Thursday, November 13, 2014

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 144

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 144 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 144:

Role-player, freelance graphic designer, and FemDomme erotica author, Michael C. Icofs.

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“Take care of him.”

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. Gold toe socks ruin my life. Sometimes it’s thin black acrylic with pinstripes and diamonds. Other times, plain fabric woven into variegated patterns. Once in a while, Bohemian plaid or sporty gray. In all styles and fabrics, dyed threads conspire against me.
    Every morning at 11:30, Walter T. Johnson and I take our thirty-minute lunch break at Faust Memorial Library. He gets first lunch so he can squeeze in two extra breaks before quitting time; I’m the last-hired circulation assistant who has to eat before she’s hungry.
    Bertha arrives at 11:31 with a covered ceramic dish, a burgundy cloth napkin, and Oneida silverware. She bustles into our tiny, arid break room and arranges the beef stroganoff onto the rickety card table.
    Every morning at 11:32, Walter unlaces his black leather dress shoes and pokes a noxious gold toe under the table. Even from the other side, I lose my appetite for cold Spaghetti-Os.
    Bertha sits in a brown padded folding chair next to Walter, holding his hand as he eats. Sometimes, he takes a forkful and offers it to her.
    “It’s for you,” he says, but she refuses until he insists. “I love you. Eat.”
    “Oh, Walt,” Bertha simpers, tittering like a newlywed. She ignores my choking on the blue haze of toxic waste, and she only acknowledges me as she packs up the dishes. “Take care of him,” she instructs as she heads out the door. Home, I imagine, to cook his dinner.

    244 words

  2. As a young woman lay dying; she begged the young woman now holding her hand, “Take care of him.”
    “I will I promise, Amara.”
    Amara put a small bag in Crystal’s hand.
    “What is this?”
    “It’s a counteraction spell. If any evil woman tries to bespell Andrew blow this in her face and she’ll be repelled. I am a druid priestess after all.”
    Andrew came in and said,” Crystal, Amara needs some rest can you come back a little later?”
    “Sure,” Crystal answered.
    Amara died a short time later. Crystal arranged the funeral. She cooked and cleaned every day for Andrew looking after him as she promised. A year later Andrew met Delilah and Crystal was pushed aside.
    Crystal didn’t believe in spells, or the fact her friend Amara had believed she was a druid priestess, but she had made a promise. Crystal vowed to test Delilah. Delilah failed. Delilah was cruel to the waitress, the bellman at Andrew’s apartment. She yelled at little children. Andrew couldn’t or would see how mean Delilah was to other people. He seemed to be under her spell. Crystal used the counteraction spell and Delilah left never to return. Andrew looked stunned and bewildered.
    “I thought that woman was you,” he told Crystal, “You’ve been there for me since Amara died. I’ve fallen for you. Will you marry me?”
    “I thought you never ask,” Crystal replied.
    From up above the clouds parted, Amara smiled; Andrew was safe and would be happy. She could rest.
    250 words

  3. Well-written, as usual. But man, I will never look at socks and spaghettios the same way again. Thank you, Ana!

  4. ~~~~~

    Sometimes he would caress the watercolor paper lightly with brushes.

    But some days, like today, he would attack the paper without mercy. It cracked and opened, and something that looked just like a claw ripped across it, from underneath the paper itself.

    He flew up from his chair by the desk, but it was too late. The fiend was already in his room, and he was being dragged into the hole faster than he could scream for help.

    All that was left of him was a scratched message in the corner of the ravished paper.

    “I’ll take care of him.”


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

    1. Frightening! I'm rethinking the idea of going in to paint later ;)

    2. Heh, I think you'll be okay. Unless, of course, you scratch the paper until it bleeds. I cannot vouch for what happens then.

  5. “Take care of him!” Bolt shouted as he leapt from the boulder where the team was camped.

    “What do we do?” Chara asked. Her fingers dripped with Odenlin’s blood. “I’m out of bandaging!”

    Odenlin snorted, though the sound was choked. “Tear your gown, Princess. I swear I won’t . . . tell . . .” His attempt at a laugh came out frothy and red.

    Bolt didn’t hear it—he was running over the grassy slope, crossbow at the ready. His team was down three fighters, damn it, so there was only Tinnaya who could guard their camp. She was hunting—again—leaving only himself to make the run into the armed village below. They needed more medicaments.

    The village is noted for the strange projectile weapons it has mounted to point to Sun Up and Sun Down.

    Bolt recalled this information as he skidded to a halt in a stand of trees near the village plantings. “I don’t see any guards.”

    The Northern Gate swung open. Bolt took a deep breath and, holding his crossbow in a less-threatening manner, he made his way through the small fields. He saw one square with many herbs of healing.

    “There has to be a Healer here,” he murmured to himself. “I can’t lose Odenlin, too.”

    Luck was on his side and, for three silver pieces and one bent copper, he had the herbs and bandaging he needed. So long as Chara hadn’t done something stupid, Odenlin would see another day.

    = = =

    Word Count: 243
    Sandi Layne

    1. ha! "for three silver pieces and one bent copper" - that last bent copper just resonates. Brilliant.

    2. Thanks, Anna! I confess, though, that I heard that one somewhere and it stuck. :)

  6. A white metal door stood between me and my husband. I'd tried four times to get behind that door, but it was locked. Pastor Nichols sat beside me, head bowed in quiet prayer.


    I bolted to my feet, swaying with exhaustion and worry. Pastor steadied me as the doctor walked into the room.

    Dr. Mathias was a short, round man. His lined face told the story of the addicts he'd treated, the bags under his eyes spoke to hours of lost sleep.

    "The paperwork finally came through to get him committed, so I'll need you to sign that. His blood work should be back soon."

    Papers rustled in the doctor's hands, the ink staining his skin. This would be Jimmy's fourth time through involuntary drug rehab. I hoped it would be his last.

    Pastor took a pen from his jacket pocket. I took it in a trembling hand, the pages blurring as I tried to focus on the familiar document. I signed and initialed every blank and then dated it all. The doctor reached out and squeezed my hand.

    "Take care of him. Please," I said, looking at the door again. "Tell him—tell him I still love him."

    Dr. Mathias nodded then disappeared through the door. I heard Jimmy scream and hung my head. Pastor patted my shoulder, pulling his keys from his pocket.

    "You did the right thing, Jacoby."

    Deep down, I knew that. But it didn't stop the guilt.

    243 words

    1. Difficult situation. You captured it well.

    2. I feel the pain. What has to be done has to be done. You have captured it well 😊

  7. Cory ducked her head and surged forward in a shambling run. Even with the other surviving member of Duke’s team helping, they were half dragging the big man toward the Air Force helicopter. Two crew members helped them board and immediately set to work on Duke. The Pararescueman gave her a quick once over and she waved him away. She was fine. Mostly.

    When they landed on the aircraft carrier, a man from the State Department pulled her away. She resisted, jerking free of his grip to run toward the stretcher. She touched Duke’s cheek, glanced at the PJ.

    “Take care of him.”

    “Done deal, ma’am.”

    She stood rooted to the deck until the group disappeared through a door.

    “Dr. Prince?” The State Department official looked out of place in his tailored suit. “Our plane is waiting.” He didn’t turn loose of her this time, hauling her toward the plane.

    Numb, she allowed him to manhandle her. She was exhausted. Heartsick. Men had died. She’d killed one. He might have been a monster but still…Hippocratic Oath. She stiffened, refused to get into the plane, turning to stare at the door through which Duke had disappeared. Hippocratic Oath? Yeah. Right. First do no harm. She stared at her hands, seeing the blood that would forever stain them, seeing Duke’s ravaged face, knowing she’d been the reason for his injuries.

    Something broke inside her. I’m sorry would never be enough.
    250 words (from the WIP coming after the next two WIPs)

  8. Kendra took a deep breath and waited a long time after the sounds of hoof beats had diminished. They might have a rear guard or scout with them. The demon beside her kept its gaze on the road, its ears swiveling from time to time.

    Despite waiting another twenty minutes, no one appeared on the trail and she stood up to relieve her knees. Thank the Goddess I was wearing my thick winter coat today. The air around her had turned frigid and her breath steamed in a pearlescent plume. But her coat wouldn’t help much when the sun set.

    “Do you hear anything suspicious?” She had no idea why she talked to the demon, but she couldn’t help it. Next thing you know I’ll end up naming it.

    The demon whined and nudged Phinn’s still form.

    “I know, we need to find a place to take care of him.” Kendra looked around the white winter landscape. “What we really need is an abandoned cabin to hole up in.” She snorted in amusement. “And while we’re wishing, maybe it could be fully furnished and stocked with supplies like herbs and food.”

    The demon tilted its head as if considering her words, then coughed. Or barked. It was hard to tell which as it clamped its jaws around Phinn’s collar.

    “What are you doing?”

    The creature sighed and dragged Phinn down a game trail she hadn’t seen when they ducked into the bushes.

    “Hey, where are you going?”

    247 ineligible #WIP500 words

  9. “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of him.”

    “No!” She knew what that meant and she didn’t want to be any part of that.

    “You don’t need to worry about me,” he smiled, thinking that was her main concern. “I’ve got my protections. One more little thing won’t make a difference.”

    How had she come to a place where the people she knew were dangerous enough that one little thing like a murder wouldn’t make a difference?

    “That’s not it,” she said, quickly adding “I know you’re professional, you’d be fine.” She didn’t want him to think she wasn’t concerned about his welfare. The last thing she wanted was to be added to his list.

    “What else could it be then? You’re not trying to protect that dirt bag, are you?”

    How could she explain to a killer that life, no matter how depraved, was precious to her?

    She needed some new friends. She was tired of spending so much energy trying to protect people who honestly added nothing positive to the world - just take, take, take no matter who they hurt.

    She had to stop that line of thought if she was going to save him. He deserved to die for hurting her tiny daughter, but then again, he was still the child’s biological father. She might want to know him in the future. It would be easier if he was alive.

    “It’s just he’ll suffer more if he lives,” she finally said.

    That seemed to satisfy the killer.

    250 words exactly

  10. Uneasy glances passed around the room, as eyes looked for someone who had seen the gypsy. Tricia raised her eyes, but said nothing wishing to stay in the silent calm with Constance. Never had she felt so at peace, making her question the reason behind the feud between their families. She forced her hand to let go of Constance and her flippant attitude returned as soon as they were separated. As though she never stopped, her jaws began to chomp the gum in her mouth.

    “I saw her leave madam’s suite before breakfast,” she said, then blew a bubble, popping it as quickly as it formed. “With that insipid cat.”

    “Well that doesn’t help me know!” Gabe raged. “Has anyone seen her since Mandrake?”

    No one answered, continuing to inspect the floor. Gabe glared at them as though his crushing stare would squeeze an answer out of the. Flynn returned to his side and whispered in his ear, causing the color to drain from Gabe’s face. His eyes darted to the windows, then frantically around the room.

    “Everyone out!” Gabe blared. “Mason, Greg, take care of him.” He nodded to Mandrake.

    “Sir?” They asked him, their eyes wide with surprise at what they thought he expected.

    “Not that, you idiots. Just get him out of the house and make sure he doesn’t leave his room.”

    226 #NaNoWriMo Words

  11. "Take care of him won't you?
    He has seen quite a lot.
    Fights and brawls and spillages the lot.
    He has sat there on the on the ledge.
    Just sat there and watched
    Till he was taken down to be loved
    Which was quite a lot!
    He has seen tutors teaching
    Witnessed Children in their squabbling
    Silently never judging.
    You will take care of him won't you.
    He has listened to my flute practice silently encouraging
    He has listened silently to my woes and dreams.
    He has watched me attempt to master the piano
    Never once did he judge me
    He has been my best friend above all.
    Now I care for you my sweetheart
    He can not have my care as much
    So I give him to you...
    You will love him won't you?
    You will take care of him?

  12. Hi, Bunny. It’s me again.

    I miss you.

    I came out of the bedroom this morning, and the house was empty.


    Don’t get me wrong; having the kids and grandkids home was nice, but I guess I just got tired of tripping over everybody’s good intentions. I wanted to be alone, but somehow, just saying it outright seemed cruel, since I knew they were grieving, too.

    Now that they’ve gone home, I feel like I can finally talk to you. I can say all the private things only you’re allowed to hear, without everyone thinking I’m losing my mind.

    I heard Eleanor telling her brothers that “Dad needs someone to take care of him.” I don’t need “someone”—I need you, Bunny. I need to hold you, and feel you holding me back. But I can’t feel you anymore, and my heart is breaking into a million pieces. There’s no way in the universe that I can ever be happy again without you next to me.

    I’ve opened my eyes to your beautiful face every morning for sixty-two years, and now that you’re not here anymore, life just feels wrong. There’s no way it will ever be right again as long as you’re there and I’m here.

    I know they’ll be sad, but I’ve lived my whole life for everyone else. You. Them. Now it’s time to do something for me.

    I’m going to go now, Bunny. The pills are taking hold, and I’m getting sleepy. See you soon.

    250 Ineligible

    1. Oh my beautifully written, thanks for sharing x

  13. Jack couldn’t carry on as blood seeped through the bandage wrapped around his thigh, trickling down his leg. He’d told them to just leave him, but Carl refused.
    “We’re not far from the river,” began Carl. “We’ll go scout the area, you take care of him, until we get back,” he ordered Laura. She watched as they were swallowed up by jungle in seconds.
    “You’re slowing us down,” Laura whispered. It was a simple mission; retrieve the data, kill a few bad guys and get rescued. But there was no data. Just Jack and he was a liability. “I don’t want to die out here,” she said, kneeling over Jack.
    “We won’t. Carl will get us back.”
    She pressed a damp cloth to his forehead.
    Vulnerability crept in along with the night.
    Carl would be back shortly and he wouldn’t go until Jack was ready. She was going to die.
    Sliding the cloth down his face, she stopped before pressing hard over his mouth and nose, her knees locking his arms until he became still.
    “We’ve sussed out the route,” Carl said, returning not long after. “How’s Jack?”
    She knew Carl would check and then they could move out and Laura was already thinking of hot baths.
    “We’ve got to back in,” said Carl, still looking down at Jack, noticing a purple tinge around his mouth.
    “Jack had the data in his head. And because of you we’re all going back.”


    1. Nice twist there on the liability. Oh & wb x

  14. nunquam non paratus

    I ducked my head as we passed the security guard at the front desk, letting my baseball cap shade my eyes and obscure my face. We were in a hurry and the last thing I needed was to be recognized.

    When the guard got up to follow us, I turned to my associate.

    “Take care of him,” I said softly as the elevator door opened and I slipped inside before he could stop me. My associate, and I use that term loosely, was a Succubae. I realized as the doors closed that that I probably should have worded that differently, but my mind just doesn’t catch innuendo like hers.

    I hope she guessed that I meant, “Explain what’s happening,” and not anything like “finish him off,” but you never know with Eleanor. I hope she just paid the man—I kinda like Phil and good security guards are hard to find. (see, there’s that innuendo thing again)

    I tensed as the elevator door opened on the 10th floor, trying not to think about Phil. This had meeting had been timed too well, and I had to reach the board meeting before anyone knew I was there.

    I got there just before the doors were shut and the meeting begun. When my ex saw me, I smiled and the infuriated look on her face only made it grow.

    They really should have remembered who they were dealing with. It’s very unwise to cross a Cura Computantis Daemon. (aka Management Accounting Demon).

    250 Words (not including Title)

  15. It was the hell of the battle. Jenny looks around and she can see all dead corpses around the battle field. Lost so many people, so many lives were just crashed in the second. But in the end we won. We won a battle for our future and for our children. She sees a waving hand in the other side and runs there. My love. He did survive. All people are gathering together and hugging each other.
    ‘’My Miss, you are still here.’’ he says.
    ‘’Yes my love. But I will have to go.’’ sadly she says. ‘’I made a contract, that I can’t tear apart. I made it for you and for others, so you could all live a peaceful life’’.
    He became so empty. He can’t change the past or the future. His heart broke in to the pieces. Jenny’s sister holds his hand, with her tears in her eyes.
    ''Take care of him'' she says to her loving sister. She looks at him with her sad eyes. Her hand touched his cheek and she kisses him for good bye. She turns around and her heart is telling her ‘Go to him!’. She takes a big breath and from her back grows beautiful white wings, just like snow. She takes off and flies to the sky. Over her cheeks, tears flow like a river.

    I apologie for my english, is not my first language. :)

    Words - 226

  16. The Reckoning

    ”Take care of him,” Jankowski said, jabbing a thumb at the drunk clinging to the drainage pipe like a life preserver.

    “You want me to haul off the body or leave it in the dumpster?”
    “City trash trucks roll through here in an hour,” Jankowski said, getting into the town car. “Let them earn their keep.”

    Brash nodded and jammed his hands into worn leather gloves.

    Soon as Jankowski’s taillights were bloody pinpricks, he lowered his head and rushed the drunk, using the momentum to swing the man onto his shoulder and heading down the alley in the opposite direction of the car.

    The drunk thrashed. “I’ve still got time on the clock, you filthy reaper.”

    He grunted. “Trust me, Cardiff. I’d love to toss you in the dumpster but your daughter paid your debt so I’m honor-bound to save your sorry ass.”

    The thrashing increased. “I’ll die before I let you put your meat-hooks on my baby girl.”

    Brash contained him without breaking a sweat and kept walking.

    “Little late for that.”

    The thrashing stopped. “What do you mean?”

    “Congratulations, Grandpa.”

    “Reapers procreate?”

    “That we do, Cardiff. Offsets the unpleasantness of the job.”

    “Well if that don’t make the pope shit blood, I don’t know what will.”

    “So long as you blow the whistle on Jankowski as promised, you’ll be around to enjoy the fruits of my undercover work.”

    “Undercover work. You’re a cheeky bastard. Now I understand how you got your nickname.”

    Brash’s chuckle echoed in the dark.

    - - - - -
    @bullishink / 250 words

  17. “Our Lady has heard your plea,” he said.

    “You saw her?” My voice emerged a broken rasp.

    “Only at the very end.” He turned my hand up and placed a small gem in my hand. “She bade me give you this.”

    Sparkling darkness filled my palm.

    “What is it?”

    “Hope.” He curled my fingers around it. “This lodestone will guide you. You must not lose your faith. The path you’ve chosen is dangerous at best.”

    “But my life is over.”

    “This life, yes.” He opened my hand to show my now empty palm. Where the stone had rested, a glittering swirl glowed beneath my skin. “But there will be many more before your journey ends.”

    Many lives.

    My tired soul wondered how many.

    “Who will take care of him? Until I find him again.”

    The priest favored me with a smile.

    “Our Lady said your soul was pure.” He helped me to lay back, a warm languor flooding me. “Worry not, for he is among the blessed. Rest easy, Psyche. Love will not forget you.”

    Light dimmed into twilight, and for the first time in nearly a century, I saw him. He slept peacefully, as on the long ago night that tore us apart. Sleepy ocean-blue eyes opened, gradually focused on me.

    “There you are.” Oh, how I’d missed his voice. “I’ve been looking everywhere for you.”


    “Who else?”

    It would not last, I knew, but I reached for him, and the world dissolved as we at last collided.

    250 WIP words

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


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.