Weekly Challenge #518 – Singapore

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.

We’ve got stories by:

Myst vs Bacon

On Drinks
By Christopher Munroe

Drinks with rhyming names are delicious!

The Singapore Sling. The Bahama Mama, they’re playful, summery drinks with playful summery names that are fun to say.

Which, naturally, makes them fun to order, which in turn causes people to order them more often. This isn’t coincidental.

Bartenders aren’t dummies, they know the power of a catchy turn of phrase and they’re highly motivated to keep you drinking. Up to a point…

Eventually, the names become syrup in your mouth and you start to trip over them. This is when they cut you off.

Overall, it’s very useful, as naming conventions go…

My Favorite Bartender
by Jeffrey Fischer

I looked around the bar as I took my usual seat. “I don’t like it,” I said to Frank, who was tending bar.

Frank shrugged. “Manager wanted tiki night. What can I do?” He motioned to a line of kitschy mugs that might have been ripped off from a Trader Vics. He slid a cocktail menu in my direction. “So whaddya want?”

“Singapore Sling. Light on the Singapore.” Frank nodded, then grabbed a shaker. He poured a generous portion of gin over ice, added a short portion of dry vermouth, shook, and poured the mixture into a martini glass. After adding a pair of olives, he passed me the drink.

I took a deep swallow. “Frank, you’re the best.”

Keeping It Clean
by Jeffrey Fischer

Some days, I think there’s a great deal to admire about Singapore. Oh, sure, the government is authoritarian and they’re not keen on freedom of speech. On the other hand…

I’ve never understood people spitting in the streets, as though the sidewalks were spittoons. I’ve also seen someone spit on the carpeted floor of the subway. Then there are the smokers who carelessly toss cigarette butts out the car window or on the sidewalk, as though purchasing a pack also conveyed the right to litter.

What does this have to do with Singapore? One word: caning.

Richard
Busking it

I’ve never been musical: instruments of any description are completely beyond me. I tried to learn piano, but kept getting my hands mixed up. Tried the guitar, but my chords couldn’t keep up with my strum, as for the drums… Well, it seems I have no natural rhythm, apart from the wrong one.

Didn’t stop me becoming a busker though, however I now use the natural instrument I’ve been blessed with – my voice.

It’s dreadful. I can just about sing a poor attempt at ‘My Way’, but people are more than happy to pay…

For me to shut up!

Planet X-Ray

iClone

When we were looking for a location to build our secret agent cloning facility, we picked Singapore because it was an island of only 278 square miles, in case any of the rejects got loose.
Also, with a population of 5 million, what better a place to blend in the new agents while they were in training.
Our biggest problem was getting the agents to drive on the correct side, or I should say the left side of the road. That was mainly due to the donor DNA coming from our stockyards in New York City, but that’s another story.

Tom
Singapore Girl
In the golden age of air adventure airlines used a number of cleaver slogans and earworm giggles to entice the middle class to take to the skies. From United’s fly the friendly skies to Braniff’s when you’ve got it flaunt it. Delta’s Delta is ready when you are, and We’re American Airlines doing what we do best. Airlines used iconic images to brand their companies. A koala bear who hates Quntas or a crowd of people creating a winking face for British Airways. My favorite was Singapore Girl a great way to fly, yes its sexist but sure sold tickets.

Lizzie
The Singapore Cleanup

“Where are we?” asked Penny.
The small boat slid through the narrow strips of water.
“I thought…”
“I know, love,” replied Miles.
Unexpectedly, a bend in the canal revealed a boathouse called Singapore. It was deserted.
“Ok. This is unacceptable,” Penny shouted. “Not only do we not travel to Singapore but we have to wait?! We are professionals!”
Suddenly, a sharp sting hit the side of her head. She was gone immediately.
The boat driver then turned his attention to Miles.
“The invitation did say Singapore, last stop.”
Miles tried to go for his gun, but it was too late.

Me: Serendipidy Haven
Story: Singapore

Next time you’re in Singapore, why not forgo cocktails at the Raffles Long Bar? Take a walk on the wild side instead.

Stroll down to the night market and marvel at the street food… It smells so good, but who knows what it is?

Wander past the flower merchants. Just off Pagoda Street is a dark alley.
Half way down, you’ll find a green wooden door. Take the stairs to the second floor.

That’s where I’ll be.

We’ll make mad, passionate love.

Then I’ll kill you and chop you into tiny pieces, to sell to all those street food hawkers!

Tura
The King of Singapore
———
In 1391, the bandit Parmeswara led an insurrection against the Emperor of Thailand, setting himself up as king in the territory now called Singapore. But his followers were never so zealous as he himself, and at last he stood alone. In dying, he cursed the land that had proven unworthy of him, foretelling that no king would ever again stand on its soil.

Since then, it has had vassal overlords, colonial governors, presidents, and prime ministers, but never a king. Even under British rule, the King of England never dared to set foot in his colony. When Japan annexed Singapore, the Emperor declared himself King of Singapore, and within a few years Japan was defeated and its Emperor’s power broken.

To this day, the word “king” is taboo in Singapore, and it is a treasonable offence to use it in reference to any member of the government.

Marv.
Singapore is Calling

We were sailing two days out of Singapore, just north of the Riau Islands, headed for Manila when we hit a squall.
The skies darkened and there was frequent lightning that caused an unnerving pinkish glow in the western sky.
Suddenly, a freakish wind slashed our sails to shreds leaving us to the mercy of the now raging seas.
All we could do to seek safety below deck.
Hammered by the thunder, we never saw the waterspout suck the boat up into it.
When we regained consciousness, we were back in Marina Bay again,
Singapore was calling us to her.

Norval Joe
“I know, Mandy. I’m sorry. I ran into some trouble on the way to work,” Monkey Boy, Mickey Platano said. “It won’t happen again.”
“It better not,” Mandy said. Her stern smile was out of place on her normally cheerful face. She was only eighteen, but was shift manager. Mickey grabbed a smock and followed her out to the cash register.
“Prep the chicken to grill,” she said looking at the bowls of marinating meat. “We need Rio, New Delhi, Peeking, and Singapore.”
Thirty-One flavors of chicken, each named after a city or country.
Polecat walked past the front window.

Planet Z

The phone rang.
The caller ID showed a long number, one of those International numbers.
I looked up the country code, and it said the call was from Singapore.
Who did I know in Singapore? Was someone traveling there, and needed help?
I let the call go to voicemail, and I played the recording.
Nothing but static.
Maybe they’ll call back?
I waited… and waited… and waited.
I tried to dial back the number, but the system told me that the number was no longer in service.
I put my phone down, and let it sit there for a while.

4 thoughts on “Weekly Challenge #518 – Singapore”

  1. Oh, Richard, I gave a deep groan at “sing a poor attempt.” Well done, sir!

    And Laurence: as far as making a difference, I can only speak for myself, but let me list a few ways in which this podcast has made a difference to me. First, it’s a creative outlet for this frustrated fiction writer. RSI issues limit my time at the keyboard, so I’ve essentially stopped writing longer-form pieces, but writing 100 words (-ish) doesn’t present the same physical challenges, so huzzah for very short stories. Second, I’m a terrible public speaker, in part because I tend to speak too quickly and let words run together. Having to listen to myself every week keeps giving me incentive to improve. Third, you have a real community of like-minded folk here, and it’s a pleasure to listen to what they will come up with every week. Fourth, if I didn’t spend my time thinking of stories for each week’s topic, I’d be doing something else with my life, such as knocking over liquor stores. I may not be too pretty for prison, but I’m too damn old for prison, so this is a big improvement.

  2. Thanks for bearing with my technological difficulties.

    What I like about the 100 word form is the way it forces one to eliminate everything that is not absolutely necessary. There is no room for exposition, explanation, or detail. Every word must work to suggest the larger picture. I’ve later rewritten some of my stories to let them expand beyond the 100, but I think they’re better stories for having been through the process. And the weekly schedule keeps the nose to the grindstone.

    In the recording I mentioned being at an SF convention this weekend. It had an open mic event today, and I was able to read a few stories there. Without the podcast, those stories would never have been written.

  3. Yes
    How?
    I tend to write in rolling purple prose (gag) the challenge keeps me honest.
    The limitation of 100 words along with the weekly dead-line keeps me producing.
    I am not one to belong to an organized anything, but as odd this might sound, this weekly podcast is home. In a world flying apart at the seams it is somehow reassuring hearing the voices of the golden monkeys. In a society which weights each action in terms of maximizing profit, it is good to remember the joy of making is its own satisfaction. Sometimes if your real lucky you will assemble a scrap of words and touch someone’s heart. Perhaps in the end that is the only thing that matters, the only thing that makes a difference.
    Tom

  4. I’m with Tom on this one – life can be rather hectic, and there’s something stabilising about having the Challenge to bring a sense of order and rationality to the madness.

    I like the fact that we’re a fairly cohesive group too, the Weekly Challenge is almost like a private club where we gather to spin yarns over a convivial drink or two. Weird or not, I do get a sense of belonging to something bigger and broader – the coming together of like minds from all over the world – and then, when it’s done, we return to our own little corner to tackle the next challenge on our own.

    It’s fun!

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