The Last Train

As fast as the last train to Clarksville left the station, the railroad company pulled up the rails, ripped up the ties, and collected the rocks from the rail bed.
The rocks from the rail bed were crushed and used in the cement that ended up being used in the highway to Clarksville.
The rails were reshaped into guard rails for the highway.
The ties were cut into planks for the buildings in the rest areas.
When the highway was finished, we drove to Clarksville to visit the train museum.
“Wouldn’t you rather drive to the moon?” asked Michael Nesmith.

Weekly Challenge #570 – PICK TWO

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:

Stripey

CHARLIE

Hazing was tougher than ever this year. To join, the test was to ingest five Aspirin, chased with a full gravy boat, and run all the way to the Mercantile without tossing your cookies.

Once there, the inductee would drop ‘tro and sit on a block of ice, bare-assed, like a Polar bear, while juggling soft, clay balls and hard boiled eggs being careful to avoid cracking any of the egg shells.

After this. the pledge would have to chug a half pint of gin, flavored with juniper berries and orange clementine.

The hazing for the fraternities would be the same.

JEFFREY

Lost Afternoon
by Jeffrey Fischer

“Come join me in the bedroom,” my wife said. In some households, that could be an invitation to something good. I knew it was a demand to waste my afternoon and beyond.

“Okay, I’m here. What’s up?”

She pointed to the wall above the dresser. The wall contained five swathes of paint. I groaned inwardly. “I picked these up from the paint store. We have Polar White, Eggshell, Juniper, and Clay.” I looked. White, pretty much white, green, and gray.”

“Um, wonderful. You said five swathes, but mentioned only four. What’s that brownish stain to the right?”

She stared. “Oh, that’s just gravy from a snack I had last night.”

“Too bad. That was my first choice.”

RICHARD

#1 – Gin

I’d always fancied making my own tipple, and having juniper bushes at the bottom of the garden, gin seemed to be the logical choice.

I wasn’t really sure how to go about it, but a quick Google search armed me with all the necessary information. The only extra I’d need was a good quantity of cheap vodka.

I have friend – Ivan – who has connections down at the docks… He saw me right!

Although I’m not so sure after tasting – I’m seriously thinking of adding aspirin to the mix to combat the headache… As a pre-emptive measure!

#2 – TED

It’s not every day you get to join a Polar expedition.

That’s the trouble with TED Talks – you get all inspired by somebody else’s pursuit of freedom and success, and before you know it, you’ve quit your job, sold the house, and signed up for a six month trek across the frozen Arctic wastes.

And it all seemed such a good idea at the time.

Trust me, it’s not.

When you’ve lost your toes to frostbite, and are down to your last husky for protein, the only success you can focus on is surviving another day.

Don’t do it!

MUNSI

On Mornings After
By Christopher Munroe

One risk of the party bus lifestyle that nobody talks about is hangovers.

Good gravy, the hangovers.

Asprin won’t save you, and while keeping hydrated might mitigate things somewhat, you’ll still spend much of your mornings an utter human disaster, most days.

Which is fine. Nothing happens in the morning on a party bus, so you won’t miss anything.

Sleep til noon, many do, while the bus whisks you to the next town, for the next party.

Wake when you do, on your own time. There’s no pressure.

We’re all night owls here.

That’s why we joined a party bus…

SERENDIPITY

You have to pick your target area carefully – a baseball bat may be painful, but you must incapacitate your victim.

Leg bones are stronger than you might think; and although a good swing may break an arm, there’s no guarantee it’ll do serious damage. Broken collar bones and ribs are a better bet, but if you really want results, go for the skull.

To a baseball bat, the skull is eggshell thin – one good, hard whack, and it’s all over.

Trust me, to receive one of those will result in a headache no amount of aspirin will shift.

TOM

Just a Bunch of Words
Eggshell Juniper ran pell-mell down the long red corridor two picks in hand. The Polar Gravy was attacking joining with the Aspirin Feet of Clay. Both armed to the teeth with morning star and pole axe respectively. The Fight, a weekly challenge was always topical. This was billed as the next big thing, but always feel short, just like the picks and axes. “Mercantilism is the way.” The Eggshell yelled. “Works of the world unite you have nothing to lose but your chains.” The Gravy screamed. The groundlings pressed to post their last bets. The venters hawked their dubious wares.

LIZZIE

On Eggshells

New job, new goals, more money. That was great, right? Wrong.
Arthur’s supervisor, a wannabe vampire of sorts, decided to bite all the men in the company.
Arthur wasn’t fond of bites, especially of co-workers, even if they were female. So, he maneuvered cautiously through the intricate maze of corridors.
The day the supervisor caught him by the wrist, he smashed her face in with the lunch tray.
He told the police he feared for his life. They believe him.
And Arthur joined another company. This time, the goal was to find a quiet work environment… with no biting.

LAIEANNA

The three little pigs, everyone knows.
But what about the outcasts,
Two brothers, sadly disowned

One was dumb and a little cray.
He tried following in their footsteps,
But not with sticks, bricks, or even hay.

A house he built of eggshells, no wolf was required.
Just one attempt at entrance
Made his whole house crash and expire

The second pig, oh so into clay.
This wasn’t about building,
Just more shiek than mud to roll and lay.

Joke’s on us, you’d laugh if you could.
That pig now lives high on the hog,
As a pampered pet in Hollywood.

NORVAL JOE

Juliet smiled down the barrel of her pistol at Benny. Her teeth glistened, polar white between her blood red lips. Benny’s legs felt as if they had turned to gravy and his feet were mired in clay. He was painfully aware of his own handgun in the holster behind his back.
She read his mind.
“Reach for it and I’ll blow your head open like an eggshell.”
“Isn’t that why you’re here?” Benny asked.
She looked sincerely surprised. “Not if you join me.”
“Me join you?” he asked, as a bullet whistled past his ear, striking Juliet in the shoulder.

TURA

Clay; eggshells
———
Our Miracle Mineral Detox contains three magic ingredients. Two of them are clay and eggshells. Not just any clay, or
any eggshells, of course. Naturally formed diatomaceous kaolin with six nines purity, and sustainably harvested shells from hatched puffin chicks. There’s an authentic mediaeval recipe. “Take good black clay, two handfuls, and the shell of an egg that hath hatched in Its season, and by the rising light of dawn pound them together a sufficient time so they be well mixed” and so on. We leave out the claims that it will actually cure anything.

And the third ingredient? Gullibility.

PLANET Z

After the heart attack, Bob starting taking a daily dose of aspirin.
However, he never quite got used to the pill’s bitter taste.
He tried coated aspirin, but they tasted bad in a different way.
Syrups, candies… you name it, he tried it.
So, he started taking his aspirin with a cup of gravy.
And that tasted wonderful. Because, let’s face it… everything is better with gravy.
Of course, this ended up clogging Bob’s arteries even more, and eventually Bob had a second, fatal heart attack.
But the mortician had a hard time prying the smile off of Bob’s face.

The topic of the next weekly challenge is TUMBLE

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 .

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.

1/1 Key
1/8 Fun
1/15 Party
1/22 Bus
1/29 PICK TWO: Lead, Floppy, Argon, Purple, Brunch, Taffy, Worried, Venerable
2/5 Late
2/12 Lick
2/19 Normal
2/26 PICK TWO: Lightning, Italics, Spain, Tofu, Fragment, Ochre, Stumble, Pad
3/5 Suggestion
3/12 Flap
3/19 Dry
3/26 PICK TWO: Join. Aspirin, Gravy, Mercantile, Polar, Clay, Eggshell, Juniper
4/2 Tumble
4/9 Correct
4/16 Offend
4/23 … what?
4/30 PICK TWO: Gorge, Hockey, Pallor, Quiz, Mellow, Rogue, Marsh, Caesar
5/7 Circus
5/14 Thump
5/21 Bank
5/28 PICK TWO: Track, Jill, Pinkerton, Blasphemous, Contusion, Orc, Zither, Neutral
6/4 Cupcake
6/11 Shell
6/18 I can’t believe that…
6/25 PICK TWO: Too, Two, To, Tooth, Tour, Toucan, Toon, Volcano
7/2 Void
7/9 Ticket
7/16 Creepy
7/23 Monster
7/30 PICK TWO: Squad, Value, Callous, Iron, Bunk, Loner, Wispy, Divert
8/6 Loot
8/13 Paprika
8/20 Drive
8/27 PICK TWO: Washing, Hope, Downward, Nix, Lie, Thrive, Joy, Rhapsody
9/3 Deal
9/10 Gas
9/17 Alien
9/24 PICK TWO: Funk, Double-jointed, Ulcer, Mast, Mahogany, Candlestick, Brush, Sherman
10/1 Cook
10/8 Mask
10/15 Hospital
10/22 Rock
10/29 PICK TWO: Meter, Bash, Yell, Iridescent, Goon, Opulent, Mango, Traffic
11/5 Point
11/12 Chasing your tail
11/19 Whiskers
11/26 PICK TWO: Shed, Sale, Rancor, Vellum, Slope, Zip, Kale, Bane
12/3 Virgin
12/10 First
12/17 Clutch
12/24 What do YOU want for Christmas?
12/31 Endings

Joust

My son doesn’t play baseball.
Or football. Or soccer.
Or any of those sports in school.
Instead, he jousts.
We got him a horse, a suit of armor, and a lance.
And he looks fine in his armor, on his horse, holding his lance.
The problem is, there’s nobody to joust with.
And you can’t joust by yourself.
Okay, you can charge at target dummies.
Or people walking around in the mall.
Maybe your kid might be interested in jousting?
We’ve got a spare horse. And armor. And a lance.
Just sign this waiver.
In case he’s maimed. Or killed.

Night Watchman

I am a night watchman.
I watch the night.
My job begins when the day ends.
And ends when the day begins.
The hours are good.
Really good in the Summer, when the days are longer and nights shorter.
Not so good in Winter, when the days are shorter and nights longer.
But I get time off for the holidays, which takes care of the worst of the Winter nights.
The long, cold Winter nights.
Makes it hard to watch the night, with all the snow. And cold. And holiday lights.
I am a night watchman.
I watch the night.

The Football

People say that the president has his finger on the button, but there isn’t an actual button.
Or a switch. Or throw-lever. Or keypad. Or mouse to click.
Nor is there a voice-command terminal. Or fingerprint sensor.
Or gesture-based wand, like you get with the Nintendo Wii game console.
Not in your wildest dreams would the military provide such silly interfaces for a person to cause global annihilation.
It’s a pair of Marines.
You know, the guys who carry “The Football.”
It’s is really a briefcase full of nuclear launch codes.
Which the President must French-kiss the Marines to use.

BONUS STORY: George the Party Animal

George was a pirate, but he was not a very good pirate.
The crew did not like George very much, and that made George sad and lonely.
So, George left the ship, and he took a vacation
All night, way past midnight, he was a party animal.
And he drank. And threw up. And he passed out.
Then, he would sleep off his wicked hangover on the beach.
Over and over and over.
After a month, he returned to the ship.
The crew still did not like George very much.
But George was too drunk to care what they thought.

(Created with Shatoetry and The Hit Crew’s “Sailors Hornpipe”)