Thursday, March 28, 2013

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 64

Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked, and #ThursThreads, the Challenge that Ties Tales Together. Let's get started. It's Thursday again, so what should you be doing? Writing #flashfiction, that's what! Welcome to Week 64 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 64:

Geek-For-Hire, biophysics Doc, and fantasy/horror author, J. Whitworth Hazzard.

So now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“Aim… like this.”

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. “Aim… like this and strike Cloris.”
    “But I don’t want to.”
    “It’s your destiny to arouse and amuse us. Besides I would that Cloris lusted after me.”
    “What if I don’t want it to be my destiny?”
    “I thought you understood your duty in this.”
    “I know this isn’t what I want for my life.”
    “What do you want?”
    “I don’t want to just bring lust into people’s lives, but love.”
    “You want love for yourself, instead of the casual love you give to others?”
    “Fine, take up the job again and I will find you the truest love. She shall love you for yourself.”
    “Thank you, Jupiter but I have found her.”
    “You’ve seen her already?”
    “She is as beautiful as Venus. No, mortal man could love her like I do.”
    “Then she is human? That won’t do.”
    “I will test her if she passes the test will you give her ambrosia?”
    “Only if Venus sets the test.”
    “Venus hates her.”
    “Then she will make a test that will be worthy of her.”
    “I have no say in this?”
    “No, if you would have her be with a God then she shall be tested. What say you?”
    “I agree, but only if you admit you love Cloris.”
    “Make Cloris love me.”
    Cupid took aim and let his arrows fly.
    “Done,” Cupid commented.
    “We shall test Psyche within the next few months,” Mercury exclaimed.
    Mercury smiled as Cloris came to him. Soon Cupid too would know this love.
    249 words

  2. Balancing The Equation

    Jase had no need for his scope to see the puff of dust kick up. He groaned softly as he watched the rabbit scamper away, vanishing into the rocky landscape below. He wasn’t sure what irritated him most: the loss of much-needed protein, the expenditure ammunition or the fact Cale didn’t seem capable of hitting a damned thing he aimed at.

    Not for the first time, the old drifter wondered if he’d made the right choice taking the kid in. In the apocalyptic wasteland the world had become, resources were few and diminishing rapidly. Finding enough to get by alone was a challenge. Adding an unknown variable into the equation for survival was foolhardy at best.
    In this case, he’d decided with his heart and not his head. Leaving the boy alone and dying amongst the rotting remains of his family had simply not been something Jase could allow.

    After two months, though, the boy had proven no help whatsoever and a more telling drain than Jase could any longer allow. He knew what had to be done and steeled himself before lying down next to the scruffy boy.

    Placing a broad hand on the back of Cale’s neck he adjusted the angle of his head slightly. “If we’re gonna eat any time soon you gotta learn to shoot better, lad. Aim…like this. See?”

    Before any reply came, Jase twisted sharply at an angle, snapping the urchin’s thin neck like a twig. Nothing personal kid, he muttered to himself.

    250 words @klingorengi

  3. Fenton closed his eyes tight, focusing on his empty palm. He imagined a blue flame appearing effortlessly upon it, it's warm light glowing playfully on his boyish cheeks. He concentrated and uttered the word Master Gohsi had recently taught him for this particular spell.
    He opened his eyes and smiled as he saw the blue flame sitting neatly where he had imagined it. He looked up at Master Gohsi and watched as the old man gave him a nod of approval.
    Now for the tricky part.
    Fenton raised the blue flame over his head and attempted to throw it at the target surrounded by large boulders about fifty feet away.
    He exhaled with aggravation and frowned as the flame was extinguished when it hit one of the boulders.
    Looking up at his teacher, Fenton waited for instruction on how to perform this seemingly impossible task. Master Gohsi patted him on the shoulder reassuringly, and spoke.
    "You must be the map for your magic. Telling it where to go in order to reach its destination."
    The man made a green flame appear in his hand.
    " this." He threw it and Fenton watched in amazement as the flame avoided every obstacle, hitting the target in the very middle.

    209 words @bookwormattack

  4. It was going to be a long night. I wondered, watching the Zs walk out of the forest, toward the walls, “What were those idiots thinking, sending an untrained greenhorn to the wall for the night shift.”

    As they came out of the trees, I looked at the greenhorn, “You ever shoot Z’s before?"

    He shook his head.

    I sighed. “ Here’s the deal. You get a bolt, set it, aim at a Z, and then shoot. Like this.” I picked up a bolt, set in my bow, pulled that sucker back, picked a Z, aimed, and shot it. Right smack in the head. The bolt blew up. That Z would never bother anyone again. “Now, you try.”

    The greenhorn grabbed a bolt, set it, pulled his bow back, picked a Z, and shot at it. The bolt missed completely.

    I sighed. ”OK. Let’s go over it again. Now watch.” I picked up a bolt, set it, pulled it, picked a Z, and paused. “Once you pick a target you aim... Like this.” I aimed right for the middle of the Z, “Right dead center of the Z. So you can’t miss.” And I shot another Z. This one, dead center of it’s body. The bolt, sticking out of the Z, exploded, tossing its head 20 feet away. “That, boy, is how you stop a Z from eating you, and everybody else. Got that?”

    Yep, it was going to be a long night on Zombie watch.

    250 Words

  5. Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Cold

    “Aim…like this.”

    When she had tried to skip rocks for the first time, at five years old, he’d shown her how. He was so proud of her when she’d mastered it.

    “Aim…like this.”

    He’d taught her to hit a tin can with a BB gun when she was ten. When she got frustrated and broke down in tears, he’d simply kept patiently working with her until she could do it perfectly.

    “Aim…like this.”

    At twelve, he’d taught her how to hit a baseball when she kept getting picked last for every team in gym. By the time he’d finished, she could hit the ball hard enough to score every time, and became first picked.

    “Aim…like this.”

    Fifteen found her learning to shoot a real gun, and he was her ever faithful guide, until she could blow a hole through the center of any target.

    Now she was twenty and alone. He’d been taken from her the year before in a devastating car crash caused by a drunken driver who walked away without a scratch. Her heart was stone.

    In the shadows, she waited. She followed the man when he went on his vacation up to the little mountain cabin. When he stepped out on the porch to enjoy the clear night, presumably, she raised her gun…and found herself hesitating. She’d never killed anyone before.

    On the wind, a whisper came. “Aim…like this.” The gunshot was sharp in the still air.

    Her father was dead; her brother avenged.

    247 words {not including title}

  6. Cold, wet tears streaked down Alana’s cheeks as she watched the soldiers dragging her father out of his cell. Grime clung to his skin and matted beard. Alana squeezed her eyes closed and bit down on her lip to keep from screaming for him.

    “Keep it together,” Craig whispered in her ear.

    She shook her head, afraid that if she spoke she would blow their cover.

    “Listen to me Alana,” Craig wrapped his arm over her prone body. “If you don’t shoot him, they’re going to draw and quarter him.”

    Alana nodded and rubbed her nose with the sleeve of her fatigues.

    “Aim…like this.” He helped her line up the Ak-47.

    “I can’t.”

    “You don’t have a choice.”

    “Please, Craig don’t make me do this,” she pleaded as her body started to shake uncontrollably. “You do it.”

    “No and I’m not making you do anything. You can choose not to shoot but that means you are not a part of the rebellion. Do you know what that will mean?” He brushed his lips across her temple.

    “I’ll be on my own,” she sucked in a deep breath of air. She knew that failing this test paired with her exiled status would be a death sentence for her as well.

    “Fire before they hurt him anymore.”

    Alana lined the site up so her father’s waif like body was placed in the cross hairs. She inhaled and held her breath as she squeezed the trigger.

    243 words

    249 words

    "It's pretty safe out here. You don't have to be afraid."

    "Oh, I'm not afraid, just a little chilly."

    "Can, would you like my coat? My jacket, I mean? Would—"

    "Gosh, Mitchell, that would be awful nice. This dress is a little thin, I guess."

    "It's—pretty, though. I mean, you're pretty, Chloe. Your dress is—oh, here you go."

    "Thank you Mitchell. I feel much warmer."

    "You're welcome. Huh. You're welcome. Good."

    "Why are you smiling?"

    "Well, I finally said something right, without, you know, the charm screwing it up."

    "Oh, Mitchell Parker!"

    "Uh, I'm sorry—that's not swearing, is it? No, it can't be; your father's—"

    "My father?"


    "Just. What. Did. My. Father do, Mister Parker?"


    "Did he charm you not to swear near me?"

    "Uh, yes, he—"

    "Did he charm you not to stand right next to me?"

    "I think he—"

    "Did he charm you that never, under no circumstances, ever, were you allowed even to think about kissing me?"

    "No, if—uh—"

    "Because I have been standing here, Mitchell Parker, for an awfully long time. We're outside the wards, and none of the Council, not your aunt, and not my father, can tell us what to do. I was just…maybe…wondering…"


    "…why you hadn't tried to kiss me yet."

    "Uh—I couldn't, Chloe, it's—"

    "It's not that difficult, Mitchell…."

    "I can't—"

    "You just close your eyes…don't think about it…"

    "I'm not—"

    "…just let me…"

    "I'm still not—"

    "Aim…like this."

  8. Quinn tossed the dagger, expertly catching it with negligent grace. The bright blade winked as it tumbled end over end again, hissing softly against the air.

    "How do you do that without cutting up your hand?" Maia watched him pluck the hilt from the air as if picking a long stemmed rose. "What if you miss?"

    "I don't."

    "How long did it take you to not miss?" Quinn shrugged before snatching the blade out of the air and hurling it at rotting stump several yards away. The knife disappeared into the soft wood with a puff of detritus and a muted thump. She gritted her teeth at his reticence.

    "Can you teach me how to throw it that way?"

    "What does a princess need to know about throwing knives?"

    "It seems like a useful skill to have."

    He snorted. "True enough. Come. Stand before me and I shall show you how to hold it." He held out his arms to her.

    Maia didn't know what pleased her more. To stand within his embrace or his willingness to teach her to throw a knife. After a few moments of adjusting her arm and explaining why, Quinn held up the dagger between his fingers.

    "Now hold it."

    "By the blade?"

    "Yes. And aim…like this. Sight your target, and throw with a snap of your wrist." He pulled her arm back. "Throw."

    She snapped her hand forward and the knife flew in a weak, clumsy arc to hit the dirt. "Oh."

    "Try again."

    250 ineligible #WIP500 words

  9. “You’re so reckless! Can’t you read? You have a Ph.D. and you can’t take two seconds to read the inscription? We’re dead. I can hear the monster. We’re so dead!”

    “Come on, Dave,” Julia said, “Where’s your sense of adventure?”

    “Adventure?” Dave cleared his throat and pointed to the inscription. “Right here it says, and I quote, ‘Whosoever should disturb this cave shall meet with death.’ There is no adventure here. What is wrong with you?”

    Julia pulled a small gun from her satchel and started loading it with bullets. “You need to chill out,” she said, handing him the gun. “It’s no fun if we take the artifact and leave without anything happening."

    Dave fumbled with the weapon. “I…I don’t know how to use this,” he said, trying to hand it back.

    “You’re useless.” She grabbed his arm to steady it. “Aim…like this.”

    “You shoot it. You’re the adventurer.”

    “Yes, but you’re the bait.”

    “The…wait, what?”

    The monster lumbered towards them, baring its teeth. Dave screamed and squeezed the trigger. The bullets bounced off the monster’s thick hide. It howled with rage and charged towards Dave who fell to the ground and cowered in fear.

    The monster fell on top of him, knocking the wind out of him, but it made no attempt to eat him. He felt its final breath on the side of his face.

    “The Myrntak has a soft spot in the back of its skull,” Julia said, pulling her dagger out.

    247 words

  10. The picture on the front page of the Royal Gazette is a fair likeness. The bold print announcing the reward for my capture is enough to make me smile and shiver at the same time.

    “You’ll have to learn to fire a pistol. I can’t be with you all the time.”

    I stare at the gun in the Major’s hand for a moment, then look up at his face. His dark eyes glare back at me with a hardness that belies his feelings. He loves me and despite my initial resistance to his affection, I love him. If our connection is discovered, the Major will be hung as a traitor.

    He presses the pistol into my hand. It feels heavy and cold. My thumb rubs the smooth polished wood and my finger wraps around the trigger.

    I follow him outside and wait as he sets two bottles on a fence twenty paces out. Back at my side, he pulls his own weapon from its holster.

    “Raise it to eye level, this, down the barrel, and squeeze the trigger.”

    I jump at the sound of the discharge, my heart pounds in my chest. The bottle on the left explodes.

    “Now, you.”

    He steps aside and I move forward, breathe and take aim. I imagine the bottle is the head of the Marshal and squeeze the trigger. The bullet shatters the remaining bottle into a million pieces and for the first time in weeks, I no longer feel afraid.

    248 words

  11. Irocsytle walked over and ripped the rope that kept Delia hanging upside down. She gave a yelp as she fell over. She was dizzy from all the blood rushing from her head that she didn’t resist when the demon yanked her up.

    “Perhaps this one will have some potential, hmm? I like her.”

    Delia flinched when a long tongue snaked up the side of her face and she pushed against his chest. He really did smell of brimstone. And some other acrid smell.

    Sharp claws dug into her arm. “Not so fast, sweetling. I’m not done with you yet.” He purred in her ear before spinning her around so her back was against the scaly chest. “Now, which one of you sheep want to be next? You had interrupted me with this…” Irocsytle waved a hand. “Whatever mess this is. Now, I’m going to make sure that I have the proper entertainment before going back to where I consider my home.” He lifted up Delia’s arm and pointed her hand. “Aim…like this.” He swung her around and pointed at each person as they sat there, too afraid to move. “Duck, duck, duck…Goose.”

    Delia felt like fire went through her veins as the dark beam of light shot out and hit one of the robbed figured out them. The woman gave a scream before exploding . She stared in horror as pieces of flesh and internal organs hit the ground.

    Irocstyle gave a deep laugh. “Now this is fun!”

    248 words

  12. “Okay, now, rest the butt against your shoulder, tight, like that. Got it?”
    I nodded, holding the shotgun as tight against my shoulder as I could.
    “Now, aim…like this.”
    Grandpa showed me how to aim the gun and as soon as the clay pigeon came out, I aimed and shot. The kickback knocked me down, but I could hear the bits of clay tinkling to the ground. Grinning, I jumped up and down.
    “I did it!”
    Grandpa smiled, nodding. “Yes, you did, good job! Now, try again.”
    Picking up the gun, I repeated our earlier steps, waiting patiently for my uncle to hit the trigger on the machine again. As soon as the clay disk flew up into the air, I shot at it, shattering it in no time. This time I stayed on my damn feet.
    Another disc shot up in the air and I took aim…
    Sitting up in bed, I rubbed my eyes, frowning. My grandpa had been dead a long time and I hadn’t dreamt of him in years. I wondered if the dream meant anything, but figured it was just my brain feeding me a memory. I’ve been having those dreams more of late, usually when I’ve been on an especially wicked acid trip.
    “Go to sleep.”
    Another random guy, another random bed to crash in…I briefly wondered about my husband. But feeling this guy’s arm around me, I forgot about him and went back to sleep. Maybe I’d dream about grandpa again.

    249 words


    “Remember to breathe.”

    Hermia briefly wondered if she might not fare better if she didn’t. At this range Elrich’s tantalizing woodsy musk was making her dizzy. She could feel his heat through his leathers and hers, and prayed her face wasn’t as red as it felt. Prayed he couldn’t hear her heart racing.

    “Aim… Like this.”

    His muscled arms overlaid her own more modestly toned limbs, his calloused hands moving hers into position as easily as if he were the one holding the bow and arrow.

    “Visualize and release.”

    The smaller elf’s arrow neatly split the one planted by her mentor. Elrich stepped away from Hermia with a satisfied nod. By sheer force of will she kept her knees from buckling in the sudden void left by his departure.

    “The rest is just practice.”

    Frustrated, Hermia bit her lower lip but didn’t turn to face the scarred veteran. On her way to the dark forest where he patrolled she’d gone over what she would say to him a thousand times—she’d been thinking about it for days. She wasn’t a natural speaker by any stretch, but from the moment she caught her first glimpse of the famed ranger she’d practically been choking on her foot.

    “Of course, you’re no novice. Why did you really come to me for help?” Elrich cracked his neck and leaned back against a tree.

    “Y-you knew?!” Hermia flushed, “Then what—Agh! I didn’t want an archery lesson—I need a second bow for a mission.”

    250 words

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


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