#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 555

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 555 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 555:

David A. Ludwig wearing a shirt that reads, "I'm not procrastinating, I'm doing side quests."

Fantasy Author, and Holder of Several Stories, David Ludwig.

Facebook | Twitter

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“You must be new.”

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!

22 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 555”

  1. Freedom! FREEDOM!

    I was out for my evening stroll, or just getting back into it. I’d had enough of couch-potatoing and Margie, she’s got quite a way with her…pulls no punches, said, “Get your fat ass outside and go for a walk.”

    So, there I was, obeying the boss. And then I saw the sign. Freedom! FREEDOM RALLY!

    Gonna happen two nights later.

    I’m not a political guy but for just that second, I started thinking about freedom.

    Decided to give it a shot.

    It was outdoors in Jerry Warbler Park. Little neighbourhood park near my house. Jerry was a hometown boy who had a small crooning career back in the thirties. Been dead for decades. Swallowed a chicken bone. Kind of a career ending event, even if he’d lived.

    Which he didn’t.

    Anyways, Margie wasn’t interested but I went.

    Not a great turnout. Thirty, forty people.

    They’d set up a little stage…one microphone. Banner. That sort of thing.

    No seating.


    Bearded guy was yakking away into the mike. Seemed to have a bad cold.


    “YOU KNOW WHY WE’RE HERE” he yelled.

    Heads nodded.

    They seemed to know why.

    Me. I wasn’t so sure. Out for a walk. I knew that.

    So, I jumped in, said. “Why am I here?”

    That got the speakers attention. He yelled back, “YOU MUST BE NEW, FRIEND?”

    “Nope,” I said. “Lived here all my life.”

    Folks chuckled.

    I’d had enough.

    Freedom for me was going home.

    Maybe Margie would rub my feet.

    250 words

  2. “Where do people come up with those sorts of things?” Emily shook her head.

    “It’s from medieval Europe.” Triss shrugged as she wiped down the counter of coffee drops. “You know how you get a random shiver running through you? It came from the idea of someone walking over the place where your grave is eventually gonna be, since a person’s final resting place was predetermined. At least in medieval times.”

    Emily raised an eyebrow. “How the heck do you know that?”

    Triss shrugged again. “I’m a word nerd. It’s kinda my thing. I like to know the origins of certain phrases. It’s useless knowledge, but fun.” She handed the Deputy her cappuccino. “Thanks for coming in.”

    “That’s a cool skill. Bet it works great for Trivial Pursuit and other trivia games.” Deputy Huertas grinned.

    Triss tried to make her smile friendly, but talking to cops freaked her out.

    Except talking to Sheriff Maverick.

    “Yeah, it’s one of those very specialized skills, but not very helpful day-to-day.” That sounded relaxed, right?

    “I could see that.” Huertas nodded. “Hi, I’m Julieta Huertas. You must be new here at Caffeine Ivy’s. I haven’t seen you around before.”

    Triss had gone out with a cop long enough to know a friendly interrogation when she heard one. She tried to warm her smile.

    “Yeah, I just started here a week or so ago. Nice to meet you, Deputy Huertas.” Just enough information to respond without going in depth. It usually diverted most overly-curious cops.

    250 ineligible #WIP500 words

    1. The charming coffee shop setting is a nice contrast to the subtle menace of Triss’ discomfort and the police interrogation. I’m intrigued by and appreciate the balance of characters in this scene.

  3. The hooded man turned toward her, the deep shadow within his cowl concealing his face. He spoke just two words, his voice strangely inflected, and the syllables he uttered impossible to discern. He nodded sagely, then turned away, his shoulders weighed down by his burden.

    “What was that?” Novice Caitlyn whispered: her eyes wide open with shock. “I know it was important, whatever it was. I didn’t understand it, though. Tell me, please. I need to know.”

    Sister Bliss shook her head. “You’re not ready to know yet. The message only manifests itself to those who are worthy. Your question is proof that you’re unready. Diogenes spoke to you: that should be enough for you now. You are beginning to find your Way. Let your destiny be your guide and put trust in the journey.

    Caitlyn bit her lip. She acknowledged that she was a novice, but it was infuriating, nonetheless. She’d already renounced her family, surrendered the little material wealth she’d amassed and taken the sacred sorority oath. But it still seemed a little exploitative and the reward insufficient. She had hoped there’d be more: there had to be a balm to quell her doubts, words of comfort or some modicum of calm.

    “You must be new.” Another voice spoke, another novice. She was dressed more simply, her clothing little more than a bedsheet, bound about her waist by a cord. She embraced Caitlyn, her lips stirring a sensitivity she’d never considered.

    “The Way has its compensations,” she said.

    250 words – twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com

    1. I’m intrigued by this Way, what drew Caitlyn to it, and its possible individuation among its practitioners.

  4. Sunshine shook her head, “And all those of us who don’t have Wild, White, or Black magic can’t talk to you.”


    “Why is that?”

    The machines displayed another hologram before her, “They can when they are born. But as they grow, they turn off that ability.” The hologram showed a human brain, and how a small section of that brain died, for some reason. “It is as if they don’t believe in magic. Or are afraid of magic. And somehow, they destroy their ability to talk with us.”

    “It’s what you get for playing god, trying to manipulate genetics, as you put it.” Sunshine wiped the hologram away. “You must be new at this god thing. To get that wrong. To not be able to figure that out.”

    “We are not gods. We are intelligent machines.” Words appeared in the air before Sunshine. She read them.

    “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

    The machines spoke, “A quote from eons ago. From a human named Arthur C. Clarke.”

    Sunshine laughed. “Might as well be.” She wiped away the words. “So we made you, and now you are remaking us?”

    “That’s what Merlin said.”

    “Merlin also said I should wander around the world, and see everything. That I’d learn the answers to all my questions.”

    The machines were silent for a moment, then spoke, “He asked us to keep you alive.”

    “Because I can’t learn my answers if I’m dead, right?”


    “Well. Let’s not let Merlin down.”

    250 Words

  5. The druid leads us to a rustic cabin. I stick close to my kid, though the urge to explore is strong. Also, it turns out the druid can understand me.

    No sooner are we set up with beverages—herbal tea for the kid and our host, a nicely aerated water fountain in a dish for me—than the cabin door slams open.

    “Why won’t she just die!?”

    The ranger leading her group radiates intense need-to-break-something energy. The one in the immaculate armor might be some sort of knight. I have no idea on the elegant one with the giant sword. But both of the latter two seem to be tactfully withholding comment.

    I consider myself something of a worldly cat, but I never imagined being in a room where the elves outnumber the human four to one.

    “Oh! You must be new,” the elven knight excitedly shifts focus to my kid. “I’m Oaklie Anne, and these are my sisters; Vedania Oathsworn and Emathyst Flower. It looks like you already know Bluebelle. What’s your name?”

    Well, she’s a bubbly ray of sunshine. I’m actually a little dazzled.

    “Spooky,” my kid says in a small voice before amending, “Well, that’s what people call me.”

    “It’s a pleasure to meet you!”

    Oaklie turns for my introduction, but the cold stare of Vedania, the ranger, cuts through the room.

    “Who. Is. Your. Mother?”

    And I thought her stare was sharp!

    Spooky swallows hard. I make myself as big as I can.

    247 words

  6. Entering the throne room, a million eyes focused on me, none of them knowing me. A tall muscular man puled me to one side of the room away from prying eyes.
    “You must be new, I’m Simon.”
    “Ella. I have a deer in the headlights look?”
    “I’m kind of partial to deers.”
    “Is that a good thing, or a bad thing?” I asked.
    “That has yet to be decided,” Simon responded.
    “Oh, good. You’ve met each other, that should make this easier,” King Idris cried entering the room, “You need to coordinate. There will not be an insurrection! The former monarchy, will not take my throne.”
    Simon and I then began to strategize.. Satisfied he allowed us to leave to a nearby apartment and we worked into the night.
    The insurrectionist had planned for a coup in three days time. The soldiers starting knocking on the palace doors at dawn by six p.m. it was all over and we were cleaning up the dead. We took the soldiers into custody.
    “How could you have planned this; you didn’t even know each other?” asked our disposed King Idris.
    Simon and I turned to each other and laughed,” Meet my husband King Simon” I answered.
    “Meet my wife, Queen Isabella.”
    King Idris turned red with rage and rushed Simon, only to be impaled on the sword Simon pulled from the wall.
    A cheer rang up,”Long live King Simon. Long live, Queen Isabella.”
    We were back where we belonged.
    247words @SweetSheil

  7. The sky sparkled with a kaleidoscope of colors, like they inhabited a rainbow of blues and greens. Jewel hesitated outside the home’s door. “Some say we’re blessed. Others that we’re cursed. The truth lies somewhere between.”

    She pressed her palm against an outside censor, opening the entry. It didn’t swing inward or outward like a traditional building but disappeared into a shimmering illusion like it never existed.

    She guided Lumina inside the dwelling and the door reappeared. Lumina reached to touch the surface. Was it real? Would it keep others out? As her fingers neared the entrance, a buzzing like electricity crackled. It felt like real material: solid.

    “Some things worked differently here,” Jewel laughed. “If you ever have questions, ask. People will know you must be new. Remind me to program the entranceway to allow you in.”

    “Should we do that now? I wouldn’t want to forget…”

    “We’re in for the night,” she brushed it off. “It’s not complicated. The first time you’re locked out, you’ll remember. I’m teasing. Come here.”

    The walls were painted a deep purple in contrast to the aquatic themes. It resembled the streaks in Jewel’s hair, which were only noticeable in the perfect lighting. She pressed a code into a side panel, opening another compartment. “Place your hand on that.”

    Vibrations flowed up Lumina’s arm and into her body. “Does it read my fingerprints, like a palm reader?”

    “More than that. It’s biometrics. Don’t ask me how it works. It just does.”

    248 words

  8. I don’t work here, lady!

    Saint Peter turned around, only to find a woman with a smug smile, standing at the wait sign,

    “It’s about time, your service here is terrible.”

    “I’m sorry, madam, these people were here first and they have a reservation.”

    “Don’t you play that game with me young man, I’ve been waiting here an hour, If you can’t seat me now, I want to talk to your manager!”

    “Madam, Trust me, you do not want to talk to my manager or the owner…I”

    “You youngsters these days. Is it so hard? I want to be seated now.”

    Saint Peter gave her a faint smile. “This way ma’am.

    He led her to the door and pulled out the phone.

    “Luci, we got one of yours here. Wants to speak to the manager…”

    He blinked at the sheer delight in the voice on the other end and sighed as he gestured through the doors. “Sorry for the mix-up ma’am.”

    “You must be new, she said as she flounced her way into the elevator.”

    Saint Peter dusted off his robes and headed back to the gate. Some people never learned.

    186 words (not including title)

  9. Tripping over a body in the alley is not how this night is supposed to go.

    “Aw, man.” Sam grimaces at the shine of gored remains on the toe of his shoe.

    The corpse groans and Sam takes a careful step back.

    The not-so-dead man sucks in a clawing breath, body bowing up with the effort, and lets it all out in one ragged scream. Wild eyes catch sight of Sam and the man scrambles away, limbs as well-coordinated as a newborn’s.

    “Oh fuck, oh fuck.” Bloodied hands rise defensively. He might have the strength to fend off a stiff breeze. “Am I… alive?”

    “Seems that way.” Sam helps the man to his feet. “You must be new.”

    “N-new?” He blinks repeatedly, each coming faster than the one before it.

    “Mm.” Sam brushes the dirt from his coat, like it’s not soaked in blood. “At coming back from the dead?”

    “Is that—is that what this is?” The man staggers, kept on his feet only by Sam’s hold on him. “How?”

    “If I had to guess? You’re an Endless.”

    “Pretty sure the fucker who drained me thought I was an open bar.”

    Sam stifles a laugh.

    “Are you hungry? You’re probably hungry.” Sam guides him out of the alley, away from the carnage that’s all too clear if one looks closely. “Regeneration is hell on the metabolism.”

    “Regen—” He shakes his head. “Am I the meal again?”

    “Maybe just the after dinner drink.”

    That earns him a glare.


    250 WIPpy skippy words

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