#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 569

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 569 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 569:

College professor, equality enthusiast, and romance author, Louisa Bacio.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram |

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“I wasn’t sure if he breathed.”

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 569”

  1. Brakes screamed like a victim in a teen slasher movie. Even with my reflexes, I couldn’t avoid the damn car hurtling toward the crosswalk. The bumper on the passenger side hit me. I took flight. Fuck me. This would hurt when I landed. It did, and I blacked out.

    Sirens. I think. Darkness swallowed me again even as I knew I had to get up, walk away. No cops. No ambulance.

    “I wasn’t sure if he breathed.”

    The voice tugged me back to reality. Melodic. Accented. Very close.

    “I…I was afraid so I have not touched him. He has not moved. I watched carefully. I…” Her voice trailed off and she wouldn’t meet the cop’s eyes. That made me curious.

    “Have you been drinking?”

    I cracked an eyelid. The woman’s face registered shock then indignation. I studied her, both eyes open now. The EMT squatting by me tried to take my blood pressure. I waved him away. He remained insistent on checking me out. I’m a Wolf shifter. I’d be fine. Except for the woman. My wolf wanted out to play with her. That would not happen.

    She was slender, short, with dark hair that hung straight below her shoulders. Every few seconds she nervously pushed heavy black-framed glasses up her nose. Nerd bait. My wolf didn’t care. I sat up, then stood. The EMT looked from the crushed Mini Cooper to all six feet five inches of me.

    He blew out a breath. “Dude, you broke her car.”
    250 totally random Moonstruck Wolf world words

  2. Walking away from my broken-down car away from civilization with no cell service. Up ahead I saw a man lying prone on the ground. His hair was long and black and hung to his shoulders loose, his forehead was bleeding I wasn’t sure if he breathed, when suddenly his breath quickened and he opened his blue eyes.
    “Where am I?
    “Massachusetts, United States”
    “He still looked puzzled so I said half joking, “Earth, third rock from the sun.”
    “I’m Aurelius.”
    “No last name? I’m Selina Maxwell.”
    “No, I have no second name. Let me sit here for a moment the world is spinning.”
    “Are you sure? Where is your car, does it run? Mine broke down.”
    “Car? My vehicle crashed.”
    Soon we were walking back to his vehicle. Imagine my surprise when we reached it and it was a spacecraft.
    “Where are you from?”
    “An exoplanet about 12 light-years away. It’s called Utopia.”
    “But you look like us.”
    “We colonized Earth many eons ago, I was sent to see if any of you are worth saving. Your planet is dying, but your defense shot me down.”
    “Can you fix your ship?”
    “Yes, with your help”
    We took some parts from my car and fixed his spaceship just before the military showed up. He is using me to pick the people they will save as he wants to save the average person. I only hope that I choose wisely as it’s a very huge responsibility saving humanity.
    247 words @SweetSheil

  3. Smoky Lungs

    City living these days. It’s how I once imagined living on the Sun might be like. Not that I gave that notion much consideration. But it was there. The Sun, I mean. Looking up at that bright ball. Me. Wondering. Idle moments.
    Kid moments to begin with.
    Stop looking for a while.
    Got on with life.
    But, like I said, it was there.
    The Sun.
    And that old saw, ‘Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”
    Heard that all my life. Mother, God rest, used it pretty much every second day. Gossip was a plague in our hometown.
    Smoke and gossip. They went hand in hand, according to my mother.
    Still, the saying, besides the gossip thing, well, it didn’t have much meaning for me. Knew it was a metaphor. Well, it had another meaning. But sitting here on the 23rd floor, a fifty-year-old apartment with windows that don’t open, me and Fred, both well past our due date, rarely going out…started even before Covid and now, well, you get in the habit of being a potato.
    The couch variety.
    Now, with the power failure and all, Fred and I…“Hey, Freddy boy, you doing okay?”
    I have to check on him couple times a day. Last time, when I took him his morning java, I wasn’t sure if he breathed his last in the night. Still as dead turtle. We have a pet turtle. Only critter we can keep up with.
    Better check on him again.
    And the turtle.

    250 words

  4. Something or someone waited for me on the top of the nearest rock outcrop. I could see it – Them? Him? – through the grasses growing taller than me on all sixes. I didn’t think he could see me as clearly as I could see him, but he sat so still, I wasn’t sure if he breathed.

    I inhaled the scents of the world around me and in addition to the vegetation and toasted rock, a new, warm, organic smell hit my olfactory senses.

    Male, definitely male and warm blooded… Naktanyuan, but not Cheyhannaran…Smells like wind, air, pine pitch…predator…

    I debated raising my head above the swaying grasses, but he didn’t seem inclined to leave until I showed myself. The color of my coat with its golden stripes kept me camouflaged in my garden home, but he already knew I was there. The question was where had he come from?

    He’s the tall, winged beings the grandparent mentioned.

    It took a few moments for my mind to recognize the memory in the form of the real being in front of me. If the stories my grandparent had mentioned were true, this male had to be from the other continent of Naktanyua.

    Swallowing against my nervousness, I slowly raised my head above the waving grasses, scanning the world 270 degrees around me while I faced him. Neither of us said anything at first, but I’d learned enough Naktan, the common unifying language, to offer a greeting.


    His eyes widened. “Hello.”

    250 ineligible sci-fi words

  5. Mother fussed over Hendrik, offering him a biscuit from a plate piled high with an assortment. She’d brought out nothing but the best ones. I’d not seen anything but plain pink wafers for years, my mother having decided chocolate was the Devil’s creation.

    “He does eat human food, doesn’t he?” she asked, rearranging them to make them look more enticing. “I don’t think I’ve ever met an illegal alien before. He’s not at all what I’d expected.”

    “Oh, Mom,” I said, shaking my head and hoping Hendrik would understand. I’d been coaching her for weeks, sending her photos and video clips, explaining everything about him. She’d lived a sheltered life since I’d left home, but I hadn’t realised how much she’d regressed.

    “Hendrik’s from Sweden, not Mars,” I’d explained when we’d arrived; Mother greeting him with an atmosphere mask, saying ‘I wasn’t sure if he breathed oxygen.’ After that, things had settled down for a while. But knowing Mom’s eccentricities, I wouldn’t relax until we were safely on our way home.

    Of course, Hendrik was a perfect guest. He was faultlessly polite; he offered nothing but compliments. He’d winked at me more than a couple of times when Mom had looked away but said nothing to acknowledge my embarrassment.

    I knew he’d have a lot to say later.

    But I do wish he’d not given her the gift he did. A can of stinky fish is the last thing I could imagine her enjoying.

    But that’ll be another day’s entertainment.

    250 words – twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com

  6. It’s hard being the nursing home gossip when your gossiping partner passes away. Bonnie sure didn’t care to gossip, she never does anyway. And we’re all missing Eleanor. The group here at the Manor is a tight bunch and we’ve lost three of us now.

    “Della? You need anything?”

    One of the aides pokes her head in the door, as I pop my teeth into a cup of cleaner and hoist myself out of my lift chair.

    “I’m good.”

    By the time I finish in the bathroom, it’s time for bed.



    My friends wraps me in a big hug. She’s no longer frail and thin, but youthful and healthy.

    “What’d I miss?” she asks, grinning.


    Then reality dawns: the aides find me. Well. Shit.

    “Hello ladies.”

    A bony fellow, complete with billowing black robes and a scythe, walks up to us. I blink at him.

    “You are?”

    “Horace. Uhm, The One True Death. Eleanor refused to cross over without you.”

    She nods, examining her fingernails. “You’re my only family.”

    They disowned her in the 50s, beings she liked girls and all. She and I have known each other since preschool, so my husband and I gladly became her family.

    “True. Well, I bet Wilmer’s going to come meet us any minute now. He owes me a date.”
    Eleanor laughs. “I hope Margo’s here.”

    I wasn’t sure if he breathed, but the skeleton clears his throat. Clarence and Margo walk down the path, ice creams in hand.

    250 (hard fought) words!!

  7. “Why did you stake him again?”

    “I wasn’t sure if he’d breathed.” JoAnn held the stake like a child holding a fork for the first time.

    “Vampires don’t breathe.” I nudged the body with my Nikes. “Might have been muscle twitches.”

    JoAnn appeared to evaluate this information. Training a new slayer wasn’t for the weak.

    “Is his body going to go ‘poof?’”

    “That’s only lore that happens in some movies or TV shows – special effects.” I sighed, grabbing the wrists of the doubly deceased with my gloved hands. “We’ve got to dispose of the body.”

    Footsteps creaked on the wood floor hallway above them. “Shhh!” I shot my arm out, capturing JoAnn’s attention. The research on this location said one vamp, and otherwise uninhabited. Did they miss something? Was it home to another member of the undead that might do them harm? The sound echoed through the empty house and seemingly moved to the stairs, going downward.

    Step-creak. Step-creak.

    Tremors shook JoAnn’s entire body. “We need to get out of here.”

    The echo of footsteps halted about halfway down the staircase. I weighed the situation. If we leave the body and it’s discovered by officials, they might not be able to track us. We wore gloves and I made JoAnn cover her long, blond hair. If we stay, there may be others who’ll be able to track us down—extra pissed because we offed a clanmate.

    “Ready or not, here I come,” a deep voice called out.

    We ran.

    249 ineligible words

  8. I never thought of healing as an act of evil. Not before landing in this hellhole.

    The young man on the table came to us in too good condition for what we do. It sickened me to imagine the purpose of operating on a hale and hearty human.

    I thought, more than once, about helping some of these poor bastards pass on instead of patching them up. The terror of the owners’ retaliation kept me from acting on those thoughts.

    The chief surgeon’s psychotic niece was gleefully up to her elbows in the man’s innards. I still don’t know how I got stuck assisting her.

    I also thought about just ending myself. But I’m too much of a coward for that. Besides, death isn’t a guaranteed release with so many necromancers involved.

    Many hours and mage lights later, Lorelai was certain our operation was a success. I wasn’t.

    Sure, if he breathed, he’d live. She was just that good. But even if he did, I could never call what we did to him anything so positive as a success.

    That next shuddering breath broke what heart I had left.

    189 words

  9. “Please help! Somebody, help! Anybody!”

    The shouting in the courtyard eventually drew a murmuring crowd. The air was already thick with midsummer humidity, now with it came the sharp metallic scent of blood. Lots of blood. Shock and horror wove its way through the crowd. Many put hands over their mouths and turned their eyes away from the murder before them. A man once quite young and full of life with tousled blonde hair, dressed to impress, now laid staring up at the sky with glassy blue eyes.

    Forever transfixed in those final gruesome moments of death.

    It wasn’t long before multiple people had called 911. While it seemed like an eternity, it was hardly fifteen minutes before sirens were filling the air. Footsteps pounding the walkway, urgently coaxing frozen bystanders aside. Strong, steady hands gripped at her shoulders, guiding her away from the pointless chest compressions she was performing.

    The world was a blur. She could hear the officer trying to speak to her, standing just to her side. She could see the paramedics checking for a heartbeat, putting pressure against the gunshot wounds littered across his torso.

    “Miss- Miss, can you hear me? I know you’ve been through a lot, but we need to get a statement from you. What did you see?”

    “I- I had to keep trying. If he was still alive…” She looked at the officer who then exchanged a glance with the paramedic. “I wasn’t sure if…”

    “He breathed his last breath I’m afraid.”


    250 random words

  10. Be Careful What You Ask For

    I felt my mind grow numb as I realized the nature of the beast I was facing.

    “What will it be, Cat-of-Nine-Lives?” the man, who wasn’t a man, asked, His irises narrowing into slits as smoke billowed from his nostrils.

    I was always taught to fight fire with fire, but I wasn’t sure. If he breathed fire, could he breathe in a fire? Would it kill him? Would it anger him? Would it slake his thirst?

    It wasn’t like I could test the theory. Usually, when one fought a dragon, your best bet was not to. But this man knew my nature as well as he knew his own.

    I searched for something that would help and there was nothing there.

    “One Hell Fire,” coming up as I took the cinnamon off the shelf and mixed it into the bourbon. Three minutes later as we picked ourselves up from the bar the man laughed and patted my back.

    “I have learned,” the man said, as he helped me up. “That drinking and gunpowder do not mix.”

    “Not when you blech fire.” I scolded.

    It was one way to destroy the enemy’s arsenal, and I had to agree with my new friend. It was a lot more fun than just blowing things up.

    212 words not including title (aka 3 mintues to Hogan’s Heroes)

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