Thursday, January 2, 2014

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 102

Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked. Happy New Year 2014!! I hope your holidays were full of joy. And even better, it's Thursday today, so what should you be doing? Writing #FlashFiction, that's what! Welcome to Week 102 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 102:

Texas transplant, gardener, and erotic romance author, A. S. Fenichel.

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“No time for tears.”

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. “The grieving family of Officer Stephen Jenkins says there has been no time for tears as their wait for answers drags on. Jenkins’ remains were found just off the Florida Trail in early June, the third death by apparent animal attack in just two weeks. Six weeks later, though there have been no additional incidents, the popular hiking path remains closed to visitors. Statements from police and park officials seem to indicate the investigation into these violent deaths is no closer to resolution.”

    The news report droned on, but I tuned out. The television cast shadows dancing about the dim room. An image of Stephen Jenkins, smiling and alive, flashed onscreen.

    I remembered the smile. He’d given me one as we’d passed near the trailhead on US-19. He’d been dead what, less than an hour later? Maybe mere minutes after I’d climbed into my truck?

    If I’d heard or seen anything, would Jenkins be alive now?

    Two more faces appeared onscreen. Two more victims I’d run into just before their deaths.

    In the normal course of my job, I met hundreds of people. I’d met these three and they’d died. Three times was a conspiracy, right?

    Six weeks since I’d tracked my way to Stephen Jenkins’ remains.

    Six weeks since I’d been mauled and left for dead.

    Six weeks without another death.

    Why had it stopped?

    Two possible answers dug at me. One, the thing responsible had moved on. Two, it was waiting for the one it wanted.


    249 #WIP500 words

    1. Cara, I loved this! Is there more of this? A WIP that will soon be available to read??

    2. This does sound like something that should be expanded. I hope you will carry it forward.

    3. Totes agree with the above, I love the mystery you've created here. xx

    4. I love the way you build the tension of this segment. My anticipation kept climbing as I read it.

  2. ~~~~~

    It was all crashing down around me.

    My world.

    My life.

    Everything I had known up until that specific point was null and void.

    No time for tears as I tore down the stairs running from the huge and howling wild dog, jaws snapping inches from my head.

    As I landed in the hallway, the whole room shimmered and disappeared.

    I was somewhere else completely.

    The dog was gone. The house was gone.

    Everything I have even known was gone, and a dark red sun was rising.

    It was twenty times bigger than the sun I was used to.



    Word count: 100 on the nose
    Twitter handle: @AnnaLund2011

    1. Wow! I'm impressed with the amount of story you managed to tell in just 100 words. The final line was unexpected and intriguing. Well done!

    2. This makes me think a bit about the sand world outside the doors in Beetlejuice. One minute you're home, the next, you're somewhere else entirely. Nice job conveying so much in such a short space.

    3. Love the detail and pace of the story in such few words. x

  3. The shackles around my wrists are tight and my fingers throb in time with my heartbeat. The guard pushes me up the steps toward the towering doors of the building they call the Reckoning. Grey and austere, it lacks the luster and grandeur of the buildings around it, but is no less impressive.

    I turn my head and catch a glimpse of a young girl tossing a coin into the city fountain. Regret and grief constrict my throat, as the memories of my life within the safe, stifling walls of the city surge forth. I force myself to take a deep breath and will the feelings away. There is no time for tears when you follow the path of destiny.

    I am led down a narrow passageway and onto a platform in the center of a round room. A truth crystal hangs over my head, creating a halo of brightness around me. Twelve hooded figures sit outside the range of the light; their faces lost to the shadows.

    One figure stands. His eyes glow blue with the color of his magic. It is the same as my own, but is it a sign of solidarity or contempt?. He reads the charges against me then steps forward, pulling the cowl from his head and allows the light to fully illuminate his features.

    It is a face that ignited the flames of a first love; a face I repaid with the cold penetrating sting of betrayal.

    A face now hardened with revenge.

    250 words

    1. Love the menace to the ending. Nice job!

    2. So much for solidarity in the magic. Looks like your character is doomed!

    3. Im afraid your character is toast. Great setting of the stage.

    4. Love the first line; sets a menacing tone for the story. x

  4. Lying on the cold, frozen ground of the ambulance garage I sucked in a breath; fuck my leg hurts. Damn ice and damn stretchers. Whoever didn’t salt the fucking garage is going to die a very unpleasant death!

    “Let’s get him up.”

    I bit my lower lip; no time for tears. At least the stretcher is warm. And at least it’s not far to the doors. Every bump shoots needles of pain through my leg, but I can handle it. Or not.

    “Don’t worry about being strong, Jim. You’re in pain.”

    My friend and colleague, Anthony, took my hand as I finally gave up and started to cry. Fuck this hurts.

    “Fuck,” I muttered, as one of our nurses approached with a blunt-tipped syringe. “I hope that’s morphine.”

    “It is, hon. You sleep and when you wake up, the worst will have passed.”

    Sleep has never felt so good. Or it would’ve had the morphine lasted longer than a few seconds. The moment the orthopod touched my leg, he got kicked.

    “That fucking hurts, don’t you fucking touch it!”

    The doctor’s eyebrows raised as he looked at the nurse, slowly regaining his breathing. “Didn’t you give him anything?”

    “2 of morphine as ordered, doctor.”

    The doctor looked at me, then at my leg, and then back at me. “Clearly, it didn’t take. Let’s give a mild sedative and then we’ll talk pain control.”

    There’s my blessed, welcome sleep. Finally.

    239 Words

    1. Nice - morphine is wonderful stuff in the right situation.

    2. “I told you to pay attention,” her father shouted at her across the field. “You must do it now!”

      But how could she possibly carry out his command? She looked at the boy, Mark, standing across from her, the way his brown hair drooped irresistibly into his blue eyes, the look of doubt and hurt and betrayal shining from them even as her father hopped from one foot to the other awaiting her obedience.

      Alexander, Mark’s master, stood on the other side of the field, one hand slightly raised as if only partially expecting her to deliver the boy’s heart to him as she’d been instructed.

      Looking back at Mark, she could see he was fighting his own inner battle. What had Alexander commanded Mark to do to her? How could her father put her in this situation – love him, follow his commands or love Mark and give up everything? And would Mark protect her as well?

      Frustration, indecision, doubt, fear, betrayal, emotions she couldn’t even begin to name swirled up inside her, threatening to overwhelm her as she struggled to hold back the tears. There was no time for tears here, she had to make her choice.

      With a sob, she spun around, placing her back against Mark’s and turned to face her life’s biggest adversary as Mark turned toward the opposite side and Alexander giving her a touch that assured her they would fight together, and probably die trying.

      241 words

    3. I admire his ability to have no tears with that amount of pain! Love the character's angst. x

  5. I looked around the town seeing mud and bodies where once stood homes and hills. The devastation was unbelievable entire forests were gone; thousands of homes flattened as if a giant fist had come down and flattened them. Rubble and rock and water lapped where homes had stood in suburbs. Roofs and pieces of homes stood like kindling. Some abodes stood their roofs torn off but the rest of the buildings still standing like a beacon in the wind and rain. Other residences miraculously stood seemingly untouched by the storm but inside the dwellings the water lapped all inside. There was no food, no water, and no warmth from the cold, which now came to add insult to injury. I peered around and saw my neighbours dead or dying, children and adults needing help. I went to help them. I have felt God’s presence as he carried us through the mud, water and brought us to high ground. We travelled far carrying the sick and the injured. The hospitals devastated we seek and find someone with rudimentary first aid and shelter.
    It has been three days, some people now die from thirst, though they survived the storm. They say the help cometh from the Lord and we pray it is so. We have not time for tears, only time to fight to survive. For surely God will touch the hearts of those who have not been touch by this tragedy and they will bring water, food, shelter and medical supplies.

    1. Sometimes faith is all we have and need. A very descriptive and powerful tale. x

  6. “Ketamine. It allows the genitals to be useful while disengaging the more annoying traits of males—their mouths and their strength.” The perfume intruded again and his arousal ebbed. “I see he responds to you pretty well. A hard man is good to find, eh?”

    Fury ignited in John’s chest and he clenched his hands into fists. Except his hands wouldn’t respond. You sick bitch. When I get out of this I’ll kill you. Unfortunately, she’d stated the problem accurately. He lay powerless against her manipulations. For all his strength and training, he’d become the weak he’d worked to defend.

    Aislynn met his gaze and a flash of emotion broke her serene façade. Anger and disgust burned in her smoky eyes before sorrow crowded them out. The power of her emotion flooded over him and made him wish he could comfort her in the most primal way possible. He strained against his bonds, but his body lay inert. Only his cock rose in salute to the beautiful woman offering him pity.

    Aislynn straightened and a distant smile curled her lips, but her eyes showed nothing. Despite the emptiness, his cock flexed and ached for her touch. When she moved away, he mentally whined with distress, wanting to follow her. What the hell’s wrong with me? This is no time for tears or whining. What happened to my training?

    “He has dog tags, which means he’s military. How will you keep them from looking for him?”

    245 ineligible #WIP500 words from Bronco's Rough Ride

    1. Lol . . annoying traits . . mouths and strength. if only men didn't talk . then I guess they say that more about us. Hee hee. x

  7. Savannah dashed the back of her hand across her eyes. “No time for tears,” she muttered.

    Dropping to her knees, she gathered the jagged pieces of the crystal ball. Her tarot cards scattered across the promenade in front of St. Louis Cathedral and decorated the bushes in Jackson Square.

    Sharp pain lanced across her hand and she stared in horror as blood welled up in her palm. Her heart hurt and she couldn’t process any more tribulations. Why had those men attacked her table? Why her and not one of the other fortune tellers?

    Tears welled in her eyes, blinding her, despite her best efforts. Blinking to clear her vision, she realized a man stood in front of her—or at least leather boots and faded jeans that looked masculine. She glanced up. And up, shading her eyes.

    “You are hurt, little one.” His voice, slightly accented and old-world, washed over her.

    Roman squatted beside her, taking her hand. He’d seen the attack from his window but couldn’t get there in time to prevent it—not without exposing what he was. He’d been watching her for days, fearing the knowledge his observations brought, knowing he’d have to act, positive she was the one.

    “I am Roman Montagne. Let me help you.”

    Savannah gulped as shivers cascaded down her spine. She realized he held her Tarot deck in his hand. Awareness, soft as a kitten paw, nudged her memory. “Do I know you?”

    “Not yet. But you will.”

    248 words

    1. Love the intensity you've created between them. x

  8. "What are you DOING?"

    My daughter grabs my arm to keep me from flushing the filth killing her. Pills, powder, rocks, all of it swirls in a vortex of false salvation to travel where I fear my dear Lisa will end up if I don't act.

    Her strength, already feeble from poison, gives out and she falls to her knees. Her eyes leak at the loss of her fake-Nirvana. It's my turn to grab her. "No time for tears. Let's go."

    She doesn't resist as I pull her out of the house and into the car. She looks out the window, eyes glassy and hands starting to shake. Her silence cuts, and I feel the heat of her anger. She remains that way until we reach our destination. "NO! I am not going in there!"

    I park the car in front of two large men with kind, but determined, faces. One swings open the door before Lisa can think to lock it. She leans back, nearly in my lap. I push and they pull, while she thrashes. Her hands slap and scratch, desperation renewing her power.

    The orderlies of the detox center and I succeed in dislodging Lisa from the vehicle. Each man grabs an arm and proceed to drag my heart inside, screaming all the while, "I HATE YOU!"

    I lean against the car after she disappears. "If hating me makes you better, then I can live with that," I whisper.

    Now I allow time for my tears.

    Word Count: 249

    1. A powerful tale of unconditional love; that short last sentence really hits the spot. x

  9. No Time For tears

    Jacob said there would be no time for tears. No time to mourn. No time to remember. But what else did we have if we didn’t have our memories? It was our memories that made us different to them. Them who ravaged everything with a pulse, my beloved Marley the latest victim of the insatiable need to feed.

    An uncontrollable shudder ran deep leaving my bones cold.

    I needed to harden up in this new world; Jacob had said that too. And he was right. I wasn’t going to survive with my head full cupcakes and fairy dust, even though a world filled with cupcakes and fairy dust brought miles of smiles.

    I wanted to smile, remember, cry and mourn. I didn’t want to forget who I was just because the earth had turned topsy turvy; the dead now living, the living now dying slowly. Jacob called it survival. But what was survival if you forgot who you were and what made you human? What was the point if the death of a beloved pet didn’t mean anything?

    I wasn’t sure this new world was worth surviving in if life was cheap and discarded so easily like yesterday’s newspaper.

    The sun started bidding farewell. Darkness was our enemy along with apathy for our own soul it would appear, if Jacob was anything to go by.

    I defied the darkness and defied Jacob as I gave way to my sorrow for Marley and made time for my tears.


  10. He was gone.

    I gazed into the antique mirror again, searching the corners of the room behind me but there was no sight of him now.

    My heart wrenched as tears welled in my eyes.

    I found the old mirror at the flea market last Sunday, a gift to myself, a little extravagance that I deserved. Yes, it was expensive and really more than I could afford but it had called to me in such a way that I could not have refused, no matter the cost. It belonged to me before I bought it.

    I didn’t really expect anything to happen, it was just a silly wish. A teenage folly. A silent hope for a handsome lover.

    It began as a gentle flutter on the back of my neck, like a lover’s gentle kiss, a soft whisper of lips. I almost didn’t see him at first, how silly I was, but when I closed my eyes, he was there.

    Strong hands reached around my waist, pulling me closer into a broad muscular chest. I could feel the beat of his heart against my skin, his breath against my cheek, his musky scent.

    He held me to him and I was his.

    Then he was gone.

    My room was as it was before, vacant, lonely and dull. My tears were cold against the blush of my face and I wished again.

    “You are beautiful.”

    I wiped my face and smiled. There was no time for tears.

    He was back.

    249 Words

  11. Posting for Cate Derham

    We walked along the banks of the Seine not saying a word. He was trembling, I could tell. I didn't need to slip my arm through his to know that, but I did, and he moved his hand to caress my cheek but thought better of it, I suppose, because instead he wiped a snowflake from my eyelid.

    As for me, I was outwardly calm, but only outwardly. Inside, I was shaking as much as Jean-François was. Walking across Pont Neuf on a cold, snowy night was an appropriate ending to our relationship. It was on this spot we met nearly a year ago.

    "No second thoughts, Catherine?" he asked when we stopped mid-way across the bridge.

    "Je ne regrette rien," I said, silently cursing myself for sounding like an Edith Piaf song. In truth, I had regrets. I regretted not listening to my heart and staying with the man I loved. I regretted not trusting my instincts instead of my professor who urged me to continue my post-doctorate work at Harvard rather than remain at the University of Paris.

    "Are you cold?" Jean-François pulled me closer and held me, his blue eyes wet with tears he was trying not to shed. There were so many things I needed to say, but couldn't. Or wouldn't. As much to spare him from hurting as to keep my resolve from shattering.

    This was no time for tears.

    Cate Derham
    Word count: 237

  12. “Fucking war.” Jocelyn turned around and watched the explosions lighting up the night sky. “We never should have agreed to this.”

    “We weren’t given a choice.” Nathan packed his canteen into his satchel.

    As darkness reached out and touched her ships, she knew the real end was coming. With each fleet that left for their chance in the sky, she knew it was just a matter of time before Nathan would need to leave.

    She pushed her fingers into the glass, sending the last of her day’s power to the troops. She gave all she could and in the end it was only a small aid to their feeble attempt to remove the evil from her safe place.

    “You can’t go, not yet.”

    “Jocelyn, you know I must.” He wrapped his arms around her. “If I’m going to secure a new source for your power, I must go now.”

    She fell to her knees. The strain of war was leaving its mark. “It’s no time for tears. I know, but I fear what losing you will do to me.”

    “Jocelyn, my love you’re the strongest of us all.” He caressed her cheek and dragged his fingers over the emptiness left behind from where her magic once lived. His lips slipped over hers and he confirmed what she already knew. It was the one thing she had to believe. “I’ll always come back to you.”

    234 words

  13. Was he deaf?

    “I said, put your head…”

    Fresh bullet holes adorned the Plymouth’s rear window.

    “…down!” Malcolm’s head went down, alright. He slumped against the passenger side door. As I downshifted, I noticed spatters of his blood on my skirt.

    “Baby! Say something!” We careened onto Cemetery Road. “Don’t fucking die on me!” The Michelins shrieked an accompaniment to my vocals.

    That left turn was a mistake. I had offered the driver’s side as a target until the Hummer could clear the intersection. I ducked just before the driver’s side window shattered.

    “Damn it, Malcolm!” My engagement ring stone flickered in the Hummer’s headlights.

    Bang. A tire exploded, certainly from a bullet. I careened and nearly kayoed a utility pole.

    “No time for tears,” I whispered to nobody in particular. Perhaps to God.

    I made a hard right, astonished that I didn’t roll the car. Maybe God was on the other end of the line.

    I choked back the thoughts of how we met, the night he proposed, how he said he never knew what love was until he found me. But there was one thought I couldn’t erase.

    Ping! They dented the roof this time.

    It started with an innocent little wager. Then another. “Don’t mess with those people,” Malcolm said.

    I wanted a private ceremony. He wanted cathedrals, an orchestra, dinner for 300. But on my salary? On his? Pfft.

    “Ms. Johnson, we need fifteen grand by midnight.”

    I spun into a church parking lot. How fitting.

    John Kirk
    250 words

  14. “Now, now. No time for tears.” Grand Advisor Bechel smiled at Soloma as he lead her and the guards that were surrounding her into the receiving chambers. “You’ve picked the sane decision. Unless you were looking to have it be easy to commit suicide via the hangman.”

    “I’m not crying, sir.” She ground her teeth. He was a foul little beast who was using his power to manipulate everyone and they didn’t know it. She glowered at the back of his head before they came to a stop in front of the throne.

    Bechel bowed to the king whose eyes still looked like they were rimmed in red. A few of the other advisors were sitting at side tables, all looking daggers at Soloma.

    “Your Majesty. You are quite gracious in allowing this humble guard attone for the capital crime.”

    “I still say she would be better swinging from the hangman’s noose.”

    “Think of what could possibly happen, my liege. Either she dies during the journey or does something beneficial for the kingdom.”

    “The only thing that could be completed would be to bring my daughter back from the dead.”

    “Indeed. But anyway, the sentence?” Bechel was all smiles as he turned aside and gestured to the guardswoman.

    “Very well.” The king scowled. “Soloma Metch, you are hereby exiled to the Southern Wastes. On that trip, you will take the Globe of Ashal as a sign of goodwill. If you survive or not, I don’t give a damn.”

    248 words

  15. New life was born there… through tears, blood, struggle, terrible losses & accidental life-changing meetings, that’ll lead us to a new better future, hopefully. This war has finally ended & now there is no time for tears – we have lots of work to be done.

    Sun is here, so is Moon & we must be happy no matter what, because after all that was what we were fighting for… Freedom & peace after centuries of tears, struggle, senseless deaths & this jungle-law life - “kill or be killed”. It’s time to love, to smile & build a new life.

    We all lost somebody or something there… some more than others… but now we have no time for tears, kid, now you are going to have a wonderful life…

    I picked up crying baby & made him smile making funny faces, when I put him to bed I told him a story… a fairy-tale lullaby…
    about how once upon a time
    we lost Moon & we lost Sun,
    we cried oceans of our tears,
    struggling in the war for peace
    & about his hero Dad…
    Who saved us, but now was dead…
    & about his Mom & me,
    Goddess of new life for him,
    Future King of Earth
    & Emperor of a new-born Universe…

    He fell asleep not hearing the end, which still has to be written… but clocks of his destiny have moved on & start ticking… his last life has begun & there’s no time for tears.

    248 Words

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


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