#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 565

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 565 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 565:

Lover of Words, Creative Writing MA, and Interracial Paranormal and Contemporary Romance Author, Nikki Prince.

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“Failure will make things more difficult.”

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!

12 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 565”

  1. It isn’t the first time Celeste comes to me with an idea I’m less than enthusiastic about. Normally I can talk her out of it, but this time she has Kieran and I’m outnumbered. Nolan is suspiciously quiet, and I wonder if he’s ever had to talk his charge out of terrible ideas, or if he blindly follows the other princess’ orders.

    “The possibility of failure will make things more-”

    “Difficult? Stressful? Rage-inducing?”

    Kieran’s attempt to convince me is more annoying than helpful.

    “Fun.” Celeste nudges my side with her elbow. “You need to learn to live a little.”

    “Easy for you to say, when you’re not the one who’ll have to deal with father when he finds out.”

    “If he finds out.” She smiles, knowing she’s already won. “Besides, I’m not asking your permission. I’m inviting you.”

    “Fine.” I narrow my eyes at both princesses, invoking what little authority I have as Celeste’s older sister. “But if there’s even a hint of danger, or anyone comes close to recognizing us, we leave. No arguments.”

    “Of course!” But Celeste stopped listening after the word ‘fine.’

    Behind the princesses, Nolan nods with the barest trace of understanding behind his eyes.

    An hour later, with our disguises in place and under cover of enchantment, we sneak out of the castle and past the guards at the main gate. It’s too easy, and does nothing to ease my fears.

    Here’s hoping the knot in my chest is just anxiety and not a premonition.

    250 untitled fantasy WIP words

  2. The team gathered in Duke and Cory’s suite. They exchanged glances while waiting for someone to say something. Cory did. “Where’s Meg?”

    “With the kids still in the hospital,” Kin answered.

    “Good.” That got a raised eyebrow from him, so she explained. “I know she doesn’t want to leave the children. I’ve been making inquiries but I also know what it will do to her if she gets her hopes up and then things fall through. Failure will make things more difficult, but not impossible.”

    “Failure is not an option.” Had Kin growled that? Of course he had.

    “Failure has never been an option,” Cory assured him.

    “So what’s the plan?” It was Dom who asked as all eyes focused on Cory and Duke.

    Squaring her shoulders, Cory said, “I’ve already contacted the embassy. Ours and the Ukrainian. Not to mention the Romanian medical staff.”

    “And?” Kin didn’t have a plan but he knew what Meg was considering and that particular failure was not one he would—or could—tolerate. She was his mate. Her idea of staying behind with the kids was not part of his agenda.

    “And…” She huffed out a sigh. “It almost feels like I’m divvying out puppies or kittens.” Duke slipped his arm around her and she shuddered out another shaky breath. “An orphanage is out of the question.” She glanced at Brady and Shane. “Some of the kids are…well, there are complications.”

    “And?” Kin growled again.

    “We found homes for all of them.”
    249 Crossfire WIP words! (PROGRESS!!!!)

  3. The Big Smoke

    Initially, we stayed indoors. It was the wisest thing to do. Sure, we could have gone outside wearing masks. Health officials were recommending in the strongest words possible for us to re-up with masks.

    Some folks were dubious. “It’s all a plot. Burn Canada and then have their smouldering Canuck fumes float across the border like those spy balloons we shot down a mite ago. Hell, maybe those balloons were a trial run. The Deep State not sleeping. We gotta keep on our toes.”

    Plot or not, it was clear some of us wouldn’t have to wait to go meet the devil. He’d found a way to come to us.

    Finally, I’d had enough. I mean, I like indoors. Couch potatoeing comes naturally to me. All the comforts of home are at home.

    Where else would they be?

    But now that Government, Mother Nature, and Beelzebub had formed an unholy smoke-filled alliance to mess with our freedom of movement, I decided to go downtown to City Square, and pontificate like they do in Hyde Park.

    “People,” I yelled in my rather mellow radio-announcer-like voice, “I know most of us like to breathe fresh air. It’s one of our favourite things to do.”

    A crowd of three finally gathered.

    “Right on, Bro,” one said.

    With that encouragement, I continued. “We have to reclaim the air. Failure will make things more…”

    “DIFFICULT?” one of the three shouted.

    “Yup. So, take off your masks. Shout FREEDOM!”

    And all three did.

    250 words

  4. So sick, I couldn’t even open my eyes, I still heard people go in and out of my room.
    I heard my father say, “Failure will make things, more difficult.”
    I was confused and listened more hearing my name.
    “Hopefully Siofra will be the one we’ve waited for centuries,” mother commented.
    “Siofra is close to her new form,” my father commented.
    This was all nonsense, I was dreaming I decided, fevered dreams from illness, I felt myself drift off into a dreamless sleep. I awoke refreshed, but hungry. I’d be able to celebrate my eighteenth birthday after all, but this wasn’t my room I noted.
    Stretching I felt off balance I walked over to a mirror and gasped, Beautiful multi- coloured wings now protruded from my back. I closed my eyes and they retracted disappearing into my back.
    “You’re the Fairy Queen,” my mother said from the doorway. “You’ll have your pick of the male fairies to be your consort.”
    “Are you saying I have to marry soon?”
    “The ceremony is a midnight in this Fae world, your suitors await your decision downstairs, then your bridal fitting takes place at one.”
    “What if I don’t want to marry?”
    “You will have your wings cut off and be banished to the human world. Never seen again.”
    Banished, stripped of my wings, I struggled, but my people have accepted me. I am an anomaly both because my wings grew back and because I choose to govern, single, until I find true love.
    250 words @SweetSheil

  5. Steady…
    My hand shook as I attempted to set the integral part of my masterpiece into place.
    Holding my breath, I watched as the fragile structure swayed slightly with the added weight of its final element. This way, then that. A miniscule but crucial movement which could make or break me.
    Finally, things settled, and I let out a sigh of relief.
    “Time’s up! Step away from your creations.”
    Arms raised, I took a step back and smiled at what I had accomplished.
    The Eiffel Tower, its pulled sugar girders shimmering a silver-white, towered over a base of purple sugar fleurs-de-lis, their petals perfect pedestals for the delicate butterflies atop them.
    Winning this competition will change everything for me…
    Failure will make things more difficult.

    126 words @bookwormattack

  6. Francois shook his head when I entered the cabin, then turned away, refusing to meet my gaze.

    “I don’t need to ask you what you think of my chances,” I said, strapping myself onto the flight couch. “You don’t have to say a word. You think I’m a dead man, don’t you?”

    “I don’t, but – I wish you’d give it up. There are better things you could do.” He looked pained as he said it, knowing there was little that would change my mind. “You have to remember you’re like a figurehead. People look up to you. You’re a leader – you can’t squander your life just because you think it’s expected of you.”

    “Whatever happened to integrity? I can’t give a command if I’m not prepared to do it myself. Or do you think it’ll affect morale? Assuming I’m not successful, of course.” I began toggling switches, activating gyros, initiating the telemetry, frowning when the inertial navigation system refused to lock onto the coordinates I’d input.

    “Think of Ingrid,” he said, playing the family card. “Do you think she’ll understand? Martyrdom’s a questionable choice. Your failure will make things more difficult for her. You can’t deny that. She’ll curse you for the rest of her life if you choose to be a hero instead of the father she needs. Have you thought about that? What it’ll mean to her?”

    I shook my head and released the docking clamps. I was doing this for her.

    I hoped she’d understand.

    250 words – twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com

  7. The dull knife blade took effort to chop through the peeled potatoes and carrots. She leaned into it. She’d stopped complaining, remembering the sting of his backhanded slap the last time.

    “Stop your bitchin’.” He didn’t have to say it, to hear it in her head.

    She’d lit so many candles, recited so many rituals, wished upon every first star every night for eternity, only to be stuck in this hellhole. When he drank, it got worse.

    Some found themselves stuck in a situation by circumstance or choice. She’d been born into it and then some. Her Momma—Devil curse her soul—never held down a job or a man, until this one. The house they lived in had belonged to her grandmother.

    “Failure will make things more difficult.” What the hell did that mean? She’d think it was some sort of Star Wars Jedi speak but her stepdaddy was too mean for that “Nerd shit.”

    The smart thing would be holding out until she turned eighteen or trying to report him again. But he knew people. And where would she go? The house belonged to her, until Momma married the asshole and downed too many pills and whisky.

    He snored, mouth open, head back on the living room recliner. The pulse of the vein in his neck danced, tempting.

    Another dumb thing he’d said, “It’ll hurt me more than it’ll hurt you.”

    She weighed the heft of the cleaver in her right hand.

    Well, that one may be true.

    250 words

  8. Val Redshield had been shieldmaiden to the Black Knight of Masked Death before becoming his wife. Her skills as a warrior remained formidable. So it frustrated Katla each time she perceived her mother pulling her strikes.

    Katla’s muscles absorbed the recoil of her greatsword against her mother’s shield. The speed of the veteran’s battleaxe forced the teenager into a parry rather than a follow-up attack.

    Katla’s grandfather never pulled his strikes. He was training her for real combat, and she had the scars to prove it. She still wasn’t worthy of her father’s helm.

    Val had seized the offense. Her attacks weren’t meant to strike her daughter. Merely to unbalance her.

    The teen looked ten moves ahead and saw her impending defeat.

    She remembered her grandfather’s words, “Failure will make things more difficult.”

    Failure was NOT an option.

    She gambled on an upstroke that left her defenseless.

    Val’s axe never connected.

    Katla’s sword ripped through her mother. Her stomach lurched. Her joints locked.

    She calmly cleaned her blade under the watchful eye of her grandfather.

    175 words

  9. “For what it’s worth, I can’t see a limp, so it looks like you healed pretty well.”

    Misty shot her a coy smile. “Thank you, kind lady. I’ve worked hard to make sure I move smoothly. Can’t be a sexy girl if I can’t sashay.”

    To their delight, Emily laughed. “Well, just between you, me and the NSA, I think you’re sexy whether you could sashay or not.”

    Warmth filled Misty’s chest and heat rose to their cheeks. “You think I’m sexy?”

    It was a stupid question, but failure to ask wasn’t an option. Failure will make things more difficult to ask her out in the near future.

    “Yeah, I do. I really like how you filled your beard with gold glitter. It goes well with your Katharine Hepburn look. And those shoes are divine.” Emily pointed down at their cute vintage kitten-heeled pumps.

    Misty grinned in delight. “You’re the first person to recognize my look.”

    “Oh, it’s classic Kate Hepburn with those strong shoulders and those auburn waves.” Emily nodded sagely. “You even got the waist-hugging bodice and the hourglass figure. Perfect.” She leaned close. “Don’t tell anyone, but Kate was my favorite old school movie actress. She didn’t take anyone’s shit and yet she managed to be incredibly feminine. Loved her.”

    “Oh, yes, girl. Me too. She was the best.” Misty nodded. “Plus that woman was a fierce force for gender non-conformity, and I’m all for that.”

    239 ineligible #Sirens words

  10. It Tolls for Thee

    Cal sat next to the Lewis Machine gun as the Captain reviewed the troops.

    While the rest of the company came to attention, Cal scanned the tree line, he wasn’t looking for trouble–three hundred years had taught him that trouble would be there. It was a universal truth.

    “Seargent, when I call attention, that includes you.”

    “Yes, Captain, sir.” Cal answered in a placid tone as he took another drag from his cigarette.

    “They why aren’t you standing at attention?”

    “‘cause ain’t none of us watchin’ that tree line” Cal answered, his southern accent becoming more pronounced

    “There is no one there.”

    “And me an’ this here Belgian Rattlesnake, we going to make sure of dat.”

    The Captain glared at him. “You will stand at attention when I speak to you, do you understand?”

    “Oui,” Cal answered reluctantly, as he tossed his cigarette to the side. He stood at attention, watching the tree line over the man’s left shoulder as the Captain started again.

    “Failure is not an option,” was as far as the man got before the bark of enemy fire filled the air and bullets rained.

    Cal dove for his machine gun and fired in reply.

    Five minutes later he looked at the dead and dying on both sides and shook his head.

    “Failure, it always an option, not a good one, failure will make things more difficult, lessin’ you fail to die when they want you to. Death, now death makes things all kinds of difficult.”

    249 words, not including title

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