Weekly Challenge #402 – Horn

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 HORN.

We’ve got stories by:

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

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:

Myst roly poly

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

LIZZIE

The husband wearing horn-rimmed glasses sat in the car, waiting. His wife was chatting with their hot neighbor while lightly touching his arm and smiling a pathetic smile. The husband blew the horn and waved for her to hurry. They were late. The orchestra rehearsal was starting in ten minutes. She gave him that look of disgust, and he knew. That night, when she was fast asleep, his friends came over with the gear. The husband blew the horn, the orchestra horn that became the hunting horn. No one ever saw her again. Next on the list was the neighbor…

JOHN

Heaven Heaven by John Musico

Harold led a Christian life, died, and awoke in Heaven. He reclined back on a small cloud like a pillow, arms folded behind his neck. An angel approached and said hurriedly; ÒSit up straight, fix up your wings!Ó Harold, bewildered, asked; ÒWhatever is wrong?Ó The anxious angel replied; ÒDo you want to go to Heaven Heaven or not?Ó É Resigned, Harold sacrificed every joy.
Then, he awoke to yet a new place. It was clear he would have to endure perfection for all eternity. Harold asked; ÒIs this Heaven Heaven?Ó His horned escort replied bleakly; ÒCall it what you willÓÉ.

JEFFREY

French Horn
by Jeffrey Fischer

Eugene always moved to the beat of his own drummer. Instead of taking on the trumpet, as so many children his age did, his instrument was the French horn. He knew it looked silly, and other kids teased him mercilessly, but Eugene didn’t care. He loved being the odd one, and the French horn was his baby.

The orchestra director stopped the rehearsal again. “Eugene!” he roared. “You’re out of sync with the others – again!”

“Sorry, Mr. Dobson. I guess I just move to the beat of my own drummer.”

“Well, move to the beat of *this* drummer –” Mr. Dobson pointed to a shaggy-haired boy poised to bang on the bass drum. “– or get out of this orchestra.”

Eugene continued with his instrument, but after that his heart was never really into it.

Unclear on the Concept
by Jeffrey Fischer

Hank traveled to Africa and found an unscrupulous hunter. Together, they tracked a rhinoceros, killed it, and took its horn. Back home, he ground the horn and slipped the powder into Sarah’s drink. He watched as she drank it all, giddy with anticipation of the night’s amorous activities.

“Gross,” Sarah said, spitting out the drink. “This glass must have been dirty – there’s some powder still in it.”

Once again, Hank left early, with only a goodnight kiss for his troubles. No amount of evidence could convince him that consumption of horn didn’t cause “horniness.”

RICHARD

Hangover

The hangover was the worst I’d had for some time – with head pounding and acute nausea, all I wanted to do was sleep. It was a rotten day too – the howling wind and driving rain outside the window conspired to make me feel even worse.

I switched off the light and, without its glare, felt an immediate improvement. Now if only that wretched noise would stop… what the hell was it? Some sort of horn? The alarm clock maybe?

Fumbling in the darkness, I found a button, pressed it and… silence!

Bliss.

Even us lighthouse keepers need a break occasionally!

SERENDIPITY

The sound of the horn came ever closer at his heels: the terrified victim plunged headfirst into a thicket and sat shivering, hoping desperately that the hunt would pass him by.

All too soon, the noise of hoofbeats, shouts and the baying of hounds filled the forest and the pursued shrank deeper into his hiding place.

The horn sounded again – a victory blast – followed by a thrashing of the ferns hiding him.

The cowering creature looked up at his pursuers in terror…

The fox, peering down at him laughed, before letting the hounds loose, tearing the defenceless human to pieces.

TOM

There’s 12 Step for That.
I have a rather odd hobby. I collect television set props from a show
called the lost room. Damn good entertainment that was. There are about
100 objects that are listed as must have. They vary from an Eight sided
glass ash tray to a Bakelite 17t13 Motorola. All these items were readily
purchasable in 1961, but today they are referred to as Mid-Century
antiques. The maddening thing about this search is the wide array of
differences in production runs. Take the Ray Ban Eames Era tortoise shell
safety glasses has seven different types of studs in the horn rims.

Old Four Eyes
In 1962 anyone wearing glasses were in horn rims. From LBJ to Uncle Walter
to poor Mary Elizabeth Sullivan, big old industrial black frames sat on
your nose. How I got my first set of glasses was quiet accidental. A
teacher had told my parents my brother Dave was having difficulty reading
the black board and he should be tested. Somehow I got drag into the
Ophthalmologist’s office after major complains. Not an appealing
proposition signing up to look like a raccoon. I can still remember the
smell of heated plastic, the warmth as they got propped on my nose.

In Sharp Focus.
As I recalled the Ophthalmologist’s office was on a second story. A small
window in the front of the building faces onto a city street. For reasons
unknown looked out that window. For the first time in my life an infinite
field of focus appeared. It is hard to Philosophize at Nine, but at 60 I
can safely say my view of the world changed that moment. Before then
everything just beyond my reach was unfocused and discountable, after that
moment everything leap up and demanded inspection. Armed with my horn rims
I was ready to engage with the universe.

A Will Defined Relationship Part 30
“Your in-tell is shoddy Master Tim.” rebuffed Dino. Senator Smith reached
into his coat pocket and removed his cobalt horn rim glasses. From his
hand stitched wallet he pulled out a titanium card. He read the following
“Crusnik 02 – Power Output 1% Activate” Dino’s Mod froze in mid sentence
and fell forward. Stiff as a board his head propped upward on the tip of
his nose. “Matt Helm override 3.1415926535. Dino disappeared. Mat did a
back spring came up with a Walther PPK barrel resting on Timmy’s forehead.
Smith snapped his fingers and Mat fell backward on the deck.

ZACKMANN

Zack walks through a pasture. It seems like a bull thinks Zack is trying to horn in on his cow action. Zack wishes people had not spread those rumors that were untrue of most Bronies. Not that he doesn’t love animals but he doesn’t LOVE animals. Although the bull has no horns it is quite ornery wishing some alone time with his herd.

Zack remembers how the motivational speaker told him when there was an unexpected problem, all he has to do it to take the bull by the horns but here Zack is getting charged by a polled bovine.

========

I love posting online

like to do it all the time

it would fine to use CAPs all the time

but I can’t type in ALL CAPs

I love ALL CAPs

typing in ALL CAPs

my peeps tell me I’m shouting

but I’m not shouting

I love ALL CAPs

I really love ALL CAPs

but I can’t use ALL CAPs

My friends say that I look angry

but I grew up in the 80s

when it meant you hate the shift key

and I can’t type in ALL CAPs

I really love ALL CAPs

but I can’t use ALL CAPs

SPATE

Mostly True Tales from the Navy – Part 2

Millington

————————————————–

I called him Red because of his fiery hair and disposition.

We were in his white Chevy pickup blowing down highway 51 from Millington into Memphis.

He was exceedingly animated, ranting about a solid horn section being essential to the blues and how I was bat shit crazy for favoring electric guitar.

The dead on headlights and horn blare of a Piggly Wiggly semi caught him mid tirade.

With manic laughter, Red cut us off road into the mud, escaping certain death by inches.

Grinning in the dashboard light, Red actually looked crimson and I could’ve sworn he had horns.

JULIE

Horn

Yesterday, I stepped into my past.

I rang the bell.

Your small white haired mother,

She opened to door to our lives.

That old Victorian dining room.

Unchanged—

Bert’s Morris Chair, the wobbly table–

Every book in its place,

Thirty years later.

But, the candle on the breakfront,

Is new.

Floating in oil,

By a Byzantine icon

And a black and white photo–

Of a blonde bare child

Laughing on the rocks

With his wild-haired mother

Smiling.

Over the old wood cabinet,

Mounted in the wall

Are desert horns—

Arizona.

The 1960s.

Remnants from a past I will

Never know.

CLIFF

It had been hard times for the village’s crops. What the drought hadn’t killed, the locusts had eaten. It’s no surprise that, when a traveling man passed through the village, no one wanted any of his wares. Love potions and alcoholic panaceas were not what the people wanted. But when he offered an enchanted Horn of Plenty to guarantee successful crops, the villagers jumped at it. They combined their meager savings and bought it. When the crops came in, however, it was all in the form of candy. The vile charlatan had sold them a Horn of Good N Plenty.

I used to see a unicorn in the woods across from my grandparents home. No one believed me, so eventually, I stopped believing it myself. As I grew older, I convinced myself that it had just been the imaginings of a child and that it had never really happened. When grandma died, she left letters for each of us. My cousins all got sentimental notes of encouragement. I bought out my cousins and now I live in the old house. I haven’t seen the unicorn, but I keep looking. My letter from grandma had simply said “I saw it too.”

JUSTIN

If I had my own horn, I’d toot it. For example:

I was recently published! Sure, I’ve been in benefit books before, but this time someone decided to pay me for it!

Here’s what happened.

I backed a Kickstarter campaign for Kaiser’s Gate, an RPG setting where before WWI, magic entered the world.

In a backer update I found there was a setback with an anthology I previously hadn’t known about. Turns out some writers backed out. So I replied that I was a writer. I got the Go ahead, and the rest is on sale now at Drivethrurpg.com!

SINGH

23.7

Love tells the fragrant round

to mark time. Ennui rolls

it’s singularity and sounds

a bleating horn of thought:

watch yourself! It’s out

of your hands. And other

beads drip saltiness

despite her will. It is a test

to let go hope or outside

help. But why? She thinks.

Don’t I deserve a man

to stay and give and not

just take? If love is more

than what is lived, where is

the rest? I want the lot,

not the passenger seat;

and yet I mustn’t say

a word, or sound a note

of discord. Love lets go.

23.8

Now came a scruffy flock

of nomad sheep hard bleating,

clogging the black river.

The bus slowed down, a barge

with horn, a bully! Unsubtle,

the herald yelled all the way

from Delhi to Andhra Pradesh

at sixty million banjaras

in search of gypsy grass.

Who am I, she thought

the herder of greasy sheep,

driver with forced stick

no better than my teachers—

Queen Poonan, or Vulture

undermining from mid-seat,

or Mr Kumara, still bitter

for a chance to get his own

back at this Foreign Madam.

Was not she obsessed also

to rule her young White Yogi?

23.9

This need to grab at earth here stood upon,

and legislate as with a sky-high mandate

wasn’t this the Mahabharat theme?

As the bus diverted now to Hastinapur

she saw a fruit-seller with his river produce.

Tarbuja came to mind, in Hindi for

a watermelon grown upon the vine.

One slipped suddenly from the vendor’s

hands and rolled beneath the hurtling bus,

crunching to paste the red heart of its sweetness

beneath hard wheels and scattering black seeds

of action and reaction to the wind.

Hastinapura, once the golden city

had been the fruit sought through bitter feuds.

23.10

Arrival. The City of Elephants. Here
revived by Pandit Nehru, 1949

to conjure a dynastic India

(or author his). The city of elephants,

an emblem royal as the seal of rajahs

was scanty shops hugging to life’s path

stuck like flies to commerce. A road of hopes

nearby a hill and upward jungle track

and at its base Chauhaan’s ambassador car.

He was waiting there to lead their winding tour

to Pandeshwar Fort and its ruined stones

believed by officialdom to be

the last remaining archeological record

of Dhritarashtra, that old blind king

who’d perfected mis-rule’s art from here.

23.11

The bus drove forward, following its guide

with kids psyched up and teachers fearing outbreaks

of misdemeanours. They might rival monkeys,

leaping off the hill from tree to tree.

The mock Red Fort still held a Shiva lingam.

“From Pandav time,” the swami told Chauhan

as were the snake-like roots of an ancient banyan.

The children attempted reverence, filing in

and out of the temple. Released, they’d scream

away up concrete steps to view more vistas

than this official site of once-upon-a-time.

As for the ruined mounds and hidden caves?

All were off limits. By Government decree.

23.12

“Everyone back in the bus,” Kumara yawned.

He had been here before, but never told —

never one to be seen to help or hinder,

preferring the biding of time and pulling of strings

to see the fall of Madam. Poonam Goyal

was flirting openly with Rajinder. Kids or not,

this was a coming out to prime the fire

for their rendezvous inside a mango orchard.

Margot had walked about and told her beads

in silent thought, watching her White Yogi

walking and nodding beside Brijpaal Chauhaan

the talker. “Apparently, this isn’t the tour,”
Yogi reported. “We’re going to Jambu Dweep.”

23.13

The buses’ air-breaks grunted like a herd

of elephants returning to their riverbed.

An ancestral Ganga had once flowed from here

and flooded its banks, washing away the city

millennia ago. Here bus horns sounded,

trumpeting outside this marble entrance

to modern Hastinapur, now place of Jains,

soul-liberating twenty-four tirthankaras

inspired by the meditation of a saint —

the woman in white, Gyanmataji,

a modern muni. Her demesne of ahimsa’s

non-violent philosopher-kings had come

back to Rajah Bharata’s blood-stained land

and built a marble picture of the cosmos

of lotus halls, green lawns and waterways.

NORVAL JOE

My cat likes to sneak out the door every chance she gets. We don’t like her to get out because she always catches birds and brings them into the house. So, I got a bell to warn birds and put it on her collar. It’s not like she’s pure bred or anything, but she acted all offended, anyway. She sat in the corner and refused to leave.
I figured she wanted something more refined than a simple bell. I took it off the collar and attached a French horn instead. She still just sits there. I can’t figure her out.

MUNSI

At the Record Company Meeting

By Christopher Munroe

How about Ska?

The genre originated in the ‘50s, blended with punk in the ‘70s and came back in the ‘90s, twenty years appears to be how long it takes before each Ska revival, so the time seems to be right.

Let’s bring the horn section back!

I’m thinking it’ll replace Dubstep. It’s the same market, young, energetic people who want to dance.

Currently, they dance to Dubstep. But do they have to? Dubstep’s the worst!

They’ll grow to like Ska, I think, we just have to explain it to them.

Hey you, don’t listen to that, listen to this!

TURA

Horn
——–
The man paused at the edge of the forest, panting heavily. At last he broke cover for a distant clump of trees. He had almost made it when he heard the horn sound “blowing away”, and the riders’ tally-hos. Hiding was futile now, so he ran on.

He reached the estate wall, but the stiff paws locked over his fists made climbing impossible. The hounds pulled him down and snapped for his throat through the fur suit and the fox mask, until the master called them off.

Next time, they would handicap him with more weight, just to be sure.

PLANET Z

They say that the Secret Service keeps a brain-dead clone of the President in case he needs an organ transplant, but I think they got the two mixed up.

It’s not a perfect copy of the guy. Clone-president tends to cackle and drool a bit more, and his left eye wanders like that Mad-Eye Moody in the Harry Potter movies.

Then there’s the horn sticking out of the middle of his head. People call him the Unipresident, and cabinet members are reluctant to butt heads with him over policy.

We tolerate this mutant because the Vice President’s a fucking lunatic.

4 thoughts on “Weekly Challenge #402 – Horn”

  1. Great first podcast of 2014! What seemed to be a bit of a tough prompt word turned out to be the trigger for great stories. Everyone did an amazing job. I particularly related to Cliff’s unicorn story “I saw it too” :) ; Zack’s ALL CAPS “I grew up in the 80s when it meant you hate the shift key” lol, very good; Richard’s “Even us lighthouse keepers need a break occasionally!” exactly!!; and last but not least, Spate’s “I could’ve sworn he had horns.” I like Spate’s writing a lot, varied sentence patterns and rich, expressive language. And thank you to you, Lawrence, for sharing our stories.

    1. I was not sure if it went with Horn but Uncle Monster told me people use All CAPs to horn in on his conversations all the time.
      Now to work on my new year’s resolution to hug every cat.

  2. That was the latest ever that I have submitted my story – 9:29 PM ET on Saturday night. Sounds like a lot of others also procrastinated and submitted late. There can only be one explanation for this phenomenon: SRFMS.
    (Spontaneous Reverse Flash Mob Syndrome)

    Thank you for the kind words Lizzie. I’ll keep trying.

  3. Good stuff on a tricky topic.

    Hey, Tom – I’m a mid-century antique, too!

    Richard – I think I had that exact hangover.

    And Planet Z has an intriguing idea…things are starting to make sense now.

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