#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 545

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 545 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 545:

Computer geek, bass player, historical reenactor, and flash fiction writer, Mary Decker.

Facebook | Twitter |

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“This had to look 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!

14 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 545”

  1. The Road Back Part 11

    Sam Withers was almost a ghost. He had no social media profile. No paper trail even. Surprisingly in the week that I had been seeking him, I discovered that even his marriage to Cheri a few years earlier was a sham.

    He’d hired actors in Vegas.

    Legally, she was free.

    I called her to let her know that the marriage noose had been removed. It brought small comfort to her. She felt betrayed. “It doesn’t help,” she cried. “Oh, trust me, I feel like a weight’s been lifted off my chest but I also feel like a fool. I heard him planning it…on the phone with I guess the fake minister…he said, ‘This had to look real, Frankie. I’m paying good money.’

    I tried reassuring her that most people wouldn’t go to the trouble of faking a wedding. Later after I gave it some thought, I started to reassess that notion. And then I thought, of course, why not pretend? Marriage had taken a nosedive in the past fifty years. And a conman like Sam Withers had probably left a hefty trail of faux wives in his wake. That begged the question of what his point was. Even more so, why was he so menacing to his latest victim?

    And then I had to ask, was she the latest?

    Cheri had wedding photos still on her camera. Withers had demanded she delete them, but she hadn’t.

    It was time to track down the fake officiant.

    250 wip

  2. “This had to look real, otherwise they’d be suspicious.” I wave my arm around the room, at the chaos I’d created. Not my best moment, but I can’t deny it was cathartic.

    “And that involved breaking lamps? Shredding the curtains?” Nolan’s eyes turn to slivers behind his mask.

    “Yes.” Using my foot to nudge the remains of a pillow, I gather our things. “I’m not willing to waste any time half-assing this.”

    He catches the bag I throw at him, though his eyes never leave mine. “Fine. But next time try consulting me before you send a tornado through our shared living space,”

    “Duly noted.” With the last of our things in hand, I lead the way out the door, toward the new room we’d been given in the west wing – close enough to the throne room for my surveillance spells to work.

    143 untitled fantasy WIP words

  3. Johnson Control to Tacitus Operations. Do you read?”

    Fielding readjusted the high-gain antenna, referring to the signal strength readout on his head-up display.

    “It’s five by five; here at Tacitus. We’re ready for a dry run.”

    The LEDs on the Mars lander’s comms unit flashed. The drive unit swivelled on its gimbals. An oxygenation purge shot a brief shot of waste gases through the bell-shaped nozzle.

    “Tacitus. Do you have confirmation on the firing of the drive section?”

    “Negative, Johnson. We have nothing but uncooked methane gases here. It smells like rotten eggs and Control’s laundry basket. Suggest you try again.”

    The administrator on the console at Johnson shook his head. The President was behind him, her entourage of minders flanking her on both sides. The First Lady (elect) had come for nothing – the demonstration she’d demanded; a failure, yet again.

    “Just do it,” she hissed, knowing that her chance of re-election depended on this probe’s success. “I don’t care what you need to do. Just get me the positive result I need.”

    The administrator thumbed a switch. “Tacitus. Can you retry? Maybe if you use the hoist to lift the module instead? We can add in the flames later using CGI, just so long as we can see clear air beneath the landing skids. Success is irrelevant – the imperative was that this had to look real, that’s all.”

    He looked back at the President and shrugged.

    “There’s more than one way to skin a cat,” he said.

    250 words – twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com

  4. “We can’t fake this.” Dalton was determined to put his plan into effect.

    “Yer off yer bloody rocker, mate.” Loch was not buying this insane plot.

    “Answer me this, then. Is he happy?”

    “Like I’d know?”

    Dalton heaved a disappointed sigh. “You’re a Wolf. You know exactly what emotions are swirling around. I can tell just by looking at them. If we have to suffer through any more of those longing glances they cast upon each other when they think no one is looking, we’ll all go batshit. Good grief, even the kids know what’s happening.”

    “He’s bloody well moonstruck, Dalton. Let nature run her course. Kin’ll claim Meg sooner than later.”

    Unable to help himself, Dalton rolled his eyes. “Or he’ll go feral in the process.”

    Surfer Boy had a point and Loch could admit that to himself. He’d already witnessed the shenanigans Kin’s wolf had pulled. They’d only get worse as time passed. “So what is this master plan of yours?”

    Dalton outlined his strategy and waited for Loch’s response. If his plotting had any chance of working, this had to look real.

    “Won’t work.”

    Indignant, he glowered at the Irishman. “Why not?”

    “You said it yourself. We’re Wolves. He’ll know she’s not really in danger.” He tapped his nose. “She’s cool under fire but we can still hear her heartbeat and smell the fear.”

    “Then I’ll think of something else.”

    “Put yer schemin’ t’bed, Dalton.”

    “That’s what I’m trying to do! Put those two in bed. Together.”
    250 CROSSFIRE WIP words

  5. Sunshine had lost all track of time. It was as if time no longer mattered to her. The ubiquitous machines of Cylinders, and the war with invaders from another world, had turned her life upside down, and demonstrated everything she had always believed was a lie.

    She had refused to fly. She’d landed, and declared she would walk. “I will not use the machines to fly.”

    That had been days ago. Maybe weeks ago.

    “I will walk until I die.” That was her original thought. But, Sunshine didn’t die. She didn’t drink water. She didn’t eat food. She walked each day, endlessly, day after day, from sunrise to sunset. She slept on the ground, with no regard for safety. “Let them eat me. I no longer care.”

    The machines kept her alive.

    As she walked, along the shore of Cylinder’s one giant ocean, she listened to the endless waves, and wished to die. “Everything is a lie.”

    Until she saw the remains of a town beside the ocean. What has once been a few houses. Maybe more.

    The machines reconstructed the town as she approached it. Houses grew from the few remains. Others sprang from the ground. They weren’t houses she had ever seen. They had glass windows, running water, heating and cooling.

    She stopped.

    The machines told her, “This was a port. 30,000 of your years ago.”

    “This had to look real, didn’t it.” She spoke to the air.



    “With time, we will teach you why.”

    250 Words

  6. She snorted. “Seriously? I’m the one that no one can touch.”

    He chuckled. “Are you just gonna ghost through it, then?”

    “I…” She blinked. “I don’t know if I can. I mean, it looks solid, right?”

    “Well, it is to me.” He moved to the door and grasped the handle. “All this had to look real to you, but who knows if it’s not? What will happen to your mind if you find out it’s not?”

    “What do you mean?”

    “You know, like dreams. If you die in a dream, does that mean you die for real?” He shook his head. “Let’s not chance it. Ready?”

    “After that, I’m not so sure.” Her voice had gone flat but she squared her shoulders. “But we got a quest to do, so let’s do it.”

    He nodded and pulled open the door.

    A short hallway through the thick castle wall led to another room with glowing lights in blues and greens emanating from it. The scent of warm, tropical water reminiscent of a sauna hit his nose, and the burbling of a fountain echoed down the hall.

    “Is that a pool?” Nichelle pushed past him, sliding through the right side of his body to hurry into the room at the end. “Holy shit.”

    The scene stopped him at the threshold of the new room. It was the size of a lecture hall in a university but oblong with rounded corners. In the center sat a pool of azure water glowing from below.

    250 ineligible #WIP words

  7. “You didn’t tell me you were going to do…do this.” I could barely get the words out, my throat was so tight. “Not this.”

    “Had to look real.” Janie snorted. “You got what you asked for, didn’t you?”

    My eyes could barely focus on any one bit of carnage, there was so much. The bodies. The crimson splatters on the wall. And – oh god – were those…bones on the floor?

    I couldn’t make it to the sink before everything that I’d ever eaten came up from the depths of wherever we store such things. It made an awful, thick splattering sound when it hit the floor, and Janie cursed.

    “Asshole! Keep it together! Now you’ve left DNA all over the place.”

    “Sor…sorry. This is my first…what is this exactly?”

    Janie was moving around the room like a cat, somehow not stepping in any of the mess she’d made. “The news will probably call it a ‘massacre,’ but I prefer ‘ritual disemboweling.’ Did you bring the stuff?”

    “The stuff?”

    “The spell components. The glowing ball. The whatever you magicians use to make reality go all wonky.”

    “I’m not…” It didn’t really matter that I wasn’t, technically, a magician. I was, or at least had been before I ordered a massacre, an accountant. It had been my desire to figure out why the numbers were off in the books that led me to discover that magic was real and that a great evil was coming.

    “Oh. Right here.”

    “Then let’s get started!”

    249 words

  8. I did a quick survey of the damage. It was going to take a while to put the bar back together. The broken chairs and upturned tables were one thing but the scorch marks on the walls and, what could only be described as luminous green plasma dripping down the stage curtain, was another.
    Kayla, my assistant, was staring at me wide-eyed. ‘It had to look real.’ Her voice implored me to just tell her it was all fine. I didn’t even mind the damage to the bar, although Michael would be furious when he arrived in two hours. ‘If Azazel thought we were faking the power, he would have taken Simon and killed me. And destroyed the bar in the process.’
    ‘True.’ I let the word hang as if I was considering if that would have been a better option. Azazel was the local vamp tribe leader and he was, well, many words not suitable for polite society crossed my mind. I pushed thoughts of the vampire from my mind and looked instead to Simon, Kayla’s new pet project who was standing back and staying very quiet. ‘The real question is how did you make it look so real?’
    ‘Well funny story…’
    ‘I’d rather Simon tell it.’
    ‘Simon? But…’ Finally, my assistant registered the look of unease on my face and half-turned to her friend.
    He sighed heavily as his eyes morphed to their true demonic amber. ‘It was the plasma wasn’t it. Always too heavy on the plasma.’

    250 words @Lexikonical

  9. A two story brick house on a narrow, dead end road in small town Iowa seems unassuming. However, this home is in turmoil.

    Tonight, myself and a team of Deathers will help our colleague Jason and his kids get to Minnesota. Once the messy divorce he’s going through is finalized, Jason and the kids can return home.

    “Okay,” Horace, The One True Death, says, as we gather for our mission. “Jason and the kids are ready. They will be in the kitchen, preparing the evening meal when a gas leak occurs. I have been able to fabricate the smell of natural gas from the stove. He and the children will appear to have been overcome by the fumes and it is then that Carla, Brandon, and Eliza will bring them over. From here, they will be accompanied by Eleanor, Henry, and Jean to Minnesota.”

    “Do his parents know how he’s getting there?” Brandon asks, as everyone gets onto their horses.

    “We had to explain to his parents what he does for work. This had to look real, so they had to be briefed. Ready?”

    Seconds later, we’re in Jason’s house. As promised, he and the kids are lying on the kitchen floor, the smell of gas strong. As his wife walks into the kitchen and finds them, we whisk they away to the Dark Plane.

    “Thanks, guys,” Jason says. “Come on, kids, time to finish our trip.”

    Team two takes over and Jason and the kids disappear off to Minnesota.

    250 words

  10. I get my paws on the knob and push my nightstand drawer out onto the floor. Apparently, getting turned into a cat didn’t improve my coordination.

    The kid comes running as I start rummaging. She’s beginning to wonder when her mother will return. I’m pretty sure that witch isn’t coming back. Unfortunately, no one’s coming for me either. Downside to this happening at my getaway villa.

    “Blackie! Are you alright?”

    I pick up my coin purse with my teeth and nod in response. I always liked the heft of my purse, though I’d never picked it up with my teeth before.

    Supplies are running low. Even my houseplants are dead, and I swear they’ve gone longer than that without care. We need to go into town. I just hope the kid knows how to buy food.

    “Mommy left us money?”

    No, kid, your mommy didn’t leave us diddly. I’d wracked my brain for any way forward. Hopping onto the window sill, I had to admit most of my ideas wouldn’t work. So this had to.

    Look real close, kid. I tap the window and point with a forepaw.

    “You want to go into town?”

    I nod, thankful the kid’s a smart one. She pouts at my purse.

    “We’re out of food, aren’t we?”

    I nod again. She sighs heavily. What’s the problem?

    Oh… the glowing hair and charcoal skin. I suddenly picture how people probably treat the kid.

    I jump down and rub my head above her ankles comfortingly.

    249 words

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