Thursday, October 30, 2014

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 142

Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked. It's Thursday today so get your flash ready to celebrate and write a #flashfiction thread! Welcome to Week 142 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 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 142:

Number analyzer, deaf albino cat herder, and erotic romance author, Cheryl Dragon.

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“I would have to pay what?”

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. The wind whipped down making an eerie screeching resonance and then after that I heard the first scraping sounds. I heard roaring sounds like machinery warming up, at first just a slight scratching noise like a branch hitting the wall, and then a louder noise as something cut the ground. I heard earth falling, a pitter-patter sound as dirt dropped slowly and hit its target.
    I grew hopeful that this time it would be different. The sounds continued. Suddenly I heard a thud as it hit me.
    “Holy shit, we’ve found a skeleton.” the operator of the backhoe shouted, ““You better get the home owner.”
    I rejoiced maybe I could go to my heavenly reward now that they’d found me instead of molding in the ground where my murderer had placed me.
    “What do you mean you have to stop digging my pool?” the owner complained.
    “It’s worse than that you’ll have to pay for the archeologist to come out and access the body.”
    “I would have to pay what?”
    “Probably about $5000.”
    “That’s robbery. What if I paid you half of that to hide it again?”
    “Okay,” the backhoe operator agreed.
    Money was exchanged and the home owner went in. My murderer picked up my skeleton and threw me in the back of his truck under a tarp. He patted my bones through the tarp and said, “Melody, I do love you. You’ll be with me forever.”
    Trapped again I hoped that next time would be my redemption.
    249 words

  2. Sade stared at the ancient stone sentinel. Crevan didn’t blink, not that she expected the gargoyle to show the slightest sign of weakness.

    “This is a path not to be traveled by human feet, Child.”

    “I don’t have a choice.”

    “There are always choices, Sade Marquis. Some you may make yourself. Others are made for you.”

    And that’s why she was here. Someone else made choices she couldn’t accept. “What do I have to do?”

    “There is an incantation. And you would have to pay.”

    “I would have to pay what? Exactly.” When dealing with magicks, a smart person…didn’t. A desperate one made sure everything was spelled out in black and white.

    “You cannot do this, Child. Not and return whole.”

    She plastered on a cocky grin. “What? I have to pay an arm or a leg?”

    Crevan’s expression didn’t change but she could feel the weight of his dismay pressing against her chest, as heavy as any ton of bricks. “No, Child. More.”

    That didn’t bode well. Smirk still in place—a mask of bravado to hide behind—she shrugged. “So, my life then?”

    “What would you give up?”

    Sade rocked back on her heels. For Caleb? Roman? Ariel? Yeah. An arm. A leg. Her life. But for Sinjen? For Sinjen she would give up everything, including her heart, her soul, her mortality. Crevan read her decision in her expression.

    “You are a fool.”

    “No. I’m the woman who loves him.”

    “Then it is done.”
    249 words

  3. I blinked at my dealer. His offer was a tempting one: sell for him and my debts would be erased. If I was lucky, I’d have a room at his house. He watched me, his brown eyes soft, narrowed.

    “I’d have to pay what?” I asked. Never accept a deal without knowing the price.

    “Your virginity.”

    Well. I didn’t know he swung my way. He’d always dated girls as far as I knew. I stared him down, trying to decide if he was serious.

    “And if I pay this price, my debts are forgiven and I’m your main seller?”

    Aaron nodded, his bald head catching the orange street light. The Omaha streets were quiet tonight.

    I considered his offer.

    “What’s the catch?”

    He grinned. “You’re a smart one, Jimmy. The catch is that I’m your boss. You do as I say. It gets you off the streets and gets you 40% of my profits.”

    I chewed on my tongue for a moment. “It’s a deal.”

    We shook on it; there was no going back. I’d be settling debts I could never pay off, but all at once, I didn’t know if I liked the price.

    195 Words

  4. Bethany flopped down on the bedroll. "Why else would the centaurs make this journey and have to fight off the damn nightmare boars? But I've been thinkin' about what's at home and I think I prefer it here."

    "Here." He stared at her, his expression bordering on amazed.

    "Yeah." She sighed again and shook her head. "I know what you're thinking and it's no different than what I think of myself."

    Mack tilted his head as he sat down beside her. "What am I thinking, then?"

    "That I'm crazy to want to live in the centaur world when I'm human and the folks back home sent you to come find me."

    He grunted. "Yep. Which got us both in trouble and on trial."

    "I know."

    Mack nodded. "What has changed about going home?"

    Bethany rubbed her hands over her face. "I realized I have nothing waiting for me there except my daddy's machinations on my life and money. The only one who'd miss me is my brother, and he's so busy saving the world most of the time he doesn't remember I'm around. Or not." She shook her head. "Here I have friends, colleagues, and respect for my abilities. I have purpose other than being someone's arm ornament or personal financier." She met Mack's gaze. "Here I gain something—respect, honor, friendship. There, I would have to pay, what, my self-respect, my trust fund, hell even my independence." She bit her lip. "Does any of this make sense?"

    249 ineligible #WIP500 words

  5. Posting for Toni Morrow

    The Price of Vanity

    Esmeralda paced a never-ending path across the conservatory. The stones of a hundred years were becoming slick with wear. The hem of her gown frayed along the bottom where it scraped along her trail.

    She bit off her nails, one by one.

    The nerve of that derelict.

    The fact was she had to have the elixir. The curse thrust upon her by ancient evil could not be ignored, and her time was limited. If she didn’t get the hag what she wanted, it was over—this life, these riches—everything. At dawn, she stood to lose it all or gain what she had longed for her entire life. Catching her profile in a pane of glass, she cringed at the image. Why had she been cursed with it?

    “I would have to pay what?” had been her response to the outlandish demand.

    Just who in the hell did the witch think she was?

    Since their meeting, she had ransacked the castle’s library in search of ways to avoid her fate. Only a trade would work.

    “I have no choice. Cursed be the architect of such a hideous plague.”

    Taking up the hatchet, she ran her fingers over the sharpened edge, cutting herself. The blood trickled to the floor. She imagined chopping off the old woman’s head with one swift motion, laughing as the image thrilled her senses.

    Longing for the beauty of which she had dreamed, she thrust the blade above her head, aiming for the bridge of her nose.

    250 Words

  6. “I would have to pay what?” Kristin’s eyes bugged as she stared over the paperwork.

    “Three hundred fifty thousand and some change,” the irritating man said, his smug expression never wavering.

    Kristin looked back to the old house. Peeling paint, a dangling shutter, yellowed windows. Once it’d been a stately place to call home, but now not so much. But three hundred fifty K? Such a huge amount would wipe her out. Unless…. She ran her tongue over her teeth and leveled her gaze on the person standing between her and her family’s legacy—a deed that meant little to the stranger holding it.

    Just this once she could use it, just this once couldn’t possibly hurt. She ran her tongue over her teeth once more, before she flashed her most flirtatious smile. The street was deserted, not many lived this way which worked to her advantage.

    She cocked her hip, drawing on her feminine wiles. “How about we go inside before I make my final decision. I’d like to see what I’m buying.”

    She winked, and the man’s face split into a grin. “Sure sweetheart.”

    Kristin hid her revulsion as a long repressed hunger kicked in. The wind rustled and stirred, dark clouds clustering as the two disappeared within the home’s shadows. Minutes later a feral howl pierced the air, shortly after terrified screams.

    Kristin had gotten her family’s deed, now the only thing left—figure out how to get fresh blood stains from the wallpaper.

    247 words

  7. “This is not like any other establishment in port,” the woman said as she glided over the polished stone floor. Her words echoed from the chrome and white walls. “Our girls are well-mannered, speak all the main trade languages, and are in perfect health.”

    “Beautiful?” the first uniformed male inquired, his dark brows lifting into his tanned forehead.

    She smiled with pearly teeth. “Of course.” Pressing a black button on one wall, she called, “Ladies, we have company.”

    The three men made quick to adjust themselves and wipe palms on thighs.

    Their nominal spokesman swore under his breath when three women appeared. Of obvious polyethnic origins, the ladies had middle to dark hair, creamy skin, and figures that made his mouth go dry. They were draped in a teasing arrangement of clinging fabric and posed provocatively.

    “Want to get acquainted?” their hostess asked.

    “Yes, please!” the men chorused.

    At their assent, a man appeared at the top of a flight of stairs that led to a lower level. He held a clear plastic cup in each hand. “Excellent. First, you must ejaculate in here…”

    The prospective patrons choked. “What?”

    “In payment, you understand,” the hostess informed them.

    The uniformed fellow shook his head. “I would have to pay what?”

    “We want your firstborn child.”

    “I could also use a spleen,” the man with the cups called. “My surgery is prepared.”

    “Thanks, but no thanks,” two of the men called on their way out the front door.

    Their spokesman stayed.

    = = =
    Word count: 250
    Sandi Layne

  8. “I would have to pay what?” Tandy’s eye twitched as she stared at the pawn shop owner.

    “It’s a steal for two grand. It has vintage written all over it. Look at the sheen. If you get some polish, that will clean up really nice. The gems look fake but hey, that has to be real silver. I’m letting you rob me for that price.”

    She let out a slow breath and pulled it back in. She will not set the place on fire, she will not set the place on fire.

    Her face felt hot. That was a bad sign. “It was stolen from me. I want it back.”

    The man balked and stared at her. “Do you have pictures or proof of ownership? If you don’t, there isn’t anything I can do with you. I paid money and I’d be out.”

    “So I have to get the cops?”

    He smirked. “Please do. I know several of them. I can give you their number, if you’d like.” He thought he had won this round.

    Her skin heated up more, her teeth ground together. She gave him a smile and blew him a kiss. He gave her a confused look before he froze where he was before shrinking. She heard a ribbit on the other side.

    She picked up the lamp and left the shop. This was why she was such a bad, bad genie. Now to find the thief who stole from her.

    244 words

  9. Priceless

    She stands on the edge of the river, elegant hands on sly hips, and says, “I would have to pay what?”

    “You know the drill. One coin to cross. One for my silence,” I say, keeping the hood pulled low so I can avoid staring at her alluring face.

    A manicured nails slides along my sleeve. “Seriously? We’re back to this now?”

    I put the full growl of wheat-riddled bowels into my innocently phrased reply. “Damn straight I’m going to charge you for sneaking out on Big H.”

    “Only to finalize the details of his All Hallows Eve surprise,” she says, lifting the hem of her crimson robe and stepping into the boat.
    “And if you spoil it, I’ll set Cerberus on you with all three heads unmuzzled.”

    I push away from the dock with such vehemence a green froth trails in our wake. “Always with the threats.”

    She reaches for the hood, pushes it off, and catches my chin in her hand. “Come now, Charon. For all the idle threats, I’ve never hurt you, have I?”

    There’s no hiding from her awful beauty now. It slices through my scaly skin as surly as a steel blade.

    My pretense dissolves and I kneel before her. “Apologies. You’re not a soul to be ferried or a beggared to be harried.”

    Her forgiving smile is like sunlight, scalding skin, exposing bones, flaying innards. But the exquisite pain is a price I willingly pay as a besotted subject of the Queen of Shades.

    - - - - -
    250 words

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


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