Weekly Challenge #397 – Family

WARNING: Fans of the “2 Fast 2 Furious” series of movies, Paul Walker, and Hollywood prettyboys who think it’s cool to drive like a maniac without any regard to traffic laws or the kids/girlfriends they’ll leave behind when they die in a flaming wreck will probably want to skip this one.

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 FAMILY.

We’ve got stories by:

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

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:

Fluffy likes catnip banana

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

MICK

Del knew her grandmother did not have long, days at best, and then she would be alone in the world. Yet she had never felt such a part of a family as she did at that moment.

She lifted the box of instruments, every one linked to a memory from her family’s past, and began walking from room to room, selecting one instrument at a time and placing it on a shelf or bookcase, somewhere visible, so that she would see it every time she walked in.

Soon she would be alone, but her family would always be around her.

SERENDIPITY

Let me introduce you to the family…

This is Alan, my husband, and these are my three lovely kids; Patricia, Amy and Anthony.

Why yes, I know they’re all dead – I slit their throats myself: to be honest, I just couldn’t take all the arguments and bickering one moment longer.

It’s so much more peaceful now.

I keep them all together in the bedroom because it’s easier to manage the smell and the flies, and it does mean that I can give them all a big soppy kiss goodnight, just before I hop into bed.

We’re such a happy family!

JEFFREY

Love the One You’re With
by Jeffrey Fischer

When my friend Alma became interested in her lineage, she consulted a local genealogist, who created a magnificent family tree for her. Hand-drawn on a large sheet of vellum, the tree started with a sturdy trunk in the mid-1800s, branching again and again until the present generation.

I hired the same genealogist to do similar work for my family. I gave him what information I had on my parents and grandparents, and waited for the results.

My piece of vellum was very narrow, and the tree on it was a scraggly thing, as though Charlie Brown had used it one Christmas. “What’s this?” I exclaimed.

“From my research, I’d guess your ancestors didn’t care to date strangers. Your family tree doesn’t branch much.”

Family Ties
by Jeffrey Fischer

They say you can pick your friends but you can’t pick your family. Nonsense, I say. When I was young, my parents were so busy they didn’t pay much attention to the children. My kid brother, Todd, was very annoying, so I left him lost in the deep woods, then brought home Frankie, whom I liked much better. No one noticed.

Later on, I tired of Aunt Mabel’s constant criticisms every time I visited her. Now I refer to her caretaker as “Aunt Mabel,” and everyone’s happier. Well, except the original Mabel, but she’s beyond caring.

Mom and Dad are really starting to get on my nerves. The Bentons, just down the street, seem like they’d be nice parents.

MUNSI

On Dinners Missed

By Christopher Munroe

I usually work family holidays.

I don’t have kids, and my extended family’s back east, so on Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving, Easter or any of the other holidays requiring huge family meals, I’ll take pity on a coworker and cover their shift.

They have children, after all, and deserve to spend Christmas with them.

I don’t begrudge it, though they’re not especially good shifts. Time and a half, though, and it’s not like I have other plans for the evening.

HOWEVER: Come Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day, or any of the other “drunken, rowdy douchebag” holidays, I’ll be expecting the favor returned…

TOM

The Music Story Number 8

I hear the topic bam Sister Sledge starts looping in my head. We are
family I got all my sisters with me We are family Get up ev’rybody and
sing It came from the age of drill down choruses. Get down, get down, get
down, get down, Get down tonight. Or Celebrate good times, come on! Not
like the latter day Power pop band Nine Days’ single breath chorus: This
is the story of a girl Who cried a river and drowned the whole world And
while she looked so sad in photographs I absolutely love her When she
smiles

Marquettes

I come from a exceedingly long line of breeder. My great grandfather had
14 children. My grandfather had 12. I grew up in a household of eight
kids, two parents, still married, and a grandmother, god rest her soul. I
have 27 cousins, I am Uncle Tom to 10 and Great Uncle Tom to two.
Technically I am the Primogeniture, but my wife and I thought it better
not to breed. I come from a very old family we were functionaries in
Romantic Paris, fought at the Battle of Agincourt and were the first
Europeans to navigate down the Mississippi.

We Are Family

It’s always been the case that the emigrant experience leads to the
formation of intentional families. Boomers by their very nature are
emigrants within there own country. With a driving will they will travel a
1000 miles for career and personal opportunity for success. The bonds
made by proximity prove stronger then blood. My intentional family is 35
years old. We come from Kentucky, Oregon, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, San
Francisco, Fresno. We came to the engine of possibly Silicon Valley picked
its bones clean, collectively moved north. The first of us is now in a
nursing home. I visit daily.

A Well Defined Relationship Part 26

The airship glided beneath an unending carpet of green. Millions of acres
of farms nestled in the New Owens Valley. The joke amongst the farmers was
this valley would never lose its water to the city. A bit of black humor
for what keeps the water near their land were guns, very big guns and lots
of them. Each Family farm was edged with a line of trees creating a vastly
expanding checkerboard. Doc Proctor was a family physician, he was their
family physician. Fate had placed him in this country, it seemed fate had
just increased his extended family.

John
“Village of Freaks”
by John Musico

Herbert worked at a fertility clinic where had been secretly replacing donor sperm with his own for many years.
The many freak children in the area kept him on his campaign to improve the gene pool.
It was the only fertility clinic in the whole of Oklahoma.
Young people settled in the area drawn by their birthplace and a social club for the offspring of artificial insemination.
What members didn’t realize is that they were all half siblings.
What Herbert didn’t know was that that club existed nor why he found the twisted faces of the freakish children unsettlingly familiar.

TURA

Ephraim Smethewicke’s will left everything “to his family”. But although Ephraim was well known and loved in the town, a ready companion and support to both high and low, he had never made mention of wife nor children, nor even brothers, or cousins. A productive life and modest living in old age had left a considerable estate, which his executors considered too large to merely drop in the poorbox as an intestacy.

At last, they decided to found a bank, for the assistance of business in that town, devoting the profits to charitable works. And so Ephraim’s will was fulfilled.

RICHARD

#1 – Friends and family

As they drifted downstream, the sounds of conflict gradually faded.

Cold, frightened and wet, George and Emily huddled together for warmth.

“Do you have any family?”, asked Emily.

Did he? George realised he had no memories from before his accident: not only did he not know where, or who, he was, he had no idea where he was from or any memory of friends or family from the time before his ordeal had started.

He shook his head: “I don’t remember… how about you?”

Emily looked at him, wide-eyed: “I don’t remember, either!”

Would anything ever make sense again?

#2 – Hand-me-down

“…But, what exactly is it?”

“Well, we’re not sure, it originally belonged to your great, great grandmother; it’s been handed down through the generations, and now it’s yours.”

I looked dubiously at the odd wooden and string affair that I’d inherited – it certainly wasn’t worth anything, but I was honour-bound to treasure it and pass it on to my own children.

If nothing else, I could try to find out what it was supposed to do, so I took it to the local museum who told me it was a device for weaving hair.

It’s a family hair-loom!

#3 – Nuclear Family

I’m proud to say we are absolutely, the typical nuclear family.

Happily married, both working, two cars parked outside and the children nice and evenly spaced in their age ranges.

We holiday twice a year, go to church every Sunday and host the Neighbourhood Watch committee once a month, (tea and biscuits included).

Mr and Mrs Joe average and our bright-eyed, two point four children, along with Rufus, the family dog.

Of course, we had to saw Jessica’s legs off, midway above the knee, so we could achieve the magic ‘point four’, but it was quite definitely worth it!

SINGH

21.1

After the food, the congregation left.
Yogi, still cross-legged on the couch

tried to rise. “Baitho ji,” said Barhai.
“Stay there, Yogi. Let us serve you sweetmeats.

Chai, mittai,” he barked toward the kitchen.

Margot rose up from the sheeted floor,

piling a ziggurat of dirty dishes.

Margot felt his eyes deflecting hers. Restraint

rattled her middle dish. They crashed.

“Madam please. You are our family guest,”

calling Jyoti, the servant. He knew he’d have to

neutralise the wife before this Yogi was

firm in his grasp. Margot refused the servant,

and toted all stainless steel back to its source.

21.2

Mrs Barhai, a multi-handed goddess,

and shock absorber of her husband’s stress

was the right grind mill for his woody grain.

She could push and press to juice his sugar cane.

Her hands were clubs, her middle bulge — a tub.

If kitchens work like wheels she was the hub

and spin of power. She checked her ample self

by the rich array of eatables on each shelf

and a marble slab where the chai had just been poured.

Then, this chairwoman of the cutting board

said, “Come Beti.” meaning ‘daughter’. Margot bowed

before her senior, then sat, sighing out loud.

21.3

Her morning had backfired
with a car banging doors,

“Mrs Yogi. Mrs Yogi!”

The note, a grabbed guitar,

and ride to Garhmukhteshwar.

She’d heard the knee-cap tale

from host, Brijpal Chauhaan,

while window vistas showed

floating heads with fodder

and dung cake girls returning
from storage cones of thatch

to light up pulmonary fires

with babies strapped to backs,

baking hotplate flat bread

daubed with buffalo butter,

churned thick with stick and cord.
The regular milkmaid work.

Here with Mrs Barhai

in her cuisine demesne,

again Margot was glad

she had escaped most kitchens,

so many slavish lifetimes

lost to the Indian woman.

21.4

“We had heard that you are preaching to the poor,”

said Mrs Barhai, “Living in the village.”

Margot corrected, “Teaching. A year or two.”

“So, they are paying for this, Beti?” Mrs Barhai

couldn’t fathom why this foreign woman

would want to leave her comforts. “Well, not really.

some costs are met. It’s mainly voluntary.”

Mrs Barhai was stuck inside this puzzle.

“So you are having your own home? “Yes, Adelaide.”

Margot was getting tired. “And your children?”

All women came to this. “Yes, with their father.”

“Then Yogiji is not…” A snooping nose,

swooping judgements. “Well, he’s my husband now.”

21.5

Such conversation was the usual style.
She’d been up this dead end many times,

banging her head. Divorce here meant taboo,

although in cities there were modern rifts,

while burning brides were still the ghosts of shame.

Carnivorous of course, an eater of husbands

she was some praying mantis. And knew the nods
and sniffs and lady tutting tongues too well.
Shameful abandonment all just for sex!
She noted Mrs Barhai’s rolling eyes,

the conversation shifting to her son

at college nearby in Meerut. Draughtsmanship.

“Soon, we will be looking for a girl.”

Margot was nodding, while wondering how to exit.

21.6

Yogi was close, but truly far.
Oh darling, I’m out on a ledge,

a woman walking the razor’s edge.
I need to tell things as they are.

How to wake up wifely here?

Years as slave and mother had

trampled down her lily pad –

those badboot husbands and their beer.

Her village hut was not so near.

Clinging cloth was starting to cook.

Would karma let her off the hook?

Diamond sweat dripped from each ear.

Family? Was it all past?

Two little girls she’d let go of —
sent away in the name of love?

Regret and guilt both breathed aghast.

21.7

She drank the chai, then rising like a ghost

drifted inside. Yogi was still perched up

on the couch and holding court. He was

so wrong, she thought — so selfish, overtime.

Did she exist? Should she lean back into

wallflower consciousness? Those men with eyes
in the backs of their Number One heads, refused to see

her fractious state of heart, so ready to crack
like plate glass with one pebble. She stood and stood.
The foreign ghost. Her past had tracked her here,
and rang the bell of hell. “Yogi!” she yelled.
“Oh, come on! We really need to go.”

JULIE

OK, So Dominant Genetics Rock

Cherylann barrel-assed up the pickup airport ramp in her huge Sequoia. I had never met her before–not ever. But she was family, and we knew each other instantly. She’s Pop’s brother’s daughter, after all.

Cherylann drove to my hotel.

The front desk lady, said, “Y’all are sisters and look and talk the same! You even wave your hands around alike!”

Cherylann said, “I’ve never met her before in my life. I found her at the airport.”

It was true. Cherylann sent me a picture from 15 years back. Mirror images.

It’s great having a doppleganger.

I love having family.

ZACKMANN

“It is always scary wondering if a new member of our the family will be accepted by the others.” said Father

“Remember what you told me your grandfather told you when your first engagement didn’t work out?” asks Dylan

“Next time, Get her in the family way and she’ll spend the winter? I’d hoped he was joking. Oh, do you mean she is?”

“No father and how can you not like my fiancee? It is not like we’ll be living here.”

“Don’t be silly. We really like your fiancee. It’s the kitten your mother brought home I am worried about.”

LIZZIE

A postcard from overseas arrived in the mail this morning. It had the picture of a mountain. The stamp was smudged and torn on the edges. The mountain was just a mountain, no location disclosed. It was addressed to me, but it had no address on it, only the country and the town. I live in a large town, so it was surprising that it actually found its way into my hands. It said “I’m coming home”, no signature. I knew he had written it, my brother. At the back, the date was from six months ago… I miss him.

SPATE

Emily’s Family

On a brilliant sunny day, Emily has tea with her family at the tiny table in the atrium by the library.

Brave Meshka the lion bear arrives first and claims the chair of honor. One Eyed Susie and Cowboy Teddy file in behind. Mama Poof and Baby Piff take the last seat together. Emily serves then has her tea standing.

Sammy Snake slithers in late. He hates tea and just wants cookies.

The conversation fills with polite niceties.

Unaware of the passing whispers and stares, Emily smiles, delighted to be with her stuffed animal family now that she’s turned eighty-three.

REDGODDESS

Family by RedGoddess

“Damn it! I’m wearing cashmere and it’s raining,” says the raven hair heiress as she shakes her orange polka dot umbrella. Her Hermes scarf and bag on the counter while giving Lola two air kisses. “Oh my darling Lola,” She sighs in despair. “you didn’t tell me the weather was so despicable.” She resembles a tanned barbie doll in distress. In spite of her dramatic flair, she clicks with Lola. Lola in the oddest way relates to her.
Mirabella, the 21 year-old daughter of a fashion mogul from Milan, has been living at the hotel since adolescence. Her parents live separate lives yet cross continents for family vacations and her birthday. They think these seasonal appearances make up for parental neglect. Naturally, Mirabella gets bored easily with stuff and men, so she buys vintage jewelery and rare paintings at local auctions. She has an affinity to old black and white family portraits. She can imagine herself sitting on her mother’s lap and her dad looking adoringly at them. “C’est la vie. To yearn or fear the unknown,” she often says at the end of her chat with Lola and walks away humming “qui sera, sera…’ She is Lola’s Hepburn.
She could buy and sell the whole damn place and the restaurants around it if she so desires. She’s a daddy’s girl with the usual baggage from a wealthy family. She has zero sense of control when it comes to money. This week, she bought a brand new hot pink BMW just because she saw it in a commercial. By next week, she’ll hate the color with more passion than an angry bull. Lola can’t fathom spending money like that on a whim but she finds it ironic that she can share Mirabella’s family pain.

CLIFF

I’ve been tracking a family of sasquatch for the last three years. My team and I have identified a couple that we’ve named Ralph and Alice and two or three offspring. It’s difficult to tell for sure how many because we’ve never seen them. Our data comes from sightings, questionable footprints, and obscure noises. Hard evidence is difficult or even impossible to find. Some folks say we’re crazy to keep looking but I figure, it doesn’t matter if they’re really out there or not. As long as the university is dumb enough to pay me, I’ll keep filing my reports.

Dad is a former super villain whose mind exists as a computer network now. Mom is a robot, one of dad’s assassin drones who became self-aware and fell in love with him. My sister spends most of her time in a cemetery listening to the dead. I have an uncle from a planet of intelligent squirrels, two cousins who are werewolves, and a pet velociraptor. Sure, I’m not actually related to any of my family but they love me and I love them. That’s really all it takes. Me? I’m the black sheep of the family. I sell used cars.

EXPLORER

Family

by helen r starr

What is your family like, loving, caring, and giving or are they hateful, hurtful,

dysfunctional bullies? Perhaps postmodern families are both good and bad.

Perhaps bad families just don’t know better because they’ve never seen a

normal postmodern family.

Perhaps that’s the magic of many postmodern families; blending a group of

naughty intellects, and pure idiots who can bully siblings, and still be an angel

in your parent’s eyes. Keep it coming love.

Family Gatherings

compounds

characteristics

looks

blood

closely related

postmodern

social

functional

dysfunctional

families

laughing

shouting

all the

way

houses

blended

extended

nuclear

tribes

keep it coming love

Not all families are perfect and many get love and nurturing where as many are

abused. It’s the holiday season, need I say anymore.

NORVAL JOE

The greenhouse was heavy and hot, the glass panels having trapped solar radiation throughout the day. Julie stood, her back to the door, wondering why she was here.
A plant with characteristics similar enough to classify it in the Liliaceae family stood alone in its clay pot.
Many lilies have vibrantly colored flowers to attract pollinaters. Others use scent which varies from enticingly fragrant to offensively putrid. This non-descript flower uses telepathy to project a sense failure and need to attract codependent women on whom it would feed.
Singularly different it was given its own genus and species, Telepathicus Eaterupicus.

JUSTIN

Max Payne walked into his house and his gut filled with black ice. A lamp was on the floor, items strew about the living room. The phone rang, he picked up and shouted for them to call the police, but the caller replied cryptically, as if she knew. A maw opened in his stomach. Then Max heard a scream from upstairs.

Max ran up and crashed into the bedroom. Without hesitation he shot the druggies, but it was already too late. His wife Michelle, and his daughter, dead.

Nothing left to lose, Max stopped at nothing to find the cause.

JUSTIN

The greenhouse was heavy and hot, the glass panels having trapped solar radiation throughout the day. Julie stood, her back to the door, wondering why she was here.
A plant with characteristics similar enough to classify it in the Liliaceae family stood alone in its clay pot.
Many lilies have vibrantly colored flowers to attract pollinaters. Others use scent which varies from enticingly fragrant to offensively putrid. This non-descript flower uses telepathy to project a sense failure and need to attract codependent women on whom it would feed.
Singularly different it was given its own genus and species, Telepathicus Eaterupicus.

DANNY

The TV was on all day this past Thanksgiving. Sounds from parades to football games, blared over the speakers as our family sat for traditional dinner. Sometime in the latter part of the afternoon, the TV became eerily silent. The silence was broken only by a lone trumpet playing a melancholy tune, prompting us to stop whatever else was dividing our attention, to sit down and watch “The Godfather” marathon on AMC. Marlon Brando said it the best, “your not a man unless you spend time with your family,” and our family spent the rest of Thanksgiving watching “Family” films.

PLANET Z

Grandma Parker died last week.

Whenever I called her, she always thought I was my older brother.

So, I’d say horrible and disgusting things, and ask her if she was going to leave everything to me (pretending to be him).

She’d hang up.

Here’s here, sitting next to me in Grandma’s lawyer’s office.

He’s not named in the will.

Neither am I.

Turns out nobody is. Because she didn’t have any money.

“I just like to fuck with people,” said the attorney.

My brother lets loose a stream of profanity.

At least I got to tell her all that directly.

7 thoughts on “Weekly Challenge #397 – Family”

  1. There are a lot of screwed-up families out there – always good to know, what with Christmas coming up and family descending.

    Well done to everyone who killed off one or more family members, especially Serendipity, who not only dispatched them, but added the extra ook factor.

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