Thursday, August 2, 2012

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 33

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 33 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 33:

The farm-girl, wanderlust junkie, and romance author, Suzie Quint.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“I wanna be a Valkyrie!”

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. "Val-al-alkarie“Val-al-alkyrie. I wanna be, a Valkyrie.”
    My head came up, looking toward the singing. Yes, that was my sister. What was she singing?
    Still bouncing, she came to my side in dining room. “Uh-huh?”
    “What are you doing?” I asked, afraid of the answer.
    “Practicing,” she said, without blinking. “There’s a special squad of cheerleaders for the girls’ teams. I think I can make it. “I wanna be, a valkyrie.”
    The Vikings were our high school team, so the girls were the Valkyries. Being academic rather than athletic, I’d never paid sports a lot of attention. I knew some of the Vikings by sight, only because my friends had ludicrous crushes on them. None were Valkyries.
    “Why don’t they use the same cheerleaders?” I asked.
    Mary shrugged, still dancing to the Macho Man beat. “Dunno. I hope it isn’t as hard to make the squad as the Viking cheer team. I didn’t have a hope there.”
    Mary was my opposite: head in clouds, bright cheery outlook and a gymnastic predilection that only showed as extra stretchiness in my body. She would make the quintessential cheerleader.
    “When are tryouts?” I asked.
    Mary stopped cold. “Why?” she asked, wary of my tendency to outthink and thereby outwit her.
    I chuckled. “So I can watch and cheer you on,” I answered, rolling my eyes. “I want you to be a Valkyrie, too.”

    230 words

  2. In Times of Love and War
    By Wakefield Mahon

    “What are you doing? Get down from that horse young lady!” Aunt Gertrude stood with her back ramrod straight and her arms crossed, a scowl etched into her elderly face.
    “You mustn’t make me. I have to ride to prepare myself.” Hilda implored her guardian with voice and eyes, but with little effect.
    “You should be studying for exams and preparing yourself for a suitable husband. Instead, you spend all day mooning over that Erik boy and getting your clothes dirty. Is that your mother’s silk blouse?”
    “I’m sorry Auntie; I forgot I was wearing it.” Hilda dismounted, careful not to tear her clothes. She stood before Aunt Gertrude, her eyes downcast.
    “Oh if only your mother were still here, maybe she’d know how to deal with you. Just what is it you believe you are preparing for? Perhaps you plan to be a common woman. Proper ladies don’t ride horses.”
    Hilda glared up defiantly. “Erik has joined the military as a young officer of the Crown. When he returns, he will build us a proper home on a decent estate.”
    “He takes a gamble these violent days. I’ll give him that much, but what has that to do with riding?”
    “I want to be a Valkyrie. If Erik should fall in battle, I can be there to carry him home. And in Heaven I will wait on him until the day of the Great Battle. I will bring him his wine even as his lips are wine to me.”

    250 words

  3. Only One Will Do

    “I wanna be a Valkyrie…”

    “A..a what?”

    “A Valkyrie…you know, those ladies that come and take dying guys to…er…um…Val..Val-something-or-other.”

    “Mindy, when I told you you could be anything you wanted for Halloween, I meant something within reason. I’m not even quite sure what they look like.”

    “They’re really awesome, Mom, they have wings and cool armor and ride horses and ….”

    “Okay, okay, that’s enough. What in the world possessed you to want this?”

    “I saw a t.v. special on them. Daddy let me watch it when I was with him last weekend.”

    A sigh. “I should have known.”

    A set of brown eyes light up. “Yeah, it was really awesome! There was this big battle and all these warrior guys died with their guts hanging out and then the Valkyries came and took them to that Val place.”

    “Mindy, that’s revolting. I’ll have to speak to him about what you’re allowed to watch when you’re with him.”

    A wrinkled brow. “Gosh, Mom, don’t get mad at Daddy. I wanted to watch it. You should have seen all the blood…this one guy got his head splattered and someone else….”

    A hand held up. “I don’t want to hear any more about it. Let’s try and find something more suitable for you. A nice princess costume maybe?”

    A determined shake of the head. “Nope…Valkyrie.”

    A Halloween night finds a little girl clad in armor and feathered fairy wings, a huge smile on her face.

    247 words {with title}

  4. “I wanna be a Valkyrie!” the fourteen year old princess complained.
    “In four years Eir.” replied her eighteen year old Aunt Svipul.
    “When do you get to be one?”
    “I already am. I decide the fates of those in battle.” Svipul answered.
    “Then you take some to Fólkvangr?”
    “Yes, they are picked for Ragnarök when they shall help repopulate the world.”
    “I don’t understand they are men they can’t repopulate anything.” protested Eir.
    “That is why they need us.”
    “Did they let you take Grímnismál?”
    “My horse is with me.”
    “I want to take Darraðarljóð but he may not be ready in time.”
    “Grímnismál had a lot of training. He flies through the air dodging weapons helping me save the chosen. Tonight I can just be Princess Svipul, but the battle begins tomorrow, so I must go.
    “You are a Valkyrie, how could you want to be anything else?”Eir demanded.
    “Being a Valkyrie is an esteemed job but the men drain your energy to retain theirs.
    “I don’t understand.”
    “You will. You’ll wish you hadn’t been born a Valkyrie. Deciding who dies and who gets to go to Fólkvangr is taxing.”
    “You make it sound like a job, but we will be remembered forever.”
    “Will we? Do you remember any of the others?” asked Svipul.
    “But we are heroes.”Eir protested.
    “Men decide who are heroes, until we take that back we will never be remembered.”
    “When I am a Valkyrie they will remember.”
    “I believe they will Eir.”Svipul exclaimed.
    250 words

  5. Destined

    They have been drinking all night, nine girls in various stages of distress and undress. None of the men question why their hands stay glued to steins of ale. Warriors and poets both take ill to being controlled, despite frequent pleas to the gods for some sort of succor. Even in this age, they struggle against destiny whilst asking for guidance. Instead, I send them women who can be touched without too much danger. The nine are to be kept apart, for now, at least.

    “I wanna be a Valkyrie!” slurs a solid brunette. She engages in athletics, not having learned the joy of combat. I would take her for one of my sisters, but we cannot harbor such anger as she holds.

    “You want to sort through the souls of dying soldiers, so you can carry them to Valhalla, where they can feast and ignore the fact that their gods put them on the battlefield to begin with?” The blonde frowns as knowledge from some long-forgotten classroom comes unbidden. “Do you suppose you get dental with that?”

    “What?” The brunette has moved on in what passes for thought process. “I meant for the costume party.”

    “Never mind.” The blonde’s thoughts go to a boy she’d hoped to love, before he donned armor and marched out. If he is worthy – and slightly unlucky – he can be the first soul she takes up.

    When I call to her, she passes out of her old life without fear. The chosen always know.

    250 words

    1. I can't pin down why, but this story gave me a chill. Nicely done!

    2. I really like it too.

    3. Ditto. Very, very cool.

  6. “Whoa!” Sabrina grabbed Darius's wrist and provided a steady anchor. “Easy, there, Skippy. I’ll help you.” She too wore skates.

    “How are you able to remain still?”

    “See the toe rest on the skates?” She tilted one foot up. “I just point my toe down and it keeps me from rolling.”

    Darius tipped his own foot forward and found he’d stopped rolling. “That is useful.”

    “See? So let’s go have some fun with the kids.”

    Sabrina pushed off and gently rolled a little way on the muffling carpet. He followed after her, his movements graceless and clumsy. Ahead, on the smooth wooden floor, children of all ages slid by in smooth glides. Surely if they can do this, I can.

    “Look, Mommy! I’m a Valkyrie!” Sabrina’s oldest daughter flew by, her arm extended as if she held a sword.

    “I think you need a horse for that, Holly,” Sabrina called with smile.

    Holly twirled gracefully, her hands on her hips and skated backwards. “I wanna be a Valkyrie, and I have my horse right here.” She pointed to her feet.

    “You make an excellent Sword Maiden, Miss Foxglove,” Darius said. Sabrina arched her brow and smiled at him. “What?”

    “That was kindly done.” She offered him her hand as she stepped onto the floor.

    “She has a warrior spirit. Much like you, Sabrina.”

    Surprised pleasure flashed through her expression before she turned her face away, but satisfaction filled his chest when her fingers tightened on his.

    246 ineligible #WIP500 words

  7. Wanting

    “Do you want fries with that?” (I wanna be a Valkyrie) “How about a shake?” (I wanna be a Valkyrie) “Will that be all?” (I wanna be a Valkyrie)
    I didn't start out to work in a burger-bar. I went to drama-college. I was going to be an actress. I coulda been a contender (Marlon Brandon)
    I want to be swooping down from my horse to pick up a fallen hero and throw him over my saddle bow (Aragorn from LOTR would be good) and gallop off to Valhalla with him instead of queuing up to catch the number 83 bus back to my squalid bed-sit (I wanna be a Valkyrie, even if in a film even if it's just a non-speaking part)
    The poster mocks me, it reminds me of all the things I wanted to be. The Lord of the Rings film ad, covering one wall. Pushes all my lost and broken dreams in my face.
    I neck the vodka-bottle and swig, shovel another handful of pills in my mouth (of course I'm depressed doctor) and I lie back on the bed, waiting for the strong hand to pick me up by the scruff of the neck (I wanna be taken by the Valkyries) Are there male Valkyries? Going woozy now... is that hoofbeats I can hear?

    Word count 223

  8. Ruth stood looking out across the sea of expectant faces. This was her moment; the culmination of years of hard work. But still her mind returned to that pivotal moment when she decided she was going to reach the stars.

    She was 14 again; resigned to another mindless hour, blocking out the musicals their teacher loved to play on an ancient record player. The schools idea of a music lesson.

    Her destiny was mapped; a secretary in a bank was all she could hope for. She sat staring out the window, but then a miracle; music swelled around her, gripped her, and carried her above the clouds drifting across a brilliant blue sky. Horses raced before her, running through the sky, and she followed. The music freed her imagination; freed her.

    The teacher's dry voice cut through her dreams. "That was Wagner's 'Ride of the Valkyries'." And brought her briefly back to earth. Ruth held the memory close,re-playing the music in her head. That afternoon told her parents "I wanna be a Valkyrie'. There wasn't much they could say to that.

    Ruth studied, and ripped her destiny apart. She refused to be pigeon-holed, and fought her corner every day; confident and strong, exceeding expectations; a role model.

    She smiled, and the shuffling of feet brought her back to the present. Her audience was waiting; waiting to hear from the first woman to set foot on Mars.

    235 words


  9. “Now, I need you to say it.” The man crouched down so he was nearly at eye level with the boy.

    “I wanna be a Valkyrie! Can I, Uncle Derrick? It’s fun.” Of course, the way he said it sounded more like Valerie, but Derrick knew what he meant. It was close enough.

    “Good job, Joey. That’s the spirit. Now, you get to pick one. Anyone you want.”

    “Just one?” the boy asked, a small pout beginning to form on his lips.

    “Just one for today. Not every day is a big battle. Some days, only one has to lose.”

    Little Joey scanned the crowd below them. Shoppers moved as a horde in either direction. Mothers and daughters rushed past with bags in either hand. Bored husbands strolled behind them looking as though they were living their worst nightmares. Teenage girls whispered and giggled as they stepped from store to store. There were so many and the boy was still small. Making the right choice could take time.

    “It’s ok, Joey. Take your time,” Derrick said. “You’ll know the right one. You’ll pick the perfect one.”

    Joey finally raised his hand and pointed a delicate finger toward a teenage boy sitting on a bench. The boy bobbed his head in time to the music from his ear buds, occasionally craning his neck to watch as the girls walked by. “That one, Uncle Derrick. I pick that one.”

    “That’s a fine choice, Buddy. He’ll work out just fine.”

    250 Words

  10. Ascending the wooden rails of the old fence, Nathan slashed the air with his pointed stick. Cleaves and thrusts advanced him along imagined battlements and the tang of summer steeped grass bore him high in the welcome breeze. No foe would threaten the province on his watch.

    “For honor and glory!” He cried, readying his weapon at his side.

    Launching into an ill-fated spin, Nathan slashed the air around him in before tumbling from the fence. Luckily he landed on the loam inside the fence, and not the gravel road on the other side.

    “What was that supposed to be?” Louise scoffed.

    A year older and a head taller, Nathan’s best friend had always been dismissive of his adventurous passions. He didn’t let it get to him. Louise knew all kinds of things about the world from her family’s library, and she could get him into the village crypt at night.

    “I wanna be a Valkyrie!” Nathan hopped to his feet, hands on his hips.

    “Only girls can be Valkyries, stupid,” Louise rolled her eyes. “You’d have to be a Knight.”

    Nathan’s shoulders slumped, “But I get airsick!”

    “Well, not all Knights are assigned to airships,” Louise hugged a book to her chest. “Either way, it’s a long journey to Lightning Keep where you’d need to train.”

    “I know! But I want to see the world anyway; it’d be a good start!”

    “Or,” Louise tucked dark chocolate hair behind her ear, “You could stay and learn magic with me.”

    249 words

  11. Slade and I had few things in common other than our profession. Hitmen are choosy who they drink with.

    That was before the blond nutcase with the horned helmet appeared, right after we woke up inside a cage with swords in our hands.

    “Two warriors that kill without remorse,” her voice echoed across the deserted warehouse. “I will decide who gains access to the hallowed hall of Valhalla!”

    Slade and I exchanged knowing looks. It must be a full moon.

    “Arm yourselves so that the game begins and victor is brought before Odin!”

    Slade casually moved toward the bars. “You want money, is that it?”

    “I wanna be a Valkyrie! Now fight so I may banish the vanquished and prove myself.”

    “Hey,” I grabbed the stare of unblinking blue eyes with crazy-lady pinwheels spinning behind them. “Don’t Valkyries decide who wins?”

    She’s unsure and steps closer to the bars. While focused on me, Slade scooped up the sword and ran it through her silver plastic chest plate. I pulled her forward by her neck. Those nutty orbs finally blinked as a trickle of blood drizzled from her comically open mouth.

    Stick a knife in a lunatic and the sanity hits them quick. That’s therapy you just can’t buy.

    “Guess she screwed up the deciding part.” Slade smirked.

    “Beer?” I grab the keys from her belt.

    “You buying?” She drops after he pulls out the sword.

    “Sure, you did the work.”

    Friendships are funny. It’s the little things that start them.

    250 words

  12. We were going to Dragon*Con, in Atlanta, for Labor Day weekend. We’d been several times before. But we’d never done any costumes. This trip was going to be different. We were going to all have costumes.

    I was going as Wash and she was going as Zoe. I’d wanted to be Malcom, but we decided to go as a real couple.

    My 14 year old daughter picked out the character she would go as. A red shirt from the original Star Trek TV show. “I’m cannon fodder! One of the expendables! I’ll never make it through the episode!” We all laughed, of course. We knew how the characters in red shirts on Star Trek always wound up dead.

    My son. Ah, my son. The 8 year old. He came up with something rather unique, and unexpected. “I want to be a Valkyrie! Just like Bugs Bunny plays in that cartoon! I wanna be Brunhilde!”

    Of course, my wife cracked up. So did I. And our daughter laughed so hard she fell out of her chair to the floor. “Now why would you want to be Brunhilde?” I asked my son.

    “If Bugs can pull it off, Daddy, so can I!”

    “Brunhilde it is, then.”

    That Labor Day in Atlanta, at Dragon*Con was certainly memorable...

    221 Words

    As I said... Everything I know about Valkyries, I learned by watching Bugs Bunny cartoons...

  13. Prompt: To Be or Not to Be

    Ronnie flipped through the pages of her comic book, her expression wistful as she read. Tyra stared at the television in boredom.

    With a sigh, Ronnie tossed the comic on the table and stretched. “That’s it; I know what I want to be when I grow up.”

    Tyra regarded her friend with an amused glance. “You know we are already adults, right?”

    Ronnie rolled her eyes. “Yes, thank you, Tyra. I know we are adults but that doesn’t mean I grew up.”

    “That’s true. You do still act like a child.”

    Ronnie stuck her tongue out. “Anyway, as I was saying. I know what I want to be. I wanna be a Valkyrie!”

    “A what?”

    “A Valkyrie! And you call yourself a geek.”

    “I told you before; I am a DC Comics girl. I don’t do Marvel.”

    Ronnie scoffed. “There’s more to comics than Superman and Batman.”

    “Really? Tell me what’s more awesome than the Justice League?”

    “Iron Man? Thor? The Avengers? Come on, what’s hotter than Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark?”

    “Christian Bale as Batman.”

    “Hmmm, there is that,” Ronnie agreed with a grin. “However, I still want to be a Valkyrie. Imagine the privilege of leading the honorable fallen to Valhalla or heaven or whatever.”

    “That would be pretty cool,” Tyra agreed.

    “And being able to kick some ass in the process,” Ronnie added.

    “Ass-kicking is always a good decision.”

    Tyra stood and shut off the television. “Come on, Brunnhilde. Let’s go to the comic book store.”

    250 Words

  14. Tales Of The Pig Iron Pub: Valkyrie

    Marge chugged the last of her Iron City, slamming the bottle down so hard it cracked. From familiarity or apathy, none of the patrons of the Pig Iron Pub so much as flinched. It was payday Friday and Marge was on a tear again. So, what else was new?

    She waved to Mort, the beleaguered barkeep, with a meaty index finger. Discretion being the better part of valor, he forestalled refills for two other regulars and brought her another. Marge got a tad mean if you kept her waiting.

    Failing on her first try, she eventually enveloped the fresh bottle and took a long pull. Not stopping until she’d consumed better than half, she replaced it on the bar with slightly less enthusiasm than before. Turning to her co-worker, Stella, she sighed. Stella winced, knowing what would come next.

    In a slurred voice, Marge said, “I wanna be a Valkyrie! Y’know, Stella? Wingin’ over battlefields pickin’ who lives and who dies? Yeah, that’s the ticket. Yeah, I would so rock that job Stella!”

    “Every week the same shit, Marge. Give it a rest! You’re a middle-aged German-Irish dockworker from Spring Hill. You ain’t ever gonna be a Valkyrie, a Shield Maiden, a warrior princess or Xena. So, shut the hell up, drink your damned beer, and pass me that bowl of peanuts.”

    Both cowed and chagrined, Marge slid the bowl over, mumbling, “I still wanna be a Valkyrie.”

    All in all, just another Friday night at the Pig Iron Pub.

    250 words @klingorengi

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


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