Thursday, September 13, 2012

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 38

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 38 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 38:

The caffeine addict, excessive gym-rat, and erotica author, Rebecca Grace Allen.

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“What else was he to do but wait?”

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. Bicomtorfel left his nest at the back of the cave. Bits of bone from his previous meals snapped beneath his furry feet. If he weren’t hungry, he wouldn’t move, wouldn’t stretch, wouldn’t leave his nest. But he was hungry and should stretch his wings.

    Carefully, he gauged the forest around him, watching for tiny predators that had the fire to kill him. He was a hunter, but humans hunted him.

    Deeming it safe, Bicomtorfel spread his wings and pushed off with catlike, furred paws. Snatching two large egrets, circled back to his aerie, snapping each neck with his large yellow beak.

    How long since they’d found and killed Twigentradendron? His mother had been the one to teach him to hide, to run, while the rest of his kind refused. They were shot down with arrows or spears or fiery globs shot from contraptions never seen before.

    Immortal, Bicomtorfel had never been good at judging time. In the beginning, when there were cycles, he could. was just now and then. He lost his friend Cob to old age and death. He lost his father to the first human attacks. He lost his sister in the breaking of the world. And he lost his mother when a human thought her body parts magical. As though you could extract the magic from one such as himself.

    He was the last gryphon, the only one not killed by the humans. What else was he to do but wait?

    “Find me, Fae. Please.”

    250 words
    Four Winds

  2. Alone

    "All things come to he who waits" she used to say to him.
    He was cold, tired and wet. It smelled bad in here. The noises outside rang in his ears and made his head hurt.
    He felt for Babbit but his hand touched something sharp. He tried not to cry.
    “Big boys don’t cry.” She used to say to him.
    It started to rain and it sounded like he was inside a tin drum.
    “Stop banging that damned drum!” she used to say to him.
    He peered over the lip of the dumpster.
    She was gone. What else was he to do but wait?

    105 Words

  3. A sumptuous meal was spread out before him, the glistening china resting upon pristine white linen. Light caught in the etched crystal of the glass, the ruby red liquid inside catching his eye. He gathered the glass in his palm and twisted his wrist, watching as the wine coated the inside and slowly slipped back to the bottom.

    As the alcohol went down his throat, it burned ever so slightly. It had been some time since he’d been allowed the extravagance of spirits and he closed his eyes to revel in the moment. He inhaled deeply as he lowered the glass, the scents surrounding him so pleasant he was almost scared to take the first bite, in case the taste didn’t equal the lovely aroma. Fortunately, the first cut of steak melted in his mouth and he smiled.

    Once the meal was complete, he sat back from the empty table, saddened he hadn’t been able to share the meal with another, but such was his solitary life. There were so many things yet to do, yet to see, but he had an appointment soon upcoming.

    Now that his meal was done, what else was he to do but wait?

    Two men soon stepped up to the iron bars, one turning the key in the lock.

    “Are you ready?” The preacher asked softly.

    “As ready as I’ll ever be.” He rose from the cot and lifted his hands to the jailer, ready for the cuffs, knowing he lied through his teeth.

    250 words

  4. Law And Justice

    It was bitterly cold on the rooftop, a westward breeze blowing in what would be a first-rate winter storm by sunrise. Calming himself, Dylan resigned himself to the necessary evil of waiting.

    What else was he to do but wait? Sit around a house filled with memories of a wife and daughter forever taken from him by the thoughtless actions of a drunken recidivist? No, that he could no longer do. The walls seemed to draw closer in with each passing day and his family cried out from their graves for the justice the courts seemed unwilling to mete out.

    That would all be set to rights tonight. Dylan perked up as he heard a vehicle approaching from the south. It was him. Sighting through the scope of his rifle, he waited for his moment.

    Watching the man stumble from his truck, the first shot took out his left knee. Jacking in successive rounds, he fired a total of three more times before setting the weapon down and dialing 911. The worthless sot would live, but without the use of all four of his limbs. THAT was justice, Dylan figured.

    He ended the call with his name and location and then settled down to wait. What else was he to do but wait? Unlike the piece of human excrement thrashing about in the streets below, Dylan had respect for the rule of law. As long as justice had been served, he had no problem with facing what the law required.

    250 words @klingorengi

  5. Of all the stupid ideas he’d had in the past, this one had to be the worst. When Mandy told him that she wanted to ‘get away from it all,’ he’d made it his mission to find the most secluded cabin on the highest mountain. That was one mistake; the second one had been letting her bring her cat.

    The cat had never liked him. In fact, he was sure it hated him. So far, on this trip alone, it had peed on his side of the bed, left claw marks down his arms, and had hacked up a hairball on his lap.

    Now, he found himself wandering through the woods calling, “Here Kitty, Kitty,” in pitch-blackness. The damn thing had escaped out the door, and Mandy was in a panic.

    “You’ve got to find her.”

    Life without Kitty, what would that be like?

    What if, he never had to wake up to see flickering eyes staring him in the face? What if, he could go to sleep at night without hearing the swish of her tail flicking back and forth in anger?


    He turned in the direction of the sound and walked a few paces before he felt the earth give way under his feet. His hands grasped at the shrubbery and finally found a sapling. As he clung to it for dear life, dangling over a drop that would surely kill him, he saw the glowing eyes above him. What else was he to do but wait?

    250 Words

  6. He touched his hand to his left temple and pulled away with blood coating his fingers. Oh, she was good. And she had got him good. A quick knee to the head had left him disoriented and given her time to get away. He could only chuckle. She was his creation and he had trained her well, almost too well. She was more a reactive fighter than an aggressor. She was light on her feet, taking a shoulder length stance while she watched him with wild yet clever eyes. And she had done everything he’d taught her. She’d taken his punches, absorbed them, and then waited for an opening, because there was always an opening. He was caught off guard when she’d gone to ground, slid between his legs and jammed her elbow into his groin. He didn’t go down immediately, but it had been enough to stun him, weaken him. And she took full advantage of that. They’d fought, close quarters, grappled, but somehow she’d always ended up on top and in full control of the situation. He chuckled again as he thought of her running away, a small smile graced her lips as she glanced back at him. She was enjoying this.

    He took a seat on a nearby rock. She was headed for the highway and he had headed her off. She would come right to him. What else was he to do but wait?

    238 Words

  7. A fire lit only a portion of the space, the outskirts of the room stayed hidden in shadow. He filled two glasses from the bottle on his desk and offered one to her.

    She shook her head.

    “Very well,” he said, amused by her refusal and downed both glasses as he pointed to a wooden chair near the fireplace.

    Again, she shook her head.

    With his eyes fixed on hers, he opened a desk drawer and removed the whip. The leather squeaked as he tightened his fist on the grip.

    “We can either be civilized and you can sit and answer my questions, or you can continue to refuse my hospitality and have the answers I desire whipped from you. I assure you I can be satisfied either way.” He lied, of course. He would much prefer to watch her resolve shatter with the sting of a lash or two, but patience in these matters was key. What else was he to do but wait? She would soon give in, one way or another.

    The whip slithered across the floor as he moved toward her. With his second step she sat. He laughed as he coiled the whip around his hand

    “How unfortunate that you are as sensible as you are beautiful, Mrs. Burgin. I think I would quite like hearing you scream.” He lifted her chin, forcing her to look at him, “But then the night is young and we may yet have a chance to hear it.”

    249 words

  8. Jerry leaned against the wall, staring at nothing at all, really. What else was he to do but wait? There wasn’t one thing he could buy in this store for himself, and she knew that. The clothes seemed like they’d been fashioned for teenagers. What on earth was Sharon doing in here?

    A clerk kept eyeing him suspiciously, and he realized he must look a little creepy. A soon to be forty-year-old should not be standing around in a boutique like this staring at the dressing rooms. Let’s go, Sharon, before I get harassed.

    He glanced down at his watch, consciously noting that the game would be starting in only a half hour. What was taking her so…

    The curtain snapped back, and out flew a grotesquely shaped creature, oozing bubbles spouting foul liquid from the surface of its vomit-green skin, tentacles that stretched to the ceiling and knocked over clothes racks. The clerk from earlier screamed, and Jerry just recoiled in horror. Sharon, whatever it was that she had become, was going to kill him!


    “Oh, uh, yes?” he said, shaking his head and rubbing his eyes, realizing he’d dozed off.

    “Sorry, sir. I just didn’t want you to fall over. There’s a bench over there if you’re just waiting for someone.”

    “Oh, uh, thanks,” he uttered as he walked toward the front of the store. Sharon with her teenage clothes. Sharon becoming a monster in his dreams. It was time to rethink this relationship.

    250 words

  9. “I can’t do the rituals, Darius. I already told you.”

    He gritted his teeth and pushed his temper down. The Summer Queen had insisted on Copper Creek, Colorado, but Sabrina still refused to step up to her responsibilities. Well, not entirely. She did have two little girls from the last two times she’d done the rituals.

    “A child is a blessing–”

    “Says the man who loves ’em and leaves ’em.” Sabrina turned her back on him. “No, not this time. It’s been too long and I don’t need more children to raise by myself.”

    “You are the only one who can do them properly and the Summer Queen has requested you personally.” Darius wished he could choose someone else, someone less stubborn, but the Fae Queen had made her decree. Sabrina Foxglove must do the rituals. But it was her choice. It’s always female choice. What else was he to do but wait?

    “Why, Darius? Why has she requested me? She doesn’t even know me.”

    “Theirs is not to reason why. Theirs is but–”

    “To do and die. I know the quote. But I’m not blindly following orders.”

    He sighed. “I suspect she chose you, Sabrina, because she knows of your strength and persistence despite adversity. That’s what the sacred site needs. Strong magic to protect it from the encroaching destruction.”

    “Now you’re just trying to butter me up.”

    He grinned. “Is it working?”

    She laughed ruefully. “Maybe a little.”

    242 ineligible #WIP500 words

  10. Cassandra might be a seer but she hadn’t foreseen Corebus’ leg had been burnt clean through by the dragon.What else was he to do but wait in the cave? She would return. The forces in the government wanting him dead wouldn’t stoop to using Cassandra against him? Would they? Corebus imagined all kinds of horrible things. He shouldn’t doubt her and yet the thought remained.
    He heard sounds outside the cave, scurry sounds like the dragon.Flames scorched the cave walls and Corebus crawled further into the cave. He admitted to himself he was going to die. If the burns didn’t kill him the dragon would. Closing his eyes he waited to die. Hearing a clang, like the sound of a sword hitting flesh and a loud guttural scream, followed by a loud thump, he opened his eyes. A woman dressed in armour entered the cave wielding a huge sword.
    “Corebus I’ve returned and brought the healer.” Cassandra stated.
    “You slayed the dragon?”
    “I did. “Did you ever doubt me?”
    “No, my brave Cassandra.”
    “Liar. I am a seer. We part today Corebus you have broken faith with me.”
    “Goodbye, brave Cassandra.”
    Corebus healed and became powerful. Cassandra married and had children. Corebus ill and dying was attended by Cassandra.
    “I was wrong to doubt you.” Corebus confessed.
    “I foresee a wondrous afterlife for you.” Cassandra proclaimed.
    Death was knocking at the door, what else was there to do but for Corebus to wait?
    243 words

  11. Hell

    He’d always thought that Hell was full of flames and demons, but now he knew better. Hell was where badly composed music played on ancient speakers and the stale air tasted of dust and dollar signs.

    The minions of Hell trolled by every now and then, giving him the barest of glances as they wound their way through the stacks and aisles. He was only a visitor here. His problems were not their department, and so they left him alone.

    All around him mindless souls wandered. A few moved with purpose, eyes darting, hands reaching out to grab and gather the meaningless trappings of this place. The others just milled through the empty spaces, an unending parade of blank expressions and unfocused eyes. When they spoke their voices blended with the wail of the music; creating a discordant noise that flayed his nerves raw.

    He wished with all his soul he could leave this place, but he couldn’t. He was trapped here by vows taken long ago. His hand tightened on the bright red satchel he’d been told to guard. Here he sat until his duty was done, an observer in Hell. He couldn’t leave, what was he to do but wait?

    Another soul brushed by him and he ignored it until a voice drew his attention. He knew that voice; it was part of a memory from a happier time.

    “Honey, do these jeans make me look fat?”

    Oh yes, he was definitely in Hell.

    246 words

  12. “Where’s Jimmy?” Racheal from dispatch asked, as I helped hold up the nurse’s station in the ER.

    “Ambulance call. They should be rolling in soon.”

    Sure enough, her dispatch board lit up and I listened as report was given, going to assist everyone coming out of the rig. As soon as the rig stopped, I opened the back doors, helping my husband get the stretcher out. As the top of the stretcher came down, so did my husband.

    “FUCK!” he screamed. His right leg was caught under the stretcher and it didn’t look good.

    Trying to keep him calm, I radioed for help. While one team dealt with the patient, another helped with Jimmy. I splinted his leg, then we got him up onto a stretcher. I heard a doctor shout an order for pain medication and sighed. I followed his stretcher inside, glad he was good and snowed. Pacing, I moved back toward dispatch, knowing I was too close to the situation to help.

    “What happened?” Racheal asked, glancing up at me.

    “Ice patch,” I muttered. “Fuck.”

    She nodded, watching room five. “Good luck keeping him down.”

    I nodded, as I went into the room. Jimmy was half asleep, as we waited on x-rays. I took his hand, glad someone had placed an ice pack on his leg.

    “It’s going to be a minute, guys, x-ray is backed up,” a medic told us and I nodded.

    What else was he to do but wait? We had time.

    248 words

  13. Mother Knows Best

    What else was he to do but wait?

    She had told him with snuffles and whines, with a shove of her nose, that he was to wait. He always did what she said. It had been a long time, and he was hungry, so he whimpered a little, but would stay there.

    He scratched behind one fuzzy black ear, his hind leg working hard to stop the biting of the flea that troubled him. He didn’t know what was biting him, but he knew it itched. The Cat from the Kitchen strolled by and meowed at him, in a friendly tone, and he woofed back, politely, but did not move from his spot in the shade of stack of crates where she told him to wait.

    Other dogs passed his way, off and on, throughout the day, but never her. He sighed, slept, woke again. She had never been gone this long before. He whimpered. What if she never came back? What would he do?

    He tried to be patient, but it was hard. He was, after all, only six months old. As the day drew to a close, the sun dropping in the sky, he heard a sharp bark. It sounded like her! He rose to his feet, trembling, but didn’t move. His nose told him the happy news…she was coming! She barked again, and he responded.

    Footsteps, both human and animal, came his way. Warm hands scooped him up as his mother looked on. A home at last.

    250 words {without title}

  14. It started how it always does, though never how it happens in the movies: I bumped into her in the university cafeteria line.

    We looked at each other with shy smiles, said ‘excuse me’ at the same time, and danced awkwardly around each other before we finally orbited out of each other’s gravity field. My gaze lingered a moment too long, breaking only when she looked away, chewing her lip.

    Then her boyfriend arrived, standing behind her and making sure I knew I should go, just by his expression that exuded possession.

    What else was I to do but wait?


  15. The wreck was more horrible than any he’d ever seen. The first car had careened across the median and crashed into a second one which flipped, and the guy on the red motorbike went flying through the air like Superman, minus the cool landing.

    He cruised to a stop behind the mess and sat there for the longest time, the thunder of the crash still ringing in his ears. On TV another (good-looking) driver would race to help, maybe do CPR on a cute kid or help a lady wriggle out of her car before it exploded. It was too bad he wasn’t good-looking, he thought wryly, and didn’t know CPR. He did wonder, though, if any of these cars were going to explode, and if he should scoot back just in case.

    Nobody was moving in the cars. Nothing moved at all, actually, except the rear wiper on the first car, which was racing back and forth, like in a panic.

    Somebody ought to go check things out, he thought. Probably one of the other cars driving by had called 911. Maybe even somebody in the upside down car, which would be kind of funny.

    Firetrucks and ambulances would surely swoop in any minute now; tons of people would be running to help.

    He wouldn’t want to be in the way, he decided. Wouldn’t want to swamp the 911 office with another call; better for everybody if he just stayed put. What else was he to do but wait?

    250 words

  16. #ThursThreads is now CLOSED. Thank you to everyone who wrote and I'll see you next week.


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