Thursday, August 23, 2012

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 35

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 35 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 35:

The sexy, smart, chopper pilot, romance author, and authentic Canadian, Kris Norris.

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
The Prompt:

“Why didn’t I take up my friends on the ride home?”

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. “We’re all going to Sue’s house. You wanna ride?” Larry asked.

    “No, I’m fine. You guys have fun,” Marissa said.

    Dad had made it clear that she was to come straight home after the football game. There was no way she wanted to get grounded, yet again. She only lived three blocks from the high school. He knew it wouldn’t take more than ten minutes for her to walk home.

    After a block, it started to sprinkle. Marissa looked up at the ominous clouds swirling above her. A storm was brewing. Lightning flashed, and a dog ran out from behind a house chasing a cat. As the cat ran past, the dog stopped and hiked his leg. A hot spray stung her ankle and she screamed.

    “Keep quiet out there,” bellowed a voice from some dark hidden place.

    “Have a dog pee on your leg and let’s see how quiet you are,” she yelled back.

    “Smart mouth, huh?”

    “You leave that girl alone,” came a woman’s voice.

    “You shut up and mind your own business or I’ll give you something to complain about,” the man threatened.

    “Oh, you will, will you?” another man’s voice yelled. “You better watch how you speak to my wife, you no-good, lousy drunk.”

    Marissa heard a scuffle and a flash lit up the front of a house. The sound of gunfire pierced the air.

    “Why didn’t I take up my friends on the ride home?” Marissa thought, as a blood curdling scream followed her home.

    250 Words

  2. I waved goodbye, and headed down the familiar track. The silence welcomed me, and the moon lit my path. Smiling, I listened to the creatures rustling through the undergrowth, and the owls flitting from tree to tree. I loved this time of night, crisp and cool, refreshing after the noise of the bar.

    Ahead an orange glow blocked the way. Puzzled more than worried, I headed towards it and was surprised to find a camp of travellers with wagons and horses. The kind I’d only ever seen in books. Intrigued I accepted their invitation, and joined them by the fire.

    Music and laughter filled the night, and caught in its spell I danced until exhausted. And then I slept; the music haunting and filling my dreams. I woke at dawn to find myself alone. No signs of visitors or fire.

    Fear set in under the cold light of day, and I raced home to find that everything had changed. It was then I remembered the legends.

    In the end they dragged me away pleading for them to stop the joke, to find the truth, to let me go back to the woods. A hundred years could not have past.

    Now I lie upon a cold steel table, screaming at them to stop, to find another way. I don’t harbour the secret of immortality.

    They have no mercy, and my last coherent thought before the knives descend is “why didn’t I take my friends up on the ride home?”

    248 words

  3. I remember when the embossed invitation had arrived it had been addressed to me and had invited three friends of my choice. We had arrived and after an hour my friends Ariel ,Kevin and Georgia all said there was something wrong with the crowd giving the party .I felt some unease ignoring it, after all I was at the party of the season. I called them party poopers. I wish I could take those yelled words and my actions back. After they left I realized I knew no one here and I went to the bar throwing back drink after drink in boredom. It was at the bar I met him, Mr. Deep, Dark and Mysterious. He was the man of my dreams smiling at me, taking me home, or so I thought...until the teeth came out. He explained that the party had actually been a dinner party for his friends to dine. I would have been one of the appetizers but he had decided to give me a choice they wouldn’t get. He could devour me or turn me, which did I choose? Mirrors have no meaning for me now. Why didn’t I take up my friends on the ride home? It would have been so easy just to get in their car. But no, I had to refuse the ride and continue partying. I meet the sun this morning, I shall not take any more victims the stain of intimate’s blood on my tongue. Forgive me my friends.
    250 words

  4. The Adventure

    “Come on Shayla. Come ride with us.” Marder grinned at her. “We’re gonna go get a Spritzer after we get back.”

    Shayla shook her head. “I just want to stay a bit longer. This is the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced, so I want to make it last as long as possible.”

    Marder shrugged his shoulders. “Okay, suit yourself. See you back in Homegrounds later.”

    The girl nodded absentmindedly, already turning her attention back to the huge trees and beautiful flowers before her. There was nothing like this back home; only buildings made of steel as far as the eye could see. The air was fresh and clean just as it was at home, but here…it had intoxicating scents. A movement to her right caught her eye, and even though she knew better than to step off the path, she couldn’t stop herself. The feel of spongy ground covered with pine needles beneath her bare feet was amazing.

    Shayla stepped softly toward where she had seen the underbrush move. Peering ahead, she could see brown fur, but not much else. Determined to get a good look at the creature, she pushed forward. The animal was as magnificent as its surroundings. The nostrils flared, catching her scent, and their eyes locked. It took a cautious step toward her, then it roared and swiped sharp claws across her stomach.

    As she died years before she was born, Shayla thought “Why didn’t I take up my friends on the ride home?”

    249 words {without title}

  5. Trial

    Darkness was falling as the rain got heavier. Her saturated bergan felt like a ton-weight on her back and her boots were leaking. She could feel blisters forming on her heels as soaking socks rubbed on skin but she hunched forward and tramped on.

    She repeated the mantra “Feet don't fail me now”. She muttered it under her breath, reminding herself all the time why she was putting herself through this torture. This was the last trial. If she got through this …

    A small demon of doubt started nagging at her. Was she an idiot? Did she stand a chance? She'd been offered an “out” if she'd only accepted it. Her self-confidence began to melt with the downpour that was now coursing down her neck and into the back of her shirt. Despite the weather, she was sweating with the effort of trudging on.

    “Why didn't I take up my friends on the ride home?” She finally shouted at the lowering sky. She knew why. It was a trap. The rest of her platoon had been in a four-tonner, cheering her on, encouraging her to jump up in the back and ride the last two miles back to the barracks with them but she'd refused.

    If she'd done that, she would have failed the test and she would never be the first woman accepted into the Special Forces. “Feet don't fail me now,” she growled, pushing forward.

    Word Count 240

  6. Deux ex Machina
    By Wakefield Mahon
    The horde of cybernetic zombies came from out of nowhere. Everyone knew the rumors of army experiments gone wrong, but seeing them in person was something altogether different.
    I braced for the inevitable, cursing my fate. “Why didn’t I take up my friends on the ride home?”
    A massive tank rolled out of the woods, running over half of the attackers and taking out the rest with precision shots, one shot terrifyingly close to my head.
    I stood with knees knocking.
    “I remember you being so much manlier.”
    I haven’t heard that voice since before… “Natalie?”
    “You were expecting the Easter Bunny?”
    “But you’re, you know…”
    “I wouldn’t say I’m dead, more like I had a minor setback. How do you like my new digs?”
    I walked around the hulking tank looking for an entrance. “How is it that you sound like you?”
    “How is it that you sound like you?” she parroted in my own voice.
    “That’s awesome but a little creepy.”
    “That’s not all I can change.”
    The tank surface became so hot I had to step back. I watched in wonder as it shifted and morphed into a sight, I never thought I’d see again.
    “It really is you?”
    “In the flesh… relatively speaking. I’ll tell you all about it. Let’s go.”
    “Where are we going?”
    “You didn’t think I came all the way out here, just to walk you home did you?”
    236 Words

  7. “Why didn’t I take up my friends on the ride home? You know why, Lester. They were idiots!”

    The pale brunette made her way to the far side of the hallway as she passed the elderly, disheveled man. He was crazy as a loon, talking to himself, but of course they all were here. Lester was convinced his friends had brought him here on a tour of the place and then abruptly left. He never could seem to comprehend that he had been involuntarily committed.

    She pushed the cart of books past a few others, then continued on through the big door and into the communal area. A group of younger patients, only a few years older than her, sat around the wooden table.

    “Hello, Mika!” shouted George excitedly.

    “Hi, George. I brought you the books like you asked.”

    They scrambled around her and began picking their selections. Paulette always chose the same one with the red cover. Mika knew she didn’t actually read it, but she loved it nonetheless.

    Nurse Bergman saw the group choosing their books and wandered over, a smile plastered across her otherwise stern face. “Oh, which one of you brought the book cart in?”

    Mika shyly raised her hand, and George and Paulette pointed to her, grinning.

    “Oh, Mika again?”

    They all nodded emphatically.

    Nurse Bergman shrugged and walked back to her desk, noting to increase their medications. Now they were all seeing her. One person’s delusional, make-believe ghost friend had manifested for them all.

    250 words

  8. Rail Yard Regrets

    Now, “Why didn’t I take up my friends on the ride home?” you might ask. Simple answer. Ain’t easy getting’ on in years and sure as hell ain’t easy when the damned State decides you ought not to drive no more. So, call it jest plain ole stubborn pride. Besides, weren’t that long a walk if’fn ya cut ‘crost the rail yards and that were how I went.

    Didn’t see ‘em till were damned near too late. She were a pretty little thing, pale as a snowflake. Well she was down on that cold, hard ground and the two of ‘em was havin’ they way with her somethin’ fierce.

    I musta kicked me a can or somethin’, cause they stopped of a sudden. She seen me first and, in her eyes, were a look damned near broke my heart. Pleadin’…beggin’…don’t rightly know, to this day, what to call it. They seen me, too, and weren’t nothin’ but harm, plain and simple, on they minds.

    Well, I may not git around like I used to, but I knew me them rail yards good an’ I run fer all I was worth till I lost them fools. Now, I read in the papers ‘bout them findin’ her body and 'bout not findin’ nobody to blame fer it. That were ten years gone by now. I never stood up fer her. Weren’t no hero or nothin’ to do me a fool thing like that. But anybody offer now? I’ll takes me a ride.

    250 words @klingorengi

  9. Word count: 170
    Twitter: @Aightball


    I looked up into the dark, slightly angry blue eyes of my father. He was taller than me and when he’s heaving with anger, he’s scary.

    “Nice of you to come home,” he sneered.

    Hiccupping, I nodded, pulling in a shuddering breath. “R-Randi kicked me out.”

    I just caught dad shaking his head before I blacked out.


    “We have to do something. My program is what she needs, Jacoby!”

    I clutched my head as my parents argued. I didn’t need rehab.

    “You guys get her registered, then; I can’t take it anymore.”

    That was Randi, my best friend. I think.

    “Wake the fuck up, Priscilla. If you don’t go to rehab, everything I promised you is off.”

    I cracked my dry blue eyes open and looked at the ruby on my finger. The promise ring glinted in the glow of the lamp. I didn’t want rehab, but I couldn’t live without Randi. Rehab or Randi? Finally looking at her, I nodded. I’d go to rehab to keep Randi.

  10. “Why didn’t I take up my friends on the ride home?” Lana wept, huge, gulping sobs. Her eyes were red and puffy—embarrassing, really, for a girl her age. Of course there was nobody around now to see, but there could have been.

    “Why didn’t you?” I said, attempting my friendliest tone. “They offered plenty of times.”

    “I don’t know.” She sounded sulky. (Disgusting.) “Guess I was mad at them. It’s time to go, come on, we’re leaving now, come ON, Lana, we’re not gonna wait forever, nag, nag, nag, like my mother.”

    “They were probably trying to be nice.”

    “Nice, my foot! More likely they wanted to know where I live so they could take my stuff.”

    Lana was probably right, but my saying so wouldn’t help.

    “Then why are you all upset now? You got your way, didn’t you?” I kept it light, so very light, like I was speaking to a child.

    She burst into tears again. “Because I’m stuuuuuck with no way hooooome.”

    I watched her unsympathetically. In my experience there’s just no point in feeling sorry for a drunk dragon.

    185 words

    1. Hehehe! I didn't realize they were suseptible to alcohol... :)

    2. Hey now--I said DRUNK--didn't say from alcohol! heh heh...

  11. YEAH

    Ever have that feeling of immense stupidity settle in like it means to stay? I get it pretty often, and it rarely leaves early. Yeah, I’ve got a chronic case of foot in mouth syndrome.

    Why didn’t I take up my friends on the ride home? Hope. The second worst four letter word in the English language, and source of at least half my troubles. I hoped that if I hung around after her shift ended, Rissa would talk to me.

    Why would she talk to me? That part I didn’t think through. The fact that we were an item for three years and lived together and were intimate over three times a week by the end all were strikes against me. Because it did end. She caught me with her best friend, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. Bottom line is it was completely my fault, and caught with my pants down I reflexively shoved my foot far enough back in my mouth the bitter taste’s still there a month later.

    So there we were, just me and my ex, and she shot me one of those looks I never could interpret correctly. Based on context I assumed it meant “F off”. So of course I stayed.

    “Rissa, can we talk?”

    “About what?” She couldn’t lock up until I left, though we both knew she could literally throw me out.

    “The worst four letter word in the English language?” I ventured.

    At least she laughed.


    247 words

  12. Black, angry clouds filled the sky, pouring their contempt for me out on everyone, and everything. The rain was a stark reminder of what had happened. Of the random, uncaring, heartless nature of life.

    Most people had left after the service in the church. It was easy to see the heartbreak in their eyes. A few stayed, huddled under umbrellas, to watch the caskets lowered into the ground. Their umbrellas added a splash of color to the darkness of the day. In that darkness, their colors seemed more vivid, more alive.

    Like me.


    Unlike Marie, Roxanne and Elizabeth.

    I remembered the night it happened. Roxanne saw me walking home from work. “Do you want a ride?” Marie and Elizabeth were with her. They were my best, my only, friends. They talked with me. Visited me at work. Even bought me lunch sometimes.

    I’d almost accepted their offer, and let them take me to my home. A cardboard box, beneath the underpass a couple of miles away. They would meet my sister. My fears stopped me. I said no. They drove off. I walked home.

    The next morning the story of the accident was on the TV at work. A big truck had run a red light. Broadsided their car. They died in that heartbeat.

    I looked up, into the rain. “Why didn’t I take up my friends on the ride home? If I had, they’d be alive today?” Then I stood there. Alone. In the rain.

    250 Words

  13. Why didn't I take up my friends on the ride home? They hadn't been that far behind. Still, we were under strict orders and even I wouldn't have made it had I waited any longer.

    Before we had left, the Institute had made it clear that this expedition was so important that simple friendship could not be allowed to impede its progress. They were sure not only to tell us at the outset, but also to make sure that every aspect of our training involved situation simulations where we would have to leave someone behind in order for the mission to succeed.

    I had never expected that I would be the only one to make it aboard. Now I had to wait through the long journey home, anticipating the inevitable inquiry and debriefing upon my arrival.

    Why hadn't I taken them up? Well, even just after I was inside, the automatic systems had begun to close the hatches. The only way I could have stopped it was to have aborted the entire mission, with none of us returning.

    Now, they'll have to wait until I return in the next ship. They'll be safe and it won't be very long. Only 1400 years from now, I'll be back here on Earth, bringing with me the start of the new colony.

    We already know there's an abundance of edible flora and fauna here, especially those wonderful, juicy bipeds.

    236 Words

  14. They surrounded me. Or rather surrounded the park: tangling in the
    swings, shambling through the obstacle course, sinking into the sandpit.

    Zombies. Real, not-so-live zombies.

    But I only had eyes for Mr. Mason. Or what used to be Mr. Mason.

    Former World Lit. teacher transformed into slobbering undead and headed straight for me with an immobilizing intensity.

    Why didn’t I take up my friends on the ride home?

    Because I didn’t know the freakin’ zombie apocalypse was literally around the corner, taking the heartbreaking form of my only teacher crush.

    I’d taken a short cut through the Scarsdale Park, because it was quicker. But it left few exits.

    And I wasn’t an outdoors kinda girl. Hell, I could barely kill a fly armed with a flyswatter and spray, so I wasn’t in any shape to take on the deadly persistence of a creature that shouldn’t even exist.

    But I had to think of something, or Mr. Mason was going to put his lips on me in a way that was decidedly less daydream-ish and more hellish nightmare.

    So, despite the proof throughout my life that I was anything other than athletic, I booked it: dodged snapping jaws and clawing hands like a star quarterback.

    And found the next street bumper to bumper with cars and zombies mashed in between, prying food from the cars like sardines from a can. And one of those cars belonged to my friend.

    Guess a ride home wouldn’t have been much better.


  15. #ThursThreads is CLOSED. Thank you to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to see you next week.


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