Thursday, February 5, 2015

#ThursThreads - Tying Tales Together - Week 154

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 154 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 154:

  Hot, Hungarian cook, VW Bug wrangler, and contemporary romance author, Mellanie Szereto.

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

"How do you figure?”

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. ~~~~~

    ”There is simply no stopping you, is there?”
    ”No stopping, Leo. No stopping, ever. Life is too darn short.” With a sigh she continued. ”All right, then. Just make sure they don’t amputate anything. Can’t trust doctors.” And then she fell asleep again.
    Leo looked over at Billy with wide eyes, and said, ”What was that?”
    ”I think that was the anesthesia, or painkillers, speaking,” Billy said, with a laugh. ”I don’t think she trusts doctors very much.”
    ”How do you figure? Well, they aren’t gong to amputate anything on my watch, just saying,” Leo answered, laughing at long last.


    Word count: 100 on the nose
    From my VIP “No Stopping, Ever”
    Twitter handle: @AnnaLund2011

  2. I tapped my finger against my chin, leaning back in my office chair, which squeaked in protest. Pondering the email in front of me, I sighed. Two weeks ago, I’d filed a missing persons report when my husband failed to come home from work. Now, our lawyer had emailed to let me know my husband had been arrested in Lincoln, Nebraska.

    “Fuck.” I covered my face with my hands. “Fuck!”

    According to the email, he’d been arrested following a bank robbery. She would try to plea him down, considering he’d tested positive for a variety of illegal substances at the time of booking and claimed to have no knowledge of the robbery.

    “Any word?” My mother handed me a cup of coffee and settled on to the old loveseat near my desk.

    “He’s in jail. Robbed a bank. He’s going to get fired if he keeps this up.”

    “How do you figure?”

    I sipped my coffee. “If he gets a felony conviction, he’s done. I don’t think you can plea down a bank robbery.”

    Mom stood. “Let the system do its work, hon. Marissa has it well in hand.”

    She left my office and I leaned back in my chair, sipping my coffee. What in the hell possessed him to rob a damn bank? Shaking my head, I shut off the computer and went downstairs. When there was more, Marissa would let me know. But it wouldn’t stop me from worrying about him.

    243 words

  3. “I knew I’d find you,” Nick murmured in the shade of the maple tree. He wrapped his arms around Camila’s waist and drew her closer, somehow more relaxed to have her back pressed to his chest.

    Her spine was stiff as she cleared her throat. “You didn’t have to look for me.”

    “How do you figure that?” She wouldn’t move, so he kept her in the circle of his arms and stepped lightly around her. “I knew you were upset. I couldn’t just let you go. Not after everything.” He winced to see her so expressionless.

    She didn’t meet his eyes. “I know it was weird. I’m sure I embarrassed you in front of everyone.”

    He ignored her apparent apathy and kissed her lightly on the forehead. A wisp of honey colored hair tickled his nose and he had to smile. “Not even. How could I ever be embarrassed by my girlfriend the surgeon?”

    She didn’t answer immediately but he felt her hands move—one to clutch at the front of his sweater and the other to dip into her jacket pocket. He knew she was going for the clown nose, her only effort at self-help.

    “I was proud of you, honey,” he whispered, tugging a little harder so that she’d lean into him. When he was successful, he nudged her head back with his chin and met her look of cautious optimism. “I love you.”

    She smiled and he counted that as a win. “I love you, too.”
    = = =
    Word count: 250 for the WIP "The Tree Guy"
    Sandi Layne

  4. The man lay on his side; his skin pale and gray, a look of euphoria captured in his death mask.

    “How do you figure we’re going to get away with this?” David asked, “How many times must I clean up your mess?”
    “I’m sorry,” Sheba answered.
    “We must dispose of the evidence. He must have a hockey bag.”
    “Maybe in the laundry room?”

    Retrieving the bag and placing the body in it they drove to the lake and disposed of body.

    “I’m hungry,” Bathsheba claimed.
    “That’s what got us into this,” David exclaimed, “But I’ll find you a safe place to get a bite.”

    David parked at a grocery store put on a baseball cap and then went in coming out with large trash bags. He then pulled up into an alley near a club. A couple, good looking and intent on a sexual encounter in the dark alley exited the club to have Bathsheba touch the woman’s face and the man’s sucking the life force out of each as they smiled.

    “Dinner is served,” David said.
    “Thank you that should hold us for a week or two,” Bathsheba said stroking her blossoming belly.
    “I couldn’t let our baby go hungry; now could I?” David answered.
    “Do you think she’ll be a Succubus too?”
    “I’m hoping he will be a shape-changer like me.” David exclaimed, “Either way it’s going to be up to us to get rid of the bodies.”
    “We’re in for a wild ride,” Bathsheba claimed.
    “You bet!”
    250 words

  5. Hannah read the information in the file. Nothing made sense. And now the Wolves were targeted.

    The hairs on her arms prickled and she glanced up. Mac lounged in the doorway of her office, brawny shoulder braced against the jamb.

    “What are you doing here?” She didn’t mean to sound bitchy but felt that way when he flashed that superior I-know-everything look she hated.

    “You need to eat.”

    Glancing at her watch, she was surprised. Almost two. “I’m fine.”

    “Don’t be stubborn.”

    “I don’t have time.”

    “Then make it.”

    “Command Sergeant Major—”

    “Don’t pull rank on me, Major.” He pushed off the wall, his gaze lasering on her. “Hannah? What’s wrong?”


    He checked the location of people outside her office then closed the door. “You’re worried. What is it?”

    She scrubbed at her forehead with the heels of her hands. “Someone’s hunting Wolves.” She hesitated. “There’s a leak.”

    “How do you figure?”

    “You thought the same last mission. And…” She shoved the file toward him, waited while he read.

    His stony gaze met hers. “There’s someone inside. Well placed.”

    “Yeah. You, them. I have to get all of you out of reach.”

    “You as well.”

    “No. I need to work this. Find out who.”

    “You’re a target too.”

    “But I’m smarter.”


    “No, I’m not smarter?”

    “No, I won’t let you endanger your life, or the baby’s.”

    “If I don’t figure out what’s going on, the baby will never be safe.”

    She was right, and he hated it.
    250 words

  6. "Desk Sergeant."

    "Sarge? It's PC Benson."

    "Hello, son. How's your first day on the beat going?"

    "Um... OK, I suppose. But I need to run something by you."

    "Fire away."

    "I was patrolling London Road, just past 'The Drum' pub, and saw something odd in the bushes on the other side. It was an item of footwear..."

    "Only one? No point wasting time on that, son. You see abandoned footwear all the time: a woman's stiletto on a bus shelter when you're on the top deck of a bus, a pair of footie boots, laced together, hanging from a street light..."

    "Mm-mmm. The thing is..."

    “Look it’s simple.”

    “How do you figure that, Sarge?”

    "Some blokes have a long session in "The Drum", then they start staggering towards town. One of them has a stone in his shoe, so he takes it off. His mate thinks it’s a hoot to throw it across the road. I mean, we’ve all done it!"

    "Have we?"

    "Sure. But then he can't find it again, so he has to limp off without it."

    "Sounds feasible, Sarge. But I kept looking..."

    "Son, I already told you: it's inappropriate use of police resources."

    "The thing is, Sarge… I found another shoe and… it's got a foot in it."

    "...Say again, Constable."

    "The second shoe I found comes complete with a foot. Cleanly cut off just above the ankle."

    "...Stay exactly where you are, PC Benson. I'll have a squad car out to you immediately."
    248 words

  7. “Right, Mr. Crowe, we’ll have you done in a jiffy.”

    Iliana inwardly groaned at the new voice identifying her companion. Great, just what I need right now. She held her face still while her artist worked over her cheeks and forehead.

    “Are you always so prickly when you meet new coworkers, Ivory?” Brandon’s voice slipped into her awareness. Not Brandon’s, Taggart’s. Remember that.

    “Are you always so determined to get your costars to fawn over you, Mr. Crowe?”

    “Ouch.” She could hear the smile on his face despite her closed eyes. “I was just being friendly.”

    “How do you figure? Insulting me first thing in the morning isn’t going to win you any points, ever.” She sighed, forcing herself to find some sort of middle ground with him. We’re going to film a sex scene, so I better try to be nice. “I’m sorry I snapped at you this morning. I’ve recently lost someone and I’m still working on the grief.”

    To her surprise, he sucked in a quick breath of dismay. “Aw hell, I’m sorry, Ivory. I didn’t know.”

    “Yeah, I know. No one does. Happened just a few days ago and I’m not quite fit for good company.” She bit her lip before she blurted out more.

    A warm, rough hand grabbed hers and she jerked her eyes open. Taggart squeezed her hand gently and gave her a sympathetic grimace. “I’m really sorry, Ivory.”

    She gaped at him a few moments. I’ll be damned. I think he really means it.

    250 ineligible #WIP500 words

  8. I slowly backed away from the doorway, careful to not make a sound as I moved.

    The sound of his piano music kept on playing, reassuring me that he didn’t know I had woken up just to hear him play.

    One step ... another ... and another ... and then I felt it—a hand grasping my wrist.

    I jerked my head forward to look inside the room only to find the empty piano bench and a recorder sitting on top of it.

    “Sneaking around, are we?” his voice, both smooth and husky at the same time, whispered in my ear as I felt the stubbles dusting his jaw brush against my cheek.

    “As if!” I huffed, trying to wrench my hand out of his. “I was just thirsty.”

    He chuckled, sending a shiver down my body. “Thirsty, huh? Admit it, baby, you can’t stay away from me.”

    “Yeah? How do you figure that?” I tried to sound impassive, but my voice sounded breathy even to me.

    His lips ghosted against my neck as he whispered, “You say you’re thirsty and yet there’s no water in your hand.”

    As I desperately tried to think of a good comeback, he turned me around to face him and pushed me against the wall. “Maybe you’re just thirsty for me then?” he asked with a glint in his eyes before putting his lips on mine.

    “Maybe I am,” I conceded and then kissed him back.

    What’s the point in denying the truth anyway?

    Word Count: 250
    Twitter Handle: @TwiAddictAnne

  9. “How do you figure?” he asked, his face filled with indignation and more arrogance than should scarcely be allowed.

    His rigid stance against the wall with his square jaw stubbornly set told me he was displeased.

    “Oh, nothing,” I replied. “I hardly dare elaborate for fear it might vex you further.”

    He pushed away from the wall with the underside of his boot, straightened his dinner-coat and inclined his head. I hid my growing smile with a turn of my head and engaged someone’s cousin in idle chat.

    My mother was sitting with three women, two of whom I recalled being important aunts who had married quite well.

    “Perhaps you will entertain us by playing the pianoforte?”
    If I hadn’t been looking at him, secretly so, I would have thought myself imagining his request. As it happened I watched his lips move to the rhythm of his words, and his eyes latched onto mine with such force I had not the strength to turn away.

    “End of act Three,” a voice announced to the audience.

    Backstage, in the midst of hushed panic and nervous giggles from my fellow thespians, I was turned on my heels as a gentle hand clasped the side of my neck, and lips brushing my ear intimately.

    “A sharp tongue such as Lady Sarah’s would have earned her a one-way ticket across a Gentleman’s lap.”

    “Is that so?” I croaked, but was cut short as the Director called for places.

    Where was my place, again?

    Words: 249
    Twitter: @LTDAlin

  10. “I’ve been here before, I think.”I say this to the Tour Guide with some trepidation.
    “No, that’s not possible,” he rebuts.
    “I think it is. I should know, right?” I know I am sounding more confident in my position than I should.
    “How do you figure? You have no capacity to remember. Anything!”
    This throws me for a momentary loop. He knows more about me than he should. I have said absolutely nothing to anyone about my memory. If only I could. I can`t let him get away with his assumption, especially considering how factual it might be.
    “I remember things,” I say, even though I can see my thoughts pulling out of the station slowly, chugging away like the little train that used to but can`t any longer.
    “Let it all go,” he says softly. “You spend too much time hanging on, worrying about what is of no concern. I am your Tour Guide. My sole task is to get you safely to where you are going.”
    “So, what you are saying is... ?”
    “Yes, that is exactly what I am saying.”
    Even though I still hold a sneaking suspicion that this is not my first time here, his soothing words bring me some comfort even though I can no longer remember what he has just said.

    word count: 218
    bill engleson@billmelaterplea

  11. "I told you I'd get us both out, Ejan."

    "I'm not so sure we are out, Sorin."

    "Of course we are."

    "How do you figure?" Ejan looked at the pink sky and the hills in the distance.

    "Well, we are no longer in the obsidian prison, are we?" Sorin looked perplexed over her friend's remark.

    "Aren't we? The Gyere are adept at magical illusions." Ejan turned toward the purple hills. "These were not here when I was captured."

    "You think we are both seeing the same illusion? That doesn't make any sense."

    "Nothing we've been through makes sense, Sorin."

    "Have you no faith in my magic, Ejan?"

    "You know that I do, Sorin. But there are all kinds of magic and I'm not convinced we've outwitted the Gyere."

    "There's only one way to find out, Ejan. But you have to trust me."

    Cate Derham
    142 Words

  12. "How far is it to the moon
    how much in space would you weigh
    how would you get to space in June
    how long did Queen Victoria reign

    How would she have liked computers
    How do you figure out relativity
    How do you hear above the hooter
    How are you remembering so distinctly"

    So many questions above all else
    Daily barrage of knowledge quest
    I hear the quickening of my pulse
    As I decided to prepare a test

    At once your hunger ebbs
    Your little face freezes in shock
    Such a tricky web
    For now your answers must beat the clock!


  13. “I’ll check for survivors. You two get back to the outpost,” I said surveying the laser-charred buildings with trepidation.

    Julie’s hand stopped me before I broke cover. “The hell you say!” Her eyes crackled with anger. “The freaks might still be here.”

    Honestly, the thought of running into the blue-veined invaders churned my guts, but I couldn’t leave until I was certain.

    “I have to,” I said, sure she’d understand. I mean, I was the one who’d found her.

    “Okay, Jake,” she relented, “but then we all go.”

    I looked to Rob for support. He knew the rules. But he kept quiet - as usual.

    “No, someone’s gotta survive to warn the others,” I insisted.

    Suddenly angry, she grabbed my T-shirt and yanked me close. “You’re not a damn hero. We survive by working together.”

    This close, her eyes were the gray of summer rain clouds framed by unruly brown curls. Not for the first time, I wanted to kiss her and not just because it was the end of the world. I leaned closer wondering if she wanted that too, but she pushed me away.

    Turning to Rob, she was all business. “We stay hidden and make sure the freaks are gone, then we search.”

    He shrugged and gestured for her to take point.

    “Always gotta be the voice of reason,” I muttered.

    “Who? Jules?” Rob snorted. “Ain’t nothing sane about that girl.”

    “How do you figure?”

    “Only a crazy girl could love a jerk like you.”

    Word count: 248

  14. Dark clouds hung low, ominous and menacing. It looked like a low ceiling, with too many people in a room. Clarissa flicked her eyes toward the sky, and gathered her jacket tighter around her body.

    “Looks like it’s going to be a lovely day,” she said.

    “How do you figure?” Johnny’s tone held more than a bit of incredulity. “The weather man give you hope?”

    They strolled through the mist on the wharfs in Downtown San Francisco. The sound of their footsteps against the wood planks echoed, and the bark of sea lions returned welcome.

    Stepping to the railing, she gazed out into the unknown. Beside her, Johnny’s warmth and friendship offered a soothing companionship. He had a good thing with Clyde, and she hoped he was able to stay in this country and not go back to India.

    Moisture settled on her skin, and she lifted her face, letting it wash her fears away. “You see the light out there on the horizon?” she asked. “The slightest glimmer of sunshine?”

    Johnny followed her pointing finger. “Sorry hon, but I don’t see it.”

    “Weather is transitory. What we have now, will change. The winds are blowing, and soon this cloud cover will pass, and the sky will lighten.”

    He placed a hand on her arm. “Are you talking about the weather, or your relationship?”

    224 words


    Sekhmet purred as her brother-in-law’s strong paws dug small circles into her back. Let the Olympians have their silly ambrosia. For her money, Sekhmet preferred a good massage.

    “It’s been a while since you came in with this sort of injury.” Daniel observed as he extruded searing pain from her body with a firm palm.

    “Yess,” she sibilated into the face cradle. “My latest quarry is proving quite the challenge. Perhaps you could help me with that.”

    “How do you figure?” The masseur leaned into the lioness’ back with his elbow, melting her like butter.

    “You’re a parent. How do I convince her that her half devil offspring isn’t really hers; that the child will turn on her and must be destroyed?”

    The rest of the massage was conducted in silence. Sekhmet didn’t mind. Daniel never took long to render the Lady of Slaughter an inarticulate purring mess. She knew the peaceable mortal didn’t like hearing about her work; and he knew she liked having someone to talk to less saccharine than Bastet.

    At last their time came to a close and he walked her back to the neon city night.

    “Sekhmet, you can’t convince a parent to give up on their child.”

    The goddess nodded as she fastened her curved blade back to her hip and slipped her bow over her back.

    Daniel continued, “Do you ever worry you might be wrong?”

    Sekhmet flashed a carnivorous smile, “That’s what the council is for.”

    244 words

  16. “You are seriously one crazy bitch.”

    “How do you figure?” Mary twisted her head towards Heather.

    “You’re going to hurt yourself, or get shot, or fall. Is it really worth it for a signature and a story?”

    “Well, yeah? No one really gets to see Hellspawn before they are on stage and getting backstage passes are even harder. It’s like they don’t really want to meet anyone. Maybe they have some degenerative disease or are really ugly. You can’t see much under their masks. Face might not match the bodies. Now, keep a hold of that ladder.”

    “Bad idea, just to talk to some rock band.”

    “Uh, hello. Hottest rock back of the year.” Mary shook her head. The band had checked into a motel of all places instead of a fancy hotel. Which made it easier to spy.

    She crept up to, trying to be as quiet as she could on a piece of metal and peered into the window where the curtains were closed. She couldn’t even see light on in the room. Dammit. How was a reporter supposed to report.

    “Pst. See anything?”

    Mary rolled her eyes and glanced down. “No, nothing yet.”

    “Well hurry up. Before we get busted.”

    “Too late for that, love.” The rumbling voice muttered.

    Mary jerked and almost fell backward if it hadn’t been for the hand that grabbed hold of her arm. The window had been opened without her hearing it.

    Fangs flashed in a smile. “Midnight snack delivery. Awesome.”

    249 words

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


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