Thursday, February 21, 2013

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 59

Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked, and a second 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 59 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 59:

The rocknerd lover, avid hiker, recipe tester, and erotic romance author, Mellanie Szereto.

So now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“They were small countries.”

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. When Stanton swam by, his windmilling arms and furiously paddling legs made a frothy tsunami. The swell first tilted her raft, and then unceremoniously flipped it over with her underneath, still gripping the edges. This is the opposite of the purpose of a raft. But they both knew that. In many ways, Stanton was the opposing force to her own purpose.

    She pushed against the pool bottom and shot up into the air, sputtering and gasping. Of course, he was laughing. And intstinctively her hands shot out like shovels, forcing water into his face.


    “Hey, I’m just kidding around, dudette. What’s your problem?”

    “YOU’RE my problem. Go away!”.

    Instead, he water-walked closer. Squinting his eyes against the harsh sun, he acted for all the world like a reasonable human being. He lightly touched her shoulders and dropped his voice to a seductive buzz.

    “Hey, Marsh, I’m sorry. Let me make it up to you.”

    “Well, ok. I guess I overreacted.”

    He tilted his eyebrows as if to agree.

    “Come with me tonight to the luau.”

    Captivated, she searched his eyes for any hint of guile. Seeing none, she nodded yes.

    And then suddenly Stanton pushed down hard on her shoulders, dunking her underwater.

    “Goddammit!” she yelled. He was cruising away from her is smooth strokes.

    In the ocean of the pool, they were small countries, facing across a gulf.
    Small, and separate.

    1. Hey John, how about a word count and twitter handle or email addy? :)

    2. oops sorry: word count: 233 and twitter handle is @Grokdad

  2. To Warlord Bound

    Her every nerve aflame from the depridations he subjected her body to, she nevertheless slid closer to him in the bed. Her hair draped across his chest as she ran her fingers across the scarred flesh of his face. Though she knew she should despise him for what he had done to her and her family….to countless families…she was, still and all, entirely his to do with as he wished.

    Sometimes, in the coldness of the night, she felt shame for her subservience. Yet, she did not refuse him anything. He was The Warlord and would be so, until that eventual day when someone more ruthless wrested power from him.

    Annoyed by her continued presence…her intimacy, he pushed her roughly away from him, belting a robe about his muscular form. She knew the morning would bring more death, more conquest. As long as there remained a single soul not subject to his domination he would not be content. And yet, she wondered if, just this once, she might dissuade him.

    Her voice seemed small as she dared, at last, to speak, “Master, must your campaigns continue? Does the knowledge you have destroyed not merely villages or cities but entire countries not sate your need for bloodshed?”

    Not deigning to even face her, she heard in his voice the sneer that twisted his features, “They were small countries. Now, cease your chatter and be gone from me.’

    Sighing with resignation, she did as he commanded…as she always had…as she always would.

    250 words @klingorengi

  3. They were small countries. However, in Luke's eyes, they were still worth taking over. He had conquered most of them already, but still had a long ways to go if he was to conquer them all.
    His brain worked, constantly thinking of strategies and solutions. Only the inexperienced would jump in with no plan whatsoever.
    The sight of his present adversary creeping steadily upon him warned Luke that he did not have much time. If he didn't do something soon, his advantage would be gone.
    Suddenly, he had it. He knew what he must do to defeat this worthy opponent.
    With just a few clicks of his mouse Luke distributed his armies, allowing him to command all of Australia and become the champion of this round.
    A sense of respect for his electronic enemy grew in the depths of his very soul.
    It had been a fight to remember.
    Luke smiled in triumph. "Well played, computer. Well played."

    158 words @bookwormattack

  4. A Gift for a Gift

    King Jayson stormed through the castle. Raw power dripped from him setting the dust and paintings afire. Courtiers and minor nobility ran for their rooms. Knights trailed in the King’s wake to soothe bruised egos of ignored dignitaries. Chambermaids rushed to keep the flames at bay.

    “Where is she?” The King’s roar shook the foundation of the castle. “Where is my wife?”

    As the power rolled off him, the King’s least favorite tapestries burst into flames. “Thania!” His roar set off a sound wave breaking all the windows in the Queen’s Wing. “Face me and answer for your actions!”

    The soft tinkling of bells surrounded him. Thania. The Queen emerged from her rooms to face her husband. She curtsied low and stayed down. Vanilla and amber scents filled the hall. None let her gentle powers fool them.

    “Arise,” Jayson said softly. While the power still rolled off him, all saw his demeanor change as she stood. The Queen still that that effect on him. “Why is it, my love,” he said through clenched teeth, “that four of my flying dragons are missing? Are you waging war without me? AGAIN?”

    “They were small countries, my King,” The Queen said evenly. “I thought them fitting as a gift for you to prepare for the birth of your progeny.”

    The King’s power flared then subsided. Kneeling before her, Jayson searched Thania’s face. He stood smiling and kissed his wife thoroughly. “A boy or girl?”

    “Twins.” Thania clarified softly. Jayson fainted on the spot.

    250 words without title
    Theresa Breaux

  5. “I’m not going anywhere.” Domnu drew Jyslin into his arms, rising to his feet with her cradled protectively against his chest. “It’s my fault Moxa targeted her, and Etherian or not, I’ll not just leave her here to die. She had no reason to risk her life to drag my bleeding ass through a blizzard to safety, but she did it anyway. Can you honestly stand there and say I don’t owe her the same courtesy? Just because my father has it in his head to take over every country in Machenwood, doesn’t mean I need to be as callous in my dealings with the other races.”

    Kasper took a step forward and shook out his thick gray fur. “They were small countries. Races unable to defend or care for themselves. If it wasn’t for the King’s intervention, they would have perished. You know that as well as I.” He flicked a glance at the woman laying in the snow. “As for the Etherian, suit yourself. You’re a big boy. But, bear in mind the weather’s changing. I suggest you take her to the old abandoned hunting dens near the border before the sky opens up. It’s your closest option, and by the looks of that wound in her side, she won’t last much longer. The dens aren’t used as much as they used to be, but I’d wager you can find some supplies there.”

    His gaze dropped to Domnu’s bare human legs. “And some clothes.”

    246 Words

  6. “These plans are very detailed.”
    “I tried to be precise.”
    “The weapons have been requisitioned?”
    “The tanks and the drones all will be made available to us.” George replied frowning.
    “George you’re wavering? I hope you aren’t, because you can be put on the list too.”
    “No, of course I’m not wavering. I am always one hundred percent behind my government. I just have questions, that shouldn’t be a threat to the plans or the government.””
    “Good, then you can continue to help me with the plans. After all they attacked us first. They took all the oil and made our people suffer. These plans are essential. They will help us regain the oil resources and making our country whole again.”
    “How can our country be whole when we are so divided?”
    “We let them be their own countries. We assumed they were small countries and no danger to us. But we were wrong! We didn’t make the first strike. They did!”
    “But you propose the last strike.”
    “They should have taken the deal we offered and peace.”
    “But you told them they had to give over all their resources.”
    “Such is the price when you go up against a nation stronger then you.”
    The next day the two countries were bombed. The results? Many people died the rest appeared to give in and the resources seized. John was awarded medals. George mourned the deaths and plotted John’s demise. The war raged on.
    243 words

  7. Lizzie Koch over at

    The Dinner date

    Seeking refuge in another glass of wine, Emma drowned out her husband’s monotonous tone. She had no idea why he had suddenly decided they should eat out; the romance had died long ago, withered away like the flowers he used to buy her. They hadn't been this close in ages; always ate separately, went to bed at different times. Now, as they sat around this small intimate table, she felt the gulf between them. They were small countries with their own customs and language. And he was a country she didn't want to visit anymore.
    “You look beautiful” David said as he chomped on steak. He didn't even raise his eyes to look at her; not seeing the little black dress she wore perfectly that skimmed her curves; when walking into the restaurant, Emma felt eyes boring into her, filling her with feelings she hadn't felt in years and yet her husband had not noticed. “Which makes what I’m about to say ridiculous. Come, I need fresh air. If I divorce you, I lose half of everything. I can’t have that happen.” Without warning a masked man from nowhere knocked into them with such force that Emma fell to the floor as the raider ran. “So I arranged this little incident.” David loomed over her as blood oozed from her chest. “Goodbye Emma. I wish I could say it was fun.” He smiled before standing up “My wife! My wife! She’s been stabbed! Help. I think she’s been murdered!”

    249 (excluding title)


  8. “Austria and Hungary are gone, sir,” she stated with only a faint quaver in her voice. She’d just announced the death of millions of people, the loss of two countries. They were small countries, but the death toll was staggering.

    She was surprised when a large hand settled on her shoulder, warm and comforting. “I think that given the circumstances, we can drop the titles, Ellen.”

    “Protocol, sir.”

    “Protocol went out the window the moment that virus got loose. People are dying out there, and they’re going to keep dying.” Sergeant Jeff Taggart leaned in and tapped the screen, bringing up another set of tables, more terrifying data. “We can’t stop this. There’s not enough vaccine.”

    “So we just sit here and watch the world die?” Tears burned her eyes as Ellen watched the line of red creep over another fraction of the map. Every time that line moved people died. She’d been watching it move for days, it even haunted her dreams. Not that there had been much time for sleep since the report had come in. What were the odds that a plane would plummet to earth right on top of a forgotten bio-weapon cache? She couldn’t begin to calculate the variables. Every rescuer, every survivor, had been infected before they had even left the site.

    “Now we prepare. There will be survivors, and they’re going to need our help.” Jeff’s hand tightened on her shoulder. “And I’m going to need yours. I can’t save the world alone.”

    250 words

  9. Wrath

    Fire fell from the sky, raining down on the screaming humans below. They ran about, ducking and dodging as if it would save them, but in the end, it never did. Oh, sometimes a few would escape for a short time, until someone got careless or lazy; then the whole thing started over again. Their voices were always raised in supplicating prayers for mercy, their hands reaching upward in vain. It was enough to sicken any intelligent being. He enjoyed playing with them, but when they started all that begging, he always got angry and smote them. Then one day, one of them stood up to him, with blazing eyes and hot anger on her face.

    “Show yourself, you coward!” She shook her fist at the heavens, ignoring the devastation around her, and he had swept her up to his home in the clouds. She’d been with him now for quite some time, refusing to see why he felt the way he did. She was so much more than all the rest of mortals, and yet, she didn’t see it that way at all.

    “What have you done today?” She’d walked into the room behind him, peering over his shoulder, seeing the world on fire again.

    “I got tired of listening to those fools in the countries below.”

    “As usual.” She shook her head, frowning.

    “They were small countries,” he said defensively.

    “You’ll never change. Send me home.”

    Enraged, he sent her plummeting and watched her turn to ash.

    250 words {with title}


    The bright lights and chattering noises of the casino irritated Agent Trevino’s sensibilities. Crawling through the casinos along the strip made him feel dirty than usual.
    But he found his mark.
    The man was hiding in plain sight in the banks of slots, hip-deep in a crowd of elderly pensioners. Sunglasses, baseball cap, and a three-day growth of beard may have hid The Clock from the pit bosses, but not from Agent Trevino.
    “The answer is no.” The man in the ball cap never took his eyes off the slot machine as Agent Trevino opened his mouth.
    Agent Trevino signaled his team to cover the exits—just in case. “I haven’t asked yet. It’s been a long time, Dan. Don’t you miss it?”
    The slot machine burst into life as it hit a payout. The Clock barely noticed and rolled the sum over on a bizarre combination of line bets.
    “No, I don’t.”
    “It’s a quick job and we’ll pay top dollar,” Agent Trevino said. “We know you’re running out of casinos to scam.”
    “I’ll manage,” The Clock lit up another cigarette as his bets hit. Every single line.
    “We’ve been over your file. Extractions, eliminations, hell… you flipped a couple countries. Everyone is impressed.”
    “Don’t be. They were small countries,” Dan mumbled.
    “Can you still see…” Agent Trevino asked the real question, the only one that mattered.
    The Clock interrupted, “It hasn’t stopped, Agent Trevino. And it won’t. I’m cursed with it. Forever.”

    244 words


    They buried the babies first. As each small body was lowered into the ground, they wept.

    The mission to evacuate women and children had failed. Their unit had arrived too late, and the slaying was over.

    Not a living soul remained. Every woman and every child had been a victim of this atrocity. The men were long gone.

    They were small countries but the devastation they had caused and the venom with which they had attacked one another would have done a Continent proud.

    As they gripped the ruby encrusted handles of the blades, signs of such opulence, and pulled them from the bodies of the slaughtered innocents, each of them silently wondered to himself what kind of men could murder their own wives and children.

    127 words (inc title)

  12. “Exiled from seven countries. They—they were small countries!” Dionysus jerked upright, shouting the last words as he woke. “I mean—Macedonia, for Zeus’ sake.” His head bobbed twice before his forehead hit the table with a resounding crack, the impact enough to have him sitting straight and blinking at me. He patted the bar, then reached into the ether and summoned more wine. “Well, maybe not Macedonia. As I recall that one got a little big for its britches. And Alexander—pfffft. War, war, war. Conquer this and that and—oh, oh, remember how he used to say he was Zeus’ son?”

    “Hard to forget that one,” I said.

    Dio cocked his head at me, any trace of drunken revelry gone. I licked my lips before I caught the nervous reaction.

    “Who was she?” he asked.


    “I only play the fool, Eros,” he said. “Tell me about the girl you couldn’t unglue your eyes from. Seriously, if she’d seen you instead of my god-induced shenanigans, she’d have been calling 9-1-1 about a stalker.”

    “Your speech.” I frowned at Dio. “How long have you been among the humans now?”

    “You need to face facts, my primordial friend.” Dio chugged the bottle of wine. “The glory days of Mount Olympus are long gone. Earth is where it’s happening now.” He slammed the bottle down. “You’re too tense. When did you last get laid?”

    Pursing my lips no doubt provided answer enough.

    “Well,” he said.


    “We should fix that.”

    249 #WIP500 words

  13. With my book open and papers spread before me, I tried to figure out how I’d failed a geography test. But staring at my past homework and the book didn’t tell me much. I didn’t see the point of geography anyway. I know the important stuff and isn’t that good enough?

    “Cilla? Have you figured out how you flunked yet?”

    Shaking my head I sighed as one of my fathers came into my room. Jimmy was a genius, almost, and never understood why I struggled with school. It’s not like he did so hot in school. He had the same problem: he didn’t care and neither do I. Of course, he’s a college graduate and he wants that for me, too.

    “Nope, and I really don’t care. This is not going to help me one iota when I get into the real world, dad. I’m going to manage a bar…not travel the world. This is beyond pointless.”

    “Well, if you want your phone and computer back, you’d better get the answers on those worksheets correct.”

    As he closed my door, I sighed, banging my head on the desk. I’d been given two worksheets to do in an attempt to raise my grade. Staring at the first question I sighed: what do Bohemia and Transdniestr have in common? I shrugged…did it matter? Glancing down at the paper, I looked over the options and finally guessed on option C: they were both small countries.


  14. She offered him her best winning smile with a hint of sass. “I don’t know. You’d best take a closer look. Can you kiss it to make it better?”

    Alex blinked at her, completely caught off-guard. Sarah wiggled her hips and winked. A brilliant grin cracked his startled façade and he leaned over her, sniffing her belly close to her mound.

    He groaned in appreciation. “Ambrosia.”

    “Nothing singed, then?”

    “Not in the least.” He trailed his fingers over her breasts, tracing them as if they were small countries on a map yet to be explored. Sarah shivered as she clutched the bedclothes tight in her fists.

    “I never realized that was a danger when making love to a Hell Hound, but I should have guessed.” She hissed when his scalding tongue settled around one nipple. “O’ course, I could use a little burn from you.”

    His dark chuckle rumbled over her skin, pulling up goose bumps. “Be careful what you wish for, sweetheart.”

    “Can I count on you to keep me warm at night?”

    Alex grinned. “I guarantee I’ll do more than keep you warm.” He dipped his head and dropped an open-mouthed kiss on her nether lips. “Starting here.”

    200 ineligible #WIP500 words


    Angie’s fist barely dented the steel wall with her single frustrated pound. She watched the light in her diamond ring flicker and dim.

    “I can’t believe we fell for something so obvious!”

    It would take some kind of miracle to get out of this one. Her friend Tanya’s emerald earrings had already lost their glow completely, and soon Angie would be out of power as well. This is why that leather bound skank was holding the hostages here—there was no way for Angie or Tanya to recharge their stones of power so far from civilization.

    “Relax, Angie,” Tanya leaned against the wall with her arms crossed. “If she hasn’t killed us yet, there’s a good chance she’ll give us some kind of opening. It’s all a game to her.”

    “Yeah, but I’d rather make our own opening than play by her sick rules. You don’t suppose there’s back-up on the way? We know the missing UN leaders are being held here, their countries at least should…”

    “They were small countries. Besides, all the super-heroics have got most people pretty spooked. And if Sakura and Maria come out here they’re going to have the same power issues we’re having. I think we’re on our own.”

    Angie lowered her forehead against the wall. It was vibrating. The vibration was slight, but there was the definite hum of machinery from somewhere in the compound.

    “Hey, Tanya, how do you suppose Miss Super Villain is keeping her stone charged?” Angie smiled.

    248 words

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


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