Weekly Challenge #579 – PICK TWO: Track, Jill, Pinkerton, Blasphemous, Contusion, Orc, Zither, Neutral

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

(Be sure to wish Myst a happy birthday… she turns 8 today.)

JEFFREY

Private Dick (Part 1)
by Jeffrey Fischer

Young Jill Pinkerton – yes, of those Pinkertons, some number of generations removed from the great Allan – sat in her car, idling in neutral to stave off some of the cold. A tap at her window caught her attention. She opened the window with a punch of the power button, only to see the quarry she was tracking, a zither-playing orc. It was one of those days. “Why you follow me?” the orc growled, smacking Jill in the head, leaving a large contusion the next day. Without another word, the orc wandered off, playing the theme from “The Third Man.”

Private Dick (Part 2)

Jill’s client was a foul-mouthed, blasphenous priest who had been swindled by the orc. He had peeled off a number of large-denomination bills from a huge wad, swearing the entire time. He never explained how the orc swindled him, but it was clear that he held a grudge.

As she recovered from the orc’s blow, she reconsidered her career. Everyone expected a Pinkerton to go into the family business, but this day convinced her she was in the wrong profession. Maybe she’d open a small tea room. She’d ban all priests, orcs, and, yes, zithers too.

CHARLIE

After the new, school track opened, Jill JuciVana was the first to run the inner lane naked, while chased by the Pinkerton guards that were on duty.

Her behavior was heinously blasphemous. Earlier she was responsible for the GM’s contusion, and for breaking the large, Orc figurine he had on his office desk.

Displaying and demonstrating several yoga and sexual postures, unsolicited, for the General Manager, she snapped all the strings on his Zither; trying to prove that she was completely neutral about the outcome of the current relationship and the clumsy advances of the GM and the coaching staff.

RICHARD

Blasphemy

They’ll stone you for a bit of gentle mockery. Blow your brains out just for a satirical cartoon or imagined slight.

Somehow, they manage to argue it’s justifiable – no matter what common decency, morality or law might say – it’s protecting the faith, living according to the holy scripture, following the one pure way.

I try to stay neutral in such things, no matter what my personal feelings, but sometimes, the truth has to be spoken.

After all, what’s more blasphemous?

Speaking out against a warped ideology;
Or blowing up kids at pop concerts in the name of religion?

TOM

Can’t Fool Me
In 1894 my mother’s family was involved in the Pullman Strike. Not many
words were spoken about their stand. All the same the general feeling in
that end of the family was never cross the line. My father not one to let
in-law opinions sway him took a job as a Weekend Pinkerton. My mother’s
spit loyalty settled into an uncomfortable neutral gray. I on the other
hand was confirmedly in the red camp. This didn’t stop me from joining him
backstage at the Monkey’s show. Or James Brown or the Jackson Five. Live
music trumps principal every time.

JON

Battle Night
By
Jon DeCles

Jill Pinkerton, (on the track of an Orc, who, she was assured, was neutral
in the current phase of the battle) had suffered a contusion when she fell
from a ledge, overwhelmed by the sound of the blasphemous music of an
infernal zither. Now she lay on the rocks breathing as quietly as she
could, hoping the blood from the wound would not attract the attention of
any of the evil things that roamed the rocky canyons at the edge of the
Dark Border.
The soft plangency of the plucked and strummed strings continued to lure
her toward dangerous sleep.

LIZZIE

Mean Orc

Peter and Matt, two friends of the orc, were talking in the hospital corridor.
“No orc should have to go through this. The contusion was serious and now he’s talking funny. Everyone is laughing at him.” Peter rolled his eyes in disgust.
“Well, I suppose,” replied Matt, “but he was always slightly mean. Don’t you remember when…”
“I really don’t care. He should be respected. He’s fragile now.”
Suddenly, the orc died.
Peter waved. Matt got closer.
“I killed him,” whispered Peter.
“What on earth? Why??”
“I was talking to him and, man, did he have a mean bad breath.”

SERENDIPITY

I lay down across the track, preparing for the end.

It’s not like you imagine: It’s uncomfortable, cold, dirty. You’d like your final moments to be a time of reflection and peace, but all you can think about are the stones in your back and the awkward way your neck rests against the rail.

The driver saw me well in advance, hit the brakes, and my world filled with the sound of screaming, tortured steel.

So much for suicide… I walked away with just a minor contusion. Unlike the train passengers, whose broken bodies they pulled from the mangled wreckage.

TURA

Orc; Jill
———
The three orcs sat round the fire, gnawing on the bones of an elf.

“You ever wonder,” began Hrakht.

“Wonderin’s for elves an’ yoomns,” grunted Gnurgle.

“I thought…” said Hrakht.

“Ooh, thinkin’ now, izzee?” mocked Rabjagh.

“You know Hrakht ‘ere’s only half an orc?” said Gnurgle. “Yoomn mother. Must have scared her when he came out!”

Hrakht remained silent. How could he tell them that he didn’t feel like an orc at all? That he dreamed of belonging to one of the fair races, like the one they had just eaten.

In his dreams, he— no, she— called herself “Jill.”
———

NORVAL JOE

Deep in the forest, Jill and I followed the track of the Blasphemous Pinkerton brothers.
What they had done which was so offensive to the moral majority to earn that title was unclear. What was clear was that whoever caught them would be rewarded most handsomely.
Morally neutral and already beautiful, Jill didn’t need the reward. I was the one who looked like an orc with facial contusions. Any reward that would make me more handsome was worth the effort.
Zither birds, named after their distinctive call, burst from a grove of trees, pointing us to the brother’s probable location.

PLANET Z

Capone had rivals. Lots of rivals.
Sometimes, the cops would pick them up.
And take them to jail.
Capone would send a woman to the courthouse or jail.
She’d have a briefcase full of money.
The money was for bail. And a little extra for the judge or court clerk.
So they’d let out Capone’s rival.
His men would be waiting outside.
They’d pick up the guy.
And after a few days, he’d turn up dead.
The woman would come back with her briefcase.
And collect the bail money.
She’d set it aside, ready for the next time Capone called.

1 thought on “Weekly Challenge #579 – PICK TWO: Track, Jill, Pinkerton, Blasphemous, Contusion, Orc, Zither, Neutral”

  1. As usual, good stuff. I enjoyed how Jon DeCles had a similar start to my piece (“Jill Pinkerton” after an orc) and then took it in an entirely different direction. Tura’s story tickled me for some reason – let’s hope that orc starts understanding that eating your date is no way to get to a second one. And Richard, you nailed it.

    Laurence, happy podcast anniversary. May there be many more. Here’s to the dedicated amateurs of the world!

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