Weekly Challenge #595 – ALIEN

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 Tin

JEFFREY

Illegal Alien
by Jeffrey Fischer

My mother always said I was an alien, born in some distant solar system and adopted as an infant. She begged me not to get hurt, as Earth medicine couldn’t help me. Each of my transgressions would merit a heavy sigh and a “I should never have rescued you from that orphanage.” Low grades, fighting at school, sassing back to her – I got the alien speech. Gives a kid a complex, I tell you.

Of course, I’m no alien. I got cut badly when I was 12 and I bled as red as you. My sister, on the other hand… Yep. Total extraterrestrial.

GINGER

If I was from another country and took it upon myself to help the United States with their frazzled communications – orchestrated liaisons with heads of state, press conferences, officially formulated communiques and speeches – I would be considered an economic alien and would have to file taxes accordingly – except that no one from that office ever would offer to pay an avatar and it conceivably pleasures me to be a slave. From my vestibule, I could insert promotional tweets for family-friendly brands such as Johnson & Johnson* and Colgate* so that people would remember personal hygiene is very important over the next 3 and ½ years of their subjugation and depression. I could remind coffee drinkers not to believe everything they see on television – since the world has been taken over by the feted wiles of red-eyed businessmen hoping to formulate strategy for the next 40 years or so – and there is no level playing field. I would remind young mothers that their health matters. I would mount topics of such ground-breaking import that the populace might rise to ask questions openly…and ponder their true aim, be it scientific achievement, the laying of pavement, or the coordination of humanitarian efforts. Much as Trump would like to mount Olympus. It’s not illegal to be an alien, just frowned upon.

RICHARD

#1 – Apollo 11

Nobody realises our first – and last – encounter with alien life happened during the first moon landing: The historic moment humankind committed genocide on a scale never before, or since, witnessed by the universe.

We’re all completely ignorant that with a single action, we wiped out the entire population of the only other intelligent life in the universe. Billions, destroyed in an instant.

Had Neil Armstrong’s one small step been a little to the right or left, it would be a different story, instead, he stood squarely on the alien city, eradicating all life within it.

Nice one, Neil!

#2 – Not as we know it

We all have our ideas about what alien life might be like, but if movies are to be believed, they’ll either be colourful variations of the human form speaking American English, or evil, slimy creatures, hell bent on our destruction.

Most scientists take a more sober view, preferring the bacterial or amoeba-like form of alien – practical, but boring.

Personally, I’ve always imagined first contact would find aliens in plant form – silent, immovable, harmless, but lovely planted in the garden.

Either that, or vegetables – maybe an exotic potato that humans could bake and stuff with macaroni cheese!

Delicious.

#3 – Alien

I had a pet alien. Found it wandering around Roswell back in ’47. It told me it was seeking world domination – like that was going to happen!

Years later, I realised there was money to be made and, through the Dark Web, I sold it for a handsome sum to the Russians. They passed it on to China, then I lost track of my old roommate.

Recently though, he’s resurfaced and I’m starting to think that it was a bad idea to let him go.

How was I to know the damn thing would end up running North Korea?

LIZZIE

They didn’t like us. The strings hurt on the wrists. The redness would never go away. They played us like puppets. They manipulated us with a smile. Then, they forced us. “You’ll see it,” they said. We didn’t know what they meant. Then we saw it, the grand scheme of things, and we were just a tiny fleck of nothingness. They took the children. The candles burned till the end, but they didn’t know. We had our own strings. The day we pulled them, they fell. And we took off to get our children back. Arrogance can make empires fall.

CHARLIE

The two missionaries that contacted me several weeks ago invited me for a tour of the church this coming Saturday. I had to refuse, as I have not changed my mind about joining the Church of The Gooey Death and Discount House of Worship.

The missionaries, both of alien origin, are beautiful and they tantalize me with their soft talk and dimpled cheeks. They have invested a lot of their time with me, but I refused the special baptism and services because I fear that I might be taken away with them in their little, red, Japanese made land ship.

TOM

Warm San Franciscan Nights.

The landscape was totally alien to Rudy. He was a Midwest boy who had little experience with elevations greater that a three foot rise. Closed his eye when his wife Irma, a full-blooded San Franciscan, took to the hills above the bay. “Why on earth would anyone build a house on a 45 degree angle?” he’d rattled. Irma would just double glitch the jeep, and spin the four wheeler onto a side street, completely filling the windscreen with sky, to which Rudy loudly cursed himself for taking a momentary peek. Then came the plummet straight at the bay. Not Good.

JON

Fix the Damned Fountain

By

Jon DeCles

There is something alien about drinking out of plastic bottles. Water is part of our original world. Plastic is not. Its artificial, the antithesis of natural and wholesome. Bad and alien things leach out into water confined to plastic, and every indication is that they are bad for us.

People used to bestow fountains in public places, where you could drink water for free: for thousands and thousands of years we drank from fountains. Then, slowly, the aliens persuaded us it was unhealthy and that we should drink from plastic.

I think that most of the aliens come from Switzerland.

SERENDIPITY

I tried putting the alien thought out of my mind, but it kept intrusively pushing its way back, interrupting my enjoyment of the moment.

Pausing to let the screaming subside, I pondered the thought… What if you let them go? It suggested; untie them, put away the knives, and just walk away.

Think of the possibilities: You could have a new life, without pain and bloodlust, murder and mayhem… A life filled with compassion and kindness, laughter and joy, rainbows and unicorns!

Well?

I shut the thought down and picked up my knife.

Why stop now when I’m having fun?

TURA

Alien
———
They walk among us, taking our places. You know what they do with the bodies? Liquidize them and flush them down the drains. Did you hear about that fatberg in the London sewers? Twenty double-decker buses’ weight of fat, blocking an eight-foot tunnel. That’s what decided me to take action.

They’re convincing, but I spotted you, didn’t I? You’re not conscious, you’re just a meat puppet. No-one at home. The saws? The scalpels? I want to see what you’re made of, don’t I? But I’m just talking to myself, there’s no-one here but me. Let’s start by opening your chest…

LAIEANNA

Less than a foot tall, those little bastards with their indestructible
shells made our lives a living hell in just six weeks. First it was
two, pioneers of their race, landing on Earth with good will.
Something new and exciting got our attention and we welcomed them with
open arms, but they failed to mention their birthing rate and massive
sex drive. Two multiplied to ten in three days and from there it went
on. Now we have little ankle biters everywhere. You can’t take three
steps without kicking one out of the way. Is this really our life now?

NORVAL JOE

Axel entered Recycling Center RC166-15125 in an out of the way sector of level 48.
Astrah sat at a desk amid stacks of crates and cartons and the odor fresh shrink wrap. Her bright yellow hair and golden irises identified her origins from the Coacheenohdorah system.
Axel had never seen a true alien on the Galactic Battle Base, only human mutations developed since earth’s diaspora 800 years before, as this woman seemed to be.
“May I help you?” she asked in a melodic whisper.
“I’m looking for a job. In sales,” Axel said.
Her golden eyes flashed as she laughed.

DUANE

Alien

You sit across from me on the train every day, but you don’t know anything about me. You just think I’m weird. For your information, I’m from another galaxy. When I was young my mom said I was special. Later I figured it out on my own. I’m not from around here.

I never understood your silly social interactions. I started thinking I was crazy. Then I remembered what my mother said. It all began to make sense.

So the next time you look at someone and think they are weird, remember, they are probably from another galaxy. Like me.

PLANET Z

Bzerp said that his name was unpronounceable by human tongues.
Which was total bullshit. I mean, I just pronounced it, right?
He said that because Bzerp was once common in his culture, but had become an unpleasant slang word.
Kind of like how the names Dick and Gaylord have other meanings.
So, Bzerp lied, and he’d just scribble something squiggly on paper.
“It looks different because I’m drawing in four dimensions,” he claimed.
“BZERP!” shouted the newly-arrived delegation. “So this is where you’ve been hiding?”
Bzerp booked a flight to another planet.
Any planet, away from his people.
And himself.

Weekly Challenge #594 – GAS

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 and flowers

JEFFREY

Now Yer Cookin’
by Jeffrey Fischer

Mary recognized the smell as soon as she opened the door. She worked as an EMT and was trained to detect even small odors of gas. Her training told her to leave the house immediately, find a safe place, and call 911. She debated doing that but, against her better judgment, she stayed put.

“Har-OLD!” she bellowed, opening as many windows as she could. “Don’t you notice that overpowering smell? I told you to do something about it the last time this happened!”

Her husband appeared in the doorway. “Sorry, dear. I filled up the tank today, and you know I can’t resist those 7-11 burritos.”

RICHARD

Gas

It was about time I did my bit for the environment, using alternative energy.

I tried solar power – but it’s never sunny in Britain; I’m too far from the sea for wave power, and I couldn’t get planning permission for a wind turbine. So, I bought some cows and all my energy needs are now supplied from bovine methane.

It has drawbacks – like angry neighbours complaining about the smell, but it’s definitely the right approach.

Even the cows approve – many times whilst inserting gas collection pipes, (unpleasant, but necessary!) – I’ve received a pat on the back!

CHARLIE

Conrad had a tough childhood. His parents were sorry he was born. He grew sorry as well.

He was a goofy kid, with no merit at all. He matured and soon became a lazy, loud bully in his pre-teen years. His parents made a decision, and took Conrad with them when they visited relatives in Oklahoma.

They left Conrad staked to the grassy knoll behind the Conoco station in Ponca City, just a bit off Highway 60.

He was discovered by a couple stopping to picnic nearby. It was too late. Coyotes had gnawed off his legs and his ears.

#2

A visible plume of gas rose from the couch cushions. The toxic soup that covered the inside of the living room had subsided a bit, and now we dealt with the destruction and poisons left behind by the floodwaters.

A fish wiggled in the corner until the cat’s eyes were drawn to it. A fresh, but tainted meal for a hungry pet.

We shared cans of pork and beans, crackers, and cans of lukewarm soda. Uncle Larry drank what was left of the whiskey in the cabinet, until he sank into a stupor.

A bullfrog jumped out of the bookcase.

TOM

Classical Gas
40 years ago at the end of the Summer of Love a curious film was show on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. It was called 3000 Years of Art by Dan McLaughlin. 100s of the world’s greatest works of art flash by at ten of a second. The driving music behind that river of art was Classical Gas by Mason Williams. By today’s standards a quant footnote of the counter culture. But at the time it was pretty impressive, so much so it ended by aspirations at an accountant and set me on the path to a career in art.

JON

They Are Really Quite Safe

By

Jon DeCles

The last time I was there they made quite a deal about how the most important documents of American History were preserved in Argon. That is, The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and The Bill of Rights, which you can see right in front of you, are in chambers filled with Argon. Moreover, they showed us a model of how, in a flash, those chambers, with their documents, could be lowered into a huge lead vault, sufficient, they believed, to survive a direct nuclear attack. Some people call the building The Tomb of Liberty.

Argon is a very Noble Gas.

LIZZIE

The painting on the wall flickered, alive with the dancing flames of the gas fireplace. The man sat on a chair. His attention was on the geometric face. He had never intended it to come out like that but he thought it was beautiful. He cleaned his hands with a colorful cloth. She hated that. She hated the smell too. She hated when he sat in the living-room in his “rags”, as she called his painting overalls. When she saw the painting, she wanted to burn it. His nails had red underneath, and the painting was still on the wall.

SERENDIPITY

Most people are completely uninformed about us cannibals. We’re more refined than you might think.

We’ve good jobs, lovely homes, and hold responsible roles in society. Although we may enjoy the odd meal of human flesh, it’s not some sort of zombie ready meal; it’s far more likely to be a slow roasted escalope of thigh, with a balsamic reduction, accompanied by a good pinot noir.

You certainly won’t find us daubed in paint, dancing half naked around a couple of missionaries in a massive cauldron, bubbling over a log fire.

Of course not…

These days, we’re cooking on gas!

NORVAL JOE

Axel didn’t need to read the platform numbers as he descended the stairs to know he neared the lowest levels of the Galactic Battle Base. Level fifty was the water storage level, and forty-nine was sewerage treatment. The smell of methane gas told him forty-nine was only a few levels away.
Exiting the stairs at level forty-eight he stepped into the passage link deciding which way to turn. Recycling centers dotted the length and circumference of the forty-eighth level. He had to find the center where Astrah, worked. The center where they recycled items other than, old jumpsuits and uneaten food.

DUANE

Gas

As the dentist left the room I moved the mask from my nose to mouth and took a couple deep breaths. The hose fell off the mask. My arms seemed twenty feet away as I fixed it and put it back on my nose. The little outlet valve popped into my lap. Feeling around with tingling fingers I got it on just as the dentist returned.

“Ready?”, he asked as he turned up the gas.

Nothing happened. He turned it up some more. Nothing. He reached over and flicked the mask with his finger. I saw God. Best dentist ever!

TURA

Gas
———
We set off on a trip, and before we reach the end of the street, she goes, “Wait! I left the gas on!!”

Yes, you always do, or leave a window open, or something. That’s why I check everything myself after you’re in the car. But all the way it’s, “I left the back door open! I shut the neighbours’ cat inside!”

One year, she kept this up every day of the holiday.

“Hey, it’s so quiet!” said the kids on the way back. “And so much space! Did we leave something behind?”

“Not accidentally,” I say, and drive on.

PLANET Z

All of the refineries shut down when the hurricane passed through.
It’s taking a while for the engineers to get them back up and running.
Gas prices went up. The numbers on the signs ticked up daily.
That is, if they had any gas to sell.
Some places just have Premium, and others just have Regular.
A lot of them don’t have any gas at all.
All the stations along the highway are dry.
But they keep their signs lit, luring people in.
I guess they’re hoping to sell lottery tickets, or milk at five dollars a gallon or something.

Weekly Challenge #593 – DEAL

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 and Pizza

TOM

an aging scholar

Ok Ok. I know. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I got the good stuff, there was a lot time to figure out how to get out of the deal. Ya Ya, the quy has offered the same deal to bunches of folk over the millenniums. There’s a mess of operas and poems about how it turn out so wrong, but I’m a damn clever guy. I got an ace up my sleeve. So now at 110 years old, think I’ll lay it on the table.

Méphistophélès is turned away by the shining sword of the archangel.

CHARLIE

I always heard that the one who dealt it is the one who smelt it, or is it the one that smelt it is the one who dealt it?

This concerns the gaseous expression of hydrocarbons in and about the home.
My aunt was lighting a birthday cake with her butane grill lighter, and feeling an august explosion forthcoming, she reached behind her and lit it off, unknowingly starting the dining room curtains on fire.

She brought the cake into the living room as the house filled with smoke and flames. The fire squad put it out.

No big deal.

RICHARD

Deal

They offered me a deal: Names, in exchange for immunity from prosecution and a new identity.

I wasn’t sure about the ‘new identity’. The people I mixed with didn’t like snitches, if they caught up with me, who knows what they’d do?

Changing my name and relocating wouldn’t be enough, if I was recognised it was definitely game over.

“Don’t worry, kid, we can fix it so your own mother won’t recognise you!”

I gave them the names.

They set me up! Told the gang, and left me to their mercies.

My own mother didn’t recognise me after they’d finished!

JEFFREY

The Art of the Deal
by Jeffrey Fischer

“Deal me in.” I sat at the empty chair and tossed some cash into the pile. I sensed a big night coming for me.

As the hours wore down, so did my stakes. These pups were taking me to the cleaners! I felt my anger begin to rise, but I kept my cool.

Finally I was out. Beaten. The dollars weren’t the issue: I could afford to lose them. No, it was the blow to my pride that stuck with me. Who’d have thought dogs would be so good at playing poker? Must be all that practice those hounds got while posing for endless portraits.

LIZZIE

The deal was that you’d never scream at me. The deal was that a smile would be a smile and not a sarcastic sneer thrown at my soul. The deal was that I would live today, dream of tomorrow, regret nothing of the past. And now, I live today, dreading tomorrow and desperately trying to forget what happened. The more they told me to walk away, the more I pretended not to listen. I covered my ears, shut my eyes, sheltered my soul, and one day, in darkness, I decided to leave. May my tombstone read “The deal was broken.”

SERENDIPITY

Here’s the deal: Keep your mouth shut about what you’ve seen and neither of us have to worry about any comebacks – me, hassle from the law, and you, hassle from me.

Of course, I’m taking a risk in letting you go. It’s not what I’d normally do. You see I prefer to go by the principal of ‘dead men can’t talk’, but I think you’ll agree that one murder tonight is enough?

Even so, I’ll need to be sure… Mute men can’t talk either!

Did I say ‘keep your mouth shut’? What I meant to say was…

Open wide!

TURA

Deal
———
“Sharper on table 4,” said my colleague. He showed me a replay. “You can’t see anything,” he said, “but something’s off, I can smell it.”

The cameras go 200 frames per second, and I had to single-step to see it. Dealing from the bottom, under the top, peeking at the corners, faster than the eye could see.

Faster than human fingers could move.

“Android or just enhanced, we need a SWAT team to handle this one,” I said.

Sometimes I think we should give up and let anything sit at a poker table. They did that in sports years ago.

DUANE

Comedy Boot Camp

Comedy boot camp isn’t pretty. It isn’t meant to be. It exists to separate class clowns from comedians. New recruits are barraged with questions requiring rapid-fire responses. The first question is always, “what’s the deal with airline food?”

Routinely instructors yell “drop and give me twenty!” A recruit goes to his knees and begins shouting “Well, excuuuse meee!” Everyone thinks they can do twenty at first. After ten they’re sweating and shaking. They say it builds character.

At the end comes Hell Week. It involves drill instructors screaming orders as they randomly change persona from Sam Kinison to Jerry Lewis.

JON

An Excellent Deal

By

Jon DeCles

The deals of the table were red, Scots pine, not white: which meant that we could afford it. The lumberman told us that the white, from Norway spruce, might be stronger, but would be more expensive. He said the table would be very serviceable in any case, and vastly cheaper than one of hardwood.

We cared little for the ultimate quality of the table. It would soon be scarred by the strokes of our cleavers and saws. A plain deal table was all that was needed for our purpose.

The pine would burn readily, leaving no evidence for Scotland Yard.

NORVAL JOE

Axelrod wondered how fate could deal him such a crappy hand.
Born on the Galactic Battle Base to low ranking personnel who had as little ambition to transfer to a planet side duty assignment as they did to advance their careers enough to get a larger cube closer to the entertainment sectors.
Axel had twenty years of drudgery to look forward to before he could he could transfered out on his own merit.
He’d heard that others deal in black market goods.
That could be exciting, and get him a shuttle off the giant tube before he’s forty years old.

PLANET Z

Back in the Seventies, there was this game show called Let’s Make A Deal.
Audience members dressed up in stupid and crazy costumes, and the host would invite them to trade for various unknown items in a box or behind a curtain.
The best game was when the host offered money for a particular common item, like a comb or a toothbrush.
Things got awkward when he asked for a flask of whiskey or pain pills.
And downright awkward when he held up a twenty for a blowjob.
“If I feel your teeth,” said the host. “You only get five.”

Weekly Challenge #592 – PICK TWO Washing, Hope, Downward, Nix, Lie, Thrive, Joy, Rhapsody

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

TOM

Ladies and Gentlemen, Please ….

Rhapsody Hope was a pole dance from Barstow. A perennial favorite of the Marine Corps Logistics Base jarheads. Oorah. The money she earned in her youth paid for her degree at UCLA. The strength she gain server her well and brought home the gold in her back to back Olympic showings. In the end she return to Barstow to work with troubled youths. Dr. Hope exemplifies the best of Bastow, and tonight we call all present to stand to acknowledge her contribution to this city and nation. We confer upon Doctor Rhapsody Hope the Barstow City Council’s Medal of Honor.

JEFFREY

Genetic Washing
by Jeffrey Fischer

In 2017, Iceland announced that it had nearly “eradicated” Down Syndrome. This was a lie. A more accurate description would be that nearly 100% of women carrying a child with the Down gene had an abortion. Delighted with this success, the government “eradicated” hemophilia, cancer, hair loss – you name it. Pregnant women were happy to participate – after all, who hoped for a child prone to teenage acne?

One day in 2037, the government proudly announced the eradication of all “defective” children. The press conference took place in an elementary school, where youngsters had once thrived. Now there were plenty to choose among, as no child had come to term in two decades.

CHARLIE

While tasked with all the washing and pesky maintenance for the summer writing workshop, I was hoping that my downward plummeting mood would be nixed. One little lie, and I would thrive again. There would be joy in my life, and I could henceforth spin only rhapsodic yarns as I did before I joined up with this dull group of radish growers and feet pickers that fancy themselves a writing salon.

I lied and told them that I had been asked to teach at the local university, and my pay would be what I asked for the special, fall workshop.

RICHARD

In memoriam

I won’t lie to you… Since I did away with the other half, contrary to expectations, all the joy has left my life.

Now it’s just one long downward spiral of washing, cleaning and housework – how could anyone hope to thrive on that without something fun to redress the balance.

Things were going nowhere until I discovered an old pair of her nix, tucked behind the bedroom dresser.

I still have to put up with the housework, but it’s much more fun when done to a backing of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, wearing nothing but my dead wife’s undies!

LIZZIE

Letter to Nobody

My eyes roam the land, the short golden grass dancing in the wind as the purple clouds fly away softly, caressing a bright blue sky. A lonely seagull makes its way out to sea while the waves lap gently on the shoreline. I stand against an ancient tree and try not to blink fearful this picture-perfect moment would fade away too soon. I thought the busy, fast-paced life would suddenly gain some sort of meaning. I thought, one day, things would change. They never did. And a picture-perfect lie ends now at a picture-perfect place.
Signed,
Hope

SERENDIPITY

You find me sitting in the darkness, lost in my thoughts, a widening pool of blood spreading from my latest victim.

The tools of my trade – ligature and knife – rest in my lap; their work, like mine, complete.

Whilst I wait, the rain comes, cooling and refreshing; it’s rhythmic patter mingling with the blood, washing it slowly away into the darkness.

It is a perfect moment.

The sound of the rain, the red stain of blood and the calm quiet as the adrenalin slowly drains from my system combine…

I call it my symphony: A rhapsody of death.

JON

Be Careful What You Wish For

By

Jon DeCles

Washing my hands came first, then my clothes, in the hope that the blood would just go away.

It had been a downward spiral ever since my husband suggested we might kill the king. At first I tried to nix the idea, but it began to lie more easily on my conscience. I thought how we would thrive once he had the crown. What joy we would experience. Soon the vision of being queen sang like a rhapsody in my dreams.

After the deed my dreams were not so splendid. My hands felt sticky, and I took to sleep walking.

DUANE

Hair of the Downward Dog

I found a half dozen of those little bottles of whiskey pushed way back in the cupboard. They’d been there about five years.

I finished them off in a few minutes. A warm sensation washed over my body. I felt the tension leave my shoulders and my muscles began to relax. My breathing soon calmed to a steady rhythm. My mind was floating from one thought to the next without getting stuck. For a while all the worries and troubles of the day disappeared. I had a wonderful night’s sleep.

I had forgotten how much better booze is than yoga.

NORVAL JOE

Axelrod took the stairs, downward, to the lower levels of the Galactic Battle Base. Maybe he could find an unguarded airlock and freeze out.
Hope of becoming an Assault Frigate Commander had fled with his poor Astrogation final scores.
There was no joy in daily labor as a mechanic, launch technician, or one of the other menial jobs he’d qualled for. Not like the rhapsody the pilot feels when a frig streaks out from the Base and reaches point-two-eight of light speed or jumps through a gate to a star system light years away.
No lie. Axel’s future looked bad.

TURA

Hope; Downward
———
The elevator doors opened, and I found myself looking down an impossibly long liftshaft. I fell forwards… and awoke on the floor of the elevator, surrounded by anxious, unknowing colleagues.

The vision obsessed me. How large is the world? The elevators never go more than a hundred floors, but one can take another. How far up, or down? How large is the Building, the Universe?

Our scriptures preach a Foundation and a Penthouse, but now I see that these stories are to dull our curiosity, not sharpen it.

I must continue ever downwards, hoping one day to find the truth.

PLANET Z

Medieval life was hard, but Jane had it harder.
Raped by her father, pregnant at sixteen, kicked out of her home.
She stole a tub from a nunnery and took in washing.
When the baby came, she drowned it in the tub and secretly buried it in the cemetery.
Her last hope was to lie her way into that nunnery.
She couldn’t read or write, but she listened to their prayers and songs and memorized them.
Crushed by an oxcart, she died in the road.
When they dug a hole to bury her in, they dug up her baby’s corpse.

Weekly Challenge #591 – DRIVE

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 cave

TOM

Bodhisattva

Phil liked to drive at night. Less people. He wasn’t much for freeways, liked the city streets and county roads. Wasn’t into speed, just cruising. Rarely drove with anyone. Never saw him with a girl. It wasn’t because he was the anti-social type, hardly, party hardy as any of us. Driving was a deep meditate, he’d say. When blank stares and wobbling eyes met his words, he just order a round of beer, up went the cheers and everyone thought he was messing with them. I was stand outside Dunkin’ Donuts the night he and his car reached total enlightenment

JON

591

The Peloponnesian War, Part Two
By
Jon DeCles

“Now, looky here, Jack, it mightn’t be bad, Athenian women adopting some of the fashions of the Spartan women.”
“Are you out of your bleedin’ mind? We’re already forbidden to even mention their names without consequences! They keep to themselves except when they decide they want us! We have to hire hetaera if we want a woman to talk with. Imagine if, in addition to all that, they start taken’ off their clothes in public! This whole bloody war will turn into nothing but one enormous erection!”
“It’s pretty much like that already, down at the gym,” said Tom stiffly.

CHARLIE

The massive drive whirled away for a week, copying everything from the implant. The chip was tasked to collect the previous year’s data. The data included sound and images. This was the equivalent of storing about three million television shows.

The drive had to be cooled with extraordinary apparatus, including liquid nitrogen and elaborate heat sinks.

After the drive was filled and subsequently indexed, it was shared among the existing female members of the tribe and stored safely away for future use.
Stain McMillen was the oldest McMillen son, and was chosen to care for and maintain the storage cluster.

#2

Stain stored the cluster in the trunk of his Buick Electra. The top weather seal of the trunk had deteriorated and rain and the car wash allowed water to seep into Stain’s car trunk. In a short time, the family data was jeopardized and the danger was not discovered until Stain opened his trunk to check his spare.

Stain panicked, and took the bulky unit to his local computer store for inspection. The cluster was dried and packed in desiccant.

After powering up the drive, the techs ran integrity tests on the data and found everything intact. Thank you, God!

JEFFREY

The Right Prescription
by Jeffrey Fischer

I kept seeing ads for people with “Low T.” They caught my eye. I’m not saying I can’t… you know, but my sex drive hasn’t improved with age. Maybe I did have low T.

Several doses later, I was a new man. My wife didn’t know what overcame me, but she didn’t seem pleased. My mistress wasn’t happy, either, and both my girlfriends, while feigning delight at my regained prowess, were clearly more interested in nights out than nights in.

I complained to my doctor that the drug wasn’t helping. He squinted at the label and switched prescriptions. He said the original was in error. I now get endless refills of Lipton for my low tea. Decaf, of course.

RICHARD

#1 – Safari

You always get one on every game drive… The irritating, know it all idiot who ruins everything for the other guests, makes constant unreasonable demands, and thinks the whole experience revolves around them.

Today’s was the worst… Everyone in the vehicle hated him with a passion.

There we are, surrounded by a pride of lions, and he comes out with the inevitable question: “Are we safe?”

“As long as we stay in the vehicle”

I turned the key, with a secret smile, and nothing happened.

“So what do we do now?” he sneered.

“You”, I smiled, “Get out and push!”

#2 – Interview

“We’re looking for someone with drive and enthusiasm to be an inspirational leader in this company” said the guy behind the desk.

“Are you that someone?”

I opened my mouth to speak, but he cut me off…

“Don’t even answer that”, he barked, “I can tell already you have what it takes. Y’know, I’m going to take a risk – and I’m going to offer you the job right here on the spot”

“So what do you say?”

I placed the parcel on his desk…

“Package for you”, I said, “Sign here, and I can get back to my deliveries!”

#3 – Taxi

“Follow that car!”, I shouted, throwing myself into the back of the cab.

The driver, took off, tyres screeching – “I’ve waited years for someone to say that! So, are you a cop, or a gangster, or what?”

“No questions… Just drive!”

We tore through the city streets gradually gaining on the vehicle in front of us.

Finally, at a red light, I wrenched open my door, flung a handful of cash at the cabbie and calmly walked away.

No idea who was in that car, I’d just always wanted to jump into a cab and shout “follow that car!”

DUANE

Drive

This time I am going to get it done. I’ll finish it and submit it.

But I need a clean desk so I can concentrate. So, I’ll clean my desk and, then, I’ll get it done.

How did this desk get so messy? There sure a lot of icons on my desktop too. Messy. I guess desks and desktops have that in common. I’ll have to clean that up too. Clean my desk and my desktop and then I will get it done.

Okay, right after lunch I’ll clean my desk and desktop. Then I can finally get it done.

LIZZIE

She couldn’t walk but she had a very nice bike. It was parked outside the house and it was covered by flowers, violet, red, blue, and white. And she smiled. The bright colors made her smile. And the bicycle rusted away parked outside the house. Every now and then, she’d look at that bike. She’d close her eyes, and ride it, her legs completely paralyzed, but moving freely in her imagination. Whenever she got home and parked the bicycle outside the house, the flowers would sway back and take hold of her bike, becoming the sole guardians of her dreams.

SERENDIPITY

It was a long drive through the night, during the course of which the muffled thumps from the boot grew gradually more faint, until they ceased altogether.

Finally, in the grey pre-dawn light, I pulled off the desert road and found the spot I’d previously chosen. It was cold, but digging would soon warm me up.

Three hours later, the sun was climbing over the horizon and i was packing away the shovel and brushing the dust from my hands.

That was the potatoes planted… I’d be taking the body home with me to brew into fertiliser for future use.

NORVAL JOE

When I was a kid, my parents saved money on movies by piling us all in the station wagon and taking us to the drive in theater. You paid by the carload and not by the individual person.
On warm summer nights we would sit on the hood of the car and watch the latest Disney flick–like, The Love Bug, The Teenage Professor, or Song of the South.
I saw the beginning of a lot of movies. Since they couldn’t start until it was dark and the sun set around 9 pm, I was usually asleep before the show ended.

TURA

Drive
———
It began with the gene drive. It’s a mechanism to make a gene pass itself to all your descendants, even if you only inherited one copy. It was used against mosquitos, to stop malaria.

Trouble is, those genes can get mutations, like any other. The mosquitos evolved to handle it. Then it got into humans via mosquito bites. It incorporated retroviruses to copy itself between your cells, and learned infectiousness from the common cold virus.

The endgame is something that can turn a crowd into a giant blob of cancer in the time it takes to watch a football game.
———

PLANET Z

In Hebrew School, the rabbi taught us about The Golem of Prague.
“When you put a prayer in its mouth and whisper a name, the golem will hunt down that person.”
Every time I saw a statue, I’d put a hastily-scribbled prayer in its mouth.
“Hymie Schwatrz.” I’d whisper, imagining the fifth grade bully dragged from the schoolyard, kicking and screaming.
But the statues never moved an inch.
So, I put a garden gnome in my backpack, and the next day at school, I bashed in Hymie’s skull.
“It was the golem!” I screamed, as the teachers dragged me away.

Weekly Challenge #590 – PAPRIKA

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

TOM

Satoshi Kon
I’m by no means a deep-field anima fan. Sure I have been in the game since 1959, when Astro Boy hit America. I’ve done Vampire D, Full Metal Alchemist, Ghost Hound, Serial Experiments Lain and the Studio Ghibli films, actually all the Ghibli films. I drew the line at Fruits Basket. That was some pretty weird cultural stuff. But for over the top surreal eye candy you cannot beat: Paprika. There are random parades of rivers of cartoon characters like some kind of Japanize Hieronymus Bosch mash-up. Time Magazine included it in its top 25 animated films of all time.

JON

The Peloponnesian War
By
Jon DeCles

“Bert, what makes this stew taste like this?”
“Hits somefing my little kiksy wiksy got when she was wisiting the Afenians. Hits called paprika. I finks they gets hit from up in the Carpafian Basin. Some errant Kelts brings it down.”
“So, how is your kiksy wiksy, Bert? Mine has been eying some of the fashions from up in Athens. Wants one of them fancy himataeons the Athenian women wear.”
“Gor, hain’t it bad enough they keep us away except when they want us in bed? Now they gonna cover everyfing up? You wanna wank now, Sidney, or after mess?”

LIZZIE

A comedian added paprika to everything, to the food, the stove, the counter, the walls, even to his co-presenter who tried very hard not to burst out laughing before the cameras.
The day they ran out of paprika, he started using ketchup. It was a commercial nightmare. Shocked viewers complained and advertisers pulled the plug.
When they went back to paprika, everything got back to normal, except for the cameraman whose ketchup company was hoping to make a lot of money.
Why does a cameraman own a ketchup company and work as a cameraman? Rich people are odd… well, sometimes.

EMILY ANN

Escape
by Emily Ann

She woke, startled by the cool air on her face. Sleepily she rose and walked across the dewy grass into the grey mist that swirled along the edge of the forest. The pain she once felt, crippling her body from within, was gone. She raised a hand and ran it through her long, soft brown hair. Hair she thought she’d never touch again. Warm. Calm. Elevated. She knew now that a world she once thought to be imaginary was her new reality. Turning back, she blew a final kiss to those she left behind. Saved. Free. She smiled again.

JEFFREY

Cooking with Paprika (1)
by Jeffrey Fischer

My wife complained when I started cooking that the meals were bland, so I experimented with various herbs and spices. Cilantro tasted of soap, she said, while sage was too harsh, garlic too smelly, dill too pungent, basil too sweet. There were others, but you get the idea.

My spice cabinet was looking quite bare when I decided to open one of the few remaining jars: paprika. I made a lovely goulash, if I may say so. To my surprise, she actually liked it. Once. After that, it was the usual complaints. Well, I was almost out of ideas.

It turns out that she froze well, once I had dismembered the body and discarded the inedible bits. Now my friends agree that I make the best goulash they’ve ever had.

Cooking with Paprika (2)
by Jeffrey Fischer

When Frank started cooking occasionally for the family, he wasn’t very good. Stella gave him a Hungarian cookbook, hoping Frank would take the hint. He did improve, but not by much. “But I’m cooking with Paprika,” he’d say. “Surely you can’t get more Hungarian than that.” Eventually “cooking with Paprika” became his mantra.

One day Stella came home from work early and found Frank in bed with another woman. “Er, hi, Stella. This is, uh, Paprika.” The redhead blushed. Stella stormed out.

When it was Stella’s turn to cook, she also used the Hungarian cookbook, but substituted Old Bay seasoning for paprika. The two spices looked similar, and Old Bay had the advantage of being toxic to Frank.

NORVAL JOE

In a fit of nostalgia, Esme tried to recreate her high school persona from the mid 1980’s.
She searched every second hand store in her city and many within driving distance for a raspberry beret. According to the song, that’s where you should find one.
No such luck.
The closest she came to that type of hat was a floppy cotton sun hat of a rusty red color that reminded her of paprika.
The lady at the counter said they don’t carry many used hats because of hair lice. She said that Esme should try looking online for new one.

CHARLIE

Sally’s boobs jostled grandly as she jogged with her Cocker Spaniel. She ran every morning, and attracted attention as she moved along the main thoroughfare through town. Morning drivers honked and some catcalled. Older ladies tsk tsked, while modest old men averted their eyes or plunged their hands quickly into their pockets. Sally ran in place at stop lights, sometimes smearing her lips with a fresh coat of Dagget Ramsdell Shea Butter Lip Skin.

Sally sat on the bench at the bus stop and took a hard-boiled egg from her hoodie pocket, sprinkling it lightly with sea salt and paprika.

RICHARD

Smoked Paprika

Smoked paprika – it’s my favourite spice.

There’s little that can’t be improved by that wonderful flavour. Goulash, chilli, pasta: It makes all the difference.

Not everyone appreciates my taste. When I ask “One spoonful, or two?” I’m invariably met with: “No, I don’t want paprika in my coffee!”; and nobody ever wants it on their cornflakes.

It’s made finding a girlfriend who appreciates my culinary tastes tricky. Although I’m pretty discerning when it comes to my taste in women too, which hasn’t helped.

You see, I insist that my women – like my food – must be smoking hot!

TURA

Paprika
———
Everyone called the little old man Paprika, but no-one knew why. Some said it was because he was Hungarian, and the Hungarians put paprika in everything. Others said that it meant “little father”, and he had once been a priest. Which technically would mean he still was one, even if you never saw him in church. Some said that he used to have a market stall, and he had once given a whole village food poisoning from a contaminated crate of paprika peppers. But if you asked him, he would just say, “because that’s the name my parents gave me!”

SERENDIPITY

My favourite recipe isn’t something you can knock up on the spur of the moment, but believe me it’s worth the hard work involved in the preparation and cooking.

The secret is the marinade – red wine, lots of paprika, plenty of seasoning, and – the secret ingredient – a decent helping of quality, grated dark chocolate. Leave for a good two days to tenderise, then slow roast, until the meat is falling off the bone.
Trust me, it’s worth the effort.

The last time I made it, we had Aunt Susan here for dinner…

And she was absolutely delicious!

PLANET Z

Every spice and herb in the kitchen brings back memories of when my grandmother would cook.
The garlic. The onion powder. The paprika.
How she’d spend hours in there, preparing and cooking and boiling and baking.
Pots and pans clattering, bashing, clanging.
And then, the smoke alarm, and the burst of the fire extinguisher.
The white cloud engulfing everything.
When the smoke cleared, she’d pick up the phone and order pizza.
All she had to do was call.
They knew her number, knew it was Saturday family dinner.
They’d send a few extra, for the firemen, no charge for those.

Weekly Challenge #589 – LOOT

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:

pervert cats (3)

TOM

The Secret Langue of Beggars and Thieves

Honor amongst thieves. How exactly dose that work? How do you insure the loot arrives intact? Doc made this all work like clockwork with one simple proviso. His son Jimmy Two Fingers. Pretty much an excellent optic. As said worked like a champ for a decade. Then one day Doc noted a two ton crane had been parked at the meet-up “Jimmy what’s with the crane?” “Pay back Dad.” The crane release its load, promptly buried Doc under 1000 pounds of silver bars. “Here’s the loot dad.” No one was about to cross Jimmy. They just divide up the loot

JON

The Athenian Women
By
Jon DeCles

Loot was very well and good, as it contributed to luxury. But Athenian women were not about to give up the greatest luxury: power.
They certainly didn’t want men tromping about in the women’s quarters: and just let those Spartan trollops try and take away the himataeon that veiled one from the weather: warm in winter, shady in summer, preventing (long experience taught) that nasty sun blemish that could kill you so horribly.
Let some hetaera suffer the men babbling their philosophical nonsense over dinner! Let Athenian men tremble at what frightening mysteries their women concocted!
There must be War!

LIZZIE

The dark entrance to the tunnel was dimly lit. It was tempting to rush in, grab whatever he could and rush out. On the other hand, the dragon had parked himself in there. He took a deep breath and walked in.
The next greedy bastard found him bored out of his wits in a small cage. Apparently, the dragon had a terrible sense of humor and didn’t believe he was just visiting.
The real problem was that the cage got considerably cramped with the new arrival.
He didn’t even want to think what would happen if anyone else showed up.

JEFFREY

The Take
by Jeffrey Fischer

The loot was all I could think of. When the cops busted me, during my arraignment, throughout my trial – I wanted the loot. I *obsessed* over it. Piles of cash, handfuls of bearer bonds, pieces of jewelry. Mine.

My sentence was a long one. I can’t say I didn’t deserve it, but no way was I staying inside a minute longer than I had to. I was a good boy and got the max time off. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on what was mine.

At last I was free. I made a dash for the loot – and found my hiding place empty. In my mind, I heard the mocking laugh of my bastard lawyer. I should never have told him the truth.

RICHARD

#1 -Reunion

Boggins sat sadly in the corner of the bar, a glass of tapwater in his hand.

He couldn’t believe that after surviving encounters with dragons, trolls, and all the other trials he’d been through, he’d nothing to show for his adventures. Not even a beer!

A familiar voice interrupted his reverie…

“Well, if it isn’t Mr Boggins, alive and well and as miserable as ever!”

It was the wizard.

“The last I heard of you, you were dragon food, yet here you are, and surely you didn’t escape empty handed?”

Boggins sadly shook his head;

“Nope, no loot at all”.

#2 – Re-enactment

I needed to get out more and meet people, so I joined one of those Viking reenactment groups.

I hadn’t realised how serious these people are! Step out of line by wearing modern fibres or speaking out of character and the penalties can be pretty severe.

I know this from bitter experience, and it’s not pleasant being on the receiving end of one of those warhammers.

They caught me using a mobile phone at an event.

This weekend, it’s ‘loot, rape and pillage day’ – and I’ve a horrible feeling I’ve been put down to experience some authentic Viking rape!

CHARLIE

Hamlin Hummingshorts was flush with loot at the pawnshop. His associates thought of him as the prince of tossers, but he managed to serve them and they made a lot of money off the goods Hamlin fenced.

Today he passed a payment to the counter person at the Domino’s Pizza next door. He wrapped the bills inside a wad of celery stalks and passed it on, saying: “This is refreshing, Barbara, much better for you than grazing on raw pizza dough.”

Hamlin was busted soon thereafter, as a pizza patron’s spidey sense fired off and he alerted his detective friend.

EMILY ANN

Blood-stained Carpet
By Emily Ann

The 3 a.m. darkness was lit by a flickering porch light. Stinking of smoke and whisky she stumbled into apartment forty-seven. Alone again. Her eyes filled with angry tears. She undressed. Cursing the repetitive payback for choices she desperately tried to escape. A shadowy figure crept closer, until the cold knife blade felt the flesh of her throat. The dark figure whispered of his plans for her. She wept. Blood stained the carpet. He stood over her – vindicated. Blurry eyed, she watched as he left with her soul. Suffering no more.

TURA
(Editor’s Note: I love it when things take on new life… glad you had fun with George, and here’s to more madness!)

Loot
———
Nancy was a pirate, and she was a very good pirate. When George joined her ship, she had him keelhauled the very first day. But she kept him on, to make the rest of the crew shine like gold doubloons against the example of George’s tarnished penny.

She was such a good pirate, that when she was thirty, she had enough loot to retire to the life of a wealthy gentlewoman in a prosperous town on the Barbary Coast. For recreation, she wrote stories of George the Pirate (who wasn’t a very good pirate), and published them under a pseudonym.
———
When President Trump only narrowly won re-election, he was furious. “Fake votes! Maybe Putin could help throw them out?” he thundered on Twitter. He introduced three great new bills, the greatest bills ever, to fix matters.

The Limitation Of Outstanding Taxes act annulled all tax obligations on the President, applied retroactively. The Presidential Immunity Liquidating Legal Assault on General Enterprise act gave him the power to block legal action against any business that was being unfairly targetted, especially his own.

Finally, the Republicans Against Presidential Elections act ensured that never again would President Trump have to face such a crisis.

SERENDIPITY

You loot, I shoot!

That’s the sign I put on the security fence, and believe me, I intend enforcing it.

Since the breakdown of society, it’s everyone for themselves; and those who possess valuable commodities in demand, take whatever steps are necessary to protect them.

Hence the sign.

And I’m pretty sure that few will take the risk, because the commodity in my care clearly gives me the upper hand.

You see, you may have all the weapons in the world, but without ammunition, they’re practically useless…

And guess who has all the ammo!

And I always, shoot to kill!

NORVAL JOE

Chuckie stood outside Angelica’s door in a cold sweat. He would rather face Reptaar bare handed. The girl was going to tear him to pieces.
He took the loot sack from his shoulder and hefted it to guage its weight. Not a good haul today. Much less than Angelica expected.
Both Phil and Lil had given him lame excuses about their mother switching all of their snacks to raw vegetables. Tommy said he was cleaned out, but Chucky was sure he was holding back something in his diaper.
Whoever said taking candy from babies was easy, didn’t know these babies.

PLANET Z

After the hurricane, most of the flooded out residents fled to public shelters.
Others looted stores for food and survival supplies.
Then, there were the thieves who filled plastic bins with small electronics and floated them to a waiting pickup truck.
When the gangs went for houses, that’s when things got ugly.
The lights were off, but someone was home.
With a loaded shotgun.
“The first guy took my shotgun, the second guy took my Smith and Wesson,” said the homeowner. “They had an argument.”
The cops wrote it off.
And handed back the guns, to ruin any remaining evidence.