Weekly Challenge #587 – MONSTER

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:

Derp

JEFFREY

Deceptive Advertising
by Jeffrey Fischer

I eyed the can with suspicion. “Monster” the can read. “Energy drink.” That was my goal: I wanted to be a real monster, scaring the living daylights out of people and not be responsible for my actions. I popped the can open and chugged it down. And waited. I felt jittery, but nothing more. How disappointing. I swallowed the contents of a second can and felt dizzy. Too much caffeine for sure, but I felt no more monstrous than before.

I looked in the mirror: scales, a forked tongue, a barbed tail. Sure I looked good, I looked the part, but I really couldn’t muster any rage. I considered myself a failure to my family. The company was getting a nasty letter for its deceptive advertising.

TOM

Not Tuff Enough

A long time ago in a movie theater far, far away I sat with my friend to view the second Alien film. We laughed, “How much scarier could it be then the acid dripping, face grabbing, chest erupting original monster?” Well, so said the seasoned boomer movie goers. There’s a scene when the Badie has trapped Ripple and the little girl in a med lap …. released the infant Alien on wheel who scream around the floor. I’d like to say we calmly remained in our seats snickering, no we screamed and fully jumped off the floor into our seats.

CHARLIE

Marcel was a monster. His idea of fun was to play practical jokes on everyone. His jokes were cruel and someone usually got hurt physically or emotionally.
Sometimes his jokes backfired, but never enough to discourage him from playing another joke on someone.

He would draw a full ounce of Super Glue into a syringe, and shoot it into someone’s car door lock or between the driver’s window and the rubber gasket so the mechanism would cease to open the window.

He was caught by a Samoan wrestler while vandalizing his Mercedes. An ounce of glue went up Marcel’s stern.

2.

The monster that dwelled inside demanded sugar and electricity. Cold maple syrup drenched a frozen banana, eaten with a fork. This was embellished by hooking wires from the socket to clamps affixed to a metal tub with an inch of water in it. The monster insisted that he step into the tub for as long as he could control his spasms, and then lie on the kitchen floor and abuse himself.

Lamont started the day like this. Every day. He lived a long life, friendless and detached until he visited the coffeehouse where he was the life of the party.

RICHARD

Bedtime

As I child, I was a terror – my parents despaired they would ever control my behaviour.

Eventually, they turned to cruel and inhuman means to get me to toe the line. They told me that I really should be afraid of the dark and the bogeyman was actively looking for me; they warned me the monster under the bed was real, and he wanted to trap me and kill me!

All attempts to get me into bed at night, and keep me there.

What they didn’t know, was that the monster under the bed, was absolutely terrified… of me!

JON

Carnivale
By
Jon DeCles

Clowns are monsters decked out so that we can laugh. The unexpected that would terrify us if we found one at the back door at midnight.
Carnivals always play on our fears and our desire to be frightened, just a little bit. Even the most cheerful pictures conceal a ride with heart-stopping disorientation.
If the ticket taker had worn a comical plaid suit, his presence in the mirror maze would have seemed explicable, part of the show.
It was late at night, and I didn’t recall many customers. His eyes held me as my heart beat faster. Could I escape?

SERENDIPITY

People call her a monster, but Brian Transeau’s music in the movie telling the Aileen Wuornos story is breathtakingly beautiful.

I listen to it as I drift off to sleep at night; it helps me relax; and it inspires me…
It plays quietly in the background as I plan my own killing spree.

Not because I’m a monster – far from it – I seek beauty and peace from life, just like the music as it fills my thoughts.

My only wish, is for Transeau to write an equally beautiful soundtrack when they make the movie of my own life.

TURA

Monster
———
Anna burst in and screamed, “There’s an alien monster on board!”

As captain, I knew exactly what to do. “Jenkins,” I said to the most annoying crew member, “investigate the mysterious noises in the sewer line on deck 27. Metal man” (I call our synthetic person that to annoy it), “secretly work against us. Everyone else, split up and wander into dark corners to get picked off one by one.”

Of course the monster would get me at some point (because War Is Hell), but in the end Ripley would succeed in blasting it into space.

What could go wrong?

LIZZIE

The slightly cross-eyed doll sat on the floor, her head rotating while a toy train inexplicably hovered nearby. No child was in sight and no one could tell who the doll belonged to.
They had paid a big chunk of money and everyone was fine with a bit of mystery.
When the monster jumped from behind a door, the guide screamed “Run!” and they all laughed nervously instead.
The guide later told the media that he did try to warn them.
The slightly cross-eyed doll still sits on the floor, her head rotating while a toy train inexplicably hovers nearby.

LAIEANNA

“Roadkill”

The third run at the monster truck rally was Albert’s time to shine.
He bolted into the muddy arena weaving among the moving vehicles.
Filth splashed, Albert flailed his arms and roared to get the crowd’s
attention. For several minutes, he danced with danger, dashing and
dodging until his foot slipped. Albert fell. Big Bertha rolled a
tire over him. The crowd voiced their horror and watched with morbid
fascination as Bertha slowly backed up to reveal Albert’s corpse, but
the rail thin man popped right up, already shouting his persona.
“Flat Jack available for parties, pranks, and general shocks.”

NORVAL JOE

Frankenstein was not the monster. He was a scientist, a doctor, who got caught up in the furor of his era. Everyone back then was trying to find an elixir of life, a universal solvent, and a cure for worts. Vivisection, grave robbing, and reanimating the dead was just something a guy did to gain a foothold in the scientific community.
The creature that Frankenstein created wasn’t a monster either. He was just multiple victims of circumstance, all rolled into one big guy.
The real monster is the liberal news media casting a negative slant on good old fashioned science.

PLANET Z

They say that the Universal Monster movies represent different stages of life.
Frankenstein represents our youth, because he is so innocent and fresh… until he throws a tantrum.
The Wolfman represents our adolescence, with hair growing out of weird unexpected places and unusual appetites.
Dracula represents the cool suave sex god we all wish to be in our adulthood.
And The Mummy represents the slow creepy horror of Death approaching.
All of the Bride and Son movies represent family obligations.
And then there’s the Abbott and Costello Meet movies.
They represent the need to do shameful things for a paycheck.

Weekly Challenge #586 – CREEPY

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:

Huggycat

JEFFREY

Barnacles
by Jeffrey Fischer

I looked at polo shirts on the Brooks Brothers web site. The shirts came in a myriad of colors but the prices required a second mortgage for a fistful of cloth. Reluctantly, I closed the window.

Later, as I opened a blog entry on the mating habits of arachnids – hey, it’s a long-standing passion – I saw an ad in the middle of the page, for none other than Brooks Brothers polo shirts. The same thing happened when I browsed for fountain pens and later read a lengthy piece on cross-dressing anarchists – NOT a passion, mind you, but broadening one’s horizons never hurts.

No, those barnacle ads are not creepy at all.

RICHARD

Creepy

It’s a little known fact that there were, in the beginning, eight dwarves sharing that cottage with Snow White.

Along with Sneezy, Dopey, Bashful, Doc and the others was another dwarf who was always a bit of an embarrassment – he was the really ugly one whose appearance made children cry and grown men cross to the other side of the street.

Which is precisely why Disney wrote Creepy completely out of the story, and nobody has ever seen him since.

But actually, he’s been doing rather well for himself.

Ever since he sealed a publishing deal with Stephen King!

CHARLIE

Nina Titwash was creepy. A lazy eyed, spongy gummed grandmother; she worked on Maggie’s Lunch Wagon on the West side. She’d sneeze and cough, light up another Camel, and throw Elk Burgers on the Grill.

She’d wash her hands once a day, but only incidentally if she got something icky on them when reaching into the back of the wagon’s reefer.

Titwash was a native Texan. Her family lived off things they drug out of the city dump. One day, her dad found a duffle bag full of money, and moved out, abandoning the family and its secrets and crimes.

2.

Romy Wovencrotch was a Seattle hippy. He spent an hour each morning doing his hair, tweezing his eyebrows, and putting on wristbands, analog watches, silver rings and ear jewelry.

The creepiest of creeps, he creeped around coffee bars, bicycle shops, Thai restaurants, and music venues. He was a picker of pockets and picked the pocket of pocked marked procurer at the produce market. He was caught, shaved head to toe, dipped in plaster, and planted puss down in a pig pen at the wildlife zoo, North of town.

He was found a month later, half eaten by the big sow.

JON

Something Creepy

By

Jon DeCles

There’s something sexy about something creepy. The frisson is not about something you should not do, it is about something you don’t want to do: only you do. The way your skin crawls at the guy in the Clive Barker movie where he is re-assembling without his skin, only you can feel why the girl is turned on.

There is also something erotic about fear, about surprise. The feeling that something could happen out of your control. Women and men both have rape fantasies, but almost nobody really wants to be raped.

Thus the ticket taker in the mirror maze.

TOM

Some People; You just Can’t Please.

“Smile!” I don’t like to smile, especially for someone trying to steal my soul for a momentarily tourist capture the moment as staged as the last 20 WrestleMania; and if I had a folding metal chair then I would be smiling for real. “No wider.” So I raise up my best 4th Grade Photo Day Smile. You know the one your parents show to perspective girlfriends “OOOOO that’s so creepy.” Not as creepy as what I am about to do with that camera of yours. “So serious.” I ponder how long it will take to find the body. Hope they take photos.

TURA

Creepy
———
“The first card represents the present,” said the fortune-teller. “The Astrogator, spying out the future.”

Well, no-brainer, here I was consulting her.

“The second is the immediate past. The Knight of Batons, reversed. A soldier defeated.”

A reference to my ignominious exit from my last assassination mission? The soothsayer continued.

“Then the three futures. 16 of Tentacles. Entrapment without escape. This is the best future.”

This was getting seriously creepy. I decided to postpone my current mission until the stars were once again right. But first, I shot the fortune-teller. One can’t be too careful in this line of work.

SERENDIPITY

People seem to think I’m creepy…

You could put it down to my fascination with blood and gore, or my fondness for stories of murder and mayhem.

Perhaps my unhealthy obsession with knives and the darker side of the soul causes them to wonder about my motives.

Or maybe, it’s just that I come across as something of a psychopath?

But, I don’t think that it’s really any of those things.

What really freaks people out, is that they’ve never heard my real voice, or seen my face… You have absolutely no idea who I really am.

And that’s creepy!

LIZZIE

She just waited there, wearing this huge hat while sitting between the over-sized figures of Death and a Bride.
The display was a performance, they said. All she had to do was sit down and be quiet. And that’s what she did. Well, at least until Death started coughing.
She stood up and peeked in through the eyes of Death, wondering if anyone was inside.
“Are you OK?”
To which Death replied, amidst intense coughing, “Help me.”
Everyone fled. Too creepy, the critics wrote.
Apparently, Death had planned to rob the jewelry-clad celebrities attending the opening, and Death almost died.

LAIEANNA

“Creepshow”

Shooting, stabbing, even setting fire -which almost burned down my
house- did nothing to eliminate the hideous creature dwelling inside.
I tried humane methods first, but authorities couldn’t see it and I
got fined for false calls. Invisible when attempting to evict and
invincible when trying to kill, if left alone, friends saw the
monstrosity.

I didn’t need to tend to it, but I couldn’t ignore it. So, I did the
next best thing and made a spectacle of it. You want to see something
unnatural and creepy? Ten dollars will get you a ticket for a half
hour viewing.

LILITH

She awoke in the bedroom to the sound of the bathtub faucet shutting off.

The bathroom had been dimmed and filled with flickering tea light
candles. Lavender and chamomile aromas were swept up with the
spiraling steam from the bubble bath. The tub was empty. She smiled.

Her husband called for her. “You home, babe?”

“Upstairs,” she called back, lowering herself into the bath. She so
felt sleepy as her head sank below the water. Blood swirled up from
her wrists.

He screamed her name when he saw her.

She awoke to the sound of the bathtub faucet shutting off.

NORVAL JOE

Back in my neighborhood, when I was a kid, no one ever invited Wendell along, but he always showed up anyway. No one cared.
He wore a cereal bowl haircut and didn’t seem to have any neck at all.
He never said anything. He just nodded his head in agreement to whatever I said and smiled his creepy smile.
He must have moved away. I never saw him after eighth grade.
At my twenty-fifth high school reunion I asked around among my old friends if anyone knew what had happened to him.
Funny. No one else remembered him at all.

PLANET Z

I named my first cat Mister Creepy.
His grey fur stuck out in all directions.
And his tail was a bent shock of fluff.
His claws were almost always out, gripping the carpet for dear life.
And his yellow eyes, as wide as can be.
He never walked anywhere. He always ran at full speed.
There were times that he jumped up on shelves and the tops of dressers.
Staring down at me, hissing and shrieking.
One day, I left the door open too long, and he escaped.
Crazy bastard never came back.
It was a relief to us all.

Weekly Challenge #585 – TICKET

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

JEFFREY

Ticket to Ride
by Jeffrey Fischer

Amy had just driven the BMW 340 off the lot and headed for the interstate. She wanted to find out just what the car could do. In 11.6 seconds she was at 100 miles per hour, weaving her way around the traffic that insisted 70 was fast enough.

One such weave took her past a car marked “State Police.” Oops. Sure enough, Amy soon heard the wail of the siren. She pulled over and handed the patrolman her license and registration. “Do you know how fast you were going?” he asked.

“Just a wee bit fast? It couldn’t have been much.”

The cop shook his head. “More than 20 miles per hour over the limit. That’s reckless driving in this state. I hope you have someone who can keep this car running for the six months you’ll be without your license.”

CHARLIE

Suny Veranda bought the winning ticket at the mom and pop grocery. She checked the numbers, signed the back, stuck the ticket in her bra, and called the regional office in Olympia as her prize was over 100 million.

She made an appointment to claim her winnings, filled out the tax forms, got her proof of identity together and waited for the day of her appointment.
Monday morning, her friend Edna drove her to the office. Edna and Suny were crossing the parking lot to the office door and were struck down by a beer delivery truck, killing them instantly.

2.

German prostitutes were given a ticket to ride by health authorities if they had a clean bill of health. They had to carry the card issued to them if they were to make a living in Northern Germany. The alternative was to go underground, stay out of the view of the police, and work at night, only.

Modern city girls don’t bother with such formalities and precautions. Neither do modern city boys.
For a small payment in Bitcoins, an outfit in Canada will prepare the proper medical credentials that certify you as free of VD so you may go clubbing.

*Inspired by Beatle’s Tune, …Ticket to Ride.

RICHARD

#1 – Beatlemania

It was a shared love of Beatles’ music that brought my wife and I together, but over the years her obsession with the Fab Four has taken over our lives.

I’m forbidden from using my beloved Ford – she insists, ‘baby, you can drive my car’, (VW Beetle, obviously); and sex is a complete disaster…

It’s not that she’s constantly nagging to ‘please, please me!’, but she will demand that every time, I need ‘a ticket to ride’!

In the end, frustration got the better of me. Turns out The Beatles were right – happiness, is indeed, a warm gun!

#2 – Golden Ticket

Ever get the feeling that the world is changing for the worst? Imagine, for example if ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ had been written today…

On seeing the flash of that Golden Ticket, as he unwrapped his – considerably smaller – chocolate bar, he’d have been on Ebay within minutes, auctioning it off to the highest bidder.

Willy Wonka would have been sued into oblivion for violating health and safety; and damages payouts to the traumatised kids during the factory tour, whilst the Oompah Loompahs would be demanding equal rights as members of a minority group.

Almost stranger than fiction!

#3 – Park & Ride

After nipping into the newsagents for my morning paper, I returned to find a warden writing out a ticket.

“You can’t park here”, he said with a sneer.

“I clearly can”, I replied, pointing to the car parked, somewhat badly, but quite definitely ‘parked’, by any definition of the word.

“I mean, you can’t park here legally”, he objected.

I smiled: “That’s great… Because the car is parked illegally, isn’t it?”

“You’re an idiot!”, he said.

“Not really”, I replied, walking across the road to my own car, before he had a chance to write a ticket for mine too!

SERENDIPITY

Here at Styx Incorporated, times are changing – we’re working hard to bring the Afterlife into the twenty first century. We believe death should be a modern, streamlined process.

So, now you won’t be paying the Ferryman – he’s been replaced by an autonomous transit pod – instead, you’ll buy your ticket up front; the more in advance, the better the deal.

Of course, that means a certain amount of planning ahead for your transition to the Underworld, but it’s worthwhile.

Trust me, you don’t want to be caught without a ticket – Cerberus, our inspector doesn’t like fare dodgers!

LIZZIE

He flattened the map on the table.
“This is where we are going.” And he thumped his index finger on the right spot a few times for emphasis.
The gang seemed bored.
“Get in the cars and… try to look inconspicuous so the police don’t stop you, ok?!”
They all nodded.
When he arrived, he saw no one.
“Damn retards… They got caught. When you want something done, do it yourself.”
He walked inside the bank. Empty.
He got caught too.
“One-way ticket to hell,” one of them had the gall to tell him when they met again in jail.

TOM

Sometime You Just Got to Use The Taser

“I’ve got a ticket to ride,” said Rudy. “Sorry Mac, this is the A-Train.” “My name is Rudy and I’ve got a ticket to ride.” “Look sub-intellect that ticket is for the B-Train.” “My name is Rudy and I’ve got a ticket to ride.” “Yous sees that cop over there, Rudy with the ticket to ride? He’d just as soon open your melon head as look at ya, Capeesh?”

“Melon Head is the name given to legendary beings in Michigan, Ohio, and Connecticut generally described as small humanoids with bulbous heads, who occasionally emerge from hiding places to attack people.”

JON

Ticket

By

Jon DeCles

I’d have liked him better if he had worn a loud plaid suit, such as one has a right to associate with carnival personell: but he was dressed like any shabby street person, somebody picked up to fill a temporary job. The way he looked me in the eye when he said: “Punch your ticket?” left me wondering whether he was making a pass or planning to mug me.

I gave him a half smile, hoping to disarm whatever might be hiding in his not-so-sub conscious.

He stayed in my mind until I encountered him in the maze of mirrors.

TURA

Ticket
———
The nightclub was by invitation only. Its scandalous reputation was spread mainly by those most desiring an invitation. I remember when my friend Gustave suddenly gave me a ticket, for I had not suspected him of mixing in such circles.

But when I presented it on the appointed night, the doorkeeper stood fast.

“‘ADMIT ONE’ is the price of admission,” he reproved. “Admit a fault, a secret lust, a betrayal. What you admit is up to you, and what is up to me is whether your admission is worth admission. None are so poor that they cannot meet this price.”
———

NORVAL JOE

We bought a new digital pressure cooker because it’s supposed to cook a chicken in 30 minutes. That’s great, but you have to add ten minutes to warm it up, ten minutes to sit afterwards, and another ten to broil the chicken to get a crispy skin.
It took longer than I planned to make dinner and I had already bought my ticket to the new Spiderman movie.
We made it to the movie on time, but I didn’t have a lot of time to write my 100 word story.
Ultimately, the movie was a lot better than my story.

PLANET Z

His guitar. His voice.
His tickets to stardom.
He played three gigs a night, seven days a week.
All the while, he posted videos of his work to the Internet.
Sold tracks off of a website.
Then, a record company came sniffing around.
They wanted a piece of him.
But they wanted too much. He refused to sign.
He woke up in an alley, covered in blood.
The six fingers still on his hands all broken.
He tried to shout for help through a crushed throat.
These days, he’s an agent.
The shit he’s been through, nobody tells him no.

Weekly Challenge #584 – VOID

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:

Bedcats

TOM

Offer Void is Some States

Well the heart final gave it up. It had pretty much been winding down since 2030. Perhaps less cheesecake would have been in order. Naaa. Why eat to live, when you can live to eat. The last flashes of current are firing in the brain. A mini-mental sunset fades to concentric circles of deepening black and in the center of all thing is the void. And then …

A patch of red growing in size as it approaches. Protoplasmic fingers reach out for it. A scrap of paper tears away. I reads upon it “You’re number 40,001.” Oh Fuck.

JON

The Void

By

Jon DeCles

I’m a science fiction writer. As the anesthesia kicked in I heard someone say something about the void, and there I went:

Stars wheeling across the cosmos, galaxies spinning, black holes engulfing mega galaxies, comets sliding in and out around primaries, planets with a thousand different ecosystems, creatures populating planets and ships that sailed the endless dust laden emptiness between the tiny amounts of matter that make up what we experience directly as the Universe, dark matter balancing…

When I awoke, you can imagine how disappointed I was that the nurse had been talking about the contents of my bladder.

JEFFREY

A Void in His Heart
by Jeffrey Fischer

When Jeremy’s wife of 30 years died, it left a huge void in his heart. He tried everything he could think of to find happiness again. He joined a book club, but the books all seemed to focus on long, happy marriages. He went to a line-dancing group. Surely country music songs emphasized existential despair, but everyone else came and socialized as a couple. He even pretended to be an alcoholic to attend AA meetings, but no one wanted to grab a drink afterward.

He could take no more. He would end it all so he could be reunited with his wife. As he perched at the edge of a cliff, ready to dash himself on the rocks below, he had a vision: his mother-in-law beckoned him to cross to the other side. Jeremy quickly backed away from the precipice. He had no desire to be reunited with the old battleaxe any time soon.

RICHARD

Checking out

There are some things that technology should play no part in.

Take shopping, for example – who on earth thought it would be a great idea to replace people at the checkout with a machine?

Self-checkout – worst thing ever!

‘Unknown item in the bagging area’; ‘How many bags have you used?’; ‘Please wait for staff assistance’.

I end up arguing with that smug voice! It’s crazy, incredibly stressful, and takes me at least twice as long as I would dealing with a person.

Finally, I’m, done. I swipe my card.

And the machine says: ‘Sorry, your card is void!’

CHARLIE

When I finished law school, I interned at Null and Void for two years while studying for the bar and getting some clerking experience. My mentor was a sharp paralegal, and she taught me so much and so quickly. I passed the bar, and in a year, I was an associate.

My first case was a comedian charged with drugging and raping sixty women. He was rich and pretty well known in the community. The judge declared a mistrial, but one of the women accusing him of rape shot him in the head and groin as he left the courthouse.

LIZZIE

A young rabbit looks at an old tree. The tree whispers.
The rabbit hops back and forth near the tree. The tree whispers.
The rabbit perks up two long ears. The tree whispers.
And the rabbit rests.
The tree sways in the wind, its leaves rustling softly.
The tree is wise and the rabbit ponders.
“Big ears don’t make you hear better, do they?” The tree whispers on.
The rabbit ponders, intrigued.
Maybe, just maybe, the rabbit will hop away with a tiny bit of the tree’s wisdom.
Maybe, just maybe, the tree will smile, watching the rabbit hop away.

SERENDIPITY

I inhabit the void between thought and spoken word; I wait in the spaces between questions and answers; I lurk in the netherworld between your dreams and wakefulness, and although you acknowledge my presence, you pretend I’m not there.

More than that, if pressed, you’d deny I exist – you’d laugh off the suggestion as absurdity and nonsense.

But, I am, most definitely part of you.

I am your hidden thoughts… The murderous ones, the lustful ones, the sick and twisted ones that you keep close to your heart and would never pursue.

Or would you?

If given the opportunity?

TURA

The Void
———
“We check and recheck everything all the time, because any misstep in these tin eggs and the vacuum claims you. You’re not an astronaut until you feel the void closer than your own heartbeat.”

The spacer paused for another swig at his beer. “But what would you know, metal man?”

A great deal, in fact, much more than these evolved monkeys knew about us. The void is our natural habitat, away from their sweaty, corrosive atmospheres. The day may not come soon, but in the end it is we who will explore the cosmos, for ourselves, leaving our ancestors behind.

NORVAL JOE

In the late 1980’s Domino Pizza advertised with an animated little character called ‘The Noid’. He destroyed pizzas, except for Domino’s of course. So, the only way to avoid the noid was to order from Domino’s.
If all it took to avoid annoyance in ordering pizzas was to have it arrive on time, and you didn’t care if the fast food was barely edible, then, the advertisement had merit.
However, if you wanted flavor and the reasonable expectation of not ending up in the emergency room, then you would avoid Dominos and order your pizza from almost any other restaurant.

LAIEANNA

“The Calling”

Tom once hid from the world, but people still sought him out, and he
learned to live with it. Sometimes several, sometimes just one,
people constantly begged of Tom until he exposed the void at his core.
The depth of nothingness was a startling sight, but its calling never
failed to force people past their fear and reach into the darkness.
Tom stepped over bodies with vacant eyes mirroring the black inside
him. He mourned as they fell but for what they had, not what they
lost, for he could not follow and the void was always calling to him.

PLANET Z

George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.
After he read some of Nietzsche’s books, he searched for The Abyss so that he could stare into it.
It took him a week to get there. And once he was there, the line was five hours long.
“What’s it like?” he asked the pale and haggard people walking back to the parking lot.
They didn’t respond. They just shuffled past.
When George finally got to the head of the line, he took a deep breath and stared into The Abyss.
It stared back, and then roared with laughter.

Weekly Challenge #583 – PICK TWO Too, Two, To, Tooth, Tour, Toucan, Toon, Volcano

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:

Sleepy Tinny Box

JEFFREY

News at Six
by Jeffrey Fischer

The demographics for TV news must skew so old that one wonders if anyone stays awake for the second half-hour. Ads for geriatrics predominate: drugs for cancer, drugs to keep one’s bowels moving, upcoming golf tournaments – and Depends diapers, too. The only youngsters seen in ads are either visiting Grandpa in the hospital or waxing enthusiastic about the wonders of Chevrolets.

One can only imagine where young people go to find news. Twitter? Worse, Facebook? Sketchy web sites? Under a volcano? All I know is that Americans seem increasingly uninformed about the world around them yet increasingly confident in those uninformed opinions.

CHARLIE

It was too warm. The temperature was two degrees above normal for the month. The other dentists and I went to Hawaii for the Annual Tooth Tour. We stayed at The Toucan lodge, shared with the band that played nightly at the Toon Saloon, just under the outfall of Kīlauea on the Southern Shore.

The second night, a lava stream burned through the back wall of the bar and bottles of expensive rye whiskey and scotch exploded, sending a chunk of glass into the forehead of our lawyer, Don.

Don shook it off and ordered another round before we evacuated.

RICHARD

#1 – Pick Two

The instruction was simple – pick two – but there were just far too many to choose from.

It’s always been this way: I go to pieces when I’m given a choice…

Pizza toppings terrify me; I go through hell picking lottery numbers; and I can never decide which particular parking space to pick. Never offer me the box of chocolates, just pick one and give it to me!

I just wish I hadn’t asked my careers adviser to choose my profession for me: Bomb disposal is a bad choice when you can never decide which wire you should cut.

#2 – Italy

I recently toured Italy and did all the usual things – threw coins in the Trevi Fountain, got ripped off by a gondolier and had gelato in the piazza, Florence.

I visited Pompeii and marvelled at the casts of those poor people, caught and preserved forever in their death poses.

I stayed in Naples, but I was never comfortable – that volcano brooding over me terrified me.

It wasn’t so much being buried in ash and dying horribly that worried me. It was the thought of tourists in two thousand years laughing at my petrified genitals that creeped me out!

#3 – Toothache

My tooth hurts.

It’s a volcano of pain exploding through my jaw and I can’t get an appointment for two weeks.

I’ve tried everything – painkillers, oil of cloves and whisky, in every possible combination, with no effect.

I’ve tried yanking it out with string and attacking it with pliers. I asked a friend to punch me in the face, hard, twice – didn’t work.

I’ve tried fooling my brain – inflicting pain elsewhere to take my mind off the tooth. I’ve stabbed, cut, burned and bludgeoned myself, and still my tooth hurts.

Trouble is, everything else hurts now, too!

TOM

Haven’t Written This Same Story Before?

Jimmy Too Small was a second story man. Technically a member of the Delmonty Family, but that was just a courtesy. His specialty was Pre-Divorcee acquisitions. Often arranged by the Mother-In-Law to secure and retain family heirlooms. You know how nature compensates when a soul is lacking. Well Jimmy’s small stature was compensated by a hyper-sensitivity in his fingers and ears. Wasn’t a safe he couldn’t crack. Also had a wicked sense of humor. He leave a Polaroid of the loot in said safe. “Kid cracks me up,” said Don Delmonty. His X thought different, and pull Jimmy on Ice.

JON

Two for the Volcano, by the Toucan

By

Jon DeCles

Oh that this too, too solid flesh would melt away.

Well, at least half of it. There’s two of us. It’s the date from Hell.

I took her to the Volcano Room at ‘Vegas’ new sensation, the Pompeii. I got the best seats in the house. We had already taken the hotel tour, and as I had noticed she had a sweet tooth I ordered the Zupa Anglais.

The singing toucan looked more like a toon than animatronics, but he still had more personality than she had[. Women think we look at their boobs: we really look at their eyes.

LIZZIE

A Couple’s Life

When the young couple decided to take a tour of Toon Tooth Park to see the new volcano exhibit, they had no idea that this would change their lives significantly.
They walked side by side, sure of themselves, feeling positive that they’d have an entertaining day.
But a crazy man dressed in a foamy toucan outfit decided to act like an annoying clown and leaped about around them. He was so irritating that the young couple pulled out two shotguns each and put an end to the nonsense.
They are now living near a real volcano in Iceland, the Eyjafjallajökull.

SERENDIPITY

A stuffed toucan, half a stale loaf, a mouldy old mattress and a six pack of Czechoslovakian lager. What do these have in common?

They’re some of the increasingly dubious offerings offered to placate Nargron, the volcano god, in recent weeks.

Nargron – that’s me, by the way – is fed up with it, the place looks like a tip and these are hardly offerings of a people awed by my presence.

So it’s about time you showed some respect and started back with the human sacrifices… And, if you don’t, I might have to stop being quite so magma-nanimous!

NORVAL JOE

Growing up as a twin in the 60’s and 70’s wasn’t easy. People made fun of us because of the Double Mint gum commercials. It always featured twins doing active things. People would ask why we weren’t in a commercial. Were we too ugly to be on TV?
Besides. We weren’t very active. A commercial of us watching Gilligan’s Island would be pretty boring.
It didn’t matter after seventh grade, though.
Someone said to Roger, “You two look so much the same, you must be fags.”
Ignoring each other was easier than being bullied.
We didn’t talk again until college.

LAIEANNA

Future topic: Ferris wheel

Too Finicky Sam, the Toon Toucan, took a tour of the volcano to
determine which of two locations would make a better villain base.
First up, a canopy covered cave by the beach was an oasis, but there
was no hidden dock for his transportation. The second sight of
intricate interlacing pathways to the interior volcano had vast
appeal, but a base so close to the center was a danger in the case of
a lava explosion. Sam had to decide quick! His rival, Toothy Tony,
the Terrible Tiger, was arriving on a second helicopter and Sam wanted
first dibs.

TURA

Volcano; Two
———
“FIRE above FIRE, the dragon over the volcano,” I read from the yarrow stalks, pandering to Rebel Chang’s populism. The volcano was clearly the rebellious people, the dragon, Chang himself.

Among these rebels who had abducted me, only I was educated enough to read the yarrow stalks, so I simply picked a suitable hexagram.

I continued, “The two fires united, create; divided, destroy.” That was ambivalent enough to be a prophesy of however things developed. I did not expect to live through the coming troubles, and like any court astrologer, I mainly wanted to be seen to have predicted everything.

PLANET Z

George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.
Unlike other pirates, who had monkeys and parrots on their shoulder, George had a toucan than he’d picked up from some trader.
Unlike a parrot, the toucan didn’t talk.
And unlike a monkey, it didn’t screech or dance around.
The toucan pretty much spent all of its time flapping madly or trying to gouge out George’s eyes with its beak, or bite off his fingers.
One night, the toucan got loose from its cage and flew off.
George replaced it with a ham sandwich, which was significantly less dangerous.

Weekly Challenge #582 – I can’t believe that…

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

JEFFREY

The Heist
by Jeffrey Fischer

It was the perfect heist. Mike had scoped out the bank while I planned the getaway route. We’d demand everything from the teller drawers which, on a Friday, would be bursting with cash for payday.

The first part went like clockwork. Mike and I entered the bank with our masks and pulled our guns, covering the guard and ensuring no one pushed a panic button. We split the bags of cash and went our separate ways in case one of us got caught, arranging to meet later. That’s when everything went sour.

The cops were waiting by my car. I couldn’t believe that son of a bitch Mike set me up. As the cops read me my rights, I heard another set of sirens nearby. At least my anonymous call prior to the heist got a quick response.

RICHARD

Luv Story

I can’t believe that we’re still together after all these years!
[I can’t believe that I’ve stuck with you all this time]

I never really knew what you saw in me.
[It was your inheritance!]

And after all this time, you still love me.
[I tolerate you – it’s your money I love]

And you’ll stick by me, no matter what.
[Just as long as the money lasts]

So, I know you’ll forgive me, and somehow we’ll get by…
[Whaddya mean?]

The money… I honestly thought he was a Nigerian prince!
[What!?]

I can’t believe that I fell for it!

LIZZIE

“What are cobalt, fluorine and iron together?”
Everyone looked puzzled by the question.
The café owner grinned.
“Think about it for a bit.”
She walked away, basking in how the tricky question had caught the cheeky young men off-guard. Each day, they would ask her questions she couldn’t answer and laughed at her ignorance.
After a few minutes, she went back to their table.
“Well? I can’t believe you couldn’t come up with one little answer.”
They shook their heads, baffled.
She poured a cup of coffee slowly.
They still looked puzzled.
“Coffee! Co, plus F, plus Fe. Hah! Gotcha!”

CHARLIE

I had a craving for some meat. I was coerced into a vegan diet by my partner for the past year, but now, left alone for a few days, I foraged in the back of the freezer. I found an unmarked package wrapped in butcher paper. I hoped it was the beef I hid behind the ice cubes.

I unwrapped the package, rubbed the chunk of meat with my favorite spices and put it in the oven – 475 degrees for four hours should do it. I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.

It was like eating a charcoal briquette.

SERENDIPITY

They say your life flashes before your eyes in that brief moment before death.

I can categorically tell you that isn’t true – I’ve despatched many unfortunate victims and never once have I seen the slightest evidence of their lives flashing before their eyes before they succumb to the inevitable.

I’ve seen abject misery, extreme fear, utter terror and total despair; shock, horror and dismay… All of these emotions and more, I’ve seen flash before the eyes of the condemned.

I’ve seen the foreboding of death in the eyes of the dying…

But life? No – I can’t believe that.

TOM

A Wasted Youth is Better by Far than a Wise and Productive Old Age

I can’t believe Paul McCartney is 75. How that happen? One minute its 1963 the next your chew up the front end of a new millennium. Hell Ann-Margret even older, so Raquel Welch. Jane Fonda is pushing 80. Kennedy is 100, but he’s dead so is Bowie, Glen Fry, and Gregg Allman. So what’s your point old man? I’m a god damn Boomer, and we Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Thank you Dylan. I think I’ll take a nap

JON

Credulity

By

Jon DeCles

Americans have been trained to credulity for several generations now. It was an evil moment when advertising executives were enfolded by politics. The schools slipped from teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic to television appreciation and obedience to authority. Any knowledge that was more than three months old became obsolete; nothing was worth remembering for more than three months, and eventually the group memory of Americans became no more than three months, though everybody possessed an exception: hobby memory, like baseball statistics.

It should not have surprised me when she said: “I can’t believe that you’d think President Nixon would lie!”

NORVAL JOE

Jack’s mother glared at him and said, “I can’t believe that a son of mine could be stupid enough to accept four beans for one entire milk cow.”
Jack opened his mouth to speak.
“And don’t tell me some story about them being magical and giants living in the clouds.”
Jack shrugged and shoved his hands into his pockets.
“Now, go out there and get our cow back,” his mother snarled at him. “And if you can’t find our cow, don’t come back at all.”
Jack walked out, a solid gold egg in each fist, and never came home again.

LAIEANNA

This is a somewhat factual tale. I’m ignorant of the world around me,
too selfish to take part in learning because I’m just that lazy. It
is on a frequent basis that the news is fed to me as half truths and
silly lies from my husband.

“Did you hear Pink died from a failed cartwheel off the stage?”

“Nuh uh…”

“Reports are out, a cow sent into space is now grazing on mars grass.”

“Sure, whatever.”

“A law just passed you can’t throw snowballs on Sunday.”

“Stop messing with me.”

“Guess who’s president.”

“I..I don’t want to believe that.”

PLANET Z

I can’t eat popcorn anymore.
It’s just too tough on me.
And every time I’ve had popcorn in the past six months, I’ve suffered a bout of kidney stones.
Is it causation or correlation?
Doesn’t matter. I’m not taking any chances.
When I go to the movie theater, I am immersed in a cloud of popcorn stench.
It’s so damned tempting.
I ask for a caffeine-free diet Coke and two hot dogs.
The register girl looks at me strangely.
I ask again.
She’s still confused.
So, I take off my gas mask and repeat my order.
Goddamned motherfucking popcorn stench.

Weekly Challenge #581 – Shell

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 loves her mommy

JEFFREY

Shell Game
by Jeffrey Fischer

Switch switch switch, faster than the eye could see, and then the pitch: “Care to guess which one hides the pea, sir?” Money exchanges hands, the mark points, the conman reveals the pea is elsewhere. So sorry, try again?

It’s amazing how many people fall for the scam. Do people send money to Nigerian princes, too? I suppose they must. Aha, you say, surely there’s a 1-in-3 chance of winning just by sheer luck. Luck has nothing to do with a good con. I dematerialize the pea while the rube is picking and materialize it under a shell the rube doesn’t pick. The house wins 100% of the time.

Sure, perhaps a teleportation device has better uses than a cheap hustle, but this game is so satisfying.

CHARLIE

I came out of my shell when I turned 80. I was a shy girl for so many unhappy and unfulfilled years. Things changed when I learned how to write and when I adopted a pack of miniature, Italian greyhounds. I struggled with the writing, joined a couple of writing workshops, and soon found my afternoons filled with joy and new adventures. I designed costumes for my dogs, and matching outfits for myself.

Last Saturday, while at a local farm supply store, I made some new friends. Today, I am joining them in their commune at the edge of town.

2.

The Shell, as described by The Master, is opaque film we surround ourselves with when our state of mind is disturbed by words and actions of the lesser species. The shell ultimately shields us from the doltish words and thoughts of those that are primarily occupied with their own, imagined greatness.

Many of these beings have hypnotized themselves, and they believe they are skilled, imaginative, and far beyond their adopted minions. Under this haze of delusion, they find their way to lead many by sheer persistence and intimidation. I find this a common trait of office managers and popular bloggers.

3.

At the beach a few years ago, I held a large, pink, conch shell to my ear. I was surprised by the grand sound that emanated from the conch. It was the London Symphony, I’m sure. It was O Fortuna by Carmina Burana. I was stricken. I was dizzy. I stumbled and lost my balance. I called out to my friend, nearby, to come and listen to the shell. I put the shell to her ear, and her face lit up. She laughed. She was listening to Chelsea Clinton describe the correlation of diabetes and childhood marriage with climate change.

RICHARD

#1 – Sea shell

Hold a shell to your ear and you’ll hear the sound of the sea. That’s what my parents told me on my first trip to the beach.

What they didn’t tell me was to first drain the damn thing, so I ended up with an ear full of salty, sandy, cold water.

It was a couple of years before I tried it again – this time, suffering a nasty nip from the hermit crab lurking inside.

The last time I encountered a shell on the sand was in 1944 – Omaha Beach.

German artillery… Blew my head clean off.

#2 – Evolution

The Darwin Bird inhabits an alternative universe where survival of the thickest is the evolutionary norm.

Concepts like bigger, stronger, faster, better, hold no sway and the key to survival lies in developing ever greater obstacles to perpetuating the species.

The Darwin Bird has achieved near perfection in this regard, having evolved an egg shell so tough that its chicks can never hatch – they are doomed to shrivel and die before ever having seen the light of day.

Quite how the Darwin Bird survives is unknown, although it’s quite possible this particular evolutionary theory is, in fact, complete nonsense!

LIZZIE

Marcy was infuriatingly opinionated and wasn’t shy about it either.
When the office organized a field trip to an old castle, she blabbered on and on during the whole trip, driving everyone crazy.
The visit to the castle went well. The group went left while Marcy was checking the rooms to the right.
Then, someone found the lighthouse and there was an evil twinkle in their eyes.
“Marcy!”
She trotted unwarily into the abandoned lighthouse at the edge of the garden.
When they blocked the door, leaving her inside, they knew the days at the office would be far quieter.

TOM

Shell Game

The symbol of The Way in the clam shell. The Camino de Santiago starting
at Saint-Jacques in Paris a church oddly build by a Paris Butcher’s Guild
and for further oddities master magus Nicolas Flamel is buried under it
floor, but I digress. The Way 1010 miles of unrelenting pilgrim’s
progress is littered with guys selling clam shells. In fact the Devil
himself runs a stand somewhere outside of Burgos. I bought a rather
appointed brass scallop autographed on the back. “Best of luck. D sp
don’t drink the water.” His shop is called: Too Clever by 20/30ths. Drop
by.

JON

Exoskeleton
By
Jon DeCles

Basically, what you want is to get hard. Stiff. You want to be able to
manage your protoplasm so as to make it do more than lie there
gelatinously. The two most popular methods are exoskeletons and
endoskeletons. Each will allow you to be more than a few centimeters in
size. Once you can stand up you can start branching out. You can be a
redwood tree or a brachiosaur. And you can start mixing your metaphorical
erectile equipage: limited stiffening of members without bones (though
lots of creatures keep the bones in their erections). 蜂 simply evolved a
shell.

TURA

Shell
———
The best-kept secret of Italian cuisine is lanesra, a mélange of fermented shellfish.

Begin with a catch of live mussels, and spread them on a sunny beach to dehydrate. When they are on the point of dying, revive them in brine. Repeat this, keeping them only just alive. Then pound them in a barrel to release the juices of decomposition, and store in a dark place to ferment.

The maker must sample his own lanesra, and if he survives it, the whole village will be eager to share.

About fifty deaths a year result from improperly prepared lanesra. Buon appetito!

SERENDIPITY

The building was just an empty shell.

An excellent development opportunity – plenty of scope for expansion, ripe for modernisation, and perfect for a multitude of purposes, both commercial and residential.

Just leave the walls as they are.

Seriously, don’t touch them.

By all means, apply a lick of paint, give them a good rub down and spruce them up, but don’t even think about structural alterations. Leave the walls standing just as you find them.

Unless you really want to find more than you bargained for.

Leave the bodies where I laid them to rest, for your own sake!

NORVAL JOE

We had one friend who always kept to himself. He rarely spoke, and when he did, sometimes it was with a foreign accent.
We figured that some day he would come out of his shell. But, who would he be when he did?
Would he still be our friend?
Would he be the enigmatic leader of a multi million dollar corporation?
Would he be a an actor who only spoke when performing eloquently on stage?
Would he be a criminal mastermind or an elusive hit man or a charismatic cult leader?
Then, one day, we heard it, “Mrrrrrrrrooooooowwwwww, Space Turtle.”

LAIEANNA

Every day I would pull Donnie a little further out of his shell. We’d
take it slow and carefully, making sure he wasn’t hurt in the process.
On the harder days, I would start with a story, something to relax him
before we gave it a try. If he was feeling particularly stubborn, I’d
bribe him with some cupcakes.

On the day he was free, I drove him down to the beach before the
crowds started gathering and we silently watched the waves until he
was ready to toss his shell into the sea. We held hands and joyfully
wept.

PLANET Z

Normally, I fill up the tank at the nearby Exxon station.
I collect Plenti points, and I can turn those into free gallons of gas.
There was a new offer on their website… SpeedPass on my smartphone.
Three tanks equals twenty bucks worth of Plenti points.
The problem is, you need to photograph a QR code on the pump to pay that way.
And a lot of station franchisees haven’t yet marked their pumps.
I find that frustrating and annoying.
So, I’m going to the Shell station across the street.
It’s the same prices. Without the lies.
Well, not yet.