#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 577

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 577 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 577:

Computer geek, bass player, historical reenactor, and flash fiction writer, Mary Decker.

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And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“Why do you say that?”

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!

8 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 577”

  1. Painting Yourself into a Corner

    Being a writer of fiction carried with it enormous responsibilities. One had to be clear that the words the author chose were not ambiguous. Unless of course that was the intent.

    Some genres demanded fabrication. Gronsky knew that, knew that once you left the real world, however one defined it, that there were readers who hung on your every word, believed everything you stated. Even if they knew that you were writing science fiction or another imaginative sort of fiction that by their very definition, could not be true.

    Unless the author wanted to confuse, create chaos, have you believe that truth was being uttered. If not a current truth, a future one.

    Surely there were writers who wanted their imaginary universes to seem whole, tangible. They saw themselves as prophets, as seers.

    As he worked through this onerous dilemma, he sought out Miriam once again for her practical librarian wisdom.

    “You overthink things, Gilbert. You’re like the fellow who’s painting their floor and have trapped himself against a wall.”

    “Why do you say that, Miriam? Paint dries. And I only did that once.”

    “I’d forgotten, darling. But you were quite young.”

    “I should never have told you. Mother rarely laughed but that time…it took days for her to stop smirking.”

    “Sorry I brought it up again…but as a metaphor, and you like metaphors, it does suggest a writing strategy.”

    “Which is?”

    “Always have an exit strategy.”

    Gronsky nodded and thought, ‘easier said than done.’

    250 WIP

  2. “Why do you say that?” Like I hadn’t seen that question coming. Therapy. Predictable, and totally chaotic at the same time.

    “Because if you aren’t doing something you want to do for reasons that make sense to you, you will hate doing that something, and will find ways to fail at it, or be miserable while doing it, or both.”

    The therapist nodded. They didn’t smile, blink, grimace, or any other form of self-expression. They nodded and declared, “That makes sense.”

    So I picked up on that thought and went with it. “Like me taking Korean lessons on Duolingo. I can take them because I’m supposed to do something constructive with my time, in which case I’ll be miserable taking them. Or I can take them because I want to take them, and I find the lessons fun, in which case I won’t mind having to take them every day forever without any days off.”

    I should have seen the question coming, but I didn’t and the therapist broadsided me with it, “So what do you want?”

    The first thing that popped into my head was, “For you to not ask me that question,” but I knew better than to answer with that.

    That’s when the therapist broadsided me with another declaration, “I think you know what you want.”

    “To find out who I am, right? And what I like, right? And the things that matter to me.” I paused. “And I don’t know how to do that.”

    249 Words

  3. Ronan leveled an alpha stare on his brother. “I’ve got actual work t’be doin’, Mick. Spill it or get on with yer day and leave me in peace.”

    Mick returned to the bar and poured whiskey into a glass. He tossed it back before facing Ronan. “It’s the Brannigan woman.”

    Ronan went very still. Under his icy stare, Mick grabbed the untouched glass in front of Ronan and drained it too. Sadly, as a Wolf, the alcohol was more for show and taste than any sort of actual palliative effect. He briefly met his brother’s gaze then lowered his eyes.

    “What about Maura?” Ronan’s voice was all teeth and claws.

    “Someone wants her dead.”

    “And why do you say that?”

    “I say it because the grapevine is fairly hummin’ with it. Big money, too. It’d hav’ta be a rich pot considering she’s an assistant district attorney.”

    “Who?” The word was barely understandable, far more wolfish snarl than human speech.

    “I don’t know yet, but I’ve got Fitz workin’ on it. He’s already lurkin’ about the dark web peekin’ into the blackest corners.”

    Callum “Fitz” Fitzpatrick was a computer genius and one of Ronan’s lieutenants. He’d ferret out the bloody wankers and then Ronan would personally hunt them down and rip out their throats.

    “I can put a man on her, Ronan, but considering who she is, he can’t shadow her everywhere. We’ll find them, keep her safe.”

    “Aye. We’ll find them,” Ronan vowed. “Then we’ll hunt them.” End of story.
    250 words in the continuing saga of the Moonstruck Mafia WIP

  4. “You can stand at ease,” Ryland said, buffing the wall panel. He studied his reflection, producing a comb from the pocket he’d had sewn into his sleeve, rearranging his quiff so it stood up like meringue. Its peak was known to have remained unruffled after a watch in a hot zone, the Lieutenant Commander effortlessly dodging blistering hostile fire, then rolling with aplomb behind the wall-sized boulders that were always available when you wore a gold jersey. He gave McAdam a self-satisfied smile, well aware that the crew thought he was vain.

    Ensign McAdam wasn’t impressed. He wore the accursed red jersey of security, having already been assigned to the next landing party – there being a better than even chance he wouldn’t return. The officers were reputed to have a pool on who the next fatality would be, favouring the Tellurian with the gravity-defying bust who’d already survived three patrols while also successfully evading the Lieutenant Commander’s charm. That was another thing that skewed an ensign’s chances for longevity. The only romances that persisted were between similar ranks, any other relationships rarely lasting.

    “You must really think you’re blessed,” McAdam said. “If you only knew what people say…”

    “Why do you say that?” Ryland said, slipping his comb away. “Have you heard something about a plot twist?” He gifted McAdam with a brief fraction of his attention, his smile fading momentarily.

    “I’ll tell you later,” said McAdam, suddenly getting an idea. “When I get back up from the planet.”

    250 words – twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com

  5. Anubis dipped his chin. “The honeys are beholden to no one. That’s why they’re here. She wanted entertainment so she came to me. There are plenty of honeys out front. I’m sure one would be happy to give you a blowjob. But this little honey”—he reached out and wrapped an arm around my waist, pulling me to his chest—“is mine.”

    I twittered a laugh that I hoped sounded coy instead of nervous as Anubis nuzzled the side of my neck below my ear. To be honest, I would rather spend time with the God of the Underworld than “I-like-it-three-at-a-time” so I didn’t fight too much when his hand slid over one breast and squeezed gently.

    Trike swore and scowled. “Get your own fuckin’ drinks!” He stomped off as Anubis turned my head to give me another searing kiss.

    I should’ve been pushing him away and snarling about boundaries, but something about his touches felt both erotic and comforting, like a long lost lover I hadn’t seen in a while. Which made absolutely no sense since I’d never met Anubis before in my life.

    When he let me up for air, he licked his lips and groaned, leaning his head against mine.

    “I cannot get enough of kissing you, Anna.”

    “Why do you say that? You’ve just met me.” I didn’t pull away because frankly, I couldn’t get enough of kissing him either.

    “I have just met you, which means I need to get to know you better.”

    249 ineligible #ConcreteAngelsMC words

  6. “The Northern Guardian Shrine will be our last safe refuge before we’re into the Tigers’ Forest proper.”

    Lieutenant Sora advised his companions. He had remained alert for threats since they entered the treeline. Tenko nodded her agreement but seemed to be thinking about something else. Sora wasn’t sure Mana was paying attention at all.

    “It might not be,” Arashiko rejoined the others on the trail.

    “Why do you say that?”

    Mana turned to the wild-haired archer, who pointed to smoke billowing from the ravaged shrine in the upcoming clearing. Tenko’s attention snapped ahead. She was already dashing for the shrine before the others could respond.

    “Search for survivors!”

    “But stay together!” Sora added.

    The shrine’s surroundings were strewn with the broken arrows of the defenders. The claw-scarred compound walls appeared pulled apart in places. Whatever happened here happened quickly.

    Most of the Northern Guardian Shrine’s soldiers had been slain, as many by fangs or claws as by more conventional weapons. The four companions were able to find a dozen survivors, and the shrine was well stocked with scrolls and medicines with which to tend their injuries.

    Tenko locked eyes seriously with the first guard to regain consciousness.

    “What happened here?”

    “Tigerlings! There were so many of them; they came out of nowhere! They took the priests!”

    Tenko stood and faced the others.

    “We’re going after them.”

    “We should get reinforcements—”

    Sora’s objection was interrupted by Mana and Arashiko’s agreement.

    “Lead on.” “This is gonna be good!”

    247 Tale of Tenko words
    @DavidALudwig on Twitter and Bluesky

  7. The stone archway rose up before him like an impassable wall. The empty air shimmered like glimmering mist, swirling as if possessed by a non-existent wind. The souls of this realm rarely saw anything within its opening, but Death saw all the worlds possible within it.

    “Worthless doorway,” he muttered, appraising it with a deep frown beneath his hood.

    “Why do you say that?”

    While there was no sound of her approach, he could feel the soul standing behind him now. Death turned to face the dark-haired beauty. “What good is a passageway into the afterlives if there is nothing to help the souls learn to move on? Hardly anyone ever leaves here.”

    Morticia reached for his bony hand. “Perhaps it is up to you to help them then.”

    “Me? No. That is not how this works.”

    “Why not?”

    “My job is to help souls move from one plane of existence to the next, whether that be here in Embermyst, the Summerlands, Heaven, the Underworld, Valhalla…” Death trailed off. “You have seen how the souls here veer from my presence. How could I ever help them heal to move on if they wail and moan in despair when I pass by?”

    Full, red lips pursed. Her gaze fell to the barren floor, carefully considering. “Perhaps, then, that is why I have found myself here, suspended between planes. Perhaps I am the light to your darkened shadow.”


    236 #Embermyst words
    @DaelynMorgana / Blog: https://dmorgana.wordpress.com

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