#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 559

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 559 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 559:

AKV in sunglasses

Cat wrangler, master violinist, and Tea connoisseur, Muirlette #1.

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“Does it sparkle in the night?”

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!

10 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 559”

  1. Emma picked through debris. The garbage heap was filled with broken everyday objects of a dead era.

    Gabe sat on his haunches, fists to his face, observing. “You want the shiny stuff?”

    Emma hummed and stung a CD onto her long cable. Her creation wasn’t long enough.

    “What about this?”

    Emma shielded her eyes from the sun. “No. Think small and metallic.”

    Gabe began prodding his naked toe at a living creature under decaying fabric until the thing bolted. He frowned and began tossing junk as far as his little arms could manage, singing about his actions as he went along. “Fancy that. I found the rat. I need to find shiny, shiny things…”

    Emma began to scold him as he darted after movement and tripped. “Gabe, leave the waste rats alone—“

    Gabe rolled over, stood, and heaved a splintered container over his head.

    They froze.

    “Put it down,” Emma whispered.

    Gabe moved slowly but did as she said, backing away.

    Before them laid the sleeping body of the Thog, the very creature they sought to keep away with Emma’s shiny strings.

    They tiptoed silently to the other side of the mountain, afraid to wake the nocturnal beast. By nightfall, Emma had completed her cable and hung it above their dwelling, honing their single spotlight dead center. The result was a blinding strobe light of prisms and reflections.

    Gabe looked worried. “Does it sparkle in the night?”

    Emma guided Gabe inside. “If we’re lucky.”

    Under 250 words @AngoraShade

  2. The sun shone its beautiful colours of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet as it dipped below the horizon. The little girl didn’t care she didn’t want to go to bed.
    “Why won’t you go to bed, Ariel?” asked Grandmother after the umpteen dozen time.
    “I hate the night!”
    “Why do you hate the night?”
    “It’s so dark,” Ariel confessed.
    “Dark? Have you ever looked at the night sky?”
    “Come with me to the backyard.”
    In the backyard they looked up into the sky.
    ““Does it sparkle in the night. Everyone of those little stars and those little points of light that are planets are alive. That band there is stars dust, and light , the milky way.”
    “It’s beautiful grandmother.”
    “The night sky is beautiful and now look to the north.”
    “What is that shimmering green light grandmother?”
    “it is the magic of the night which only a few people get to see.”
    “Magic grandmother?”
    “Norse legends believe is their afterlife where warriors like Thor, go. In Finland it is the Firefox which runs across the sky, and the Inuit believe that it allows their dead to communicate with them.”
    “What do you believe grandmother?”
    “I’d like to believe in the magic that is the Northern lights that protect our planet and keeps us safe.”
    “I like the night now Grandmother.”
    “I thought you would now off to bed.”
    Ariel. A smile on her face, fell fast asleep, dreaming of stars in the sky.
    247 Words

  3. Cat Got Your…?

    “I don’t think you need a detective, Ms. Longacre.”
    Even as I said it, I felt like biting my tongue. What sort of sleuth would pass on such an easy assignment? Easy maybe. Hard to say sometimes. Missing family jewels. No break-in. Ditsy client.
    In any case, this one in particular, this money-grubbing dick needed a cash top-up. Covid had been painful for my pocketbook. Then I thought, ‘Don’t be so damn hard on yourself, Willoughby. You’re just having an ethical moment. Relish it. It’ll pass. Then you’ll get wise, grab your gumshoe gumption by the gumballs and take the case.
    “However,” I jumped in before she saw the wisdom of my resistance, “I’ll do it.”
    Jessica Longacre nodded, said, “I’m so relieved. The bracelet has been in my family for over one hundred years.”
    “And no sign of break-in?”
    “No. I live alone. Just me and Charley.”
    “My puddy tat.”
    She hadn’t struck me as childlike. Puddy Tat was close to gibberish. Cat owners. God love ‘em, but they’re weird. It didn’t help that I had allergies.
    “Old cat?” I asked, wondering if I really wanted to interface with sneezy Charley.
    “Middle years. Very playful. Loves his toys…”
    “Playful eh!” I suddenly had an out-of-the-kitty-litter-box epiphany. “Charley ever hide his toys?”
    She didn’t have to think twice. “All the time.”
    “This bracelet…does it sparkle in the night?”
    “If the light hits it right.”
    “I’ll be by at midnight,” I said. “Charley can lend a paw.”

    250 words

  4. “I live in the southeast corner of the state. It’s about a hundred miles north of Denver.” Andrew held up his fingers in a square and used one to point to the bottom right corner.

    “Does it sparkle in the night like Vegas?” Ryan grinned.

    Andrew snorted. “Why would you think that?”

    “Well, I’ve heard there’s so few people in Wyoming that cities shine like stars at night because you have so few.” Ryan shrugged, a grin playing around his mouth. “Seemed logical.”

    “Shut up.” Andrew shook his head, but he couldn’t help but smile back. “It does create some light pollution that we can’t always see some of the fun celestial as well. But I live outside the city so the stars are clearer where I am.”

    “Do you have pictures on your phone?”

    Andrew shook his head. “Not many. It’s a therapy resort so there are a lot of privacy issues. But I could take a few when I get home and send them to you via text.” He grimaced as he realized what he said. “I mean, if you want to keep in contact even after I leave. Sorry.”

    Ryan reached across the table. “Hey, yeah, I do. I don’t know anyone else in Wyoming and I’d love to see the ranch where you work and live. The closest thing we get here in Vegas is the PBR championships. It’d be nice to see where the cowboys live the rest of the year.”

    246 ineligible #TripleStarRanch words

  5. The sea squid had a new visitor. And they were stoked.

    “Tell me about it,” said Cecily. “And don’t miss out a thing!”

    She dug deep into their barrel, hooking out a tentacle laden with candy shells. They pooled at her feet and a snippage of crab fish dived in, shovelling the spillage toward their mandibles and cracking them apart.

    But Cecily ignored them. She needed to catch up on the latest gossip. It wasn’t every day the rock pool got to meet somebody fresh.

    “Yes, yes,” Michael urged, vibrating so much that the sand began to bloom. “Tell us about the Queen. And about her castle. And don’t forget the maids.”

    Penny yawned. A bubble rose from her mouth. It hovered above her head and then burst. A sudden infusion of ennui leached into the pool. As though there was a muddying of silt or a lone cloud crossing the moon.

    “Ignore her,” said Cecily, shaking her head. “She hates it when anyone steals her attention.”

    Vera rubbed her slender tentacles together, giving Penny a sly wink. She’d recognised her for what she was in less than a heartbeat.

    “And her crown?” Michael was oblivious to the subtle changing of the atmosphere. “Does it sparkle in the night? Say it does.”

    Vera nodded. “It’s everything and more. It’s got diadems and glitter. And skeins of silken slime. You wouldn’t believe how incredible it is.”

    Penny swam away, leaving a purple trail of gloom.

    There would be a reckoning. Soon.

    250 sub-aquatic words – twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com

  6. Ariel watched the woman through the coffee shop’s window. Rain had changed to gray drizzle and fog rolled in from Puget Sound. Oberon could have sent anyone to keep an eye on the human. She was…beige. Shoes, skirt, blouse, raincoat. They were all the same mundane color. Her hair was twisted up beneath a beige hat. Why would such a nondescript woman catch the king’s eye and why would Oberon send the courtier knows as the King’s Seducer to Seattle to follow her?

    He finished off the last of his latte, rose, and headed for the door, oblivious to the leers of the two women sitting at a nearby table.

    The woman seemed oblivious—to the weather, and to the fact that she was being followed. That’s when Ariel realized he wasn’t the only hunter on her trail. He sensed rather than saw the dark power gathering strength.

    She stopped at the corner, waiting for the light to change. A step behind, her scent wafted to him and if he’d been a cat, he would have rolled in the catnip she’d become.
    She turned, eyes sparkling. “Does it sparkle in the night?”

    He stared, unsure of what she was referring to, unless she could read his thoughts. He glanced down. Everything appeared normal. “Does what sparkle?”
    She caught the direction of his wayward gaze and laughed. Ariel almost crashed to his knees at the sweet sound.

    “Not that, silly. Your magic.”

    And that’s why the Fae King wanted her.
    250 words on a future Penumbra Papers WIP

  7. I hate adventure.

    I’m big enough to admit it. Give me a warm bed and a bowl of cream any day. Adventuring is dirty and dangerous.

    Unfortunately, for Spooky to learn the spell to break my curse, we must stay with the elven sisters. Who are, of course, traveling do-gooders.

    Which is why I’m now dashing through tunnels and crawlways, barely keeping clear of the clutches of some creepy creature. It almost got my tail on that last corner!

    “Cat’s eye, cat’s eye,
    Eating up the light,
    Cat’s eye, cat’s eye,
    Does it sparkle in the night?”

    Seriously, what is with these subterranean horrors and their raspy lilting? Do they know they’re doing it? Do they think it sounds good? Makes my fur stand on end.

    “Cat’s eye, cat’s eye,
    Such a tasty treat,
    Cat’s eye, cat’s eye,
    Is it sweet to eat?”

    The next swipe rends the hard stone like it was wet clay. None of that for me, thank you!

    Another turn opens up into a fair-sized cavern. As I enter, Spooky steps between me and the creature. After the deep darkness of the tunnels, the soft glow of her red hair and eyes is dazzling.

    “Nobody hurts my kitty!”

    My young ward raises her small fists, blazing with power. The creature stops short of the cavern.

    Spooky continues, “I punched out a death goddess when she tried. Think you’ll do better?”

    Now that had been a crazy adventure.

    241 words

  8. Hanna pushed the last branch aside, ducking down and under the overgrown woods. Before her stood a vine-covered cottage. Weathered wood spoke of withstanding ages of storms, chipped and faded, but still sound. Smoke puffed out of the stone chimney, casting the few beams of sunlight in hazy splendor over the roof.

    She stepped up to the door, taking a steadying breath. The cat head iron knocker sent a shiver down her spine. It had to be the eyes that did it, staring right at her. As she reached to grasp it the door suddenly creaked open an inch. The warm aroma of snickerdoodle cookies wafted out causing her stomach to growl.

    “Come in, child.” The voice was soft but held a stern note. The kind you just didn’t question.

    Hanna pushed the door open further and cautiously took a step inside. An older woman, hunched and wrinkled, stood at the fireplace, stirring a cauldron. “H-Hello?”

    “Yes? Do come in. I don’t bite.” The woman chuckled. “Well, not hard at least.”

    “Are you…the witch?”

    “Do you think I am?” She turned around and Hanna slunk back toward the doorway. Those eyes were so much more alive than the rest of her frail looking frame. The witch, if she were one, quirked her lips at Hanna’s reaction. “Tell me, child. Does it sparkle in the night, like diamonds under the moonlight? Or does it dull in sunlight, wither and decay like fruit left in the desert?”


    245 words

  9. Weather or knot

    From the waterside to the edge of night
    Hear the wind as it walks through the water,
    Through the waves to where the cattails grow.
    Does it sparkle? Does it glow/

    It moves silently, leaving trouble in its wake
    It is peace, it is calm, it is life.

    When the storms come from distant lands
    Its rains speak of its commands
    The silence can be deafening as it screams into the night
    Letting loose the rage without control

    When the rains clear, and the wind has gone to sea
    At the edge of the ruins, the spirits move
    Once again through the night
    Mourning what was, recovering what is, nurturing what will be.

    A spark is all it takes.
    Does it glow, does it sparkle?
    In the night, all is calm where the cattails grow
    That is the riddle of it all

    From the shore, to the bayou and beyond
    The whispers speak of worlds long gone
    Do they sparkle? Do they glow?
    Between the squalls In the shadows of the hurricane
    Is there life beyond these walls?
    From the waterside to the edge of night

    If she knows, she’ll never tell
    What she knows by sight or smell.

    199 words

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