#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 596

Tying Tales Together, #ThursThreads Year 11 Got a tale to tie on?

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 596 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 social media handle or email in the post (so we easily notify 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, Bluesky, MeWe, and Mastodon, etc.

Our Judge for Week 596:

David A. Ludwig wearing a shirt that reads, "I'm not procrastinating, I'm doing side quests."

Fantasy Author, and Holder of Several Stories, David Ludwig.

Facebook | BlueSky |

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“We can work with you.”

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!

19 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 596”

  1. Small Town Currency

    Until now, until Anne had clarified her concern that his career as a detective was having residual impact on his two children, Danny had to admit that he had paid no attention to that concern.

    Their small town, like any small town, had links, connections, social collectives that existed beyond his awareness and yet on any given occasion, during any sort of private investigation that he was conducting, a spark of reaction, a current of small or greater force could be ignited and have one or more unintended flashbacks to his children.

    They were still so young, ten and nine, reaching that stage of pending awareness, adolescence on the horizon, relationships that were forming, some that he knew of, others perhaps not.

    His talk with them had left him both pleased and nervous. He had explained in somewhat general terms why people hired him, that they were hurt or worried and needed his sort of help. He could see that this revelation was essentially new to them, and their questions displayed how much more he needed to tell them when it was appropriate.

    Danny Junior had asked, “We can… work with you, Pop. Help out…”

    Monique had jumped in and added, “That would be fun…”

    He had thanked them but explained that most of the people who hired him wanted his inquiries to be secret, confidential, and he was obligated to respect that.

    They seemed to understand the need for secrecy.

    That was both useful and worrying.

    250 WIP

  2. Exhausted from pulling a double shift, Maggie walked into the ICU’s break room and halted in the doorway. Three men stood inside. She recognized none of them. Her instincts flared. Cops.

    “Come in, Ms. O’Brien.” The man who spoke was gaunt—almost skeletal.

    She stayed put, feet firmly planted but ready to turn and run if any of the three made a move toward her. Another nurse started to push past but also halted. After perusing the men and glancing at Maggie, she backed out and took off.

    “We need to talk,” the shortest man added. “We’re very interested in the company you’re keeping.”

    She kept her mouth shut, her brain racing. Declan. And the others. Were these local or worse, were they Feds?

    The gaunt guy pushed. “Don’t make this difficult.”

    “We can work with you.” That from the short one.

    Maggie snorted but remained silent. Someone walked up behind her and she almost fainted with relief when Maura said, “I don’t know you three stooges so I better be seeing badges and IDs. Now! I’m Maura Brannigan, Assistant District Attorney. You’re interfering with a witness in an on-going investigation.”

    The gaunt man smirked. “HSI. Our federal investigation supersedes your local one.”

    Maggie studied the third man, who’d remained silent and once again, her instincts activated. One of these is not like the others. She glanced at Maura and realized she’d come to the same conclusion. He was a Wolf. Was that a good thing or a bad thing?
    250 a-long-time-in-coming Moonstruck Mafia WIP words

  3. Kulastri nodded. “If it helps, you were a better prince than your father or grandfather. You seemed to actually care about your people.”

    “All evidence to the contrary.” He waved at the people around them and shook his head.

    “Yeah, that’s certainly the appearance, but it’s what I’m here to fix.” She dodged a group of kids and kept a hand on her belt pouch. They’d cut the cords so fast she wouldn’t have time to bitch about it.

    “Where exactly are we going?”

    Kulastri pointed ahead to the smithy at the end of the row. There was plenty of space around it as most people couldn’t handle the heat and the smells of burnt metal. But to Kulastri, it reminded her of her childhood, love, and the best stories.

    She just hoped her dad had managed to make a sword for the new King despite no one knowing who it would be when she left.

    “We’re going to visit the blacksmith about a sword.” She paused her path long enough to miss a guy dragging a cart before resuming her forward motion to the smithy.

    “Sword? What sword?” Zorrick raised an eyebrow as he followed.

    “The sword for the king.” She flashed him a smile. “Hopefully, there will be something we can work with.”

    “You ordered a sword before you knew who the heir to the throne was?” Zorrick’s jaw dropped.

    “Yup.” She nodded as the heat closed around her. “I had faith.”

    244 ineligible #LOTN words
    @siobhanmuir on bluesky

    1. I love the medieval feel of the setting and Kulastri’s easy familiarity with the hazards of the town. I also appreciate how you broke the prompt.

  4. Colossal waves pummeled and Serena fought against the conflicting currents. Rip tides pulled her into the depths of the sea with the undertow while the growing surface waves battled from above.

    The muscles of her tail worked overtime, contracting and flexing, propelling her toward the surface wave after wave. The best way to break free from a regular riptide is to swim to the side, out of the powerful trap. But this wasn’t an everyday current, it was a hell created to punish her for her misdeeds, and she had to prove her worth.

    Memories of her mom gently guiding her through the bay in her first transition into a mermaid returned. “It’s not going to feel like swimming with two legs,” she’d explained. “Don’t fight against your body’s natural instincts. Work with it.”

    She’d watched her mother gracefully cut through the water – an undulating beauty of seamless motion.

    Serena ceased fighting against the tides, giving into it, letting it take her further out to sea. The moment the strength ebbed the slightest, Serena dived down toward the bottom. The calmness below the surface soothed her anxiety.

    Embrace it.

    The area was emptier of active sea life now, perhaps because of what was happening above ocean level. All creatures of nature seemed to know the best time to stay away.

    Although her mother or any of the other Mages were currently with her, their support and power buoyed her.

    “We can work with you.”

    She was never truly alone.

    249 words

  5. “You’re leaving? But what about the world’s end? The Eschaton Augmenter will probably destroy us all unless it’s stopped. I know the Clan started off on a bad footing with you, but to give up on us now is the worst mistake you could make.” The second acolyte looked bewildered, his jaw hanging as though unhinged, his colleague keeping enough of his composure to challenge me on my way out.

    “I’m not convinced by this hokum,” I said. “I’ve only your word that any of it is true. You can say that that device will bore a hole down to the Earth’s core, but even if it can, what’s it got to do with me?”

    The augmentation device certainly looked the part. It filled the whole cabin, shooting sparks and ringed with auras that would have given Nikola Tesla wet dreams, its operating principles unknowable to anyone unfamiliar with higher math. Vacuum tubes were glowing, electrical arcs bridged with plasma, the constant humming of its operation unmistakable once heard.

    They’d got a grift going on here, and I wanted nothing to do with it.

    “It isn’t about money. We only need your time. We can work with you, and then everyone benefits.”

    The head acolyte was in front of me now, barring my way through the door, his robe hanging from his shoulders in a way that suggested he did more than tote hymnbooks.

    I was almost tempted to go along with it. If only to see what would happen.

    250 words – thwothirdzrasta.blogspot.com

  6. The tall double doors opened with a groan into the Councilor’s chambers. Kailyn’s eyes landed upon the five high-backed, velvet covered chairs at the end of the room. Each occupied by a man in robes of different colors. Their expressions weren’t all welcoming, and there was zero reason they would be welcoming.

    The gentle hand at her back was the only thing that steeled the nerves coiling in her gut, pushing her forward along the rug walkway toward them.

    “Welcome, Matthew, Kailyn,” one of the Councilors spoke. His voice was as gentle as his eyes. The only welcoming figure before them. Unfortunately, he wasn’t the one sitting in the Head Councilor’s middle chair.

    Matt gave them a respectful nod as they stopped before them. “Thank you for agreeing to this audience.”

    “Of course. It is the Council’s duty to listen and help our people. We would be breaking that oath if we turned away a defenseless child looking for assistance.”

    “I am not defenseless.” Kailyn instantly regretted her snap when the Head Councilor gave her a venomous look.

    “No, I expect not,” the gentle one said softly, sadness clouding his gaze. “We can work with you-“

    “Or against you.” The Head Councilor interjected bluntly. “You are an enemy of this realm, child or not. Respectfully, we will not tolerate the crimes you have committed or any future…deceptions, should that be your intent.”

    “Respectfully,” Matt’s voice barely contained a growl. “Perhaps you should listen before judging.”


    245 words
    https://dmorgana.wordpress.com / Bluesky: @daelynmorgana

  7. After confronting the Wood Witch, the rest of the expedition was almost easy. Tenko’s theories were all proven completely true. The future had never been clearer. Unfortunately, losing the Wood Witch only exacerbated the situation between the Fire and Steel tigerling tribes. The Tigers’ Forest had never been more dangerous to elves.

    “The situation has changed. But not for the better.” General Kusunoki scowled. “Guarding your forest path would be more difficult and less realistic even than protecting the coastal villages.”

    The last time Tenko stood before the council, the unproven scholar presented them with unassailable logic. And they refused her. This time, she towered beneath their platform in her Steel Tribe armor with what felt like a century of battle experience.

    “We change that by acting decisively. We help the Steel Tribe subdue the Fire Tribe and in return they will help build and protect the forest road.”

    Last time, Tenko thought she was presenting a solution. Alone. This time she knew she was fighting a battle, and she had the will to see it through. Also, the general’s son and the Northern Guardian Shrine delegation were on her side.

    “Why do you think these beasts are creatures we can work with?”

    “You don’t need to take her word for it.” A spectacled scholar stood at his place on the council platform. “We have been presented with ample evidence that the Steel Tribe have a concept of honor not just compatible with, but, indeed, quite similar to our own.”

    250 INELIGIBLE Tale of Tenko words

  8. Eve couldn’t see a damned thing as she walked, but she was pretty sure that was a blessing. What she could smell and hear (and taste – oh god, there were *bits* of something in the air!) was foul enough. She knew what had happened here, was still happening here, and knew what she was most likely hearing and smelling (and tasting), and she thought if she could see it, she’d lose her mind.

    She stumbled a bit, and the man beside her grabbed her by the neck to stop her from falling. If his hand had felt like a claw, or a pincer, maybe this place would have made some sense to her. But it was human. Soft in places, calloused in others. He’d stroked the bodies of his lovers with that hand. Maybe even held his child oh-so-gently while singing a soft lullaby.

    And held a gun, raining death upon the defenseless. Smacked women and children around, not seeing, not understanding that in doing that evil, he tainted every caress. Every embrace. Every gentle hug.

    They followed the railroad tracks the rest of the way to the entrance. She knew what the wrought iron over her head said and was again glad it was too dark to see it.

    Eve didn’t know why they’d chosen her for this purpose, for this place. Why would they want someone with her talents here?

    All she’d heard when she was taken was, “We can work with you.”

    “Work will make you free.”

    250 words

  9. Showdown

    They came in groups of twos and threes, ready to do battle, I could see it in their eyes.

    Kind old men, who had always watched over me now stood, grim-faced as the sun began to rise.

    The woman who always filled my coffee cup now filled it with bourbon and looked as determined as the others. They wanted to protect me, even as I was fighting to protect them

    “You aren’t alone,” Preacher assured me.

    I never knew if the man was an ordained minister, or if that was just his handle from his days in the service. It didn’t matter, they gathered here for one reason and one reason only, to see me through the ordeal to come, to lift my spirits, and to let me know they were with me.

    But they couldn’t be, not really. When the time came, it would just be me against forces none of us could fathom.

    “We can work with you,” Preacher offered, but we both knew that was a lie.

    Oh, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t selling them short. I knew they would work with me, to the extent they could. but only I understood the full extent of the situation.

    High noon came, and I took my position. Sitting down, I waited for the main event, When the old man entered, I knew the die had been cast.

    ​”I’m sorry it’s come to this,” he said. “But that wisdom too has got to come out.”

    249 words, not including title.

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