#ThursThreads Week 506 : How Tough Would That Be?

Sword was worried. He knew Rose was traveling through the forest by herself.

He had made that trip from the ocean to the lake to visit Rose. He knew about the bears, wolves, and snakes. About having to sleep in the trees, hoping to not fall out. About having to find nuts and berries to eat. He knew he was safe on that trip because of the Wild Magic that gave him swords that extended from his hands. He could defend himself from any beast that attacked him.

Rose didn’t have such weapons. She would not be safe, like he had been. Sword was so worried he went to see his mother, Princess Oceana, to talk about what Rose was doing.

Oceana was concerned too. She knew how much Rose meant to Sword. “Let’s call the White Witch, and speak with her.” Oceana called on her magic, and projected an image of herself and Sword above the lake in the forest. “White Witch? Are you there? We must speak about Rose.”

Mystica saw them, and had the White Magic send an image of her to the kingdom under the ocean. “I see Rose was correct. You do know she is coming.”

“Yes. And knowing how dangerous the forest is, we are greatly concerned for her safety.”

“Please. Just wait. Let her make the trip, so you can know who she really is. I know her. She is perfectly safe.”

Oceana and Sword agreed to wait. How tough would that be?

249 Words

It’s Week 506 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the stories in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.


Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2022/03/29 (Week 243)

When she’d hugged all her sisters, and told them she was going to visit Sword, Rose stood by the side of the lake, and watched the water as it moved. To her, it meant the lake was alive, because it was breathing. She could feel it breathing in and out, feel its heartbeat, tied to its breath. She watched it breath, listened to its heartbeat, and waited.

Shortly, the trees along the edge of the lake parted, as if clearing a path for something. Sunshine and Dream watched as Rose turned from the lake to face the path, and waited, as her chair, the chair the wild magic had made for her, floated above the ground, and softly landed beside the water.

The stone crescent moon chair sank a few inches into the soft shore beside the lake. Rose smiled. She bowed to the forest, “Thank you.” She waved to Sunshine and Dream, and then climbed onto that crescent moon.

The moon gently lifted from the shore. As it did, the dent where it had rested on the ground filled itself in, like the chair had never been there. Once again, the trees parted, and Rose, on her crescent moon, began her trip to the ocean. Her trip to see Sword.

Mystica watched from her house, on the far side of the lake. She wished she could make the trip with Rose, to watch over her, and take care of her, after all, Rose was one of her adopted daughters. Daughters abandoned to die by their families, and villages, because they were gifted with wild magic. “It’s better to abandon them in the wild, where they can’t find their way home, where they will die, attacked by the animals, due to lack of food and water, from an accident, where they fell from a tree, or a cliff. Anything. To protect the village, and the family.”

She wanted to protect her daughters. But she knew the wild magic itself would protect Rose. So, she stayed in her home. Beside the lake. And watched.

As Rose and her moon disappeared into the forest, the trees closed the path they’d made, as if the massive rock had never been there. So it was that Rose started her journey to the ocean, to find who her heart missed, to find Sword.

“Don’t worry, mamma,” she whispered the words to her adopted mother. “Don’t worry. I’ll tell you about my day, every night I’m away, so you don’t have to worry.”

She sat on her moon, as it moved through the woods, and touched her fingertips to her chest, to her heart. She knew, Sword missed her too. She could feel the ache of his heart as it echoed that of hers.

Sword would know she was coming, and would be waiting for her. Her heart told her so.

Who cares how many words.

Written for Week 243 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. Mirror, mirror on the wall. What can I do with you as a prompt? You can learn about Miranda’s challenge here. The stories people share for the weekly challenge are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed.

#Perspectives : Part 2, Chapter 6

The local police departments had quickly given up trying to stop God’s Army. The state police had also let God’s Army do what needed to be done. All the private militias had joined in God’s Army’s efforts to cleanse the spawn of Satan from the country.

But, as the holy war continued, and more of Lucifer’s demons died, the United States military was finally forced to act by the corrupt politicians in Washington DC. The Navy started the military’s response by launching cruise missiles from its ships, to attack God’s Army up to 1200 miles inland. Those missiles were evil, they flew low to the ground, and nearly silently. No one ever saw them coming. They followed the terrain, followed street maps, and made 90 degree turns. They targeted the bases of God’s Army.

John Paul was in his bunk one night when the night was transformed into day in a blinding flash of light, followed by a shockwave that hurled him, and his fellow soldiers across the room, into the wall. The noise had been awful, deafening, terrifying. As if heaven was being ripped in half, and poured into the ocean. Scorching heat tried to burn his skin from his body, the smoke and fire tried to rip his lungs from his chest.

It took hours for the dust to settle, for the fires to burn out, for the screams for help to fall silent. For the cries of agony to die.

John Paul survived. God had protected him. God had stood beside him, and defended him from the destruction the missile had caused. 37 of his brothers, God’s soldiers, died in that blast. Another 217 were injured. Some would not survive. Others would never walk, or hug their wives, sons, or daughters again. Some were blinded, the retinas in their eyes burned out, or detached by the force of the explosion. Others were deaf forever.

Matthew, his best friend, a true man of God, would never hear another sound. It would be days before Matthew woke up. They feared he’d die for most of those days. The blood from his ears showed the damage to his hearing.

John Paul watched as reports came in by radio from other bases that had also been struck. 100 missiles. 100 bases struck. They’d aimed for the armories. They’d never missed. The missiles were like that. They knew exactly where to go. They knew the latitude, longitude, and elevation of their targets. They knew where the doors and windows were on their targets. They knew where the weak points were. They flew into the buildings before they exploded. Once inside, they’d exploded, and those explosions triggered massive explosions of the mortars, bullets, shotgun shells, black powder, and everything else in the armories.

Hundreds, maybe thousands had died. And thousands were wounded.

The war had truly started.

They’d all known it was coming. They’d all known, sooner or later, Lucifer would order his minions to strike back. That he’d played the entire process out in the media, before the eyes of the world, and show how it was the last thing anyone wanted to do. How they’d tried to negotiate with God’s Army. Tried to reach a peace agreement. Tried to stop the slaughter of innocent human beings.

And, when the time was ripe, when the world believed he had no other choice, he’d send in the missiles.

It had all happened. Just as the church leaders had said it would.

John Paul went home for a couple of weeks. He needed to spend time with his wife, and daughter. He needed to pray to God the Father in his home church on Sundays and Wednesdays. He needed God, his family, and his Christian brothers and sisters to guide him through the nightmares he had every night as he slept. To help him live with Matthew’s bleeding ears, and the missing arms, and legs of so many others. To help him recover his strength, so he could return to God’s work, and once more help rid the country of Satan’s minions. Once more free it from Satan’s grasp.

God’s Army didn’t stop its work. They continued to burn mosques to the ground, shoot, hang, burn at the stake, the transgender witches, and the faggot scum. Those who broke the word and the law of God. And then laughed as the government protected them, and forced good Christian people to treat them like people, and not like the demons they truly were.

God’s Army continued to burn black neighborhoods, black houses, black churches, to the ground. It was time to free the good people of the country from the tyranny disguised as equal rights.

Of course, the US military continued to respond. They launched more missiles. They flew their drone aircraft over the states, and launched more missiles at John Paul’s brothers while his brothers attacked Satan’s strongholds.

The good, God fearing Christian people who believed in the work of God’s Army started to hide his soldiers. God’s soldiers were welcomed into people’s homes. The factories started making more guns, more ammunition, to support God’s works.

It was all for the glory of God.

And John Paul cried each night as the number of dead soldiers inched upward endlessly.

Everyone knew something had to be done. It was useless to close state borders. It was useless to use fishing boats against littoral combat ships, destroyers, aircraft carriers, and cruisers. It was useless to launch Cessna planes against fighter jets.

Something had to be done.

That’s when God’s words rang true. “There’s a time for peace. And a time for war.” And in war, God had to win. There was no other option. God had to be on the winning side.

John Paul was the first of his brothers to volunteer to move into Virginia, Ohio, and other states. The first to walk across the state border in the dead of night. He carried his backpack, his guns, and plenty of ammunition. He carried his cell phone.

It took a few days for him to get close to his first objective. But he finally arrived in Norfolk. He finally saw the US Naval Base. He used his phone to signal his brothers. Then he waited.

The radio controlled drone aircraft weren’t much. They were small, slow, battery powered, and only flew for short distances. They didn’t carry much, but they carried enough. It took an entire network of soldiers to move the drones from North Carolina to Norfolk. They flew them up in steps, and recharged them as needed. A few miles here, a few miles there. But it worked.

That night, John Paul used his binoculars, and his phone. He guided one drone, then another, and another. Seven drones in all. The first drone struck the McDonald’s on the base, where the usual crowd of sailors was, some with their families. It exploded with a quiet “foom”, and spread its chemical payload in a glorious purple cloud.

The second struck the base security office, and filled the air outside that office with a cloud of iridescent purple. The third struck outside the base gymnasium. The fourth outside the urgent care medical center. The fifth outside the base mosque. The sixth outside the base commander’s office. The seventh struck outside the movie theater, as a movie was letting out.

All the drones had delivered their payload of chemicals. People had breathed those chemicals, gotten them on their skin, in their hair, in their eyes, on their clothes.

Chemical warfare. It’s all God’s Army had left against the might of Satan’s minions.

John Paul signaled his home base the drones had been delivered. Then he headed toward his next target, Oceana Naval Air Station.

Lucifer’s minions had launched missiles at his brothers, and murdered thousands of them. It was time they answered for their crimes, and paid for their sins.

#ThursThreads Week 505 : It’s All Uphill From Here.

Sword’s last visit had been three months ago. Rose decided that was long enough. That morning, with the sunrise, she floated across the lake to Mystica’s home. The trees graciously let her in.

“Hi, Rose. What brings you here?”

“I’m going to go visit Sword.”

Mystica smiled. “You’re only six, you know. I shouldn’t let you make long journeys on your own.”

“I know, Mamma. And if I was anyone else, I couldn’t argue with you.”

Rose took Mystica’s hand, “Let’s get my sisters, so I can hug them before I go to the ocean.”

Mystica knew, if anyone other than Rose wanted to make the trip, she would not let them. But Rose was special. The forest and everything living in it took care of Rose, and kept her safe. The trees would shelter her at night. The wolves and hawks would guard her as she slept. The squirrels, rabbits, and other birds would gather food for her.

“Of course, Rose. Would you like to tell Oceana that you are coming to visit?”

“No. I want it to be a surprise for Sword.”

“How will they know when you reach the ocean?”

“Sword will hear me.”

They floated across the lake, though Mystica’s broken wing did not let her fly. The white magic carried them, and placed them gently on the shore. As Rose gathered her sisters, Mystica wished being a mother was easier. “It’s all uphill from here, isn’t it?”

She swore the white magic laughed.

248 Words

It’s Week 505 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the stories in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.

#SwiftFicFriday Week 115 : Rose Missed Sword.

Rose missed Sword, every time Sword had to go home to his mother, Oceana. It was the first time he’d gone home and Rose had cried all night. Mystica could do nothing to console her, though she’d stayed awake all night, and held her adopted daughter close, and let her tears soak her shoulder.

The next morning, Rose walked along the edge of the lake that was their home. She walked until her sisters could not see her through the brush and trees. Then, she walked some more, until she found a place where the trees spoke to her, “Here. This place is for you.”

It was a small place, where the shore of the lake formed a tiny nook, where a creek flowed into it. Rose called to the wild magic, and the ground shifted, lifting up from the lake, forming a flat space. Then, an iron bench grew from the ground. The trees moved, forming a wall around her space. A wall only she could walk through. Across the nook, the trees moved right to the edge of the water, and grew thick, blocking everything. No animals, no people, no fairies could walk through them.

Lastly, three walls of brick grew out of the water to protect Rose’s cove. Rose’s place. The place the lake, the trees, the ground, and the water gave to her. Because they knew she was sad. They knew she missed Sword.

The wild magic faded, leaving Rose a place she could visit, when she needed to let her heart rest. A place for her to listen to the water, and the breeze, rustling the leaves.

A place to heal the wound left in her soul every time Sword went away.

A place just for her.

292 Words

It’s Week 115 of #SwiftFicFriday, hosted by Katheryn Avila. I’m still wondering what the heck is going on with this story. There seems to be only one way for me to find out. Anyway. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #SwiftFicFriday. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up regularly.

#ThursThreads Week 504 (2022/03/17) : None Of Your Business

All I wanted was a tank of gas. That’s it. Nothing else. The sign at the pump said, “Prepay inside.” I didn’t have a credit card, I only had cash. I had to go inside. No other customers were there. I was it. I walked to the register, and asked, “Can I get $20 in gas on that pump?” and pointed at my car.

That’s when the lady behind the register pulled her gun out, and pointed at me, “We don’t want none of your business here. Get out.”

“I just want $20 in gas, so I can get home.”

“You don’t get anything here.”

She had a big ass gun, pointed right at me. What else could I do? I left. Got in my car, and prayed I could reach the next gas station. It was the third straight town I’d stopped at. All three had been the same. “You can’t buy gas here. We don’t sell to your kind.”

“Welcome to America. Home of the free and the brave. Where White Christians don’t sell gas to black men.” I watched the last bar on the gas gauge go out. Car was on battery power only, and that lasted 15, 20 miles, at best. I kept my eyes peeled for signs for stations. Found one. 36 miles away.

“Looks like this black heathen is in for a long walk, doesn’t it.”

232 Words

It’s Week 504 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the stories in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.

Miranda Kate’s Mid Week Challenge : 2022/03/14 (Week 238)

“That’s what it looked like a couple of months ago.” I handed the photograph to Serenity. “Before I had it cleaned up and repaired.”

She looked at the picture of the concrete with a hole in the middle, and weeds growing out, “It was a mess wasn’t it?”

“It was Granddaddy’s. He had it built in the early 1950s, because he knew the damn Russians were going to nuke everyone, and he wasn’t going to die without a fight.”

She nodded, “Can I go inside, and explore?”

“By all means.” We walked to the back yard, close to the back fence, where I unlocked the cover, and pulled it open, like a door into the ground. That triggered the ladder system, and fed the ladder up to where we could reach it.

“Mamma told me stories about Granddaddy living in his bunker. Sometimes, he wouldn’t come into the house for days. He came out for a bath, to use the toilet, to go to work, and to eat with the family, and take care of the yard and house. And that was it.”

Serenity nodded, “A bit paranoid, wasn’t he?”

“I can’t blame him, really.” We reached the bottom, and the ladder retracted, and the door shut, causing the lights and air circulation system to turn on. “He was worried about Russia dropping nuclear bombs on everyone. And about the US accidentally launching one that would cause the end of the world.”

I gave her the tour. Showed her the main living area, the working toilet with the septic tank system, and water from a deep well. The underground food storage, full of cans of fruit, vegetables, and meats. The powdered milk supply. The solar powered, portable induction cook-top. The gun locker.

“I see you’re prepared to be down here a long time.”

I laughed. “I’m a lot like Granddaddy. I’m ready. If things get out of hand, I’ll hide down here, and see how long I can survive.”

“No TV. No video games. No computer. You wouldn’t make it a week.” She poked my shoulder.

“What I really hope is I don’t have to find out.”

She took another brief walk around the place. Nodded, “Yeah. I wouldn’t be surprised.”


“If this was where you make your porno movies.”

“What?” I was ready to get angry about that, when she poked my shoulder again, and winked.

“You bet on nuclear disasters, OK, Malik? I’m betting on a safe place to hide when the civil war starts, and everyone starts shooting everyone else.”

We both giggled about that, then headed up the ladder, and back to the house.

To be honest, I didn’t know which of us would be right. But, either way, I had someplace safe we could go, if we needed it.

Who cares how many words.

Written for Week 238 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. Mirror, mirror on the wall. What can I do with you as a prompt? You can learn about Miranda’s challenge here. The stories people share for the weekly challenge are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed.

#Perspectives : Part 2, Chapter 5

It started in the countryside. Rural areas. Where the immigrants lived. The cheap houses, and cheap trailers, by the side of the road. The first reports came from outside Lucedale, Mississippi. It was a fire, and it burned out a trailer park filled with immigrant farm workers.

Those fires spread, quickly, through Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, then the Carolinas, and beyond. John Paul and Matthew praised God their Father with each fire report they heard. The fires spread from the rural areas, to the suburbs, to the towns and cities.

It was glorious.

And it was only part of the solution, John Paul knew that. He spoke with Matthew and his brothers in God’s Army about that many times. What the next step in the war against the demons was. As their houses burned, the demons began to collect in groups, in safe houses, with friends, and family members. They gathered in the towns and cities, and the fires followed them.

It was when they started sleeping and living on the streets that things got difficult.

John Paul remembered countless fires set by him and his brothers. The greatest being the homeless center in Clinton. A shelter set up by the town for the displaced, those whose homes had been burned. It was perfect. A building filled with Satan’s demons, packed in like sardines. John Paul remembered pouring twenty gallons of gasoline on the exterior of that building. The walls, the doors, the windows. They’d been quiet, God’s soldiers. They’d blocked off the streets leading to the building, then poured gasoline on the building, and the ground around it.

Matthew had lit the acetylene torch, stretched his arms to heaven, closed his eyes, and declared, “For the glory of God the Father!”, then leaned down, and touched the blue and orange flame to the gasoline soaked ground. John Paul and his brothers also bellowed out, “For the glory of God the Father!”

They sang Onward Christian Soldiers as they watched the fire consume the den of the demons. John Paul guarded the back exit from the building. He watched as that door opened, and three demons tried to run through the fire to escape God’s judgment. Just to make certain they didn’t escape, he shot them. His brothers did the same at the other exits of the building, and at the windows. Bodies littered the burning ground. Demons burned like the little piles of filth they were.

The building burned to the ground. Not one demon escaped.

That night, John Paul explained to his brothers it was like pulling weeds from an unkept flower garden. Sometimes, as you pulled the weeds from the ground, you pulled out a flower or two. It was sad. But it was needed. The entire flower bed was better for having the weeds removed. “We’re just gardeners, brothers. Caring for the flower bed of life, pulling out the weeds, planting flower bulbs, and putting down the mulch, so that in the spring, flowers will return to a place the weeds had taken over.”

Half the country had followed suit. Half the country was engulfed in flames, the darkness of the night filled with the sound of God’s holy army at war with Satan’s demons. Isn’t that what the book of Revelations said? There would be war between God’s angels, and Satan’s demons? And it would last a long time. What was it, twelve times 144 days? Something like that. John Paul knew that was the Bible way of saying something that lasted a long time.

Sometimes, at nights, he heard the voices of Satan’s demons, crying in fear at the thought of being cleansed from the Earth. He heard their cries of agony and pain, and remembered all the agony and pain they’d put God’s people through. The drug addictions. Gang violence. The loss of jobs and income. The list went on and on.

Satan’s demons had confused so many people, and led so many people astray. But they wouldn’t lead John Paul and his brothers astray. Hearing their pleas for mercy in his dreams, hearing their demon children cry in terror in his dreams. That was a small price to pay for doing the work of God the Father.

John Paul wanted to do more. To help more. To do more of God’s work.

#SwiftFicFriday Week 114 : The Everyman Archetype

“God, I hate my job.” I picked up my fork, and stabbed a few green beans,  stared at them, and then stabbed a few more.

Jen watched, “Are you going to eat, or just here to murder the beans?”

“I’m not hungry.” I lied. “Why do I still work here?”

“Because you have bills to pay?”

She was right. That was the reason I still worked there.

Jen shook her head, “What did those poor beans do to deserve such abuse?”

“I’d quit in a heartbeat right now, you know.”

“But you won’t. You’d have to find another job. Another place that pays you just enough to keep you alive, and desperate to keep working to pay the bills.”

I finally ate the green beans.

Jen grinned, “See? Hungry wins.”

“I tell myself lies about working here, you know.”

“What are your lies?”

“I like the people, and the work. That I help other people by working here. That I’m keeping my family alive, giving my kids a chance for a better future.”

She took a long chug from her soda. “I tell myself the same things.”

I took a chug from my soda, “Truth is, if I did quit, where would I go?”

She chomped down on the last bite of her salad. “Takes months to find another job, if you can find one at all.”

I nodded. “You know how to do your job at the company that owns you, but that job is not the same as any other job, anywhere, for any company.”

Jen continued for me, “And they won’t train you, so they won’t hire you, so you end up stuck, in a job you hate.”

“Thanks, Jen. I’m better now.”

We finished our lunches, and went back to work.

295 Words

It’s Week 114 of #SwiftFicFriday, hosted by Katheryn Avila. I’m still wondering what the heck is going on with this story. There seems to be only one way for me to find out. Anyway. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #SwiftFicFriday. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up regularly.

#ThursThreads Week 504 : How’d It Go In There?

There was no doubt it was a giant. The drone flight over it had shown that. Of course, the drone had to climb to 800 feet before we could see enough of it at one time to know what it was. From that distance, we could see an obvious face, neck, and shoulders. Each hair on its head was thick as an underwater communications cable, and nearly as tough.

It looked like it was sleeping.

Scotty had donned full hazard gear, and gone into it through what the drone showed us was the left nostril of its nose. He explored as rapidly as he could, but after three hours, the object shook, and hurricane force winds exploded from its nose, and blew Scotty out.

No one knows how, but Scotty did survive. A few broken bones, an ocean of green goo all over him, and all around him. It took two hours to dig him out of that stuff.

When he woke up in the hospital, I nearly choked on my laughter, because the first question the boss asked Scotty was, “How’d it go in there?”

All Scotty had said was, “It was a snotty experience, boss. A seriously snotty experience.”

201 Words

It’s Week 504 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the stories in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.