Weekly Challenge #521 – Pick Two

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:

Cats

MUNSI

On Slow Nights
By Christopher Munroe

Sometimes a man needs to get drunk on rum and Cherry Coke whilst watching B-movies.

Whether Hammer Horror, New Line Cinema or something dumb by Nicolas Cage, I suspect you’ve had this impulse too, it’s a fun evening, though not one you can partake in every night.

Moderation, and whatnot.

I live-tweet the experience, myself, though I suspect nobody’s as amused by it as me. Hmm, now that I think about it, I ought to do that again sometime soon.

Something where 90s style computers are hacked, perhaps. Or the one where Liam Neeson fights wolves. I’ll figure something out…

JEFFREY

Gym Rat
by Jeffrey Fischer

One of the things that keeps me out of gyms is the presence of the annoying jock. You know the type: he’s not there to keep in shape, he’s there to show that he’s better than you. A solid week of rain kept me from my usual outdoor routine, so, reluctantly, I went to the office gym.

Sure enough, one guy was in there at the dumbbells, preening at the two women in the room as he curled one arm and then the other, each time grunting audibly. The women ignored him, but he kept trying.

That hacked me off. I was going to hate myself later, but I wanted to finish in peace. “What big muscles you have,” I said, with a leer that he couldn’t miss. He couldn’t leave quickly enough.

The Three Rs
by Jeffrey Fischer

Once upon a time, the school used a tracking system: smart kids in one set of classes, dumb kids in another. Somehow that was supposed to be bad for the self-esteem of the dumb kids, so the school ended tracking and the kids were thrown to the wolves. Parents complained, so the school instituted an Advanced Placement program so smart kids could opt in, and order was restored to the educational universe. Then the school overlords noticed racial disparities in participation. Administrators conjectured that the problem was that households where English was not spoken did not learn about the AP program – the program conducted entirely in English.

The moral of this story is: think twice before calling a child dumb, but don’t hesitate to apply the label to a school administrator.

RICHARD

#1 – Oops!

How could I have been so dumb? Hacked by a ransomware scammer, because I’d stupidly opened what I thought was an unpaid invoice.

Worse, I’d opened it in work: now the whole network was locked up with the clock ticking – If I didn’t come up with the demand in Bitcoins, we’d lose the lot…

Petabytes of sensitive data, wiped out thanks to my stupidity.

Fortunately, because of my work, I have contacts – a couple of phone calls, followed by a long tense wait, and then: Success!

And that’s how a lowly accounts clerk nearly brought down the CIA!

#2 – Dumb

How could I have been so dumb? Getting blind drunk on cherry kirsch is never a good idea… And the ‘good ideas’ I have when I’m in that state rarely turn out to be quite that impressive in the cold light of day.

Like the ransomware thing – I thought I was being clever. Disguised as a laundry bill, I thought it would be hilarious to send it to the CIA, never once thinking anyone there would be stupid enough to fall for it!

It’s not fun any more… I’m just waiting now for that fateful knock on the door…

#3 – One of the good guys

How could I have been so dumb?

My big chance to get even with my former employer: I blew it.

When the guy came on the line, panic stricken because he’d locked up the network, thanks to some second rate amateur hacker, I should have left him to face the music.

Better still, I could have got in on the action: Creamed off my own share of the ransom, and retired to some sunny beach somewhere… What a missed opportunity!

I stepped out of the Faraday cage, back to the real world… Guess I’m just one of the good guys.

#4 – Consequences

How could I have been so dumb?

The accounts guy was trouble – just too cocky for his own good – an accident waiting to happen. I should never have hired him.

Does he really think we don’t know about his little misadventure nearly closing us down?

People like that need to be taught a lesson – and trust me, the hammer is going to fall. The guys who’ll be conducting his disciplinary are not known for their charity, and by the time they’ve finished with him he’ll wish he’d never been born.

Time to feed him to the wolves!

SERENDIPITY

Cherry red – it’s my favourite colour.

But you do need an eye for detail – nick a vein by mistake and you get that gloopy, sticky, blue-tinged mess. It’s a horrible shade that ruins the scene.

I’m an artist, you see, and colour is everything.

But, executed properly, you’ll get a wonderful spray of bright arterial blood: Fresh and glorious. That’s what I crave.

It’s only painstaking, precision work that produces a masterpiece.

It’s rarely appreciated though. I read the headlines: ‘The victim was hacked to death’.

Hacked! How dare they? – I’m an artist!

Everyone’s a critic!

LIZZIE

When staring at a line of people, it’s often difficult to spot who the dumb ones are.
Sometimes, they just look dumb. Other times, they hide it under a layer of apparent effectiveness. Phones are now especially useful for that; people look like they have extremely busy lives, doing extremely important things.
When the newest computer game came out, hacker John X watched the line of people standing at the entrance of the store, waiting impatiently for the doors to open, and he was sure of one thing. They were all dumb, no exceptions. Their eagerness would be their downfall.

TOM

Which End of the Line Do You Stand?
Dumb ideas abound. When someone in the shop has one and it goes seriously wrong his dick is in the ringer. But let management do the same and they are seen as risk taker, bold, and given infinity corporate opportunities to fuck over. Seems there is no glass basement that you can break through. Take the smartest guy in the room Carly Fiorina damn near killed HP. And Frank Lorenzo, who was named one of Time’s 10 worst bosses of the century. Hacks in suits the lot of them. They’d uses a god damn hammer on a Philips head screw.

NORVAL JOE

When his shift ended, Mickey shot a bee line for the library. He knew he was dumb to think he might still find Polecat.
Dating back to the 1890’s, the building was dark like a cave with side passages which he was sure lead to dens inhabited by orcs, dragons and werewolves.
Manic clicking led Mickey to a corner where a girl hacked at a computer keyboard. She swayed as if drunk.
Her long, red-brown hair was familiar, then the hammer dropped. “Cherry Cola. What are you doing?”
“Monkey Boy,” she said. “Nice to see you out of your cage.”

TURA

Dumb wolves
———
They’re coming.

People thought that genetically modifying dogs for intelligence would just make them into better companions, better guide dogs, better at everything we have dogs for. It just made them better at everything, period.

Better at running away. Better at foraging in the wild. In wolf country, better at joining wolf packs. The bigger breeds can mate with wolves.

Natural selection is doing the rest. Intelligence is such an advantage that the number of smart dog-wolves is doubling with every generation.

They say their howls sound like language.

When will they get here? I lie awake every night, listening.

PLANET Z

They say that Bob Grundy is as dumb as a bag of hammers, but I don’t know how you measure the intelligence of a bag of hammers.

I tried to test them with the maze we use to test mice, but the bag doesn’t really fit into the maze. It was built for mice, not bags of hammers.

And I don’t think cheese has much appeal to bags of hammers.

Although I did notice that when I offered the bag of hammers a cigarette, it didn’t accept the cigarette.

Smarter than me, I suppose, as I hack and cough painfully.

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