Thursday, February 23, 2012

#ThursThreads - The Challenge that Ties Tales Together - Week 11

Happy Post-Release Day! Was it good for you? It was pure awesomesauce for me and you can always click on the cover and get your own copy! ;) But now that it's Thursday, so what should you be doing? Writing #FlashFiction, that's what! Welcome to Week Eleven 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 Eleven:

The Geek-For-Hire, biophysics Doc, and fellow flashfiction fanatic, J. Whitworth Hazzard.

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

"Let's get this over with."

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


  1. Kendralandel approached the coast warily. Normally the sea was a source of comfort, but today she found no relief in the rolling surf, the smell of salt, the wash of healing power that came from water. She had that power. Until now it had only be used for healing, but today, she would put it to a new use.

    “Let’sss get thisss over with,” Scathylontasha said as she approached. The snake-like creature was earthbound. She had power over the land, moving stone and sand. Unicorns had worked with Basilisk, but rarely. They shared a desire to do what served them, to bend the laws and rules as necessary for their mutual survival. That was what had brought the pair of them here.

    “Let’s,” Kendralandel agreed, pointing her horn into the surf. The water level began to rise, eddies forming and reforming along the shore.

    Scathylontasha coiled herself and closed her eyes. The ground beneath them began to shake in violent ripples. Scathylontasha and Kestrelandel were neither the strongest nor the eldest of their kinds, but each was radical, each was willing to take great steps at great personal cost. Each was willing to break the world.

    196 words

  2. Six men stood on the cliff overlooking the ocean.

    “You sure it’s deep enough, Sam?” one asked. “I don’t want to smash my head on the bottom.”

    “Don’t be a wuss, Jay,” Sam replied. “It’s deep. We’ve all done this, remember?”

    “Okay,” Jay said, but his voice cracked, and his face looked sallow in the moonlight. “Let’s get this over with.”

    He took off his shoes, pulled his shirt over his head, unfastened his pants and pulled them and his boxers off. Standing, shivering and naked, he said, “I need a drink.” Sam passed him the vodka. Jay took a pull, wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, and walked to the edge.

    “See you at the bottom. Swim north along the cliff, and you’ll get to the beach.” He slapped Jay’s bare back. “Then you’re in the fraternity. And we can go celebrate.”

    Jay looked down at the moonlit waves, hesitated.

    “Don’t just jump. And no fucking cannonballs. Head-first dive, or it doesn’t count.”

    Jay nodded, took a deep breath, and launched himself into a perfect dive.

    The monster surfaced so quickly, and caught him in its toothy mouth so smoothly, that Jay didn’t have time to scream.

    Sam bowed to the monster. It nodded back at him before it sank into the sea. Sam took a swig of vodka, and handed it around to the frat brothers. “Man,” he said, as they started back to the car. “Human sacrifice is just getting too damned easy.”

    250 words

  3. Trekking up the mountain seemed like a good idea at the time. Bart needed time alone and fresh air. Things had been hectic lately with his new promotion. The suffocating pressure made him claustrophobic. Getting away from the city was the best decision he’d made in a long time.

    He looked up at the rocky peak. By the looks of it, not many people had made it this far.

    I didn’t come out here for nothing. Might as well take it all the way.

    He hoisted his slipping backpack higher and scrambled up the side. Finding handholds proved difficult. More than once, smaller rocks rolled down into his face, some hitting him in the legs. He stumbled and grabbed for a root. It came loose in his hands, and before he could move, a huge boulder bounced down, landing on top of him.

    Waking up dazed and confused, he tried to shield his face from the sun directly overhead. He thought he’d broken his left arm, but soon realized it was pinned underneath the massive boulder. Luckily it had stopped on his arm and not his head.

    Rolling on his side, he slipped his backpack free. He had a little water left and a power bar. It would have to sustain him until help came.

    When night arrived, he shivered in the cold mountain air. He had to make a choice. Time was up. Opening up his backpack, he took out his rope cutting knife.

    “Let’s get this over with.”

    250 Words

  4. "Let's get this over with."
    “I don’t know if I can do this.”
    “You have to .The Majority decided it must be done. It’s the only way to go to their world with no suspicion.”
    “The creature is so ugly and to make me look like them...”
    “You volunteered for the astronaut program Sheera.”
    “I know. I just never thought I would have to change myself into an alien.”
    “It’s only temporary.’
    “Don’t lie to me. “Don’t lie to me. There is no cure right now. I know the risks doctor.”
    “Sheera you told the Majority you’d do this. Are we going ahead with this, or should I find a more willing astronaut? Perhaps Aidru?”
    “Aidru are you kidding me? He barely passed the training.”
    “So you agree?”
    “Yes okay I’ll do it. You had better be working on a way to make me better.”
    The doctor injected the serum into Sheera and she quickly transformed
    Sheera looked in a mirror and cried “I’m so ugly”.
    “I’ll do everything in my power to find a cure, so you can be beautiful again.” the doctor responded.
    “I’m holding you to that. I’m off.These aliens better be worth all the trouble.”
    “I’m told we need them to continue our existence, but they fear of us.”
    “They are so primitive why would we need them?”
    “They have something ingrained in them that makes them achieve despite all odds.”
    “And this planet is called?”
    239 words

  5. “Are you sure it’s safe?” The stylish co-ed licked her strawberry-glossed lips nervously and tossed her perfectly-coiffed mane.

    “Absolutely,” the med student assured her, pushing his glasses up higher to admire the brevity of her miniskirt. “You just won't be as smart.”

    “I don’t care about that, just as long as it won't leave a scar. I absolutely can't have a scar.”

    “No scar.”

    “No skin problems from the virus? This peaches-and-cream complexion is my trademark. I won't give that up.”

    “Not a blemish.”

    “And you’re sure they won't chase me after this?” She clicked her perfectly manicured pink nails on the arms of the chair.

    “Promise.” He wondered how she could be so stupid and still function as an adult. But he figured with looks like hers, men probably stumbled all over themselves to help her out. Thank God for dumb chicks, he thought.

    “Okay.” She took a deep breath. “Let’s get this over with.”

    She shot the 100-proof alcohol in one gulp, making a disgusted face. Then he secured her arms to the chair with his roommate’s tacky ties. It got messy when they squirmed. Lifting the ice pick and rubber mallet to her Barbie doll eyes, he thanked his limited medical training for saving his life. It was a less-than-moral solution, but his supply of slow prey kept the zombie frat boys off of him.

    It’s a good thing the boys love scrambled brains, he thought as he struck the pick sharply producing yet-another perfect lobotomy.

    249 words

  6. “Oh my God, Ron! She’s dead!”

    He was up off his seat in a fraction of a second, bolting into their daughter’s room.

    “Ron, oh Ron!” she cried, dropping to her knees.

    He stared in horror at the body. Frozen, lifeless, pale. Pushing his emotions aside, he knew instantly that this would not end well in any imagined scenario.

    “I think you poisoned her, Mary,” he said, looking forlornly at his wife, who had begun to sob.

    “I did not! How could I have poisoned her?”

    He shook his head and walked further into the room staring down at the corpse. Turning back to his wife, he said, “Let’s get this over with, and stop being so overdramatic!”

    He grabbed the little round fish tank and carried it to the bathroom. He’d leave it up to his wife to explain to Alli that she’d killed her goldfish.

    147 words

  7. I had done plenty of hard things in my lifetime. Difficult but necessary, I’d always squared up and done what needed done.

    Walking into that chapel with the plain pine casket made everything else seem like child’s-play. I pulled off my hat and took the first step. My feet had a tough time moving, weighed down by the lump in my throat. I’d have gladly strolled into the middle of a gunfight instead of walking that aisle.

    When I reached her, I folded my arms on the side of the rough box, resting my forehead on them. We were alone and frankly, I didn’t care if I was overheard. One of my hands snaked into the casket, folding around her still fingers.

    “I shoulda said this to you a long time ago. You were my weakness. I’da jumped the moon if you’d asked. I’da hung it all up. You were worth it, ten times the person I am. And you deserved better’n me. You deserved somebody who could take you away from all this, put you up in a fancy manor with satin sheets, the whole deal. Dunno what you saw in me, Hannah, but you made me better.” I paused. “But not good enough.”

    “Time’s up,” Sam interrupted from the doorway, his voice soft.

    I let out a long sigh and laid one of my guns in the casket beside her. Together Sam and I lowered the lid on and nailed it shut. "Let's get this over with."

    (249 words)
    Nancy P

  8. Lena half marched, half dragged Claire by her hair. She kept her gun trained on me and Sarah, prodding us forward.

    “Stop here.” Lena motioned to Sarah. “Open the door.”

    Sarah hesitated long enough for Lena to cock the gun, then rushed to enter the code. The airlock seals released and the door slid open.

    “Good girl. Now let’s get this over with.”

    She pushed Claire into the airlock, aimed, and pulled the trigger.

    I clapped my hands over my ears, the shot detonating and rebounding in the enclosed space. Claire staggered back, blood spilling over the hand clutched to her chest. Sarah’s mouth hung open—was she screaming? I squeezed my eyes shut against the heavy ache pressing against my ears and muffling all sound but a tinny ringing.

    Lena jammed the barrel under my chin, the metal slightly warm.

    “Watch.” She mouthed the word carefully and I nodded my understanding.

    She entered another code on the security panel. The airlock door closed. Warning lights signaled the opening of the outer doors. Sarah ran for the panel, only to get backhanded away by Lena, tumbled to the floor by the blow.

    Teases of sound leaked through—my nanites were repairing the damage—and I could hear Sarah crying.

    Lena eyed us both with a satisfied smile. She leaned close, putting her mouth against my ear.

    “I hope there are no questions about what I’ll do if either of you misbehave.”

    “I’ll kill you for this.”

    “You’re welcome to try.”

    250 words

  9. In the swirling dust, the only thing I could see was her bubble-gum pink nails. That and the barrel of the gun. Behind her, the shapes of her comrades were just that—shapes, wavering in the glaring sun and sharp reflections off of the flying sand particles.

    “Are you sure this is the only way?” I shouted. My voice was eaten by the howling wind, but I distinctly saw her nod. Though her head-covering enclosed her mouth, I felt like I could make out the curve of her lips. I wanted to say immortality was worth it, but when I thought that I had imagined laying in a bed with soft sheets, being bitten gently and rocked into that sweet darkness by the hushed voices of the Others. Not a rough tear at the wrist and bullet to the head on a cliff. “Why here?”

    She pressed the gun against my heart, put her cloth-covered mouth against my ear. “Ritual, Nikola. Do you want this or not?” My teary eyes drifted behind her. Even in the burqas, they were as beautiful as they were terrifying. And I would spend eternity with them.

    “Let’s get this over with,” I screamed, my last word blasted away with the gunshot. Before the darkness swallowed me, she pressed those pink nails against the blood spreading in my shirt and offered it to the Others. They removed their mouth covers and instead of heaven, there was hell. And it was mine eternally.


  10. Another Happy Customer
    By Wakefield Mahon

    "Let's get this over with," Katy said taking off her jacket.

    "Are you serious?" John asked. "I paid good money for this; you could at least pretend to be enjoying yourself."

    Katy sighed and shook her head. "Do you have any idea how long I've been doing this?"
    "Well you don't look a day over…"

    "Please, just stop, we both know if I only had two teeth it wouldn't change anything so enough with the false compliments."

    "You really know how to keep a customer happy don't you?"

    "I know your type. You always want to try crazy tricks with no consideration for the consequences. What does your wife think of you doing this?"

    The more agitated John became, the more he looked like his eyes might pop out of his head. "What I tell my wife is my business. I don't need the likes of you lecturing me about morality or marriage!"

    "Don't you think she might…? Oh never mind just make sure you do exactly what I tell you."

    John grew a lascivious grin. "Yes ma'am."

    Katy barely concealed her disgust. "Grab that bag, please."

    "Do we really need all of this?"

    Katy tightened John's harness. "Well we could do it the old fashioned way but that would cost you triple."

    "I just think it would be more fun without all of the gadgets."

    "If you want to scale a 3000 foot wall without gear, feel free to do in on somebody else's mountain. Come on; let's go."

    250 words

  11. “I haven’t been this nervous since...”

    The latch closed. The action was careless, not angry, but the sound of the door closing echoed across the linoleum and masonry blocks like a detonation in closed quarters. The concussion rang in his ears, penetrated his flesh, made him want to duck and cover.

    He shifted his eyes. On the opposite wall, a white bunny in a vest carried eggs in a basket. Further down the hallway, stick figure drawings hung from a wire by clothes pins. At the end of the hallway, a door opened and a single person walked out. Jon stepped back against the wall, his hand reaching for the sidearm that wasn’t there.

    Shit, he thought. The shadow turned into a door half-way between him and the door at the far end of the corridor. He hadn’t felt this exposed since—no, he might have felt safer in Falluja. The only cover available for twenty yards in either direction was a janitor’s cart.

    “Jon.” He snapped toward the woman’s voice to find his sister standing in the doorway, impractically dressed for walking in a skirt and three inch heels.  She studied him with worry. “Are you ready?”

    “Let’s get this over with,” he exhaled and followed her through the door, coming face to face with twenty second graders.

    “Class,” she said. “This is my brother, Jonathan Seaver, Sergeant First Class in the US Army. He’s come to talk to us about the children he met in Iraq.”

    248 words

  12. “Let’s get this over with,” Sierra said, stepping forward.

    “You’re just gonnna … dive right in?” Rob gulped, tripping gracelessly over a dry tree root and nearly faceplanting on the body.

    He laughed shakily at the irony, but Sierra gave him a withering look. “Gloves. And if you’re pukey, get your ass behind the tape.”

    She walked delicately through the brambles, her sea-green eyes trained on the pale foot that rested on the shallow creek bed. The DB had been discarded hastily, covered haphazardly with loamy soil that had washed away quickly. Before Sierra began unearthing the corpse, she walked the perimeter. Her green waders were wet up to the thighs as she circled the dead girl.

    Like the others, she was a brunette who’d gone red. She had the appearance of someone who had been trying too hard for too long. The water and dirt had washed away any makeup and her flimy blue eyes were staring up from the shallow water sightlessly. It made Rob squeamish; they seemed less dead when their eyes were open. He plunged in, regardless, following Sierra’s path albeit in a less elegant manner.

    “There,” Sierra said, pointing at the dead girl’s neck. “It’s him again.”

    Their silence filled the peaceful copse of trees as they both focused on the blistered ring of stars on her throat. As before, he’d branded her as he strangled her.

    “Fuck,” Rob said, exhaling shakily.

    The papers were going to have a field day.


  13. “I’ve heard you’re hunting supernatural creatures,” the busty hostess draped suggestively over the bar next to Caldwell.

    “Yeah?” Caldwell kept his eyes on the back bar as his shadow slipped under her feet for a peek.

    Downing his shot of Jack, he signaled the bar tender for another.

    “Did you come here for me?” her smile was sweet but her voice had daggers as she ground her heel into his shadow.

    Stifling a shriek, his shadow laid itself back out on the bar where the club lights should have held it the whole time. The bar tender slid Caldwell his fifth shot and the drifter placed his money next to the empty.

    “I just came here to drink,” he glanced at the hostess. “I’m off duty.”

    “Oh,” she pouted. “I was hoping we could have another special show tonight.”

    Slipping one arm through his, she pressed her ample assets against Caldwell. Her other hand she slid under his shirt to play experienced fingers over his chest. He sighed.

    “Let’s get this over with.”

    173 words

  14. “Come on, let’s get this over with,” Chayse grumbled. He didn’t want to return to the strip club again, but his brother insisted it was the only way they’d get any real answers.

    Nik pushed past him and stood for a moment to let his eyes adjust after the searing brightness of the Las Vegas summer outside. Chayse scented the succubus’ approach as the sounds of slender heels ripping at the carpeted floor reached his ears.

    Just like she’ll rip your heart out and bleed you dry.

    “Welcome, gentlemen.” Her voice spread a balm over every hurt in his soul, promising comfort and understanding, and he felt his brother’s tension relax. Fool.

    Chayse kept his eyes on her boobs. At least that way he wouldn’t be snared by her seductive gaze.

    “What can I do for one of Metro’s finest?”

    “We have a few more questions about the crime committed in your establishment.”

    Chayse had never heard Nik speak so graciously. He glanced at his “rougher” brother and grimaced. The ignorant idiot was a goner already, wearing a dreamy expression.

    “Of course. I want to help in any way I can. Why don’t you come to my office so we don’t disturb the staff.”

    Nik followed after the sultry woman like a dog on a leash. Chayse just hoped the succubus wouldn’t make a play for his brother. Because estranged or not, he’d protect Nik from her, even if it meant murder.

    242 ineligible #WIP500 words

  15. Science Trumps Heresy

    Aemon set his utensils down, belching loudly. Fuck all if he cared whose sensibilities he offended at this juncture. As “The Condemned”, he should be permitted a degree of latitude.

    It was the last consideration he'd receive from The Protectorate. He’d devoted his entire life to flaunting their rules, defying their edicts and, generally, pissing them off as many ways as one might conceive of. His fate already sealed, he could still “rage against the machine” during his guaranteed appeal to a larger audience than his writings might ever otherwise reach.

    The clock clicked to the appointed time, offset by the jangle of keys. He rose to his feet, muttering, “Let’s get this over with.”

    The door opened only far enough to allow Procurator Valdanka to enter. “Sit Aemon, we must talk. No hearing, no forum for your heresy, today. Your conviction and your refusal to rebut it have already been logged into the Central Database. I am here merely as a courtesy.”

    Aemon’s laughter echoed in the small space. “This is why The Protectorate is doomed to the dustbin of ignominy, Valdanka. Your kind will never understand. You can kill the man but not the idea. My legacy is secure!”

    Valdanka offered him a mocking smile. “Actually, Aemon, science once again trumps heresy. With the introduction of a newly-developed aerosol agent, by this time tomorrow, no one will recall you ever existed. I wanted you to die with that knowledge.”

    His snickers made a sardonic counterpoint to Aemon’s horrified expression.

  16. She stepped off the curb and into the car. Before she could settle in the seat I was moving. Time was short and I had someplace I had something to fix.
    “Why are you doing this?” The woman I only knew as Rain turned toward me, her bright blue eyes looking through me under a curtain of raven black hair.
    “I’m doing this, why doesn’t matter.”
    “You don’t have to. There are other ways.”
    “Like what?”
    “The law. I could get a lawyer.”
    “You could get a damn genie. It still isn’t gonna’ get your kid back. Let’s get this over with.”
    I could tell I hit her in a weak spot. There wasn’t much in the world she cared about, but her kid was at the top of the list.
    We drove in silence. I pulled over a couple houses down from the filthy tenement.
    “Turn the car around. Leave the motor running. When Tommy comes out the door, you get him in here and you get gone. Capisce?”
    “There’s no other way?”
    “No.” I open the door and step out onto the wet street. “There’s ten g’s under the seat. Get upstate to the lake.”
    She was a solid wheelman back in the day and she had the car turned in no time. I walked towards the house, one hand in the coat pocket that hung low.
    I heard there are only two things for certain in this world. One of them is taxes.
    I’m the other thing.

    250 words

  17. A soft murmuring came from behind me—the same I heard before sleep. My assistant was not here yet and the doors locked. The feeling of being watched surfaced again. I turned to find no one there. I felt my temperature; I was not running a fever. I did not feel fatigued; in fact, I felt quite energetic. I did not recall that hearing things and odd feelings were symptoms of the plague.

    The sound of the murmuring increased in volume and I was able to hear a voice speaking to me.
    “I do so hope you will like me as much as I like you,” it said playfully. “I have so many things to show you.”

    I spun around the room. The only explanation, I was going mad. “Let’s get this over with,” I thought. If the plague or madness were going to take me, I was ready.

    “Not to worry, Reynard Ashwin, you are not going mad nor have you been infected. I will not allow that to happen to you.”

    In my peripheral vision, I saw a dark shadow swirling. I spun to meet what was there but it moved with me, never allowing me to lay eyes on it.

    “I hunger for the forbidden. I hope you will satisfy my hunger and partake with me,” it whispered around me.

    “What is it that you hunger for?” I asked, it did not respond with a straight answer.

    “I will show you what I need, what we need.”

    250 Words

  18. “Let’s get this over with.” Brenna glowered at the man, her raised hands resting on the crown of her head. Blood splattered feathers mingled with the white and pink rose petals as they fluttered down in the air.

    Her dress was splattered with red, bare toes peeking out from underneath the sheath dress. One of the spaghetti straps dangled over the bodice of the dress.

    “I’ve been tracking you for quite some time. I’m surprised you slipped up. Getting a little slopping in your old age.” Sharp teeth flashed in a grin. “Your sentimentality is going to be the cause of your death.” A tilt of his head and Bora’s nostrils flared. “And without any other back up. Tsk, tsk.”

    “Save the speech for someone how cares.” She shifted one foot back on the stone balcony.

    “Ah, ah.” He shook a clawed hand and leveled the hand crossbow at her heart. “You could have been so good on the other side. All the rest have joined us. Why do you hold out?”

    “Because I don’t always like others. They’re just so good.”

    Bora gave a snort and shrugged. “You’re loss.” His finger flexed before he jerked.

    She dodged to the side, the bolt going through an already tattered wing as he stood there, staring at the steel coming out of his chest.

    “Blessed steel, darling. And have you met my new friend?” Brenna yanked the bolt, pulling more bloody feathers out before gesturing towards the cloaked figure behind Bora.

    249 words

  19. Prism
    By Lisa McCourt Hollar

    “Let’s get this over with.” Even as I said the words, I couldn’t believe they had come out of my mouth. Stealing myself, I said a prayer and then opened the door to my daughter’s room. My husband followed me, my support and my rock. Kylie was where we had left her, tied to the bed, with tears running down her face, catching the light, like crystal prisms.

    “Honey, are you sure?”

    So much for my rock. “Crocodile tears. You’ve seen what she can do.”

    “Mommy, please, I’m sorry. I won’t do it again.”

    “No, you won’t.” My voice cracked. How could I do this? She was only seven.

    “What if we’re wrong?” Even after what she had done, Kyle was only too willing to accept her excuses. I wanted to believe her too, but when we found her floating above her bed, I’d called a priest. The poor man lay dead in the corner of the room, his blood pooling around him.

    “Mommy, I didn’t mean to. He scared me.”

    “I know sweetie, but…this has to be done.”

    Suddenly her face changed and the tears dried up. “He’ll come for you, just as he came for me,” she hissed, revealing her new teeth. “What will you do then, bitch? What will he do?” Kylie nodded to her dad. She knew he wouldn’t have the strength.

    “We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.” Then before I could change my mind, I slammed the stake through her heart.

    Word Count: 249


  20. She just wanted to be anywhere but here: somewhere without the flashing red and blue lights, the cops and investigators, the spectators... the blood and the body. Turning to her husband, who was still entranced by the scene, she asked, "can we go now?"

    It took him almost a full minute before he finally pulled his attention from the investigation to look down at her, sighing.

    "Please?" She begged, yearning for him to just do this for her; she didn't even care if they went out to dinner anymore as long as they left here.

    "Let's get this over with."

    100 words

  21. #ThursThreads is now CLOSED! Thank you to everyone who wrote and see you again next week. :)


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