Thursday, May 22, 2014

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 120

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 120 of #ThursThreads, the challenge that ties tales together. One new thing: We now start at 7 am MOUNTAIN TIME. 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 Mountain 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 120:

Forensic photographer, "Newfie" owner, and paranormal romantic suspense author, Silver James.


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

“I need some space.”

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. A group of teens both boys and girls sat around a campfire.
    “Give me some space, I need some space to tell this story,” the male counselor said.
    The teens looked bored but did as bade.
    “This campground on the ocean has a long history. A young couple forbidden by the elders to be with each other went to the edge of the water at night. That black night they saw a couple suddenly lit by moonlight embracing in the ocean. The couple saw them and glided over letting them see they were kelpie. They laughed and beckoned them to join them and swim in the ocean. The two teens jumped in the water joined them and swam back and forth all night long. Morning came and they tried to exit the water but found themselves kelpies. The other couple walked out of the water on their new legs. For two hundred years the couple hoped to do as the other kelpies had done and find someone who would venture in the ocean at night. That was five years ago.”
    The counselor then took the hand of the female counselor and said,” We should have listened to our elders. I’m telling you don’t go swimming at night no matter how inviting it looks the kelpies wait for you.”
    Sometime later a male said to a female, “What a lame story,” cried one teen, “Anyone for a dip?”
    The next morning they were missing but two new teens joined the group.
    250 words

  2. Space
    WC 250

    Shuttles pulled into the terminal with a whooshing sound. Air jets that kept them afloat dissipated until each silver car settled onto a rubber landing pad. Passengers from Mercury disembarked. The dark, rough heat dwellers stood out amongst the Earthlings.

    They quickly wrapped themselves in layers of sweaters and jackets. Most had already pulled on thick socks and fur-lined boots. Travel had been open for several years, but it never failed to surprise him to see the Martians bundled up like they'd arrived at the arctic tundra.

    He shook his head, and focused again on Lila's retreating form, her long, black braid wrapped in a bun. She, too, looked dressed for winter despite the high heat of mid-August.

    "Lila, wait!" Jordan rushed to catch up. She spun around, and he nearly crashed into her.

    "Look, I need some space. Okay?"

    "Space? Lila, if you go to Neptune now, I'll be dead by the time you come back to Earth. If you even come back..." His eyes widened when he recognized the determination in hers, the stubborn set of her jaw. His words came out in a whisper.

    "That's it, isn't it? You're not coming back." After six years scavenging the Earth together all she had left for him was a look of pity.

    She boarded the shuttle, and its doors slid shut with a hiss. He wondered how she'd managed to get a ticket off this rock, then he saw a tall Nepetian wrap his blue arms around her waist.

  3. She sucked the side of her lower lip between her teeth, and released it once she exhaled.
    I'd held my breath with her, unintentionally.

    "I need some space."

    Those were her chosen words. They were not as bad as I had dreaded, nor as good as I had hoped.

    "Sure," I replied, interlacing my fingers behind my neck. "Ten minutes okay with you? Fifteen?"
    "You-" she started, but decided against whatever insult I was sure she had concocted.
    "I want you out and in the car within twenty minutes." I got to my feet and suppressed the urge to go to her, to comfort her. "This is for your own good. They will come after you if you stay. I can't protect you here; it's too exposed."

    That was more than I had planned to say. I cracked my neck, feeling more antsy by the second.

    "It will take me at least an hour to pack," she complained, her soft lips transforming into a pout.

    I felt my face settle into familiar lines, even the knot in my neck disappeared. Regardless of how she made me feel, I would not tolerate petulance.

    "I'm sorry," I began, and she looked mildly triumphant. "Were you under the impression you had a choice?" I looked at my watch. "Twenty minutes, Dana."

    The look in her eyes promised hell to pay with sulfur and spice. Lucky for her, she clenched her jaw shut and marched out of the room.

    Word count: 245

  4. ~~~~~

    I heard your voice over the deafening noise. “I need some space.”

    Crashing fists.
    What an silly thing to say, as your chin splits, dripping red.

    I looked right into eternity framed by porthole.

    I turned to look into your eyes, trying to memorize your face, your expression.

    I tried to straighten out my back and brace for impact.

    You didn’t even know what hit you.

    Utter silence.
    I don’t think this was what you meant, when you said you needed some space.

    How is that for space?

    Outer space is endless.

    It’s yours.



    Word count: 100 on the nose
    Twitter handle: @AnnaLund2011

  5. “I’ll stay with you.”
    Lily shook her head. “That’s not necessary. I can take care of myself.”

    Zach’s eyes narrowed as he tilted his head. “It’s better to have more than one person out here in case of an emergency. I’m happy to stay and back you up.”

    “He’s right, Sinclair.” Randy squeezed her arm. “I’ll make sure the hikers get down safely and the crew comes back for you tomorrow.” He shrugged. “It could be a moot point. They might have enough machines to take all of us.”

    “We’ll see. If not, I want you to get back to your wife with the hikers.”

    “Sounds like a plan.” Randy nodded. “I’m going to check on the fire and get the others comfortable.” He picked his way through the equipment debris, leaving Lily alone with Zach.

    “What was that about, Lily? Why wouldn’t you want my company?” A frown creased his silver brows.

    “Why don’t you ask your sultry red-headed companion over there? I’m sure she’d love it if you made sure she gets home safe.” Lily hadn’t intended to put so much venom in her voice, but her anger overrode her good sense.

    Zach grimaced. “I have no connection to her. I came here for you.”

    Lily glanced over his shoulder and snorted. “You might want to make that clear to her since she’s on the prowl again.” She pushed past him as she snagged her pack. “Excuse me. I need some space to put the sleeping bags out.”

    250 ineligible #WIP500 words

  6. "Time is running out, Sorin. They will come at any moment."

    "Are you now interested in my escape plan, Ejan? You seemed quite resigned to remaining here."

    Ejan snorted and sat up on his cot, studying her closely. "I knew you'd discover the key to getting free without my help."

    "Yes, and thank you for nothing."

    "Ha! It had to be this way. Telling you would have proven to be futile and result in failure. The answer lies within you as I told you."

    "I need some space."

    "Some space?"

    "A lot of space actually. Using magic inside this tiny cell will kill us." Sorin sat back down, chin resting on her hands, she thought hard.

    Ejan stood up, towering over her. "Your magic is dampened by the cell. Can you use magic at all?"

    "We shall see."

    Sorin released a thread of magic opening the cell door. Ejan was stunned.

    "Ah, so you can call on your magic."

    Sorin walked from the cell into the corridor. "They're coming."

    Cate Derham
    164 words from WIP

  7. I lifted my eyes to the sky where the first stars twinkled in the deepening indigo. I missed the black, something I’d never thought possible. I curled my toes into the tilled dirt beneath me even as my soul reached.

    “I need some space.” Wide open possibilities. Weightless. Limitless. “Know what I mean?”

    I turned to Levy, who gave me his back as he walked away, his carriage stiff.

    “Sinjun, where are you going?”

    The pirate half turned, enough for me to make out a bitter smile.

    “To give you space, love.”

    “I meant—” The door banged shut behind him. “Outer space.” I kicked the ground. “You know. Stars, travel, flying.” Explaining myself to myself lacked a certain satisfaction. “Idiot.”

    I was pretty sure I meant him.

    |He could have given you a chance to finish.| Ursula tutted in my shiplink. |Men are so melodramatic.|

    “And ships are nosy.”

    The AI trilled in response.

    |How else am I to learn about my new crew?|

    “I don’t know, Ursula.” Hell, I couldn’t manage to learn about one person in the galaxy. And he liked me well enough to kiss me. “Conversation is usually a good place to start.”

    She made a rumbling, snorting sound.

    |Yes, of course. Because that tactic is working so well for you and Captain Levy, yes?|

    “Great. My ship is a smart ass.”

    |Technically, I have no ass. I suppose my stern—oh—aft!| Ursula’s vocals distorted. |I am a smart aft.|

    “Laugh it up, rustbucket.”

    250 WIP words

  8. Too late.

    Elaina looked up, her expression startled as she heard the hiss of the lock behind her. It had never occurred to her that she could have pushed the mission commander too far.

    There were test, profiles designed to detect and rule out the dangerous elements of the human psyche. She’d never once thought of the possibility of someone so twisted and broken getting into the program, and yet, here he was smiling at her coldly as he worked the ship’s controls.

    “What are you doing!?” She demanded as she scanned the airlock for anything she could use to turn tables on the man, unfortunately there was nothing.

    “You’re the one who said, ‘I need some space.’”

    The coldness in his voice was nothing in comparison to the deep nothingness that surrounded her. She hadn’t seen it until it was too late.

    141 words (not including title)


  9. I want to remind her of our first day together, sneaking kisses in between giggles as we pretended to discuss serious matters. “I love you.”

    “Not enough to accept me for who I am.”

    Tears sting my eyes. “You won’t accept me for who I am, either. I can’t tell my family about you. Not won’t, can’t.”

    She bites her lip. “Have a nice life, Ciara. Do your next girlfriend a favor, and don’t date her. You’re not ready to be in a relationship with anyone until you get over your issues.”

    I gape at her. “Don’t go,” I whisper.

    “You’ve got some messed-up crap, and I should have seen it before. You want me to stay? Call your parents. Say they’ll have a new daughter-in-law as soon as marriage is legal.”

    I stand, unable to move or speak, watching a split-screen movie in my head. On the one side is Audra, the only woman I’ve ever loved. On the other side are Grandma, Auntie Marge, Uncle Ted, Mom, and Dad. “Okay,” I whisper, praying that Grandma will find a way to forgive me.

    “See, I told you…what?” Audra stares at me. “Okay, go?”

    “Okay,” I say, trembling. “Tomorrow. I can’t do it tonight, not when they’re in bed already. I can’t.”

    She keeps staring at me, trying to speak. Finally she gives an odd sort of nod. “I’ll sleep on the couch. I need some space.”

    I shiver, rubbing my goosefleshed arms as she leaves our bedroom.

    Anastasia Vitsky
    248 words

  10. The whip lashed out, cutting through the air. Sven tensed his muscles, waiting for the blow, only for it to strike to the left of his head. Out of the corner of his eye, he checked out the new groove etched in the wood.

    On exhalation, he relaxed. A whizzing sound, like leather being swirled above, circulated, and he imagined Madeline standing behind him, twirling the device over her head, building up speed and momentum.

    “I need some space.” Her sultry voice caressed his nerves as surely as her hands would his nude body.

    Her grew hard, his cock pressed up against the board without anywhere to go.

    SMACK. The whip struck to the right of him, adding another indentation. She’d tethered him, arms above his head, and ties across his back, so he couldn’t turn to see where she stood or her next move.

    Fingernails scratched up his bare ass, and he flinched, coming up on his tiptoes, grinding into the unforgiving surface. She dug in at his waist, circling to the front, over his sensitive stomach, before pressing her body against his.

    Her breath blew hot against his neck. “Are you learning that’s part of the punishment, not know what’s coming next?”

    “Yes.” His response came out harsh and hoarse, as if he’d run a thousand laps in the desert, parched.

    A sharp slap hit his ass and he squealed in shock. “Yes, what?”

    “Yes, Ma’am.”

    “Good boy. You learn fast. Now are you ready to really begin?”

    249 words

  11. Jake and Linda sat together, neither one paying attention to the flashing screen across the room. Jake frowned, his eyes blank, lost in thought. He stole a glance at Linda who stared toward the television, chewing the corner of her mouth.

    Jake set his empty beer near a baby rattle on a cluttered coffee table. He sat up straight and looked at Linda.

    "Do you still love me?"

    Linda blinked twice. She took a quick breath and half smiled looking at Jake like a mother about to take away her child's favorite toy.

    "I love you," she said, "but I'm not in love with you."

    Jake stared at her until she turned away.

    "What does that mean?" Jake asked. 

    A tear formed at the corner of Linda's eye then rolled down her cheek. She looked back at Jake.

    "There's somebody else," she said. 

    Jake's eyes flashed and his nostrils flared. His breath came in short quick gasps. He looked like a cauldron seething, a volcano nearing its eruption. His lips tightened and he glared.

    "No," Jake said. 

    "No," he said again, louder.

    "No!" he shouted, then turned and punched the wall. 

    Linda stood, her tear stained face flushed. She picked up her purse from the coffee table and headed toward the door. Jake called to her, desperation in his voice.

    "Where are you going?"

    "I need some space," said Linda, and she left.

    Jake lowered his head as tears came. In another room a baby began to cry.

    248 words

  12. It's my tenth wedding anniversary, I'm stuck at work, and there's a fucking blizzard raging outside. Our plans are ruined. It's a good thing the helicopter is grounded, because it's going to take a gallon of coffee to get me goin'. I spot donuts and don't question how they got here. My manager is standing near the nurse's station, waiting for all of us to wander down for a quick meeting.

    "First, I'd like to apologize to the folks that were supposed to have today off. But, the hospital has to stay open," Sean says. "I'll start making the changes to the schedule accordingly once I get a chance to talk with the ones who are snowed in at home. We're only running accidents in town today. The city is pretty much shut down so hopefully we won't have any problems. Let's keep a good attitude today, guys, and focus on the patients."

    We scatter, then, find busy work. I need some space, so I isolate myself in the cast room.

    "It's time to calm down."

    After making sure the door is shut, I stretch my arms over my head, breathe in, cross them, then breathe out, bending down to touch my toes. My hands stop shaking, I stop sweating. A little voice in my head reminds me what I need to do to be calm, but I can’t give in. I made myself a promise and I'm going to stick to it.

    243 words

  13. Jared inched his way alongside the wall of the house, guiding himself in the dark with his palms over the rough brick. He cursed as a section of jagged mortar sliced his finger.

    “You okay?” Pete whispered.

    “Yeah,” he replied, then sucked on his finger quickly. His eyes strayed to the window a few feet from them.

    He turned to give instructions to Pete, but instead collided with the man’s hard forehead.

    “Fuck, Pete! I need some space!” Jared hissed and rubbed his head.

    Pete moved back a breath. “Sorry, I’m…I’m just nervous.”

    “I know. That’s why I shouldn’t have brought you along.”

    “But Jay,” Pete put a hand on Jared’s arm. “I want to learn.”

    Jared sighed and shook his head. He knew Pete wasn’t made for this business, but he took him along anyway. Because, dammit, the guy was hot. And he didn’t think the man could possibly screw up a simple robbery. “Why don’t you pry open that window and I’ll keep watch?”

    Pete swallowed and did as he was told, sliding his crowbar under the sill.

    Jared turned and looked out into the darkness of the night.

    A loud pop sounded and Jared turned back to see glass falling towards them in large, menacing shards. It crashed down around them as lights turned on from inside the home.

    Jared reached out and grabbed Pete. “Come on!” He pulled him along quickly and they sprinted into the alleyway as sirens blared somewhere in the distance.

    248 Words
    Hunter Frost

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


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