Thursday, January 29, 2015

#ThursThreads - Tying Tales Together - Week 153

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 152 of #ThursThreads, the challenge that ties tales together. If you're able to join us, we're here. Want to keep up each week? Check out the #ThursThreads #flashfiction group on Facebook. 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 153:

Ghost writer and contemporary romance author, Sonya Weiss.

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

"I sleep much better this way.”

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. Hating to look for Sean, Mariette stared listlessly into the shadowy room. She wanted to call out to him, but didn’t want to awaken Greg—she didn’t want to deal with him at the moment—she stomped her foot on the concrete floor instead. Her head twitched side to side, as she wondered why whenever she needed him for a special task, he was never to be found. Aggravation filled her as she closed the door, knowing he was somewhere nearby sleeping intently, and dreaming about, well, whatever it was that Sean dreamt.

    Facing back into the large garage, the smells unique to automobiles filed her sinuses as her eyes bounced from shadow to shadow. She walked along the wall, tilting her head to the side to see under the town car as she made her way to the ladder leading to a storage area above the living quarters for the outside staff.

    The ventilation fan spun high in the opposite wall causing moonlight to flash in the storage area. A few feet from her, she saw a glowing white foot sticking out from a stack of boxes. Her heart began to pound harder with every step. Peering around the boxes, a scream found passage from her throat. The white legs twitched and wide chartreuse eyes flashed open.

    “Damn it, Sean,” she panted. “You know I don’t like it when you sleep like that.”

    Sean completed his transformation from cat to human, then said, “I sleep much better this way.”

    250 Words

  2. There are nights when the pain gets to be too much for him. When being functional in society is something he can’t handle. On a night like tonight, I try to bring him in. It’s too hot and humid for him and his asthma will act up.

    Walking across the grass that needs mowing, I pause in the southwest corner of our two acres. Living out in the middle of nowhere has its advantage. There he lies, in a hammock tied to two strong maple trees. There’s no breeze tonight, the air hazy with humidity and thick with the heat of a mid-summer Iowa night.

    “Come to bed.”

    He ignores me. I hear him sniffle. Something overpowered him tonight. We were sitting in the living room, reading, and then he left. I approach slowly.


    “Go away.”

    His voice is thick with tears. He pulls in a shuddering breath, air wheezing and whistling in his lungs. The orange of a cigarette butt glows in the night, the one vice I can’t get him to kick. There’s a bucket of sand for the butts. He lights up another.

    “I sleep better this way.”

    “It’s too humid. I don’t want you having an asthma attack. Please come inside. We can talk things through.”

    “Go away.”

    Defeated I go inside. I won’t sleep tonight. I’ll be busy walking out to check on him every half hour. That’s what a good husband does when their spouse is hurting.

    244 words

    1. aw that's a sweet person loving and looking after the one they love

  3. A knock on my door followed by the creaking noise of the door opening makes me raise my head from the overly-soft pillow.

    “Love?” He calls a little uncertainly from the doorway.

    I sniffle and ask, “What do you want?”

    His head peeks inside, and he looks at me. “Can I come back to bed? Please?”

    I give him a stern look and ask, “You promise not to do that again?”

    “Yes.” He nods emphatically. “I was a jerk. I’m sorry. I should’ve never tried to scare you.”


    He looks sheepishly at me. “And it’s perfectly natural to feel edgy after watching a horror movie. I shouldn’t have made fun of you.”

    His sincere tone along with the earnest look in his eyes makes me finally hold out a hand. “Come here. This bed feels too big when I’m sleeping alone.”

    He quickly comes to me and then slips under the covers, bringing me to his chest.

    I lift my face to his for a kiss, and he obliges willingly.

    He kisses me softly and sweetly before placing a tender kiss on my forehead. “Sleep, love. We’ll have tomorrow.”

    I shake my head. “No, we’ll have much longer than just tomorrow, baby. We have our whole lives together before us.”

    He looks at me, mischief evident in his eyes. “Are you sure you want me around for that long?”

    I nod, resting my head on his chest. “Uh-huh. I sleep much better this way.”

    “I do too,” he responds.

    Word Count: 250
    Twitter Handle: @TwiAddictAnne

  4. Reprieve
    The courtroom hushed as the defendant took the stand.
    “Do you sleep better this way now that your wife is dead,” asked the prosecutor.
    "Yes, I sleep much better this way,” the defendant admitted, “She didn’t like me going to bed at eleven. But I didn’t kill her.”
    “I’m finished with this witness,” the prosecutor announced.
    “Do you have any idea who committed this murder?” asked the opposing council.
    “Overruled,” the judge said, then turning to the other lawyer he said, “I’ll grant you leeway, but get to the point.”
    “Yes, poor bugger. I have proof that someone else committed this crime.”
    “Objection. If they had proof it should have been provide before the trial your honour.”
    “Opposing council approach the bench,” the judge commanded and then continuing he said, “Provide the evidence now.”
    The judge stared at the evidence provided for a moment and then signalled to the bailiff.
    “Arrest the prosecuting attorney now,” he demanded.
    The courtroom went wild. What kind of evidence could have made them arrest the prosecutor? The whole story came out a few weeks later. The murdered woman had bullied and beaten her meek and mild husband who had tried to love her. She had then cheated on him with the prosecuting attorney blackmailing the prosecutor, threatening to torpedo his career and end his marriage he killed her and framed the husband. The prosecutor got life, the husband a reprieve; he’s happy now with a woman who truly loves him.
    247 words

  5. Mac watched her, fingers curling to keep from touching Hannah’s hair. That tousled cap would feel like silk sliding through his hands. Shadows haunted the tender skin beneath her eyes. The pregnancy was taking its toll. Her legs kicked, a restless motion as she tossed from her side to her back. The rounded fullness of her stomach was prominent despite the obscurity provided by the down comforter.

    He wanted to wake her, to gather her into his arms, kiss and shower her with words of love. That wasn’t his way. He was a solider. A hard man living an even harder life. But she made him want to be soft, tender. For her. For their baby. His son. And wasn’t that a swift kick in the ass. He didn’t have much time, and they’d fought earlier, which is why she’d sought solitude in the guest room. She was so angry she wouldn’t even sleep in their bed.

    Well fuck that. She was his mate. He had need of her, and whether she believed it or not, she needed him. He stripped down to his boxers—the only concession he’d give her—and then slipped into bed next to her, spooning to her side, his hand resting possessively on her tummy.

    “Fuck off, Mac.”


    “Why are you here?”

    “I sleep much better this way.” So would she, if she’d only admit it.

    “I love you, Hannah. Go back to sleep.”

    When she did, he followed, as he followed her everywhere.
    250 words

    1. Nice make up ending 😊 x

    2. great take on the masculine need to be strong and the softness buried underneath

  6. One

    I sleep better this way
    Two hearts beating as one
    Tucked close beside you
    Feeling your breath
    On my shoulder and neck
    As you inhale in and out
    Comforted to know you’re there
    I feel you’re every move
    As you snuggle in closer
    I smile and move closer still
    Relaxing, knowing,
    I am safe and warm
    Loved more than I can say
    I sleep a dreamless deep sleep
    Awakening only to
    My skin tingling with anticipation
    As your eyes open in the morning
    I smile you return that smile
    You reach for me
    And we make love
    Together always as one.

    102 words poem

  7. “Stop it!” Irritation morphed instantly to fury as he stalked through the cave, lashing out at the annoying humans. “Stop!”

    They didn’t heed him and his temper escalated. The stone under his feet gave way as he made one last effort to gain their attention. “Enough!”

    “Wow,” one muttered, frowning into the darkness. “Did you feel that?”


    “I don’t know. Hey! Beer!”

    That was enough. Centuries, he had slept unmolested. His only risings were to soothe his appetites. Oh, he had them. And when he worked to satiate himself, his powers made all things come to him.

    But now…these insolent…creatures… “Enough!”

    With a whirring sound, he ran through the cavernous maw in which the things sheltered. “Enough!” The mere tips of his fingers were sufficient to decapitate the nameless, noisy, noisome, nasty things that had intruded.

    Their blood spouted into the darkness with the liquid called “beer” before splashing thickly to the stone floor. “Enough!” he called over the terrorized screams for mercy.

    “If you had only heeded me,” he declared, halting at last and shaking blood and tissue from his hands, “none of this would have been necessary.”

    There were no protests. Death was the great silencer.

    With a huff, he made his way to the depths of his lair. They had interrupted his rest and he had to replenish himself.

    With a feral stretch, he settled back into the rock, his outline disappearing from all but the most discerning. “I sleep much better this way.”

    = = =
    Word count: 250
    Sandi Layne

    (No, I don't even know where this one came from - I blame the prompt.)

  8. The cold glow wrapped around me

    I pedal onwards feeling quite proud

    The wind whipping through my hair

    The first time in a while I have wheels!

    The wind almost burning my cheeks

    The satisfied feeling of watching my son’s progression.

    The warm cocoa on our return

    I sleep much better this way.

    I recall the cold snow falling on my hair

    As I lay snuggled and warm

    My son’s giggles as he laps me yet again

    Our fingers turning red as the sun

    Our breath turning to smoke!

    Snow is made for cycling

    Yes I sleep much better this way.

  9. Meredith lowered the shade, darkening the bedroom somewhat from the unruly sunlight.

    "Alaska, Rick? We had to move to Alaska?"

    Her husband glanced in her direction but didn’t say a word.

    She threw a thick flannel blanket over the single window, attempting to block some more of the impertinent sun.

    "I haven't slept well in three weeks, Rick. Three friggin weeks. Friggin sunshine all the friggin time. And when the sun ain't friggin shining all the time, it's friggin snowing. All friggin winter we sat in the dark and now the friggin sun won't go down."

    Rick stared upwards towards the ceiling, swallowing the sour bile that was trying to force its way into his mouth from the burning ulcer in his stomach.

    "And where is all the friggin money you were talking about? Great opportunities for someone like you, you said. Yeah right. Nine months and you still ain't got a job. Well, just so you know, our savings is just about gone."

    No, things hadn't worked out exactly like Rick had hoped, but they rarely do.

    All he needed was some sleep, some quiet, but unfortunately the current onslaught might go on for hours.

    "I'll sleep much better when we are out of this shithole and back in civilization. Friggin sunli…."

    Rick yanked the Glock from his nightstand, pressed the cold steel to the back of his wife's head, and pulled the trigger.

    The room rocked with silence.

    "And I sleep much better this way, Meri. Much better."

    250 Words

    1. oh dear that midnight sun got to both of them

    2. Great story, Cynthia! I didn't see that ending coming. And I do emphasize the word 'ending'. :)

  10. “No, the lock is only for the overly curious…humans. We have other impediments for the Elder Races.” She gestured past herself, standing out of the way. “Lady Aislynn will see you in the salon, the first door on your right. Your warrant.”

    Chayse scowled and snatched the paper as he went through the doorway. Nik paused at the threshold and tilted his head toward Felicia.

    “Are you sure?”

    “No, but Lady Aislynn requested you both be brought down here against my better judgment. Harm her at your own peril.”

    “I have no intention of hurting Lady Aislynn, Felicia.”

    “It’s not you I’m worried about, Master Canin. Keep a leash on your brother.”

    “Nik, are you coming?”

    Nik grimaced and nodded to Felicia before ducking through the door. She closed it behind him and they stood in an elegant hallway with golden veined marble floor and oriental rugs every few feet. The walls had been painted a pale cream and recessed lighting made the place warm and welcoming.

    “Why the hell would a space like this be down here?”

    “I sleep much better this way, Officer Wolffe. Safer, and cooler in the summer.”

    Nik shifted until his gaze filled with the most lovely woman he’d ever seen. She had skin the color of cream-laden coffee and eyes of toffee. She belted a satin robe around her waist with elegant manicured hands, and Nik’s hands itched to peel it off her.

    What the hell is wrong with me?

    246 ineligible #WIP500 words

  11. Insectile clacking rippled the plains unlike anything I had known. The dark haired drifter on the porch didn’t notice it at all. His stony gaze extended out to stars the other side of the sun’s languid descent. Something about the man was more disquieting than the unseen grass bugs.

    In his time Lenin Blackwell had been a hero, then a drifter and a drinker. By the time I met him he was just a drinker, but that didn’t stop him from saving Chris and I. Fumes from his breath dispersed lazily through stifled air. Risking second hand intoxication, I resolved myself to join him on the porch.

    Our stubble faced host proffered his flask to me without a sideways glance. Sitting down next to him, I waved off the gracious gesture.

    “That stuff will keep you up, you know?”

    Hawking a great wad of phlegm back in his throat, Lenin sent it sailing over the rails toward the setting sun. Then he took a long pull from the flask.

    “I sleep much better this way.”

    In the silence that followed I massaged my legs. My injuries no longer precluded travel.

    “I suppose I’ll be heading out tomorrow.” I ventured. “I’ll send doctors back for Chris as soon as I reach town.”

    “Doctors can’t do anything I ain’t already doing.” Lenin scratched his chin. “Besides, what happened’s my responsibility.”

    I tilted my head, “How do you figure?”

    “It’s my fault the bastard was alive to jump you in the first place.”

    250 words

  12. The rig’s air brakes squealed. I jerked awake. “What’re you doing?”

    “Way station’s ahead. I haven’t slept in over twenty hours, kid. Not since I picked you up. Gotta catch up my log book and then catch some winks.”

    Swallowing hard, I nodded. “Can I grab a drink from the cooler?”

    He moved his meaty hand from the directional signal to my thigh.

    “Sure, kid. Why don’t you crawl on back to the sleeper, huh? Maybe I’ll do that paperwork when I wake.”

    I scanned the photos over his visor. Pretty wife, three cute kids. Choking on resentment, I scrambled into the space behind the seats. He whipped the truck onto an exit ramp. The sheets stank, but inhaling the aroma of Cherry Coke helped.

    He parked in the lot of a deserted shopping center. Half the darkened stores had ‘Going Out of Business’ signs that looked older than I felt.

    His dark eyes pinned me when he shoved his bulk into the sleeper. “Goddamn, you’re a pretty boy.” He looked disappointed that I didn’t help him undo his fly. Fuck you.

    Rain beat a hard tattoo on the roof, but that didn’t mask his groans. He got off quick, to my relief. I threw myself in the corner and grabbed the half-empty can. “Why pick up guys? Why not wait till you get home to your wife?”

    He rolled to his side with a grunt. “I sleep much better this way.”

    I could’ve hiked to the interstate. I stayed.

    250 words

  13. “This way, please.” I led the new soul—I’d already forgotten his name—along a corridor of doors. One door flared as we approached. “Ah, this one is yours. That little fiery burst clues you in, so watch for it, okay?”

    He might have cried if souls had moisture for such things.

    “Look, I know you’re confused, scared, lost—insert all the adjectives you like, but they don’t change the facts. You’re dead.” I gave him a pat on the shoulder. “And this is Hell.”

    “You seem really—” He shrugged one shoulder. “Okay with this.”

    “I’m also in Hell,” I said. “The worst that can happen already has.”

    “So it’s not endless torment and eternal damnation?”

    “Oh, no.” I chuckled. “It totally is. But really, you do remember your mortal life?”

    “Yeah, of course.”

    “Just amplify your misery slightly, then.”

    He studied me and a curious wisdom filled his face.

    “You’ve been here a long time.”

    “Yes.” Why deny the truth?

    “What’s your name?”

    The question fell into a well of silence and I found myself staring at the smoldering walls instead of him.

    “I don’t remember.”

    “That doesn’t bother you?”

    I couldn’t force myself to make eye contact. To bluff my way through the moment.

    “Only when someone wants me to remember it.”

    “I’m sorry.”

    I had a feeling he meant more for my absent memories than dredging up history I might not care to recall. Ever.

    “Don’t be,” I said. “I promise, I sleep better this way.”

    250 WIP words

  14. Tina stopped at an old motel with peeling paint and box tape covering the cracks in the windows. After she paid the clerk, a leering, bald, fat man wearing sweatpants and a grease stained t-shirt, she helped Johnny from the car into a shabby room where she attached his cuffed hands to the bed's headboard and pulled the curtains.

    "Jesus," said Johnny pulling at the cuffs, "is this really necessary?" 

    Tina locked the door.

    "I mean, I told you I'd come. I haven't put up a fight or anything."

    Johnny sat heavy on the bed, his torso turned toward the headboard where his hands remained cuffed, his head turned towards Tina.

    "Nothing personal John," said Tina, "You're worth too much to take any chances. Besides, I sleep much better this way."

    "What way?"

    "With you tied and bound and no hope of escape."

    She turned the overhead light off and sat on the bed across from Johnny. Lights from passing cars moved across the room through the tattered curtains. Tina removed her shoes and lay on the bed.

    "You're really gonna do it then?" Johnny asked, "You're gonna turn me in?"

    "Like I said John, nothing personal. A girl's got to make a living."

    Johnny lay with his arms stretched towards the head of the bed, his head resting on his left arm. Tina rolled on her right side, her back to Johnny's back. She listened as his breath lengthened into sleep and stared out the window till dawn.

    249 words

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


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