#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 611

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

Welcome back to the home of #ThursThreads for Week 611.

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 611:

Author Kelex

Uncaffeinated word witch writing daddies, bears, and paranormal beefcake, Kelex.

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And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“You need to pay the reward.”

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!

13 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 611”

  1. It wasn’t easy staying still for hours on end. Helena knew she’d get cramp, want to sneeze or scratch her nose.
    But, it was important. The need for justice.
    To show Jeremiah Skerne he was wrong. The villain of the piece.
    Not her gentle papa.
    The nearby bushes rustled and Helena knew. She nodded to the excise man by her side.
    He stood up and shouted the words. “halt in the name of the law.”
    Skerne turned and sneered as Helena also rose.
    “I might have guessed it would be you playing around.”
    “No playing” she said grimly. “Just justice.”
    The excise man nodded to the bag on Skerne’s arms and took it from him. “I believe that this is not your property, but stollen from Lord Skipsea. The reward you picked up is not in fact yours. You stole it. Now it has to be returned to its rightful owner, as must the monies you got received. “You have to pay the reward. To Lord Skipsea. Villainy never pays, but the villains do.”

  2. Scrabbled Thoughts

    “There. B U N D. I’m out.”
    “That’s not a word.”
    “You’re darn tootin’ it’s a word. German.”
    “This is American scrabble…”
    “You mean English.”
    “Same dif!”
    “Whatever. Point is, it’s a word that once upon a time was pretty popular here.”
    “How do you pronounce it…like FUND?”
    “No. I think like BOONED.”
    “Like BOONED DOGGLE?”
    “You’re not far off. Back in the thirties, the BUND, means Organization by the way, ran all sorts of indoctrination camps for kids. Held big meetings, I mean huge meetings, thousands of people, scary people, hateful people…”
    “You’re a fountain of information tonight, aren’t ya. I don’t care about all that. I’m just sayin’ BUND isn’t a proper scrabble word.
    “Look it up…it’s in the dictionary…”
    “Okay, fine. Maybe it is but it sounds like a nasty word.”
    “Maybe ‘tis. Doesn’t matter. Nasty or not, it’s a legit word and I win…You need to pay…
    “The reward for winning? We agreed on best of three…”
    “Maybe we did, maybe we didn’t. You gonna challenge me, say I’m using illegal words…that don’t sit right with me.”
    “Look, don’t fly off the handle. It’s just, I’m thinking’ about that word, and I’m remembering seeing some documentary about it. PBS like doc. Makes me queasy…ya know?”
    “Well, it should. Fascism should make you queasy…”
    “Is that why you played the word?”
    “No. I played it ’cause my last four letters were B U N and D.”
    “Right. Okay, best of three. Winner buys dinner.”
    “Deal.”
    250 Words
    @billmelaterplea

  3. Laughter echoed from the parties taking place in the apartments surrounding the courtyard. It was a hot summer evening, and the parties – the people, the music, the energy – had spilled out onto balconies and patios, hoping to catch a breeze.

    That energy wound its way up to Kay’s apartment, where she and I lay not quite touching on her balcony. The fan was on and the lights were off, and we were playing a bastardized version of Trivial Pursuit with just the cards. I hadn’t had anything stronger to drink than what might have been a half-gallon of lemonade, but I was flying high – high on the energy of the night, high on being here with Kay, high on the fact that we were both very much half-dressed and the heat from her body was creating harmonics with the heat in the atmosphere.

    When I’d gotten my most recent question wrong, Kay’d told me I’d had to “pay the penalty,” and she’d run an ice cube up my bare back. We hadn’t actually touched, not in any intimate ways, and when she got her question wrong, I chickened out from returning the favor.

    Kay drew her card but didn’t look at it as she asked me her question. “Did you like what I did with the ice?”

    I met her eyes and nodded.

    She smiled. “Right answer. You need to pay the reward.”

    “Reward?”

    She propped herself up on an arm, her face inches from mine. “Reward. If you dare.”

    250 words
    @drmag00
    @drmag00.bsky.social

  4. Maybe this is a hostage situation and maybe it’s not. Ralphy’s not putting up a fight. I can’t say the same for Darlene.

    “You give him back!”

    “You treat him like shit. And he nearly got run over on the highway today. Why the hell would I give him back?”

    Darlene’s eyes widen, the wind whipping her grey-brown hair into her face. Ralphy stays quiet, eyes darting between us. I’ve known her for years and can almost guess what’s going through her head.

    “Give him back.”

    He makes no move toward her, like he wants to stay with me.

    “What can I offer you?” she asks, hands playing an invisible accordion. It’s her signature move when she’s not getting her way.

    “You need to pay the reward. And even then I may keep him. If nothing else it would keep him alive.”

    The town crazy lady huffs, eyes still wide, one finger waving at me. That particular finger is partially gone, as she lost the tip in a farming accident years ago. It’s hard not to giggle when she waves it at me, eyes fuming.

    “No Ralphy, no reward!”

    She stomps off then turns back to glare at me. Ralphy looks happily at me, as if he knows.

    “Fine. Keep the damn cat. He’s a terrible mouser anyway.”

    He hisses at her retreating back. Knowing Darlene, the money will arrive in my mailbox and probably some cat food, too. Ralphy nuzzles my ankle, as we walk to my house.

    @Aightball
    249 words

  5. “I don’t mind paying the toll,” KC’s hot breath caressed my inner thigh as she planted kisses along the tender skin. She brushed her fingers over my trimmed bush, parting the lips. She hesitated, glancing up. Her eyes met mine and held for the longest time.

    Ever the social media voyeur these days, I imagined taking a selfie right now. What did we look like? If someone walked in on us, would they think we’re longtime lovers or pick up on the vibe of something new?

    All those moments of teasing and flirting and flinging wilds looks…the passing each other in the kitchen too closely even when one of us called out “corner.” The way her breasts brushed against my arm when she leaned over to scent the seasonal strawberry strudel…they culminated to this moment of wanting—and wanting.

    “But first, you need to pay the reward.”

    “Kasey Christine Catalucci. You are driving me insane.” I squeezed my thighs against her sides, encouraging. “Someone might walk in. We’re going to get caught.”

    Ah, might I protest too much. At the same time, we both glimpsed the leftover bowl of whipped cream. KC stood, dipping her finger into the creaminess and licking it off her finger. “Hmmm, delicious. Would you like a taste?”

    She moved against me, the oversized button of her chef’s jacket hitting me in the most delicious spot—I’d never look at it again the same—and placed her lips against mine.

    244 words
    @LouisaBacio

  6. Each day was one of their last together. A day of new experiences, seasoned with pain, the light in her eyes dimming as he watched. He knew the end was coming – he saw it in every move she made, her actions guarded and restrained – but he also wished they could last forever, knowing the alternative was too dark to comprehend. She was being whittled away, and soon nothing of her would remain.

    Just a wardrobe of empty clothes that still retained her scent.

    She was undisciplined and rash. Easily taken unawares. She had the naivety of a child and an addict’s needs. She’d always loved to live and to enjoy everything she owned. He’d always been a patient moderator, holding her feet to the ground, doing his best to prevent her from soaring away. They’d sometimes argued, rarely and without passion, not prepared to give the darkness their strength. There were too many problems in their lives already – they had no time to feed animosity and hate.

    She’d spent freely, not willing to wait for the next paycheck. ‘What does it matter when you need to pay; the reward is the same.’ He’d dug in his heels over that, explaining about compound interest and the money they’d owe. And how they ought to repay the whole debt as soon as they could. And she’d laughed, and he’d died a little, not knowing it meant nothing.

    Her life would be too short to worry about money ever again.

    250 maudlin words – twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com

  7. Sunshine decided wild magic was called for. The question was what kind of wild magic. All she knew was weather magic. She could make the day pretty. Or ugly.

    “Well. Since they shot at me for no reason, let’s end their fishing for the day.” She wasn’t Rose. Rose could have simply hovered in place in the air, and cast magic. Sunshine couldn’t hover in place. Few fairies could. No dragons could. “Well. We cast as we move, right?”

    The wind picked up, turning from a calm day to a storm in a matter of minutes. Clouds blew in with the wind. Followed by a bitter cold rain. “There. That should make fishing interesting.”

    The fishing boat was pitching and yawing constantly. The men on the boat were clinging to anything solid. Sunshine wondered if she had their attention now. She flew toward the boat. The fishermen had to wonder how she could fly in such a storm. That was part of the magic. The storm left Sunshine alone.

    The men couldn’t shoot arrows at her in the storm. Clearly terrified, they watched her approach their boat. That’s what she wanted. “Magic time.” She waved her hands as if she was trying to part the storm. And the storm slowly parted, leaving the boat in relatively calm water, with no wind and no rain. “You need to pay the reward, stupid men, for me letting you live after you shot at me.”

    The men did not draw their bows.

    249 words
    @mysoulstears.bsky.social

  8. Bridget would have preferred not to follow the mutated ox into the blighted hills. But after failing to put it down back at the village, that option was off the table. At least if she wanted to get paid.

    She hadn’t been altered by the Blight yet, but she wasn’t so stupid as to think it couldn’t happen. Bridget remembered having to put down her family’s cow the morning after the Blight struck. Poor Bessie had been such a sweet soul, but the Blight left her in obvious agony and spewing deadly ichor from gruesome sores.

    Transitioning from farmhand to mercenary had been an experience. And the only way she could come up with to send money back to her displaced family.

    Bridget finally cornered her quarry. This one wasn’t like old Bessie. He seemed angry, with an extra set of curving draconic horns and teeth cruelly unsuitable for an herbivore. She braced her shield to receive the creature’s charge and, ideally, make an opening.

    The mutated monstrosity was many times stronger than any ox should be. But nothing her Keystone couldn’t handle. By dusk, she returned to the village with the beast’s head as proof of her kill. The relief from the beleaguered villagers was palpable. The headman rushed to Bridget.

    “You’ve saved us! How can we ever thank you enough?”

    She grimaced guiltily at the ramshackle buildings, threadbare clothes, and underfed people.

    “You need to pay the reward.”

    240 At The Gates words
    @davidaludwig.bsky.social

  9. ‘I have information regarding your wife’s accident.’

    He stared at the text that came from an unknown number. What information? The police reports were already out that clearly described the nature of the accident and how it happened, resulting in her death. Fury coursed through his body at this paltry attempt at baiting him. He barely controlled his eyes from flashing.

    His fingers hovered over the face of his cell phone as he deliberated in responding. Ultimately, he couldn’t let it go and quickly typed out a response. ‘Who is this? What kind of sick joke are you trying to pull?’

    ‘All good things must come to an end.’

    What was that supposed to mean? The only good thing he ever had in his long, lonely life was his wife (and her child). His simmering fury bloomed into rage. Was her death truly not an accident after all? He had finally started coming to terms with her death and to discover that it may not have been an accident after all. Why?

    Was she killed because of her association with him? It wouldn’t have been the first time she was targeted since they met years ago. Was his stepdaughter now in danger? Ice filled his veins as he looked around the apartment for her. She was just here.

    The anonymous person responded again before he could formulate a reply. ‘You need to pay the reward.’

    He gripped his phone so tight the glass began creaking. ‘How much and where?’

    249 words
    @mlgammella

  10. The bell over the door chimed and a beautiful person ducked through to get out of the wind. Crys smiled at the customer and stepped behind the counter.

    “Welcome to Box of Rocks. Can I help you find something?”

    A pair of startling green eyes met theirs and pink flashed across the customer’s cheeks.

    “Oh, hi. Uh, well, I’m looking for tourmalated quartz.” The customer’s gaze dropped to Crys’s chest and stuck, like magnetite to a magnet.

    “Of course.” Crys nodded and gestured to one of the display cases toward the back of the store. “We have quite the variety of tourmalated quartz—everything from rose quartz to clear.”

    “But no amethyst?” The customer had followed but wasn’t looking at the display case.

    “No, I’ve never seen tourmaline in amethyst.”

    “Oh.”

    Crys raised her eyebrows. “Why?”

    “Well…” The customer’s cheeks turned pink again as they held up what looked like a reward notice. “I found this on my apartment door today and I figured I could use some tourmalated quartz to ward off bad energy.”

    Crys squinted at the notice. “It says you need to pay the reward.” They frowned. “What reward? Do you even know what was taken?”

    The customer shook their head. “Not a clue, I just don’t want another notice to show up.”

    “Yeah, I think you need the tourmalated quartz for you and some sodalite for your home.” Crys nodded sharply. “Come with me. I’m Crys, by the way.”

    “Nice to meet you, Crys. I’m Fran.”

    250 ineligible #WIP words
    @siobhanmuir.bsky.social

  11. “Andrew, you need to pay the reward.” Elenor demanded, “He did the job you have to pay him.”
    “Why should I pay?”
    “You know what he can do, what he’s done to others.”
    “Stuff and nonsense, wife tales.”
    “Tell that to Truman’s widow,” besides you have your brother returned to you isn’t that price enough?”
    “I’m not paying his kidnapper.”
    “Are you saying that Wolff held your brother then when you offered a reward, he returned him?”
    “Wolff doesn’t want money!! He thinks if I know any member of my family could be at risk I’d step down. He doesn’t know me if he thinks that!”
    “What have you done?”
    “Done? Nothing that any leader of the society of Magik wouldn’t do.”
    “When will it happen?”
    “It already has. He’ll ever be a problem again. Gerald has stripped him of any of his abilities and some of his memories. He’ll think he was always a dull accountant and he’ll never speak with us again.”
    “How do you know that the spell will last?”
    “We used the disruptor spell; it binds deeply and it’s roots never let go. Look into the mirror and see him in his now everyday life.”
    “That should work. Great work, sweetheart”
    “I’d better get back to work, I have a lot of Magik work to do but first…”
    I then began kissing my beloved’s neck.
    “You sure we have time?”
    “Always for you.,” I answered waving my hand and locking my office door.
    247 Words
    @SweetSheil

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