Weekly Challenge #458 – Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanipal, and Gilgamesh (The Mesopotamians!)

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

This is Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic: Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanipal, and Gilgamesh (The Mesopotamians!)

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The next 100 word stories weekly challenge is on the topic of Eat. Scroll up and click on Weekly Challenge to learn how to join us!

Tin Roof Swirl: Cat vs Ice Cream

ANIMA

The Mesopotamians

The wheels had fallen of the van, again.

Dammit Hammurabi! Did you tighten the lug nuts? Now there is no way we’ll make the gig in Hoboken.

Who, me? Man, you know I can’t remember shit…. That’s why I’m a singer, and not the drummer. Relax, I know what we can do… I’ll say a prayer to Ishtar, and sacrifice a goat (sorry Larry). She and I had a thing back in Cali, so I know Tari will help us out. Plus I think I left my favourite armband in her couch…

Larry, what do you say about that?

Baaaaah!

JOHN MUSICO

John Musico
Before the Old Testament

The archeologist beamed, as he brushed off a clay tablet in the Mesopotamian ruins.
Carbon dating came back as 3000 BC: long before the Old Testament. The glyphs inscribed on the tablet read that the world was created by the Devil for His amusement and had always been evil.
Eventually the Devil became board. He created God so there would be some contrast to better appreciate all his evil.
Upon death, any good man would be cheated of the vices of Hell. No philandering, boozing it up, no freedom to swear, etc. Good men were to be banished to Heaven….

JEFFREY

“Chess Master”
by Jeffrey Fischer

“Paul, as the school chess champ, everyone wants to try to take you down. Now the Science Club wants to play you in six simultaneous games.”

“Eh, no thanks. I’ve seen them play before. THEY think they’re good, but…well, Deep Blue they’re not. On a good day, their best player MIGHT beat Sargon.”

“Sargon? Never heard of it.”

“Oh, sure. It was a chess program for the Apple II, among other platforms. When I wanted to BE a chess champion, I begged my Dad for a copy. Sargon wasn’t on par with the GIANTS of the field, but it was good to learn on. Anyway, forget the Science Club. Six games with them is no challenge at all. It would be like playing a Mesopotamian.”

[And now a word from our sponsor]

Have you been involved in a camel accident? Threatened with being stoned to death by an angry king for apostasy you didn’t commit? Accused of summoning an evil genie to do your bidding? You have rights, and you’re not alone! Contact Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanipal, and Gilgamesh, attorneys at law. We’re here to fight to the death for YOUR rights!

Disclaimer: Actual fight may or may not occur. The phrase “to the death” is a metaphor and not to be taken literally, except in the unfortunate event it happens to be your death. Seek medical help for state of nirvana lasting more than four hours. Void where prohibited by law.

“Names”
by Jeffrey Fischer

“I don’t like it when countries change names of things.”

“Like what?”

“The big city in China, for instance. It’s now Beijing, right? But we used to call it Peking. Or Bombay is now Mumbai. Crazy, right? Now I have to learn new names for things.”

“You’re an old reactionary. Those changes are to make the names closer to what the natives call those places. Westerners tried pronouncing foreign words and something got lost in the translation. You wouldn’t want some foreigner renaming Philadelphia just because it’s hard for him to pronounce, would you?”

“It’s not just pronunciation. Mesopotamia.”

“Yeah, what about it?”

“Once it had powerful rulers, like Hammurabi, or Gilgamesh. Now it’s partly in Iraq, partly in Iran, etc. You can’t tell me that’s just because we were pronouncing it wrong.”

“Now you’re just being silly. Mesopotamia was a region. Countries are countries. They couldn’t all be called Mesopotamia. So be fair. It’s not like countries just change names of cities for the hell of it.”

“Well, don’t try telling that to the natives of Saigon – I mean, Ho Chi Minh City. And Istanbul *was* once Constantinople…”

RICHARD

#1 – George’s Story – Part 91: The Mesopotamians

They say the great kings of Mesopotamia – Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanipal and Gilgamesh were considered to be gods. If George had been living in ancient Mesopotamia, then his status – based upon the withering look the woman now gave him – was somewhere between something nasty you scrape off your shoe, and six week old potato peelings.

“This way”, she commanded him brusquely.

“George Attwell”, she announced entering a room containing a desk, behind which sat three, smiling men.

The woman guided George to the chair gave him a look reserved for the Mesopotamian equivalent of a wet fart, and left the room.

#2 – What’s in a name?

Sargon Hammurabi Ashurbanipal Gilgamesh Harris had a pretty rotten childhood, as you would expect, being named after a bunch of Mesopotamians!

It was all his father’s fault – a huge fan of the group, ‘They Might Be Giants’ – who chose to name his son in honour of his favourite song.

Understandably, Sargon became a bit of a recluse, avoiding going out in public as much as possible, and spending entire weekends holed up in his bedroom.

But, he had to go to school: Every Monday morning he’d leave the house knowing the nightmare facing him.

It was a fiendish weekly challenge.
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TURA

Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanipal, and Gilgamesh (The Mesopotamians!)
——–
“What are Men to us?” declared Sargon.

Hammurabi purred, “They give us their best food, and warmth, and leisure.”

“In the palaces,” snorted Gilgamesh. “The rest have us only to keep down the mice.”

“Where we succeed, we starve,” observed Ashurbanipal, “and must scavenge their rubbish heaps.”

Sargon snarled, “Let us return to hunting the creatures of the plain!”

“We are too long among Men,” sighed Hammurabi.

Gilgamesh concluded, “Then we must make our own place here, not become slaves like Man’s dogs.”

And so Gilgamesh, Hammurabi, and Ashurbanipal entered the houses of Man, but Sargon returned to the wild.

SPATE

They Might Be Terrorists

Breaking news just in:

Four suspected Muslim extremists were caught crossing the border near Bisbee
Arizona overnight.

The men, claiming to be Mesopotamian musicians, were apprehended when their
mink birdhouse delivery van sustained severe tire damage and got flooded
with desert sand.

Asked what they were doing there, they stated that they got lost.

Two of the men were originally from Massachusetts but reportedly have ties
to a rogue terror cell in Istanbul.

The Department of Homeland Security suspects they had planned on attacking
the San Francisco Noise Pop Festival using improvised weapons of sarcastic
wit and quirky infectious melodies.

SERENDIPITY

You may have heard of Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanipal, and Gilgamesh: the Mesopotamians, but the chances are, you’ve never heard of me.

There’s a very good reason for that – for I am Nunbarsegunumathauntanabusharinapaksariwan, the greatest and most feared of all the queens of the ancient world. My name is both blessing and a curse to those who utter it.

A blessing, for those who speak my name without fear, fault or fumbling; for they escape with their lives.

As for those who stumble, stutter or struggle… they are sliced, diced and fed to the pigs.

Nobody takes my name in vain!

TOM

A Well Defined Relationship Part 87

It was painfully apparent El Cid would be of little or no uses helping Timmy find a way-out. A memory of his father settled in his thoughts : Sometimes the way out is the way in. “I got to think outside the box.” Making direct eye contact with the dealer, Tim rolled his hand across the table and said “Deal.” Tamerlane let a wry smile flash, broke the seal on a package of Dal Nergos. Timmy tapped his two. The dealer laid out four kings Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanipal, and Gilgamesh. “so we’re playing Mesopotamians. Tell me the tale of Sargon.”

A Well Defined Relationship Part 88

A babe in a basket set adrift on the great river. Raised by the gardener of the emperor. He grew strong in Inanna’s protection. Wine bearer of the court, who troubled the dreams of Ur-Zababa the great. Brandished to the land of Uruk carrying a sealed call for his own death, but their did take the city then all of Sumer. He fell many city walls, was the progenitor of writing, defended against the Elam. The model ruler to the ages. Written in the Book he is Nimrod. He is the first. Do you chose him?”

“Tell me of Hammurabi.”

A Well Defined Relationship Part 89

“He took sleepy Babylon made it the jewel of the fertile crescent. Great powers fell and became part of his vast domain. Of all his deeds the most glorious was separating the Law from the Rule. He created a code independent of the power of the throne. Further to each corner of his kingdom he placed stone steles engraved for all to see and know the law, precise and immutable. Harsh was the law an eye for an eye, but better by far than blood feuds spanning generations. Hammurabi giver of law. Do you chose him?’

“Tell me of Ashurbanipal.”

A Well Defined Relationship Part 90

He was the lion of the Assyrian. Who ruled from great Nineveh and did there establish a library of a 30,000 clay tablets. The tale of Gilgamesh was stored. King of the universe he called himself, but shared the his rule with his beloved brother. He defeated the Nubian king of Egypt and claimed Memphis as his prize. Noble to his people a demon to his defeated. He putting a dog chain through the jaw of a defeated king and then making him live in a dog kennel. Ashurbanipal persevere of word. Do you chose him?”

“Tell me of Gilgamesh.”

A Well Defined Relationship Part 91

“Oh mighty Gilgamesh who’s tale has journeyed cross the universe, but at its core is a simple story of friendship and loss. He bridled chaos with the love of a woman to create the wild civilized man upon whose death would causes the great search for Xisouthros in an effort to beat death itself. “Was his search in vain master Parsons?” “No it is not,” said Timmy pulling that card from the table, turning over his two, the ace of hearts and the suicide king. “I will take from the snake what he stole.” Timmy turned to the dark mirror.

MUNSI

The B-52’s

By Christopher Munroe

Don’t get me wrong, I love the B-52’s. Classic new wave band. Roam, Summer of Love, Good Stuff, all brilliant .

However, the song Mesopotamia, I’m out.

It’s just that they have moments where they’re too cutesy by half, and by “There’s a lot of ruins in Meso-po-tamia” I can’t deal with it.

HOWEVER, I am still feeling the ‘80s vibe, so I switched to Adam Ant. You might agree with this decision, you might not.

That’s fine, I’m used to it.

It happens all the time.

All of those who get to know me, become admires or my enemies…

LIZZIE

Getting lost in the desert was as far from their plan as going to the moon. The ill-organized adventure ended with a group of four friends stuck in a van. Six months later, when the police finally found them, they were mummified. Years of studies followed with no results, until surprisingly they came back to life. “We told you not to touch that stone!” A pursuit ensued; three furious men chasing another. The authorities, perplexed, ran after them too. Last time that long line of people running was seen, it was heading towards… somewhere. At least the line was organized!

NORVAL JOE

I dated a girl in high school who named all of her pets after famous people. I thought that sounded like a good idea because you could sound like someone who’s deeply creative or very well read.
I named a long haired chihuahua Sargon. I thought it sounded powerful. The dog ran away.
I had a pot bellied pig who I named Hammurabi. It disappeared when my house was broken into.
I named a parakeet Ashurbanipal. It caught a cold and died.
All I have now is a goldfish I won at a carnival. That’s right. I named it Gilgamesh

PLANET Z

Our first computer was an Apple Two Plus.
We bought a few games for it, such as Space Eggs and Wizardry.
Then there were the pirated games that friends at school passed around.
A second floppy drive made it easier to copy those disks for others.
Some of them were flawed copies, but the games were so engaging, we promised to buy them for real.
You know, because the software companies depended on that revenue to pay programmers to make more.
But as much as we played Sargon’s chess, we never bought it.
I mean, he died centuries ago, right?

The topic of the next weekly challenge is Eat

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 Eat.

Want to give it a shot? 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 the next 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.

COMING SOON: (I may slip in a topic or two for a major holiday or important event)

2/15 I’ve got nothing
2/22 Strike
3/1 After
3/8 Trench
3/15 South
3/22 Paint
3/29 Correct
4/5 Pen
4/12 Pan
4/19 Let’s create a pantheon. The God(dess) of _________________.
4/26 Anchor
5/3 Fit
5/10 Troll
5/17 A word that doesn’t exist
5/24 Cheese
5/31 TENTH ANNIVERSARY <- open season, no specified topic
6/7 Try
6/14 Ounce
6/21 Wave
6/28 Tramps
7/5 Sing
7/12 Hopeless
7/19 Guest
7/26 Spike
8/2 Kid
8/9 When
8/16 Saw
8/23 Your favorite quote
8/30 Mug
9/6 Building
9/13 Adventure
9/20 Scoop

Atomized

Peter always wanted to go into space.

But the Treaty of Kkaskktk clearly states that Earthborn must remain on Earth.

Satellites enforced the treaty. Earthborn who tried to break the blockade were sent crashing down.

Instead of living within their ecological means on their homeworld, Earthborn continued to ravage their planet, and instead focused their efforts on trying to break the blockade.

For every satellite destroyed, ten would take its place.

Peter tried to design a hyperspace gateway to jump past the blockade, but it started a chain reaction.

Everything was atomized.

But, technically, Peter’s atoms float around in space.

George

Lisa wanted to name our son “George” after her great-grandfather.

So, we named him George.

He was a brilliant kid, and he was reading science magazines before other kids were potty-trained.

We couldn’t answer his questions, so we gave him a computer, and he asked scientists around the world all kinds of strange things.

At least it wasn’t porn and predators. Can’t be too careful these days.

His experiments grew larger and louder, until one day, he vanished.

“TIME MACHINE” was the last entry in his notebook.

Makes sense. My last photo of him looks a lot like Lisa’s great-grandfather.

Shave For Cancer

A friend of mine has cancer, and they’re starting radiation and chemotherapy soon.

All of their hair is going to fall out, so they went ahead and got it all shaved off.

Some people shave their heads in solidarity with their cancer-stricken friends, but that’s a bit extreme, I think.

Plus, I’m slowly going bald anyway, so if I shave it all off, there’s a good chance that it won’t all come back.

That’s why I’m going to shave my back hair.

I’ve got a salon coupon that my coworkers bought me for Christmas.

Hey, I can take a hint!

School Days

For centuries, Catholics called the Jews “Christ-killers.”

I didn’t know this until I was sent to private school.

A Catholic school. The only private school in the area.

I didn’t have to go to Mass. Instead, I was sent to Study Hall.

I’d read quietly, until the bullies showed up.

“I’ll tell the headmaster,” I said.

“He’s the one who sent us,” grinned O’Brien.

I stabbed him in the face.

After I finished with the others, I went to see the headmaster.

“Self-defense,” I said.

He confessed to molesting those boys, and thanked me for helping to cover that up.

Get Your Goat

If you need a goat, buy one or borrow one from a trusted friend.

Never rent a goat.

Sure, it looks cheaper to rent a goat than to buy one, but they pile on all sorts of hidden fees and charges. “Horn Insurance” is such a scam. Most insurance policies already cover goat horns… look it up!

And then there’s the late fees. No overnight drop-offs allowed, either. Don’t even try to cram that goat through the mail slot.

Finally, the rental place will charge you a fortune for goat chow if you return the goat with an empty stomach.