Weekly Challenge #623 – Hardly

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:

Fifty Shades of Brown

CHARLIE

His apartment in San Francisco was hardly larger than the closet he had as a youngster. He paid twenty-five hundred a month rent. Utilities were included, but he shared the bath and kitchen with six other people.

He slept on a shelf, high on the back wall. His clothes were hung on nails, with some of them on pulleys, so he could pull them up to ceiling.

His laptop folded down with the desk from the wall. The small camp stool folded out from the table once it was in place.

He was happy until he found the peep hole.

RICHARD

Dental: Mental!

When I was a child, our family dentist was a very affable and friendly fellow, but even so, I was terrified of him.

To be fair, he tried his best to reassure me whenever I attended the surgery, but usually his attempts were worse than useless.

Take his stock phrase that he’d invariably trot out, prior to ramming a novocaine injection into my gum:

“This is hardly going to hurt… Just like being punched in the mouth!”

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever been punched in the mouth – but it bloody well hurts!

And so did the needle!

LIZZIE

Matt winced. He adjusted his glasses and looked at the huge sign. “Gone Fishing”.
And off he went!
Everything was fine until the neighbor kid noticed he never brought back any fish.
“I ate them.”
The kid wasn’t convinced, but Matt didn’t mind.
In his pocket, he had three gold nuggets. He placed them carefully in the box he hid under the floor planks. He needed a new box. This one was full.
When the kid sneaked inside the house to see what was inside the box, he found a lot of yellowish pebbles.
Matt really needed new glasses!

SERENDIPITY

I’d barely settled down to a cup of tea, when the doorbell rang: It was that idiot woman from across the street, complaining about how I’d parked my car.

I invited her in, and – using all my powers of persuasion – explained why it was perfectly reasonable to park where I did.

You haven’t witnessed my powers of persuasion, but they are very convincing, especially the sharp, pointy one; the dull, rusty one; and the one with the corkscrew end.

Since then, I haven’t heard a peep from her.

Hardly surprising, since her tongue went down the waste disposal!

TOM

That Which is Remembered Lives.

Hardly a day goes by I don’t think about Jack. It gets stronger with the coming of spring, which is when he died. There are some souls that pass into your life with such a lust for life that their absence leaves a gaping hole in time/space continuum. I had things I needed to tell him. Things I’m just figuring out. Come July it will be the 17th time we have made the road trip to Seattle. He would be so proud of how amazing his daughter has grown into an articulate young woman. He just left to soon.

JEFFREY

Hysteria
by Jeffrey Fischer

The gun-grabber march seemed filled with teenage girls engaged in group-think: all were “scared” to go to school. Some held signs asking “Am I Next?” Hardly. The CDC reports an average of 43 violent deaths per year at schools for the decade ending in 2010. 43 may be 43 too many, but the 15 million high school students face pretty good odds. In contrast, the CDC reports 2,333 deaths of 16-to-19 year old teens in road fatalities in 2016, many involving poor decion-making, driving under the influence, excessive speed, and lack of seat belts. If kids truly cared about saving their lives, instead of goofing their way down Pennsylvania Avenue preening for the cameras, they’d march to raise the driving age. Fat chance of that.

NORVAL JOE

“Get to class,” Coach Slaughterball said to Billbert, following the last of the boys out of the locker room.

Billbert didn’t waste any time. The coach had hardly left the room and he was pulling his clothes on.

He shoved the plastic grocery bag into a pocket of his backpack and ran to the office. After turning in the soggy note from the coach, Billbert hurried out of the office and ran into directly into Roderick.

He grabbed Billbert by his shirt. “How’d you get out of that tree? One second your were there. The next second you were gone.”

DUANE

Hardly

I hardly knew Isaac, but since I sat across from him I was asked to give his eulogy. Asking around the office nobody could tell me anything about him, so I lied.

I said Isaac had been a Fuller Brush salesman and draft dodger in the 1960s. In the 70s he taught disco and ran a desert ashram until the IRS raid. He spent the 80s as a cold-war spy.

The local paper printed my tribute and it went national. Since Isaac had no family I received a 100K book advance for his biography and later sold the movie rights.

PLANET Z

On April 7th, Hilda turned to stone.
She’d been walking in the park when it happened.
At first, people thought she was an abandoned statue.
So did the birds.
Hilda’s family recognized her from a photo in the newspaper.
How did this happen?
Was she alive?
Could she be changed back?
Scientists looked over Hilda, but they had no answers.
After a year, Hilda’s family held a memorial.
The city allowed them to put her back in the park.
With a plaque bearing her name.
Some people say she’s creepy.
Kids dare each other to touch her.
Then they run.

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