Weekly Challenge #411 – Private

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 PRIVATE.

We’ve got stories by:

The next 100 word stories weekly challenge is on the topic of WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE?.

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:

Chair Cat

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

SEICHER RAE

Chris adjusted his headset and slumped back into his cheap chair — just another body in another cubicle in the sea of cubicles on this “secure work floor”. What a joke. Anyone with half a brain could leave with enough information to score at least a nice vacation. All the private identification information you could want, all given freely by the trusting dolts because they thought they were talking to the government. The sub-contracted job was minimum wage and the workers generally not too bright, but not Chris. He had plans; he could wait for the right call. He took another.

JEFFREY

Work is Its Own Reward
by Jeffrey Fischer

“We need to reward our best employees when they work hard on an assignment,” Mr. Silver said to his line managers.

Beth asked, “What kind of reward were you thinking about? We don’t have much in the way of a budget.”

Mr. Silver leaned back in his chair. “Maybe a $25 Starbucks gift certificate would show our appreciation. Heck if we chip in, we could make it fifty.”

Beth privately thought that wasn’t much of a motivational tool for employees making more than $75,000 a year, but she held her tongue. After all, keeping her paycheck flowing was its own reward.

The Examination
by Jeffrey Fischer

The doctor walked into Room 1 and looked at the patient on the table. “What seems to be the problem?”

“Doctor, I have some itching on my private parts and it won’t go away.”

The doctor chuckled kindly. “Well, that’s pretty easy to handle. Usually that’s just a case of genital crabs or lice. Let me take a look.” He performed an examination of the patient.

“That’s puzzling,” the doctor said. “I can’t see evidence of either crabs or lice. Just some white residue.”

“I could have told you that, doc. I just accidentally poured a bottle of itching powder down my shorts this morning. It’s pretty powerful stuff.”

Office Call
by Jeffrey Fischer

Bob knew the private meeting with his boss wouldn’t be a happy one when the older man shut his office door. “Bob, I have some bad news: we’re going to have to let you go. The minimum wage went up, which is great for the people we can afford to keep. Unfortunately, we can’t keep everyone, and you’re the low man on the totem pole.”

Bob looked stunned. “But… the President said raising the minimum wage wouldn’t lead to job losses.”

“Bob, he’s a politician. He lied.”

RICHARD

#1 – George’s Story: Part 48 – A poor reception

Draining his teacup, George pushed his way to the front of the chapel, and climbed into the pulpit.

Clearing his throat, he leaned forward and boldly addressed the congregation:

“Ladies and gentlemen! The world may be ending, but we don’t have to go without a struggle!”

At his words, silence descended, the people looked up at him questioningly, before losing interest and turning back to their tea, biscuits and conversation.

Rasputin appeared at the foot of the pulpit, an angry frown on his face:

“You!”, he snarled, “Will speak with me now!” – he pointed towards a side room: “In private!”

#2 – Private Sanderson

As disasters go, this was pretty bad.

The chain of command was in tatters – strategically placed explosives, plenty of luck and a badly-timed combat briefing had combined to wipe out every officer in the company. The unit needed a leader, and pretty quickly.

In such extreme circumstances, the burden of command falls upon the most senior recruit still standing. Such was the responsibility that now fell to Private Sanderson.

What followed was crushing defeat and humiliation.

Shortly after, military policy was changed to ensure regimental mascots could not hold rank – a dog would never be put in command again!

#3 – The Sign

The sign said ‘Private Property’, we took no notice – we climbed over the wall and made the place our playground.

They tried all sorts to keep us out, but we always found a way: The words ‘Keep Out!’ were added to the sign, to no effect – we still broke in every day after school.

We thought it was a joke, when we turned up one evening and the sign now said: ‘Pirate Property – Keep out!’, but we were wrong.

Several of us suffered cutlass wounds, and Billy Smith was forced to walk the plank.

We don’t play there any more.

#4 – The Door Marked ‘Private’: Part 1 – Interview With A Prisoner

Nobody knows what’s behind the door – it’s not just that it’s marked ‘Private’ – this is a tough place – they don’t stand for any messing about, so we avoid causing trouble.

There’s all sorts of rumours – some say it’s where they keep the electric chair; others, that it leads to solitary confinement… myself, I think it’s just a storeroom. There’s no way I’m taking a look though!

Yes, some people take the risk, but no way is that a good idea.

Why?

Simple – it may sound crazy, but I’m telling you, nobody who ever went through that door ever came back!

#5 – The Door Marked ‘Private’: Part 2 – Interview With The Governor

We run a tough regime around here – and it works. I can tell you that these inmates keep their noses clean and give us no trouble at all. After doing time here, you never see them back in prison again.

Matter of fact, I’d say most of them are pretty much reformed characters way before their sentence is finished, which gives us a bit of a problem with overcrowding and prisoners with no real need to be here.

That’s why we have the door.

What’s behind it? Well, there’s a short corridor, leading to another door, and beyond that…

Freedom!

JEFF HEMA

An Asset

By Jeff Hema

Against all odds, the exponent driven detective Carrie was right! He’d been turned.

“You either become a double agent or you’ll face the death penalty and a public humiliation,” she said to me laconically in private.

I had no option but to comply.

When I reached the frontier, border guards were very dubious, unlike their dogs that scented the traitor inside me. I felt like they wanted my demise so I burst into a derelict cabin and tried to block the door, but they were getting in from the bottom.

I had to cut them into pieces… One by one.

LIZZIE

Private matters are difficult to handle, especially if those involved are married. It’s tricky, confusing, and even murky to meddle in affairs that are none of your business. That’s exactly what Nolan thought when he decided to hop in the time machine to try to solve marital problems. It was the almighty Marriage Committee’s business, granted, but wasn’t it his marriage after all? Unfortunately, a revolutionary thought for his time, he knew… Well, the machine broke, and Nolan got stuck back in 1974. He spent the rest of his private life haunted by the possibility of marrying his own great-grandmother.

SERENDIPITY
It’s surprising how many people keep private information on their computers and make little, if any, effort to protect it from prying eyes.

All those dodgy photo’s you downloaded from the net; logs of those private conversations that you’d never want disclosed; and those little snippets of information that would shock people if they were to ever find out.

As for protection… passwords won’t help you – we hackers are like vampires: invite us in of your own free will, and we have free reign.

And inviting me in to your system, is a simple matter: just play this audio file!

TOM

Funny

One of my earliest memories is watching the Phil Silvers show. I was four
years old. Both my parent were always prone to laughter, but that show
produced a different magnitude of laughter. Being a rather focused and by
all account precocious child I tried to sort out the reasons that show was
funny. I remember to this day a character called Pvt. Swiftington Bilko.
A rubbery face comic in his first TV roll. Seven years later he would
become the chimney sweep in Mary Poppins. Oddly he grew up 60 miles to the
south of were I grew up.

Well Defined Relationships Part 39

Rev Tony made his way cross the church yard to Doc Proctor. “Private
conversation Andover.” he said ducking into the Ghetto of Our Lady of
Detroit. Amongst the walls of pistons and cover of hub caps Rev Tony
whispered the name Le Cid Caesar. “When will he be here?” ask the Doctor.
“He and his 40 thiefs will come with the last new moon. “Why tell me?”
“Your our only hope.” “NO NO NOT AGAIN Anthony.” “Look at them Andover
they are lambs before the slaughter.” “I’m not the man you need.” “If not
you, then who?” said the priest.

Up the Rabbit Hole Part 8

Adam X return to his normal life. Code Monkey by day Kabbalahist by night.
He scoured the net looking for all things 404. On day seven the work payed
off. A link to a private chat room in Romania. A group of Ukrainian
hackers closely guarded words hinted at a similar experience. When Adam
entered “Who is HE.” the room imploded. The ghost cursor started to blink
in a syncopated pattered. Then the reply appeared “HE is waiting.”
Everything went black the screen, the room, in the dark a silk hood
dropped over his head. Arms firmly lock on his.

MUNSI

The Age of Privacy

By Christopher Munroe

Once upon a time, we had a concept called “Privacy”.

Essentially, people could if they chose be alone. No social media, no CCTV, no NSA monitoring, nothing. Simply an individual, alone with his or her thoughts.

Communication, in the age of “Privacy”, happened face-to-face, between small numbers of consenting citizens, unrecorded. No detailed records were kept, indeed the idea of recording “Private” conversations was considered uncouth.

Because we were all isolated then, every one of us, even in groups.

We must’ve been desperately lonely.

Barbaric, isn’t it?

But that’s how we used to live.

We’ve come a long way since…

ZACKMANN

“I be glad I could have this private conversation with the Grimm Bastard’s supply officer. Ye are fair to me men and a good leader but Ye should not be too trusting of privateers even ones on your own ship.” says Captain Pigheart pushing Officer Johnson toward the fantail.

Officer Johnson kicks the captain in his privates then runs over the gangplank before Pigheart can order his detention. Johnsons is so glad his diligence to his duty resulted in acquiring the rum keg that Pigheart has used to become too tipsy to remember the Grim Bastard is still in port.

SPATE

The Intruder

The shower is probably the second most private place in this world… just you, the hot water, some soap. You never expect someone to creep up on you.

When I heard her bloodcurdling, heart searing scream I didn’t even think; I just bolted up the stairs, two at a time, threw open the bath door and yanked the curtain back.

She was naked, plastered flat against the wall, horrified; and there he was standing right in the shower with her.

I did what I had to do…

I squished the damn spider. He went down the drain in little pieces.

CLIFF

I had worked for the company for fourteen years and I’d never been on the tenth floor. The directory just showed it as “Private” and the elevator was locked. The door on the stairs was locked from the inside too. Yesterday, while climbing the stairs, I found the door blocked open, likely by some diehard smoker on the roof. I pulled the door open and looked inside. Rows of monitors showed company reports, budget plans, the entire corporate strategy. Sitting in front of those monitors were chimpanzees. A gorilla pushed me out the door with the words “You saw nothing.”

Nothing is private. Your bank accounts, your calls, your emails, all are subject to government surveillance. They track the GPS in your car and phone. They monitor your FaceSpace and TweetPages. If you catch their attention, they can know everything there is to know about you inside of an hour. Sure, they say it’s just bulk statistical data but really, what spy is given that kind of access and says “No, it wouldn’t be ethical.” You mark my words, they’re spying on everyone everywhere!

JOHN MUSICO

“None So Blind As Those Who Will Not See”
by John Musico

An atheist has no faith. He has no confidence that some power will save him.
However, without recognizing it- he does have faith.
It occurs after his talents have fallen short and he has again failed.
That night, he talks to himself. He reminds himself he has traversed rough waters prior and yet survived. He urges himself to return to the fight bravely.
He feels better. He is praying to a benevolent, intangible, almighty being- his inner self. He is even placing faith in someone who has failed. Yet, he chooses to believe nonetheless, without evidence. He does have faith.

BOTGIRL

Pride, Prejudice and Twitter, a 100 Word Story in Screenplay style by Botgirl Questi- www.botgirl.com

There’s also a video version, which is where the audio came from

PLAIN DRAWING ROOM

JANE AND MR. DARCY ARE STANDING AT THE LIBRARY.

JANE(EXCITED)

The social network isn’t just a medium of self-expression, it calls forth creativity that would not have otherwise been born…

MR DARCY

… and time not otherwise wasted.

(JANE smirks)

JANE

We hack off hunks of ourselves chronically crafting content that is convulsively consumed by hungry hordes viewing voyeuristically from the void!

MR DARCY bumps fists with JANE

MR DARCY

Incorrigible peeping Toms peering from timeless space, hungry ghosts gobbling down the guts we disgorge, zoned out zombies voraciously devouring endless tubs of all you can eat buttered brains, transfixed by the wit and witless wind.

JANE kisses MR DARCY

JANE

You’re feeding off me right now, so don’t forget to wipe your filthy mouth before you finish.

FADE TO BLACK

CHELSEA

Private Moments:

Private moments between two people are the sweetest things.

Soft whispers in the ear.
Gentle kisses on the lips.
Secret smiles when no one’s looking.
Silent sighs in the dark.

Sweet moments for two and only two.

It’s the most amazing thing in the world when you can share a private moment with someone who actually wants to be there. Moments that you keep close to your heart.

Private moments between two people.
Soft whispers in the ear.
Gentle kisses on the lips.
Secret smiles when no one’s looking.
Silent sighs in the dark.

Sweet moments for two and only two.

Private:

She saw him before he saw her, standing in the crowded lobby. Head down, focused on his phone, head phones in, lost in the song of the week.

She paused for a moment before walking up to him to really take it all in. To have this moment to herself.

He was waiting for her. He was there to spend time with her. Such a crazy concept in her world that she really did need that moment to herself.

Then she darted up to him and was rewarded first with surprise, then that smile. The private one just for her.

NORVAL JOE

The drill sergeant walked through the open bay barracks banging two garbage can lids together, and shouted, “I want every one of you swinging Richards out in formation, standing tall, at zero four, forty-five.”

The trainee’s jumped from their bunks, opened lockers to grab their uniforms, or dashed to the bathroom.

I was already information, knocking off the few chin hairs I could find with a dry disposable razor when Dennis came out and said, “We eat, sleep, shit, shower and shave with sixty other guys and they have the nerve to call us private. We should be called publics.”

TURA

Private
——–
“Private: Keep Out” said the sign.

“Don’t worry,” I said to my friend, “That doesn’t mean us.”

“THIS MEANS YOU,” it said sternly.

“Look”, I told it, “we’ve got more important things to do today than argue with a Keep Out sign.”

“Leave immediately or face countermeasures,” it answered.

“I don’t see any guns,” I retorted. “You don’t even have an Internet connection, do you?”

“No,” it admitted, looking crestfallen. As much as a metal plate on a post can. “They shut this place down years ago and left me running on an atomic battery. I just wanted the conversation.”

DANNY

Trolling Facebook the other day, and I saw a video clip of an Army Private getting kicked in his privates, followed by 127 of the most insane comments about utter nonsense, as if the Private whose testicles were now popping out of his mouth could not feel pain. He was not even human, his entire life reduced to a 25 second clip as if it were nothing more than a Tom and Jerry cartoon. Maybe some things in life were just meant to be private, I don’t see rape victims posting videos of their rape on Facebook. We should stop posting ours.

SINGH

28.1

Daily rain came down and down.

There wasn’t respite in her hut.

She closed school. The road to town

now boghole hell,was also shut.

She watched the village kids at times

cavorting in the plough-field muck.

For them, all was jolly times,

holidays since lightning struck.

Monsoon wets come sharp and short,

and next oppressive sweats of heat.

She’d cool off, but then was caught

like a fly upon her sticky seat.

She played with Yudhi to wait it out,

but lost her appetite for food

and took to bed with a nasty bout.

Fever watched the storm clouds brood.

28.2 Hoarfrost

So hot it’s cold laying down in the hut

fever is a portal time travel back

twenty years twenty miles south of Paris

Auvers-sur-Oise deckchair fishermen

casting lines lazy willows casting shadows

farther farmland cider-apple orchards

cherry trees nipple-laden criss-cross

of hawthorne hedges white flowers

like spicules of haw frost their stale sweet

trimethylamine of sex poppies straw hats

“Women Across a Field” Van Gogh country

“Wheat Fields with Crows” the flaming yellow sea

French-practice days a picnic lover

baguette cheese wine arse down on earth

head up under heaven so hot it’s cold

28.3 Necromancer

So hot it’s cold the black bite the swollen groins

pus volcanoes under armpits the fingers the rotting toes

black noses falling off gangrenous stink

necrosis trail into the forest clean beech bark

unsullied columbines blue jay songs plump quail

wise woman of the woods Grandma Mimi? Whose face?

nursing the nearly dead herbs air sunlight

until They march town shouters black habit bearing the Cross

Rope the necromancer! Drag her feet first hands behind back

Plague bitch! Spell thrower! Beware the witch eye!

Save the village! Throw her in the River Oise!

Squirrel horned owl red deer blink move on

28.4

So hot it’s cold sweaty Punjabi suit

inner colours unravel like Draupadi’s sari

skirts of fustian sheer linen pleated armlets of Isis

Indus saffron cotton Yuan Dynasty jade silk neck to ankle

Tyrian purple for her once-Greek lady-loose peplos

Byzantine ox leather Dalmatica cloak

woollen cape fastened on the right shoulder

velvet broadcloth with the sign of the artichoke

Spanish ruff for a delicate neck French needlelace

Marie Antoinette wig hat bearing a fruit bowl

lengths of chinz and muslin traded from India

Draupadi’s sari keeps unraveling East to West

guarding the secret soul-patches of her past

28.5 jejune

So hot it’s cold the day the night the faces

flying between the past the future legs bodies

as if passing through a glass walkway

old stone to modern extension slipping between

a lotus goddess to Detroit girl in snow

from Durga on tiger to Buick baby seat flashbacks

fast-forwards old stirrings ride along nothing jejune

about this journey her return to her repeating of

using the time-machine the hyper reality of Now

she has tasted the hallucinogens of fever Is she

the weak thatched hut of the flesh or a transporter

of private thoughts impressions transparent ghosts?

28.6

“Madam, Madam! Are you alright, Madam?

Reliable man had come with a kilo of milk

while she lay perspiring upon the bed.

The monsoon played its kettle drum tattoo

and Yudhi whimpered. Atul gave him the cream,

and poured her water from the sideboard jug.

“Drink Madam. You must keep drinking it.”

She sipped and coughed then, trying to sit up,

slumped back drained. Atul saved the tumbler

from minor flood. Not a drop spilled. He rose

up bigger than he was upon the chair

that had been growing also since last visit;

and didn’t move until the fever broke.

PLANET Z

When I was growing up, I never saw Jim Nabors on The Andy Griffith Show

Instead, I saw reruns of Gomer Pyle when he was a private in the Marines. And he sang at every Indy 500.

And Ron Howard was Ritchie Cunningham on Happy Days, not Opie the rascal in Mayberry.

Don Knotts was Mr. Furley in Three’s Company.
Even Andy Griffith was Matlock.

Looking up and down the cast list, the only other name I recognize is Denver Pyle. He was Uncle Jesse in the Dukes Of Hazzard.

The Andy Griffith Show is on Netflix?

Pass the popcorn.

5 thoughts on “Weekly Challenge #411 – Private”

  1. “Islands in the Stream” was hilarious, so thank you, Serendipity, for putting that together. And yay, the One True Host is back, not some robotic substitute, so thank you, Crap, for that.

    Oh, the stories? Some super ones this week, including but not limited to Richard’s “Private Sanderson” (actually, Richard, you were on fire this week!), Serendipity’s story – I’m now afraid to log on to my work computer on Monday, though I suppose it’s already been compromised, so what the heck – Spate’s story of the spider in the shower, and Tura’s story.

    1. Thank you, Rhiannon – i had fun putting together ‘Islands in the Stream’ (i managed to stick to the 100 word format too – go me! lol), although i don’t think the music industry has anything to worry about from my efforts!

      As for hacking computers – it makes a pleasant change from my usual hacking, slashing and shooting of innocent victims, don’t you think?
      s. x

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