Thursday Threads: "He stared in horror at the body."

It’s Thursday, and the lovely Siobhan Muir has thrown down her 250 word challenge for the week. The prompt:

He Stared in Horror at the Body

Joey had seen a lot of atrocities during the course of his career. Not just the in the month he had been working for the department, but during his freelance years. And at school before then. In fact, the seedy underbelly of his chosen profession had caught his attention long before he ever gave thought to taking it personally. Others passed by, unknowing and uncaring, but not Joey.

These days when he saw a crime, he called upon the hosts of heaven and hell to avenge the wrong, not caring which arrived first, so long as someone had his back. And then grumbling, he’d set about sorting out the mess.

He stared in horror at the body. She looked like she had been stretched on a rack. Thinking that a girl’s legs went on for miles was one thing…but this sicko tried to see if they could. Arms, too. And neck.

What a mess, Joey thought, rubbing his face with his hands, wondering where he should start first. The unnatural limbs? The emaciated frame? The malnourished, jaundiced skin?

Looking close, he found artifacts in her hair and on her skin. The culprit was cocky, to be sure, but he was getting sloppy.

“Joey, can you fix that image, man?” He swiveled his chair around and pretended his eyes could shoot laser beams. His art director didn’t notice. “We’re due at the imagesetter after lunch.”

“This ain’t an image, Rick,” he growled. “It’s an effing crime scene.”

246 words

Please check out the other wonderful little stories built upon this prompt at Siobhan Muir’s (18+) blog.


"Thursday Threads" Honorable Mention

The fabulous Siobhan Muir (18+) holds a weekly flash fiction contest on her blog called “Thursday Threads.” She provides a line, taken from the winning entry the week before, and participants tell a story using that line in 250 words or less. This week, I gave the Easter Bunny a shout out and misled the judge into thinking my POV was on an acid trip. (I rock!)

Let’s Get This Over With.

“I haven’t been this nervous since…”

The latch closed. The action was careless, not angry, but the sound of the door closing echoed across the linoleum and masonry blocks like a detonation in closed quarters. The concussion rang in his ears, penetrated his flesh, made him want to duck and cover.

He shifted his eyes. On the opposite wall, a white bunny in a vest carried eggs in a basket. Further down the hallway, stick figure drawings hung from a wire by clothes pins. At the end of the hallway, a door opened and a single person walked out. Jon stepped back against the wall, his hand reaching for the sidearm that wasn’t there.

Shit, he thought. The shadow turned into a door half-way between him and the door at the far end of the corridor. He hadn’t felt this exposed since—no, he might have felt safer in Falluja. The only cover available for twenty yards in either direction was a janitor’s cart.

“Jon.” He snapped toward the woman’s voice to find his sister standing in the doorway, impractically dressed for walking in a skirt and three inch heels. She studied him with worry. “Are you ready?”

“Let’s get this over with,” he exhaled and followed her through the door, coming face to face with twenty second graders.

“Class,” she said. “This is my brother, Jonathan Seaver, Sergeant First Class in the US Army. He’s come to talk to us about the children he met in Iraq.”

Thursday Threads: The Scientist

Thursday Threads is a flash fiction competition that Siobhan Muir is hosting on her site. She gives a line and participants tell a story around it in 250 words or less.

“I heard this joke once. Or a parable, maybe…”

The bloodshot ghost paused to drag his smoke. He had manners, tilting his head back to blow his cancer straight up, rather than right at me. They were comical even; the smoke in this dive was so thick that I had needed the glow of neon to find the bar. He put his foot on the metal case beside him and slouched with his smoldering hand draped over his knee.

“You have five monkeys in a cage. The cage has a ladder to the top, and from the top hangs a banana. When any of them touch the ladder, you spray them all with water. When they give up the banana, you swap out a monkey. He doesn’t know about the water, goes for the prize, and the others will beat the shit out of him. Repeat. At the end, you have five monkeys that have never been sprayed with water, and yet, none of them will ever touch the ladder.”

I watched the next plume of smoke curl above his head. It had been so for centuries, Rachel said the last day he recognized her, but it had not always been so.

“The men upstairs like ‘the way things are.’” Ash flew as he flicked his fingers. “It allows for grunt armies and plausible deniability.” He pushed the case with his boot.

“The water hose?”

“No.” He tapped out the cigarette and collected his payment. “The scientist.” He left.

249 words

For more Thursday Threads, visit the comments section of today’s post on The Weird, The Wild, and the Wicked.