Weekly Challenge #476 – Try

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JEFFREY

There is No Try
by Jeffrey Fischer

Jedi Danskin and Master Yogi found themselves suspended by their ankles over a pot of boiling tar, their hands and feet bound.

“Master Yogi, we’ve go to try to get out of here!”

“Young Danskin, there is no ‘try,’ only ‘do.'”

“Stop it with that Jedi philosophical bullshit! If you can ‘do,’ get us free.”

In the afterlife, a boiled Danskin angrily confronted the equally boiled Yogi. “So much for your mystical crap. Now we’re both dead!”

Yogi replied, “The wrong goal set for yourself you did. ‘Boil me painfully,’ you should have said, then successful you would be.”

“You’re an asshole, Yogi.”

Shell Game
by Jeffrey Fischer

The kid was dealing three-card monte to one of his shills. I watched for a moment, mesmerized by the kid’s fluid motions with the cards. The shill “won” the game, pointing to a card that, turned over, revealed the Queen of Hearts. “Hey mister,” the kid called to me, “try your luck?”

I must have looked green. “Sure,” I said, and laid down a bill on the cardboard box. The kid showed me the red queen, two black Jacks, then moved the cards around in a silky gesture that I had to admire. “That one.” I pointed to the card on my left. Naturally, it was a jack. “Sorry, mister,” the kid said, sweeping both cards and money off the box.

“Not so fast.” I grabbed his wrist and forced him to drop the cards. Three jacks, just as I knew it would be. I pulled out my piece. “This time, the house loses.”

RICHARD

If at first…

During my formative years, the message was always constant – parents, teachers, all told me the same thing: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”.

Of course, I tried – and failed – again and again, and again, and still they’d tell me, “keep trying, you’ll get there eventually”.

Then I became a Jedi.

Yoda’s approach was a little different: “Do, or do not”, he would say; “there is no ‘try'”.

So, being unable to ‘do’, I did not, and being a faithful follower, there was no try.

I still failed… but the Dark Side isn’t so bad.

TOM

But for a Moment

The Dead are Motionless

No matter how he tried the end outcome remained the same. Was it a matter of insufficient intelligence? A lack of raw physical prowess? Or just dumb luck? Was time and space conspiring to limit all possibilities to produce a single unacceptable conclusion? He had long ago lost track of the times he stood upon the plain. Knowledge had been fused into reflex. The sheer din of confusion had been reduced to a single path, like a stream finding its way in a meadow. The problem, that meadow always ended at the gates of hell.

I must try

Again

SERENDIPITY

“Try it, you might like it”, he suggested.

So I tried it, and he was absolutely right: in fact I liked it so much I wanted more.

I cleared my plate, then gorged on what was left in the pot. I asked if he had any more, and he pointed me to the refrigerator, where I feasted on cold cuts and leftovers.

They’ll tell you that human flesh tastes like pork, or chicken, but take it from me, it’s far tastier than either.

I wanted more.

I think he regretted introducing me to cannibalism, when I began eating his face.

ZACKMANN

So the trial judge said “I have found you guilty of not believing in the possibility of the fantastic. Therefore I sentenced you to be a cookie god; The god of Home Baked Cookies. Now go and smite The Many Headed Hydrox. ”
Now here I am and every time I cut off a head, The Hyrox grows two new and differently flavored cookie wafer heads in its place. The only one who might help me is the Oreo god but his loyalty is hard to determine since The Hydrox has been both rival and older lover to the Oreo god.

JERRY

I have been in search of that one saying that I can pass along to cheer people up. “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud”. After the tornado last week I switched to “There is nothing impossible to those who will try”. That did not seem to work. Then there was “Don’t try to be something you’re not”. That lasted about a day. Now I am down to “Try, Try, Try, again”. Nope. Does anyone have some ice for this fat lip I got this morning? Next on the list is sayings about Laziness. I hope it works better.

SPATE

Trying

“T” is for tenacity,
you must never give up.

“R” is for resilience,
especially when the going gets tough.

“Y” is for.

Why? Why?

He paused skeptically at the bathroom mirror, looking for hints of the
future in the veins and crevices that marked his aged face.

Why even try? The outcome would be the same; no matter.

When the writer began writing the first word of the first sentence certainly
he knew that the last chapter would come.

Life inevitably brings death.

Still we try.

He opened the mirrored medicine cabinet door and reached for the amber pill
bottle.

(music: “Bumble” by Podington Bear aka Chad Crouch / used under Creative
Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License / curator:
freemusicarchive.org / intro snippet taken from 1972 Alka-Seltzer commercial
used per my understanding of Fair Use)

Nursery Rhyme

Annie was known for her cheerful disposition. She was always happy. Even on
Mondays she wore a smile. People called her Happy Annie.

But a little darkness looms in all of us; in some more than others.

Happy Annie’s secret darkness was found after she died laughing. They
discovered it behind the last door in the upstairs hall of her tri-colored
Queen Anne Victorian.

Annie collected babies. Dead ones.

One of the cops inadvertently filmed the whole room with his body camera.
Hackers stole the footage, posted it online and it went viral.

You can Google it: “Happy Annie’s Nursery”

TURA

Try
———
A trial balloon went up this morning. Usually, we know the verdict already, because only the judge, prosecutor, and accused go aloft. The accused is found guilty and thrown out, from a height commensurate with the gravity of the charge. If there’s defending counsel on board, an acquittal was likely negotiated, because an unsuccessful defender is also thrown out.

Most entertaining is when the court shows clemency and allows the accused to climb down the balloon’s tether, which is thickly greased. He never makes it, especially with sandbags tied to his ankles, but we all enjoy watching a good try.

ANIMA

I always tried.
You can ask my aunt Lydia. She would tell you. All my life, I tried her patience, and I tried her nerves. Which usually lead me to trying my luck…

Typical results were icy glares and the more than occasional smack with a wooden spoon. I knew I’d gone too far if cream of mushroom casserole was on the menu for dinner. I would go to bed hungry on those nights.

In the end though, after too many years of smoking Tareytons, the cancer riddled her throat and lungs. Lydia tried not to cry. So did I.

LIZZIE

The woman held on to the rope. “Try,” roared the man from the dingy boat. Giant waves crashed against the side of the sinking ship and she struggled hard. Her whole life seemed nothing but a drop of nothingness in the overwhelming circumstances she was in. She took a glimpse down and jumped but the boat went down with the wave and she missed it, plunging into the dark cold waters. As she sank, she felt strangely calm. She felt like she was flying and she didn’t fight it. I’ve tried all my life, she thought, now I’m finally free.

CALEDONIA

Trying for Morning

By Judith Cullen

© 2015

“No, I can get just 15 more minutes. That’ll make all the difference at about three o’clock when I want to curl up under my desk and nap.”

Linens rustle, and an inquiring feline “mreeoooorp?” intrudes.

“I can handle it. Really, if I just can get enough rest.

A tentative, yet insistent paw taps a nose.

“Just ten more minutes?”

Tap, tap.

“Five minutes?”

Tap, tap, tap.

“You can’t be that hungry! Fed you at nine last night. I can’t be more than four, six, eight, … mumble, mumble.”

Tap, tap.

SWAT!

“Oh HELL! Alright, I’ll try to get up!”

Just Try ~ Part One: “Parent to Child”

By Judith Cullen

© 2015

“Noooooooooo!”

A small, sweetly pudgy arm swipes the contents of the tray with an agitated clatter.

A patient silence follows, for just a moment.

“What’s wrong, honey?”

“I don’t like it!”

“How do you know you don’t like it if you don’t taste it?”

“I don’t wanna!”

“Why not? It’s good, look I’ll taste some.”

Mom scoops a spoonful of something that looks like it might have once been partly banana, and over-dramatically eats it.

“Mmmmmmmm! Yum!”

“Then you eat it.”

“It’s not in my bowl, it’s in yours. It’s Suzy’s food.”

“It looks blecky.”

“Would you just try it!”

Just Try ~ Part Two: “Child to Parent”

By Judith Cullen

© 2015

“I don’t like it.”

“Have you ever had it before?”

“Of course not, why would I eat something I don’t like?”

“How do you know you don’t like it if you haven’t tasted it?”

“I just know. My teeth aren’t what they used to be and that looks hard to chew.”

“It’s frozen custard. There’s nothing chunky in it.”

“Then you can eat it.”

“I have eaten it. I had two scoops.”

“Suzanne, I’m 84 years old and I don’t have to eat anything that I don’t want to.”

*sigh*

“You are right, Mom. You don’t have to try it.”

NORVAL JOE

The shoeless man with long hairy toes held out a plate of hors derves and walked through the mall shouting, “Try them, try them, you will see. Try them, try them all, they’re free.”
A teenage boy mocked the little man, saying, “That’s not green eggs and ham. There’s no ham and they’re not even green.”
The man shook his head. “I did not call them eggs or ham, I only said to try them, you little jerk.”
“That doesn’t rhyme,” the kid laughed.
Now, the police are looking for a little man with long hairy toes and a gun.

MUNSI

Trying New Things

By Christopher Munroe

I’ll try anything once.

Well, twice, the first time you might screw it up, there’s really no telling whether you enjoy something based on the first time you try it.

But yeah, I’ll try anything. Twice. It’s important to maintain that level of open-mindedness, it keeps you open to new experiences, new ideas you might not otherwise have come to.

It keeps you young.

“Do one thing each day,” as they say, “that terrifies you.”

And so I have.

And that, in summery, is why I’m standing in the middle of your living room, in the nude, juggling live cobras…

CYNTHIA

Her brother is such an arsehole. He never even tries to be amicable, and he does everything he can to make life difficult for her. I think the thing is that as he was the first born she came along and knocked him off his throne and he has hated her ever since. Over the years he has caused more trouble for her than a Mt. Fuji caused to Japan. Everything he says is either a lie, or a half truth. He puts obstacles in her way all the time. He can’t even be bothered to TRY to be nice!

PLANET Z

It’s been ten years since she died in your arms.
I can’t remember her face anymore.
No matter how much I try.
Can you?
Can you ever forget?
Even when I look at the photographs and the movies I made.
I close my eyes, and it’s gone.
Memories are like that.
The harder you try, the faster they go.
Chase it as fast as you can, it’ll just fly away faster.
I still remember that I should remember her.
One day, I won’t remember even that.
All will be lost.
And it will just be me. And you.
And… and…

2 thoughts on “Weekly Challenge #476 – Try”

  1. Once again, Richard, you took a similar concept to one of my stories and did it better. I’d find that irritating if I didn’t enjoy the stories so much.

    Lots of good stuff this week, including Tura’s story, which some days seems like an improvement on our current system of justice.

  2. You do yourself an injustice, Jeffrey – I wouldn’t say my story was better.
    Interesting how we can both employ the same source for inspiration, but produce something from an entirely different perspective.

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