Welcome to the twenty-fourth Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.
The topic this week was selected by last week’s winner T.A. Marquette: Stone.
Fifteen stories were submitted this week.
One rookie this week. Yay!
Plus there’s an extra-special dedication to former competitor Marcus Tee
And, as always, the usual madness by Planet Z.
Go ahead and listen to them by clicking on the grammophone thingy there in the left column and then vote for your favorites (multiple selections are allowed):
The full text to each story…
Ironically the people of PETS or People for the ethical treatment of stones, can’t abide by keeping stones as pets. They think they should all run free unfettered by man.
But I have a pet rock, and I’m not ashamed.
They’re a little hard to train at first. Why when I first got him, he would strain at the leash any time I tried taking him for a walk.
But then I took him to obedience school and now look at him.
Stony! Sit! Stay! Play dead! Roll over! Good Boy!
And you should see him fetch the morning paper.
Steve was born into proud family. Although his family didn’t have much, they knew where they came from. They were in fact, a cornerstone in their community. Steve’s brother Bob was quite successful in the catapult industry, so there was always pressure to do well, to make something of himself. To really be somebody.
It’s hard to become something you’re not, but Steve was determined. He had the genes. He was igneous. Although he lacked in viscosity, he was still born of magma. Steve was determined. Yes, one day, whatever it took, he would be taken for granite.
Her marriage was great. Terry was loving, considerate and kind to the kids. From her friends perspective, she knew that much. What more could she want. Julie decided to take computer classes, showing Terry she could be more than just the nice little housewife and mother. She wanted him to be proud of her. It was their day out by themselves they walked around the old castle. She went alone to the top. She looked down. He was at his laptop. She knew what he was doing. The large stone in her hand would be enough. She let it fall.
Nathan had a gambling problem. This was why his girlfriend refused to marry him.
After a long period of reform, he presented Sylvie with a gorgeous ring. Feeling he’d redeemed himself, she accepted. Surely he couldn’t have afforded a stone this size if he’d still been gambling.
Sylvie took it to be cleaned. The presumptuous jeweller winked at her, “This is one of the finest Cubic Zirconia stones I’ve ever sold, you’d never know, would you?”
Later, sneaking home after a night of poker, Nathan found his mutilated belongings on the street, the ring on top. No explanations were necessary.
NO TEXT SENT… kinda hard to hear… oh well.
There once was a famine.
People hoarded their food.
A soldier walked into their village
“No food here,” he was told. “Move along.”
“Can I make you some soup?”
Out came a cauldron, in went water.
With great ceremony he drew an ordinary stone
from a velvet bag and dropped it into the water.
“Mmmm,” said the soldier to himself quite loudly,
“I do like a tasty stone soup. BUT
stone soup with cabbage — better.”
A villager added a cabbage to the pot
Suddenly salt beef, potatoes,
onions, carrots, mushrooms appeared.
In the end there was food for all.
ANDREW IAN DODGE
The stone altar held the victim who had long since stopped resisting his bonds. He could see around but it was a blurry dream like vision. The man before him held a large ceremonial dagger the victim knew to be covered with ancient pre-deluvian symbols. He knew the chants that were wafting into his ears; knew them only too well as he’d sung them before the sacrifice of some unfortunate fellow. The chanting around him began to rise in volume, the guttural sounds becoming cacophonous with every word. Aziz would have sworn he heard it as it plunged towards his chest…
The summit was only fifty yards away. Sisyphus could practically taste it.
Heaving with all his strength, he struggled to keep pouring forward momentum into the massive round boulder. Droplets of sweat pattered in the dust around his feet.
Zeus, he could use a drink. But there would be no drink, no rest for him until he got that fucking boulder all the way to the top.
Ten more yards.
Suddenly, stabbing pain lanced through his left kidney. Gasping, he clutched his side and watched horrorstricken as the boulder rolled to the bottom.
Damn that stone. And damn that stone!
He awoke suddenly, his mind still hazy from the drug in his drink.
For one disoriented moment, he had no idea where he was. Then he saw the stone wall in front of him and stone walls on either side. When he tipped his head slightly backward, he saw the stone wall behind him.
He was lying on stone, too, his wrists and ankles held by four burly men. Even as he took this in, he saw the obsidian knife descending toward his chest.
He stayed calm, remembering that at times like these one always has a choice of attitude.
Looking around at her neighbor’s well manicured lawns, Paula decided she wanted to spruce things up a little bit.
She bought some plants at the local hardware store and spent the entire afternoon digging holes and planting an attractive assortment of greenery.
Then, she carefully chose just the right stepping stones and placed them in the dirt forming a lively little garden path.
Beautiful! Just like in a magazine” she smiled proudly.
The next morning (running late as usual) Paula caught her heel, then hit her head on those very stumbling blocks that she had so carefully created for herself.
Jebediah walked a stones throw along a stone lined path.
He threw a stone at a stone crab that had aroused his wrath.
He ate the stone crab and whatever’s at hand because he was stone broke,
a result of his hand being crushed years ago by a stony criminal bloke.
Rich folks, they wear stone-washed clothes to make a fashion statement,
But he was forced to wear old clothes ’cause he was no longer stonemason.
He cursed the bread, and went without meat and dreamed of precious stones,
And so he loved being stoned and being stone-deaf when living amongst the stones…
The Sunday school teacher asked his class if they would like some bread. With a resounding yes they all cheered.
The teacher then gave each of them a round stone to emphasize the teachings of the Gospel of Matthew.
The teacher asked, “What kind of father gives you stones if you ask for bread?”
One of the kids piped up, “You would, you jerk!”
Taken aback by the sudden fury the teacher replied, “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”
The rest of his sayings were drowned out by a hail of stones thrown from angry little hands.
It can be a sound or smell that takes us back to a time or place.
The smell of Aramis cologne always made Fran retch when the wind wafted the stench in her direction. Bringing back ugly memories of a monster she should never have loved.
She would reach into her pocket when ugliness would press upon her. Her touchstone.
A small, white stone nature had inlaid with quartz in the shape of a Magnolia.
Magnolias meant “Be not discouraged; better days are coming.”
Moonlight had revealed it and as it did on that night, it always vanquished the ugliness.
After Sherry’s fiancee, Sam, died in a gruesome winch mishap,
there remained the matter of selecting a gravestone.
When a consoling relative offered to make the arrangements,
Sherry was grateful to be spared that task.
“Just a modest stone”, she suggested, “with an appropriate message.”
On the day of the funeral, Sherry viewed the stone for the first time.
The words she read upon it struck her like an iceball to the side of the
“Oh no! How AWFUL!”, she cried.
Deeply engraved into the stone, the epitaph read:
Here lies Sam,
Sherry tore his guts out.
Battered and bruised from a nightmare of a weekend, Jesus remembered the advice his father gave him through the Angel Gabriel.
“Lift with the legs, not the arms,” said the angel. “Otherwise, you might get a hernia.”
“What if I wear a support garment under my robe?” asked Jesus.
“You might not always have one,” said the angel. “Trust in ergonomics.”
Breathing deeply, Jesus rubbed his belly until the pain subsided.
Then, he hunkered down, laid his shoulders into the stone, and thrusted with his legs until he could feel the heavy seal sliding from the front of his tomb.
Don’t call Dwight “The Apeman” – he doesn’t like being called that.
Sure, it’s his last name. It spells out Apeman. And Apeman isn’t French or German or Swahili no matter how many dashes, umlauts, and squiggles you stick over it or dangle from it.
Then there’s the fact that Dwight physically resembles an ape-man hybrid. It’s as if his mother of father had a really good time in the Monkey House one night, or he escaped from some Mad Scientist’s lab.
Oh, and there’s the fact that he’ll brain you with his stone axe if you call him “Apeman.”
Thanks to everyone for sending in their stories, and I look forward to what you’ve got to write (and say) next week.
The theme for next week’s Weekly Challenge will be posted shortly.
(In case you’re interested, I’ve settled on “Clair de Lune” as the opening music and “Moonshine” by Michael Oldield from the Tubular Bells II album.)