Thursday, August 22, 2013

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 84

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 84 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 84:

Tattooed Texan, Basset-hound mama, and all flavors erotic romance author, BA Tortuga.

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
The Prompt:

“Do I get a head start?”

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. Lining up in the hot Iowa sun, my family and I prepared to race. My husband, Jacoby, glanced down the line, as sweat trickled down our faces. My children, Eliza seven, and Priscilla, five, concentrated, their blue eyes focused on the track, their mouths in a thin line. We ran this race every week and no one liked to lose.

    “First one back gets out of dusting for a week.”

    “Do I get a head start?” I wiggled eyebrows at Jacoby. “I do have asthma, after all.”

    “No. It has to be a fair race.” He took a deep breath. “1-2-“

    “Wait. I’m also skinny. Does that give me an advantage?”

    “Daad!” Priscilla whined. “We want to get this over with. It’s hot out here.”

    “Sour puss,” I retorted, but shut my mouth.


    We took off running and I quickly edged ahead. With a grin on my face I touched the enormous wooden swingset in the front yard and started back for the porch. It was almost a tie as I bounded onto the porch one step ahead of my daughter Eliza.

    “Damn,” Jacoby swore, as he and Priscilla bonded onto the porch. It creaked a bit in protest and I started laughing. “You cheated!”

    I shook my head. “Did not. Have fun dusting all week!”

    I tipped an imaginary hat to my family and went inside for a drink of water. In 18 years of marriage, I have never dusted. And I intend to keep it that way.

    250 words

  2. The feeders swarmed into the abandoned gymnasium, flat yellow eyes gleaming in the dark, silent save for the sounds of their four-legged scuffle. They had been human once. Now they were alien incubators, Pale green orbs gleamed in their mouths, eggs wriggling with eager alien embryos.

    “So,” Justine said from the three-point line. “What now?”

    “Probably quip about you taking the hundred on the left,” Alexa said.

    “Do the quips help?”

    “A good quip can be highly motivational.” Alexa glanced over. “You’re going to want to tie your hair back. They’re grabbers. Worse than infants.”

    “Not that much worse,” Justine said, gathering her hair into a ponytail.

    “See? Quipping already.”

    “Last one to fifty kills buys the drinks?”

    Alexa smirked. “That’s not fair to you. I can set things on fire with my mind.”

    “True. Do I get a head start?”

    “Ten-kill handicap.”


    With frantic grins, they waded into the fray.

    152 words / @surlymuse

    1. I like this! It's easy to see what's going on and I like the banter between the characters. This was very well written!

  3. “I found her.”
    “Really, Bridget. Do I get a head start, or will she get away again?”
    “She won’t get away.”
    “Everyone keeps promising me that, but she succeeds.”
    “She’s with Roland. He’s good at hiding, but I’m better.”
    “Are you sure Bridget?”
    “Trust me, Tristan. He can’t hide from me. No one can. Now I must go, I’ll be back in the morning.”

    Bridget appeared at Tristan’s door just before sunrise. In the porch light, her hair furled around her, gleaming like a black curtain as it spread to the ground. Tristan stared at her she was a stunningly beautiful woman. A small child ran around her and leapt into Tristan’s arms.
    “Daddy, Mommy, Roland and I rode in a fine coach. Bridget sang a song and Mommy and Roland had to stay with the screamers. ”
    “Petunia, what are you talking about?” cried Tristan,
    “Look outside,” Bridget demanded.
    Tristan grew pale and pleaded, “Take me, not Petunia. I’ll do anything.”
    “I’m not here for you...yet.” Bridget cried leaving through the front door and entering her coach.
    “Then when will I see you again?”
    “In about forty years,” Bridget laughed as her head hung out of the coach door.
    She pulled back in and the black coach with eight black horses screeched through the sky and then disappeared.

    In Irish mythology a banshee comes to collect the dead. This is a variation on that story.
    220 words

  4. Happily Ever After
    142 Words

    After all they had been through, Chase and Amy were finally together. They walked into her apartment holding hands. Ever the gentleman, Chase took her coat to hang it for her. “You know,” he said, “once I get you in that bed, I'm not letting you out any time soon.”

    Amy quirked an eyebrow. “You'll have to catch me first.”

    His eyes traveled down the length of her. “Even with those irresistible long legs, I'm gonna get you.”

    His hot gaze made it to her torso. It thrilled her that he could see the effect he was having on her. “Do I get a head start?”

    His wicked grin broke through the heat. “Not a chance.”

    She leapt just out of his reach and took off running down the hall, squealing like a little girl on her way to Chuck E Cheese.

  5. Lindsey got to her feet, brushing off her knees and straightening her dress. “Does my hair look disheveled enough to have had drunk sex in a back room?”

    John’s gaze made a leisurely climb from her ankles to her head and a predatory expression settled over his features. How can he still be horny after what we just did? A smug smile curled his lips and he nodded.

    “You do look like you’ve had sex recently.” He inhaled and his smile widened. “You smell like it, too.”

    “I do?” Sheesh, so much for professionalism. “Then I’ll definitely fit the part. Come on. We gotta get out of here before the drug pushers come back.”

    Lindsey shoved her shoulder under John’s armpit and wrapped an arm around his waist. “Ready?”

    “I don’t have a choice, do I?”

    “Get a head start out of the club and you’ll have all the choices you want.”

    “Then let’s do this. Are there cameras in the halls?”

    “Yes. Keep your head down and get your drunk on.”

    “Roger that.”

    Lindsey loved the military response. Something about it turned her on as much as flowers or jewelry. He trusted her and depended on her to get him out. The respect was a heady brew infusing her body with extra strength.

    Lindsey opened the door and glanced either way down the hallway outside. The plush golden carpet remained empty. She nodded and they staggered out the door.

    240 ineligible #WIP500 words

  6. The raucous crowd refused allaying. Demands of blood rose to screams for Jesse’s head as punishment for the crime. Six shots in the air from the judges’ gun got the crowd’s attention.

    Jesse stared at his black clad executioner.

    “Ya’ll know how this gon’ go, son?” drawled the old man as he holstered his weapon and glared at the crowd. Jesse glanced around and shrugged. Pinched and hungry faces stared back. With no money and no food, a grisly death rated high as entertainment.

    “Yeah,” Jesse said weakly. “Stole water. Means the death penalty.”

    The executioner mounted his horse and waved to the crowd. They roared back. The judge took out his gun again.


    “One question,” Jesse said. “Do I get a head start?”
    Laughter filled the air. The executioner shrugged and nodded.

    The judge walked over and took off Jesse’s chains. “I’m sorry, son,” he said.

    “Don’t be,” Jesse said. “I got him right where I want him.”

    Confused, the judge stumbled back. Jesse turned to the city gate. He took a deep breath then sprinted for the wilderness.

    Hoof beats drew closer.

    Jesse ran harder. He stopped dead at a scrub of brush. Turning back, he smiled as a sniper’s shot picked the executioner out of the saddle.

    “How much this one worth?” asked his partner, Grant, from the brush.

    “Two mil. Dead or alive.”

    “Let’s go home,” Grant said. “We can finally retire.”

    “And do what?” Jesse asked.

    Grant shrugged.

    “Let’s go home,” Jesse laughed.

    249 words

  7. "come on then" Stacey said breathing heavily as she bent seductively towards Tim.

    Tim, after a sharp intake of breath, wandered over shaking his head. They were supposed to be working but for all the bravado he'd not miss a shift with Stacey. The other guys were not half as fun!

    "ok, do I get a head start ?" laughing Stacey teased "sure if you think you need it!" The cheek of it! grinned Tim " ok you're on, first two customers are mine then each for their own, agreed?" "sure thing, you know what the loser has to do!"

    Tim did and he'd make sure he lost just to feel her smooth shoulders and elegant neck moving in blissfulness as she relaxed. Thinking of the 'punishment' Tim very nearly missed their first customer!

    Snapping out of his reverie he set to making a few decent sales or Stacey would suspect something. The punishment was the closet he could get to his own manipulation line as she was so dominating and in control! He'd do anything but knew she had to call the shots.

    Stacey watched as he attempted to beat her and felt the usual thrill racing up her spine! she knew he was aware that he hadn't a chance for she had arranged for three customers to come in with a huge order just when Tim was busy each time with a small order! His fingers would be tracing her back in another quest for pleasure later.

    246 words

  8. "Eez Fatez, Yez?"
    by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
    [250 words]

    The visitor entered the Gypsy Tent, sat down and blurted to the veiled partition "How do I get a head start? I mean with my life. I just can't seem to get a break." he continued hesitantly. "Is… anyone here?"

    A manicured hand parted the curtain, and waved a small brass crank until the man reluctantly took it. "Zis is a cranial crank, young manz…" came a voice dripping with European mystery. "Plaze in ze left ear to ztart your brain. Yez? And in ze left ear to ztop eet. Yez?"

    "Are you seriously expecting me to…"

    "Eez an 'ed ztart you ver vanting, yez?" the hand gave a thumbs up then withdrew behind the veil. "Left to Ztart. Right to ztop. Five dollarz on ze table, yez?"

    "I don't understand. When I say 'head start' I'm not sure it's meant literally. It's a metaphor."

    "Ees metaforz, yez. Take. Take! Five dollarz." the hand reappeared and pointed forcefully at the dish on the table. "Five dollarz pliz! Will helpz, yez."

    "Er… yez?" the man deposited five bucks in the dish and left. On his way out he stuck the handle in his left ear and gave it a comic twist. He laughed, then thought better of it and dropped the brass crank on the table, but left the money. "Zee geepzee had been worth zat mooch" he chuckled to himself as he left.

    "And zo eet beginz…" the voice whispered. "At leezt not chooz rightz. we have eenuff Republeekanz, yez!"

    1. Damn typo. Second left in the text should be right to ztop, yez?

    2. Nice twist with metaphorical versus literal, ;-)

    3. Still typing these with your smart phone? :) There's always that one little bit we don't see until after we've hit Publish. Iz good tho, yez?

  9. To the junkyard!


    “Woah boy! Do I get a head start?”

    Edward’s chest heaved up and down as he tried to catch his breath.

    “Come on! The junk yard will be closing soon!”

    “So? What’s so important it won’t wait till tomorrow?”

    Edward’s eyes widened as he unclenched his fists, he made a box shape with his hands.

    “It’s a robot!”

    “Really? Like Orphelia?”

    “No, older, and it looks like a man, sort of!”

    “A robot man…” Cratchett chuckled “so, you think that it’s valuable huh?”

    “Somebody else might take it!” Edward implored.

    “Well, can’t have that can we? We’ll just have to take my automobile.”

    Cratchett’s large automobile resembled a woodlouse in shape, and its carapace flared where it curled over the rubber-shod wheels. Edward leapt over the door on the passenger side into a heavily cushioned leather seat, then fidgeted while he waited for the old man to open the garage doors…wind up the key in the front of the car…get the engine started…remove the key…shuffle round to the driver’s side…slowly open the door…lower himself gingerly into the seat…settle himself into position…adjust his leather cap and goggles…

    “Come on!”

    “Alright boy!” growled Cratchett before engaging the throttle and bringing the vehicle to biting point, revving it up so that great clouds of fumes broiled around them. Slowly, he moved the vehicle out onto the driveway.

    ‘At last!’ thought Edward.

    Then the car stopped.

    “Just need to close the garage doors…”

    Edward groaned.



    241 words

  10. Bah! I meant crank, not key...

  11. The sadness in his eyes was evident, even through his smile. His eyes still crinkled at the corners. Cal always had a way of smiling with his eyes. It was a look I'd never forget. He waved me over and I rolled my ridiculously pink carryon to the table.

    "Pink, huh? I don't remember you as much of a pink girl," he said, handing me a menu.

    I snorted. "Got it on sale so I can always pick it out at baggage claim when I check it during longer trips or when I can't be without my favorite hair products." I glance over the menu filled with usual fattening coffee shop carb ladened fare. "What are you having?"

    "Ordered you a latte. Want to split a cinnamon bun?"

    My tastebuds went into overdrive, flooding my mouth over the thought gooey goodness smothered with icing. Unfortunately, I may as well attach the bun to my ass because that's were it'd end up.

    "The latte's fine." I smile and studied his face. "I can't believe it's been ten years."

    "I know, it seems like just yesterday your brother and I raced you to our clubhouse," he chuckled.

    "Yeah, you'd say if I beat you, you'd let me in. Do you remember what I used to ask?"

    A grin passed over his lips and he crossed his arms like I used to do. "Do I get a head start?"

    I laughed. "You bastards never gave me one."

    "I was so stupid back then."

    250 words from collaboration project


    The sky deck laboratory had always been sterile, but now under the veil of emergency lighting it looked truly unnatural. Gale placed a hand against the alloy wall, realizing pointedly the vacuum of space was barely feet away. Torn alloy and shattered research stations dominated her field of vision. Sabotage. The force generators should have prevented this.

    “Why, Ian?”

    Gale’s heart leapt into her throat to block her voice. In the heart of the destruction her fellow researcher pulled his slacks back on, in an unhurried nod to modesty. This was not how she’d planned to finally see her hot co-worker naked. She could still see the faint sheen where the bio-enhancer had fused with his spine.

    “Ragnarok was our fault, Gale. I can’t let it happen again.”

    Ian walked barefoot over the broken glass and twisted metal between him and his colleague. Gale’s yearning for his embrace as he drew closer had an unfamiliar desperate edge to it. It was no longer clear whether his arms held security or destruction. She always thought there’d be time for them. Later.

    “Ian, they’ll hunt you down. They’ll execute you for this.”

    “Do I get a head start?”

    He flashed his boyish grin as he reached the door next to Gale.

    “I’m serious, Ian! You didn’t think this through!”

    Pulling Gale close, Ian pressed his forehead to hers.

    “Yes, I did. I’m going planet side. If they want this weapon back, they’ll have to finally face the fallout of the last one.”

    250 words

  13. “Do I get a head start?”

    I slid the magazine firmly into the Glock, racked the slide and heard the familiar click as the first round was chambered.

    “Do you think it will help?”

    Dennis looked at the gun in my hand and shook his head.

    “Not really.”

    I suppose I could let him try for the door, but what was the point really? This couldn’t be helped and there was no way out of it, for either one of us.

    I gazed into his brown eyes and for a moment I thought I saw a tear. Could it be? Was he human after all? I stared at him just to make sure I wasn’t seeing things but when he brought his eyes to mine again, there was nothing there.

    Well, not nothing exactly, there was a slight trace of fear dancing faintly about his face. Fear and a little bit of anger too. Yes, that is what I saw. Anger. Good. That was more like it. Anger I could handle.

    “You knew it would come to this, didn’t you?

    Dennis nodded and glanced away as if he couldn’t bare to look at me any longer. That stung a little. I wanted him to look at me, to know. This was his fault, his doing and I was merely bringing the situation to the only possible conclusion that there could be.

    I spoke his name softly this time.


    His eyes met mine as I pulled the trigger.

    248 Words

  14. Deep Space Hunger

    The ship deftly rounded the spinning asteroid sighting the alien cruiser as it attempted to elude destruction. The photon capacitors discharged into space and the fleeing vessel blossomed into oblivion. The black of space consumed the explosion with a quick snap.

    “Nice shooting B9”, squelched the tinny voice over the radio.

    “Thanks C7, you keep flushing ‘em out and I’ll take ‘em down.” He replied performing a nose over and reversing direction in less than a heartbeat avoiding the spreading debris. “This never gets old.”

    “I think that’s the last one for today.” C7 crackled over the comms “My scope shows no enemy signals and Command wants us back at base by 18:00.”

    “Do I get a head start?” B9 asked. “I’d love to get back early and slip into the mess hall. Shootin’ bugs works up quite a hunger.”

    “Oh yeah!” C7 exclaimed, “Mom made cookies this afternoon and their cooling on the counter. Let's Go!” C7, Charlie jumped out of his cardboard box ship startling birds out of the pine trees nearby.

    “Wait for me!” B7, Billy tumbled out of his chalk covered carton and tore off after his brother leaving their fighter craft idling in deep space.

    Entry for #Thursthreads Challenge Week 84
    Word count: 200

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


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