Thursday, December 12, 2013

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 99

Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked. Are you ready for the holidays yet? I'm not, but that's what makes it entertaining. Well, it's Thursday today, so what should you be doing? Writing #FlashFiction, that's what! Welcome to Week 99 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 99:

Single parent, erotic romance author, and lover of pirates, rum, and penguins, Rebecca Brennan.

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“But I won’t go alone.”

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. "But I won't go alone."

    Paprika, the cat, was telepathically agreeing, after a period of sulking, to go to the veterinarian for a routine checkup. Last year's visit had been traumatic.

    She had never (Yusuf replied telepathically) been EXPECTED to go alone. If she recalled, she hadn't been alone last year. They don't even let cats IN doctors' offices without their humans. The implication that Yusuf would allow her out of the house alone, or drop her off at the vet's without staying with her, or in any other way withhold his help and support, was insulting.

    In addition (he pointed out) it was generally considered poor form to begin a sentence with a conjunction like "but."


    "That's human syntax," Paprika said. "Don't bother me with that. You're getting fussy over nothing again. This is what your wife was talking about. It's getting worse, not better, as you get older, you know."

    Just don't accuse me of abandoning you when I have never done that.

    "NOW who needs a visit to the doctor?" Paprika asked from the square of sunlight that had penetrated the study. "A HEAD doctor."

    Take that back.

    "No. You make drama out of anything. Correcting a cat's grammar. Who does that? I'm not kidding. You need to see a therapist."

    I've already seen one.

    "Then you need to see another one. And apologize. Grammar Nazi."

    The sound of an argument in suspension.

    I'm sorry.

    "Good. You'll make an appointment?"

    Yes. But I won't go alone.

    250 words

  2. She stared at me with those big doe eyes that jumped from my face to the gun in my hand and back again. Her tears had made a mess of her makeup, ruining the porcelain effect she’d perfected over the years. She struggled against the duct tape securing her to the small, wicker chair. If she weighed more than ninety pounds, she could tip it back and smash it to bits. Even if she could have, she wouldn’t have the heart. The chair had belonged to her grandfather. She pleaded with her eyes, mumbling around the gag.

    “Listen, Doll. I know you tried to kill me, and I know I’m dying anyway. I get it. You were just trying to help, you love me that much. I don’t disagree with you that it’s time to go. I’ll do anything for love, go anywhere for love, but I won’t go alone. We’ll go together. I’m ready.”

    The flames caught the living room drapes, surrounding us in a warm, flickering glow. I wondered briefly if her screams were more pleas, or if she was bitching about the curtains I was ruining. To think, we’d fought over the cost of those damn curtains. Funny how you only realize the irrelevance of such things when you’re facing death. All that ever mattered was that we were together, and that’s really all that matters now.

    Together Forever
    230 Words

  3. Twitter handle: @54_NOG

    234 words: The Purple Crayon

    Harold pulled out his purple crayon and drew a doorway on the bedroom wall, purple wax showing black in the early sunlight filtering through his bedroom window. “It’s time to go, Caroline.” Beneath white sheets the beautiful woman stirred, cotton threads contouring her supple breasts and generous hips. Caroline smiled sadly at the lanky man beside her bed. “I want you to stay here, Harold; I love you.”

    Harold’s eyes caressed Caroline’s beautiful body and he reached out to her, “I’m ready to go, but I won’t go alone. Please come with me.” Caroline rolled away from Harold and whispered over the edge of the bed, “I want you to make a choice, Harold: me or the crayon.” Harold said nothing and Caroline listened mournfully to the smooth passage of more crayon on her bedroom wall. “You can’t draw what I want. Good-bye, Harold.” Her final lament hung on her lips, a lingering accusation of the unfulfilled promises of yesterday.

    Caroline watched the dawn filter through the blinds and wept silently at the close of the purple door. A sudden shaft of afternoon sunlight beamed over her bed and illuminated the entire bedroom; Caroline sat up abruptly in bed, warm sunshine casting over her naked form, and she smiled: through the unexpected purple window on her bedroom wall Caroline watched the young boy she once loved smiling back at her. “I’ll miss you, Harold.”

  4. The sound of arrows slinging through the air was heard and yet the beasts still advanced. The adults had left to fight the gathering horde and none had come back. They were all probably dead Clíona thought, defeated by the monsters those left behind now faced.

    Her sister Alana and her brother Alfred relied on her, as did all the other children to guide them keeping them safe. It felt wrong that she had placed bows in the hands of all the teens to fight the enemy, but she had no choice. Clíona scanned the horizon they would soon be overrun by the beasts that hungered for the flesh of the people within the camp. All within the camp would die by nightfall. Making a decision she gathered the children to her, telling them her plan.

    “You can’t do this Clíona,” Alana protested, “We’ll be next.”
    “Alana, I’m sorry I have to leave you and Alfred but I won’t go alone in to that good night. This black powder will save us. After the beasts take me I’ll light this string and the beast and I will blow up.”

    Clíona surrendered to the beasts and as promised she pulled the string and fireworks lit the sky. The beasts gone and children now safe, Clíona’s spirit then sung to raise the dead to their heavenly rest. Clíona is legend now. For Clíona is now seen by the worthy at their hour of their greatest need and answers their prayer.
    248 words

  5. Birds of Paradise
    246 words

    They want me to go to this castle, only I’ve never been there and I don’t trust castles, particularly castles with all that squawking.

    Perhaps it’s just a flock of northern geese, looking for a warm place to settle and discussing the options while this pathetic human listens and considers the moat and the drawbridge and the cobwebs and the cold, white-gray stone.

    What if it’s not geese? What if that dreadful noise is coming from inside the castle?

    I take another desperate look around. No one.

    But I won’t go alone.

    It only takes a snap of the fingers and my guardian angel is at my side, sizing up the castle and shaking his head.

    “Don’t do it.”

    “That’s exactly what I was thinking.”

    “What’s all that noise?”

    “Sounds like geese.”

    He takes off his baseball hat and scratches his head. “You can ignore them.”

    My guardian angel played major league baseball until he was shot and killed in a bizarre hunting accident with a friend. He’s 18 years younger than me and usually he’s much smarter. He knows things, but I find myself ready to argue with him about the castle. I have to do what I’m told.

    “I can’t go with you.”

    I nod, stepping to the door.

    It takes only a few minutes for me to start squawking. I look around for him, but all I see are birds who used to be people and they spread their expansive wings in welcome.

  6. “Come on. Can you still walk?”

    “Yes, ma’am.” He was a SEAL, dammit. He could damn well do anything.

    But his body failed him when he tried to shift it and his legs wobbled like Jell-O in a three-year old’s grip. What the fuck’s wrong with me?

    “Lean on me, John. I’ve got you.” Lindsey worked her shoulder under his armpit and pulled him.

    He tipped precariously forward and stared at her feet as she stabilized his weight. Where are her shoes? She’ll ruin her nylons. Except she hadn’t worn them. He remembered an unencumbered access to her sweet pussy and the satisfaction he’d found there. Warmth ran through his body and hardened his shaft.

    “Come on, John. In you go.” She helped him stagger up the walk into a clean and sparsely furnished house where the overall color was cream. Cream carpets, walls, even the few lights she’d turned on. Everything could be described as “beige”.

    Lindsey deposited him on the off-white couch and made a move away from him. Unreasoning panic exploded in his chest and he grabbed her arm.

    “Don’t leave me.”

    “Easy, John. I’m just going to the kitchen to make some coffee. But I won’t—”

    “Go alone?”

    “Be gone long.” She patted his arm. “It’ll be okay.”

    He gritted his teeth and nodded. “Just watch your back. They could be anywhere?”


    “The tangos. They can look like anyone.” He had to make her understand. Shadows hid all manner of evils.

    247 WIP words from Bronco's Rough Ride

  7. “Dad, that’s enough pictures!” my daughter Eliza laughed.

    I snapped one more and put the camera down. My daughter’s strapless, deep burgundy dress fit her to a T. The earrings her dad and I had gotten her caught the light, rainbows of light reflecting back to me. Her makeup and hair were perfect. On her arm was her best friend, Monet, dressed in a beautiful baby blue knee-length strapless dress with white rhinestones adorning the bodice.

    “All right, off you go then!”

    The girls laughed, linking arms as they ran outside. I followed, smiling as they climbed into a limo, rented by Monet’s parents. In all, six girls were going stag to prom tonight. I heard light laughter as I turned around, checking the pictures on my camera.

    “You’re a fucking sap. But I love you.”

    Jacoby handed me a tissue and I wiped my eyes. My baby girl is all grown up and on her way to prom. I pulled in a deep breath, then followed Jacoby to his truck. We were going to the grand march and then the girls could have their night. Jacoby kissed me before we got in, smiling.

    “Just think, this time next year, she might have a date.”

    “Ugh. Not ready for that. I’ll probably go to jail for shooting the guy. But I won’t go alone.” I winked at my husband, who sputtered with laughter.

    “No, no you won’t. Now, did you bring enough Kleenex for the grand march?”

    “Oh shut it.”

    250 words

  8. Two asteroids were wandering through universe enjoying different galaxies, worlds, some of black holes & seemed to be fully in love. Time was passing & guy was getting really bored with this constant journey, he wanted to stop & settle somewhere - She didn’t. He loved her too much to let go.
    One day they were passing by Earth at times when there lived dinosaurs & girl got really excited talking about it non-stop, it really pissed him off. It was the only thing that mattered to her – extraordinary sights & not his love. They were around for quite a time. One day he asked her to choose… him or these fancy sights – she refused & told him to leave as she was fed up with all his whines.
    He said – “Ok, I’ll leave but I won’t go alone… I’ll take them with me!” So he thought crushing into Earth & causing great explosion that took many lives, luckily not all. Some managed to survive, evolve & still are among us, so once in a while this asteroid-girl is visiting us to see them & smile…
    As life goes on & seems even more fascinating, she knows she was right making him to commit suicide… as now she can freely enjoy the view without any distractions… & no, she never missed him, but she missed some dinosaurs.
    Life is really weird sometimes, but that’s a true story I overheard one night.

    241 Words

  9. I'd been suspicious for awhile. I couldn't help but be, the general malaise, the constant fatigue, neither of which run in my perpetually healthy family line.

    The doctor's found nothing of course, called it depression and stress. But he had planned it that way after all and ten years is time enough to get the dosage just right.

    I could say it's because of that damn prenup but that would be a lie and when you get to the end of your life, you don't have time for lies anymore. Honestly, it all started the night I met him. A chance meeting I thought, two people wanting to share the same cab, a touch of fate. The truth of it was, I was blinded by his Latin good looks and his sexuality. My warning bells should have gone off, a wealthy older woman and a much younger man but frankly, it didn't matter. Like most things in my life, I get what I want and I wanted him.

    Destiny? I don't think that now. My husband is as clever as he is handsome but unfortunately for him, not as clever as I am.

    He sits by my bed, fake tears on his cheeks drinking his third glass of scotch. His voice is slurred, he thinks it is from the booze but he couldn't be more wrong.

    I don't have long they tell me, kidneys are shot, liver too. I am probably going to hell. But I won't go alone.

    250 Words

  10. My ship was listing to port. I had to hold the rudder to starboard to hold a steady course. Her sails, tattered remnants of the black sailcloth they’d been. Her deck, littered with the bodies or her crew.

    She was dying. So was I.

    I yanked the wheel, guiding her toward the closest British warship. They would not ask for a surrender. They would keep the cannons aimed, putting more holes in my ship. Each shot bringing her a step closer to the end.

    We never stood a chance. Three small ships, three small crews, and our bitty cannons against a host of British warships. We'd been outnumbered, three to one. We'd been outgunned, five to one. We had no chance.

    We’d run, our sails filled with the wind, knowing our only chance was flight. We’d failed. Our first ship struck by British cannon fire, her main mast falling, splintered wood striking down members of her crew.

    The British called us pirates. If we were pirates, we’d have left one ship to die, and continued to flee. We didn’t. We were free men. We turned, and fought to protect our wounded comrades.

    Only my ship was left. Wounded. Dying. I screamed at the British. “I will die a free man! But I won’t go alone!” I turned my ship toward the closest British vessel. She knew what I wanted. And she granted me one last wish. With her dying breath, she speared the side of one of her British killers.

    250 words

  11. Heading Home

    Me and Jasper come down through the mountains just after the pass opened up in the Spring. Folks in town stepped aside as we approached. Winter in a cave don’t allow for much prettying up, and I never did get the bearskin properly tanned.

    Jasper usually stinks, but this time his stench could knock out a goat. Which may explain why Ella charged me twice the usual amount for a bath and sent someone out back with Jasper. No way his hide was sullying her pretty copper tub.

    “We thought you were lost to us.” Ella scrubbed my head with the medicinal soap. Would have been wiser to shear me like a sheep, but I don’t gainsay her when she’s of a mind to groom me.

    “I could blame Jasper for running after that cougar, but that wouldn’t be the whole truth.”

    Ella doused my head. “Never is.”

    “I couldn’t resist going after an elk I spied.”

    She snorted. “One of these days, your sense of adventure is going to lead you straight to the grave.”

    I took her hand, placed it between my breasts. “I know, but I won’t go alone.”

    She kissed me soft on the lips.

    “No, you’ll go with Jasper.”

    At the sound of his name, Jasper burst into the room, skidded to a halt next to the tub, and shook the water out of his long coat, soaking Ella’s dress.

    “And I’ll feel better knowing the two of you are setting out for heaven together.”

    250 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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