Weekly Challenge #360 – St. Patrick’s Day

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 St. Patrick’s Day.

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

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

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:

Myst yawn


MARC

B.K. is up much earlier than usual this morning. She has much to do. She quickly downs her coffee – black, scorching hot. She loads up her bag “I can’t forget the cut-outs”. She checks herself in the mirror and adjusts her leprechaun pin, grabs a cigarette leaving the pack on the coffee table. She arrives at the school and takes her last drag. In her room she begins flipping over chairs and desks – placing green paper-cut out footprints all over. Her students arrive sometime later. “We had a visitor last night,” she greets them “I think it was a Leprechaun!”

THOMAS

My uncle Ted was a fat, Irish cop in Connecticut. Every Saint Pat’s day, I would go to his house and watch Uncle Ted get drunk. He would make up stories about St. Patrick, and offer outlandish toasts as the adults at the table downed gallons of beer and whiskey. “May all of your children be born naked”, was the toast I remember most of all, as I was a youngster, and anything that mentioned naked was about sex, and even more titillating and obliging to my wee ears. These were the grand memories I carried into my senior years.

#

Uncle Ted would squeeze or pinch Aunt Tina’s bottom at the dining table, thinking no one would notice, but she always yelped and batted his hand away. Everyone knew what was going on. He was not the first swollen-faced, boozer to use his cigar to explore a lady’s anatomy, either. Uncle Ted always had a cigar, lit or unlit, in his mouth, and often took a bite of ham or sausage with the cigar still gripped in his teeth. He was an ox of a man. His nose, crisscrossed with red veins, his eyes, watery and swollen. My role model.

#

Ted loved his cats and his girlfriend, although she spent most of the day on the couch, smoking, playing with her hair…twisting the ends, and sucking on them. She was mad as a hatter. A real nutter. Ted worked part time doing yard care. He whacked weeds, mowed lawns, trimmed, pruned, and raked. With the extra money he had at the end of the week, he’d buy a wad of Lotto tickets, hoping to strike it rich. He never won, but he had hope he’d strike it big. He was struck by lightning, twice, the day he won the mega-jackpot.

BOTGIRL

Bruce is one of the strangest cats I’ve ever known. A big guy with a round face, bulging eyes and an Abe Lincoln beard, he looked like an overstuffed giant leprechaun with a severe case of Graves Disease. Bruce claimed he was a hereditary Druid priest and had been forced to flee Minnesota because of religious persecution. He loved to get drunk and wax poetic about nubile women serving as naked alters in deep-woods rituals of bacchanal debauchery. He hated St. Patrick so much that March 17 was the only day of the year he stayed cold stone sober.

JEFFREY

The Color of Envy
by Jeffrey Fischer

They say green is the color of envy, but that’s wrong. I say it’s blue.

I saw her at the bar at a St. Patrick’s Day party. She was breathtakingly beautiful, and her easy laugh made my heart beat a little faster.

I tried, I really did. She rebuffed my every effort to talk to her, preferring instead to stay with *him*. She touched his arm, giggled at his jokes.

Now I’m blue. Without her, I no longer see the point in happiness. She’s blue, too, lying in the alley beside her building where I strangled her with her scarf.

Blue. The color of envy.

World Domination will have to Wait
by Jeffrey Fischer

Zyrzec felt a meaty hand pound his back and he spewed green beer across the bar. *Dammit, I’m a galactic conquerer, not a mascot.* But he was a short, green, pointy-eared alien on St. Patrick’s Day, so he wasn’t entirely surprised when a group of half-drunk frat boys pointed at him, stuck a leprechaun hat on his head, and dragged him to the bar as their lucky charm. At least they bought his beer, disgusting as the substance was.

He glared at the offender. “Do that again, buddy, and I’ll blast your ass past Andromeda.”

That’s when the crowd turned on Zyrzec. No one likes a grumpy leprechaun. They picked him up, threw him on the street, and slammed the bar door shut. They even kept the hat.

SEICHER

They came, thieves in the night. The livestock panicked but the noise was too late for the sleepers to react. Dressed only in nightclothes, the boy raced to the yard. The last things he saw, before being shoved to the ground, were his parents clinging to each other while the torches and the pack swooped around them like demons of the dark. Bound and carried off while unconscious, he awoke in the pitching, putrid dankness of what he later learned was an Irish raider’s ship hold. He was no longer the son of patricians but cargo with an uncertain future.

TURA

“Well, well, what’s this, a pair of hobbitses? And on this St. Paddy’s Night! Ye’re a ways from home, are ye no? We don’t like hobbitses around here.” The leprechaun grinned evilly and spat. “We don’t like hobbitses anywhere!” The rest of the gang stood up from the long grass, shillelaghs and hatchets drawn.

The fight was quickly over. The leprechauns stripped the bodies and started a cooking fire.

“Elvish swords, elvish cloak-pins, and a big gold ring. Looks like these were two important little hobbitses!” guffawed the leader, sucking the marrow out of a shinbone. “Ain’t so important now!”

MUNSI

The Reason for the Season

By Christopher Munroe

…and Patrick was like “that’s it! I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on the motherfucking plains of Ireland!” and drove them into the sea!

And that’s what we’re celebrating.

Will that be reflected in how we celebrate?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

No. Little will be said about Saint Patrick, no mention will be made of snakes. Still, we’ll celebrate.

We’ll wear green, affect fake accents and hit Irish pubs, and fun will be had.

Is this appropriate? Perhaps not, but it’s what we’re doing.

Now get out there and drink!

Shine on, faux-Irish douche-bags, shine on!

LIZZIE

Unlucky 400-leaf clover

A drink or four, then he trotted back home, his paces tick-tacking at the command of his watch. He didn’t remember when he started doing that or even when he started walking the less populated streets. At pace 400, he looked around and found a grin, one who would never grin again. He knew the police was perplexed, struggling to catch him, but this was his day, his routine, wearing some green, doing some drinking, some singing and, to help with his headaches, some hunting. Fortunately for him, it worked. The last look on their faces wasn’t as fortunate though…

SERENDIPITY

The week’s assignment was ‘St Patrick’s Day’: Inwardly I groaned… How many phoney Irish accents would this spawn?

Obviously, there’d be shamrocks, leprechauns and at least one rendering of ‘Molly Malone’ over a glass or two of Guinness, with the inevitable whiskey chaser. Maybe even the odd Baileys’ coffee! And would it be too much to expect not to be handed a harrowing potato famine tale, or political rant about ‘The Troubles’, just for once?

Not for the first time, I found myself wishing the creative writing curriculum could be a little more creative, and involve a little less writing!

TOM

Kissed the Stone Twice

You may find this hard to believe but my grandfather went to school with St Patrick, so course he wasn’t a saint back then. Pat was pretty wicked with a Hurling stick and not one to pass on a pull of the water of life. Grandma says there were quite close being sold into slavery and all. When they final got back It was my grandfather’s idea to round up all the snakes which worked out pretty good for both of them. Patrick converted Ireland and my grandfather became the first man to make a fortune off of snake oil.

MIATA

Jade handed another green beer to a customer.
“Happy St. Patrick’s Day!”, she giggled. Her life of freedom, the one she had fought so hard for, was just coming back.
“Married to a control freak does have it’s advantages.”, she said smilin’, “and when I think of one I’ll let ya’ll know.”
Mike was intrigued by Jade’s light heartedness to her former dilema. He knew what she had gone through to get out. He knew she had left things she’d cherished behind, barely escaping with her life. Now, her wink said it all. She was free and his.

ISHTAR

Drinking Problem: by Ishtar

It was Saint Paddy’s Day when I learned the truth. The sad man sitting at the bar, blood shot eyes, nervous tick.

He was God. So I bought him a beer.

“I had a plan” he said. “A pinch of Artistry here, a touch of hero’s there, but it all went wrong.

He explained creation was like baking. The right mix of ingredients, bake it at a high temperature, and you get life.

“So what went wrong” I asked.

“The ingredient lid fell off, I added to many assholes.”

And that kids is the reason grandma does not drink anymore.

ZACKMANN

“Hello, I see you come in always in the holiday spirit. You get candy on Valentine’s Day, pie on March fourteenth, corned beef and cabbage on Saint Patrick’s Day, eggs and food coloring on Easter, corn chips on Cinco de Mayo, as well as turkey and yams on Thanksgiving. Do you have big Saint Patrick’s Day plans?”
“Sorry, to disappoint but bit more of the spirit of frugality than a holiday spirit since those are the times of years those things are on sale. Other than going to work after listening to some Marc Gunn, no Saint Paddy’s Day plans.”

CLIFF

Ok, it’s pretty clear that he was a very important figure in spreading Christianity in Ireland.
Aye, he brought the faith to Ireland first.
Actually, historical records show that before him, there were …
He was FIRST!
Ok, fine. Maybe he was. And I’ll grant you that the legend claims he drove out all the snakes even though there is no evidence that there were ever snakes in Ireland.
Sure there were. They were everywhere and he drove ‘em out.
Whatever. But, once and for all, Saint Patrick did not invent beer.
That’s a damn lie!
Oh, I give up.

DONDO

The Guinness was ready, and shamrocks were placed everywhere. Billy had his tacky, bright green leprechaun suit dry-cleaned and ready for the weekend.
Business was really tough lately. The regulars were dying of liver failure or “getting healthy” and drinking less, and Billy’s country bar was really struggling. But a couple years ago, he had a brilliant idea. He changed to whole bar into an Irish pub for one week of the year, when all the cowboys claimed to be from the Emerald Isle. Billy was making enough in that week to stay afloat the rest of the year.
This year, he even hired a ginger.

NORVAL JOE

“We’ll orbit for an hour while the drive and our internal organs neutralize. Then we’ll descend to the planet,” Borle said reclining his chair.
“How can you tell if our internal organs have been transferred?” Flerdie asked.
“Do you have gas?”
“Yeah. So?”
“I don’t, anymore,” Borle giggled.
“The planet’s completely green,” Flerdie said, changing the subject. “How do you know there will be fish there?”
“The planet’s named O’Gillyham, terra formed 500 years ago by Patrick O’Carroll, a displaced Irish potato farmer. The green of the planet comes from all the plants. That many plants need lots of water.”

Dergill wrapped Long John Silver in a towel and dabbed hydrogen peroxide on a festering wound on the dog’s side. The old dog squirmed at first, but was soon fast asleep inside the towel. He had cut himself the week before while escaping his kennel to frolic among the females.
Dergill had a silly thought. While the dog slept he saturated it’s coat with peroxide. He didn’t want to hurt the wiener dog, so he avoided the eyes, mouth, and tail.
After fifteen minutes with green food coloring, Dergill decided Long John looked more like a zombie than a leprechaun.

SINGH

The St Patrick’s Day Curse

Chris Mooney-Singh

1. The Pilgrims

I’ve heard the pilgrimage story a hundred times in our local Melbourne pub, looking into my glass darkly filled with Guinness as Dad tells his tale again:

“Lionel and Liam – our long-gone great-grand uncles decided to make pilgrimage to Old Man Wise in the woods. On reaching Flanagan’s Fork, Lionel looked left and saw the house of Tara, the beauty who lived on the hill.

‘“Liam, I will meet you here on your way back. We’ll go together tomorrow, Lad.”’

With that, he made haste for the prostitute, leaving Liam to pilgrimage on alone to Old Man Wise’s campfire.”

2. The Itch

“The next day at Flanagan’s Fork, Lionel again got that itch in his trousers for the flaming redhead.

‘“I’m off to Tara’s, lad. I’ll be waiting here for you.”’

“Liam the serious younger brother continued on to Old Man Wise. He sat, listened, then returned stepping on a blackthorn branch puncturing his foot. He limped shoeless back to the crossroads. There waiting , Lionel in high spirits kicked a rock and uncovered a gold coin with a bust of Charles II on one side and the Irish Cross on the other:

‘”Well, wouldn’t you know it. Lady Luck is smiling on me.”’

3. Fate

“On the third day Liam dragged Lionel past Tara’s infamous house on to Old Man Wise. He couldn’t understand how his brother who’d visited the prostitute twice had found a gold coin, while he, the faithful pilgrim had only earned a thorn in the foot for his troubles. What was God playing at?

Old Man Wise smiled: ‘“Well, Lionel was to find a pot of gold,’’’ he said, ‘“But because of his trouser hunger found but a single coin, while you, Liam destined to be mauled by a wolf, changed your fate to a thorn-prick due to your pilgrim piety.”’

4. The Migration

“My father tells the tale every year. Inevitably someone asks ‘“What happened to the two brothers?”’

“This is where I get really uncomfortable with all this family fable stuff.

‘“Liam’s pilgrim piety hardened into pride,”’ Dad says, ‘“Whereas, after Lionel realised his foolish loss he repented his loose ways.”’ Dad goes on: ‘“Well, the brothers migrated here in 1882 and took up horse-breaking for a living.”’

“This is where I get up to go and relieve myself, but Dad, noticing me skipping out on his story orders: ‘“Bring a fresh round, will you Son. We’ll wait until you get back.”’

5. The Curse

Returning, I plonk the Guinness pints down.

Dad continues: “One day, Liam boasted he’d tame the lead brumby brought in from the mountains, but the stallion threw him and the fool broke his bloody neck.”

“Yeah, yeah. Pride takes a fall, Dad.”

“Son, you think life’s different nowadays? I named you Liam Lionel Fogerty for a reason.”

“It’s like a family curse.”

“We’ve all got a Liam and a Lionel inside. Which one rules you, Son?”

So speaks dear old Dad who has become Old Man Wise.

With that, he raises a dark glass to toast the ancestors and my future.

REDGODDESS

Hotels are the perfect refuge for people who can’t say no to temptations. Every corner you turn, there is a substance that Lola should avoid. There are left over glazed donuts and stale chips in the cafeteria. Cake in the dining room for a staff birthday who’s not even working today. Her Manager has liquor hidden in plain sight in her desk. Standing in the lobby, wearing a green scarf, wishing guests “Happy St.Patty’s Day,” is her best escape. Let’s pretend all is jolly while she rewinds her worries in silence. Some people don’t need an occasion to misbehave under the influence. The bar will be packed with countless lost souls for Happy Hour. She will leave on the dot tonight. She has zero tolerance for privileged drunks with an ax to grind.

PLANET Z

St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland?

Bullshit. He never drove snakes anywhere.

In fact, he carried a sack of snakes with him everywhere.

He gave them out to kids like Rockefeller handed out nickels and dimes

Kids love snakes. They crawl all over their shoulders and along their arms and eat mice…

Well, okay. They love the crawly not-bitey snakes

Nobody likes the bitey ones.

Even when they’re non-poisonous, the bites still suck.

Maybe St. Patrick got mixed up and gave away a poisonous snake or two.

No wonder why they martyred the son of a bitch.

31 thoughts on “Weekly Challenge #360 – St. Patrick’s Day”

  1. A WARNING TO ALL EMPIRE AVENUE READERS/LISTENERS:

    Anyone who “completes” this mission in under 10 minutes will be blocked.

    There is no rational way to sincerely appreciate the effort the writers put into their stories in less than 10 minutes.

    Thank you,
    -ls/cm

  2. May all of your children be born naked”, – Love that Toast!
    Wow Jeff – Blue used to be my favorite color.

    A new twist on the Hobbit story and I haven’t even seen the movie yet :-)

    :-) Kissed the stone twice! Bringing the myth of St Patty and the snakes into the story Bravo!

    With that, he raises a dark glass to toast the ancestors and my future. Another excellent story…

    Actually All again are FANTASTIC!!!!!!!
    Great Job

  3. Ok… so I had to look up some on St Patrick after reading these stories…. I could not find where he had been Martyred – However it is interesting that the first color associated with St. Patrick was Blue :-)

  4. The reason for the Season, and Redgoddess’s story are my fav’s this week, but I just love all of your 100 word stories! I am always tempted to try one myself, but haven’t yet…

  5. The story with Ted was was very karmic. Pretty cool.

    I would’ve like the Zyrzec one to finish off a little more. I was confused.
    Hobbits plus was pretty nice combination.

    MUNSI – Haha, Nice snakes on a plane reference there. Yeah there are a lot of fake irish people today.

    SERENDIPITY- I like it, how meta (self referential)

    Some dark stories today.

    1. Thanks, Rob! Lot of fake irish people out this way too. Still, lots of fine whiskey and a pretty cool band, so I oughtn’t complain about that :P

  6. Really enjoyed the contributions of Jeffrey and Seicher, I totally got Serendipity’s post. I think Tura’s story is one of the best I’ve ever read here,a WHOLE LOT of story for 100 words!

  7. Dondo – sounds like a party!! Zackman takes a decidedly different turn but I like it. Not a fan of the Itch, sounds a bit tawdry. My fave: Eicher’s. reminds me of the old chap books that leave you hanging & wanting more. Love this concept and I think you’re all brave and interesting to participate. Happy St Patrick’s Day all! :)

  8. Great to read these stories about St. Patricks day and how everyone interprets it on its own way! That is what national holidays are for. National but also individual!

    When I read these stories I had to think about a beautiful Irish girl I meet in Israel about 25 years ago! Her name was Paula Carroll and lived in Co Antrim? What stories can do with you :-)

    Happy St.Patricks Day, Ruud

  9. I had to google the meaning of tura lura lura to find that it means “tootle-oo,” yes, you’ve got it, so, “goodbye.” So Tura wins my vote for best story this week.

  10. I love to see how everyone has their own style and I appreciate that each story makes me smile in some way! It’s amazing what can be said in 100 words!

    Great Job Everyone!

  11. Hi Laurence…

    Sorry I missed last week but it’s Sunday and I’m here for this week’s show.

    Loved Botgirl’s story and the great narration.

    Btw, pickling jars are like Mason Jars, no?

    Love Lizzie as always. Enjoyed Ishtar’s story. I suspected this life was all cooked up by a forgetful god. heh. Cliff gave me a giggle. :)

    Eeeewwww… Laurence Simon has “a bug up his ass.” Oh my, oh my, oh my. (Just proving that I listen to the whollllleeee thing.)

    I think you are right about Redgoddess’s “rewinds her worries in silence” phrase. nice writing.

    See you along the virtual highway…

    Yordie

  12. … I think I’ll just stop doing the EA missions.

    Yes, there’s some genuine responses.

    But the rest… just noise.

    Not worth it.

    -ls/cm

  13. Rick- I think I’m going to just stop with the missions. Too much noise-to-signal, and the “Love them all!” ones for points just wears me out, even if there’s some genuine enjoyment, just too rare.

    -ls/cm

  14. Um… did you actually look at it? Read anything? Or is this just another two-word spam-and-gone?

    Tired of the noise, man… what’s real anymore?

    -ls/cm

  15. A lot of good stories this week. I wouldn’t have guessed that from the topic, but there you are. I really liked Tura’s, though, in fairness, it’s hard not to like something read in that accent. :) And Cliff captured the essence of the inane argument in any Irish bar!

  16. I enjoyed all the leps, green beer, river sludge Guinness, Irish American Uncle cops, true Tura and fake (the rest of us) Irish accents. I even like the self-referential serendipitous critique, however I am amused at the irony of poking fun at bad acting while using a text to speech device to record stories. Kinda takes the art out of audio, doesn’t it? Meet you all at the border for a story showdown next week. Lol.

Leave a Reply