#ThursThreads – Week 610 – Winners

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

Week 608 of #ThursThreads was a success, and y’all never disappoint. Thank you to everyone who writes each week. You are why we’re still doing this.

If you’ve just found us, welcome to the crew! May you come back again and write more great flash. A thousand thanks to Bill Engleson for judging this week. Follow Siobhan Muir on Bluesky or check out the #ThursThreads #flashfiction group on Facebook or the #ThursThreads Group on MeWe to keep up with news, etc.


  • Bill Engleson 
  • Eric Martell
  • Mark A. Morris
  • Mark Ethridge 
  • Richard Gibney
  • Sheilagh Lee
  • Nellie Batz 
  • David A. Ludwig 
  • Miranda Gammella
  • Kelly Heinen
  • Siobhan Muir 

Bill says: The last time I adjudicated Thursday Threads, almost three months to the day, I referenced one of Trump’s legal bugbears at the time (actually it’s still simmering) and said, amongst other things, “…witness courtroom shenanigans in Atlanta and New York. Atlanta in particular as the courtroom there has been front and centre all day, televised in all its weaving complexity.”

Lo and behold, his bugbears continue to gnaw away. And I’m entranced.

Why am I mentioning this? A reasonable question.

While laptops are permitted in the Court, cell phones are verboten.

The prompt this week, His cell phone vibrated, is particularly out of sync with this decree. I trust that it was okay for a visiting judge to play with that stickler of a real-time rule. Being me, I felt the urge to contribute a tale just for the heck of it.

Totally imaginary, of course.

Definitely not in the judicial mix. Some of us Judges know how to recuse ourselves.

Honorable Mentions

Eric Martell | Website

Bill says: The calamity of total destruction, war, tornado, or some other cataclysmic event (it is unclear), is captured so profoundly, so summarily in Eric’s flash. This collage of remains spoke volumes. “I found food. I found bodies. Phones that called no one. Dead cars, dead homes, a dead world.” Grim stuff, to be sure, but the wearying devastation ends on a note of what I assume is domestic reunification. Of course, I guess that will be up to the narrator, Mavis…

Kelly Heinen | Website

Bill says: Death is always with us and is clearly a growth industry. This tale seems to target the nursing profession for reasons that buffaloed me. Nevertheless, the prank by one of the recently deceased was appreciated (and who doesn’t always need a shopping list?)

The rushed reunion of spouses, apparently separated for some unspecified time, was a lovely touch. And obviously a theme others today have stitched in. But we should probably check with Mavis about that.

winner announcement

Week 610 Winner

Richard Gibney

Bill says: There are a couple of reasons why this story resonated with me. It has an elderly heroine, Judith Montgomery (though in retrospect I find myself hoping her middle name is Mavis) is a victim of urban crime and social decay, but she is also someone who seems able, at the end anyway, to find a wacky sort of humor in loss, though she is unfortunately unable to offer a wide toothy grin.

A second reason is that the theme of false teeth has history with me and my family…jars of water on my Parents bedside table…an old story that still gives me the willies…so it’s a theme I have given some thought to.

Although my denture delight was uncomfortable, I confess to enjoying (or liking, relishing, loving, appreciating, adoring) this slice of urban existence. It had bite. And truthfully, toothfully, I can envision roving gangs of felons branching out into new criminal endeavors after they read… “Shut your face, Granny. You want your teeth back? You need to pay the reward.”

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.

Congratulations Two Time Winner Richard, and Honorable Mentions Eric and Kelly! Don’t forget to claim your badges and display them with pride. You certainly earned it!

Pass on the great news on Facebook, MeWe, Bluesky, Mastodon, shiny mirrors, Morse Code, and signal flags. Check out all the original tales HERE. Thanks for stopping by and happy reading! 🙂

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