Weekly Challenge #425 – Cold

Welcome to the 100 Word Stories podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com.

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 COLD.

We’ve got stories by:

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

Face fulla Tinny

JOHN MUSICO

Cold Uncaring Father, by John Musico

We don’t have any children. We do have two dogs. For Mother’s Day I do what real fathers do; I arrange a gift under the guise that the “kids” arranged the gift. I called an online flower delivery service. After my selection of an arrangement, the flower lady then asked; “What should the card read?” I replied; “Happy Mother’s Day, love Misha and, and ….What is that other little fuckers name? I had never voiced that actually I have no kids and this purchase is to be from mere dogs. The flower lady’s prolonged awkward silence wreaked of her abhorrence.

JEFFREY

Life
by Jeffrey Fischer

“Bob, be careful! If you have a cold, and infect an alien species, we could wipe it out. We’d be worse than those explorers who gave small pox to Indians!”

“Geez, Dave, you’re so negative. Why would a cold kill aliens? Maybe the infection would make them stronger – or smarter? Did you ever consider that?”

Events proved Bob right: when the weak and primitive species the two spacemen found contracted Bob’s cold, they became strong and intelligent. It was child’s play for them to find Earth and kill every human on the planet. Still, it was cold comfort to Bob.

Cold as Ice
by Jeffrey Fischer

“C’mon, baby, what’s wrong?”

His wife was in bed, turned away from him, her body language indicating that he was in for it. He racked his brain for what he might have done to incur her wrath. His affair with his secretary? Nah, she couldn’t know about it. Killing the cat? Nope, blamed that one on the kids. Buying an iPad without telling her? That was more plausible, he supposed.

“Just tell me what I did.”

She sniffled. “It wasn’t what you did, it was what you didn’t do.”

“Give me a hint.”

“You forgot to take out the trash!”

He pulled out the couch and made put sheets on the uncomfortable mattress. It wasn’t so much that he minded being in the dog house; it was the stupid stuff that put him there that really bothered him.

RICHARD

#1 – George’s Story: Part 61 – Lion

George’s blood ran ice-cold: what the hell was a lion doing here on the streets, and – more to the point – how was he going to escape from it?

Fortunately, carnal instinct kicked in and, in a burst of superhuman speed and agility, George found himself scaling the nearest wall – just as the lion leapt for him.

A distinctive smell surrounded him as he landed – that explained the lion’s presence – he’d found the city zoo – no doubt the beast had escaped.

He collapsed against the wall gasping for breath and forgetting one important point…

Big cats can climb walls too!

#2 – Absolute Zero

He peered at me through thick spectacles, “Yes, it’s possible, although we’ve never tried it before… it would be interesting to see the results – a first for the Large Hadron Collider”.

I watched, fascinated, as he loaded the sample, secured the clamps and started up the superconducting magnets of the huge machine.

We stood in the control room, waiting – eventually, the scientist turned to me: “The temperature inside the Collider has now reached almost Absolute Zero, the coldest it is possible to achieve.”

Opening the collider’s hatch, he retrieved the world’s coldest ice-cubes, then slipped them into my scotch.

JULIE

Penance.

The subway reeks–
Things I care to not think of.

My atonement
Is counting the steps down
At Union Station,
Worn tile walls—

Thirteen filthy steps.
Father forgive me, I am

Cold.

You’ve forgotten me.
You all have.

The trains rattle past,
And do not stop

Gary the homeless man
Smiles and nods

He knows how it feels to be

Me, and alone

I slip him a 20–
More atonement.

The train heads uptown.
A mother bounces her son
On her knee
To the ratatattat of the number four
Green train.

I’m going home.

TURA

When I was a boy, it was cold all year round. Even in summer there was always snow lying. In winter, outside, you had to keep moving. The rivers never froze solid, though, not enough to walk on, so you could fall in if you weren’t careful. I knew people die that way, just a few hundred metres from their own house. If you were lucky and only got a bootful of water, you’d lose the foot if you didn’t get a fire going straight away.

Everything’s warmer now. People say that’s a bad thing, but I don’t see it.

SERENDIPITY

There’s a common misconception that cold steel is the ultimate killing material – that’s incorrect, steel does the job, whatever the temperature.

If you’re on the receiving end of a well-honed and sharpened piece of steel, trust me, you’re not going to be overly concerned about the temperature of the blade, or whether you’re likely to catch a chill from it.

For me, it’s a matter of preference – personally, I like my steel to be red hot. You’ll be just as dead by the time I’ve finished – but the sizzle and smell of burning flesh really adds to the pleasure!

MUNSI

I Wasn’t There

By Christopher Munroe

I’m thirty-six years old.

Which means that, when the Berlin Wall fell, I was twelve.

Do you get that? I was twelve. The idea of the cold war, and all it entailed, all the fear, hate, dread and paranoia, are things that I’ve only ever viewed through the prism of a twelve-year-old boy’s perspective.

I’m reasonably intelligent, good with history, but let’s face it, at twelve I wasn’t able to properly interpret the level of geopolitical relpolitik the fall of the wall required.

I wasn’t there yet, intellectually speaking.

And now, it’s too late.

That moment in history has passed…

ZACKMANN

In the rainy season my neighbors tell me it’s cold but when I asked my upper midwestern mother if twenty degrees Fahrenheit was cool she replied “You mean 20 degrees above zero in January?” then she laughed five minutes. I do have to admit it is a little cold especially if you have to work outside but if I spit into the wind and don’t get hit by an ice cube it really isn’t very cold. Currently it’s over one hundred degrees Fahrenheit so plan on following tradition and writing a Christmas song to get my mind off the heat.

RICK

Midnight …
-12 degrees, windchill of 30 below.
Dressed for the weather, armed with a pint of blackberry brandy, 2 joints, and a crowbar Ed hiked to the overlook above the interstate.

“The Black Ice Bolshoi”

Cars careening out of control at 70 mph …
An amazing thing to see!

In dire situations Ed called for help, was quick to lend a hand.
Those times when there was no injury, and the vehicle abandoned,
Ed pried open the trunk, and stole.

In the trunk of the green Ford lay 30 pounds of skunk bud!!!
It would be a good year for Ed!!!

SPATE

Hash – Part 13

Bring on this last meal, a testament to a life lived imperfectly: greasy
bits of potato with ground meat compacted together to attain the
unappetizing consistency of leftover dog food.

Warden had the hash served cold. Not room temperature cold – back shelf
refrigerator cold. Left in the opened can for presentation cold.

The saliva thickened in Davidson’s throat as he drew the first spoonful to
his mouth; just three chews and a rough swallow down.

Then he heard the thunder of hard rain pelting the metal roof.

He smiled. “Food sucks; service is subpar; but the atmosphere. oh the
atmosphere!”

TOM

“That was cold.”
“I’m a misogynic magimanical sociopathic, but that shit was world class
frosty.”
“They’re going to have to build a whole new ring in hell for your
blistering frozen ass.”
The Iceman turned his dead eyes toward Rudy, seemly deaf to the man’s
endless stream of observation.
“Italian or Chinese?” said the big man wiping the blood from the knife
onto the archbishop’s cassock tossing the handle into the air.
Ruby reflectively grabbed it.
He was dead before he hit the floor.
“Yes Italian would do nicely” dipping his hand in the holy water font as
he left.

A Well Defined Relationship Part 54
The first ten of the bandits piled into the holcarpet cloaked ditch. Five
flat out broken necks, five knocked out cold. Seeing the pile-up El Cid
ordered all to dismount and scrambled to the left directly against
Banister’s line. They fanned out and the men behind the carts keep them
pinned down. Bullets rang off body armor on both sides of the fray. El
Cid Caesar caught the flash of gingham to his right. Women screaming,
franticly trying to round-up children. Le Cid motioned for 10 men to take
the women. Doc smiled his cold calculation would win the day.

CHELSEA

Reaching out in the dark her fingers brush air and nothing else.

‘Oh right,’ she thought to herself, ‘he’s not here’

She rolled over in the empty bed trying to find a spot that was still warm from her body.

She missed him with an ache that she could not put into words. In that moment she did not remember all the logical reasons he was not in her bed, she just wanted to reach out and find him there, warm and waiting.

She rolled again reaching out for her phone. Smiling she saw a message, he was cold too.

LIZZIE

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

The massive wall had been built to create two worlds, the real and the unreal.

The crowds gathered on one side, effusively enjoying the reassuring calmness. They felt protected.

When the old man placed his cold hand on the wall, a cry of anguish erupted, followed by sheer horror.

At first, there was only a dry muffled sound. Then, as if in slow motion, the wall crumbled in a thousand icy fragments.

The real and the unreal could no longer be distinguished. People no longer had that soothing comfort.

Once more, they were doomed to face reality… and to think.

NORVAL JOE

Esmeralda’s glossy red lipstick glimmered in the candlelight of the intimate dining table. She raised her chilled wineglass in a toast and clinked it against his. The silver flecks in Garrison Plastert’s hair matched his cold steel eyes.
He smiled and brought the goblet to his mouth.
Esmeralda smiled as well, but waited to sip her wine until she saw his throat pulse with swallowed liquid.
“You always said I was cold hearted, Gary. You should have known better than to drink my wine.”
Agent Plastert of Super Villain Containment and Control felt a cold lump form in his stomach.

DIONYSIS

Bad Plan

I asked only one thing — keep it cold enough to keep me from thawing!

How was I to know it was necessary to freeze myself all the time?

I asked you: Can you work a thermostat?

I grew up in a warm climate in my blood!

Can you dial a phone if something goes wrong? I asked.

My face and fingers were actually a blue color every day by the time I went home!

Do you understand “Keep it cold?”

We were poor but we could afford heat at least!

Now I will perish!

If somebody is too cheap to pay the gas to keep the house warm, is that my fault?

Underground

Life will find a way. Life in these depths is bearable. We sometimes even complain of the cold.

As you ascend, the temperature slowly rises.

If you are brave or foolish enough to continue your ascent, the heat becomes unbearable.

Approaching the surface you are likely to grow crisp around the edges, even burst into flame, at the edges. You will shrivel –or even hop, like water or tears on a griddle; your internal organs expand. You will unexpectedly explode, with liquids bursting and boiling away.

Life will find a way. We stay here below to avoid such violent endings.

Seance

Our fifth visit to Madame Carrefour was as thrilling as the previous ones.

The lights flickered and dimmed. When I glanced at Elyse I saw a glimmer in her eyes. We sat expectantly in the dim, sweltering room. Just as I prepared to question Madame, a manifestation of cold enveloped us — the spirit!

“Will you speak to us?” asked our guide above the mechanical hum that suddenly set our senses vibrating.

We waited — until Elyse spoke in a voice I did not recognize, “Please!”

“Tell us your needs!” whispered Madame.

A delicious ambiguity gripped us.

Perhaps tomorrow!

It’s the Humidity

Was it cold?

He exhaled a deep, foul breath. The massive wings trembled, as if themselves in thought.

Maybe by definition. But we didn’t feel it.

It was “void,” after all — total darkness — a cold, dark void, yes. But a dry cold …

Didn’t matter to us anyway. We were comfortable, and there wasn’t much to do — what does somebody like that need messengers for?

But that was the whole point of the eternal flames, wasn’t it? We’d been indifferent to all the everyday worries — and then, Boom! Hot as hell! And humid!

Try that on for all time!

PLANET Z

It’s cold in space.
Nothing’s colder than space, except when your crewmates shove you out of the airlock into it.
The asteroid is under quarantine. Lethal xenomorph alert.
The captain ordered us to send down our shuttle anyway.
“Let’s see what all the ruckus is about,” he said.
We showed him the warning reports. The horrifying video that the few survivors from earlier missions brought back.
And the live feed from the surface that showed swarms of acid-blooded predator monsters.
“I’ve seen worse,” said the captain.
So, we shoved the stupid asshole in the airlock and dumped him out to space.

3 thoughts on “Weekly Challenge #425 – Cold”

  1. As always, I enjoyed Serendipity’s twisted take on the topic. I’m envisioning her testing steel at all sorts of temperatures, from freezing cold to burning hot. Jab jab, write down results. Jab jab, write some more. Repeat. Rinse down.

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