Thursday, August 16, 2012

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 34

Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked. It's Thursday again, so what should you be doing? Writing #FlashFiction, that's what! Welcome to Week 34 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 34:

The entrepreneur, civil engineer, and my great dad, Steve Palevich.

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“It must be a full moon.”

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! :)


  1. Of Witches and Moonlight

    “It must be a full moon for the spell to work,” Sybella explained. “That’s why it must be tonight.”

    Maura nodded. “I see. Once it’s done, then what?”

    “The Change will happen, and you’ll get what you’ve asked for.”

    “So Jonathan will pay attention to me and love me?” Her bright blue eyes gleamed with hope.

    The witch bowed her head slightly. “Indeed. You are certain this is what you want? Sometimes things don’t turn out as you expect…”

    “I fell in love with him the first time I saw him, even if it was just a few days ago.”

    “Very well. Come back at moonrise. Tell no one where you’ve gone.”

    As soon as the girl had left, Sybella mixed the potion that Maura would drink, murmuring words over the concoction, her dark eyes focused on the task at hand.

    The full moon looked down on the woman and the girl a few hours later. Maura took a deep breath and downed the potion. Immediately she felt strange. Her body seemed to be shifting and changing. She tried to scream, but all that came out was a caterwaul.

    Jonathan opened his door at the knock. Standing on the porch was a beautiful girl, holding a Siamese cat, with bright blue eyes.

    “Hi, I’m Sybella. Brought you a ‘welcome’ present.” She smiled at him and handed him the struggling cat.

    “Thank you! She’s beautiful. I love her.” He scratched the cat under the chin.

    “You’re very welcome. Her name’s Maura.”

    250 words {without title}

    1. Oh now that is great - be careful what you wish for .... lovely

  2. Telling Time

    “I don’t want to kill you bastards! Fine! Die then!” Paul always liked to hear himself talk.

    Gunshot echoed everywhere. Spraying blood mixed with the rain. Teeth and claws glinted in the small flashes of light. My hands ached from squeezing the trigger and reloading. Bodies stacked up around us in the dark of day. We had enough silver ammo to take down a pack twice their size. We were in the wrong spot in Central Park at the right time. Hours later, it was over.

    I looked up through the rain. The storm and ash cloud that covered the earth the month before looked the same. Who would believe that Mt. Everest would blow? None knew how long we would be in the dark. None realized that werewolves were just as scared as the rest of the humans. We quickly found the control for the lighting system and got the park lit.

    “This is insane,” Paul muttered. “Why the hell would they all attack now? The Lieutenant ain’t gonna like this.”

    “He’s gonna love it,” I said finally.

    “You drunk?” Paul hitched up his gun and began to stack bodies.

    “Nope.” I rolled a few bodies over and found my shovel. Finding a wide open space I began to dig. Had to get the bodies under dirt fast. Who knew what else was out there?

    “So why is he gonna love it?”

    “It must be a full moon,” I said between shovels of dirt. “We can tell time again.”

    250 words (without title)

  3. On the Prowl
    By Wakefield Mahon
    “What’s wrong Janine? You look like someone kicked your puppy.”
    “I don’t know what’s wrong with me Clara. I’m supposed to be a succubus but I don’t seem to have the stuff anymore. Maybe I’m getting old.”
    “Bite your tongue, young lady. I’m a hundred and fifty years your senior and I’m still in my prime. What’s got you in such a tizzy anyway?”
    I was out doing my thing at the local bar last week. As usual, most of the locals were drooling; falling all over themselves to buy me a drink but this burly red haired guy at the bar completely ignored me. At first I thought he was batting for the other team, you know? But he walked out with this big-boobed blonde bimbo with a tramp stamp showing.
    “And you took that lying down?”
    “Of course not, I came back this weekend in a sleezy outfit and he still ignored me.”
    “Calm down, Janine, that’s his fiancée, Desiree the witch, not some random bimbo.”
    “That’s never mattered before. I don’t know how to get his attention, Clara. I’ve heard these rumors that he was a wolf. I figured he’d be all over me when I wore these low-rise jeans.”
    “He’s a wolf alright, but with a Lycan like Red flashing your plumber’s crack isn’t enough to get a rise out him. It must be a full moon if you want to make him howl.”

    238 Words

  4. Hey, time differences and being busy have kept me away, but I'm back in this week. This story is 250 words, not counting the title. Twitter is @JXilon.

    Keep Cool in The Moonlight

    “Ok, any ideas why the hive mind’s sending soldier drones after us?” Rashnikov asked.

    “It must be a full moon,” Choi said.
    Miranda groaned. “Really? That’s the line you’re going with?”

    Rashnikov looked up and counted no less than three full moons in the sky “Well, there are enough of them.”

    “Seriously, that line got old our first month here. Half the bio-mass on this planet is controlled by the hive mind. I’m thinking its not the time for lame jokes,” Miranda said.

    “I wasn’t joking. I’m making that my catch phrase,” Choi said.

    “Catch phrase?” Miranda asked.

    “Yeah, catch phrase. If I’m going to die like I’m in a 20th century sci-fi flick then I’m going out a cool character. Cool characters have catch phrases,” Choi said.

    Rashnikov adjusted the window’s opacity filter and looked for movement on the loose sand. “If you two are about done, I think it’s time to make a break for it. One mad dash and we’ll be in the recovery pod.”

    “I still think this is crazy,” Miranda said. “You want to blast off with no ship to rendezvous with.”

    “We stay and we’re dead. We’ll put ourselves in orbit and hope the supplies last long enough for rescue,” Rashnikov said. “We go on three.”

    They were halfway there when the sand exploded around Choi. Drones burst up and took him down wolf pack style.
    Rashniokv couldn’t help thinking Choi had forgotten something: expendable comic relief often got catch phrases too.

  5. The Phone Does Not Work
    by Cari Oleskewicz
    162 words

    Sorry, babe, there is no reception here. Or, I have no battery left. Or, my charger is screwed up. Or, sorry about that, sweetie. I pushed the wrong button. Or, no - that text was meant for you.

    Or, I must have had the ringer off. I really do love you! Or, I left my phone downstairs on the charger. Or, rodents or something ate through the landline wires. Or, it must be a full moon – I just can’t get this thing to work!

    Or, Verizon is here right now. Or, I can only text you right now. Or, I need a new phone LOL. Or, I am taking my phone to get fixed. Or, piece of crap phone. LOL. I love you, sweetie. Or, got my phone back. Call you a little later. Or, I will join your plan when I get there. Or, I am dealing with some shit here. I’ll call you tomorrow.

    And, you are right. About the reception.

    1. fffnnnaaarrr - been on the receiving end of that!

  6. Collision Avoidance

    “Mart, there's a ship heading straight towards us. Collision in ten minutes”

    Mrs Dumpstry took her eyes away from the radar screen. She shouldn't be doing this but it gave the watchkeeper a chance to stand on the bridge-wing of the super-tanker and smoke. She welcomed the chance of doing something useful.

    Her husband, the third mate, wandered over to the chart table and checked their position, then he took up the radio.

    “Ship on my starboard bow, this is the tanker Limatula. You are too close to me, over.”

    There was no reaction. “ But I see it!” Fenella cried.

    The watchkeeper peered through the binoculars and called back:

    “She's right, Third. Cruise liner. Coming straight at us.”

    Swearing, Martin Dumpstry sounded the ship's siren once and ordered hard-a-starboard to make sure they passed port to port.

    The other ship passed so close that they could hear the passengers chatting , laughing and the glasses clinking.

    The watchkeeper, an old Plymouth man, spat on the floor and sipped at his coffee, glaring at the chart.

    “That'll be the Aurelia. Went down here fifty years ago. Must be a full moon. She always comes back. Don't you worry – nobody on there gonna do you no harm, they dead. All gone to the to the oggin these long days past.”

    The third mate didn't reprimand his seaman for talking to his wife like that because he too was shaken to the core.

    Word Count 248

  7. The walk-in strolled through the entryway, his hair long and scraggly. The three hairdressers looked to one another, silently pleading for the others to take him. Finally Annie rolled her eyes and asked the man to take a seat in her chair.

    “It must be a full moon tonight! You have enough hair to be a werewolf!”

    The man grunted and said nothing. Annie turned and glared at the others. He didn’t appreciate her joke. Great.

    “So, are you from around here?”


    Perfect. Not a talker, either. This was going to be the longest haircut ever!

    “So what would you like done today…Mr…?”

    “John. And I need it all cut off. And my beard. Everything.”

    Annie nodded and asked, “How do you want the length and style? A crew cut, or maybe a half an inch or so?”

    John did not answer immediately, as he seemed to be mulling over her question. Finally he replied, “A crew cut.”

    Rochelle, the owner of the salon, walked past the hairdressers, noticed John, and quickly summoned Annie over into the back room.

    “Annie, I think that guy is a state inspector. No mistakes, OK?”

    Annie gulped and nodded, then returned and began cutting John’s hair. He had a lot, and his beard was long and didn’t smell great, but in the end he looked fantastic.”

    John paid and left, and Rochelle was thrilled—until the police arrived, looking for a man with long hair and beard who had just murdered his wife.

    250 words

  8. The clouds covered the night sky making it darker than I liked it when I walked this road through the woods. I heard a shriek in the distance and my heart began to thud hard in my chest. Why didn’t I take up my friends on the ride home? Alas, I didn’t want to inconvenience them to go so far out of their way. Twigs snapped in the woods then a great tussle in the dry leaves covering the ground. The next thing I know a girl wearing the brightest red hooded cloak ran across the road followed closely by a wolf.

    It must be a full moon.

    108 Words

  9. Slap, clap, snap snap.

    Then girls’ voices, low and rhythmic.

    “It must be a new moon.”

    Slap, clap, snap snap.

    “It must be a quarter moon.”

    Slap, clap, snap snap.


    “It must be a half moon.”

    Slap, clap, snap snap.

    Shouting now.

    “It must be a full moon. HOOOOOOWL!”

    The girls melted into wild yipping and laughter.

    “Again. Faster!” urged one, a pale, dark-haired beauty, pounding out the beat on her knees.

    “Aw, please, Raven. We’ve done it twelve times already!”

    “Make it a perfect thirteen!” cried Raven. “Come on, girls!”

    Despite a chorus of heavy sighs and melodramatic eye-rolling, they began again. “It must be a new moon…”

    “You know,” said one of the girls after the final bays and hysterical laughter had subsided, “I have no idea why that’s so funny.”

    “Yeah. Or why it creeps me out so much,” said another girl, shuddering despite her grin.

    “It’s ‘cause it’s a full moon,” said Raven. “Everything’s creepier under a full moon.”

    “But werewolves don’t even really exist.”

    “Well, actually, if you’re going to be picky about it—” Raven floated lightly across the glen and pressed a cool, pale cheek close against her friend’s, “—neither do we, exactly, my dear.”

    And the girls dissolved into delicious shivers and giggles once more.

    215 words

  10. RESCUE

    Teeth clenched and tears streaming down her face, Kerri resisted the urge to inflict further damage on the halves of her broken wand—no point making an already daunting repair job more difficult. The nausea bloating her core was only partially caused by her broken leg. How could she have fallen in such an obvious trap?

    Oliver had taken the worst of their fall, even after getting shot by that hunter his first reflex had been to protect Kerri. She had a helpless sense that worse things were going on inside his body than even the gruesome injuries she could see. The petite sorceress had to get them out of here before the hunter returned. Had she cast her distress beacon in time?

    The coppery stench of their festering wounds gave way in welcome answer. Kerri’s friend, Mirro, emerged from a reality rift in the side of the pit.

    “Oh my,” Mirro glanced at her bloody friend. “Poor Kerri! You’ve ripped your dress!”

    Groaning, Kerri reminded herself she was still happy to see her spacey neighbor. Before she could say anything, another spasm wracked Oliver’s body and the young man unleashed an agonized scream even while unconscious. Mirro’s gaze drifted skyward, though with the pit sealed there was only darkness to see.

    “It must be a full moon.”

    Kerri shook her head, “No, I think he’s been poisoned.”

    “Oh, then I should get you both back to your house.”

    “Please do.”

    241 words

  11. “It must be a full moon,” Officer Davies said. “The crazies are out in force tonight.”

    “Tell me about it,” his partner, Officer Hawkins agreed.

    “I don’t need this. I got Ariel’s wedding tomorrow and if this keeps up I’ll be drowning in paperwork at shifts end.”

    “Didn’t the Captain give you the night off?”

    “He did, but since Grover went down he asked if I’d help out.” Davies surveyed the busy New York streets outside the squad car. “If I’d known it would be like this I would’ve said no.”

    Hawkins shook his head. He’d been with his partner long enough to know that Davies loved his job. Undermanned or not he’d still have been on duty tonight. He was that kind of cop.

    “Listen,” Hawkins said. “I’ll handle the paperwork tonight. I’d hate myself if you were late to Ariel’s wedding. A dad’s got to walk his daughter down the aisle on her big day.”

    “Thanks Hawk. I appreciate it.”

    “All units, all units.” The dispatch radio blared. “Officers down on the corner of Park and 42nd. Gunshots reported from multiple assailants with automatic weapons.”

    “Park and 42nd?” Hawkins said. “Isn’t that…”

    “Grand Central Station.” Davies switched on the siren and the lights.

    “Oh shit!”

    207 Words

  12. By Moonlight Warned

    Mwanga Kamari strode the dusty path with sure, confident steps. It was as if the milky orbs of his eyes were like those of any normal man. Though he walked with a staff, he had little need of one. While no longer a youngling, he was still a man of considerable strength and vigor. Not slowing his pace a bit, he turned his face to the night sky and sniffed at the cool breeze.

    “It must be a full moon tonight, old friend. Things seem altogether unsettled and ill at ease in the bush.”

    Kunguru pecked at the lobe of the old man’s ear. “And how, aged one, would you have any inkling of whether the moon is even out at all? Unless the way of things has much changed, you remain every bit as sightless as a geriatric cave bat. Tell me then, great mwalimu, have you discovered the wisdom of growing new eyes?”

    With a wry chuckle, Kamari rapped the cantankerous bird on the head with the knob of his staff, “Hush! I know it is your nature to be a foul-tempered being but there is no call for rudeness. There are evil things about tonight and we would do well to not mix with them. Fly then to the village and let my brother know I shall be along directly. Do not dawdle, please.”

    The great raven grumbled, but winged away into the night, in his mind a silent prayer his beloved companion would not dawdle either.

    250 words @klingorengi

  13. Darkness swallows the sun
    as night falls.
    But tonight the clouds scatter,
    and stars glitter against a velvet sky.
    She sits by the window
    eyes turned to the heavens.
    A silent guard as the
    moon wakes, and
    light bathes the earth.
    The silence unbroken.
    The world holds its breath
    waiting for the magic to begin.
    She lifts her paw, and
    gently bats the moon, and
    a clear crystal note stirs
    the night to life.
    Fairy circles grow, and the dance
    leads young men astray.
    Lost forever in the mists.
    It's time to dream,
    and wander free.
    Normal rules tossed aside.
    For one night only
    monsters reign supreme.
    It must be a full moon again.

    114 words

  14. Consequences

    She lay beneath me, eyes wide, lips parted, body bathed in milk blue light, and I thought I would never drink my fill of her. We’d had hours uninterrupted. True to form, we’d spent most of it – but not the better part – discussing legends. She’d harvested some plants and sown others.

    “It must be a full moon or this is in vain.” Her long hair did not quite hide her smile. “I once thought it was superstition, but I’ve come to give it credence.”

    “So, do they fail to sprout if the timing is wrong?” I’d taken enough biology to know that wasn’t true.

    “No, but they aren’t strong. Sometimes, they’re stunted or twisted, or they don’t yield what you expect of them. Mostly, they just die. Considering how much work it takes, I want to be careful about the inception. So much is riding on this.”

    “They’re just seeds. You can always get more, try again.”

    She shook her head. “No, these are different. Special. I’ll never get their like.” She dusted off her hands and led me inside.

    Looking back, I realize I’d heard what I wanted to, what she’d wanted me to: inception instead of conception. Considering what I am, you’d think I’d have recognized the spell that cloaked her intention. She’d taken what she needed and now, somewhere out there in the world, I had a son – the second male witch ever born.

    If my brother found out, he’d kill the child on principle.

    249 words

  15. Moe came through the door with more swagger than when he had left the bar minutes earlier. He wore a confident smile and eyes beaming with satisfaction. He seemed to glide by the people on his path back to the booth.

    There, Carlos, Nate and Raymond patiently watched his return, holding their anxious comments until he was back.

    “Awesome!” rang out from Carlos and Nate simultaneously, as his butt hit the seat.

    “So you saw?” Moe said, more than asked, giving fist bumps to each.

    As he came to Raymond, he was met with a raised palm and “Not so fast!”

    “What you talkin bout Ray?”

    “That doesn’t count! All you did was flip down your waistband. That was kind of a chicken-shit quickie. It must be a full moon.”

    Carlos and Nate immediately stopped smiling. They knew that Raymond hated to lose a dare, and Moe had just mooned the girls in the nail salon.

    “Chicken-shit?” Moe exclaimed, sounding more disappointed than aggravated. “Dude, you’re confusing me with some pretenders you know” he said, as he began to pull his shirt over his head. “I used to surf Black’s Beach.”

    Soon, standing in the bar unembarassed and buck naked, Moe pointed to his clothes saying, “Get those to the house! I’m going for a run.” Then sneering, “I got your full moon, Ray.”

    And with that, Moe exited and streaked the boulevard, leaving Raymond looking pretty stupid.

    Carlos and Nate smiled again, fist bumped each other, and chimed “Awesome!”

    250 words

  16. I was ready to shoot my science teacher. She’d given us the worst assignment of all time. A year long project. I mean, come on! A year long project? And it wasn’t just that it was a year long. No. Not this project. I stared at the list of instructions again.

    1. Put a cinder-block in your back yard.
    2. Put a camera on the cinder-block. Make sure the camera faces the full moon.

    NOTE: It must be a full moon. Not a partial moon, like a half moon, or a gibbous moon. It must be a full moon.

    3. Draw an outline of the camera, so you can always put the camera in the same place.
    4. Take a picture of the full moon using the camera on the cinder-block for the months of September, October, November, December, January, February, March and April.
    5. Compare the pictures, and document any changes in the location and appearance of the full moon.

    After you have completed the pictures, and recording the changes, form a theory that explains the results.

    Yep. That was the assignment. Take pictures of the friggin’ full moon every month for the entire school year. And then explain why it changed. Hell. It was the biggest waste of time I’d ever had to deal with. Every frikkin’ body knows the moon is a dead world, and never changes!

    Jesus! What’s up with these science people?

    244 words

  17. I looked out our backdoor and sighed; it must be a full moon.

    “Jimmy, come inside before you catch your death of cold.”

    My husband shook his head, his blue eyes stubborn. “That’s an old wives tale.”

    “Yeah, but with your lungs, it’s reality. Now come in. I’m sure you’ve gotten enough amazing pictures of the moon.”

    His face falling, my husband trudged inside, stamping the snow from his boots. I loved our old farmhouse, five miles north of town on seven miles of gravel. I could do without the Iowa winter, but beggars can’t be choosers.

    “See?” He’d started to cough already. “If you miss anymore work this month, Sean’ll have your hide in a sling.”

    Wheezing, he shook his head at me, as we retreated into the living room. I settled into my recliner, reaching across the oak lamp table for his hand.

    “I love you, Jacoby. But you can be a pain in my arse at times,” he complained, firing up his nebulizer. “You know I love the outdoors.”

    “I do. And I also know it’s ten degrees right now, which your lungs don’t like.”

    “Fuck you,” he muttered, as the medication started to ease his breathing. “Maybe I won’t share my photos with you.”

    I laughed, since I knew he was bluffing; next to being an EMT, photography was his thing and he was damn good at it. “You wouldn’t. I know you, Jimmy.”

    He was speechless and I laughed louder; I win.

    250 words

  18. Tom maneuvered through the musty, poorly-lit room, forced to twist or shuffle, depending on the movements of the many bodies gyrating around him. With a sigh, he sank into the white, faux-leather couch positioned directly in front of a towering speaker.

    “Great seats,” he said, slamming down a glass pitcher filled with beer onto the table.

    “What?” yelled Rex and Sammy, both of their heads bobbing.

    Tom grimaced. “I said, GREAT SEATS!” He knew that the throbbing baseline would echo in his head for days. Why the hell did he agree to come to the club tonight?

    “Yeah, totally,” Rex shouted, scanning the dance floor. “A lot of FRESH MEAT.” He grinned, showing all his teeth.

    Tom rolled his eyes as Rex and Sammy gave each other high fives.

    “What’s your deal, Tom?” Sammy asked, his head still nodding in time to the beat.

    “He’s just pissed that his girlfriend dumped him,” Rex said.

    Tom scowled. “Or maybe I’m pissed because you brought me to a club in the middle of the woods, filled with the ugliest girls I’ve ever seen—I mean, come on.” Tom gestured to the crowd.

    Rex and Sam exchanged looks, their eyes glinting.

    “You’re right Tom…must be a full moon or something,” Sammy said.

    When Tom turned back at Rex and Sammy his blood turned to stone. Both of his new friends now appeared—he squinted through the gloom—somehow…wolf-like.

    Rex took a moment to pick at his elongated canines. “Tom—we should probably talk.”

    250 words

    1. I posted this earlier but made a couple changes and wanted to re-post while signed in under my blog name. You can disregard the 5:25 posting! Thanks!

  19. The vampire came for me, fangs bared, eyes leaking blood. With a scream, I lifted my guns and fired like I was Butch-fucking-Cassidy and this was my Mexican standoff.

    Seven feet of howling werewolf jumped in front of me, taking the bloodsucker down like an MMA champ.

    “What are you doing?” I kept my guns up, but couldn’t get a decent shot.

    I whispered a prayer that I wouldn’t need one.

    The vamp screamed just before the werewolf forcibly separated its head from its body. In death, the features became human once more. The boy couldn’t have been more than fifteen or sixteen. My heart ached knowing a family had just lost a son.

    The lycan shifted back to human form, looking every bit as disturbed as I felt.

    “You idiot. You stood between me and a vampire,” I said to him, jaw not quite firm. I maintained my composure through sheer will. “Are you out of your mind?”

    “So much for a ‘thank you for saving my life.’”

    “Great. Thank you,” I said. “You know these things can kill you, right?”

    “They can kill you a hell of a lot faster,” he pointed out.

    “It must be a full moon.”

    “It doesn’t work like that.” He made a face at me.

    “Really? So you’re telling me you’re just normally crazy?”

    He glared at me.

    “You probably should’ve taken the out.”

    He stalked the distance between us, hands lifting to frame my face.

    “We’re alive, okay?”

    “I’ll count my blessings.”

    250 #WIP500 words

  20. #ThursThreads is now CLOSED. Thank you to everyone who wrote and I'll see you next week.


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