Weekly Challenge #403 – Lemon

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 LEMON.

We’ve got stories by:

The next 100 word stories weekly challenge is on the topic of NOT FOUND.

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 Tinny in Blankie

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

JOHN

“Return to Goose Island” by John Musico

Sunday, 5:00 AM; “ I remember that summer at Goose Island.”
Monday 2:00 AM; “I remember that summer at Goose Island.”
I have typed those few opening words for my novel for what feels like forever.
Just as obvious: this is a bad start, I am rigidly convinced to the point of obsession this novel will be a winner. And so, I hold my guns…
“I remember that summer at Goose Island.”
If I can just get over this first hump, fame and glory will be mine. Then it came to me!
“I can’t remember that summer at Goose Island.”

JEFFREY

Cruel Fortune
by Jeffrey Fischer

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Good advice, right? Only I got a whole lot of smelly durian. I made durian-ade and opened a stand in front of my parents’ house. Cars would stop, a well-meaning adult would head toward my stand with a big smile, intending to reward a child for his entrepreneurial reach. Then the adult would get a whiff of the durian and leave, usually mumbling something about not having any change.

Then I realized I misunderstood the old adage. Dumping the durian-ade in an open grate in the street – a day later, the sewage department sent a crew to investigate the stench – I walked to Jason’s house. Whereupon I hit him twice, took his lemonade, and set up shop again.

Lost in Translation
by Jeffrey Fischer

When Robert Plant sang, “Squeeze me baby, ’til the juice runs down my leg,” I sang along with him. Like many rock lyrics, I had no idea what it meant – my pre-teen self assuming that the words conveyed deep meaning, while my teen self assumed all nonsense lyrics were written under the influence. My parents, hearing the racket coming from my cheap stereo, couldn’t understand the lyrics and wanted to hear as little as possible of the noise their son called music. Unfortunately, my own voice, while not particularly on key, was very clear. I found myself singing “The Lemon Song” to myself while sitting down for dinner. The shocked expression on my father’s face was almost enough to make up for the loss of my stereo for a month.

TOM

Lemon Tree
Ever wonder why the lemon gets such a bad rap in the Trini Lopez songs,
well so did I. So I filed a Freedom of Information Act petition 10 years
later I found out the following. The song was commissioned on the behest
of Orville Lothrop Freedom Kennedy’s Secretary of agriculture. He had Will
Holt insert the line: “poor lemon is impossible to eat” on the behest of
Thomas E Wislon of the Wilson Packing Plant a major stockholder and member
of the interlocking director of the United Fruit Company. Company
memorandums point to an active program of lemon misinformation.

The Uncola
I was never much of a cola fan. I preferred lemon lime. Drank 7-up by the
case. Didn’t care for Sprite. Just like the folk who can distinguish the
subtle differences between Pepsi and Coke I found Sprite a bit too sugary.
Or it might have been the cocaine they keep dumping into the syrup.
Nothing says market share like addictive opiates. Coke had a stock pile of
cocaine left over from 1903. Won’t find it listed on the label, the
Coke-a-Cola Senator makes sure of that. Stop doing 7-up. Now I do Minute
Maid Lemonade. Just can’t escape Coke-a-Cola

Meadowlark Lemon
What the man could do will a basketball was amazing. Got to see to see him
at the end of his career, but a real showman. Pumped three haft court
shots in a row, no net. He played in more than 16,000 games for the
Globetrotters and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003.
He lives about three miles from my parent’s house in Arizona. My dad said
he would drop by the local VFW, but never saw him drink anything stronger
than a ginger ale. Work with teens through his ministry. Still going
strong at 81.

A Well Defined Relationship Part 31

“Banister what’s the story on Dino/Matt over here?” ask the Doctor.
Banister swung his head back, but keep a tight hand on the wheel. “Little
busy up here, we have a sizable problem.” Over the bow an edge of yellow
rose and rose and rose. It was straight ahead and getting closer. “Oh
hell” cry the Doctor, ” That’s the Great Owens Lemon. During the drouth of
27 a mom from Patterson pray for rain, what they got was a billion ton
floating lemon that rained lemon juice.” “Over or under?” yelled banister.
“Up” replied the Doctor. Up they went.

RICHARD

#1 – Lemonade

“When life deals you lemons, make lemonade!” – It was a phrase that George’s mother was fond of repeating.

Emily’s abduction was a particularly sharp and unpalatable lemon, and one for which George could see no happy outcome.

He knew his mother would have been ashamed of him as he decided his next course of action. There were no plans to rescue Emily, only to get the hell out of there as quickly as possible.

What else could he do? He had no idea where she was, and was in mortal fear of her kidnapper.

There would be no lemonade today.

#2 – Tequila

Salt.

Tequila.

Lemon.

Repeat.

Salt. Tequila. Lemon.

Repeat several times more, then lean very carefully against bar.

Slur badly.

Salt… tequila… lemon…

One. More. Time.

Vision blurry, perched uncertainly on bar stool, gazing glassily at bottle: concentrate… concentrate on reaching for the salt.

Damn – dropped it.

Tequila… just gimme the bottle – forget the salt!

Lemon.

Tequila.

Tequila.

Tequila.

Slide to floor in a sodden, drunken heap.

Found the salt!

Just pass me the bottle – forget the lemon.

Tequila. Tequila. Tequila… worm!

Did I swallow the worm?

Are you joking? I’d have to be drunk to do something stupid like that!

#3 – Just a hint of lemon

“I give you a simple, job and you can’t even get it right.”

I protested – yellow she’d wanted, and yellow she’d got!

“Yes… I wanted ‘Lemon Breeze’, or ‘Lemon Parfait’, and I get ‘French Custard”

Again, I protested – it was yellow, dammit! They were all yellow… rows and rows of paint, all with stupid names; every one of them, quite clearly YELLOW!

She wasn’t having it, I was sent back to the store where the assistant peeled the label off my tin, replacing it with one that said ‘Lemon Breeze’.

“Isn’t that a better colour?”, she gushed on my return.

#4 – Fifty Shades…

My local bondage club used to use the classic traffic light system of safe words – ‘Green’ meant OK, ‘Red’ meant stop, but no-one really knew where to draw the line when it came to ‘Yellow’.

After some rather painful misunderstandings, the committee decided to introduce more colours with specific meanings to ease the confusion.

Between ‘Green’ and ‘Red’ we now have a whole spectrum of hues – everything from ‘Aquamarine’ through ‘Lemon’, all the way to ‘Zinc’, each of them with their own highly specialised definitions.

It hasn’t really made anything easier, but it certainly leads to some colourful language on club nights!

#5 – Elemontary science

I had a teacher who believed any law of science could be illustrated using just lemons and household ingredients.

He’d make batteries from lemons, invisible ink from lemon juice and demonstrated how to make copper coins shine like new. One lesson, he created a lemon clock and a self-inflating balloon.

The kids loved him, but his unorthodox methods brought him into conflict with the governors. They fired him after he blew a hole in the science lab window with his lemon rocket.

When asked how he felt about his sudden dismissal, his response was typical:

“I’m not bitter”, he said.

SERENDIPITY

Disposal of bodies isn’t as easy as fiction suggests.

If you’re not particularly strong, manhandling a corpse into a car isn’t an option; even if I could, there are limited locations suitable for a shallow grave.

I’m not into dismembering, and my building skills aren’t up to making concrete boots, or hiding corpses behind cavity walls.

So it has to be the old standby: the acid bath.

Unfortunately, even that’s not as easy as it seems – the strongest acid I can find in any quantity is lemon juice!

At least, if it doesn’t dissolve the body, it’ll be nicely marinated!

TARALYN

Today I was at the store, looking at what I found out were a lot of lemons. They can leave a real sour taste in your mouth. But they look good on the outside, pretty color, even the insides on most have a refreshing smell. But until you get it home and actually try it, do you really get a true idea of its worth. The entire experience could leave a bad taste in your mouth. Whatever you do, don’t let it stop you from trying others, and don’t lose your temper and take it out on the car salesman.

LIZZIE

He wasn’t much of a drinker so when they told him “bite on this”, his dormant urges became overwhelming. When the party was over, he roamed the streets, hiding in the shadows to calm the demon within. As he got home, he rushed to the computer and browsed unrelated sites for hours. However, it was hopeless. By morning, he had 10 lemon cheesecakes, 7 lemon tarts, 1 lemon pudding and a large number of mutant lemon squares that practically announced the end of the world. The whole building stank of lemon. The neighbors complained. Once again, Lemon Man was back!

SINGH

23.14

“Look, a jamun tree,” Chauhaan alerted, alighting

from his cream car and crossing to the bus-bay

outside Jambudweep.

“A big one there.”

His message was meant for Yogi and he pointed,

but Kuldeep Singh off the bus, overheard

and was first to fly, running toward birds

and bees in love with clumps of dangling purple.

So many had fallen, ready, sweet and astringent.

A jamun tree and children like each other.

Soon infected, others were quickly chasing

for their share of contraband. “They just can’t go,”

said Margot to Prakriti. “Bring them back!”

“Ji, Madam,” and conscripted her Rajinder.

23.15

The converts to the tribe of purple tongues

were rounded up to face their Madam’s music,

but the number of inky digits was too funny.

“Those jambu fruit, the jamuns have fingerprinted

you forever. The guards won’t let in,” looking up

to the Jambu-emblem marble gates to Heaven.

Kumara translated, sucking out all the truth,

“You cannot steal the jamuns. It’s not allowed.

You’ve given the school and Madam a bad name!”

The children were confused between her smile

and Kumara’s nasty scowl. Finally

Atul knowing his Madam better, opened a fist

holding three fat jubes. “Madam, for you.”

23.16

Her mouth received the stolen goods with pleasure.

“It’s healthy for the…er hmm… ladies cycle,”

Chauhaan blurted, adding on quickly “Gout also,

good for sugar problem.” To stop embarrassment

he stepped gate-ward. “Chello! Yogi Ji.

We should go in.” “Alright, Chauhaan,” he answered.

His arm was being hard-yanked. “We’ll wait inside,”

he yelled to Margot still embroiled with kids.

Deeply angry, they were a good excuse

for not following wifely when she could lead.

After all, the kids were off the leash

before this lolly shop of the Jaina cosmos —

Jambudveep with a jamun tree its centre.

23.17

The jamuns’ sweet and sour reminded her

of backyard fruit-trees in the Adelaide Hills.

She missed the weeding, plucking winter lemons,

Packham pears and woody apples in their prime;

she remembered Paul and Adele shrouding themselves

like Casper the ghost between the strung-up bedsheets.

Yogi was wandering into his marble cosmos,

yet she was still an earthbound mum with a job

to shepherd them through the so-called Gates of Heaven.

Kumara ordered the children double-file,

Prakriti ogled Rajinder at the back.

“Chup karo,” Madam told her brood.

“Be quiet kids and we will have some fun.”

23.18

an ornate marble playground

the Jain universe

of big fairground attractions

buildings bridges boat ride

lawns and lotus temples

thirty scrupulous acres

managed with acumen

India’s merchant elite

a salute to Jain know-how

no primal Sculptor story

no end-of-the-concert Bang

panelled halls life episodes

kings renouncing thrones

carved friezes gilt-edged paintings

worldly duties concluded

shedding cotton loin cloths

to seek forest moksha

human end divine start

twenty four tirthankaras

elevated siddha buddhas

the invisible Jain deities

worshipped with coconuts

sculpted in lotus pose

standing bolt naked upright

children giggling and pointing

at their marble genitalia

23.19

A gondola ride around the universe

upon the circular moat of Jambudweep,

Foreign Margot was glad to play wet-nurse

to her jamun thieves. “The water isn’t deep,”

said Atul, perched proud beside his Madam.

Three flat-bottomed boats skimmed three sixty degrees,

a convoy of innocents far too young to fathom

any old Hindu or Jain cosmologies.

Meanwhile Chauhaan led Yogi up the tower

a pinkish marble Meru — cosmic mystique,

one and hundred one feet high, the bannister

guiding hands inside to the parvat peak.

Inside, three tirthankars in lotus bliss.

Below, Jain World on earth — a marble kiss.

23.20

Rajinder was sent to find the elephant rides.

“May I go also, Madam?” Asked Prakriti.

Madam refused, sensing sure romance

and trouble ahead: Mr Vulture’s marriage.

“We should see now Heerak Jayanti Express,”

said Mr Kumara. This was a first for him —

no sour lemon or jamun attitude

in good mood despite his scheming mind.

He took them to the steam train chugging nowhere.

Each carriage housed its paintings, dioramas,

Jambudweep Theatre had daily screenings

telling of the sixteen tirthankar birthplaces

and Sri Gyanmata’s saintly woman story.

Rajinder returned: “Plaster elephant-ride!”

One was waiting, pulled along by a tractor.

23.21

“Now where’s Yogi?” Atul the sparrow hawk,

her aerial perspicacious eyes replied,

“In there,” pointing to a marble structure.

Teen Lok Rachna, Madam. I read the sign.”

It seemed a pinkish ocean liner balanced

on its stern in three-tiered marble segments.

“Let’s go and see what’s cooking in there.”

‘But Madam, Madam! Elephant ride, please,”

chorused the others. So she split the group

under Mr Kumara, taking away the others.

They navigated pavements, past the sculpted-

woman drinking fountain and Dyan Mandir,

an eco grass-roofed dome for meditation

until they entered ground floor —Teen Lok Rachna.

23.22

three lokas worlds below between above

an elevator round-trip ten rupees

starting in hell green ghouls shit-brown demons

torturers wielding clubs among the tortured

pot-bellied devils in miniature leering on

the next button push for Madya Lok

a carnival-coloured Here a Middle World

among the wish-fullfilling jamun trees

toy gods kings people tigers birds

level three to gold-throned siddha souls

then highest tirthankars in a lotus cup

god-smacked kids thought this the ultimate

doll shop of all playdreams perhaps Prakriti

gasped concerned for her romantic future

Yogi and Chauhaan had looked and left

23.23

“Shall we take tea, Yogi?” asked Chauhaan

nodding a head to Kumara, herding kids

to and from the tractor-elephant.

“They will know to find us at the tea-stall.”

“What about Margot? We can’t just up and leave,”

said Yogi. “We brought them.” It was the first

time he’d given her a thought. “Don’t worry,”

coaxed the Gharmukteshwar man.

“The children are playing.” Yogi wasn’t certain,

but felt tired with so many temples waiting.

“I never thought of Hastinapur quite like this.

A seat of warriors now the seat of saints,

from the age of holocaust to non-violence.”

23.24

Chauhaan walked him through the ornate gate,

the metal jambu wired green above.

They weaved through blaring buses, car horns, scooters

to a waiting fruit-box tea-stall opposite.

The tea-wallah pumped his kerosene stove

to jet-heat hard-boiled, sickly-milky chai.

Yogi looked out for Margot and the kids

still riding the elephant tractor, a demon train.

Chauhaan was talking about some future plan

with he and Barhai, but Yogi was distracted.

He glanced across the road to Jambudweep.

Why did he feel that he had missed his chance?

Then he saw Margot looking. She didn’t wave.

CLIFF

They called it the Life Emulating Machine-ONline. The idea was to feed in data about your life, your hopes, and your abilities. Basically, this website could simulate your life. When it was wrong, you corrected it and it learned. Eventually, it would know the users so well, it could offer advice on schools, careers, even love lives got the LEMON touch. Eventually, there was no topic on which the LEMON didn’t advise. The church was happy when the LEMON started encouraging more spirituality among its users. That is, until they realized that there was a new god on the block.

Two days after I drove it off the lot, the windshield cracked. The used car salesman said that it wasn’t covered. The faulty gas gauge wasn’t covered either. In the next month, the locks stopped locking, the fuel pump stopped pumping, and the pistons stopped… well, they stopped working too. None of it covered. I brandished the paperwork and asked what a ULT warrantee was supposed to be. The salesman told me that ULT stood for Unlimited Life Time. I told him that I assumed that ULT stood for Under the Lemon Tree because that’s where this car came from.

ELISSON

LEMON: A 100-WORD STORY

Miles Davis wanted a new sound.

Kind of Blue was a classic, and he had recently taken steps into electronica with his landmark A Tribute to Jack Johnson. But there was so much more he wanted to do. “How?” he wondered silently.

As he lay awake in bed, an unbidden memory of an old Our Gang comedy short came to him. In a flash, he knew just what to do.

Two weeks later, the group was in the studio to record Bitches Brew… with one extra.

“Kid, here’s a quarter. When I start playing, you start sucking on this lemon.”

SPATE

Fruit Salad

Auntie Rita always said:

“When life hands you lemons,

And it will dear,

Don’t frown

Look around

We’re all on a steady diet of fruit here.

“And lemons are not so bad.

Be grateful it’s not a gangrened grapefruit

Or a wormy apple

Or not fruit at all but a vegetable

Like kale.

“Have you ever seen anyone handed kumquats perchance?

Pomegranates? Or even one persimmon?

Never!

Are your grapes being delivered peeled?

Certainly not!

And nobody, NOBODY, is given a bowl of cherries!

“So dear

Just suck on your lemon because

Only the top monkeys get any bananas here.”

ZACKMANN

Sheriff Jack Lemon had orders from Mayor Ryan Smith Orange to get rid of Kelly Kumquat who was putting the squeeze on the good citizens of Citrus Town.

Jack was a good man and he was John Law of Citrus Town but people called him Lemon Law. The Sheriff took his lemon car to the Citrus Bowl Stadium where John Lemon was doing a Lemon Aid show for families hit by the early freeze. Jack saw Kumquat in the ticket line thinking his deputies soon will have gathered enough evidence to put Kelly away for the zest of his life .

JULIE

Eleni Recalls Her Lemon Trees

The lemon trees will grow–

If you are there, or no.

The grey roots,

They twist

Deep into the acrid soil

Steeped deep in your village.

The sun, the sea—

Your yearning to be free.

Fragrant memories,

Sunny bitter smiling sweet treeflowers–

The lemon trees

Have been there before you–

And will remain,

When someday you finally

Fail to return.

The nostos–

It takes hold each spring

That homecoming, preceded

By your leavetaking…

My restless white-haired mother

She gazes on her stained glass lemons

From the mahogany dining room

In the cold winter of New Haven

Waiting for her return.

JUSTIN

When I was a kid, I ate a lemon and everyone thought my face was so hilarious.

Naturally, I don’t remember it at all, too young.

However, while eating at Local Ocean in Newport, Oregon, my daughter grabbed a lemon off a plate. Now I would never give her a tart lemon, I’m not a monster, but I wasn’t going to stop her. I was too busy turning on the video camera. Now she, unlike me, can see how hilarious she looked.

Just remember to experience the moments now, and don’t miss them because you were too busy recording it.

NORVAL JOE

When I got my driver’s license the main family car was a Dodge Monaco station wagon. It was a smaller than the Queen Mary but needed as much space to turn around. The 440 cubic inch block and four barrel carburetor made it jump up and fly when you put your foot down.
Since my twin brother and I wanted to go out with our girl friends, but not with each other, one of us had to drive the 1964 Studebaker Lark. Some people called the Lark a lemon, but it was still running long after the wagon was gone.

DANNY

In 1988, the now defunct General Motors division of Pontiac decided to revive the LeMans nameplate with the rebadged 1986 captive import, the Daewoo LeMans. As if the Classic 1968 version of the LeMans was not ruined enough with the crappy 1973 and 1978 remakes of the once classic nameplate, they just had to finish it with this pathetic remake. I worked for a rental car company at the time that rented the 1989 Lemans, the head gaskets on the engines would completely blow in less than 10000 miles. They should have called this version the Pontiac Lemon, the idiots at Pontiac were only one letter off.

MUNSI

Lemons
By Christopher Munroe

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.

If you’re five years old.

If you’re an adult, and life gives you lemons, find salt, tequila and somebody to share it with, body-shot style.

No, tequila’s not for everyone. Some are made ill by the liquor, and many find it bitter. But that doesn’t matter in the end.

Because you have to make the best of what you have in this life, whether you like it or not.

And sometimes it will be bitter, because life is sometimes bitter.

Like a lemon.

And when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.

TURA

Whenever I get home, I take a lemon and bite into it, hard. The neural simulators always get better, but they still can’t reproduce that intensity. It’s a way of reassuring myself I’m back in base reality.

I was out of lemons. At the local shop, I found a citrus fruit I’d never seen before, lemon-yellow with knobbly green-tinted protrusions. “Take one,” said the shopkeeper. “New variety, very intense!”

I bit into it. When my eyes cleared from the sledgehammer blow, I woke up surrounded by blue-skinned humanoids waving their ears excitedly. “Great to be back!” I said, waving mine.

PLANET Z

I remember going to see The Harlem Globetrotters when I was little.

That was when they had Meadowlark Lemon, Curley Neal, and Sweet Lou Dunbar. Curley was the bald guy who was an incredible dribbler.

I have no idea who’s on the team these days. Heck, I have no idea who’s on any basketball team now. I’m from the Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley era… players like Shaq and Yao Ming are newcomers to me, and they’re retired already.

Maybe this is good? Instead of following the players, I can just enjoy the competition.

Or the clownery of the Globetrotters.

3 thoughts on “Weekly Challenge #403 – Lemon”

  1. Great stories from everyone! I had a good laugh with Jeffrey’s “The shocked expression on my father’s face was almost enough to make up for the loss of my stereo for a month.”, Serendipity’s “At least, if it doesn’t dissolve the body, it’ll be nicely marinated!”, Spate’s “So dear Just suck on your lemon because Only the top monkeys get any bananas here.” and Richard’s “Did I swallow the worm? Are you joking? I’d have to be drunk to do something stupid like that!” Finally, welcome back Elisson! And, Laurence, thanks for the podcast!

  2. Thanks, Lizzie! As usual, a lot of good stories this week. And Planet Z – I’m with you on basketball, although my era was Doctor J to Charles Barkley. Now they’re all clowns, but without the self-awareness of the Globetrotters, who understand they’re entertainers.

    I groaned at Zackmann’s “The zest of his life.” Ouch. And Richard and Munsi both seem very familiar with tequila. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  3. John Musico, I’ve been there. The title is great, a sure winner. Too bad there was never anything after that.

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