Weekly Challenge #407 – Soon

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 SOON.

We’ve got stories by:

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

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 visit

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

LIZZIE

“When will we get in the lifeboat?” asked the mother of two.

“Soon,” replied the crew member while the ship sunk dramatically. The empty promise loomed in the air until the mother asked again.

“When?”

“Soon,” he repeated.

Escape was all she could think of. She frantically pushed her children into the lifeboat.

The crew member tried to stop her, but there is no stopping a determined mother. So, when the lifeboat rocked to one side, he fell into the frigid waters.

Everyone screamed for help, but it took so long… “When will someone do something?”

The mother whispered “Soon…”

RICHARD

#1 – George’s Story, Part 43: Little old lady

Within minutes of leaving his hideout, George ran into trouble – trouble in the form a of a little old lady, waving a bible at him. This was something he’d simply not planned for.

“Are you saved, sonny?”, she demanded fiercely.

Wishing his face wasn’t smeared in mud, he mumbled: “erm, yes”, hoping she’d go away.

“Then why aren’t you in church today?”

George was lost for words.

“Never mind, son, Rasputin here will take care of you.”

George slowly turned, to find the monstrous man who’d abducted Emily, stood right behind him.

“Time to go to church!”, grinned the brute.

#2 – The Church of the Unified Singularity

Hi, and welcome to my church: it’s a bit different to most churches.

For a start, there’s no all-powerful deity, no scriptures and rituals, creeds and festivals are all frowned upon. My church doesn’t require confession, repentance or regular attendance, there’s no hymn singing or pilgrimages.

You won’t find me on your doorstep with a big smile and colourful pullover, either – because you can’t join my church… it’s exclusive to me, and me alone.

I am – in every sense – the religious body!

Of course, being the church isn’t all fun and games, but the tax concessions are fantastic!

#3 – Focus of the community

They come to our village from all over the world – tourists and sightseers, just to see our church.

We’ve got it all: a crooked steeple, weeping madonna, a crypt of human bones, haunted cemetery and healing well. There’s also a gift shop, selling trinkets and homemade cakes. Once a month, our mad monk makes an appearance, and on special occasions you might catch a glimpse of the hunchbacked bellringer.

Every last bit of it is – of course – completely fake, but nobody seems to mind. As long as the tourists are happy and the money keeps on rolling in, who’s complaining?

TURA

“Get your ass out into the garden, Maud!” I bellowed. “It’s a beautiful day!”

“Soon,” came her voice, somewhere inside the house.

“Yes, soon, soon,” laughed the red roses, but the white roses answered, “she’s late! late! late!”

In fury I whipped their heads off with my walking stick, then lit a Woodbine. “She’s coming, do you hear?” I yelled through the smoke. The larkspur timidly whimpered “I hear”, so I belted it another one. “I wait,” whispered the lily. “You do that!” I snarled. “She’ll be here soon.”

“Maud!” I yelled again, then remembered she’d been dead thirteen years.

JEFFREY

Coming Soon!
by Jeffrey Fischer

Coming soon! The phrase was an advertising staple for a good reason: selling is about sending out the old and shipping the new. That adage applied as much to the ice cream market as any product.

Christine leaned back in her chair, contemplating the ceiling. What next for Yeti Ice Cream? Last quarter’s release was rhubarb – Franklin’s brainstorm, not hers, thank God – and now the smiling Yeti needed a new flavor to promote.

Pickle flavor, for the soon-to-be Mom and her cravings? Jalapeno flavor, for the daring eater? Christine reached into her refrigerator for liquid inspiration. She sipped and mulled the choices.

Coming soon! Yeti’s Marvelous Martini Ice Cream! Christine enjoyed her bonus that year.

To be Determined
by Jeffrey Fischer

Sandra was continually nagging Bob to set a date for their wedding. “Soon,” was his inevitable reply. “Not just yet, but soon.” She picked out a dress, found the perfect location for a reception, organized and re-organized her seating arrangements, yet he was never willing to commit. She began to suspect he was no longer in love with her. That suspicion was confirmed when she caught Bob in a passionate embrace with a younger blonde.

Bob awoke with a pounding headache. He tried to move but found himself manacled to a support post in the cellar of the house he and Sandra shared.

“What are you doing?” he screamed at her when she finally arrived to confront him. “Let me go!”

She replied, “Soon.”

JOHN MUSICO

“The Chamber”
by John Musico

I was totally submerged in an acrid fluid and yet I could seem to breathe but not see nor hear.
I spent my days gulping this awful fluid every time drew a breath. I would then have to pee and end up recirculating that acrid fluid, over and over.
It had been months.
All of a sudden the walls of the chamber, which entrapped me, began massive contractions which forced me through a tunnel. Then there was bright light. A large hand came out of nowhere, smacking me on the behind. My own screams were the first sound I heard.

SERENDIPITY

Soon, they will be here.

Very soon.

Soon they will arrive, sirens howling and tyres screeching. They will kick in the doors and set the dogs loose. There will be shouting, the thud and crash of boots, of doors being forced; the excited yelping as the dogs search throughout the house.

I check my watch – it will be very soon now – I turn to look at the frightened family at my feet. They stare, wide-eyed back at me, desperately straining at the ropes binding them.

I reach for my knife.

Soon, they will be here…

But not soon enough.

RICHARD AGAIN

#1 – George’s Story, Part 44: Coming soon…

To his surprise, George found himself conveyed to the church – a dusty old chapel that had seen better days – without incident. Contrary to expectations, neither the brute, nor the old lady seemed intent on harming him.

The congregation: a mixed bunch who, like the chapel, were past their best, made a valiant effort at a couple of hymns, before being addressed by a preacher who mumbled so badly George could only catch the words: “is coming soon”.

“What’s coming soon?”, he whispered to the old woman, “Is it Jesus that’s coming?”

“No”, she smiled: “it’s the end of the world!”

#2 – Six across: Seven letters

The weather was appalling – torrential rain had turned my holiday of a lifetime into a disaster. Fretful and bored, I’d been confined to my hotel room, day after day.

The television was awful, and I’d tired of the gym and pool. As for the bar… my limited budget wouldn’t stretch to it.

So, here I was – lounging on the bed with a book of crosswords. I’d actually become pretty good at them…

I frowned over the current clue: something, something, something, ‘SOON’: ‘more than just a downpour’.

I glanced out of the window, before pencilling in the missing letters, ‘M’, ‘O’, ‘N’

JULIE

Are we there yet?

“Soon,” Mom said, from the front seat. “Bob! Slow down,” she screamed.

When will I see Gramma?

“Soon. If your Father would slow down.”

The sleet bounced off the hood of the 1975 Ford. There was ice on the Merritt Parkway, and it was a long ride to the nursing home to see my grandparents. Dad always made sure we visited, and Mom always brought gifts.

Later on, I tried to do the same for Dad. He was sicker than we all thought.

Mom, when are we going to see Daddy again?

“Soon enough. Soon enough.”

(NO RECORDING)

TOM

Up The Rabbit Hole Part 4
“I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but may I speak to your supervisor?”
The clerk thumbed through a bin of folders and pulled out a single sheet
of paper. “Here is your request.” He looked at the form, it was indeed his
handwriting, even the signature HE was correct. Before He could question
how that was, the clerk said, ” Time works a bit different here.” “Why am
I not surprised.” “Supervisor will be here soon.” “How soon?” “Oh, about
20 minutes ago.” He point at the clock which was running slowly backwards.
He pray this would all soon end.

A Well Defined Relationship Part 35

The choir finished a rousing rendition of “Locomotion”. The Right Reverend
SackBe Morehouse stepped up to the podium. “Brother and Sister their are
thous who would tell you the End is near. The End-Dazes are soon at hand,
but I say we of Our Lady Of Perpetual Motion reject this. SOON dear
friends implies the arrival of a fitted point in time, and Brother and
Sisters it is as much an abomination as …” The roof rattled, the bats in
the bellfree swooped through the congregation. The tattered remains of the
Voyage flung half our company on to the steeple

ZACKMANN

Father told the boy if he planted the seeds and they got water and sun soon he’d have fresh vegetables. The boy planted the seeds following the directions on the back of the seed packs as much as he could. The zone and planting charts are not always easy for children or adults to interpolate. Every day the boy asked his father when he would have fresh veggies. His father replied “I just as soon you read the back of the seed packets to see how long each plant takes to grow than having you ask me every single day.”

CLIFF

To a child, the word “Soon” means within the next few minutes or else. To expectant parents, soon is never soon enough and to those with a loved one in hospice, soon always comes too quickly. A Mayfly lives for a day, a tortoise for a century, and a sequoia for millennia. To each of these, soon would have very different meanings. If the galaxy were aware of time, soon could easily mean sometime after the end of the human race. So when I hear “A representative will be with you soon,” I have to wonder what scale they’re using.

I’ll write my story soon. It’s only a hundred words, right? How hard can that be? I’ll write it as soon as I catch up on Facebook updates. I’ll do my taxes soon. They’re pretty simple. It’s not like I’ve done any investing for the future to make them complicated. Just as soon as I read a couple chapters of my new book, I’ll do my taxes. I’ll go see grandma soon. She’s in pretty good health and I just want to finish the last season of Breaking Bad. I’ll do something worthwhile with my life. Soon. Just not now.

SPATE

Cupid’s Arrows

But what is this?

She sits lonely reading her phone, hoping the train arrives soon.

He’s across the way, head hidden inside the daily paper. Soon he’ll have his own business and not take trains anymore.

My moment has come. I take aim with my bow, slowly drawing back two arrows with ardent intent. Then they fly.

The first hits the mark. The businessman slowly lowers the newspaper. His gaze meets… oh shit!

The second arrow went astray hitting the homeless drunk in his rump. His bloodshot eyes lock with my amorous entrepreneur.

Ahhh.. c’est la vie.

Love is love.

SINGH

25.9

Soon lunch arrived upon a tali

in round katoris of stainless steel

with dhal and gobi. Hot wheat roti

made the fare a complete meal.

Mostly he had been chief cook

faking curries without skill

dull to the tongue, plain to the look

with gluey rice, just eat to fill.

Their Western mash was more plain,

over-cooked upon a gas ring

with no chilli to charge the brain.

But cooked just right plain food can sing.

Mrs Barhai knew the art

using spices that excite.

It gave his stomach a fresh start.

He ate it at the speed of light.

25.10

His white chola came back warm and clean from the sun,

extra smooth from the pressing Jyoti had done.

His beard hid a weak chin, even the mirror was fooled.

He needed to tailor more confidence robes like this one.

Outside the window he saw old world construction:

bamboo scaffolding, floors going up one by tottering one.

They winched cement by the dish via pulley and rope.

Little ants, heavy lives — who benefits in the long run?

The sky was awkwardly close to lightning and rain.

The winds were trying to shake down a big yellow crane.

The thunder might turn gale-force and lay one low.

The summer was smashed by the storm cloud’s ball and chain.

25.11

now clouds speak first susurrous electrical buzz

pregnant water molecules thunder theatre

nine months sky drank ocean now Indra

sends thunderbolt gold chain lightning

elephant herds of clouds rutting and charging

uprooting earth cars skid stall drivers debouch

hard clatter on flat roofs drainpipes engorge and cough

below plastic bottles float off to the underworld

town hands cup gulp their share of downpour

high-pitched plink plink on pipal leaves

murmuring patter the jamun branches sigh

today the monsoon had come to change the beat

children dancing in the street soaking saris

women’s hair undone red marriage partings washed away

NORVAL JOE

Mollrick crossed his eyes, puffed out his cheeks, and stuck out his tongue. His father frowned and asked, “What’s wrong with you?”
“I’m bored. When do we get there?”
“Not soon enough, obviously. We just got on board,” his father said. “Lie back and close your eyes. Before you know it we’ll be there and the whole trip will seem like a dream.”
He sighed and leaned back.
His father smiled at his son, checked his safety belt and closed the door. He set the cryogenic counter for ten years, climbed into his own pod and waited for the captain.

MUNSI

My Plan

By Christopher Munroe

Soon a day will come where advances in medical science and reliable human cloning will mean that the human body can be replaced.

And this, in turn, will lead to a world in which we no longer worry about the ravages of time. Our minds, the core of who we are, will survive even in those cases where our bodies cannot.

At least, I hope it will.

Because I smoke too much, drink too much and get far too little sleep.

I live hard, dude.

And if I can’t replace my body as it wears out, I’m in serious trouble….

RICK

The dark figure stood in the doorway, black hood covering his skull, scythe in hand, merciless eyes glowing.
The old man had been a fighter all his life, he would fight anyone,anytime, rather than run and have to think himself a coward.
This fight would be his last, this fight would be a fight he would lose!
He gritted teeth, clenched his fists and prepared for his final battle.
He would leave this life as a man should… with courage and dignity!
The dark figure moved in closer still the final battle would begin soon.
Warrior to the end.

PLANET Z

Easter is coming.
The kids want to have an Easter Egg hunt.
So, we try to hire a man in a bunny suit to play the role.
But they were all drunks, and some had police records.
We got a seminary student. Top notch, nothing to worry.
We dyed the eggs, and the Bunny went out to hide them.
The kids tried to hunt for the eggs, but they never found any.
And the student in the bunny suit vanished. With the eggs.
A week later, we found pieces of him scattered around.
But I admit, they were painted exquisitely.

4 thoughts on “Weekly Challenge #407 – Soon”

  1. A lot of good stories this week, on a challenging prompt. I really enjoyed Cliff’s first story. (And Munsi isn’t the boss of me? I feel oddly liberated!)

    1. nope! not even a little! you are the captain of your own ship and i would never attempt to make demands of you. enjoy the freedom!!!

      ’til you do stuff i hate, then i’ll give it a shot :P

    2. Glad you enjoyed the story. This was a particularly challenging topic. Either that or I wasn’t feeling particularly creatitve.

      Also, a shout out to the uncredited voice on the phone in that story goes out to my wife. I finished recording the story and then tracked her down as she was doing laundry and asked her to say those words. She didn’t know the rest of the story until I had submitted it.

  2. …of course I wasn’t kidding, Laurence! I laughed, out loud, on a crowded train when you suggested Wrecking Cube, and now we’re doing that!

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