Thursday, March 7, 2013

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tale Togther - Week 61

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 61 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 61:

Disdainer of purple prose, one-handed typist, and BDSM erotic romance author, Ann Mayburn.

Ann is offering a special prize to the Winner and Honorable Mentions. The Winner will get a choice of her backlist, and the Honorable Mentions will get a swag bag of goodies (and they ARE good). So now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“It’s uh…personal.” [You don't have to use the ellipse]

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. Mission Ready

    Rudy Callahan hated tactical stakeouts. He was a big man made bigger by the carbon-mesh armor, full helmet and panoply of weaponry that comprised the standard kit for an urban assault scenario. Cramming himself along with the rest of a Level IV assault squad into the troop carrier made for a tight fit. He could think of a hundred other places he’d rather be and a thousand other things he’d rather be doing, but none of them were viable options.

    He flinched, visibly, when the hand of his lieutenant settled on the pauldron of his suit. Callahan looked up, faking a smile his eyes betrayed.

    “Y’know, we got plenty of guys on this if you wanna just take a powder, Cal. You don’t have to be in on this one. None of the team would think –“

    “Yeah, el tee, I do have to be ‘in on this one’. This is more than professional. It’s uh…personal. Wasn’t your wife got caught providing aid and tech to the Rebels. Wasn’t your wife shot my partner when he found her out. Don’t…please don’t…tell me I don’t have to be ‘in on this one’.”

    The lieutenant found the fortitude to ignore his officer’s reddening eyes and pleading tone. Withdrawing his hand, he nodded and moved away under the pretense of checking…something.

    Regaining his composure, Callahan said a silent prayer Sheila and the others would have the decency to just surrender when the time came. Otherwise, he would do what had to be done.

    250 words @klingorengi

  2. Don’t Miss

    “I don’t think so!” Julia snatched her purse from the security guard at the doors of the capital building. Desperation seeped through her mind. The job had to get done tonight. If not, the werewolves holding her sister captive would have Cindy for dinner, literally. “I will not submit to this indignity!”

    “Ma’am?” The guard said trying to placate her. “It’s standard procedure. Everyone gets searched for weapons.” He tried to smile gesturing for her purse.

    “I will not stand here and get felt up by your goons like I’m common thug!” She prayed that the guard would dismiss her as too much trouble to deal with.

    “I see,” said the guard. “Won’t you step this way behind the screen, then?” Julia’s heart sank. Still she stalked over to the screened area. Once there, she glared at the man. “Now. What’s in the bag?”

    “It’s uh…personal,” she hedged.

    “Got five sisters. Nothing shocks me. So, really, what’s in the bag?”

    Shoulders sagging she set down the purse. The guard walked over to it and looked inside. Cindy was dead now. No way that the guard would let her in with a wooden stake meant for the feebly insane vampire Mayor.

    The guard looked in the purse then back to Julia with a frown. “Thank you for your cooperation, ma’am,” he said loudly. He held out her purse and smiled. Julia snatched it back. “The Mayor will be in his office alone for the next twenty minutes,” he whispered. “Don’t miss.”

    250 words without title
    Theresa Breaux

  3. "Don't hang up just listen. They're going to kill me and....what?.. No I don't know, but my body will never be found... they think that.. what? No I didn't do anything. I just saw something and they don't trust me not to te... What? No I can't tell you, its not important. It's uh, personal.”

    The 'phone was snatched from Sanjay's hand and a sharp blow from the butt of an ancient gun resounded against the side of his face.

    “Why you talk? Why you don't only say goodbye? I want make this easy for you but same always. You talk too much?

    He didn't look at Sanjay, he was too busy smiling into the video camera that would make all the world his stage.

    Sanjay lifted his head and looked into the eyes of his captor.

    “Easy? How can this ever be easy? Can you tell me one thing before you kill me? Tell me I am not giving my life away for nothing?”

    The uniformed Secret Police Officer smirked at Sanjay. “You don't give away. I take. I tell you. You talk too much.”

    190 words

  4. Caroline gave her front door an almighty shove to shift the mountain of post that had accumulated during her business trip, and swore under her breath. The innocuous card right on the top of the pile mocked her.

    'Delivered to 18 A'

    She had missed delivery of her replacement rabbit. Unlike the so called men she had to deal with on a regular basis, her little friend never disappointed—until it broke down on her—and the earliest available delivery had been today.

    No doubt another OAP had moved into the previously empty flat. Her apartment complex seemed to slowly be turning itself into an old people's home. Another reason for the rabbit. At least she would be spared the embarrassment of having to pick it up from the sorting office. Last time she'd mumbled an, "It's uh … personal," when queried on the slim brown package.

    She knocked on the door of 18 A and her practiced smile froze. The drop-your-panties-for-hot-guy standing there with her package in one hand was no old man. His face lit up with the most sinful smile.

    "That explains it. I was beginning to wonder what sort of place I'd moved into, where our older generation has need for deliveries from my favorite sex store."

    His smile deepened when Caroline remembered to shut her mouth with an audible pop.

    "I … uh … that is. Hi, I'm Caroline, and you are?"

    "Myhka, at your service, Caroline."

    Maybe she wouldn't need that rabbit after all.

    250 words @mamaD8

  5. His hand gripped her scalp as he wrenched her head back. He was crazed, shaking with anxiety. “You thought you were going to find me, but now I’ve found you.” His words were a shaky hiss with a raspy undertone.

    “It’s not like I was hiding, Tom. We are in my bedroom.” She carefully taunted him, noted the sharp piece of silver in his free hand.

    He chuckled, slammed her head into her desk once, twice. “Shut up,” he hissed. “You think I don’t know the Pride sent you to ‘put me down’? I’m not a rabid animal!”

    She didn’t have time to respond before her bedroom door opened and Greg, her Pride King, stepped through, paused as he stared at the two of them. “What the…?”

    Tom’s eyes widened with fear, but he was quick to shove Shakti away before jumping back out of the window he came in.

    “W-was that Thomas?” Greg asked incredulously.

    Shakti gingerly sniffed as she wiped the blood from her face. “Yup.” She was pissed, but she would heal. Tom on the other hand… She was quick to reach under her bed for a shotgun and a silver knife that she carefully sheathed and tucked into her boot.

    “Do I even want to know?”

    “It’s uh…personal.” She eyed the spot on her bed that Thomas has perched on, her mouth twisting into a sour frown. “Real personal…” She was halfway out the window before telling Greg, “This could take a while. Don’t wait up.”

    250 Words

  6. “Who are you calling every five minutes?”
    “With all due respect, its uh...personal”
    Her eyes laughed at me.
    ”With all due respect, you sort of lose any right to privacy when eavesdropping is your favorite hobby”
    The little sister opened her mouth ready to utter a profound nonsense but nothing came out. The big sister had already won the power game again without even trying.Life is unfair, giving power to those who don't need it, while depriving it from those who do.
    The big sister moved closer, her mouth close to her sister's left ear.
    “ He changed his cell phone number. My boyfriend. Its him you were calling right?”
    110 Words

  7. "So thanks for screwing that up.”

    “I didn’t screw anything up, sweetheart. You were the one who sabotaged our escape attempt. If you hadn’t struggled, we could’ve been well on our back back.”

    “Oh yeah? How are you going to ‘get back’ to our world, genius? Just shoot a hole with your pistol? Do you even know anything about this kind of world travel?”

    “How do you know we aren’t on some eccentric billionaire’s movie set?” McMacken glared back at Bethany. “These could be elaborate costumes.”

    “Three weeks.” She held up three fingers. “I’ve been here, with these people, for three weeks. I think I can tell between costumes and real. And let me tell you, these folks aren’t fooling around.” Then she laughed. “Just wait until you see the females. Then tell me they’re fake.”

    “The breasts?”

    “The centaurs. Ugh.”

    “Why didn’t you come back with me?” He sounded genuinely interested, but she didn’t buy it.

    “It’s, uh…personal.”

    “Against me specifically or something else?”

    “Wow, aren’t you arrogant?” Bethany shook her head. “Have you met my father, Major?”

    “Yes.” He didn’t sound thrilled.

    “What about the man you call my fiancé? Met him yet?”


    “Let me put it to you clearly so there’s no doubt. I’d rather have a hard-core sex romp worthy of the tabloids with three of my centaur guards than return to either of the men you’ve met. M’kay?” She gave him her perfected plastic smile as the escorts wuffed with amusement.

    250 #WIP500 words

  8. Karma

    “Welcome to Proxima Station. Is your visit business or personal?” The droid’s programmed greeting was so chipper it made me cringe.
    “My visit? It’s uh…personal.”
    “Alrighty then. Your application has been cleared. Please enjoy your stay!”
    “Yeah, sure.” Who the hell came to the zero-g honeymoon hotspot of the quadrant for business? I waded through a sea of lovey-dovey couples & trios and quickly decided that coming on my honeymoon alone had been a very bad idea.
    This was supposed to be the best week of my life, a celebration of love and happily ever after. Instead, it was shaping up to be a week of eating ice cream and drinking myself to death at the zero-g bar. At least I still had Tad’s credit chip. Not that he knew that. Yet.
    “I hope she was worth it, buddy.”
    I was still cursing my cheating ex when I went to board the shuttle to my hotel, which was probably why I tripped and landed flat on my face at the driver’s feet.
    “Are you okay?” The driver had a nice voice, deep and gravelly. I knew someone who had a voice like that once. I screwed up and broke his heart. Karma had paid me back for that in spades.
    “Nothing serious.” I wiped the blood from my split lip and look up into a pair of familiar green eyes. Jake.
    It looked like karma was balancing the scales again. This time, I wouldn’t screw it up.

    247 Words

  9. Sargent Major Musket stood before me. I’d really screwed up, and I knew it. It’s bad when a wheel had just fallen off the Major’s jeep while his aid drove him across the base. It’s worse when you’re the corporal that personally inspected the vehicle, and declared it safe for use. There was just no way this was going to end well.

    Musket cleared his throat, and stared right into my eyeballs. I thought they was going to melt.“Tell me again, how the Major wound up in traction, with two broken arms, and fractured ribs, and his aid wound up with a concussion, and is having his faced stitched back together, after riding in your jeep.”

    Musket just stood there, his hands on his hips. “Well, Corporal. I’m waiting.”

    I told him how I’d driven the jeep from its parking space to the door, where the aid and the Major had taken it. How I’d checked its maintenance log, kicked the tires, checked the oil and the other fluids, and declared it safe to drive.

    Musket stared at me. I woudn’t have been surprised if he’d ordered my hands nailed to the pavement. “Well, Corporal, what are we going to do about this little mistake of yours?”

    I swallowed, and then tried to speak. “It’s uh... personal failure sir. And please, call me PV1 Greaser, sir.”

    At least he didn’t nail my hands to the pavement.

    249 Words

  10. Producing a flask from the pack, Jyslin settled back down at his side.“You must be thirsty.” She offered the flask.

    “Parched.” Flipping back the cap, he held it up in a mock toast before taking a long drink. Once sated, he handed it back, pinning her with his gaze. “Thanks, Red.”

    “Jyslin. My name is Jyslin.”

    “I know. Your pompous friend used it yesterday. I took note.” He extended a hand to her. “I’m Domnu.”

    “His name’s Renark.” She flashed him a dubious look. “And, who’s the pompous one?”

    He cracked a smile. “Probably me.” His gaze dropped to his waiting hand.
    Blushing, Jyslin took the offering, giving his hand a polite shake. Her mouth went dry the instant their fingers made contact, and as much as she tried, she could think of nothing to say. A frown pulled at her brow. Touching him did strange things to her pulse rate. She wasn’t prepared for how warm his hand would be.

    “So is that Renark fellow your mate? Or your betrothed, perhaps?”

    She dropped his hand as if it were a hot ember, jumped to her feet and moved away. “It’s uh…personal.” Needing space, and air that didn’t carry his spiced scent, she hunkered by the fire and checked on the rabbit again.

    “Are you afraid of me?”

    His words were little more than a husky whisper, one that trickled down her spine like warm honey. She whirled to face him, eyes wide. “Of course not!” Well, maybe a little.

    249 words

  11. "It's uh..."


    "Yeah... You know."

    "Do I? Tell me."

    "Well, she said she likes it better that way."

    "You certainly didn't appear to be objecting at all."

    "Why would I object?"

    "You didn't think it was even a little bit strange?"

    "Why would it be strange? Aren't you and I already strange? I'm surprised at your reaction."

    "What did you expect when a werewolf passes through a park in the middle of the night and finds his best friend - another werewolf - shagging the neighbourhood collie without having transformed? The next thing you know, she'll have you on a collar and lead."

    "Oh, we've done that, too, but well... you know... it's uh... personal."

    114 words


    “So what’s with the maid uniform?”

    The question came with a damp cloth on my forehead that almost let me to think through the splitting pain. I groaned to put off further questions while my vision refocused. Seeing the buxom red head in a see-through gown and golden jewelry made me wonder how much of the impact I took with my head.

    “I wasn’t expecting spandex or anything,” she continued, “but a bridal gown, school uniform, skirt suit, and maid uniform are a pretty odd assortment for a super hero team. Everyone says I’m reading too much into it, but I figured there must be a reason.”

    “It’s uh… personal.”

    As soon as I said it I regretted even possibly suggesting the skimpy maid costume could even have been remotely my idea, but I really didn’t want to get into it now or here. The place stank of sweat and sex.

    Turning my head I spotted the brick wall I’d smashed through. And a steel beam. Great. Everything was going to hurt for a long time, but at least the wall broke instead of me.

    “The director is trying to get a hold of your teammates, turns out my first aid training is most up to date, so…”

    Taking further stock I noticed all my injuries were nicely bound and she’d even elevated my feet with a folded towel. Knocked out by a bondage queen and revived by a porn star. I never even wanted to be a super hero.

    250 words

  13. “You okay there, buddy?” I smiled my most charming hero smile.

    He eyed the ledge we stood on like a horse spotting lightning.

    I gripped the firmest biceps I’d ever laid hands on, steadying him.

    “You scored a lucky landing,” I said. “Ten feet in either direction and you’d have missed this ledge when you fell.”

    His Adam’s apple bobbed as he slid a couple inches closer to the cliff face. I probably should have said something less trauma-inducing, maybe commented on the weather.

    “Look at me.” I waved my hand in front of his face. “I’m way less scary.”

    “Can we leave this place?” he asked.

    “Absolutely.” I radioed the rest of my team up top. It took longer than he liked, but when we sat at the top of the cliff he finally relaxed.

    “I thank you.” He had a funny, formal way of speaking and an accent I couldn’t identify.

    “What’s your name?”

    “I do not know what I would have done without your aid.” His eyes angled my way just enough to know he’d dodged my question.

    “What were you doing out here solo?” I asked. “This trail is for intermediate to advanced hikers and climbers. We don’t get many loners.”

    He startled, reminding me of a spooked stag.

    “It’s uh…personal?”

    Hm. A crack in the formal vernacular.

    “You don’t know, do you?” I asked.

    He winced. “I don’t remember.”

    “Your name? Or why you came here?”

    “Anything,” he said. “I don’t remember anything at all.”

    250 #WIP500 words

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


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