Thursday, October 25, 2012

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 44

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 44 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 44:

The southern ghost story author and graveyard Queen herself, Amanda Stevens.

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“Humans couldn’t stop me.”

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. "Stop me."

    The message was decrypted eventually, and met with confused skepticism and, in some quarters, fear or derision.

    Scientists and linguists and philosophers debated possible meanings. Politicians got on every possible soapbox (though none of them seemed to want to spend more money on the space program, despite the proof of extraterrestrial life that was inbound towards Earth).

    People looked up and wondered; some in awe, some in terror.

    I looked down at them in helpless sadness, because my gravitational thrusters had failed, and my ability to avert a collision was gone.

    And now, I knew the humans couldn't, either.

    Stop me.


  2. It’s my fault. They warned me about her.

    “Don’t extend your hand, she’s an ungrateful, hell child.”

    All I could see was a young girl in trouble. She needed help. A baby was coming into this world without the benefit of compassion.

    I made the decision to let go of the tiny clothes I’d kept after losing my own child. I rationalized that it was better for them to be used, rather than for them to be kept in a box.

    I washed the crib linens, running my hands over them one last time before sticking them in a box.

    “Are you sure about this?” my husband asked.

    “No, but it’s the right thing to do,” I said, wiping away the tears that had slid under my chin.

    Giving her the box, she opened her mouth to thank me, her face distorted. A flash of fangs and dark circles under her eyes spoke of things yet to come.

    Shaking my head, I denied seeing what was right in front of my eyes. The words of those who’d known came back to me.

    Many times, I’ve regretted letting her into my life. I’ve learned that some people are better kept at a distance.

    My guard had come up slowly, but it was up now. Walking alone, I saw her. Vile bile spewed from her demonic mouth. Without thought, I slew her.

    “They warned you,” my husband said that night.

    “Even though humans couldn’t stop me, I’ve learned my lesson,” I promised.

    250 Words

  3. I always thought I had a good idea of what would happen to us back when this all began. Insatiable hunger. Mindlessness. Movies always portrayed them to be dumb and slow, moving at a snail’s pace and easily out-fooled by the living.

    But we discovered instantly that the situation was drastically different from those proposed in fiction. Death did not hinder their mobility. They still were capable of rationalized thought. They moved with purpose, and many had even formed into groups and were working collectively. They still needed our flesh, but they weren’t at all like we had imagined.

    In hindsight, the dead were smarter. And really, I don’t think “dead” is even the correct word. Most of the organs had stopped functioning, and the bodies appeared to have died, but the minds had compensated. It was almost like an evolution or mutation.

    When I was infected, I went straight for the nearest military supply store where I stocked up on the best body armor I could find. The place was sparse, having been picked through many times over, but there was no short supply of the things that people found encumbering.

    I stopped thinking of myself as a zombie. With my armor and intelligence, I knew that humans couldn’t stop me. They could try, but I knew their tactics.

    And now I just need to convince the others. In time, we can live together, just as the humans did with their beef and poultry farms.

    246 words

  4. Life so simple to them. My life had been one big mistake, after another simply because I had mistakenly believed I too was human. I had tried too hard to be angelic; the one the villagers would point out as sweet, kind and giving. Where had it gotten me? I was tormented by other children. My mother slaved to raise others children often taking scraps of food and clothing to feed and clothe me. I worked as a chambermaid as I grew older. Our employer suddenly died on my sixteenth birthday. I knew the truth, our employer had wanted his way with me and mother had killed him to stop him. The villagers condemned my mother saying she was in league with the devil and that she would hang her despite my protest. Mother said they would soon turn on me and she told me how to summon my father. My father told me the truth I was born half human and half demon. I begged him for help to save mother. He said it was too late for while we were talking they had hanged her. I gave up my humanity that day. Humans couldn’t stop me. I had my revenge. They screamed in anguish as the village burned. Though it was too late, in the last second I wanted my humanity back. Hoping that someday I can be human again, I beg God to forgive me; if only for the child who grows nestled under my rib.

  5. The first time I watched that white glowing energy fill up the belly of my machine I knew what I had to do. With the click of a button and the gentle hum of the engine, I had the power to harvest and re-purpose the human soul. Humanity would no longer be a game left to chance, where money or luck could determine your fate. To think that we had based the world’s economy on things like silver and gold makes me laugh. The only truly valuable thing we have ever had is life.

    The churches were the first to condemn me. They painted “No man can be God!” across my office window and set fire to my house. Then it was the rich, who demanded I accept their money as a guarantee their soul could be born again into a life of privilege. Money can do a lot of things, but it cannot scrub sin from your soul. Every bad decision, every self-serving choice is forever emblazoned there; a charcoal streak on silky white fabric. With my machine, my soul-washing machine, I can remove those marks…for a price.

    Humility is my favorite soap at the moment. It can clean a soul in a single lifetime if used correctly.

    There are a few who continue to fight against me. I can only laugh. Even millions of humans couldn't stop me. The machine and I are eternal, invincible. As far as I’m concerned, we are God.

    245 Words

  6. An idle bet.

    We sit in a café, enjoying the spring sunshine. It isn't often we meet, but when we do it’s invariably springtime. He always did like the symbolism of that season: new life everywhere, the world reborn. Then again, he’s big on symbolism in any form. I’m the literal one in this odd friendship.

    I’ve never understood the point of these meetings, but I attend them nevertheless. Sometimes the outcome leans his way. Sometimes it leans mine. It doesn't matter. The day we call in our markers is a long way off yet.

    We sit at our table, sip our fragrant drinks and watch the ebb and flow of humanity around us. Perhaps that’s why we have these meetings. Not to see each other, but to remind ourselves what’s at stake. Everything, and nothing really. It’s only a gentlemen’s bet after all, an idle suggestion that took root and became a way to pass the time.

    We exchange pleasantries. Catch up on those we once knew but lost contact with. Some change sides, some disappear from the stage altogether. They’re part of the bet too. Not that they know that.

    I've always known I would win. From the moment we shook hands and I took my place on the other side of the playing field. I knew the humans couldn't stop me from claiming victory. After all, if the most glorious of heaven’s angels could fall to the lure of sin and carnality, what chance did a mere mortal have?

    249 words

  7. Humans couldn’t stop me. No humans were no match for me. Standing on a skyscraper in Omaha, Nebraska, I looked around, my dishtowel cape fluttering behind me, quickly spotting trouble. With a leap, I was airborne, flying to the scene of the crime.

    “What happened?” I asked authoritatively as soon as I was on the ground. It’s a short leap off the couch. The two young suspects looked at me and shrugged.

    Putting my deductive skills to use, I studied the situation: a puddle of milk, a glass tipped on its side, and a splatter pattern on the wall.

    “Okay, who dropped the milk?”

    “It was her,” they chorused, pointing at each other. “She did it.”

    Examining the scene further, I noticed that each suspect had milk on their hands.

    “Okay, so you were fighting over the milk again. You do realize that this household has many glasses, right?”

    “Yes, dad.”

    “Superman. Anyway, there is no need to fight over a glass of milk. I will fly into the kitchen and by the time I fly back, this better be cleaned up.”

    Leaping into the air, I flew into the kitchen and produced two more glasses of milk. As I returned to the scene of the crime, I was a little distressed to see that the puddle had gotten larger. Clearly, there had been a disagreement. Shaking my head, I hugged my girls before grabbing a towel.

    “Dad, you look ridiculous.”

    “Not dad, Superman.”


    245 words

  8. The House

    The house is large and dark. Probably haunted, Mazie says. I’m determined to find out. I march up to
    the front porch and bang on the warped wooden door. I can hear the echo of my fist ringing inside. A rustling in the bushes at the end of the broken sidewalk tells me that Mazie and Bo have followed me again. I ignore ‘em and wait. No one comes to answer my summons, so I boldly push the door open and step inside. Dusky sunbeams make their way through cracks in the boards over the windows. I hear wings above me; birds have made this their home now. Tiny feet scrabble ahead of me in the deep shadows.

    I walk to the stairs, and call out “Hey! Any ghosts here?”

    The silence seems deeper than it did before, and I feel my heart beat a little faster, but I’m still not afraid. Even when I feel a cold puff of air on my face and look up the stairs to see a woman coming toward me. I can see right through her, and her face is scrunched up in a frown. She’d be pretty if she weren’t frowning.

    “Who are you?” Her snooty tone makes me mad.

    “Who are you?” I shoot right back at her.

    “Why you impertinent whelp, I am the Lady of this house. I have lived here all my life and humans couldn’t stop me after my death.” She touches me. “As do you now.”

    249 words {without title}

  9. Being given the chance to live is a precious gift and one that should not be wasted. If only that opportunity had been extended to me then we could have all been very happy together.

    It was 20 years ago since my arrival into the world, using my lungs for the first time to indicate that I was alive and well. There was no denying it, it was real. What should have been a happy occasion was simply an inconvenience to them.

    “Why didn’t they want me?”

    The hatred on their faces gave me more answers than words ever could. Showing some affection may have undone years of neglect but these people continued to let me down.

    They never allowed me to leave the house, was forbidden to speak to anyone. I had become a prisoner in what should have been my home.

    “Would I ever know what it felt like to be free?”

    I wasn’t going to stick around for a minute longer to find out, it was time to leave. Break all ties with these miserable people and let them wallow in their own pathetic existence. These excuses for humans couldn’t stop me; life is for living.

    199 words

  10. Mote to Beam

    Sitting atop a mountain, I caught the whisper of a Word.

    My brothers had mocked me when I suggested we Listen. They were drunk with love, and none could blame them. Certainly not I. We’d been denied simple pleasures – any pleasures, really – for our whole existence.

    He must have Seen this. Either He had reason for allowing us to carry on, or He simply got distracted. With the whole of time and space laid out before Him like a jigsaw puzzle, one can hardly fault Him for missing a detail or two.

    I was counting on it.

    Interesting trick, subterfuge: alien to us, but inherent in the creatures we were given to watch over. I’m certain we were not meant to watch them quite so closely, but perhaps that, too, was Ordained. He is both crafty and subtle.

    I was neither. Not before the Word. With dreadful understanding, I descended to the valley.

    “Bring me the daughters.” A simple Command, immediately obeyed.

    Without explanation, I led the girls away. Humans could not stop me. My brothers cared not. They had their precious boys – rowdy giants wreaking havoc for amusement.

    I’d been Blessed with daughters.

    I led the girls to where Lucifer slept in peace, where he sleeps to this day, and left them there, safe and sound, until the Flood had passed, and the sons begat by Angels had perished from the Earth.

    The Word had said nothing about daughters. Nephilim yet live. That’s what He gets for overlooking girls.

    250 words (sans title)

    (background for my current novel)

  11. I am not like the others that they tracked easily. I do not fall under an outline or profile of what is expected. I leave no trace of what or who I am. It is true, I have not taken my first conquest—I am selective.

    My breath is dark; it blends with the night. I lurk near them without a single glance from their inquisitive eyes. The first has to be special—one that will give me power for the next and the next after that. Then I will be able to say, “Humans couldn’t stop me.” I will be the ultimate predator, the likes no one has ever seen.

    I smell her in the air, the one that will start me into quite the career. I dart from shadow to shadow. My hand innocently caresses hers. I need to be sure. Electricity shoots through me for no more than a second confirming her as the “one.”

    I hear the click-click of her heels echo toward me in the garage. I turn to face her. With a great smile, I say, “I tripped and dropped my keys and phone into the floor great.” I point behind me. “Can I borrow you phone to call for help?”

    She laughs and digs into her bag. She smiles at me as she offers me her phone. Quickly, the chloroformed rag covers her mouth and nose and she falls into me. The thoughts that surge through my head cause me to giggle.

    250 Words

  12. Humans couldn't stop me: they didn't know I was there. Well, they did see me. They even gave me shelter and plenty of food - not just willingly, but lovingly. After all, I was their miracle-hero pet. I was the Rottweiler who had jumped into the swimming pool and rescued little Jimmy from drowning. The story had even made the national news. It was more attention than I had wanted to draw, but it wound up making the humans trust me even more.

    Besides, we needed Jimmy. He couldn't die. He was actually part of our plan - he and many other human children whose safety was being carefully guarded by their respective dogs.

    In truth, we were not the domesticated dogs we appeared to be, but a pack of werewolves who had banded together to take control of humans and make them our cattle. No longer would we be relegated to vicious, monthly attacks. We'd farm them right in their own backyards - literally - and we already knew we could fatten them up easily with McDonald's, Burger King, Dunkin Donuts and dozens of similar places. Heck! We didn't even have to force them into it. They were already doing it, themselves.

    For now, we are waiting - waiting for our human children to reach adolescence. Then, at the same time, we will turn them all. Together, we'll take over more and more of the world.

    And it all will have begun with a boy and his dog.

    244 words.

  13. The moment before I crush is perfect: a quiet embrace, coils sliding twice around the ship’s silky hull, across its polished deck, my muscles stone-hard with power, but teetering exquisitely on the edge of restraint. I flick my tongue to nuzzle the rigging. I taste salt and mansweat soaked into the lines...then I let go.

    When I constrict, I feel the exquisite CRACK of the boat’s timbers; the splintering masts; the delicate plops of shipmen falling into the sea. Screams, thin as gull’s cries. Yes.

    A final ship leaps sideways up a wave before me, towards me instead of away. Where had this one been lurking? Its sails are too clear to see against the water. Cannons bristle from its mottled side. Balanced on the bowsprit is a woman, arms raised. Her gaze pierces me with far more menace than the cannons. For the first time since my Turning, I am wary. This infuriates me. Humans couldn’t stop me. Not at Tarifa, and not here!

    The ship tacks sharply, pushes through debris, plunges down a wave right into my shadow. I unleash the crumpled frigate, and gather my middle coils to strike. But just as I lash out, she shrieks a word up at me like a thunderclap.

    The ocean drops out beneath me – with a violent cramp I am paralyzed, in agony – I can only watch as my glorious length dissolves like ricepaper.

    I hear her. “You arrogant lizard. I have work for you to do!”

    Emily Yenawine
    247 words


    Even I never imagined the monstrous extent of her depravity. Though I mistrusted her from the start, that fact only makes me partially responsible for what occurred. It took that tragedy to remind us the value of the old ways. We never should have welcomed the human into our village.

    Elves are spirits of the land, the sky and the sea. We live longer than most, and through our lives learn to think carefully and clearly. Patience is an elven virtue, bastardized by human attempts to interpret it. Humans don’t deserve a fraction of the gifts they have obtained—such power doesn’t belong in the hands of a race with such insectile life spans.

    Any hatred I hold for myself is but the flickering shadow of my burning enmity towards her. The sorceress who earned my mother’s trust and stole my place as the favored disciple. The woman, who learned everything my mother had to teach, then murdered her and escaped into the night.

    Of the great classes of magic, there are those even elves were not meant to wield. These forbidden magics were exactly what the sorceress used to slay my mother, and what I have prepared myself to face when at last I corner her.

    Over years tracking her I have learned to kill humans, to exploit their weaknesses. The sorceress hid in fortified human communities, but with each settlement, town and city I got closer.

    Soon I would avenge my mother.

    Humans couldn’t stop me.

    248 words

  15. “Humans couldn’t stop me.”

    “No?” I grinned at my four-year-old, blonde ringlets framing her sweet face.

    “Oh, no. No matter how hard they tried.” Her eyes stared into mine, perfectly seriously.

    “What all did they try?”

    “They tried everything,” she assured me. “Guns, arrows, big bricks. They even said mean things.”

    “And those didn’t work?”

    “No.” Her curls shook back and forth with her head. “My wings make me too fast. And mean words just bounce right off my skin. That’s what the sparkles are for, see?” She shoved back a pink sleeve to show me a pale, skinny arm.

    “Well, I guess it’s a good thing you’ve got wings and sparkles,” I said. “Otherwise things might not have worked out so well.”

    “Yeah,” she said, nodding. “I really like my wings and sparkles. They help me a lot.”

    “I like them too,” I said. “But I like my sweet girl best of all. Okay, princess, enough storytelling for tonight. Ready for bed? Give Mommy a kiss.”

    She leaned forward obediently and pressed cold lips to my cheek. Thankfully it would take her only a few minutes to fall asleep.

    I glanced up at the sky window as I closed her door. The first of the suns had barely touched the far-off mountains, but shadows already crept across the floor—another mark of the Dark Days.

    Sighing in exhaustion, I stretched my own wings. The night would be long. I could only hope we could survive the humans once more.

    250 words

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


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?

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.