ThursThreads Challenge

Every week, there is a Flash Fiction competition run by Siobhan Muir over at here. A line is taken as a prompt from the previous week's winning story. Limits are min 100 to max 250 words.

The previous week had been won by Cate Derham, with a rodeo-tastic piece that had a smidgeon of gender subversion and other gems to recommend it. Her piece is at this page here.

So the line taken from Cate's tale last week for this week was: "Go get the man". You have 12 hours for the task. You'll find all the other relevant rules at the wonderful n talented Siobhan Muir's site.

This week's winner was Anne Odon for a wonderfully dark tale involving the harvesting of organs (or some such)! Reading the story, I suppose it's just the kind of thing that happens when two psychotic women become the best of friends. And kudos to Anne for highlighting the issue. We have to stamp out this kind of thing, for the safety of the menfolk. (It might be a bit wampyric too.) 

You upload your story to the comments section every Thursday, should you choose to enter. It's a lot of fun.

I strongly advise participation if you have an hour free of a Thursday.

All the entries are on this page:

My entry is below, with changes from the original on the site above. Mainly clarifications. The addition of "by another living human being", for instance, is something I was kicking myself about. Other changes take it slightly above the 250 word limit.

Prompt: Include "Go get the man" in the story.

Truck-trailer travel had exacerbated the voices. The mental health facility – located in a Calais suburb – had been his home for weeks. He had limited English, no French. He hadn’t heard Azerbaijani spoken by another living human being for months, since his arrest and subsequent isolation, before his move to the asylum. Seeking asylum. The pun would likely have amused him if his English was as good as his wife Goga’s.

The ghost of Elvis Presley whispered from the air conditioner:
“Stay strong.”

Hitler’s ghost, under his bed, made darker suggestions:
“Kill the big male nurse.”

Elvis spoke English, Hitler – the many-tongued devil – Austrian-tinged Azerbaijani.

Twice daily, Hamid took strange medications at the behest of a big male nurse. The nurse went from ward to ward with his cart of serotonin inhibitors, dopamine blockers, and sleeping pills.

Hamid had not seen his wife since his apprehension. He had been found wandering alone, catatonic, along an autoroute near the Chunnel.

One evening, the pouting doctor’s clattering shoes roused him, her form casting a long shadow on her approach towards his bed.

The nurse wheeled in his trolley, attending other patients.

The doctor stood at his bedside, smiling broadly.

“Your wife Goga comes tomorrow!” she told him. “Here. Oui? Goga demain.”

"Goga tomorrow", but Hamid did not speak French.


She smiled her encouragement, echoing: “Goga demain.”

With officialdom’s blessing, Hamid hadn’t needed to be told twice.

He pulled a knife from under his mattress, leapt from the bed, and slashed the big male nurse’s throat as he prepped his dose.

The nurse collapsed, life leaving him as he bled out on the floor.

The doctor hit an alarm button. Her eyes met Hamid’s over the other patients’ screams. His smile faded. He knew that he had misheard.


More insensitivity shown by Malay Men in Plane Crash PR Fiasco

The 8th March disappearance of what many in the West have dubbed the "Mystery in History Flight 370" has once again been addressed by the Malaysian authorities - to vocal disgust from the international community.

In an effort to put out the fires caused by insensitive text messages that were sent from the government to relatives of the flight passengers, the acting Malay Man transport minister - whose name is completely unpronounceable - held a press conference in Koala Lumper to explain that China, Australia, and France have now shared satellite pictures and associated imagery in an unprecedented spirit of sharey-ness.

However, he subsequently angered several journalists in the international community - many of them sitting down to their breakfasts at home in the UK or the US - by claiming that the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (MRSA) was working alongside the international community.

"I have an uncle who died of a hospital superbug!" roared one journalist, throwing his shoe at the television. "For fuck's sake! Insensitive bastards!"
The apologies - it seems - will continue to come thick and fast from Malaysia.

Something Wicked hosts event at Manor Books in Malahide, Dublin

Rural villages and leafy burbs are frequent locations for crime fiction, whether on the box or in the bukes.

The people behind Malahide's first crime writing festival, Something Wicked, hosted an event on 13 March at Manor Books in the leafy, coastal satellite town of Dublin - a felicitous setting for such an event, as it's a location scout's dream village for Barnaby, or Inspector Frost, or Gabriel Byrne's Quirke, perhaps. Or whoever else.
The Malahide bookshop made for a great venue. A long table accommodated some 18 burgeoning scribes (I didn't count everyone but apparently it's on the record), with free coffee, tea, and cakes n stuff like that.

Crime fic author Louise Phillips doled out some terrific advice for more than an hour and a half. Given that the event catered for peeps at various levels of experience, she was very comprehensive in her wisdom. (And it turns out there were 18 writers present according to Louise's blog.)
Louise's latest is called A Doll's House and the first few pages rock so far, with a nice bit of backstory thrown atop her profiler heroine's latest case. Quite gruesome shtuff. No punches pulled, particularly with the victims of the horrible crimes in the novel.

It's a fantabulous bookstore in a brilliant old-skool location, off the main street of a satellite town, on a tree-lined promenade. Imagine that on a dark Thursday evening! Woooh!

Louise Phillips's web presence is here:

1000th Tweet from Ragtag Giggagon

The blogger who posts to the Twitter account @ragtaggiggagon was delighted to reach his one thousandth tweet today. He received a phone call from his Twitter text number inquiring if he was at home. When informed that he was, the Twitter employee asked him to expect a knock at the door.

"You're the guy who does the blog about red hair, right? In Ireland?" asked the Twitter employee. "The Living Ginger, or whatever it's called?"
"No," the blogger said. "I'm in Ireland, alright."
"What's your blog about?"
"I don't really know," the blogger admitted.
"Well, just pretend, about the red hair. You are reaching your one thousandth tweet, isn't that right?" There was a sigh down the line.
"Yes. But what do you mean, about the red hair?" he asked.
"When you get the rewards package," the Twitter employee said, "just pretend your blog is The Living Ginger. There's been a mixup."
"Awards package? What?" the blogger asked.
"Right, then, Ayyy-dawwwn Rooo-a. I hope I've been of some assistance to you today is there anything else I can help you with thank you for using Twitter, umkay?"
The line went dead, and what immediately followed for the blogger was a knock at the door.

He pulled open the door and a delivery man handed him a package, made him sign for it, and he was then presented with his AWARD FOR THE ONE THOUSANDTH TWEET!

Phone call intercepted by Piers Morgan days before the Oscars




WOMAN: John?


WOMAN: Where you now, John? Are you with that jumbo again?


WOMAN: You leave that plane alone. You hear me? 

JAN THOZOMAS: I'm not at the airstrip, Adele.

WOMAN: Where are you now? You home?

JAN THOZOMAS: That's right.
WOMAN: So you can't talk? Is that right?  


WOMAN: You can't talk?

JAN THOZOMAS: That's right.

WOMAN: When you gonna leave your wife, John? Huh?


WOMAN: You tell me you love me, that we'll be married a year from now. You say that every year, John.

JAN THOZOMAS: Hold on. I'm just going into the bathroom.

WOMAN: You want me call back?

JAN THOZOMAS: No. No. I'm going in here for some privacy. [SIGHS.] 

WOMAN: So I still don't like how you abused that jumbo of yours.
JAN THOZOMAS: I didn't do anything to the plane.

WOMAN: I know what I saw, John. And if you don't want me to go public about what I saw, and what we got goin--

JAN THOZOMAS: Baby, you know I love you.

WOMAN: Why am I the only one who knows? 

JAN THOZOMAS: Look, Adele, please - I'll give you a shoutout at the ceremony if you just keep things quiet.

WOMAN: At the Oscars?

JAN THOZOMAS: I'll mention your name, believe me. 

WOMAN: You'll do that for me?

JAN THOZOMAS: Sure. You gonna be watching? I can't ever declare my love for the bird. You, I mean. In British slang. But you know I love you on the QTeeeeeee...

WOMAN: I'll be watching that show. [PAUSE.] John?


WOMAN: Are your eyes closed, and are you swaying in front of the bathroom mirror?

JAN THOZOMAS: Mmmmmmm...

WOMAN: Good. I love that. I love it when you do that.