Weekly Challenge #394 – Voyage

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 VOYAGE.

We’ve got stories by:

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

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:

Yawny Tinny

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

MAGGY – NO RECORDING

The voyage had been awkward, slow. Dan threw up a lot. He refused to go near the piano. He repeatedly said he wanted to go back. As for giving a concert with him, it was the silliest idea I had ever had.

He would sit on the desk for hours gazing out at the sea. Meals were brought to his cabin. He appreciated silence.

It was then that I realised his hearing was out of order. A bumpy voyage.
I sat with him most of the time, but I preferred to listen to the music coming from the dining hall.

JOHN – NO RECORDING

An ember smoldering, momentum gathering, even a quiet voice will eventually set fire to the kindle tossed in an effort to cover it, giving light and warmth to those around it. The brilliance of the fresh born flame, its appearance hypnotizing and dangerous in its beauty, it’s energy focused protects those that understand, burning and destroying when improperly tended.

Such is the power of voices; our soul’s message to share. No words are mere words; they have power to create or wreak havoc, shaping the world around accordingly without guile.

Billions of voices, billions of souls. Billions of smoldering embers.

MARCOS – NO RECORDING

My name is Sahil, and i woke up on a boat that was about to crash into a giant cave .I told all the crew members to jump off…..they all die -i stay on the boat and survive ”shit” i said. i (slowly) climb off the boat and see a lonely dragon. i wake it u and ask it for directions.It eats me.I wake up again. im back home next to my mum. her head blows up and blood goes all over my face.It tastes like Ketchup.i eat the rest of her and fall asleep.

MUNSI

That Great Adventure

By Christopher Munroe

My mind is the center of my universe, and no matter where I go, there it is.

Everything I’ve done, every place I’ve travelled, I’m the one constant, the thing that there’s no escaping.

So I’m left with two choices. Continue running, or take time and look deep within, figure out who I am and why, and try to make my peace with that.

That’s no choice.

So, much though the prospect of introspection frightens me, alien though it seems to my worldview, I shall do what I must.

The time has come to voyage to the center of me.

JEFFREY

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It is?
by Jeffrey Fischer

As Daylight Savings Time ends, I embark on the twice-yearly voyage around the house to identify which clocks reset themselves and which ones need the human touch. Computers, cell phones, tablet, DVR – check. Bedside clock – a pleasant surprise. Watches, the microwave and stove, and the coffee maker all require a manual reset.

The disappointing clocks are those in the cars. They can sync with cell phones, they can receive satellite radio signals, and they can reach a person in case of an accident, yet apparently none of the systems can let the clock know what time it is.

Bon Voyage
by Jeffrey Fischer

The anniversary cruise had been booked for a year. Barbie had been packing and re-packing for it for what seemed like an equally long time. Now the moment had arrived. The ship eased away from the dock. Well-wishers at the port cheered, and passengers on deck raised glasses to the receding shoreline.

As the rest of the guests relaxed, Bob’s work started. He needed to slip the tranquilizer into Barbie’s drink at just the right time, then induce her to take a late-night stroll around the upper deck. Finally, when no one could observe him, a well-timed pushed, a frantic call for help, and a convincing display of mourning before he would be rid of the nagging woman once and for all.

JULIE

Voyage

-for Michelle Knight.

The deck was stacked from the start.

Call me Shorty.

They all did.

Call me stupid.

They all did,

took my baby from me.

I was never on a poster,

or a milk carton

I wanted to get the boy a puppy.

I took that ride out of lost desperation.

A last resort.

Instead I ended up,

Tied up like a fish,

An ornament in your basement

For 11 years.

Now, I call on

ME–

indignant survivor

Damaged, transformed

Now I have my voice–

I send yellow balloons

On a voyage

Into the sky

And I

Will not be silent.

TOM

A Well Defined Relationship Part 23

Sparky hit the Hydrogen binder setting on the nano interface. The high
priest floated upward, meatballs intact. Banister tossed an effigy of the
Wayne into the noodlie center of the FSM who bellowed “May the Duke be
with you.” The Pastafarites prostrated themselves before the profit. Dino
Mod’s voice rang out in song, quickly join by the throng. “Ram noodles,
Ram noodles, Hare noodles, noodles noodles.” The Pastafarites locked arms
and swayed in rapture. Mother passed out garlic bread, as the Senator pour
out Dixie cups of red. Doc Proctor’s airship The Voyage pulled-up to the
back of Mea Cupa.

Some peak early, some peak late.

I am exactly five weeks older than Mike Oldfield. While he was composing
Tubular Bells I had successfully mastered tieing my shoes. After following
his career for a number of years I lost track of his music. I was not
impressed by Bells II or III. Sometime in 2002 I found a used Cd of
Voyager. A way Celtic price that was highly lessenable every with its nod
to Riverdance. On the CD cover was a photo of Mr Oldfield looking will a
Malibu surfer. Being English when he and Tony Blair turn 60 neither
looked like a Malibu surfer.

We hardly knew Ye.

Patrick Cuilleanáin had seen his fair share of American Wakes, but being
on the receiving end was quite a different story. “You don’t go soldiering
in them American wars.” His father handed him a 20 pound note. “Find
yourself a good Irish girl.” His mother’s embrace drove the air from his
lungs. “Yes Mum.” he squeaked. A voyage to America was a one way trip.
Every face in that room was a face he would never see again. “A grant
wake it was,” he said walking out the door. Before his steps had faded he
was already dead to them.

LIZZIE

His fingers slid over the keyboard, barely touching each key. Soft sounds echoed in the concert room. He closed his eyes and traveled through an avalanche of sounds, from one piece to the next, from one composer to another, from time and space to silence, the audience suspended in a timeless stillness. He stood up and took a deep bow. You could hear a pin drop. The audience looked at him, mesmerized. “I took you on a voyage. I hope you enjoyed it,” he said. A roar of applause erupted. They were not the same anymore, and they knew it.

DEXTER

Dragooned into Reacting

It was an unsettling situation. My student’s grades were preposterously bad; I’d explored all avenues. It was in vain. Though I try to be positive, there was no incipient of improvement. I relinquished all hope of pursuing the adventure with him.

“If you don’t get a respectable grade, you won’t see me again.”

When we next met, he looked at me with a jaunty smile and said “I got an A!”

I felt a sense of elation as I checked the paper.

“It worked! Here’s a ticket for “Voyage in Space”.”
I knew movies had a cathartic effect on him.

RICHARD

#1 – Sail away (33)

George was acutely aware that his assurances to Emily that all was going to be OK, were pretty meaningless if they couldn’t make their escape.

“What the hell are we going to do?”, he muttered.

“The river!”, came Emily’s reply.

“This is no time for your ‘life is a river’ philosophy, Emily!”

“No… if we can get to the river, we can take a boat!”

Of course! The river flowed right past Fort Hope… to take a boat would be tricky, but not impossible. It would be a nightmare voyage – but no worse a nightmare than they were already in.

#2 – Bon Bon Voyage

The voyage had been meticulously planned – our journey would start in the Balti Sea, (we thought that might curry favour), then sail south, dipping into the Bay of Biscuit, then eastwards and on through the Suet Canal.

Entering the main course of our journey, we planned on taking in some Turkish Delights before turning around to head back westwards, towards distant Cape Cod, stopping off en route to enjoy a large helping of Chile, followed by a maybe just a sliver of Atacama dessert.

All in all, a very tasty itinerary – and, no doubt, a real feast for the senses.

#3 – Land Ho!

After eighteen long months at sea the cry finally went up: “Land ho!” and our hearts leapt at the sound.

Weak from scurvy, and sick from rotten food and bad water, we gazed with joy as the rugged coastline grew steadily closer.

Unsure of our reception and what might lie ahead, we despatched a landing party and waited, with parched lips and hope in our hearts for their return.

Finally, some hours later, they hove into sight.

“What news?”, we called

“It’s no use”, came the reply across the water, “they won’t let us in without valid passports and visas!”

#4 – Martian blues

If they ever offer a voyage to the stars

I certainly wouldn’t want to go to Mars

There’s no atmosphere and the seas are dry

It’s full of dust and there’s no reason why

You’d want to stay in such a place

When there’s better planets for the human race

Send me instead on a voyage to Venus

and who could refuse a trip round Uranus?

There are trendier planets and worlds to explore:

asteroids and meteors and moons, and far more

send me to see the comets and stars…

But please don’t send me to a dump like Mars!

SPATE

New Horizons for the Discovery Channel (or Why You Should Never Insult an MIT Grad)

Two months ago I packed up a U-Haul and moved from Boston to a small town in New Hampshire.

Hostile natives greeted me.

Up here, they call people from Massachusetts “massholes”.

Okay, so I don’t hunt or fish or own a snowmobile or an ATV. And you’ll never convince me that car racing is a sport.

Live free or die? I’ll cling to life under any circumstances.

But call me a masshole? Really?!

My doctor got me the video file of my colonoscopy. I hacked into their cable.

Hope my new neighbors enjoy their visual voyage up this masshole’s canal.

SERENDIPITY

That fabled last voyage into the sunset isn’t usually a return trip; although there are some who come back to tell the tale.

Take it from me though – whatever they might say – as far as I’m concerned, it’s a bit of a rip off!

Where was the tunnel of light and the celestial choirs? And where was the white-robed gentleman with open arms and welcoming smile?

Not even the vaguest of out of body experiences to reflect upon, I’m afraid.

Nothing at all.

Perhaps they save all that stuff for the first class ticket holders, not stowaways like me?

SINGH

Chapter 19. Journey

19.1

Laloo Barhai spat a gob of betel,

and scored a hit to the head of the ginger cat

slinking about the workshop.

“Hah!”

He beamed.

Chotu his journeyman worked on, chiselling.

Barhai he hated, and hardened up his smile,

“Ji Sahib,” whacking with the mallet.

Next, that regular with a withered stump

came rattling his tin heart.

“Chotu, you give

the fellow. I have hundreds only.”

Thus

Chotu lost rupees daily.

“Ji Sahib,”

and hid

his poverty. Boss was mean and yet

the carpenter had to do or risk the job.

Difficult to find work in this highway town.

19.2
The tall step into the bus was a slip on a journey,

a trip on his chola ballooning with air as he leapt

and missed to skin a knee, raw as a cut pomegranate.

It stung as he limped to a seat where the bloodspot seeped

and suppurated an hour to Gharmukhteshwar town.

He held a handkerchief firm till the bus crunched gears

and snake-breaks hissed to a halt outside Barhai’s.

Good location had chosen Laloo to craft the bhairagan,

the t-shaped armrest now hung on a wall, decommissioned by Yogi.

He was soothed to see his corpulent sponsor sprawling.

19.3

Barhai rose from his chair like the nose of a leopard.

He smelled opportunity knocking. Here came his Yogi

in a holy outfit, limping to his shop verandah.

The bloodspot stain, a fallen warrior knee

and the heavenly knocking at Barhai’s nose got stronger,

the scent of a plan formulating.

“Sadhu Sahib,

my friend Doctor Kashyap is in dispensary

just three shops up. Can you walk? Good. Now, we go.

Chotu, tell my wife upstairs we are coming.”
Yes, Barhai

had a higher purpose waiting ahead at home,

but now he was serving to shoulder the infirm one.

19.4

Kashyap’s Clinic was a cave of coughing.

Yogi entered the medicated room

where iIllness had no privacy and sat

listening to tales of confidential fevers,

until Barhai barged and jumped the patient cue.

Social rank assumed false privileges

pushing Yogi onto the consult chair

where a foreigner in religious garb

was entertainment for the belly-aches.

Kashyap colluded, saying,
“Show me”.
So,

Yogi revealed his pomegranate knee

and all leaned forward to gasp communally

at the nasty scrape of crusting-over blood.

Dr Kashyap swabbed and dressed the wound,

while the bug zapper plugged in on the wall

loudly popped and vaporised a fly.

19.5

chai and pakoras, Mrs Barhai’s frontroom
chai and pakoras, Indian comfort food
chai and pakoras, Yogi on the couch
chai and pakoras, the guest is always God
chai and pakoras, pictures, holy brass

chai and pakoras, boombox chanting Krishna

chai and pakoras, mint chutney red chilli
chai and pakoras, flattery fried gossip

chai and pakoras, Barhai’s salty cunning

chai and pakoras, trustees called short notice
chai and pakoras, Maha Kirtan Mandal
chai and pakoras, the coming festival
chai and pakoras, “you will be Chief Guest”

chai and pakoras, grease for wheels of profit
chai and pakoras endless chai and pakoras

19.6
After their lunch — the Ganga Temple called
to where the river flowed six decades back.
Now, one hundred one steps were eighty six
and the river swelled on five kilometres south.

The attendant in a singlet and white dhoti
was cynical, sure the lack of offerings

was his bad Brahmin luck.
“These days none come,”

he said to Barhai.
“The government should fix
the road for tourists, or this place is finished.”
“What did he say?” Yogi asked.

“He wants chooti.”

“Chooti?” Yogi queried.
“He wants Leave,”
said Barhai, trustee of this shrine and others,
staring hard at the priest who understood.

19.7
Sri Ganga Devi in her curtained alcove,
stood her ground in marble, looking out
to four-headed Brahma, the Creator
so rarely found inside a Hindu temple
in polished stone, or any other form.
As her Father, he looked on with four faces,
rarely interfering with god or human,

self-born and blossomed from a lotus,
holding books to represent four vedas.

His bearded faces mean that life grows on

ever creative, birthing his Brahmand

in all directions of the universe.

Barhai with showiness now placed
one hundred and one rupees as donation
and the three trusted trustees copied him.

19.8

As they left in Barhai’s Ambassador
shifting through the cycle of its gears
the Mahabharata came to Yogi’s mind.
He knew this was its home. Brijpal Chauhaan
spoke up :
“Our town was part of Hastinapur,

the ancient Bharata capital.”

He told
how the Ganges, shifting course so often
put fifty kilometres of bitumen between
what had been a stroll across the river.

“At Mukteswar Temple there is one well,” he said
telling his driver to make a turn ahead
for Nakka Kuan, the Well of Nahusha.

“And who was he?”

asked Yogi curious.
Chauhaan would tell.

“Yogi ji, first we’ll reach.”

19.9
Chauhaan soon told how Rajah Nahusha,
a forefather of the five Pandava brothers,

doing penance had also dug this well
and became the King of Heaven, displacing Indra.
Power-crazed he wanted Indra’s wife,

but his palanquin bearers, the Seven Sages cursed,

turning him into a python. Generations
would pass before someone of his line

could lift the spell. King Yudhisthira,
saving Bhima his brother held in the python’s death-squeeze
instructed Nahush to curb his mind and senses.
The snake let go and journeyed onto heaven.

Nahusha’s Khoo now wore a scum of leaves.

“It comes from Ganga Devi underground.”

19.10

“It’s getting late,” said Yogi. “Thanks so much
for this.”

“Wait,” chimed Ram Prakash,

and brother Kartik, the final trustee added:

“He has to see Ghat Ganga. We have to go.”

Barhai nodded, so they rode roughshod

over potholes in a village track, until
the main road brought them finally to Brijghat:

the bazaar, the nearby marble stairs, the modern bridge.
They slammed doors, making their descent

down white steps to river silt and bathers

pouring water over heads with mantras.
Boats advertising Suhag Saree Kendra
were plying trade for sunset pleasure jaunts

and touts were here who Barhai shooed like flies.

19.11

But it wasn’t over yet. Just further down

Yogi saw fire.

“That is Murda Ghat,

where they do cremation,” Barhai said,

No one added a word.

A blaze was raging.

The mourners dressed in funereal whites

watched the attendant ladle on last ghee.
They huddled stunned beside the final flames

and cold case coming, a conundrum of bones
soon to be swept up by the river tide.

Is that all, thought Yogi, at the end of the journey?
Yogi remembered Margot waiting at school.
His mind had been distracted all day long
forgetting her. And now he felt the guilt.

DANNY

What if the final voyage we take when we die is just like the 1960′s television classic, “Voyage To The Bottom of the Sea”? That would explain the lights everyone sees during near-death experiences, they’re actually the lights of the Seaview. Having a near death experience myself, I’m convinced the constant pinging noise I heard was the sonar ping of the Seaview guiding me to the next plain of existence, despite my nurse insisting the noise was likely coming from one of the many machines I was hooked up to. The afterlife, strangely nothing more than an Irwin Allen creation.

TURA

No-one knew old Kjetil for a seafarer, so they were surprised when he began to build a boat. He only said, “I must make a voyage.”

One day in spring, before dawn, he went down to his boat and waited for the tide.

“You’re leaving,” said a small voice in the glim.

“Yes, Liljá,” said Kjetil.

“Can I come?” she asked.

“Oh no,” said Kjetil, “No child should ever make this voyage.”

The boat shifted on the tide. Kjetil poled it away from the beach, then began to raise the sail.

Liljá watched until the boat faded into the mist.

ZACKMANN

The teen waxes cross country skis then straps them on. No school again today. Parents not going to work. Several inches of snow and a terrible wind chill factor but he has donned several layers of winter gear. His father fearing the result of cabin fever being riskier than a two mile trip to town agrees to let him go if he takes a cell phone and calls when arriving and departing. His father asks if he understands the difference between need and want. The coffee house being a want. Teen Says “But I hasta gets me some Peet’s Coffee”

CLIFF

Mary stood as far forward as she dared, trying to see the water rushing past. The rocking of the deck beneath her feet was unpredictable and she held on to a rail to keep her balance. Her mother had told her to stay below with the others, but Mary wanted to see where they were going. Soon, they’d arrive in a new place with a new home, far from the persecution and danger that had been Mary’s entire life. Once the ferry docked in Brooklyn, they would be in a new world where her father could never touch them again.

NORVAL JOE

Piermont Freedangle had been teased as a child, but when he heard the same question in the executive washroom, “Are you wearing underwear?”, he had to find the origin of his name. The search was a voyage back through history to thirteenth century Netherlands.
An inland lake, well known for an abundance of large trout was owned by a powerful baron. The baron taxed all who wished to fish in his lake except for a few local families. These people became known as the Vry Dangelen.
When Piermont’s great-great-great-great-grandfather moved the family to England, he anglicized the name to Freedangle.

PLANET Z

The harbormaster spotted something on the horizon.
He pulled out his spyglass and looked… a lifeboat.
So, he rowed out to the lifeboat.
Inside was an emaciated and weathered man wearing rags.
The harbormaster splashed him with fresh water and gave him a few drops to drink… not too much.
“Oh, what adventure that was,” whispered the man.
The harbormaster lashed the lifeboat to his rowboat, and he rowed back to shore.
But when he pulled the lifeboat in, the man was dead.
He had no papers. No journal. No records at all.
The harbormaster buried him in the dunes.

21 thoughts on “Weekly Challenge #394 – Voyage”

  1. Why not a 140 words, a Tweetstory (TM) let’s say?
    We all know the hashness of a tweet! I am taking the challenge and I will get back with a stand-up comedy text! Great job! Keep it up!

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