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.

Weekly Challenge #580 – Cupcake

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:

Idiot cat

JEFFREY

The Cupcake Craze
by Jeffrey Fischer

When cupcakes became a fad, I ignored it. No chance that I’d spend 45 minutes standing in line on a hot sidewalk in the middle of the day in summer for the opportunity to purchase 600 calories and 20 grams of fat for $3.25, contained in a product small enough to slip in your pocket. Well, if you were okay with a very messy pocket.

I don’t blame the entrepreneurial skill of bakers taking advantage of the fad. I blame consumers willing to participate in an orgiastic ritual of overeating.

Oh, it’s my turn? I’ll take three of the Red Velvet, please.

CHARLIE

I think cupcakes are stupid. When served a cupcake by my mother in law, I drop it, and it always lands face down on her fancy, Turkish rug. She hasn’t learned her lesson yet.

I don’t think a blue collar guy would buy one. If anyone saw him eating it, they would think he was a ladyboy. My son pulled one out of his lunch bag one morning. I slapped it out of his hand, and asked him where he got it. He said the cute, neighbor boy gave it to him. It figures. My son is a big sissy.

2.

The cupcake was the brainchild of Millie Marsepan, a baker and Massachusetts resident. She observed a lot of wealthy, rotund ladies stuffing themselves on cakes and pastries during afternoon tea. They would sit eating, nervously wiping their lips, and watching and listening for anyone in the tea room that might be making remarks about the group of fat ladies eating so much cake, and eating it so furiously.

Millie figured that the smaller cupcake size could be concealed in a napkin or the folds of garments and scarves, thus allowing the ladies to stuff more treats into their voracious gobs.

3.

Ramekins for my Lambikins. Every Saturday, I make a special treat for my poochies. A special cupcake for each dog, made in porcelain ramekins.

They are decorated with a flourish of piped on flowers made of peanut butter and liverwurst. The topping is made in a food processor. I use a special tip for the pastry bag.

I mix 1/2 cup each cornmeal and all-purpose flour with 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons sugar. I add 1 egg, 1/2 cup milk and 2 tablespoons oil. Mix everything well, then “bake” in microwave for 3 minutes. Voila.

RICHARD

Cupcake

I named my company ‘Cupcake’ – I wanted something quirky, like ‘Google’ or ‘Moonpig’ – it seemed a good idea at the time.

Little did I know how the irony of that decision would come back to haunt me.

The company was a huge success; I struck it rich and began living the dream. Above all, I could indulge in my very greatest of passions: Food!

Now, years later, as I lie here, morbidly obese and near death in a diabetic coma, the only thought that passes through my consciousness is that I really should have laid off the cupcakes!

JON

The Cupcake Generation
By
Jon DeCles

“You mean they are really, truly deprived? Like… Like they don’t even
have cupcakes?”
That’s how it was with the Millennials. A whole generation raised in such
profound insulation from natural reality that they measured happiness by
access to cupcakes; a desert no different from regular cakes but for their
presentation and individuation.
These were people who sat at tables communicating with two thumbs on
cellphones, while real people across from them were ignored. Plugged in
to people who were not present.
Isolated.
The fashion for Cupcakes of Happiness quickly vanished. Nobody missed the
Millennials, who were never really there.

TOM

A Man Called Cupcake

All the best code names had been taken. It was the early 50s and there was
a spy behind every tree. This didn’t bother Cupcake much. He was a huge
fan of the Art of War, the more they underestimated him the better. He was
in the shadows just in front of the dark silhouette of Brandenburg Gate,
the Quadriga hovered in the pre-dawn dim. Napoleon had taken to France as
a victory trophy. Too much for the permanence of victory. If everything
went accordingly, which it hardly ever did, the man called Éclair would be
walking through that gate.

LIZZIE

“My cupcake’s gone,” wailed the man when he was arrested. “My sweet wife, you’ll be on that wall, eternal and beautiful.”
The policemen scanned the room. The only thing they could see was an old portrait.
“Is this your wife?”
The man nodded.
A policeman got closer to the portrait.
“Are you sure this is a woman?”
The man was offended, cursed on and on till they removed him from the house.
“Where did you put her body?”
He shrugged.
And no one noticed the disdainful eyes on that painting, moving towards the door as they escorted the man out.

TURA

Cupcake
———
Have you expanded your comfort zone lately? Try something new today, something uncomfortable! You can start simple, by hugging every stranger you meet. Answer every request at work with “I would prefer not to”. And my favorite, address everyone you deal with today as “cupcake”!

You might get into trouble when a policeman asks for your driving licence and you say “Sure thing, cupcake!”, but you see trouble, while I see new experiences. Studies show that happiness comes not from things, but from memorable experiences! Every experience is a happiness opportunity!

Growth Mindset! Comfort Zone Expansion! How about it, cupcakes!

NORVAL JOE

Shortly after we were married my wife started calling me Cupcake. I knew it was supposed to be a term of endearment, but I didn’t like it. It didn’t sound manly enough, so I asked her to stop.
She wouldn’t.
Two could play this game. She was embarrassed by her wide hips, so I started calling her lamb chops.
She started calling me Slim Jim because… well, just because…
I knew she had a leakage problem every time she sneezed, so I called her puddles.
Apparently, that was too much. She stopped calling me anything. Instead, she called her lawyer.

PLANET Z

Ned was in jail. He didn’t want to be in jail.
So, he asked his wife Stacy to bake him a cake.
“Put a metal file in it,” he said.
Stacy tried to bake the cake, but it never quite came out right.
It was either burned on the edges, or still gooey on the inside.
She was much better at making cupcakes.
“What the shit?” said Ned.
“They came out much better,” said Stacy. “And you can share them a lot easier.”
For what he shouted at Stacy, Ned earned a week in Solitary.
And she never visited again.

Weekly Challenge #579 – PICK TWO: Track, Jill, Pinkerton, Blasphemous, Contusion, Orc, Zither, Neutral

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:

Myst

(Be sure to wish Myst a happy birthday… she turns 8 today.)

JEFFREY

Private Dick (Part 1)
by Jeffrey Fischer

Young Jill Pinkerton – yes, of those Pinkertons, some number of generations removed from the great Allan – sat in her car, idling in neutral to stave off some of the cold. A tap at her window caught her attention. She opened the window with a punch of the power button, only to see the quarry she was tracking, a zither-playing orc. It was one of those days. “Why you follow me?” the orc growled, smacking Jill in the head, leaving a large contusion the next day. Without another word, the orc wandered off, playing the theme from “The Third Man.”

Private Dick (Part 2)

Jill’s client was a foul-mouthed, blasphenous priest who had been swindled by the orc. He had peeled off a number of large-denomination bills from a huge wad, swearing the entire time. He never explained how the orc swindled him, but it was clear that he held a grudge.

As she recovered from the orc’s blow, she reconsidered her career. Everyone expected a Pinkerton to go into the family business, but this day convinced her she was in the wrong profession. Maybe she’d open a small tea room. She’d ban all priests, orcs, and, yes, zithers too.

CHARLIE

After the new, school track opened, Jill JuciVana was the first to run the inner lane naked, while chased by the Pinkerton guards that were on duty.

Her behavior was heinously blasphemous. Earlier she was responsible for the GM’s contusion, and for breaking the large, Orc figurine he had on his office desk.

Displaying and demonstrating several yoga and sexual postures, unsolicited, for the General Manager, she snapped all the strings on his Zither; trying to prove that she was completely neutral about the outcome of the current relationship and the clumsy advances of the GM and the coaching staff.

RICHARD

Blasphemy

They’ll stone you for a bit of gentle mockery. Blow your brains out just for a satirical cartoon or imagined slight.

Somehow, they manage to argue it’s justifiable – no matter what common decency, morality or law might say – it’s protecting the faith, living according to the holy scripture, following the one pure way.

I try to stay neutral in such things, no matter what my personal feelings, but sometimes, the truth has to be spoken.

After all, what’s more blasphemous?

Speaking out against a warped ideology;
Or blowing up kids at pop concerts in the name of religion?

TOM

Can’t Fool Me
In 1894 my mother’s family was involved in the Pullman Strike. Not many
words were spoken about their stand. All the same the general feeling in
that end of the family was never cross the line. My father not one to let
in-law opinions sway him took a job as a Weekend Pinkerton. My mother’s
spit loyalty settled into an uncomfortable neutral gray. I on the other
hand was confirmedly in the red camp. This didn’t stop me from joining him
backstage at the Monkey’s show. Or James Brown or the Jackson Five. Live
music trumps principal every time.

JON

Battle Night
By
Jon DeCles

Jill Pinkerton, (on the track of an Orc, who, she was assured, was neutral
in the current phase of the battle) had suffered a contusion when she fell
from a ledge, overwhelmed by the sound of the blasphemous music of an
infernal zither. Now she lay on the rocks breathing as quietly as she
could, hoping the blood from the wound would not attract the attention of
any of the evil things that roamed the rocky canyons at the edge of the
Dark Border.
The soft plangency of the plucked and strummed strings continued to lure
her toward dangerous sleep.

LIZZIE

Mean Orc

Peter and Matt, two friends of the orc, were talking in the hospital corridor.
“No orc should have to go through this. The contusion was serious and now he’s talking funny. Everyone is laughing at him.” Peter rolled his eyes in disgust.
“Well, I suppose,” replied Matt, “but he was always slightly mean. Don’t you remember when…”
“I really don’t care. He should be respected. He’s fragile now.”
Suddenly, the orc died.
Peter waved. Matt got closer.
“I killed him,” whispered Peter.
“What on earth? Why??”
“I was talking to him and, man, did he have a mean bad breath.”

SERENDIPITY

I lay down across the track, preparing for the end.

It’s not like you imagine: It’s uncomfortable, cold, dirty. You’d like your final moments to be a time of reflection and peace, but all you can think about are the stones in your back and the awkward way your neck rests against the rail.

The driver saw me well in advance, hit the brakes, and my world filled with the sound of screaming, tortured steel.

So much for suicide… I walked away with just a minor contusion. Unlike the train passengers, whose broken bodies they pulled from the mangled wreckage.

TURA

Orc; Jill
———
The three orcs sat round the fire, gnawing on the bones of an elf.

“You ever wonder,” began Hrakht.

“Wonderin’s for elves an’ yoomns,” grunted Gnurgle.

“I thought…” said Hrakht.

“Ooh, thinkin’ now, izzee?” mocked Rabjagh.

“You know Hrakht ‘ere’s only half an orc?” said Gnurgle. “Yoomn mother. Must have scared her when he came out!”

Hrakht remained silent. How could he tell them that he didn’t feel like an orc at all? That he dreamed of belonging to one of the fair races, like the one they had just eaten.

In his dreams, he— no, she— called herself “Jill.”
———

NORVAL JOE

Deep in the forest, Jill and I followed the track of the Blasphemous Pinkerton brothers.
What they had done which was so offensive to the moral majority to earn that title was unclear. What was clear was that whoever caught them would be rewarded most handsomely.
Morally neutral and already beautiful, Jill didn’t need the reward. I was the one who looked like an orc with facial contusions. Any reward that would make me more handsome was worth the effort.
Zither birds, named after their distinctive call, burst from a grove of trees, pointing us to the brother’s probable location.

PLANET Z

Capone had rivals. Lots of rivals.
Sometimes, the cops would pick them up.
And take them to jail.
Capone would send a woman to the courthouse or jail.
She’d have a briefcase full of money.
The money was for bail. And a little extra for the judge or court clerk.
So they’d let out Capone’s rival.
His men would be waiting outside.
They’d pick up the guy.
And after a few days, he’d turn up dead.
The woman would come back with her briefcase.
And collect the bail money.
She’d set it aside, ready for the next time Capone called.

Weekly Challenge #578 – Bank

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:

Nap cat

MUNSI

On the subject of Banks
By Christopher Munroe

There are lots of different banks.

Commercial, investment, river, Tyra, the Banks family, who live in Bel Air with their cousin from west Philidelphia, the other Banks family, who briefly employed a magic nanny to handle their children, and no doubt many more…

So many banks’, each so different than the other, and yet each in turn sharing one fundamental thing in common.

Whatever the bank, you don’t want to crash a party bus into them while drunk.

Except the family in Bel Air, maybe.

That was kind of a fun afternoon.

I still get Christmas cards, from Alfonso Ribeiro…

JEFFREY

Deposit
by Jeffrey Fischer

When I had a deposit to make, I always drove to the bank, waited for the guard to wave the metal-detecting wand over me, and stood in line for a teller. Today was no different. I filled out the deposit slip and handed her the slip and a piece of paper that read “The Capitals will fold in Game 7 of the second round of the playoffs again this year.”

“What’s this?” the teller asked.

“My great-uncle always told me that if something was invariably true you could ‘take it to the bank.’ Predicting another early exit for the Caps seemed like a safe bet.”

The teller nodded, took both pieces of paper, and credited that advice to my account.

CHARLIE

Dick was a bank of a man, in that he was a heap of flesh; an inglorious mass of meat carcass propped up against his daybed pillows.

He was surrounded by a dozen, small; nervous animals and paper plates covered with the evidence of the sugary and fatty diversions with which he occupied himself.

As he dozed, he reviewed the bullshit that he would soon share with his subjugated audience.

He has been involved in mass communications for several years, and as his mind slowly dissolves, his vocabulary and limited creativity steer him into early onset of dementia, delirium, and dotage.

RICHARD

#1 – Heist

Tony ‘Knuckles’ Jones looked shiftily around the bar before addressing me in a low voice.

“So, this bank job tomorrow… All in hand?”

I nodded: “Yeah, in early when the guards change shift – they’ll be distracted, drinking coffee. Not many staff about; I scope the joint, suss out the vault and what’s what.”

“Smart plan. Then what?”

“Stay outta trouble and wait…”

I was interrupted by the rozzers turning up!

“What’s this about a bank job, lads?”

I pulled out my offer letter, “I start tomorrow – six month’s probation. Gonna be early and make a good first impression!”

#2 – Jackpot

The day I won the lottery, I laughed all the way to the bank.

I laughed when I forgot my PIN number – three times – and, I practically cried with laughter when I failed to convince the bank staff who I was.

I didn’t laugh so much when the police arrived. They said it was ‘no laughing matter’.

I laughed, and told them it was all just a big mistake. They weren’t amused.

With hindsight, I shouldn’t have laughed at the magistrates and called them tossers!

Thanks to the restraining order, I can’t get my cash.

Not laughing now.

#3 – Means to an end

As a student, I’d try anything to make spare cash.

I joined a blood bank and a sold them a few pints but they banned me – apparently, there was too little blood in my alcohol stream!

I was also banned from the sperm bank – they caught me leaving a deposit with the receptionist. I argued that the interest was high, but they weren’t impressed.

The bottle bank wasn’t interested in trading in plastics, which was all I had.

So university was spent in poverty and I never got rich.

Ironic, since I eventually qualified as an investment banker

TOM

Building Character
When I was Eight years old my mother took me downtown to the closest town with a downtown. The most auspicious structure in the tiny town was a neo federalist bank building. We talked up to a teller behind a brass latticework right out a scene from Bonnie and Clyde. I slide 14 dollar 43 cents, he hand me my first pass-book. With the amount I had deposed and the date. Over the next ten years the amount in that account swung radically up and down. The account was finally closed due to banking fees. So much for building Character.

JON

Summer Night

By

Jon DeCles

Sally stretched out on the bank of the river and looked up at the stars, the glorious glittering stars, thick as a river themselves, way out here in the country. Mama told her that river was called The Milky Way, but Miss Renata told her that in Spanish they called it The Shepard’s Path.

Whatever you called it, Sally liked to imagine she could swim in it, the way she could swim in the river. Only you would be able to swim in it at night.

She knew it was never a good idea to swim in water at night.

SERENDIPITY

Monopoly – my favourite family pursuit.

Boring, maybe, but when I’m in charge of the bank, it’s different.

Take the memorable Christmas Aunt Maisie went bust speculating on hotels. I pursued her relentlessly, foreclosing on her mortgages, bankrupting her, and – when she still couldn’t pay – sending the boys round to break her legs.

She won’t be passing ‘Go’ anytime soon!

Yes, I know it’s only a game, but I take being banker very seriously indeed, and I fully expect you to do the same.

So, now that’s perfectly clear…

I think it’s your turn to roll the dice!

LIZZIE

The security camera of the bank turned slowly, especially because it would get stuck in a certain position looking away from the main room into a wall. When Deborah stood in front of the camera frantically waving for help, Thomas, the security guy, was watching TV. The SWAT team stormed the bank and saved Deborah. Thomas took a glance, still the wall. But it was time to go home. He put on his coat and walked downstairs, a broom in hand, to hit the slow camera back into motion. Then, Deborah grabbed the broom and hit Thomas with it, quickly!

TURA

Bank
———
Without a breath of wind to drive it, the shallow-bottomed derelict floated out of the night-mist, threading its slow way up the waters of the Great Marsh, until at last it drew in to the bank.

With a silent sigh the rotten timbers burst apart and sank into the mud, releasing its shapeless cargo. It flowed over and into the marsh, spreading and clumping.

A solitary boggaert was the only witness. It incuriously grabbed at it with its massive webbed hands. “Glup,” went the thing. The boggaert was no more, and the thing was bigger.

The Great Blight had arrived.

LAIEANNA

“Love’s Spell”

Michael stood on the bank of a rushing river, throwing pebbles into
the foaming center of the channel. The first time was an accident,
but he soon learned the splashes attracted the creature. She rose –
pale skinned and shimmering scales – with a gaze fixed on him as she
sang a melody that filled the air. At her melodic command, Michael
stepped off the riverbank. The rope at his waist held him above
water, only legs dangling under the surface like fish bait. The
creature surged forward on powerful fins. Michael had his knife at
the ready to receive her.

NORVAL JOE

The six weary cowboys of the cattle drive warmed themselves by a small campfire. They talked about their second day on the trail and rubbed their sore muscles.
Cookie blew a sad song on his harmonica. As he finished, Zacharias, the drive captain, said, “Boys. Let’s bed down. Wilbur it’s your turn to bank the coals.”
The cowboys left him to his work and rolled out their beds.
In the morning, the remains of the fire and Wilber were both gone, never to be seen again.
Zach regretted not being clearer with his instructions. He knew Wilber wasn’t that smart

DANNY

When you bend yourself to the mind of someone else’s reality, you are no longer your own person. You are at the will of the entity you submitted yourself to. What are you willing to sell yourself for today? Power, status, or simply your next fix? How large your next house? How luxurious your next car necessary to perfect the image plastered on your house of cards? Be prepared to step into the straightjacket of your dreams, because you’re about to be convinced you can afford the interest rates, by the same deregulated system that calls me a filthy liberal.

PLANET Z

I watched Francois sip his coffee as hooded teens went from car to car, smashing windows.
“I ride the Metro,” he said. “What concern of it is mine?”
One wore a black ISIS flag as a cape.
He shouted a lot. All I could understand was “Allahu Ackbar.”
“Don’t you thank Jesus for your touchdowns?” said Francois. “It’s rude of you to judge.”
Another teen lit a Molotov and threw it.
The black ISIS flag caught fire, and the teen wearing it struggled to pull it off.
His friends ran, leaving him to burn.
Francois left me with the check.

Weekly Challenge #577 – Thump

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 pillow cat

TOM

Thinking Outside of the Box

“Thump Thump.” “Shut up.” “THUMP THUMP.” “I’m not letting you out.” “thump.” “You can do this all day.” “Scratch scratch” “Good you have finally come to grips with the situation.” “thump thump thump thump thump.” “You’re going to wear yourself out, not to mention how much oxygen you’re crewing up in the box. Don’t want to bring unwanted eyes around.” “Tap Tap Tap.” “That’s more like it. Good you’re getting into the sprite. I’ll be going now, just got a text from you girlfriend. Wouldn’t want you to get lonely. Be back in jiffy.”

Tap tap tap tap tap tap

JON

In the Night

By

Jon DeCles

If you hear a creak in the dark hours of the night you can attribute it to the settling of the house, maybe to a nearby tree, if there is one. If you hear scratching, you can imagine that tree scraping against the windows, if there is a wind, or, less hopefully, to the presence of rats in the walls.

As you lie there in bed, even if there is a night light, your imagination can be a powerful adversary to sleep. Every small sound opens your inner gateways to avenues of horror.

None is so unwelcome as a thump.

JEFFREY

At the Grocery
by Jeffrey Fischer

I watched the woman with the child thump on a melon again and again. It wasn’t clear how much she was learning about the quality of the melon, at least until she punched a hole in the fruit. She put it back on the display and started thumping a second melon.

Later on, I saw her feeding grapes to her child. Hey, free food! In the bulk foods aisle, she let the kid run loose. He grabbed handfuls of candy from some bins, shoving food in his mouth, then grabbed nuts and trail mix, spitting out what he didn’t like.

Now I knew why my grocery bill was so high and why I got sick frequently after shopping trips.

JUSTIN

Jettisoned into space.

My whole entire life is a shrinking cracked wreck behind me. It’s not burning since there isn’t any oxygen to keep fire going. It’s already starting to freeze. I will too, eventually. There’s no one out here to rescue us.

I look back and I can’t even see the remains anyone it’s so dark. What happened? Why? Was it an accident? Did anyone else make it out?

Will it even matter? Maybe, just maybe I’ll find a place to land this thing. Or maybe I will just …

I hear a thump on the wall. It’s from … outside.

All Dharma Mining Worlds ship escape pods have calming nature sounds, lol

CHARLIE

I could hear Eddie booming across the room, headed for the hall bathroom. Every hour, like clockwork, he would thump across the floor, taking his weak, challenged bladder to the toilet. His haphazard lifestyle weakened some critical organs, sphincters, and orifices in his body.

He worked as a barista at Starbucks. At work, he would find a way to use the gents, and never leave anyone waiting at the counter.

Living well into his mid-eighties, he wore a collection bag strapped to his leg, allowing him to work longer shifts, and giving him more freedom on the dance floor.

RICHARD

P.I.

‘T. Hump – Private Investigator’, said the faded lettering.

Sighing, I turned the handle; had it really come to this?

A shabby waiting room, peeling paint falling to hide the damp patches, torn magazines littering the scratched coffee table. An overwhelmingly depressing feeling of loss and desperation.

Not just the room, me also – shabby, unkempt, desperate.

Here where the seedy side of existence was watched, documented and called to account.

Again, I wondered, how I’d arrived here? Then unlocked my office, sat behind my desk, and waited for my first client of the day to walk through the door.

LIZZIE

Thump, thump, thump, the little rabbit rushes on, thumping his little leg on the ground.
And he huffs and he puffs.
Thump, thump, thump. Away, farther away, the little rabbit thumps southbound, immersed in thoughts profound.
And he huffs and he puffs, harder and harder and kicks and kicks around.
“Where’s the playground? Where’s the foxhound?”
And the thumping little thumps, they abound.
Sick of this monotony of sounds, the thumping rabbit goes underground, still huffing, still puffing.
But, oh… what happened, what happened? He tripped, knocked his head on the ground, poor little thumping rabbit, said the wicked ultrasound.

SERENDIPITY

The thump of mortars, the chatter of automatic weapons, the screams and moans of the dead and dying: That’s the worst thing about warfare – it’s so noisy!

People wonder how someone responsible for atrocities and so much destruction can sleep at night. Well, believe me, it’s not easy, amongst that racket!

So I’m switching to unconventional weapons of mass destruction: Biological warfare being my weapon of choice.

Simple, deadly; but, most of all, quiet!

Just one gentle cough in your direction, and let nature get on with the job.

And I – finally – get a good night’s sleep!

TURA

Thump
———
Instantly on the thump of an explosion I move out, my software calculating the likely origin of the missile.

My image analyser detects an enemy and I dive into a doorway, ahead of a burst of bullets. I manoeuvre always closer, while the software shows my adversary’s likely movements as a diffusing probability cloud. I fire some mortar shells to blow that cloud into a tight spot.

What is free will, when all your choices lead to the place of my choice?

At the end, he surrenders. A single, efficient bullet answers him. I am not programmed to take prisoners.

MUNSI

Thump
By Christopher Munroe

Thump, thump, thump.

Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump, thump.

Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump, thump.

Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump, thump.

And then be bass kicks in and the whole thing continues like that for approximately nine minutes.

Which you’d think would become maddening in it’s repetitiveness, but it actually, weirdly, hasn’t.

Maybe it’s the club drugs, maybe gratitude that it’s not Dubstep, or maybe just pleasure at sharing in the energy of a crowd, but we do all love the soundtrack we’ve chosen, here on the party-bus.

There’s something about it that unifies us.

Oh, who the hell am I kidding? It’s the club drugs…

LAIEANNA

“Can’t Rattle My Chains”

Ear against wood, I listened intently to the hallway sounds outside my
apartment. Thump, thump, thump, groan, shuffle, and repeat. I was
warned about strange occurrences in the building, but hadn’t believed
it true. Steeling myself for a surprise, I swung the door open wide.

The dressed all in black fourth floor resident stopped dragging a
bloody soaked body to ask, “Can I help you?”

I sighed, sagging against the doorframe, “Oh thank god, I thought I
was hearing a ghost.”

He grinned. “Wouldn’t want any of those.”

“Not at all,” I agreed as I casually shut my door again.

NORVAL JOE

Every time I see the word, thump, I think of that jackass who got elected president of the United States.
Over the last few years I’ve tried to not say disparaging things about people or their opinions. There’s enough hate in our world. I don’t need to add to it.
I have consistently criticized our political system and said we need a break from career politicians and professional lobbyists.
We got our break. I guess I should be happy.
It would have been nice to get someone who would try to bring the country together instead of tearing it apart.

DANNY

I’ve lost faith in those I never should have had faith in to begin with. I’ve lost the ability to forgive, and maybe that’s a good thing in a world trying to cut my life. When your best friend curses you out on your death bed, because your unable to carry the weight of his world, then somebody needs to back off. Whoever wanted to play someone they never wanted to be to begin with? Life has this tendency to come back and slam you in the face in unexpected ways, till death. Yet my heart still beats with a….

PLANET Z

Sasha knew that you’re supposed to thump a melon to determine if it’s ripe, but she didn’t know what to listen for.
Only that you should thump the melon.
Like her mom used to, and then with a nod of her head, she’d put the melon in the cart.
Sasha never thought to ask… ask…
Google!
She pulled out her smartphone and Googled for the answer.
“Hollow and high pitched” was the answer.
She gently thumped the melon.
Again, the ghostly voice whispered “I will kill you.”
Sasha put the melon back and went with a prepared fruit tray instead.