Weekly Challenge #432 – Limbo

(For Andrew, the one I betrayed the most of all.)

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.

LIMBO

We’ve got stories by:

The next 100 word stories weekly challenge is on the topic of MEDIA…

How not to toilet train your cat

TOM

A Well Define Relationship Part 61

El Cid’s mother hadn’t raised a fool, so he called out for his men to give up. Two of these men were in fact card carrying fools and made aggressive move at the good ladies of the gear guild. Twin pops reduced the number of bandits from 30 thieves to 28 thieves. Cid cried again this time invoking the universal word of surrender. “LIMBO.” In keeping with the rite of Limbo he and his comrades crawled on their bellies away to the right. Backing away the good ladies tossed the bandits mag-straints. None of their mother’s had raised fools either.

JOHN

The Journey
by John Musico

It started one day suddenly. Whenever I made eye contact with anyone; I couldn’t hold back an intense stare. Slowly, the stranger with fear in his eyes,
would change into me and then the lock of the stare would cease. I’d catch “my” reflection: I had become the stranger… again. I can barely remember what I looked like before this curse began; I’ve changed so many times.
One day, dumb luck crossed my path; the original me just standing there. That person of course didn’t recognize me. I eagerly locked eyes. Halleluiah I was back! The curse never returned again.

JEFFREY

How Low can You Go?
by Jeffrey Fischer

Johnny was as surprised as anyone to find himself at Simon’s beach party, doing the limbo. When Simon was in high school, Johnny had bullied him unmercifully, but he supposed that graduating changed everyone.

Johnny kept accepting drinks from Simon until Johnny was unsteady on his feet. It was his turn again, and to his surprise he noticed he was alone with Simon.

As he bent backward to try to slide under the pole, Johnny lost his balance, falling backward onto the sand. He tried to rise, but couldn’t move a muscle. “Don’t worry, that’s just the tranquilizer I put in your drinks,” Simon noted. He started packing up the effects of the party. “You’ll be just fine in around six hours. Too bad that the tide is coming in. I estimate the spot where you’re lying will be under water in about 45 minutes.”

Inhuman Resources
by Jeffrey Fischer

I wanted to hire a Research Analyst for the group, but my top candidate was blocked by a veteran who was manifestly less qualified. I called HR to see what could be done.

“You have to hire the veteran, because he takes precedence over all other candidates,” the HR woman told me.

“Okay, doesn’t it bother you that he appears to have lied on his resume, by saying he passed a statistics course when the course isn’t on his transcript and he denied ever taking the course when we interviewed him?”

“Well, we just have to take his word for it.”

“His word? Which time? When he wrote it or when he told us something different?”

“There’s nothing we can do for you.”

“So the superior candidate, who didn’t lie on her resume, is stuck in a bureaucratic limbo until the end of time?”

“That’s right. Anything else I can help you with today, Mr. Fischer?”

“I’m not sure I can take any more of that help.”

LIZZIE

The body was splattered all over the wide street, right in front of the town hall.

The Mayor scratched his head, looking up at the sky and down at the body. The police Chief did the same while trying to convince federal authorities to come over as quickly as possible. And everyone else just did nothing.

The truth is that the body had fallen from the sky, a rather unusual occurrence, one must admit. But the most bizarre aspect of this story was the fact that, ever since they closed the local airport, not a single plane flew over town.

RICHARD

#1 – George’s Story – Part 64: Alive

As luck – which had been more than generous up until now – would have it; it was the passenger door that faced the exit, through which George propelled himself.

And, it was locked.

Hearing the unmistakeable roar of the lion close at hand, George dropped to the ground, and with the flexibility of a champion limbo dancer, half-slid, half-shimmied himself under the vehicle, popped up on the other side and wrenched open the driver’s door.

Throwing himself into the Landrover, he slammed the door and collapsed behind the wheel, sweating, gasping, bruised, terrified and exhausted – but very much alive!

#2 – Stopover

So much for the ‘holiday of a lifetime’ – we were into our fifth day at the airport with no sign of respite.

It all started when the plane was diverted – the poor flying conditions forced us to land at a remote outpost that few had ever heard of, and a mix-up with paperwork consigned us to the tin shack that served as a transit lounge.

Tempers were frayed, tears shed and everyone’s patience exhausted – eventually, with nothing else on the horizon, we’d all become resigned to our fate…

Left… in a God-forsaken airport, in a town called Limbo.

#3 – If at first…

The knock on the door was unexpected – Limbo Laggings peered through the window, surprised to see the imposing form of a wizard, stood on his doormat.

As the door swung open, the wizard had barely begun to speak when the hobbit tersely interrupted:

“Whatever it is, I’m not interested! No double-glazing, driveway resurfacing or window cleaning… and definitely, not interested in saving my soul! Now, if that’s all, I’ve breakfast waiting!”

And with that, the door slammed in the wizards’ face.

He sighed.

Arranging quests never used to be this difficult. Maybe he should give the dwarves a try?

MUNSI

Limbo

By Christopher Munroe

Every limbo boy and girl,

All around the limbo world,

Gonna do the limbo rock,

All around the limbo clock,

Jack be limbo, Jack be quick,

Jack go under limbo stick,

All around the limbo clock,

Hey, let’s do the limbo rock.

The song plays on its eternal loop, and I know there’ll be no rest, no escape, no moment of respite.

This is my purgatory. Punishment of sins insufficient for hell, but enough to leave me here, alone in the void, with not but one song for company…

Limbo lower now,

Limbo lower now,

How low can you go?

SERENDIPITY

Holiday fun and games are not – as you will no doubt surmise – amongst my favourite things.

Sunbathing, volleyball, alcohol-fuelled beach parties and skinny dipping are really not that high on my list of priorities – but, you know how it is – sometimes you’ve no choice other than to make an effort.

This time, it was limbo dancing at the poolside bar – my suggestion – and I was to go last.

My turn never came – perhaps it was something to do with the razor blades I embedded on the underside of the pole… and the broken glass shards, liberally scattered below it?

ZACKMANN

“What’s Limbo?” asked John.

“Didn’t George Carlin say that there is no purgatory there’s only heaven, hell, and limbo. There’s nothing in limbo because if there were it would no longer be limbo?” said Joe

“Yes, but he proved his ignorance of theology when he asked “Why didn’t God sum up the Bible in one or two sentences?’ When most people know that as ‘Treat other as you wish to be treated’ and ‘Have no other gods before me.’ “ replied John.

“I’m opening Google Maps. If we can’t figure out what limbo is maybe we can find where.”

DIONSYIUS

A Kind of Nothingness

Neither of them could remember how they got there.

At first, it was a place of perpetual happiness. Alone, they were nothing; together, everyone was a newly discovered friend. Somehow, wherever they went, laughter and good spirits were waiting there for them with companions who smiled on their blossoming love.

And then, everything changed — had already changed. When?

Erstwhile friends cast shadows in their looks. The laughter swirled around them, enclosing them, and all potential friends smiled rigidly through them, past them, beyond them, for someone else. When had it changed?

Now they were together alone. Waiting, though neither knew for what.

Storytime in Infant Limbo

There once was a wee jelly jar who dreamed of becoming a big jar filled with jelly.

The wee little jar went to his mother and said, Mother dear, when shall I become a full jelly jar?

Said his mother, I do not know, my child. Ask your father.

So the tiny jar went to his father, asking, Father dear, when shall I grow big and be filled with jelly, so that those who love sweet jelly shall come to me and be filled themselves, with my assistance?

The father looked with compassion on his wee jar and said, Never!

The 2000-Year-Old Baby

They encouraged dancing, always the dancing! Maybe you noticed, babies don’t dance! So the dancing was a failure.

I was never interested in the dancing, I tell you that. But they wanted us busy. Why? Where were we going? Nowhere!

You know the dancing called “limbo dancing”? In the beginning that was big. So big! Nobody could do it!

The thing was here. All we could do was crawl under the thing! They said, No crawling! Dance! Lean over backwards! Always with the leaning! We don’t even stand up! We’re lucky to roll over!

They call it mild chastisement, the limbo dancing. I say it’s hell!

Life on the Outskirts of Hell

The people didn’t think they were fortunate because they were on the outskirts, but because they could see beyond. They could imagine crossing over. It was forbidden of course.

Little Timon often sat with his sister in the still dusk looking across the dusty river. Their parents had gone before either of the children could be baptised. They’d often heard discouraging tales of what happened to those who attempted the crossing, tales of death or worse.

A decision was impossible.

Years passed, they stayed, and Timon eventually grew accustomed to the pervasive stench of burning flesh — even their own.

PALADIN

All I have to do is to type ten digits. Three, three more, and then four. It’s the simplest thing and the most difficult thing. I’d rather be texting. Then I could just type it, revise it, send it, and then at least I could get on with my day while I wait for the reply. I go over the script in my head as I make my way past the area code. My pulse picks up speed as I carry on through the middle bit. I’m almost there. Only four digits left, then three, then two, and then one…

DANNY

The Centaur therapist named Jesus recently found himself cast into Limbo. He decided before he slipped off the edge into hell, he would try to put his therapist skills to good use. Noticing how all the other souls cast into Limbo were terribly depressed, Centaur Therapist Jesus had a brilliant idea. Lets teach them all how to Limbo. The lost souls from Trinidad were quick to place the bar as low as possible. Before long, those who died in Original Sin without being assigned to the Hell of the Damned emerged from death to life, and forgot they were Catholics.

CHELSEA

People say that there is nothing to fear but fear itself. I think there wrong, I think there is something out there that causes more fear than anything else.

It’s a moment, a moment that is gone in an instant. A moment of undefined nothingness.

It is the moment before you find out if you got the part, or before you see your fiancée at the end of the isle. It is the moment before you open the closet door, or walk into your bosses office for a meeting.

The only thing to fear is the limbo of not knowing.

NORVAL JOE

Ulnar Styoid, warrior chieftan of the Olecranon Process, scanned the data from his deep system sensors and shook his cylindrical head.
“Commander. I’m getting conflicting data from our advance scout units,” Liuetenant Commander Vas Deferens said, twisting his ear piece. “It appears there is a Limbo Sacral herniation on the mid-sagital plain.”
“The Mid-sagital?” Styloid asked. “Isn’t that the domain of the lumbar units?”
“Normally, Commander. We believe someone with Astrophysics experience pulled some strings and brought them from between dimensions. They’d been stuck there since galactic mitosis.”
Very well. Send Spheno Palatine to the orbital cavity for a look.

TURA

Limbo
——–
The dancer approached the impossibly low bar, only inches high. As the drumbeat swelled, he slowly leaned back until he was almost flattened against the ground, but still touching it only with his feet. He inched forwards with the beat, until his knees, if you could call them that, poked under the bar. Inch by inch he advanced until his hips passed through. Then in a single flowing movement, his whole upper body snaked under and he stood up to the cheers of his fellows.

Limbo dancing isn’t for humans any more. How can we compete with boneless alien lizardmen?

JULIE

Impossibly clear—

Painfully blue.

There was just too much sun.

Why did it have to end that way?

The perfect day, until it was not,

Until the world changed—

Irrevocably.

Humanity raining from the sky.

Into the earth, down to the

Bedrock of your lives.

13 years later I look at its bloody eye.

There is no sky 70 feet below ground,

To the place

Where we will always remember you.

I take my sandals off,

Root, into the frigid stone—

Small white hand—

Presses your tomb

All of you.

No day shall erase you

From the memory of time.

PLANET Z

Sammy lived and breathed baseball.
Little League World Series.
High school All American.
College World Series.
Drafted first pick, and shot through the minors like a rocket.
A. Double A. Triple A.
And then, the call-up.
While warming up for his first start, his elbow came apart.
Nine surgeries and years of rehab never got it back.
Sammy blew through the signing bonus like a hurricane.
Tried scouting and coaching, but he never had a head for it.
Now he coaches the batting cages on a cruise ship, dancing limbo with old ladies at night.
How low can you go?

1 thought on “Weekly Challenge #432 – Limbo”

  1. Serendipity – I was going to skip the agency picnic next month, but you’ve inspired me. I wonder if I can induce them to add limbo dancing as an activity…

    Norval Joe – I got a kick out of that first story. Very timely.

    Laurence – Hang in there.

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