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.
We’ve got stories by:
by Jeffrey Fischer
Many teens complained about the camp counselor job, but Randy thought it was great. Sure, six-year-olds exhibited separation anxiety, fussed at everything, and were constantly in a vicious circle of drinking juice and peeing. Randy had a secret weapon, however.
Around ten a.m. he would ask his charges, “Who wants to have an adventure?” Amid squeals of delight, he would set half the group to hide near the barn and the other half to hide around the boatyard. (No one ever thought it was odd that everyone hid and no one sought.) Shortly before parents arrived to pick up their precious cargo, Randy would find and wake each of the kids. It never failed to give him a full day to himself.
by Jeffrey Fischer
The former Ranger scared the crap out of us his first day on the job when he rappelled up the building and swung into the office, spraying glass everywhere. “Hi, I’m Ted.”
The next week, Ted caught Gladys stealing food from the refrigerator. He had her spread-eagled on her stomach and secured her arms with plastic ties until the department supervisor arrived.
When I next saw Ted, he was securing his commando knife in its sheath before his raid on the IT department. I took Ted aside. “Look, man, every employer has its own culture. You’ve got to try to fit in.”
Ted looked perplexed. “What are you saying?”
“Around here, we take the elevator, we don’t hog-tie fat grandmothers, and we don’t slit the throats of IT guys just to get a printer. This isn’t the Army. It’s not an adventure, it’s just a job.”
“Mother isn’t coming, is she?” said my son suddenly.
I’d been putting this off, but it couldn’t be avoided any more.
“No. No, she isn’t,” I said at last. “There are some bad men after me. They found your mother…”
He would cry later, but not yet.
“So this is an adventure,” he said. “But…” I waited for him to complete the thought. “Not a story adventure. We don’t know how it turns out.”
“Yes. We just have to make it turn out as best we can.”
We slipped out to the car, and drove off into the silent night.
An adventure gone undone, or sloppily executed is an adventure gone to waste. My adventures are planned with care and deliberation. I consult with experts to plan the simplest adventure. A trip to the other end of the county calls for a check of the running gear on my vehicle, a packed lunch, and water and snacks for the pooch. It also calls for quick message to my personal assistant to remind her to look in on the dogs, check for open windows and doors, and to trigger interior lighting after sundown, including the bank of halogens on the garage.
The reason for my performance-related panic is due to the fact that I suffer from severe, late onset, anxiety disorder, which makes simple adventures or interactions like strolling down the street a disproportionately tensile experience. One of the signifiers of social anxiety is a heightened sense of alertness. The sound of skateboard wheels whirring around the street corner creates a sliver of unease. A bike bell ringing behind me causes me to grit my teeth and raise my iron-tipped cane in order to ready myself for a strike across the rider’s brow, or a quick jab at the bikes spokes.
Her mother named her Adventure. Adventura, formally, but shortened when she started middle school. She was a tomboy. Wearing low-top sneakers, a scraggly ponytail, and a baggy T-shirt—one of the many outfits in her tomboy oeuvre. She avoided tattoos and any piercings because of her ancestry, and her grandmother, who thought they were disfiguring, disgusting, dumb and dull. Adventure didn’t need anything to decorate her body but her shiny, spellbinding eyes, and her mysterious smile. To say the least, she was a tall, thin, knockout. All the boys loved her. The girls loved her, and the gods loved her.
#1 – Out of the Frying Pan
Laggins was not a happy hobbit!
His ruse to replace the Chalice of Eternal Power with his favourite mug had completely failed to fool the wizard, or any other members of their little group.
“I told you I wasn’t cut out for adventure!” He protested; “You tricked me into joining your stupid quest and now you’re complaining because I’m not up to the job! Well… If you’re that interested in dragons and gold, you can damn well go yourself!”
“Fair enough”, said the wizard, “We’ll go – you guard the camp alone… watch out for the goblins and trolls though!”
#2 – Antihero
Why is it that in the movies being in the wrong place at the wrong time always leads to a great adventure?
In my experience, it tends to lead to a whole load of grief, plenty of shouting, and – all too frequently – real physical pain.
I’m just not made from the ‘Right Stuff’ – I’m not at all heroic, tend to avoid trouble at all costs, and if I do happen to find myself in the wrong place at the wrong time, I’ll do whatever it takes to get the hell out of there as fast as possible.
#3 – Infomercial
Life is full of disappointments.
As a child, I felt badly let down by the local ‘Adventure Playground’ – there were no bloodthirsty sharks, pirates, magical mazes or lost cities to explore – just a couple of rope swings, some monkey bars and a crappy slide.
To my young mind, it was overrated hype – a triumph of advertising over reality.
Today, I realise I was being taught a valuable life lesson. Few things measure up to the expectation and the world is full of con artists out to sell you a lie.
The trouble is, we still believe it.
Max is your Man
The advertisement in the London Times read as follows: ADVENTURE in 20 point Garamond. No follow up address, nor an establishing phone to ring up. Max checked the ad section over the next three weeks and found the same single word reaching out and grabbing his attention. On a whim Max head down to the Times Advertisement Department. A rather crumbed clerk at the desk met his eye. Max replied: ADVENTURE. The Clerk drew a revolver and point it at his head. “Are you quite sure of that young master?” said the clerk. Totally unflustered Max said, “Quite So.”
The tracking adventure ended abruptly when Lana tripped and fell off a cliff. Instead of the expected anguished agitation, her tracking companions looked down in silence.
“She was never good at this.”
The others shook their heads.
“Should we try to fetch her?”
The others shook their heads.
“Look for help?”
The others shook their heads. And they stood there for a while.
A cell-phone rang.
“It’s Lana’s. Should I answer?”
The others shook their heads. And they continued their tracking adventure.
“Good thing we paused a bit up there. I was getting out of breath.”
The others nodded enthusiastically.
Love’s great adventure turned out to be something of a disappointment – a bit of a misadventure, if you ask me.
Over the last twenty years, I’m sure we’d both considered divorce; maybe even quietly despatching each other with a dose of rat poison, when things became a little heated.
But you don’t… you knuckle down, accept that this is how things are, and count your blessings.
Twenty years – even twenty sad, uninspiring years – merit some sort of celebration.
So, here we are: food, wine, candles, flowers, soppy cards and tired smiles.
(Did I mention the rat poison?)
By Chris Munroe
Life’s an adventure.
Insomuch as you’re stranded on a rock hurtling through space faster than you can possibly comprehend around an atomic furnace that’s constantly exploding.
Life, however, is NOT an adventure insomuch as you, probably, spend much of it doing the same things over and over, both at work and in your “free” time, out of habit rather than genuine desire to partake in said activities, whatever they might be in your particular case.
So, yeah, mixed bag.
If the first thing’s good enough for you, hooray! If not, responsibility to create additional adventure is yours, and yours alone…
My daughter didn’t want to do anything this summer besides talk to her friends on skype and play minecraft.
Ignoring her heated protests, I signed her up for the Isosceles Logic Adventure Camp.
Had I known they would spend eight hours a day for five days doing nothing more than playing sudoku, I probably wouldn’t have signed her up.
It turned out okay and all the kids really got into this Japanese puzzle that actually was developed in America.
They had an intense tournament on the last day of camp and my daughter ended up a second degree black belt.
I’ve been listening to the videos of “The Cars” on YouTube allot lately, and I’ve come to two conclusions. One, If I were as good looking as Benjamin Orr, Branka Petrovic would be attracted to me, and two, if Benjamin Orr never saw a doctor, he would have never died of Pancreatic Cancer in 2000. I get it, you feel severe pains in your stomach, time to see a doctor. But where is the sense of adventure? What the hell, I’m going to die anyway. I remain convinced, if I to refuse to see a doctor, I’ll live longer than expected.
Long ago, I owned an Atari game console.
The graphics were basic and crude. Just colored blocks, really.
One of my favorite games was Adventure.
You were a simple block that sought a rudimentary chalice.
Navigating the maze, you had to avoid dragons.
I remember my heart racing as I dodged their attacks.
The sword was just a simple crude arrow, but it sure killed those dragons.
These days, with the complicated controls and intense 3D 4K graphics, you’d think I’d be lost in these worlds.
It’s too overwhelming for me.
I slide in the Adventure cartridge, and power on.