#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 605

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

Welcome back to the home of #ThursThreads for Week 605.

Today is Thursday and that means it’s time to start flashing on #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 605:

Florida girl and reader, Patricia Oak.

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“I don’t really know how.”

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!

25 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 605”

  1. The Mystery of Writing Fiction

    Gronsky spent an hour dabbling at his novel, making modest headway. Around three o’clock, he went for a stroll down the path by the side of the cabin that led to the low bank waterfront. He found a log and plunked himself down.
    It been years since he’d simply rested and looked out at the ocean.
    “It’s quite a lovely view, isn’t it?” Sven Lundquist said.
    Startled, “Gronsky looked up and saw his host, smiling and looking relaxed.
    “It surely is. You’re very fortunate.”
    “I do have a talent for picking views. Mary was a city girl and most of her lived life was in the city. She really didn’t want…this…in particular.”
    “And now?”
    “I can’t drag her away. A significant percentage of our Islands population, certainly the well-off ones, older, but the younger set as well…they head south or wherever pretty much every winter. Not us. We’re glued to this place.”
    Gronsky nodded, amused that anyone could feel imprisoned by such splendour.
    “I don’t really know how your types do it,” Sven continued.
    “What? Admire the beauty of your Island?”
    “No. Not that. Make stories up. Write. Sit there and pull stuff out of …”
    “The air?”
    “Close enough. The air. I mean, I get journalists. Travel writers. They write about what is in front of them. What they can see. How they feel about it. You fiction writers…well, like I said, it’s a mystery to me.”
    And sometimes, mused Gronsky, to me to.

    250 WIP

  2. There was an empty chair at the table. It was one of the ones he’d favoured, but not for its own inherent qualities. A chair was nothing but pieces of wood and scraps of canvas, brought together by an unseen pair of hands – an item of furniture serving a designed function but contributing little more.

    The other chairs were empty too. It was early yet – there was much to be said and done. They were a group that were liberal in the best of ways; everyone full of ideas, free with their words and careless with how they were used. They were exuberant and happy when writing together, sharing their created worlds. This was a place where the pressures of reality could sometimes be put aside.

    But at other times, their mood changed. Word counts and key sentences were of no consequence, more pressing matters diverting their minds. They had families, friends and communities – they were people with lives and commitments, sometimes pushed out of sight for a while. The world beyond their imaginations would always be there, influencing what they did each week. They would wish it could be otherwise, do the best they could, but sometimes fail to produce their offering of words.

    I don’t really know how I should end this. It’s impossible to say what should be said. The stars and the spaces between them will be a little quieter and less well populated now.

    God speed and fly straight to journey’s end.

    250 words – with regrets, condolences and thanks for many shared memories

  3. For Mary

    I walked past the gravestones, trying, as I was taught, not to step on the earth that covered the bodies. I wasn’t sure why it mattered, not really. Those people were dead, some for a few months, some for a century or more, and who knew if there was any of their…soul, for lack of a better word, around to care what happened to their rotting meat sack.

    It just seemed respectful, is all. I probably worried too much about that, but all it meant here was watching where I put my feet. Like trying to avoid stepping on the cracks (or you’ll break your mother’s back) on the sidewalk, only with corpses.

    Regardless of how one felt about walking through a cemetery, I wasn’t going to step on your body. You’d been cremated and scattered years ago. I hadn’t bothered to “say goodbye” or do whatever other people do when people die. The rest of my family didn’t like that, to put it mildly. I didn’t like them, so I guess that was a tie.

    I don’t really know how to say goodbye, when it comes down to it, or even why. Would saying goodbye get rid of the memories?

    Whether I want to say goodbye or not, you’re gone, and I’m still here.

    I sat down on a tree stump – a grave marker of its own kind – and took out my lunch. It’s quiet here. If I listen closely, maybe you’ll say hello instead of goodbye.

    248 words

  4. “I don’t really know how. What if I mess it up? What if they don’t like what I do and then they’ll be mad because I did something wrong? I haven’t had proper training. This is something I was never told how to do.” Sonya gave a wheeze, fumbling for her inhaler.

    “You need to relax. Deep breathes. Try not to panic to much because you’ll lose your concentration.” Amelia gave her a bright smile before patting the perfectly coifed hair. “You will do your mother proud. After all, it wasn’t your fault that she went against the elder over who she should pick as a mate. But you’ll do well and even with your shortcomings.”

    “Having asthma isn’t a shortcoming unless I’m in a race. And my mom picked dad because they loved each other.” Sonya stared at the other woman. Must be nice to be loved by everyone. If this was why the other woman came to ‘help’ her with the ritual, to make herself feel superior, then she could leave.

    “Of course I didn’t mean anything like that. Even though he was a simple hedge wizard, I’m sure you won’t have a problem at all. I look forward to seeing you in front of the elders.” Amelia gave her a bright smile before turning and leaving the room.

    Sonya waited until the woman was gone before taking another hit on the inhaler. “Mom had been right. That family has a bunch of petty bitches.”

    247 words #WIP

  5. I don’t really know how to do it – how to say goodbye. Some may find it strange to feel close to others you didn’t really meet or know in person. Writing, though, becomes personal — minuscule atoms of our being shared with others.

    As a guest judge of #ThursThreads, I share observations and advice. Similarly, Mary offered support throughout the years. She gave of herself on a regular basis as a writer and as a judge.

    During the pandemic, when many were alone, we weren’t—not really. Our lives in person may have become isolated, but online communities thrived, nourished by common interests— a passion for language and the challenge of creating a story inspired by a prompt.

    Aside from snippets shared on social media, images of family, frustrations and accomplishments, we don’t really know the others within the group — only what they choose to share. After years, the connection becomes more real. We rely upon each other.

    Through one’s writing, we get a glimpse into the soul, the person behind the screen. In week 598 (among many others), Mary took the coveted title of “Winner.”

    “She mourned the death of love and tried to stop the bitter flow of tears. This is where her darker half was born. And it would not rest until he had paid.” (Link to full contribution https://siobhanmuir.com/thursthreads-week-598-winners/)

    That voice will be missed.

    Her words, though, continue and will be cherished like a friendship.

    238 words

  6. March 18th 2024, 8:30 AM

    Mary: Good morning. I wanted to make sure you know how wonderful and amazing you are.

    Siobhan: Aww, thank you. I needed to hear that. How are you doing?

    Mary: Good. I got a heavy reminder of how important those “I meant to say” messages. A dear writer friend of mine passed away, and I don’t want to leave important things unsaid – or just assumed.

    Siobhan: I’m so sorry. Sending blessings, and you’re so right. Endings come faster than we can write them.

    That was our last text conversation. It seems prophetic now, what with her ending coming before I was ready. I want to scream at the sky, pulling my best Karen:

    “This is unacceptable! I demand to talk to a manager! I’m not ready for her to leave!”

    But in her wisdom, she reminded us all how important it was to tell people how much she cared. She didn’t waste time – I wrote the same to her when I was thinking about her, which was often – and she made sure I knew how she felt.

    I don’t really know how to convey the depth of my sorrow at her passing. Yes, I understand it was her time and her body was done with life’s shenanigans, but I wasn’t ready for her not to be there when I wanted to chat. I wasn’t ready to go without her quirky #ThursThreads tales each week, often written a few minutes before the deadline. I just wasn’t ready.

    I love you, Mary. You’re amazing and awesome. May you rest in joy and laughter.

    261 ineligible words

    1. Thank you, Siobhan for these thoughts and your friendship with Mary. They brought tears to my eyes and consolation to my heart. Thank you for all the tales I have read throught the years
      Mary’s Mom Madelyn Decker

  7. How do you say goodbye?

    I’ve asked myself that question time and time again as one soul and then another slips from my life. Yet even through all the loss I still don’t have an answer.

    Some like to light candles in one’s memory, watching the wax drips down the taper as if it would melt the pain away. Others prefer to gift flowers to remind us of the full life someone once lived, sending them with messages of sorrow and potlucks of compassion. Others still sit in solidarity with you, crying tears of broken hearts as you grieve the goodbye. Some pray for peace, some scream the injustice of death, others make ritual of the passing, sending the loved one on their way by wind or water.

    I’m not sure if the worst goodbyes are the ones you don’t see coming or the ones that you have to watch wither away like flowers during autumn before winter’s long sleep.

    I don’t really know how it happened, or when, but somewhere between the lines of creative voice and made-up worlds you became as real as the keystrokes beneath my fingertips. You became friend and ally in an industry that so often brings its own kind of grief. All I do know is that grief is not linear, and your memory lives on forever in the words you’ve weaved.

    Wherever you take up your pen next, Mary, we can take comfort in the fact your stories are immortal.


    247 words for Mary, may she rest easy

  8. It was a beautiful day in Los Angeles, for all that he noticed. The warm ocean breeze ruffled his hair as he stood lost in his thoughts. It could be Hell on Earth and he would remain unmoved. Instead, his focus was on the wedding band he held in his fingers. The delicate platinum band matched the larger one he wore on his ring finger of his left hand. The ring he never ever expected to have to remove from his dead wife’s hand.

    “I don’t really know how to do this alone,” he said to her, her ghost in his mind standing next to him.

    She smiled sadly but didn’t say anything. How could she? She was a figment of his imagination.

    “I never knew how to truly live until you came into my life. How can I go on living now without you?”

    His body shook as he tried to contain the despair that ravaged him down to his soul. He fell to his knees, the sand of the beach cushioning his landing.

    “Why?” he screamed up to the heavens. “Why her?”

    His shouts garnered some odd looks from nearby beachgoers, but even they seemed to pick up on his pain and didn’t disturb him.

    “Why did it have to be you?” he asked her ghost. She knelt next to him but remained silent. If she had the answers, she wasn’t divulging them.

    235 words

  9. Here I am, again. Sitting at my desk at 10 in the morning, wondering how I’m ever going to make it through the day. Knowing that the day ends at 9 at night, meaning I have 11 hours to stumble through. I don’t really know how to get through the time. But I keep trying every day. Because I refuse any other option.

    I know I can wash some dishes. I can spend time on the internet, pretending to myself that I’m learning Korean. I can push myself through another workout session on the stationary bike. I can check the laundry, and see if there is enough to justify running the washing machine and dryer.

    As the weather improves, and spring sets in, I can pull weeds from the flower beds. I can mow the lawn. I can edge everything. I can work on the veggie gardens. There are things I can do.

    But I know I can’t do it all. I know I’ll need down time. Time to rest.

    And it’s raining outside.

    Which is how I wind up sitting at my desk, staring at the time, wondering how I’ll ever make it to 9 at night.

    198 Words

  10. Helen Harper was no superhero. At least this version of her wasn’t. Though this dorm room, in the Powered Response Unit’s main building, did feel like the kind of space she would create for herself. It was actually nicer than her apartment bedroom.

    Her father and the superheroic Tinkerer were outside discussing the situation. And how much to share with Helen. She bumped the wireless mouse on the desk and the computer monitor flashed to life on a log-in screen. Would superhero-her have used her usual password?

    Helen bit her lip. She couldn’t hear what was happening in the hall. Colonel Harper and the Tinkerer could come in at any time. Helen took a breath, sat at the desk, and entered her password.

    It worked! The desktop was empty except for one file. Which was opening itself! Shit! A video filled the screen and Helen found herself looking at her own face.

    “Hey, Helen.” Computer-her smiled wanly. “I don’t really know how much Dad and Tink have told you. But if you’re seeing this, that probably means something’s happened to me. Also, you really should change your passwords.”

    The screen switched to a map and zoomed in on an address.

    “If you want to know more, go to this address. If you don’t, I’m sure Dad and Tink will take care of you. If you do go, be careful what you tell people. Information is power, and power is dangerous if anyone has too much of it.”

    247 The Many Lives of Gemini words

  11. If she messed up now she could kill someone. Or kill herself, and Lilah was wound tight. She peaked around the corner of the building, keeping her target in sight.
    Dressed in black, she flopped to her stomach to keep out of eye-level view. Whispering into her radio she gave an update.
    “Mark appears to be shopping. Over.”
    “Roger that.”
    Lilah couldn’t believe she was finally on her first op. She didn’t think she’d ever get through what seemed like endless training, but here she was, and she wasn’t going to blow it.
    Two clicks sounded on her radio, giving her the signal.
    Hopping to her feet, she stayed crouched low as she moved to the corner of the next building. Closing the distance to her mark to only 50 feet. Any noise she made now could give away her position.
    Lilah glanced at her watch and when she looked back up her mark was gone.
    She grabbed her radio and whispered into it. The response she received was terse.
    “Find him.”
    Lilah walked to where she’d last seen him and nearly got run over by him as he exited the shop next door.
    “I’m so sorry. Are you okay?”
    Lilah swallowed hard and nodded.
    “Listen, there’s a bar a couple doors down. Let me buy you a drink to fix things.”
    She stuck her hand into her jacket and gave her microphone two quick squeezes.
    “I don’t really know how a drink will fix things, but let’s go.”

    250 words

  12. The clōke of Death settled pungently in the backdrop before slowly and callously waltzing toward the unaware child. It defiantly resisted the urge to vacate despite the screaming and wailing of the father standing in the doorway.

    In another plane of reality a growing assembly fell into an unexpected, yet precise rhythm of a flash mob dancing to a techno beat of lights and chimes. Death and the flash mob juxtaposed across the Etherial. The flash mob brandishing tools and potions meant as theriacs in a scripted pattern to subterfuge Death.

    The choreographer paused by the child before summoning a young dancer to step into the spotlight. “Need’s a chest tube” the choreographer asserted. The young dancer’s heart raced while uttering – “I don’t really know how” and reminded himself to breath. A blue clōke of his own was adorned on the young dancer. With the guidance of the choreographer, cold steel met the side of the child, as Death jeered, hurling doubt and failure in an effort to trip up the young dancer. A mild tremble was noted in the dancers hand as he advanced a tube into the newly formed hole – slowly – then resistance – then with pressure the tube pierced the lining. Blood and air filled the tube, the child’s lung expanded and the alarms abated as a sign that it was time for Death to leave the arena.

    The attending physician nodded “Nice work, young man… you just saved that kid – welcome to second year of residency”

    249 words

  13. I cross over the dead for a living. And things usually go smoothly. But Joshua, age twelve, did not go smoothly at all.

    The crossover starts fine: I severe his connection to his soul and we walk across. Nothing happens. Joshua shuffles next to me, holding my hand. His long brown hair falls across his face in curls.

    “What happens now?” he whispers. “Is Mom coming?”

    He glances behind him. His pale, thin body lies in the bed, cleaned and tucked in like he’s sleeping. His father holds his hand, face slack and pale. His mother passed away from the same illness two years ago.

    When his mother arrives, she isn’t happy. On the one hand, that’s understandable; he’s twelve. On the other hand, she needs to take him across.

    “Why?” she asks, stomping the floor. “He’s twelve!” Her brown eyes bore into mine. “I’m not ready to accept him over here.”

    “You didn’t accept me when you were alive, either.”

    Awkward. No one mentioned any tension to me.

    “Kids don’t know—”

    “I’ve known for a long time.” His voice is firm.

    This is clearly an old fight. His mother huffs.

    “Is Grandma here?”

    Ouch. I don’t really know how to handle this. Then, a woman with features similar to Joshua’s takes his hand.

    “Come on, honey. I know a place you’ll be loved and accepted without judgement.”

    He and Grandma walk away, while his mother is yanked back through the door. Maybe Stan got a hold of her.

    250 words

  14. “Tell me everything that happened after you arrived at work today,” the detective asked.
    “I got here at 6:00. Connie was in her office. I knocked on her door but had to wait a minute or so before she told me to come in.”
    “Is that what you normally do?”
    “Yes, but the door is usually open.”
    “Was anyone else in the office?”
    “I didn’t see anyone.”
    “Go on. What happened next?”
    “I asked her what she wanted me to do. She told me to clean the fillet station.“
    “Is that something you normally do?”
    “No, I gag every time I go near it, but I went out there. It was so gross. I threw up.”
    “Did you clean it?”
    “Yes, then I came back inside, but she wasn’t here. “
    “How long were you gone?”
    “Ten-fifteen minutes.”
    “Then what did you do?”
    “Then I went out back to look for her and found her. Oh, God! There was so much blood. I called out her name, but she didn’t answer. I just froze.”
    “Did you see anyone else here?”
    “Did you try life support?’
    “I don’t really know how. Was I supposed to?” I started shaking. “On TV, police always say not to touch anything.”
    “If only Connie and you were here, how did she get injured?”
    I shrugged, knowing that was the question I needed to answer.
    “I didn’t see her get hurt.” No, I thought, I closed my eyes after I threw the knife.

    250 words

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