Thursday, June 14, 2012

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 27

Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked. In the meantime, It's Thursday, so what should you be doing? Writing #FlashFiction, that's what! Welcome to Week 27 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 27:

The recovering accountant, Sci-Fi author of Dog World, Jason McKinney.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:
"That didn’t take long."

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


  1. A Fair Trade
    By Lisa McCourt Hollar

    “That didn’t take long…” George’s voice trailed off as I took off my coat. Blood was covering my white blouse, the crimson stain resembling a macabre flower in mid bloom. Dropping the garment on the ground, my knees buckled and I would have landed next to it if he hadn’t caught me.

    “My God,” he said, easing me onto the couch, “what happened?”

    “I killed her.”

    “Killed who?” Confused, he looked me over, searching for a wound to explain the blood. “Were you in a car accident?”

    “No.” My voice sounded hollow. Inside I felt dead.

    “Then what happened? You were going to the store.”

    “I lied. I went to see Sheila.”

    “Tom’s wife? Why?”

    “She called, told me about the two of you.” My words landed with a thud.

    “Linda, what on earth…I would never...What do you mean you killed her?”

    “She was pregnant.”

    Shock on his face.

    “Oh, you didn’t know? Well, you would have soon enough. She was going to tell Tom that she wanted a divorce. She said you would leave me. I tried to explain to her why you wouldn’t, the pre-nup that you signed. Then I realized, all the little accidents lately…my brakes, the gas leak…the broken basement step, they weren’t accidents.”

    “You’ve lost your mind, that’s it.”

    Lifting my coat from the floor, I reached into the pocket, pulling out a knife stained with Sheila’s blood. “Maybe,” I said, lunging for him, “but I think it’s a fair trade for your life.”

    Word Count: 250

  2. Men are from Mars
    By Wakefield Mahon

    The earthlings ran screaming. The Martian invader, Macho Man, barked with glee before he vaporized them with his ray gun.
    "Stop right there, Macho Man!" The sexy Venutian in revealing tights and flowing cape said as she landed.
    "Femme Fatale," he grinned, "That didn't take long. Now you can join me!"
    "Why would I do that?"
    "Because you like bad boys and I'm very muscular."
    "That's ridiculous."
    "I've studied women. I know your weakness." He said with a boyish grin, pulling out a package of chocolates and a ring.
    Between his glistening chest and the Toblerone, she struggled to conceal her drool. "I…"
    "Marry me, and I'll keep you safe forever."
    She struggled, but the words worked. They married and soon she was pregnant.
    "Nothing can stop my quest for world domination, now," Macho Man gloated, "After all; I wear the pants in this relationship."
    "Of course, you do honey. Say, would you be a dear and grab me some ice cream while you're out? Oh, and now that I'm so fragile and all, I just need you to do a few things for me."
    "You haven't lost your powers have you?"
    "No, but you wouldn't want anything to happen to your son, would you?" She ran her hand over her rounded belly.
    "No I suppose not."
    Femme pulled out a stack of papers and placed them on the desk with a resounding thud.
    "What on earth is that?"
    "All that study and you've never heard of a honey-do list?"
    250 words

  3. The ‘Pump and Slurp’ had seen better days. The flickering neon flashed ‘ump n urp’ in repeated patterns. Glancing over her shoulder through the rain-streaked window, Sara thought she saw a glowing green face peek from around the side of the building. Sucking in her breath, she shook her head.

    I didn’t see that.

    Her knee bounced up and down in a nervous jitter.

    You’ve got to be kidding. Why do I have to pee now?

    Through the plate glass windows, she could see her boyfriend, Billy, ambling through the aisles looking for his favorite flavor of beef jerky.


    Unlocking her door, she stepped out into the rain. The clerk looked up from his magazine.

    “Can I get the key to the restroom, please?”

    He reached under the counter and pulled out a key chained to a wooden paddle.

    She pushed the glass door open and made her way to the corner of the building. Taking a deep breath, she stuck her head around the edge. A gush of breath released from her lungs.

    I’m losing my mind.

    The lock on the ladies’ room door twisted. She shut the door behind her and groped for the light switch. Before she could find it, a green glowing hand grabbed her from behind. In the blink of an eye, she found herself in a room full of buttons and controls. With a soft thud, the craft landed.

    Giant steel doors opened. The alien smiled at his wife.

    “That didn’t take long.”

    250 Words

  4. My chest tightened remembering the water filling my lungs while I watched his face ripple above the surface. He didn’t hold me under; didn’t have to anymore.
    “You’ll thank me, one day.” His words rang in my head like echoes off the mountain walls. The air was thin but I’ve been trained to survive.
    If only he had taken his own advice, “Are you feeling alright father?” I smiled watching as his arm gave one last twitch.
    "That didn’t take long."
    It was then that something more painful and sharp clamped around my heart. I was changing. I was changed. The smell of sulfur filled my nostrils and bones from my shoulder blades twisted and burst from my flesh.
    I had wings. I traced my fingers on them; blood dripped on the ground.
    Stripped of their feathers they were useless but something about them made me excited.
    “Thank you, father.”

    150 words

  5. How I had hated his brothers. They were mean and wanted me gone, but now they were gone.
    "That didn’t take long." Bear exclaimed entering the apartment and looking around the kitchen.
    “I guess being a cleaning genie, as you like to call me paid off.” I answered.
    “Yes, I guess Goldy.” Bear exclaimed
    “Yes, but we need to check it with a black light. Do you have one?”
    “Yes, Beran has one.”
    “No trace of blood, see.” I said as I used the light from Beran’s room. “Where did you dump the bodies?”
    “In the foundation of the Butler building, all covered in fresh cement.” Bear answered.
    “Perfect they’ll never find them.”
    “It would have been so much easier, if they weren’t dead.” Bear commented “I’m hungry.”
    “Me too.”
    “Let’s go get a bite.” Bear said “We can go get our food to go.”
    “Isn’t that what got you in trouble the first time?”
    “Yes but it was fun” Bear replied. “And they had it coming.”
    “You didn’t have to do any of the cleaning.” I protested as we left the apartment and entered the darken street.
    “I want to sink my teeth into a nice juicy...”
    “Me too. Hope about that one?”
    “Too small.”
    “How about that one?”
    “Too big.”
    “How about those two?”
    “I think they are just right.”
    We’d disposed of those two brothers of Bear and gotten a snack. I sunk the stake into Bear before he knew. Goodbye three Bears, hello Vampire Goldilocks.
    250 words

  6. She follows him off the bus, dragged behind by an invisible tether. She catches his eye long enough to see him smirk.

    That grin, that wicked stare – she thought she was finished with them, that they would never wield that power over her again.

    And yet, here she is.

    She only agreed to come here to talk. That was all he asked for. But she knows they will barely talk at all. She knows what will happen once they are inside, with no barrier between them but the silence of their unspoken need.

    She hates herself for wanting it so badly.

    The porch groans under their weight, front door peeling open and coughing out the scraping creak she remembers so well.

    He pauses for a breath – it’s her last chance to turn away.

    She doesn’t.

    Compelled by memory and want, she walks past him and up the dark stair. She doesn’t even turn around when she hears him shut the door.

    The ground sways beneath her feet - her knees and resolve bending under the frantic heat between their bodies as he closes the distance between them.

    “I will have you again. It’s only a matter of time.”

    She wants to protest – she should. She’s still more than half broken from the last time. But then his fist closes around a coil of her hair, his breath hot and sinful at her ear, and she is lost.

    “That didn’t take long,” he chuckles, and leads her into the bedroom.

    249 words

    1. Well done. Really liked it. :)

  7. It was her first night on the job and Ally’s nerves were on edge. Even though she’d been training for this assignment for weeks, the butterflies in her stomach just wouldn’t settle down.

    “Ally? You ready?” She heard whispered in her ear as she took her place on the corner of Market and Union, a high traffic area known for prostitution.

    “As I’ll ever be,” she muttered, trying to psych herself up.

    She’d only been standing in her Lucite sky-high heels for a couple of minutes when a car slowed, its window descending at the same time.

    “Hey pretty lady, you feel like some fun?”

    Ally could barely make out the average man’s face, but the mere thought of what he was insinuating made her insides roll in disgust. “Sure hon, what’ve you got in mind?”

    “Get in and we’ll chat,” the balding man offered, opening the door to allow her in.

    “Fifty for a BJ and a hundred for a fuck,” she drawled, trying her best to sound bored with the entire exchange, even though her senses were on high alert.

    “Fifty it is. Now get in so we can go somewhere a little more private.”

    Stepping into his car, Ally smirked to herself while keeping her hand on the weapon strapped to her thigh.

    “That didn’t take long,” her boss whispered into her earpiece, knowing the john would be arrested as soon as they turned the corner.

    She really did love the adrenaline rush of undercover work.

    249 words

  8. “That didn’t take long.” The nurse’s sheepish grin did little to assuage his unpleasant state. Bill’s mother’s denture appointment was for one o’clock, and they had arrived promptly only to wait for forty-five minutes. The desk girl had seemed so nonchalant when setting up the appointment, as if he could bring his mother in whenever and they’d be in and out, and yet now he would surely be twenty minutes late returning to work.

    “We’ll need to see her one more time, and that’s it!” exclaimed the nurse as he stood up to leave. Her comment was filled with enthusiasm, but this was the fourth time he’d had to take time off to be here. And what other option did he have? A mother without teeth?

    They left and he rushed his poor mother back home, anxiously glancing at the clock on the dash, each minute ticking by undoubtedly creating a deeper and deeper frown on his supervisor’s face. As Bill rushed her inside, knowing she was moving as fast as she could, he heard her say, “Bill, take your time going back.”

    He ignored her and began heading out the door, only to hear her shout, “Bill!” Stunned, he turned back and looked at her. “I’m serious,” she said.

    He left, and as he neared the end of the block, the light turned red. He debated on running it but then stopped short, only to see a huge truck barrel through.

    Few things are worth dying for, he thought.

    250 words

  9. The sidewalk shook with a heavy bass thump, and Eleanor’s hips swayed with the beat. She’d meant to stand perfectly still, but the mel-jack embedded in her head had picked up the signal. Coming out tonight had been a bad idea.

    Aidan doddered at her elbow and shoved a bottle of water at her. “That didn’t take long,” she said.

    “That’s me: fleet of thought.” He jutted his chin toward her jerking feet. “What’s up with that?”

    She rolled her eyes. “The thingamajig is broken. I can’t get it to turn off, and I’m afraid to monkey around with it. My ballet teacher and my parents would kill me—it cost a mint.”

    “I don’t know why you bother,” Aidan said. “You hate dancing.”

    “Mom invested a lot to make me into this.” Eleanor flopped a hand at her face—luminous skin, the perfect nose and chin, bright eyes, stunning smile—and then her body. “She wants to get paid, and it’s not going to happen if I’m tone deaf and can’t keep a beat. I’ll never get chosen.”

    His mouth twisted into a grimace. “Your mom takes this volcano sacrifice lottery too seriously.”

    194 words

  10. Colonial Governor Rupert Gunnarsson hated mornings. Yet another day of tedium lay ahead of him, forced as he was, to deal with the petty concerns of command.

    He sighed, and looked across the room to the small figure chained there. A moment’s thrill passed through him at the prospect of finding a new toy. This one had become tiresome.

    “It’s time.” he muttered, and pressed the call button beside his bed.

    A moment later, the familiar voice of his manservant called. “You rang, Master?”

    “Get in here.”

    The man entered, head bowed, and waited beside the door.
    Gunnarsson climbed out of bed, his enormous bulk making hard work of it.

    “Fetch me another one,” he said, indicating the young girl.

    “At once, milord.” The old man took a step toward her.

    “Leave her,” Gunnarsson said. “She can service me until you return.”

    The manservant met his gaze. Gunnarsson was sure he read disgust in the old man’s eyes. It was gone in a heartbeat, but it made him wonder if perhaps it was time to dispose of his household staff as well.

    “You have your instructions. Go!”

    “Yes, milord.” He turned and left the room.

    Gunnarsson stroked himself as he strode toward the fearful young girl. “I think you know what to do.”

    A hurried knock stopped his advance.

    “I have what you need,” The old man called out.

    “That didn’t take long.” He turned as the door opened, and the last thing he saw was the gun.

    248 Words

  11. Hostile Takeover

    “That didn't take long.” said Joey.
    I let the boss' door shut behind me and didn't look back.
    Joey was leaning against the wall by the elevator, smoking right under the “No Smoking” sign.
    “How long did you think it'd take? I go in, I drop the news, and I walk out.”
    He raised an eyebrow.
    “Just like that?”
    “Just like that.”
    “No hard feelings?”
    I shrugged.
    The elevator dinged and the door opened. Joey dropped his cigarette butt and crushed it out on the floor.
    “The old man's getting' soft,” he said as the car sped down to the lobby.
    I didn't answer him. I was too busy counting.
    Forty-seven... Forty-six... Forty-five...
    When we hit the lobby I hopped out and made straight for the exit.
    Joey was not with me. He'd stopped to play grabass with the cute redhead at the desk.
    Twenty-four... Twenty-three... Twenty-two...
    I was out front before he figured it out.
    Thirteen... Twelve... Eleven...
    “Let's move,” I said.
    We moved.
    “You didn't,” he said.
    “I did.”
    There was a boom followed by the sound of glass breaking.
    Joey looked up at the building. I kept walking.
    When Joey caught up with me he was all quiet.
    “It was him or me,” I said. “Wasn't gonna be me.”
    We walked along in silence for a while.
    “What you gonna do now?” asked Joey.
    I shrugged.
    “Look for a new office.”

    248 Words (250 w/title)

  12. Deceiving appearances

    “That didn’t take long.”

    It was the last words that Joan would say as she turned her head to look at her friend as she got into the car. Only it wasn’t her friend. She stared down the barrel of a gun as the hammer was pulled back with an ominous click.

    A ski mask was pulled down over the man’s face but his eyes were a jaundiced yellow. “Look forward and drive. I’ll tell you where to go and when to stop.”

    Joan’s head snapped forward as she swallowed, hands tightening on the steering wheel as she let out a shaky breath. “I-I don’t have much money but just take it.” Her hand fumbled for her pocketbook.

    “I don’t want your money.”

    The gun shoved against her head. “Drive.”

    Her hands shook as the key was turned in the ignition, following his terse directions until they pulled into an old empty warehouse.

    “Shut the car off, toss the keys in the back.”

    Joan flinched then the gun once again pushed against her head. “I’m getting tired of you doing that.”

    “What did you say, bitch?”

    “I said-“ Her hands clenched on the steering wheel and a hand lashed out, knocking the gun away from her head. His finger clenched on the trigger and the gun exploded, the gun hitting the roof of the car. “-get the damn gun away from my head.” Her nails extended to small daggers and drove into his chest. “Thanks for the free meal.”

    249 words

  13. “I want to stay up all night, and watch TV.” He’d just finished the last day of school. So he could sleep in as late as he wanted. I told him he could. I’d done the same thing when I finished 10th grade. Driver’s license. 16 years old. Almost a grown up. Exploring life.

    I helped him set up the sofa, so he could sleep on it. Told him to not make too much noise, and he’d have to deal with us getting ready for work in the morning. He said he could handle that.

    My wife was pissed. “Why are you letting him stay up all night watching that stuff on TV? Those programs like Bikini-Babes or whatever it is. And all those R-rated movies with naked women.”

    “I know, dear. I know,” Sometimes women just don’t understand. I knew he’d pass out on the sofa. That the TV would still be on when I got up. It’s something I did when I was growing up. It’s like it’s something guys just have to do. To figure out we don’t really want to.

    Sure enough. That’s what happened. But the best part was when he groaned, and I asked him, “Have fun?”

    He mumbled, “Dad. Remind me to never do that again.”

    I looked at his Mom. She sighed. “Well, that didn’t take long, did it?”

    241 Words

  14. “Well, that didn’t take long.” Aliandra smiled at both the man and the boy, and gestured toward her office. “I just happen to be in between patients at the moment. Why don’t you gentlemen step into my office? I’ll join you as soon as I finish this paperwork.”

    Drake nodded and took Tom’s hand, leading him down the hallway. Aliandra couldn’t help watching them walk away, her heart pounding with two conflicting emotions. Lust and yearning.

    What is wrong with me? She ogled Drake’s ass in his jeans under the coat. Nothing’s wrong to want that ass.

    But the yearning for a husband and son smacked her right between the eyes. And not just any husband and son, but Drake and Tom. As a dragon, yearnings came and went, like the need to collect a hoard or visit the Ring of Fire to bathe in the earth’s molten volcanic cauldrons. But to yearn for a mate and a family, Aliandra had never experienced that before.

    Just sign the damn paperwork. She forced her focus back to the charts, signing quickly to get back to her family. Guests! Hellwinds, they’re only guests.

    Aliandra left the charts with the prescriptions for Mrs. McGillicutty for Angela to call in and almost ran down the hall to her office. The old woman’s attempt at matchmaking Aliandra with her son Patrick reminded her she still didn’t have any Thanksgiving plans.

    Maybe I should ask what Drake and Tom are doing for the holiday.

    248 ineligible #WIP500 words

  15. It took a lot of needlework. Neither one of them was used to it, but both were committed, and as husband and wife, they’d always made a great team. She had to thread the needle for him, but he took over when they reached harder patches.

    She matched together the best swaths, lined the bits and pieces up just right. She took care of the details, of course—the little things that really made it pop, gave it that touch of life that was necessary for every work of art to really be beautiful.

    They labored for what seemed like hours on end, time dripping onto the floor in time with the pitter-patter that had accompanied their work all night.

    But when midnight struck, they were finally ready to bring it to life.

    “Her,” the wife corrected her husband.

    He slid his safety-glasses up onto his head. “Of course, dear, her.”

    “You have to get into the habit now,” she smiled, patting their handiwork as he clipped the clamps to the metal table and stood back. She took a step back, as well and crossed her arms, thoughtfully as he threw the power lever.

    The lights gave a slight flicker, but the biggest change was the jolting body on the table before them. Her husband slammed the lever back up and the sound of a heartbeat blipped onto their heart rate monitor.

    “That didn’t take long,” her husband mused.

    “Not at all.” His wife smiled. “A brand new, baby girl.”


  16. “God Almighty, I need a shower.” Gray shook his whole body like a dog, showering dirt, concrete dust, and other less desirable substances four feet in every direction.

    “Hey!” I yelped, ducking out of the line of fire.

    My werewolf sneezed, just barely getting his arm up to cover.

    “Black bogeys,” he grimaced. “Lovely.”

    “That’s seriously gross.”

    “We’re going to be lucky not to get quarantined as biohazards.”

    He shrugged out of his clothes. All of his clothes.


    “Nothing you haven’t already seen, love.”

    “Well,” I managed. “Yeah. But—”

    He dropped a kiss on my head.

    “Oh, man. Please tell me you didn’t leave anything behind,” I said.

    He snorted a laugh. “I love this squeamish side of my beautiful ass kicker. You could always shower with me and remove all concern.”

    I blushed.

    He grinned. “You're adorable.”

    Gray ran his fingers through my hair, easing any lingering worry over foreign substances.

    “But this alarming color nearly matches your hair, so I’ll guess your answer is no.”

    “I’m sorry,” I muttered. I shouldn’t feel so easily embarrassed.

    “We have time, Kelly,” he said. “If I have my way, we’ll have forever.”

    He headed for the shower and I plopped down on the couch. I closed my eyes, letting the drone of running water lull me into a doze. I woke to Gray’s lips on mine.

    “That didn’t take long.”

    “Trust me, Red,” he said with a sly smile. “Slow and steady wins some races. Not all of them.”

    250 #WIP500 words

  17. Title: Till Death Do Us Part

    The blood pool beneath his body was small compared to the size of the man. Morgan shook her head, not surprised that the cold, miserly man was just as cheap in death as he was in real life.

    “That didn’t take long.”

    Morgan scoffed. “Damn bastard never made me happy when he was alive, and now he can’t even give me something in his death.”

    “Well, at least you are free of him now, right?”

    “I suppose, Lane. Still disappointing, though. I was expecting so much more out of this.”

    “Life is full of disappointments, sugar.” Lane shrugged his shoulders and started rolling up the plastic that covered Morgan’s deceased husband.

    “Yep, and I was married to the biggest one of all.” Morgan washed her hands and finally cracked a smile. “But, now I’m free of that horrible mistake of a man.”

    Lane set down the body and wrapped his arms around Morgan’s waist. “And off to better things with me.”

    For now, she thought.

    165 Words

  18. Rebekah PostupakJune 14, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    “You busy Saturday?” he asked, studying the floor.

    “I just got errands, and I guess laundry,” she said.

    “Wanna get married?”

    Neither of them breathed for a long moment. And then:

    “How long will it take?” she asked.

    “It’s quick,” he said, daring to look across the table at her glinting dark eyes.

    “Okay then,” she said. “Just so it doesn’t take too long. I got a lot of running around to do.”

    They grinned at each other in the way that eventually over the years grew as comfy and familiar to them as his mahogany easy chair and her Dutch apple pie. The comfy grins saw them through childbirth and child death, new jobs and lost jobs, and from a suburban house to a plain apartment. The years nibbled away at their bones and teeth and hid dentured grins behind whiskers and chins until no eyes but theirs could see the grins.

    “Guess that does it for me,” he said one day, his voice raspier than he’d remembered it being.

    “Yeah? Me too, just about,” she said. “One or two things to finish up first.”

    “I love you forever,” he said. He reached a thin hand across the bed and put his fingers lightly on her fragile grin, his eyes fixed on hers until the last possible moment.

    “You were right,” she whispered as his hand fell away. “That didn’t take long at all.”

    235 words

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


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