#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 548

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. This is Week 548 of #ThursThreads, the challenge that ties tales together, and it’s MUIRLETTE #1’S BIRTHDAY! HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 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 548:

AKV in sunglasses

Cat wrangler, master violinist, and Tea connoisseur, BIRTHDAY GIRL and new adult, Muirlette #1.

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“You’re going back.”

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 548”

  1. She could feel the edge of the cliff, although she couldn’t see it in the dark and dust. Her heels teetered, and her arms flailed to maintain her balance.

    The magician approached with his army of hell beasts. “There’s nowhere to go, Elaine.”

    She hated how she responded to Lander’s voice. Smooth, sexy, deep. This was the worst kind of magic. Conjured by love.

    Elaine looked down over her shoulder. Somewhere at the bottom of eternity, a light glowed red, but the destination was as much a mystery as whether she’d survive the fall.

    “I can jump.”

    His hell beasts cackled, kicking up more dust, but Lander stared straight on. He was an immovable oak. “I would never let you fall. You’re going back.”

    “You forget the first rule of magic, darling.”

    Lander braved a few steps forward and held out his hand. “Don’t play games. You will come to me now.”

    Elaine shook her head. “The first rule of magic: you cannot bend it to your will.”

    He huffed. “And I suppose you’ll school me on the rest of the rules?”

    “No,” she stated. “But the first rule also applies to me.”

    She watched his eyes pop wide as she stretched her arms to her side. “I also do not bend.”


    Elaine let her heels pivot over the side, and she cascaded into the unknown. Love or no love, the choice to be its slave or seek adventure was her own.

    243 words @AngoraShade

  2. Departure

    I was counting the days. Twenty days if you used toes and fingers. Beyond that, it got problematic. I wasn’t even considering the digitally severed.

    Or the odd six-toed…toad.

    For over twenty years, from day one of this latest earthly Millennium actually, we had been what passed for productive humans. It had been a hoot.

    We had arrived in this charming midsized town, rented a house first, then bought within a year.

    We had nice neighbors.

    The Moirs.


    They loved having two stand-up comics next door.

    Summer barbecues were especially bonding. Adjusting to the consumption of burning flesh took time, however. Maddy, my companion, made faces. At night I would get her to practice not wriggling her nose, or twisting her mouth, all off-putting, we discovered.

    She was getting better but at night she would frequently whimper, and ask, “When can we leave? I miss Planet Oblong.”

    And so did I but an assignment was an assignment.

    Of course, as we acclimatized to the ways of earth, principally the disgusting habit of gobbling down cow and chicken flesh, incorporating earthlings’ other behavioral oddities, we became frighteningly similar to them.

    I did.

    Maddy grew more inconsolable as the years progressed.

    The years 2016 through 2020 were particularly difficult for her.

    For so many.

    Finally, word from above came.

    “You’re going back, Maddy. They will send Lucinda to replace you.”

    She was relieved, although quite sad for her twin sister.

    It would be a smooth transition.

    I adjusted quite easily.

    250 words

  3. Strings

    The last time I see Ma, I ask her, “Hey, you okay?” even though I know the answer.

    The reek of bourbon, her drink of choice. A mound of Salem Lights in the heavy glass ashtray on the coffee table. Her sunken cheeks.

    A man on TV says, “It’s time to start shaming them or leave them behind.”

    I say, “Is it okay if I pull this towel down and get some light in here?” I see that someone has covered a broken pane of glass with a clear bag. A cold gust pulls the plastic tight. “It’s nice out,” I lie.

    We don’t talk about it, but I think it runs in the family. The taut strings attached from the gut to the corners of the mouth. Impossible to smile. The only thing to do is close your eyes until the universe decides to cut the strings and the dull ache subsides.

    “Did Jess come by and change the litter box?” I peek into the little laundry closet, dirty clothes up to the ceiling. Jess didn’t come by.

    I look back to where Ma’s sitting. “Ma, you hungry? You want a sandwich?”

    The light in the refrigerator is broken, and a waft of sour air hits me. Spoiled milk. Lunch meat, maybe. I don’t investigate.

    A man on the TV says, “With the help of Tranquil Touch, you’re going back to feeling like yourself again.”

    And sometime around then, the universe decides to cut my mom’s strings.

    248 words

  4. It was a great occasion. It was eighteen years exactly since she’d arrived here in this world. There wasn’t a single day I regretted. Other than that one she changed half the town into centaurs. And that day she figured out gravity. I had to pour a gallon of hallucinogens into the reservoir to cover that up. The mayor still had flashbacks. Poor Dale, snug as a bug in his rubber room.

    “You’re going back. It’s for the best.”

    Eldest shook her head. “You can’t make me do anything,” she said. “I’ve got the marmalade people on my side. And Johnny Appleseed.”

    I swore under my breath. Appleseed had been missing for years and I thought he’d gone, his penchant for trees making him a national hero. But no one had ever explained how he made his trees grow so well and how anyone who opposed him disappeared.

    And then there was the marmalade clan, Eldest’s secret friends.

    “It’s got to be done. You’re going back to the Fae. At least you can run riot over there. Play your fiddle. Liberate some troubled souls. Just like you did that time in Georgia.”

    Eldest stamped her foot and the world trembled. They’d be feeling that in Turkey soon. When she got like this, there was only one thing to do. I’d enlist someone who could tackle any teenager.

    “I’m gonna call for your Gran,” I said. “She’ll know what to do. She’ll put you in a pair of iron manacles lickety-split.”

    250 happy birthday words – twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com

  5. I’d never been run out of a town before. Can’t say as I cared for it.

    No! Focus! We need food. I can get food. Probably.

    I left the kid to make the fire. I have no idea if she knows how to make fire, but I know I don’t. I never had to before, and it’s not like I’d be very good at it with these paws.

    Squirrel! I knead the ground and stare down the cheeky little fuzzball. I got this. I got you, you fluffy bastard.

    I pounce! I miss?

    Why is that squirrel so fast? Well, I’m faster. That’s right, apex predator here, buddy.

    “Blackie? Where have you been?”

    The kid looks up from the unignited pile of sticks in the middle of the stone circle. By way of answer, I drop my prize next to her. She gets it. I’m pretty sure she gets it.

    “You’re going back out?”

    She cocks her head as I start to leave.

    Yeah, kid. One squirrel is not going to be enough for both of us.

    177 words (and many happy returns of the day!)

  6. Sunshine slept in that house that night, on a soft bed, with warm covers. It was a better bed than any she’d ever slept on, one made with ancient, lost technology. The way it supported her weight in all the right places. It was not like sleeping on a table top, or a bed of feathers. It was better.

    She slept soundly.

    The next day, she decided to search for food. She hadn’t eaten in weeks. The machines had kept her alive. As if they knew something about her that she didn’t know. “OK, machines. Where do I find food around here?”

    She walked through the house, and looked in closets, drawers, and cabinets. She found no food.

    “You want me to learn about the past, right? Show me how these people ate.”

    A machine formed in the center of the room, “You’re going back, right?”

    “In time. It’s not time.”

    “Follow me.” The machine led her to a room. It pushed a button on the counter. Sunshine watched as a fully cooked meal formed from nothing on top of the counter. “This is what they ate.”

    “What is it?”

    “A sandwich and some fruit.”

    Sunshine ate it.

    The machine looked at her, “When will it be time?”

    “I don’t know.”

    She remembered what Merlin had said to her. “Explore the world.”

    “When I find my answers to the questions I don’t even know I have. When I find me.”

    “We understand. It is what Merlin did.”

    247 Words

  7. “You’re going back?”

    Ambrose’s question made Roxanne look up as she packed her gear into her rucksack.

    “Yeah, of course. I have to get back to my team.” She straightened and waved at the village of centaurs around her. “I don’t really belong here. I’m human, after all.”

    “I know you’re human, but I thought…after all that’s happened…” He trailed off and shifted his weight just like a nervous horse. “I though I was part of your team.”

    Unease slid through her as she straightened.

    “You were part of my team on this mission. But now the mission’s over, and I have to go back to my world and my crew. They’re expecting me to check in.” She didn’t want to hurt him, and her heart ached at the idea that she’d never see him again.

    It’s not like we can meet at the local coffee shop.

    “So…you’ll never return to Cedarfell?” His voice had gone flat.

    “I don’t know. If there’s another mission, maybe. Why?” She zipped up the rucksack and straightened to meet his gaze.

    “Nothing else would bring you back?”

    She swallowed hard. She wanted to come back if she could, but it seemed impossible. She was a member of Sirens, Inc., and none of her sisters in arms would believe or understand the presence of the mythical people she’d met. They definitely wouldn’t understand how she’d fallen for a centaur.

    Roxanne squared her shoulders. Best to make a clean break.

    “No, nothing.”

    246 ineligible #Sirens words

  8. “You’re going back.” It wasn’t a question.

    I didn’t know how to respond to him, so I stayed quiet, hunched over with my forearms on my thighs. The ground between my feet became a kaleidoscope, refracting through my tears.

    “You’re leaving me, Jen,” he hissed. “You’re leaving our kids!”

    He had every right to be pissed.

    I hadn’t wanted him to find out when I was from or how I’d gotten here, but when he had, the night before our wedding, I’d made him every promise in the book that I’d be by his side ‘til death did us part.

    We’d had one child. Then another. And as I’d watched them grow from infants into teenagers and seen my marriage survive uncertainty to blossom into a true partnership, I’d begun to believe I could actually keep my promises.


    “Kelly! Ryan! Shoe time!” We tumbled out the door, backpacks and lunches bouncing and thumping as we raced to school. You’d think after doing this a couple thousand times I wouldn’t still be trying to beat the bell. Thankfully, the rain held off, and they disappeared into the building with just enough time to avoid tardies.

    I turned to look over my left shoulder and pulled into traffic, my mind already lost in thoughts about my first meeting.

    “It’s time, Jen.”

    My implant spoke for the first time in 17 years.


    “You can’t go, Jen. You can’t.”

    I looked up at him. I had no choice.

    My implant activated, and I vanished.

    250 words

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