Weekly Challenge #396 – Turkey

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 TURKEY.

We’ve got stories by:

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

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:

Sleepy Tin

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

MICK

The Lesson by Mick Bordet
(a Coffee Legacy spin-off)

Dorde sat on a cushion, gazing out across the city of Istanbul, aware of the raised voices behind, but knowing his friend was in no danger.

Franz appeared presently bearing a small coffee pot and a look of disgust.

“They just won’t listen, Dorde! They can’t imagine water without added cardomom and I swear they are trying to grind the beans into dust. To top it all, they keep it boiling, even once the coffee has been added!”

“Have you actually tried it, yet?”

Franz shook his head and took a sip.

“Wow! Apparently, I can learn from them, too.”

MUNSI

Aftermath

By Christopher Munroe

Every part of your life will be leftover turkey from this moment on.

Your breakfast tomorrow? Turkey Omelet.

Lunch? Turkey Sandwiches.

Dinner will be Turkey and tomorrow it all begins anew.

There’s nothing you can do to prevent this, no aspect of your life you can keep separate, Turkey will consume you, and yes, you will consume Turkey.

Watching Gili on Netflix? Turkey Time, gobble-gobble.

Planning a vacation to the Ottoman Empire? It’s Turkey now.

Yes, going forward your life will be a hellish, leftover turkey filled nightmare…

Wait, that sounds delicious.

Well good for you, then! And happy Thanksgiving!!!

JEFFREY

Midnight Show
By Jeffrey Fischer

The play was an utter flop, panned by critics and shunned by the public. It closed within a week, costing investors millions. The laser show, fancy costumes, and hydraulic equipment controlling the rotating and elevating stage set, despite the expense, failed to distract audiences from the banal plot, stilted dialogue, and bad acting.

The play’s afterlife as a cult classic was a surprise to everyone, not least the playwright. Much like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, young people apparently liked going to midnight shows, dressing up as the characters, shouting corny lines, and imitating the set with cheap effects. The fact that beer was often sold at these venues didn’t hurt.

And the playwright earned royalties on every “performance”. As plays go, he thought, this turkey turned out to be a plump, juicy bird.

The Assignment
By Jeffrey Fischer

The bartender caught the customer’s eye. “What’ll it be?”

“Shot of Wild Turkey. Neat.” They were the only people in the place. The bartender poured and slid the glass across the bar. The customer downed the amber liquid and signaled for a refill.

As he poured, the bartender said, “Take it from someone who’s been there, drinking away the afternoon isn’t going to solve your problems. Maybe a bar isn’t where you need to be just now.”

The customer smiled. “Depends on the problem.” He pulled a gun from his coat pocket and shot the bartender between the eyes. “If your job is to kill a cheating husband who tends bar, why, this is just the place to be.” He reached across the bar, grabbed the bottle of Wild Turkey, and poured.

A Noble Bird
By Jeffrey Fischer

Ben Franklin supposedly preferred the turkey over the eagle as the national symbol of the fledgling United States of America. Now, Ben was a smart guy, but I’m not sure he thought through this idea.

First of all, we’d have all sorts of Federal regulations regarding the turkey, and rescue crews would be forever extricating injured turkeys from awkward spots.

Worse, though, we’d be eating tough, chewy eagle for Thanksgiving. Children would fight to avoid the drumstick. Moms would make more Brussels sprouts to stretch the available food. And the lack of tryptophan would mean no one naps through the afternoon football games, so every year we’ll have to listen again to Uncle Ernie’s war stories.

JULIE

I am sorry I cannot make you Thanksgiving dinner this year.

I have to get on this plane,

On Wednesday

And go home to Poland.

Your Babcia died,

and well, I need to be there.

I talked to her on Sunday.

I am glad I saw her last summer.

She was ill, and I got the next-door lady to help her.

Still, I’ve got to go.

For twenty two years

I’ve been sad somehow here

Even more so now

That you kids are grown,

And on your own.

So, there will be no Turkey this year.

TOM

Mating Season

As I write this they are gathering on the lawn. A good 16 to 20 of them.
Some say they came from Texas. Long way to walk. Though they do fly. Spend
the nights hiding in the crowns of the blue oak. Darting across the hill
in lazy rig-zags, one or two at a time will fan their feathers. Regal as
samurai armor, the display increases their bulk three folded. The cackling
rises and falls as talons rip at chests and necks. The whole warrior thing
would have been pretty impressive, too bad about the stupid double
dangling turkey feathers.

Dharma is the Age of Kali

The Padava prince saw the banners of Bhisma and Dorna furrowing in the
azure sky. On his command a thousand arrows would fly. But he himself had
come to a moment of deep dismay. He turned to Krishna telegraphing his
uncertainty. The charioteer wheeled his steeds to the very edge of the
battlefield and dismounted. If you’ve read the Bhagavad Gita you might
think you know the story, but that text is a fourth century hack job, this
is what really happened. Krishna said “Your not even a pussy, your just a
turkey.” Arjuna fires, Krsihna dodges, the battle begins.

Three Strikes

It was well passed the golden age of bowling. Of course that didn’t stop
me from total immersion. Great game, can’t really call it a sport, though
some may argue the point. No jumping, run, weaving, hitting, didn’t even
have to own the ball or the shoes. No fields, grass or outdooriness.
Limited team work, no coaches. The perfect game, except for the scoring.
Never really got the hang of compounded summations. But that wasn’t fun of
bowling. Banging heaves object against other objects. Sure your skills
could land you in the gutter, but with care you could turkey out.

A Well Defined Relationship 25

“Banister Now” said the doctor. Just as the high priest regained awareness
the coachman swung the airship over Wynn Casino. “We’re going to get
charged for this,” said Dino. “Mrs Parsons please note that in the
ledger.” Sparky hit the release button and the Pastafarite rolled into a
perfect three point Louganis. “Smith you think thous Yahoos bought Timmy’s
dog and pony show?” “Hard to say, best course of action is get our
collective asses out of Dodge.” “Mrs Parson have you ever cooked a Wille
Bird?” “100 pounder best baked 200 pounder thermal inverter.” “You known
your turkeys madam.”

ZACKMANN

“Hey hey good looking what’s cooking.”

“Pizza”

“but didn’t I buy a bird for thanksgiving?”

“No, Dearest.”

“I am possive I put it in the freezer.”

“Yes dearest but you and I both know you purchased it because turkey was the loss leader at fifty nine cents a pound which made it about half the price of chicken.”

“So what you’re saying is neither of us remembered to thaw the turkey in time and now we can save it for Christmas?”

That and your cousin our one guest worked several years in a fowl processing plant and really hates turkey.

SPATE

My fellow Americans, I propose that we amend the second amendment.

Let’s make bearing arms mandatory. Let’s make it law that every citizen must carry a loaded military grade assault rifle.

This proposal is unrelated to the irrational fear based self-protection the NRA peddles to increase gun sales. Its aim has a more realistic benefit to our society: common courtesy.

For example, if I had been carrying today, that old bird at the grocery store would have thought twice before blocking the aisle with her shopping cart while she read every freaking word on the label of that frozen turkey.

LIZZIE

Carving the turkey is a fine art, my friend.” John moved the sharp knife up and down with great proficiency, stripping the bird to the bare bone. The thin slices of meat piled up on the edge of the tray, invitingly. The interplanetary exchange student observed silently. He dared not utter a single word, although he fervently wanted to. “See.” The guest did see. Suddenly, the horror, right next to the slices of meat was one of John’s fingers. I saw that coming, thought the guest, this is a strange art. I am glad we don’t have this type of thing in my planet.

RICHARD

#1 – Scuppered

After a fair bit of floundering, they hauled themselves aboard one of the boats moored on the bank side. Shivering and wet, they huddled down in the hull.

“We should think about getting this thing moving”, muttered Emily.

George nodded, easing his way over to the controls.

Until now, his only experience of boats had been a mini-cruise on holiday in Turkey – no help to him now.

“I’ve no idea how to get this started”, he apologised.

Sighing, Emily reached for the mooring rope and untied it.

The current caught them, and they drifted silently off into the night.

#2 – Christmas Fare

“What’s for lunch?”, asked Santa, already knowing what the answer would be.

“Turkey dinner”

Santa groaned: “Can’t we have something different, just for a change?”

Mrs Claus frowned at him: “Well, there’s turkey curry, turkey salad, turkey pie or turkey bolognese…. Look love, there’s nothing I can do about it – it just comes with the territory, I’m afraid. It’s turkey, or nothing – unless you have any better ideas?”

She was right of course. Santa sighed and resigned himself to the inevitable, but then his eyes twinkled and a broad smile split his face.

“I hear that reindeer is very tasty!”

#3 – Ice-breaker

It was yet another one of those pointless team bonding sessions – universally loathed and compulsory for all employees.

As always, it was led by one of those ridiculous ‘business consultants’ – fatuous, over-enthusiastic and overpaid, and we were completely underwhelmed.

It started with the inevitable ice-breaker: ‘If you were an animal, what would you be?’

I chose ‘turkey’.

“That’s very interesting”, said the flashy business consultant, “And, why exactly did you pick turkey as your animal of choice?”

I looked him straight in the eye, and replied: “You’re the know-it-all business consultant, how about you tell me?”

SERENDIPITY

The Lesser-crested West African Bush Turkey was the most awesome of birds. Standing nine feet tall, it was a true wonder of nature, and vast flocks roamed the African plains in their millions.

In 1863, the Lesser-crested West African Bush Turkey was declared extinct and not a single specimen has been seen since.

What caused their demise? Natural disaster, climate change, the introduction of a foreign predator, or a fault in their genetic makeup?

No, it was none of these things – the loss of the Bush Turkey can be summed up in three simple words:

‘It was delicious’!

SINGH

20.10

The epic credits rolled through drums of war,

a reverb Voice informed the Milky Way,

the Wheel of Dharma turned with cosmic law

as people bowed before the teleplay.

Chariot-driver Krishna drove Arjuna,

discharging arrows at his loved grandsire.

Neither could Bhishma find a clear lacuna,

trading shots with Arjuna’s rapid fire.

Lame effects make drama hard to swallow

and the next scene in a tent, an enemy squabble
was lost on Yogi. He could not follow.

Hindi was equal to Greek, or turkey gobble.

No one thought to translate. He looked around,

then turned down mentally the TV’s sound.

20.11

Closing eyes he listened to his heart rate

recalling a childhood glued to the TV,
hidden behind the lounge till very late

when the hand of Dad stung like a killer bee

sending him to bed. He felt the blows

again; and then the Mahabharat war

was back, more volleys of rapid arrows,

elephants, fake swordplay, tomato gore.

Among Indian grown-ups, was he the dunce?
This popular program was their hour of power,

a tragi-comedy all at once,

philosophy turned into cartoon hour.

Now Krishna was telling Arjun — be a man:

just kill your Grandad and fulfill my plan.

20.12

Grandfather Bhishma was fatally bound to black

deeds through blood duty; but the evil side

made accusations. Yogi, dubbed his soundtrack

from versions he had read, more bone fide,

giving speech to actors on the screen,

while Hindi sat enthralled below the fan

tearful, angry, righteous, stunned, serene.

Bitter Bishma cursed his Kaurava Clancy

telling that Duryodhana, the ruling prince,

“Give up the kingdom to the Pandava.
You can’t beat them. How can I convince?
You’ll lose because they have the Lord, who’s Krishna.

Yet, fire among dry trees of summer, I

will be tomorrow. Yes, I’m still your fall guy.”

20. 13

Knowing the tale, Yogi recast old gold

in his own way to keep himself inside

the poem’s fold. As in a wrestler’s hold

the storyline had long back kept him tied

also to Margot, met that summer night

in Klopper’s quarry through dramatic art.

Just a car drive from the burial site

he wondered then, if one chariot cart

had been his own in some past time,

how otherwise had he landed here?

Next day’s battle heat began to climb

as massive Bhima and his charioteer

clubbed with his gold mace and grunted breath

a dozen Kaurav cousins to the death.

20.14

As Bhima felled opponents, one by one

the sound effect of each gold hammer blow

reminded Yogi of High Striker fun,

hitting a bell with a puck at a country show.

He was no Bhima built to crack and crush,

nor an Arjuna with an archer’s eye,

nor Yudhisthira, king of the royal flush
nor Nakula, nor Sahadeva born from the sky.

A soldier? Spear thrower, a charioteer?

Yogi speculated scene by scene.

Meanwhile, the Kauravs fell like hunted deer,

while in the palace, parent king and queen

grieved for slain sons. Here, end credits flowed

closing sadly this week’s episode.

20.15

Women were tearful, moved by child death

and men moved quickly for the squat latrine

just down the hall. Barhai rose to switch

the TV off. Its picture tube fizzed blank

and at that moment up the stairs Chauhaan

emerged with loud and proud announcement:
“Yogi ji, here is your Yogi Mrs.”
All heads turned to see the western woman

in her Punjabi suit, red-striped with gold,

her head covered, trained by local custom.

She then saw Yogi, and could not get to him

so reached across, passing his guitar.

All was falling well together. Barhai smiled

announcing Yogi would now lead a bhajan.

20.16

to speed date god inside the krishna lila

body neck tune head-tone to krishna

bhajan fusion english off the cuff

krishna bol sing krishna hare krishna

one hand clapping two hands clapping krishna

krishna bol sing krishna hare krishna

glass lady bangles tinkle bells of krishna

krishna wheel krishna wields chakra

plastic pail upturn my soul percussion

krishna bol sing krishna hare krishna

Persian wheel scoops up wet cups of krishna

on each hair a thousand flutes of krishna

thumb the strum strum light strings of krishna

krishna krishna krishna krishna krishna

finish with a slow last dance with krishna

20.16

The success of Yogi was the joy of Barhai.

“Can you come home Saturday, Yogi ji?”

“We also want your darshan,” asked another.

Barhai took the bookings, mentally.
They hemmed his star, so Barhai closed the queue.
“Respect our guests. Tomorrow we talk, please.”

Margot saw the wheel of competition,

an endless turning, one household to another.

How much of him would still be left for her?

Yet, she would go along and make her place.

School was due to break. Big monsoon wet

the farmers said would bog down village roads.

So she did nothing and sat apart and watched.

TURA

1.

The journey ended, then began, at Osmaneli.

Nina and I were taking the sleeper from Ankara to Istanbul, but in the early morning, it had shaken violently, and drawn to a stop, between Eskisehir and Bözüyük. Defective track? A landslide?

At last the train moved cautiously on, stopping at every small town for an oncoming train to pass. Karaköy, Küplü, Bilecik. The line between Turkey’s two most important cities is single track.

Rumours, passed on from the attendant’s radio.

We see a few collapsed outbuildings, fallen plasterwork.

At Osmaneli the train stops and it will not go further.

What now?

—-

2.

At Osmaneli the passengers charter dolmuses– local minibuses– either to return to Ankara or press on to Istanbul. Nina and I tag along with the Istanbul contingent.

The fare for us both is 70 million Turkish lira, about £100. (Half of that will go on petrol.) The driver’s boss asks him where he’s going. “Istanbul,” he says, and we leave.

Normally, he would have driven among the local villages for 200,000 lira fares, or the price of two loaves of bread.

Those millions of Turkish lira are the old lira, of course, before they chopped six zeroes off the end.

—-

3.

The main road is busy, soon packed, then jammed. As a tourist, I have a map of Turkey, so I pass it forward and let those who know the country figure out the best way. But in a mountainous country, the main road is the only road.

We come to a large flyover. There are six-inch cracks in the tarmac on the approach. We wedge lumps of tarmac into the gaps and inch the minibus over them.

Will the bridge collapse? But it has been full of traffic for hours. It will probably not collapse while we are on it.

—-

4.

Here a family are camping outside their farmhouse. It stands, but the walls are cracked, and it might collapse at any moment.

And then, the apartment blocks. I’ve seen some of these under construction during our holiday, concrete-framed and unbeautiful. They have been found wanting in the time of trial. Shoddily built with stolen, salty, beach sand, and rusted reinforcing bars, they have collapsed like houses of cards. I see neat stacks of floors and ceilings with no walls, and know that I am looking at dead people.

There are standards, but in a poor country, who can enforce them?

—-

5.

The driver is concerned about petrol. There is not enough to reach Istanbul. Even if we find a garage, it needs electricity to pump the petrol, and the electricity was automatically cut over half the country when the earthquake struck.

At mid-afternoon, we stop at a roadside cafe for a break. Still no electricity, but the cafe can give us bananas and apple tea. We move on and shortly find a petrol station with working pumps. Either the electricity is back or it has its own generator. No matter, we will not be spending the night on the road now.

—-

6.

The mosques are better constructed. We see only one fallen minaret, dramatically draped over the adjacent dome.

Across the bay, a plume of smoke. If it were night, we would see the fire also. The oil refinery at Yalova.

At last, İzmit, the epicentre. Only one thing is happening here: dealing with the earthquake.

The traffic is moving more freely now. We reach Istanbul at nine in the evening and take the ferry across the Bosphorus.

Our flight home is long gone, but the first hotel we try has cracks and fallen plaster everywhere. We press on to the airport.

—-

7.

Every inch of green space in Istanbul is filled with people camping out. We are tourists; we will just leave.

At the airport I book seats on the first flight home the next day. We are tourists with money; we can pay what it takes to leave.

In Istanbul we find a solidly built hotel, but in the morning we notice hairline cracks in the granite, clearly new.

Our plane roars down the runway and the wheels leave the ground. For us, it is over.

Afterwards, before the news drops off the front pages, the death toll reaches ten thousand.

EXPLORER

Twas night before Thanksgivukkah, and all through the house, children where

screaming, Dreidel’s where spinning. A turkey was basting all on it’s own, and

then a loud thud from up above.

Everyone froze, who could this be; it’s Moshe Rabbeinu, Amen. We heard a

muffled “Oy gevalt, Oy vey iz mir today is only Wednesday, “I thought today

was Thanksgiving.”

Who is that speaking, with wonderment we ran to the stairs and froze? To our

dismay we saw a glowing, spinning, bright light.

We saw a team of eight menurkey’s, and heard Ho Ho Ho, Happy

Thanksgivukkah, shouted Hanukkah Harry.

KRISTINE

Ladies are gathering along the fence, buying sad leftover pumpkins and discussing creative ways to combine green beans and mushroom soup. Kids shuffle through the corn maze, unaware it’s been deemed a fire hazard. White feathers float around, easily mistaken for the fake snow that will jack up the prices of lopsided spruces that will be standing here soon. The men spit-shine their axe heads, silently choosing their victims. They say the more the bird fights, the tastier it is. The sounds and dust clouds rising from the dirt arena suggest that this year’s dinner is going to be delicious.

CLIFF

Benjamin Franklin thought that the turkey was the perfect animal to represent our nation. After all, it was native, it was quite brave, and it was known to attack British soldiers on sight, something that no eagle, bald or otherwise, was ever known to do. Several times during the Revolutionary war, the redcoats attempted to catch the Colonial troops unaware only to have their movements betrayed by the turkeys used as sentries by the Americans. Unfortunately, turkeys proved to be ineffective in combat. Many a turkey met its end while desperately trying to load a musket using beak and wings.

NORVAL JOE

Dergle watched his countdown timer pass the ten minute mark.
“Crap,” he said and inched his way up the drive to the carport. He knew the Widow Finklestien well and he knew she kept a spare door key in the dryer’s lint catch. Cradling the shotgun in one arm, he pulled out the lint drawer and searched the fine layer of lint for the key.
He slid the key into the lock, soundlessly, and eased open the door.
From behind him he heard, “Who is this turkey?”
He had to think fast or he would lose the element of surprise.

JUSTIN

The Sumo walked up to the line and hurled the bowling ball, but forgot to let go and slid all the way down the lane and got a strike. Sort of.

Melody swung the Wii remote wildly to try and throw the ball down the lane on the TV. All she managed to do was give her brother a black eye. OK, that didn’t happen, but it almost did, could have.

The best part of bowling ball shoes is they are so thin and light so when you drop a bowling ball on your foot, it provides no protection whatsoever.

PLANET Z

The company gives out smoked turkeys for Thanksgiving and smoked hams for Christmas.

I’ve been tempted to carve off a bit early, but I figure I’ll be eating plenty of it when the time comes.

“It’s for the cats,” I say, but I can’t convince myself. It would really be for me.

“No. Not yet.” And I close the refrigerator door.

Whew.

Then, I found myself picking up a packet of smoked turkey at the grocery store.

“Not yet,” I say. And I put it back.

If the cats want turkey early, they can go out and catch one themselves.

13 thoughts on “Weekly Challenge #396 – Turkey”

  1. Crap, I feel for your video card, with its lost oomph. My oomph went a while back.

    Spate – recall that it was Robert Heinlein who wrote that “an armed society is a polite society.”

    So many turkey leftovers, so little time…

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