Weekly Challenge #423 – Butter

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 BUTTER.

We’ve got stories by:

The next 100 word stories weekly challenge is on the topic of TELL US ABOUT AN UNPUBLISHED LABOR OF HERCULES.

Birthday treats for Myst

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

JOHN MUSICO

Butter, by John Musico

Once a pillar of society, the psychiatrist found himself in prison. He asked the intake officer his roommate’s name who replied, disinterested, simply; “Butter”. The doctor was greatly comforted that it wasn’t a guy with a name like Killing Machine or Psycho. To the doctor’s dismay, the nickname proved to be his worst nightmare. For self-preservation, the psychiatrist called on his skills and drilled into Butter’s psyche. The doctor taught that prison rape was a thing of conquest, not sex. The psychiatrist convinced Butter that violence was more gratifying. The shrink was transferred to the medical center, beaten but pure.

BRAM

Good boy!
by Bram

It all happened so fast. One minute I was holding it in my hand, the next
I stumbled over the dog.

I watched as it flew in a wide arch up and away from me, twisting all the
way trying to decide how it wanted to land.

Up, down, up, down, up, SPLAT!! sounds through the
kitchen as the toasts lands butter down on the floor.

As I look at the mess it made, the dog runs from under the table and
quickly snatches up the toast and devours it.

GUY DAVID

Rare Species Hunter

The breadandbutterfly is a rare species indeed. It only comes out at certain times a day, the shy little creature. The lighting has to be just right and the air has to be at just about the right temperature. The breadandbutterfly would only eat the very rare goldenmonkey fruit and it would only eat it if it’s just about ripe enough. If you are on the hunt for the breadandbutterfly, you’ll have to observe all of those conditions precisely, wear the right camouflage, carry the right scented perfume, but most of all, you’ll have to go through the looking glass.

JEFFREY

Guns or Butter
by Jeffrey Fischer

When I first started taking economics classes, the canonical production tradeoff was guns or butter. This confused me. I suppose it’s possible to churn butter with the stock of a rifle, or to lob butter at the enemy in the hope of inducing heart attacks, but neither seemed efficient.

At a more basic level, guns and butter aren’t production substitutes; they’re complements. A country needs to produce guns – and train an army to use them – in order to maintain the economic freedom for its citizens to be able to make butter, should they so choose. That’s not the lesson we learned, but that’s the important tradeoff.

The Right Simile
by Jeffrey Fischer

“I have a new knife,” said Doug, pointing to the cutlery on the kitchen counter.

“That’s nice,” said Frank, yawning. Frank preferred his potential murder weapons with a little more firepower and, to be honest, a little more distance. Frank was too squeamish for wet work.

“It *is* nice. This knife is terrific. It slices through butter like, uh…”

“Like a knife through butter?”

“I was going to say ‘like a knife through margarine,’ but sure, your way works, too.”

Melting Point
by Jeffrey Fischer

Roderick was very upset when he learned that his lovely girlfriend with the demure personality had cheated on him. This was no mere one-off fling with a stranger, but two prolonged affairs, each with a close friend of Roderick’s. The person who informed Roderick of her infidelity said, “I know it’s hard to take, but butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth.”

When he killed her, he decided to see whether that expression was true. He crammed a stick of butter into her mouth, but her body was still warm and the butter melted quickly. Two hours later, he repeated the experiment, but the butter still melted, though more slowly this time. After a further two hours passed, her body was close to room temperature, and the butter, while it softened, never melted. Success!

RICHARD

#1 – Scrabble

My family are all uniquely qualified when it comes to language – they range from linguists and translators through to doctors of etymology. As you’d expect, family gatherings always descend into at least one game of ‘extreme’ Scrabble.

We don’t play by the normal rules – that makes things far too simple, so we started creating our own variations… words solely derived from Old English; only palindromes permissible on a double-word score; and words containing double diphthongs every other round.

Eventually, even that became too easy.

We still play Scrabble, but now we only allow words not found in the dictionary!

#2 – 404

I sighed, once again, failure – the familiar ‘404 – Page not found’ mocked me from the screen: I’d been so sure this time I’d strike lucky.

It’s good to have a hobby, and mine was collecting error codes – not much of a hobby, I’ll admit, but you’d be surprised how challenging some of the more elusive ones can be – I’d once spent weeks tracking down an elusive ‘508 – Loop detected’, and now I was on the hunt for the most prestigious code of all.

I knew it was out there – one day, I’d see those magical words on my screen…

‘418 – I’m a teapot’!

#3 – Not found

“I’m sorry sir, it’s coming up ‘not found’ in our database”

“Well, I found it – there on the shelf with all the others!”

“I can’t sell it to you without a code – there’s nothing to scan.”

“This is ridiculous! I can’t get them elsewhere.”

“I’m sorry sir.”

“let me speak to the manager.”

Eventually, the manager sold it to me for more than it was worth – scanning a label from a more expensive one into the till.

He waited patiently for me to pay. I patted my pockets, before looking at him sheepishly:

“Erm, I’m sorry – my wallet… not found!”

Stories for Weekly Challenge 423 – ‘Butter’

#4 – George’s Story – Part 59: Unprepared

It didn’t take long before George realised the folly of leaving the sanctuary of the church, without making preparations. Back there at least there had been tea and biscuits, now as he rummaged through his rucksack, his rations amounted to a shrivelled carrot, two tins of chopped tomatoes and a crust of stale bread.

Gnawing on the dry and unpalatable remains of the loaf, he found himself yearning for butter: anything really, just to make things a little more bearable, but there was nothing.

Deflated, tired and hungry, George trudged wearily onwards, feeling more lonely and lost than ever before.

#5 – Try butter

“Try butter…”, one helpful soul suggested.

Well, they’d tried everything else, it was worth a go.

They applied liberal helpings of the stuff all over my head and face – it was pretty disgusting. Worse still, it achieved nothing: my head was still firmly wedged between the railings.

“It’s no good son, we’ll just have to saw your ears off!”, said the burly fireman, wielding a shiny hacksaw.

Terrified, in sheer blind panic, I violently jerked my head away, and suddenly – incredibly – I was free!

But I haven’t touched butter ever since, and you’ll never get me to try it, either!

#6 – Butter

We held our breath, waiting in silent anticipation: this moment would be the culmination of years of research by some of the most talented minds on the planet.

Visions of Nobel Prizes, fame, fortune and glory filled our thoughts. This was it: the Holy Grail, towards which we had dedicated our scientific endeavours, and now – finally – we were about to discover whether it had all been worthwhile.

There was a gasp as the sample was released, followed by a huge cheer as we saw the result.

There it was, in front of our eyes – a perfect landing… butter-side up!

JULIE

Small Blonde Thing

I want to vanish,

To be so tiny and precious

That you will never find me,

Hiding under the stairs.

I will melt.

White and pure

Into the sheetrock

Of my attic room

And watch

What you did to me

From the outside in.

These days

I don’t eat, much.

It’s ok.

I am clean.

I am pure.

You never touched me.

It never happened.

I tell myself.

I measure my words,

And my food—

The lightness of me is liberating—

I float to the sky

Away from you–

Safe arms hold me.

You will never apologize.

You sick man.

TOM

Doctor Doctor

Bruce sat opposite the thoracic surgeon. He had been the Amin family
doctor. He had come from a royal family. Now he was a rural doctor in
Bumsfuck, Ca. He got out the plastic cut-away model and showed Bruce what
had happen and what needed to be done. “You’ve done a lot of these?” asked
Bruce. Doctor D smiled said, “Many.” “A bread and butter operation,”
returned Bruce. Doctor D laughed. By virtue of Bruce’s wife Ann, a FNP, he
knew the secrete under-text of the medical unseen universe and tossed that
chip on the table. “Yes bread and butter.”

A Well Defined Relationship Part 52

The dust of the horlofts rolled towards the company. At 10,000 yards the
character of the bandits caused Timmy to consider alternative scenarios,
unfortunately that musing produced a rolling wave of fear. The Doctor knew
well that posture and the need for circumvention. “What is your favorite
food?” he asked. Timmy hissed at the Doctor siphoning of fear to anger.
“Mine is cinnamon toast, creamery butter, sprinkled with confectionery
sugar, lightly dusted with cinnamon, warmed to a gold brown.” “Nachos,
“grunted Timmy. “Good” “You see that fat guy on the left, he has your
nachos.” Timmy snorted raised his rifle.
LIZZIE

Working at the restaurant was Kip’s bread and butter. He didn’t particularly enjoy being a waiter.

Nevertheless, he was friendly to the customers and people seemed to genuinely like him. But, in essence, his life was boring.

However, every now and then, he felt the lure of the illicit.

When his boss asked him how the restaurant should be decorated for a Friday 13 Scary Night, he knew exactly how.

The result was impressive. The skeletons look so real, said the customers, snickering nervously.

His boss was happy with the extra clientele. And Kip smiled deceitfully, pretending to be human.

SERENDIPITY

You might say it was poetic justice: a chef, murdered in his own kitchen, with his own tools of the trade, by one of his best paying customers.

He had it coming – Sloppy Joe had grown a little too sloppy for my taste. In the past six weeks he hadn’t cooked me a single decent meal. I’d had it with undercooked, over-seasoned, badly-prepared food, and one night I simply snapped.

Tearing into the kitchen, I grabbed the nearest implement to hand – a cleaver – throwing it straight at Joe.

It sliced through his jugular, like a knife through butter.

TURA

The most secret, and most important department of the civil service is the Buttery. Its function is to prevent the government from doing anything too effective, for governments left unchecked tend to start going mad and killing everyone.

Butters– as its members are called– are found on government committees, where they now and then interpose remarks such as, “But we must ensure continuing support for the laundry industry in the north-east.” A secret sign accompanying the dread word “but”, calls to his covert colleagues for support with the Butting.

The chairman of the department is known as the Head Butter.

MUNSI

Butter

By Christopher Munroe

I can’t believe it’s not butter.

By which I mean I can, I just don’t.

I don’t know what sick game it is you’re playing, what you hope to gain from spreading such an obvious lie, but it’s butter. I know it’s butter, you know it’s butter, so let’s come together and be real about it, here, now, together.

It is butter.

You are a liar.

And it is fucking butter!

I apologize for the profanity, liars just make me so fucking angry, is all.

And such obvious lies, too.

It’s disrespectful.

It’s clearly butter.

I can’t believe it’s not.

ZACK

“I have an idea for a game to play at the dairymen’s event.”

“An idea. Will wonders never cease? Tell me about it?” replied Joe

“Butterball, like baseball only the ball is butter.” Ernest explained.

“Will the referee say Butter Up to the batter?”

“No, to the pitcher.”

“Will getting a ball make the batter better.”

“I’m sure being hit by a ball will still make a batter bitter.”
“Will it be the age of Butterball?” asked Joe
“Certainly, for every season churn, churn, churn and if butterball catches on the best teams will face off in the Popcorn Bowl”

CHELSEA

Butter

Stories usually come into my head fully formed, needing little or no tweeting once down on the page. Words run like the juice of a perfect peach down your hand or the butter that drips off your chin from when you sink your teeth into that first bite of summer corn.

And sometimes the words are forced and stilted, no thru line or concept presents. It’s like there is a dictionary in my head that that was caught in a tornado and I can’t catch two that work together.

This was one of those weeks, just a tornado of words.

DIONYSUS

Churn

There is a small boy seated on the back porch with his grandmother, although even this shows the effect of memory, since there is no porch big enough for even one person to sit — again, according to other memories.

She is steadily shaking a jar filled with a white milky liquid as she rocks.

What is the boy doing? All we know is that he is observing, perhaps wondering precociously at change flowing through and in things. The boy has a turn, but tires quickly.

In time, a yellow mass forms from out of the white milk, which is no more.

Butter as Metaphor

Each morning at precisely 6:35 am Mr Arthur P Sledge spread (began to spread, precisely) with his antique sterling silver butter knife one teaspoon of fresh unsalted butter onto the bottom of a carefully sliced cornbread muffin. He counted the seconds carefully as it melted.

He was inordinately suspicious of alternate worlds where his muffin was a biscuit, toasted sliced bread, crumpet; his knife a plain table knife; butter margarine; etc., etc., etc.; and the time of his beginning a cascade of disparate and conflicting times disjoined ad infinitum.

Inordinately, yet correctly, since his world, butter, butter knife, and muffin, etc. was the culmination of all the others.

Hot Buttered Rolls

Mrs. Quigley was the purveyor of hot buttered rolls to all, and she was very good. Mr. Quigley awoke each morning to find her already hard at it. (Some say he churned the butter.) She hustled
about town the entire day and night: here a roll for the elderly gentleman with special needs, there a basket of rolls for the hungry boys downtown, even a roll for the queer old maids who lived together outside town. Hot and buttered to perfection, delivered with a simple smile and a wink.

The Quigleys left town when the whispers started. How hollow our lives, without a hot buttered roll!

The Wisdom of Butter

Taloo Buto had traveled worlds for wisdom and insight. At last he had come to the reclusive Master T.

The Karganiantriciannbtrughsian Master paused to sip from the cup of eternally warm btrughsian infusion before him. He smacked his lips appreciatively.

Wisdom, he said, pausing.

Taloo waited. What was an eternity of waiting compared to the wealth he sought, to an eternity informed by wisdom.

The ancient sage closed his eyes and said only one word: Butter.

Taloo paused, and said, As butter melts, so All is Becoming.

Fool, said the Master, It is perfect on toast, with a warm tea.

SPATE

Hash – Part 8

That night when he slept, Davidson dreamt…

He saw a crowd of men in a circle. They were focused on the center, yelling,
making exaggerated pointing gestures. It was someplace he had never been;
the stock market or a boxing match. Maybe a cock fight.

He was gliding through the throng towards the middle, not walking but
standing still and riding. Moving sidewalk? Segway? No. Looking down he saw
that he rode on the flat end of a spatula, flying towards a gigantic black
cast iron skillet with a pool of butter sizzling on the bottom.

He was the hash.

Hash – Part 9

It wasn’t butter. The cons called the small square pale yellow pats
“blubber” and would mockingly say: “I can’t believe it’s not butter.”

They got two with every meal.

Being tasteless, they had no real food value other than as a lubricant when
swallowing whatever stale dry cockroach leftovers of bread or muffin that
got tossed onto their tray with the usual chow.

But in prison, idle creative minds always devise extraordinary uses of
ordinary items.

Davidson awoke from his dream and checked his stash. Fifty-seven blubber
pats still stuck to the underside of his rack.

His plan was intact.

NORVAL JOE

Winkler threw up his hands and walked away from the time machine. Not only had it sent him to alternate worlds instead of the past, after 25 hops the battery was dead.
This world looked much like his own. There were humans, animals and plants which were all familiar.
The remarkable differences were, first, the lack of electricity. The second, a lack of men.
Outside the door a crowd of two-hundred women waited. The first to pin him to the ground would get to keep him.
Naked, Winkler smeared butter over his body and prepared to run for his life.

DANNY

I witnessed the closing of Mad City on Da Vinci Isle in Second Life yesterday. With that, another organization, N.Y. Healthscape, is slowly pulling out of Second Life. Now another great sim that made the platform of Second Life worth exploring is gone. With each entity and organization that leaves Second Life, the platform slowly inches forward to becoming a digital ghost town. Kilroy was here, but has instead gone to another platform where copyrights possibly remain intact. With many organizations pulling out of Second Life, it’s easy to believe Linden Labs is not butter, because they certainly have no bread.

CLIFF

“What is a Cthulu?” I asked the apparent leader. He lifted his shirt to reveal a tattoo of a squid faced creature.
“That’s your god?” I couldn’t help but laugh. “He looks like he ought to be on the menu at Joe’s Crab Shack with a sweet butter sauce.
Instead of laughter, the only response I got was that all of the cultists pulled long daggers and glared at me. That’s when the door opened and I saw a woman holding a badge. After the first cut, I just closed my eyes and prayed to anyone who could hear me.

PLANET Z

Instead of spreading butter on my bread, I like to dip it in a plate of olive oil with fresh-ground black pepper, rosemary, and Parmesan Reggiano.

Most restaurants have those, but if you ask them for all that, you’re probably going to annoy your waiter.

Not even the Macaroni Grill does all that. They’ll put out a plate of olive oil and grind the pepper, but the rosemary and Parmesan don’t come easy.

Sure, you can bring your own, but it’s easier to bring a gun.

Now, do I get Parmesan and rosemary on this plate, or your fucking brains?

7 thoughts on “Weekly Challenge #423 – Butter”

  1. Great stories this week. I didn’t figure butter would be a great inspiration but the variety of stories was interesting.

    Just one question. You didn’t butter the treats that are in that picture, did you?

  2. I like I Can’t Believe it’s not Butter. The margarine with buttermilk tastes closer to butter than the one LandOlakes makes with butter in it.
    I heard the difference between a straight and gay Norseman is one prefers butter but the other prefers Ole.

  3. Zack and Norval Joe both had me laughing this week, and Spate’s hash obsession is just a gift that keeps on giving. Great to see so many different takes this week on an absurd topic!
    s. x

  4. Naked, smeared with butter, 200 women waiting outside? Thank you Norval Joe for my new favorite fantasy!

  5. I laugh all the way through Zack’s butterball, totally funnest thing I have heard in weeks.
    Z Leave the gun Take the cannoli
    Spate excellent.
    collectively we are better then good, we Cugat

    1. Planet Z reminded me of a little place we stopped in Napa valley that served olive oil instead of butter. My younger son asked for butter which they said was made there and was very good. I am not sure if there was in house or in Napa county. I don’t remember the flavors of the olive oil but they tasted good too.

  6. Richard – Thanks for including the 404 stories. And it seems to me that playing Scrabble with words not found in the dictionary seems like a frixtable evening and a shoopta time for everyone. Well quexti!

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