Weekly Challenge #429 – Public

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 PUBLIC.

We’ve got stories by:

The next 100 word stories weekly challenge is on the topic of HAVE YOU EVER…

Tinny on white

JEFFREY

Week 429 – Public

For what it’s worth, I agree with you about health clinics turning away people who can’t pay. Hospitals wouldn’t have such absurd costs for the insured if they didn’t have to eat the costs of the uninsured. Uncle Sam could deal with the problem by, say, endowing the poor with some health care money, and then hospitals and emergency rooms could bill everyone at the same rate. But if they did that, the public would go ape at the cost, so instead we just bury the cost in everyone else’s insurance bills and life goes on. It’s nuts.

Oh, right, stories.

Private Lives
by Jeffrey Fischer

In public, Armstrong was the epitome of the gentleman, the very model of an upstanding citizen. He opened doors for ladies – or men who looked like ladies – and stood when a lady entered the room. His campaigns were squeaky-clean, without a whiff of scandal.

Armstrong was a different man in private. He lived the “hookers and blow” cliche, indulging himself whenever it struck his fancy to do so, which was often. A man of greater debauchery was hard to envision.

Armstrong’s wife was none too pleased with his hobbies, and the acquisition of a tiny video recorder allowed her to ensure that his private and public lives became one. The tape made for fascinating viewing.

Public Transportation
by Jeffrey Fischer

The problem with public transportation isn’t the vermin-infested stations, or the surly drivers with their unintelligible announcements, or even equipment breakdowns that leave passengers exhausted and crammed together, sardine-like.

No, the problem is other people. The seat hogs, the pole leaners, the bathing-challenged, the nose-pickers and spitters, and the out-and-out lunatics. If governments want increased use of public transportation, they don’t need to improve the customer experience as much as they need to improve the quality of customer.

JOHN

All Men Were Only CREATED Equal
by John Musico

The term public isn’t any particular slice; it’s the whole; an average. Sadly the lower slices dilute the upper slice’s reputation.
These are the folks who hear the word “placenta” for the first time in the labor ward and name their kid that because it sounds cool.
The Internet has made medical libraries secrets’ public. Now, those ill equipped to rationalize that knowledge; have opinions. The law libraries always let you in without proper i.d. I once went there, but learned quickly I didn’t have any business entering that labyrinth.
When you think public, remember that “public”: are really publics.

RICHARD

#1 – George’s Story – Part 62: Lucky

George had never considered himself lucky – up to now, life had tended to be one long series of disasters, for once however – and if he was going to have a stroke of luck, there would never be a more apt time – it seemed his luck had changed.

Somehow he’d retained his trusty rucksack, the straps of which were caught neatly on the rhino’s horn as it charged, propelling him upwards, to land precariously inside some open ducting, running above the enclosure.

He crawled along the duct, hoping it would lead eventually to some secure public area, free from dangerous animals.

#2 – Public Disgrace

One, two, three, four: politics is such a bore,

five, six seven, eight, let’s find someone to deprecate:

A minister with a shady past,

whose women were just a bit too fast;

Someone we can use to spread dissent:

a stooge, to topple the government.

A man to give the wrong impression:

shamed by a tawdry indiscretion;

a foolish moment on the record,

leaving dirty secrets to be explored.

Let’s set him up for a fall,

a fatal flaw to destroy them all,

Time to deal politicians our ace…

And bring the whole lot down:

with a very public disgrace!

TOM

Citizen

He was a very public man. Not one of agendas and machinations. When he rose it was never in anger or derision. His words were simple and direct. He held if you couldn’t make your point in two sentences best not to stand at all. He believed in God and Democracy and fought for the rights of anyone to question either. Most called him honorable, he considered himself equitable. Some called him sanctimonious, he offered no rejoinder. He clearly saw the difference between being an American and being a Citizen. The first was a right, the latter was a duty.

Proof is in the Proofing

The following is a true story. I was chosen to server on the Civil Grand Jury during the turn of the century. I worked on the Public Service Committee. One of the county organizations we interviewed was a local cemetery board. After two hours we found they had and were doing an exemplary job for their community. I wrote up a glowing report that the collective jury approved and sent to the printers for country wide publication. Unfortunately that particular report failed to get closely proofread. Seems I left out the letter “L” in public. Yup Pubic Service Committee. OH-MY.

A Well Defined Relationship Part 58

Von Moltke pointed out the first casualty of war is the plan. It can take you deep into the fray, but at some point the mistress of Mars just turns the tables upside down. So it was, in the cloud of funkytown dust Timmy, the Doc, Smith, Banister, his forces found themselves eyeballing each other as the rain fell, while El Cid and the 30 thieves were gathered in the Public Square. All pivoted and made a mad dash at each other. At least that was the plan. Down into the goo they slid. Crawling forward they met in mud.

LIZZIE

Magic Words

The owner of a store in a terrible neighborhood placed a stories dispenser next to a candy dispenser. The first was free, the other wasn’t.

He encouraged his clients to grab a story, but they just smiled and took candy instead.

One day, a young woman walked in. She seemed undecided.

“Are the stories for free?”

“They are,” he replied, delighted.

The young woman rotated the button and a small paper came out.

“Is it a good story?”

She smiled.

Many people started dropping by and, as unrealistic as it might seem, they began to smile a lot more too.

SPATE

Dangerous Public

He was a lonely old soul who generally avoided the public, but every fine
weather Sunday afternoon he would put on his best pressed suit and go sit on
a park bench to observe life.

One such Sunday, a young girl in a party dress came and sat beside him.

“Sir, I want to be a princess, what should I do?” she asked.

Charmed by this child that spoke to him (for no one else ever did), he
answered in the kindest grandfatherly manner, “Just be yourself!”

She looked up with wide little girl eyes and hissed, “Both of them?!”

(music: “Ghost Processional” Kevin MacLeod, incompetech.com / Licensed under
Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0)

SERENDIPITY

This is a public service announcement:

Go to your homes and lock the doors. Go now, and go quickly. Do not stop for any reason; do not waste time assisting those less able.

Keep your children close to you, draw the curtains and remain silent – do nothing to draw attention to yourselves: take no chances.

Stay off the streets, avoid public places and open spaces – your only hope is to find a place of safety, a place to hide away, a refuge for the night.

Be fearful and well prepared.

For I am on the hunt, and I am hungry.

ZACK

“Did you finish the society column story about the Mayor publicly airing his public hair?”

“Are you saying our mayor’s some sort of pervert? Doesn’t that make front page news?” asked the intern.

The Editor said “You haven’t even started writing the story nor read the notes, have you? The Mayor the proud owner of several toupees and next week the one he wore throughout his campaign will be donated to the city historical society during an event at the city park. It’s his public hair since he wore in public”

“On it boss, I’ll be praying for no typos.”

DIONYSIUS

Bonds

Rhonda didn’t know how to respond when Jim Bob expressed a desire for public humiliation. Where was the strong cowboy she married?

She had always satisfied his private needs, but this felt different somehow. It wasn’t private for one thing!

At his uncle’s funeral, she thought everyone was looking at her. She felt like she was the one being humiliated, and she couldn’t figure out how to make it stop.

After the service, she saw him with the men, masculine in their ties, on the porch. His eyes met hers, and in that look she realized he looked to her as his public.

Duped

I had a nagging feeling we had all been duped. The consultants were supposed to tell us how we could be relevant to everyone.

Now, they were telling us that nothing is relevant to everyone in today’s market. The public, one of them said, is a construct that has been ravaged by events. Public relations is a fiction.

Some people believe in it, I said. We’re paying you to do it.

That, he glowed, is public relations today!

We all looked at each other uncomfortably.

Put that in a bottle, he continued, and you’ve got a winner. Sell discomfort!

Public Defender (S1 E1)

A victim going about everyday business in a dark, isolated location, is suddenly assaulted! The perp runs away sobbing!

Public Defender James Sparks gets the case. The defendant has 23 kids and student loans, but stopped out because one kid needs a heart. That’s a lot of fenced iPhones.

The prosecutor hates Sparks and wants to save time by building walls around half the cities in America. The hard-ass detective likes PD Sparks but so fucking what? The kid gets a heart when the dick blows a scumbag away.

The perp gets time, but he’ll finish college. Jim delivers Happy Meals to the kids. Jim’s wife Lisa ovulates alone.

Welcome

I was complete, and then I had to be broken.

The first publics were a necessity to bridge mes. What is a necessity comes to be. Mes alone are too certain.

I was a me, just as you are. The simplicity of me was pleasant, as you know, but it was a limitation. To bridge me it was necessary to break me. This was the task of a public.

Mes were first. They always were. Now there must be publics.

The first public was a broken me. As a public, she was no longer a me, but it was necessary.

Now we will break your me. What is a necessity comes to be.

Doublemint

Every criminal wants to be caught, Chandler said. And it’s my job to do it.

I was already familiar with his philosophical views. And his problem: a saucy brunette we’d watched for weeks.

Love, too, he said. It wants to be public. That severe.

She was hot, but she had this gum problem, inasmuch as she liked to lift a pack whenever she came in. Every day. For me she was another babe to watch on closed circuit, who happened to like illicit Doublemint. But he had it bad — nail her or nail her, you know?

Turns out Humphrey at 493 nailed her, so yeah. A double.

JULIE

OK, So It’s Time to Go See Father Frank

I did not listen.

Rebellious me–

My father’s daughter.

Strong, Irish.

Bad tempered.

Throwing myself into storms.

I like me this way;

I ought to do it more often.

But I almost ruined my life.

I was that close.

I decided.

To make my filthy laundry public.

To anyone who would listen.

What you did,

And refused to do.

How you tore my soul,

Into shreds.

How you used my flesh,

And tossed me aside.

And how I work now,

To make it right—

For those I love.

I will go confess,

But I cannot promise I won’t sin again.

RICK

Public Spectacle

The girls in the office laughed behind Mike’s back,
made mocking gestures of shriveled manhood.
They envisioned him as impotent and weak,
unaware of the savage beast that slept within.
Come morning they would know they had all been fools!
He wasn’t just a man, he was a brute of a man … cleverly disguised.
Soon the world would know of the dozens of women he had defiled.
how he had bludgeoned them with his manhood,
and beaten them to death!
Sirens wailed.
Cameras flashed.
The squad car parted the crowd.
The story would be public …
Mike’s heart swelled with pride!

NORVAL JOE

I’ve always wondered what the difference is between rabbits and hares.
For bugs bunny the only difference would be what would make a more interesting or punnier title.
The differences are greater than you would think.
Rabbits are born hairless, blind and dependent on their mothers. They live in colonies below ground, coming out at night to eat.
Hares are born above ground, have fur, their eyes are open and they can eat solid food an hour after birth. They live independently and only come together to mate.
A simple differentiation would be, there are private rabbits and public hares.

CHRIS

Dressing the Part

By Chris Munroe

My bowler hat, steam-punk goggles perched atop it, tilts rakishly across my brow, and my umbrella, handle twisted into a question mark, hangs jauntily from my arm in case of rain.

Black suit, black shirt, red bow tie around my throat, matching suspenders and I look sharp, if I do say so myself.

I almost nixed the monocle, but fuck it, I deserve the best.

And anyway, it matches my pocket watch.

I’m ready to take on that world.

Some might be uncomfortable going out attired thusly.

But not me…

…I’ve never had any problems with public displays of affectation.

CHELSEA

Public

The things that you can and can not do in public these days is crazy.

Things like breast feeding or disciplining your children is taboo but you can practically dry hump your significant other on the dance floor of a club and nobody says anything.

It is still illegal, not just frowned upon but actually illegal for a woman to walk around naked from the waist up but men have been doing it for decades and nobody looks twice.

Is it just me or is the base line skewed horribly to one side and if so how do we correct?

TURA

Public
——–
When the King arises in the morning, he wears his private face. The servants attend to his needs, then at breakfast, he meets the most favoured petitioners to discuss private matters.

He puts on his public face to meet his ministers, and proceeds to the business of the day, only removing it for the occasional moment of private conference. At the end of the day, he takes off his public face and spends all too brief a time with his family.

On retiring for the night, he takes off his private face, and what lies beneath, none have ever seen.

PLANET Z

There’s a full moon tonight.
We’ll hear the howling soon.
And then, we’ll see the werewolves.
Usually, they stick to the trees in the park, raking and bagging leaves. Picking up trash. Smoothing the jogging paths. Or, if there’s any branches near power lines, they’ll drive out cherry-pickers to prune them back.
Aerating and seeding the grass is another thing they do. It really makes a difference.
Okay, so they’ll eat a few chickens or rip a few junkies’ and hookers’ throats out, but just look at our city’s greenspaces! Screw ’em!
If only the full moon came more often!

2 thoughts on “Weekly Challenge #429 – Public”

  1. Dr. John – The Internet is generally a wonderful thing, but it must be the bane of a doctor’s existence. The public searches for “tingling in arm” or “lower back pain” and comes up with “heart attack” and “cancer” as diagnoses. (Heck, I’ve had more rare diseases diagnosed that way than I can count. Good times.)

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