Thursday, May 1, 2014

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 118

Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked. It's Thursday today, so get your flash ready. Writing a #flashfiction thread! Welcome to Week 118 of #ThursThreads, the challenge that ties tales together. Want to keep up each week? You're welcome to join the FB #ThursThreads group where we'll do events and make announcements. 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 118:

Squirrel observer, hanging basket tender, and BDSM erotic romance author, Mardi Maxwell.

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“What’s that smell?”

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. In the town of Kilflyn, maidens readied for the festival of Lá Bealtaine, hoping to be chosen as May Day queen. Edana’s father made her enter the contest. Magic spells were spread to protect the crops the cattle and the people, as flames were burnt brightly and ashes spread throughout the village. Edana proclaimed queen, was taken to the edge of the town with only a torch. In thundering rain that came and went, the flame torch went out. Edana grew scared and wanted to go home but knew she must wait until morning.

    “What’s that smell?” she wondered aloud as she got a whiff of sulphur and sour eggs.
    “A fair maiden is it that time again?” a voice replied, “What is your name?”
    “Little fire, what an appropriate gift, you are.”
    “What is your name, sir?” Edana asked trying to see him in the darkness.
    “I am Roy. I am under a spell, but a single kiss from a maiden, pure of heart, shall free me.”
    Edana reached out and felt a long nose and hot smelly breath close but kissed it anyway. In a moment she felt a change and Roy laughed, “It works. You are now my dragon mate forever more. We shall protect Kilflyn and keep them safe. Until the masses forget the old religion, than we shall live no more.”
    So if you look up into the night sky and see the outline of dragons, you see Edana and Roy protecting Kilflyn.
    249 words
    Happy May Day

  2. "What's that smell?"

    Marjorie started sticking her nose into the various nooks and crannies of the garage. Sue knew what she was talking about. It was a sickly sweet smell. Something between fresh cotton candy and sour apples. But she couldn't let Marjorie find the source.

    Why did Marjorie have to be so intrusive? Sue had only needed to run out here for a pair of channel locks to help her neighbor Marjorie open a stubborn jar lid. Best tool on the planet for that, as long as you didn't squeeze too hard and break the glass. She hadn't expected Marjorie to follow her outside. Now the woman was getting dangerously close to Sue's secret, poking around the wall of boxes that hid Sue's little playroom.

    "I think it's coming from behind here," Marjorie said, starting to move some of the boxes.

    "Don't worry about it, Marjorie." Sue tried to head her off. "I'll come out later and check it out. I'm sure it's nothing important."

    A low moan came from behind the stack - unmistakably male - encouraging Marjorie to continue digging.

    "That sounds like someone in trouble," Marjorie said, ignoring the note of warning that had been in Sue's voice and forgetting about the channel locks in Sue's hand.

    Sue only hoped no one had seen Marjorie heading over for help with the offensive jar.

    227 words

  3. Not Even In Death…
    By Lisa McCourt Hollar

    Johnny was on top of her, his fingers rubbing between her legs. Ginny closed her eyes and moaned with pleasure. Their fight, the car accident… his death… it had all been a nightmare. She ran her fingernails across his back and then frowned. There was a stink in the air, something rotten. A breeze blew across the room, carrying the stench with her. Ginny retched, trying not to vomit and pushed Johnny off of her, scraping her nails across his chest and drawing blood.

    “Ginny, what the hell?”

    She ignored him, looking around. “What’s that smell?”

    “I don’t smell anything,” Johnny said, wiping the blood off his skin with his finger. He examined it and then stuck it in his mouth. “Come on,” he said, pushing her back down against the mattress. He pushed her legs apart, ready to pick up where they’d left off and leaned down to kiss her. She gagged again. Ginny pushed him off, turning her back and dry heaving into her pillow.

    “Oh my God, Johnny, it’s you.”

    “That’s not even funny.” Johnny rolled Ginny back over, angry. She swatted at him, but he grabbed her wrists and held her down. “You’re just a fucking tease!”

    “Johnny, stop!” She managed to wrench her wrist free and slammed her hand into his nose, the way her daddy had shown her. His nose crumbled, revealing bone. Then the rest of his face disintegrated, revealing rot and decay.

    Ginny screamed at the ghoulish corpse grinning down at her.

    Word Count: 250

  4. Lily grimaced as her phone cheerfully shut down after she’d sent the text to Zach. Damn. They wouldn’t be able to track her phone using GPS.

    Randy settled beside her after distributing the sleeping bags and nodded to her pack. “Did you get anything out?”

    Lily shrugged. “I hope so. Sent a text just before my phone died. You?”

    “I sent my wife a text and powered the phone down to save the battery. I got nothing from the radio.” He scraped more snow into the pot and set it on the stove to melt. They wouldn’t turn it on for a bit, but their body heat would help it liquefy. “What’s your gut tell you about our situation?”

    She let her gaze slide over the others huddled in the tent. Their expressions varied from miserable to worried, and Lily lowered her voice to a whisper.

    “It’s going to be a long storm. I think we’ll be better off if we sleep here tonight and try to move them down-slope tomorrow.” She set her pack aside and leaned against the snow wall. “My nose tells me we can’t stay.”

    “What’s that?”

    “Smell.” She tapped her nose. “It smells like there’s more moisture in the air and it’s gonna stay that way for a while.”

    “Come on. It smells wet because we’re in a blizzard.”

    “Yeah, a really wet, heavy blizzard. Which means what in these mountains?”

    Randy sighed and grimaced. “Avalanches.”

    “Yeah. And we're in Quicksilver Chute.”

    247 ineligible #WIP500 words

  5. The stench burned Meloni Karras’s nose. She wasn’t about to breathe through her mouth because she didn’t want that oily taste saturating her tongue. There wasn’t enough tequila in the world to kill that taste.

    “What’s that smell?” She inhaled shallowly through the impromptu mask of her hand pressed over the lower half of her face.

    “Scorched goblin.”

    “No really, what is it?”

    “Scorched goblin. Really.”

    She glared at the very sexy man standing beside her. Nikos Constantine would make any woman’s motor hit the RPM redline. “Ha, ha. Very funny.”


    “Doctor,” she corrected.

    “Doctor Karras, I assure you will know when I am joking.”

    Mr. Macho, Muscled, and Mental ducked into a smaller tunnel. Mel had to follow. She would have serious words with the director when she got back to the CDC. She didn’t do field work. And she damn sure didn’t do it with hot-as-hades dragon enforcers.

    “You think too hard, Doctor.”

    Now the guy was a freaking mind reader? He chuckled and the sound washed over her like melted chocolate. Oh, now there was a thought—her dipped in chocolate and him licking her like a Tootsie-Pop.

    “That can be arranged, Meloni.”

    His gravelly voice rubbed her the right way, all the way to her toes.

    He did. And she plowed into his back, her arms circling his waist in self-defense.

    “When I start, you will beg me never to stop.”

    Now there was a promise she’d make him keep.

    250 words from the Penumbra world.


  6. My husband walked into the living room and wrinkled his nose.

    "What's that smell?"

    "Daddy! Sissy's swimming in poop!"

    Well, shit. I walked over to the swing that cradled my six month old daughter. Sure enough, she was swimming in poop. Sometimes her heart medicine and her food disagree. I had to give her credit: this is a spectacular disagreement.

    "Well. How do we clean this up?" I looked at my husband who shrugged. "I don't suppose we can take the whole thing to the shower."

    His eyes widened at me. "Poop and the shower drain is not a good combination. Uhm…maybe get a bath towel? Try to get her out wrapped in that? Put a garbage bag under the swing?"

    I shrugged, looking at my daughter. Her wails pierced my ears and I flinched. Well, I'd be crying too, I guess, if I was swimming in poop. That decided, I grabbed a garbage bag, placed it under the swing, then carefully lifted her out of the mess.

    "Eww," my husband said, as he wrapped her in the towel. "Have fun cleaning that up. I can't stand poop."

    Looking at the swing, I didn't know who had the worse job. I had to get the swing outside to the garden hose without getting poop all over the house. Sighing, I grabbed a second bag and bagged the swing. I headed outside into the sweltering Iowa summer and grabbed the hose. Here goes nothing.

    243 words

  7. When Charlie walked into the lab, he paused by the door, and made a funny face. He scrunched his nose, and sniffed the air. “What’s that smell?”

    “What smell?” Charlie was always asking stupid questions. “I don’t smell anything.”

    Charlie sniffed the air again. “It smells like burnt plastic.”

    “Burnt plastic?”


    Panic grabbed me, and started dragging me through the lab, from one computer to the next, sniffing the air around each one. “Shit! Crap! Crud! Jesus! Damn!” I moved quickly through the lab.

    Charlie sniffed the air, “What’s that smell?”

    “One of the machines is letting its smoke out!” I moved quickly from system to system, “Help me find it!”

    Charlie tried to follow his nose to the smells source. I kept racing from machine to machine. Burning plastic was the worst smell to have in a computer lab, and the source of one of the oldest jokes. “Computers work on smoke. If you let the smoke out, they stop working.”

    “Found it!” Charlie called out.

    “Unplug it! Unplug it!” I raced toward the system he stood next to. He actually listened, and pulled the power cord out of the computer. I pulled the maintenance panel off, and peered inside at an ocean of blown capacitors, and melted plastic, then looked at Charlie.

    And I couldn’t help myself. I had to sing it. “Another one bites the dust. Another one bites the dust. And another one’s gone, another one’s gone, another one bites the dust.”

    247 Words

  8. This is Warren C. Bennett. @warrencbennett on twitter. My entry is 250 words.

    “So that's it.” I say looking down at the body.

    The man beside me nods. He is an albino, his skin as white as paper and his eyes shining red in the darkness. He's dressed in a smart black suit with different shades of black for his shirt and tie. They match but also are distinct from one another. A small black dahlia pin reflects light on his lapel. Very smart indeed.

    “My wife dresses me.” He says, seeming to read my mind. “And yes, I can read your mind. We aren't really talking.”

    I shrug. It figures.

    “Should I say a few words?” I ask still looking down.

    “Only if you like. Some do. Some go kicking and screaming.”

    I sniff for a moment. “What's that smell?” I say.

    “Your senses are much more sensitive now. The body is decaying.”

    The body is still a tad warm but rapidly cooling in the darkness. A darkness that is bright to me.

    “You work fast.” I say as I stand, starting to feel a bit emotional.

    He puts his arm around me. “Brother, what you have waiting for you will make you not miss this shell at all.”

    I think of those who will miss me and those who I didn't get to say good-bye.

    “At least you got this over with. Won't happen again, I swear.”

    He smiles and I feel better. He moves me towards the light and as we get closer, I start to understand what he means.

  9. “You’re beautiful, so beautiful,” Sebastian said, settling back and drinking in her body.

    Kayla lay on the cot, her head against the pillows, and feeling oh-so-exposed. She wasn’t used to being looked at as if she was attractive. She’d always been the sister, or the friend, or the assistant. Not the main attraction.

    Hovering over her stomach, he spread his fingers out, wiggling them as if teasing her of what’s to come. Such dexterity must come from years of playing the guitar, she thought. The barest touch. A whisper of fingers against skin. Shivers crawled up the back of her neck, and she sighed.

    He stretched toward her, laying kisses along her belly, following the path carved out.

    “Mmmm,” he said, sniffling the soft crease beneath her breasts. “What’s that smell? It’s like a meadow of flowers.”

    “My body lotion,” she said. “My favorite.”

    “I guess so. Enough to keep some stashed in your emergency bunker …”

    She laughed, the joy of being with him right here, and right now, in such contrast to the situation they were in. “Well, if the world was going to end, I want to still smell good.”

    With his strong hands, he cupped her. His warm breath made her nipples tighten in anticipation. She lifted her upper body at the same moment he clamped down with his mouth. She wove her fingers through his blond spiky hair.

    Sebastian broke contact. “Can’t say I like earthquakes, but you rock my world.”

    246 words

  10. Canine Wrecks

    Max walked through the kennels. He needed a dog for this assignment, but he wanted one that didn’t look like a police dog. Row after row of Shepherds, Belgians and Labradors met his gaze and all of them screamed ‘working dog.’

    Finally he got to the ‘wash outs’: dogs that had seen too much, or had their special… peculiarities. But like the working dogs, they stood up when he approached: ready to work.

    When he got to the last cage however the dog remained sprawled across the bottom of his crate, seemingly unphased.

    He signaled one of the dog handlers worriedly. “I think you got a problem here…”

    When the handler looked up and shook her head, his eyes narrowed. “The dog is…”

    “Faking… running a con job… lazy,” she offered.

    He studied her as she spoke. Though her words were less than complimentary he detected a hint of fondness in her voice.

    “I need a dog that doesn’t look like a police dog. One that will do the job and no one will expect it.”

    “If that’s what you’re looking for— Rex ‘s your dog.”

    When she opened the door, the dog slowly stood and stretched, more like a cat than a dog.

    Max knelt down, letting the dog get his scent, realizing he’d found the dog he needed.

    A moment later Max wrinkled his nose in disgust.

    “What’s that smell?”

    “Oh,” the handler answered sheepishly. “He likes hummus.”

    Max knew he’d found the right dog.

    247 Words (not including title)

  11. “What’s that smell?” Jason said, wrinkling up his nose as he walked into the kitchen. He threw his briefcase on the table and pulled at the knot of his tie.

    Karl pursed his lips as he stirred the contents of the steaming pot. He should have known Jason wouldn’t take to his experimenting. “It’s cabbage stew. And it’s your dinner.”

    “Did I do something wrong?” Jason smirked and removed his suit jacket, tossing it over his briefcase.

    “Don’t start with me, mister.” It had been a long day. Karl quickly realized he was not cut out for this stay-at-home husband thing. It had only been three days since his layoff and he was already going insane.

    Jason came up behind him and grabbed his hips. “Baby, you know how much it turns me on when you go all angry parent on me.”

    Karl shook his head. “You’re sick.”

    Jason chuckled against Karl’s hair, wrapping his arms around him tightly. “Love-sick,” he whispered.

    Karl sighed. “How the hell do you do that?”

    “What?” he replied, swaying back and forth, moving Karl with him.

    “Go from being a jerk to a sweetheart in less than sixty seconds.”

    Jason turned Karl around to face him and grinned. “I’ll tell you how over pizza at Gino’s.”

    Karl laughed. Getting out of the house sounded wonderful. “Fine.”

    Jason gave him a quick kiss. “Let’s find you a job. You must be miserable if you’re making cabbage stew.”

    Karl smiled. “Thank you.”

    246 Words
    Hunter Frost

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


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