Thursday, November 21, 2013

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tale Together - Week 97

Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked. How can it almost be Thanksgiving? Well, it's Thursday today, so what should you be doing? Writing #FlashFiction, that's what! Welcome to Week 97 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 97:

The Ferengi dealer, Klingon warrior, zombie encourager, Jeff Hollar.

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“They die too soon.”

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. Garlet was on another of his reminiscences, rambling about the old days when he was working the deck right after it had been built around the portal. It wasn't like the Wild West, it was a whole lot weirder, since there were more than just cowboys and Indians and the odd rattlesnake or rabid wolverine to cope with. Ninety-six documented races had come through in the first twelve days, and not all of them were friendly.

    Of course, not all of them were adapted to an NOX atmosphere, either, but that was their problem, as far as most of the deckops were concerned. The ones that were had to be sorted, and some of those had to be right sorted.

    "You get your Flantians, they just want a hit of wind, splash of wine, and they're on their way. Big, but docile. Those jellyfish things, the Carnate? They die too easy, just floating around and getting sucked into every damn ventilation system that didn't have a bloody coffee filter over the intake." Garlet muttered darkly across the table while Moixa sat, quietly amicable, and let him ramble, and I pinged the filtration metrics to see how many PPM of Carnate were currently wafting around.

    It wasn't a glamorous or profitable way to pass the time, but we were waiting for our quarry to make her move, and it was better than cleaning the shop again.


  2. Up. Down. Up. Down. Pause. Up. Down.

    Beatbeatbeat. Beat Beat. Beatbeatbeatbeat. Pause…….Beat. Beat. 140. 130. 100. 150.

    Drip. Drip. Drip. The bubble hovers…trembles, drips into the small tube, creating a small ripple.

    Perfectly still. Grey pallor. Eyes closed. Hands still at his sides. Legs elevated on pillows. Inflating wraps to keep blood clots away. Special mattress to prevent pressure sores. White and blue ventilator tube coming from his mouth. IV situated just under his collarbone. Brain waves normal.

    This is life when your fiancé is in a coma. Again. It's a situation I'm used to, sadly. This is the second time he's been admitted to ICU after a near-fatal overdose. I'm a religious man and someone upstairs really wants him to survive. At this point, I want him to wake up so I can throttle him.

    "They die too soon."

    "Most. Not all." His doctor has a lot of faith in Jimmy.

    It's been a week and the more time that passes, the less the chances of survival. His doctor and nurse spoke quietly and then the doctor came in.

    "No change," I reported. The benefit to being an EMT is that I know what all these numbers mean.

    "I'm going to start medication to bring his heart back to a normal rhythm. He is moving a little so that's a good sign."

    I nodded, taking Jimmy's hand. He squeezed back and I sighed, rubbing his engagement ring. I suppose I should be thankful he didn't sell it for drugs.

    250 words

  3. Roses were such beautiful flowers. The way their petals spiraled around their cores. They way they started as buds, and unravelled, from the outside to the inside. The way the morning dew dressed up their blooms.

    Jessica always marveled at how beautiful the roses were. But she knew, like all flowers, the blooms wouldn’t last. They’d be buds. Then full blooms. Then they’d turn brown, their petals falling away. Leaving just the sepal, and the ovary.

    But while they bloomed, they were beautiful. She loved how they bloomed twice a year. Once in the spring, around April May and June. Then again in the fall, in September and October. Sometimes, even into November.

    “Mommy? Why do the rose flowers always die so quickly?”

    Sharon smiled, “Because they’ve completed their purpose. They bloom so the roses can reproduce. The blooms attract insects, like bees, and butterflies. The insects spread the pollen from the flowers to other roses. And the roses reproduce, making more roses.”

    “But, Mommy, there are no insects. No bees. No butterflies. Shouldn’t the flowers stay alive until they get pon-i-la-ted?” Sharon saw the questioning look in her daughters eyes.

    “Pollinated, dear. And no, they don’t. They live a few days. A few weeks at most. And then they die. Pollinated or not.”

    Jessica ran her fingertips over the petals of a rose bloom. “They die too soon, don’t they, Mommy.”

    Sharon nodded, “Yes, dear. Sometimes, they die too soon.”

    241 Words

  4. “Ready?”

    “Let ’er rip.”

    Aiden threw the truck into gear and the wheels shifted into motion. The tire spun in short jerky movements, twisting the bark, but Moira shove it back with her foot, and the truck lurched. She jumped out of the way as the metal beast shot backwards.

    “Keep going! It’s still soft for another twenty feet.” Moira waved him past her and he kept the truck moving until he’d reached solid ground. Too bad her heart couldn’t find such comfort.

    Aiden waved her closer and she shoved her melancholy thoughts away as she skirted the mud to his truck.

    “Can I give you a ride to your Jeep?” Those blue eyes still stole her breath.

    “No, it’s right there over the fence. Can you find your way back to the road from here?”

    Aided dipped his head. “Yeah, not a problem. Is that invitation to stay in your guest room still valid?”

    “Yeah, why wouldn’t it be?”

    “Sometimes they die too soon after they’re offered. I just wanted to be sure.” He grimaced. “I know I let you down by going off the grid for so long, but I intend to make it up to you.”

    “Let’s just start with friends and go from there. Stop by the Cloudburst around five or so. We don’t close until eight, but you can help me clean out the guest room.”

    “Sounds good.” He paused and scanned her face once more. “It really is great to see you again, Moira.”

    250 ineligible WIP words from Cloudburst Coffee & Spa

  5. I delight in each day of perpetual musing. Yet, I am undoubtedly at a loss for bygone details. Even the subject or context of my contentment is elusive. Bright ideas are but fleeting passions, when not committed to writing. They die too soon. By not planting them in a fertile journal, where I might revisit and cultivate them, they are deprived of any chance at fruition. For memory is fickle regarding once held thoughts. Oh, that the excitement of inspiration would know my name, such that it might call out to me to recollect. I will read this again tomorrow.

    100 words

  6. “They die too soon.”
    “They do. How will we tell the boy? He’s become so attached to his pet.”
    “He has to learn about death sometime Selena.”
    “I wish things could be different,” Selena complained.
    “Where is the boy?”
    “He’s playing with his other pets.”
    “You’d think they’d keep him happy.”
    “Pets aren’t interchangeable I wish you’d understand that John.”
    “You and our boy are the only things I can’t replace.”
    “You say the sweetest things, John. I’m so glad we adopted him.”
    “Me too.”
    Selena and John called their son Peter from the room where he played with his pets.
    “Peter what have I told you about your pets? The leashes are all loose.”
    “I’m sorry father.”
    “One got loose this morning.”
    “John...we talked about this.”
    “The boy has to know, Selena.”
    “Know what father?”
    “One of your pets got loose and your Uncle Ted had to kill it.”
    “Which pet? Not, Annie?”
    “Yes, Annie. This is on your head Peter. You knew she had to be kept chained.”
    “But father, people are not comfortable in chains.”
    “There not people anymore, they’re zombies. That’s why I call them your pets.”
    “I’m sorry, father. It won’t happen again.
    “It best not. Now go have fun with your pets but keep their muzzles and chains on.”
    “Yes, father.”
    Peter then skipped back to his pets.
    “We’re raising a good boy.”
    “Not bad for vampire parents,” John commented, “Now let’s go find something to eat before the sun comes up.”

    248 words

  7. What did she know, really. Adele scrubbed water-wrinkled fingers through her sopping hair. So he was fascinating. Handsome. Sexy. Oh, yeah. Very sexy. But he was FBI and she was a just a local technical investigator. As soon as this case was over, he’d be gone with the wind.

    Lying in the steaming-hot bubble bath, eyes closed, she thought about him. Caleb. An old-fashioned name but sexy. She really had to get past that sexy part. He smelled of English Leather. Or maybe Polo. Something decadent. And rich, like leather and polo ponies, but a little wild, too, like the wind whistling through a mountain canyon.

    Adele gazed into his eyes. The color of hot coffee, they were fringed with thick lashes she would kill for. Why did men always get the long lashes? Mother Nature was a bitch about things like that. He spoke, his words murmured endearments. She could taste his voice—caramel flavored, buttery and smooth with just a hint of sweet. And his hands, long-fingered and strong, grazing her skin, leaving goose-bumps. She wanted his hand to touch her in other places, lower, more intimate and when he did, she moaned in need. She implored him to join her with hands fisted in his dark hair.

    Her phone buzzed. Dammit, she was on call tonight. When she opened her eyes, Caleb was gone.

    “That’s the trouble with dreams,” she told the cat sitting on the toilet. “They die too soon.”

    249 words

  8. He would never get used to this for as long as he lived. Rose clutched his hand, as though her life depended on it, and he drew her in for hug as the earth continued to rain down on the coffin. The other mourners had long since left, leaving just him and Rose as darkness fell in earnest.

    The soft rain mixed with the wetness leaking from his eyes until the whole world seemed to share in their misery.

    "You should have turned her. Why didn't you turn her? I thought you loved her."

    The pain behind those halting words sliced through his ancient heart, and he framed Rose's face in his large hands. She looked so much like Danny had done when he'd first met her it hurt to look at her.

    "It's because I loved her that I didn't. I couldn't condemn her to a life in the shadows. You know that. Besides, your mother did not want me to."

    Rose burst into fresh tears that ran a crimson path down her pale cheeks.

    "It's not fair. They die too soon, papa."

    184 words

  9. Drops of water on limestone sound impossibly distant. Vedania feels an itchy crust of dried blood caked from her hairline down the side of her face all the way to her chest. Her green eyes open, as yet unseeing.

    “You are persistent,” a velvety voice purrs. “I won’t deny that.”

    Malain’s ashen skinned figure comes into focus before Vedania. The amber eyed sorceress is garbed in a sheer crimson dress and standing mere inches from the wounded ranger. Vedania’s arms and legs are bound behind her, the stone of the wall melted over them. The best Vedania can do is summon strength to spit in Malain’s face.

    “Witch! If it takes a thousand years I will end you!”

    Massaging Vedania’s spit into her cheek with one hand, Malain leans in close and plays hot breath over her captive’s ear.

    “Did you know I had to heal you? You wouldn’t have survived the cave in without me.”

    Desperately Vedania twists to bite her tormentor, but Malain easily removes her face in time, her hand lingering unpleasantly on Vedania’s breast.

    “The cave in you caused! You want gratitude?” Vedania growls.

    “No, I was merely making an observation. You see, that’s the problem with elves. They die too soon.”

    206 words

  10. #ThursThreads is now CLOSED. Thank you to everyone who wrote this week and I'll see you in two weeks. No #ThursThreads for Thanksgiving day. :)


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