Thursday, October 11, 2012

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 42


Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked. This is a special week because not only would it be my grandfather's 94th birthday, but it's also my SIL's wedding anniversary! Blessings and joy to all of them. :) But it's also Thursday again, so what should you be doing? Writing #FlashFiction, that's what! Welcome to Week 42 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 42:


The brilliant civil engineer and fantasy/paranormal romance author, J. Annas Walker.



And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“Everything’s going to be okay.”

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! :)

12 comments:

  1. The problem with Iowa winters is they get slippery. And this would explain why I’m sitting in exam room three at Creighton University Medical Center, waiting on results from x-ray. My husband slipped and fell coming out of a rig and it’s not a question of if his leg is broken, but how bad.

    “Coby?”

    “I’m right here, Jim. How’s your pain?”

    “The ceiling is blue.”

    Clearly the pain medication went right to his head. As Jimmy started laughing, his eyes tracking something only he could see, the doctor came in and then put the x-rays up on the board.

    “It’s not as bad as I thought it would be,” he started, though I wanted to disagree; his leg looks pretty bad. “His ankle, tib, fib, and ball of the femur into the knee are broken. It looks bad, but no surgery is required. I’m going to go ahead and set the bones, get him in a cast, then we’ll get him a room for a day or two. I want to monitor him since we gave him the real dope for pain medication.”

    That was all Jimmy could have these days, since nothing else touched his pain. Nodding, I watched my husband as the doctor left; something had caught his attention on the ceiling.

    “Everything’s going to be okay,” I assured him.

    “There’s a squirrel up there. And it’s pink. It’s being chased by a very large, bright blue bumble bee.”

    Oh it’s going to be a long day.

    @Aightball
    250 Words

    ReplyDelete
  2. Morning Becomes

    I look down on the city, a maze of lights in motion muted by the rain. Behind me, people who mean well murmur platitudes no one believes.

    “We’re so sorry.”

    “He was a good man.”

    “Everything’s going to be okay.”

    They’re speaking to soothe themselves, for all that they claim to be here for me. Lies cannot mend what has been shattered. Untruth wraps around me like my widow’s weeds, tight, strangling. Comforting.

    “At least he left her enough to live well.” That whispered where I should not be able to hear.

    He did not leave willingly. Every last breath was a struggle to survive, to return to the world we’d built together, this castle on the hill. No matter that it’s a penthouse apartment, it is every inch a fortress, impenetrable – or so he’d thought.

    Display cases are filled with mementos from our travels, each one a small torture of memory. The art on the walls creates a study in restraint. Everyone remarked on my keen eye for d├ęcor, but it was all Sidney’s doing. He never did like to take credit for his work.

    Nor did he wish to be given credit for what grew inside me, but it was all his, and I was not giving it up. He should have realized that before attempting to kill me. Not even Sidney could unmake what he’d made of me.

    I suck the last bit of dried blood from the crevice of my fingernail and turn to accept condolences.

    @rrkovar
    250 words (sans title)

    ReplyDelete
  3. If you are reading this Calleigh then everything is going to be okay. You awoke to find yourself in a room full of bodies and you are scared. You think one person couldn’t kill a whole room of people could they? Even now standing there now you can smell the sweet fragrance of their blood and you hunger. You want to savour the salty taste in your mouth and feel it swish across your teeth. Why is that you wonder? Are you sitting down Calleigh?
    Do you want the good or the bad? Okay the bad first. Derek was a really bad date. He was a very hungry vampire, who abused you and hit you on the head before draining you. Derek remorseful gave you his blood. The good...you staked him last night after he killed all these people.
    The bad again you are very forgetful, so you need to keep a record while you are awake, so when you awake the next night you know what happened. I feel your panic but it really will be okay. So your amnesiac vampire that can be handled just like you handled everything else in your life. You are resilient and strong. Our new life is an adjustment, but we don’t have to kill, just take a little blood to survive. Get rid of the evidence of these killings and don’t leave this mess to be traced to us. Keep good records and us existing and safe. Good luck Calleigh and Godspeed.
    250 words
    @SweetSheil

    ReplyDelete
  4. “Dina, we shouldn’t be here. If Lady Beneka catches us, we’re dead.”

    “I told you, Batsy—everything’s going to be okay. I know what I’m doing.”

    “But…I don’t know. Glamour spells, transformation—that’s third-year stuff.”

    “Batsy, calm down. It’s all in the textbook. Everyone magicks their costumes for the All Hallows Ball—it’s tradition. It’s harmless. It’ll wear off by tomorrow. In the meantime, we’ll win the contest for sure! We’ll be the best weretigers—aha!” Dina pulled a squat vial from the shelf. “I knew she’d have some: chameleon scales. What else is on the list?”

    “That’s it. Dina, I still—”

    “Batsy, do you want to win?”

    “Yes, but—”

    “Then trust me.” They returned to the bubbling Bunsen burner. “We’ve got time. We just need to add this, knock it back, and poof! We’re weretigers. We clean up and Old Hag Beneka’s no wiser.”

    Batsy glanced around nervously. “All right. Hurry up.”

    Dina measured the scales and dumped them in. The mixture turned green. She glanced at the instructions. “Okay.” She filled two cups and handed one to Batsy, blowing on it to cool it. “Bottoms up.” Gulp. Gulp.

    “Dina, I feel weird—”

    “It’s part of the spell, silly.”

    “Hey, you’re shrinking!”

    “Shrinking?”

    Nearly an hour later, Lady Beneka returned. “Now where did this mess come from?”

    Suddenly, two somethings skittering across the countertop caught her eye.

    “Oh, damn things!” She grabbed a nearby book and slammed it down, hard, on the counter. “I hate spiders.”

    Meredith Smith-Lane
    @squee79
    250 words

    ReplyDelete
  5. White coats, my comfort for the past two years, ever since I tapped into The Knowing by accident. I adore the good people who set up my chamber each day but I remain formal with them. The boundary is essential since now I know all there is to know. The sleeping pod they regulate allows me welcome rest.

    “Immersion tank’s ready.” Mr. Roberts says as he deftly raises the lid and flicks a few buttons. He’s been doing this for months. He has several questions for me and carries a blank lottery ticket in his pocket just in case I soften, but the dear man has never ventured past our boundary.

    “Thanks.” I breathe out a sigh as I climb in and submerge myself in the tepid liquid gel. Today was especially harrowing. My focus was on mankind’s manifestations. I’m shattered.

    Before I lower my head into the gel Dr. Borrisiva appears at my side. She’s been obsessing about an atomic bombing ever since I revealed what I know about North Korea. I smile at her with compassion.

    “Dr. B curb your fears.” I say as I shift in the gel and prepare to lie down.

    “Yes, yes, you caught me. It’s just that I have family so close to, well it’s your time to rest. We’ll talk tomorrow.”

    I contemplate what I discovered today and lock eyes with her.

    “Everything’s going to be okay.”

    I sink back in the gel acknowledging that I may have spoken my last words.

    Wren Archer
    @WrenArcher
    250 words

    ReplyDelete
  6. Reassurance

    “Everything’s going to be okay, ma’am,”
    Samantha knew they were trying to reassure her, but all she could focus on was that last word. I’m a ma’am now? I’m too young to be a ma’am. Something warm trickled into her eyes and she brushed it away.

    “Try not to move ma’am.” She flinched as they used that word again. Who was talking to her?

    “My name’s Samantha, not ma’am.”

    “Sorry, Samantha.”

    She looked toward the source of the voice, but there was something in her eyes again. She raised a hand to rub them and someone stopped her, strong fingers curling around her wrist. “You don’t want to do that.”

    “Why not? There’s just something in my eyes and it’s making it hard to see.”

    There was a momentary silence and she knew that there was something she should be remembering, something important. Her mind protested, filling her head with random thoughts, trying to distract her.

    “Can you see anything at all?”

    “Of course I can.” But even as she spoke she realized that wasn't true. “I mean, I thought I…” Her memory finally returned and she gasped, suddenly terrified of what the darkness meant.

    “Stay calm, okay?”

    It was Halloween. Some kids had tried to blow up her jack-o’-lantern. She’d reached in to knock out the dud firecracker still sitting inside, there’d been a brilliant light… and now there was only darkness.

    “It’s going to be okay, Samantha,” The voice came again, but this time she wasn't reassured.

    Susan Hayes
    @capricia13
    249 words

    ReplyDelete
  7. “Everything’s going to be okay,” Amy uttered, although it was a false promise. She was simply trying to keep them calm as the fire rained from the sky.

    The two children huddled against her, seeking both warmth and emotional comfort. She hugged them back, not even knowing their names. The boy, perhaps six, had not said a word. The girl, maybe eight, had been pulling him along, crying for help.

    “This will pass. It’s just some bizarre storm.”

    The boy tugged at his sister’s sleeve, and the girl nodded and replied, “Mama said this was the coming of the a-cop-o-lisp.”

    Amy stifled a laugh. “Apocalypse.”

    The girl nodded, then fell silent. Amy continued scanning the street for other survivors. The fire came down in bursts, scorching everything. She’d found safety here, huddled against the bridge abutment, waiting and watching the sky as it churned thick and black. She’s lost track of time, but she figured it’d been going on for half a day. She was starving, and it looked as if it would never end.

    The boy tugged on the girl’s sleeve again, and she nodded and looked up into Amy’s eyes. “Are you an angel?” she asked.

    Fighting back tears, Amy replied, “No, but I’ll protect you.”

    The little girl then asked, “You promise?”

    Amy just nodded, her voice catching.

    “Thank you, Miss. Jason, you can stop this now. She will keep us safe.”

    The boy reached his little hand to the sky, and suddenly the fiery storm vanished.

    250 words
    @rastrohman

    ReplyDelete
  8. Caroline realised that not many people get a second chance, to re-write their life history. She had been one of the fortunate few and therefore couldn't waste such an opportunity. Despite everything, she didn't feel prepared for the task ahead. To start again.

    "You are lucky, Caroline. Most people would kill for a second chance at life." Liam had said, trying to re-assure her this was a new dawn.

    "Lucky? Do you really believe that?"

    Caroline knew what the response would be and she waited for Liam to speak the mantra yet again because not a day passed without him taking the opportunity to make her feel guilty.

    "Everything's going to be okay, sis."

    And there it was. He always had been the optimistic one. She thought about getting those words tattooed on her forehead, just to save the lecture.

    "Do you really think it is going to be that easy? Just start again like nothing happened?"

    "Well, yes. It was a long time ago and you need to move on. This is your life now, the old Caroline is long dead and buried."

    "Don't you understand? This is my punishment."

    "What do you mean?"

    "They want me to remember the people who never had a chance to reach their full potential. I have to live with that, to suffer for my sins.

    "So much for that fresh start!"

    229 words
    ClareStubbs2

    ReplyDelete
  9. GOLEM

    For the first time in her life, Clara wished it were darker.

    “Oh god, please don’t let them find me…”

    She didn’t even like archaeology. Her only interest in the class trip was one last week with her friends before everyone went away to college and real life.

    “Come on out, girlie! You ain’t getting off the island, so make things easy!”

    Men with guns beat the brush mere paces away. Clara fought the urge to flinch and then to retch. Each crack of foliage brought vivid images of the other girls on the trip and the chaos when these thugs rappelled down into the main dig around them.

    Choking back a scream of pure helplessness with clenched teeth, Clara crawled quietly to a cave in the nearby rock face. The men’s voices got quieter. Her limbs felt like jelly as she collapsed in the ancient chamber of the side excavation.

    Desperate for support, the girl found herself in the arms of a flawless sculpture of a muscular man. Free to cry silently, she watched her tears darken the figure’s chest only to be absorbed in a faint blue glow. Then the statue’s eyes opened with the same glow.

    “Input Accepted. What do you wish, Mistress?” his voice was slow and gravelly.

    Too weak to think, Clara shook her head, “I just want to know everything’s going to be okay.”

    “Understood.”

    Gently the marble man stepped between Clara and the cave entrance where the thugs’ voices were getting louder again.


    250 words
    @DavidALudwig

    ReplyDelete
  10. ‘Everything’s going to be okay.’

    Elaine reads the words over and over again, black against white on the screen in front of her. She tries to taste every letter. Rub her fingers over them. Hear them in her mind in the soft, deep cadence of his voice she’s only heard over the phone.

    ‘I don’t know how to do this,’ she types back. ‘I don’t know how to be so far away from you, and still feel like I’m yours.’

    But it’s not enough.

    There’s no way she can put into words what presses at the edges of her rib cage, what threatens to pull her off the road when she’s paralyzed with worry that she’ll never get the chance to feel his touch.

    That they’ll be stuck this way, with nothing but miles in between them, and black and white words on a screen.

    She never knew they would end up here from where they started. Support in an online chat group. She was looking for help when she was sick. She found Michael.

    ‘I know. That’s why I’m here.’

    Elaine reads. Breathes. Closes her eyes. When she opens them, she sees only words again, but this time, they are so much more. They mean everything.

    ‘And I’m not going anywhere.’

    212 words
    @RGraceAllen

    ReplyDelete
  11. The third time he saw her, it was because something told him to take a detour and after, he wasn’t sure if he was happy about it or not. Why did he only see her when she was upset? He didn’t mind comforting her, but he longed to see her smile or hear her laugh; if there were to be tears, couldn’t they be tears of joy?

    He was thankful for any chance to see her, but she deserved to be happy.

    “Nothing can bring your mom back but… everything’s going to be okay,” he told her, rubbing her back.

    @AuroraLee
    100 words

    ReplyDelete
  12. #ThursThreads is now CLOSED. Thank you to everyone who entered this week and hope to see you next week. :)

    ReplyDelete

Comments are on moderation, so they'll become visible once I've read them. Words, words, words. I love them. Have you a few to lend?

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