Thursday, September 25, 2014

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tale Together - Week 137


Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked. It's Thursday today, and also my 10th Wedding Anniversary to Mr. SM! So get your flash ready to celebrate and write a #flashfiction thread! Welcome to Week 137 of #ThursThreads, the challenge that ties tales together. Want to keep up each week? You're welcome to join the FB #ThursThreads group where we'll do events and make announcements. 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 8 PM Mountain 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 137:


Recreation specialist, Hump-and-Bump enthusiast, and new dad, Chris Linehan.

 
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“You know what I mean?”

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. Sharon stared into the mirror. She’d have to call out sick to work in the morning. No amount of eye shadow, foundation and blush would hide the bruise. She could hide the ones on her arms, and neck. But the one on her face was too much.

    His team lost the game. They didn’t lose many games. She was grateful for that. It would be better if they never lost.

    Every Sunday during the season, she prayed, and rooted for his team, while she hid in the kitchen, too terrified to watch the game with him. If they won, she’d be OK. He’d be horny, and she could handle that. Suck him a while, get naked on the floor, and moan as he banged her. Make him think it felt great. Ask him what he’d like her to do. When they won, everything worked out.

    When they lost…

    She looked in the mirror, as she whispered to God, “It’s not good when they lose. You know what I mean? He’s not himself when they lose.”

    She fixed his favorite snacks while the game was on, brought him more to drink every time the other team scored. At half-time, she blew him, to calm him down. “I’ll be on the bed, after the game, waiting for you.”

    When they lost, he lost it. He hit things. He broke things. He hurt her.

    She knew she should leave him. She wanted to.

    If only she knew how.

    245 Words
    @LurchMunster

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    Replies
    1. Somebody get poor Sharon the name of a nearby shelter! Realistic and heartbreaking story.

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    2. Omg, poor Sharon. I want to give her a hug.

      Brilliantly told.

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    3. Emotionally engaging and very powerful. Wonderful entry.

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  2. Easy jammed his hands into his pockets, the action pulling the waistband of his jeans lower on his hips. His bare chest gleamed with sweat and his tats looked like they’d been oiled. I refrained from licking my lips and swallowed the little moan wedged in my throat. Damn but this man did it for me. And then some. I had to be certifiably insane. It was bad enough the motorcycle gang he belonged to had taken over my life, and those of my sister’s kids out of some sense of…what? Gratitude? Honor? Sarah had saved Easy’s life—then murdered by a rival gang for her trouble. Now my life was upside down. And my hormones cheered.

    He kicked the steel drum next to him, all the while staring at the parts strewn on the concrete floor. The motor of his beautiful Harley was in pieces. I squatted and touched several. “Fixing one of these is like making love.”

    He choked and I felt his gaze like a physical touch. Looking up, I recognized the hunger in his eyes.

    “Yeah?”

    “Oh yeah. Here.” I picked up the piston and pushed it into the cylinder head, hiding my grin at his sharp intake of breath.

    “Fuck, baby.”

    And wasn’t that the idea? “It goes in like this. You know what I mean?”

    He growled at me. “Dammit, Sam. You’re killin’ me, woman.”

    Before I could react, he’d slung me over his shoulder. “Bed. Now.”

    He knew what I meant.
    ****
    249 words
    @SilverJames_

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    Replies
    1. LOL at the end. What a complicated mess of emotions - facing the man your sister died for like that.

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    2. Wow ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

      Very well written Silver. Emotional and erotic.

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  3. “I can’t go to the party, Nick. I just—I can’t.” She shivered; the memories were a part of her forever.

    He cupped her face in both callused hands, his brown eyes narrowed in warm intent as he brushed her cheeks with his thumbs. “Pilar, honey, I’ll be with you. I know these guys. They’re my friends. You’ll be totally safe.”

    “Nick…” She felt stupid. Still, she trembled at the mere suggestion. “I want to meet your friends. I do. But can I meet them someplace else? Where we’d wear our real faces? You know what I mean?”

    Bending closer, he nuzzled her nose. She allowed herself to lean in, to feel the heat of his body, to try—desperately—to absorb his assurance and strength.

    “I know what you mean. And I’m sure we can do that. I’ll just explain—“

    “No! Don’t!” Swallowing, she leaned back and tried to distance herself, to reacquire her equilibrium.

    He didn’t let her. With an oddly graceful motion, he looped her back to himself so that she could feel his lean muscles. “All right… It’s your fear, and I respect that. I do.” Compassion spilled from his gaze and she soaked it in for a moment before ducking her head and clinging to his shirt. He dropped a kiss on her head and sighed. “Maybe you could break out the emergency clown nose?”

    In spite of her phobia, she had to smile. “Maybe.” Her heart throbbed. She loved this man, she really did.
    = = =
    Word count: 250 (from a WIP, if you can believe that)
    Sandi Layne
    @sandyquill

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    Replies
    1. Makes me curious about the WIP. Adore his respect for her feelings.

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    2. Thank you! I got the clown nose from my MIL (we all got one) and it has proved inspirational. ;-) One word: coulrophobia. *nods*

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    3. Definitely curious about your WIP ! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  4. ~~~~~

    You just have to run with it, you know what I mean? No use trying to hide it, shield it, change it, or shove it into the closet.

    It is going to stare you in the face everyday anyway, if you see it or if you don’t, so you might as well put it out there. Show it off. Make it yours. Decorate it. Educate it.

    Take it gently into your two hands, and make it shine. At times, you might need to shake it.

    That elusive state of things that just seems to run past.

    Life.

    Amazing, awe-inspiring life.

    ~~~~~

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

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  5. It was one of those days where cold rain slashed the sky to rags, and no matter how hard you tried you couldn’t get warm. Mary huddled deeper into the quilt while the fire did its best to dispel what chill it could. Though even the flames knew it was a losing battle.

    “I hate it here,” Mary muttered, before sniffing. “I hate it so much.” Who it their right mind would buy an old falling down castle on some God forsaken Scottish moor? Her sweetly betrothed that’s who, and no matter what, she hadn’t been able to sway him. “If I get pneumonia and die, I’m going to haunt you Benjamin Aster.” Another sniff, another swipe under her nose with her sleeve.

    And worse, she’d been abandoned to the place while Benjamin had to go off to fight in the war, making her not only miserable with cold, but also worry. She was an American stranded in Scotland while her English love had to fight in some war the Germans had started. When had everything become so complicated?

    She’d been left with the castle with instructions to do what needed to be done for it. “It’ll keep you occupied.” Mary blew through her lips as she recalled her betrothed’s last words to her. “It’ll drive me insane. You know what I mean?”

    The wind howled louder, shouting down the chimney, driving the fire into a mad dance. Alone, Mary contemplated her future….

    243 words
    @OliviaStarke

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    Replies
    1. Sounds like the start of a great ghost story.

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  6. "Quiet!" General Warrick's shout slapped an immediate silence over the assembled. "The Lead Mare's integrity is not in question here, nor should it ever be. We are here to determine Mare Bethany's role in endangering the village." He shot a quelling look to everyone on the tribunal before swinging his gaze to Idrissa. "Have you anything to add, Lead Mare?"

    "No, General. My testimony stands as is."

    "Thank you, Lead Mare. You may depart."

    Mack watched the female centaur stride toward to back of the barn, her head held high. He suspected she fumed inside, but she didn't give anything away. That's one tough lady. He glanced at Bethany. Kinda like her. Stal Corbin didn't like either of them.

    "Seems like there's some history here." Mack leaned toward Bethany as the tribunal spoke quietly amongst themselves.

    Bethany shrugged. "I haven't heard too much about it. I've only been here three weeks, you know."

    "What I mean is have you noticed that guy out to get you or the Lead Mare before?" Mack nodded at the older centaur. "He's got a burr under his saddle for you. Hell, for anything female I'd guess."

    "Maybe he just doesn't like to be told no." Bethany shot Mack a significant look before facing forward once more.

    "Mare Bethany, after much discussion, it appears you have not brought this other human to our village." The centaur with the jarhead haircut waved at Mack. "However, your behavior after incarceration has been brought into question."

    248 ineligible #WIP500 words
    @SiobhanMuir

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    Replies
    1. I thought I remembered elements of this. Can't wait to see it when it's done!

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  7. drat that was suppose to be mother could you substitute this one instead Siobhan?

    “You seem very depressed, what can I do?” Isaac asked.
    “Do? No! It’s the pain of regret; you know what I mean?”
    “Father, what do you have to regret? You’ve lived a life of an exemplary deeds and words.”
    “Have I? I’ve had thirty years of struggle to amend my past and atone for my sin.”
    “Nonsense you’re the great Abel Barach you strive for peace.”
    “My name is Cain Barach and I killed my brother, Abel, fifty years ago.”
    “Now I know you’ve been pulling my leg,” Isaac laughed.
    “My twin brother Abel was married to your mother. She was enchanting, sweet and loving. He was jealous of every man she spoke to. When she became pregnant with his son he beat it out of her womb. I begged her to leave him. I had fallen in love with her by then and her with me. We made plans but he caught us. We fought and I hit him with a vase and he died. We buried him in the backyard telling everyone Cain had left after his visit.”
    “Why do you tell me this father?”
    “I have committed another great sin, but I wanted my son to know that I loved him and his mother. I hope the good lord will forgive me and allow me to spend eternity with your mother.”
    Unable to do anything, Isaac then watched his father draw his last breath and vowed no one would ever know his father’s sins.
    247 words
    @SweetSheil

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  8. “She just seems so sweet and innocent,” protested Susan, Rebecca’s new trainee, as the two social workers left the crumbling trailer.

    “But there are signs that something isn’t right and it’s up to us to find out what it is,” Rebecca responded. “What did you notice?”

    “Well, the mother seems nervous, anxious, but hasn’t she had a string of abusive boyfriends? That would make anyone act that way.”

    “I’ve only ever seen it that bad when the abuser is present.”

    “But there was just the two of them there today. And we know the boyfriend is dead.”

    “True,” Rebecca replied thoughtfully. “What a horrible accident for such a little girl to witness.”

    “You suspect the little girl?”

    “There’s just something not quite right, there. You know what I mean? She’s so perfectly innocent, maybe too perfectly innocent, and doesn’t seem traumatized at all.”

    “According to the files, Maisy’s already been through quite a lot,” Susan said. “Some children are just able to handle things better than others.”

    “Then why does the mother seem afraid of her?”

    “I didn’t ...” but Susan interrupted herself, thinking back over the events of the past hour. The interview they’d conducted with mother and child and the way the mother kept looking at little Maisy for confirmation of her words. Small things, a slight slip of the tongue that caused the corners of Maisy’s little bow mouth to droop down, the mother’s nervous correction.

    Maybe Rebecca was right, maybe there was something wrong here.

    249 words, thinking of serializing this WIP online
    @WendyStrain

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    Replies
    1. Oh awesome! What a twist, Wendy. :)

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    2. Oooh... I like this. Creepy and twisty.

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  9. @EdenConnor 248 words
    edenconnorwrites (at) gmail.com

    Marcus winced at the burst of feminine laughter from above. Where the hell am I?

    Images flashed painfully through his head. Getting off the cruise ship. Checking his storage locker. Hooking the charger to the motorcycle battery and going to the closest bar to wait. Flirting with a waitress who hadn’t charged him for his beers. Reaching the marina just ahead of the fog. Finding the bottle of Sauvignon blanc and downing it, while remembering every minute spent refitting the small yacht with Beau after they’d bought it—in pieces—at an ill-attended Coast Guard auction. He rolled onto one elbow when Beau’s voice drifted down the stairs.

    “So, how would you feel about getting engaged? Married by Christmas?”

    The merry laughter ceased.

    Marc jumped off the bed and moved through the boat. From the foot of the stairs, he spied a pair of black stilettos so small, they’d fit on his palm. One rested on Beau’s shoulder. Definitely not the mayor’s daughter. Bree had feet like skis.

    “Oh, Beau. My heart breaks at the idea of giving you your second refusal of the evening, but I turned in my marquis-cut for multiple O’s. You know what I mean?”

    Marc eased up the stairs. Beau knelt beside a woman with hair so red, it seemed to absorb every glimmer of light. Her lips turned up as she checked him out. She waved an empty wine bottle. “But I’ll wear the damn thing if he comes with the bargain.”

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  10. He sees her writhe in pain, her body contorted like organic origami; folding, bending and jolting with agony. He smiles.

    Heavily drugged, she cannot move from the bed. He likes it this way. Soon it will be over for her. Where would she go anyway?

    A gleaming knife cuts neatly at her flesh and he brings the camera closer to capture every moment, to savour it, he will replay this, and maybe even enjoy it more after the event.

    “I hate you so much,” she screams at him, her voice pure loathing, “I thought you loved me, how could you do this to me?”

    He smiles and says, “You wanted this as much as me. You asked for it. You know what I mean?”

    She scowls at him. She howls, a noise he has only ever heard from animals or horror films.

    Then…he sees the head. He hears the slosh of amniotic fluid and the scream of new life. He looks at her and as soon as she cradles their child, she smiles.

    @Making_Fiction
    173 Words

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  11. The wind shook the town car as it made its way along the winding road to Parson Manor. The rain blurred landscape darted passed, unseen by Alexis though she stared out the window. Her mind was haunted by the thoughts of her departed fiancรฉ, the one true love her life so suddenly taken from her. He promised he would return and they would be off on their adventure. Before she knew it, a knock came to the door. She smiled, turning the doorknob, anticipating his strong arms around her. Her excitement turned to anguish as the policeman told her the unthinkable. Overtaken by grief, Alexis…

    “Michelle?” Sam said, grimacing at the cover of the paperback he held in his hand, then glancing to her in the kitchen as she found a snack. “How can you read this crap?”

    “They’re just fun to pass the time,” Michelle said, holding a bowl limply in one hand and caressing her dome of a belly with the other. “You know what I mean? Not like I have anything else to do while I wait for the triplets to arrive.”

    @ChuckWesJ
    185 words

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  12. Sipping martinis on the porch Suzi and Emma reminisced and discussed their respective families. It was all very civilised and they were perfectly sophisticated. After a while things became more gossipy, more so the more the martinis flowed!
    It didn't happen often just once in a while when they had their once a month get together without any husbands or children.
    "did you see that one?
    Oh you, she is always like that!
    You know what I mean! Oops, nearly lost that bit, You do know what I mean?
    I do, honestly, but you have to give the benefit of doubt eh!"
    Giggling continued as suzi dribbled martini while about to make her next point. That's when they lost the conversation plot and decided to try archery ๐ŸŽฏ with Suzi's sons new set.
    (122)
    @lindorfan

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  13. I yawn, rocking my three day old daughter, moonlight pooling on the shiny laminate floor. It’s three in the morning, but that doesn’t matter. I smile when she lets out a tiny burp, then heaves a sigh. It blows my mind that such a tiny being came from us, you know what I mean? She’s got my nose and my eyes, but her dad’s chin.

    I'm almost asleep when she whimpers. I rub her back, trying to comfort her as she breaks into a full wail. I walk upstairs with her, humming as I rub her back. I need some practice changing diapers, but nevertheless, I remove the wet one, wipe her down and fumble for a couple minutes to get the new one centered and secure. If she notices how inept I am, she doesn’t seem to mind.

    When she's secure in her sleep-sack, I sit in the rocker in her nursery, cradling her to my chest. I have the normal fears of a first-time dad: am I raising her right? What will she be when she grows up? Will she understand why she has two dads? I gently stroke her impossibly soft red hair, as she squirms to get comfortable. I keep rocking, smiling when she sighs once again, snuggling against my neck, warm and secure. I keep humming and rocking, lulling us both to sleep.

    @Aightball
    228 Words

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  14. Laughter flitted down the hallway, bouncing across opulent tapestries and flickering torches. Markus loved chatting with his beautiful new paramour, as brave as she was beautiful.
    “You know what I mean.” Kara said, lowering her head slightly to gaze at her suitor with sinful green eyes.
    “Oh, I’m afraid I don’t.” Markus replied, after a quick glance behind them. “Please elaborate.” His smile was as genuine as it was charming.
    “I meant I like both kinds of swords. Single and double-bladed. And I’m quite good with both kinds, if I do say so myself.”
    Markus’ smile grew even wider.
    “That’s wonderful to hear. Of course with the double blade you get twice the, ah, edge, shall we say.”
    Kara drew him close; so close she could feel his warm breath on her lips.
    “I often find I enjoy having twice the edge. Don’t you?”
    “Indeed.” Markus replied. “But as with any skill, we must keep up our practice.”
    “Oh, I agree. Completely.” Kara lightly brushed his full, red lips with her own. “That is why we brought our associates along, is it not?”
    Markus glanced behind him again at the two strapping young men standing behind them. The young man’s grin could simply not have gotten any wider.
    “It is, it most certainly is.”

    @EvenSultry
    214 Words

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  15. The heft of the shovel weighed on her psyche. The blade cut into the wet soil as easily as a hatchet into flesh. Samantha used the back of her hand to wipe the tears from her cheeks. The sun sank low on the horizon, and tension tightened in her stomach. She had to finish before the night took over.

    “There are beings who roam this earth that are not human,” he grandfather had warned. Deep coughs robbed him of air, and she waited for him to finish. “You need to be aware at all times. Do you know what I mean?”

    For as long as she could remember, he repeated the same tales. Of men who shifted to wolves under the full moon, and seductive women who tempted with a flash of cleavage, and hid sharp teeth that drained the blood from a body. The ghost of her grandmother haunted their house, and there were days she prayed to see her parents, even in spectral form.

    Those were humans who had passed on, but some essence lingered or visited. But non-human creatures? Vampires and werewolves like in the movies? She didn’t believe until last night.

    Everything changed after Granddad died. A visitor knocked on the windows. When she peered out the second-story window, a man hovered. She shut the blinds, and knew the police couldn’t help. Instead, she read through the “emergency” journal, deciphering her grandfather’s instructions on “How to kill a nightwalker,” and by daylight she hunted.

    248 words
    @LouisaBacio

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

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