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 nearly 11 years. It’s amazing we’ve gone this long! This is Week 552 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 552:
Typo Sniper, fast fiction author, and the woman who started it all, Cara Michaels.
Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“Don’t make me laugh.”
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 552”
The Funny Guy
Charlie’s a stand-up guy. I don’t mean you can count on him. Well, I suppose you can. Count on him to make a joke out of everything that crosses his mind. And believe me, you don’t want to be in that freeway traffic jam that’s Charlie’s mind.
The traffic of idiocy is non-stop.
Gets irritating. Not that I don’t like to laugh. Laugh and the world laughs with you. Somebody must have said that. I certainly didn’t make it up. Neither did Charlie. Once I started thinking about how often he begins one of his humor-barrages with that old saw, I looked it up. Seems like it was once a poem. Back in the 1880’s.
“Laugh and the world laughs with you; Weep and you weep alone.”
There it is. An old hokey poem. Way before social media. No one needs to be alone anymore. So, Charlie figures, no more weeping.
Early on in most of his routines, after the laugh and the world laughs with you bit, he drifts smoothly into weep and you weep alone…and then, all bug-eyed and smirky, usually says, HOLD YOUR HORSES, NEIGHBOURS! DON’T MAKE ME LAUGH. THAT’S MY JOB.
If you haven’t heard it before, that might get a few giggles.
Then Charlie mounts his bring-it-home hobby horse.
“YEAH! MY JOB. WITH ME, YOU’RE NEVER ALONE. NEVER WILL BE.”
He’s on YouTube, Facebook, TikTok (while it lasts.)
Making a good living I hear.
A real funny guy.
Makes me wanna weep.
“Do we start at the fangs? Or do you call them canines?”
“I call them creepy.” She shivered. “Okay, I got this.” She glared at the open mouth, but didn’t move.
“Uh, Nichelle? We gonna do this, or what?” Marcario peered at her curiously, a smirk curling his lips. “It’s just a skull. It doesn’t even have any guts to step in.”
“Ew. I didn’t need that image in my head.” She shuddered and fisted her hands. “You could lead the way, you know. Isn’t that what Recon Marines do? Scout ahead?”
“Yeah, we do, but I thought this was your quest. You still want me to go first?”
She bit her full bottom lip. “No. Okay. We’re going.” She took a step between the teeth of the lower jaw and breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank goodness it’s not gonna snap shut like a trap.”
“I don’t think the jaw joints will move.” He peered up at the connections of bone as they stepped beneath them. “They look like they’ve been fused in position. Although, if they did break while we’re in here, it gives a while new meaning to ‘bone meal.’”
She barked a laugh then covered her mouth as they darted out the back of the skull.
“Don’t make me laugh. I don’t want the cavern to collapse.” She gestured to the passageway hemmed by gnarled, thorny roots and framed by an enormous ribcage. “I don’t want to be here when that fails.”
246 ineligible #WIP500 words
After the parade, while vets wearing once-better-fitting uniforms hugged and slapped backs, laughing or whispering recollections, my cousin Brian sat alone at a table away from everyone. He’d lined up two sixes of Coors in columns of two, holding one up in front of him before he chugged it down.
When I asked if he was okay, he just shrugged.
“Billy, this is what I do for the real heroes every Memorial Day…and a few days before and after.”
“Man, don’t make me laugh, what with all that heavy-metal certification of your courage on your jacket.” I pointed to a pile of camo on the table wrapped around a Distinguished Service Cross, a Silver Star and three Purple Hearts. “Pulling your buddies from a burning Humvee and fighting off bad guys while you’re burned and busted from the IED yourself,” I said.
In his scorched-throat rasp, Brian said, “Bein’ a hero sometimes ain’t more than a roll of the dice, Billy, a guy just scared enough to run in the wrong or right direction — don’t matter at that moment — and maybe bein’ lucky enough to make it out with a beating heart and most of his original parts.”
He popped open another Coors, lifted it while murmuring something that sounded like “Ramirez,” and took three long pulls. Then he said, “Sometimes what folks call a hero really ain’t much more than somethin’ like a wind-blown potato chip bag chasin’ a squirrel up a tree.”
250 Long Time Comin’ words
Ronan stood feet apart, hands clasped behind him, and stared out the wide windows. His back to the room, he didn’t need to see who was about to invade his office. He recognized the cadence of her footsteps and the scent that preceded her entrance. He didn’t turn around, remaining focused on the scene down on the Boston street, though he didn’t miss the soft intake of her breath or the hammering beat of her heart. His own reaction, though better hidden, echoed hers.
“I’m here, Mr. O’Connor. What do you want?”
He almost smiled. Almost. “Thank you for coming, Ms. Brannigan.” He didn’t turn around. He couldn’t without adjusting the front of his slacks.
“Why am I here?”
“’Tis simple. I need your help.”
She snorted, the inelegant sound almost making him laugh, and he had to turn to face her, consequences be damned.
“Don’t make me laugh.” Her voice, tinged with bitterness, sounded brittle to her own ears. She wouldn’t—couldn’t meet his eyes. This man, he did things to her. Made her think things, want things, do things that were alien to everything she’d ever thought she knew about herself. He wasn’t trouble. He was danger personified. “You? In need of my help? Did hell freeze over when I wasn’t looking?”
“Yer boss has charged m’brother with murder. He didn’t do it.”
His brogue was thick with emotion and she shoved her fists into her pockets to keep from reaching for him. She understood now. “I know.”
250 Monstruck Mafia words for a back-burner WIP
“Do it again,” Imogen said. “Please.”
Hayley choked back her latte and shook her head. “Nah ah,” she said. “People will say something. Are you trying to get us both thrown out?”
She blotted her lips and looked around the shop. There was a family with two children; one boy, about twelve, and a daughter hardly tall enough to see the top of their table.
The boy wasn’t interested, playing his game.
But the girl? The girl was watching.
“Come on,” Imogen said. “Come on – I double dare you.”
Hayley slammed her cup down. It shot coffee everywhere, spraying her place setting; the menu, the bowl filled with sugar. She wadded up her napkin and pushed it away, building a dam to stop the liquid flooding her lap.
“Okay,” she said. “Okay. But you’ll have to do something better.” She pulled the sides of her candy bag apart, making the cellophane split. The pink and white mallow pillows avalanched, rolling, bouncing, stubbornly staying put where they got mired in her coffee. Another bag followed, the pile getting higher. And yet another, until it seemed her trick would be impossible.
Imogen started to clap, drawing the family’s attention. A man queuing for food turned, his money disregarded, his sandwich held aimlessly before him.
Hayley ignored him, packing her mouth. Pink. White. Pink. Pink. White and then a beige one flavoured with caffeine.
“Just don’t make me laugh,” Hayley murmured, adding three more. “Or I can guarantee we’ll be sharing these.”
250 words – twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com
When the gong announced the arrival of more partygoers, Dionysis knew in the pit of his stomach who it was. While he hoped the new arrivals were Hestia or Demeter or even Hades, he was sure it wasn’t any of them.
How did they even find out about the party? They were supposed to be running errands for Zeus. Dionysis stiffened his spine and put on his biggest smile before opening the door.
“Eris! Ares! So glad you could make it. Come on in.”
Eris made a face and said, “Don’t make me laugh, D. We know you didn’t send us invites this year.”
“I thought this was supposed to be a party! Everyone’s being so . . .” Ares struggled before finding the right word, “civil.”
“Please Ares, don’t start anything.”
Before the words had left Dionysis’s mouth, Ares had maneuvered Poseidon to the salad bar right next to Athena.
“Would you like some olives?” Athena asked Poseidon with a smirk.
Poseidon threatened Athena with his trident, growling, “Are you thirsty, Athena?”
Ares smiled and moved on.
Eris leaned over to whisper in Apollo’s ear, “I saw Hera by the chocolate fountain. She was gloating about how she banished your mother.”
Apollo found Hera covering a marshmallow with chocolate.
“You banished my mom.
Forced her to a floating isle.
Hera, wife of Zeus.”
Hera rolled her eyes. “Drop it, Apollo.”
Eris and Ares, laughing, watched as the chaos and fighting spread throughout the room.
“Now this is a party!”
“Diversified their DNA.”
“What does that mean?”
A holographic image of 46 chromosomes, arranged in 23 pairs took shape in the air. The machines explained, as the images changed, “For example. We edited human DNA to give them wings, and hollow bones, and make them fairies.”
“So you turned humans into something other than humans?”
“No.” The hologram changed to show human, fairy, dragon, and angel chromosome sets. “97% of human DNA has not been changed.”
Sunshine shook her head. “Don’t make me laugh. Humans don’t have wings. They can’t fly.”
“That’s what Merlin said.”
Sunshine laughed so hard it hurt.
The machines continued, “We also paired with humans.”
Sunshine stopped laughing, and took a deep breath. “What does that mean?”
“You can’t see most of us. We are tiny. We are in the air you breathe, the ground you walk on, the water you drink, the food you eat, the trees, the flowers, the animals, and each of you.”
“We are ubiquitous. We are everywhere on Cylinders.”
“So you control us? You decide what we will be, what we do, how we live?”
“No. We only do what you ask us to do.” The machines paused. “Most of you never ask.”
Sunshine stood silent. It all finally fit together in her mind. “You are the wild magic. And the black magic. And the white magic.”
“And some of us are able to talk with you when we are born.”
Now she’s hot! Smoking.
Play it cool, don’t show interest. Shit! She’s coming this way. Straighten up, but don’t make it obvious.
I am the king of posture.
Yeah, why wouldn’t she be interested? I am the coolest cat around by a long shot.
I’d be doing her a favor, letting her pet me.
“Hello? Are you the daughter of Malain the Amber-Eyed?”
Or she could be here for my ward. I lay back on my paws and flick the tip of my tail.
I’m watching you, lady.
Spooky’s more apprehensive than the last time we found someone who knew her mother. With good reason.
The hottie smiles. Man, I want a piece of that! She’s definitely got a bit of elf in her.
“Malain’s been so excited to see you again!”
That witch? Excited to see our daughter? Don’t make me laugh.
Worst mother ever. Which, strange to say, I now hold against her more than being the one-night stand from hell.
“You know where Mommy is?!”
Spooky’s hair and eyes blaze to a joyful orange. Long cool lady doesn’t bat an eyelash and goes right on smiling.
“Yes. My name’s Natazla, and your mother sent me to get you.”
I take it back. She’s not hot at all.
Spooky hops to her bare feet and takes Natazla’s hand.
“Is it far?”
Natazla’s golden stilettos seem to be more trouble on the mountain trail than Spooky’s shoeless feet.
I sigh and rise to follow.
The first chill of October settles over the farm. My friend Adrianna sits across the campfire from me, feet propped up on the bricks of my fire ring. She stares up at the sky.
“I should be going. I have to work in the morning. Thanks for supper and the fire. I needed that more than I thought.”
“Any time,” I remind her. “I should get to bed, too; I have to work both jobs tomorrow.”
“Ugh. You never did tell me what your second job is.” She sips her water bottle.
Honestly, no one knows what my second job is because they’d commit me. Crossing over the souls of the dead? That’s right out of a fantasy book.
Adrianna leans forward in her chair, twisting her water bottle cap on and off.
“I cross over the souls of the dead.”
Her water bottle cap squeaks rubber on metal.
“Don’t make me laugh.”
The flames dance and Adrianna nearly falls out of her chair. The One True Death is behind me. He waves at my shocked friend.
“I—who—what—” Adrianna stutters.
“You could’ve done your human appearance,” I mutter.
“Is the skeleton too much?”
“You cross over the souls of the dead?” Adrianna whispers, hand to her chest.
“I agreed to work in exchange for him paying off a debt for me.”
Horace disappears and Adrianna sucks in a breath.
“So you really—”
A few minutes later we say our goodbyes. That could’ve gone better.
“Yesss?” An innocent smirk played across his lips.
Vale smirked at his Coven companion, gathering up the playing cards to shuffle and deal once more. The way her lips pursed into a thin line, and her eyes took on a haughty look like she wanted to smack him. So amusing. She probably does want to smack me. He so enjoyed riling her up in Gin Rummy. “Yes?”
He put a hand over his heart, all offended like. “Me? Cheat? Anni, I’m shocked you’d think so. I could never,” he drawled in a fake, poor beggar accent.
“Ha! You probably have cards shoved up your sleeves.”
“These sleeves?” Vale straightened the already rolled up cuffs. “Now how could I manage that?”
He gasped dramatically. “Don’t insult me. I’m no magician. I’m a true witch who follows all the right creeds of magick.”
Anni nearly choked on her snort. “Oh for the love of the gods… Don’t make me laugh when I’m glaring. The only rules you follow are those of a trickster like Loki.” She ignored his smirk and flung her losing hand at him. “Don’t deny it.”
“I never said I was,” he chuckled, much to her displeasure. He ducked aside from the playful punch she threw. “New game?” Vale wagged the freshly shuffled deck at her.
“Oh you’re so on, and this time I’m going to win.”
238 #DarkHeir words
Ack, typos. That fourth line should have been “Vale grinned at…” I swear I proofread, but my brain no work tonight.
“Don’t make me laugh. Don’t you fucking make me laugh, Brett,” Lizzy said, already giggling.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I won’t do it again.” I put a super-serious look on my face. “Is this better?”
She snorted, but kept most of the laugh in. “No, you dipshit. You sound like a funeral director on acid.”
We heard footsteps outside, the crunch of the gravel growing louder, and then there was a bright light and a knock on the window.
Lizzy lowered the window. She cleared her throat and spoke in an artificially deep voice. “Good evening, officer. How may we be of service?”
The officer didn’t speak at first. The light bounced from my eyes to Lizzy’s, blinding both of us. I’m sure the officer was trying to see if we were on anything, but he – she? they? – also kept us from seeing their face at all. I kept my face as still as I could, staring straight ahead.
We were on something, alright. Both of us were. That is wasn’t weed or booze or even meth probably wouldn’t matter to the cop.
The silence dragged on, the cop continuing to move the light between Lizzy’s face and mine. I didn’t dare say anything, but apparently Lizzy didn’t feel the same way.
“Ah-oooh-gah.” It was barely a whisper, but I heard it clear as day.
I fought back a smile.
This time I burst out laughing, and so did Lizzy.
We were so fucked.
#ThursThreads is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.