Certificates

I’m the county clerk.

I handle all the certificates.

Births
Weddings
Deaths

Every one of them has to go on official certificate paper, lined up just right.

It’s a pain in the ass.

You can’t just print these out in a color laser printer. That’s not good enough for people getting married or having kids.

The dead don’t give a shit, but their relatives care… only right up until the will’s been read, though.

I got bored one day and left a death certificate for John Coward on the copier.

Ran a thousand of them off and proved Shakespeare right.

The Ghost Pimp

Ruth is a psychic who helps ghosts resolve the issues which keep them bound to the material world.

Once these issues are resolved, they can finally head off into “the light.”

“The light” used to refer to Heaven, but escorting ghosts to the hereafter doesn’t pay jack squat.

Now, Ruth puts ghosts into antique lanterns and sells them as emergency battery-free lighting.

I’m sure you wish that Granddad or Aunt Sue were at peace up in Heaven, but you must admit that the stairs to my root cellar are rather peaceful too, right?

I even oiled the stairs. No creaking.

Myst needs a kitten

Myst has never been alone until now.

She was born into a big litter at a friend’s trailer park.

We were going to take her and her brother, but old Nardo already had his paws full with Bruwyn. Another new kitten was pushing it, so two probably would have killed him.

When Nardo died, she still had Bruwyn, and they cleaned each others ears every day. And they went out hunting and playing in the grass.

Now that Bruwyn is gone, Myst is all alone. She really needs a kitten-friend.

Because I’m sick of cleaning her ears. They taste disgusting.

Laundry Helper

Whenever my wife does laundry, she stacks the folded clean clothes on the bed.

And then, Nardo the orange cat would jump on the bed and roll around on the clean clothes.

Orange cat hair all over everything.

He taught Bruwyn to roll around on the clean laundry, and both of them would shed all over the clothes.

When Nardo was gone, Bruwyn had the laundry duty all to himself.

Now that Bruwyn’s gone, there’s no more laundry assistants.

Myst prefers to roll around in the dirt outside.

Maybe if I tossed all the clean clothes into the dirt…

Nah.

The Canyon

I don’t travel much anymore.

Instead, I like use Google Maps to look at famous places a lot.

People link photos to those sites, and I imagine walking through the streets of Berlin… riding a camel past the Pyramids… leaning on the rail of a paddlewheel boat on the Mississippi…

The Grand Canyon’s walls are a smeary blur in Google Maps.

The satellite photos don’t do it justice. And the tourists can’t quite cover all its greatness.

I want to go there and see it for myself.

And for the first time since I broke my neck, I feel self-pity.

Drive In

There aren’t many drive-in movie theaters left. The days of bringing in a bottle of scotch, sneaking your date in the trunk, and steaming up the windows are almost a thing of the past.

There’s an abandoned drive-in theater just outside of town. Watching a movie on a laptop computer’s not the same as the big projection screen, but nobody’s really going to be watching the movie.

I park the car, open the trunk, and look at my date.

She screams. The duct tape wrapped over her mouth and nose must have come loose.

I hate it when they struggle.

Weekly Challenge #443 – Skeleton

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: SKELETON

We’ve got stories by:

The next 100 word stories weekly challenge is on the topic of DOOM…

Darkness Cat

JOHN

Skeletons of Music and Poetry
by John Musico

An iamb is a soft syllable followed by an accented syllable; the backbone of music and poetry.
My youth was plagued by this baffling rhythm that would appear in my head. It could happen anytime: when I was about to knock on a door, when a bird swooped down from above.
My haunting iamb came in sets of 4, a tetrameter.
Da DUN, Da DUN, Da DUN, Da DUN;
As in “come live, with me, and be, my love”, etc.
Emily Dickens knew about this and got rich.
I didn’t know what it was, and I; got a chronic ulcer.

JEFFREY

Planetfall
by Jeffrey Fischer

After nearly two centuries, the starship reached a habitable planet with a thousand colonists in the hold, in stasis, waiting to be revived to start life anew. Life support on the control deck had long since failed, yet the ramjet system continued to scoop hydrogen into its fusion engine, propelling the ship toward its destination. Hull integrity was solid, and the computer banks, including the automatic pilot, hummed along. Only the seven crew members had failed to survive the journey. Their bodies remained as they died, internal organs decaying and the flesh falling from bones. The computer initiated the re-entry procedure, landed the ship, and released the colonists from stasis.

When two of the colonists opened the compartment to the control deck, only to see the remains of the crew, one said to the other, “Boy, Mission Control wasn’t kidding when they said they were sending us into space with only a skeleton crew!”

Yo Ho Ho and an MBA
By Jeffrey Fischer

Pirate interviews were held on Mondays, when prospective pirates had to fight massive hangovers from the previous weekend while convincing the Captain that they were worthy of being in his scurvy crew. Today, the Captain had his First Mate along on the interviews, thinking his second-in-command was likely senior management material and could have his own ship one day.

One by one, sailors would walk confidently into the Captain’s office to begin the interview. Things often started well, but when the interviewee saw the two skeletons slumped in a corner, he would often start stammering, and the interview went downhill from there.

During a lunch break, the First Mate asked his Captain why he displayed the skeletons. The Captain replied, “I learned that one in business school. It’s my best motivational tool.”

RICHARD

#1 – George’s Story – Part 74: Doctor’s orders

George looked again at his medical notes: Apparently, he’d been under the care of Doctor Spencer. He left the ward, scanning the nameplates on the corridor doors, until he found Spencer’s office.

Wrenching the door open, he screamed, before realising the skeleton behind the desk was simply a model on a stand.

Once his heartbeat had returned to normal, he turned his attention to the filing cabinets, rifling through them until he located a thin file bearing his name.

Hanging his coat over the skeleton, he took a seat behind the desk and began reading the file’s contents with interest.

#2 – Skeleton keys

The thief showed me his impressive set of skeleton keys – “With these”, he smiled, “I’m unstoppable – there’s no door can stand in my way and there’s not a lock made that can defeat my skills!”

“I wouldn’t be so certain”, I countered, “I bet I can find a door that even your keys can’t unlock”.

The thief laughed, unconvinced.

We set a time and a place for the thief to prove me wrong.

The door I’d chosen was unremarkable, and the thief, totally unimpressed, took out his keys.

“Where’s the keyhole, then?”, he asked.

“What keyhole?”, I replied!

LADY BLUE

Anatomically Correct

“I can’t tell if that’s a rib or the baculum.”

“Dude, if you can’t figure it out, I don’t think the public will either.”

“You sure about that? Mrs. Clemen’s third grade class burned me bad when we got those wings reversed on the butterfly exhibit.”

“Seriously? I don’t think a third grade class is gonna know about a penis bone, do you?”

“Maybe not, but perhaps the ninth grade classes would. Don’t they take anatomy at that age? Or..health, or whatever?”

“IT’S A BADGER SKELETON. They don’t study badgers in ninth grade. No one’s gonna look!”

“…I would.”

ANIMA

September 17th, 1964

Samantha- I have to tell you, I have fallen in love. Your eyes, green as emeralds, your honey flaxen hair. That pert nose…
And how you manage to keep such a clean house and cook such exquisite meals, I will never know.
You are the complete package. Yes, your family is odd, but I am marrying you, not them.

As he prattled on, Samantha’s mind raced…
What would Darrin say if he ever found Mr Bones in the closet, and realized he dispensed advice and was the source of the mac and cheese recipe she passed off as her own?

TOM

Keys

We call them skeleton keys, but at the time people just called them keys. Their design was to ensure ease of alignment. By the 1880s skeleton keys were becoming antiquated reminder of an age pasted, as four and six pin tumblers. The artist Aubrey Beardsley reworked the basic form of a skeleton key into monograms for a book series called the Keynote published by legendary publisher Bodley Head Press. I spent a summer scan the skeleton keys from a copy of the Complete Works of A B, then building vector wireframes. My Skeleton key are actually superior to Beardsley.

The Site

“Oh Hell,” said Rudy staring incredulously into the bucket of the backhoe. “Oh Fuck,” said the Foreman turning the exposed bone over will a pen. “Do we keep digging until we run into a full skeleton?” The Forman closed down construction and got on the phone to the CalTrans archeologist. Dr. Shoemond was the bane and boon of the state road system. He had equally cost and saved the state tens of thousands of dollars. “Yup, that a human femur oh about a 1000 years old.” It turn old to be 50,000 years old, rewrote the history of North America.

New Kid

Welcome to the League of Limited Super Heroes. Your pension for inclusion has been meet our highest standards.

Your train begins today. We welcome you to our band of brothers. Your orientation Hero will be the most honorable Armadillo Man. A booming Texas ascent and vice like hand shake greeted the young lad. Bones snapped. “Looks like our first stop in the infirmary to get those bones taken care of. “Have you considered a proper super hero moniker?” “No,” said kid gathering up the pieces of his hand from the floor. “What’s your power?”

“Reassembling Bones”

“How about Skeleton Boy.”

A Well Defined Relationship Part 71

El Cid pulled out a portable PowerPoint sphere and shared the location of all his booby traps that surrounded the Tamerlane. “Oh this one my favorite, right here in Skeleton Gulch. Germanium quicksand.” “Wicked,” said Sparky. At the end everyone clapped and agreed it was the best evil villain plan they had heard. “I guess we will just have to rise to the challenge and come up with heroic way to avoiding your wonderful traps,” said the Doctor. “My pleasure,” returned the Bandit.

ZACKMANN

Suicidal Tendencies song Waking the Dead plays through the public address speakers of the Vincent Price which starts me wondering if I really want to interview the captain slash necromancer who seems to have too much sense of humor or his three skeleton crew. Maybe find out which of the rumors are true about Red, Cinderella, and Eddie. Are they magic? Do they have to be wound with three skeleton keys? Are they robots? Are they alive? Do I really want take the Vincent Price’s maiden voyage to the moon with this skeleton crew even if the news company pays?

MUNSI

There’s a skeleton on my T-shirt, when I go to the bar.

And another beneath my skin.

The visible is styalized, white and red on black, to give a flash of color as I move through the night, a marker to show I’m there.

The hidden is more utilitarian. It props me up, keeps me standing. It receives little credit, but I use it every day.

Of the two, it’s the first I’m known for, that people would recognize when they see me.

But, in spite of this, the second is the more important.

It allows me to be me…

CHELSEA

We all have them. Those things that we do not share with the world. Those things that we hide because we are ashamed of them. Those skeletons in the closet.

We tell ourselves that no one will want us, no one will love us if they knew about the things hidden away in the back of that closet.

The thing that no one tells you is, those things you’re hiding away might just be the very things that help the right person to love you.

So, let them out, you never know who you might find by just being yourself!

SPATE

Her life was not supposed to be for everyone to see on the television
evening news. She feels naked. Awkwardly standing silently as the charges
are read.

How could they understand what she couldn’t understand herself?

The way every man had used her and threw her away like the shit filled
diapers of their bastard babies that now litter the floor.

The babies! Now counting eight. too many for her thirty-one years. Babies
crying and crying, endlessly crying.

They can condemn her house and tear it down, hell, they can condemn her. But
they can’t make that crying go away.

(Music: “Lullaby” by _ghost / ccmixter.com / licensed under Creative Commons
By Attribution / Noncommercial)
(news clip from WWLP News 22 Springfield MA / borrowed with my understanding
of fair use)

SERENDIPITY

Everyone has a skeleton or two in their closet – I have at least seven or eight.

I also have a body in the bath – slowly melting away in the acid – and another two, chopped and waiting in the freezer.

The cellar is stuffed full of skins, scalps and boxes full of bones, and you can’t move in the loft for the numerous odds and ends of leftover body parts.

The trouble is, I’m going to need a bigger house, very soon.

Not to worry, there’s plenty of empty properties about – strangely, my neighbours all keep disappearing!

DIONYSIUS

Out on Highway 61

Me’n’Bob was, like, hikin’ south on 61, when this, like, car stopped for us, with this big, like, knife-thing tied on top and the shotgun door opens and this skeleton-lookin’ dude says, Get in, with this, like, fuckin’ voice!

I like dove in the back, and when I looked at Bob he was givin’ me this look like, The suicide seat, man?

So cruisin’ along, I go, What kind o’ car is this, man?

The skeleton-guy goes, Pinto.

So I go, Like the beans, man? You never run out of gas, huh?

Then I woke up here! You got any more that painkiller?

NORVAL JOE

Superconductor slipped from his chair, glided across the floor and hovered over Dergle.
“What deludes you to believe you have anything to offer my organization?”
“Um. Well, your organization seems a little undersized compared to your wikipedia page.”
“Yes. We are, admitedly, down to something of a skeleton crew. We have had few applications to our order, as of late.”
“It would help if you’d be a bit friendlier and not try to scare everyone away,” Dergle said, skowling at Garbage Man.
“We’re villians. We’re evil. But, your deduction is not without merit,” Superconductor said, also glaring at Garbage Man.

DANNY

“You have until next Thursday, but unless you really wanted us not to release the skeletons in your closet, both we and the convicted criminal you represented should have received our letters begging for forgiveness last Tuesday.” the magistrate said. I begged and pleaded with the magistrate that literally held my license in her hands to give me a second chance to represent the poor and oppressed. She blatantly said, “No Way. Die with the trash you represent.” That’s when I finally realized the skeleton was really in her closet. That’s the lie we the American people live every day.

TURA

Sir Thomas Beecham described the sound of the harpsichord as “two skeletons copulating on a tin roof”. But he lived long before the zombie plague. What do two skeletons copulating on a tin roof sound like?

Equipment: One tin roof. A shotgun mike. An actual shotgun. And as bait, a ghetto-blaster loaded with the harpsichord works of J.S.Bach.

The bait drew the zombies out, rather too many, but they just stood there listening… like zombies. When the batteries ran out, though…

I can report that an orgy of skeletons on a tin roof sounds nothing like an orchestra of harpsichords.

LIZZIE

Peter hated his nickname and he didn’t understand why they called him Skeleton at school. In the eyes of everyone else, he couldn’t care less about skulls, bones or skeletons. He spent days digging in his grandmother’s backyard where he found bones of many animals, yes, but the kids didn’t know that. They most definitely didn’t know about those bones his grandmother buried in the barn. Peter simply couldn’t understand the other kids… The night was too warm and he couldn’t sleep. He got out of bed and went for a walk in the neighboring cemetery. He enjoyed the quietness.

PLANET Z

They say that there are 206 bones in the typical adult human skeleton.
You have to say “adult” because babies are born with more bones in the skull, but they fuse together over the first few years.
And you have to say “typical” because it’s not nice to say “normal” anymore.
People with extra fingers, extra toes, or damaged limbs feel awkward when you say they’re not normal.
And you especially need to say “skeleton” instead of “body” because some people eat the bones of others.
Especially finger bones from those whiny “damaged limbs” people.
But they’re so damn tasty!