Thursday, July 26, 2012

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 32

Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked. It's Thursday again, so what should you be doing? Writing #FlashFiction, that's what! Welcome to Week 32 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 32:

The writer for introspection and entertainment, and certified bartender, David A. Ludwig.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“Is that really the story you wish?”

All stories written herein are the property (both intellectual and physical) of the authors. Now, away with you, Flash Fiction Fanatics, and show us your #ThursThreads. Good luck! :)


  1. The Wish

    The computer keys made a clicking sound as her fingers tap-danced upon them. After much editing, she pulled the finished product from the printer, reading it over one last time. Satisfied, she closed her eyes and thought hard. A few seconds later, a whisper of lilac-scented breeze announced the arrival of Moriah, her Fairy Godmother.

    “Hello, dear. It’s been awhile.”

    “Yes, it has.” She held out the pages for Moriah’s perusal. The ethereal being read over the story, then glanced back at her charge, her brow slightly furrowed.

    “Is that really the story you wish?”

    She nodded. Moriah shrugged. “Very well.” Magic words, accompanied by faint stringed instruments filled the air, and she found herself dressed in a beautiful medieval gown, tied to a post outside a large dark cave. Human bones lay about here and there. Loud roaring and smoke poured out of the jagged entrance. Claws scraped the rocky ground as a huge dragon’s head appeared. At that moment, a handsome knight on a white charger came into view, brandishing his sword.

    “Have at ye, Beast! You shall not devour this maiden as you have done all the rest!”

    The dragon laughed derisively and a jet of flame effectively dispatched the knight in a moment’s time. It turned its attention to her now. Her last thought as the massive jaws closed over her was “That’s what I get for using a computer from a fairy.”

    239 words {with title}

  2. Marked For Life

    Having your life flash before your eyes? It sucks.

    Watching every mistake ever made, every bad decision, and episode of poor judgment play out filled me with regret. I knew how it would end - me overdosing in a shitty motel bathroom. Alone.

    “Stop,” I managed. “Just stop it!”

    “Is that really the story you wish?” The voice came from everywhere and nowhere. “Is this how you want to be remembered?”

    “No,” I said bitterly. “It’s not like I can go back. I mean if I knew then… You know what? Never mind. Just let me die and get it over with.”

    “Would you change? Would you be different if you could do it all again?” The voice held an edge I couldn’t define.

    “Different?” I laughed bitterly. “I wouldn’t be different. I’d be better. Hell, I’d even tell my mother that I love her.”

    “And the price you’d pay?”

    “Just about anything.” Regret flooded what was left of my soul.

    “Let’s say you go back. Do me a few favors and it will all be yours.”

    “I won’t kill anyone or commit crimes,” I stated to the nothingness. What did I have to lose? This was all a hallucination anyway - the last active cells in my brain fighting for life.

    “Not required.” The voice fell silent. Darkness surrounded me. Then light.

    “Happy 21st birthday!” My mother shook me awake. I was home and her smile was everything. “I see you got a new tattoo!”

    “I love you Mom.”

    250 Words - without Title

  3. Genie in A Bottle
    Walking along the beach, I saw a bottle glinting in the sun. Part of it was cloudy, so I picking it up, rubbing it on my shirt. A man came out of it in a cloud of smoke.
    “So you’re a genie? You don’t look like one.” I exclaimed.
    “You don’t look like a writer, but you are one aren’t you?” the genie responded.
    “ I write under a pseudonym.”
    “Is that really the story you wish for yourself? No glory, just a name no one knows?” the genie asked
    “I need to change my cover, to make more sales.”
    “What if I could give you admiration, millions of book sales and immortality?” the genie offered.
    “What would that take?”
    “I owe you three wishes it would take all of them.” the genie explained.
    “Okay that’s what I want.” I replied
    “Then say it.”
    “I want admiration, phenomenal book sales and immortality.”
    The genie granted my wishes. I should have thought about what I was asking for. I got the admiration, book sales but the immortality wasn’t quite what I thought it would be. Leaving the beach I was run over by a bus and I died. My book sales soared after my death and my book was republished in my name. I am a best-selling author of a children’s classic so I got my immortality. The lesson here never trust a genie if you find a bottle on the beach throw it back in.
    250 words with title

  4. Your choice.

    “Oo! Yeah! A pirate! A female pirate and that cute one with the headband falls in love with me, that one, all Black Pearl stuff, yeah.”

    The administrator sighed and asked, “Is that really the story you wish?” His stylus was poised over the boxes on the screen. “Are you sure this time?”

    “No! No – a Viking shield maiden! That's it! A Valkyrie. I wanna be a Valkyrie!”

    Another deep sigh and the administrator repeated, “Is that really the story you wish? We have been through most periods of the human race's history. I must remind you that when you go, you are there. You cannot come back until the end of the holiday. If you become ill or are killed, it will neutralise your time in that sphere.”

    “No! That Jane Heyer gal – Mr Dorchester's mad wife. That stuff!”

    “Your time is running out, Miss. Would you decide please?”


    The Administrator smiled and pressed the squares marked Egypt, Hebrew slave.

    Enjoy, he thought, enjoy building your pyramid. The next client swam into view on the screen.

    “History Holidays – how can I help you?”

    Word Count 194

  5. Eleri gazed into the crystal ball, and sighed; torn between the truth and the lies that could come so easily to her lips. Her client sat waiting, chewing his bottom lip, and drumming his fingers on the table. His desperation pulled at her; the threads of his life were so clear that she could have reached in and pulled them out for all the world to see.

    The cards only confirmed what she'd already seen.

    Her stomach tightened with the memory of beatings and pain, and fear threatened to close her throat. Few wished to hear the truth, and those that did often blamed the messenger, but she had to try; she had to give him the choice. She swallowed and cleared her throat before she spoke.

    "I can spin you a tale of love and happiness. Is that really the story you wish?"

    He met her eyes. "Or ..?"

    "I can tell you the truth, and prepare you for the future you face."

    The silence lengthened, and Eleri waited for him to make his choice.

    175 words

  6. Secrets Of El Dorado

    Brocaded furniture and hardwood gave the study a solid, earthy feel. An old briarwood pipe sat smoldering on a side table with a crystal tumbler in close proximity. My heart nearly leapt from my chest when a man’s hand reached from behind the wingback chair and retrieved the glass.

    “Twenty-eight years since I bade the world adieu and no one discovered my hidey-hole…until you. Don’t presume too much that I’ve chosen to see you.”

    I stammered some drivel about not wanting to intrude on him, but we both knew better. He’d been the most-beloved children’s author of two generations until he abruptly retired and subsequently vanished. I’d been the lucky soul who’d found El Dorado.

    He rumbled, “I’ll submit to no laundry list of queries and prodding. I’ll answer one question and one question only. Since I know what question you’d ask, let’s save time.”

    “Tell them I got bored with it. Tell them the grubby children and their insipid laughter sickened me. Tell them I wanted peace and quiet…a good pipe and a scotch. Yes, that will do, I think.”

    Stunned, I could only whisper, “Is that really the story you wish?”

    He favored me with a haunted gaze. “Should they know the truth instead, you think? Should they know the magic died within me? That I had no more tales to tell? My version works best I think. You decide. It matters little to me.”

    I walked away that day, leaving the secrets of El Dorado still untold.

    250 Words @klingorengi

  7. Betrayal

    “Tell me about her.”

    Rowan looked at his lover, startled. “Who?”

    “Your wife.” Skylar looked up at Rowan with those soft brown eyes that made him melt every time. “What’s she like?”

    “Is that really the story you wish?”

    “Yes. She’s a part of you, darling, whether you want her to be or not. If I’m to know you, I should know about her.”

    Rowan sighed, smoothing Skylar’s light brown hair with a calloused hand. “She’s…well, she’s kind of hard to describe. Patient. Hard-working. I guess she’s beautiful, although I’ve never really thought of her that way. She’s kept her figure, two kids notwithstanding, that’s for sure. She’s not much of a cook, but she’s a good housekeeper and…” He lowered his eyes. “She’s a good woman, Skye, I admit it. I hate myself sometimes for what I’m doing to her by being with you.”

    “Do you want me to go?” Skylar started to rise.

    “No!” Rowan said vehemently. He put a hand on Skylar’s sternum and pushed him back onto the bed, then straddled him. “One of these days, I’ll have to tell her the truth. But for now…” His lips traced Skylar’s jawline, the stubble prickling slightly. “For now, I think we had something more important going on.”

    Word Count: 210 {without title}

  8. “Is that really the story you wish?” she asked. She looked at him with a caring expression. “There are so many other stories that could yours, ones that would be easy and full of opportunity.”

    “I want that one. It has everything I desire for my life. Look at all the excitement and adventure in it. I want to experience everything I can. I want to see the world.”

    “What about this one? This one is about a man that sets the world free.”

    He smiled at her and his being eddied in a shimmer of color and light. Their eyes locked for a moment, she felt his strength in his gaze. Still she did not want to give him this story. He saw the excitement and adventure and she saw the strife that went along with it. The loss he has at an early age, forced from home to home. Yes, it has adventure but the cost of it is far too much. However, in the end, the choice is his.

    “Why do you want this story so much?”

    He looks back at the pages, flips through them and stops.

    “Her,” he says.

    She looks down and sees her. She is beautiful and kind and loves with every pore of her. She returns her eyes back to him.

    “But you are only with her for a short time before she is taken from you tragically.”

    “I know, but in that short time, I have everything I need for eternity.”

    250 Words

  9. The Danger of Words
    By Lisa McCourt Hollar

    Vanessa, her eyes wide, eagerly held the book out to her grandmother. Looking over her glasses at the title, the old woman raised her eyebrows. “Is that really the story you wish?” Vanessa nodded.

    Taking the book from her grand-daughter, Belinda turned towards her old rocker. She had read to each of her grandchildren over the years in that very rocker. Most of them were happy with the fairy tales she read to them; adventurous stories about knights and dragons. Safe stories that wouldn’t bring the Secret Police to her home.

    “I should have put this back when you found it; I knew no good would come from leaving it out.”

    “Why was it hid in the attic?”

    “It is a dangerous book. Years ago many people were killed for the stories in here.”

    “But why? They’re just stories.”

    Belinda smiled knowingly. She had been a child when her father sent her and her mother away, his words that night coming back to her.

    “Keep the book safe, so all is not lost.” They had ran with the sound of gunfire behind them. She never saw her father again.

    “Maybe, but there is power in words. Words inspire people to do great things and sometimes words topple kingdoms.”

    “Read it to me Grandma.”

    The woman opened the book. The first few lines brought tears to her eyes as she began to read, The History of America. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…”

    Words: 249

  10. “How could you have done that?” Tears flowed freely down his face. “I thought you loved me.”

    “I do love you,” she said, her own cheeks wet from crying. “It was a stupid mistake. I didn’t plan for this to happen. Darling, please, you have to believe me.”

    “How can I believe you? How can I trust you after something like this?”

    She had no words. Nothing she could say could change what she’d done, but she might still be able to lessen the pain. “Tell me what you want me to do? Help me try and fix this.”

    He looked at her for a long while, his silence somehow more daunting than his earlier anger. She struggled to keep from reaching out to him. She knew her touch would be the last thing he wanted right now.

    “I want you to tell me everything that happened,” he said. “And don’t leave out a single detail.”

    Her mind reeled, how could he want this? The mere knowledge of her actions drove him to despair then surely this… “Is that really the story you want?”

    184 Words

  11. Fairies : Sunshine Got To Say Good-Bye

    Dream looked at her adopted sister, Sunshine.
    “I know I promised
    I would make a dream for you.
    Any dream you wish.
    But, sister,
    Is that really
    The story you wish?"

    Sunshine smiled, “Yes.”

    As Sunshine slept that night,
    Dream came to visit her.
    She placed her little hands
    On Sunshine’s cheeks.
    “Dream,” was all she said.

    Sunshine had a dream that night
    Of the night
    Of Father died
    Trying to save her sister

    She saw her sister Musica,
    Broken and bleeding
    On the floor.
    A man was standing over her.
    Beating her to death.

    Sunshine’s father entered,
    Breaking through the door.
    His fairy wings were broken.
    He could not fly right then.

    The roof of the house
    Just lifted up
    And sailed away.
    Leaving Scream the dragon
    Standing there,
    Looking into the room.

    Scream picked up the man
    Beating Musica.
    And crushed him
    Like he was a grape.

    Then Scream screamed,
    He gently lifted Musica.
    To take he someplace safe.

    As he left the village that night
    He used his dragon breath
    Setting everything on fire.

    Sunshine’s father died that night.
    In the fire’s Scream had set.
    He couldn’t fly
    To get away.

    Sunshine never got the chance
    To say good-bye to him.

    But in her dream that night,
    Sunshine got to speak
    With her Father one last time.
    In her dream that night,

    Sunshine got to say good-bye.

    245 Words.

    1. Look! Typographical glitches!
      I be tired.
      I go sleep now.

  12. Walls That Talk

    "Is that really the story you wish?"

    Kim glared at the computer-generated fairy that stuttered in and out as the code behind it tried to process her request. Tied into the house computer and into company cloud servers beyond-- still the program stumbled.

    "You said you can tell me any story."

    "I can." The fairy strengthened, this was familar ground. "I can tell you any tale that was, or is, or yet will be." It guesstured with a wand that gave off silvery blue sparks.

    "So tell me," she snarled, "tell me how my child died."

    "Once upon a time--"

    100 words (without title)
    Martha dot Bechtel

  13. "Is that really the story you wish to tell the police?"

    "It's the truth. That's what actually happened."

    "And you expect them to believe you. Don't you think they'll just say you've seen too many movies and tell you to lay off the Martinis?

    "Look, you saw it too those people just cornered that couple, started eating them alive and went straight for their brains."

    "Oh, I saw it, but I'm not stupid enough to want to file a zombie sighting with the cops. They'd lock ME up and give me a straightjacket. "

    "Then what do you want to do? We can't just leave those... those... we can't just let them run loose."

    "Well, if YOU want to do it, go ahead. Leave me out of it. In fact, there's an officer right now. It looks like he has some questions for that woman on the corner."

    "Okay, but if you don't want to get involved, you'd better get out of here so he doesn't ask you a bunch of questions just for being with... Wait! Did you see that?"

    "Oh, God, I sure did. He took that woman's head right off and now he's munching on it! Are you SURE you still want to tell him about our zombie sighting?"

    "Hell, no! Let's get our asses out of here!"

    221 Words

  14. “Tell me a story, Nana.”

    Three feet of wriggling love and joy climbed onto my lap, sweet hair smelling of baby shampoo. Her pajamas stuck to her skin in places. She rubbed a fist against her eyes, not yet aware she betrayed her sleepiness with a simple gesture.

    I pressed a kiss to her bath-damp hair.

    “What story do you want to hear tonight, little love?”

    “Ah, ah, ah, Bree,” my daughter said. “No time for a story tonight. It’s already past your bedtime.”

    Bright silver tears welled up in young brown eyes.

    “But, Mommy—Nana tells the best stories,” she said. “They’re like magic. About heroes and princesses and dragons and—”

    “Then don’t be so disagreeable at bath time tomorrow,” Mother said.



    “I’m not going.” I crossed my arms.

    “There’s no time left,” my mother said. “Bree, we have to leave.”

    “I won’t leave Nana behind.” Air raid sirens sounded.

    “Honey, I don’t want to leave her, either.”

    She’d never understood the bond between me and Nana, though. So she left and I stayed. I kissed Nana’s brittle fingers.

    “It’s you and me against the world, Nana.”

    Nana smiled, her cottony hair in need of a wash, her nightgown threadbare.

    “Tell me a story, little love.”

    Tears stung my eyes. “Once upon a time, a heroic princess defeated a terrible dragon.”

    “She saved her people?”

    “Oh yes.”

    “Is that really the story you wish?”

    “More than anything, Nana.”

    Her hand squeezed mine and I felt the magic rise.

    250 words

  15. The small calico cat gave a long stretch in the sunlight, tiny paws stretching to catch the tiny dust motes floating there.

    “This is the only chance you get. There is no getting back.”

    Ears tilted back towards the voice and there was a lazy blink before the head turned to view the human. Golden eyes gleamed before a yawn escaped, long canines exposed.

    The old woman walked over and put her hand on the cat, slowly stroking the soft fur. A purr started under her hand, the sound rumbling louder and louder.

    “Is that really the story you wish?” She tilted her head and listened to the answer. “All right.” She hung up and looked to the cat who was gazing at her. The tri-colored tail flipped back and forth. “We have our job. You know where to go. Make sure it’s a clean kill. The money will be in the closet. Be careful. He’s been known to go back on his word before.”

    The cat’s eyes gleamed before turning to mist under the woman’s hands and disappeared through the screen of the window.

    The woman pursed her lips and adjusted the ring on her finger before moving over to the chair to sit and wait for the creature’s return.

    211 words

  16. Your Reality, My Nightmare

    “Is that really the story you wish?” The jinn was business like in appearance and attitude.

    “Yes. I want a perfect world with Prince Charming.” For the first time in Janice’s life she felt hopeful.

    “As you wish.” The jinn remained seated with his hands on his lap.

    Her room turned into a burnt shell. Thunder crashed in the distance and Janice’s night clothes had become a dirty military combat uniform.

    “What is this?” She was at a loss.

    “It’s the perfect world you wished for.” The jinn, still impeccably dressed, stood.

    “No, its not. I wanted Prince Charming and happiness!” Janice looked out the shattered window. The thunder was cannon fire and an approaching battle.

    “It is happiness. For my species at least. I’m a salesman by trade, meaning I lie to ‘people’. The dream world, or fifth dimension, is crowded. Time to expand.”

    “This is a dream.” Janice shook.

    “True. Across the globe, millions are having a similar experience. The ‘war’ you witness is your unconscious mind retaliating. It’s pointless. You humans have never been keen on using your full mental potential. If you did, we’d lose.”

    The jinn became a faceless, shapeless creature. He spoke without a mouth and Janice was certain his voice came from without instead of within. “This is how your mind sees us though we appear human. Now… it’s time to rest. The fight is nearly over.”

    Janice couldn’t scream. The distant sound of guns faded and the world slipped into gray.

    249 words

  17. #ThursThreads is now CLOSED. Thank you to everyone who wrote this week and I'll see you all next week. :)

    1. Doh. Work and time difference kept me from being able to participate this week, but I look forward to reading all these entries. Good luck everyone.


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