Thursday, May 29, 2014

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 121

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 121 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 8 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 121:

Sci-fi adventurist, Typo Sniper, and #flashfiction Master, Cara Michaels.

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“Know what I mean?”

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. “What the hell are you doing?” Ty’s strident question reached Jen over the howling winds of Hurricane Ilya. Only a Category One, it was still a powerful wind event, and Ty had told everyone that the shop would be closed due to the storm. He shut the glass door against the wind.

    Jen cringed in front of the register, biting her lip. “I just had to get my laptop, Ty. I’d left it charging last night and I forgot it. I can’t just not have my computer, know what I mean?” She held up her MacBook Pro as evidence, mutely asking for forgiveness. “I still have internet at home and—“

    “And nothing.” What he might have said next was pre-empted by a flash of lightning that had both of them blinking just as a loud popping sound was heard.

    The overhead fluorescent lights winked out. The automatic air conditioning quit. The red emergency Exit light flared into unnecessary being right over the glass door.

    The winds sped up, but Ty was more worried about the threat of tornadoes. He had caught the news on the way to check on the store, which was probably more than his employee had done. “We need to get into the stockroom,” he told her, striding by and tugging on her free hand so that she’d follow.

    She smiled at his back. Her gambit had paid off and she’d have him all to herself for the rest of the day. Thank you, Hurricane Ilya.

    = = =
    Word count: 250
    Sandi Layne

  2. She could not quell the feeling of being watched and opened her eyes. Despite her efforts to be of the shadows, someone always seemed to pierce the veil of her privacy. They never realized the consequences of their actions until it was too late. The intruder stared into her eyes without seeing her—he only saw the layered shadows of the trees.

    “Ma’am?” the intruder’s voice quavered. “I have a message.”

    "A message," she thought. "No one ever sends me a message."

    She flicked a hand, causing the shadows to swirl. The intruder took a step backward seeing her outline in the shadows.

    “Oh, ha ha. Finding you was easier than expected. Thought I’d have to go further into the woods. Play a bit of hide and seek, know what I mean?”

    “What is your message?” Her voice was strong and smooth—not what he expected after the tales he had heard. A tendril of shadow crept up his leg unnoticed.

    “They wish a truce and request a meeting tonight.”

    “Why now? What could they possibly want of me?”

    “I don’t know, ma’am. That was all I was told. I should be heading back now. Have a nice night.”

    “I will have a delightful night, thank you.”

    He attempted to turn from her, but found his legs would not respond. He opened his mouth to speak, giving entry to a wisp of shadow. His eyes franticly searched for her. He only saw the shadows converge around him.

    247 words

  3. I don’t even know why I bothered coming. Every god damned weekend she pulls this crap and every time I’m the one left dealing with her. She’s a hot mess, snot and tears smearing her makeup, and alcohol slurring her words and messing with her emotions. The girl can’t hold her liquor.

    “And then he just, like, kissed her! Right in front of me for Christ’s sake! Who does that?” Ali hiccups out her indignation while panting for breath against her tears. She wipes her nose on my shoulder, that’s just fantastic.

    Cringing as I watch her dignity slip away with every tear I try and pull her together. “Look, Ali. You guys weren’t exclusive, remember? You were the one flirting with the dude at the rink. So what if Jay hooked up with someone? You’re way hotter than her and you got Mr Hot-on-the-ice guy’s number. ”

    My attempts at lifting her spirit fall on deaf ears, and her wailing and snorting just get louder. “But we were soul mates, B. I could feel it. I only said we didn’t have to be exclusive so he didn’t think I was a clinger, know what I mean?”

    I didn’t. I’ve never understood the games people play in relationships. Either you like them or you don’t and anything but straight up honesty will ruin it.

    Realising that the party’s over for me now, I pick her up and pour her into a taxi. Man, does she owe me big time.

    Word count: 249
    Alice Wilson

  4. Clearing the air

    Lisa listened as the man droned on and on, the occasional, “know what I mean?” drawing her out of the daze his near-diatribe had induced.

    She knew all too well what he was saying, he had, after all, been saying it for the past hour.

    “Ethan,” she said as he took a breath preparing to continue his latest iteration of ‘they don’t know what they’re doing,’ only to realize he was still too angry to actually hear her.

    She wasn’t sure when his mood had shifted, but the ‘know what I means’ had given way to ‘know what I’m saying’. This was her sign that he was finally at a state where she might be able to get an edge in word-wise.

    She tried to say something, but he was too busy ‘explaining’ things to her.

    The seventh time he said, “know what I’m sayin’,” she lost all semblance of control.

    Without meaning to, she had slipped into her best cartoon character voice and answered, “golly gee-wiz mister wizard… no what are you saying?”

    When he paused, she bit her lip knowing all too well that if she wouldn’t the laughter that escaped her lips would be that of her rabid-wood-chuck-alter-ego. Unfortunately a slight overbite on her part resulted in her actually looking like her cartoon-alter-ego, something Ethan could not miss.

    It started with a snort, and before she knew it he was rolling on the floor laughing.

    Lisa sighed, so much for getting anything done today.

    Word Count: 247 (thanks to hyphens)

  5. The fight had been pretty ferocious, leaving Myka exhausted and ragged around the edges. She stared at her feet, her eyelids weighted sandpaper each time she blinked. When had she ever cried so much?

    “You deserve better.” Her friend Sally rubbed her shoulder. “Let him walk out the door and never look back.”

    Myka’s throat hurt too bad to respond, and fatigue left unable to nod her head in reply. Of course Sally would only see her side of things. But had Myka been the unreasonable one in her and Peter’s failing relationship? Had she been the gasoline to this one last blow up? The truth bit deep into her heart.

    “In two weeks things won’t seem so bleak. You’ll find a brand new life without him, I promise.” Sally leaned into her, wrapping a comforting arm around her trembling shoulders. Myka absorbed the steadying embrace. “It probably feels like the end of the world, but it’s not. The sun will keep rising and setting the same as it always has. Know what I mean?”

    She wasn’t sure if the sun would rise and set the same ever again. Not after tonight. Not with the secret she had stashed in the basement, rolled up in an old rug. Sally wouldn’t be so forgiving if she knew the truth of her and Peter’s one last argument. Her husband had stumbled upon her darkest secret—one Myka would keep hidden, regardless the price. And tonight, she’d paid everything for it.

    248 words

  6. The Russian stared at me. I didn’t stare back. His looks were deceptive—all bemused and shit. The fucker was a gawddamned genius, as quick and mean as a viper. He wasn’t particularly happy with me at the moment.

    “Know what I mean?”

    “Yeah, I know.” A smart man didn’t make excuses, just took it. He’d just reamed me a new one for dropping out of sight for a week. I made a promise to get Kevlar for my ass if it and I made it out of church intact.

    “Now tell me.”

    “I stopped in Barney’s. Got a beer and a burger. Hell Dogs came in, like they owned the fuckin’ place.”

    “Did they see you?”

    “Didn’t think so. I boogied out the back. Fuckin’ bartender probably told ’em. Fuckin’ bumfuck nowhere. I didn’t have any bars on my cell. By the time I did, they’d caught up and shot me.”

    “The woman?”

    “I crawled to her house. She’s a nurse or somethin’. Fixed me up but I was pretty much out of it.”

    “She saw your colors. Why did she not call?”

    “Yeah, about that. I lost my phone. Broke hers. She doesn’t have a landline.”

    Before I could continue, her kid burst through the door hellbent for beating the shit out of me.

    “You promised,” he screamed. “Nobody would hurt her. Not like before.”

    Before? That explained her bruises. And other shit. The Hell Dogs had come looking. She didn’t give me up. I owed her now.

    250 words (on the WIP I should NOT be working on! LOL)


    1. Oooh.... chilling and gripping on the edge of my seat. X

  7. I heard the tires spin in the air as they no longer found purchase on the gravel. I clutched the steering wheel with both hands, and then I closed my eyes.

    Just as I drew breath, thinking it would be my last, the buggy landed violently on the ground. My eyes snapped open in shock.

    We screeched sideways and hit a rock at exactly the wrong angle so we flipped over on the side and started rolling. I didn’t have time to think about the outcome, because our flight and sudden decent ended up against a stone wall with a crash that loosened several of my teeth.

    My eyes were filled with dirt, and half the side of my face was covered in something sticky. I was sure it was blood, but when I touched it, I could see that it was black.

    The buggy was leaking oil.

    I tried to unclasp the harness to get out, but my hands weren’t ready for such a complex task. I closed my eyes for only a moment, or so I thought.

    “If you break it, I will break you, if you know what I mean?”

    Feet shoveled around me, and then my head was snapped back rapidly together with another loud crash.

    We were turned right-side-up.

    WC: 214

  8. “I don’t like leaving anyone behind.” Randy’s jaw clenched.

    “I know, but both Zach and I can handle ourselves out here and we have the stove and our gear.” Lily thumped his shoulder. “We’ll be okay until the crew returns tomorrow. Did they say they were bringing fuel and food?”

    Randy nodded. “They said they’d restock the shed just in case.”

    “Then we should be fine.” She patted his arm. “Trust us. Get back to your wife and let her know you’re safe.”

    Randy sighed. “Okay, Sinclair. I’ll leave my extra food with you. It should be only one night.”

    “Don’t worry, Mr. Montesque. We’ll be fine.” Zach shook his hand. “I’ll watch out for her.”

    Randy shot him a half-smile. “You better. I don’t leave my partner with just anyone.”

    Lily snorted. “Is that because I’m a woman or because six months ago I was a trainee?”

    “It’s because you’re my partner and I take weather seriously. We’re a team and I never leave anyone behind.”

    Zach grunted with approval. The Ice Demons’ Spring Fling made most snowfalls look like cottonwood fluff.

    “We’ll look after each other.” Lily gave them each a firm look. “That’s what SAR teams do, you know.”

    “What I mean is don’t underestimate this storm. Stay inside and safe. The crew will be back for you tomorrow.”

    “I won’t tell you not to worry, but get those people down safe. We’ll be okay.”

    Zach grunted. Better than okay if I have any say.

    248 ineligible #WIP500 words

  9. Jed opened his eyes and saw only darkness. The air in his space suit tasted stale.

    “Alma, open visor,” Jed said.

    A moment later the computer replied, her voice smooth and calm.


    Jed remembered the repair had gone well but on his return to the airlock he saw a flash then nothing.

    “Warning,” Alma said. “Low Power.”

    “Alma, open my visor,” said Jed.

    The dark visor cleared, giving him a view of Nexus 3 hanging below, his body floating in a cloud of debris.

    He drifted in space, floating toward the planet.

    Jed checked his power and air supply, confirming both at minimal levels, 30 minutes at best. He went over his options, ran possibilities through Alma, and came to terms with the situation.

    “Alma, send message to Evie.”

    “Warning. Power required to send message will deplete available supply.”

    “Understood. Let’s do this.”

    “Do this?” questioned Alma.

    Jed felt strained and light headed. He sighed.

    “You know what I mean. Compose message.”

    “Every day without you feels like a year and now it will become forever. Make sure Terra knows how much her father loves her and misses her every day. I love you always.”

    Jed felt a tear slide down his cheek.

    “Send message.”

    “Message sent. Shut down immanent.”

    Jed watched the planet below as the cold of space crept into his suit.

    The sun began to rise at the edge of the planet and Jed smiled. His smile lasted an eternity.

    244 words

  10. “Know what I mean" Suzi tutted to herself angrily as she repeated George's parting comment in their latest discussion. Muttering to herself she threw her marking down on the table and turned on her computer. Browsing facebook amd checking her emails she wondered at the audacity of his bold and slightly crass statements. They had been meeting for several months now since they discovered thanks to Cheri and Tim that they lived nearby to each other and their discussions over that initial weekend had been friendly and interesting.

    Suzi had travelled to join the party late. Term had finished late this semester. She loved spending time with Cheri and Tim. They were so right for each other and Cheri had become her best friend since they sat at the same table in the continually overcrowded coffee shop. They started meeting regularly and Suzi had been maid of honour at the couples wedding. When she finally arrived at their holiday cottage she was met by a stranger! Panic had ensued until George had reassured her that Cheri had sent him out to assist with her luggage! Grinning at last Suzi had feigned indignation at her best friends audacious attempt at match-making. On discovery that they lived near to each other and they both adored the same little boutique restaurant they agreed to have dinner together. Many months later they'd met twice a month for dinner discussions.

    Looking around her quaint apartment Suzi decided George wouldn't approve. It was too cottage cosy and although she had lots of modern conveniences they were well hidden in keeping with the traditionalist theme. She loved it. Tutting again at the indecision and quandary his last comments had left her, She decided that he again seemed to be reaching into her inner thoughts. She often found in her own darker thoughts that she agreed with George but she never seemed able to actually say they agreed. He always had the effect on her to automatically defend the opposite view and she often walked away from their dinner discussions frustrated. Tonight had been no exception. Sighing to herself Suzi completed her marking and settled down with her book and her favourite bedtime tea while trying to forget George's handsome face and his power to frustrate
    and manipulate her.


  11. The drinks came thick and fast yet Lianne wasn’t relaxed despite the row of empty glasses. She’d pay in the morning, no doubt, but right now, her mind and body needed numbing as she downed another shot.
    “I’m sure Tim would’ve forgotten all about it,” Janice said in a sickly sweet sympathetic voice.
    What did she know? “You don’t know what you’re talking about,” Lianne sneered. “You weren’t there.”
    “I know but, people have rows all the time, you know what I mean? In the heat of the moment, things are said, you can’t unsay but you can move on. Everything will be fine come morning.”
    Lianne’s hand shook as she picked up a fresh cocktail glass. Nothing was fine and never would be. He said dreadful things, pushed her too far with his accusations of cheating, throwing mistrust at her in the form of a fist. All she wanted was to go out for drinks with Janice, had planned it months in advance, knowing what he was like.
    It was when the second fist came in towards her already bloodied nose, she defended herself, grabbing the first thing she could, hitting him in the forehead. She’d never forget the blank look on his face as his eyes rolled back and a trickle of blood ran down his face before he keeled over, slamming into the floor head first.
    She’d left him exactly where he fell, and as she downed another cocktail, a story had already formed in her mind.


  12. “Come on, come on! If you fall behind, you’re on your own.”

    So much for solidarity to escape. Joey stumbled and wheezed as she tried to get air into her lungs. She had a stitch in her side for the past ten minutes and the jerk who said he knew his way around was not helping.

    “I need to get my breath back.”

    “You’ll get it when those dogs get ahold of ya. Know what I mean?” He scowled over his shoulder.

    “Just a little bit.”

    “Sorry, I’m getting out as far as I can get. I told you that I’d leave you behind.” He gave her a mock salute, pushing off a tree and charging through the brush.

    “Thanks a lot! Jerkwad.” She gave another wheeze before giving a deep inhalation of breath that sounded melodic.

    It sounded again and her heart started to beat faster. Oh shit! Her legs wanted to take a longer but she didn’t have the choice. Joey glanced around and plowed through a bank of bushes where there was a down slope and a small stream. Her sneakers weren’t holding up to the abuse as they soaked up water and caused her steps to slow. She could hear the hounds closing in. And the moon was shining nice and bright.

    Joey leaned against a tree to get her breath. The wood creaked and something grabbed her.

    “Oh how pretty. A young human.” Eyes smiled at her.

    Joey stared at the face in the wood.

    250 words

  13. I slammed back my third shot of Jack, relishing the white-hot burn that traveled down my throat. I welcomed the pain that made me forget...if only for a moment. I held my hand up for another.

    “You should probably slow down, buddy,” the bartender said, filling a new glass.

    I glared at him as he placed the drink before me.

    He glared right back. “Don’t make me regret this.”

    After he walked away, I slammed the forth back as quickly as the rest.

    “Bad day?” A male voice asked on my right.

    I turned to see a pair of broad shoulders and kind blue eyes. “You could say that.”

    “Will you tell me about it?” He turned his broad shoulders toward me and leaned an elbow casually on the bar.

    I wasn’t sure if it was the whiskey or his smile that made my stomach flip. “Thanks, but I’m really not in the mood for this.”


    “No, the whole 'I have no idea if you’re looking for a hookup, something more, or just being nice' thing. I’m sick of getting my chain yanked. No more game playing, know what I mean?”

    “I do,” he said, and offered his hand. “I’m Jeff and I think you have sexy eyes. You seem upset and I thought you could use a friend. I don’t do hookups and I’d rather get to know you over a drink or a meal. What do you say?”

    I shook his hand. “Bartender, a coffee please.”

  14. Ooops - 249 words - Hunter Frost. @HunterFrostMM

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


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