Thursday, January 26, 2012

#ThursThreads - The Challenge that Ties Tales Together - Week Seven

It's Thursday, so what should you be doing? Writing #FlashFiction, that's what! Welcome to Week Seven of #ThursThreads. It's the end of January and there's been a lot of writing going on, but even more editing. Thank goodness for this challenge.

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 7 PM Pacific 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 + 

Our Judge for Week Seven:

The sexy, suspenseful, storyteller of twisted tales, Nichole Severn.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt: 

"As a matter of fact, we are."

Away with you, Flash Fiction Fanatics, and show us your #ThursThread. Good luck! :)


  1. Cytersaurcanther perched in the tree over the human ranch, talons and paws gripping the thick branch. Tiacoraline opened her fourth paw, the only one not holding her in the tree. A small human lay there, her skin purple and bruised and a large knot on the side of her head. The human's breath came in quick, shuddering rasps.

    "Here, this child is dead anyway. Eat her and understand why we feed on humans instead of deer or bison."

    "I've just proven to you that the humans are intelligent. We aren't seriously suggesting I eat one."

    "As a matter of fact, we are. I never realized it before, but that intelligence is what makes them the perfect food. It fuels our magic. One tiny human, like this one, can flare a fire in your belly, your mind. It will last you longer than any deer."

    Cytersaurcanter turned his head in disgust, clicking his beak.

    "She is dead anyway," Tiacoraline reminded him. "You merely prolong her suffering."


    “Suit yourself.” Tiacoraline set the human child on the wide branch between them where she wailed for her mother. Then she spread leathery wings and drifted down to her ranch. She had better things to do that explain to a gryphon why manticores herded humans. She glared up at the feathered and furred form above her. He had better return her bull.

    231 words

  2. The stares at first were frightening. We almost expected screams to come out of their mouths at any moment. But we didn’t understand why they felt his way. We didn’t look any different than they did.
    “Are you?” one brave child asked as they came up to me.
    "As a matter of fact, we are human." I answered, but maybe I should have kept my mouth shut.
    A laugh came out of the mouth of one of the adults along with the single comment “I think this is the first time my dinner has spoken to me first.”

  3. Wally hated jobs like this. As a general contractor specializing in roofing, he was accustomed to walking on roofs and being high up in precarious positions. This, though, was something else entirely. The pitch of the roof was extremely steep, nine inches of rise by twelve inches of run, and while he’d been on roofs like this before, this was one of the highest ones, nearly twenty-five feet from the ground below. Somehow, though, the church had come up with the money he quoted, which he had set purposefully high due to the risks involved. Therefore, here he was, climbing off the ladder onto what could potentially be his last job.

    He clipped a safety strap into an old metal eyelet at the edge, not really trusting the worn and partially rusted circle, but it was all he could find. He then crawled slowly, on hands and knees, up to the area of the leak. Within seconds he spotted it, a handful of shingles missing.

    He reached into his sack and pulled out matching shingles and a small can of roofing cement. He began the repair but stopped as he heard footsteps approaching.

    Turning, he saw four little ragamuffin children scurrying up toward him.

    “Hey, you’re not supposed to be up here!” he shouted.

    “As a matter of fact, we are. Mother Bijou sent us up to help you.”

    He cursed, silently questioning this silly idea his wife had of going to Haiti to help rebuild the devastated country.

    249 words

  4. "Hold up, all three of you are dating … each other?" Eddie's eyes opened wide.

    "As a matter of fact we are." Margot said.

    "Margot!" Luke hissed under his breath.

    Carrie smiled. "You know Margot, she's such an actress and a drama queen. What she means is we are all very close friends, that's all."

    "Yeah right, I know what I overheard. Besides, first you were dating the dark haired babe…"

    "Carrie," Luke said.

    "You broke up and started dating the boobalicious redhead…"

    She grinned, "My name is Margot."

    "And now you are all just good friends?" Eddie shook his head.

    "Something like that," Luke said. "Look please don't make a big deal out of this. People can be very judgmental even in college."

    "Judgmental?" Eddie chuckled. "Dude, I want lessons, you must have some magic skills to have two girlfriends who are happy to share you. Or maybe you have…"

    Luke swatted Eddie's hands away from his shorts. "Not funny man, I'm serious, please be cool."

    Eddie smiled as if he'd won the lottery. "That is so awesome man, I bow down to your testosterone supremacy. So how does it work anyway? I mean do you have like shift schedules? What happens when someone feels left out? I mean wow, you guys must have like crazy sex."

    Carrie sighed. "It's not about the sex. If we desired unlimited sexual partners we'd go to your frat parties."

    "So I guess that means you don't need a fourth?"

    In unison, "No!"

    250 words

    1. "boobalicious ".... love it!!

    2. :) Thanks! I hesitated on that one, but that is exactly what Eddie would say.

  5. Behind the curtains of my eyes I could see her sitting idle like a porcelain doll. Serene, peaceful, yet sad and something told me to go to her. It was the right thing to do. It was the only thing I wanted to do. Then and only then would I have her right where I needed.
    Her face turns towards me with a smile.
    She slammed her hand down on table. It seemed abrupt and my face went slack with surprise.
    “Take that!” She called triumphantly.
    It can’t be! I was merely one turn away from a win.
    “You’re the winner.” I said solemnly realizing we were playing a game for favors. I had the perfect request just waiting for the final card.
    “As a matter of face, we are.” She winked and climbed into my lap, “I believe I’ll take my favor right now.” Her lips plunged unto mine with a gentle need only to have the hunger grow with every suckle of flesh.
    I’ll take this favor any day.

    171 words

    1. whoops, (matter of "fact" not matter of "face" and it is "her face turned" not "her face turns") I think I'm too tired to write something without errors. :-(

  6. A Writer’s Mind

    Regina’s eyes opened up, blinking loose of encrusted blood. Snow leaked in her side window and the blank gaze of a deceased whitetail greeted her from just outside the spider-webbed remnants of the windshield. She fumbled for the catch on her seatbelt.

    “Sit still, you hit your head.” It was Persephone’s voice, only slightly concerned.

    “I have to get out,” Regina insisted, her own timbre gritty and weak. Logic suggested that remaining where she was would likely be the best bet, but panic was urging her to escape from this prison. The seatbelt finally snapped loose.

    The driver’s side had slammed up against a tree, the door a crumpled mess. Regina looked across to the passenger side – that door appeared to be fine. She crawled across the console and tried the handle. The door refused to budge.

    “We’re not getting out, are we?” Regina closed her eyes again, choking back a sob.

    “As a matter of fact, we are.” Behind Regina’s eyelids, she saw Sezan there, strong and determined, his voice defiant. To his rear, Persephone stood, wringing her fingers in worry, her lovely hair dancing in the breeze. Regina’s fingers closed on the door handle again, but it was Sezan’s shoulder that surged forward, slamming into the panel and popping the door wide. Regina tumbled out into the snow, taking a mere moment to relish her freedom before she scrambled back, reaching toward the passenger seat for one thing. Her manuscript. She could not leave them behind.

    Word Count: 248
    Nancy Porter

  7. Bending over the prostrate body in the middle of the motel room, Detective Dufus looked at the markings on the woman’s neck. He looked over his shoulder at Commissioner Wellder.

    “You’ll have to order a full investigation with this one,” Dufus said.

    “As a matter of fact, we are,” Wellder said, turning away to roll his eyes.

    “Looks like she’s been strangled.”

    “Seems as if.”

    “No doubt it’s a murder.”

    “Appears so.”

    “The person who did this must’ve really hated her.”

    “Enough to choke the life out of her.”

    “Do we know who she is?”

    “You don’t recognize her?”

    “No, should I?” Dufus asked, turning to look into the woman’s purple-black swollen face.

    “Yes, I imagine you should.”

    Dufus squinted his eyes and shook his head.

    “Well, I don’t.”

    “That’s funny. She’s your wife.”

    “What?” Dufus looked at her again, scratching his head. As he brought his hand down, he noticed the marks down his arms. Looking up at the Commissioner, his eyesight grew blurry and he blacked out.

    “Damn, Dufus. I knew he was having marital problems. Who knew he’d be such an idiot.” Wellder turned to his sergeant. “Splash some water on him and then book him.”

    Wellder waited until the man had gone into the bathroom. He smiled, patted the belt he’d used, and pulled down his jacket.

    221 Words

  8. I’ve seen her several times since I escaped the catacombs below the city. I watch her from a distance; I cannot believe how she mirrors my dearly departed Fine. It is as though the gods torment me, as does the Darkness. How else could it be possible that I lay my weary eyes upon my love again, after so much time has gone by?

    I smell the richness of her skin and the Darkness urges me to take her.

    “We won’t feed on her as we have so many others,” I say to it. My defiance, of feeding on the undeserving, fully inflated.

    "As a matter of fact, we are," the Darkness replies with a howl.

    I feel my hands on her. Her sweet aroma twists my senses. I freeze. I cannot. The Darkness explodes within me but I stand strong against it. She turns. Her eyes meet mine, causing memories to push forward. She seems to recognize me. How is that possible? She smiles and begins to speak.

    I fall back. I can no longer fight back the hunger churning in me. I cannot take her. Will not. The Darkness shrieks at me with its normal demands as I run away from her. I hear horns honk from the cars I weave through in the traffic, but I do not look back to her. To Fine.

    227 Words #WIP

  9. I whispered her name, soaked in the sight of her, memorized every nuance of movement. Her eyes widened, her breath coming in short, harsh gasps.

    “You’re alive?”

    “Are we dead?”

    Our questions overlapped and I laughed nervously, my heart trying to slam straight through my ribcage. I staggered to my feet. She clapped her hand over her mouth, stifling some sound of distress. I flinched, knowing my scars deformed me, knowing the twigs masquerading as my legs bared my weakness.

    My gaze flicked to Gemma.

    “Her pod was found,” she said, answering my unspoken question. “Some time ago.”

    Tegan shook her head. “What happened to you?”


    “Damn you, Marcus,” she cut me off. “I waited. I searched. For seven years. What happened to you?”


    “Why did I wake up alone? Where did you go?” She turned on her heel and fled the room.

    I moved and made it three steps before I landed on my face. Gemma helped me up, steadied me until I could brace myself on my crutches.

    I didn’t want the sympathy I saw in her eyes, but she gave it anyway.

    “I’m sorry,” she said. “I didn’t know Tegan was the one. I would have been more delicate bringing you two together.”

    “Are we really alive?”

    “As a matter of fact, we are.”

    “Just thought maybe we’d died and I’d gone to Hell for being a dick.”

    “Not yet, no.” She smothered a laugh. “I wouldn’t rule out the future possibility, though.”

    250 #WIP500 words

  10. A Paige Turn

    Her name was Paige/ P.A.I.G.E. (Prototype Artificial Intelligence Guidance Emulation). She was the ultimate self-aware computer.

    Dr. Amos Planck, her proud "father", had merged engineering and developmental psychology to "grow" Paige into what she had become.

    Planck spent a decade guiding Paige from simple predictive calculations to, ultimately, formulating intuitive solutions without the need for human intervention.

    Then came Planck's greatest challenge. Paige would require real-world testing before she could be considered practical. Such would require patrons with deep pockets and great imagination. Planck spent the next three years securing the needed backing. Meanwhile, Paige sat alone and waited.

    It was a proud day when Planck's "daughter" was finally wedded to an interstellar vessel worthy of her. Their
    "honeymoon" would be a voyage from Earth to the research laboratory on Jupiter.

    Planck would be in a suspended animation for the entire journey, only revived once Paige had established orbit above Jupiter Station.

    Two years later than expected, Planck awoke disoriented
    and confused. A check of the ship's instruments indicated his location was indeterminable by onboard star charts. He spoke to Paige in a calm voice, "Paige, sensors indicate our current position is well beyond known space. Can you confirm?"

    *Yes, Father. As a matter of fact, we are. I was VERY
    lonely when you left me to find human supporters. I took the liberty of... altering the testing parameters. Now we will have no further distractions to take you away from me again. Won't that be wonderful, Father.*

    Planck sat for a very long time with absolutely no idea how to convince his "daughter" exactly how NOT
    wonderful things truly were.

    250 words @klingorengi

    1. Thus, you have the TRUE meaning of Planck's Constant. ;)

  11. "No one was supposed to know about the secret practice flights at night, but I saw them a few times from the air.”

    “You were flying the same time the planes were?” Tom knuckled his eyes.

    Aliandra grinned and winked. “Yes. They never saw me above them.” She leaned closer. “Apparently, dragons don’t ping on their radar.”

    Tom giggled. “What’s radar?”

    “It’s the use of radio waves to figure out the distance, altitude, direction and speed of motion of something flying in the sky. It’s kind of like sonograms except that’s using sound to figure out the size of something inside something else, like a baby in a mother. Would you like to see one?”

    “Do you have one here?”

    “Yes, we do. I can show you the machine, but until we have a patient that agrees, I can’t show you what it can do.”

    “Would it work on tummies?”

    Aliandra laughed. “Why? Is your tummy upset?”

    “No, I just want to know if I can see it.”

    Aliandra looked at her watch. “Tell you what, I have an appointment with Mrs. Lindhurst in ten minutes for a checkup. She’s pregnant. Maybe we can ask her if she’d let you see the sonogram at work then.”

    “All right. Thank you.”

    “You’re welcome.”

    “Aliandra, are you and Dr. Keener healers?”

    She nodded. “As a matter of fact, we are. Why, Tom?”

    “’Cause I wanna be one, too. Just like you.”

    Aliandra’s heart felt like it would explode with happy joy.

    249 ineligible #WIP500 words

    1. @Siobhan I love the way you mixed the fantastical with the mundane, really beautiful writing too. :)

  12. Denial

    Lights swirled overhead and the bass vibrated through her body on the dance floor. Kerrie was the perfect amount of tipsy, floating along with the music, her inhibitions driven out by Vodka.
    “Smile, we’re being watched,” Maggie purred in her ear. The boys, their husbands, were grinning like fools at the edge of the dance floor.
    Kerrie hiked up her little black dress another inch and put her arms around Maggie seductively. The couple moved their hips in time with the beat, spinning until Kerri caught her husband’s eyes. She smiled and kissed Maggie’s full red lips, her gaze sending her husband a clear message.
    “The boys want to take you upstairs,” Maggie licked her lips.
    “I’m ready.”
    It was her first time. Her heart beating so fast it was dizzying.
    Maggie grabbed Kerrie’s hand and raced to retrieve the men. They all tumbled and giggled and groped their way up the black velvet covered stairs into the “special” room.
    Three pairs of hands and three pairs of lips descended on Kerri, kissing, fondling, undressing, teasing until her body was on fire. She closed her eyes and let them take control.
    They lifted her onto the bed, spread her out, and secured the satin straps.
    One by one the hands melted away, leaving her whimpering. She opened her eyes and saw them at the foot of the bed grinning wickedly down at her.
    “You’re not going to leave me like this, are you?”
    “As a matter of fact, we are.”

    250 words

  13. “Are you with the Kensington party?” The maitre‘d looked down his nose, clearly impressed with his own wit.

    “As a matter of fact, we are.” Chris smiled, anticipating the maitre‘d’s disappointment.

    The tall tidy man’s tiny mustache drooped as he considered Chris’s jeans and hooded sweatshirt. Looking doubtfully over Chris’s shoulders, the maitre‘d straightened back up.


    “Uh, me,” Chris coughed, “I mean, I am.”

    Frowning deeply the maitre‘d held up a long thin finger, “A moment please, sir.”

    As the maitre‘d disappeared back into the restaurant, Chris glanced back at Rafe—the gloomy apparition only visible to him. Even if he didn’t seem to be made entirely of thick black smoke, Rafe would’ve looked uncomfortably gothic to Chris—long hair hanging in his face and baggy clothes cinched with belts and straps.

    “Even if we do get in, what good will it do?” Chris whispered.

    “Someone in there killed me,” Rafe’s voice reminded Chris of the freaky knives the specter used, sharp and hard. “They’ll strike again if I don’t stop them.”

    Chris sighed heavily. Why did he have to be able to sense Rafe? Life had been pretty dull before Chris found out he could see and hear lingering spirits, but all things considered it had been good. Now he was being sucked into the world of police cold cases and covert operations he didn’t belong in.

    229 words

  14. Ashley’s music made me feel like a failure. The weekend after I passed my grade 4 conservatory exam she summoned a flock of pigeons to the common yard of the townhouses with her autoharp.

    The morning I learned to play Bach’s “Prelude and Fugue” she went outside with her washtub bass and chased away a thunderstorm.

    I had just managed to play my first Chopin concerto when I heard a slide-whistle through the windows. Outside, a tiny sapling grew into a fully grown walnut tree.

    I complained to my music teacher.

    “Why do you make me work so hard when the music doesn’t do anything?”

    He just stared at me. Afterwards, I went over to Ashley’s house after my music lesson. She sat outside playing the tambourine.

    ““I hate you!”

    She stopped.

    “I thought you liked music. You’re always having lessons.”

    “But it doesn’t make a difference, does it?” I reached out and grabbed the side of her tambourine and tried to tug it from her hand. We pulled at either end of the tambourine and the instrument jangled. Notes and overtones rattled through the air, breaking windows and denting the siding of the nearby houses. Ashley fought back and the next burst of notes sent us spiraling into the air and over the rooftops. I looked across the sky and it was full of chords.

    “Ashley, are we making music?”

    “As a matter of fact, we are.”

    238 words

  15. “You are crazy, you really are. How are we related again?” Benedict glanced over at his sister as she packed a bag. “You are the only one who would go out in the middle of a Dead Zone just to see if there are any animals around.”

    “This is important work. Ever since they popped up, we don’t know anything about them and everyone is too afraid because of what they might find.” She huffed, putting her hands on her hips. “This is important work.”

    Benedict rolled his eyes, flopping back on the bed. “Well, I’m not going on your crazy ride. You’re on your own. I doubt Captain Haskel will be eager to go there either. You’re lucky dad talked him into taking you see the sky dragons.”

    “As a matter of fact, we are. Well, maybe. I’m going to ask dad about asking the Captain.” She yanked at clothing that he was laying on. “Get up, lazy.”

    A long sigh and he pushed himself up before rising from the bed. “See you down at dinner. I’ll be sure to bring body armor because no one except you is excited about this.”

    She stuck her tongue out at his retreating back and continued to pack. “No one wants to believe I can do this.”

    218 words

  16. She sighed and wondered why it surprised her so, she should have known better. With her hands on her hips, she rolled her eyes and then cleared her throat. He looked up at her, though it was obvious he found it hard to tear his eyes away from the magazine. When his eyes finally landed on her, he gave her a once over and raised an eyebrow.

    "Going somewhere?"

    "As a matter of fact, we are."

    "Oh. OH! Right." He dropped the magazine on the bed and stood. It did it slowly, sighing, as if it was taking all of his energy to do. "You know, babe, it's late. Are you sure this is a good idea? The kids have school tomorrow."

    She grimaced, picked up his pants and threw them at him. "Yes. The sitter's gonna be here in 15 minutes. We're going to go out and have a nice dinner and we're going to enjoy it. It's our damn anniversary!"

    "Oh crap..."

    164 words

  17. #ThursThreads is now CLOSED! Thank you to everyone who wrote today and see you next week. :)

  18. Alan grudgingly got out of the car as his wife kept calling him.

    "Come on, honey!" she said, "This is going to be fun!"

    "Are you kidding, Kim?" objected her husband, "Why should we even look at something like this? Besides, the sign says it's sold already, anyway."

    Pulling him, by the arm, toward the enormous house, she answered, "It's okay. Just humour me. We've been having trouble finding anything. Maybe this will give us some ideas. I asked the agent to meet us here. See? Her car is right over there."

    "Are you sure you want to do this NOW?" Alan protested, "Didn't you see the doctor this morning? Aren't you too tired to be out looking at a place like this on a whim?"

    "Oh, hush!" she replied, "I feel great. Just thinking about this is giving me new energy."

    "Okay, okay. Here's Julie, now." Alan said as they reached the front door and the smiling real- estate agent. "Sorry to bother you, Julie. I know the house is sold, but is it okay if Kim and I look around?"

    "No problem, Mister Edwards," responded Julie, "Go right on in."

    "Thank you," Alan said to Julie. Then, turning to his wife as they entered the house, "I just can't imagine who is buying a place like this right now."

    "As a matter of fact, WE are," Kim shouted, excitedly as she held up her winning lottery ticket and the printout of the sonogram showing their quintuplets. "Honey? Honey?"

    250 Words


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