Thursday, March 22, 2012

#ThursThreads - The Challenge that Ties Tales Together - Week 15

Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked. Did you see Avril Ashton's interview yesterday? No? Well check it out and you might find something new to read. ;) But now it's Thursday, so what should you be doing? Writing #FlashFiction, that's what! Welcome to lucky Week 15 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 15:

The writer, actor, aesthete, geek, & unrepentant, whimsical Luddite, Anna Meade.

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

"He read the texts and the prophecy."

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


  1. The Quest
    By Lisa McCourt Hollar

    Lore descended the stairwell , entering the catacombs beneath the monestery The air was thick and heavy, tainted with the smell of fresh blood. Entering the room where the inquisition was taking place, he glowered at the dead body on the rack. The man’s arms were no longer attached and his legs partially severed.

    “Master, I am sorry,” Cole said, bending low and groveling. Lore waved him off. The death annoyed him, but he knew when he began this quest, there would be sacrifices. The Book Of Lucifer had foreseen the difficulties ahead.

    Sitting at his desk, Lore pulled the ancient book towards him. Opening the tome, he read the texts and the prophecy contained within the worn pages. The coming of his Lord was close, he knew it.

    Returning to Cole, he asked, “Did he at least tell you a name?”

    “Yes master, Venus. What does it mean?”

    Lore retreated without answering. Cole was becoming too nosy. Perhaps he would be the next sacrifice, but first, could it be true…was she really so close? His heart hammering, Lore flicked on the computer screen and brought up her profile. Her name wasn’t really Venus, probably Susan or Lisa, or some other common name for a lonely schoolgirl, looking for acceptance. She was still a virgin, so not so common, perhaps even more special than he’d thought. He’d planned to invite her into The Order, intending a virginal sacrifice her, but now…could she really be the mother of the new Christ?

    Word Count: 250

  2. “I don’t care if he reads the texts and the prophecy,” Sue said, throwing what she wanted to take with her into suitcases.

    “You can’t go, Sue. You haven’t heard what he says will happen,” Michael said, grabbing her by the arm. “It’s the end times.”

    Sue twisted out of his grip. “I don’t care what he has to say anymore.”

    “Why? You used to be one of his biggest supporters. I’m here because of you. You’re the one who convinced me that he knew the fate of man.”

    “He doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground. I’m sorry for dragging you into this. I was wrong.”

    “What made you change your mind?”

    “You don’t want to know.”

    Michael sat at the end of the bed. He picked up a pair of Sue’s discarded socks and stuck them over his hands as if they were puppets.

    “But, Sue,” he said, in a comical voice, talking to her through the sock puppet. “You don’t want to be out there all alone. This could happen.” The other sock puppet attacked, pulling the sock off the hand and throwing it across the room.

    Looking at Michael as if he were a crazy person, Sue said, “How much of the sacred wine have you had?”

    “What makes you think I’ve been drinking?”

    “Oh, I don’t know, possibly because you just committed sockpuppeticide."

    “That was just the beginning.”

    “What do you mean?”

    The answer came in the form of sock puppet strangulation.

  3. The trees moved, and not thanks to any wind. I froze, eyes darting in every direction as the massive giants began to shift and uproot. Leaves shivered and whispered. Branches creaked and groaned. The rich scent of freshly turned dirt filled the air as roots pulled free.

    “Oh my, God,” I said. “What the hell is this?”

    Roots and dirt flew and I couldn’t see a path free of the commotion surrounding me. I’d as likely get tripped and squashed as get clear.

    The sounds of trees deepened, becoming something—human? Sleepy, masculine yawns and waking noises made my ears twitch. Voices began talking, booming and impossible to place.

    “Why are we waking?”

    “Didn’t he read the texts?”

    “And the prophecy?”

    I mentally cataloged my arsenal. M16 and half a dozen magazines. Sig P229 DAK and two clips. Yarborough knife. Zippo lighter and fluid.

    Fire versus talking trees? Oh yeah, that could work.

    I scanned the ground and found a decent sized branch. I tore off the bottom of my tee and wound it around one end of the branch, doused the material in lighter fluid and lit my makeshift torch.

    The trees shrank. Changed shape. Became—men. Tall, broad, painted in the earthy colors of the trees they’d been, skin faintly tattooed with what looked like leaves. They were stunningly beautiful and unlike anything I’d seen outside of dreams.

    One tree man stepped closer, eyeing my torch cautiously.

    “Peace, beloved,” he said. “Your return is most welcomed.”

    248 #WIP500 words

  4. Drake needed a quiet place to sit and think. With Dr. Cantora in the children’s section and Dr. Lance in his office, Drake retreated to the single study room they had in the little Three Lakes Library. He froze when he saw it occupied.

    Crap. Now where?

    Scanning the stacks around him, he found a single chair against a window that looked out on the little garden Bailey insisted was maintained by faeries. Drake snorted in amusement. She didn’t know the dryads took pains to keep it up. Settling into the chair, he pulled out his tablet and tried to get to work.

    He opened the files he’d been researching and took a deep breath. He read the texts and the prophesy. Then he read them again when his eyes caught on the word ‘dragon’. True, it was the Order of the Dragon to which he and his father had belonged, but according to the text in ancient Romanian if someone should defile the Order, reparations must be made to the order’s founder.

    Bloody hell, the founder has been dead longer than I have. How am I going to make reparations?

    He read the text again, this time slowly, puzzling out the meanings of each of the words. His blood ran colder than the streams feeding the Great Lake outside. He could make reparations to the founder or he could sacrifice himself for a dragon.

    Drake’s thoughts turned to Aliandra. What sort of sacrifice would she require?

    247 ineligible #WIP500 words

  5. The Kid-Sister
    By George Edwards

    Sirens breached the threshold of the audible as James packed a bag for his kid-sister Jenny. The Catskill Mountains surrounded them. The rough terrain would force a pursuit on foot, and James knew every cave, cliff, and river for miles.

    “What’s happening Jay?” asked Jenny.

    James took her hand and led her to the rear entrance of the house. “I’ll explain on the way,” he said. “Run, sis!”

    The sirens were much louder now. They leapt off the incomplete deck and scrambled downward, toward the ravine below, Jenny still clutching her dolly.

    He read the texts and the prophecy. They claimed, with stunning accuracy, many events that had come to pass. But now they predicted the end of all Government. They predicted Anarchy.

    James could hear the Police ripping through the gravel of his parent’s driveway as they half slid, half ran downward to the ravine.

    “I’m scared Jay,” Jenny said.

    Julian Assange initially released a version of the prophecy with redacted names and addresses.

    James and Jenny found some respite in a cave.

    “I’m hungry Jay,” said Jenny.

    Jay gave her some bread he had packed. The prophecy named Jenny. It named his kid-sister who was presently munching away on bread, looking around in fear. An ancillary clause stated, “If the girl lives past ten, all government will eventually end.”

    “What is this?” Jenny asked, shuffling through her bag. She produced a book.

    James smiled at her, “You’ll need that sis. ‘For a New Liberty,’ by Murray Rothbard.”

    Word Count 249

  6. He read the texts and the prophecy. “That has to be the dumbest thing I have ever heard of,” he laughed.

    The woman sitting across from him gave a dirty look. He shook his head and closed the book.

    “Blood moon, seriously? Sounds a bad 50’s horror movie,” he thought, the grin not fading. The book lay open on the table as he headed to the door. He stepped into the warm night air and walked towards his car. The light around him seemed, somehow, not right. Moths fluttered around the incandescent lights, nothing strange about the artificial gold beams that emitted from them. He heard someone call out down the street; the sound made him jump. “I’m reading too much of these old prophecies,” he said.

    In the east, the glow of the full moon began to crest over the trees. “Is there haze in the air tonight?” He looked around him. There was a taint about everything as though a layer of grease covered the world. He ran his fingers across the roof of his car. A dark brownish substance covered his fingers. He did not want to wipe, whatever it was, on his pants leg so he bent over and rubbed his fingers on the concrete; more of it collected on his fingers. A shuffling sound came from behind him, he turned in time to be grabbed by dead hands that ripped through his flesh. The moon made its way over the tree tops a bright crimson.

    250 Words

  7. Bullshit. That’s what it was, clear and simple. He read the texts and the prophecy, but there’d been nothing in there about this.

    Katie’s fingers wrapped around Marvin’s chin, tilting his head right, then left. “Maybe if you wear a hat? A nice fedora will draw everyone’s eyes up. No one will even notice.”

    He didn’t even need a mirror to see the large purple horn protruding from his forehead. Oh yeah, it was that big. Good thing Katie was short, or it would have poked her in the ear—she was peering at him out of the corner of her eye now, fumbling with something in the cabinet.

    “I’m never leaving the house again,” Marvin said. Sulking and wailing wasn’t becoming of a sixty year old man, but who ever heard of a guy randomly sprouting a horn? All he’d done was light that good luck money candle he’d bought at the market down the street, and that’s when it had happened. Bam! It’d been like someone was shaking his head like a snowglobe.

    Katie held a bottle of makeup. “Maybe if we put some concealer on it? We can say it’s just a big zit.”

    The doorbell rang. Marvin snarled and stomped to the living room. It was Mrs. Hernandez, the lady from the market.

    Katie’s voice called from the bathroom, “You can tell everyone you’re a unicorn!”

    “What?” he asked after throwing open the door.

    Mrs. Hernandez stared. “My son sold you the wrong candle.”

    248 words

  8. He read the texts and the prophecy came alive as flames began to engulf the area. At first, it was fascinating with deer, rabbits, skunks and many other animals running every which way, but it became frightening very quickly and he let out a yell that was heard a long distance off.

    He wondered what would happen next. Had his actions actually triggered the end of the world? Was there any way to stop it? Would anyone escape? Would some Great Prince rescue him and take him to an island of safety?

    When they found him - still clutching his now-singed copy of Bambi, they rushed him out of the woods, back to the arms of his mother. At first, she sobbed fearful tears of joy, knowing how close she had come to losing him, but finally she said, "I'm so happy you're okay, Danny, but I hope you have learned your lesson never to play with matches again."

    158 Words

  9. “He read the texts.”

    “And the prophecy?”

    “That too,” Emilee replied.

    Sophia paced the room. She thrust a hand into her auburn locks, curling her fingers into a frustrated fist. “Oh shit, we’re so screwed.”

    “He might not know what to do with them,” the younger witch offered.

    Sophia paused in her determined attempt to wear a rut in the hardwood flooring. “Seriously? You think he’s an idiot? He read the prophecy and he knew enough to run like hell afterward. What part of that makes you think that he couldn’t comprehend the implications?”

    “Use smaller words, darling.” From her perch on the window seat, Vivienne joined the conversation. She continued to stroke the hair of her newest pet: a sleek, well-muscled Italian thirty-something seated naked on the floor by her feet. “The bad thing about children these days is they usually can’t process anything that more than one or two syllables.”

    “Suck it, Viv.”

    All three women jumped as Donovan slammed a fist on the table.

    In denim jeans and a polo, Donovan Sarcoza hardly looked dangerous. The witches knew better, far better. He was Sorcere, the alpha of the otherworldly pack in town. Under no circumstances did any of them want to meet him in a dark alley, or even a well-lit one. His voice was smooth as silk, spiced with a subtle English accent, and shadowed with barely-contained fury. “I’m just wondering why in the fucking hell were you people discussing the prophecy on your bloody iPhones?”

    Nance P
    250 words

  10. Stillness ruled the courtroom as the lawyer read the “texts and the prophecy” on the first page of the defendant’s book. This was her evidence, her excuse.

    “This text is what made you kill the President?”

    “Yessir. Only he ain’t the President. He’s the ANTICHRIST!” Her wild-eyed disheveled appearance was even crazier than her words, making the jury recoil with loathing.

    “And where did you get this?” The lawyer’s fingers traced the textured leather cover.

    “My boyfriend.”

    “Your boyfriend, the Vice President?” Skepticism raised one hairy eyebrow.


    “And why on Earth would you even consider doing what this book says?”

    “Cuz it’s the Bible.” The defendant eagerly pointed out the words on the cover. “The. Bible. Momma said ain’t nothin’ false in here. So I had to.”

    “Inside here, it specifically tells you to kill him?”

    The defendant’s head bobbed eagerly up and down. She took the book and flipped to the tattered bookmark. Then she read haltingly out loud. “Bobbie Jo grabbed the President and thrust the hunting knife into his chest, cutting out his beating heart with shaking hands.”

    He snatched the book from her, skimming the passage. His face paled. He wrestled the book out of its fancy cover. “You stupid hick, this isn’t a Bible!” He held up the now-naked book to the jury. “This is “A White House Murder” by Stephen King!”

    228 words

  11. Destiny
    By Wakefield Mahon

    Every day he helped his mother take care of his little brothers and sisters in a house like so many others in the village. He helped his father in the shop, learning the trade so he could earn a living when he grew up. Father was not a rich man, but he was honest and well known for his dedication to quality products and services. Mother was a good woman as well, but at night, she stared at the stars as if something was troubling her heart.
    In the morning, he ran around with the other village children and Mother scolded him for getting his outfit dirty. In the afternoon, he skipped rocks across the lake with his friends but never did any harm. He was a good little boy. Each night, he read the texts and the prophecy.
    He knew the texts by heart and understood what they meant - no child asked more questions of the teachers and priests. Still it was hard to believe that he would have to leave it all behind, that these friends and family would someday turn their backs on him. He would find new friends, impress the crowds with his skills and knowledge but in the end, they would turn on him too. One bleak day he would walk alone, though surrounded by strangers, up a long and dusty road, dragging a cross up the hill to die for someone else's crime, to fulfill those prophecies he knew and loved so well.

    250 words

  12. “Lucien have you found it yet?”
    The man ignored the question and continued to filter through the dust filled library.
    “Lucien?” I asked
    “Yes I just found it “
    He read the texts and the prophecy.
    “A child of light
    A child of dark
    “That can’t be all of it.”
    “No it isn’t, you interrupted.” Lucien stated annoyed.
    “Shall bond in tragedy
    Together they will be
    One and lead the fight
    With all their might
    To save human kind
    From the lamia”
    “Too bad we don’t know who the light and dark are Mina. Hey didn’t your parents die recently?”
    “What are lamias? And who are the light and dark” I asked fully aware but stalling for time.
    “I’m afraid you are about to find out.” Lucien stated trying to bend me to his will.
    “Afraid this time you won’t get your dinner Lucien.”
    “You can’t defeat me Mina. I am vampire.”
    “You really should be more up on your Latin; you see my name is Alumina. I’m the light and Adrian’s the dark.”
    “Adrian? “Lucien asked sounding amused.
    “Bye Lucien.” Adrian said suddenly materializing and stabbing Adrian through the heart with a stake.
    “The prophecy said I’m dark?” Adrian complained.
    “Your name means dark but when you think about it when you become invisible it’s like you’re dark.” I offered.
    “That is why you are the light Alumina. You light the world.”
    “Aw you are so sweet. Now let’s go kill some more vampires and save the world.”
    250 words

  13. Disconnected

    I quietly drift among them, listening to their thoughts. Curiosity, happiness, uneasiness, fear and longing are predominant among them. They do not pay me any mind, since they are unaware of my existence. I am disconnected and soon they will be too.

    ‘A great wind of change is coming.’ At least, that’s what the prophet said. He read the texts and the prophecy aloud for all to hear, since he understood the strange hieroglyphics. And now, the day the prophecy predicted, they all wait. The stars are aligned and the moon is full, but it’s not a wind that will come.

    “Lo!” One of them cries, pointing toward the sky. A bright light steadily grows larger. By the time they all turn to look, the white light crashes in the distance. They stare with bated breath. The ground quakes beneath them. A bright pulse rapidly approaches. Some scream. Some cry. Some run… None escape.

    I quietly drift among them, listening to their thoughts. Curiosity, happiness, uneasiness, fear and longing are predominant among them. I cry. They do not pay me any mind, since they are still unaware of my existence. I am still disconnected and they are simply dead.

    The spirits leave their bodies, making their way to whatever awaits beyond. I had hoped that this ‘great wind’ would find me too, but it’s not for me. I am disconnected.

    A bell chimes. I turn. It stares at me. Could it be? A gentle breeze, a great wind, reconnects me.

    250 words

  14. I hate questing. It’s for bedtime stories.

    Opening up the folio, he read the texts and the prophecy again as he continued on his hike. Find the stone sword and cross beneath the arch of wonderland of fire. No, it could be find the stone, sword, and cross, beneath the arch of wonder [in the] land of fire, but the ancients never friggin’ used punctuation! Hellwinds!

    According to the map, the Fire Sands Canyons edged this forest. The canyons were reputed to house the gryphons, if they existed at all, but Corlith's addled memory of the Demoness’ curse clearly stated he had to find a gryphon.

    Stuffing the map and folio back in his pack, he picked up his pace. The sooner he got there, the sooner he could find a solution.

    If I find a damn gryphon. True love, a hundred years, and a gryphon. I’m so screwed.

    The land around Corlith changed so gradually the shear walls of the canyon opening before him shocked an awestruck oath from him. He stopped and gazed upwards to scan the edges of the rock walls scraping the sky. Striped patterns etched across the sandy parapets, punctuated by a hardy pine or a brilliantly flowered bush. High above, a great carrion bird lazily traversed the thermals rising from the hot stone.

    The hair on the back of his neck rose as he caught motion from the corner of his eye.

    Turning his head, he met the sea-foam green gaze of…a woman?

    249 ineligible #WIP500 words

  15. Clay prayed he had it wrong. He read the texts and the prophecy again, his fingers stumbling over the words as his mind raced forward.

    Blood Sacrifice.

    Virgin Offering.

    Weren’t they a civilized people, far removed from such arcane messiness? These missives sounded primitive in their demands, and yet the papers guaranteed an end to the darkness – they foretold the coming of another golden age. Only a few demands needed fulfilling.

    Clay glanced out the window as the sound of tinkling laughter caught his ears. The three little ones, Mara, Oleanna, and Rose, played outside under the flickering candlelight. Glasses clinked together and something wet sloshed on the table; their pretend tea spilled over and sent the girls into a fit of giggles.

    “Father,” his eldest son called. “What do the texts ask? The council awaits your word.”

    Their race slowly but steadily declined, succumbing to the crushing darkness. Technology could not keep up with the demands for artificial sunlight; something would have to be done. But could Clay be the one to pronounce the death sentence?

    “Call the elders,” Clay murmured, his palsied hands rolling up the old texts. “And ask Althea to gather all of the young ones. There must be a test.”

    His troubled mind faltered as he walked toward the council chambers. His own granddaughters would be asked to participate. In desperate times, one was often sacrificed for many. Their ancestors knew this truth; Clay had the unfortunate task of reminding those who had survived.

    249 Words

  16. He'd spent twenty four years studying theology and religion. Eighteen of them wearing gods choker. And choke it did. It choked his throat each time he tried to say the words of the lord now. It choked his heart when he realized the horrible things they'd done in the name of God.

    He'd been ambitious when he'd started his journey. He'd had the proper background, went to the right prep school and the right college. He'd had a plan.

    He wasn't going to be just plain Father Daniel at the local pot luck dinners. He could help others just as easily at the top of the chain than at the bottom.
    He had a Masters in Theology and a PhD in Political Science. He was going to wear a red hat if it killed him. Ironic now.

    Ambition had sent him here to live amid the papal glory, but his faith had guided his journey. He had believed.

    His footsteps echoed upon gilded marble and exquisite angels watched over his movements as he descended to the secret chambers he had dreamt about finding as a young man.

    He read the text and the prophecy, he knew the truth. And it shattered his soul.

    There was no God.

    Only ambition and greed disguised as religion. The others knew what he'd discovered, and he stepped into the room and faced a sea of red robes.

    Ambition can only take you so far before a noose is placed around your neck by it.

    250 words

  17. Picking up the next volume, Tristan flipped through the well-worn pages. The smell of aging paper and dust tickled his nose as he read the texts and the prophecy he’d memorized as a child.

    The blood of the wicked must cover the wounds of the believer.

    Footsteps outside the library door made Tristan freeze. His uncle would tan his hide if he knew that he was going through the ancient bindings. It couldn’t be helped; the words etched into his mind, and the power seeped into his bones.

    Tristan managed to place the book back on the shelf, rearranging the clutter to make it look as if he’d never been there. His soft steps were quiet as he reached the door and poked his head into the silent hall.

    With the door closed behind him Tristan crept down the hall. As he rounded the corner he slammed into a hard chest and looked up to see his cousin Benjamin.

    Where Tristan was fair and thin, Benjamin was gruff and large. There was also an undercurrent of anger that Tristan sensed from him, a restlessness that grew by the day.

    “What are you doing down here, little cousin?” Benjamin crossed his arms over his chest and rose a thick, black eyebrow in question.

    Tristan shook his head as his palms began to sweat, sure that he’d been caught. “No...nothing.” Even as he said the words, he knew his cousin didn’t believe them.

    250 words

  18. Talein was an educated man. He read the texts and the prophecy, but that didn’t prepare him for coming face to face with a dragon. A feathered dragon, he thought, staring at the yellow beak and green crested head. Decidedly avian rather than reptilian. He’d heard dragons were like winged snakes. That was obviously inaccurate.

    “I claim right of ascendant!” Talein shouted to the monster with paws rather than bird’s feet.

    “You what?!” the creature roared. “There is no ascendant. The chimera is long dead. There has been no ascendant in several thousand years.”

    “Still, we have the right. You will not attack me.” Talein’s voice shook with his own audacity.

    The creature narrowed bright yellow eyes, definitely similar to an eagle, and lowered his head nearer Talein’s. “All peace was destroyed an age ago, with the death of my father, human. Do not think you know me.”

    “I...only know your power.”

    The creature scoffed and Talein began to doubt what he had read. His trust in books might just cost him his life.

    “Know, human. Know and fear.” The creature blew on him, a breath humid and warm, a breath that smelled of thick forests and mountain passes, a breath that seemed a thousand years old or more.

    The creature blew on him, and Talein knew. He knew what his people had done, how the earth had been broken, and how he would never have magic. Despair enveloped Talein.

    243 words

  19. Something was wrong.
    Joran threw his sword to the ground and paced around his campfire cursing.
    He fought the urge to go over and kick the corpse of the wizard by the fire.
    He read the texts and the prophecy.
    He broke into the tomb of the Great Guardian and stole his sword.
    He anointed the blade with the blood of a white stag at daybreak.
    He nailed the only daughter of a red-haired noble under the full moon. Twice.
    He scaled the cliff and entered the evil wizard's castle and dragged him out to the Great Stone Circle.
    He cut out his heart.
    And he ate that heart just like the texts said he had to do.
    He didn't feel a damned bit different.
    He glared at the corpse.
    “If this was bogus I'm gonna find another wizard to resurrect your ass and kill you again.”
    “That won't be necessary.”
    Joran whirled and saw a short man in a toga standing at the edge of the Circle.
    “Who the hell are you?” barked Joran.
    “You know who I am. You read the prophecy.”
    “You're here to reward me?”
    “Hell no.”
    Joran's face reddened and he took a step towards the man.
    “Threatening a god?.”
    Joran stopped and listened.
    “The baron's daughter. You took her twice. The texts only allow you one go. That second romp resulted in pregnancy. The prophecy is fulfilled. Her child will be the Guardian, not you.”

  20. The Return

    Every morning, at planetary sunrise, Shaltek boards the Republic Colony Ship Novus Spero. The artificial lighting throughout the ship has not been functional for the entirety of his tenure as Preservator. This is a necessary power-conservation measure since such is not a primary system. Understanding this does not make the daily trek any easier for one whose vision is no longer that acute.

    His sense of relief is palpable when he enters the command center and primary systems power on. Ambient lighting is 50% of optimal. Environmental subroutines determine the temperature and ventilation.

    He begins as always. He reads the texts and the prophecy. The texts are the ship’s operations manuals and have become increasingly moot as systems must be disabled or cannibalized to maintain the integrity of the whole. He reads them faithfully nonetheless.
    The prophecy is the last ship’s log by Captain Terelefsky. It was recorded some 87 Republic Standard years prior. Shaltek has wondered before if it should be considered a prophecy or, more properly, a eulogy.

    He flips to the final page and reads in a muted voice, “…unable to establish any contact with the Republic, the decision has been made to take all three maintenance shuttles out-system on different vectors. I am confident communications will be re-established in short order and relief ships will be dispatched. To those remaining behind, good luck and God bless.”

    He weeps, knowing a Preservator should have more faith in The Return than he is any longer capable of feeling.

    250 words @klingorengi

  21. Not Inch By Inch

    December 22, 2012. The day after. No one knew the body count or the extent of the damage. The world had ended.

    Tom sat at his computer. A desktop. With a 32“ monitor. Somehow, the Internet was still there. Perhaps it was true that the ‘Net couldn’t be crashed.”

    He was on Facebook, wondering how it was still around. He was lucky. His house survived. He was using wind power. He’d figured having a wind generator would come in handy someday. None of his friends was on. He wondered if they were dead, or just powerless.

    Earlier, he’d read the note his buddy Steve had posted. Steve had titled it “Prophecy”, and linked several other notes to it. He called these “The Texts” and said he’d write them in the world’s last days. Tom read, starting with the prophecy. Then with December 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st. He read the texts and the prophecy.

    Steve had known the world would end. He’d traveled to the coast. To the ocean. And watched the world end. Watched the tsunami come in. His last words being “Wow! What a ride!”, Then he’d died.

    Tom thought Steve was the lucky one. He’d died all at once. That’s why Tom went outside. And jumped into one of the chasms that had formed in his neighborhood.

    “Better to go all at once, than inch by inch.”

    246 words.

  22. He read the text and knew the prophecy, but he didn't know what either meant.

    He was simply a Receiver.

    He looked up at the tank in front of him. It was eight feet tall sand raised on a matte black metal stand. It hummed with bright blue light. And in it was the Prophet, long hair swimming around her expressionless face.

    He looked back down at the printout. "In the end it will have all come from the clouds."

    It meant nothing. It meant everything.

    The Prophet had in one way or another dictated every major disaster in the last five years. But he hadn't deciphered it all.

    He contacted NASA--nothing. The Storm Prediction Center--nothing. The Hurricane Center--all calm, all quiet.

    The Prophet thrashed in his peripheral and he thought perhaps she would have another prediction--something enlightening. But no, it was simply residual tremors: a sign that the prediction was sure and forthcoming.

    "From the clouds," he murmured, tapping his spacebar endlessly. Tap, tap, tap. "The clouds." Taptaptap. And then his screen flickered out

    The Receiver stated in confusion. And then, horror.

    He picked up his phone--no signal. His tablet-- no wifi. And as the generators outside began to slow, as the Prophet's tank began to gurgle when the computers that controlled it stopped working, he realized what it meant.

    In the end it will have all come from the clouds.


  23. “He read the texts and the prophecy. They speak of times, of worlds that are the same as ours, but different. The strange creatures that will come and walk on our lands. But we must do something to keep them from overrunning us. To keep them from swarming, we must be deligent. They don’t seem to be very smart.”

    “What will we do to keep their population down?”

    “Perhaps keep them from staying. They may visit but they must go back. And not fraternizing with anyone but their own. If they start to spawn, they can’t come back.”

    “Yes, yes, that should work. But, Elder, where did they come from? The Scryer didn’t say if it had been mentioned in the books.”

    “I think it is called Earth. A little planet that is on the cusp of dying. Once upon a time we were going to settle there but it didn’t work out.”

    “Earth…it sounds weird.”

    156 words

  24. Detective Brett Jamison grips the top of the doorframe as he lumbers from his unmarked car, a cigarette dangling perilously between his lips.

    Shuffling up the steps of the brownstone, he flicks the butt over the side of the porch into a flower bed before ducking under the yellow crime scene tape.

    “Jamison,” Officer Perkins acknowledges, walking by quickly.

    “Three... two... one.” Brett smirks when he hears the retching. “Newbies.”

    He’s still shaking his head as he walks through the maze of rooms... until a horrid smell assaults his senses. He spews a string of colorful expletives, digging in his jacket for a handkerchief to cover his nose and coming up empty.

    “Nice of you to show up, Detective.” The Medical Examiner shoots him a look.

    He pats his sizable paunch. “I was in the middle of a hot meal.”

    “Ah, the donuts coming off the conveyor at Krispy Kreme count as a hot meal now?” Dr. Sari raises her eyebrows as she peels off her gloves.

    Brett wonders how the hell she knew that.

    "He read the texts and the prophecy,” she muses.


    “Him.” She points to a man with rope marks around his neck then a book titled “12-21-12.”

    “That date passed last week, though!”

    “Take a sniff... he’s been dead for two.” She breezes past him. “By the way, I could tell what you ate by the glaze stuck to your nose and mustache.”

    250 #WIP500 words

  25. He looked at her like he knew what she was thinking; a mind reader or a prophet or a fortune teller. He read the texts and the prophecy. It was as if he’d actually arrived at the same conclusion some time ago and never bothered to tell her, never filled her in on what he already knew; he just, wickedly, let her flounder around until she arrived finally stumbled here on her own.

    “We’re done… aren’t we,” she asked him.

    He – her high school sweetheart, her husband, her children’s father – just nodded as the rest of the restaurant patrons watched.

    100 words

  26. Shall We Begin

    Fire curled from the corner of the green demon’s lips as his forked tongue flicked from one side to the other. “Another young warrior here to pay in blood the toll for passing through my doors. Lovely. I have missed the taste upon my lips.”

    Alexander steeled his legs, each trembling slightly at the knees. He leaned his right shoulder forward as he slipped his wand out of his cloak, making his form as thin as he could in the demon’s eyes. “I have not come to die.” He stated firmly. “I have come to claim the spell you have bound within the stone. I have no choice but to win. I have read the texts and the prophecy. It is written, so shall it be.”

    The devil’s eyes danced as he laughed a horrible laugh that echoed an eternity of suffering. He pointed his splintered claw of a fingernail toward an unexplainable pile of mangled wood and ashes with flecks of glimmering metal and black, dried meat. “That was Melville. He read the texts and the prophecy, also. He was sure enough that the writings were about him that he came here - just - like - you. I can see by the whites of your forearms that you don’t have the Brand of the Ancients. You have no hope of defeating me, without it!”

    Alexander smiled as he opened his fingers. The Brand was not upon his forearms, but engraved in gold along the shaft of his wand.

    ---To Be Continued ---
    @acenance - 250 Words

  27. Shammah had first approached the sacred scrolls with puerile naivety. Many decennium, of diligently searching the scripture, had transformed him into Benign’s most respected authority. It was not simply that he read the texts and the prophecy, he lived, loving them. The manifest burden of the deity for the creation was the key. It was the thread that tied all revelation together.

    Shammah had evolved, with the technology, in his approach to study. Reflective musing was not abandoned, but tended to succumb to inundations of interactive content. Numerology alone could be a life study. Historical interpretations of the parables although consistent, were innumerable. Shammah gravitated towards eschatology – “last things”. He liked examining the “so-called” symbolic descriptions through the lens of computer-animated astrological charts.

    Shammah originally perceived, what recently came into focus, as a rather haunting discovery. Planetary trajectories were confirming inscriptions. However, the resulting alignments also revealed that Benign was now in an imminent collision path with a new planetary player. Prophetic fulfillment would no longer be held in abeyance. Jah was about to interject Herself fully and eternally into the affairs of the Benijians.

    Shammah knew that the preordained was about to be

    195 words

  28. #ThursThreads is now CLOSED. Thank you to everyone who wrote. See you next week. :)


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