Thursday, August 8, 2013

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 82


Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked. Wow, where did half the year go? It's Thursday again, so what should you be doing? Writing #FlashFiction, that's what! Welcome to Week 82 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 82:


Seattle Seahawks fan (love this!), cat and coffee lover, and M/M romance author, Charley Descoteaux.


And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
 
The Prompt:

“That wasn’t really the worst of it.”

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!

32 comments:

  1. WORD COUNT 248

    Dee

    lovebooksblogbooks@gmail.com

    1960 – London

    Katherine had been feeling so different lately, tired and heavy. She was sure she knew why. She didn't ened a doctor to confirm it, she knew she was with child. Marcus would be thrilled. He'd always wanted lots of children, and now their dream was beginning.

    Marcus was working on his car. Something made him top and look up. He couldn't see anyone, but he could sense them near, and the smell was unmistakable... another shifter was close by. He put down his tools, and crept around the garage. They had to be near, the smell was so strong. He turned the corner and felt a blow against the back of his head. He fell to the ground.

    'Marcus, it's been so long. Where is my wife?' the man grinned.

    'Greol you piece of shit, she's my wife now, not yours'.

    Another blow rained down, this time knocking him unconscious. When he woke up he was chained to a wall, spread eagled so he couldn't move.

    'Ah you're awake my friend' came Greols voice. 'See the little gift I have brought you?'

    Marcus looked up, and saw his wife, hanging from the opposite wall. She was covered in bruises, and there was huge pool of blood beneath her. Greol took his knife and cut a big incision into Katherines stomach.

    'What have you done?!', Marcus screamed. 'Leave her alone you deranged psychopath!'

    'Hush now friend' came Greols reply. 'That wasn't really the worst of it'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, what a tale. I admire the way you used the line at the very end, but made sure we readers knew very well what the worst of it was. This is a brilliant bit of writing.

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    2. Thank you so much! That has made my day :)

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  2. A purple elephant is dancing a fox trot. His partner is a pink giraffe, wearing a pretty diamond necklace. The tux looks fantastic on the elephant, a beautiful indigo blue, contrasted with the pure white dress on the giraffe. They really have fantastic moves; who knew an elephant could be so light on his feet?

    “Ow!”

    Sorry, I whispered to the dancers. The orchestra is made up of tigers and lions and bears, oh my. But talented…man are they talented.

    “Quit touching my leg!”

    Ducking my head, I apologized again for interrupting the music. It’s just that my leg hurts and someone keeps touching it. That’s not the worst of it, though.

    “Holy fuck!”

    The band and dancers are surrounded by stars now as pain lanced through my leg, up my hip and right into my stomach. I tried to vomit quietly so the dance could finish. When the dance was done, I applauded.

    “Jim? What color cast do you want?”

    “Purple.”

    The elephant smiled approvingly. A waltz started up, with a trumpet solo by a lithe cheetah. Her bangles clinked together as she worked a beautiful melody from it. Mesmerized, I watched the elephant and giraffe sway across the floor.

    I lurched suddenly, as the bed I was on started to move. The elephant and giraffe paused to wave at me. I waved back and thanked them for a great performance. I wonder who’ll be waiting upstairs for me.

    @Aightball
    240 words

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Holy cow! When I was a kid and had to have my arm/wrist set, the doctor used ether to put me under. My hospital gown had purple, pink, blue, green, yellow, and red animals on it. Yes! My anesthesia induced dream was VERY similar to this! LOLOL

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    2. I've never had such an experience, but I don't think I would have found it amusing. It does make for a great story, though!

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    3. Thank you both =). I don't see colors when sedated but I am amusing in other ways, lol! I lose all sense of distance.

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  3. “Red why is your voice now so deep?”
    “The better to greet you with”
    “I’m glad you can still make jokes. That you came through this...”
    “Platitudes mean nothing.”
    “I know it wasn’t right. He shouldn’t have pretended to be me.”
    “That wasn’t really the worst of it, Henry.”
    “Red, I don’t understand. Tell me what you mean!”
    “When was the last time you saw your brother?”
    “Two years ago. Did he... is that why you killed him?”
    “Did he rape me? No, but as I said that wasn’t that worst of it.”
    “Your eyes seem so much bigger and luminous. Did he drug you?”
    “The better to see you with and no I wasn’t drugged. He tried to kill me.”
    “I'm sorry, you seem so changed Anna. I never noticed what big hands you have.”
    “The better to grab you with,” I cried grabbing him in a bear hug.
    “Red, I never noticed what a big mouth you have.”
    “Really, Henry? Must we go there?”
    “I don’t understand,” Henry cried
    “The better to eat you,” I answered as I devoured him whole.
    Satisfied with my meals of huntsmen slayed, I fell asleep to rest, for tonight would be another hunt.
    @SweetSheil
    201 words

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  4. “Oh crap! I meant to leave before the rain hit.” Michelle glanced at her bicycle leaning against the far wall of the bar.

    Hunter followed her glance. “Why no cab it home and come back for the bike tomorrow?”

    “Cab? Nah, I’m prepared for rain.” She fished around her bag and pulled out a pop up umbrella. “If it’s okay, I’ll leave my bike here and come back for it after work tomorrow.”

    “If it’s the money, I’ve got it covered,” Hunter whispered.

    “I can take care of myself.”

    Did he imagine a tremble in her hands as she pulled a silver cylinder from her bag, fisting it in her left hand? “What do you have there?”

    “What, this?” She held the small canister so the nozzle pointed at him. “It’s mace.”

    Hunter held his hand out and shifted his face so he wasn’t in the line of fire. “Whoa. Don’t point that thing at me. Are you nuts? It’s six-thirty on a rainy Sunday night. It doesn’t seem to me it’s prime mugging time.”

    Michelle’s glance moved from the container to his face with an expression he couldn’t quite read but had seen before. He’d seen it staring back at him from the portrait at the gallery.

    “Nuts? Yeah. I’ve been called that before and that wasn’t really the worst of it. Crazy, out of my fucking mind, head case, two cans short of a six-pack, should I continue?” Her voice shook as tears filled her eyes.

    248 words of untitled WIP
    @sandrabunino

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    Replies
    1. There's a story behind that can of mace. I wonder what it could be?

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  5. Madame LeBeau stood tall, staring down her Gallic nose at Lindsey, but as one of the few female undercover cops, she’d dealt with far more intimidating men and women on the job. The elegant madam didn’t hold a candle. Besides, Lindsey needed the video as evidence to bring this bitch down. She just hoped LeBeau wanted the money more than she wanted the video.

    “Very well. I shall allow one copy to be delivered to your suite when you’re done with your acquisition.” She gestured toward the door on the other side of the observation mirror. “Are you ready to enjoy your purchase?”

    Lindsey glanced at the handsome hirsute man bound to the table. Her stomach curdled with the way he’d been drugged and trussed up. And that wasn’t really the worst of it. Dog tags lay on his chest and scars marred the skin in a few places from real action. This horrible sex-ring mistress bitch had drugged a military serviceman for her sick rich clientele. Lindsey nodded and hoped the furious disgust didn’t show on her face as she preceded Madame LeBeau out of the observation room and waited for her to unlock the faux bedroom where the soldier lay.

    I will take you down, bitch, just for harming someone who has already paid his dues.

    “There you are, Mrs. Hiddleston. I hope you enjoy your purchase.”

    “Thank you, Madame LeBeau. I will.”

    Lindsey made sure the door shut completely and turned the lock, her heart racing.

    249 ineligible #WIP500 words
    @SiobhanMuir

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    Replies
    1. I can see there is much more to this story. Thanks for sharing a part of your WIP with us!

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  6. "A Fate Worse than Death is Better than Dying"
    by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy) [250 words]

    Whoever she was, she had been medically trained. I'd given blood many times - civic duty and all that - but her handling of the hypodermic was exquisite. In and out with a quick swipe of alcohol. No venous bruising.

    My silent captor slipped the rubber tube tourniquet through the arm restraint, taped some cotton wool over the puncture wound, then inspected her watch and made some notes on an Android tablet. A geek then. No iPad. Something to use to connect to her.

    "Not an Apple fan then?" I smiled as empathically as I could, tied to a gurney.

    "Please don't attempt to engage my sympathetic side, because I had it surgically removed. Now, I'm going to ask you for some observations as the injection takes effect." She picked up her tablet expectantly.

    "You're kidding me, right?" I tested the restraints again. Still just loose enough to allow circulation, but little more. "What is it you've dosed me with anyway? Vampire blood? Werewolf spit? Radioactive spider venom? Super Soldier Serum?"

    "Very amusing, Mr… ah… Carter," she scrolled through the data on her screen, "and uncannily accurate, if perhaps lucky in your deductions."

    “You were right with one of your guesses, but…" she paused for effect, "that wasn’t really the worst of it.”

    My grin dropped to the floor, and rolled away under the trolley somewhere. "Which… one?" I asked, totally sure she was not joking. I was not sure I wanted to know.

    "Now, are you feeling any… er… ill effects?"

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  7. Sade did her best to ignore the beads of sweat dotting Ariel’s forehead but the red welts circling his wrists made her cringe. Cold iron and fae skin created an excruciating combination. “Ariel?”

    He opened pain-glazed eyes and fixed them on her. “I must have really pissed you off this time.” His mouth twisted into his signature grin despite the agony shuddering through his body.

    “Oh, Ari. What the hell have you gotten mixed up in?”

    His eyelids drooped as if all the energy had sapped out of him. “I didn’t do this, Sade.”

    She touched his arm and he winced. Jerking her hand back, she fished for the keys to his shackles and freed him. “Better?”

    “Yeah, thanks.”

    “Talk to me, Ariel? Who has it out for you?” He refused to look at her. “Well, fuck. It’s not Oberon, is it?”

    That got his attention. “No.”

    “Then who?”

    “Titania’s whore.”

    “Whoa. Queen Titty-fae has a whore?” The look on Ariel’s face spoke volumes. “Well, d’uh. Of course she does. King’s Seducer, Queen’s Whore. So Titania has it out for you?”

    Ariel looked a little green around the gills. “No. Tempe declared this feud all on her own.” He went on to detail an incident where he’d been captured and tortured by the female fae. When he finished, Sade remained silent for a long moment.

    “Well fuck, Ari.”

    “That wasn’t really the worst of it.”

    “Seriously? What could be worse than that?”

    “She’s my sister.”


    247 new WIP words in my ever plodding progress toward The End.
    @SilverJames_

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    Replies
    1. Ok, now I want to read the whole thing. Thanks for sharing a part of your WIP!

      Delete
  8. Eliea prepared herself for what her mother was about to tell her. She feared what she was about to learn about Julian. More than that, she feared for Julian. What was he? What had he become? What had he done to her in the aftermath of the accident that caused her mother, and her guardian, Mathilde, to have such great consternation?

    Lady Eleanor finally stopped pacing and faced Eliea. She glanced at Mathilde, then looked at her daughter.

    "You were badly hurt. The coach had rolled off the cliff. You remember most of it, but not all."

    Eliea tried to shut out the vision. She was ready to hear all of what her mother had to relate, but she could not relive the event in her mind.

    "That wasn't really the worst of it."

    Eliea had been sitting, but she stood and walked to the bedroom balcony to hear the rest, too nervous to remain still.

    Her mother paused a seemingly interminable length of time before finally continuing.

    Eliea herself suspected what was coming and braced herself against the balcony balustrade. Mathilde went to her side.

    "He's not human," Lady Eleanor said. "He's one of the undead, a vampire. He kept you alive with his own blood and now we fear you're one of them. Or soon will become one."

    Eliea didn't say a word, but before either her mother or Mathilde could stop her, she climbed up onto the balustrade and jumped.

    243 words
    @Ryan_Derham

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    Replies
    1. Wow, didn't see that coming! Good work!

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  9. The Worst

    My daughter was born three months after I graduated high school. I knew then that my life would change drastically.
    The night she was born, after the family had gone home and the baby was safe in the nursery, the doctors woke me from a pain killer induced sleep. Something was wrong.
    Her hands and feet were turning a greyish hue, meaning she wasn't getting enough blood and oxygen to her extremities. The small hospital she was born in wasn't equipped to handle such situations, so they flew her out to a bigger hospital and we followed in the car. That one wasn't big enough either. The fourth hospital we reached was equipped with newborn and preemie intensive care units; they could help her.
    Seven weeks and seven surgeries later, the doctors told us that the vein in her head that was stealing all the blood and oxygen from her extremities was killing her, she would die within the week. The only way to possibly save her was another surgery, and there was only a thirty percent chance she would even survive it. The doctor who delivered the news said he'd support my decision either way, but would encourage neither option. As bad as that moment was, that wasn't really the worst of it.
    The surgery was a miraculous success. They said she'd be home in a week, ten days tops. After waiting eight weeks to finally hold my baby again, she died in my arms the next day.
    Word Count: 249
    @West1Jess

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  10. That wasn’t really the worst of it, but I had to let the rest wait. I’d already done too much and my back was aching.

    I put what I’d done in the bags I’d prepared and shoved them in the cold room; I had to keep them fresh otherwise they’d be no good later.

    I took my time washing my hands and getting all the blood off, I didn’t want anyone seeing any of the bits of flesh under my nails. They’d notice; they were like that in the day room.

    I took my tea with me. Having something hot wasn’t always a good idea; it depended who was in the day room. But there was only Samson and Adele, in their chairs. I took a seat in the front and looked at the black and white movie.

    As I sipped my tea I heard a scream. I smiled, couldn’t help it, I loved that sound. Then there were footsteps, running. Nurse Clemens came into the room and stood in front of me. “Hands!” she barked, as I knew she would. I showed her, but my smile gave me away.

    Two orderlies arrived and manhandled me out. The Nurse cried, “Wait!”, but the sirens were already blaring. She grabbed at me, making them stop. “Tell me Matilda, who is it? Who is it you were chopping up?”

    Then there was another scream, this time from a bedroom. I giggled. I didn’t need to answer, they’d know in a minute.

    249 Words
    @PurpleQueenNL

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  11. “We really had the best marriage,” Elizabeth began, her gaze unfocused. “I know some people think that is trite to say, but it was really true.

    “When the accident happened, that wasn't really the worst of it. Daniel survived, but there was my strong, handsome husband in a coma. A coma he was unlikely to ever wake up from.” A tear rolled down her cheek and she quickly wiped it away. No matter how long it had been, it still upset her.

    As she continued, she became lost in the memories. A much younger Elizabeth sat vigil by her husband’s side, the heart monitor the only noise in the room. She held his cool and clammy hand in hers; silently praying for a miracle, that he’d open his eyes and return to her.

    “For better or for worse, right?” she joked weakly to Andrew. “Except, I never expected the ‘worse’ to last longer than the ‘better.’ We were only married for five years when the accident happened. That was ten years ago.”

    Elizabeth sighed, a long soul-weary sigh. Andrew squeezed her hand and she smiled sadly.

    “I feel like I’m in a coma too. I can’t move on. I’m stuck in this limbo. I truly, completely love the man I married, but that man at the nursing home? I wonder if my husband is still in there. I swore vows before that man. What right to I have to toss that aside now?”

    @MLGammella
    243 Words

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  12. A Lasting (Bad) Impression

    On the, seemingly, endless drive back in to the city, Stewart did his best to smooth things over with Estelle. As with the rest of the day, that wasn't going well.

    “Oh for crying out loud, sweetie, how the heck was I supposed to know your dad belonged to one of those dorky lodge thingies? I mean, seriously, a bunch of full-grown men wearing silly hats and meeting in their clubhouse to exchange secret handshakes and conduct queer little rituals? It’s…ludicrous.”

    He knew he’d misspoken when she wouldn’t even look at him. Her tone was low and tinged with barely-controlled fury.

    “In time, I’m sure Daddy might forgive you for that…maybe. Surprisingly, that wasn’t really the worst of it. Oh, no! For that, you had to wait until my grandfather made a rare appearance at a family function. I can’t believe you asked him who the ‘hatchet-faced fat broad’ was in my parent’s wedding picture! That was a question absolutely, entirely, completely beyond unforgivable.”

    Stewart winced with the memory of the look on the old man’s face as he’d rounded on him and spoken through gritted teeth, “That, young man, would be my dear departed wife Maybelle.”

    With a sigh of frustration, Stewart had to admit to himself there really weren’t apology cards to cover that one.

    250 words @klingorengi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Oh I'm sure Stewart will be paying for that little familial get together for quite a while.

      Delete
  13. Everyone was dead, but that wasn’t really the worst of it. I’d killed them, after all, and I was a misanthropic sociopath, so the world was a better place, in my opinion. And my glasses had broken, but I only had a slight astigmatism, and I hated reading fucking self-indulgent novels anyway. The worst part wasn’t even the zombies, because they at least ate the rats. Or the monsoons, because they turned the Sahara into a swimmer’s paradise. Or the endless reruns of Mama’s Family on cable, because that shit was funny. Or the way I’d killed my ex Jimmy, coming on to him and then pushing him off a cliff, because he was a dick and afraid of heights. Or the way I’d killed my ex Marla, by setting her on fire, because she was a jackass and always cold. No, the worst of it was that I was finally, for the first time in my life, about to get a goddamn moment’s peace and quiet, and that’s when someone knocked at the door.

    175 words
    @drmagoo

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    Replies
    1. I do love a twisted sense of humor, and the final comment just set me off. I enjoyed reading this.

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  14. “You’re still finding your way, aren’t you?”

    I laughed. That question was all Shelly.

    “Tom, I’m serious.”

    I made a point of looking into her soft, green eyes, so she’d understand I was paying attention to her. “Yes.”

    “A normal person would have gone back to work by now.”

    I shook my head. “I’m not normal. You know that.”

    “But you had a good job. You were successful. You were part of society.”

    I knew she felt I’d come apart. Collapsed. Fallen to pieces. What happened to me made her sad. I knew she didn’t understand the life journey I was on. I knew she never would.

    All I could do was smile.

    She pulled her hair back over her shoulders. She did that when she tried to think through something.

    “I can’t return to the world that nearly killed me.”

    “Then find another job. Don’t let your skills go to waste.” Her eyes had that look people give each other when they know what they’re talking about. I know those looks exist. But I don’t know what they mean. “It’s like you’ve given up.”

    I wanted to tell her I hadn’t given up. I’d awakened. Come alive. Stepped beyond the walls of the life she lived in. Walls she couldn’t even see. And that wasn’t really the worst of it. The worst was she believed I no longer cared.

    “I will.”

    “When?”

    “When I find what I’m looking for.”

    240 Words
    @LurchMunster

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  15. After the midday prayer, Abu Islam told his eight-year old son to prepare for a special mission.

    He warned his son that this mission might be frightening. He explained that the frightening parts of the mission could only connect to this lowly existence, that this lowly existence in which he now lived would pass away anyway, whether one feared it or not, and that there would be no fear in the afterlife for anyone who attained Paradise, because the afterlife was eternal and Paradise was beyond understanding in its bliss for those who earned it. He explained to his son that the there was a special place in the Paradise reserved for those who successfully completed missions such as the one he was about to be entrusted with. He asked his son if he was ready to claim that reward.

    The boy nodded.

    He knew there would be those who criticized him, Abu Islam continued, both publicly and privately, for entrusting a boy of such reduced years with a mission of this kind. A mission in which both earthly death and life in Paradise in the afterlife was assured. This criticism caused everyone in the locality undue stress. That really wasn't the worst of it, however. What was most concerning was the disrespect toward religious scholarship that this criticism tended to legitimize. This disrespect toward the scholars was a sign of the coming of the Day of Judgment.

    @bytoropov
    239 words

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  16. They sat in a small circle beneath the full moon, the fire in the center nearly at its end. The children shivered as the cold wind whipped and swirled around them but if their trembling came from the bitterness of the air or from fear, he couldn’t say. He was satisfied nonetheless and the storyteller continued his tale.

    “They never thought to be afraid you see, they were in their home after all, their parents sleeping nearby in the adjacent room. It never occurred to them that sometimes home wasn’t safe and so they were merely curious at the scratching at the window. It was Nicholas who ventured out from beneath his bedcovers, he was younger by more than a year but much braver than his older brother, Karl. He tiptoed across the dusty floor leaving tiny footprints behind him as he went. He wasn’t worried about what waited outside the glass nor what his mother would say about being out of bed on All Hallows Eve. He didn’t care about consequences; he wanted only to prove that he was not afraid.”

    The storyteller stretched and pulled his cloak tighter about him. He was nearing the end of the tale and was saddened as always when the telling was almost done.

    “Nicholas reached the window and saw two large gray eyes staring back at him through the darkness. But that wasn’t really the worst of it, not for Nicholas or his brother Karl. The worst was still to come.”

    249 Words
    @AuthorCAKeane

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  17. Thursday Threads is now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted a piece of flash.

    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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