Thursday, April 5, 2012

#ThursThreads - The Challenge that Ties Tales Together - Week 17

Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked. Can you believe it's already April? Me neither. But right now it's Thursday, so what should you be doing? Writing #FlashFiction, that's what! Welcome to Week 17 of #ThursThreads, the challenge that ties tales together. 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 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 Plus

Our Judge for Week 17:

The Highland Hussy herself, Laurie Hunsaker.

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

"But it would be his last."

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


  1. Fairies : Fauna’s Wild Magic

    Fauna left her home in the village one morning going to the river in the forest, to watch the deer as it came out to drink water. She loved to watch the deer. It was her friend.

    The deer came out, antlers on its head. It walked to the river. And bowed its head to drink. Fauna watched. She walked right out to the edge of the river. The deer looked up from drinking. And watched Fauna. Fauna dipped her hands in the water, and scooped up some to drink.

    THWIP! THWIP! THWIP! THWIP! Four arrows were sticking out of the deers right shoulder. It collapsed, never knowing how it had died. Fauna’s jaw dropped. It had been murdered before her eyes.

    Four men from the village came out of the woods on the far side of the river from her, near the deer, laughing and patting each other on the back. One of them explaining, “He came to get a drink. But it would be his last.” He held up his bow, pulled the string, and let it go.

    Fauna watched them, tears burning her cheeks. She held up her arms, as if holding a bow, drew four times and let it go. Each time a man fell to the ground, dead, pierced through the heart by an arrow no one could see.

    That was the day Fauna’s wild magic came to life.

    247 words, excluding title.
    Mark Ethridge

  2. Daydreams To Nightmares

    Ten. Fifteen? Twenty? More beasts filled the room than Savoy could count as he slid through the small opening behind a stack of crates. A stream of blood left crimson tendrils down his tortured back, but it was too late to worry about that now. He had no time to waste.

    His cold grey eyes glared at the monsters that stood between him and the cage where Guinevere’s motionless body lay still on the bottom. Delusions of grandeur aside, he had never been a hero, but the time had come to see if he had learned anything from those daydreams.

    Quietly, he slid the wand from his front pocket and held it close to his face. With closed eyes, he spoke the enchantment that transformed the short piece of splintered wood into a gleaming white rapier.

    Savoy gave no battle cry. He spoke no words. With one last breath, he simply stepped from his hiding and began swinging for the throat of every waterslaugh within his reach.

    Guttural screams of mortal pain filled the room as sprays of red blood hissed through the air and fell upon the ground. The magic edge of the rapier distinguished little between tissue or bone, leaving a trail of dismantled carcasses in Savoy’s wake.

    The room demanded silence, as he held her cold hand. He was too late. A solitary silver tear traced a path through the mist of blood upon his cheek. Angrath had taken another life, but it would be his last.

    Greg Nance
    250 Words - @acenance

  3. He’d told many a cruel joke, decorated her collar with jewels of amethyst bruises more than once. He’d adorned her body with tattoos that fit the shape of his hand, marked her hips, thighs, breasts: all the most desirable parts, all the more to be claimed.

    Then, he proposed, laughing it off when she said ‘yes’: the cruelest joke of all. But it would be his last.

    She made his dinner as usual, but she did not poison him. It would have been too predictable. And had she not been predictable enough these last few years? While he ate, she stood behind him, caressing the nape of his neck.

    It only took one stab of the ice pick—a beautiful heirloom of his family. It was Japanese with a hickory handle and it fit perfectly beneath his chin. He didn’t have a moment to even grab at it, but fell straight into her perfectly crafted foie gras.

    She’d have made a wonderful wife.


  4. Michael’s face bore not the slightest twitch as he collected the pot, pulling in the chips slowly and methodically. He had won this time, but it would be his last. Down $29,000, Brian would not lose his fortune to this guy.

    The cards were dealt, and the two studied their hands calmly. Michael started off with the clinching bet, $1000.

    “Raise,” said Brian, tossing in $1000, the last of his chips, plus the mysterious black chip he’d been given at the start. They’d only told him that the chip was “more valuable than money.”

    Michael raised an eyebrow. “You sure about that?”

    Brian kept his face stoic, but he softly replied, “Yes.”

    Michael debated, shrugged, and called, tossing in his own black chip. Four jacks, which beat Brian’s full house Ace high. He collected his winnings again and stared at Brian’s face.

    “You’re very brave, Brian.”

    “I’d like to consider myself clever rather than brave,” he mockingly replied.

    Michael turned to look at the others seated in the shadows. Whimsical and yet slightly perturbed.

    “He doesn’t know about the black chips, does he?”

    A deep, ominous voice from the back stated, “No, that’s part of the experiment. To see if people will gamble away the unknown. To see how the addiction controls them and steals away their reasoning.”

    Brian suddenly appeared worried. “Wait, what did I just lose?”

    Michael stood up and reached into his pocket, pulling out a surgical knife.

    “Your pick,” he said. “An ear or a finger.”

    250 words

  5. Cytersaurcanther knew he had made a mistake. The mistake hadn’t been adopting Cob. The human had been a wonderful pet and even became a friend in time.

    The mistake hadn’t been pleading with the Manticore. She hadn’t agreed with him, but had given him what he sought, a second human for his aerie.

    His mistake wasn’t bringing the treatment of humans before the council. Herding humans was appalling. Sentient creatures deserved better.

    Perhaps the mistake had been letting Twigentradendron rely on Cob so much. She had been leaving Fel in the human’s care, sending Cob with messages for the Unicorns or other Gryphons. She had sent Cob with a message to the council. That was definitely a mistake.

    Or was it? If the Chimera chose the humans to ascend didn’t that make it right?

    Such strange dying thoughts. It wasn’t a mistake for Cob to lead his people. It was a mistake not to let the Unicorns keep him alive longer.

    Cytersaurcanther, flailed with the stumps of his arms, kicked what remained of his legs, but he couldn’t stop the metal blade a human plunged through his eye into his brain.

    He couldn’t identify the mistake, but it would be his last.
    202 words

  6. "Relentless"

    My life begins with death.

    I revel in the time between being killed and being dead. For some, that may take but a moment, while for others, it could be hours, or even days. But one thing is certain, no matter how long it lasts, it always ends the same way.

    I make no apologies for what I am, nor do I seek forgiveness for what I do. I need to live, I want to live, and for that to happen another must die.

    You might accept me if I told you I chose my victims only among the broken, the damaged, from the predators of society. You may see me then as some kind of flawed Samaritan, a tragic figure worthy of your pity. The truth is I am not so discerning. Those who die to give me life are nothing more than food to me, each one no more special than the last, an endless sea of faces that stretches back to the dawn of time.

    No. I am not worthy of your pity, but I am worthy of your fear.

    You will know me when you see me. No man can stand before me and live. He may think that while he has breath in his body he can avoid the fate I have planned. He may fight, but it will be his last.

    I will not be denied!

    233 words (including title)
    Goran Zidar

    Possibly a little darker than my usual writing but the prompt line spoke to me :-)

  7. The hunger had taken over taken him last night but it would be his last. He’d sworn to himself. He had thought he wouldn’t remember, but the nightmares which came of all his victims and still the hunger over took him. He would go days and then it would trigger the smell. At first the aroma, then the sounding of the rushing blood in the victim’s veins. He knew he shouldn’t enjoy it so, the salty taste the warmth of the plasma as it filled his famishment but he couldn’t help himself. There she was what would be his last meal.
    Sherry smelled like sweet chocolate. He also smelled a whiff of roses and a fragrance of meat like Sherry had ingested a hamburger. She would be tasty but she hadn’t known him long would she fight back? She had the stench of illness about her and he wasn’t sure she would be an adequate meal. He spoke to her and decided to take her quickly. As he drained her life’s blood, he felt the guilt come over him once again. Something overtook him at that moment and he opened a vein filling her mouth. She was his responsibility now and after she fed, tomorrow they would join AA only for them it would be BA. He wouldn’t be alone anymore and they would overcome their addiction.
    227 words

  8. The water rushed by Persephone’s face, lapping at her arms, trying to pull her hair from its tight queue. She floated upright in the water, waiting. Nothing was ever truly still in her world, but she was as close to motionless as a living creature could get. Her fins made tiny adjustments with each kiss of current, holding her perfectly in place.

    Rollo had made quite a few mistakes in his life. In the grand scheme of things, his infraction against her could hardly be called his worst error in judgment.

    But it would be his last.

    When Rollo emerged from the narrow chute in the rock and saw her, he stopped dead, fins flared. He could taste the poison in the water; feel the sting of her venom on his skin. Not enough to kill, but enough to make her displeasure clear.

    “You thought I would never find out,” she accused him.

    “It was for the best, Seph’, truly it was.”

    There was no explanation he could give. She had been the best; he had taken it from her – reputation and career.

    Persephone gave her muscular body a single, powerful whip, the spines of her caudal fin thrown wide. They took him in the ribs, cutting right through the flesh and scale, stopping only when they got to vertebra. Another jerk and she pulled her fin free, watching him sink back toward the chute. He looked shocked, even though he was already dead. “You brought this on yourself.”

    Nance P
    249 words

  9. People called him Rembrandt. He didn’t paint in a literal sense, but there was artistry to his actions. Both as a fighter and a lover his exploits were widely renowned.

    The pulsing of the club music below shook the glass bar, causing newer patrons to look about nervously. With its panoramic view of the nighttime metropolis, the bar on the top floor was considered one of the three most romantic places in the city. Old and new were both visible from different points in the bar, and it was even high enough to see stars on perfectly clear nights. Nights like tonight.

    Downing the last of his artisan cocktail with a flourish, Rembrandt checked the old clocktower for the time. Elven Fifty Eight. The artist set his empty stemware down on the bar with his money. The bartender had really outdone herself this time.

    Stepping out to the patio, a dark eyed genius stood between the warm light of man below and the cold light of heaven above. His many accomplishments were finally beginning to blur together. Tonight he resolved to give his followers another big one to talk about. But it would be his last.

    Time to paint the streets.

    201 words

  10. Once upon a time, he owned me. He treated me like the garbage in the bin. He beat me and locked me away in the darkness. He threw insults at me that wounded deeper than any blow he made to my body. The hot my skin felt as his hand branded its imprint. I suffered many indignities from him but it would be his last. No longer will I cower before him, the angel told me I had more than paid my penitence. She showed me how to end the hurt. I feel a light within that I have not felt since I was but a child.

    I prepare his evening meal as always, no longer hiding my bruised limbs from the rooms. I feel afraid but the angel pushes me onward with reassurances of a new life. He scowls at me, but I do not bow my head to him, I stare directly into his icy eyes. He raises his hand to me. I do not flinch. The demon grumbles that I will pay for my insolence; still I do not back away.

    He feeds on the bounty before him as I watch from my position. His eyes droop with the filling of his belly—the mixture the angel instructed me surges through him.

    “What have you done, bitch?” he slurs through heavy lips.

    I step forward and bring the shining blade from behind my back. The angel guides me and helps me raise the blade above my head.

    250 words

  11. Bad Mix

    My mind is on fire. The pain is crippling, but I must continue. If I stop, I won’t be able to survive. I have to finish the story.

    The amalgam of extreme heat and blinding light makes the world waver before my eyes. Staggering through the busy streets, I see the nondescript people. I hear the muffled voices, too. Are they real? I reach out with trembling hands, missing the familiar door handle repeatedly. It won’t stay still.

    When the door bursts open, I tumble inside, screaming as hands lash at me like serpents. I swat them away but they keep coming. “Calm down!” A clear voice rings out. It’s her; she’s already here. Her beautiful caramel features are undistorted. The indistinguishable people make way as she approaches with elegant steps. “Is it finished?” Her bright green eyes stare through me.

    I want to answer her and explain what happened, but I only manage to ululate incoherently. Tears well up and my heart shatters when she frowns. “I’m disappointed. Hurt, even. You’ve squandered everything I’ve given you.” She turns her back on me. “I wish you well, but this is goodbye.” She vanishes in a bright flash.

    My muse is gone; I can’t survive without her. The fire in my mind intensifies. He loves pranks, but it would be his last. He slipped me hallucinogens again. I glare at him, the other me in the mirror, as he laughs. I grab my pocket knife and stab us in the temple.

  12. End of the Line

    It wasn't his first mistake but it would be the last.
    He assumed his superior speed and strength would be enough to disable me in a single blow, but I was smarter than the metal zombie was and there was no way I was going to let him into the inner sanctuary.
    He swung at me, and shifted his weight preparing for me to dodge. Instead, I took the full force of his attack and rolled back; using the aikido techniques I had learned growing up. In the next moment, he was flat on his back. Rascal and I dropped on him and beat him with makeshift clubs.
    We did less damage than I anticipated. He roared to life again and sprung to his feet. This time when he attacked me, he anticipated my move. I tried to adjust, but his weight wrenched my back I had actually helped him get to the doorway. By the time I was able to get back on my feet, he was through the doorway. A loud hum preceded a bolt of energy coursing through him, making even his eyes crackle.
    I allowed myself a deep sigh. It was all over now. With the connection of his neural implant, his hybrid brain permanently fused with the mainframe. With that, any chance we had of defeating the cyborg army disappeared.

    225 words

  13. Tefran struggled against the spelled chained, glaring at the woman as she approached him.

    “Poor little man. You can’t break free. You’re my little toy and I need some blood, so be a good boy.” The brought the blade across his chest, the sacrificial knife sharp. It stung as it scored his flesh and the cool blood spilled down his chest and into the cup she held. Soon the wound closed on its own, the flesh knitting.

    His yellow eyes glared at the witch, his jaw clenched.

    “Ferab will watch you. Be a good boy.” She grinned, filed teeth sharp before walking out of the underground cell.

    The little man stepped from the shadows, features twisted and malformed. He reached out for an iron poker, putting it in the fire that was burning away. “Mistress didn’t say that I couldn’t play.” Brown and yellow teeth checkered his gum line as he grinned at the prisoner.

    Tefron leaned his head back, closing his eyes. He ignored the cackle and listed to the quiet steps for the dwarf as he got closer. After dealing with the dealings of the creature the week before as the witch had bleed him, he learned a few things. He felt the heat of the poker, his tail lashing out and winding around the man.

    Ferab let out a squeak as the snake’s body coiled around him, squeezing tighter and tighter.

    Tefron grinned. “Scream if you can.”

    Ferab inhaled a breath but it would be his last.

    250 words

  14. Her scent drifted through the crowded, smoky bar, wrapping around him like a lover’s arms. His fangs descended, ready to feast. He breathed deep, a heady mix of pain and pleasure tangling within him. An aos sí here?

    He nearly crushed the glass in his hand, only just remembering to set it down before it shattered. Hairline cracks shimmied along the glass, teardrops of liquor spilling through to soak the napkin beneath it.

    The drink wasn’t his first for the evening, but it would be his last. He acknowledged this easily, eyes seeking the one who would slake his true thirst. His heart began to beat, sluggish from disuse.

    She hid well among the mortals. This was the sort of place that attracted mass quantities of vapid beauty. The “young, dumb, and full of cum” brigade. Even one such as she could hide here.

    Clearly he needed a more hands-on approach to his search.

    He left his table, letting the enticing aroma guide him. Eyes closed, he let his otherworldly instincts guide him, apologizing automatically when he bumped into warm, tall curves. His hands came up to steady her. He inhaled sharply, his eyes snapping open. Iridescent eddies swirled through her blue eyes. A knowing smile teased the corners of her lips.

    Lips just scant inches below his.

    “Looking for someone?” she asked.

    He shook his head. “Found someone.”

    “Took you long enough.”

    He linked his hand with hers, and gave himself up to the pleasure of feeling alive again.

    250 words

  15. The smooth metal ran down his arm; it felt like ice but that could've been because he felt like his body was on fire. He never thought he could feel anything so intense.

    Tears streaming down his face, bit his lip to hold back a scream of pain – he didn't want to give his torturer the satisfaction. A minute later, when he thought the needs passed, he launched a mouthful of blood in the direction of mocking laughter. He followed it with some snippy barb that he couldn't even remember a second after saying – but it would be his last.

    100 words

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


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