Weekly Challenge #377 – Anonymous

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 ANONYMOUS:

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

The next 100 word stories weekly challenge is on the topic of ORIGINAL – it’s a special collaboration with Single Frame Stories, so be sure to go to the topic post/episode there for details.

Use the Share buttons at the end of the post to spam your social networks. This obligatory cat photo should help make the Internet go faster:

Laundry Myst

Finally, if there are any errors or corrections, please let me know, and I’ll fix them as soon as possible.


JEFFREY

Memories
by Jeffrey Fischer

The anonymous note came through Bill’s mail slot one morning. “I know what you did last Friday.” He crumpled the note and threw it at the trash can. He missed.

Bill returned home after work to find a second note, on thick cardboard this time, so he couldn’t crumple it so easily. “I know what you did last Friday.” He ran the note through his shredder.

When the third note came through, pasted on the back of an old frying pan, even Bill acknowledged he couldn’t readily dispose of it. Instead, he attached his own note and slipped the pan back into the hall. “Good,” the note read, “because I’ve completely forgotten.”

The Manuscript
by Jeffrey Fischer

Barbara read the manuscript with growing excitement. This was not just good, it was astonishingly good. As an editor for a literary magazine, reading stories from the slush pile was generally a thankless part of the job, but someone had to do it. But this piece… it pushed all of Barbara’s buttons as a reader. The piece was just what Barbara would have written herself, had the magazine not prohibited editors from submitting stories. The author wanted to remain anonymous, however. He had left a correspondence address and nothing more.

Barbara sent an immediate acceptance letter, but couldn’t help ask why the author of such a wonderful piece insisted on anonymity. Two days later, she received a reply: “Have you forgotten our split personality?”

MARIO

I stood there long after everyone had gone. I am not sure why I stayed, its not as if you would suddenly pop up and say, “hey, how ya doin’?” I also wasn’t sure how I was supposed to be feeling at that moment. I was angry because I couldn’t call out your name. I was sad because I would never see you again. I was anxious because time was so short. I was happy because you were somewhere better than you had been before. I looked down at the inscription on the tombstone that seemed to mock me, ANONYMOUS!

TURA

There was once a woodcutter, who lived with his wife in the forest. They had little use for names, so when they had a son, they did not give him one.

When he was old enough, he must cut and carry wood, and if what he got for it would not feed him, he would go hungry.

One day his father died, and his mother, and he was alone. He left to travel in the wider world, which he had never seen.

But what became of him then, none can say, for he had no name to be remembered by.

TOM

A Well Defined Relationship Part ^

Despite the addition of about 100 kilos of noodles Banister was able to
reach Bowsmen Station with out further incident. “This will not do,”
exclaimed mother. Red head to toe draped in noodles and lightly dusted
with Parmesan Tim was less then presentable. Bowsmen prided itself in
providing all a traveler could want. Tearooms, MusicHalls, but in Timmy’s
case The Guy Fox Nano Showers was what he needed run by a more
materialistically driven branch of Anonymous. It seems cascading a
firewall produces the same effect as random falling drops of water. A
cheeky grinning pencil mustached mask greeted him.

RICHARD

#1 – Hotwire
Hotwiring always looked simple in the movies!

Now, faced with trying to start the huge bulldozer with no key, George realised he hadn’t the faintest clue how to go about it.

Not ready to give up quite so easily, he jumped down from the vehicle and – carefully checking for signs of life first – kicked in the door of the site office… again, not quite as easy as it looked in the movies.

Grabbing all the keys he could find, a pang of guilt stopped him, and he hastily scribbled an anonymous note as he left:

“Sorry for wrecking your door!”

#2 – Anonymous Post

The anonymous poster is the scum of the internet – a coward without the courage of his convictions; a posturing loser who hides behind the veil of obscurity.

The words he employs are an affront to decency – self-righteous, opinionated, misinformed and toxic… words that, more often than not, serve only to demonstrate a woeful lack of understanding and humility. Words that care not for the feelings of decent, upright people or the values of those they insult.

The anonymous poster is a festering disease that must be eradicated for the good of all.

But they’ll have to catch me first!

#5 – Focal Point

Why is it, no matter how good the photographer, how expensive the equipment and how much time is spent setting up the perfect shot, somebody – or something – always gets in on the act, stealing the show.

The anonymous photo-bomber in the background, the unknown stranger in the group or the animal wandering into shot at the crucial moment. At weddings, it’s the guest fighting to keep her hat on in the wind, or the bridesmaid picking her nose behind the happy couple.

Without fail, it’s these anonymous strangers who get all the attention – more photogenic than any other subject.

#4 – Tick the box

My brother, Arnold, was obsessed with privacy. He spent his life in paranoid fear that the government was spying on his activities. He’d shred his mail so his identity could never be stolen and wear dark glasses when travelling on public transport.

He’d stop at nothing to guard his private life – always paid in cash and never subscribed to mailing lists.

Even in death, it seems he’s had the last laugh.

His unmarked grave is out there somewhere, but I’ve no idea where… trust him to tick the ‘I wish to remain anonymous’ box on the instructions to his undertaker!

MUNSI

The Mask

By Christopher Munroe

The mask cost twelve dollars at Expo when we went in the spring.

Well worth it.

I took it home, put it on a shelf, and waited.

Summer rolled on and into autumn, and once she’d forgotten we had the thing, I knew the time had come.

I greeted her at the door as she got home from work, naked other than the plastic, V for Vendetta-style Guy Fawkes mask.

“Hey, baby,” I said, the leer she couldn’t see nonetheless perfectly clear in my voice, “want to have some Anonymous sex?”

….I’m as surprised that it worked as you are!

LIZZIE

“All I want is to be anonymous,” was the last line in the short note he left behind. His phone was tapped, his Internet access logged for future reference, the front door barred by police tapes, his windows closed to the curious eyes of unfriendly neighbors. He was the outcast everyone knew, all because he spoke up against the Registry where all details of people’s lives were available publicly. When he terminated his life, an option provided by law to those who refused to follow the Code blindly, he hoped for peace and quiet for his family. That didn’t happen…

SERENDIPITY

I remember a visit to Pompeii: I stood before an anonymous, petrified, long-dead Roman citizen and wondered about their life… who were they, what were their dreams and aspirations, what were their achievements and successes?

Then I realised the stone figure in front of me was simply a cast, of a mould, of an empty space where once a fragile person had tragically lain – a void… a profound gap in time and space.

And it reminded me that – no matter who we may be – the sum total of our lives will almost certainly add up to… nothing at all.

ZACKMANN

“I am so mad because of all the extra effort you caused me. What were you thinking? Now I will have to spend several days trying to fix this. This is what I get for hiring a hipster.” ranted Larry

“You had to because I am your cousin and my father is you biggest backer. Since I want to be unnoticed I must sign everything Anonymous.”

“But as my business partner you are a signer on the business checking account and unless it says Anonymous on your state Identification Card the bank will not cash or deposit checks signed Anonymous.”

CLIFF

During my time at the paper, I was amazed at how stories were gathered. Anonymous tips were a big source of information. This one time, we got a tip about a popular national cookie company. The caller alleged that the company used sawdust in its recipes, that children were forced to work in the hot oven rooms, and that the white icing in the middle of their most popular cookie was made from shoe polish. The idiot editor was ready to run the story until someone pointed out that the caller sounded very much like a certain famous tree elf.

____________

I thought I’d come up with a great money making scheme. Every year, there are dozens of things published under the name Anonymous. Poetry, news articles, novels, exposes, the list is endless. So many people want their work out there and don’t want their name to be attached to it, so they sign it Anonymous. So, I went down to the courthouse last week and legally changed my name to Anonymous. Now, all the royalties from those works are legally mine. I have run into a snag, though. I’m having trouble tracking down the authors so I can sue them.

STEVEN

We all look the same to you.

Dress us in black and muted colors, in uniforms that designate us by role, not by name.

Pack us in squares with gray rug-covered walls that we are free to decorate within anxious corporate guidelines.

Keep us “backstage” out of the public eye. Hold out just enough impossible hope that we step on each other for the brass ring.

We could be the fixtures, the appliances, the automatic doors.

To you, we are simply cogs in the machine. Background. Forgotten.

We are anonymous.

You order the clam chowder.

It will not be clean.

NORVAL JOE

Weeks had passed since Long John Silver’s midnight romp through the female’s kennel. Six of the girls looked more like meat balls with legs than wiener dogs. On top of that Long John was responsible for Widow Finklestien’s border collie’s pregnancy. Dergle would have to figure out their dispersal as well.
His wiener dog eared hoodie hung in the closet with press-on nose and whiskers. The urge was strong to don the outfit and cruise the cold night streets in search of recipients for his anonymous gifts.
Yet, the memory of his week in jail was still way too fresh.

JUSTIN

I haven’t yet seen either Battlestar Galactica, but I have played the board game, and I really love it. Everyone has the same goal: Not die and get to the goal planet. A nice co-op game, right?

Wrong.

Because not everyone does have the same goal. Some of the players are secretly Cylons! They have to as secretly as they can sabotage the missions while wild accusations fly around the table. Better yet, half way through the game, someone who wasn’t a Cylon becomes one! Mayhem!

I love the dastardly skulduggery and secrets and lies.

My dad hates the game.

DANNY

I understand the shock of the George Zimmerman verdict, despite the facts that clearly
screamed innocence. I have been a criminal defense attorney in the state of Florida for over 16
years, I’m quite used to the distortion of the actual facts created by our media. Outside the
courtroom, the “media,” or better yet, whoever owns the media, controls the message. I’m not
saying we are lied to, I’m saying when we watch “the news,” it is a production, one where
choices are made behind the scenes about what is stated, and who exactly gets to make those
statements. When a producer permits a person on air to state an opinion contrary to the story the
network owner wants broadcast, that producer is promptly fired, and the person making the
statement, no longer appears on “Face The Nation,” or any other network. We, the people, simply
are not privy to the controlling decisions made behind the camera of the news we trust to deliver
actual facts. What goes on in front of the camera, is what I call “the noise.” The evidence
presented and cross-examined in a trial, such as in the Zimmerman trial, I call “The Signal.” The
signal in the Zimmerman case screamed “not guilty” despite the noise created by our media
screaming “racism!” YouTube and other online technologies have become an equalizing force
against FOX, CNN, and MSNBC, but only if you can hear the signal through the noise. Of
course, this message probably angers you, and your first instinct is to take your rage out on the
attorney who took the time to try to explain something to you. So, let me leave by signing my
name. Yours truly, ANONYMOUS.

REDGODDESS

At midnight on Friday, Lola received an anonymous call with an urgent message on her cell phone. The voice on the machine was overly excited for a stranger. He states, “I’m happy to tell you that your boyfriend made it!” Lola was now worried. Was he in an accident? Did he travel somewhere and made his destination? What the hell does “he made it means” in the wee hour of the morning. She couldn’t go back to sleep. She called his cell but went straight to voicemail.
She checked her emails and text messages. Nothing. There are the side effects of being a caring relationship, she thought to herself. Worries and sleepless days will consume her until she sees him.

PLANET Z

Ted worked on the global organ donor tracking research for months, and then he analyzed the data to find patterns with race, religion, and other factors.

After checking the European figures, he found a strange anomaly in the data… wait times for livers were minimal in Greece. And all the procedures were performed by a clinic called The Prometheus Institute.

Ted looked up the name and read the legend.

Vultures? Titans? Regenerating a liver?

Ted passed word to his supervisor, and heard nothing else about it.

Then, his funding was cut off, and the lab caught fire.

Fire, from Olympus.

17 thoughts on “Weekly Challenge #377 – Anonymous”

  1. I like the 100 word format, it must be difficult to get enough of the story in !
    And Jeffrey, I could do with someone who could tell me what I did last Friday :)
    Peter

  2. Norval Joe: Thank you for the personal note, sir.
    All is well here. I listen every Sunday after exercising the dogs. Cheers. T.

  3. Danny, some days I don’t know what’s gotten into the world. People obsess over these local crime cases but don’t pay attention to the evidence that’s actually presented. And the way some react to their disappointment is childish. Burning down Oakland? Threatening the lives of jurors? It’s insane. I awoke to at least 70 tweets in my Twitter stream that were retweets from one individual, all incoherently crying out for “justice.” All such people need a better hobby.

    Another good crop of stories this week, and I hope Red Goddess shares with us what was behind that anonymous phone call to Lola.

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