Thursday, January 24, 2013

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 55

Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked, and a whole new year of #ThursThreads flash fiction. So let's get started. It's Thursday again, so what should you be doing? Writing #FlashFiction, that's what! Welcome to Week 55 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 as written 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 55:

The UK sports nut and #flashfiction author, Sean Adams.

So now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“But it isn’t enough for me to rot or repent here where none can see.”

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. Immortal Respite

    I no longer harbor any interest in the affairs of the transitory beings of this plane. Unlike so many of my brethren, I understand full well the folly of my ways in contesting the will of the One and I am at peace with my state now. I am denied return to the Light and I am constrained to exist in a capacity far diminished from that which I once enjoyed.

    I understand and accept that, so what to be gained from tormenting the creations of He who banished me here? It is a fruitless endeavor embodying a pettiness unbecoming of even one of my diminished standing. For all that has transpired, I am still better than that. And yet, I would seem I am not to be allowed the privilege of solitude or the option of indifference.

    I want nothing nor do I ask anything but to be left to my own and not influenced or constrained by beings either Infernal or Celestial. But it isn’t enough for me to rot or repent here where none can see. So it would seem. There passes not a single day I am not beset by either agents of the Fallen or of the Seraphim seeking either my participation in some heinous act or seeking to punish me for continuing to exist in light of my betrayal so very, very long ago.

    To both I would implore to be content to let me forget and be forgotten. Perhaps someday they will agree.

    250 words @klingorengi

  2. Madness Escaped.

    I was trapped inside a cocoon of guilt where shallow faces filled with hurt stared at me from beyond the grave.

    His large beady eyes were full of judgment. I looked away. “But it isn’t enough for me to rot or repent here where none can see.”

    Did I want to do this? Leave all I had created? My safe haven - my own personal corner in hell. Fire and brimstone, harps and angels: it was all here, depending on the day.

    “We’ll go about it quickly,” I said, while frantically stuffing a pair of shirts and jeans down a ragged backpack. “We’ll say our sorries, bend our heads, and ask for forgiveness.”

    I stopped packing, a trickle of sweat bathing my neck. “What?” I whispered. “Why…they wouldn’t… kill us?”

    My hands shook as I stared up at the sky where the roof had caved in. They would forgive us. It had not been our fault, truly.

    “One mistake,” I muttered. “One mistake and a man’s life is worthless.”

    I screamed, throwing a boot at him. “That’s not true! Take it back, take it back!”

    The mirror broke, the shards falling to the floor. There, amidst the pieces, was his leering grin, broken and alive.

    I sunk into a chair; it tipped sideways and planted me on the floor. I had killed him a thousand times, a thousand different ways.

    Still, he haunted me.
    Commanded me.

    "Not anymore."
    You have said this before.
    “This time will be different.”


    250 Words.

  3. Thomlin growled something ugly under his breath as another lightning strike lit the world up. Siriana shook her head and jerked on the ropes tied to Corlith’s hands. His shoulders screamed in protest, but he stumbled after her as the wall of rain slammed into them.

    Great. Taken prisoner, head splitting, likelihood of being hit by lighting, and now wet. Fun day.

    They hurried their steps toward the yawning mouths of caves in the cliffs, Corlith trying to keep his feet as the scent of ozone hit the air. Oh, shit. Another strike, this one no more than thirty yard from them, slammed into the ground and set a static charge zinging through their bodies. Thomlin grunted, Siriana squealed, and Corlith moaned, the charge lighting all his injuries on fire.

    “Go on a quest, I said. Find the cure, I said. It’ll be fun, I said. Yeah, fuck that idea.” Grumbling out loud felt better than letting the thoughts fester inside his head. Spread the misery to the bastards holding him. “But it isn’t enough for me to rot or repent here for none to see. Oh no. I have to run into you two, who think I’m some sort of war prize, and get dragged all over hell and gone.”

    “Be quiet, Goblin,” Thomlin snarled, shoving Corlith against the wall. “You will show your respect of our sacred Catacombs.” He cuffed Corlith hard enough to see stars.

    This day just gets better and better.

    245 ineligible #WIP500 words

  4. “But it isn’t enough for me to rot or repent here where none can see.”
    The words, written in blood red ink, mocked her, and gooseflesh broke out on her exposed forearms. The dampness of the cave made her shiver, the sliver of bright sunshine just visible at the far end of the cave the only reminder of the hot summer's day she'd left behind.
    Now beads of perspiration were replaced by the cold sweat of gut wrenching unease. The cool breeze that had enticed her to step into the welcoming coolness now wrapped her in its icy fingers. Her breath frosted in front of her face and the meager flame of her match went out.
    "What have we here?" The clipped tones right behind her made her spin around to thin air. Yet she knew she wasn't alone. She could sense his presence, his coolness seeping into the very marrow of her bones. "A maiden as fine as I ever did see. Tell me, sweet child, what brought you here? Did you not heed the warnings?"
    "I'm not a child!" Her voice echoed around the cave and chilling laughter was her reply. "What warnings? Who … who are you. Show yourself."
    The rush of air took her breath away, as a man as white as snow appeared in her vision. An angel, a ghost, for he was too beautiful to be real?
    He smiled, showing fangs dripping in blood, and her world tilted.
    "Not a child, but mine now."

    250 words @mamaD8

  5. It lures you in with its promise of glory. As you introduce yourself, nods and smiles surround you. You belong. As you laugh at the jokes and delight over the pictures, you realize this place is better than the others. Their promises lay flat, collecting dust at your feet—forgotten.

    “You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.”

    Sure. No problem. This is how it works. The net sails over thousands, bringing your victory within reach. You scan the numbers here. You calculate the numbers there.

    Yes, it’s working. It’s amazing in its simplicity.

    Secret messages accumulate in your box. Ignore them for the most part. Some contain viruses. Some are advertisements. Some give messages inappropriate for your eyes.

    Friendships bloom. Sharing a common ground creates a bond. You’re gaining something, but you’re giving something too. It’s working.

    Wait! What just happened?

    “My account is not allowed to do that?”

    You try to work around it. No matter how you maneuver, nothing works.

    “But it isn’t enough for me to rot or repent here where none can see. They’ve cut off all forms of communication.”

    You wave your arms at the computer screen. “I’m still here. Don’t forget me.”

    You must wait hours, or at least that’s what the instructions say. Idly you sit, watching everyone carry on without you. Your fingers itch to play along.

    Miserable and alone, you vow to act with caution when you are let out. You watch as your numbers tick away.

    “Blasted, Twitter Jail!”

    250 Words

  6. The priest and the lawyer stepped into the prisoner’s cell and spoke with the prisoner.
    “The appeal’s denied, you will be executed for your crime,” the lawyer explained.
    “But it isn’t enough for me to rot or repent here where none can see?”
    “No, there is no punishment that is good enough to the people you wronged. A jury of twelve good men and women have judged you, and judged you guilty of the crime,” the lawyer answered.
    “There is no hope then?”
    “Can I say goodbye to my loved ones?”
    “No, my son,” the priest responded.
    “When will it happen?”
    “It’s almost time,” answered the lawyer.
    The guards came into the cell, chained the prisoner and escorted him to the execution chamber.
    “May I say one last thing?” the prisoner asked.
    “Yes, confess your sins my son, before I leave.”
    “To all those assembled here. I have committed no crime. It is not a crime to love and procreate. Fertile men and women are not just breeders until their thirty and then sterilized. Children do not need to be grown only in test tubes and granted only to the elite to service them. The elite is allowed to make their children and then they are given to nannies and boarding schools. We all have the right to be parents and nurture them. Overthrow the elite’s power.”
    The prisoner then was executed.
    “Stupid men, a radical to the end. Nothing will change,” commented the rich old man laughing.
    249 words

  7. The Truth

    I am alone. But it isn’t enough for me to rot or repent here where none can see. They always told me Hell was fire and brimstone, but it isn’t. It’s pure loneliness, while you watch your loved ones carry on their lives on Earth without you. Where you can’t soothe their hurts, or calm their fears. Where you must watch their joys, watch your children carry on, and their children born and grow up and die, and never know where they end up. They could be right beside you and you’d never know. Once every hundred years or so, a demon comes in and taunts you with the faults and mistakes you made while you were alive. You watch them over and over again, until you would go mad if it were possible. They do unspeakable things to you. Then they leave you alone again, rewinding the tape of the lives carried on without you to the point where it will hurt you most.

    I’ve watched my wife remarry thousands of times, after seeing her mourn over me at my funeral as if her heart would break. I’ve seen the tears of my children, begging for me to come home, then loving their new father almost as much as they did me. I’ve seen them have children and tell them about me, sadness in their voices with missing me. I’ve seen my wife die; my children die and their children die.

    I’ve seen myself become forgotten.

    I am alone.

    250 words {without title}

  8. “Kernel of Truth”

    I've done terrible things. Bone chilling things. I've committed acts that cause mothers to hug their children close and enter their rooms in the dark of night, hovering there watching them breathe, praying they never come across . . . me.

    I thrive on others' pain. Lick up whimpers. Make a meal of screams. My fingers itch to sink into flesh or employ implements that will cut away the shroud of self-awareness until only a kernel of truth remains. Of course, death usually follows closely on the heels of that truth, but what a wondrous gift!

    I never did like flying; thus when I wheedled my way onto the Cessna my intended victim was on, I should have expected Lady Karma to exert Her will.

    Sitting before a crackling fire, I glance over at the wreckage of the plane, a sculpture of dismembered bodies and twisted metal still belching caustic black smoke.

    As the urge to do what I “do” overcomes me, I realize there's only one live victim at the ready.

    On a deserted island.

    Not that it will stop me.

    Turns out my kernel of truth is double-edged. I shit myself even as the scalpel parts my own flesh, peeling back a thick layer. Arousal and cold calculation juxtapose screaming terror and prayers to a God I've never believed in.

    But it isn’t enough for me to rot or repent here where none can see.

    I prop my cell phone against a rock to capture my final masterpiece.

    250 #WIP500 words

  9. Reckoning

    From the outside, his lair looked like a fishbowl with shadows swimming in and out of sight through a dome of darkness and gloom. Once through the barrier she could feel the storm raging as bolts of lightning seared streaks across the sky and on the back of her eyes. The sound of thunder BOOMED wildly in terrible cannon blows, but was heard from so far away that it sounded only like disgruntled whispers.

    With carefully chosen steps, Saquaia made her way to the bottom of the pit. Her heart beat an ancient song heard only by the wings of a sparrow, but her throat heard it too.

    The Cerberus lay still in a pile of scarred bones and torn hides, sleeping off the feast it made of her brother while she was asleep during her watch. With hushed breaths and stealthy steps, she found a perfect shot at the beast’s heaving chest.

    She nocked an arrow and pulled it back - and then she stopped.

    She pondered whether the beast should be punished for her crime, or she should be punished for his. She knew if he killed her, she would be no more forgiven than if she pierced its heart in revenge.

    She closed her eyes and whispered to the arrow, “I could kill this beast with your help, but it isn’t enough for me to rot or repent here where none can see. I must confess my sins.” and then she slackened the string from her cheek.

    Greg Nance
    @acenance - 250 Words

  10. * He had to make sure to direct her into a secluded area. If he hurried his steps, his prey tended to turn corners. If he ran behind them on their left, they’d go right. If he was on their right, they’d go left. A slow pace kept them going straight. People could be so predictable, but it made for a beautiful dance, each step leading his target to the right area. No foot traffic. No vehicular traffic. A place as desolate as possible in a city of about two million people.
    * Fortunate for him, he already knew the perfect pocket of nothingness—a private area behind an abandoned L-shaped warehouse where a high privacy wall butted up against the building so the L became a U and created a secluded cove.
    * ‘An impeccable choice of locale, if I should say so.’ She could scream, and any people nearby would only think it was the wind whizzing through the corridors or the crazies on those insane rides at the top of the tower.
    * If her friends only knew how close she’d be. A block away, if that, from safety. Soon to be a world away from life.
    * ‘Into my world where I’m supposed to atone for the errors of my ways. But it isn’t enough for me to rot or repent here where none can see. So I bring them here. I make them see.’
    * For when you look into the face of evil, it stares right back at you.

    Word Count: 249
    Twitter: @CaseyMoss_

  11. “Luke, I said I was sorry.”

    “Sorry’s not good enough this time, Jerry.”

    “But we’ve pranked each other for years.”

    “This one went too far. I was going to PROPOSE that night, for God’s sake.”

    “You still could have.”

    “Lisa’s family never wants to see me again!”

    “No sense of humor.”

    “A ruined living room isn’t very funny to most people. Especially prospective in-laws.”

    “That was a freak accident. It was just honey.”

    “On my girlfriend’s ass!”

    “That was meant for you. How was I supposed to know she was going to sit in the driver’s seat?”

    “She’s allergic to beestings!”

    “And who knew there would be bees in their front yard?”

    “It’s a YARD! ”

    “Well, she panicked. I mean, who runs off and leaves a Jeep in gear?”


    “It was pretty irresponsible.”

    “Nothing is ever your fault, it is? You’re lucky she wasn’t stung. You’d be dead.”

    “See? Bright side…I really have to wear that?”


    “No one was hurt.”

    “No, just banished.”

    “But it isn’t enough for me to rot or repent here where none can see?”

    “No. Put on the thong.”

    “But it’s got a penguin on the—“

    “That’s why I picked it.”

    “All right…now what?”

    “Clown nose.”


    “It honks.”


    “You’re going to apologize to Lisa, for putting honey on her ass. You’re going to absolve me of guilt, and you’re going on Youtube tonight.”

    “This is really necessary?”

    “Paybacks, Jerry, are hell.”

    Word count: 250
    Meredith Smith-Lane

  12. I fucked up. Badly. And literally, too.

    Don’t ask me what I’d been thinking, because I hadn’t been thinking anything. After the first dozen shooters, and a couple of mystery pills, my brain was sufficiently fried to leave my memory blank. It didn’t matter though, because someone thoughtfully captured it all on video.

    I had thought I was among friends, but apparently not, because it didn’t take long for him to decide I was too drunk to care what I did. He sat down beside me, and put his arm around my shoulders. He started to nuzzle my neck and ears, eventually kissing me. I responded eagerly, and when he started sliding his hand under my shirt and into my pants, I quickly let him talk me into stripping. He wanted me to blow him, and I did, letting him come all over my face.

    Then it was someone else’s turn. I sucked his cock while some other guy fucked me. Everyone cheered and as soon as one guy finished, another slid in.

    Now, regret crushes me, making it hard to breathe. But it isn’t enough for me to rot or repent here where none can see. Humiliation isn’t complete until it’s gone viral. The evidence is right there for everyone. Something I don’t remember, but cyberspace certainly will. And it won’t let me forget.

    Word count: 225

  13. But it isn’t enough for me to rot or repent here where none can see. I have to end this. I have to ease their minds with the fact that another monster has been slain."
    Glenn watched in horror as his girlfriend put the gun to her head and pulled the trigger. A muffled shot sounded and she slumped to the floor. Blood pooled around her head like a halo. A dark, disturbing halo of ending life.


    Director Micheal Westport smiled. "That was great guys. Excellent." He looked at his watch. "I think we should take a short break to prepare for the next scene." A small cheer erupted from the crew and the sound of everyone joking and laughing with eachother filled the studio.

    The lead actor David Reese, "Glenn", couldn't help but chuckle at the crew's reaction. It was not often that Micheal Westport gave compliements like that. Not often that he gave breaks either. In fact, this was probably a first.

    David turned to walk to his trailer when he remembered that his costar, Emily Davison, had not gotten up off the floor. He turned and called her name.


    No response.

    He walked back over to her.

    "Emily. You can get up now."

    Again, no response.

    David knew something was wrong. He kneeled down beside her and put his hand on her wrist, checking her pulse.


    David's eyes grew wide with fear and he called out.

    "Somebody call an ambulance!"

    Word Count: 249

  14. On a backwater moon, I knock on a door, little more than a plank of wood propped in front of a hole in the wall.

    Following a well-worn track in the dirt, it is pulled back. A woman smiles at me.

    She’s pretty.

    “Can I help you?”

    And nervous.

    “I’m looking for someone. A woman you helped.”

    Since I first explored the mysteries of the feminine form, I’ve loved women. Their scents, their beauty, their variety and retail value.

    Women were my most profitable commodity.


    Old Earthers had a saying. Cherchez la femme. Look to the woman.

    I have a Galactic Standard year of misery caused by one woman in particular. All across the Perseus Arm, my empire cracks because of her. My only consolation is to see her precious world as scattered and broken.

    But it isn’t enough for me. To rot or repent here where none can see is too good a fate for her. As long as she lives, I will hunt her. I must draw her out, must finish this dance we’ve started.

    Revenge is a dish best served in person, where a man may see all that he has wrought brought to fruition. With the push of a button, the arc blade at my side—her weapon—hums to life.

    The woman before me startles. “I don’t—I haven’t—”

    I will see Gemma Bryant and any who’ve offered her sanctuary dead.

    “Just tell me,” I say. “And I promise I’ll make it quick.”

    250 words

  15. I’m huddled in a parking garage near a hospital to get out of the biting winter winds. Winters in Nebraska can be harsh and this year is particularly so. When the wind dies down tonight, I’ll start my walk to Council Bluffs, Iowa, just across the river. That’s where it all will end.

    But not here, in this parking garage, no. I’m going to do it in Iowa, at my favorite hang out. A young boy with no memory of his family or where he’s from, hunkered down from the wind is ready to die, but it isn’t enough for me to rot or repent here where none can see.

    Why do I want an audience? It’s not so much that I want one; it’s that I need one. Someone needs to see me, to recognize me, to say they want me or love me. If I die anyway, that’s okay, maybe someone saw me and felt sorry for me. But in this parking garage, no one will see me. Or if they do, the emergency room is nearby; they’ll try to save me and I don’t want to be saved.

    Standing, I trolled the cars with Pottawattamie plates once again; one was unlocked. Crawling into the backseat, I shivered, pulling my tattered leather coat tighter around me. Now, I have a ride to Council Bluffs. Now, I don’t have to walk. Now, I wait.

    235 words

  16. The day had come. I was tired of the Kar who did nothing but whine. With their dangerous attitude of superiority, they’d shackled our tiny planet into ridiculous schemes to support their desire for an indulgent life. Single-handedly they’d brought our species to its knees. Hunting for survival through the bones of our elders, and worse, our friends, was not a way to live, and pin the label life on to it.

    And it was not the life I intended to pass on to our children.

    I’d been there. I’d gone along with it.

    It was time to shut up or do something big. No matter the cost.

    There was only one thing that would arrest the descent into annihilation.

    Panni clutched at my arm as I built the bonfire. “God, Tasha. You can’t do this. You fought them, even if you think it wasn’t hard enough. You can’t.” His voice broke. When he spoke again, it was in a hoarse whisper. “What will I do without you?”

    My heart clenched but there was no turning back. The legends had been clear. And if enough people believed them, they’d stop their foolish course.

    Then maybe, one day soon, our children would stem the tide of destruction.

    But it had to start now.

    “I’ll miss you. But it isn’t enough for me to rot or repent here where none can see.”

    I drove the stake into the ground, wrapped the cords around myself. With shaking fingers, I reached for the accelerant.

    250 words

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

  18. Finally got around to reading these, and I really loved them all. Such great writing, and so exciting to see how different stories can encompass the same sentence.


Comments are on moderation, so they'll become visible once I've read them. Words, words, words. I love them. Have you a few to lend?

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.