#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 573

Welcome back to the home of #ThursThreads. Wow. Year 11. Holy smokes! Y’all kept with me past a decade. I’m astounded.

Today is Thursday and that means it’s time to start flashing, like we have for the past 11 years. I had no idea when I started it would keep going! This is Week 573 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 573:

Book promoter and fantastic beta reader, Heidi Rundle.

Facebook | Twitter | 

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“What is she on about anyways?”

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 573”

  1. The Refuge

    “I’ll see you buried in a pauper’s grave.”
    A coffee maker, a kettle, a teapot and a jug stand neatly in a row on the inside window ledge. Alice takes the coffee maker down and finds some coffee grounds to line its bottom, while boiling the kettle atop the stove, and starts to pace back and forth.
    The women’s refuge is a well-maintained home, if one can call it a home. It doesn’t occur to Alice to take her device off loudspeaker as she listens to her ex-partner threaten her in front of the other girls. Her nerdy academic leanings don’t extend, it seems, to emotional intelligence.
    I whisper through gritted teeth at her:
    “You might trigger some of the other residents here.”
    “I need witnesses,” she squawks at me like a macaw.
    “This is a safe space,” I insist, nodding at the phone. What is she on about anyways? I think.
    She addresses the device she holds in her hands in a sweeter tone: “Patrick, I’m delighted to tell you that you’re on loudspeaker here now, and there are half a dozen women breakfasting in the kitchen who’ve just heard you threaten to put me in a pauper’s grave. Is that okay with you?”
    “I don’t care who’s listening, you yawny, boring little bitch. I’ll choke you till you’re woozy, and then I’ll bury you alive.”
    The line goes dead.
    Alice looks up, removing her spectacles slowly from her face.
    “Did everyone hear that?” she asks.

    @ragtaggiggagon
    249 words

  2. It’s a Lovely Moon, Tonight

    “Come on, sweetie,” she says. “Leave the tube and come outside.”

    I’m thinking, ‘Okay, I could do that. Except, I’m comfortable. I like being comfortable.’

    But she’s persistent. I love that about her, the soft pleading tone in her voice, the honeyed vibrations in the air, all of it a remembrance of that first meeting, me, a hungry trucker ten hours on the road, beat to a squeezed orange pulp, her, the best waitress Bilbo’s Trucker’s Diner ever had (it said so on the menu though it didn’t specifically name her), she’d almost yodel the orders into the kitchen where Baxter Bilbo wielded his frying pans and flippers, vocalizing back, ‘HAM and EGGS, SUNNY SIDE UP, GIVE HIM HIS COFFEE IN A SILVER CUP.’

    I was entranced, very hungry, and clearly quite road weary.

    On my way back the next week, I stopped in again, and this time played the charm card.

    She was hooked and admitted that slinging hash had lost its allure.

    Now, eight years later, that original magic was gone. Me, probably. Can’t speak for her. She does spend an inordinate amount of time gazing upwards into the sky. Occasionally I ask myself what is she on about, anyways?

    Never ask her, though. She doesn’t seem to know.

    She has these dreams.

    Disturbing dreams.

    And that old song.

    “Fly me to the moon.”

    Sings it in her sleep.

    And now she’s calling me, saying, “It’s a lovely moon, tonight.”

    It is spooky.

    250 words
    @billmelaterplea

  3. The bell above the front door if Clancy’s Pub jangled just as the music stopped. Shannon turned to see who’d arrived. An froze. Mick. With some woman leaning on his arm. Normally an impeccable dresser, his vest was buttoned wrong, part of his shirt tail hanging out beneath it, and was that bloody lipstick on his face?
    Her heart sprouted icicles. Her lungs labored. She had to force her body to move. It was all she could do to stand there at the bar, back ramrod straight. Too bad she had to watch them in the mirror behind the bar. He led the woman to his usual booth, where his older brother, Ronan, waited. In her section.

    A pint of Guinness and some frou-frou umbrella drink appeared on her tray. She raised her eyes to meet the bartender’s sympathetic gaze. “G’on now,” Finn said softly. “Take the man his drinks.”

    She had no choice. Mick flaunting his latest bimbo made her status abundantly clear.

    She stopped at the booth, set the drinks on the table, turned to leave and then exploded.

    “What the ever-loving bloody hell, Mick?” She slapped him. “That’s for breaking my heart. We are so frickin’ done. I hate you!”

    “What is she on about anyways?” Mick looked bewildered as he watched Shannon slam through the back exit.

    “Oh, boyo, yer daft t’not know.” Ronan almost felt sorry for him. Almost. “But ya’d best get off yer arse and go claim yer mate before she gets away.”
    ****
    250 Moonstruck Mafia WIP words
    @SilverJames_

  4. The empress raises her hand. A lightning bolt follows it, smashing into the chest of a man sitting three rows forward from us. The people that had been his immediate neighbours all rise together, nervously shying away from his remains. The next blow will probably fall somewhere else, but it’s anyone’s guess where.

    The empress’ choices often seem random, yet at other times, you might think she’s got an agenda, a desire to seek out individuals, their families, and the groups they associate with. She’s not one of us, not remotely human anymore, her motives now fully aligned with the aliens’.

    “What is she on about anyways?” Dirk rolls his eyes, not caring that he’d draw the proctors’ attention. “I can’t understand a word she says.”

    Watching the overhead viewscreens, I slowly become accustomed to how she voices each syllable. Her mouth and jaw have been deformed by her conversion, making her speech sound unworldly and strange, even when attempting to communicate in her own language. But it comes to me when I pay close attention, each successive phrase making more sense.

    “She’s saying their leader is annoyed,” I say, seeing another life being ended. This time it’s a woman, her daughter seated to her left. “The tributes we offered them were offensive. Unsatisfactory isn’t enough to describe the grievous suffering they’ve endured.”

    “So, it’s all about the socks,” Dirk says, seeing a proctor point toward us. “Maybe we should have kept the receipt and left that in the box.”

    250 words – twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com

  5. The screams were rocking the mansion and I drowned them out, my hands over my ears.
    “What is she on about anyways?” asked Carol walking in.” Curtis forgot again, didn’t he?
    “Yes, and his mesmerizing skills aren’t getting any better.”
    “Are you going to go down there and end the screaming? It’s driving everyone mad.”
    “I wanted to give Curtis the opportunity…”
    “Your highness, Melinda, you give everyone a chance. but if Dagger comes home to this…”
    I went down to the dungeon Curtis was enjoying the screaming. He’d lied to me, taken advantage of my goodwill.
    In seconds I advanced on him and put him down. The woman smiled and I decide to keep her if she promised never to scream again.
    I offered her my wrist and she drank deeply until I cut her off.
    Dagger came home and said, “I’m sorry my dear; but we have to do something about Curtis. He’s lied to you and I won’t have that.”
    “Curtis has been handled and we have a new fledgling, Bella.”
    “I’m proud of you darling, but if Bella lets us down…”
    “Then I’ll take care of her.”
    Weeks later I had to put Bella down, along with Curtis. The two of them had planned for me to turn Bella, so they could be together, but I was smarter and had drugged them both before killing them. I should be mourning Curtis, but all I felt was triumph. I was truly a Vampire Queen now.
    248 words
    @SweetSheil

  6. Audasity scowled. “It’s not important now, but we have to keep an eye on him. What’s your second thing?”

    Misty narrowed their eyes, but decided not to press her. “Do you remember the woman who won the spa basket from our auction?”

    “Oh yes, the lovely blonde with sharp sense of humor and the casual wardrobe?”

    Misty laughed. “That’s the one. Tonight after the show, I have a dinner date with her so I’m not available for extra help.”

    Audasity lost her smile. “You’re sure about this, Misty?”

    Misty nodded. “Yes, I’m sure. We’ve been building our relationship outside the show. She knows what I look like when I’m my sexy masculine self, and we’ve had some special moments. There’s no masking when we’re alone.”

    Audasity sighed. “All right, then. I don’t want either of you hurt. That woman seemed like a good person and you’re one of my favorites. The last thing I need are broken hearts around here.”

    “No broken hearts, I promise. Well—”

    Shouting from the dressing room interrupted what they were about to say. Both them and Audasity recognized Suzie Cue’s shrill shouts and complaints.

    Mama Audacity sighed. “What is she going on about anyways? The show hasn’t even started.”

    “I don’t know. She wasn’t in the dressing room when I was there, so I have no idea. Good thing you’re the manager, yes?” Misty batted their eyes as Audasity rolled hers.

    “Yeah, yeah. The things I do to keep all you ladies in line.”

    250 ineligible #Sirens words
    @SiobhanMuir

  7. “Our people are overcrowded, and our resources are already stretched to their limit. The coastal villages aren’t enough to change this reality. We must move inland.”

    Tenko concluded her case to the council. She felt her argument was irrefutable, but she saw doubt in the elders’ eyes.

    The agricultural minister appeared to wake up and lean over to the historical minister.

    “What is she on about anyways?”

    “She wants us to cross the Tigers’ Forest. Even as young as she is, a scholar should be aware of what happened the last time we attempted to cross the forest.”

    The historical minister spoke loud enough for the whole room to hear. This set the elders to murmuring their agreement.

    “That was four centuries ago!” Tenko protested. “Now we could—”

    General Kusunoki silenced the young elf with a wave of his hand.

    “My soldiers have enough on their hands keeping the peace and protecting the valley. I will not chance them on a fool’s errand.”

    Why was no one listening? As things stood, the elves were waiting in the valley to die. Crossing Tigers’ Forest was their only option. Unless they wanted to try to take their First Home back from the Old Gods. Although, Tenko had calculated that action to have a negligible chance of success.

    “I agree with her, Father.” The general’s youthful son also addressed the room.

    “Irrelevant! This discussion is over.”

    Tenko took a bracing breath.

    “If I scout a way through the forest, will you reconsider?”

    250 Tale of Tenko words
    @DavidALudwig

  8. “Hello, and welcome to Hell!”

    The pair of fallen angels cautiously stepped over the threshold into fire and brimstone, shoulders tight and eyes anxiously scanning the rocky terrain. Except they were greeted not by fire, at least not raging fire, but by gentle warmth. Scones lit the domed expanse before them. A pristine waterfall so pure cascaded down the rock to their left.

    “Are those…flowers?” Azazel murmured to his companion, nodding his head toward the purple star-shaped plants littering the stone path.

    “Looks like it. Are we sure this is Hell?”

    The horned beauty spun around. “Of course. Where the damned and the black sheep come to stay, cause Heaven’s not going to open their gates to a bunch of mistakes and their demons.” Her voice took on a sing-song quality with a sultry chuckle as she walked them down toward the hollow of comfy looking chairs and a…

    “Bar?” Samael mused.

    Azazel shrugged in utter disbelief.

    Their guide, the blood red winged Lilith herself, continued on her one-hit solo. “Yes, welcome to Hell! It’s a shame you’re so late to the party, and a pity I didn’t see your rise to morally grey.”

    The two paused and Azazel leaned closer to whisper. “What is she on about?”

    “Anyways!” Lilith finished with her verse, turning to see them stopped. Her head cocked. “Welcome aside, coming into Hell?”

    Without options they continued forward again as Samael muttered beneath his breath, “I don’t think she should quit her day job.”

    ~*~*~*~*~

    248 words inspired from the Hazbin Hotel song “Welcome to Hell”
    @DaelynMorgana

  9. Humans sometimes challenge me with their vernacular. I was human once, but that was in the 1800s and it was a very different way of life then. Iowa was largely undeveloped and my family and I ran a very successful funeral business.

    In the 2020s, I become lost when people talk to me. And as I have to fill in for one of my Deathers tonight, I find myself particularly lost bringing a teenager to her afterlife.

    “Who are you?” a tall, dark haired, medium build girl asks, tapping her phone.

    “I am the One True Death. I am here to take you to your afterlife.”

    “Say what?”

    “I am here to bring you to the afterlife.”

    Her phone goes into her pocket in one smooth movement. Ironically, the phone is part of the reason for her demise. Her smoking, crumpled car hugs a tree and I think it is starting to dawn on her what happened.

    “Did I yeet my car into a tree? Mom is going to be shook.”

    What is she on about anyway? I wait for a translation but when none is forthcoming, I gesture to a door; her grandmother is walking toward us.

    “It is time. Let us go.”

    She bursts into tears when she sees her grandmother, running for her arms. They collide and I wonder, perhaps, is this is what yeet means. They make their way across and I return to work, hoping I will not need a translator for the next one.

    @Aightball
    250 words

  10. And People in Hell…

    I knew she was trouble from the moment she walked in. She didn’t even wait for the hostess to seat her before she was name-dropping and making demands.

    It was part of why Sheila seated her in my section, she knew I was best equipped to deal with the woman— but nothing could have prepared any of us for the evening ahead.

    She complained about how long it took me to get her order, and how she had to ask for water, which in her opinion wasn’t cool enough.

    When I didn’t apologize and immediately recognize how much she could do for us with her social media following, she glowered at me and told me, “I can make or break you.”

    “I’m sorry ma’am,” I answered. “I am not allowed to make that kind of decision.”

    “I know your boss.”

    “Ma’am, that’s fine—but I’m not allowed to give you any preferential treatment. Especially when it comes to your bill.”

    Then the threats came and it only got worse when I refused to comp her drinks.

    I stepped aside and Sheila came over to check on me.

    “What is she on about anyways?”

    “We’re all incompetent, we’re what’s wrong with the service industry…”

    Has she asked to speak with the manager?”

    I nodded knowingly as the building began to shake as the devil himself made his appearance.

    “Bertha, I told you to never darken my doorstep again,” he bellowed.

    Turns out, she really does know the boss.

    248 words, not including title
    @mishmhem

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