Weekly Challenge #641 – POWER

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:

Pot cat

TOM

Eroica

Power is over-rated. Not the stuff that squirts out the wall sockets to fire up your cell phones. That stuff is way cool. No, I’m talking about the force to direct the will of the masses. Raw, of times, evil actions who sole purpose it to show who’s on top. A reminder that there are big people and little people. Not talking brownies and fairies. Talking the folk who walk in marble halls. Funny thing is, in the end, even if you’ve walked in the marble hall, the last marble will reduce all your accomplishments to a hand full of words

LIZZIE

Walk forward. Don’t give up. Even when they say you are not worth it. Power. Even if they… Power… Pow…
The robot stopped its roaming and blabbering. We all stared at it, expecting it to return to life as unexpectedly as it had started to move and talk.
“Perhaps if we walk away and come back, it’ll start again,” someone suggested.
But the robot didn’t move when we all did that, its arms awkwardly stretched back. We shrugged and walked away. The museum was big enough.
The robot rotated its head slowly and reprogrammed the data in everyone’s chips.

RICHARD

#1 – Knowledge

I’ve always been told knowledge is power, so I thought I’d try and prove it, and I’m ready to reveal my invention to the world.

The first knowledge-powered vehicle!

It was surprisingly simple to develop.

There was no need to devise exotic new technologies; no messing about with dangerous chemicals or nuclear fuel cells; and the raw materials are all around us.

It’s essentially a variation of the steam engine, using collected knowledge as combustible fuel.

A couple of encyclopaedias will get you to work and back, whilst a university library will keep you going for a year or more!

#2 – Super?

I was a latecomer to the Marvel Universe… A minor character, written in to fill a gap on a storyboard.

By the time they got to me, they were scraping the barrel for new superpowers: All the good ones had already gone to the X-Men, the Hulk, Deadpool, and all the rest of those A-listers.

I suppose a minor, unremarkable character doesn’t deserve anything particularly special anyway, but I do think they might have made a little more effort for me.

But here I am: Doctor Boring… And my super power?

The ability to make paint dry, very slowly indeed.

CHARLIE

Power was delivered to the wheels through the Casemont confabulator. The spiral downdraft tube assembly provided the high octane oxidant to the Belkins oval-throat chambers at the side of the main assembly. We took our chances when we cooled and boosted both of the Merrymount thrust bobbins containing the spindle head valve jacks.

We installed a dozen, brass, hand formed whipple cups for better lubrication, hoping to stabilize redundant lifter spin at high revolutions.

The zenith of measureable output came the day we readjusted the Neiki spinners in the flux field, allowing more ribbons of plasma to enter the Merrymounts.

#2

Normally I don’t talk about my power…my powers. I read minds, heal the sick, see the future, and I make an earthshaking smoothie.

I keep a low profile, having been pestered by “friends”, relatives, and hangers-on. I exercise my powers inconspicuously and privately. Yesterday, I rode my bicycle past the clinic and cured eleven cases of skin rash and nervous leg. Today, I am buying winning lottery tickets and passing the winnings on to the local Vets Support Dogs club.

Everything is anonymous, but I clip all the news articles and copy the Twitter posts and other social media posts.

SERENDIPITY

During the nineteenth century, the infamous – well, infamous if you happen to be a physicist – ‘War of the Currents’ raged.

An epic battle between Edison’s direct current, which he argued was far safer than the alternating current favoured by Tesla, and championed by Westinghouse.

It’s really all academic to most of us now: We just plug in, and play, and it matters little to us what form our electricity takes.

I’m not bothered either.

I just crank up the power as high as I can.

Because agonised screams and burning flesh don’t care if it’s AC or DC!

JEFFREY

Home Renovations
by Jeffrey Fischer

Frank and Jillian’s house already had some years on it when they moved in a decade ago. Jillian wanted to update the kitchen. “New cabinets and countertops, new floors, maybe an island. Oh, and a higher ceiling.”

Frank said, “Fine, I’ll do it myself.”

“Really, Frank? What do you know about home repair? Let’s just hire a contractor.”

But Frank insisted had had seen enough house-flipping shows to tackle the job. He removed the old cabinets, got a friend to help with the heavy lifting, and took down the tiled ceiling. Several electrical wires dropped from the space.

“Hey, I wonder if these are connected to power.” Frank prodded the bare wire with his screwdriver.

Jillian used the life insurance money to hire a reputable contractor to finish the job.

NORVAL JOE

Billbert stood up and set down his butter beer.
“Wow. You’re really pretty”
“Thanks.” Linoliumanda curtsied in her ballerina princess dress. “Here’s your magic wand. It has special power.”
“Really?” Billbert took the wand and waved it.
“Yes, really. Watch this.” She waved her wand at Billbert and said, “Windgardium Leviosa.”
“No. Don’t,” Billbert cried. He knew that the only real power the wand had was the power of suggestion. In his case, the suggestion was enough. He knew the meaning of windardium leviosa. Though he fought to remain on the floor, his grocery bag began to lift him up.

PLANET Z

Dieting and exercise require a lot of willpower.
To eat the right things, in the right amounts.
And not to eat the bad things in any amount at all.
Also, to find ways to burn those calories.
If you don’t, then the problem solves itself, doesn’t it?
You get sick and you die.
Sometimes quickly, from a heart attack or a stroke.
Sometimes slowly, from diabetes or some other disease.
It doesn’t matter, really. When you gotta go, you gotta go, right?
I know a guy who died from eating carrots and celery.
Never mind that he choked to death.

The next weekly challenge topic is When the lights went out…

Hi there. This is Laurence Simon of the 100 Word Stories Podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com.

Every week, I post a topic for the Weekly Challenge, where you come up with the stories and I collect them up and share them.

Want to give it a try? The topic of the next 100 Word Stories Weekly Challenge is When the lights went out…:

Write a 100 word story on that topic. Then, send it in an email to isfullofcrap (at) gmail.com with the subject line of WEEKLY CHALLENGE.

Do you have a website where people can learn more about you and your writing? Include the URL to that website.

Also, suggest a topic or topics for future Weekly Challenges.

Most importantly, include a recording of your story. Be sure to introduce yourself to the audience.

If you hate the sound of your voice or can’t record your story for some reason or another, that’s your problem. Deal with it. I am not recording your story for you.

Everything’s due by Sunday morning when I put the episode together. However, if you’re running late, I can put your story up on the feed in a separate post.

Good luck, and as always… keep it brief.

AUG 5 Power
AUG 12 When the lights went out…
AUG 19 Flay
AUG 26 PICK TWO
Mask
Pinprick
Out of sync
Grapes
Rose
Drive
Print
Darling
Terminal

SEP 2 Win
SEP 9 Driver error
SEP 16 Addictive
SEP 23 Chaos
SEP 30 PICK TWO
Minefield
Fountain
Angle
Craft
Sodium
Salute
Engine
Candle
Case

OCT 7 Dug
OCT 14 Mystery
OCT 21 Turtle
OCT 28 PICK TWO
Pagoda
Winner
Rustic
Confusing
Grinding
Patience
Arthur
Crypt

NOV 4 Dispute
NOV 11 Braced
NOV 18 Flower
NOV 25 PICK TWO
Bubbling
Saffron
Lime
Axial
Repetition
Can
Spaceship

DEC 2 Too much
DEC 8 Polar
DEC 16 Belt
DEC 23 Irritation
DEC 30 PICK TWO
Reflect
Pounce
Gymnastics
Obsolete
Engage
Girls
Easier

The General’s watch

The old general used to give out his wristwatches as gifts.
He’d take off his wristwatch and hand it to you, saying “Here, have this.”
And you’d say “Thank you” like it was some Rolex.
But they never were.
They were cheap knock-off wristwatches.
Most of the time they were broken. Or had a worn-out leather strap.
Or something else wrong with them.
But a gift’s a gift, right? It’s the thought that counts.
Mine runs pretty well.
Well, ran.
Damn thing wasn’t waterproofed, and I wore it in the shower.
Maybe I’ll give it as a gift to someone?

Outlet Outlet

Hardware sores and department stores in the city are so expensive.
Even the electrical outlet specialty store is out of my price range.
So, when I’m looking for a new electrical outlet, I shop at the outlet outlet store.
It’s in a mall outside of town along with all the other outlet stores for The Gap, American Tourister, and other brands.
Except that instead of fashion, the outlet outlet store has great deals on electrical outlets.
Sure, you have to pay a bit for the gas to get there, but if you’re buying in bulk, it’s well worth the trip.

Sister’s Keeper

Debbie and Marsha had the unexplainable ability to trade body parts.
When Debbie sprained a wrist before a basketball tournament, Marsha swapped wrists with Debbie.
And when Marsha had a rough period before a gymnastics tryout, they traded vaginas.
Whenever one needed the other, she was there, literally lending a hand or whatever was needed.
They found a lump in Marsha’s breast after she had a baby.
Debbie underwent the double mastectomy for her.
They take turns feeding the baby.
After all, with the constant swapping between them, they’re not really sure which one of them is the true mother.

Red Baron Pizza

I wanted to buy a frozen pizza at the grocery store, but all they had was Mexican-style pizza from Red Baron.
Isn’t the Red Baron a German legend?
Why is he making Mexican-style pizza?
And why am I buying a pizza from an enemy combatant?
That’s like Hitler Sandwiches or Bin Laden Ice Cream.
Mexican-style pizza, taking jobs away from American pizza.
We should build a wall. Out of pizza. To keep the Mexican-style pizza out.
And have the Red Baron pay for it!
But then, it’s the Red Baron.
He has a plane. He could just fly over it.

The coroner declares

You do not fuck with the coroner of Smith County.
You do not want him to tell you “You are dead to me.”
If he doesn’t like you, he signs your death certificate, and you’re legally dead.
You lose everything… your job, your bank accounts, your credit cards, your house, your car…
Your life is dead and gone.
And you’re standing there, watching it all happen, and you can’t do a damned thing about it.
And nobody will help you, because you’re dead. The dead are beyond help.
I can’t help you either.
Because the coroner declared me dead, too.

Superdelegate

The Democrats run primaries and caucuses to choose delegates to go to their national convention, and those delegates will select their party’s presidential candidate.
But they also have superdelegates, who are party leaders and elders who can choose whoever they want to choose.
The irony of the Democratic Party using anti-democratic election tactics is amusing.
And inspiring.
Because I’ve started my own party.
It’s the “We know better than you” Party.
Our primaries and caucuses are just meaningless polls and debates.
Every delegate is a superdelegate.
Because we know better than you.
And if you don’t like it, fuck you.

Weekly Challenge #640 – PICK TWO

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:

Derp

TOM

You Never Know

Timmy was an Unfortunate Elephant. He never got the knack of marching in line with the other elephant in the circus. So regrettable the circus owner had to find someone willing to take him off his hand. In a small town in Iowa an elderly farmer spent a considerable time sizing Timmy up. After a fashion an agreement was reached, a fair amount of corn feed in exchange for Timmy. As the circus train pull out, Timmy shed a tear. When news of the circus train’s deadly destruction just outside of Chicago arrived Timmy was no longer an unfortunate elephant.

CHARLIE

My mug was the result of an unfortunate accident. There was an profusion of global grime and chemicals in the atmosphere. My poor, expectant mother was exposed to such pollution, as the official elephant tender at the town zoo in Cape May. This was determined to be the most significant cause for my deformity.

My nose did not grow nor form naturally from the center of my face. It was more of a careless splat of flesh and gristle that “the dread designer” chose for me .

I survived as a bit player in off-off Broadway productions of Russian playwrights.

#2

I came to dread the splat I would often hear on the walk outside my tent. They would parade the elephant by every morning on the grime covered walk, as they strove to raise funds for the global unfortunate that were addicted to drugs and were usually gathered on corners in the city to beg for change with an undernourished dog and a Starbuck’s Mug in their laps.

My time in Seattle as a volunteer was frustrating, as most of the homeless, drug addicted, and mentally deranged refused housing and counseling, preferring to get an airplane ticket home to Kansas.

RICHARD

Muck

Okay, I know it isn’t going to go away… Let’s talk about the elephant in the room.

I dread people asking how I became what Time Magazine called ‘The Self Made King of Dirt, Splat and Gunk’; because frankly, it was all down to an embarrassing mistake.

I’d planned to go into organised criminal activity – a mob to rival, if not better, the Mafia. I even had millions worth of promotional material made up, like this mug.

However, thanks to an unfortunate typo that wasn’t picked up by the proofreader…

Well, read it for yourself:

Richard’s Global Grime Syndicate’

LIZZIE

Unfortunate Mug

The fast plane took off with ahhs and ohhs of exhilaration. It was the inaugural flight of a new model. Heads of state, ministers, members of parliament, journalists, an array of dubious reality TV personalities, even football players were invited. Each received a commemorative mug to display at home for curious visitors. When the plane crashed, a few miles short of the airport, the horror was only surpassed by the relief that there were no casualties. Except for the mugs. Nobody cared for the mugs. And no one noticed that each mug had a little spying device. Close call, huh?

JEFFREY

Part 1: Battle Zone
by Jeffrey Fischer

The line “don’t take a knife to a gun fight” was never more accurate than the time I was robbed during the night shift at the convenience store. The guy sauntered in, asked for a pack of Kools, then pulled a knife on me. I handed him the contents of the till, but he had a surprise coming as I pulled my elephant gun from behind the counter. I say elephant gun, but it was really a toy modified to shoot elephant dung over the unfortunate victim. The police had to hose him off before taking him to the station.

Part 2: Cleanup
by Jeffrey Fischer

I’m no idiot: I chased the robber out of the store and waited until firing the dung gun. Splat! It was a very satisfying sound. I knew I’d have to wash away the grime before the morning shift arrived, but hosing down the parking lot was much easier than washing any affected merchandise inside. Our customers weren’t the pickiest. Nonetheless, even they would have objected to dung-covered malt liquor cans and snack food bags. I made a mental note to gather more ammunition from my contact at the zoo before my next shift. I love the global economy!

SERENDIPITY

Two hundred years ago, there were around twenty six million elephants on the planet.

The total alive today, is around one point nine percent of that figure.

The majority: Hunted down, and killed for their ivory.

Let’s turn that on its head and imagine that elephants hunted people for their teeth, instead.

You, your family, friends and acquaintances would all, almost certainly have been killed, and this world of six billion human beings would number less than the population of Japan.

Twenty years, and the last elephant will be gone.

Far more sickening than any story I could make up.

Music credit: Louis Gordon – “The Anatomy of Melancholy – No Beginning and No End”

JON DE CLES

Swifter and Swifter Justice

By

Jon DeCles

It was unfortunate they had decided to show his ugly mug on the global feed one last time. There was dread on his face, and grime, and he was as gray as an elephant. He knew what was coming.

Yet he had persisted in his gross political crimes, opposing the rightful government of the unimaginably rich. What could he expect?

The planet watched in fascination as he stood under the lights atop the tallest tower of the city. They watched as he was pitched into the pit, and watched in flashes as he accelerated downward ever faster, and then..

Splat!

NORVAL JOE

Dressed in a bathrobe, round rimmed eyeglasses and a mascara lightning bolt drawn on his forehead, Billbert approached the door, his stomach filled with dread. He checked the address, 36 Dancing Elephant lane, as the door opened.
Mr. Withybotham glared at him.
“I’m here for Linoliumanda’s party. It’s tonight isn’t it?” He held up the handwritten invitation.
The man handed him a large mug of yellowish liquid, said, “Butter Beer”, and waved Billbert into the living room.
He sat to the crinkling of his hidden plastic bag.
Linoniumanda entered smiling like a myopic fairy princess wearing a single tennis shoe.

TURA

Global Dread
———
We used to call them terrorists. Violence from nowhere, to sow terror. They would be simple things. Set off bombs. Fly planes into skyscrapers. Drive trucks into people. Mail anthrax to politicians.

But that was before. Before smart contracts, decentralised crypto, autonomous vehicles, and not-quite-human AI. Now, anything can happen, anywhere. Mysterious outbreaks of deadly plagues. Random assassinations. Rogue vehicles. Some say that terrorists give missions to autonomous AIs, and they spiral out of control. Others blame secret government agencies. But nobody knows. All they know is we no longer have shocks of terror, but pervasive, global dread.

PLANET Z

The global ivory trade is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of elephants a year.
That ivory mug you’re drinking from? Yes, Dave, that’s illegal.
The unfortunate grime you call coffee should be illegal, too.
I dread drinking this swill. Tastes like the reeking splat from the back of an elephant.
I’d throw it out, but I’d be cited for contaminating the water supply.
Why can’t you just get a pod coffee maker like everyone else?
Sure, brewing a whole pot traditionally is less expensive, but when nobody wants to drink this swill, it all goes to waste anyway, right?

The next weekly challenge topic is POWER

Hi there. This is Laurence Simon of the 100 Word Stories Podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com.

Every week, I post a topic for the Weekly Challenge, where you come up with the stories and I collect them up and share them.

Want to give it a try? The topic of the next 100 Word Stories Weekly Challenge is POWER:

Write a 100 word story on that topic. Then, send it in an email to isfullofcrap (at) gmail.com with the subject line of WEEKLY CHALLENGE.

Do you have a website where people can learn more about you and your writing? Include the URL to that website.

Also, suggest a topic or topics for future Weekly Challenges.

Most importantly, include a recording of your story. Be sure to introduce yourself to the audience.

If you hate the sound of your voice or can’t record your story for some reason or another, that’s your problem. Deal with it. I am not recording your story for you.

Everything’s due by Sunday morning when I put the episode together. However, if you’re running late, I can put your story up on the feed in a separate post.

Good luck, and as always… keep it brief.

JAN 7 Slack
JAN 14 Involved
JAN 21 Smartypants
JAN 28 PICK TWO
Corner
Tiger
Tie
Please
Encountered
Obsolete
Winter
Webcam

FEB 4 Why not?
FEB 11 If only I had…
FEB 18 Grab a bag…
FEB 25 PICK TWO
Native
Drumroll
Brothers
Web
Pi(e)
Slice
Ticker
Tower
Elephant

MAR 4 Generally
MAR 11 Braided
MAR 18 Water
MAR 25 PICK TWO
Fail
Globe
Sunny
Wee
Shift
Well
Butter
Wilco
Grass

APR 1 Hardly
APR 8 Vibration
APR 15 Weak
APR 22 Camping
APR 29 PICK TWO
Granite
Pertinent
Record
Surely
Tag
Bridge
Proud
Detective
Tarp
Caramel

MAY 6 Fly
MAY 13 Organ
MAY 20 Pizza
MAY 27 PICK TWO
Doc
Grumpy
Happy
Sleepy
Dopey
Bashful
Sneezy

JUNE 3 Tip
JUNE 10 Ratchet
JUNE 17 Wafer
JUNE 24 PICK TWO
Prompt
Screech
Future
Gyrate
Frustration
Majestic
Fired
Packer

JULY 1 Never say…
JULY 8 Stab
JULY 15 Chance
JULY 22 Quill
JULY 29 PICK TWO
Mug
Unfortunate
Global
Grime
Elephant
Splat
Dread

AUG 5 Power
AUG 12 When the lights went out…
AUG 19 Flay
AUG 26 PICK TWO
Mask
Pinprick
Out of sync
Grapes
Rose
Drive
Print
Darling
Terminal

SEP 2 Win
SEP 9 Driver error
SEP 16 Addictive
SEP 23 Chaos
SEP 30 PICK TWO
Minefield
Fountain
Angle
Craft
Sodium
Salute
Engine
Candle
Case

OCT 7 Dug
OCT 14 Mystery
OCT 21 Turtle
OCT 28 PICK TWO
Pagoda
Winner
Rustic
Confusing
Grinding
Patience
Arthur
Crypt

NOV 4 Dispute
NOV 11 Braced
NOV 18 Flower
NOV 25 PICK TWO
Bubbling
Saffron
Lime
Axial
Repetition
Can
Spaceship

DEC 2 Too much
DEC 8 Polar
DEC 16 Belt
DEC 23 Irritation
DEC 30 PICK TWO
Reflect
Pounce
Gymnastics
Obsolete
Engage
Girls
Easier