#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 610

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

Welcome back to the home of #ThursThreads for Week 610.

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 610:

Bill Engleson in front of a bookshelf

Slightly past-it Canuck and word chucker, Bill Engleson.

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And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“His cell phone vibrated.”

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!

12 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 610”

  1. Priming the pump and totally not in the running:

    Jeepers Veepers

    Another break in the proceeding. He is exhausted. They have been coming at him hard. Really hard. He’d kept on expecting Todd to ask, “How many lies have you told in your lifetime?”

    He hopes it doesn’t get asked but if he was cross-examining himself, that’s one volley he would lob. Who can keep track, though. It’s bad enough that lies come so easily to him, he thought.

    Came.

    Not come.

    He was a reformed man.

    Struck from the Bar.

    An author.

    Now there was the real test. Being an author, a non-fiction one at that, you had to tell the truth. That’s what people would buy: Former liar now tells the unvarnished truth.

    Speaking of hard sells.

    His cell phone vibrated.

    He’d broken the rule and taken it into court. On mute, of course. Recording everything. Writing that third book. Being stared at by HIM. Not always but often.

    He missed those days. Sitting at his knee, adoring him like he did, the Trumpmeister stroking his locks, both of them enraptured.

    Why had it gone off the rails?

    Could it ever be fixed?

    He was his FIXER once.

    Everything could be fixed.

    Everything.

    And now his phone was quivering.

    Could it be him?

    Could he see the path forward?

    It would be a marvellous coup.

    His redemption AND it would show the former President’s capacity for forgiveness. It would be along the lines of a modern-day miracle.

    The Trump/Cohen ticket.

    The people would eat it up.

    250 totally made-up words
    @billmelaterplea

  2. The only reason I found his body is because his cell phone vibrated at a time when I’d stopped crying long enough that I could hear it. It was the tail end of twilight, but the nocturnal animals hadn’t yet begun their nightly conversations. I was perched on a corner of what had been the foundation of our house, looking at the destruction but not seeing it. There hadn’t been anything to see for days now. I didn’t even know what happened. I’d been working in the garden – he’d been in the garage – and everything went away.

    When I came to, I was covered with dust and a few scrapes but otherwise unhurt. Everything else – our house, the neighborhood, the city skyline – was just ruins.

    I’d wandered for a while, trying to find others, but there was just me. I found food. I found bodies. Phones that called no one. Dead cars, dead homes, a dead world.

    Except me.

    And the animals that talked at night. I never saw any of them, nor could I understand them. I slept with a gun, for what little good it would likely do.

    It had been months since everything ended when I heard the buzz. There was no way the battery should have held a charge, but I followed the preternaturally long-lasting ring into the rubble, into the dirt, into the death, until I found his body, until I found his phone.

    I thumbed it on.

    “Hello, Mavis. It’s time.”
    247 words
    @drmag00
    @drmag00.bsky.social

  3. His cell phone vibrated, tickling her ass.

    He’d be missing it now, folks always on his case, attempting to keep him in line. He might even be glad she’d stole it from his pants, giving him a couple of hours of peace and quiet. He usually ignored it anyway – ain’t nobody ever told Michael Howard what to do. Not if they knew what was good for them, Sir.

    She grinned. He was always like that. Insolent but polite. Wearing a knowing grin that told you what he thought. Respect, but with a dose of attitude, his eyes shining spitefully that way. Like he wanted you to know he was lying.

    And that was the truth of him – he never said what he thought. He would tell you he loved you and then slide in his shiv, skewering you like a surgeon, just to watch you bleed. He was violence and aggression, wearing a double-breasted suit, careful to push you aside before it got stained. He was always meticulous about the way he dressed, right from his polished pointed-toed shoes up to his hat. And with that decorative tiepin that had been Al Capone’s. That felonious affectation helped create his vibe.

    That bloodied diamond had been tarnished and bleached a dozen times, more like a ruby than any garnet mined, a deep crimson around its edges where its setting’s teeth bit in.

    A man with authority and flair.

    A man who’d spit in your eye to make you blink.

    250 disrespectful words – twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com

  4. His cell phone vibrated on the counter. “I thought I’d put that thing on do not disturb mode.” He picked it up and looked at the number that was calling. “I wonder what they want at this time of day.”

    He took the phone into the next room and answered the call.

    That was the night she finally had enough. It was painfully clear to her she no longer was important to him. Work was important. Other people were important. Or had important needs, wants, and wishes. And they always trounced her.

    She decided then that she’d make phone calls of her own in the morning. After he had left the house. While he was gone. She’d make a few calls and start the process of finding a lawyer, someone who would understand what she was saying, and why she was saying it was over. Someone who would help her become free from what had turned into the biggest mistake she’d ever made.

    She gave up waiting for him. She finished the dishes herself. Then she went to bed. She’d been using the spare bedroom for several weeks. He didn’t seem to notice, or care. Like when it came to the phone or her. The phone always won.

    If he loved the phone that much, the phone could have him. She was done with him. It was time to find a way out of his life. Forever.

    237 Words
    @mysoulstears.bsky.social

  5. Judith Montgomery woke up just as she reached her stop, leapt up, and sprang for the doors as they hissed open. She bustled her way out of the carriage and onto the platform, and then realised that her teeth were missing. She saw a youth in the carriage window as the doors closed, holding up the set of dentures, clamping them shut as though they were on hinges, he and a group of half dozen friends laughing hysterically as the train departed.
    Then, his cell phone vibrated.
    His cell phone was in her coat pocket – she fished it out to stare at the small, GSM-style Nokia – a burner phone. What was it doing there?
    “H-hello?” she said, answering the call.
    “Hey Granny!”
    “I’m not your granny.” She struggled a little to articulate herself without her dentures.
    “Shut your face, Granny. You want your teeth back? You need to pay the reward.”
    In the background, she could hear the laughter from his friends, and beyond that, the clackety-clack of the train on the tracks that had lulled her into a false sense of security and a wonderful slumber.
    “The ransom?” she retorted. Then, she hung up.
    Where were young people’s ethics gone, she pondered, her face ashen as she contemplated the cost of teeth replacement. It was, she had to admit inwardly, a niche theft that had taken place. Then, she too had to chuckle. Ascending the steps out of the subway, gums exposed, she began to roar with laughter.

    249 words @ragtaggiggagon

  6. His cell phone vibrated
    “It’s time?” I asked and he nodded.
    “I don’t want to go,” I stated.
    “We’ve been over this, Cully. You can’t stay here anymore.”
    “I could…”
    “But then you’d be dead,” Francis finished, “You were in the wrong place, at the wrong time; a story as old as time.”
    “Go where?”
    He just shook his head and didn’t answer.
    Taking a circuitous route with Francis looking over his shoulder; we bedded down in the forest overnight. Francis watched over me. At dawn we wondered into a town, to hear a radio declaring the palace had burnt down and all were presumed dead.
    Francis took me to a nearby residence and I fell asleep, Voices woke me.
    “The fire was suppose to kill her why didn’t you just kill her?”
    “She called me I’ve come up with a new plan. She’ll marry me. She’ll rule for a month, grow sick and die, and her grieving husband will take over the kingdom.”
    I’d lived up to my name, but no more trusting anyone. I escaped and took my place as queen. My people call me the Iron Lady Queen, but they respect me. As for Francis, he and his co-horts have been executed. I am to marry a distant royal cousin of mine, who signed papers that he is only my consort never King. When I feel my son or daughter is ready, they will rule; until then I will remain vigilant, trust no one, protecting my kingdom.
    250 words
    @SweetSheil

  7. “Are you sure that he’s cheating on you? It seems like he’s just having a guys night or something. That’s allowed, right?” Bianca stared up at the second floor apartment from where she was standing with her friend who looked like she could dboule as some vengeful witch in an independent movie. Considering how put together Vanessa usually kept herself, perfect make up and hair and made it look like she was fresh faced, seeing her friend out on the street with racoon eyes and messy hair and loung around clothing to order pizza.

    “His cell phone vibrated.”

    Bianca gave a slow blink before turning her head. That was it? Granted, she would shiv a bitch for her friend, but to think that he was cheating on that.  “Okaaaay?”

    Vanessa glared at her, as if knowing it sounded as stupid as it was. “He told me he had forgotten it because it had been dead and had left it charging. Even if he did leave his cell at home, why would he have a second one? You know how has two cell phones?”

    “Business people?”

    “And drug dealers and people who are cheating so that they don’t get caught.” Van sniffed.  “I tried to go up and stopped and even his downstairs neighbor asked me to tell him to turn down the music that he and this other girl were playing. When he left, he told me he was going out.  So kick his ass for me.  Please.”

    248 words
    @solimond

  8. He should have put a tracker on her phone. Colonel Jack Harper paced tight circles and considered calling in some favors. His cell phone vibrated.

    “Honey! Are you alright? Where have you been?”

    “Uh, I’m fine. I just had to, uh, take care of something.”

    Helen’s dazed tone didn’t particularly put her father at ease.

    “Where are you? Can you get here, or to a PRUDENT facility or army base?”

    “Dad, what’s up?”

    Helen’s return to focus was good. Colonel Harper took a deep breath and reminded himself he wasn’t talking to a superhero or one of his soldiers. He needed to be calm. But still authoritative.

    “Something is hunting you. I need you to get somewhere safe. Stay around other people.”

    Helen took her own breath and remained focused.

    “What are you talking about? Some thing?”

    “We got a lead in Gemini’s disappearance. An unknown entity appears to be hunting all copies of her.”

    “I, uh, she left a duplicate for me.”

    “What?”

    “I absorbed one of her duplicates.”

    Was that a good thing or a bad thing? Colonel Harper hummed heavily.

    “Did she know about the thing hunting her?”

    “No. I don’t think so? My head’s kind of a mess right now. I feel like at least a dozen subtly different people.”

    “Can you get somewhere safe?”

    “Yeah, I’ll head for the PRUDENT main office. And Dad? I think I know martial arts now.”

    236 The Many Lives of Gemini words
    @davidaludwig.bsky.social

  9. His knees buckled and he barely reached the piano bench in time before he would have hit the glass and whisky strewn floor. He knuckled his eyes in disbelief as he stared at his very alive wife through the
    glass of the balcony When she had appeared to him before, he knew she was just a figment of his imagination, a manifestation of his grief. This was different. She seemed much more solid and real.

    “How- ?” he trailed off as he tried to gather his wits.

    She pulled open the balcony door and stepped into the room as he stood on trembling legs. This wasn’t possible. He saw her dead body at the hospital. He is the one that removed her wedding ring from her
    finger. He saw the injuries that ultimately ended her life.

    “Hey baby.”

    He never thought he’d hear her voice again. Hearing it now had to be some kind of sick joke put on by his Father.

    “This can’t be real. You’re just a ghost like all the other times.”

    He wanted her to be real. He so wanted her to be real. To have her back again in his arms.

    She smiled softly as she took another step toward him. “It’s real. I’m real. I’m back.”

    His cell phone vibrated from the other side of the room where he had thrown it. He ignored it.

    “How? What did He do? What did He make you do?”

    242 words
    @mlgammella

  10. I’m here to collect the drivers and reunite them with whomever is waiting for them on the other side. My scythe point aims its tip at the driver of the red car, a man in his thirties with dark hair, glasses, and wearing a nursing uniform. The driver of the pickup, a woman with greying hair in her sixties, also wearing a nursing uniform, stands behind him.
    “What the hell happened?” she asks, running a hand over her ponytail. “I’ve got to get to my doctor’s appointment!”
    This is not the fun part. “I’m afraid you’re both dead.”
    They stare at me. Then, the car driver breaks into a grin.
    “Can I play a prank?”
    The woman gestures the mess of the wreck.
    “Now hold on! You caused this mess, you hit me, you killed me, and you want to play a prank?! Now is so not the time!”
    “Eh. We’re dead. You go be pissy with whomever’s waiting for you.”
    He types something and then his phone falls from his fading hands. Stan waves at me and walks off with the driver.
    On the ground, his cell phone vibrated. The police jump, as they help move his body onto a stretcher. The woman sighs.
    “Some prank. He texted himself a shopping list.” She turns around. “Chances of my husband meeting me here?”
    As if on cue, a man runs towards her and sweeps her off her feet. I wave them on, severing their tethers in one swift movement.

    @Aightball
    249 words

  11. “Andrew.”

    Andrew sighed. Whenever Tamarin used that tone of voice, there was no getting out of talking to her. And being the resident psychologist for the patients dealing with trauma meant she saw a lot more than most people wanted.

    He put on one of his best smiles. “Hi, Dr. Barton. What can I do for you today?”

    She raised one elegant silver eyebrow. “I was going to ask you the same thing. You’ve been really down lately. Are you all right?”

    He did his best not to change his expression. “I am. A little tired, maybe, but overall, I’m pretty good.”
    She nodded slowly. “All right, if you say so. I could use your help after work today. I have some new bookshelves that have come in and I need help moving them.”

    He tilted his head. “Have you asked Mrs. Guthrie to get some of the ranch hands to help?”

    Tamarin wrinkled her nose. “They have plenty to do already and they smell like horse. Not that it’s a bad smell, just it’s rather pungent. But you seem free at the moment.”

    He opened his mouth to tell her the list of things he had piling up in front of him, but his cell phone vibrated in his pocket and he gave her an apologetic look as he pulled it out.

    “I’m sorry, I need to take this.”

    Instead of waiting for her response, he ducked away from the reception desk into the back room.

    “Hello?”

    249 ineligible #WIP words
    @SiobhanMuir

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