#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 564

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 564 of #ThursThreads, the challenge that ties tales together. That means we have 8 weeks until the 11th anniversary! 😮 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 564:

Editor, dog and kid mom, and gourmet (mostly) chef, Catharine Lindsey.

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And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“You can’t go outside until you have finished.”

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 564”

  1. Home Fried

    Scarpucci is a complainer, so we don’t usually pay him much heed. I see him whispering to Monica and she’ll pass along his latest conspiracy to Frannie, and then I’ll be in the loop.

    Assuming Big Cheese permits it.

    They can’t stand us talking behind their backs.

    We often do.

    Its survival of the wittiest for us.

    Besides, having no other choice, we love to do it. It’s about the only fun recreation we have.

    Big Cheese is on the other side of the hall. Drooling Banjo Walker is spitting out the evening hash casserole. He’s a loud expectorator and seems to enjoy the attention.

    Frannie uses the diversion to clue me in. “Scarpucci says the hash is off.”

    I buzz back: “It usually is.”

    Her face takes on a sorrow that I don’t often see. Frannie is the most upbeat of us.
    While it can be irritating, it is often a relief from the dour days we live in.

    “Scarpucci say no one has seen Maggie in two days.”

    Maggie is the only keeper who is half ways human.

    A large roly-poly woman, she is always good for a laugh.

    “Maybe they fired her,” I suggest.

    She shakes her noggin.

    She’s right. Since Covid, finding staff has been the number one issue.

    Suddenly, Big Cheese is right behind me.

    Her paw is on my shoulder.

    “You can’t go outside until you have finished, so dig in. Maggie was your favorite, right? Maybe you’ve got the breast meat.”

    250 words

  2. “I love going outside in the morning to see the birds on the feeders. Especially, before it gets hot and there’s no one around. Great coffee company.” Andrew sipped his water.

    “I don’t get to see the birds as often as I like working for the Diamond Ranch. You can’t go outside until you’ve finished working for the night, so the birds are usually asleep by the time I’m done. But sometimes I get up early”—He rolled his eyes and used air quotes—“early means like two in the afternoon—to watch the birds come to the hummingbird feeder hanging from my apartment balcony. The Black-chinned hummers are spectacular with their flash of purple on their throats, but the Anna’s are my favorites. Do you get hummers where you live?”

    “I haven’t seen any, but some friends said we just get the Rufus hummers when they show up. I haven’t been lucky enough to see any. But maybe this year I’ll put out a hummingbird feeder and see what shows up.”

    They finished their meal and thanked Francesco for his hospitality—that was how Ryan termed it, like they’d been visiting family—and they headed back out to the Strip to enjoy the crazy lights and the Bellagio fountains. Andrew tried not to read more into their date than just two guys enjoying each other’s company, but his heart fluttered a little when Ryan threw his arm around Andrew’s shoulders and gathered him close.

    245 ineligible #TripleStarRanch words

  3. “You can’t go outside until you have finished that food.” So many parents have issued this edict; but probably not to their adult child.
    My mother only saw the little girl she gave birthed to and nurtured; I wanted her to start seeing me as the adult I had turned into even on paper, yesterday, my eighteenth birthday.
    I had to handle this delicately, so I’d put it off until this evening as I entered our house; I took a deep breath but then I heard voices coming from the kitchen. I entered the kitchen only to find my mother kissing a man.
    “Lidia, I have a big surprise this is…
    “Father…My father?”
    “I haven’t been completely honest with you…,”my mother began before my dad interrupted, sounding horrified, “You haven’t told her. why I left you both? How I was hunted, our family was hunted?”
    “Told me what?”
    “Broccoli keeps you safe.”
    Before my eyes my father turned into a beautiful dragon.
    “Am I a dragon?”
    “You won’t be blue like me. “
    “How do I become one? What about the broccoli?”
    “Look at this picture of your grandmother and think family.”
    I shut my eyes picturing my grandmother and felt my body shift and change.
    My mother gasped and I grew afraid.
    My father just beamed.” I never dreamed you’d be a Phoenix.”
    I was Phoenix rising from the ashes of our broken family, now united. I breathed out. I had fire no one would hunt us again.
    250 words @SweetSheil

  4. It’s something her mom used to say, but this situation was nothing like she’d ever faced before – especially with her now absentee parent.

    “You can’t go outside until you have finished.”

    That same sense of stubbornness seeded a pit of backlash inside of her. She’d do whatever the hell she damned well pleased, usually the opposite of whatever recommended. Just because. The gatekeeper didn’t matter. Even if it happened to be the love of her life and he gave her all sorts of soft, squishy feelings every time they were together.

    “I don’t care what I’m supposed to do. I’m done with this whole thing. I’m done being on quests. I’m done holing up in weird unknown locations, and I’m done with others telling me what I should and should not do.”

    Her lover held up his hands, palms facing her, in a sort of “I give up” gesture. She knew she was being unreasonable. He only wanted the best for her, and ultimately the world. But she was the one with the secret powers and the magical know-how entrusted with protecting all realms of magic and the inhabitants. He came along for the ride, trapped with her as a matter of circumstance.

    “I didn’t mean to overstep my bounds,” he acquiesced, patting the spot next to him on the hotel bed. “But if you’re willing to take a few minutes and map out where we’re going…”

    She plopped beside him. “Fine. But not because you told me to.”

    249 words

  5. She walked into a wall of sound and stopped dead. Her first instinct was to turn around and run. What craziness had possessed her to accept this invitation? A rowdy group came in and pushed her off to one side. The noise washed over her, a cacophony of rock-and-roll and raised voices underscored with the clack of wooden balls.

    “Take it back!”

    “The hell I will.”

    She focused on a cluster of people, all exchanging words. Pushing and shoving ensued. A table laden with food crashed to the floor and a huge bowl of salsa splashed down the front of her dress.

    “That’s it,” she growled, elbowing her way into the middle of the melee. “I’ve had it.”
    She placed her hand, palm down, just below her nose. “All the way up to here.”
    A hush enveloped the room. Even the music cut off. All eyes shifted to her. She didn’t care. She didn’t know these people, would likely never see them again, and definitely didn’t care.

    “You’re done here.”

    “You can’t stop us,” argued one.

    The second echoed, “You can’t!”

    “Go outside until you have finished.” Hands on hips, she stared. “Shoo. Go on with you. Out!” She flapped her hands. They stood unmoving, dumbfounded.

    “Is she serious right now?” The whispered question carried plainly in the silence.

    “Who is she?” another asked.

    She grabbed two women, dragged them to the door. “What are you, toddlers?” She exited to applause. Sometimes it paid to be a kindergarten teacher.
    249 random words (probably Nightrider)

  6. “You can’t go outside until you have finished.”

    And that was the last thing his mom had said.

    But before that, she’d told him, “You’re grounded.” And “I don’t know why I thought you’d behave.” And “You’re just like your father. And you know exactly what I thought of him.”

    And then she’d gone out, leaving him with the list of the housework she’d have him do.

    Sega’s father was an illusion. A man he’d constructed. An amalgam of the good and the bad. His positive traits borrowed from all the TV shows he’d seen; there were supportive male characters in almost every programme his mom would let him watch. She said he should use them for his model parent: a positive masculine influence with none of ‘his’ flaws.

    But a boy can’t be raised in a vacuum. The view beyond their window was living proof of that.

    Any Earther would have seen what there wasn’t. Oxygen, light; there was little of either. But the moon had its own distractions – nobody in the home world had space for a neighbour. Life in a Bubble changed everyone’s perspectives; he hadn’t any dirt on his shoes, and he had the cosmos for a neighbour waiting for him to jump up and shake its hand.

    Like his less-than-honourable father figure, Atari-San, the asteroid miner.

    The man he’d love to venture out to find for himself some time.

    Way out beyond the second star to the right and straight on ‘til the morning.

    250 words – twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com

  7. Greta stared longingly out the nook window, curled up with her legs tucked beneath her on the plush cushions. Her book, The Art of War, laid haphazardly before her. Who gave a damn? She sure as hell didn’t. All she wanted was to be riding through the field that bordered home, bareback on her dappled mare Dahlia.

    Why, oh why, did her parents have to send her to this godforsaken school?

    The single knock startled her out of her daydream. With a curse she reached to stop the book from tumbling off the seat, only to miss her target and consequently lose her own balance. When she righted herself from the wooden floor, book in hand, she found the Head Master looking down disapprovingly at her. Arms crossed and shaking his head.

    She loathed that look, so much like her father’s stare of distaste. The warrior daughter he hoped for turned out to not even want to be a warrior, despite her inherited skills.

    “Slacking off again, are we?” the Head Master drawled.

    “I was reading.” Greta held up the book, some pages now bent and crumbled. “You can’t-“

    “Go outside until you have finished your…reading.”

    She paused. “I’m sorry?”

    “If you were reading that book for the last four hours when you should have been down in Weapons Class, then you will be finished with it by the time the sun sets. If not, then I suppose you’ll be taking an extra Survival Class tonight as consequence.”


    248 random words

  8. That wasn’t her father.

    The candles flickered in the family chapel. Stout stones blunted winter’s howling but did little for the cold.

    Her father was The Black Knight. An immutable colossus of steel. Not this pale man of flesh and bone.

    “Look well, Katla,” her grandfather’s hand sank heavily into her shoulder. “Your father has disgraced our family.”

    She was nearing twenty minutes at a time with the four-pound sword, but the weight of her instructor’s hand remained immobilizing.

    “Your father’s failure will make things more difficult for you.”

    She found herself hating the thing that had occupied her father’s armor.

    “Your father fell in battle. The Black Knight must be invincible.”

    She had neither moved nor looked away from the corpse on the altar since her grandfather escorted her mother out.

    “You can’t go outside until you have finished reflecting on your father’s failure and what is now expected of you.”

    Her grandfather left her for the chapel doors. His retreating bootfalls each as heavy and authoritative as they must have been when he wore the armor.

    She seethed at the maggot food before her.

    That wasn’t her father.

    190 words

  9. It was humid but it didn’t look rain, or at least it looked like I could still have lunch in Bryant Park. The weather deterred lots of people from venturing out so it was no problem finding a chair and table.

    I was nearly done with my salad when the sky to the west began to darken. The wind had picked up. My umbrella, of course, was safe and dry in my office but, I figured, I could make it back.

    I was wrong. I was about a block from making it when the deluge reached me. Narrowed by the buildings on either side of the street, it was a hard shower and I went through the first revolving door I could find. Coming in behind me, and almost hitting me as she rushed in, was someone from the office.

    “Peter?” she asked.

    I turned. Her dress in a patterned aqua color would normally be described as “flowing” but on this occasion was wonderfully clinging to her. And, well, fishlike. Her hair was actually dripping onto the marble floor in the plaza’s lobby.


    She stepped towards me and we moved off to the side. My back was to the tall window and she faced me. She leaned in. Her chilled, damp, wonderful lips were on mine.

    Somebody behind her shouted, “Hey, everyone, the rain’s stopped.”

    I turned. She grabbed my chin back to face her.

    ““You can’t go outside until you have finished,” she said. And I didn’t.

    A Dark and Stormy Noontime, 249 words, @JPGarlandAuthor

  10. Separated by Language

    “Hold on, right der ‘ol son. You ain’t goin’ nowhere lessen’ you done finished.”

    Aleksander winced at the sound of his frienemy’s voice. “Cal– need you to turn the volume down a bit.”

    “Ain’t bein’ loud. You bein’ a hard-headed cuyon. If’n you want ta burn dat all up to you and yours.”

    “Me and mine, agreed to meet you here. We didn’t know how late we’d be leaving.”

    “We’s bein’ all civil like an’ now you complainin’ bout de time?”

    “You know what the sun does to my kind.”

    “It why I tell you, you ain’t goin’ nowhere right now.”

    “Is that what you said?”

    “ Por l’amour de dieu, cher, what you tink’ I say.”

    Aleksandr opened one eye as he studied Cal. “French is not helping.”

    “Well, I done tried Anglaise, an’ you got yerself all bent out of shape.”

    “As you would say, dat, weren’t English. You want to try again?”

    “Lessin’ you done finished, you ain’t goin’ nowhere.”

    Aleksander shook his head. “That was so much worse,” he replied as he applied another coat of sunblock.
    Cal smirked, “You can’t. go outside. Until, you have finished.”

    “You really think sunblock is going to help?”

    “Nah, cher, but it ain’t no skin off mah nose.”

    209 words of miscommunications- not including title

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