Weekly Challenge #612

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 the Pest

RICHARD

“So”, she asked, looking coy, “are you involved with anyone?”

“Involved?”

“Don’t be shy – you know what I mean. Are you seeing someone; romantically involved; any significant other in your life?”

I looked at her askance.

“Don’t you think that’s a little inappropriate, considering the circumstances?” I countered.

“Oh, I don’t think you mean that”, she said, undoing anther button…

I turned to consult with my colleagues: “Well, what do you think?”

The look on their faces told me all I needed to know.

“I’m sorry, Miss Smith, but we don’t think you’re suited to teaching at this primary school!”

SERENDIPITY

I can’t bear those ridiculous crime programmes on TV. I don’t care if it’s CSI, Columbo, or even Miss Marple; there’s no attempt at realism and the plots are so convoluted and involved it beggars belief that anybody could take them at all seriously.

The truth of the matter is that a couple of police officers turn up, poke around for a bit, take some pictures of the body, then arrange for it to be carted off to the morgue, where the whole thing is forgotten, The paperwork simply isn’t worth the effort.

As long as I pay them well.

JEFFREY

The Times We Traveled
by Jeffrey Fischer

In the end, time travel turned out to be less of a trick than scientists feared. To be sure, the calculations were very involved, but they were no challenge for the finest mathematical minds of the day.

Of course, even the best minds can’t think of everything. As soon as the chief scientist threw the switch to operate the machine, all possible futures occurred at once. Ex-wives quarelled with wives from realities where the divorce never happened. Powerful nations from one timeline clashed with those in other timelines, sometimes with disastrous results. From that moment, time was indeed quite involved.

TOM

River of No Return

He tried to ignore the word. It sailed in with the usually stream of directives, suggestions, and near imperatives. It took a bit to parse because Ann, his latest, and longest surviving girlfriend was a 33rd level relationship magi. Her ability to break the finer points of couplesness into near infinitesimal infinite lines of input code which as a rule just by-passed Ben’s male firewall drilling direct down into his soul had come in the form of a question. So there is was: INVOLED. The Closer he came to a reply the closer his free ranging day were at an end.

NORVAL JOE

As Bernard was growing up, his father tried to teach him life’s lessons.

He was a successful psychiatrist, so he was believable when he counseled to never get romantically involved with your customers. He lost some credibility when he ran off with one of his patients who had multiple personality disorder. Each of her personalities was a different performer in a circus. Bernard’s dad was going to be the ring master.

Bernard thought he could follow his father’s guidance by becoming a mortician until he tried to embalm a beautiful vampiress who bit him and made him into her consort.

TURA

Involved
———
The involution transporter had one disadvantage: everything that went through it arrived inside out. Go on, imagine putting yourself through one. It’s popular among the nastier regimes of the world for executing condemned criminals. Then someone realised that if you made two jumps you’d end up inside in. It needs huge accuracy to arrive not just right way out but exactly the same shape, and it’s still a shock. Not to mention that perceptible moment when your digestive tract is on your outside and your skin is on your inside. Not many people can cope with that. A pity, really.

PLANET Z

It is Winter. Outside of the church, Elsa sells matches in the street.
Her father beats her if she does not sell anything, so she stays out in the cold.
Nobody buys matches. Everyone just passes her by, up the steps into the church.
To keep warm, Elsa strikes the matches, one by one.
The church choir sings of love, kindness, and charity.
So Heavenly. So beautiful.
So hypocritical.
Elsa strikes her last match and lights the church on fire.
As worshippers flee the blaze, she steals the collection box and grabs a dropped coat and scarf to keep warm.

Weekly Challenge #611 – Slack

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 gets loved on

MAGNEETA

The Knock Out

The boxer approached the ring on bouncing feet pausing for effect, pawing the air with a quick one two punch. Fans in the arena twirling towels above heads. Towels blazed in red and gold flame colors like flags. They were chanting the words “Knock out” pointing towards the seated opponent in her corner of the ring. The cadence of stomping feet made a dramatic scene for the pay per view audience.

Dad sat slack jawed at home until orange cheesy fingers grabbed the remote, changing the channel. Bolting from chair and hitting floor little sis laughs pointing “Ha, knock out!”

RICHARD

Slack

Sometimes you have to be careful about what you ask for.

Work was tough: It was our busy time of the year, three people off sick, and I was expected to cover, do my own job and still meet the targets!

Then the regional manager called in, and I was summoned into his office.

“We want you to take on additional responsibilities…”

I protested. Asked him to cut me some slack.

He did!

A great big slice of slack – so now I don’t have to worry about any cover, there’s no targets and no additional responsibility.

And no job, either!

LIZZIE

“Dust everywhere.” Whenever the Duchess arrived at the hotel, she criticized everything. “Look at this.” And she slapped the velvet on the chairs.

Mr. Roberts, the manager, smiled and nodded, gently guiding her towards the elevator. Once she was safely tucked away inside the diabolic machine, as she called it, peace would return.

When the diabolic machine, no doubt highly offended, decided to take revenge, plummeting two floors down into the dust infested cellar, the Duchess went to the papers and vowed never to stay there again.

The hotel then became extremely successful. Dust can be such a lifesaver.

SERENDIPITY

There’s an art to this job – actually, it’s more a science than an art. You’d be surprised just how complex it is.

Too much slack, and they’ll crash into the ground below; messy, and a whole pile of paperwork to fill out.

A little less, and it gets even messier – you can imagine what being brought up short from a drop like that does to a body!

Too little, and they just hang there, dangling like a broken puppet – hardly ideal.

Yes indeed, bungee jumping can be pretty complex.

And the science comes in handy when I’m doing executions too!

TOM

GO Down to the Sea in Ships

The Mother watched in horror as the child pitch over the edge of the boat. The rope tied to the child trailed under the bow. If she put it tough her baby would be pull against and under. If she let the line go slack she had to trust the little one would boob to the surface. Though her white knuckles held the rope with a vice like grip she willed her arm to remain frozen. It was the hardest thing she had ever done in her life. When Sally surfaced she hooked the vest and pulled her into the boat.

JEFFREY

He’s Lost Control
by Jeffrey Fischer

Back in the early 80s, in high school, the marching band was taken VERY SERIOUSLY. Oh, not by the students, who, like now, found everything hilarious, but by the earnest band director. His opening speech at the start of the year included a version of: “I know you kids like to wear jeans and such, but we’re not going to do that. In my room, the girls will wear skirts or dresses and the boys will wear a nice pair of slacks.” This inevitably cracked up the room. The director, who apparently was unaware of the word “pants,” would turn red and demand to know what was so funny. Just say it out loud: “slacks.” It’s a funny word. Especially when you’re 16.

NORVAL JOE

Jimmy pulled in the slack of his line bringing the bait right in front of the fish’s nose. He could see his next meal hovering in the shadows beneath the bank. If only the trout was as hungry as he was. Then it would bite.

Thramble, the rock troll, crept as silently as a rock troll could, his net held ready to cast on the boy. Just two more steps and he would have his lunch.

Like thunder, the troll’s stomach rumbled.

Jimmy startled, kicking stones into the pool.

The trout dashed into hiding.

Consequently, no one got to eat.

DUANE

Slack

Tightrope walkers have always been some amazing risk takers. That’s what makes a good sport. They have crossed Niagara Falls, the Thames River and high between too many skyscrapers to even list.

Todays sport balance aficionados are slackers. No, literally slackers. While the rope walkers of yore would be hundreds of feet in the air and no net, today we find everyone showing off their skills on a “slackline.” A limp rope two feet above the nice soft grass. When tightrope walkers failed, it was epic, deadly and made the paper. Today they just get a rope rope burn.

Slackers!

TURA

Slack
———
Bring me the metal and I can forge anything into a knife. Steel cable, a motorbike chain, the lock on a condemned cell, anything. Then there’s the quenching. What goes in the slack tub can get rather esoteric. Ordinarily it’s water or oil, sometimes sand, but a lot of people, usually from biker gangs, think bulls’ blood is just the thing. One client asked for baby fat, but it’s just too difficult to get in any quantity. The knife I’m forging right now, he wants it quenched in a live human body.

Don’t worry, it won’t hurt for very long.
———

PLANET Z

George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.
He got caught a lot.
Dragged from a jail cell and into a courtyard, a yardarm and a noose waited for George.
“Any last words?” asked the magistrate.
“I guess I’ve come to the end of my rope,” said George.
The magistrate put the noose around George’s neck, tightened it, and shoved him off of the platform.
George landed on the ground below.
“You didn’t tie it down,” said George, laughing, and he ran for his ship.
They added the theft of a rope to his list of charges.

Weekly Challenge #610 – Endings

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 cat

CHARLIE

Most of us enjoy surprise endings. The biggest majority of us like happy endings. Some ask for it all and want happy, surprise endings.

What is a happy, surprise ending? How about an example? I suppose it could be a problem that you think you cannot overcome. You do overcome and it’s a surprise.

As the year draws to an end, I would like it to end with acceptance, beauty, ideas, kindness, justice, love, music, solutions, dancing, equality, freedom, good, vision, unity, wisdom, peace, transformation, consciousness, acceptance, respect, non-violence, harmony, and a stock of natural peanut butter in the cupboard.

RICHARD

Spoilers

There are few things worse than having the ending of a movie or a good book ruined by someone, before you’ve seen or read it. It seems some people are oblivious to the notion that we don’t want to know; whilst others take a malicious pleasure in randomly dropping spoilers into a conversation.

For me, much of the enjoyment of a story is the anticipation of what the eventual ending might be.

And that’s why I spend my days in the library, meticulously tearing the final chapters out of books.

Because, without their endings, no-one can spoil the readers’ pleasure.

LIZZIE

Up the stairs into a new time. It’ll be difficult, it’ll be difficult, I mutter. I know it well. I have climbed many of those stairs, slowly and steadily. I may stumble often, I know I will, as I always do. Sometimes, it will be my fault. Other times, well… But I keep looking at each step and climbing those stairs. I never give up. It’s not in me to give up. I would’ve done it a long time ago, I suppose. But I didn’t. And now, I keep looking up and moving forward, from one ending to another beginning.

TURA

Endings
———
It has been told how the gods created Man, when they were yet young.

Man came and passed, and his existence was the briefest, tiniest spark of light amongst everything that the gods made, each more magnificent than what came before.

But at last, the gods themselves grew old.

“All that we can do, we have done,” one lamented.

“All that can be, has been,” said another.

And so they came to an end.

* * *

“Look, how pretty!” said the little girl. She pointed to the jewel that had grown overnight on the tree.

“Yes,” said her Father. “It is perfect.”

TOM

The End in Near

Samuel Russell excelled at up-endings stuff. These up-endings tended to drill down right into the center of the time/space vortex. After his seminal work on the grand unification solution, he withdrew from the world. Some said he took up surfing, other said he enter a Tibetan Monastery, still other said he opened a hot dog stand somewhere in Strasburg. Actually he set up a tiny lab in the basement at CERN. Created a God Cloud by up-ending a matrix of Higgs boson. When the tiny galaxy took shape in the utility sink Samuel Russell slowly backed out of the room.

SERENDIPITY

Endings come in many different ways.

Some are noisy, messy affairs, full of violence and pain; some go quietly, with barely a sign another life has passed.

Some are planned and premeditated; some, unforeseen accidents and twists of fate, then there are those who simply shuffle off their mortal coil – just the natural order of things.

But we can’t have that.

A proper ending should be full of drama. It should be compelling and disturbing, an event that grabs you by the throat and screams in your face!

And that’s where I come in…

The beginning… of your end!

JEFFREY

The End
by Jeffrey Fischer

I hate endings. They are mawkish and go on too long. There’s the feeling of having overstayed one’s welcome at a party, fixing a last drink while the hostess is rinsing out the dishes. “It’s been too long.” “Oh yes, we must do this again soon.”

So I’ve short-circuited the process. When a guest becomes tedious, I operate the trap door into the soundproof cellar. Yeah, I know that only moves the problem one floor, which is why my assistant is stringing you up by the neck. Don’t worry, the fall will surely snap your neck and kill you so we can move your body out the trade entrance. After all, we don’t want our guests hanging around too long, do we?

NORVAL JOE

I don’t like change. Once I’ve gotten used to something, I want it to stay that way.

Consequently, I hate endings.

The end of relationships, the end of the school year, the end of a calendar year, the end of youth. When a child grows up and moves away, when a favored pet dies, when a family member passes away, the final episode of Phineus and Ferb. Moving to a new house, selling an old car, even replacing worn out furniture.

So, I’m a hoarder. Stacking up books I won’t reread, and piling up unused toys, dysfunctional relationships, and memories.

DUANE

Endings

The suspects had been gathered in the study and I prepared to name the guilty party and make the big arrest. I presented the clues and in a dramatic conclusion said, “Therefore the only one of you with means, motive and opportunity was… the chauffeur!”

The butler jumped to his feet. “The chauffeur? Are you kidding me?”

“But I was certain it was the gardener,” shouted the maid.

The cook stepped forward and motioned for silence. “Okay, okay. Everybody just calm down. Who picked the chauffeur in the pool?”

The chauffeur looked around the room and slowly raised his hand.

PLANET Z

The Washington Brothers broke into retirement communities and yelled that they were the Ghosts of Kwanzaa Present
The Ghosts of Kwanzaa Future would kill anyone that called the cops.
They got jewelry and cash, but not as much as they wanted.
So, they cased a drugstore, thinking they could fence some expensive prescription pills.
The robbery didn’t end well. All three, dead from police gunfire.
Mama Washington screamed racism and tried to organize a Black Lives Matter rally.
But she got her heart pills from that drugstore, and a “prescription error” landed her in a grave next to her boys.

Weekly Challenge #609 – What do you want for Christmas?

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

LIZZIE

I want to look at the gently rippling water and believe tomorrow will be a better day. I want to be quiet and strong. I want to close my eyes and have peace inside, instead of the constant turmoil I have now. I want to believe that all the “thens” and all the “nows” are just bits and pieces of a bigger picture, and that these pieces will eventually find their rightful places. I want to smile and reach out and take a deep breath to finally find myself. I want to be a lion in a pool of quietness.

CHARLIE

I would like a couple of things for Christmas this year, and Santa can skip the next two or three if he likes. First, I would like a Krell Brain Boost, then a full day with all my pets that have been beamed up. Rosie, Katie, Pearl, Kippy, Apple and Jinx. A full day with my IQ doubled, and the ability to romp, tickle and hug all my old pets.

After Christmas, I feel I would be more able to sense and understand the subtle behavioral clues and body language of my dogs and my fellow man.

#2

I would ask Santa to do this Christmas day. All the liars in government, local and national would suddenly be smitten with burning pants. Liar, liar, all their pants on fire. If they were with others, their pants would be set ablaze at a safe distance from any innocent bystanders.

Thousands of cell phones would be available to catch the shocked politicians and the images would find their way to the “Interwebs” before they were taken down.

I might go a step further and ask Mr. Santa to include lawyers, sociopaths and those that harm animals in this universal conflagration.

RICHARD

Dad asked me what I wanted for Christmas… How about a sports car, some hot girls and a gold credit card? I suggested.

I knew I stood no chance – my father was loaded, but way too tight with his riches. Everyone thinks that being the only child means you get spoiled rotten. I wish! In my case, it was quite the opposite – dad ruled with a rod of iron. Tough love, he called it.

Christmas, as expected was a big disappointment…

I mean, who in their right mind thinks gold, frankincense and bloody myrrh are acceptable gifts for their kid?

TOM

If only I believe as I had.

What I want for Christmas is something I cannot get. The problem lies in the scope. It’s not so much a thing as an outcome. And that outcome cannot be set in motion unless a serious huge number of people are inclined to act and at the same time a single man is inclined to act. You see I’m register Republican, just shy of 50 years. I have watch my party been hijacked at least five time. I have seen worst villains that Ebenezer Scrooge rise to power. So guess what I want for Christmas is my party back.

JEFFREY

Visiting Santa
by Jeffrey Fischer

The kids were lined up to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him their deepest wishes.

“I want a pony!”

“I want everybody in the world to be happy!”

“I want sinnle-payor health care.” (“Your mom told you to say that, didn’t she?” said Santa. “Get out of here.”)

Then it was Timmy’s turn. He thought for a while. “I want a launcher with a dozen rocket-propelled grenades, two AR-15s, and that bully Charlie Mason to get what he deserves.” Santa chuckled, then called the cops. Timmy is now relaxing in a psych ward, although, mysteriously, Charlie Mason fell down a set of concrete stairs and is spending the next six weeks with multiple casts.

SERENDIPITY

I’ll never forget that day: The excitement when I was led into his grotto and, there he was, just as I’d imagined him… Father Christmas himself!

He sat me on his knee, and said, “Well it looks like I have my special treat… Now, what would do YOU want for Christmas, little girl?”

I won’t tell you what he did next – I’ve never told anyone – But I’ve never enjoyed Christmas since.

But this year will be different.

You see, I’ve tracked him down, and I have a very personal gift, just for him.

And he won’t be emptying his sack, ever again.

NORVAL JOE

I would like to say I want something high minded and thoughtful for Christmas.
Something like world peace. Though, that would be too hard to do.
A bullet through Kim Jung Un’s head? No. That would be a little violent to honor the actual reason for Christmas.
A president who’s head isn’t stuck in his own prostate gland. That may come true if he doesn’t come up for air.
What would I want that is actually possible? How about a single night’s sleep where I’m not woken up every hour.
Yeah. That’s not going to happen.
How about world peace.

DUANE

What do you want for Christmas?

I sat on Santa’s lap and told him everything I wanted for Christmas. He nodded and said, “You’ve been a good boy this year.” “Best Christmas ever,” I shouted. Leaving the store I skipped and sang and ran right into another Santa. He was standing near a pot of money and ringing a bell. Then another Santa came by, on a fire engine, ho ho hoing and throwing candy. Two Santas were having drinks at the bar on the corner, and a Santa at the pet shop was taking pictures with dogs.

I was beginning to believe I’d been had.

PLANET Z

The local football team is playing on Christmas Day.
My wife will have to go to work s part of the news coverage.
I’ve got the day off, all to myself.
Maybe I’ll go see a movie.
And on the way home, pick up Chinese food or something.
There’s usually a place open.
Instead of calling ahead, I’ll bring a book along, and I’ll read while waiting.
When I was on my own for Thanksgiving, I went to the Irish pub and drank Guinness while waiting for takeaway pizzas.
I’m not sure which movie to see, though. Does it matter?

Weekly Challenge #608 – Clutch

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:

Fence Tinny

CHARLIE

I was called into the manager’s office a few minutes before the end of the work day. When I entered the office, she gestured for me to take the chair in front of her desk. I heard a heavy click behind me as I sat down.

Ms. Dooby smiled, and handed me a thick folder. It was filled with pornography. A few seconds passed and Ms. Dooby smiled and suddenly sprung over her desk and made a clutch at my manhood.

She stood, raising her skirt, and pulling down her panties. It was the largest schwänze I had ever seen.

RICHARD

Professional Concern

I watched him in silence from my hiding place.

Don’t take me for a stalker or anything like that – call it more a case of professional concern for the welfare of one of my most important patients.

I could tell he was in a bad way: He was breathing heavily – hardly surprising for somebody so grossly obese who simply refused to slow down, even at his advanced age.

“Just stop eating all that crap?” I’d constantly warn him.

Suddenly he gasped… I saw him clutch his chest…

All that sherry and those mince pies had finally taken their inevitable toll!

LIZZIE

He clutched the key in his hand and leaned quietly against the wall.
The room was packed and everyone waited for the announcement on the radio. “And the winner is…”
A general murmur of disappointment swept through the room.
“But our town won,” someone said.
People shook their heads. Then, they looked at him.
“Yes, we did win and I have the key.” He waved for them to follow him.
The key opened the trunk with the prize. The prize was split evenly between all the families.
The organization is still wondering today what happened to the prize.

TOM

That and a redwood bumper

Gail is an aficionado of the standard transmission. It is an affect of
being a child of the 60s. The deep seeded fear one would need to add an
element of manual interaction to turn over the engine in a VW micro-bus. I
wonder if the youth of today would understand the term “Popping the
Clutch?” No matter. So the Subaru has a clutch, and over the years I have
become pretty damn good at counting to four, which is on the floor. Oddly
given the slope of our driveway the only way to pop the clutch isn’t
remotely practical.

Ain’t Disney

The long march to cheap kiddies animation produced one of the truly bazaar
sandwich cartoons. A second string work that piggy-backed on the show that
was named after the main attraction. Huckleberry hound, or The King and
Odie. Clutch Cargo used an inordinate number of still image held while its
lantern jaw hero delivered his lines. Now the weird thing going on here is
an area of the cartoon face had a human mouth superimposed on the face.
All the characters had a pair of moving lisps, cross cutting gave the
illusion of two shots. And the scissors kick running, way lame

Coming Out

Marilee Demi Waterhouse clutched her tiny purse at the cotillion. Her
best friend Betty Ann Banister holding the exact same pose and nearly
identical bag, chuckled lightly. “What,” inquired Marilee? “The depth of
redundancy is palpable.” “The whole cherry blossom theme?” “No we are
clutching clutchs.” Not to be outdone Marilee returns, “I for one am the
consummate Clutch competitor.” “And I for one am not beyond double
clutching to leave this cluster of debutantes in the dust.” With that both
women jumped up in the air slapping palms in mid-air. Eyes and heads
turned, they didn’t give a fuck.

SERENDIPITY

I carry a small clutch bag with me everywhere. It contains the essentials you’d expect: Make-up, ‘phone, tissues, nail file, lock knife, piano wire garotte and cyanide pills.

Well, maybe not that expected. I don’t suppose everyone carries razor blades with them, expressly for the purpose of inflicting physical harm to others, but each to their own.

The way I see it is that it’s always worth being prepared for any eventuality, and keeping everything close to hand makes perfect sense.

Besides, after the deed is done. The last person they’ll suspect is the girl with the dainty clutch bag!

JEFFREY

The Not-So-Mighty Casey
by Jeffrey Fischer

Mudville was disappointed when that bum Casey struck out to end the big game. Even a lousy grounder to the outfield would have tied the game. Those in the know weren’t surprised, though. They knew Casey wasn’t a clutch hitter. His heroics were largely limited to late game blowouts. Opposing pitchers, wanting to go home, threw it down the middle and Casey’s home run total ballooned, though he didn’t hit for average. But when the game was on the line, the line on Casey was unimpressive: a .202 average and around five homers a year. Almost everything else was a strikeout. Mudville may have been disappointed that day, but the professional gamblers made out like bandits betting against him. In clutch situations, Casey was as close as they had to a sure thing.

NORVAL JOE

A few years ago my daughter had me watch a bizarre cartoon called “Annoying orange”. In my opinion, the over the top humor mostly relied on facial gags to make them funny. But that wasn’t hard to do as each of the fruit in the cartoon had a human mouth and eyes to give them expression.

This seemed like a new thing for my daughter. For me it brought back memories from the 1960’s of the Clutch Cargo cartoons. They had limited quality animation and superimposed human mouths. They weren’t supposed to be scary, but they sure freaked me out.

DUANE

Clutch

It’s Christmas again and time to see the family. Walking up to the door I am in the clutches of a panic attack, like I’m five years old in the barber chair and no idea what is about to happen. My aunt is at the door to cover my face in smooches and leave half her makeup on my cheeks. Grandpa strolls by doing a round of “got your nose.” Then grandma yells “eat” and we attack the dining room. The family comes together during the feast. Afterward we lay around as grandpa talks about last years garden. Good Christmas.

TURA

Clutch
———
“They don’t make cars like they used to,” said the Morris Minor enthusiast. “They run fine if you take the effort to do things right. You don’t need synchromesh if you learn proper double declutching. All these old cars have starting handles, how else will you get started when the battery goes flat? Take it apart regularly and you’ll never have a problem you can’t fix on the road. Cars these days run ten thousand miles without a tune-up, what’s the point of that?”

Yes, I thought, they don’t make cars like they used to, and a good thing too.

PLANET Z

When it comes to easy money, drug testing isn’t really all that easy.
Drug trials can be a trial, especially when it’s something serious, like cancer or heart attacks.
Half of the subjects clutch their chests and die horrible deaths. The rest don’t even have the time to clutch their chests before they die.
I worked hard on the new medication, and the test results were the same: everybody died.
But instead of half of the test subjects clutching their chests, everyone got a peaceful look on their face and died happily.
The company sent it off for government approval.

Weekly Challenge #607 – First

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:

Annoyed Myst

RICHARD

#1 – First!

I’ve spent my entire life trying not to be first at anything. First in the class, first in line, first past the post… I’d do anything to avoid that distinction.

People wonder why. ‘Have you no ambition, no aspirations?’ Of course! Just not the ones everyone thinks I should.

And I’ve good reasons for it too.

Not trying to be first and top of the pile means less effort, less competition and fewer disappointments. It’s an altogether easier life.

Especially at the airport, where being last is the gold standard. Because last on the plane means your baggage comes off…

First!

#2 – First Questions
I hate those stupid questions about your ‘firsts’ in life:

‘What was the first record you bought?’, ‘First crush?’, ‘First kiss?’

As if it matters; if I can remember that far back in the first place! I’m sure most people make the answers up, picking one that makes them sound cool…

“Ah yes, my first album was The Stones” – yeah right!

But the real reason I hate those questions is that they bring back awful memories: Reminders of embarrassing music, fumbled encounters, and moments I’d really like to forget.

Because we all know, the first time is never the best.

#3 – Better Half
I always introduce my spouse as ‘my first wife’ – she hates it, but it keeps her on her toes. The nagging seed of doubt that I’ve sown in her mind that one day I might just trade her in for a newer, better, more aesthetically pleasing model means she won’t take any chances when it comes to behaving herself.

You may think it somewhat callous, but I take the view, ‘all’s fair in love and war’, and a little callousness on my part goes a long way towards maintaining the status quo.

Till death do us part…

Or maybe sooner!

CHARLIE

It was my first try at biohacking, namely, hacking my brain. My biohacking began with some off the shelf nootropics and a gradual transition to my custom stack of compounds.

I had a level of focus never experienced, and was able to maintain it for extended periods. I could crank out graphics, edit photos, or do other technical tasks for hours on end.

After six months, I got muscle spasms and experienced some brain fog, so I cut doses by thirty percent. Everything settled down and I was hyper alert and relaxed at the same time.

Ever feel that way?

#2

My pal, Gordon, is a mechanical and electrical engineer. We have constructed and prototyped the first wearable that functions as a “prodder”. It randomly pokes a pneumatically powered, finger sized goad into the head to remind the wearer to pay attention and stop fuggin around.

It is battery operated, ultimately programmable, light, durable, and easy to set up and initialize. Default settings have been tested to operate at optimum levels.

We have been wearing test units for a couple of weeks and have discovered that a little thump on the cranium does wonders by keeping us focused and on task.

LIZZIE

At the strike of 1am, the majestic structure imploded neatly.
Perplexed eyes witnessed the destruction of the oldest building in town, home to wise men, advisers to many generations.
Suddenly, a voice asked “Why was this done at 1am? I need my beauty sleep.”
The crowd turned to see who had broken the sacred silence.
An old man holding a crutch waved a crooked walking-stick.
“So, are we done? Lesson number one, life goes on. Get used to it.” And he walked away.
The “Welcome” sign slid slowly to the ground, a shy cloud of dust lingering in the air.

SERENDIPITY

I remember my first time like it was yesterday.

The sweet ferrous smell of blood; the sticky warmth oozing through my fingers.

I remember the screams, then sudden silence, the soft gurgle of the death rattle, the thump of my own heartbeat, gradually slowing to its normal rhythm.

I remember the elation and the quiet sense of satisfaction you only find in a job well done.

They say that you never forget your first time, and it’s so very true.

Although, I have to say, that I’ve always found it a terrible shame that the police never forget it either.

TOM

Undeniable

First comes the pain. Nearly imperceptible, at first, growing in intensity, drawing more waking attention to greater levels of compensation. Long before seeking drugs to make it through the day, you think a joint agreement between your joints and the signals firing in your head is negotiable. When cycles give way to a single wobbling wave, your heart knows it is time, if only your head would listen. In the end some simple action becomes undoable and your head now know this is merely the first. You call the surgeons office to get on the wait list for knee replacement.

Number One is a Bullet
Americans are weird. We only acknowledge two states: Coming in first. And coming in next. The first being singular. The second vast and all encompassing. Perhaps we would have a different outlook if we had lost a war. Will we have, but you will never hear an American admitted it. This first or nothing is sort of a dysfunction insanity. We are so willing to discount a season of effort, a decade of effort, in some cases a lifetime of effort to being just not good enough, that somehow inherent in the American soul is a birth right of victory.

JEFFREY

Lobster Salad
by Jeffrey Fischer

One of the great mysteries of life was the identity of the brave man or woman who first dared to eat a lobster.

Ivor and his crewmate, Stephen, landed safely on the planet Xaphorus and scouted for food, as their supplies were running low. Starvation was setting in when Stephen found a lobster – or the Xaphorean equivalent – in shallow water.

“Who wants to go first?” asked Stephen.

“Oh, I’ll give it a try. What’s the worst that can happen? We’re starving anyway.” Ivor sliced open the creature and cooked it with his laser tool, taking a bite while it was still hot. “Delicious,” he said.

Stephen looked suspiciously at his crewmate, but took one bite, then another. A loud thump behind him turned out to be Ivor, falling to the ground, dead. Stephen soon followed suit. The second expedition learned to avoid the lobsters.

NORVAL JOE

Many people believe that naming your child Porkchop was a fad of hippy parents from the sixties. It’s true, I was born in nineteen sixty and five other boys in my graduating class had the same name. But, I wasn’t the first in my genealogy to bare that name.
My great-grandfather, and his father had the blessed title and traced it back centuries to Sir Porkchop Gillywinger, first earl of East Wiffypuddle. A little known apocryphal text from the second century, says a fourth wise man named Porkchopshazar started with the other three but became lost due to night blindness.

DUANE

First

Who was the first to catch my eye as I crashed headlong into puberty? Maybe Samantha with that cute little nose twitch, or Jeannie, the original “hips don’t lie” girl. It could have been Betty Ruble or Josie. Josie was in a band and that was cool. Veronica was also in a band, but I always felt Veronica was out of my league. What about Batgirl or Barbara Gordon? Batgirl. She had a motorcycle and spandex. Charlie’s Angels was not a choice at all. Jill all the way, and, yes, I had the poster.

So many women, so little words.

TURA

First
———
I knew the first man to run a mile in one minute. His bones were made of nano-woven buckytubes, his blood was completely synthetic, and more of his brain was in the computing cloud than his skull. His heart and lungs were machines, and the membranes supporting his internal organs were spider-silk synthesized by his own genetically modified cells. But I can get in a car and do the mile in 30 seconds, so what’s the point?

They say that in the end, so much of his brain was in the cloud that his owners just shut off the body.

PLANET Z

The longest journey begins with the first step.
I stood at the bottom of a crystal staircase, looking up.
It went up for as far as I could see. I could not see the top,
How far did it go? Did it reach the clouds? Did it reach the stars?
The strange old man in the village wouldn’t tell me.
“Many have tried,” he said. “But none have returned alive.”
I lifted my foot… and…
I walked over to the crystal elevator, and I pushed the call button.
I sat down on the grass and waited… and waited… and waited…

Weekly Challenge #606 – Virgin

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:

Sleepysqueaky

LIZZIE

Love is such a complicated matter.
It all started back in Virginia. A few furtive meetings in someone’s vine lead up to a number of wild hops, and the obligatory puff, Woodbine, in this case.
Woodbine was discontinued in the 1980s, but then again we are not placing a timestamp on this story, are we?
The problem with love is that it becomes a complete nightmare rather quickly.
As he fled Virginia, all he could recall was her rage. She screamed at him furiously while she held a branch of devil’s darning needles that she had plucked in sheer fury.

CHARLIE

I was a forty-year-old virgin when I married Tina. I was led to believe that most lady punanis held double rows of Piranha-like teeth, mainly due to my private school education.

As a young boy I was caught at an energetic game of pocket pool; scolded without mercy by both parents which manifested as castration anxiety.

My belief in vagina dentate kept me away from punanis for most of my adult life.

Before the honeymoon, I took my fiancé to a gynecologist and a dentist so I would be assured that everything was as it should be.

I am happily married.

#2

Lamont was a virgin. The ladies in his class thought he was hot. He was on the swim team. Girls swooned at the sight of Lamont in his Speedo.

Lamont had only been in two women in his life, his mother and The Statue of Liberty
.
A bit shy but in that boyish way that make girls crazy and attractive to the older girls that wanted to seduce and conquer him.

Lamont landed a job at a law firm. He was raped in the supply closet by the women in HR and the night watchman.

He was never the same.

RICHARD

Virgin

I’m a virgin.

There, I’ve said it – it’s not something I’m particularly proud of at my age, but there you have it… A one hundred percent, bona fide virgin.

And it’s not for want of trying, either!

It’s not entirely my fault, I think genetics may have played a part in my unfortunate situation. You see, both of my brothers, and my sister are virgins too; I guess it’s one of those things that runs in the family.

Also, my father and my mother, have admitted to being virgins too!

Wait a minute… That can’t be right. Can it?

SERENDIPITY

Traditionally, we’ve danced naked around the standing stones at midnight for the winter solstice.

But tradition isn’t set in stone: We’re getting on a bit in years, and not really cut out for dancing around the freezing hillsides in our birthday suits.

It’s time for a change.

As for sacrificing virgins – the local supply has pretty much dried up… You just can’t get decent maidens any more!

So, we make do with what we can get, but I don’t think it’s gone down too well with the elemental spirits.

Perhaps that’s why the winters are so damn cold lately!

JEFFREY

God of the Volcano
by Jeffrey Fischer

The volcano demanded a virgin sacrifice every hundred years, lest it erupt violently and mercilessly. For hundreds, if not thousands, of years, the local population had fed its need, save for the occasional unfortunate experiment every half-millennium or so.

This year the village could find no virgin, and time was running out. The UN flew in a college cheerleading squad to no effect. Same with a plane full of science nerds. In desperation, a team of elite soldiers kidnapped Michael Moore and dropped him in the cone. The volcano stopped rumbling, its need met for another century. However, the volcano god belched out Moore, who refused to stop complaining how the volcano was run.

TOM

An argument for the estate tax

Vern Patterson was the grandson of the distillery giant Cosmo Patterson. He thought himself as marketing genius. Truth be told, he was just a genetic dead end. If I may let me list a last trio of galactic business blunders. First carbonated Kahlua that was good for a $5,000,000 loss worldwide. A tobacco liqueur made from a synthetic of Louisiana Perique which caused spontaneous esophageal cancer, the class action suit is still pending. And last a sprouted pre-pollinated Juniper berry drink Vern had the temerity to name after himself. Had to alter the spelling a bit. He call is Vir – Gin.

Good Children go to heaven,
Bad Children go Everywhere

Adolf Hitler, Isaac Newton, Mother Teresa, Andy Warhol, Lewis Carroll, Nikola Tesla, Elizabeth I, J. Edgar Hoover, Henry James, what did all these folk have in common? All virgins. A lifelong commitment of a kind. Perhaps alternative courses of act were available to them. They merely didn’t stop, stopping. Had a lot of time on their hands, making time with their favorite person. If you’re of a curtain age you caught that pun. Tried it out in my youth. Didn’t much care for it. Thankfully an older woman took the matter into her own hands. A seminal moment it was

NORVAL JOE

The virgin flight of the Flat Earth Society Celestial Dome exploration team ended in confusion.
They hired Virgin Galactic to fly them up to the dome to determine whether the sun and moon were on a mechanical track or if the celestial bodies were a projection from above or below the dome of the sky.
As they reached the lower stratosphere they saw the north pole was not the center of a flat earth with an Antarctic ice wall around the perimeter.
They saw, instead, that the earth was a globe.
They agreed to never mention their discovery to anyone.

DUANE

Virgin

Flabbergasted. That was the word I was looking for. Flabbergasted. Her message was sinking in and all I could do was sit and stare at my phone. What she wanted wasn’t unreasonable. I wanted the same thing. I just wasn’t sure I was ready. I was too old for this. “Maybe not too old” I said to myself, “just too old fashioned.” There was a time when I wasn’t afraid of anything. That’s it! There was nothing to be worried about. She’d already made her choice. My thumb hovered over the screen for a brief moment before I swiped right.

TURA

Virgin
———
“Fish and chips?” my mother almost screeched. “It’s line-caught fish from organic fishermen, I’ll have you know. And it’s not ‘batter’, whatever that is, it’s a crisped breadcrumb sauce. No, darling, don’t call those ‘chips’, it’s uncouth, they’re chipped potatoes, cooked in extra-virgin single estate olive oil. I have a darling little man who orders it especially from an organic olive grower he knows personally. I’m so lucky to have him, because of course it’s so hard to find proper service these days. You wouldn’t believe how much all this costs!

“So how can it have any calories in it?”

PLANET Z

Luigi Gambino made a fortune importing extra virgin olive oil from Italy.
Well, that’s what the labels said.
The truth was, he bought colza oil from rapeseed, and added color and flavors to fake it.
Then, he’d bottle and label it extra-virgin in Italy, and ship it from there.
The Spanish Mafia, with their avocado and palm oil scams, took offense to Luigi’s scam, and the bodies started to pile up on the bottom of the Mediterranean.
Luigi ended up in one of the tanks of olive oil.
His business partners fished him out, and went on with the processing.