#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 558

Welcome back to the home of #ThursThreads. 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 558 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 558:

George Varhalmi with anole

Dead Thing Specialist, Mining Geologist, and Original Book Boyfriend, George Varhalmi.

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And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“What did you say?”

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 558”

  1. Bus Stop Blues

    ‘Pardon me?’
    ‘Done. You’re pardoned. No gas chamber today.’
    ‘Funny! You asked something?’
    ‘’Oh, yeah. When’s the next bus due?’
    ‘Schedules up there.’
    ‘Right. Saw that. Kind of blurry. Forgot my specs in any case. Couldn’t read tea leaves even if I had a cup. What’s it say?’
    ‘Doesn’t really matter. Out here in the sticks, they hardly keep to the scheduled time.’
    ‘That must be frustrating.’
    ‘Only if you let it. You in a hurry to get somewhere?’
    ‘Granddaughter’s birthday. Dinner in town. Sixteen today.’
    ‘You just visiting? I guessing you don’t live around here.’
    ‘’You’d guess right. Portland.’
    ‘Nice city. Visited back in…what was it, 1978?’
    ‘Long time ago. Never wanted to go back?’
    ‘Just never came up. And you know, I did some time.’
    ‘What did you say?’ Did time?’
    ‘A few years. Totally innocent, of course. She was dead when I found her. Tried to stop the bleeding. It got real messy.’
    ‘Ah…there…is that the bus?’
    ‘Nope. Logging truck. Gets mighty lonely here waiting for the bus. Folks have been known to wander off…never be seen again.’
    ‘Maybe I’ll walk home to my son’s house and call a cab.’
    ‘Good luck with that. Never had much luck with the local cab company. Drivers get nervous picking up folks, strangers out here in the tulies. And there was that cabbie got knifed…two weeks ago. Best you just wait. I like the company.’
    ‘Okay. It’s still light.’
    ‘Nice and dark soon. Love the dark.’

    250 words

  2. Briona unbuckled her gun belt and scanned the room before setting it on the decorative side table near the coat closet. Triss tried not to flinch at the sight of the baton and Glock in its holster, but memories of Danny pulling out his baton when she refused to do something or pulling his weapon and laying it on the table beside the couch flashed through her head. She took a few steps back and pressed herself against the door of the closet as her heart shot into her throat. She wrapped her arms around her waist and tried to slow her breathing, but the blood rushed in her ears and she couldn’t fight off the fear.

    I’m having a panic attack.

    But she couldn’t stop it and divert the panic away. Briona stopped, narrowed her eyes, and said something, but Triss couldn’t hear it over the roaring in her ears. Briona took a step closer and probably said something—her lips moved—but Triss couldn’t decipher what it was. She shook her head and squeezed her eyes shut.

    “Triss!” Hands grasped her arms. “Can you hear me?”

    “W–what did you say?” Triss opened her eyes and stared up at Briona, hoping the other woman couldn’t see how fast her pulse was going.

    “Come sit down. You’re breathing too fast.” Briona guided Triss to the loveseat and let her sit down before crouching in front of her. “What’s going through your head right now?”

    249 ineligible #SummitSprings words

  3. The horse stamped its feet in the cobblestones, disturbed by its task. There was a man inside the carriage, his face shrouded by shadows.

    “What do you want to do now?” The driver asked, his voice small against the night. He looked as nervous as his horse, his scarf wrapped around his face, only his eyes visible beneath his cap.

    The occupant of the cab murmured. His was a voice that didn’t carry well, merging with the darkness; its words felt in the driver’s stomach rather than heard.

    “What did you say?” The driver asked, crouching to one side, trying to hear his passenger’s words better. “I have problems hearing sometimes. It’s an affliction of an occupation I practised long ago. I used to be a blacksmith; pounding metal on a forge isn’t best suited if you want to preserve your hearing.”

    The voice tried again. The horse stamped its feet, pulling at its traces, anxious to distance itself from its master’s fare. The driver crouched even lower, almost to the point of hanging from his seat, his cap beginning to slide from his head.

    A face appeared at the window, pushing the drapes aside. The passenger had a nose like a hawk’s beak, a single yellow eye, and a high corrugated forehead. There was also a hint of his hair; hanging across the other eye, dark and lustrous as a raven’s wing.

    “There was no need to shout,” the driver said. “I heard you perfectly well the first time.”

    250 words – twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com

  4. Kin stared for a stunned moment. “What did you say?”

    Glowering back, Meg said, “You heard me.”

    “Aye, lass, I heard you but I’m not listening to a word of it.”

    “Oh? Really? So what I say isn’t important?”

    “Now you’re not listenin’ t’ me.”

    Her face acquired a pinched look that almost made him laugh. Being a smart Wolf, he refrained from teasing his mate at this particular moment. “Answer me this then. Why are ya goin’ t’Scotland?”

    “To see my dad and assure him I’m fine.”

    “And why would ya be stayin’ there?”

    She noticed his accent was getting thicker. She’d learned that could mean any number of things—that he was angry, worried, amused, or afraid he was losing the argument. Admittedly, it currently could be any of those things. She rolled her lips between her teeth and pressed them together, closed her eyes, and inhaled deeply—all actions designed to settle herself.

    “I don’t have a place in the US. I gave up my apartment. My stuff’s in storage. I am not going to my mother’s house in Beverly Hills. Until I find a job and get some funds, I can live at Dad’s place in Edinburgh.”

    “Ya can, can ya? And it never occurred to ya that you’d be comin’ home with me?”

    She blinked at his tone of voice—quiet, growly, and with a hint of menace. “Come home with you?”

    “Aye, Meg, with me.”

    “Oh.” That quick, all was right in her world.
    250 CROSSFIRE WIP words

  5. “Well would you look at that.”

    “Look at what?” Rox peered over her colleague’s shoulder. Not that it did any good. She couldn’t see whatever it was AJ was examining through the microscope.


    Rox cocked her hip against the table, giving her that look. “AJ. You realize I don’t have the ability to zone in my sight like your microscope does, right?” AJ didn’t give a reply, murmuring to herself as she fiddled with the knobs, switching between gazing through the lens and scribbling down doctor-worthy cursive notes in the well-used composition notebook to her side. With a shake of her head and a chuckle Rox pushed away. “One of these days you’re going to exclaim something and not even realize you’re alone in the room.”

    “Hmmm,” AJ hummed, “Absolutely. Thai for lunch sounds great.”

    A smirk tugged at her lips. “And how about we discover the next mythological creature while we’re at it. Maybe prove that Nessie is real and that pigs really can fly.”


    The laugh that bubbled up from her throat made AJ startle and look up finally. “What? Did you say something? What did you say?”

    “I said we’ll prove that pigs really can fly.”

    AJ snorted. “Don’t be preposterous. Their bone structure would never be able to support wings, nor would their wings ever support their weight.”

    “Oh but unicorns and dragons are for sure real?”

    “Absolutely, and they live shapeshifting all around us.”

    Rox smiled. Yeah, they sure do, right beside you.


    250 words

  6. “You don’t think… Vedania would hurt me… Do you?”

    “That is an interesting question.”

    An airy voice floats over our shoulders before I can even press my head reassuringly against Spooky. We both turn to see the purple elf, Emathyst, standing over us without her oversized sword. She sits with us on the bank overlooking the forest on the other side of Spooky from me.

    “What do you think?” Emathyst continues sincerely.

    Of the elven sisters, Emathyst is the one I understand the least. The long hair, fancy dress, and excess of grace—even for an elf—remind me of the high society ladies I used to hobnob with. The real ladies. But the massive falchion and sense that she might be able to crush granite with her bare hands don’t track with that.

    “I didn’t mean… That is, I’m not saying that I think she would hurt me!”

    My tail swishes as I ponder how best to position myself to intervene if the elf tries anything. Emathyst nods and hums, apparently deeply considering Spooky’s words. My ward continues her awkward explanation to Vedania’s sister.

    “It’s just that, she seems really angry. At my mom.”

    Emathyst hums again, “Vedania is quite high-spirited. But she tries her best to be a good person. I trust her.”

    “Why did you come out here?” Spooky frowns dubiously.

    “The spirits said I should check on you.”

    “What did you say?”

    Emathyst smiles gently, “That I thought that was a wonderful idea.”

    247 words

  7. Sunshine slept on a cot on that deck that night. She fell asleep to the sound of the ocean waves breaking on the shore, with a fine, salt water mist that drifted over her during the night.

    She woke with the sunrise. The sun appeared to come out of the ocean, and climb into the sky. As it did, the sky lit up, the clouds became visible, and the colors of the world came back to life, replacing the shades of gray that consume everything in the darkness of the night.

    The machines did as she asked, and she had her favorite fruits for breakfast that morning, while she sat on the deck, and watched the ocean.

    “Ah. Merlin. What did you say? Before I left home?”

    Sometimes, the actual words didn’t really matter, did they? Sometimes, the intent of the words was what mattered. “Travel the world.” Something like that. It was Merlin’s way of telling her she needed to find herself.

    “How do I find myself?” She looked at her hands, “I have no idea how to start. Where to start. What to do. Where to go.”

    If she asked, the machines would show here a map of the entire world of Cylinders. She wouldn’t have to go anywhere. She could simply go home, with the knowledge of the world provided to her.

    Those few words struck at her, “provided to her.”

    “I would learn nothing that way. I have to go for myself.”

    246 Words

  8. “The moon is beautiful, don’t you think?” The spring breeze was warm and smelled of flowers. Soon summer would come, and with it the scent of stagnation and pollution, but for now, it was refreshing.

    “Sorry. I wasn’t listening. What did you say?” Mollie spent most of her time in her head. It’s what allowed her to be able to spend time with me without needing to flee in exasperation at my babbling.

    “The moon. Don’t you think it’s beautiful tonight?”

    She laughed, light as the spring breeze. “Of course. But I always think it’s beautiful. The question is why do you think it’s beautiful?”

    “What do you mean?”

    “Well, what’s beautiful about it to you? Does it have pretty colors?”

    “Well, no, obviously not.”

    “Is it shiny? Does it sparkle in the night?”

    “What? No. It’s kind of dirty grey and has no light of its own.”

    “Is it perfect in form?”

    “It makes a circle, and I like circles.”

    “Yes, but it’s not a circle all the time. It’s not a circle tonight.”


    “What else do you see when you look at it?”

    “Ummm. The craters?”

    “The craters from meteors and asteroids beating it up over billions of years? All that damage, and you still think it’s beautiful?”

    “Yes. It’s the moon…everyone thinks it’s beautiful.”

    Mollie turned to me, now serious. “If the dirty, damaged, grey moon can be beautiful to you, why would you ever think that you’re too broken to be beautiful to me?”

    249 words

  9. Never Date a Zombie Queen.

    Laughter filled the chamber, with the rasping hiss of dead leaves blowing across the crypt floor.
    I shuddered, not knowing what would come next. At least she was amused by my discomfort but it really didn’t help as we tried to open the sarcophagus without damaging it.

    Then I got smart.

    I noticed that the sarcophagus had been sealed with three large screws, and the key had been placed on the altar in the back of the crypt.

    “You planned this all out didn’t you, Magda?”

    My voice was swallowed by the darkness as my flashlight flickered and died, leaving us in the darkness that had surrounded the graveyard.

    “Fine, we’ll do it your way,” I said lighting the torches.

    Another 10 minutes of fiddling and I was finally able to push the stone to the side. I placed the box on the edge as I looked in, and her laughter became louder, more terrifying.

    I let my breath out, and all the carefully rehearsed lines of the invocation died on my lips as I bowed my head and whispered my intent.

    The wind howled around us as the flames flickered then brightened and the shadows once again gave way to daylight.

    “What did you say?” my companion asked, and before I could answer Magda answered with a bright bubbling laugh.

    “He said I looked like death warmed over in a microwave.”

    And this, my friends, is why you should never date a zombie queen.

    PS, she said, “Yes!”

    249 words, not including title.

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