#ThursThreads, week 548


“You’re going back.”  It wasn’t a question. 

I didn’t know how to respond to him, so I stayed quiet, hunched over with my forearms on my thighs. The ground between my feet became a kaleidoscope, refracting through my tears. 

“You’re leaving me, Jen,” he hissed. “You’re leaving our kids!”

He had every right to be pissed. 

I hadn’t wanted him to find out when I was from or how I’d gotten here, but when he had, the night before our wedding, I’d made him every promise in the book that I’d be by his side ‘til death did us part. 

We’d had one child. Then another. And as I’d watched them grow from infants into teenagers and seen my marriage survive uncertainty to blossom into a true partnership, I’d begun to believe I could actually keep my promises. 


“Kelly! Ryan! Shoe time!” We tumbled out the door, backpacks and lunches bouncing and thumping as we raced to school. You’d think after doing this a couple thousand times I wouldn’t still be trying to beat the bell. Thankfully, the rain held off, and they disappeared into the building with just enough time to avoid tardies. 

I turned to look over my left shoulder and pulled into traffic, my mind already lost in thoughts about my first meeting. 

“It’s time, Jen.”

My implant spoke for the first time in 17 years. 


“You can’t go, Jen. You can’t.”

I looked up at him. I had no choice. 

My implant activated, and I vanished. 


#ThursThreads, week 547


I wiped sweat from my forehead with the back of my hand. Benny was hanging over my shoulder, his heart pounding loud enough that I could almost see the vibrations.

The clock attached to the dynamite continued its inexorable countdown to our obliteration and I didn’t have any better idea how to disarm it now than I had when we’d first discovered the bomb.

Benny’s anxiety wasn’t helping, but I suppose it was understandable. I hadn’t known that he was in the back of the van when I’d stolen it, and he’d been too stoned to wake up even as we bounced through the desert. 

By the time we were aware of each other, we were running from what seemed like a fleet of black SUVs and the temperature gauge on the van was buried in the red. He was screaming at me to find out where we were, I was screaming at him to be quiet, and I didn’t even stop to think that the conveniently van-sized cave was a trap. A rockslide later, I knew I’d screwed up, and it wasn’t long before our entire world was consumed by the red LEDs that counted down the last minutes of our lives.

“Ummm, Miranda?”

“What, Benny? I’m a little busy.”

“What are we going to do about that?”

“I’m trying to disarm it. Please be quiet.”

“No, not that.” Benny pointed off to his left, but he didn’t really need to. 

I could hear the rattling just fine.