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:
by Jeffrey Fischer
My company’s new CEO installed a suggestion box outside the executive suite. He emailed the staff, informing us of its existence and assuring us that anonymous suggestions were perfectly acceptable. He wanted us to feel part of the organization. And, after all, who better to understand where the firm could improve but its current employees?
I dropped my suggestion in the box early one morning, so no one could see me do it. “How about cut your obscene salary and give us a raise for once?” it read. My termination notice pointed out the ceiling camera just above the box.
I made a suggestion. I suggested we go for a walk on the cliffs near the old mill. The old mill was closed down due to the pollution it produced.
The cleanup promised by the local tribe and the former mill operators was long overdue.
We walked close to the edge, and took photographs.
I hated her for the last eight years, and when she slipped on the loose rock close to the edge, I closed my eyes tight and covered my ears to block the sights and sounds of her head bouncing off the rocks on the way down.
“If I might make a suggestion, Sir, the Chablis would make an excellent accompaniment for the trout.”
I looked disdainfully over my menu at the waiter. Of course he’d suggest the Chablis – it was one of the most expensive bottles on the list! Did I look like I’m made of money?
“If I want your opinion on our meal, I’ll ask for it – until then, I rather think that the choice of wine is entirely ours!”
“Don’t you think I should ask the old trout herself what she would like?”, I continued, handing the menu to my wife.
“Try looking under the bed, he says … Why didn’t he come upstairs himself and look under the bed? Why did I have to be the one looking under the bed? On my knees, getting my best clothes dirty… Yeah, like the dude is going to hide under the bed. What if I find him? What then? I’ll just say, hello, you. All good?”
“Oh, damn. What’s this?”
“Hey, Patrick. He’s not under the bed. But I found that hand we lost track of. The one we chopped off of the… what’s his name? The other millionaire.”
The secret is to show no fear.
Not the slightest quiver of the lip, not the merest suggestion of nervousness, nor any sign of concern.
Just breeze through, eyes front, unconcerned about the situation and without any hesitation.
Because I can tell.
I know when you’re hiding something, and I can spot the signs – the way you fumble with your passport; the bead of sweat on your forehead; and your nervous looks across the desk as I check your visa.
Then, for you, I’m afraid it’s far too late…
And I smile as I pull on the latex gloves!
“I’m tell ya boss this Suggestion Box thing, great idea,” said Baxster Beelzebub. “I’m still not sure this sends the right messages to our permanent guess. You know all that hope stuff. We do not want another outbreak of that.” Said the Big Man. “No prob boss. I got a plan.” “Like the republican congress?” “No bigger.” “Cell Phone Video game?“ “Bigger.” I’m listening, Beelzebub.” “We install Two Suggestion boxes.” “Wizard, Baxster. Write up a proposal and submit it to Eve in accounting. Who came up that idea?” Guy down in ring eight called Dante. “What’s in for?” “Indeterminable prose.”
Only a Suggestion
“That shape has the suggestion of Humpty Trumpty,’ Alice thought as she approached the high wall…
“When I use a word,” Humpty Trumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean…”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Trumpty, “which is to be the master ¾ that’s all. They’ve a temper, some of them… Impenetrability, that’s what I say!”
“Would you tell me, please,” said Alice, “what that means?”
“Do you like my new wall? Mexico will pay for it!”
Recommendation engines have come a long way since Amazon’s “If you liked that book, try these.” They’re embedded in everything. “If you liked that holiday, try these.” “If you liked that person, meet these.” They even make suggestions about what to get suggestions about. “If you liked those holidays, try my job suggestions.” You can get conversational assistants, suggesting things to say into your ear in real time.
Some people follow the suggestion bots for everything. The brains of suggestion drones actually shrink from disuse.
So maybe you should start ignoring anything that begins, “If you liked…” Just a suggestion.
“Just smile. It will make you feel better,” his girlfriend said, displaying her own broad set of pearly white teeth.
He smiled back.
Her suggestion didn’t work.
Jack didn’t feel better.
In fact, his feelings of inadequacy and frustration grew until they took shape. Not the shape of a square or circle or a wiener dog, but into the shape of a ten pound hammer that he brought down on her head.
Jack’s transformation was so sudden and unexpected that his girlfriend’s smile remained on her face, even in death.
“Did that make you feel better?” Jack, ‘The Hammer’, asked.
Jason has ever been my only friend. He was more of the scheming
leader and me the follower who did the tasks. I never hesitated when
he made suggestions.
“Why don’t you steal that golf cart?” I did.
“You should grab the cash Ms Pennely is always bragging about.” I did.
“How about you take this bat to that man’s head?” I did.
Nowadays it’s harder to keep up with the barriers between us, but we
manage. Just now got another one of his notes. “Why don’t you write
about me in a 100 word story.” So here I am.
By Christopher Munroe
This is not a demand.
I have no power over you, no leverage, and even if I did it would be wrong of me to use that leverage to make demands of you.
You are a human being, with thoughts and feelings just as important and valid as my own, who has the right to exercise your own best judgment and preserve your own sense of moral agency, and I completely respect that and would never infringe upon it.
So no, this isn’t a demand.
This is merely a suggestion:
Get on the Party Bus. We’re all going to Vegas…
George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.
He was clumsy and made lots of mistakes, and the rest of the crew had to make up for them.
So, they filled the Captain’s suggestion box with complaints.
Every week, the Captain emptied the box and read the notes.
“Make George walk the plank!”
“Keel haul George!”
“Feed George to the sharks!”
Some were just drawings of horrible things happening to a stick figure, presumably George.
He then read the note his dear departed sister had left him.
“Keep an eye on my son George.”
And he sighed.