Weekly Challenge #449 – Cranberries

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: CRANBERRIES

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The next 100 word stories weekly challenge is on the topic of SHOE. Scroll up and click on Weekly Challenge to learn how to join us!

Cat impediment

JOHN MUSICO

Cranberries
by John Musico

I moved from Massachusetts where cranberries grow wild to a job in Alaska.
Back home, I was famous for my cranberry pie. I picked the berries myself.
When I moved, I was anxious to be accepted by my new neighbors. I knew just how to do it. I went out berry picking.
I threw a yard party and urged everyone to have yet another slice of my prize pie.
What I didn’t know is that in Alaska grows the baneberry much resembling the cranberry. Baneberries contain protoanemonin causing GI symptoms followed by hallucinations and even cardiac arrest. I left town.

MUNSI

Assumptions Based on the Prompt “Cranberries”

By Christopher Munroe

American Thanksgiving!

Right?

I assume that’s what the prompt means.

I don’t understand how American holidays are structured, honestly. Our thanksgiving is your Columbus Day? I think?

Your football’s different than ours too, and it’s nearly impossible to get a proper Ceaser down there…

…and don’t get me started on baseball. If you want to watch a sport where a thing gets hit with a stick, watch hockey like normal people!

Ah well, at least your “hit-thing-with-stick” sport isn’t Cricket. I have zero idea how Cricket works…

But I digress.

My point is, it’s American Thanksgiving! Probably!

So: Thanks, Americans!

JEFFREY

Cranberries
by Jeffrey Fischer

Devon grew up in a devout, conservative household. Among the many taboos she learned was a prohibition on swearing, which was uncouth at best and blasphemous at worst. As a child, she never found this to be a problem; she never encountered a situation that could be improved with a timely epithet. If she ever needed one, however, she decided her all-purpose word would be “cranberries.”

Then Devon grew up and started working with lawyers, and learned their devious ways. Her colleagues found her to be polite and hard-working, but they could never understand her obsession with cranberries.

Trainer Drink
by Jeffrey Fischer

College kids learning to drink liquor often don’t like the taste of alcohol, so they like to ease into the process with trainer drinks: alcoholic beverages that taste more like candy than booze.

One legend has it that the marketing department at Ocean Spray invented the Cosmopolitan. One part vodka to two parts lime juice and three parts cranberry juice, the drink appealed to women because of its pink color and fruity taste. It was an alcoholic beverage that didn’t taste like one, a true trainer drink. And yet the primary benefit was to keep the cash registers at Ocean Spray very busy.

RICHARD

#1 – George’s Story – Part 81: Zombie

By the time George returned to the camera, night was drawing in and he was feeling distinctly jumpy roaming the darkened hospital. He caught himself involuntarily singing the Cranberries song, ‘Zombie’ under his breath – despite any supporting evidence, his mind was still convinced the zombie apocalypse had come.

He angrily dismissed the thoughts and changed the soundtrack in his head.

Unfortunately, whistling a happy tune only served to make him more afraid, particularly when he discovered a locked door bearing the legend: ‘Beta project – no unauthorised access’.

He charged the door, remembering – too late – such moves only work in films!

#2 – Sauce

I was told that cranberries are harvested by flooding the fields and letting the fruits float to the surface, where they are skimmed off.

It struck me as a brilliant idea – one that I could apply to a whole variety of crops… sadly, it hasn’t quite worked out.

Potatoes don’t float, neither do carrots, and mushrooms just went slimy in the water.

So I thought I’d give the tried and tested cranberries a go – but that didn’t work out either.

Foolishly, I harvested too soon after fertilising, and what floated to the surface wasn’t cranberries!

Slurry sauce anyone?

CHELSEA

Cranberries

They’re a staple in most houses around this time of year. Showing up on holiday tables between the first of October and the first of January.

You know what I’m talking about. You have all probably seen them, whether on your own holiday table or at a friend or relative’s house.

No matter how they are served, what they are served in, or how much someone tried to hide it, they always look vaguely like the can they came in and they just sit there.

This gelatinous substance that we all know so well is, of course, canned cranberry sauce.

TOM

That’s not Jell-O

My Aunt’s Thanksgiving Dinner was a wonder to behold. Soup to nuts it was. Possibly the most exotic offering on that table was the disk of gelatinous red. It occupied the area of the plate normally heaped with apple sauce. A density thrice Jell-O with a tenth its wiggle. Where adults got away with a nibble or a nosh, children were expected to down the whole serving. Further it was bad form to mix that with any other portion of food on the plate, which seem odd because everything else did get mixed together. Personally I really hate the stuff.

A Well Defined Relationship Part 73
“DOOM”
The Duke knew this love fest wasn’t going to suit the task at hand. “I got to bum these guys out.” Drawing in the great part of the remaining Tachyons the Duke bellowed out “DOOM” The stage filled with wailing, gnashing, and Lamentations. “Good,” said the Duke. Sparky cried “Why oh Lord are you getting medieval on our asses.” “Get over it Kid.” “Doctor what’s the plan?” The Doctor felt a light glow in his heart. “Stealth.” The bandit fell back into a less then helpful mood. He mumbles Doom Doom to himself. The sky shifted from green to red.

A Well Defined Relationship Part 74
“X”
As Banister crossed over into the Board land the first of EL Cid’s defenses was triggered. Waves of UV fog reduced visibility to 3 meters. “Oh I forgot to divulge that one,” said the bandit. “Why don’t I just drop you out the air lock,” said Smith. “Because I’m the only one who know how to …” “Direct a stream of Ortron particles at the parabolic mirror array to engage the tracking lights on the landing pad,” completed Sparky. El Cid stopped short. Spark aligned the Ortons. The landing pad lite up like a Christmas tree. The stage touched down on X marks the spot.

TURA

Cranberries
——–
The word “cranberry” derives from “cran”, a basket used to carry herring, and also used as a measure. “Cran” itself comes from the Old French “cragne”, a skull, but that in turn is a figurative meaning based on an older meaning of “bowl”. A skull is like a bowl, you see, a bowl of brains.

“Berry” can be traced back to the Proto-Germanic “bazja”, to chew, and then to the Sanskrit “babhasti”, to devour or destroy.

So symbolically, “cranberry” means “to feast on a bucket of brains”, which is why cranberry sauce proves that Thanksgiving is actually a zombie festival.

ANIMA

100 Years of Happiness

It sits, quivering on the table.

Joe passes, heading directly for the mashed potatoes.

Dianna goes by as well, staking a claim on the carrots and celery– “No corn sugar for me, it’s not on my diet”.

Uncle Harry thinks about it for a moment; but as his plate is about to avalanche onto the carpet, he opts to settle in at the last spot at the grownups table.

So I take the first jewel toned slice of perfect, smooth, sweet tang. Also a second, and a third. Fools! They know not what they have missed. I am in bliss.

SPATE

If I knew how to record on my phone… but shit, it’s hard enough to type never mind that I have to count my damned words by hand.

It wasn’t a huge storm but the snow was wet and heavy. We lost power at six-thirty on Wednesday evening.

The locals all have generators. Not us. Nor do we have a turkey or stuffing or pumpkin pie.

We do have a gallon of vodka infused with fresh cranberries and I’m drinking a big glass as I type.

Mom said to make the best of things.

Hey, I can see my breath!

SERENDIPITY

Dammit! Blue light’s flickered in my rearview mirror and I pulled over to the side of the road. Just my luck.

The officer poked around in the rear of the pickup.

“What’s in the sack ma’am?”

I blurted out, “Nothing, officer – just fruit”

“And that?”, he asked, pointing to the sticky red fluid oozing from the sack.

“Juice”

“Let’s see you taste it then, ma’am”

I scooped some on to my finger and licked it clean.

“Look… just cranberries”

As he drove away, I heaved, spitting the blood from my mouth – it had been a very close call!

LIZZIE

Peter hated cranberries and he simply couldn’t eat anything with the darn things in it. Thanksgiving was, as a result, a bit of a tricky time, especially because of his mother’s explosive temper. Anyone refusing to have her special cranberry sauce was an insult to her over-sized ego.

When Peter volunteered to cook this year’s meal by himself, his mother sneered. “You can’t cook!”

One thing is for sure, next year’s meal will not include cranberry sauce.

Peter made it a point of having cranberries decorating his mother’s grave and a nice shiny plaque saying “I’m not grateful for cranberries.”

NORVAL JOE

“Let’s go,” Superconductor said, pulling out a handgun and waving it toward the door.
“Me too?” The Crazy Old Cat Lady asked.
“Yeah. Come on.”
Dergle followed the old woman down a hallway beneath bare fluorescent tubes. Her hair, obviously dyed, glowed bright red in a shade somewhere between crimson and cranberry.
“Did you ever watch the ‘I Love Lucy’ show?” He asked her.
“Are you commenting on my hair?” she asked, obviously flattered.
“They say she used to dye her hair with human blood,” Superconductor said.
“You’re making that up,” Dergle said.
“Well, maybe. Okay, I did,” Superconductor admitted.
Suggested prompt. . . . . Chopped

DIONYSIUS

The First Thanksgiving

This pemmican is making me thirsty! said Ousamequin to allay the tension.

Annawan merely glared at Squanto, who smiled back in a way that enraged the the war-counselor of the Wampanoag. These illegal immigrants use salt not bearberries for flavor, he muttered.

Be nice! whispered Squanto, They’ll assimilate in time!

Their colloquy was interrupted by Captain Standish, who invited them to join in games such as Pin-the-Ninny, Hide the Frog in the Hopper, House, There’s a Draft for Annie (Who Feels a Draft?), Knots, Saltpeter Blowing Bubbles, Dick Drunk Drink, and Who Gets the Ball?

Kill them all, muttered Annawan.

PLANET Z

When I was young, we had big family Thanksgiving feasts, and everything was on the table. It was amazing.

But as I got older, I stopped going home for Thanksgiving.

Then, I stopped accepting the pity-dinner invitations from friends.

After I got married, we did smaller dinners. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. But she had to work later on holidays, and I just copped out with a cheap microwave turkey meal. And vodka.

What about the cranberries and pie.

Fine. Add them to the vodka, and you have a Cape Cod. Then light a pumpkin pie scented candle.

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