Weekly Challenge #356 – Suggestion

Welcome to the 100 Word Stories podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com. I’m your host, Laurence Simon.

This is Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.

The topic this week was Suggestion.

And we’ve got stories by a lot of people:

The next 100 word stories weekly challenge is on the topic of Vacation.

And if you want to spam your social networks with this episode, use the Share buttons at the end of the post… this obligatory cat photo should help make the Internet go faster:

Cave kitty


CLAIRE

She had a suggestion box just inside her front door. It was wood, painted bright red, and labeled “SUGGESTIONS”. Theodora was the neighborhood entrepreneur. She had been plowed more than Nash’s carrot patch. The box was there to take suggestions from her “visitors”. Some suggested that she serve tea and sweets in addition to the other creature comforts. Others suggested that she lighten up on the toilet water that she liberally spritzed herself with. All in all, the suggestions were favorable and her marks averaged four stars out of five. Theodora ran for city council and won by a landslide.

The hypnotist made two, surreptitious, post-trance suggestions to his subject as she came out of her deep sleep. That afternoon, when Irene stopped for the light at the crosswalk, the signal beeped for the visually impaired, and set her off. She jumped in the air, clucked like a hen, and did the funky chicken, as she crossed the street. Later, when Irene heard the noon bells at St. Luke, she rolled on the ground, trying to extinguish the phantom flames she believed she was engulfed in. Dick Lamente was a hypnotist and a sadist, keeping his sadistic side under wraps.

There was a suggestion of violence in every one of his stories. He was an angry old man, and resented the talent and popularity of other writers that were published. He imagined the other writers and small press editors manacled to his cellar walls and forced to listen to his podcasts at ear-splitting volume, day and night. He was an asshole, but prided himself on the knowledge that he was the biggest asshole in town…maybe the county. Dooty also WROTE IN ALL CAPS, misspelled frequently, and abused all social-media etiquette as he lurked on religious and writing boards and BLOGS.

JEFFREY

In the Bunker
by Jeffrey Fischer

“It was just a suggestion,” Sam said, looking chagrined. The loud ticking was getting on our nerves.

“When you press the button marked, ‘Use only in emergency’ it’s no longer a suggestion, it’s an action.” The ticking continued.

“We’re trapped in a concrete bunker with troops on all sides, no chance of relief, and nearly out of ammo. That sounds an awful lot like an emergency.” Sam tried to sound defiant, but his tone had a defensive note to it.

“Fair point. Still, I wish you’d asked first. We can’t override the self-destruct command.”

The ticking stopped, and my last thought was that silence could be more terrifying than any sound.

***

New Experience
by Jeffrey Fischer

“Come on in, big boy. I know what you want,” said the transvestite suggestively, gesturing to the doorway. He was standing on the steps, clad in gold lame’ top, leather miniskirt, and high heels.

“I… I have no idea what you mean.” That sounded silly. After all, I had come to this part of town, to this very building, of my own volition. I was either lying to him or lying to myself.

“Everyone is nervous his first time. It’s okay.”

Still I hesitated. Then I nodded at the man and trotted up the steps and through the front door, passing the sign that read: “25 large-screen TVs; pitchers of beer just a dollar.”

SERENDIPITY

The summit meeting of the Confederation of Inhabited Worlds was on the brink of disarray.

The Chairman called for calm and made one last ditch attempt to address the problem.

“We have nurtured earth, controlling and manipulating its population, environment and global systems for millions of years – apparently all for nothing, it seems. Humankind appears to be hell bent on destroying both itself and the planet. Time is running out! Is there anybody here who can propose a solution?”

Then, a lone voice rang out…

“I have a suggestion!”

“Has anyone thought of turning it off and back on again?”

CLIFF

1
Ok, people. Settle down. Let’s get right to the suggestion box. First, we got “Let’s have a three day work week.” No. “Free donuts in the break room.” No, I’m not encouraging diabetes in my employees. Next. “Profit sharing.” If you clowns don’t come up with something, there won’t be any profit to share, so, no. “Rank employees by productivity and sacrifice the least productive to Aziok, Lord of Pain.” There, you see? That’s the kind of innovative thinking I’m talking about. But, no. I asked legal and they didn’t like it. Something about human rights or some such nonsense.

2
Using suggestion, I called the blonde to me. My body language told her that I was interested, but my eyes said she wasn’t quite good enough for me. I gave her the half compliment of saying that she was almost as pretty as her friend. I ordered her a drink without asking to let her know who was in charge. I had her right where I wanted her. I used every trick in the book. The problem is that the book doesn’t say what to do when the girl drugs you, handcuffs you, and steals your wallet, watch, and car.

BOTGIRL

It must have been true love. She was going to marry him even though he couldn’t make her cum. Not in years of trying. Two weeks before the wedding, I was her last shot.

She relaxed into the recliner. Eyes closed. Chest rising and falling.

“Go back to a satisfying sexual memory,” I said, watching her eyes flutter as the scene replayed in her mind’s eye.

It took about twenty minutes to hypnotically connect the past orgasms with an imagined honeymoon future.

I saw her a week after they got back. She was still all glowy. The power of suggestion!

TOM

Shared Governance

“On the right of the fiery pit you will note a prominently displayed Suggestion Box,” said Baxster Beelzebub,

“We encourage resident to contribute their thoughts to make this the best hell it can possible be.”

The new inductees tacitly nodded.

“In fact the whole idea for fiery pits came from a newcomer just like you.”

No one nodded this time.

“You may leave an anonymous suggestion, but we encourage any bold soul to take full ownership for their excellent insights.”

“What if it’s a sucky suggestion?” asked a kid in the back.

“See those guys on fire in the pits?”

LIZZIE

“It’s bizarre,” the man said, dismissing the deal.

“It’s a great piece of land.”

The seller wearing a sinister pair of glasses with one lens only seemed eager to sell that land. The number of people dumped at that location was growing alarmingly.

“I don’t want a piece of land with dead people in it.”

“Oh, they have been removed. And the price is extremely inviting!” insisted the seller.

The man hesitated.

“I’ll be waiting in your nightmares,” mumbled the seller.

“What?!”

It was too late. The seller had already found his way into the man’s subconscious to haunt him.

MUNSI

Starting Smoking

By Christopher Munroe

You’d tried everything, but nothing had worked. So you came to me.

I sat you down, made you comfortable.

Counted down from 100, each number causing you to fall into a deeper state of relaxation, each word causing you to sink deeper, trust deeper, fall deeper under the spell of the soft, soothing words I spoke to you.

And once I was confident you were under, I whispered my command in your ear.

“You will smoke.” I told you, and you never smoked again.

You never would have, had it not been for me.

That’s the power of pre-hypnotic suggestion…

ZACKMANN

“Hello Fiendmaster, I am calling in with some questions about Paul Elard Cooley.
First does Paul’s current interest in sex scenes have anything to do with Mixon’s influence?
I heard Paul singing Mimes Mimes Mimes in Dead Robots Society opening and wonder if our subliminal messages that Pauls next writing challenge should be to write a musical are doing any good.
If Fiends was made into a musical who would you wish to play the Fiendmaster?”
Paul’s voice interrupts “This is starting to look like a drabble. Who the hell put you up to this, that puppet effer Jake Bible?”

“I am thinking of buying a new car if I am part of the buyback program. When I asked if our Saturn Vue qualified the salesman said it depended on which transmission it has and each case evaluated separately. After owning three General Motors lemmons, I was not planning on buying another Chevy but five thousand trade in for car with broken transmission inspires forgiveness.”
Dylan says “The Spark is so cute.”
“Son, I don’t have to get a car you like but I do need to get one your mother likes. Lets test drive one before we take her.”

“Son since your parents are going to make the payments on the new Chevy Cruze, I promised your mother to have less fast food and only buy books with credit card points but I keep hearing “Buy the Book”.When I try to go to sleep I hear “Buy the book”. I am going Bonkers. The oddest thing is this voice of my inner torment sounds very pleasant much like that nice Mister Lawrence Santoro. ”
“Dad that is not some odd inner voice, the Nook Tablet is turning on the Stitcher app and playing Tales to Terrify when you sleep.”

TURA

You know when you buy something online, you get suggestions about what else to buy? Usually they make sense, but recently I ordered a book on stochastic differential equations, and Amazon suggested Mathes Roriczer’s “Geheimnisse der Fialen Gerechtigkeit”.

A few days later, it recommended the “Hortulus Animae”, the book for which the Index Librorum Prohibitorum was created. Then the “Apophthegmata Daemonum Deserti”.

There are demons on the net, tempting people with forbidden knowledge. I wondered when God would sit up and take notice, but today, Amazon has suggested “The Way, The Truth, and The Light”, by one Jesus bar Joseph.
—-
And if you enjoyed this story, you might also enjoy “The Book of the Sundering of the Gate to The Things That Should Not Be”, currently reissued under the title “Opening Portals to Hell For Dummies”.

DANNY

“I have a suggestion!” my father exclaimed. “O.K., pops lay it on me,” I replied. “Lay what on you?” Dad asked. “Your suggestion,” I tersely replied. “Ohhhh, I forgot.” I give my dad much slack, he is 85 years old after all. Dad then goes back to staring at the wall in his toolshed, before explaining, “you see, I just sit here staring at the wall, and eventually I figure out the best way to hang all of my tools on the wall. “Dad, I have a suggestion.” “What is it?” “Never mind, just carry on with what you are doing.”

DONDO

All I’m dressed for is a fun night out with the girls. Why does a quality pair of high heels imply anything more?
The sound of my heels clicking on the sidewalk does little to cover the sound of his voice. He mutters under his breath as I walk past him, raising his voice when I ignore him. I tense up when he starts following me down the dark, quiet street.
His footsteps grow louder, and as his hand touches my shoulder, I pray that my knee does damage as I spin towards him.

REDGODDESS

Lola got her wish on Valentine’s day. She stayed home, curled up on the couch with a glass of wine and her new gift. It’s hard to believe she didn’t have to use power of suggestion for him to understand. In moments like this, she’s reminded why she’s still intrigued by their relationship. With each sip of wine, Lola feels a tinge of guilt for indulging without him. She still remembers the first morning of the year, after their date. They sat at his kitchen’s table feeding each other buttery French toast. Looking back, he is her first true Valentine.

SINGH

“No! I want real darkness, chaos and conflict!” thundered the director.

“When you cackle, feel your inner witch. Just listen.”

His switch to a witch didn’t impress.

Darkness went back to buffing her black nails.

Enough was enough. “If you don’t mind, get the hell off my stage Miss Dark.”

“Dude! Be nice!” said Chaos.

“Or else!” added Conflict, punching a butch fist into her palm.

Student actresses! Why the devil did he take this gig?

“Alright, once again before lunch.”

Someone switched on the lighting and special effects. But the three witches just slouched in the spotlight chewing their gum.

The Walking Wounded

“Sir, may I suggest the cuisses de grenouilles.”
“Oui, Michel.”
The waiter left.
“What’s that?” she asked.
“Frogs legs, Cherie.”
“Oh.”
“It is your first time in Paris, no? Try.”
She didn’t want to displease. Then, saw her chance.
‘What will you buy me?”
He chuckled. “Anything.”
“A Louis Vuitton handbag.”
His eyebrow rose, but he checked it.
And so it begins, he thought: the dalliance of beauty with money.
“And what will you give me, Cherie?”
“You’ll see,” rubbing her bare foot against his, below.
Soon, the cuisses de grenouilles arrived, steaming hot.
Hungrily, she raised her knife and fork.

*
Halfway through he asked, “You like?”
“Nah. Tasteless, really. Like white rubber. The sauce isn’t bad, though.”
He grinned, indulging her youthful directness, pleased as a bullfrog with a fly.
Then, the kitchen doors banged.
It gave him a naughty idea.
“Mon Dieu!”
“Whassup?”
“You won’t believe it.”
“What?”
“What I am seeing!”
“Spill!”
“A long column of frogs on crutches.”
“Henri!”
“Hobbling out from the kitchen.”
“You’re awful!”
“Under the swing doors, leaving the restaurant.”
“That’s horrible!”
“Turn.”
“No way.”
“See.”
“No way! Poor froggy. You’re cruel!”
“With bandages!”
“Stop it!”
“Cherie. I’m teasing.”
“I’ll never eat frogs legs again.”

PLANET Z

Mounted on the wall of the break room, there’s a suggestion box.

A sign next to it encourages employees to anonymously send in their ideas.

I prefer to send my ideas to my boss via email.

Even though I might have what I think is a good idea, there might be issues with budget… time… or a legal entanglement.

Which is perfectly reasonable. You can’t do everything.

So, I wrote up a suggestion:

“Take down this box. Encourage everyone to work together and communicate openly.”

And I put it in the suggestion box.

Oh crap.

I forgot to sign it.

45 thoughts on “Weekly Challenge #356 – Suggestion”

  1. Great job as always.
    Serendipity. Interesting suggestion – “turning it off and then back on” always works for my computer.
    Jeff – not even sure…. but I’ll take a dollar pitcher
    Sexbot – Interesting – Wonder if something like that would work.
    Danny – Great story – Sad but great. I really visualized the scene.
    Everyone – I really enjoyed – Thank you!

  2. I chuckled about Jeffrey’s self-destruct command. How clever! Planet Z’s suggestion in the box also stands out as a winner. Thanks for the suggestive stories!

  3. As usual, a lot of good stories. Serendipity’s was a great use of sound – the Windows tone made me laugh. Both of Cliff’s brought a smile to my face, too. And I enjoyed that guy ranting about dancing for peace, too. :)

  4. It looks like I missed the EAv mission, but here I am … late as usual.

    And as always, I enjoyed the podcast and stories.

    Next week… next week… next week, I’ll get back on Sunday.

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