Weekly Challenge #563 – LATE

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:

Curled Tinny

CHARLIE

Sorry I’m late all the time. You wait for me, regardless of my habitual tardiness. It is the least you can do, since I’m superior to the whole frigging bunch of you. After all, you are, undoubtedly, a bunch of sleaze balls and miscreants, hell bent on causing any number of problems and harm to the good people of the county-just as I am.

Of course, I have to iron my sheet and touch up the edges on my Bowie knife in addition to gathering matches and small bottles of flammables for our nightly foray into the outskirts of town.

JEFFREY

Teen Angel
by Jeffrey Fischer

Sara snuck out of her bedroom window, scrambling onto the porch roof and lowering herself to the ground. It was late at night. Her parents were assuredly sleeping, but they seemed to have an uncanny sense for waking just as she passed their door, hence the dangerous exit.

A boy was involved; of course a boy was involved. She had met this one at a house party, a long-haired, heavily-tattooed interloper. No one seemed to know him, making Sara all the more smitten. She instantly agreed when he suggested the tryst.

Her parents tried not to worry when they noticed her missing the next morning. Soon Sara’s body was discovered. She had earned the title of the late Sara.

RICHARD

#1 – Late

I’ve never been particularly good when it comes to being on time, I’m invariably the last to arrive at parties, regularly miss trains, and frequently arrive late for important appointments.

I’m always being told off: It’s disrespectful, they say, you really should make the effort to be on time, especially considering your profession.

And what is my profession?

I’m an undertaker, and yes, I’m never on time, (the dead don’t really care!)

My friends have always laughed at me for about my timekeeping and say I’d be late for my own funeral.

Probably… I’ve been late for everybody else’s!

#2 – Shirley: Him

Shirley was late.

It was unlike her. She always finished at six, took the same bus home and her key would turn in the lock twenty minutes later.

He sat uncomfortably, as the tea he’d made her grew cold and undrinkable in its cup.

By eleven, he was frantic.

He’d called her friends and mother: None had heard from her. Now he was phoning around the local hospitals, but drawing a complete blank.

It was early hours the following morning when he finally dialled the police and heard himself say the fateful words: “I need to report a missing person.”

#3 – Shirley: The Other

Shirley was late.

It was unlike her. She always arrived at five, and it was worrying – considering the circumstances – that she hadn’t turned up.

He tried to relax, she’d be here shortly. He breathed deeply waiting for her key to turn in the lock.

By eleven, he was frantic.

He had a severe cramp, and could barely breathe. Things were not looking good.

It was the early hours of the following morning that the heart attack came.

When they found him, bound and chained in the gimp suit, it seemed hardly worth holding the inquest.

Death: by misadventure.

#4 – Shirley: Her

Shirley was late.

It was unlike her. But life was unpredictable, and hers was such a tangled mess it scarcely mattered if she missed the bus, or never turned up at all.

Sure, people were waiting for her; relying on her, but she felt no connection – only pain, anger and self-loathing.

So, it had come to this.

By eleven she’d arrived – a second rate motel in a backwater town. Calmly she ran the bath and reached for the razor blade.

By the early hours the following morning, it was over.

She was late… The late Shirley Elizabeth Swinton.

TOM

Just a Matter of Scope

Later that evening Sam and Lenny rolled the body bag into the river. “Don’t be late, now,” they laughed. Later that week Benny and Max drove Lenny and Sam’s car into the same river. “Don’t be late, now,” they laughed. Later that month Jimmy and Sal sent Lenny’s piper cub into the west river. “Don’t be late, now,” they laughed. Later that year Don Vito Demonte pored sixty ton of concrete into the same river “Don’t be late, Jimmy,” he laughed. The mushroom cloud pretty much vaporized the river. “Don’t be late, Vito,” said the old man in the wheelchair.

MUNSI

The Meeting
By Christopher Munroe

John, welcome, I’m glad you could finally join us, and you’re fired.

What do you mean: Why?

First of all, you’re fifty-five minutes late after I’d made it perfectly clear that our foreign investors were visiting today, and that I wanted to give the best possible impression.

Secondly, you reek of whiskey.

And finally, perhaps most damningly, I’m assuming you arrived in the “Party Bus” parked outside, blaring Dubstep as we speak.

Obviously there’s no place for this kind of behavior in…

…sorry, what?

ALL your lotto numbers hit?

Oh!

Well, in that event I suppose congratulations are in order!

SERENDIPITY

It is late.

Almost midnight now; just a minute or two remaining.

Then it is too late.

And afterwards?

All that has gone before, all the striving and endeavour will come to nothing. The hope, the joy; all that is great and good will turn to terror and pain, horror and despair.

Almost midnight now, just seconds away.

What have we achieved? What is our legacy? What epitaph will be spoken over our funeral pyre… And who will mourn our passing?

It is late.

And the hands of the Doomsday clock march relentlessly towards the midnight hour.

Tick… Tick… Tick…

NORVAL JOE

Bill slipped into the chapel and sat on the back pew, not wanting to disturb any of the family and friends who were considerate enough to arrive on time.
The eulogy was already in progress. He’d missed his niece’s rendition of “How Great Thou Art”. She was only sixteen but her voice had the maturity and depth of a much older singer.
The minister completed his thoughts. The organist began to play and, as the pall bearers carried the coffin passed his wife, she placed a bouquet of roses cut from his own garden on it; just as he’d asked.

LIZZIE

They were late.
“What now?” Ron sat on a rock.
Peter kicked the grass. He was furious.
“We keep looking.”
“Where? In there?” Ron stood up.
Peter walked up to the small cabin and kicked the door open.
“They didn’t take the jewel box with them. It’d be too dangerous. Look, a trap door.”
It was barely covered by some debris.
“Let’s get it and take off.”
A bright pair of green eyes stared back at them.
“Damn… Didn’t they say it was a box?”
The jewel was the 10 year old heir of the biggest fortune in the country.

TURA

Late
———
Travelling with Jim was a nightmare. I’d say, come on, we’ve a train to catch, and he’d say, we still have time. That’s right, I’d say, so we go now, and we catch the train. And he’d say, what’s the hurry, we’ve time.

He always had time, so he never had time.

He once got cancer, and he was in a pretty bad way. When the doctors said he wouldn’t make it, someone jumped the gun and put a death notice in the local paper. In the end he recovered. I guess you can be late to your own funeral.

PLANET Z

Fred worked at an office equipment company.
His job title was Punchclock Quality Control.
So, even when he was late to work, he was actually on time.
He was just testing the punchclock’s tardy algorithms.
He also took a lot of vacations to test the Time Management Application.
It was important to confirm that the system reported employees who ran out of vacation time, but still took time off.
One day, he showed up for work on time.
The system crashed.
“FAIL” he marked on the case, and sent it back to Development.
And he left for an early lunch.

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