Thursday, July 17, 2014

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 128

 

Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked. It's Thursday today, so get your flash ready. Writing a #flashfiction thread! Welcome to Week 128 of #ThursThreads, the challenge that ties tales together. Want to keep up each week? You're welcome to join the FB #ThursThreads group where we'll do events and make announcements. 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.
Rules to the Game:
  • This is a Flash Fiction challenge, which means your story must be a minimum of 100 words, maximum of 250.
  • 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 (or be excluded from judging)
  • Include your Twitter handle or email (so we know how to find 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, Twitter, and Google Plus

Our Judge for Week 128:


Dr. Who fan, Mammal-mama, and paranormal romance author, Olivia Starke.



And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“Perhaps we should start again.”

All stories written herein are the property (both intellectual and physical) of the authors. Now, away with you, Flash Fiction Fanatics, and show us your #ThursThreads. Good luck!

38 comments:

  1. The silence made my skin crawl. We shouldn’t have failed. We completed the ritual and said all the right things.

    My heart thudded against my sternum.

    “Perhaps we should start again,” Lana suggested.

    Corbin nodded. “We should keep our eyes open.”

    I agreed. “Hands.”

    My fingers trembled in fear, but I latched on to Lana’s sweating palm and Corbin’s callused one. I had to do it; no one else spoke Gaeilge.

    The syllables rippled from my tongue; my body tightened in response. I kept my eyes open with effort, my focus on the herbal design we had made in our circle.

    The herbs shifted. I kept talking but felt disembodied as the rock began to glow.

    Corbin gasped, Lana squeaked as I finished the ritual, lightheaded but relieved.

    The glow coalesced into a vapor and then into a form solid and vibrant, moving about in the space constrained by the herbs. My breath came in desperate pants.

    Foolish. We shouldn’t have done this.

    Dread consumed me.

    “You called for me, Human,” the hand-sized being demanded in a voice imposing and dark.

    “I—I—“ My throat closed.

    “Sari!” Corbin squeezed me. “Tell it!”

    “Yes, Human. Tell me.”

    Lana’s hand shook. She started shrieking, kicking at the Otherworldly guest we had Summoned.

    “Tell me, Human!”

    “Lana! You broke the circle!”

    But Lana was already running into the woods when the shining creature took advantage of the break and leapt for me.

    Corbin screamed.

    I had no more breath to do so.
    = = =
    250 words
    Sandi Layne
    @sandyquill

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  2. “I can’t believe you’re really here,” I said as I unlocked the closet that served as my office.

    “What? And miss the chance to direct McMillian County High School’s latest adaptation of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird?’”

    I laughed and dropped my bags on my desk. “Broadway can live without the great Collin O’Connor for a month?”

    He shrugged.

    I fished the key to the theater out of the top drawer and let him follow me down the hall.

    He opened the door and waited for me to step into the darkened auditorium, then took my hand and pulled me up the aisle. “How is it possible that it still smells like Coach Phillip’s toxic cologne in here?”

    I hadn’t thought about it in years, but he was right. “I don’t know. He died a couple of years ago. Maybe he’s come back to a haunt us.”

    He took the steps two at a time and moved to center stage. “I always thought the two of us would take Broadway by storm.”

    And with a single sentence all of the heartache and disappointment I had buried in my self-proclaimed duty to teach raced forward and punched me in the gut.

    Within two steps of retreat his arms were around me. He always knew when he said the wrong thing and he always knew how to take away the sting.

    “Perhaps we should start again?” He drew a thumb across my bottom lip. “Hi. I’ve missed you.”

    250 words
    Veronica Jorden
    @RevolutionaryVJ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A sweet start to a story :) I wonder what happens....

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    2. This was so charming. And TKAM is my FAVORITE work of American fiction.

      Delete
  3. ~~~~~

    “Well, that wasn’t well thought-through at all. So much for intelligent design, it seems like somebody wasn’t paying attention at all when creating that experiment there.”

    ”Perhaps we should start again.”

    “Right. Back to the drawing board everyone.”

    They all started for the door, except the tall one, who remained in the lab, cleaning up the mess.

    “All right, I’ll just blast this Petri dish clean, and we can have another go. At least, we didn’t waste too much time and effort this time. What did we call this one, again? Ah, Earth. Yeah, no, that didn’t work. At all.”

    ~~~~~

    Word count: 100 on the nose
    Twitter handle: @AnnaLund2011

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL I had a Douglas Adams moment with this one!

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    2. FUNNY! (I had to say it again.) "Yeah, no, that didn't work. At all." Sounds just like how I'd say it. lol

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    3. *dances*
      A Douglas Adams moment!?!?
      *swoons*
      My life goal, fulfilled.
      *swoons some more*

      Delete
  4. Nikolas Constantine, Drakon of Clan Kholikikos, understood duty. A dragon, he believed duty and pleasure could mix. He straightened the French cuffs beneath the sleeves of the custom suit he wore. The door to his office opened and his favorite FBI agent marched in. Her bottle-green eyes snapped with inner fire. He resisted the urge to glance at the drawer where an emerald necklace he’d commissioned waited. One stalked Sade Marquis rather than wooed.

    “Welcome, Sade.”

    “Cut to the chase, Nikos. Where’s the missing CDC investigator?”

    Ah, yes. His Sade’s lack of manners could be an irritant. “I have no idea. What CDC investigator?”

    She pressed her palms on his desk and leaned closer, staring into his eyes as if she could discern his very thoughts. “I’m not yours, Nikos, but you’re telling the truth.” Sade deflated. “Well…damn.”

    Nikos hid his reaction to her comment, wondering if she could read his mind. “Perhaps we should start again. Explain what is happening.” As enforcer of his clan, he responded to any threats.

    “There’s been some sort of outbreak.” Sade scrubbed her hands through her long, dark hair. “But it only affects dragons. I’m surprised you don’t know.”

    “It has not affected Kholikikos.” She had his attention now.

    “Dr. Melanie Karras from the CDC was investigating. She’s missing.”

    His phone buzzed. Answering, he listened. “How many?” He hung up. “I will find your investigator. Clan Kholikikos has now been affected.”

    “How many?”

    “One is too many. We hunt.”

    ****
    250 words (from a WIP much too far in the future!)

    @SilverJames_

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    Replies
    1. I like the "stalked" v. "wooed" comparison. Tells a LOT.

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    2. I think this could be a TV series.

      ...Hey they are doing a lot of fantasy and comic book stuff now. Write a script from it.

      Delete
  5. Bethany had already soaped up her hair and currently scrubbed her arms above the water surface. He turned his back before his cock rose in salute to the tops of her creamy breasts bobbing in the warm liquid. Too late. He submerged quickly, wetting down his own hair.

    The discomfort of shared nudity gave way to relief and pleasure of the hot water surrounding his body. He scrubbed his own limbs and reveled in the sensation of getting clean. And relaxing. Despite their guards, they remained alone in the baths and some of the tension left Mack's shoulders.

    "Feel better?"

    Bethany's voice carried over the steaming water and he found her scrubbing her head with something resembling pale slime.

    "I was until I saw your hair. What is that?"

    She laughed and dunked her head backwards, her breasts arching out of the water as she rinsed. Mack damn near forgot to breathe as her nipples teased his gaze.

    "It's the centaur version of conditioner."

    "What?"

    "The slime in my hair. It's conditioner." She tilted her head and a smug smile quirked her lips. "You don't even know what I'm talking about right now, do you?"

    "What you're talking about?" He knew he'd repeated her words stupidly, but his brain had gone straight to his cock and coherency was the first casualty.

    "Perhaps we should begin again, Major. Do you want any soap for your bath or do you just want to bob there with your mouth open?"

    248 ineligible #WIP500 words
    @SiobhanMuir

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sorin was more surprised than smug over her conjuring of the ward that now surrounded immobilized her Gyere captor. Former captor.

    She helped a weakened Ejan to his feet and followed a grayish sliver of light to the entrance of the cave that had imprisoned them for months.

    "Perhaps we should start again," Ejan said when they reached the source of the light and found it too narrow to get through.

    "We don't have time, Ejan. The Gyere will detect our escape and come after us."

    "Can your magic widen the crack in these rocks?"

    "We are about to find out," Sorin managed a grin, possibly the first time Ejan had seen her smile.

    Sorin focused her magic on the rocks that stood between them and freedom. Suddenly a piercing sound penetrated the air around them and three Gyere appeared with weapons drawn.

    "Sorin..."

    "Get down, Ejan!"

    Sorin spun and focused a thin thread of magical fire at the Gyere as they closed in. She then conjured a barrier ward to enclose the attackers.

    "Excellent." An older Gyere stood just behind her, smirking as Sorin spun around to face her.

    "I've allowed you to get this far, witch, to prove your value to me. Now behave if you want to remain alive."

    "I'm not a witch. I'm mageborn."

    "I know all about you, Sorin," the Gyere said as she removed the ward holding her guards, and focused killing magic on Ejan.

    "No..." Sorin screamed.

    Cate Derham
    @cate_derham
    245 Words

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The word "and" should be inserted in the first paragraph to read "surrounded and "immobilized"

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    2. You have a lot of great world building in just a few words :) Good job!

      Delete
    3. Yikes! Hoping Ejan does NOT get killed. She tried so hard to keep him alive.

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    4. Thank you so much, Olivia and Sandi for your nice comments and your encouragement!

      Sorin will have to convince the Gyere that they are both worth being kept alive. ;)

      Delete
  7. My husband spent almost ten years searching for my birth parents. I was the fuck up kid who ran away from home, fried his memory on drugs, and got lucky enough to get an adoptive family. I had no memory of the two people standing in the kitchen. I seemed to be an odd combination of my birth parents: mom had my eyes, dad had my height. We stared at each other, no one brave enough to make the first move.

    "Jim, aren't you going to say something?"

    I looked over at my adoptive mom, Eleanor. I wasn't ready for this; I didn't want to be here. I stuffed one hand in my jeans pocket, then ran outside, shoving a cigarette in my mouth. Smoke curled into my lungs until I thought I'd pass out from holding my breath. I sucked in another round of smoke, held it, then blew it out.

    Snubbing out my cancer stick, I turned to face the house. Pulling in a deep breath, I went inside, determined to acknowledge my birth parents. I stood in the kitchen and took my husband's hand. He squeezed it, nodding to me.

    "Perhaps we should start again," I said. I gave my birth mom a cautious hug. She started crying.

    "We've missed you, Jimmy," she whispered.

    She wiped her face as I moved to hug dad. Maybe this would help calm my nerves.

    "We love you, son." His voice wobbled.

    I nodded, relaxing. "I love you, too."

    @Aightball
    248 words

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    Replies
    1. Wow, lots of emotion in this.

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    2. That is a HARD moment to write. Kudos.

      Delete
  8. I hit the forest, determined to put as much distance between me and the mighty morphing tree people as possible before sunset. The trees shuddered and sighed as I passed, and more than one shifted into human form to protest my departure.

    “Fuck off. Better yet, leave.

    I needed a trail. A way home.

    The gentle terrain made for an easy hike and the anger burning through me drove my steps. Five klicks, maybe more, and I stopped to take a breath. The trees were finally silent, except for the occasional breeze whispering through.

    “I don’t suppose I can take this as a sign I’m home?”

    Adrius, the last man-tree I wanted or needed to see, answered my question.

    “You left a trail a sapling could follow.”

    “I wasn’t going for discreet.” I crossed my arms. “Just away from you.”

    He winced, his mouth tightening at the corners.

    “I should have told you, I know.”

    “Queen? A freaking queen?” I shouldered my way past him, adding an extra body check for good measure. “Buddy, you should have led with that bit of intel.”

    The air whooshed out of him as my elbow connected with his kidney.

    “Circe, wait—” His hand wrapped hard around my wrist stopped me more than the plea. “Perhaps we should start again.”

    “Or we could just skip to the end.” I gave my best fuck-you salute and tugged free. “Goodbye. And, if Karma works in this ass backwards world, I’d watch out for root rot.”

    @caramichaels
    250 WIP words

    ReplyDelete
  9. “Just walk over and say hello. How hard is that?” Kelsey rolled her eyes, buffing the bar with a rag.

    Jace swallowed, his gaze locked on the sexiest, most elegantly dressed man he’d ever seen sitting at a table nearby, nose in a book.
    “But he’s so…”

    “Classy? Suave? Sophisticated?” Kelsey offered, putting a hand on her hip.

    “Yes…and out of my league.” He sighed, looking down at his rumpled jeans and scuffed up sneakers.

    Kelsey groaned. “Oh stop. Who cares if you’re not all dressed up. This IS a coffee bar! Maybe he came straight from work or maybe he’s waiting for—“

    “Someone? Like a date? Perfect.”

    “Not necessarily,” she backpedaled. “He could be meeting his boss? Sister? Or mother!?”

    “Right.” This time Jace rolled his eyes.

    “Okay, that’s enough.” Kelsey came around and pulled him off the stool with an amazing amount of strength. “Now go.” On “go” she gave him a hefty shove.

    And suddenly he was careening haphazardly toward Elegant Man’s table.

    Elegant Man had only a moment to look up and jump back before Jace landed belly first on the table, sending the man’s coffee cascading across the floor.

    Jace’s face went hot as he got up, tripping over apologies. Kelsey ran over to make sure he was okay before cleaning up the mess.

    A hand covered his and he realized it was Elegant Man’s.

    “Perhaps, we should start again?”

    Jace smiled at the concern in the man’s eyes. “Yes please.”

    247 Words
    @HunterFrostMM

    ReplyDelete
  10. Arthur braided his wife's white hair and listened to her shallow breath. She looked at him and gave him a weak smile.

    “You are as beautiful now as ever,” he said.

    Jean squeezed his hand. Arthur squeezed back.

    She closed her eyes and breathed her last. Arthur blinked back tears, lost in memories of happiness and sorrow.

    “I'm lost without you,” he whispered.

    She didn't move.

    “End game” said Arthur.

    Arthur and Jean blinked as the room came back into focus. Jean smiled at him.

    “Perhaps we should start again,” she said.

    Arthur clicked restart and the game started over.

    100 words (for real this time)
    @joshbgosh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome to your second life. Please insert five dollars to continue.

      Delete
  11. @warrencbennett 249 words

    I felt her presence. Serene and holy, perfection at the moment of creation. I had to lower my eyes to keep from seeing her directly. The goodness and joy inside of her made my skin crawl.

    I could feel her take my hands in hers. She burned and I almost pulled my hands away. I still couldn’t look up.

    “Why are you here?” Death rattling around in my throat and pushing through burnt lips.

    “You are dying.”

    I tried to nod but my head just wiggled a bit. I could feel it, the demon coming out from inside. Taking control. I would soon not be me and I deserved such an end.

    I opened my eyes and looked at her for a moment. Just seeing her powerful form hurt me in such a way but I didn't look away.

    “Perhaps we should start again.”

    “My fate is deserved.” I sighed. Regret flowing through me.

    She didn't try to console me or tell me how good I really am. She just took me in her arms and held me as my spirit fled my body. I could feel the flames around me consuming my soul. She stayed cool and calm.

    Moments later I opened my eyes

    “You are a lucky man Mr. Benjamin. Don't try to talk. You survived unscathed but you inhaled a large amount of smoke.

    I nodded. The doctor some more and let me be. I survived? The image of an angel burned brightly than faded away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is intense, I hope you continue with this story :)

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    2. Thanks! I dunno, we'll see. I'll keep it around and think of where to go from here.

      Delete
  12. Intriguing, I've never read a story about morphing tree people :)

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  13. #ThursThreads is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to see you next week. :)

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Comments are on moderation, so they'll become visible once I've read them. Words, words, words. I love them. Have you a few to lend?