Welcome to the 100 Word Stories podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com.
This is the Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.
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Lennie’s first day on the job had him working in the basement of the courthouse. He kept hanging around the foreman’s office and he pestered the old guy. “Go pound sand down a rat hole!” Lennie got the message and went to the basement to start working. The basement was full of rats, and there was a large pile of sand in the corner. Lennie picked up a heavy wooden maul and started pounding sand into the big hole in the middle of the floor. Two yards of sand went into the rat hole until Lennie was exhausted, but determined.
The passage of time is analogous to the flow of the sand in an hourglass. Once the hourglass is inverted, the sand does not stop for anyone or anything. Also, the time that we have to live decreases continuously, just as the sand in the top of the hourglass does. My lady friend has been told that she has an hourglass figure, although the sand has moved quickly and unforgivingly to the bottom of the glass, with no chance that it can be reversed. Lennie, who I spoke of earlier, has reached his middle years, but as an inverted hourglass.
The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre
by Jeffrey Fischer
Every year was the same: I would rack my brain to think of a Valentine’s Day gift my wife would really enjoy – not just empty calories in a box of chocolates, or overpriced flowers that would be gone inside a week. Every year she would open the package, look at what I bought, look at me, and tell me to try again next year. I realize now that the Calphalon pan, the Dyson vacuum cleaner, and the portable iron for traveling were all mistakes. I vowed that the dagger looks would be a thing of the past.
My problem in previous years was that I bought something I assumed she would like. This time, I thought hard about what I would like to get. That’s when inspiration struck. I jumped in the car to pick out the perfect present.
How was I supposed to know that women don’t think a belt sander is particularly romantic?
by Jeffrey Fischer
Ralph had an IQ north of 140 and scores of 800 on both his Math and English SATs, yet here he was, in summer school when the rest of his friends had already graduated. Ralph’s problem: a failing grade in Shop. If he didn’t pass this summer course, he wouldn’t be starting college in the fall.
His problem the last time had been his work-working project. His chess board had so many rough surfaces that the Shop teacher had to see the school nurse for his multiple splinters. Ralph knew he wouldn’t repeat this mistake.
The teacher looked puzzled at the object Ralph placed in his hands. The unknown piece was smooth, all right, but wafer-thin. Ralph explained, “It’s a three-dimensional representation of a two-dimensional surface.”
Ralph passed, but his report card made it clear that the only reason was that Mr. Richter didn’t want to see him again.
The Gospel According to Norman: The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders
There were two men who wished to build themselves new homes.
One chose the cheap option, building his house upon the sand. The sea view was to die for, but those in the know shook their heads scornfully.
The other man chose to build on a solid foundation far inland. The cost was ruinous, but he considered it worthwhile.
Then a huge storm came and blew down the house built on sand.
But the first man was wise, and well insured: He made more on the payout than the house had cost, and laughed all the way to the bank!
The beach was deserted.
They sat close together and held hands.
It was done.
“The casket is lovely, isn’t it?” she whispered.
The incoming tide threatened to reach them.
He looked at his hand. He could still feel the stickiness.
“I can’t believe my husband is gone. Aren’t you happy?”
He looked at the horizon. He wasn’t that sure anymore.
“Do you love me?” she purred.
Eventually, he’d have to spend money on a second casket; already he could see that coming.
Resenting her clinginess, he vowed never to celebrate Valentine’s Day again. It was too damn expensive.
We had a lovely day at the beach – the sun shone, without a cloud in the sky.
I can’t remember the last time I had such fun! We strolled along the promenade, played the penny arcades and feasted on fish and chips, as seagulls entertained us on the seafront.
With the day drawing to a close, we rested on the beach, watching the waves.
Ignoring my partner’s screams, I relaxed in the fading sunlight. Buried to his neck in sand, it was only a matter of time before the advancing tide would silence his protests.
Such a lovely day!
A Love Note
By Christopher Munroe
I don’t like sand.
It’s coarse, and it’s rough and it’s irritating, and it gets everywhere.
Not like here, here everything’s soft, and smooth.
And it’s just like the ocean, under the moon.
That’s the same as the emotion that I get from you.
You’ve got the kind of loving that can be so smooth, yeah.
Give me your heart, make it real, or else forget about it…
And so you see, Padme, while I do hate sand, you’re not like sand, and so I do love you.
Because, rather than being anything like sand, you are my sweet Sand-tana…
Mother tucked Timmy into bed. “Sand Man’s coming Time to go to sleep,” she
sang and turned out the light. All night long Timmy saw faces in the dark.
Some grinned like Jack O Lanterns. Others like the distorted drawing in
the family bible. Every time Timmy slipped off he heard a wind whip sand
against the window of his room and his eyes popped open. The next morning
a bedraggled Timmy stumbled downstairs to breakfast. The house was empty.
No mom, no dad, no little sister. It was so quiet, just the sound of sand
tapping at the windows.
One of my favorite memories of growing up in the Midwest was digging
school and going to the dunes. If it was Monday it was Indiana Dunes. If
it was Friday it was Michigan Dunes, which was the cooler of the two.
Major sand in Holland, Michigan. Loop a rope through a big old piece of
cardboard, jump off the top, and scream down the side of the dunes like a
toboggan run. Well, that was the idea, but rarely execute. Half way down
you would flip and slid head first into the sand. Damn good fun that was.
“Mom why did you name be Sandy?” Mary Margret Sullivan smiled and remember
the Our Lady of Grace’s Retreat in Santa Cruz. The night she and Chasity
O’Toole snuck down to the beach and spent the night drinking beer with a
bunch of Austrian surfers. Both of them didn’t get on the bus back to Ohio
and end up at Berkeley. George was such a gentleman, but not the dad. She
knew she would tell her daughter about that night, but not tonight. “Want
to go to the beach tomorrow?” asked mom. “Can Mary O’Toole come with?”
I once had to get away for a bit— never mind why. This friend puts me onto a mate of his, runs a bar in Spain. I gets across the Channel on a freighter, hitchhike through France and into Spain. I’ve only got handwritten directions, but anyway, long story short, I walk into the place about eight in the evening. The locals all go silent and watch. I say “Coffee”, just like that, same word everywhere. I get this thimbleful of black stuff. It tasted like sand.
And that was my first experience of REAL coffee. Haven’t had instant since.
A wise man built his house upon a rock and when the winds blew and the rains fell the building weathered the storm and remained in tact. He laughed at another man who he deemed foolish for building his house upon the sand.
The other man replied, “I plant my taters in sandy land.”
The wise man agreed, “Then, perhaps that isn’t so foolish.”
The second man’s house endured unexpected rains and winds without being washed away, but all the local cats dug in the sand to bury their waist. Though he had many potatoes, they smelled like cat crap.
One day, you’re here.
The next, you’re gone.
And someone takes your place. My place. Our place.
You don’t own anything. It owns you, for a little while.
Until it finds someone else to have it.
And the person after them.
What is now? Now is the next yesterday.
Just a series of the next yesterdays.
There is no tomorrow. It’s just a now that hasn’t happened yet.
A yesterday that’s already come and gone.
We only write our names in sand.
The next wave comes, and wipes us clean.
The waves never end.
Wiping everything clean.