Thursday, February 7, 2013

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 57

Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked, and a whole new year of #ThursThreads flash fiction. So let's get started. It's Thursday again, so what should you be doing? Writing #FlashFiction, that's what! Welcome to Week 57 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 as written 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 57:

The cowboy tamer, keyboard slayer, comma hater, and erotic romance author and junkie, Hennessee Andrews.

So now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“Didn't used to be a war, you know.”

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. Word count 179
    Twitter handle - LaurieSorensen
    Email -
    Facebook -
    Wedsite -
    Blog -

    “Valentine’s Day is right around the corner,” Becca sighed.
    “It’s simply another day to me,” Sandra shrugged her shoulders. “It means nothing.”
    Becca glanced up as the door to the cafĂ© opened then quickly turned her head. “He’s here, he’s here!” She hissed between her teeth.
    “Seriously, he can’t be all that,” Sandra turned.
    “Oh my God, don’t look at him.”
    Exasperated, Sandra turned back to her friend, “Ok, I will take a look covertly as I go to the restroom. Where did he sit?”
    “He’s in that first booth,” Becca whispered and then watched her friend walk away. She was gone a mere few minutes but it felt like forever before Sandra returned.
    “I guess he is all that, he’s cute, you should go introduce yourself.”
    “I could never do that, look what love has done to you, I don’t want to be that bitter, you always seem to be fighting in a war.”
    “Didn’t used to be a war, you know. Love isn’t always that way, you need to take a chance or you will never know.”

  2. "I want a banana"
    She looked down at the young child next to her. Didn't they all?
    "Sorry love, how about a jammy piece instead?"
    "Ah maw nah, thon Jam is fae awfie. Spinrut, whit's that?"
    She daren't tell her. Turnips for goodness sake, how awful it'd come to that. Instead she smiled.
    "Okay bonnie lassie, lets go tae the shop and get you a poke of sweeties."
    The child smiled, she was a sunny little girl, easily pleased. "Ohh maw. An maybe paw will come home tha' nicht. an I can tell him aboot my picture?"
    She nodded, how could she tell a wee girl that her daddy was never coming home? He used to, every night from the shipyards. Dirty, sweaty and happy. Full of love for his "bonnie lassies".
    No more though, those happy times were over. Lost to the dark deep north sea by a strafe bomber and no time to escape the boiler room.
    "Maw, will we ever get banana's?"
    She kissed the red curls. "Of course we will. There didn't used to be a war on you know, and one day there won't be again."
    But life wouldn't ever be the same

    206 words

  3. Second Chances

    “Didn't used to be a war, you know.”

    Cherie rolled her eyes at the MP who walked her to the cells. The lower levels of the army base were cold and damp. She bore down on a shiver refusing to show weakness.

    “Not so long ago,” he continued, “This base had kids camps. Shoulda been there. Laughter echoed these walls and gum was under every classroom desk.”

    Cherie twisted her wrists against the cuffs in vain. Dejected, she feigned a yawn and sniffed. as they walked away from the elevator and took the stairs down.

    “See back then? Knew a real officer by how they worked with kids – especially the screw ups.”

    Cherie’s nervousness rose with each degree the temperature dropped. Down and down they went. Just from memory, she knew they were well past the holding cells. Only things in the base’s basement were the furnace and the morgue. Handy places to dispose of bodies.

    “Yep, had to know how to handle the difficult ones,” the MP went on. “Had to know when to punish them right or slap them on the wrist.” Finally they stopped. The MP undid the Cherie’s cuffs and turned her around.

    “Down this hall are the tunnels. Stay left. It’s the way out. Don’t get caught next time. You need gas? You get it from my car. I got an extra tank.”

    Cherie stared at the MP as he walked back up the stairs. A heartbeat later, she ran for her freedom.

    248 words - with title
    Theresa Breaux

  4. 249 Words
    Twitter handle: @hackerverse

    I found that stupid leopard-print scarf she always used to wear. Behind the headboard, balled and jammed and reduced to a silken rattle-stopper. Long forgotten. It still smelled like her perfume when I held it to my nose.

    Outside, I heard the mailbox lid slam shut.

    I hate her. But I hate myself more, for this: I still love her.

    Didn't used to be a war, you know. Between us. But that image of her, and him, right in this's burned into me more than the smell of her perfume. Welcome home, love.

    And now in that same kitchen, this letter, the offer she's been sweating, bleeding six years for. Her future delivered to a past address. Her fate delivered into my hands. I should be the bigger person. I should forward it on.

    I am better at loving. I should return it, and prove it.
    I am better than her, period. I should shred it, and prove it.
    My self-worth is worth more than this. I should give it to her.
    My heart was worth more than him, and she took that from me. I should bury it.

    Didn't used to be war, you know. Inside me. I was happy, then.

    I step outside and light the barbecue. The flames lick up the corner of the envelope, swirling and flaring. I hold on as long as I can, then drop it on the grill. I throw the scarf on there too, because I just realized; it's me.

  5. Consolation

    She was wiping down the scarred bar for the hundredth time when the bell over the door tinkled. She recognized the big man in the doorway and smiled. Bear Johnson had been her high school flame and though life had led them down different paths, he was still a welcome sight.

    His enormous form seemed sunk in on itself and he walked with his head held at an unusual angle. With a sigh, she retrieved two Iron City bottles from the cooler…one for him to drink and one to pacify the swelling bruise on his homely face. He slumped on a stool, accepting both with a sigh.

    “If that’s the same door you ran in to couple weeks ago, you need to take the damned thing down.” she quipped. In a more serious voice she murmured, “Why do you keep letting that ungrateful bitch use you for a punching bag, you big ox?”

    “Aww hell, woman, let it be. For all the work I do and no more than I bring home, she got a right to…act out a little. Didn’t used to be a war, you know…just the occasional battle.

    With a hand calloused by years of hard labor, she gently wiped away a tear from his face. Softly, she whispered, “I can make that whole war go away for awhile…if you want.”

    That night, in the gritty dimness of an old steel town bar, two lost souls merged, if only for a short while, into something quite wondrous.

    250 words @klingorengi

  6. “What in Abbadon do you think you’re doing, Moxa?” He snarled at the gray wolf.

    Moxa narrowed her yellow eyes. “Why do you care, Prince Domnu? She’s an Etherian. Just breakfast.”

    Domnu ignored Moxa’s taunting response and shook out his thick black fur, changing with the speed of a hummingbirds wings from beast to man. Fur disintegrated to flesh as he pushed to his feet. His transformation was seamless and near instantaneous.

    He cast Moxa a scathing glance before turning his back on her, rushing to Jyslin’s side. Domnu dropped his knees, and drew her limp body into his arms. Gentle fingers brushed long ebony strands from her pale, blood smeared face. He caught the sound of her breathing, slow and shallow. “If you’ve killed her, you’re dead,” he hissed at Moxa.

    “Enough!” Kasper shouted from the edge of the path. “That is not your decision to make, my friend. The shapeshifter’s fate is for Fenris to decide. Let the Lupine justice system deal with her.”

    “Didn’t used to be a war, you know. There was a time the Lupine race ruled all the kingdoms of Machenwood, not just the Dark Forest, and a hungry she wolf could kill whatever prey she wanted,” Moxa interjected. “Now we have all this Etherian territory talk. Well, I don’t care about wars or borders, and as Domnu is so fond of pointing out, I am not actually a Lupine. I’m a shapeshifter, and well within my rights to kill whomever I choose."

    250 Words

  7. The antique vase missed his head by mere inches and smashed into the wall instead. Shards of her family's heirloom flew through the air like china confetti and Maria burst into tears. She turned away from the devastation, the scene such a visible reminder of their shattered vows; it took all of her concentration to just carry on breathing.

    Blinded by her tears she didn't see him until she collided with his hard chest. He pulled her against him with a muffled curse, and all the fight went out of her.

    Surrounded by his strength, her body recognized its mate, and her beast roared. The deep, animalistic rumble coming from Caid's chest, echoed her own, and she buried her hands in his shirt—to push him away or pull him closer—she didn't want to examine too closely.

    "It doesn't have to be like this, my kitten."

    The long forgotten endearment settled deep in her heart, and she shook her head.

    "It has to be." Her voice was a mere whisper, forced past the lump of dread in her throat, a future without him too painful to visualize.

    "Why?" He tilted her head up to make her look at him. "It didn't used to be war, you know. You and me, we were going to unite the tribes, to stop all this."

    He sighed when she didn't reply, and just looked at him, drowning in the deep pool of his amber eyes.

    "To keep you alive," she whispered.


    248 words

  8. Before First Contact

    “Tell me what it was like again,” the little girl begged the old man. She sat at his feet, looking up into his weathered face in the firelight, her eyes wide. He rubbed his calloused hands together, not looking at her at first, until she tapped his knee lightly and said “Gruppa, please?”

    His worn blue eyes rested on her bright face for a few moments, and he frowned slightly. “What good does it do?” His tone was short, but he softened as her eyes shone with unshed tears. He knew what good it did. For a little while it took away the sadness and fear, and gave her something else to think about.

    “Alright,” he said, gently smoothing her long auburn hair. She leaned against his leg and made a little sound of pleasure as he began speaking.

    “Didn’t use to be a war, you know. Back in the day, the air was clear and the sun shone most days. People walked around and went wherever they liked, and no one gave ‘em no never you mind. You could read what you wanted, think what you wanted. Marry who you wanted. Live where you wanted…”

    Sometimes he hated remembering, for it seemed like only yesterday that the world had been the way it was in the stories he told her. Before the ships came. Before First Contact. The world had rejoiced…for about a week. Then nothing was ever the same again.

    245 words {with title}

  9. It didn’t used to be a war, you know. Now the Admiral seemed have it in for them. Or at least me. How had Masterson found him? It didn’t matter. They’d made it away. Now they had to find disguises to lose themselves among the land lubbers.

    “Do you think they noticed a boat missing?” Samantha wrapped her hair up into a tight chignon and tucked it beneath her battered tricorn.

    “I doona ken, lass, but we best be on our way a’fore anyone thinks to look.” He took her arm and they scuttled into the darkness. Swaying palms and long reeds lashed at them as the wind shook their fronds. “Keep yer eyes about ye, lass. Gators live in these swamp lands and they won’t mind a treat, if you get my meaning.”

    “Oh, I know all about gators. I worked in Bradenton for a few years, following leads on you.”

    “Have ye now?” Why did that make his blood boil?

    Sam leveled a look at him. “I had to make a living, Marcus. And not as a whore. Don’t give me that look.”

    Relief trickled through him as he gave her an indignant frown. “I thought nothing o’ the sort.”

    “Liar.” She chuckled. “All men seem to think that’s the only way for a woman to survive. I happen to have–”

    “Shh!” Marcus grasped her arm and held her back behind him. The sounds filtering through windy trees made his blood run cold. Fuckin’ British shore patrol.

    250 ineligible #WIP500 words

  10. Wow, I'm blown away! This will be more difficult than I expected.

  11. Reunion

    He entered smiling, as if I hadn’t killed him a few weeks back. Or tried to. Either he didn’t hold a grudge or was contemplating retribution. Possibly both.

    “Hello, son.” The rasp in his voice was satisfying. He hadn’t escaped entirely unscathed.

    “Told you last time, I’m none of yours.”

    “Right before you made me choke on the blood we share. That spell would have worked on someone else.”

    “But you aren’t human,” I finished for him. “Did my mother know?”

    “Not sure. You want me to raise her spirit and ask?”

    I shuddered. “Leave her out of it.”

    “Ah, but it was she who made off with you in her womb, thus depriving me of my child and heir.”

    “Whatever you want from me, I’m not interested. I have my own problems.”

    “I’ve watched you rushing around, saving people from monsters. Stomping on smoldering brush does no good when the wildfire is heading your way. There’s a battle coming, and you’ve a part to play, whether you will it or not.”

    “Did you start this fight?”

    “In a manner of speaking. There didn’t always used to be a war. You know what began it.”

    I couldn’t tell you how I knew, but I did. “My birth.”

    “Good boy. Now, let’s see if we can stop it.”

    “I’d rather save innocent people.”

    “Perhaps you should consider what will happen if they’re caught in the crossfire. War is coming.”

    I sighed, resigned. Turns out, being the half-breed prince of monsters sucks.

    250 words (sans title)


  12. “If you loved him, you would let him go.“

    “I love him, this is why I can't let him go!“

    “You love yourself. Too much to love him.“

    “We were together since high school! I don't know what its like to live without him. I don't want to know!“

    Martha rolled her eyes.Michaella wanted to believe she was a hopeless romantic. Nice mask for the ugly face of selfish obsession.

    “It didn't used to be a war you know. But its a war you are going to lose. A war with yourself. You are your own worst enemy Michaella. Roger is getting married today. To the woman he loves.“

    “ I am a woman in love.“ Michaella started crying, looking her friend from the corner of her eye. Martha didn't seem impressed.

    “ You are mean. Mean and jealous, because you never had such an intense relationship yourself!“

    Martha's lips smiled, but her eyes filled with stormy clouds.

    “ Whatever helps you feel better“ she said and walked towards the door without looking back.

    Word count: 176

  13. "Didn't used to be a war, you know. Between nature and man."
    Cari caressed a leaf hanging on a branch by her head.
    "We used to revere the power that the plants could bring. The power of healing, the power of life. We used to respect it." She closed her eyes and her body thrummed with the lifesources surrounding her.
    Edward looked on in amazement as she seemed to glow with an ethereal inner light. Cari opened her eyes, and smiled. "You see."
    She touched a glowing hand to a seemingly dead flower at the base of a tree.
    Edward gasped as he saw it regenerate. Saw it grow into the beauty that it once was.
    Cari laughed at his surprise. The sound of it so airy and perfect to Edward's ears.
    "All we need to do is nourish this power. Nourish our souls and minds with the wonder that is our surrounding world." The glow finally left her.
    It faded out, leaving behind a radiance that made her even more beautiful than before.
    Edward walked over to her and leaned in close. "Teach me."
    Cari wrapped her arms around his neck, and they kissed.

    200 words

  14. Jerri stared up at the ceiling of the cell she was in. She had only woken up about ten minutes ago and it turned out that the fight did not end the way she wanted it too. The back of her neck was sore from whatever they stuck in her. Her whole body ached but she still didn’t want to move.

    The sounds of others moaning softly was a soft din that she had started to tune out to be white noise. A scream had her jumping from the suddenness of the sound. All the others stopped and listened as the screamer started to jabber in incoherent messages.

    She heard heavy boots pound past her and yelling to take him

    down and the sounds of shots. One, two. A final third one and then there was silence. Jerri closed her eyes as the boots pulled something heavy past her cell. There was silence even after a door shut.

    Didn’t used to e a war, you know.” The voice was quiet, by her left ear.

    Jerri turned her head and saw an older man with grey at his temples sitting and staring at the wall across his cell.


    “It used to be that if you had the ability to change into something, you were special. You hid but you were special. But now they’re afraid of us. Anyone who has the DNA strand is captured and locked away. We’re nothing but test subjects anymore. It’s them versus us.”

    248 words


    I pat the titan’s rough stoney head, relishing the last of the warmth slowly following his life out of this world. The structured shuffle of my men removing our dead from the freezing cavern keeps me grounded, but it is hard not to be giddy over what we have accomplished here.

    Giants’ heads were pleasantly easy to twist off once their necks had been burned most of the way through on both sides. I smile as his forehead finally becomes cooler than my palm.

    “What a shame it came to this,” I address the corpse. “It didn’t have to. It didn’t used to be a war, you know.”

    Standing I brush my hands on my robe and turn to leave.

    “I bet you spirits are regretting throwing that first blow.”

    130 words

  16. “Didn't used to be a war, you know.”

    “Of course it did. First it was him, and then it was me and him, and now it’s me and him and you. We’ve never been able to get along. I have an idea and you call it silly, and then she says it’s not.

    “Hey I didn’t say anything. You’re the one with the electric dreams of stardom. I’m the one with realistic expectations.”

    “Really? I was hoping that’s the way I sounded.”

    And so, Greg remained at the park all day, letting the voices in his head run wild.


    Greg Nance - @acenance
    100 Words

  17. #ThursThreads is now CLOSED. Thank you to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to see you next week. Special prizes next week! :D


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