Weekly Challenge #419 – Star Wars

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 STAR WARS.

We’ve got stories by:

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

Pot full of cat

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

JOHN MUSICO

Star Wars, by John Musico

Every so often, the stars go to war. They and their comrades of their own galaxy travel in a group. They clash with another galaxy. The larger army, using gravity as their weapon, absorb stars from their opponent’s galaxy and become an even larger army.
On closer inspection you will see two individual stars chasing each other round and round while the larger foe steals bits of flesh from the smaller.
These wars last eons followed by periods of peace.
Our own Milky Way galaxy is currently wrestling with a smaller galaxy. It is expected our larger forces shall prevail.

TURA

Star Wars
——–
“Why don’t we film ‘War And Peace’?” I said to my partner in crime.

“It’s too bloody long, that’s why!” he said.

“No, listen,” I went on, “it’s about war, right? Which we’d do in CGI, no actors or film crews needed. And peace, which is tranquil countryside and lovers gazing at each other.”

He considered this. “The plot will need cutting. Let’s say Napoleon’s a provincial rival to the throne. Set it a thousand years ago…”

“You mean, a long time ago in a country far, far away?”

“Exactly!” he said. “And we’d call it…?”

We chorused, “Tsar Wars!”

JEFFREY

War Stars
by Jeffrey Fischer

Just as Hollywood has its stars, and the sports world has its luminaries, so the military has its important figures. Lee and Grant. Pershing. MacArthur. Eisenhower. Under orders from political leaders, they use cunning, strategy, manpower, technology, and, yes, luck to protect the interests of the nations they serve. Failure often has devastating consequences. They do it all for a modest salary. Yet it’s the sports stars and the movie actors who win the big contracts, the endorsements, the public acclaim, while the old soldiers merely fade away.

We live in a strange land.

Star Wars
by Jeffrey Fischer

In 1977, I convinced my mother to see Star Wars, despite her lifelong indifference to science fiction. She patiently sat through two hours of previews, battle scenes, light sabers, political conniving, and awkward romance.

Afterward, as the boys in the audience chattered excitedly about Tie Fighters and the Death Star, I asked my mother her opinion of the film.

“Meh,” she replied. “This science-y fiction, it’s not my style. The whole show was not what I expected.”

“Ma, how could you not know this was a sci-fi epic?”

“It says it’s ‘Star Wars.’ You know, like Battle of the Network Stars. I kept waiting for Nipsy Russel or Paul Lynde, but nothing!”

I saw The Empire Strikes Back by myself.

RICHARD

#1 – George’s Story – Part 55: May the force be with you

Gripped with a new resolve, George’s mind once again turned to his favourite films for inspiration: the strains of the ‘Star Wars’ theme played in his head – ‘I feel the force!’ he proclaimed, to no-one in particular, then drew himself up to his full five feet six, and – with a look of intense determination on his face – threw open the door.

The vast bulk of Rasputin loomed – wookie-like, only with less hair – over him.

“And where do you think you’re going, little man?”

“Umm, I was wondering if there was any chance of another cup of tea?”, he murmured.

#2 – Star Wars

Never was a fan of arcade games – whilst my friends were wasting their hard-earned pocket money on Space Invaders, Pac Man and Phoenix, I stayed home, reading books and building models.

Until one fateful summer holiday, when I discovered Star Wars – for pretty much the whole fortnight I was immersed in a wire-frame world; the voice of Obi Wan, resonating in my ears… “Feel the force, Luke!”

To this day, I remember the thrill of barrelling down that narrow gorge in my X-wing, lasers blasting, to finally score a direct hit on that exhaust port.

Bye bye, Deathstar!

LIZZIE

“I’m dying here,” wailed Peter, an aspiring actor.

“Join the club,” the director replied.

“Star wars?!” Peter insisted.

“That’s where the money is.”

“Insidious and entrapping,” crackled the actor.

The director sneered. “Go on, now. The others are waiting.”

Peter always wanted to be a star, but he had obviously misunderstood the ad looking for actors to feature in a reality show.

“You must choose your battles right, my dear,” snapped the director. “Now, be a darling and move along.”

An axe in hand, the actor dragged his feet towards the helicopter that would take them to a remote island.

TOM

A Well Defined Relationship Part 46

“Captain we are receiving conflicting reading from the planet.” “Computer
take Mr. Spock’s data extrapolate postulations.” “Surface source is a pure
energy field or a raspberry banana split.” “Uhura open communication
channel to the banana spit.” “Captian,” said Spock “Is it not more likely
we are making first contact with a yet undiscovered life force then a 50
foot sundae? “Point taken. Mr. Chekov photon torpedoes.” “Jim I’m a
doctor, not a lawyer, we can’t go all guns a blazing. “Right Bones. Scott
beam that thing to bridge.” When the swish-woo-woo sound stoped the
captain lock eyes with the Duke.

To Boldly Go

I was 12 when Star Trek was first broadcast. Same year as Lost in Space.
It was great to have non kiddie Sci – Fi, stories with deep social impact.
Both shows started out as pretty good works of drama, but by year three
the writing and production was pretty dreadful. At the time despite the
week arrival of pure energy that had never been encounter before, I
remained a diehard fan. That was until the week of What Are Little Girls
Made Of. The female aliens in cris-crossing strap costumes barely covering
their chests, mom pull the plug on that.

SERENDIPITY

‘A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away…’

It was a great start, but would the movie really live up to the hype?

It certainly promised a great deal: a scantily-clad, white-robed princess, rescued from a horrible fate by dashing young heroes. Fantastic sets, amazing weapons, bizarre characters and a classic plot – it had everything!

All held together by an old man in a dirty brown cloak, possessing unique skills; and a brooding, evil, masked figure, dressed entirely in black.

A huge budget too, for a porno film – we had very high hopes for ‘Star Whores’!

MUNSI

Vader’s Fist

By Christopher Munroe

The 501st legion descended on Calgary last weekend.

Stormtroopers everywhere you looked, inescapable, swarming every part of Calgary Expo.

They’re an organization here in town, the 501st, and they come every year to enjoy the convention and fundraise for charity.

They wound up raising close to $7000 over the course of the weekend, from what I hear.

The money’s for the Make a Wish Foundation. No clue how they’ll use it, but it’ll involve a budget in the thousands and dozens of imperial stormtroopers.

This story is completely true.

And, for one young Star Wars fan, it will be amazing…

ZACKMANN

“Boy, four billion dollars just doesn’t buy what it used to. I’m not sure it was a good business decision to spend that much and not get the rights to put the original theatrical versions of the original Star Wars movies in theaters and on blu ray.” said Zack

“They might have made their money back doing that.” Dylan agreed.

“Maybe I can’t replace my VHS Star Wars movies with blu ray or DVD but at least I can buy Hot Waffles singing George Lucas Raped Our Childhood on audio CD.”
“Just don’t sing it in the toy store again.”

CHELSEA

Train ride

It happened this time every year. Sitting on the train heading through down town you would see them.

A storm trouper sitting a few rows down chatting with a Jedi knight. Splinter and all four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles laughing together. Many Doctors and a variety of their companions, even a TARDIS or two.

I love it! Everyone comes out to show their support for the fandom of their choice and the chance to talk to others who love the same things and the chance to meet a personal hero or two.

What could be better than Calgary Comic Expo!

SPATE

Hash – Part 4

The sound was designed to provoke fear. Boots. Double-time. Hard shelled
armor clacking.

The extraction team, those freaking Star Wars storm troopers, helmets and
face shields in place, burst into Davidson’s cell, led by the screw they
called Hercules; the biggest bad ass motherfucker in the system.

He threw Davidson flat to the floor like a slice of baloney.

“No marks. Remember.” one bull interjected.

“I ain’t going to hurt him.”

Hercules leaned over and proceeded to urinate on Davidson.

He shook and zipped, grunting, “Put your damned clothes on!”
Then they left.

“Seven and a wake up,” sighed Davidson.

NORVAL JOE

This was probably the worst day of Fraiser Torquespindle’s life.
Warm swamp water slowly filled the cockpit of his x-wing fighter.
Central Command was going to be warped. This is the second fighter and the fourth R4 Unit he’d lost in the past two weeks.
Alien insects bearing alien diseases danced about him, seaking access to his skin.
A little man with pointed ears poked his head from a hole in the ground and said, “May the force be with you.”
Swamp water inside the cockpit was to his hips as he aimed his blaster at the creature’s wrinkled head.

JULIE

Noroton Bay

The stars are not out tonight.

The tide low, black mud clots,

And the egrets cry for mercy

To the pink clouds—

There is a war no one sees.

It shows,

In my eyes

And the sky

Is purple and red, punctuated

With city lights on the horizon.

Bruised.

I should call a friend,

Join a freaking bowling league.

There is nothing–

But the sea, the sky

And me

At the end of this pier at sunset,

Wishing, wanting, worrying

That hell is real.

DIONYSIS

There’s No I in Star Wars #1

Listen.

Leia just needed to get by Dad. She’d spent the day perfecting her “double rockin’ rolls,” which were absolutely perfect for the Battle of the Bands!

“Hey!” His high pitched whine annoyed her most of all!

“Daddy!”

Mom’s teenage crush was Darth and the Ringtones, and Dad always used that against them: “What is a ringtone anyway?”

“It’s what’s happening, dear!” said Mom.

“I say that sitar music came from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away! Why do they all wear black? Rebels … ”

Leia slipped out. She didn’t need another sitar war, tonight of all nights!

That’s how it all began.

There’s No I in Star Wars #2

Leia set her alarm for 4:30 am sharp! No way she was going to let that evil old — and besides, she was doing him a favor, with that asthma, or whatever.

The wars for the stair master had started long ago, when Leia swore to get the buns she wanted! But the strange old man laid claim to the good stair master! All far away ….

Leia rolled over and sat upright. 7:30! Sprinting inside she saw a small crowd around the machine. Her nemesis on the floor, ghastly pale. Their eyes met. In that instant he seemed to mutter “father,” and then died.

At last, she thought.

DANNY

It’s official. with the unofficial Star Wars holiday fast approaching, Mark Hamill has just given the thumbs up for the new cast of the Star Wars film, stating he believes the direction the Star Wars saga is going in is in good hands. Don’t give up hope, JJ Abrams only picked the main cast, there are still plenty of bit part to be had if you really desire to be in the new film. I want to be the hologram singer of the Catina band. If I get the part, technically, I don’t even need to show up on set.

SINGH

32.12

In this instalment the bus pilgrimage has taken Yogi and his friend Amrik Singh to their first stope in the foothills of the Himalayas beside the mighty Yamuna River. Here they stop at a place called Paonta Sahib the sight of an historical Sikh temple known as a Gurdwara, established by Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Master of the Sikh philosophy in 1685. Here at Paonta, meaning ‘foothold’ Yogi hears more about the history and culture of Sikhism.

At Paonta Sahib
the bus wove
tight streets
blaring horns
vans cars rickshaws then
through
the gate of peace
white edifice carved ice palace
the dome a dairy whip cone pink and gold lined
loudspeakers kirtan the word lives
inside outside the marble house of song

“Its a beautiful temple,” Yogi said to Amrik
as they went in. “‘Gurdwara’ we say,
Guru-dwara meaning ‘doorway to the Guru.’”

foot traffic pilgrims river of turbans
beside fast Yamuna foot hill Himalayas
the river roaring upstream downstream
but below the Gurdwara just a trickle of silence

“How can that be?” Yogi asked.

32.13
Amrik told — how the sixteen year old Gobind,
scholar of Persian, Arabic and Sanskrit,
and great devotional poet in Braj Basha
sponsored fifty two others from Benares.
Sanskrit scholars, they translated classics:
the Bhagavatam, Shiv Puran, the Mahabharat
into common parlance. Guru Gobind staged
the first Kavi Darbar –– a poetry gathering
under the full moon. He listened to each
until they shook their poet heads and stopped.
The Yamuna was drowning out their words.
Amrik added, “The Guru listened to their
grievance; the river below the Gurdwara
has been ever silent since that day
and no scientist can explain just why.”

32.14
Since Chandigarh, Yogi had been left alone.
Now Amrik was the diligent tour guide,
strolling the marble precinct of Paonta Sahib.
The air was clean with sweeping clouds of birds.
Striped squirrels ran up trunks of pines.
There was some shift in the Singh. He spoke with purpose,
as if he had an agenda to introduce
this foreigner to the struggles of his people.
“When Guru Sahib reached here on his horse
it halted, and so he stepped down solidly,
planting his foot. Paonta means ‘firm landing.’

“It’s very kind you sharing this,” said Yogi.

Amrik curtly nodded and then went on.

32.15
“Medini Prakash, the Raja of Simour
invited him to stay. This would lead to wars
with other vassal rajahs of Himachal,
jealous of the Guru’s entourage
and seeking favours from the ruling Moghul.
“You see, our Fifth Guru and our Ninth
were martyred by those tyrants. Guru Arjan
was roasted on a big chapatti hot-plate
and died singing one of his sweetest shabads:
My Guru is with me, ever close at hand.
Teg Bahadur was beheaded in old Delhi
while speaking up for five hundred Brahmins,
told to choose — either death or Islam.
These men of peace were fathers to Gobind
who sat down here and wrote his massive book
as big as our own Siri Guru Granth Sahib.”

32.15
By this time, they had found the small museum.
Paintings portrayed the Guru as a rajah
with a plumed turban, and a fine silk dress coat.
“Amrik, why did he not wear holy clothes?
Surely a politician brings on his own storms.”

“Good point, Yogi. It is like this: you see
we Sikhs aren’t beggar monks. We have been told
to live and work and give. Good deeds are all.
I know you have been reading Mahabharat.
It’s the same. The Pandavas were princes
who did their karma following the Dharma.
We are those royal shatriyas who kept
warrior locks and beards as a mark of rank.
Our Guru opened that door to all the castes
and made us in the image of great kings.”

32.16
After seeing the Guru’s worn out kalams,
two nibbed reeds for writing poetry
inside a mounted cabinet, they came
upon another painting in the jungle:
a tiger stealthily leaping from behind
to grip the Guru’s neck. He turns. The tiger’s
head is cleaved with a slash of the Guru’s sword.

“Sher-garh Gurdwara is the place that happened.”

The next painting’s English caption read:
Bangaani, The Battle, 1686.
The hill rajahs’ thirty thousand troops,
plus mercenaries from Afghanistan
fought against four thousand well-drilled Sikhs.
Amrik quoted lines from Guru Gobind
about the conflict, translating in English:

“I lined up my aim at one Khan discharging an arrow.
It pierced him as if a cobra had suddenly stung him.

And each Guru arrow held half an ounce
of gold for the burial of the foe.”

Where did this all happen?” Yogi asked.

“Just fourteen kilometres from here.”

32.17
Finally Amrik brought him to the weapons
antique steel behind prophylactic glass.
Yogi reacted. “But how can these be here
in a holy place, all these blades of death?”

Amrik laughed. “Without the sword, we
wouldn’t have survived. When a tyrant comes
will you lay down, or stand your ground and fight?”

“But what about Gandhi’s non-resistance?”
He’d seen the movie, read the autobiography.

“Satyagraha was guilt strategy.
It worked too well because it shamed the nobler
sentiments of the British; but most forget
eighty percent of those exiled, gaoled or martyred
during Independence were Punjabis.”

As Yogi listened, his flimsy pacifism
seemed hard to justify to history.

Amrik added: “You know, Guru ji then wrote
to Aurangzeb, after the tyrant let his general
brick alive the Guru’s sons, aged seven and nine:

“When every approach has been tried, yet fails,
then the sword must speak for righteousness.

I told this tale the day you came to my shop.”

32.18
By now Amrik Singh was speaking loudly
of Shastra Vidya, the artful science of weapons.
This was the ancient Indian fighting form
practised by rishis, kings and commoners.
“We keep it alive and we call it gatka.”

Yogi scanned the wall as Amrik listed:

“this is khanda, old straight sword of India,
this is talwar, import Persian scimitar,
this is Aaman, nine-layered composite bow,
this is teer, arrow tipped with ironhead,
this is barcha, spear held, javelin hurled,
this is gurj, ball and chain skull-crusher,
this is aara, bendable long snake strip-sword,
this is khatar, hand-thrust chain-mail piercer,
this is bandook, rustic matchlock rifle,
this is chakra, sharp-edged whirling disc,
this is chakri, rotary of chains and balls,
these are dhals, shields steel-made or of leather,
this is bakh nakh, iron leopard’s claw for hands,
this is latti, staff of head-crack ironwood,
this is trishul, trident spikes for the turban,
this is kirpan, last dagger of defence.”

32.19
At the Dastaar Astaan, boys were winding turbans
of every kind of colour and social style.
It was a competition to see how fast
and formed they wound around a long tradition,
dating from Guru Gobind.

“Dastaar means turban,”
Amrik said. “A Persian term. The troops
would have to tie it fast without a mirror
before they rushed to battle.”
“I don’t mean
to be rude, but is it important? Why not go
breezy and bare-headed?” Long-haired Yogi
had to justify.
Amrik was glad,
but did not tell that long flowing kesh
was evidence of bedraggled discipline,
whereas kesh tied neatly in a bun
was a modest way to hide your rishi knot. These were cultural matters that foreigners
couldn’t know. But his audience was captive.

“First, the Guru told us to. For us
that is enough, but there’s other reasons.
We can wind the folds recalling everyday
ten Sikh masters; it is role-modelling.
And the dastaar is the crown of royalty,
authority and power. Is it not regal?
Exchanging turbans is a solemn bond
from State to State, family head to head.
Daily, it restrains our uncut hairs,
most crucial in a knotty spot, a battle;
and before long beards, our extra turban height
the enemy becomes a flock of lambs.
It doubles as towel, or rope, or sheet, and keeps
away mosquitoes and is our dust bandana

while ploughing in the fields. There are so many
applications of the dastaar, as long
as the Silk Road goes on. But finally
it is our sign of being Singhs, our shaan.
That also calls responsibility —
to stand up for the crushed against the tyrant.
A true Sikh must rise tall inside a crowd.

32.20

Ranjit Nagaara, the war drum being beaten
called them to an outside gathering.
“We’re lucky, ” Amrik said, “the old Nihangs
are going to perform some gatka for the people.
“Who are nihangs?” Yogi had to ask.

“They were once the crack troops of the Guru,
following the ideal of a soldier-saint.
Bands of them still roam the countryside,
though many think they are scandalous
anachronisms — medieval, indulgent,
riding their horses and bartering old glory.”

They came in dark-blue, high-wound, heavy dastaars
and matching calf-length chola cotton tunics
tied with orange sashes. Slung with weapons,
they whirled in slashing sweeps with no fear
or hesitation, clashing swords on shields
in rapid-fire blows, then peeled away
like a row of leaping lords, ready to switch
to another weapon – swirling a chakri,
or flashing talwars with both flexible wrists,
crashing their hand-swung gurj–– the ball and chain
and doing bendable feats with javelins,
forcing the tip against the throat’s soft hollow,
then smashing bricks with swords across the stomach.
One blindfolded, carved up watermelons
each between a turbaned head on the ground;
and then, a final coconut on a forehead
was cleaved in half and offered to the crowd.
Yogi thought: the Mahabharata was fought
with like skill. These martial arts endure
as storms of shakti, Indian Shaolin.
At least nihangs have kept the old sword sharp.

32.21
They heard the hunting horn blast from the bus.
Time to board. All took their elephant time
and newcomers climbed — three men in blue
dastaars and white pajamas, looking priest-like.
“Who are they?” enquired Yogi in a whisper.

“A dhaadi jatha. They sing ballads, vars
of the Guru’s lives and our historic struggles.
They must be coming with us to Hemkund Sahib.
Maybe they will sing along the way.
It’s how they earn their roti — from donations
offered at religious gatherings.”
Duty done, Amrik pressed his face
against the pane and did an Indian trick –
snoozing in some weird, bus-yoga posture.

Now they wound back through the skinny streets
until they found the highway signpost turn.
Along the roadside, women in flimsy saris
were crushing rockfall with their big sledgehammers
and carting it off on basket-balanced heads,
an unsung feat, extraordinary endurance.
One struggled to carry her pregnancy as well.
Millions of women had no spare change or time
to take a luxury tour to the Himalayas.

As the pneumatic coach sped on its tyres
negotiating hills and valley bends,
Amrik had not observed the car
trailing like a snake since Chandigarh.

PLANET Z

They announced the primary cast members of the next Star Wars movie, and there’s no sign of Billy Dee Williams.

Sure, he’s old, creepy-looking, and slow. He’s got back problems, too. Looked like he needed a walker on Dancing With The Stars.

But he’s Lando Calrissian. Lando Fucking Calrissian.

How can you have Star Wars without Lando Calrissian?

Are they going to have that Andy Serkis creep pantomime up a digital Lando Calrissian or something?

When it came to signing the contracts, I guess Billy Dee Williams wasn’t part of the deal.

I pray that they don’t alter it further.

6 thoughts on “Weekly Challenge #419 – Star Wars”

  1. What? No Lando? Forget it, then.

    And “Lens Flare” and “Retinal Damage” are both good names for a band. Lousy for photography, good for listening.

    Wow, Munsi likes moving. Ever since some guy in a robe bribed me to leave school with a sheepskin and a handshake, I’ve had two humble abodes. That’s, what, a month in Munsi’s life?

    I think having a separate feed for Singh’s work in progress is a great idea. It’s like having two podcasts for the price of one: the traditional format of brief babbles by a variety of authors, connected by babble from the host; and a more free-form approach. Naughty me often listens to the podcast at work, so having two shorter ones also helps. That said, whatever works best for you guys is fine with me.

  2. The roasted emu is delicious with the noodle dishes. Or it would be fine on a plate all alone. Either way I would savor every bite.

  3. Great stories, everyone. A special word goes to Dionysis. Fast-paced story, using just the right amount of irony and sarcasm. Well done.
    As to Singh’s story, I think a separate feed would be an interesting idea. Some people I’ve talked to caught the story halfway through and going back, looking specifically for the weekly challenges to listen to the whole story, is a bit difficult.

  4. So, the Singh question… personally, i think that even though what Singh does might be different to the majority, he still sticks to the 100 word format for his verses and to the spirit of the challenge. Maybe it would be good to have a separate bit for him, but it would be a shame not to have him in the challenge every week. Not sure if that helps at all.

    Tura – loved the pun!

    s. x

  5. Thanks for the thoughts, guys.
    I think the separate feed idea weighs in best. This way I can commence recording ‘Foreign Madam and the White Yogi’ from Chapter 1 and allow those interested to get the back story which never made it to the Weekly Challenge. To complete the novel (which I have done actually) in a mad rush up until Easter Sunday, I felt the need to break the 100 word format which prodded my conscience to raise the issue with you all.

    Best

    Singh

  6. I look forward to every story that is posted. In what every size or shape it come in. I see the challenge as just that: a challenge, but in a boarder sense it is really is a personal challenge and how each of us engages in that challenge is total of are own choosing. If someone feels the need to expand the form that is how they engage the challenge. If the outcome of posting was to win some tangible object then fairness would dictate guideline must be follow, but there are no rewards, no points, no glory, just timely sharing. Singh’s stuff takes you to a world which is world apart for us-s in the West. Since Singh seems to be asking our general feeling on the matter and seems to be looking for consensus I for one think he should just keep posting to the challenge and not go to a second feed. But if is does and L sets up a long format fed I would be willing to post a story to keep him company.

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