#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 550

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 and a half years. It’s amazing we’ve gone this long! This is Week 550 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 550:

Mark Ethridge

Computer IT master, flashfiction writer, and human, Mark Ethridge.

Twitter |

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“There is no simple answer.”

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!

15 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 550”

  1. The camera zoomed in onto a traditional English place setting set with silver cutlery. There was a tiered bone China cake stand to one side, its multiple levels graced with an array of petit-fours and vividly coloured macarons. The skills of the artisans were portrayed in close detail as the lens panned longingly, the icing having the perfect matte finish and the fruits looking freshly picked, as though they’d been rushed to the table specifically for their admiration.

    Ludmilla hoisted her half-scone mouthward, its cargo of jam and cream defying the universally agreed conventions for gravity. If there was a quarter of an inch of its surface that hadn’t been daubed with a calorie-rich component, it wasn’t for want of trying. She was elegant and slim in a way that spoke of privilege, breeding and a healthy way of life, untroubled by the pettiness of needing to work for a living or do anything that might risk the integrity of her manicure.

    “Of course,” she said, her sly tongue capturing an errant gobbet of crimson jam just before it escaped her lips. “There’s much to be said for the proper sequence of the ingredients to be used. Should it be the cream first and the jam second? There is no simple answer. All I know is that it can be a fatal mistake to make: one that may lead to an immediate loss of favour.”

    She smiled and then swallowed, winking knowingly.

    “But that was never my problem. Not once.”

    250 words ~ twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com

  2. Testimony

    “Answer the question.”

    “I thought I did.”

    “I asked you if you loved her. You said, ‘why wouldn’t I’?”

    “Clearly I meant…”

    “It’s not clear at all. Answering a question with a question strikes me as…equivocating. Hedging. As if you can’t bring yourself to offer even the semblance of truth. Smacks of cowardice if you ask me.”

    “It’s likely I wouldn’t ask you. But now that you’ve started to drill down into your elusive rabbit hole like a crazy disbarred dentist, I’d like to posit that there is no simple answer to the question of love. You want a Valentine’s Day card reply. Life isn’t always February 14th.”

    “That’s debatable. I’ve known people who ooze their love every day of the year. My parents, for instance. So many others. Yet, here we find ourselves, you under suspicion of a heinous crime and me fully prepared to prove it. It seems to me that your own reluctance to declare your abiding love is, to say the least, troubling.”

    “It may trouble you, but it doesn’t trouble me. I’ve said it already. There are no simple answers to anything, especially love. Of course, I could declare my love. And if I did, I suspect you wouldn’t hesitate to challenge me and point out situations others have noted where love was the last thing on my table. We would then bandy words and in the end, what would be gained?”

    “The truth, perhaps?”

    “My friend, there is also no simple truthful answer.”

    250 words

  3. Vice -President Edward Travers was talking loudly outside my media room to a colleague, “There is no simple answer to this question, ultimately the president decides, but as the acting Secretary of defense I also have a say.”
    “Come in and shut the door. Edward. We have exactly twenty minutes for lunch, then we make a decision.”
    Edward spread paperwork all over the coffee table and I frowned.
    “Why are you frowning, Madame President?”
    “Don’t Madame President, me ,we’re alone, fiancé, and I’ve read the documents.”
    ”I have to protest there’s an important mater on the table,” Edward protested.
    ”Yes, there is, darling.”
    A few minutes later we put our clothes back on and sat munching on sandwiches, perusing the documents. Reading a text from my buzzing phone, I jumped up alarmed.
    “A long-range missile confirmed to be from Russia, has been shot down just before it reached Bangor, Maine. China and Russia have conspired to interfere with not only our democracy, but our sovereignty,” I explained.“
    A soldier entered carrying a suitcase guarded by another soldier.
    I nodded took the plastic card out of my pocket and coded in the numbers on the football. Edward took his card out and authenticated. We’d just started World War III, I hope the world would remember this as necessary, but as the bombs flew through the air, safe in my bunker; I hoped that we’d all survive to see the world restored, but somehow, I now doubted it.
    246 words

  4. “Did you do it, Oceanu? Did you kill those men?
    “There is no simple answer.”
    Scott stared at the woman he’d come to adore and need as surely as he needed breath. It dawned on him that she had killed all of Exeter’s men. He was sure the answer to his question wasn’t simple. The fact that she’d been able to kill all of Lofton’s men and Lofton Exeter as well was, frankly, fascinating.
    Dark eyes stared back at him unapologetically and he couldn’t say he blamed her at all. Lofton was pond scum emblematically. “No simple answer. In my line of work that is understood. But you?”
    “But me what? Just because you fell for a singer you think that makes me innocent? There was a time of innocence. But that has been gone for a while.” She smirked. “Besides you’d never have touched me if you thought me innocent.”
    “True. And the way we danced that night, I knew there was much more to you.”
    “Is that what you call it? Dancing?” Scott nodded.
    Oceanu’s lips stayed in that tantalizing smirk which made Scott just want to kiss her again. The temptress was back. The darkness in her soul matching what was in his.
    “It’s called many things…the little death by some.” Scott answered her back.
    “What are you going to do?”
    Scott sighed as she brought the conversation back to why he’d come to the cove to see her. “There isn’t a simple answer as you said.”
    In Too Deep – 250 words @AuthorNPrince

  5. Meg stared at him, head slightly tilted, her expression not quite incredulous but close. “So…I’m not crazy.”

    “Not in the least.”

    “Good to know. Because…yeah, I was wondering there for a bit.”

    “I’m sure.”

    “You aren’t exactly talkative, are you?”

    “No, lass. I’m not. Never have been.”

    “Also good to know. That said, there’s a whole lot I do want to know.”

    “Ask. I’ll do m’best to answer.”

    “What are you?”

    Kin offered her a rueful smile. “Shoulda been expectin’ that one. T’tell the truth, lass, there is no simple answer.” He pushed off the ground to pace. Deep conversations of any sort had never been his forte and this one? His life—or at least his happiness—depended upon his answers.

    “I’d think the simple answer would be, ‘hey, Meg, I’m a werewolf.’”

    “Except I’m not. I’m a wolf shifter. There’s a big difference—the main one bein’ that werewolves don’t exist outside of literature, movies, or television.”

    “So what makes you a wolf shifter?”

    “My kind carries an extra gene attached to the Y chromosome. It’s called the lupi versi pellisgene.”

    “My Latin is a bit rusty but…wolves turned into skins?”
    “Close. Add the Latin word homo in front and it translates as a man dressed as a wolf.”

    Her eyes followed as he paced. “Maybe it should have been a wolf dressed as a man.”

    “Yes. Our inner wolf is often very close to the surface.”

    She grinned. “This is so freaking cool!”
    250 very belated but feels good to write again after haverg two eye surgeries in the past two weeks CROSSFIRE words (also ignore any typos please!)

  6. Johnny sneered and opened his mouth to say something, but Ryan appeared and swiped a cleaning cloth down the bar, close to Johnny’s arms. Johnny reared back in surprise.

    “What the hell, man?”

    “Sorry. We’re gettin’ ready to close up shop once your boys finish. Just tryin’ to make my job easier.” Ryan’s bored expression belied his apology and Andrew bit his lips to keep from laughing.

    Johnny rolled his eyes though his scowl remained in place. “Whatever.” He looked over his shoulder. “Looks like we’re outta here. Go tell the driver we’re ready to go.”

    It wasn’t Andrew’s job, it was Mikey’s. But the “best man” wasn’t in any condition to walk much less speak coherently. Andrew shrugged and headed out the main door to locate the driver of their van. The guy was smoking as he leaned against the front bumper. Andrew let him know they were ready and he nodded before grinding out his butt and climbing into the driver’s seat.

    Andrew went back inside the brothel to make sure Johnny and his cohorts had collected all their shit and were moving toward the exit. He stood beside the bar and watched as everyone meandered toward the door.

    “You gonna be okay?” Ryan wiped down the counter behind him, eyeing the other men working their way out.

    Andrew shrugged. “Probably. There’s no simple answer to that, but I just gotta get through the wedding and then I’m free of the family. Just one more day, right?”

    “Right.” But Ryan didn’t sound so sure.

    246 ineligible #TripleStarRanch words

  7. There is no simple answer.

    “Come on, Blackie!”

    My eight-year-old ward beckons me. I sigh and hop down from my last look at yet another town we’ve been run out of.

    I don’t know much about magic. Still, I’m proud of the way the kid’s powers have grown. And terrified for her.

    “If Mommy isn’t coming back to us, we’re gonna find her!”

    Some mother, I snort. As far as I can tell, that witch never even gave our daughter a name. The townspeople mostly call her Spooky.

    I would have named her Jill.

    “I’ve gotta be powerful enough to break your curse now! I just need Mommy to teach me how.”

    I meow up at her as we walk down yet another road together. She’s a good kid.

    Month by month, my memories of being human are slipping away. But the kid never seems to forget that I’m under a curse, even though she’s only ever known me as her cat.

    The kid’s step is surprisingly light for everything she’s already been through. We haven’t been able to keep her in shoes for a couple years now. It’s about time to do something about a new dress too.

    “Do you think Mommy’s okay?”

    Not much would make me happier than hearing that witch got exactly what was coming to her.

    “She’ll help us if we find her, right? But where do we even look?”

    I rub my head on the kid’s ankle.

    There is no simple answer.

    248 words

  8. Water soothed my soul. I always heard that you never knew what’s missing until it’s gone. It didn’t ring true until now.

    All my life I’d been drawn to the ocean. I never ventured too far. It allowed me to reenergize. I took it for granted. Now it might as well be on the other side of the world.

    “It’s less than twenty miles,” he said, his finger traversing a direct line on a map. “We’ll find a way there.”

    “Without a car? Without a rail system?” She shook her head. “It’s not like either one of us has magical powers to project our way there. You’re in no condition to walk all that way.”

    After all we had been through, together, we needed a break. The universe, though, didn’t seem to think so.

    “We got here. Somehow, we will get back.”

    “Listen, there is no simple answer.” Usually, I was the most positive person, the one who never gave up. This situation, though, rocked me more than seeing Cyndi Lauper perform live. Like, in her prime.

    “Then we’ll go about solving it another way – piece by piece.” He squeezed my hand, offering a physical connection that I craved. “But first priorities, we gotta get something to eat and find a place to crash for the night. Maybe they’ll even be an oversized tub.”

    He made it seem so simple. The glow from the streetlights reflected off his vibrant green eyes, and hope blossomed where previously there had been none.

    250 words

  9. “It’s a simple question, Darius!” Fiona snapped, eyes blazing in the firelight.

    “But there is no simple answer,” I said, imitating my mentor’s infuriating calm.

    A thunderstorm lodged on her forehead at that.

    I turned away from the daggers in her eyes. Seeing her beautiful face all sharpness and hate lodged an ache in my chest that was worse than the pain from Gerard’s sword cut.

    She hadn’t always been like this. Those eyes had laughed once, lips curling in decadent sweetness, palms soft against my skin.

    But I had ruined her, ruined us. Her bitterness was my fault. Mine to fix, if I could.

    “Can’t get much plainer than yes or no,” Fiona grumbled at my back. “And that’s a coward’s way to say no.”

    She stalked off into the darkness then, her muttered curses skittering back to me like sand across the dunes, stinging me like nettles.

    I sighed, shoulders sagging beneath it all—our history, my duty, and Briane’s secret. I could still picture my sister the night she’d left us. The pleading in her eyes, the scent of burned blood as she made me vow never to tell anyone where she’d gone and why.

    That promise had cost me dearly. Only Gerard’s death could make it right. Now as my gaze swept the moonlit dunes for Fiona’s slender frame, I knew the time had come for the final act. It was better she was angry with me so she wouldn’t weep when I failed to return.

    250 simple words

  10. The Games We Play

    Cal watched the woman confidently pace the confines of the office. There was a grace, and power to her strides. She’d earned that power and it was going to take all of it if they were going to survive.

    “How long have you known Aleksandr, and more importantly, do you trust him?” She asked.

    “You askin’ da wrong questions here, and you know it.”

    “What do you mean?”

    “Ain’t nobody, knows nobody here. We all got skeletons in our closets and Aleksandr? Dat man has an entire shelf in my closet,” Cal admitted. “We been allies, we been competitors, and we maintain a respectful relationship, by avoiding the hell out of each other.”

    “It’s a simple question. Do you trust him?”

    “Maybe, but there is no simple answer. I trust him to serve his own interests. I trust him to abide by the laws set forth by any ruling organization, and I trust him to bend the hell out of those rules when nobody’s lookin’.”

    “In other words, he’s a player.”

    “Cher, we all players – we just playin’ different games with different goals. And it gets complicated ‘cause we all playin’ on da same board.”

    “Then why are you asking me to join?”

    “‘Cause you already playin’ and we both know it. Question is, do you trust me?”

    He watched as she thought it over and saw the gleam in her eyes when she decided. He’d won the first hand. And the lady was about to deal the second.

    249words (not including title)

  11. There is no simple answer.

    Not to life, not to relationships, not to dreams, not to anything, really.

    Some people think there should be. Simple answers, that is. They think that a purpose in one’s life would simplify every question about their existence or the hardships they faced. They think that communication is the simplest answer to relationships that flourish, but that ain’t always the case. And let’s be honest, there’s simply nothing simple about dreams unless that person is trust fund baby.

    The truth to life is that if it were all simple than most of it wouldn’t be worth it.

    But is that really the case?

    Would the stars aligning for that perfect job be such a bad thing? Would it mean any less if that loan for a new kitchen had no hiccups to it? Or what about lady luck looking out and answering those pleas for a miracle?

    Would any of it mean any less just because it was simple? Since when did all the meaningful, deserving things in life have to come solely out of blood, sweat, and tears?

    Is it too much to ask that, for once in a while, there are some simple answers? Think about it. What a welcome bit of fresh air and relief it would be…


    216 random brain dump words

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