Thursday, August 1, 2013

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 81

Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked. Wow, where did half the year go? It's Thursday again, so what should you be doing? Writing #FlashFiction, that's what! Welcome to Week 81 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 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 81:

Smiley-face detester, dog lover, and M/M romance author, James Cox.

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“Will it come back?”

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. With his palm flat between her shoulder blades, Nikos forced Sade’s head between her knees. “Breathe, Sade. In through your nose, out through your mouth.”

    This was not the romantic evening he’d planned. Dinner on the terrace. A fine wine. The subtle dominance games he so enjoyed. His fingers tingled from her panic. As big an aphrodisiac for a predator as having her naked in his bed. Her breathing under control, she pushed against his hand to sit up. He allowed her to do so.

    Color returned to her cheeks as her brazen attitude returned. That’s what drew him. He appreciated her aggressiveness, so unlike the docile women in the dragon clan. He studied her and their situation. Only a fool would attack a dragon in his lair.

    “What the hell was that thing?” Sade sounded almost normal.

    “Now there’s the question.”

    “Who the hell sent it?”

    “Who indeed.” His eyes narrowed to slits, their pale blue shading to silver before hardening to titanium.

    Sade gained her feet and spun in a slow circle as she studied the sky. “Will it come back?”

    “Are you afraid?”

    She lowered her head slightly to stare at him. “Damn straight I am. But that doesn’t mean I won’t kill it the next time it shows up.”

    “You will have to beat me to it.”

    “That can be arranged.”

    And there she was—the indomitable human with flashing emerald eyes. She would be his. Sooner or later.

    243 new words for the WIP (Damn dragon still won't get out of my head!) *psst* She thinks I'm sexy. Shut up, Nikos!


  2. “DADDY!”

    That was a blood curdling scream. In the middle of the night. I bolted from my bed and sprinted into my oldest daughter’s room. She was standing in the middle of her bedroom, pale, shaking, and pointing accusingly at the wall.

    “What’s wrong?” I panted. I looked at the wall but didn’t see anything wrong. “Did you have a bad dream?”

    She shook her head. It was just after three in the morning. Eliza kept a trembling finger pointed at the wall.

    “Kill it.”

    I blinked. Demonic-sounding demands aside, there’s nothing to kill. I inched forward, wondering if she was sleepwalking again. The wall near the window was blue and there was nothing---holy shit.

    “Jacoby, kill it,” I squeaked.

    I shook in the middle of the floor, my mouth dry as cotton. I hate spiders.

    “Oh for pete’s sake you two.”

    My husband stalked forward, grabbed a shoe and promptly killed the spider. With a quick swipe of a tissue, the offending arachnid was gone, deposited in the trashcan. Rolling his eyes, he removed the trashcan and Eliza hugged me tight.

    “Will it come back?” she whimpered.

    “No,” I told her, shaking my head. “No, it’s gone for good.”

    “Thank god. Good night, dad.”

    I kissed the top of her head. “Good night, Eliza. And no more middle of the night spiders, cool?”


    Trudging off to bed, I ignored my snickering husband. Just wait until there’s a snake in the yard again, Jacoby, just you wait.

    249 words

  3. At Her Mercy

    “Such lovely muscles.” Lindsey slid her hand past John's hip and over his thigh. The muscles remained still and she hated the drugs running in his system. One of her favorite parts of touching came from her lover’s reactions, and John had none. He could only lie there and watch. She hoped he enjoyed it a little, but she suspected his helplessness ruined the experience.

    Lindsey paused and met his gaze as she settled her hands on his ankles. “You’re perfect, John. So lean and hard…” She stroked his legs from his ankles to his knees. “And strong.” She moved to the side and used both hands to massage one of his thighs. With restricted movement, the lovely muscle tone would suffer. “Are you a runner, John?” Build me a persona, John. Let’s play this dangerous game.

    She met his gaze and he blinked once. “Not a runner, hmm.” She sauntered closer to his chest, resisting the urge to touch his groin as she dragged her fingers over his skin. “Swimmer, maybe?”

    John blinked twice. “Ah, yes, a swimmer. I can see it in your lean lines and flat belly. There’s something so sexy about a man dripping wet, and contrary to popular belief, your chest hair won’t cause too much resistance in the water, will it?” Come back to the point of this, Jarvis. Lindsey bent close to him until they faced each other nose to nose. “Do the drugs allow your body to react to sexual stimulation?”

    249 ineligible #WIP500 words

  4. Brenda couldn’t remember a more perfect day. The wildflowers surrounding her blew in the wind, sending up a scent that filled her with pure joy. After the night she had had, it was an unexpected oasis. Who knew that an overheated radiator could result in such bliss?

    Last night, her boyfriend Bill had come clean about his infidelity. Bitter with rage, she had gotten into her junky car and driven it over a hundred miles from home. When smoke had rolled out of the engine, she had turned it off and headed into the most beautiful field she had ever seen.

    Flattening out a place on the ground, she laid her jacket down and dug a book out from her book bag. She was completely hidden from prying eyes—her own utopia from hell.

    As dusk began to fall, she closed the book and sat up, stretching her arms and yawning. Maybe the car would be cooled off enough to start.

    She ducked down when voices coming toward her from the woods caught her off guard.

    “What was that, Jerry?”

    “How in the hell should I know?

    Will it come back?”

    “We’re dead if it does. Look, there’s a car. Let’s run for it.”

    Their thunderous steps tramped past Brenda without a second glance. Stunned, she sat there watching their retreating backs as they headed for her car.


    Standing up, the hairs on the back of her neck prickled when the hot breath of something unknown scorched her cheek.

    250 Words

  5. [This takes the form of a dramatic monologue; the opening is from a poem I wrote.]

    If you don't forget me I am not gone
    If you love me I will live forever.

    The Greeks called me Demeter and relied on me to bring the earth out of cold, barren winter. Each year I was unfailing, giving them their spring with a bountiful harvest, but that lost any meaning for me when I lost my daughter. She was my whole life, the center of my existence. My raison d'être as the French call it. So long ago and here I am in Paris searching. Not for my daughter for she is in the place of her choosing. Rather I search for myself, or my self-worth as the psychologist called it. For when you have no self-worth, you are forgotten, and being forgotten is equated with being dead.

    So I search the avenues of the city of light, but there is only darkness inside me.

    "Le reviendrait, papa?" Will it come back?
    The child's ball rolled to the other side of the street and I watched, detached from the scene. Perhaps at one time, I would have intervened, but that was long ago when I remembered what it was like to be a mother. When I meant something to someone.

    If we have someone to remember us, we are not gone. We continue to live in their hearts, in them, through them. And we have self-worth because we have left something of ourselves behind.

    Ryan Derham
    244 words (including bracketed words)

  6. The evidence was right in front of Roxanne. He’d been here. He was real.

    Seven years after he disappeared in front of her eyes, he was still fresh in her memories. She might have stopped looking at the things he’d left behind, but she could never forget the time they’d shared together.

    Memories flashed before her eyes this evening when a chance encounter with a medium mentioned his name.


    The woman’s candles had warmed the cool room with their spicy scent until they changed when she’d said his name. There was no mistaking the musk of his aftershave. Roxanne cried out when it dissipated.

    “Will it come back? Can you get it back?” The crack in her voice matched the feeling in her heart.

    “You can get it all back.” The woman reached and touched her hand. “Simply look at what’s left.”

    Roxanne had run all the way home to set out each of the items. Nothing new jumped out. She scrunched her face and clamped her jaw tight. It has to be here. Her fingers touched each piece again and landed on the little notebook.

    She flipped through the familiar pages, but the last page had something new. The short passage was followed by a simple instruction.

    Say it and it will be true.

    “Jonathon, come home to me.”

    A piercing light filled her room and then was gone, revealing her heart’s desire.

    235 words

  7. A scream broke the constant hum of the labored air conditioning unit churning in the window of the darkened dorm room.

    His scuffed work boot stood firm against the door as Michelle pushed her weight against the door from the other side. “I said to leave me alone, John. I'll call the police.” She tried to keep her voice calm. She knew he thrived on fear, especially when he’d been drinking. Beads of sweat dripped down her brow as her eyes followed the headlights passing her window. A campus security car. Will it come back?

    “Come on, let me in just for a moment.”

    “You’re drunk, go home and sleep it off.” She prayed he’d listen to her. Please, just this once. Please.

    His voice softened. “I just want to talk, Mickey.”

    “Don’t call me that.” Her voice cracked. There was a time when she loved the pet name. Tears welled in her eyes as she dug her heels into the rug and pushed with every ounce of strength she had left. The door gave an inch or two as he moved his foot and she lost leverage for a spit second. The door flew open throwing her body to the floor. Meaty fingers encircled her wrist, yanking her up like a rag doll. Twisting her arm, he sandwiched her body between his chest and the door.

    His breath blew in short hot pants against her ear. “You know you want it, you’ve been teasing me all night.”

    248 words flashback scene from untitled WIP

  8. The shrinking candle flickered against the onslaught of darkness. It wasn’t romantic now in the old, stone cottage as the storm raged and the sea crashed against the cliffs. With the battery dead in her laptop and phone, Kirsty had nothing to occupy her other than the small orange flame that hungrily devoured the candle.

    The door flung open. Kirsty let out a scream as the howling wind swirled around the room.

    “It’s only me. Chinese as promised,” said Mark cheerily, slamming the door shut. “Locals say the power often goes out up here. I got a few more candles too.” Kirsty relaxed in the warm, comfortable glow.

    Rapidly, a chill descended around them, candles snuffed out, swamping the room in darkness. The wind swirled around Kirsty’s legs. She couldn’t speak as the candles suddenly lit; revealing a shadow; a figure standing by the door, looking out.

    “I see it too,” whispered Mark. The door flew open and the figure drifted out. “Come on!” Mark followed to the edge of the cliffs, mesmerised by the shadow, his candle not blowing out in the wind.

    “Look!” Kirsty pointed out to sea where a light bobbed erratically towards the rocks, watching in silence as the light changed direction and the glowing of the candle faded.

    “What was it and will it come back?” Kirsty asked, walking back carefully, directed by the light from their cottage.

    “Who knows but one thing is certain Kirsty, lives were saved tonight.”

    245 words

  9. "You're sure aren't you. IT won't come back?!" Susie exclaimed. "Of course I'm sure, have I ever left you standing? " Tim shrugged exasperated.

    Susie tried hard to think of other things than the last 48 hours. It had been a nightmare! It made shudder anew but She couldn't help it, everytime she closed her eyes there they were. Thankfully Tim returned home when he did!

    He was so charming and Susie thought he was a real gentleman. She had introduced him to their circle of friends and Trisha in particular. How was she meant to know he was an animal. He'd even fooled Tim and Tim was so good at recognising peoples true characters. 

    There had been absolutely no sign whatsoever of his being and animal and when Trisha had asked Susie to be her maid of honor she'd been thrilled. Both girls had been enthusiastic for weeks after that and in very high spirits.  Trisha had been pampered and given her every wish for her special day.

    The honeymoon over saw Susie becoming anxious though. Trisha thought her friend was just over extending so because her and Tim's lives were so busy Susie ignored her increasing anxiety and kept busy.

    That was until 6 months later when Tim was away and She realised Trisha hadn't been seen in a month. She never missed their run followed by a cup of tea and cookie every Friday. 

    Susie had marched straight over to investigate. On discovering her friend chained in the back room, half alive and very hungry. Susie had unchained Trisha and led her outside intending to take her home and care for her. When they got outside in the sun however there was no Trisha!

    250 words

  10. “Will it come back?”
    “No, sweetie,”
    “Why not. I want it back!”

    The little girl’s lip curled under and a tear welled from her right eye as she stamped her foot.
    “Melanie we talked about this,” the mother protested.

    The little girl stared down at the uneven ground below her.

    “I don’t like it.”
    “I don’t like this either, but we have to accept what we cannot change.”
    “Why, everything leaves.”
    “Did I leave you?”
    “No, but you could, daddy did.”
    “I’m going to do everything in my power not to leave you.”
    “Will Daddy see the balloon?”
    “Yes, it will soar down and daddy will know you’re thinking of him.”
    “Then I don’t mind that I won’t see the balloon again.”

    Melanie saw her father grasp the string of the balloon and smile and she too smiled.

    “Come Melanie, we have to go through the gate now.”
    “I can’t, I’m afraid.”
    “You’re a good little girl and we’ve both been summoned. It will all be okay, Melanie.”

    Stepping through the golden gates, Melanie skipped across the gilded path to play hopscotch with her old friend Geordie. Georgia gave a sigh of relief, the first since the accident. All would be okay now, Melanie would be happy.
    207 words

  11. My legs had long since fallen asleep, the familiar pins and needles stung at my feet and calves as we hid, crouched beneath the drug store’s counter.

    “Will it come back?”

    Sophie’s tiny fingers were gripped tightly around what was left of my left hand, the burgundy remnants of my blood still encrusted into her thin finger nails and pale cuticles. She seemed not to notice although I did see her peeking once or twice at my amputated stub of pinkie that poked out from within the dish towel I had clumsily wrapped it up in. She was still a child in so many ways but the last ten hours had aged her some and she no longer looked at things through the eyes of a six year old girl.


    The little white lie was pretty unbelievable, even for a kid, but I hoped Sophie didn’t notice. It was going to come back, it knew we were here, it was hungry, and it had already sampled the merchandise, so to speak.

    Yes, it would be back but that wasn’t really the worst of it.

    We had a shot of getting away, hell, I might even be able to kill it with a little bit of luck but the fact was, I had been bitten and there was no escaping that tidbit of bad news.

    I gripped Sophie’s hand as we watched the sun disappear from the sky outside.

    It was getting late and I was already getting hungry.

    249 words

  12. Stacy had stretched out on her side of the bed, as she did almost every night, her head propped on her pillows, reading again. She read every night. Mostly paranormal or historical romance novels. She read several each week.

    I went downstairs, sat on the sofa, turned on the TV, and surfed the ‘Net using my tablet computer. Another night of TV in the background as I perused technology and science news sites, reading about cosmology, optical computing, clean energy, and anything else that caught my fancy.

    I knew, when I finally gave up, and went to bed, I’d find her asleep, with the lights still on, and her book on my pillows. It was what our life together had become.

    As I sat on the sofa, I looked at a few pictures of 20, 30 and 40-year-old women on a modeling site. It was a close as I’d come to sex in years. I vaguely remembered sex. What it had been like. The fun we’d had. And I wondered, that night, as I had so many times before, what happened. Where had the sex gone? Where had the romance gone? But I never asked, “Will it come back?” I knew it never would.

    We’d grown too old and tired, and long since lost the energy it took. Now, she got her sex from her romance novels. I got mine from pictures of naked girls. That’s all the energy I had left.

    244 Words

  13. Xavier surveyed the ichor stained walls, the scattered furniture and sundered floors. The stench of sudden rot was thick, even through his embroidered kerchief. If the elfin young man believed in miracles he would have considered it one that Mark had managed to get the others out safely. Possessing no such faith, Xavier instead searched his ruined estate with an imposing coldness that dared the universe to have taken Mark away from him.

    His search was constantly menaced by the apparition of his asthma attempting to flare in response to the nauseating smell. By pure willpower he tamped down his physical frailty, secretly hoping the results would be better than those the reinforced steel cellar door had achieved.

    A particular cluster of upended furnishings against the northwest corner caught Xavier’s attention. Seeing how its weight was distributed he quickly levered it off the wall. His effort was rewarded with a bloodied but breathing figure. Mark was easily twice Xavier’s size and possessed of a much healthier constitution—not one to die easily. The larger man’s unfocused eyes seemed to find Xavier, at least in a general sense.

    “Came, so suddenly… Never seen… anything…”

    “You’re alright now.” Xavier cupped Mark’s head with one delicate hand while studying his injuries.

    Mark grasped Xavier’s sleeve desperately, “Will it come back?”

    “My sister?” Xavier scowled, “She’s still upstairs.”

    224 words

  14. Jason shifted on his feet, glancing up at his mom as she stood there, face red and blotchy. She was clenching his hand harder than he liked. At least she stopped crying so much.

    “Will it come back?”

    “What’s that, baby?”

    “Will it come back?” His gaze dropped to where the end of a hoof peeked from underneath the tarp that covered the rest of the body.

    She cleared her throat, blinking rapidly. “No, baby. She won’t be coming back. Not like she is now.” A large tear started to roll down her cheek.

    “Oh.” He mulled that over. “So she isn’t hurting anymore?”

    His mother glanced at him, giving one of those smiles adults give when they don’t want to seem upset. Tight lips. Her eyes always light up when she smiled. This time they were red-rimmed and watery.

    “No, baby. She isn’t hurting anymore. She doesn’t have any more pain to worry about.”

    “Well that’s good then.” Jason thought it over some more. “Is she with Mr. Hop?”

    “Your rabbit?” The woman blinked. “Yes, I think she is with Mr. Hop.”

    “That’s good. He was probably lonely.”

    The corner of her mouth curled up a bit. “Company is always good. Come on, let’s go in. Your dad will take care of her.”

    “I’ll can draw a picture of her. Hang her next to the one of Mr. Hop.”

    “That would be very nice, baby. I’m sure Fantasy would like that a lot.”

    244 words

  15. Wanting nothing more than to hunker down in a good hiding spot, instead she stood tall. “Sometimes I forget you cut your teeth on commercial freighters.”

    “We aren’t all cut out for military kill squads.”

    Ubrey scowled at him. “This is military. I am the captain now.”

    “Yes sir. And Francini moves up to second.”

    Ubrey watched the crew cleaning what used to be her Captain, well, he’d been Captain for one day. And the Captain before him, for only 3.

    Linder continued, “Weird, huh? Must be intelligent, moving down the chain of command like that. Another 4, and I’ll be Captain.”

    Ubrey shot him a dark look, her steel blue eyes meant to silence him. “Considering the unknown, it’s just as difficult to quantify the evil in a thing as the intelligence of it."

    She double-timed it down the corridor toward the comm, turning at the sounds of footsteps, “Linder, what are you doing? Shouldn’t you be analyzing murder scene samples?”

    “I think it’s dangerous to leave you alone, especially considering recent history, you know, of Captains alone on this ship.”

    He had her there. “Do you really think it’s alien, shifting from body to body? Probably can’t trust anyone.”

    He shrugged. “You should stop in your quarters and change. Blood on your shirt.”

    She entered her cabin with him a step behind. “What do you think? Will it come back?”

    Closing the door, he smirked again, and pulled a blade from his jacket. “I think it never left.”

    250 words

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

  17. These are really great stories. It was hard choosing because they each had their own strengths. I just sent the winners names in! Thanks so much for letting me judge the contest!


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.