Thursday, February 16, 2012

#ThursThreads - The Challenge that Ties Tales Together - Week 10

Happy Post-Valentine's Day! Was it good for you? ;) I'm just glad it's Thursday, so what should you be doing? Writing #FlashFiction, that's what! Welcome to Week Ten of #ThursThreads, the challenge that ties tales together. Need the rule? 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 Ten:

The writer, runner, general trouble-maker, and fellow flashfiction fanatic, Janie Crouch.

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“How about we talk first, shoot later?”

Away with you, Flash Fiction Fanatics, and show us your #ThursThread. Good luck! :)


  1. Lafae held the arrow to her bowstring. It was the only human artifact she deigned to carry. Torfel, her brother and gryphon, loomed over her. She hated being human, hated being so small. It took a moment to remind herself that the humans who killed Cytersaurcanther were no larger than her. They were armed with more than arrows, though.

    A twig snapped and Torfel took wing, leaving Lafae on the ground, drawing her arrow to her cheek. “Stand where you are!”

    The creature that emerged from the foliage walked on four legs rather that two. “How about we talk first, shoot later?” the manticore asked.

    “That depends on your intention to eat me, Tiacoraline.” Lafae kept the arrow aimed at one of the brown eyes in the feline face.

    She roared a laugh. “I have no intention of eating you, child. It’s still a wonder to me you’re alive. No, I’m looking for your father.”

    “He’s dead.”

    “Not Cytersaurcanther, Cob. Is he dead as well?”

    Lafae gave the manticore another weighing glare easing the tension in her bowstring. “He’s alive. Come done, Torfel. It’s safe,” Lafae called to her brother above the trees. “I’m surprised to see you on the ground,” Lafae said conversationally. “It’s safer from the humans in the air.”

    “I still eat humans, child. I do not fear them.”

    “We’ll see how far that gets you,” Lafae muttered, leading Tiacoraline back to the aerie.

    237 words

  2. The Thrimble Family Circus and Emporium of Strange Phenomenon had pulled into town on a Thursday. It had been raining, but not so hard that the construction team couldn’t immediately get to work on setting up the big top.

    Hank, Thrimble’s oldest clown, touched up his make-up and snuck out of his van. His oversized shoes squelched in the mud. He straightened his bow tie, his suspenders, then his trick lapel flower. He adjusted his wig. Twenty-five steps took him to the main street, where he waved at cars, mugging when someone beeped.

    “You!” a voice called from behind him. “What’re you doing here?”

    Hank turned and nearly ran red-nose first into a short clown with a curly blue wig and diamonds painted around her eyes. Her red pants bagged around curvy hips. A bouquet of flowers protruded from the pocket.

    “Whaddya mean?”

    “This is my street. My town. I don’t want no clowns taking over my spot, ya unnerstand?” Her hand slid inside her jacket. “Wanna smell my flower?”

    “How about we talk first, shoot later?” Hank asked. “I’m with the circus.” He jerked his thumb over his shoulder toward the billowing tent.

    “I don’t care if you’re with Ringling. No clowns but me!”

    Liquid squirted out of her flower, hitting Hank in his painted kisser. It burned, and he clawed at his face.

    The little clown smirked. “This is a one-clown town, and I aim to keep it that way.”

    She bent down and honked his disintegrating nose.

    250 words

  3. “Now let’s explore this idea we touched upon earlier. Your father’s conversation with you the night your mother passed?”

    Bradley nodded and took a deep breath, brushing a few blonde strands of hair from his eyes.

    “Yes,” he replied, “I remember him coming home and grabbing me gently by the shoulders. I was wearing my cowboy hat and was shooting him with my guns. I remember him saying, ‘Slow down, cowboy. How about we talk first, shoot later?’”

    “Go on.”

    “Well, he took my guns to set them on a nearby coffee table, but then he stopped and looked at them. His hands began to shake, and I could see he was upset.”

    “And that’s just before he told you your mother had died?”

    “Yes, and I thought he was just really sad. Like he was trying to be strong for me, but for a moment he had slipped.”

    “But you said you think something else now?”

    “Yes, Dr. Kumar. I think, um, I think he saw the guns and remembered what he’d done. That he’d killed her.”

    Dr. Kumar nodded and excused herself. This was it, the breakthrough she’d been hoping for to finally get him.

    As she closed the door behind her, glancing through the two-way mirror at the ten-year-old boy, she addressed the group in front of her. “At least now Bradley acknowledges that she was murdered. It’s a start. Maybe in a few more sessions we’ll understand why he took his mother’s life.”

    247 words

  4. Hands shaking with nerves and excitement, I entered the pilfered password. The computer beeped in welcome, the sound like an alarm in the after hours hush of the office. I froze, waiting for someone to bust me. Seconds passed in silence and I exhaled.

    I plugged in the jump drive.

    I’d waited months for this moment. I felt like a hero—a god—poised to slay the demon. She would never know the source of her downfall, though I wanted to shout to the world that it was me. All me.

    “Oh, it’s you.”

    I jerked to my feet as she chambered a round and leveled a handgun on me. I stared down the barrel making terrible promises and lifted my hands in surrender.

    “I knew your resume looked too good to be true.”

    “Easy now,” I croaked. “How about we talk first—”

    “Shoot later?” she finished, eying me coldly. “That’s one idea.”


    “Let’s start with an easy question. Who sent you here to destroy the lives of hundreds of hard working people?”

    My heroic actions sounded far less noble put that way.

    “I don’t know what you mean,” I said.

    “Okay,” she sighed. “Since you’re fucking me over, how about I shoot your dick off and see what you know then? What do you think?”

    I gulped. “I think maybe I misspoke.”

    The computer chimed loudly. Upload complete. Damage done. I closed my eyes.

    “Well, damn,” she said. “You’re in for a world of hurt now.”

    250 words

  5. (Might as well continue!)

    “How about we talk first, shoot later?”

    She pulled the trigger. The hammer slammed down, sounding to me like a cannon blast as it struck. For one second, I was sure my heart stopped.

    Click. That was it. No spark.

    I swatted the silver-traced barrel away from my head. With her weapon malfunctioned, the woman abandoned it and spun to bolt. She slapped face-first into Sam, a short squeak bursting from her lips, and got a good, up-close look at his whiskery face. Sam’s memorable mug came complete with a few missing teeth, boozy breath, and slight sheen of madness to his eyes that got worse when he grinned, which he did then. “Hey, darlin’.”

    She fainted. Not that I blamed her a bit. I would have gone boots-up too. It was a personal rule to never get close enough to Sam to get a good whiff and standing upwind had become second nature. Lucky for her, I caught her before she could slam to the floor.

    “You always seem to do that to women, Sam.”

    He leaned over and picked up her ankles, helping me carry her dead weight to a nearby lounge. His act of surprising her had restored a sliver of his normal humor, and he smiled at me as we laid her gently on the furniture. “Make ‘em swoon with my manly charms, eh?”

    “Is that what we’re calling it this week?”

    “You’re jus’ jealous.”

    “You keep telling yourself that, Casanova.”

    245 words
    Nancy P.

  6. “How about we talk first, shoot later?” Carrie asked.

    "The time for talking is long gone," Margot said. "They won't even be able to clean the grease stains off the floor when I'm finished with you."

    "I really don't understand why you find it necessary to be so violent. Why can't we handle this situation in a friendly polite discussion?"

    "You can't stop over analyzing things can you? It's quite simple really. We had some very basic rules for our relationship, but you just have to argue and equivocate."

    "Ooh Margot's using big girl words."

    "I'm going to enjoy slaughtering you."

    "I'm sorry. I can't help the sarcasm, it's an a defensive mechanism. I'm sure you understand."

    "Oh I understand alright. Let's get this over with. All it will take is one shot and the issue will be settled once and for all."

    Carrie sighed. "Fine, take your shot. I'm tired of trying to reason with you."

    "Ha! For a smart girl you don't know the difference between reasoning and arguing." Margot took aim.

    "Wait. Let me think for a minute."

    "Too late," Margot grinned. The shot from half court was nothing but net.

    Carrie ran to get the basketball, stood on the half court line and took her shot.

    "Oh a brick, H-O-R-S-E spells horse. You've got dishes for the next TWO weeks!"

    "You sharked me; that is so unfair," Carrie pouted.

    "That's what you get for assuming you're more athletic than me."

    244 Words

  7. “Why are you helping me? Aren’t you the law?”

    The Sheriff shrugged with one shoulder. “As an officer of the law, I’m here to serve and protect, and you looked like you needed protecting.” He focused on the steaks, but she sensed his attention remained on her. “Besides, I like to get to know all the West of Left Fielders in my jurisdiction and you’re new.”

    West of Left Field. She’d recognized the code back when he first said it in the neighborhood. It gave her a new appreciation for just how much trouble she could be in.

    Did the men from Area 51 know what the Sheriff was or had he managed to hide in plain sight? And if they didn’t know, would he turn her in to protect his own secret?

    “You aren’t going to shoot me?”

    “How about we talk first, shoot later? If I have to, that is.”

    Nora relaxed and nodded.

    “You haven't been sniffing around Area 51 recently, have you?”

    His question made her stiffen up. “Why do you ask?”

    “Only because I had this guy in my office this afternoon asking about someone who looks just like you.” He flipped the steaks over. “Said you were stealing secrets from Area 51. That the truth or was he handing me a load of bullshit?”

    Stealing secrets? What a crock. She was the secret.

    Nora backed up a few steps before she bolted, hoping to make it to the woods before he caught her.

    250 ineligible #WIP500 words

  8. The door slammed open. Shit, I’m in trouble. Jake was standing there with his dumb ole shotgun aimed right at Reb. I had to think quick.

    “Howabout we talk first, shoot later?” I slipped out of the sheets and Jake’s eyes clung to my neked body.


    “Cuz you got it all wrong.”

    “Do I?” He sighted the barrel at Reb again. Thank God, Reb kept his yap shut. Still, I could feel him watching me as I shifted my hip into Jake’s crotch.

    “C’mon. You, me and Reb - together.” Jake’s not all that smart; I could see the wheels turning. So I kissed him rough, the way he liked just to give him the idea.

    “Put the gun down and get undressed.” I ran my hand under his shirt up his muscular chest.

    “But you said we’d talk first, shoot later?” He mumbled against my lips.

    “I did. You don’t need that ole shotgun for what I have in mind.” My hand slipped down and got busy in his Levi’s. The shotgun dropped to the floor and I pushed it under the bed with my foot.

    “Alright. But I get firsts,” he growled, sliding his arms around me. He’d always been such a good kisser. Reb’s hands slid up my thighs from behind. I knew he was game. I looked up at Jake’s handsome face as he and Reb eyed each other over me, like two dogs over a shared bone.

    Oooh, this is gonna be fun!

    Word count: 249

  9. “I think we should talk about this.”
    “There’s really nothing to talk about Aaron.”
    “I think there is.”
    “How about we talk first, shoot later?”
    “I would but I think those bank robbers might kill you first.”
    “Yes those bullets slinging by me should be the first clue.” Aaron said pulling out his service revolver and firing.
    “Well you winged them, but who are you talking to Aaron? Asked Peter worried.
    “No one just talking to myself Peter.”
    “You’ve been shot Aaron.”
    “Don’t look at me. He can’t see me you know that.” Maureen requested.
    ”Shot?” Aaron asked looking down at the gaping hole in his chest
    “Don’t worry buddy I’ll get you help.”
    Peter radioed for help. Aaron heard the sirens and felt his heart slow.
    “I felt your lips brush me yesterday when I was sleeping.”Aaron mumbled
    “That was the only way I could kiss you.”
    “I think I’ve always loved you. We made good partners but I should have put in for the transfer so we could have been together.”
    “SH we’re together now.”
    “Aaron don’t listen to whoever you’re talking to. Fight buddy, fight.”
    “Am I dying Maureen?”
    “Yes Aaron but we can finally really be together. Come my love, no more barriers.”
    She took his hand and he felt calm, then a tingling as he left his earthly body behind. Aaron beheld a gleaming white light of warmth and kindness, overwhelm him .He stepped forward Maureen holding his hand as it welcomed them home.
    250 words

  10. “How about we talk first, shoot later?” Jerome asked as he watched Callie stomp around in the designer shoes and dress.
    She stared at him, the last thing she wanted to do was talk to him. Actually that wasn’t exactly true, she wanted to be far away from here and him.
    “I know this isn’t easy, this is a job. You’re the model, I’m the photographer. We’ve just got to get these pictures taken and then we probably never have to see each other again.”
    “You would like that, wouldn’t you?” She moved in front of him swiftly, which surprised him because of the height of the heels.
    “What’s your problem, I don’t understand.” He put his camera down, he didn’t understand this attitude, he wasn’t sure he was supposed to understand it.
    She picked up the nearest thing she could get her hand on, throwing it against the wall. “You are my problem. You’re such a jackass. You’re a screw them and leave them type.”
    When she’d arrived earlier at his door, he had a feeling she might harbor some anger about their one night stand. It had been years ago though, shouldn’t it be water under the bridge? “What do you want me to do? Sleep with you again so you feel better about yourself?”
    He took a deep breath, slightly shocked. He could see now he’d hurt her, “I’m sorry.” As soon as he said it, he knew it meant it.
    “Thank you, where’s my mark?”

    Word Count: 250

  11. It’s hard to remember this is a game when you’re inworld--mists rising like ghosts around you, blocking view of the hunters you know are waiting out there somewhere. It’s harder still in a multiplayer game, when anyone can join in. In capture role-play games where any guy could take you captive.

    I’d just come out of the marsh when I heard the ping of a bow-string losing an arrow, and the thud as it hit my thigh. Panicked, I broke cover and ran. Piiinnng. Piiinnng. Two more fired in quick succession, immobilizing me with the required 3 hits. Before I’d been inworld five minutes a hunter stood above me to stake his claim. A handsome hunter--wild dark hair and darker eyes. Not bad.

    “Man, you didn’t even fight back. Is your knife thrower broke?” He helped me up.

    I shrugged. “I just don’t know how to use it.”

    He reset my energy to full. Then he taught me, pulling me close to that muscled chest, teaching me to site and fire in a voice as sexy as it was patient. Mmm, that Italian accent. Then he let me loose.

    Five minutes later. I was down again, having only got off one shot.

    “I think I need another lesson,” I said.

    He smoothed my tumbled hair. “Maybe,” he said. “First we talk, some. Shoot later.”

    Only he didn’t talk, as he joined me in the cool meadow grass, his broad body covering mine.

    Neither did I.
    249 words

  12. Azrael spread his arms and wings out in front of Naomi, his bourbon-hued eyes narrowed and fierce. A golden bow appeared in the angel’s outstretched hands and he pulled an arrow from the quiver on his back.

    “How about we talk first, shoot later?” The Hunter asked, rasping through his mask.

    “I think ... not,” Azrael replied, aiming and releasing in a blinding movement.

    The Hunter ducked out of the way as the arrow grazed his body armor. He gazed down at the tear and then looked defiantly back at Azrael.

    “Protector of mankind, eh?” he said. “Oh, how the mighty have fallen.”

    “Fuck you, General,” Azrael spat. “You brought this fight on yourselves. The Fallen never meant anyone any harm – until you decided to exterminate us.”

    Azrael had lost track of the woman behind him, the one he wished to protect. He only remembered as she stepped past his wings, her body curled seductively toward the hunter.

    “Naomi, what the hell?” Azrael hissed.

    He couldn’t see her face, but he knew her green eyes were locked hypnotically on the hunter. The man drooled, glassy-eyed in the face of the Siren. He moved toward her, as though pulled by an invisible rope. When he was close enough, Naomi struck, her hand finding the only weakness in his armor at his throat. He died with a lovesick smile on his face.

    “Talking is messy, Azz,” she said, stepping lightly over the hunter’s body. “You need to learn the art of action.”

    250 Words

  13. Finally, they caught me. I have never been more excited about anything in my life.

    “I cannot believe you did this,” the Darkness squeals with rage. “And you did it on purpose.”

    I raise my hands above my head and kneel. Three officers approach me with their guns trained on me. An anxious rookie vibrates as he approaches and I hear the click of his revolver readying to blast a bit of lead through me—sadly, not even a bullet would put me out of my misery.

    “How about we talk first, shoot later?” his commander says without unlocking his gaze from me.

    “Take them,” it demands.

    I close my eyes. I am tired. I need to rest. The aggressive boot of the rookie slams into my back, thrusting me face down into rank smelling concrete of the alley. I control my urges to feed, a fight greater than these three men mortal men could ever understand. The smells of their flesh entice my senses; the heavy scents of their musk masked with soap and cologne.
    The cold metal encircles my wrists as though it could hold me if I wished to be free. The rookie forces me to my feet. The other two slide the light of their torches over me. The horror on their faces fade seeing that the monster haunting their streets is nothing more than a man like them. I would appear innocent if it were not for the blood soaking my clothing.

    247 Words

  14. Bait

    “How about we talk first, shoot later?” Burke said.
    The corporate negotiator made my skin crawl. His synth-silk suit and pearled smile were as genuine as a Arcturian whore’s love.
    “You want to talk to those fucking things? What the fuck are you going to say?” I snarled.
    Burke clapped me on the shoulder armor and I could almost feel the slime trail, “How about we invite them over for dinner? Maybe share a bottle of wine or something. You can’t just kill everything you run across, Sergeant.”
    “But we brought all these guns… I mean, they’re heavy, you know. It’d be a shame not to use ‘em.” Corporal Hicks smarted off.
    “Why don’t you go over there and negotiate, Mr. Smooth. We’ll hold our fire,” I said. I needed him to get his rancid lawyer breath out of my face, now.
    “Now we’re talking. You grunts relax… I’ve got this.”
    Burke hopped the barricade and sauntered over No-Man’s-Land with his hand help up three-quarters in mock submission.
    Corporal Hicks shook his head in disbelief, “Fucking suits. Think they know everything.”
    “Keep a bead on him.” I told the company. “This ain’t going to take long.”
    Burke made it to the earthen trench before the swarm erupted from their positions and buried him in black bio-armored soldiers. The negotiator's scream lasted long after their titanium claws ripped his limbs from his body and tore his guts into bloody streamers.
    “OPEN FIRE!”

    246 words

  15. Caldwell’s shadow thrashed around wildly, seizing the abandoned drinks from the nearby tables. Just one of those days. He couldn’t tell if it was his shadow or the remaining patrons screaming. Was a quiet drink too much to ask for? Work had been hard to come by lately, pretty soon he wouldn’t be able to afford nights out like this.

    “Settle down, will ya?” Caldwell groaned at his shadow before downing some fancy vodka drink it had grabbed from another table.

    At least the bar tender was keeping her wits about her. At this point Caldwell just let his shadow retrieve fresh drinks from the old oak bar as the pretty tender put them up. Not a drop of tonight’s drink had gone to Caldwell yet, but his head was already aching in anticipation of the tab. Hopefully he’d be able to imbibe enough to sate the demon before the authorities showed up to drag him away. Just one of those days.

    The windows being smashed in and crushing clatter of the SWAT Team was unexpected.

    “Now see what you’ve done?” Caldwell shot a glance at his shadow, which suddenly lay flat like it was supposed to.

    “How about we talk first, shoot later?” Caldwell raised his hands slowly, a dozen gun barrels pinning him to the wall.

    “Caldwell Keller?” A purple haired tight suited woman stepped forward.


    “We have a job for you.”

    “You don’t say,” Caldwell smiled. Maybe it wouldn’t be one of those days after all.

    250 words

  16. “Oh no we are NOT doing that,” Said the bank robber to a little girl who had stood up to him. The girl, who had introduced herself as Gwen, grinning at his response. “Please? I enjoy a good wild west showdown.” She pleaded. He had two guns. She had asked if they could have a showdown when she noticed his spare piece. Gwen wasn’t your typical fourteen year old. Her brother had her trained on every gun under the moon. She was going to deposit a pearl handled and gold inlaid pepperbox pistol when the robber had decided to disrupt her on the way out. “Are you crazy? I’m not going to shoot a girl!” He shouted, despite keeping his shotgun fixed on the girl. “So then I’ll win?” She asked, regretting this mans’ appearance only AFTER she had submitted her gun into the safe. “No, I mean-- shut up! You want to try me, try me!” He pulled out his spare pistol, the girl had been egging him the past hour with riddles and questions, much like children do. She took the gun, it had a good weight. “Okay, five paces from here.” Gwen ordered, they went back to back and she could tell the robber was tense. Everyone else had left long ago while the questioning was going on. Truth be told, she could have left too. They walked about three paces before the pint sized girl spun on her heel and shot the man in the back.

    250 words

  17. It had been a good ride. Traipsing through Mexico. Just me and Jake. We’d hit up a good dozen banks. And figured we’d hit one more, and then retire to Guatemala.

    But when we’d hit that last bank, and the entire Mexican Army was waiting for us. Don’t know how we’d got away alive. Only to be trapped inside an old church. No food. No water. And the Mexican Army right outside. Waiting. They could out wait us. We’d either starve to death, die of thirst, or get desperate enough to come out. And then they’d shoot us to bits.

    After a few hours of this, I decided I’d had enough. “Jake,” I started, “Got a handkerchief?”

    Jake chuckled. “Not a good time to have the sniffles, Jose,” as he gave me his hanky. I grabbed it, and crawled along the ground to the big stick I’d seen. I tied that handkerchief to the stick. And crawled back.

    “What the hell are you doing, Jose?” Jake laughed.

    “I’m gonna raise the white flag, and then I’ll ask the Mexicans something.”

    Jake looked at me. And shook his head. “You already know the answer they’ll give you.”

    I inched over to where the door had once been. I raised that home made white flag. Then I loudly proclaimed.

    “Hey! Guys! How ‘bout we talk first, and shoot later?”

  18. Bright Lights

    Quietly, she slid the pink satin robe off her shoulders to reveal her alabaster skin of her chest to the bright lights. A small caduceus tattoo graced the vale between her breasts, a bitter memory saved closest to her heart, lest she not forget.

    Somewhat cold, the air always was in these kinds of places. They claimed it kept the lenses from gathering condensation, but she knew the Perv’s just wanted to see her nipples at their perkiest.

    She went through the motions: Smile, Bend, Extend, Spread. The actions were there, but she wasn’t in the moment like he wanted.

    “How about we talk first, shoot later? There seems to be something bothering you today. I’m just not feeling it.”

    With a street corner smile, she taunted. “Mama not got what you like baby? You need a little blue?”

    “No. That’s not it. Really. I don’t hook up with Whores. These pictures might have been the ones that got you on the scene, but your eyes are too sad. We should do this some time when you don’t look like you’ve been rode hard all night.”

    A flash behind her eyes sent her into a silent rage. Without a word, she strolled to her purse and lit the last cigarette from a crumpled pack and tossed the lighter back inside. A small metallic sound emanated from the bowels of the bag when her Zippo bounced off her gun, reminding her what kind of shot she actually came there to make.

    250 Words - @acenance

  19. Jersey aimed the rifle at the man in the monkey suit, even as he raised his hands up and gave her an easy grin.

    “Now now, Marshal. Can’t we talk first and shoot later?” he took one step towards her.

    “There is nothing to talk about, Mr. Decker. As far as I’m concerned, I’m within my rights to either shoot you or take you in. Drugging and kidnapping a marshal doesn’t go over well in the courts.”

    “Kidnapping. I wasn’t kidnapping, I was helping you escape from that den of thieves and murderers.” He took a step to the side, hands out to his sides.

    “I was tied up.” She narrowed her eyes, that barrel following him.

    “I was afraid that you were sympathizing with those ruffians. It really was for your own good. I’m only trying to help after all.” He beamed, brushing a hand through his silver hair. “I’m sure your superior would understand what I was trying to do.”

    “He trusts that I can keep my head together and not be influence by negative factions.” She gave him a tight smile.

    Decker made a face like he got whiff of a particularly foul sock. “Well, women shouldn’t even be allowed to be in law enforcement. A man can overpower them any time they want so it’s useless for this equal treatment crap.”

    “Yes, so you’ve so expressed by trafficking in humans. Which is a jailable offense. So I’m afraid I’m going to have to take you in.”

    250 words

  20. "How about we talk first, shoot later?" I asked, pouring us each some whiskey, making his a double.

    "You didn't bring it?" he asked, happy for the booze, but still worried.

    "Oh, I brought it. I just want to be sure you're going to PAY for it AND for what you already owe me."

    "Come on! You know I lost my job. It's hard to find work right now." He held out his already-empty glass, hoping to receive more.

    I poured him another double. "You've said that before. I've got bills to pay too, you know."

    He didn't answer right away. Clearly, he was troubled. He SHOULD be. He downed the whiskey in a single gulp and held out the glass again. I hadn't even taken a sip, yet.

    With a wave of my hand over his glass, I dismissed his request and gave him what he had wanted in the first place.

    "This is the LAST time," I said, pulling the bag back toward me briefly before holding it where he could reach it.

    Without a word - just a grunt, he snatched the bag from my hand, made his preparations, applied a tourniquet and began shooting the drug into his arm.

    Between all the whiskey he had drunk and my having given him a higher concentration to shoot than he usually took, this was the last time, for sure.

    His wallet didn't have much money in it, but he had paid, all right. He had paid.

    248 Words

  21. Looking back down at the body, the younger detective seemed to finally come to the same conclusion the elder had moments ago and he shook his head, grimacing.

    “When we catch this sick son of a bitch, I’m gonna-”

    His threat was cut off by the older man’s hand on his shoulder and a caution: “How about we talk first, shoot later?”

    She tuned out of the conversation and turned away from the scene.

    All interest in her original plans for the evening had disappeared and all she wanted to do was rest; to fall into an exquisite, dreamless sleep.

    100 words

  22. "You know what amuses me?" I say to the crowd of armed soldiers encircling me. I take a deep breath, noting the pungent smell of fear. When no one answers, I decide to continue anyway. "The frailty." I poke the corpse at my feet.
    "We’d like to avoid any more fatalities this evening. Can we have words?" A boring voice shouts in my general direction. Avoid fatalities? Hah! I think, knowing they plan to kill me. The truth is, however, that they will never be able.
    "What's this? ‘How about we talk first, shoot later?’" I ask rhetorically and grin. “It’s unfortunate that you came here.” I rise to my feet and walk toward the speaker, leaving behind what was left of my sanity. As several guns fire, I disappear with a flash of light.
    I appear in front of the second of many to die tonight. He fires at my torso, but I’ve transformed my skin into thick, spiked scales that are nigh impenetrable.
    “Baa, baa, dead sheep,
    Have you come to pray?
    You’re too late, you’re too late,
    It’s oblivion day.” I impale him with my other arm.
    “One for the feeding,
    One for the game,
    No retreat now,
    You’ll die just the same!” I roar with crazed laughter and hurl his body through the air. One by one the death toll rises until all that remains is a beast.
    “Baa, baa, dead sheep…” I, the beast, mutter between bouts of chuckles and wander away.

    247 words

  23. #ThursThreads is now CLOSED. See you next week!


Comments are on moderation, so they'll become visible once I've read them. Words, words, words. I love them. Have you a few to lend?

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