Weekly Challenge #654 – Dispute

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:

Tinnytoes

CHARLIE

I can’t recall a dispute I was ever engaged in. For my whole life, property, creative design ideas, legal issues, etc., were never anything I was concerned, nor enmeshed, in.

I’m afraid the day I am in a real dispute with someone, I will pick up a shovel, and smack the one I am in dispute with in the back of the head, dragging me into a manslaughter case.

Disputes hurt them more than they hurt me, but the effect on me is extreme. I dislike shouting, and spittle in the corners of an opponent’s mouth, and high blood pressure.

LIZZIE

The four men sat at the table surrounded by birds chirping.
“This racket is driving me crazy.”
The others shrugged and continued to talk about the plan.
“All weapons on deck?” he asked.
The others nodded.
A map appeared out of nowhere.
“What if he’s dead already?”
“Then, that’s it.”
And he thought, no, that’s not it. First, I’ll come back and kill these damn birds. Then, I’ll get rid of you cretins. And finally… Why not?
He pulled out two guns and shot the others right there and then.
Sometimes, there’s no point in waiting.

RICHARD

Insurance policy

I’ve been in dispute with my insurance company for the last few months. They maintain that being struck by lightning is an act of god, and therefore I can’t claim under my policy.

I, on the other hand, maintain that they’re just hiding behind a legal loophole and are unreasonably withholding the compensation I’m entitled to.

I won’t win though – I’ve made enough claims and seen enough refusals to know that the ‘act of god’ clause can cover pretty much anything they want it to.

So, I’m moving from Mount Olympus… Too many gods, and too many wild parties!

SERENDIPITY

I’ve always been a fan of the old fashioned methods of settling disputes – talking things through and getting counselling are all well and good, but they take too much time, and both sides always come away feeling they’ve had to give something up.

It’s much better to have a proper old fist fight, or if you’re feeling civilised, the traditional duel with pistols at dawn.

But, in my mind, you can’t beat the old ways: Trial by ordeal, fire and ducking stool.

Of course, even if you’re innocent, the chances you’ll survive are slim.

But, then again…

I survived!

TOM

Civility take a holiday

Oh for the days of civil dispute, when everything was dial back to a 4 at best. Reasonable voices voicing reasonable points of view. Who’d thought that the loudest screams would be coming from the black and white pixels that makeup computer text? If an army of moms where hovering just behind their recalcitrant off-spring I can assure you a snap to the back of the head would clear up a considerable amount of this rage-a-roma. It is sad we so easily confuse fighting for arguing. That winning is everything and at all costs mentality is norm. Too much red-meat.

JEFFREY

A Happy Ending
by Jeffrey Fischer

When Marty got through to a customer service rep, he explained in no uncertain terms why he was disputing the charge to the Happy Endings massage parlor. “But the business has your card number and code,” said the rep. “Has the card been out of your control?”

“Not that I know,” Marty said. “I’m just telling you the charge isn’t mine.” When the conversation was done, Marty turned to his wife, who had been listening to his end, and said, “See? It was all a mistake.” She nodded, though her icy expression didn’t change.

Marty made a mental note to be more careful with his credit cards in the future. He had to remember to use the card his wife didn’t know about.

NORVAL JOE

Billbert flew low over the houses of the neighborhood with Linoliumanda clinging to his back. He checked his watch. She had said they had a half hour before her father checked on them. He couldn’t dispute that. He didn’t know her father like she did.

Regardless. He would not have her back a minute late. He didn’t want to find himself in the middle of a family dispute.

By the time they returned to her room, the only part of him that wasn’t frozen was his back.

But it was worth it to see the smile frozen on her face.

PLANET Z

Dispute is the name of the fragrance.
The scent of anger.
To some, it’s a putoff. But to others, it’s a turnon.
The heat pours off of them like water in the shower over their body.
It’s hard to resist, but you have to try.
Fight it. Fight it with all you can.
That’s where the dispute happens.
Within you.
Fighting against yourself. Your instincts.
What you want… what you desire most.
But you know you shouldn’t have.
What you don’t deserve… don’t you?
Stop resisting. Stop punishing yourself.
Take it. Take it now.
And end the dispute, won’t you?

And she got a pony

My girl loved ponies.
Shelves and shelves of stuffed ponies.
You could barely see her bed under them.
My girl liked to draw ponies.
She drew them everywhere.
When she got older, she got a pony tattoo on her arm.
She thought it would cover up the needle tracks.
But it didn’t. We knew. And we tried to stop her.
We couldn’t.
We buried her in pink pony pajamas.
Wrapped in her favorite pony blanket.
Out by the pony farm we used to go to every summer.
Before the drugs took her on the last, long ride of her life.

Fast food for thought

Bob says that he can’t live on his minimum wage fast food job.
So, he protests at rallies calling for a minimum wage of fifteen dollars an hour.
Bob’s bosses say that such a high minimum wage will kill the fast food industry.
Why is this a bad thing?
Nobody should be eating fast food.
Burgers and fries and super-sized sodas are bad for you.
Eat healthy things, instead.
Fuck them both, I say. Fuck all of the poison-peddlers.
Get a job at a collective organic farm.
Sure, it’ll pay minimum wage, but at least it’s not peddling poison, right?

National Novel Writing Breakfast

For this year’s National Novel Writing Month, I stay in front of my computer and stared at the screen.
I didn’t write a word.
Until, at the very last minute, I went into the kitchen and pulled three strips of bacon from the refrigerator.
Then I stuck them to a sheet of paper.
“I’m finished!” I shouted.
I stuck the paper in an envelope and sent it to my publisher.
The publisher returned it with a few edits.
They replaced one of the strips of bacon with turkey bacon.
And added a dribble of mustard in one of the corners.

The Melting Girl

Elizabeth liked to construct wax replicas of herself, mount them in the heated pan, and then transfer her consciousness to the slowly melting figures.
Without sight or sound or thought, just the sensation of the warmth and slowly draining away from herself.
Her softening skin, flowing and dripping into the pan, coalescing into a growing puddle.
Her feet and legs and body descending into the mass, collapsing into the bubbling goo.
After ten minutes, her mind would return to her body, she’d open her eyes, and release a deep sigh.
And she’d pour the hot wax into the mold again.

Club 27

Jimi, Janiss, and Jim.
They all died at the age of twenty-seven.
Kurt Cobain, too. And Amy Winehouse.
So much young talent died at the age of twenty-seven.
They call it Club 27, a macabre hallmark of the price of drugs, hard living, and fame.
Music industry executives were worried that their biggest acts would die before their biggest hits.
Or, even worse, die without leaving a massive library of unreleased tracks to exploit after their deaths.
Like they did with Michael Jackson, Prince, and countless others they had killed.
I mean, countless others they had difficulty negotiating contracts with.

Halloween mob

For Halloween, kids would dress up as ghosts and vampires and other creatures.
Then came the cheap plastic masks and aprons with Marvel superheroes.
I didn’t put up with any of that crap.
So, I rallied the kids in the neighborhood to meet in the apple orchard, and we’d hand out pitchforks and lit torches.
Then, we’d go door to door as an angry mob.
“IS THIS CASTLE FRANKENSTEIN?” I’d yell.
When they said no, I’d unfold a map, and yell “IT MUST BE THE NEXT HOUSE!”
And we’d work the neighborhood, until the cops attacked us with riot gear.

Death Notice by Aspen

The Death Notice

The newspaper boy stood shouting EXTRA!! EXTRA!! read all about it!!! The town streets were quiet, hidden under a dark blanket of clouds, but this was nothing unusual for a sleepy haunted place such as Nightmare. For the last 500 years, the town had been governed by a young man named Authur Crypt. The day came and Mr. Crypt met his demise but what happened? The notice of death was written in secret tongues translated read…Now I lay me down to sleep…I pray the Lord, my soul, to take…shall I die before I wake, I’ve been salted at the stake.

Weekly Challenge #653 – PICK TWO Pagoda Winner Rustic Confusing Grinding Patience Arthur Crypt

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:

Baby panther

LIZZIE

Smart Move

The winner would be announced later. It was obvious that the blue boat had won, but they’d announce it later.
To announce something obvious, with great pomp and circumstance, hours after the event ended was confusing. But Peter believed there was some sort of live event logistics that determined that, until… he saw the crew looking rather suspicious.
He stormed over to the mic.
“There’s a lot more than people in that boat…”
The police rushed to the stage. Peter was arrested. The crew of the blue boat hurried away.
Smart move to traffic dope right under everyone’s noses.

CHARLIE

The architectural firm ran a worldwide design contest in Japan. The entrants were to design a new, three story, pagoda for Yamaguchi.

The winner would have to satisfy a couple of primary constraints. Among them, the requirement that a rustic, unassuming and non-confusing façade depict a modest image of a traditional sword maker hammering and grinding a katana sword blank.

Patience and diligence was required, but Arthur Codpeace won grand prize.

He didn’t follow the strict guidelines and the inducements the Yakuza demanded. He was deconstructed with a Stihl chainsaw and buried in a fifty gallon crypt beneath the pagoda.

RICHARD

‘In the eye of the beholder’

“Rustic and confusing” – that was the opinion of the so called art critics attending the opening of my latest exhibition.

I thought they were rather rude. After availing themselves of the rather good free wine and canapés, I expected a decent review… It’s only common courtesy, in my opinion.

Well, I wasn’t going to stand for it, and having cornered the art editor for the Evening Standard, blocking his escape path, with the Chardonnay tantalisingly just out of reach, I pressed him to explain.

“It’s the tractors” he said; “as religious iconography, they’re confusing.”

Maybe he had a point!

SERENDIPITY

Cruel and unusual torture is a much misunderstood phrase. It irritates me that people always imagine the most dramatic and outlandish scenarios when the topic is mentioned. Cruel and unusual doesn’t always mean exotic devices, ridiculous settings, blood and gore. Real cruel and inhuman torture is about taking mundane, everyday circumstances and giving them a twist; subtly grinding down your victim, until you’re left with a pathetic husk of a person, with no hope, and no will to live.

It takes great patience, but it works.

Like sitting in a dentist’s waiting room, for hours…

Now that’s cruel, and unusual!

TOM

Changga Trot

Rustic Pagoda was a K-Pop girl’s band out of Seoul. Lead singer was Kimmy Kim Park. Serious set of pipes on that smurf girl. The bass player Pearl Dive ripped up the bottom end while lead guitarist Mindy Max pounded out Anthem Stadium Power cords. The band had more drummers than Spinal Tap. Got tired of reprinting press posters so the new sticks girl was just called X. Margret Wong doubled on Sax and keyboards. She wasn’t Korean, but it wasn’t like the audience was sentience enough to notice. First band from Korean to broke into Billboard’s top 10.

TURA

Rustic pagoda
———
A traveller occasionally notices my rustic pagoda and stops to pray at the shrine. I may then come out and speak with him. My priestly wisdom is but simple, for I have not put in the level-grinding to become a great sage. I prefer this relaxed life after my previous one as a mercenary captain in the Hundred Years War. I had a glorious run of things, although in the end I was hacked to death on an obscure battlefield. But every life ends in failure, which is to say, that it ends. I am already considering my next one.

NORVAL JOE

Linoliumanda ran to the bedroom door, pressing her ear to it. “Silent as a crypt.”
A confusing evil grin spread across her face.
She locked the door.
Billbert gulped.
Linoliumanda turned on the radio to mask the grinding sound as she opened the bedroom window.
“Come on.” She climbed through, onto the eaves. “Let go flying.”
She wrapped her arms around him from behind and Billbert lifted off over the houses of the rustic neighborhood. Her body was warm against his back as the cool air rushed past.
“We have a half hour before dad comes to check on us.”

JEFFREY

The Proposal
by Jeffrey Fischer

The restaurant had a certain rustic charm and a menu with enough French words to confuse the average diner. Add to that a pianist playing traditional French songs in the style of Liberace and prices that nearly required a home equity loan, and one had the perfect locale to pop the question. Between dessert and coffee, Bryan scooted back his chair, fumbled in his jacket pocket for the ring case, and dropped to one knee.

Jessica sat transfixed, a look of horror on her face. “Bryan, no…” Too late. Bryan ran through his well-rehearsed lines. The poor fool even took her shaking head as a sign of acceptance. She fled to the ladies’ room and called a cab to meet her at the restaurant’s rear entrance.

PLANET Z

Unlike other crypts, Billy Arthur’s crypt was built in the style of a Japanese pagoda.
It was a delicate affair, surrounded by cherryblossoms and gardens and koi ponds and other fancery.
Billy had always dreamed of such tending such a beautiful garden.
But in his endless quest for money and power and fame, he never had the time to take a break and enjoy all he’d accumulated.
He died young, leaving instructions for he crypt and pagoda and gardens.
The people who come here to rest and relax and take photographs, to them, he’s just a name on a plaque.

Vampire Jack

Wolfman Jack, the famous deejay, was not a werewolf.
He was, in fact, a vampire.
In order to hide his true nature, he wore a scraggly wig and howled so people would think he was a werewolf.
This ruse worked, until a deranged fan tried to shoot him with a silver bullet.
Werewolves normally die from silver bullets, but vampires are immune to them, so Wolfman Jack staged his own death.
The next day, Mummy Jack showed up at the radio station looking for a job.
But walking around in bandages didn’t have the same appeal as a wolfman’s howl.