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 WATCH.
We’ve got stories by:
- Tura Brezoianu
- Guy David
- Dionysis Clowes
- Norval Joe
- Singh – Available in separate post
- Planet Z
The next 100 word stories weekly challenge is on the topic of BUTTER.
Finally, if there are any errors or corrections, please let me know, and I’ll fix them as soon as possible.
And a Fine Gold Watch For You, by John Musico
Boss Crotchet was a greedy man. What irked him more than anything was the notion he’d have to pay a pension to a retired employee that wasn’t even working any more. Insult to injury; were the gold pocket watches he’d have to shell out upon retirement.
The headlines one morning read; “Another mystery bombing.”
A detective stood at the crime scene; “These bombings do not fall on any particular date,
and the explosions leave few clues”.
No one could discern the shattered pieces of a gold watch. No one could recall that Crotchet was an explosives expert during the war.
by Jeffrey Fischer
“Watch me, Daddy!” he’d cry before showing off in some fashion. Shimmying down a slide. Swinging higher and higher. Riding the Mad Hatter’s Tea Cup at Disneyworld. I would watch with half my attention and pretend to be amazed.
“Watch me!” he said as he clambered over the rocks, still wet with rain. We had gone hiking in the White Mountains, easy trails that led to scenic vistas. Now we had reached the end of one such trail, to the overlook. I started to tell him to be careful but I was too late: he slipped, disappearing over the edge.
“Watch me!” I hear in my haunted dreams, and I do watch him. Every night as I try to sleep, I see that scene.
by Jeffrey Fischer
As I passed the National Geographic building, I saw the rat. Inflated more than twelve feet high, its presence signaled a union unhappy with some building owner’s use of cheaper, non-union labor. “Unfair!” chanted the three protesters, more or less in unison.
I wanted to point out that others were happy to work for this supposedly “unfair” wage while the three of them chose to spend their day in an unproductive effort at shaming. I wanted to say that they’d be better off taking a job at market wages, especially if that meant they didn’t have to pay union dues to leaders who collect six-figure salaries sitting in gray stone mausoleums near the Capitol, from which they would lobby Congress.
Instead, I simply walked on by, watching the circus and its rodent star.
#1 – (58) Watch out!
As the church door slammed shut behind him, George clenched his teeth. ‘Damn you, Rasputin, why did you have to say that?’
The words reverberated in his head: “Watch out for the monster!”
Watch out, indeed! There were no monsters – it was those idiots back in the church waiting for the world to end that needed see things clearly!
He’d show them: there was a logical reason for this craziness, and George was going to get to the bottom of it.
Briskly he marched away – if there were monsters out there, then they were the ones who’d better watch out!
#2 – Is this your watch?
The crowd loved it, laughing generously.
I wasn’t impressed – I knew the guy was a fraud the moment I sat down to watch, and I wasn’t happy about throwing away my money on a second rate magic act.
It was time he was put in his place, so when he asked for a volunteer from the audience, I was up like a shot.
He did his best to humiliate me in front of the crowd, but I bided my time.
“No”, I smiled, “that’s actually your watch; and I believe these are yours too”, handing him his wallet and underpants.
# 3 – Square Eyes
“If you watch too much television, you’ll get square eyes!”, my mother used to say.
“Don’t throw things, you’ll have someone’s eye out!”
“Stop making faces – if the wind changes you’ll stay that way!”
I never listened of course, I wasn’t so gullible to be taken in by such nonsense, and I vowed that if ever I had children, they’d never hear me spouting that kind of rubbish.
Well, turns out, they didn’t need to – they only had to look at the ugly face of their square-eyed dad, and all his one-eyed friends to get the message perfectly!
It’s a lot to ask–
We’ve not spoken
I forget what I was going to say.
Oh yes, forgiveness.
This poem I had
Was in my head
And slid away—
For another day.
I wait, another hour.
I watch and wait
For signs of you.
While the teapot boils—
My soul recoils–
The only messages are bill collectors.
Is the redemption in my hands,
Do I have to be good to get it?
Am I forgiven if I don’t willingly repent?
I sort of believe in you.
“No one will die on my watch,” barked the cop. “Give yourself up, so we can go home safely.”
The problem was that the man was not going home safely. He would be arrested and sent to jail. “I didn’t do it,” he protested.
“Good. Walk this way and we’ll sort things out.”
When he came out, hands in the air, wearing nothing but filthy clothes, he thought there was hope.
Suddenly someone yelled, “He has a gun.” And a barrage of deafening shots made him collapse.
No gun was found and the real killer was caught two days later.
A Well Defined Relationship Part 51
The signal beckon from the watch was difficult to see in the green light,
but as the other hues returned it became disturbingly present. Reverend
Morehouse checked the code twice, “Proctor they are coming. 60 strong.”
With carts and packs the people of the plan made their way to Funky Town.
It was completely deserted. A note nailed to the dry goods store read
“Watch your step.”
“Sparky reset the distortion grid, Mrs. Parsons sting the clothes lines to
the right, Smith and Banister move the carts to the hard left. Timmy, you
and I will hold our ground here.”
Before the Storm
They called him Watch. He never engaged the zombies directly. His job was
to track and plot movement. Skirting the edge of the hordes wake. Before
the war he had been assistant manager in a hardware department. A far from
a warrior as one can get. Six years in the field will change a man, the
loss of a wife and child will burn the heart out of a man. Watch kept to
himself only return to the caravan for supplies. Watch was partial to
peanut butter. Maria always kept a jar awaiting. Watch had learned zombies
loathed the smell.
It takes a lick’n and keeps no tick’n
It was a full three days the new Timex keep time. On the fourth day Julian
opened the back plate to study the gears and springs. Needless to say same
watch no longer keep time. Julian closed it up and set the hands to a
minute before high noon. For the next 50 years he wore the frozen Timex.
Whenever anyone asked for the time he would say, “Oh it’s just before
noon.” Or “Oh it’s just before midnight.” When his firm honored him with a
Rolex, he took that apart too, both are now set to just before midnight.
Here in the darkness, I sit silently and watch.
I watch the rain through the window and the flash of your car headlights in the driveway.
I watch as you run to the porch; hear the fumbling of the key in the lock; the slam of the door behind you; the creak of the stairs beneath your feet…
I watch from the shadows of your bedroom as the bathroom light spills across the landing floor.
And I watch as your own shadow enters the room: you following, briskly towelling your hair dry.
Unaware that I am watching.
Watching you, silently.
Hash – Part 6
It was a monster bet with the better’s name held in secret. More green
involved than most cons had ever seen on the inside, with every penny riding
One catch, though, it was a parlay; not only did Davidson have to remain
naked until execution but he had to eat that whole can of cold hash, as his
last supper, without puking or shitting until he was dead.
The Reckoner had weaseled the game so it stacked his way.
But with ten authentic G’s sitting in the kitty, some crazy con was
definitely dreaming about getting prison rich.
Hash – Part 7
Now came the watching game.
All the cons were watching Death Row for any developments in the clothing
But Warden was watching even closer.
Operation Icebox had failed. Goon squad intimidation had only bolstered
Davidson’s resolve. It was time to try shame.
They spiked his food; Viagra; two meals in a row. The guards kept watch on
their rounds, “no effect.”
“Totally,” they reported.
“Give him another dose,” ordered Warden.
Meanwhile, Davidson, the center of everyone’s attention, just watched his
last days like he was at a movie in the back row with a tub of popcorn.
On the Subject of Film
By Christopher Munroe
I don’t care, I liked it.
I’m aware that Zack Snyder values style over substance, and that he skews toward the superficial, but when he hits he hits.
And when somebody else writes the story for him, he usually hits! Direct adaptations are definitely within his wheelhouse!
He did change the third act, but I’d say for the better. Let’s face it, that squid monster would have looked goofy as hell on the big screen.
So I liked it. I liked the movie and I watch it again and again.
I watches the Watchmen.
I like to watch the Watchmen.
“Hi Dear, are you ready for some quality time with our grandchildren?”
“Well, I was going to go out with the girls tonight but your son’s wife made me promise to never leave you alone overnight with the children again since you read them Paul Cooley books before bed.”
“Do you realize how much of our retirement money we saved after I read them Closet Treats and several other stories with a villainous ice cream man?”
“You could have just said No.”
”No? But Dearest, these are our grandchildren not our children. We can’t say No to everything they ask.”
“What are you doing?” ejaculated Joe.
“Celebrating our engagement.” replied the Petty Officer’s roommate.
“Not on my watch!” insisted Joe.
“Guests are permitted here.” countered his roommate.
“You don’t understand. In your excitement you used the wrong bunk. I don’t want anything happening to my new Rolex I left on my bunk.”
“Sorry but aren’t Rolex supposed to be really tough?”
“Mine’s actually a Rolex clone. I doubt Rolex really makes a My Little Pony watch.” admitted Joe.
“I’ll be watching cartoons in the rec room after my watch.”
“Thanks Joe, she has to work at twenty hundred.”
When I was very young, we would go to the seaside for our summer holidays, taking the train all the way. When we arrived, I would look out for the station-master!
He wore a smart station-master’s jacket with polished brass buttons, and a station-master’s cap, and a pocket-watch on a gold chain slung across his expansive waistcoat. He would walk importantly about the station, and take out his pocket-watch and nod or tut-tut at no-one in particular. And so, I believed, he kept the trains running on time.
Station-masters, I now know, can be found in all walks of life.
My instructions were to observe and report. I could watch but I couldn’t interfere. When I saw the goons bounce some guy off of a van, I stayed put but when they threw him inside and the van started, I decided that I had to act. I blocked the van with my car and approached the side. With one hand on my sidearm, I flashed my badge and ID. When I yanked the door open, I realized that I should have already drawn my weapon. I’d brought a gun to a knife fight but there were so damned many knives.
(Many thanks to Pamela for recording my story for me)
A Loss of Time
I lost my watch today, which wouldn’t have been a problem if I wasn’t the keeper of time. You see, my watch is the key for time running smoothly, regularly and in an orderly manner. Now that it’s lost, no one has the time except for a few time sensitives. People are rushing around like crazy, faster, faster, not even realizing anything is wrong. Time is accelerating towards a time bang, an end of all times when everything would happen at once, then time would stop altogether. This is why you have to help me. Have you seen my watch?
I was doing something more important than actually watching for Debbie the first time I saw her.
I remember I was closing the deal with Yasuda. It was the big one for us, it made my career at the time, but there were all kinds of problems getting everybody on board. Things took off after that.
I managed to get birthdays and anniversaries on my calendar at least.
Traveling (I don’t need to see an airport these days, thank God), meeting, a meal with clients, a round of golf, and so forth. The collapse. We didn’t see it coming.
Now, when the calendar isn’t so full, she’s gone.
Life in the gulag camp was based almost exclusively on watching and being watched.
Pyotr Semyon Semyonovitch made his rounds with quick, probing eyes. It seemed to everyone that nothing escaped him.
Little Fyodor scrambled around the corner of the building. The German tried to look innocent when Pyotr Semyon Semyonovitch passed by. Even Old Grigori who waited year round for the sun’s rays, for their healing powers, thought about going inside on this sunny day. Everyone in the camp feared his steady iron gaze.
In his report Pyotr Semyon Semyonovitch wrote, “I am constantly being watched.”
I imagine her mother told her, “Run home with this chicken as fast as you can,” tying the chicken’s claw-like feet to her daughter’s waist, “Carry this goblet, and don’t you dare let that monkey get away!”
It must have been very uncomfortable, with the chicken flapping and squawking as she made her way through the crowded streets, and the monkey trying to bite her, but she was determined to hold it firmly with both hands, balance the goblet in her arms, and make her father proud, never mind her new yellow dress!
Luckily the Arquebusiers came out in fine military fashion just as she was passing by. Her look said she had often with pre-libidinal curiosity watched the pretentious boy who brusquely told the men to go around.
Bad luck for me that just then the chicken decided to play dead and the wiry monkey in her hands wasn’t visible.
Holding his airsoft rifle, Willner leaned off the porch and peered into the eves of the house.
Pigeons. He heard them up there, cooing. Their feathers littered the ground, mixed with dried pigeon poop.
It was getting late.
Willner turned his wrist over to check the time. As he did, the numbers were obscured by a splash of green and white bird crap.
“Not on my watch, you don’t.” The boy turned as he jumped onto the sidewalk, pumping and shooting in rapid fire.
As usual, the pigeons scattered, though the small yellow pellets bounced harmlessly from their feathered breasts.
These days, people check the time on their cell phones. You’re too young to remember when people would wear watches. And when I say wear watches, they wore lots of watches. Some would have half a dozen watches on one arm, and half a dozen on the other.
Heck, I was known for wearing all different colored Swatches when I’d go out to events and parties. Took me an hour to get the colors arranged right.
But these days, they’re all in a box in my closet. No more watches for me.
I’ll give ’em out instead of Halloween candy.