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 YES:
And we’ve got stories by a lot of people:
- Thomas Pitre
- Steven the Nuclear Man
- Tura Brezoianu
- Serendipidy Haven
- Cliff – Uncle Monster
- Miata Stardust
- Norval Joe
- Planet Z
The next 100 word stories weekly challenge is on the topic of Number – Pick any number.
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:
Don was a yes man. He worked as general manager for a large factory and distributor of pharmaceuticals. Anything the CEO or CFO asked of Don was carried out immediately, and without question. Don knew that many of the items shipped overseas or sold to large, big-block retailers was of questionable quality and composed of outdated compounds. Anything in the warehouse past the expiration date was automatically sent to India, Africa and South America. Don had no idea that a large shipment of tainted baby formula found its way into the stores, and onto the shelves of his own kitchen.
Steve voted yes on everything. The cause, or the proposition, mattered not. He voted yes when a petition was circulated to build a new sewer plant down the street. He voted yes when they wanted to convert his building into a VD clinic, shelter for street people and a half way house. He voted yes to raise property taxes and approve the school bond– and a big yes on the new city law that prohibited anyone to be out after sunset. Neighbors voted yes at a secret meeting to drag Steve into the woods and feed him to the bears.
Yes! Yes! Yes!, she exclaimed. His intense and diligent study of the literature, medical charts, illustrations, and current publications paid off. His colleague’s advice was helpful as well. Everything he heard from the crowd of Lotharios at the tavern was spot on. He was relieved, as he had been trying for months to do it right, and to please the women he was serving. He learned to take it slow, not to rush through anything, to ask, politely, for feedback, and not be selfish when he was engaged in an act as intimate as bleaching the undercarriage of stylish women.
I was lucky to be alive! Even more fortunate to have crawled out from the wreckage with barely a scratch on me.
Even so, the doctor was unconvinced:
“Does it hurt here?”, he asked, prodding my stomach.
“And here?”, poking each of my arms in turn.
“And what about here?”
“Yes – that hurts!”
He looked down at me, folded his arms and pursed his lips, and I could tell he was completely baffled.
“Could I make a suggestion?”, I offered. Bemused, he nodded.
“You could try poking me with the blunt end of that damn scalpel, instead!”
#2 Yes Men
Even monarchs can become too powerful!
Frustrated at the spineless oafs that most of his courtiers seemed to have become, he summoned his advisors to a full meeting of the Royal Council.
“How am I to run this kingdom, when surrounded by a crowd of obsequious ‘yes-men’?”, he thundered: “Get out, and find me a Council who do not fear to question me!”
Some time later, the new Council was convened – hard-nosed civil servants to a man, they challenged every policy the king proposed.
Frustrated, at their complete lack of support, he had them all executed… for insubordination.
#3 For better, for worse
“Do you love me?”, she asked.
“Yes”, he breathed in her ear.
She clasped his hand tightly, “Then let’s get married… soon!”
Still breathless and intoxicated from the frenzied passion of lovemaking, he succumbed: “Yes, let’s!”
The happy day arrived – the sun shone, everyone smiled and cried in equal measure and the bride looked radiant – and so she should, considering the small fortune that dress had cost, he thought.
They turned to face the priest.
“Do you take this woman to be your lawful wedded wife?”
He looked into her eyes realising that all along, he’d meant to say ‘no’.
George had often wondered how he might cope if ever faced with a life-changing choice, such as the one he now faced. Now the time had come, the realisation dawned that he was hopelessly inadequate and nothing like the action hero he’d dreamed he’d be.
His instinct told him to leave the hospital, but saying yes to his inner prompting would mean facing unknown horrors.
Commonsense told him to stay put was folly – there was no guarantee of safety here – but he wasn’t yet ready to meet his destiny.
Time to leave? – Yes.
But not just yet… maybe tomorrow.
by Jeffrey Fischer
Bob the investment banker was a yes-man. He knew it, and learned to live with himself. His bosses all knew it, and liked to keep Bob close to confirm the wisdom of their decisions.
“Nothing risky about these real estate derivatives, right, Bob?” one boss asked in 2007. “Yes, sir, good investment!”
“If the government backs this Solyndra company, why, that’s good enough for us!” said another boss in 2011. “Absolutely, sir, and may I say that tie looks very smart on you.”
Even after the shareholder lawsuit, the SEC investigation, and the short prison stay, Bob was his loyal self. “Gee, sir, an orange jumpsuit really flatters you.”
by Jeffrey Fischer
“Please, Jessica, pretty please?” I hated the pleading sound in my voice. When you’re sixteen, sounding manly is important, especially when talking to your first serious girlfriend, and I was failing badly.
“It’s really important to me.”
“I’m sure it is. And the answer is still no.”
“It’ll be my first time and your first time. I’ve read up on it, so I know exactly what to do.”
“I promise, I won’t tell anyone. No one has to find out.”
“I don’t believe you. Anyway, I’ll know. Why should I feel bad about myself just to please you? So, no.”
“That’s your final answer? You won’t play Dungeons and Dragons with me?”
“The Art of Conversation” sat on the shelf for years. When Sean grabbed it, the bookstore owner smiled.
“Are you interested in a nice conversation?”
“No, just browsing.”
“That book is fascinating,” continued the owner. “I’ll sell it to you cheap!”
“No, not interested. I prefer, say… Shakespeare.”
“But this book will teach you a lot!”
Sean laughed, handing the book back to the owner. “I don’t think so!” And he left.
The owner turned around and placed the old book right next to Shakespeare’s Complete Works, which was marked “Free, to anyone who says YES once during a conversation!”
By Christopher Munroe
It’s my negativity that’s dragging me down, and I’ll have no more of it!
Starting tomorrow I’ll approach each day with buoyant optimism. Where once I was negative, I’ll be positive, where once I was defeatist I’ll charge forward to face my challenges head on.
Yes, yes will be my battle-cry, yes! And I believe in my heart that with this new outlook there’s nothing I can’t do!
I’ll prove as much the moment my alarm goes off tomorrow.
Will I hit snooze? Yes!
Will I go back to sleep? Yes!!!
And by God, I won’t let anyone stop me!!!
How Gunnar said yes to Helgi
Helgi went a-viking, then overwintered in Denmark. When he returned, he put his finest saddle on his finest horse, and went to visit Gunnar.
“You have a fine bull, friend Gunnar. Will you lend it, to mate my cows?”
“Yes,” said Gunnar, “if you will give me what you ride on.”
“I will give you this saddle, from the King of Denmark. Will you then lend me the bull?”
“Yes,” said Gunnar, “if you will give me something more.”
“It is a hard bargain,” said Helgi, “but I will give you this horse also. Will you then lend me the bull?”
“Yes,” said Gunnar, “if you will give me something more.”
Helgi said, “Do I ride on aught but my saddle and horse?”
“Yes,” said Gunnar, “but you may take the bull, for I have had what you ride already, these winter nights past.”
It was July 1976 we were packed along the edge of a larger barricaded rectangle waiting for the doors to open. Everything was pretty mellow, this wasn’t Altamont or that ill-fated Who concert, this was an army of YES fans, most, including myself, already tripping on some flavor of LSD. I doubled down with Owsley and some window-pane. From the crowd a Carl Rossi bottle sailed into the center of the barricaded, within seconds hundred of bottles arched and explored in the parking lot. With the help of the acid this was the most beautiful fireworks display I‘d ever seen.
Surprisingly after all the glass stopped shattering the Cow Palace security just sent some guys out to sweep up the mountain of glass. Oh San Francisco. The inside of the Cow Palace was like some primordial cave, dark, musty, and old. The opening band for YES was Gentle Giant who ran riot with a stage full of drums pounding out dozens of poly-rhymes who surrendered to three synchronized beats. They did this with ever increasing speed till the three beats fire as one. The light vanished replaced with a single green laser beam sweeping in lazy arched across the arena.
At some point during the headlining performance one my one each member of YES stopped playing until only Steve Howe was left playing a harp. As he plucked single strings the laser bank now 20 fold rolled thought the crowd with a hypnotic effect. Howe kept playing slower and softer. A final note echoes of the walls, ceiling and fell into silence. Image if you will silence of 1000s of people holding their breath and hearing a sigh rise to a roar. I could have been the acid, but I’d like to think I gazing into the heart of heaven.
For a time, I simply lay here; unmoving and silent; hearing; experiencing; feeling… but, locked completely within my own, useless body.
Now, I can blink.
“Can you hear us?”, they ask, and I blink in reply.
“Are you in any pain?”
I stare, eyes wide open.
“She’s fine”, they nod.
“Your parents are here – would you like to see them?”
They cluster around my bed, clutching my hands in theirs. My father leans close, and whispers, “the doctors say you don’t want to live…”
And, as his tears fall upon my cheek…
My heart breaks.
And, I blink.
Four of us were in Cozumel looking for a cab. We’d been warned to get a driver who spoke English. Charlie said he’d take care of it. We approached a taxi stand where three drivers were waiting.
“Do you speak English?” Charlie asked in a clear voice. All three men said yes.
“Are you good drivers?” Again, all three men said yes.
“Did it snow here yesterday?” The first man smiled and said yes. The second did the same.
The third grinned and said “Man, I never seen it snow in my life.”
Charlie chuckled and said “You’re our man.”
My boss brought me brownies at work. No, I didn’t get promoted.
My coworkers brought me cookies. No, I’m not retiring.
My niece drew me a purple monkey wearing a silly hat. No, she’s not a professional artist.
I got a free drink at the bar. No, that good looking woman at the table by the jukebox wasn’t trying to pick me up. Or was she? No, definitely not.
My family all gathered to sing, give me cards, and watch me try to blow out the trick candles. Why, yes, as a matter of fact, it is my birthday today.
The Art of Neglect
Yes, being the architect of Now was hard: upholding the view so every leaf, twig and petal stayed in place. No raindrop escaped from the cloud. The grass stopped in its tracks and didn’t need mowing, especially in the shed where he should have laid a concrete slab. Don’t look, he thought, fearing a triffid-like hothouse. Inside might escape and take over. Yes, the idea of hacking and battling with the day to day was unbearable. Better to struggle with neglect than clear one’s conscience. So, he sat, whipper-snipping the heads off his thoughts, perfecting the zen of laziness.
She Waits for Him in the Hotel Room Sleeping with Angels
Pain starts its career path early on.
She traced its pattern, thread by thread.
Sewn now to her sides like angel wings
her girls clung close upon the bedspread.
Now, they slept safe on the quilt of heaven
with a gold shine, but beneath — cold dread
of losing their mother to stepfather.
Yes, the silk of love is painfully red.
In time she might cross-weave him in.
Embroidery starts inside one’s head
with delicacy, tact, firm fingers, care.
To lead, this dad must learn to be led
through the needle’s eye, then finely whisper
in a child’s ear like a thoroughbred.
“Are the radios working, Private?”
“Munsi, Yes Munsi. Actually that’s Petty Officer, when I was inducted into Munsi’s Army of the Damned, your administrators said “You’re Majorly Damned.” Then I said “No, I was a US Navy Petty Officer. Major Lee Damned was my division head.” They said “Oh hell, mixed ranks worked for the GI Joe team, You will remain a Petty Officer.
Messages received from March Hare Division and The April Fools, still waiting on The April Showers.“
“You told me not to repeat messages sent by Division Drabble unless they begin with Laurence Simon Says.”
“Do you really need that cookie?” Select Yes “Now you didn’t think about your blood sugar level. Are you sure you want that cookie?” Select Yes
“You have to be kidding me, well if that cookie is worth sleeping alone for you and think of the example you’re setting for the children! Are you sure?” Select No.
“I am so proud of you, I knew you would make the right choice… eventually.”
“Would you like a glass of wine?” Select yes.
“Are you an alcoholic?” Select No.
“But denial is the first sign?”
“I hate when wife writes me flowcharts.”
She retreated to the bar. Odd, this stool felt more comfortable than any seat at home these days.
The cowboy three stools down edged closer.
She relaxed after her second glass. She laughed, touched his arm. He thought he had her.
She said, “No.”
In the parking lot, she rested her forehead on the steering wheel. What if? He smelled nice. His smile was contagious. She hadn’t laughed like this in months.
For a moment, she glimpsed a different evening before her.
Suddenly sober, she went home to pack her bags. She was done retreating.
She enlisted in the morning.
“Do you ever question the sanity of your mother for the name she gave you?” Thomas asked his friend Yes. “Why, yes, I question her sanity everyday,” Yes responded. “my mother was a big fan of the band, Yes, and she thought if she named me after the band, I would become a great musician.” “You became a farmer instead,” Thomas replied. ”Mom was proud when I announced I was going to become a Starship Trooper, then she realized Obama slashed the NASA budget.” Yes responded, “hold on, Thomas, I need to feed my donkey, Meatloaf Flying Spaceship, some carrots.”
I met a werewolf in Secondlife’s Neverland. I had passed him twice, before looking up to see him on the roof of the house. Waving, I said, “Hey there!” (What else would you say when meeting a wolf?) He jumped off, rolled through the air, landed at my feet. Werewolves are very misunderstood creatures. Sure, they have sharp claws and teeth, but their fur is so soft and silky. How do I know? Well, he asked me to dance and I said, “Yes!” We proceeded to do the robot in a field of flowers, fine footwork for two novices.
Lola buried herself in work for weeks. She leaves home early and comes back with just enough time to sleep. No time for a night out or anyone with little patience to track her down. The perfect excuse to decline any dates from her beau. His proposal to take their relationship to the next level, echoes in her mind. She can’t even turn off his voice in sleep. It’s so simple, just say yes or no. That’s the problem with relationships, someone is always explaining or apologizing. Dealing with demanding hotel guests has some common threads. Saying yes would mean making the similar compromises in her personal life. But then, she can get use to breakfast in bed with a fun partner. Who can resist such a tempting adventure?
The two off-worlders walked side by side down a gravel road. Afternoon storm clouds billowed dark grey above the rain forest.
Borle wiped his forehead and asked, “You walked all the way from our lander?”
“Looks that way,” Flerdy replied.
“And we’re going to walk all the way back?” Borle asked.
“What do you think?” Fledy asked.
Borle shrugged and followed the ichthyologist in silence.
Around a bend a skimmer was parked in the foliage. Flerdy opened a door and said, “Climb in. I rented this to get us back.”
Borle raised his hands in the air and shouted, “Yes.”
Dergle fed and watered the dogs in the back yard. Long John followed into the house to watch his master make lunch.
Barking, the wiener dog ran to the door even before the bell rang.
A policeman stood on the porch, clipboard in one hand.
“Hello?” Dergle croaked.
“I’m officer Farkflace. Are you Dergle Dunderspawn?”
“My records show you have twelve licensed Dachshunds?”
“That’s a lot of dogs. Do they have puppies often?”
“How do you deal with that many puppies?”
“Umm. Should I get a lawyer?” Dergle asked.
The officer nodded his head and said, “yes.”
Back in college, I had a roommate who was into Yes and Crosby Stills Nash and Young.
He had all the album covers tacked up, and he played their music constantly.
All I’d known about the two bands was the fack that Yes did “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” and Neil Young did some really lousy rockabilly crap.
When that year was over, I could ramble for hours about the different lineups of each band, their solo careers, and what was so great about each.
But, really, I was talking out of my ass. I don’t know shit about music.