Thursday, May 9, 2013

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 70


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, and what should you be doing? Writing #FlashFiction, that's what! Welcome to Week 70 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 70:

Bibliophile, chocoholic, and contemporary romance author, Alison Packard.

So now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“And the stupid, glassy eyed grin.”

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! :)



    "You'll like this wine," I said, pouring her a glass of Zinfandel. "It's fruity and full bodied, like you."

    Without moving, she just stared ahead with a smirk.

    "Okay, fine - if you don't want it, I'll drink it., but you really should try it, sometime."

    Still no reaction.

    "You know, your conversation skills seem to have been lacking, lately. Is there something wrong"

    There wasn't even the usual, "Oh, nothing" response.

    "Well, you can get rid of the smugness, now, and the stupid, glassy eyed grin."

    But it was no use. My skills in taxidermy had given her that grin five years ago, on our anniversary, no matter how much I hated it now.

    (Title inspired by and with apologies to Tom Lehrer.)

    115 words


    “You can’t beat him. He’ll take you down.”

    “Not this time.” I turned to face her. Lying naked on the bed with disheveled hair and smeared makeup that failed to hide the shiner, she still took my breath away.

    Focus. You have to make this right.

    “You’re a romantic, Buck. I appreciate how you feel about me and I feel the same for you, but heartfelt words and the stupid, glassy eyed grin will just piss Vinnie off more.” She shook her head and covered her eyes.

    I tucked the pistol in the small of my back and turned sideways, making sure the bulge wasn’t obvious under the suit coat. “I don’t plan on saying much.”

    “You never do.” She sighed then protested. “Why can’t we just go on like we are? I don’t need my virtue defended. He’s not the first guy to get carried away and pop me in the eye.”

    I could tell by the tone of her voice she was scared, and that brought my blood from simmering to boiling. “He’s the last guy that will.”

    “I’d rather take the beatings that lose you.” She reached out for me but I avoided her grasp. If she pulled me back onto the bed, I knew my resolve would fade.

    “We’re not losing anything. Today is all about gain.” I cracked my neck and headed for the door.

    “No kiss goodbye?” She called out.

    “This isn’t goodbye.” I muttered and stepped into the hallway.

    246 words

  3. Title: The Night I Got Arrested
    Author: J.M. Mendur

    I was filling in for a friend at The Infinity Bar. This cop walks in and looks around. I can tell he’s looking to make a collar. Then he sees me and makes a beeline for the bar. I just kept polishing the glasses.

    “You Peterson?” he asks. I’m not sure if he was really that tough or just trying.

    “Peterson doesn’t work Thursdays,” I said. “I’m Heinz.”

    “You the owner?”

    “Nope. Just filling in a shift behind the bar. The owner will be in tomorrow morning at ten.”

    “Got a customer of yours outside in the alley. Dead. Know anything about it?”

    “Don’t know,” I said. “Who’s the customer?”

    “Name’s Breton. Short, heavyset, wearing a light blue suit?”

    “I remember him,” I said. “Ordered some nasty stuff but well within toxicity limits … unless he had something else before he came in.”

    “What did he have?”

    “Wormwood-laced cocktails. Had three of them in ten minutes before I cut him off. That’s when his ex-wife came in. They left together.”

    “Did you know she’d threatened to kill him the next time she saw him? He’d threatened to kill her, too.”

    “Nope. I just serve the drinks. How’d he die?”

    “Stabbed multiple times. Messy way to go but we’re trying to figure out why the body had no defensive wounds and the stupid, glassy eyed grin. Why would a man who hated his ex-wife leave with her?”

    I shrugged. “You know what they say. Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder.”

    248 words, not counting title and author lines
    Note: Go back and read the title again.

  4. “Eliza, you came here to relax before finals…what are you working on?”

    I looked up at my grandmother as she came onto the back porch. The ocean crashed onto their shore, the waves extra rough today. Closing my sketch book, I smiled. “Just my drawing final. We got the assignment ahead of time, since the professor wants us to take the time to do it well. I just can’t seem to get happy with it, though.”

    “May I see?” Drawing runs in the family and my grandmother is a wonderful artist. Nervously, I opened my sketch book and showed her the picture, which she examined with a critical eye. Her blue eyes, identical to mine, finally brightened. “I know what it needs…fluff the tail a little. This is Pa, right?”

    I nodded, fluffing his tail as she suggested. My dad has two black and white cats: Ma and Pa. Dad and I love drawing them and I draw Pa a lot. It’s fun to play with the shading on his coat. I watched as grandma’s face brightened when she saw what I’d done.

    “Oh….you know what else he needs?” I sketched frantically, adding his signature look: the stupid, glassy eyed grin. “There.”

    Grandma nodded as she looked at the picture. “That cat always looks drunk.”

    Our laughter rang out from the deck as I glazed his eyes over a bit. There. Now that looks like Pa!

    236 words

    1. Really well done. Love the grandma's comment about how the cat always looks drunk.

  5. “You’ll like this guy he’s one in a million.”
    “I wish you quit trying to set me up.”
    “I’m happy with Callin, I want everyone else I love to be just as happy.”
    “Frieda you are incorrigible.”
    “But you still love me right?”
    “You’re my best friend, but there’s only one man I love...”
    “I won’t this one is grade A material. He’s personable has a great body and is generous to a fault. Perfect for you.”
    “He must have one great fault,” I commented.
    “He’s like you,” Frieda replied.
    “He’s a ...
    “When will he come? I need to turn him down gently.”
    “Any minute, Peter...”
    “Not Peter Brooks?”
    “You know him?” Frieda asked.
    “Yes and the stupid, glassy eyed grin he gets on his face.”
    “Is he?”
    “The one who got away? Yes,” I finished, “I loved him we were to be married, then I died.”
    “But now I have the same condition and we can be together,” Peter retorted walking in.
    I floated into his arms and Peter managed to hug and kiss me back. Our love, cut short, renewed in seconds so much so that Frieda looked away embarrassed.
    “Come Téa, we have eternity,” Peter cried, that stupid glassy eyed grin I loved, on his ghostly face.
    “Thank you Frieda, I’ll always love you,” I retorted.

    We floated away. Peter and I are together now, as we stepped through the heavenly gates. A garden awaited us and all-encompassing love. I’m glad I waited for Peter.
    250 words

  6. "Wow...."
    I watched Ray's expression as he looked me up and down. Drool visibly ran down his chin, and he wore that stupid, glassy eyed grin he usually saved for the Victoria's Secret models.
    Rolling my eyes, I couldn't help but smile.
    "You look...."
    I laughed a little. "Good, right?"
    He gestured to the tight little number I was obviously pulling off.
    "Just, wow...." He was speechless. Absolutely speechless. Which was a record for him, because he never stopped talking.
    "Okay, we've established that." I made sure my gun was safe in its thigh holster, and grabbed my badge off the desk.
    "Now, if you can put your eyes back in your head, let's catch this sucker."

    117 words @bookwormattack

  7. Malcolm picked up her slender hand, stroked it tenderly and lay it back down gently. Her skin was smooth and soft and tanned; a tell tale white band across her wedding finger evidence of a very recent break up.

    She was extremely beautiful and he couldn’t believe she was here with him as he stared intently at her, seeking answers to his silent questions. He brushed back her thick blonde hair framing her heart shaped face, showing the bluest of eyes as they gazed back, seeming to soak up everything about him. But Malcolm knew that was just his imagination going into overdrive. Well it was three in the morning and it had been a long day.

    “Right” began Malcolm. “Let’s begin shall we?” He didn't expect an answer despite her bow shaped lips looking ready to utter words that were now lost forever and the stupid, glassy eyed grin that made Malcolm smile and deduce she had been drinking and killed instantly; at least she didn't suffer or know anything about it which in his line of work was a bonus.

    The peace of the lab was abruptly broken as Malcolm started up his bone saw to continue the post mortem and solve the enigma of the death of the girl with the smile on her face.


  8. Gift of a smile

    What a dreary day! Steel grey clouds fill the sky blocking out the sunshine, and a cold wind blows through the filthy streets, howling just like the feral dogs who roam the alleyways looking for scraps, or perhaps preying on an unsuspecting pet cat.

    It’s on days like these, I feel, that we should consider the well-being of those around us, and so I take it upon myself to think about what I can do for some of these people during the quieter times in my otherwise busy schedule.

    Take Alison Coldridge for instance, down on 43rd street; she’s a single mother with three demanding children and her husband is a drunkard who blows all their money on booze and gambling. There’s Lieutenant Bill Foster on Acacia Avenue. He’s been in a dreadful state since coming home from the war; he could use cheering up, and what about lonely old widow Donaldson over at the corner of Lexington and 3rd? They all need cheering up. So what do I do? I have presents delivered right to their door.

    I just love to give presents!

    I make sure that they’re in colourful boxes all neatly wrapped up with a pretty bow. I take my time over the gifts so that the recipients feel flattered and intrigued, take the box into their homes, pull at the bow and lift the lid..then the surprise hits them…

    …and leaves them with ruby red lips, pale but happy faces, and the stupid, glassy grin!


    249 words

    1. Damn! Missed out 'eyed' from 'glassy eyed grin' - which makes it 250 words.

  9. “And the stupid, glassy eyed grin.” Maritta sucked that last bit out of nicotine out of her cigarette and then tossed it into the gutter.

    “Yeah,” Emily replied. “What’s up with that?”

    “I don’t know.” Maritta stood up, adjusting her mini-skirt as she did so. “Maybe it gets him off. Ever notice that all the girls he turns are young?” She brushed her butt with her hands to make sure there was no dirt. “Breaks over. If we don’t get some before sunrise Trent’ll be pissed.” She stepped out of the shadows into the light of the street lamp and then stomped her feet a few times. “Damn it’s cold out her tonight.” She began to slowly saunter down the sidewalk.

    Emily stood up and turned around to check her image in the reflection of the shop window. Satisfied she turned and followed Maritta back towards the street corner.

    “I just didn’t think it would be like this,” Emily said.

    “Like what?”

    “You know. Being a vampire and still working the streets for someone else.”

    Cars began to slow down as they drove by, the occupants eyeing the two young women.

    Maritta looked sideways at the younger girl. “Find a way out before you’ve been out here too long.

    “How longs too long?” Emily asked. She knew that Maritta was at least a couple of years older than her; maybe fifteen.

    “Thirty years.”

    Emily froze. She knew she couldn’t make it in a twelve year old body for that long.

    @redshirt6 250 Words

  10. Her dark hair was tucked up in a messy mass of curls, one lock kissing a high cheekbone like a lover. Her eyes, a green the same color as the bottle of his favorite beer, mesmerized him. But this dame wasn’t beer and pretzels. She was Dom Perignon and caviar, and so far out of his league he actually blushed when he realized she made the right place sit up and take notice at the wrong time. Long legs carried her toward the revolving door. The woman never missed a beat as she stepped into the door, swept around its arc, and strode into the hotel. It couldn’t be her. Not after all this time.

    “Damn.” Rick’s feet, following his groin’s lead, shuffled after her. He managed the revolving door without stumbling and found the lobby lounge where his best friend staked out four stools at the bar.

    “Angel’s bringing a friend,” David greeted.

    He grimaced. David and Angel had been fixing him up for years.

    Angel arrived. Alone. His mood lifted. She sat down, apologizing. He shrugged it off as a reflection in the mirror behind the bar caught his attention. He recognized that cool-eyed gaze. And the stupid, glassy eyed grin plastered on his face.

    “Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she had to walk into mine.”

    “Play it once, Sam, for old time’s sake.”

    “Howdy, Sade.”

    “Hello, Rick.” Her mouth found his.

    Oh, yeah, a kiss was still a kiss.

    250 words

  11. BATH TIME?

    “Are you well, Lady Rain?”

    “Can you stop with the ‘lady’ part? I’m sitting here in a large pool of water on my bathroom floor, and not feeling very lady-like.”

    Jozsef tipped his head with a half smile. “I’ll always see you as a lady, Rain, soaking or dry.” He dropped into a crouch beside her and she tried not to enjoy the way his pants tightened over his massive thighs. Jeez, get a grip! Try to have some class. And the stupid, glassy-eyed grin doesn’t help.

    “I guess we should clean this up before it leaks through to the kitchen below.” Rain gathered herself to get up, but her feet slipped on the water and she dropped back onto her butt. “Whoop!”

    “Here, let me help you.” Jozsef grasped her shoulders and hauled her up against his chest. Sweet heat permeated her sopping clothes and she sighed, involuntarily snuggling closer to his warmth.

    His arms wrapped around her and she closed her eyes, releasing her concerns for a few moments. Steve Carlisle, Melinda Warren, and NEPA report fell away and she relaxed in the heavenly scent of warm man and leather. Oh glory, the relief of just handing those problems to someone else for a moment.

    Rain would’ve stayed there for heaven-knows how long if his rich chuckle hadn’t rumbled through his chest under her ear. Heat bloomed across her cheeks and she stepped back, refusing to meet his eyes.

    “Er, sorry. Let’s go get some towels.”

    248 ineligible #WIP500 words

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


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