. I wonder if Hermione will go for it; I do like terrorists getting shot.
“Then explain this to me.”
She stood there, stone-faced, the evidence in her hand. I couldn’t explain it away. I couldn’t pretend it wasn’t real.
“Explain that this isn’t exactly what I think it is.”
I couldn’t, and she knew it. This was what she’d been wondering about for a long time now, what she’d flat-out asked me about, and what I’d bald-faced lied about.
She turned away and walked back to what was – or what had been up until this moment – our bedroom. I stood there and waited to see if she was going to throw me out or grab her stuff and leave.
Mostly, I was in shock. There’s times where you don’t really think about what you’ve done until you’re forced to, mostly because you don’t want to think about what it said about you.
The back door slammed, and I realized that not only was she the one heading out, but she wasn’t even going to return to the living room to yell at me.
I moved to the sofa and sat down. She’d dropped the evidence on the coffee table, and I made myself look down at it. The last time I’d seen it, it was hiding in the back of my underwear drawer, but there it was, big as life, no longer a secret.
I brought it to my face, hoping to take comfort in the scent that still lingered from that night.
But there was nothing. All of it was gone.
Great job carrying us through the narrator’s headspace all the way through!
The arrival of Jorge and his family was announced by Lupita’s five-year-old nephew and echoed by his younger brother barreling into her on the couch. Laughing, she wrapped an arm around each of them.
“You two have gotten so big!”
“Do you punch people with these?”
Mateo, the older nephew, examined Lupita’s hard-knuckle gloves. She should have taken those off.
“No,” Lupita smiled, eyes on her older brother setting his family’s bags in the entry. “They’re for… motorcycle riding.”
“You have a motorcycle!?”
Her nephews’ eyes shone as excitedly as if she had admitted that she did, in fact, punch people with her gloves.
Lupita shook her head apologetically, “No, lo siento.”
“Boys, didn’t you want to take your bags up to your room?” Lupita’s sister-in-law summoned her sons.
Lupita’s nephews rushed past their father, who came to stand over his younger sister.
“You look good, Manita.”
“I look like a bandida,” she scoffed at her leather jacket and ripped jeans.
“I’m glad you decided to come. And the boys really like seeing you.”
“They’re good niños,” Lupita smiled before sighing. “I guess I’m at the kids’ table for Thanksgiving again, then.”
“This, to me, is the same as when I left. I don’t belong here, Mano.”
“I wish you would tell me what’s bothering you.”
How could she? The concern in his eyes was genuine, but Mr. Perfect had never understood her.
Even before she became a supernatural vigilante.
245 INELEGIBLE PRUDENT words
#ThursThreads is now closed. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week.