Thursday, May 8, 2014

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 119

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 119 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 119:

Daily Picspiration contributor, #flashfiction host, and monster-story writer, Jeff Tsuruoka.

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

“That can be arranged.”

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. “Modifications are the latest and greatest path. Pursue perfection! Painless procedures!”

    Alliteration was annoying, Amber reflected, but effective.

    “You look marvelous,” the man onscreen gushed. His aspect was symmetrical with smooth coloration. “It won’t be long at all until you’re perfect!”

    Amber considered the mess of her life and sighed. “I have to be perfect.”

    “That can be arranged!”

    Appointments were made, consultations scheduled. When it was Modification Day, Amber held her hand over her rushing heart and called up the visual on her heads-up display.

    “I am going to be perfect,” she told the generated model of herself. Her hair would be a radiant mahogany, her irises no longer hazel but a brilliant spring green. Eyebrows matched. The failures of Nature erased, made new. “Perfect,” she whispered in fierce determination.

    She was greeted and settled with comfort on a plasti-foam table, Doctor Zander smiling into her eyes. “Amber. Welcome.” He held a transparent cone over her face. “Breathe in.”

    She grew giddy, even as the knives hovered into her view. “We are sorry,” the doctor said, “but we’re afraid you’ll have to be awake for the modifications. Don’t worry,” he added as slick bands gripped her limbs and forehead. “We modify your brain, too.You won’t remember a thing.”

    A week later, Amber gazed rapturously at the mirror of her room. She didn’t know why her throat was still raw, but it didn’t matter when she rasped out her first word from her new face. “Perfect.”

    Word Count 249
    Sandi Layne

  2. The man all in black from head to toe; walked nonchalantly across the crowded room, people avoiding looking at him. He then bellied up to the bar sitting down beside me.
    “Do you have the cash?”
    I opened my jacket showing him an envelope of cash.
    “Don’t be so obvious,” he cautioned, “Pretend you don’t speak to me.”
    The man then ordered a scotch rocks.
    “So you can do the hit, with minimal pain?” I whispered handing the cash over, making the switch not obvious.
    “That can be arranged. Who is the target?”
    “The picture of the target is in the envelope,” I whispered.
    The man in black left as quickly, as he came.
    “Is this seat taken?” asked a buxom blonde.
    “No,” I answered.
    “Let’s dance,” she commanded.
    We danced the night away. With a peck on her cheek, I said goodnight. I then walked away out the front door of the hotel. Stepping into the street I called a cab and felt a slight pinch at my neck as the claws went in.
    “Not too much pain, now is there?” the man in black asked.
    “No, thank you,” I whispered as the pain went away replace by euphoria.
    No more pain for me, from the cancer that ravaged me. I lingered for a few moments then heard him say, “Not too often the demon kills on command and the recipient gets to go to heaven. Enjoy boyo.”
    I reached for that blinding light and found peace at last.
    250 words


  3. ~~~~~

    Half of them had left the state.

    Time to get the last ones, the stragglers, the would-be offenders.
    The ones that made his skin crawl and hair stand straight up on end.

    The ones who thought they were safe, who thought they would never be found out—who thought they could keep doing that, unpunished.

    Here, at last, someone who answered in the positive.

    “That can be arranged.”

    Ah, but wasn’t that the sweetest statement ever.

    The self-assured finality of it simply made his heart sing.

    Because this buying of a hit had been a lot more difficult than planned.


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

  4. Andria slides her hand over my collarbone, slipping the satin pink bra strap over my shoulder. I bat her hand away and adjust my bra.

    “Ouch,” she says, withdrawing to her end of the couch. “I took a shower this morning.” She picks up her neon pink coffee mug and takes a sip.

    “I love you.” I scan my pile of papers, frantic to finish my report before the deadline. “I’m just…”

    “Busy,” Andria offers. She takes another sip, watching me.

    “I’ve got to finish before Grandma’s birthday party tonight.”

    At the silence, I realize my mistake. “Look, I’m sorry. I know you want to go, but it’ll be tapioca pudding and cake with dull conversation.”

    Two patches of pink appear on Andria’s cheeks, and she clinks her cup onto the ceramic mosaic coaster. We chose the set together when she first moved in. “You act like you’re ashamed of me.”

    I groan. “We’ve gone through this a thousand times. That’s not how my family works.”

    “Huh.” Andria stands up and carries her mug to the kitchen sink. “Thought I was part of your family.” She returns to the living room and sits in the chair furthest away from me.

    I pound away for five full minutes until I give in. Andria has silent treatment down to a science. I can apologize, but it won’t change anything. “I need some space,” I plead.

    “That can be arranged.” She stalks out of the room and slams our bedroom door.

    Word count: 248
    Anastasia Vitsky

  5. “Know the way?”

    Lily bit her bottom lip and Zach had to ignore the flex of his cock with the motion. “Yeah, I think so. There isn’t much visibility, but the trees help keep some of the snow off us. We’re looking for a short wall.” She pointed to the narrow contour lines on the map. “Looks like they built the shelter right up next to the face. There might even be a road up to it. Will you hike with me and keep your eyes open for it?”

    “I think that can be arranged.” Zach wished he could get away with kissing her, but such displays weren’t professional. Later, though, I’m going to remind her she’s mine. “You said it was an equipment shack?”

    “Yeah. Sometimes they keep old chainsaws, climbing gear, and camping supplies there in case someone from the service needs them.” She scanned the snowy woods. “Usually it’s for the fire crews, but right now, it should work for us.”

    “I should be able to smell some of the items.”

    “Really?” Lily’s smile held hope.

    “Yeah. Motor oil for the chainsaws and metal smell different than snow to an Ice Demon. It shouldn’t be a problem.”

    Lily gave him a grin of pure mischief. “I knew I loved you for a reason.”

    “My nose?” Zach laughed.

    “Among other things.”

    Zach wanted to grab her and kiss the hell out of her, but she turned away to give Randy the new plan.

    245 ineligible #WIP500 words

  6. Defiant blue eyes stared me down from the third step of the staircase. My eyes took in what little the owner of said defiant blue eyes had on. There was no way in hell she was going to school in that.

    "Daaaad!" she whined, stomping her foot. Was that a four inch heel? "You're so embarrassing! I can't wait until I graduate!"

    I shook my head, muscular arms crossed over my chest. "I'm in charge until you're old enough to move out. Now, go change."

    She huffed, defiantly still. "No. You're not the boss of me."

    She sized me up, and for a second, her bravado faltered. She'd pressed the wrong button. Counting to ten, I reigned in my temper, took a deep breath. I closed the gap between us in one step. Hands fisted at my sides, I leaned in. Her eyes widened and her mouth dropped open.

    "You ever lip off to me again, you'll be grounded until you're ninety, do I make myself clear?" I growled. "Go. Change."

    She scoffed. "You're literally killing me here, dad. Ugh! This is so unfair! I can't wait to move out!"

    I leveled a dark stare at her. "That can be arranged."

    Those defiant blue eyes brimmed with tears. I kept my composure. Finally, with a fling of her dyed-blonde hair, my daughter stomped up the stairs. Her bedroom door shook the house down seconds later and I smirked. I win. Again.

    241 words

  7. Please ignore my first entry - completely forgot to include the prompt! Derp.

    The Sound of Rain

    Rain pours from the heavens, coming down so hard, it bounces off the roof of the house next door. I remember another day, not so long ago…or maybe it was. Time moves differently for me these days.

    It was cold that other day, the day that I left him forever. I’d caught him in her arms…again. I was done. I told him so. He tried to reason with me, but this time, I refused to listen, becoming as cold as the day itself. I said I would leave and he said ‘That can be arranged’.

    He came to me and pulled me close. Even as he shoved the small blade he’d concealed between my ribs, he whispered In my ear that he loved me. He kissed me, drawing my dying breath into his own lungs, and let me fall.

    I stood outside my body, listening to the rain. I seemed rooted to the spot. Time passed, punctuated by different sounds - a scream; crying; furniture moving; and often times the sound of rain. After quite a long time, I could move from the spot of my death, but could never cross the threshold to the world outside. The house sat empty and I never knew what became of my body or of him.

    Now, I stare out the window, watching and waiting. Watching the young couple walk toward the front door, laughing together. Waiting to unleash the rage building inside me for so long.

    248 words {including title}

  8. Emma sprinted through the rain in record time, trying to make it before the bus pulled away from the curb. Waving her arms in desperation as she heard the whine of its closing doors. By the time she skidded to a halt at the stop, the bus had already merged with the heavy traffic.

    “Damn it!”

    She was soaked to the skin, her umbrella useless while sloshing through the flooded sidewalks. The wind picked up, adding insult to injury, pelting her face with the cold rain. Her carefully applied makeup wouldn’t have survived anyhow, she reasoned, trying to quell yet another disappointment.

    Another job interview down the drain. Her toes squished inside her water logged leather pumps as she turned back toward her apartment building several blocks away.

    A car honked, and when she looked over her shoulder, a dark luxury sedan had pulled up to the bus stop. Emma leaned down and peered into the open passenger window.

    “Need a ride?” asked the attractive woman driver.

    Emma blinked against the mascara and hairspray mixed water streaming into her eyes. The light bulb went off. The woman was the attorney she had an interview with in hopes of gaining a paralegal job.

    “I’m drenched,” Emma said, staring over the nice leather seats.

    “I don’t mind if you’re wet.” She winked. “Emma right?”

    Emma crawled inside the cab of the car. “I’m afraid I need a spanking for almost missing my interview.”

    The attorney winked again. “That can be arranged.”

    249 words

  9. Max’s Bad Day

    Max blinked as fluorescent light spilled across him and the rest of the contents in the trunk of the car. Rough hands lifted him up and slammed him onto the packed warehouse floor.
    “Mr. Scratch wants to see you.”
    Max struggled to say something but a layer of duct tape across his mouth prevented it. The thug shoved him forward, keeping one hand on Max’s shoulder to stop him from falling.

    “Nobody keeps Mr. Scratch waitin’.”

    Max’s attendant marched him through a door and sat him down on an old wooden chair facing a large desk. A fireplace on Max’s left lit the face of his captor sitting in a red leather chair behind the imposing desk.

    “Max,” said the man in the chair. “So good to see you.”

    He reached across the desk with an arm that stretched too far and yanked the tape off Max’s mouth.

    “You have something of mine,” said the man. Fire danced in his eyes.

    “It’s too soon,” Max said, “I’m not ready.”

    “Now, now, Max. We had an agreement.”

    Max struggled to free his hands from the tape.

    “I promised you fame and fortune for one little thing. And what did you say?”

    Max felt caught, trapped. Flames licked the man in the chair.

    “What did you say?”

    Max could no longer deny the voice.

    “That can be arranged,” said Max.

    The flaming man spread his lips showing teeth too large for his mouth and grinned.

    246 words

  10. Sade hated the dark. “I”m getting out.”

    “No, you aren’t.”

    “The hell you say.”

    “Your humanity won’t help.”

    Sade pulled her FBI standard issue Beretta 9mm. The one with the non-standard-issue bullets. “Your magic will?”

    “Wolves don’t have the magic needed for this, else I’d be gone already.”

    The werewolf shifted positions. A chain slithered across the floor. Why the hell was he chained? For that matter, why the hell wasn’t she? The last thing she remembered was getting cold-cocked outside Marie Laveau’s crypt.

    “I’m hungry.”

    She checked the Beretta’s magazine. Empty. Oops
    “I want outta here!” Her voice raised bounced back at her.

    Granite blocks grated and a shaft of light pooled on the floor.

    “That can be arranged.”

    Did she recognize that disembodied voice? “What do you want?”

    “Where is the Heart of Stone?”

    “The what?”

    “Do not play games, Agent Marquis. Perhaps you’d rather wait until your cellmate gets hungry.”

    Yeah, right. Too late for that. It’d help to know what was going on. Time to bluff. “I’ll take you to it.”



    “Yes, you will. Until your purpose has been served.” The light disappeared behind groaning rock.

    “Any ideas?” she asked the werewolf.

    “It’s dinner time.”

    Well…fuck. “Besides eating me.”

    “Sounds like a plan.”

    “Don’t make me hurt you, dude.”

    He laughed—until the magazine she’d clawed from her boot snicked into place. The special HE round blasted the wall. Time to go. “Sorry I can’t stay for dinner.”
    249 words from the world of Penumbra


  11. Zero Day Change

    Michael knew he could be demanding, bordering on pushy, but he preferred to think of it as a virtue rather than a vice, convincing himself that his ‘exacting’ standards pushed people to excel.

    He had hired a consulting firm to create a new design package for him, and it was during the design phase that met Nadia, their analyst.

    Nadia had the rare gift for making everything she said sound amiable, even her rejections sounded as if she were doing you a favor.

    He loved the way she talked, the way her soft accent and smile made him feel right at home and accepted. Even when Michael’s demands for new features , or a complete re-write, she would simply look at the design, smile and tell him, “that can be arranged.”

    He was on his third redesign, mid-project and he was sure she should be ready to explode but still, every request was met with the same placid reply of “that can be arranged.”

    It wasn’t until he made his zero day change request, that he heard her even come close to losing her cool—and it was behind closed doors in the tech room.

    When the senior engineer said that Michael could take his new design and take a long walk off the top of the office building with them, he was relieved to hear Nadia’s serene voice mollifying the man.

    That was, until he heard her reply.

    “That can be arranged,” had never sounded so threatening.

    248 words (not including title)

  12. “You’re still here?” I stopped at the door to Mark’s office, a stack of files in my arms. “I thought I was the only one dumb enough to leave these until the end of the month.”

    He looked up from the pile of papers on his desk with a weak smile. His typically bright blue eyes were dark and puffy. “Nope. Just as dumb.” He glanced at the clock on the wall. It read seven-thirty. “I haven’t even had dinner yet.”

    Poor guy. He looked exhausted. He had been the new guy before I got hired, and he had helped me out more than anyone else had bothered to in the firm. I figured he was merely being nice, but I hoped there was more to it. I had a bit of a crush on him.

    “I have some leftover pizza in the fridge.” I shifted the files to rest against my hip.


    I nodded.

    “What do you want for it?”

    His question surprised me. I couldn’t tell if he was being flirty, but decided to take a chance. “I’ve been on my feet all day. I could really use a foot massage.”

    He ran a hand through his hair and grinned. “That can be arranged. And maybe if I do a good job, you’ll give me a neck rub?”

    My night just got ten times better. I chuckled. “Deal.”

    231 Words
    Hunter Frost

  13. #ThursThreads is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week. There will be no #ThursThreads next week as I'll be in the middle of a move. Catch you on the 22nd. :)


Comments are on moderation, so they'll become visible once I've read them. Words, words, words. I love them. Have you a few to lend?

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.