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.