Weekly Challenge #398 – Blame

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 SPY.

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:

Cat in pants

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

MUNSI

“It’s all my fault,” said Tania. “If I hadn’t introduced her to our world, she would never be in this danger now.”

“At least you didn’t accidentally kill a few hundred people, decimating the lives of their families and friends and throwing a city into blind panic,” Razer replied.

“Or lead thousands into a massacre that would forever change the way of life for a whole country,” Bonnie Prince Charlie added.

“Thanks for the lesson in humility, gentlemen. Really. Perfect timing.”

“You are most welcome,” said Charles, smiling.

“I think that might have been sarcasm,” Razer whispered in his ear.

SINGH

Chapt 21.8

He was shocked. Embarrassment sat up.

Heads turned to see the face of sharp demand.

Yogi had never heard this tone from Margot.

Fewer words had been her works and days —

taking on a young man with no prospects

or place, then worn such blame as came

from mother, siblings, in-laws and Pierre,

while paltry adulation made him snub

his angel, and instead chose to grandstand

alpha anger in front of followers.
Why was she doing this? Attention getting?
Looking good demanded he do something.

His feet unhooked themselves and landed hard

with disapproval on the sheetclad floor.

21.9

“I am really sorry, Barhai. I have to go.
We will meet again.” he said. “And I will sing

any time you want,” eyeballing Margot.

Barhai joined his prayer hands, turning to her.
“Madam, we are sorry for giving you problem.
Perhaps my wife said something to disrespect?
I will be very firm. You please forgive us.”

“It isn’t her fault Barhai,” Madam said.
Today was unplanned. I just have school tomorrow.”

“Of course. We are too much selfish,” said the host.

“Chauhaan, you must be driving them back at once.
“No need,” she said with curtness. “We’ll go by bus.”

21.10

Smoking dhoop and bananas

hit nostrils, passing a fruit cart.

She stopped to cross where the bus

would pull up belching diesel.

But he restrained her elbow. “Careful.
The traffic. The place is crazy.”

She shrugged him off, jackrabbiting

in a zig zag, dodging an auto rickshaw.

The mechanical parrot, screeched off

as if to tell a tale. He galloped after.

“Wait up. What’s your problem?”

The appointed bus was coming

like a prophet with believers.
Some debouched and stumbled.

She climbed. He followed.
He spoke up. She ignored.
Then silence defined their faith

all the way back to the village.

21.11

When they had reached, a bony cow was feeding

on Margot’s marigolds that she and schoolkids

had set in a row before her hut. She hunted

it with a culm of cane. Now Yogi joined,

but still Margot was mad, whacking a rump

back down the road, until a farmer yelled

to leave his property. She tried to tell

him off in broken Hindi, gesticulating

with hot and bothered tone making no impact,

pointing to the chewing flower thief

with guilty orange tongue. Still the farmer

would not kowtow to women — an ironic

mark of acceptance. Yes, she was becoming local.

21.12

Frustrated, Yogi dumped his guitar inside

and headed for the river, his quiet spot

passed the potter turning mud to cups,

and a man, pulling donkey overloaded

with bright fabrics. Yogi left at the fork

and walked to find his cool embankment where

the water lapped. On reaching, he disrobed

to cotton drawers and waded, letting water

cool his frazzled nerves and then got out

to sun bake on the bank. He was disturbed.

Barhai had shown respect that Margot slighted

and he had thrown his weight, but now felt bad.

It was their first fight at the peak of summer.

21.13

He thought she would be glad with his guitar

and how they sang together, him the leader.

If she had come to teach, what could he do?

Was he just some drone bee here to service

marigold Madam? He saw no way ahead

and reached into his cotton shoulder bag

for the Bhagavad Gita cards, then shuffled and drew:

My devotees live in me, all surrendered to me,

satisfied and joyful telling the world about me.

It made him think of Krishna and the gopis,
those milkmaids — each a petal of His flower.

It was clearly confirmation! Or so he thought.

MUNSI

The Blame Game

By Christopher Munroe

Admittedly, mistakes were made. And yes, I’m aware that people were hurt.

Some have said it was my negligence that caused the incident, but this is neither the time nor the place to play the blame game.

Or is it?

You know, now that I think about it, after the things I’ve done maybe a bit of mudslinging would be the perfect distraction from the actual problems at hand…

Okay, the blame game it shall be!

Your fault, your fault, bo-bour fault, bananna-fanna-fo four fault.

Me-mi-mo mour fault.

Your fault!

Wait, that’s the name game.

Which one’s the blame game?

MAGGY

and then the noise stopped, after fifteen hours. The silence

was overwhelming, deafening, smothering. It felt eerie, cold.

was there someone there?

Kelly kept walking, looking straight ahead. She noticed the

shadow of the trees, nearly meeting in the centre of the

path. Suddenly, the stopped. She was too afraid to move

her head. The tree shadows vanished. Just a pale track.

Then a fleeting movement, from one side to the other.

What was it? Kelly quickened her step. Faster, faster.

Her eyelids flickered

“Kell? Kelly?”

She opened her eyes. The noise, faint heaving, over

and over. The engine room by the deli…churning,

churning.

——

Trainee nurse, Mary Moore, blamed everybody. It was never her fault.

The fiddle was on the top of the cupboard. One could

hardly see it, let alone reach it.

“Put this somewhere ,” Mary was told.

Helping the patient into bed was hard enough and the

shelf was the obvious place.

“Take a warm drink to Thomas, Mary, not too full, he is

a bit shaky.”

The bed was wet, the cup was on the floor. Everything

had to be changed. She didn’t know Thomas was that

shaky. Well it was tall cup. Besides he took it

before she was ready.

JEFFREY

The Blame Game
by Jeffrey Fischer

The Federal government closed for over two weeks when Congress could not agree on short-term funding. The sticking point was House Republicans’ insistence on a one-year delay in the individual mandate provision of Obamacare. Thus, the press referred to this as a “Republican” shutdown.

During the shutdown, the deficiencies in Healthcare.gov became obvious to everyone, including the press, which mysteriously lacked curiosity about the details of Obamacare for nearly four years. Some Democrats called for a delay in the individual mandate, and the President unilaterally allowed insurance companies to provide non-compliant plans for another year.

The net result is that the government closed for two weeks in order to allow Democrats to agree with Republicans a month later. Well done!

Furiously Fast
by Jeffrey Fischer

Paul leaned on his walker. “I’m not trying to blame the kid who served the coffee,” he said to the lawyer.

“That’s good,” the lawyer replied, “because the kid has no money.”

Paul continued, “But it seems to me it’s irresponsible for a company to serve hot coffee when it knows the top can come off when I’m driving, causing me to wreck my car. I’m owed compensation!”

“Of course you are, sir. And I’m owed a third of that. As I said before, though, you were clocked at 96 when your car went off the road. Crazy as it seems, a jury might think that played a role in the accident.”

“Well, sure. That’s when the coffee lid popped open, just as the car crashed the guard rail and flipped over.”

TURA

A man went to steal from a warehouse. He climbed up and pried open a loose skylight, but fell in and broke his leg. He blamed the warehouse owner for negligence and demanded compensation for loss of earnings as a thief.

The warehouse owner blamed the manufacturer of the skylight, who blamed the workman who had fitted it. The workman blamed a woman passing by whose beauty had distracted him from his work. The woman blamed the sexist culture of capitalism.

So the thief received a pension from the state, and if he’s not dead, he’s living on it still.

JOHN MUSICO

ÒI Always Love Myself Again by DawnÓ
by John Musico, M.D.

I must always forgive myself. If I canÕt; then I rationalize till I fool myself into forgiveness.
When that doesnÕt work; I blame others, even if falsely.
The computer in Ò2001 Space OdysseyÒ named Hal was like me. Self harm can never be in the equation.
Everybody else does the same thing. So, think of it: ÒWhile youÕre busy becoming innocent,
others are painting you at blame to achieve their same aim of innocence.Ó
I wake up in the morning, once again cleansed of my sins, again pure.
I pass by others on the street bearing the same smug look.

RICHARD

#1 – Blame

The view from the river was unsettling – the glow of fire and smoke columns hung over the city; the river was clogged with rubbish being washed downstream.

“Are we somehow to blame for all this?”, asked Emily.

It was a question that George kept coming back to frequently… Had humanity reached some sort of tipping point? Was all this devastation the result of some terrible breakdown of society?

Who knew?

He only hoped that someone out there had the answers and was doing something to fix things.

With a crunch, the boat drifted into the bank – time to move on.

#2 – Who’s to blame

Back in the war, it was gremlins who grounded the planes and shorted the electrics, then thanks to propaganda, everything became the fault of the Germans.

We blamed the Russians during the Cold War; then it was the government’s fault, or the youth of today. We even blamed the economy, as if it was nothing to do with us.

There’s always someone else to blame, but I can’t help wondering if we’re the ones who are really at fault.

It was a wise person who told me: ‘when you point a finger, there’s always three pointing right back at you’!

#3 – School of hard knocks

It was always me who got the blame in school – mainly because I was a bit of a nerd: an ideal target for bullies and pranksters.

I can’t say I enjoyed school as a result, but I was determined to do well and whilst those around me fooled about, I studied.

Now, thanks to my hard work, I’m incredibly successful and filthy rich, but I still eat at fast food joints. It gives me a chance to gloat over my ex-schoolmates, flipping burgers for the minimum wage.

Well, they had their chance back in school… they’ve only themselves to blame.

JULIE

Who is to blame for the Typhoon that hit the Philippines? Fundamentalists would say it is an act of God. Nihilists would say it was inevitable. Existentialists would gaze at their navels and cast blame at the fundamentalists and nihilists.

Who is to blame when a B-Movie actor hits a phone pole and dies in a fireball and becomes a social media phenom? Well, he was to start. He was driving too fucking fast. I reach in my handbag and hand you my Cover Girl compact. Turn the mirror out, and then turn it back at yourself, if it applies.

—-

Don’t blame me–

You could have planted a house,

Or built a tree

Don’t blame me–

Just put me in my space.

Vandalism—

It’s as beautiful

as a dirty rock

In a cop’s face.

I don’t care–

I’m afraid.

Polly wants her cracker

Polly’s off her rocker.

Damn your cock–

In my face, keeping me

In my place.

I don’t mind.

Get away, get away–

Come back, come back.

I will always take the blame,

I will always keep the peace.

I will always be the same–

Very girl, the one who would chew

Off her right arm.

Before leaving.

TOM

Taking Stock
Rudy wanted to blame his current financial problems on the down turn in
the economy. Frank pointed out 1000 shares in Amalgamated Buggies Whips
was not exactly the foundation for building a retirement portfolio. “It
did well for grandfather,” return Rudy “Your grandfather has been die for
a 100 years. And this General Dynamic Sealing Wax. Wait Patterson
Celluloid Clothing Corporation.”A style long due for a comeback.” “Yea
right up there with whale bone corsets” Rudy waved a stock certificate
with an engraving of two women who for all appearances had to be missing
lower ribs. Frank shook his head.

Blame
Bennie said,”I guess there’s plenty of blame to go around.” Everyone
agreed and took a extra helping when the platter made its way around the
room. Timmy from accounting said this years blame was much superior to
last years blame. Jack form sales thought an increase in the amount of
blasting gave the blame a melt in your mouth consistency. Laura from
shipping asked “Is there any self loathing left?” Bill shook his head.
“Sorry Fred from Marketing got the last bowl, we do have some
megalomaniacal misogyny left” Mary ask for a doggie bag of blame to take
home

Bad Movies
Never has so much talent, resources, and money been wasted on a movie.
Some say Heaven’s Gate or Waterworld are the high water marks of motion
picture disasters. If you are old enough to remember Elizabeth Taylor and
Richard Burton in Cleopatra it is arguable the dog of its generation. My
top contender for truly bad film making is Blame It on the Bellboy Staring
Dudley Moore Bryan Brown Richard Griffiths Andreas Katsulas. This turkey
is just 78 minutes of french farces. It’s the only movie I ever actually
ask for my money back. Oddly the manager agreed with me.

A Well Defined Relationship Part 26
“I wouldn’t blame you if you reconsidered your offer of employment Doctor
Proctor,” said the widow. “No Mrs Parsons I believe you and your entourage
are forgive the context just what the doctor ordered. The work at hand is
going to need a fair amount of expertise. You have actually save me a lot
of time and money, oh please put that down in the ledger under the heading
Sweet Water Project.” The Doc looked at Timmy for the longest time and
wondered if the web of connection he had set in motion was strong enough
to hold them together.

SERENDIPITY

Don’t blame me – I’m not the guilty one.

You can’t blame me for you happening to be in the wrong place at the wrong time: it wasn’t my choice, it was yours.

And you really shouldn’t blame me for the medic’s slow response and the drugs that didn’t work to bring you back.

It wasn’t me who silenced you with the fatal cut; it wasn’t me that caused your life-blood to drain from you body.

You can’t blame me for the fatal wound – blame the knife that pierced your flesh.

If anything, I’m completely innocent – totally blameless, in fact.

ZACKMANN

Why Zack Bought his First Cellphone.

Zack opens the door to a ringing telephone.

“Where are you?” says a panicked voice “Why are you not here?”

He replies “What on earth are you talking about?”

“Your irresponsibility, not meeting me on your way home in my work parking lot to pick your children since I work early today.” she scolds

“What?”

“You know like I told you last night?”

“I am so sorry dearest, the only way I could be more sorry is if you had remembered to tell me about this yesterday.”

She concedes “You’re right but come now and tomorrow you’re buy a cellphone.”

DR FRAN

They told me: “When you are pointing a finger at someone, there are three fingers pointing back at you.” So, I exercised my right hand rigorously for about a year until I could point my index finger at YOU, and my other fingers went in different directions, but NEVER back at me. Now I am sure that you know whose fault it is, and that you will be mighty sorry you did that to me. And, I’m sure you will change. And treat me better, and maybe even love me again.

The splint will come off in about six months.

SPATE

Our Last Argument

Cutting words have dissolved into silence punctuated by labored breaths, both of us growing weaker.

Our broken bodies trapped in an overturned car at the bottom of this forsaken embankment, waiting for someone, anyone, to intercede.

No one has come.

Her eyes still accuse:

“I trusted you… how could you let this happen? You brought us to this twisted mess and now you expect me to drink piss to survive a little longer?”

I roll my eyes fighting against all blame.

“What the hell can I do? This is not my fault. It’s an accident.”

Shouldn’t have listened.

Fucking GPS.

LIZZIE

“Blame it on the water,” said the dying man from his hospital bed, all alone. Everyone else had died, even the nurses and the doctors. The communication channel wasn’t working properly, because there was no one to adjust it. “Can you hear us?” asked Control back on Earth. The man couldn’t, but he kept on talking until the very end. The water had been contaminated during the unscheduled visit of an alien peace envoy. They’d have their peace… A human peace envoy would take them the most precious treasure, water. Even aliens needed water. And they drank it, the fools.

CLIFF

I don’t have a story for you and I’ll tell you why. It’s Santa’s fault. Not the real Santa. I hear that guy’s awesome. No, I’m talking about the guy on the corner by the drug store. There he stood, ringing a bell and begging for spare change for charity. Charity must have been his old ladies name, because I watched him pocket the bills from the kettle. I called the Salvation Army but they had no record of anyone working that corner, so I confronted the guy. I wouldn’t have suspected it, but Santa packs a mean right hook.

***

Dear Susan,
I know you blame me for our relationship ending as it did, but I really feel you are being unfair. After all, when I proposed, you are the one who said I needed to take more responsibility and advance in my career. Although we never spoke directly about it, I cannot help but feel that you knew I was involved in organized crime. Advancing in the organization means getting your hands dirty. When management gives an order, it’s my job to follow it. It’s hardly my fault that the witness turned out to be your mother.
Love,
Harry

NORVAL JOE

The president of the United States leaned back in his chair, removed his glasses and tapped the ear piece against his front teeth.
Makaihl Kurdlepot of the Conpistacian Republic sat up straight and glared at the American. One by one he popped the knuckles of his right hand.
Cora Huda of the Caribbean island, Panales Mojados, threw up her hands.
“Gentlemen. We cannot point the finger of blame at any one country. The population of the earth is safely away and it is only we three left behind. But how can we finish this joke in only one hundred words?”

PLANET Z

In the cartoons and comics and movies, Superman can beat anybody.
He’s fast, strong, and has heat vision.
But there’s one enemy he could never beat.
His name was Blame.
He could do anything, and then point his finger at someone else.
And they’d take the blame for it in a way that would stick.
For years, Superman tried to catch him, but he ended up catching everybody else.
Until one day, Blame’s finger pointed at him.
Superman was led away in kryptonite handcuffs, powerless.
Blame got cocky, and went up against Batman.
Who just punched him in the face.

13 thoughts on “Weekly Challenge #398 – Blame”

  1. Wow, people really liked to dish out the blame this week!

    Lots of good stories. I particularly liked Cliff’s second one and Tura’s story.

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