Weekly Challenge #604 – Whiskers

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:

Tinny nap

LIZZIE

There used to be a place where cats roamed freely. It had lots of hidden corners where the sun shone in late afternoons. And they lingered lazily, stretching their lean furriness.
There used to be a place where the birds chirped a song and water was a magical backdrop.
There used to be a place with butterflies and pelicans, and lions and ferrets, dogs and roosters, chickens and bears.
And I used to go for a walk amongst the strangeness of the mixture of animals and the familiarity of their peacefulness.
There used to be a place I called home.

RICHARD

Kitchen Rivalry

The ‘Most Excellent Order of Whiskers, Beaters and Meringue Whippers’ – usually shortened to the diminutive, ‘Whiskers’, for convenience – is a little-known and exclusive society reserved solely for the most influential of pastry chefs.

Not only is competition fierce for the few highly desirable memberships made available to those eligible to join, but jealously is rife amongst the other kitchen professions denied entrance.

So much so, that rival factions fight fiercely for dominance. The most notable of which is the ‘Venerable Society of Salad Washers, Spinners and Dressers’.

Since that’s such a mouthful, we call them ‘Tossers’, for convenience!

CHARLIE

Whiskers was a small, underweight kitten, but grew quickly to become a twenty-seven pound whopper. I learned later that Whisker’s parents were Chausies, whose ancestry is ancient Egypt.

Whiskers wore the pants in my house. I had two, medium-sized dogs who gave Whiskers the run and rule of the home.

She was a danger to the bird population on the property, but after some demanding training, she never bothered my feathered friends again.

Whiskers lived a long and happy life, surviving well into her twenties, on a diet of balanced and nutrient dense kibble and expensive, moisture rich canned foods.

#2

Whiskers and Cups is the go-to coffee shop in town. Owned by sisters, Kathie and Karie Maplethorpe, W&C opened last month.

Serving house roasted coffee, the shop features rescue cats from the local rescue organization and nearby pound.

Customers can enjoy their coffee and tasty pastries, while cats leap onto their tables and heads, after lounging in the nearby litter boxes. Patrons bring in rodents and birds for the cats if they tidy up after the entertainment.

Fortunately, many of the larger, aggressive cats are adopted, and no contamination has yet been the cause of any discomfort to shop clientele.

#3

The cat whisker, made from a safety pin and a pencil lead, in contact with a single-edged razor blade was at the heart of my crystal radio. Some magnet or coated wire, an oatmeal box, and piezo earphones completed the unit.

The reception was good, after attaching the set to the feed pipe of the radiator, I used as ground. I had a twenty foot, homemade antenna on the roof of the garage.

My first foxhole, crystal radio was used in Germany during the Second World War. I could pull in German language stations as well as stations in England.

SERENDIPITY

The old cat woman at the corner house was a complete stereotype – living alone with her many cats, she was rarely seen by the outside world.

Then the neighbours noticed an offensive smell – somewhat worse than the aroma of twenty cats and their excrement – emanating from the house.

When the police broke in, they found the mouldering remains of the old woman, half-eaten by the starving animals, almost all of whom were now just skin and bone.

Only poor little Whiskers survived, so we took him on.

Little realising he’d acquired such a taste for human flesh!

TURA

Whisker
———
“There’s nothing like a cat’s whisker receiver and the human ear.” he said. “Modern electronics can’t come close. Even valves aren’t good enough. You have to adjust the whisker just so, you see? Sometimes it takes me an hour… do you hear that? All those clicks and beeps? Aliens! Talking to each other somewhere above us. I’m trying to decode their language…”

I subvocalised a command to the nearest ship, and presently the familiar grip of a tractor beam drew us up.

We always abduct the smartest, curious ones. They improve our hive brains, and it keeps the Earthlings docile.

JEFFREY

A Close Shave
by Jeffrey Fischer

After changing jobs, a long-time colleague told me my boss hated facial hair. I was surprised I got the job. My beard dated back to high school, and I was unreasonably proud of its neat appearance, so I kept it. The other new hire was a skinny millennial with a hip goatee who kept it as well.

The day before my review, I thought I didn’t want to sit before the boss flaunting my beard so, somewhat wistfully, I shaved it completely. As it turned out, the year hadn’t gone well for the firm. The boss planned to fire one of his new hires. Mr. Goatee was gone and I survived – by a whisker, you might say.

NORVAL JOE

This is Movember. That means that men are supposed to grow a moustache to bring awareness for mens health.
One out of eight women will be affected by breast cancer. One out of nine men will have to worry about their prostate.
With the women, we can all appreciate, “Save the Tata’s”.
However, no one wants to chant, “Save my butt”.
So, I’m growing a moustache.
Nearly a month into it, it’s sad to say that my best friend from my childhood had a better mustache as a senior in high school than I do, now, as a senior citizen.

TOM

I Want Out

Mr. Whiskers sat patiently by the front door. Ben did not call Mr. Whiskers, Mr. Whiskers, he called him Fred. “Fred is no name for a cat,” his girlfriend Amber said. Neither is Mr. Whiskers, but he wasn’t about to get into a fight over a 25 pound ball of fur. Ben opened the door just wide enough for the cat to wedge his head out. “You’re not going to like it.” After three seconds, Mr. Whiskers look up at Ben with a kitty incriminating glare. “Yup I made it Cold and Wet, just for you.” Mr. Whiskers was not amused.

I’m just a hair guy

One of my favorite George Carlin riffs goes as follow: “The word ‘beard’ shook a lot of people up. BEARD! It’s not American sounding. BEARD! Lenin had a BEARD! Gabby Hayes had ‘whiskers’. Monty Woolley had whiskers.” Yup despite five presidents sport one and a dapper C Everett Koop. Look what happen when Al Gore grew his, to bad about that Bin Laden thing. Tom Hanks could get away with his because he was shipwrecked on a desert island. Personally I don’t see myself as someone with a beard. I see myself as someone who just doesn’t shave. Seriously lazy.

DUANE

Whiskers

“Whiskers” Manetti had it out for me. He told “One Thumb” Tony that I was to blame for his men being pinched in the hotel robbery. He was right. Word on the street was that he called in “The Shovel” to take care of things. Micky “Squint” was my inside man with Whiskers. He had kept me one step ahead of the gang so far. It was getting more dangerous relying on Squint and One Thumb for information. Even Pete “Tips” O’Hanlan down on the docks couldn’t be trusted. If I was gonna survive I was gonna need a nickname.

Z

Old Man Peterson stroked his white beard and looked over the chessboard.
“Checkmate on five moves,” he said.
To nobody.
He was sitting alone in the park, with no pieces on the board.
Peterson stroked his beard again.
“I may need to swap some of my tiles,” he said.
Once again, to nobody.
He reached down to the board, let his hand shake for a moment, and withdrew it back to his lap.
This continued for the rest of the day.
When the sun was low in the sky, Peterson stood up, picked up the board, and shuffled back home.

The next weekly challenge topic is PICK TWO: Shed, Sale, Rancor, Vellum, Slope, Zip, Kale, Bane

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 PICK TWO: Shed, Sale, Rancor, Vellum, Slope, Zip, Kale, Bane.

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.

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

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

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

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

MAY 6 Fly
MAY 13 Organ
MAY 20 Pizza
MAY 27 PICK TWO
Tarp
Packer
Terminal
Grass
Elephant
Caramel
Case

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

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

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

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

Green Thing

Don’t you hate it when you’re stuck in line at the grocery store behind some idiot?
They try to use a check, or argue over coupons or something.
The worst was when a register girl couldn’t find a round green squash on the code list.
The customer didn’t know what it was.
Why are you buying something that you don’t know what it is?
Did your doctor tell you that you needed more greens in your diet, and your grandson ran out of green plastic army men?
Eventually, they finished, thank God!
I got out my checkbook and coupon pouch.

The Winds

Zephyr, the West Wind, brings storms in from The Lost Sea. We raise the watercatchers, and the rain falls into the cisterns.
Sirocco, the East Wind, brings pleasant smells from the flowers of The Rainbow Valley. We lay in the grass and dream.
Gust, the North Wind, brings the dust and grit of The Endless Desert. In less than a minute, flesh is stripped from bone. We raise the red flags, bring in the animals and equipment, and seal our doors until the wind stops.
Whoosh, the South Wind, hasn’t been heard in years. Nobody alive remembers what it brought.

e-dying

I’m dying.
Buy a casket for me on Woot.
And a funeral package on Groupon.
Or maybe check Angie’s List if there isn’t one there.
You can get flowers from LivingSocial.
Amazon Daily Deals always has nice clothes.
Does Zillow handle cemetery real estate yet?
We can get the headstone from Ebay.
Just sand off the name and dates, but keep “In loving memory.”
I like that.
Invite friends and family from Facebook.
And stream it on YouTube. For those who can’t use Kayak to make travel arrangements.
Log off my Warcraft avatars.
Oh, and snip the leaf on Ancestry.

50 Cent

Why is 50 Cent called 50 Cent?
Is it because he’s a two-bit hood? No, that would be 25 Cent.
Maybe he has a lucky 50 cent piece?
Or it represents the 2 quarters they’d put over his eyes if he got shot. Again.
Wouldn’t they use silver dollars?
They say he took it from a thief who’d rob anyone for just 50 cents. Some say the guy turned 50 cents into 500 dollars at a dice game.
A music thief, stealing a thief’s name. Priceless.
I think it’s the price of his albums in the discount bin at Wal-Mart.

Tea Shop

Our group used to go to a tea shop every week, and we’d share a pitcher of tea.
Earl Grey one week, Oolong blend the next.
Something different every week.
Then, Joe died. We’d set out an empty cup for him.
After Penny died, we set out an empty cup for her, too.
When Monica, Olive, and Dan died, we set out empty cups for them.
Soon, it was just me, going to the tea shop, drinking an entire pot of tea by myself.
Surrounded by empty cups.
Nobody ever comes over to sit with me.
So, I read quietly.