Flash Fiction Friday: Horror-off Challenge #2 – Thread of Time

Eon pulls at the thread and the universe alters.  Time skips ahead in a blink of an eye.  All living things who bear witness to the shift fail notice that for a brief moment — time speeds up.  A portion of their lives fast-forwarded.   Eon is bored with this new era and pulls at the thread again.  Time once more progresses, landing on another uneventful period.  No war, no famine, no disasters.  The entirety of the Universe is at peace, all civilizations and realms are in harmony.  Discord does not exist during this era.

Oh, how Eon groans at the lull.  All this balance is intolerable.  Strife, sadness, and hate are what keeps time sated.  Time maintains a steady pace in his hands when the Universe is depressed.  A slow continuous speed — tic, tic, tic.  Eon observes all suffering and despair with amusement.  Those are the eras that he wish lasted forever for it made the living beings more satisfying.

The living show their true nature when they are distressed or depressed.  They release their inner monsters, showing true faces to the creators of the cosmos.  With each face revealed, their vulnerability is relished.  Exposure yields energy, which is rich and delectable during the harrowing seasons.  The essence of life is consumed by the Gods, enabling their immortal existence.   The thread that binds life lays slack in Eon’s fingers during these eras.

Time must flow slowly so that the Reapers can collect every last bit of despondent energy.  As the keeper of time, Eon must maintain the harvest period.  He remains in control if the Gods’ hunger is sated.  Famine grows from balance, for that enables the living to hoard their energies.  They become selfish little beings, clinging on to their vitality as fuel for their happiness; not sharing life with the Gods that created them.  The ignorance and self-serving  drives Eon to anger.  He punishes them by pulling on the thread, speeding up their time, only stopping when the Fates play a hand in favor of the Gods.

Another pull lands the Universe in the pit of war.  Worlds versus worlds; battles taken to the stars.  Eon smiles, his existence is secure.  He watches them all, the puppet master of their lifespan.  The lives of many are intertwined, driven by one single thread of time.

– If you have enjoyed this piece, be sure to check out my Flash Fiction Library. –

This week’s Prompt:  The lives of many are intertwined.


Click here to see Chris Musgrave’s Horror-off FF Challenge post, Weaver.  You can also follow us both at The Sarcastic Muse


If you would like to join in on the Horror-Off Flash Fiction Challenge,  be warned – there are rules:

  1. You don’t talk about Horror-Off

  2. Stories must be flash fiction (1K words or less)

  3. Stories must have conflict, character, and resolution

  4. Stories should be in the horror/fantasy/sci-fi/spec fic genre

  5. Prompts are to be posted on the Flash Fiction blog post (post or link to your FF submission in the comment section below )

  6. This is just for fun and scares, so don’t expect any prizes.

  7. You don’t talk about Horror-Off… except when you talk about it

Follow these rules and write a wicked FF piece.  That will deter Fifi from appearing at your house, threatening you to write.   Trust me, you don’t want that happening.  Especially if you don’t have cookies…

10 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Friday: Horror-off Challenge #2 – Thread of Time

  1. The Rhee Fragment

    They had erred.
    Before she knew it, before she knew why, Rhee anxi had signed the symbols with her hands in the slanted half-light of Rhee’s darkened apartment halfway up the cold steel eastern face of the Answu residing block. On the second side of the triangular table, the table that had once occupied the central place in the kitchen but now stood with its third side pressed against the wall, confusion rose in Rhee xalu’s face.
    Who? xalu signed. Who erred?
    Rhee anxi signed back: Rhee does not know.
    Suddenly the sirens and lights of a floater filled the air between the buildings and above them. Instinctively Rhee dove under the table, huddled. Then anxi signed: Not for Rhee. They don’t come for fragments.
    Not for fragments, Rhee xalu signed in echo.
    The floater’s hovering pads beat the air rhythmically, its siren bleating, spotlights swinging in wide arcs in the velveteen night. After a few minutes, it disappeared, leaving the same billboard light filtering through the drawn blinds as before.

    Months has passed like this, how many exactly Rhee did not know. Time had lost its structure on that day, that endweek morning when Rhee anxi xalu wilx had sat at this same table, enjoying a late breakfast after an endless taskweek. Rhee had not even heard the floater then, when the Security Public Servants had burst in, weapons drawn, firing even before they crossed the threshold. They had ended Rhee wilx instantly, a blossoming of red expanding on his chest as the weapons emitted rounds with a deep thumping sound. Then the Wait wait wait, oh shit, from one of the SPS. The wrong address. The wrong floor. This isn’t it. It’s not supposed to be Rhee. The huddled conversation of the SPS just outside the doorway, not bothering to lower their voices. We should just end the rest of Rhee. Should we end the rest? The shrugs. Why should we bother? Rhee is just a fragment now. Have Sanitation take this part and leave the fragment. What can a fragment do anyway? A fragment always ends itself eventually. All the while Rhee anxi xalu huddled in a corner, clinging together. Huddled as Sanitation came and went, taking the part wilx and stamping the door so that any passing would know only a fragment resided here now. Not even looking at the fragment that remained: Rhee anxi xalu.

    And the SPS had nearly been right. The Rhee fragment had almost ended itself after it finally, after hours, stirred from the corner, wandered disoriented in the kitchen, through the rest of the apartment. Wordless. Signless. Until Rhee anxi had signed: Rhee needs food, had opened the storage cabinets and pulled the first objects that came to hand—bread and chezzi fruit. Rhee xalu watched, then signed: Rhee is done. anxi did not respond but continued to eat and finally xalu picked up the food and joined in. From that time, Rhee ventured forth only late at night, purchasing more food and water in the alleys from those who asked for no quota cards or other identification, who cared only for the money Rhee had hoarded, irrationally, against the possibility of some unimagined disaster. When the apartment’s electricity and water were turned off, Rhee began sneaking into neighboring apartments while the occupants were at work. At first in trepidation, then more comfortably as the realization grew that no respectable entity wanted contact with a fragment, wanted to acknowledge its existence, even to report theft or trespass. And so the other entities, the other trios, came and went, passing the place that had belonged to Rhee and was now only occupied by Rhee’s fragment, as though that place were a blank wall. And the others waited for this fragment that had been Rhee to end itself by one means or another. The lives of many are intertwined, but by consensus Rhee no longer possessed life any more than any fragment could. Any more than a headless insect whose body thrashed reflexively for a moment before it finally ceased to move.

    And there, in the silence and darkness that followed the floater’s departure, Rhee anxi’s hands signed it again: They erred. And this time, in response to Rhee xalu’s questioning look, anxi signed further: They should have ended all of Rhee. They should not have left this fragment. The fragment that was—that is Rhee will make them answer for it. They will answer for it.
    Rhee xalu nodded, then signed: They will answer.


  2. Your FF is so wonderfully imaginative, jumping up a level to the cosmic. It explains a lot too. It also reminds me of a bit in the film “The Invention of Lying,” when the main character, to comfort his dying mother, concocts the fable of a “Man inthe Sky” in charge of everything–including life and death. Eventually people, hearing the fable and now fearful that god will take their lives eventually too, cry “We need to stop that son of a bitch before he kills us all!”


  3. Pingback: Horror-Off Week 2 – Weaver | Chris Musgrave - Writer in Training

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