#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 576

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 576 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 576:

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

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“Avoiding her was almost impossible.”

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 576”

  1. Moments

    The years had not been kind to Dolly MacLennan. Danny liked to think that thought every time he ran into her. Which was not often. He supposed it was a malicious thought but given what he knew, what he suspected about Dolly and her husband Mickey, that they might well have orchestrated the violent explosion that killed Mickey’s father a decade or more earlier, he thought it a reasonable thought.

    And he kept it to himself just in case he was wrong.

    Nobody had been arrested for the death of Mac MacLennan back in 1948. When the BC Provincial Police Service wound up in 1950 and was replaced by the RCMP, the MacLennan cold case very likely ended up deeper in the icebox.

    Danny had been raised in a town much smaller than Nanaimo. There, you knew everyone. And if you didn’t know their name, you at least recognized them as a local. He suspected that the war and growth had altered his old hometown. It certainly had changed the human landscape in Nanaimo.

    Every time he spotted Dolly in the intervening years, and avoiding her was almost impossible for she was a community gadfly, a social butterfly, or a moth, even as she aged from a flamboyant femme fatale to a frumpier matron of the arts, he would step into the shadows and wonder whether she carried any guilt with her.

    He didn’t know if she was still with Mickey.

    Dolly was often on the arms of others.

    250 WIP
    @billmelaterplea

  2. Mick, looking back as he teased Declan, pushed through the front door of Clancy’s. A squeaky gasp caught his attention and he automatically reached out to steady the woman he’d all but mowed down. Avoiding her was almost impossible so he didn’t even try. The minutes his hands settled on her waist, he froze. As did she. They stared at each other. Then his wolf stood up, did a big stretch while his tail waved like a pennant. Stupid wolf. This was just Shannon. Who worked in the pub. Man and wolf had known her for years.

    He dropped his hands, she backed away. They both mumbled “sorry” at the same time then Declan and Sean pushed him on through the door. They brushed past, headed to the back of the room where their normal table waited for them. Mick? He stood flat-footed and watched Shannon sashay back to the bar. Gobsmacked. Yeah, he was totally gobsmacked. His wolf growled deep inside him. Ours.

    In a daze, he stumbled through the packed pub to the table where his mates sat. Before he could gather his wits, Shannon appeared, tray in hand, to distribute their drinks. His was the last pint she served. Was her hand shaking just enough to slosh the foam from the Guinness over the sides?

    Without any of her usual banter, Shannon backed away and all but dashed for the safety of the bar. What had just happened? And then she knew. Moonstruck. She was Mick’s mate.
    ****
    250 WIP words for Moonstruck Mafia: Boston
    @SilverJames_

  3. Triss took a deep breath and pulled the hood of her jacket up on her head.

    Just be calm. Act like nothing’s wrong.

    Easier said than done with her heart hammering in her chest. Triss pushed her cart to the far side of the store and headed for the checkout stands. All the self-serve kiosks were full, but one of the checkout lanes was open. The young woman working was a cheery twenty-something named Ashley who spoke loudly and loved gossip. Triss glanced down the aisles for another open checkout, but the only one was right next to the two men looking for her. Triss groaned as she faced Ashley. Avoiding her was almost impossible, so Triss pushed her cart into the line.

    “Good afternoon, how are you today?” Ashley beamed, her voice carrying through the store like an announcement.

    “Good, thanks.” Triss kept her head down.

    “Are paper bags okay? We no longer use plastic.”

    “I brought my own.” Triss lifted the reusable bag and tried not to stiffen as she caught sight of the men moving closer.

    “Oh, that’s so smart. I have a bunch in my car but I always forget to bring them in with me, you know?” Ashley scanned each item carefully and slowly as Triss’s anxiety ramped up. “I know I should use them, but I always forget.”

    “Mm-hm.” Triss shifted just enough to put her back to the aisles as the men stalked closer. Fear threatened to choke her but she nodded.

    249 ineligible #WIP words
    @SiobhanMuir

  4. As a recognizable figure, working in the Death industry has some drawbacks.

    “Oh Jesus!”

    Oh god. There she is. My number one fan. Margaret is what we in the Death industry call a ‘stubborn spirit’. Reincarnation is not a thing, but she made it a thing for a hundred years or so. For someone who, when her spirit was finally caught, fell prostrate at my feet, she certainly was reluctant to die.

    “Jesus!”

    Speed walking is a great form of exercise. Unfortunately, I can’t walk fast enough to avoid Margret. Her black S.A.S shoes thump the floor as she reaches me, wide smile on her wrinkled and aged face, grey hair neatly permed, and her nun’s robe perfectly pressed.

    “Oh. Uhm. Hello again, Margaret. Out for an afternoon stroll?”

    She titters. “Of course, and I hoped you could join me. Your father is avoiding me again. I have a few more suggestions to improve how people are admitted to Heaven.”

    Of course she does. “Oh. Well. I’m sure God’s a busy man and all that. I’d love to chat, but I’m on my way to a meeting of my own. I will be sure to catch up with you later.”

    Avoiding her was almost impossible. The minute she arrived, she wanted to take over. Dad put his celestial foot down but that hasn’t put the breaks on her.

    I disappear onto the Death Plane. That will at least give me some peace and quiet for a while.

    @Aightball
    247 words

  5. Something inside me knew attending the Halloween Party was a bad idea. “She’ll be there too,” kept echoing in my head. Since I was going out of my way to avoid her, not calling her, leaving when she showed up, and all the things you do to keep away from someone, I had to question my sanity where the party was concerned.

    I don’t know. Maybe her being there is why I knew I had to show up.

    I’d last spoken with her 10 months earlier, when I’d decided I had to fix myself, to straighten out my head, my brain cells, my emotions. Whatever that stuff that’s part of you is that fucks you up. I had hung up at the end of the last phone call I’d made to her and knew I couldn’t call her again.

    10 months later I was going to be at a Halloween Party some friends were throwing. They were her friends too. I wasn’t ready to see her. To talk with her. I’d just figured out all that emotional stuff and started to put it, and me, back together.

    Part of me wondered why avoiding her was almost impossible. “Over 1 million people live in this area. Over 1 million. And I keep running into her. It’s like I go out of my way to cross her path.”

    I lied to myself as I drove to the party, “She won’t be there.”

    She was there, and somehow, I couldn’t avoid her.

    249 words
    @mysoulstears
    @mysoulstears.bsky.social

  6. Momma Dean slammed her hands together. She grimaced and dropped into a squat, the bunched muscles of her thighs brushing the walls on both sides. She was as broad across as a redwood: a plug of flesh blocking the whole width of the corridor.

    “What are YOU going to do?” She growled, the tips of her canines poking through between her lips.

    Felicia rolled her head toward her left shoulder, keeping her eyes forward. Then she rolled it across to the right, studying the way ahead.

    Momma had already dispatched her brother, Seth, trampling him into the floor. He’d lasted less than a minute, the Way’s Guardian dropping onto him, crushing him with her weight.

    He’d tried going through her. That had been his first mistake. He’d realised avoiding her was almost impossible, thinking he’d have enough inertia to knock her backwards and squeeze past before she recovered. His remains were barely recognisable now; he was little more than a blot with enough height to suggest it had once been a boy.

    “I think I’m gonna fight,” Felicia said. “My brother’s already proved that rolling you over won’t work.” She plucked a long bamboo staff from the barrel of weapons the moderators had provided, slashing at the air to gauge its qualities.

    Momma grinned, settling her weight into the ground. She wasn’t going to need anything more.

    Felicia closed the distance between them in a rush, planting the staff’s tip into the ground.

    And that’s how she invented pole vaulting.

    250 words – twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com

  7. Jamal climbed the marble steps to the library on his lunch break and he had just enough time to scan the help-wanted ads. Jamal spied Ms. Travers, the librarian on his way to the reference room and to his chagrin, she spied him as well. It seemed she was always watching him like a hawk. Avoiding her was almost impossible and Jamal wondered if she thought he was a pickpocket or worse yet, a junkie.

    Jamal quickly scanned the ads and stopped when he found a posting that seemed too good to be true; an ad for an IT person with a salary based on experience and a chance to continue training on the job. He jotted down the contact information and headed for the exit.

    “Excuse me, Jamal.” Ms. Travers said. Surprised that she knew is name, Jamal turned and walked slowly over to the desk.

    “I’m sorry, did I do something wrong?” asked Jamal.

    “No don’t be silly. I wanted to ask if you needed any help.” said Ms. Travers.

    “No, I’m good. I just found an ad for a new job and I’m going to apply right now!” said Jamal.

    “Fantastic! Do you know about the Library’s job-hunter assistance program? The Library can lend you a clean suit, and pay for a haircut and a beard trim for your job interview? Are you interested? Ms. Travers replied.

    “You would do that for me?” asked Jamal.

    “Of course, that is what librarians do!” said Ms. Travers.

    Word count: 248
    @taforu on “X”

  8. Sora had sworn to himself to protect Tenko and do whatever it took to help her prove to the council that crossing Tigers’ Forest was not only possible, but necessary. The forest crawled with threats to fell the most seasoned of warriors and mages. It was painfully clear to the young lieutenant that the even younger scholar had never seen battle.

    Tenko’s painter friend, Mana, appeared no more experienced. Worse, Mana didn’t seem to have brought any weapons with him at all. That left Arashiko, their mysterious fourth. Apparently, neither Tenko nor Mana had known her before today, either.

    Although the wild-haired archer kept disappearing from the path and popping up elsewhere entirely, avoiding her was almost impossible. Sora cleared his throat on Arashiko’s next close pass, keeping his senses trained for danger.

    “It appears you are a hunter?” Sora ventured.

    “Huh?” Arashiko cocked her head. “Why do you say that?”

    “Your equipment,” he nodded toward her bow, armor, and peasant swords, “is not military grade. Also, you seem comfortable with the forest.”

    “Ah!” Arashiko’s sharp laugh built into a delirium of breath-stealing mirth. “Yup! I’m totally a hunter! Definitely!”

    Sora clenched his jaw. That response seemed… Inappropriate.

    “I hope you can handle yourself in battle. The Tigers’ Forest is dangerous, and I am concerned about our companions.”

    “I dunno, they seem more fun than you.”

    “This is a quest for the survival of our people! It is not supposed to be fun.”

    “See, that’s what I mean.”

    248 Tale of Tenko words
    @DavidALudwig

  9. She was like a force of nature and that of a predator, all rolled into one. The EF5 tornado and the vulture to pick off the remains. Avoiding her was almost impossible when she had her mind set.

    Still, I tried.

    I managed to evade her for all of half a day before she found me in the barracks on the one two-minute stop I made to change clothes. I practically ran right into her trying to sneak back out.

    “And where are you going off to?” Mistress Danea’s tone was about as pointed as the glare she was giving me.

    I swore under my breath and cleared my throat. “Back out, to assess my new assignment.”

    “Is that so?”

    “Yes, ma’am.” Try as I might not to, my voice wavered.

    Danea crossed her arms over her chest. “Before you’ve submitted your report on the last mission? The one you messed up?”

    I fumbled for a response, shuffling under that penetrating gaze.

    “Until you have submitted that report and rectified your mistake you will not be taking on any new assignments. Furthermore, you will not be leaving this base until I say so. It is bad enough I am having to dispatch others to clean up the chain reaction mess you created. I will not be having you muck up more by playing ninja.” Danea turned on her heel, end of her cloak flowing out. “How you ever passed the tests is still beyond me,” she muttered.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    247 random words
    @DaelynMorgana / Blog: https://dmorgana.wordpress.com

  10. Escape

    I first saw her as the new passengers were boarding. Thankfully I was in the pool area, and hiding came easy. I’d been blending in for most of my adult life, and avoiding her was almost second nature. She had made my college years a living hell and now she was here.

    But a five-oh-one space cruiser on a 5-day galaxy cruise meant close quarters and only so many places to hide. I know, because I’ve mapped them out. I tried to disembark, but I was too late.

    While I was returning to my room, I thought I saw her, but moving as quickly as I could I darted into my quarters and locked the door.

    After that, I changed my schedule, opting for in-room dining service, but there was only so much I could do. The fact that I’d bought one of the moon-light cruises of Saturn meant avoiding her was almost impossible. I thought with 145 moons to view at least one of us would be distracted, but looking out the window, I saw her face reflected in the glass.

    She didn’t say anything, just stared at me, but when I turned, she was gone. The moons lost their magic and I did my best to blend in. Once the craft landed, I made a break for my room, but she was there, waiting in the mirror and I had to face the truth.

    236 words (not including title)
    @mishmhem

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.