Weekly Challenge #445 – X

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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: X

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JOHN MUSICO

The World Seems Surreal,
a.k.a. the “growth” of knowledge
by John Musico

Based upon equations fine,
the scientist builds by paradigm.
Like an inverted pyramid that ever grows,
The rows above it; derived from those below.
Any small flaw in fact grows and grows,
it hides in derivations… but no one knows.
If A=B and B=C then A equals C,
to that; we would agree.
However if B actually doesn’t =C,
then A’s in question, don’t you see?
If just one fact ain’t that great;
to build exponentially is its fate.
Soon the world and its surroundings,
Becomes confusing and confounding.
What they never realized-
is that their reality was synthesized.

LADY BLUE

A TSA Testimonial
by the Blue streak

“She wore titty patches beneath the sweater. In the shape of X’s, your honor.”

“So, because of these titty patches, you were unable to do your job?”

“Yessir. They were distracting. I zoomed in on the X-ray scan to see what they said.”

“And what did they say?”

“Your honor, is this really important? Clearly, the defendant neglected his duties, and he let that terrorist sneak the bomb onto the plane. 332 people died because a TSA agent with lots of libido saw titty patches?!”

“They said, ‘X marks the spot,’ your honor.”

“Yes, they certainly did, didn’t they?”

ANIMA

-X marks the spot-
The heist was supposed to be simple.
It started as a three man team: A, logistics, B, firepower and C, vehicles.
C took it upon himself to hire brothers D, E and F to boost and modify the required fleet.
They needed cousin G (a DMV clerk) to alter all the paperwork.
And it just got worse after that…
When contracted, I wanted to be J, crew translator, since A is Canadian and most the others are from sundry Central American countries; Instead, I got X, standing on the corner, stuck holding a red and white discount store shopping bag.

JEFFREY

The Equalizer
by Jeffrey Fischer

The name’s Summer, Barry Summer. I’m an operative. They call me the Equalizer, ’cause that’s my business. I knock down the big guys, bring ’em to the level of the little people.

When they told me about the mysterious Mr. X, I was intrigued. His rep said he could take your figure, any amount, and guarantee a huge return. This I had to see.

It took some time, but I finally tracked him down. He was just an imposter, leaning to one side like he was a big shot or something. I straightened him right up and looked him in the eye. I recognized him, all right – he was none other than Mister Plus. I subtracted him right off the board.

First Contact
by Jeffrey Fischer

The shrill alarm jolted Carstairs out of his seat. His job was to monitor X Band transmissions for NASA’s Deep Space Network, but nothing had come through before other than routine reports from NASA’s own missions. Until now.

Carstairs called the emergency number, and within minutes the room was filled with scientists. Some traced the source of the signal while linguistics experts tried to make sense of the transmission.

“It’s coming from Mars!” exclaimed one of the scientists.

“What does it say?” asked another.

Baines, the linguist, checked his calculations and frowned. “I think,” he said nervously, “they have ordered 124 Domino’s pizzas with all the toppings.”

RICHARD

#1 – George’s Story – Part 77: X doesn’t mark the spot

The big question was where exactly George should look for an answer – it must be somewhere in the hospital, and he was determined to find it.

He’d pursue a methodical hunt through potential locations – starting with offices and administrative areas, ruling out the wards as unlikely candidates. Grabbing several rolls of surgical tape from a nurses’ station, he began his task, marking the door of rooms he’d searched with a large ‘X’ of tape.

Every filing cabinet, cupboard and drawer was opened, but after hours of searching, he’d covered an entire hospital wing and was no closer to his goal.

#2 – Algebra

“If AB is equal to half XY, then what is the value of X?”

He may as well have asked me for the square root of cheese!

None of it made any sense: algebra, fractions, trigonometry… it was all Greek to me, and coming to think of it, I was pretty useless at languages too – including English!

So much for the left side of the brain, you’d reckon I’d have some artistic ability to make up for logical deficiencies?

Wrong again.

I can’t paint, sing, or play an instrument.

Beats me how I became a teacher in the first place!

TOM

COPYMAN

The boys on the 3rd floor were in pitch mode. “X is for Xylophone”

“That sucks.” “Oh yea, do better.” “X is for Xenophobe.” “What the fuck does that mean?” “Pinhead Xenophobia is a fear of the other.” What other?” “All others.” “That sucks a totally fearful super villain.” “NO NO zero charisma, he causes xenophobia and wares a Guy Fox mask.”

“How about X is for the Unknown?” “Get real.” “You’re a moron.” “No you’re a moron.” “I got it, I got it X is for Ten.”

“Lame.”

In the end the studio settled on “X is for Xerox ?”

SPATE

The Ex’s

His first wife loved it rich and utterly decadent. Drizzle chocolate sauce
on anything and her lower lip would quiver.

Wife number two was the opposite. She liked it bare and basic. Just a
banana; peeled, of course. Maybe brushed with a light coat of clover honey.

The third wife had a penchant for lovely slices of homemade strawberry
rhubarb pie with fresh whipped cream on top.

Pity that he could remember such intimate details of their dessert
preferences yet, once again, call out the wrong wife’s name at the most
inappropriate time.

Now he’s searching for wife number four.

(“Goldenshteyn” by Rozsa / rozsaband.com / curator: freemusicarchive.org /
WFMU recording / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0)

MUNSI

On Problem Solving

By Chris Munroe

Good morning, class. Today’s assignment; Solve for X.

Because X demands solutions, and X won’t be trifled with when it comes to getting what he wants.

And, as you know, X, or “The Mysterious Dr. X” as he prefers to be called, does have your loved ones hostage, meaning that you will not want to fail him.

You will not want to fail him.

Oh no.

The Mysterious Dr. X is not a man to be trifled with, as those who have come upon him will be only too quick to tell you.

He will not be failed.

So: Solve.

SERENDIPITY

Call me an old romantic if you like, but I see nothing wrong in giving a little kiss to say goodbye.

Nothing over the top… Just the equivalent of a discrete ‘X’ that you might add to a greeting on a card to a loved one.

I do find I have to explain myself to my victims though, who rarely understand the significance of my actions.

Bound and terrified, they find it hard to comprehend why I should plant a single chaste kiss gently on their forehead.

So I tell them as I carefully take aim: “‘X’ marks the spot”

TURA

X
——–
“There’s no such letter as X.

“What is it? A cross, not a proper letter. Now, R or G, those have proper shapes, but X, that’s what illiterate people make for a signature. You think we’re all called Ximenes or Xerxes? It doesn’t even have its own sound.

“Then take Y and Z. That’s ‘why’, then sleep, right? It means they don’t want you asking questions. The whole alphabet’s a subliminal suggestion. Don’t think, don’t question, just obey. You wonder why illiterates can’t get jobs? No-one’s allowed to employ us, we’re too dangerous, not brainwashed sheep.”

Said the wild-eyed beggar.
——–

ZACKMANN

“I was told you are The Man Called X like in the guy they did the radio show about but you would have to be at least one hundred years old.” said the statesman.

“I would indeed, That was my grandfather. X has become a bit of a family title. He was Senior or XS, my father is Two X, and I’m X Cubed but my friends call me Mister Thurston, they are very formal.” said Ken.

“X we want your help rescuing the Siamese.”

“Thailanders?” asked Ken.

“No someone kidnapped the prime minister’s cat in order to influence legislation .”

DIO

Solve for X

It hadn’t greened yet, but my great pleasure was watching her toddle in the backyard.

I didn’t notice a thistle that had sprouted over to one side until she was squatting next to it. Her arm jerked back in a way that grabbed me viscerally, but she didn’t move otherwise.

I went back later and cut it down long before I noticed her standing at the back door.
She stood close to the place for minutes.

Then she ran over to hug my leg. I picked her up and saw big tears had filled her eyes. We held each other tightly, but my only thought was, What have I done?

All My Exes: A 100-Word Anthology

Malcolm and Louis X execrating parallax ex nihilo in exasperation. King’s pax vobiscum.
Extravagantly coveting my neighbor’s ex on x. Ex cetera.
Ex ante examining X ex-items ex-dividend extended. Foxed out.
Texting exiting the X Games because of BMX XYY testing. Big boys on bikes.
Underexuberantly tictactexing. Xanax.
Indexing extentuation in IMAX XXX x-ray FX. Next.
Exhibiting Rex, the sex-hex Mexican’s x-rated flexing. Hixolé!
Axing: ox, XLT, exorbitant Apollo X, trans-XYZ? X-Men.
Quixote Sextet poleaxed, xylophone nixed, xboxed axeman taxing with sexist fixation excuses in Lexus taxi exit. Fiat Phoenix!
Exhorting Exene with an X-X-Men mix for Xmas. Minxed messages, execrable — eh?
X-Men 1040X-filing. Comix!?
Crosskisses, pardonnez-moi, :x

X Marks

X was a variable. It took the place of different values. At least she remembered that, somehow.

A word she couldn’t remember, at first. I think in Hegel’s view, she said, the Greeks X. A whole thought. It’ll come to me X.

Like using that, that, um X, to search and the list had gaps, part of the internet X. More X every time.

Then a face. An X of Xs around it — so familiar — and an X remembered on its own. Mistake. X is a mistake. The face an X.

Until it was all X, XXXXXXX. Period.

LIZZIE

“X marks the spot,” said Sir Thomson a bit too merrily after crashing his plane and killing Lady Thomson.

Mr. Crawford, their guest, was extremely annoyed, to say the least. The idea of flying over Sir Thomson’s deserted island seemed quite idiotic from the get-go.

Persistent as always, Sir Thomson dug until he found a box. Surprisingly, a cell phone emerged.

“Our salvation,” said Sir Thomson, oblivious of the fact that the cell tower of that area had been knocked down by his hazardous flying.

X marked the spot alright, it marked the spot where Mr. Crawford waited and waited.

NORVAL JOE

Long John used Dergle as a spring board he flew toward Superconductor, locking his teeth onto the lapel of the leader’s suit. Long John growled and thrashed about, refusing to let go.
Garbage Man pulled at the dog until, with a loud rip, dog and lapel tore away.
“Okay,” Superconductor conceded. “Take you infernal canine and wait in that room. We’ll consider your application.”
Behind the door marked, “X”, Dergle found a chair, a small table and a book. He waited nervously, paging through the book, “The legend of Ronald Reagan”, wishing the door had lead to a bathroom, instead.

CHELSEA

X

There has been a debate for centuries, for millennia even about the underlying difference between men and women. It has ranged through such topics as social obligation, societal morays, physical and mental ability, wardrobe and other esthetic considerations. All of these debates designed to make one gender or the other feel inferior.

At the end of the day, there is truly only one difference between men and women. It is the most fundamental, rooted right down in the very basic level of what makes up a human being.

The difference between men and women is a plane and simply X.

PLANET Z

Nobody taught Old Rufus to write, so when folks asked him to sign his name on something, he’d just mark it with an X.
It wasn’t like he could read what he was signing. And experience had taught him that what people told him he was signing wasn’t always the same as what he was signing. Or, if they told him, he couldn’t really understand all the fancy words and legal mumjo-jumbo.
That’s why Old Rufus carried a loaded shotgun around. Anybody who tried to screw him out of anything, he’d mark them with a large hole in the chest.

2 thoughts on “Weekly Challenge #445 – X”

  1. I love you too (in a no threatening no romantic way of course)
    Maybe I am Xenophobic, I mean when I go to the movies I almost always cheer for the humans to win.

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