Santa prints a toy

Scientists are working on ways to 3D print body parts and organs.
Most of the research takes place at The North Pole.
“I get a lot of requests for new hearts and kidneys,” said Santa. “I was already printing toys and dolls, so why not get some kids off of the transplant waiting lists?”
He shows me a printer stacking layers of cartilage to form a nose… then a wide-mouthed face… and a body… and a drum…
“Crap,” said Santa. “I sent a Nutcracker template to the wrong printer.”
He hit Cancel and tossed the floppy homunculus into the trash.

The Last Snowman

I live in Texas. along the Gulf Coast.
It snows maybe once every few years, but never really enough to accumulate.
I can’t remember the last time I made a snowman.
It was probably that year when there were icicles dangling from the traffic light lines.
There was enough snow that day to snarl things up pretty fierce on the roads.
But the next day, the sun was out, and it was all gone pretty quickly.
If I had known, maybe I’d have built a snowman.
But I’d rather stay inside, make hot cocoa, and stay warm under a blanket.

Santa and the Omega

Timmy sat in Santa’s lap and asked for world peace.
“Are you sure?” asked Santa.
“Yes,” said Timmy.
Santa nodded, patted Timmy on the head, and told his elf helpers to start Plan Omega.
A strange purple mist enveloped the world.
When it dissipated, all life was extinguished, and the ruins of civilization sat as a memorial to one child’s unwise wish.
Santa walked through the wasteland, sack full of toys slung on his back, admiring his handiwork.
“Ho ho ho!” he shouted, his booming voice echoing off the buildings.
A cockroach scuttles by, and Santa stomps it flat.
Squish.

Gifts of the Magi

I used to demand lots of toys for Christmas.
So, my parents read me “The Gift of the Magi.”
That’s where a woman sells her hair to buy a chain for her husband’s pocketwatch, and the husband sells his pocketwatch for a set of brushes for his wife.
“Her hair grew back, right?” I said.
“That’s not the point,” said my parents. “It’s the thought that counts.”
So, I thought about it a lot.
And I sold my dad’s pocketwatch.
I was going to sell my mom’s hair, but she caught me trying to cut it off while she slept.

Santa’s Lights

Every year, we put up a Christmas tree.
Even though we have enough ornaments with which to decorate a tree, we always buy more.
A new set of shiny balls… another box of tinsel…
And lights. So many strings of lights.
From bulbs to LEDs, simple lights and patterned lights.
We have enough lights for an airport runway.
If you strung all of the lights end to end, they would reach the North Pole.
So, we try it. And sure enough, they reach the North Pole.
“Turn those off,” growls Santa. “I’m trying to sleep.”
And he closes his blinds.

Weekly Challenge #607 – First

Welcome to the 100 Word Stories podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com.

This is the Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.

We’ve got stories by:

Annoyed Myst

RICHARD

#1 – First!

I’ve spent my entire life trying not to be first at anything. First in the class, first in line, first past the post… I’d do anything to avoid that distinction.

People wonder why. ‘Have you no ambition, no aspirations?’ Of course! Just not the ones everyone thinks I should.

And I’ve good reasons for it too.

Not trying to be first and top of the pile means less effort, less competition and fewer disappointments. It’s an altogether easier life.

Especially at the airport, where being last is the gold standard. Because last on the plane means your baggage comes off…

First!

#2 – First Questions
I hate those stupid questions about your ‘firsts’ in life:

‘What was the first record you bought?’, ‘First crush?’, ‘First kiss?’

As if it matters; if I can remember that far back in the first place! I’m sure most people make the answers up, picking one that makes them sound cool…

“Ah yes, my first album was The Stones” – yeah right!

But the real reason I hate those questions is that they bring back awful memories: Reminders of embarrassing music, fumbled encounters, and moments I’d really like to forget.

Because we all know, the first time is never the best.

#3 – Better Half
I always introduce my spouse as ‘my first wife’ – she hates it, but it keeps her on her toes. The nagging seed of doubt that I’ve sown in her mind that one day I might just trade her in for a newer, better, more aesthetically pleasing model means she won’t take any chances when it comes to behaving herself.

You may think it somewhat callous, but I take the view, ‘all’s fair in love and war’, and a little callousness on my part goes a long way towards maintaining the status quo.

Till death do us part…

Or maybe sooner!

CHARLIE

It was my first try at biohacking, namely, hacking my brain. My biohacking began with some off the shelf nootropics and a gradual transition to my custom stack of compounds.

I had a level of focus never experienced, and was able to maintain it for extended periods. I could crank out graphics, edit photos, or do other technical tasks for hours on end.

After six months, I got muscle spasms and experienced some brain fog, so I cut doses by thirty percent. Everything settled down and I was hyper alert and relaxed at the same time.

Ever feel that way?

#2

My pal, Gordon, is a mechanical and electrical engineer. We have constructed and prototyped the first wearable that functions as a “prodder”. It randomly pokes a pneumatically powered, finger sized goad into the head to remind the wearer to pay attention and stop fuggin around.

It is battery operated, ultimately programmable, light, durable, and easy to set up and initialize. Default settings have been tested to operate at optimum levels.

We have been wearing test units for a couple of weeks and have discovered that a little thump on the cranium does wonders by keeping us focused and on task.

LIZZIE

At the strike of 1am, the majestic structure imploded neatly.
Perplexed eyes witnessed the destruction of the oldest building in town, home to wise men, advisers to many generations.
Suddenly, a voice asked “Why was this done at 1am? I need my beauty sleep.”
The crowd turned to see who had broken the sacred silence.
An old man holding a crutch waved a crooked walking-stick.
“So, are we done? Lesson number one, life goes on. Get used to it.” And he walked away.
The “Welcome” sign slid slowly to the ground, a shy cloud of dust lingering in the air.

SERENDIPITY

I remember my first time like it was yesterday.

The sweet ferrous smell of blood; the sticky warmth oozing through my fingers.

I remember the screams, then sudden silence, the soft gurgle of the death rattle, the thump of my own heartbeat, gradually slowing to its normal rhythm.

I remember the elation and the quiet sense of satisfaction you only find in a job well done.

They say that you never forget your first time, and it’s so very true.

Although, I have to say, that I’ve always found it a terrible shame that the police never forget it either.

TOM

Undeniable

First comes the pain. Nearly imperceptible, at first, growing in intensity, drawing more waking attention to greater levels of compensation. Long before seeking drugs to make it through the day, you think a joint agreement between your joints and the signals firing in your head is negotiable. When cycles give way to a single wobbling wave, your heart knows it is time, if only your head would listen. In the end some simple action becomes undoable and your head now know this is merely the first. You call the surgeons office to get on the wait list for knee replacement.

Number One is a Bullet
Americans are weird. We only acknowledge two states: Coming in first. And coming in next. The first being singular. The second vast and all encompassing. Perhaps we would have a different outlook if we had lost a war. Will we have, but you will never hear an American admitted it. This first or nothing is sort of a dysfunction insanity. We are so willing to discount a season of effort, a decade of effort, in some cases a lifetime of effort to being just not good enough, that somehow inherent in the American soul is a birth right of victory.

JEFFREY

Lobster Salad
by Jeffrey Fischer

One of the great mysteries of life was the identity of the brave man or woman who first dared to eat a lobster.

Ivor and his crewmate, Stephen, landed safely on the planet Xaphorus and scouted for food, as their supplies were running low. Starvation was setting in when Stephen found a lobster – or the Xaphorean equivalent – in shallow water.

“Who wants to go first?” asked Stephen.

“Oh, I’ll give it a try. What’s the worst that can happen? We’re starving anyway.” Ivor sliced open the creature and cooked it with his laser tool, taking a bite while it was still hot. “Delicious,” he said.

Stephen looked suspiciously at his crewmate, but took one bite, then another. A loud thump behind him turned out to be Ivor, falling to the ground, dead. Stephen soon followed suit. The second expedition learned to avoid the lobsters.

NORVAL JOE

Many people believe that naming your child Porkchop was a fad of hippy parents from the sixties. It’s true, I was born in nineteen sixty and five other boys in my graduating class had the same name. But, I wasn’t the first in my genealogy to bare that name.
My great-grandfather, and his father had the blessed title and traced it back centuries to Sir Porkchop Gillywinger, first earl of East Wiffypuddle. A little known apocryphal text from the second century, says a fourth wise man named Porkchopshazar started with the other three but became lost due to night blindness.

DUANE

First

Who was the first to catch my eye as I crashed headlong into puberty? Maybe Samantha with that cute little nose twitch, or Jeannie, the original “hips don’t lie” girl. It could have been Betty Ruble or Josie. Josie was in a band and that was cool. Veronica was also in a band, but I always felt Veronica was out of my league. What about Batgirl or Barbara Gordon? Batgirl. She had a motorcycle and spandex. Charlie’s Angels was not a choice at all. Jill all the way, and, yes, I had the poster.

So many women, so little words.

TURA

First
———
I knew the first man to run a mile in one minute. His bones were made of nano-woven buckytubes, his blood was completely synthetic, and more of his brain was in the computing cloud than his skull. His heart and lungs were machines, and the membranes supporting his internal organs were spider-silk synthesized by his own genetically modified cells. But I can get in a car and do the mile in 30 seconds, so what’s the point?

They say that in the end, so much of his brain was in the cloud that his owners just shut off the body.

PLANET Z

The longest journey begins with the first step.
I stood at the bottom of a crystal staircase, looking up.
It went up for as far as I could see. I could not see the top,
How far did it go? Did it reach the clouds? Did it reach the stars?
The strange old man in the village wouldn’t tell me.
“Many have tried,” he said. “But none have returned alive.”
I lifted my foot… and…
I walked over to the crystal elevator, and I pushed the call button.
I sat down on the grass and waited… and waited… and waited…

The next weekly challenge topic is Clutch

Hi there. This is Laurence Simon of the 100 Word Stories Podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com.

The topic of the next 100 Word Stories Weekly Challenge is Clutch.

Want to give it a try?

Write an email to isfullofcrap (at) gmail.com with the subject line of WEEKLY CHALLENGE.

Include the following in your email:

– The text of your 100 word story on the topic.
– Your site’s URL, if you have a site and aren’t ashamed to share it.
– A topic for an upcoming Weekly Challenge.
– And a recording of your story. (Be sure to introduce yourself to the audience.)

If you hate the sound of your voice or can’t record your story for some reason or another, that’s your problem. Deal with it.

Everything’s due by Sunday morning when I put the episode together. However, if you’re running late, I can put your story up on the feed in a separate post.

Good luck, and as always… keep it brief.

12/17 Clutch
12/24 What do YOU want for Christmas?
12/31 Endings

AND THEN, IN 2018 (draft)

JAN 7 Slack
JAN 14 Involved
JAN 21 Smartypants
JAN 28 PICK TWO
Corner
Tiger
Tie
Please
Encountered
Obsolete
Winter
Webcam

FEB 4 Why not?
FEB 11 If only I had…
FEB 18 Grab a bag…
FEB 25 PICK TWO
Native
Drumroll
Brothers
Web
Pi(e)
Slice
Ticker
Tower
Elephant

MAR 4 Generally
MAR 11 Braided
MAR 18 Water
MAR 25 PICK TWO
Fail
Globe
Sunny
Wee
Shift
Well
Butter
Wilco
Grass

APR 1 Hardly
APR 8 Vibration
APR 15 Weak
APR 22 Camping
APR 29 PICK TWO
Granite
Pertinent
Record
Surely
Tag
Bridge
Proud
Detective
Tarp
Caramel

MAY 6 Fly
MAY 13 Organ
MAY 20 Pizza
MAY 27 PICK TWO
Doc
Grumpy
Happy
Sleepy
Dopey
Bashful
Sneezy

JUNE 3 Tip
JUNE 10 Ratchet
JUNE 17 Wafer
JUNE 24 PICK TWO
Prompt
Screech
Future
Gyrate
Frustration
Majestic
Fired
Packer

JULY 1 Never say…
JULY 8 Stab
JULY 15 Chance
JULY 22 Quill
JULY 29 PICK TWO
Mug
Unfortunate
Global
Grime
Elephant
Splat
Dread

AUG 5 Power
AUG 12 When the lights went out…
AUG 19 Flay
AUG 26 PICK TWO
Mask
Pinprick
Out of sync
Grapes
Rose
Drive
Print
Darling
Terminal

SEP 2 Win
SEP 9 Driver error
SEP 16 Addictive
SEP 23 Chaos
SEP 30 PICK TWO
Minefield
Fountain
Angle
Craft
Sodium
Salute
Engine
Candle
Case

OCT 7 Dug
OCT 14 Mystery
OCT 21 Turtle
OCT 28 PICK TWO
Pagoda
Winner
Rustic
Confusing
Grinding
Patience
Arthur
Crypt

NOV 4 Dispute
NOV 11 Braced
NOV 18 Flower
NOV 25 PICK TWO
Bubbling
Saffron
Lime
Axial
Repetition
Can
Spaceship

DEC 2 Too much
DEC 8 Polar
DEC 16 Belt
DEC 23 Irritation
DEC 30 PICK TWO
Reflect
Pounce
Gymnastics
Obsolete
Engage
Girls
Easier