Weekly Challenge #624 – Vibrations

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:

Sleepy Tin

RICHARD

Vibration

Years ago I owned a car that was fine until you reached sixty, but anything above that speed would cause a noticeable vibration through the steering.

I didn’t think much of it and put it down to the tyres needing balancing, or something similar.

I eventually passed it on to my sister, and forgot all about it.

We were chatting the other day about cars we’d owned, and she referred to it as the one that nearly killed her.

Apparently, she was doing over sixty when the steering wheel came off in her hands!

Lucky escape for me, I reckon!

CHARLIE

I am very sensitive to vibration. I am sensitive to vibrations when working at my desk, or studying. I’ve damped a number of things in the house and car.

I’ve used dense foam, old sponges, wood, cardboard, and other materials to stop the vibration and noise on my heat pump, washing machine and cold air injection on my truck.

A piece of heavy rubber jammed into the space between the washer and the dryer stopped the noise during the spin cycle, thus preventing a seizure and saving me from falling to the floor into a mound of incontinence and spittle.

#2

In the old days, a good vibe was the vibration you got being around someone whose company you enjoyed or cherished. It was the vibe you got by being with them, or an environment that was cool, soothing, and peaceful as they were.

A bad vibration was the one that struck you and harshed your buzz. The buzz could have been an artificially induced high, or the high a person gave you.

A bad vibe should be abandoned as soon as possible and forgotton. It should never be discussed or spoken of, much like the 14 years of my marriage.

PLANET Z

At the age of nineteen, the poet Maya Angelou worked as an exotic dancer.
Just image that.
You probably imagine her as some old lady reading “Why the caged bird sings” or her other works at various events.
Or her work with Martin Luther King. That was important, you know.
But me, I’m trying to imagine her younger self, working the pole at night and sneaking off to church during the day.
Imagine, going to one of her book signings, and telling her that back in the day, you had put a dollar in her g-string.
For her, maybe two.

TOM

My name is blue canary

MY heart beats

Like a tiny dove

The vibrations rising

It’s a song of love

I’m your only friend

I’m not your only friend

But I’m a little glowing friend

But really I’m not actually your friend

But I am

Blue canary in the outlet by the light switch

Who watches over you

Make a little birdhouse in your soul

Not to put too fine a point on it

Say I’m the only bee in your bonnet

Make a little birdhouse in your soul

I have a secret to tell

From my electrical well

Leaving out the whistles and bells

SERENDIPIDY

Can you feel that?

The subtle vibration that causes you to squirm slightly in your bonds.

Are you trembling too, with anticipation of what you think is to come?

Exciting, isn’t it?

But more so for me.

You see, I know you’re the one with whom my husband has been cheating on me.

And this isn’t an ‘erotic adventure’ that he’s set up for your pleasure.

Because I’m no dominatrix.

And that vibration is not the toy you think it is.

It’s a circular saw, and it’s moving steadily closer…

Now, you’re struggling!

And now, you’re sorry.

Aren’t you, bitch?

LIZZIE

The vibration was stronger as the herd approached. They continued to sleep under the giant plant.
The bamboos muttered a strange song, the thumping making it grow more and more intense. They didn’t wake up. They slept on, immersed in their dreams, their huge ears flipping back and forth as if they were awake.
The symbols on the stone became bright, dancing to the rhythm of the bamboo song.
The herd trotted past them and didn’t even noticed they were there.
They opened their eyes slowly. The bamboo became silent and the stone went to sleep under the giant plant.

JEFFREY

Normal Range
by Jeffrey Fischer

The new Metro trains were touted as modernizing the fleet: sleek, eight cars long, with overhead displays of the current and subsequent stations. The trains were also quite heavy.

Homeowners noticed increased vibrations as the new trains passed through the tunnels below their houses. Windows rattled, paintings shifted, and bric-a-brac walked in their displays. Metro downplayed the vibrations, claiming they were within “normal range.” That is, until house foundations began to crack and the occasional house collapsed. Even the transit system’s management had to concede the results were somewhat unusual and undesirable. True to form, their solution was to demand more taxpayer money to “improve” the system.

NORVAL JOE

Billbert wondered why Roderick was accusing him. So, he’d escaped from the tree and foiled the bully’s joke.

Feeling flippant, he said, “Maybe I flew down.”

Roderick made a fist with his other hand. “You better not be making fun of me.”

The boy couldn’t take a joke. Maybe Billbert could impress him, instead.

“I did fly. Come here. I’ll show you,” Billbert said and lead Roderick to the patio off the library. With his backpack still over his shoulders he made to leap into the air.

All that happened was a weak vibration from a pocket of his backpack.

JON

Hardly Any Time At All

By

Jon DeCles

I had been in Second Life a short time. Less than a year. Hardly any time when it comes to getting to know a person. Much less than a year if you count learning all the complex gobbledygook.

I was dancing in a club. My friend was bouncing next to me. Suddenly he explained to the barkeep that he was dead. His avatar was being occupied by his wife, who had never done SL before. He had died of a heart attack, and she came to tell us. Brave and kind of her.

I cried and drank Scotch all night.

Good (and bad) Vibrations

By

Jon DeCles

I like to dance, and I don’t mind feeling the vibration through the floor from the music when I am dancing. But when it is from the apartment upstairs, and I am trying to sleep, it is not a good vibration.

The people upstairs, or downstairs, never respond to polite requests.

I read in Mark Twain about Tesla and his experiments with vibration. Twain talks about standing on Tesla’s machine and feeling very comfortable until he suddenly had to run full speed to the rest room. I built the machine.

Now the vibration ends with the sound of repeated flushings.

VIBRATION

Vibration

“This is the best way to find water. Trust me.” He picked up a limb with a Y in it and held it in both hands.

“When you are over water it will kind of vibrate in your hands like text message” He said. “Then it will point down to the water and bingo!”

He walked in a big circle sweeping the stick back and forth. Whenever the stick pointed down I would run up and dig a hole in that spot. By sundown we hadn’t found any water, but I had six pull tabs and a Rainer bottle cap.

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.

Weekly Challenge #622 – 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:

Tinnybutt

LIZZIE

Sunny Shift

The angel sat on the bench. The sunny day was coming to an end as was his shift. However, he had failed, so he couldn’t understand why he felt so happy. The elderly woman he was supposed to watch over had been hit by a car. The obnoxious teen had jumped in the pool and broken a leg. Even that damn dog someone had placed in his list as a prank had bitten the nosy neighbor. And yet, he felt happy. That’s when he noticed some of the feathers of his wings were taking on an unusual tint of red.

CHARLIE

The hearty, Scotch, Major radioed the order that my platoon must advance straightaway making a wee shift out of the sunny grass into the protective canopy of the dark forest.

We were ordered to take a position so we could attack the five-inch guns that were strategically housed within the giant, concrete, globe emplacements on the hilltop.

I signaled back the requisite “wilco”, and said all was well, and my troops would not fail!

The filthy Huns wouldn’t have butter on their Milchbrötchen this morning, only the blood of their comrades.

We took them by surprise, eating them afterward.

#2

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.
-Well known idiom.

The condominium board voted to plant butter grass. Not knowing anything about horticulture, Miss Snodblade was put in charge.

Snodblade wasn’t the brightest bulb. She used to be a call girl in Washington D.C. Her claim to fame was her coupling with two of the last presidents and three of the past first ladies.

The butter grass grew an inch a day, and soon the grass was up to the eyeballs of the poor lads that were in charge of lawn care.

The moral here is that you can lead a whore to culture, but you can’t make her think.

RICHARD

Sunny Delight

“‘Ello sunshine! Did you grass me up to the rozzers?”

The expression on ‘Sunny’ Sullivan’s face told me that, whatever my response, he’d already made his mind up.

So, with nothing to lose, I decided to brazen it out…

“Yeah, sure I did. Why, what are you gonna do about it?”

The expression turned from dark to black as pitch, and then, slowly, like the sun rising at dawn, a huge smile replaced the frown.

“Hahaha… You crack me up! Fancy a pint? Wish I knew who it was though.”

I supped on my pint, and calmly changed the subject.

TOM

Grass

My father’s failed attempt at a manicured lawn was legion in our suburban neighborhood. Each spring he’d purchase a small mountain of grass seed and equal mound of fertilizer. Ran that grass spreader machine back and forth for hours. Come the summer the grab grass and dandelions dominated the front-yard.

Now the back-yard was my domain and I peppered it with clove, which meant I did have to mow the sucker. Further due to the exceedingly high water table on our street the back yard was little more than low end swamp. Grass hated the damp, the clove was quite happy

JEFFREY

On a Date
by Jeffrey Fischer

One sunny day I took Sarah to a grassy meadow I had seen driving through the country. Beautiful and deserted, this seemed like the perfect location for a date: a little Wilco on the speakers, a blanket on the grass, my picnic hamper with a little bread and butter, and a decent bottle of wine… how could this fail to take our relationship to the next level?

However, the meadow wasn’t exactly deserted. A wee lamb wandered in our direction, curious about our lunch. “Isn’t she just the cutest?” Sarah exclaimed.

“Yes, but I’m not so sure about daddy’s intentions.” A large ram was moving at speed in our direction. This wasn’t the kind of butter I had in mind. Grabbing the wine by the neck, I raced after Sarah to the safety of the car.

NORVAL JOE

If it hadn’t been such a beautiful, sunny day, the class would have remained inside the gym. Running through the locker room to the blacktop or grass outside, most of the boys didn’t fail to notice Billbert in his plastic loincloth, and many stopped to laugh.
He could leap into the air using his superpower and fly around the room. Then their scorn would turn to envy.
Taking a single preparatory step to launch himself over their heads, he slipped in the water and ended up flat on his back.
“Get your butts outside,” Coach Slaughterball yelled at the boys.

LAIEANNA

“Model Winner”

I was nervous enough about failure, knowing Wilco was judging the
annual art show, but an intense sunny day only raised my anxiety as
the heat did a number on my entry. The wee islands began to shift on
my butter molded globe with the continents not far behind as the
medium started to melt. The tufts of grass representing greener areas
of the world dropped onto the table. To win, I’d have to dig deep in
my well and bring out the groupie in me. Boobs up, skirt short, smile
in place, I waited for the band to arrive.

SERENDIPITY

To look at me, you’d think butter wouldn’t melt… That is, as long as you’re not a criminal psychologist, and you’re looking at the inner workings of my mind, rather than outward appearances.

That’s what most people completely fail to appreciate, despite knowing full well, you should never judge a book by its cover.

Or rather, judge me based on the sweet and innocent persona I outwardly project.

Those who do, and get a little too close will find that there’s a high price to be paid:

And I have no qualms about taking what I feel is rightfully mine.

PLANET Z

Our Aunt Maisy used to say “Love don’t pay the bills.”
She woke up early to milk the cows, then led them back out to pasture.
The cows grazed while she churned butter.
These days, robots and computers do all of the work.
They even harvest the crops in the fall.
For a while, the people who did the migrant field work would try to sabotage the robots.
But the robots would grind them up into fertilizer.
Maisy gave us tracker bracelets.
But when Bobby went to go swimming in the creek…
About six hours ago.
I hope they’re waterproof.

Weekly Challenge #621 – Water

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:

Suspicious Tinny

CHARLIE

W. C. Fields, a notorious enthusiast of alcohol, said he didn’t drink water because “Fish f*** in it.” True, but the rest of us don’t mind drinking it if it doesn’t have any additives…like too much chlorine, or fluorides.

I filter all my drinking water for the dogs and myself by using canisters of finely granulated, activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is charcoal that has been heated or otherwise treated to increase its adsorptive power.

I keep pitchers of filtered water on the counter for tea and soup, and a big one in the fridge for cold drinks.

Filter your water.

#2

As a youngster, I used to swim a lot. I swam in public pools, home pools, canals, rivers, creeks, lakes, oceans, and the bathtub. I spent more time under the water than on the surface.

When my cousins came over to swim in our pool when I was in grammar school, I spent the majority of the time under the water admiring the coordinated arms and legs of the girls swimming above.

I confess, I did a lot of watching, and the only touching I did was to myself after they left for the day.

At 88, I still swim.

#3

Water has always been something I have been captivated and enamored with. When a person in a film pours a tall glass of water, drinking it with detachment and showing pleasure, I am very attentive and compelled to do the same at my first opportunity.

Pouring a glass of clear, cool water from a large glass pitcher or a heavy, ceramic container after I’ve gone to the kitchen after a few hours in the summer sun in the garden, is a pleasure without measure.

We take clean drinking water for granted. One in six people do not have this luxury.

RICHARD

H2 No!

Dihydrogen Monoxide… Awful stuff.

So corrosive, it can eat through solid steel and carve its way through rock.

Just a teaspoonful inhaled can kill; you can’t breathe it; and long term exposure causes muscle cramps, exhaustion, delirium and ultimately, death!

It destroys property and wrecks the environment… And that’s just the liquid form. As a solid, it’s treacherous; and in gaseous form it causes pain, blistering and burns.

More addictive than crack cocaine, one hundred percent of people can’t live without it, letting it into their homes without a second thought.

This vile substance must be banned, with immediate effect!

PLANET Z

She put the baby’s corpse in the pillowcase, duct-taped it shut, and then tied the end to a cinderblock.
The fishing boat could get out to where the water was deep enough.
“It’s a science project,” she said. “Currents and stuff.”
“Whatever,” said the boat’s owner. “Seventy bucks cash.”
Two miles out, the boat had engine trouble.
“We’ve got to head back,” said the captain.
“I guess this will do,” she said, pushing the pillowcase over the side, and she was an only child again.
All she had to do was think up a good story.
She’d Google for one.

JEFFREY

Water, Water
by Jeffrey Fischer

People always complain about water. Too little and it’s a drought. Farmers moan about lost crops, homeowners complain about brown lawns and use restrictions. Too much and farmers complain about lost crops, homeowners complain about mildew in basements and flooded roads. We worry that foreign water will cause diarrhea. We complain about taste, color, minerals. That’s the nature of life, I guess.

I thought about those petty whines after my ill-fated skid off the road, as the last few feet of the passenger cabin of my car filled with lake water. Gross, tastes brackish.

SERENDIPITY

Water… It’s wonderful stuff. Readily available, cheap and plentiful, safe to use, but tremendously effective. It’s so much better than many, more obvious, methods.

Take waterboarding, for instance – such a simple technique, but incredibly effective. Quick, easy, and straightforward.

Or if you’re in no hurry and want to enjoy the process, why not go for the good, old fashioned, Chinese water torture? Who would have thought that the simple, steady, drip, drip, drip – inescapable and unforgiving – could break even the strongest will?

And the best thing of all?

Torture can be thirsty work… But not any more!

TOM

Best Laid Plans

The water was still, not a rip lapped the bank. The silver dollar moon mirrored the surface caught the monster’s eye. With an effortless flick of a gnarled claw a small form shattered the moons continence and dropped below the approaching waves. It smiled a smile less triumphant, primal, rimming the edge of some deep millennial evil. Heavy legs moved off towards the village. Innocence in slumber would wake to the corruptible agent of their departure from this world. It licked the nail of a claw with perverse joy. It was only then it saw the flaming sword of justice.

DUANE

Water
—————————————-

I’ve heard it said that in the desert you can’t remember your name. That seemed silly, but after a couple of weeks of wandering I had found it to be true. Your thoughts are filled with sun and sand. Your mind stops noticing the heat and pain at some point and you just keep moving.

I thought I’d started hallucinating, but as I got close there was a man crawling across the sand. He reached out a bony hand to me.

“Walter, Walter. Please Walter.”

How the hell did this guy know my name? I turned around and started running.

NORVAL JOE

Billbert explained Roderick’s prank to the coach.
In an unprecedented break from character, Coach Slaughterball wrote a note and said, “I’m sorry that happened to you. Boys your age can be cruel. Take this excuse to the attendance office so you don’t get in trouble for being late.”

Billbert stood, took the note, and stepped around a puddle of water on the floor.

“What would be more embarrassing than slipping in water while wearing a plastic grocery bag?” He thought.

He found out when the PE class ran through the locker room on their way to the outdoor basketball courts.

Suggested prompt….Intimate

Weekly Challenge #620 – Braided

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:

Worn out cat

RICHARD

I’ve always said that if you work in any sort of capacity that involves dealing with customers, good communication skills are paramount.

I don’t just mean a decent command of the English language, either – if you’re going to be interacting with paying customers, you need to ensure that you have a clear grasp of what the customer is asking for.

Take my fishmonger – he’s deaf as a post. Only this week I popped in for some breaded plaice.

Back home, my wife complained: “I wish you’d buy the fish elsewhere… He’s only gone and braided the fillets again!”

CHARLIE

The horse I ride at Monte’s ranch is three, with a braided mane, and is very elastic along her top line. She is doing very nicely at all three paces (walk, trot, lope) and also has a really good whoa and back up on her.

She was ridden mainly in a bosal as a two year old and we have recently moved her into a snaffle. She turns around well, is light to leg and takes hand cues.

She would be suited for many events from team penning to ranch versatility or just a trail companion, just like my wife.

PLANET Z

I spent a lot of time crimping jacks to the ends of cables.
Even though I memorized the color scheme, which pair went into which slot, I kept a color chart on my desk for the cable standards.
It was all too easy to space out and start making 586-A cables, only to finish a 568-B cable and wonder how many I’d have to go back and recrimp.
It was also all too easy to space out and wonder how I’d made a Flying Spaghetti Monster statue.
I shrugged, put a colander on my head, and prayed for noodly guidance.

SERENDIPITY

I’ve just started up a new jewellery business, and I’m pleased to say, it’s doing a roaring trade.

My current best sellers are necklaces made from braided human hair. Of course, people think it’s supplied by the local hairdressers, but I prefer to know exactly where my materials have been sourced from.

I keep a supply of fresh corpses in the basement, which provides me with plenty of raw material to work with.

And, if you like my braided necklaces, I’m sure that you’ll love my latest line of ear rings…

Each one, lovingly crafted from a real human ear.

JEFFREY

Rapunzel’s Escape
by Jeffrey Fischer

Rapunzel sat in her castle tower, imprisoned as securely as the lowest thief. “You know how boys are,” said her mother, though of course Rapunzel had no knowledge of boys.

As her hair grew, she devised an escape plan. She braided her hair, making it as strong as any rope. Time passed. When her hair reached the height of the tower, she hacked it off, tied one end to a sturdy fixture, and threw the other out the window. She climbed to the ground.

All around her were ruins: the castle was crumbling, the land choked with weeds. She stumbled into the castle, calling out for her parents, receiving no answer. She stared into a mirror: a haggard, wrinkled, and bald reflection stared back.

LIZZIE

She sat out in the garden, holding her long braid defiantly. She had chopped it off.
The people in the tavern looked at the strange woman.
The fact that she was sitting there intrigued everyone. Everyone except the owner of the tavern. He knew. He had almost strangled her with that braid when…
He walked outside and everyone witnessed in horror how, in a split second, she wrapped the braid around his neck and knocked him to the floor, snapping his neck before anyone could do anything.
She braided the rope they placed around her neck a few days later.

NORVAL JOE

The bell rang and Billbert waited on the administration building roof.
The tardy bell rang and Billbert didn’t move.
Once he was sure no one was on the school grounds, he shot down to grab his clothes by the tree. Staying low to the ground, he shot across to the locker room.
Billbert crawled across the empty locker room floor past the coach’s office. Coach Slaughterball’s whistle hung from a hook on it’s braided lanyard.
“Why didn’t he have it with him in the gym?” Billbert wondered.
Then he heard from behind, “What are you doing on the floor, Maggot?”

LAIEANNA

“Wagging Away”

Little Bo Peep lost her sheep
While napping under the apple tree.

The field was empty and also the brook,
So after them she ran carrying her crook.

Eventually the search took her into the city
Where all she could find were dogs and a kitty.

Time was leaving with the loss of sun.
If she didn’t find the sheep, punishment would be no fun.

But a salon at the end of the street
Caught her attention because of the sheep.

They lined the sidewalk, and the salon was full,
Each one getting trims, blowouts, and braids in their wool

TOM

Was Wisdom Waiting

He ran the braid pairs down the stairs into the basement. Connected the ends to the plate on the door jam, gently close it, move down the steps. A van parked far distance down the street allowed him to verify that the mark had been successfully terminated. As he sat in the front seat a young girl about 12, hair in long braids moved up to the passenger side window. Before he could shoes her away the window exploded and three shots hit his forehead. She tapped the com on her wrist “Security breach dispatched with extreme prejudice. Residence neutralize.”

Weekly Challenge #619 – Generally

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:

Fence Tinny

RICHARD

Generally

So, here I am, Sat in the pub, enjoying my pint, phone in hand, pondering what to write for this week’s story.

And, literally at the moment I tap out the heading, ‘Generally’, the chap across the bar loudly says the exact same word to his companion.

I’m a little freaked out…

Am I being watched? Under covert surveillance by who knows what shady organisation? Is some bizarre experiment in thought control taking place here?

I take another draught from my glass.

Maybe it was just a freaky coincidence… But, if nothing else, I’ve got a story out of it!

SERENDIPITY

I find that generalisations are, generally pretty useful.

They can cover a multitude of sins and can allow you – quite literally sometimes – to get away with murder.

They’re handy for providing alibis, without actually being deceptive…

“Where were you on the night in question?”

“Well generally, I’m at church on a Sunday at that time of the evening, so I suppose that must have been the case.”

“And, as a rule, I generally go straight home afterwards, to a mug of cocoa, and a good night’s sleep.”

And the best of it is that I, generally, get away with it!

PLANET Z

“Generally speaking…”
When the boss started off with those words, you knew you were in for an hour of boredom.
Not that you could show it, mind you.
If you closed your eyes or crossed your arms, he was right there in your face, asking if there was a problem.
And then he’d start back over again with those words:
“Generally speaking…”
There were only two ways to get out of that.
Lunch and quitting time.
You get home, you have your dinner, you put your feet up, and…
When you go to sleep, and dream of those words again.

TURA

Generally
———
The bronckle is an old folk instrument traditionally made, and played, by shepherds. It consists of a long, stout, hollow staff with a mouthpiece and finger holes. The opposite end is terminated by a large hollow wooden ball that provides percussion accompaniment when swung against a tree. Thus did shepherds amuse themselves in former times.

The bronckle has never found favour in the salon, but the composer Marin Marais once accepted a challenge to create a piece for bronckle consort, performed by shepherds on the King’s estates. It was generally agreed that the effect resembled a stampede of confused cows.

TOM

The river rose all day–The river rose all night

Generally speaking Dean was the last person I’d have thought would be capable of such a selfless act of kindness. It not that he is some kind of self-center asshole, it more he has the heart and soul of an accountant. One to weight the cost benefits of any given interaction. But there he was knee deep in the river with the tiny girl riding on his shoulders. And he didn’t stop there. Dean return to the river a dozen time. The water rising to hip, then chest. He didn’t make it back from the last trip. Well done Dean.

JON

Why I Am Not As Good As Lovecraft

By

Jon DeCles

Generally speaking, I always try to be specific. Generalities are sometimes useful, like statistics, but they usually present a false, or at least inadequate, image of something that would be better served with a precise and specific representation. Specificity allows for the possible communication of precise information. Generality, at best, allows for the communication of a warm fuzzy feeling or a cold chill of horror.

Lovecraft used non-specific information more effectively than anyone in achieving a precise reaction of horror in his readers. Through non-specificity he became, generally, one of the greatest writers of horror stories in all of literature.

CHARLIE

Generally, I do not fly Airlingis. The last time I called them, I misdialed. A woman answered, and when I asked for comfortable, Airlingis accommodations, she gasped and slammed the phone down. I do this sort of thing often.

As I get older, I make more mistakes, and make them more often.

As I near my final days, I plan to get my head removed and stored at an Alcor, cryogenic facility. My executors will handle everything, including reanimation.

Some day, my ancestors will fetch me from the walk-in, and we can sit down to catch up on the news.

LIZZIE

The lighthouse keeper stared at the horizon. Five lines. The sea was unusually calm and it was bitter cold. His mind wandered back to that day. The sea wasn’t calm then and it wasn’t cold but he felt it at the back of his neck like a knife. The body was out there. He knew exactly where. Five years ago. Each year, on that day, he would stand up there. He didn’t know how. He never noticed when. But he knew she came from the sea to carve another line on his arm, a reminder of what he had done.

JEFFREY

Common Sense
by Jeffrey Fischer

Generally, the sound of a police siren and the sight of flashing lights invokes the following reactions: pulling over, handing license and registration to the officer, and responding politely to questions and instructions from the officer. He’s armed and the driver is usually not. Confrontations generally work out poorly for the driver. This is common sense.

It’s annoying to read the self-righteous accounts of black parents lecturing their male children of driving age to take the above steps in a respectful manner. The implication is that young black males have trouble with these simple concepts. Be a man, kid, and respect the law. You’ll live longer that way.

LAIEANNA

Waltzing

I shaded more red into my canvas, working while the crowds shuffled
around. My subject squirmed and whined before settling on command. I
hastened to finish my latest masterpiece, turning it for parental
approval.

They squawked and shouted offending words I dare not repeat, insisting
I did not capture their child, but in reviewing my sketch, taking note
of horns, gnashing teeth, and evil glint, I assured them my
interpretation was accurate. It was how I generally saw all of them
in the park.

I don’t remember much more after the mouse came up and punched me in the head.

NORVAL JOE

Being a boy in middle school is generally a negative thing.

For the few boys with confidence and maturity beyond their years it’s an opportunity to control hundreds of others. Like fish in a barrel, the less mature and more insecure rise to the surface with hopes for acceptance and inclusion, only to get a bullet through the head.

So it was that Billbert fell victim to Roderick’s prank. Though, now, he had something none of the other boys had: a super power.

True. He wore a plastic bag for a loin cloth, which, generally was not a positive thing.

DUANE

Generally

Hollywood is remaking The Dukes of Hazard. The story is generally the same. Uncle Jesse is the same old curmudgeon, but running a recycling center. Daisy runs a tech firm. “Mayor” Hogg is a philanthropist who loves helping others and playing Santa at Christmas.

And don’t forget that iconic car. It’s now a bright green Prius, with a yellow peace sign on the roof. They use it to deliver meals on wheels or sometimes as a Lyft service and hilarity ensues. They call it “The Generally.” So how much trouble will those Duke boys be in this week? Not much…

Weekly Challenge #618 – 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:

Stripey spoiled rotten

RICHARD

Big Brother

I’ve had a dicky ticker for some time. Weirdly, it’s a good thing in some ways – I grant you it will, literally, be the death of me, but on the bright side, it’s brought Harold and me back together.

As brothers go, we never had that close relationship we should have, but since the bad news, he’d do anything he can to help his little brother.

More fool him! I still can’t stand him.

It’s handy having him around though, especially since I’ve been steadily poisoning him for the last few months!

And, when he dies… I’m having his heart!

JEFFREY

My Brother, The Idiot
by Jeffrey Fischer

My brother was so dumb he rounded pi to three. “Easier to remember,” he said. Somehow he passed engineering school, and somehow he ended up with a job designing a building – a round tower in the center of the city. He got fed up with my riling him about his math skills, so, to prove me wrong, he said he would use no computers on the job.

As the mayor used the ceremonial scissors for the ribbon-cutting, the rumbling began. The building started to break into pieces. I ran for my life, but couldn’t help but notice that every chunk that fell resembled a slice of pizza.

SERENDIPITY

Another slice of pie?

No, really, there’s no need to be polite – if you’re hungry, please tuck in, and if you’re enjoying it, then please help yourself to another slice.

There’s no need to apologise for your brother. I’m sure he’d have joined us if he could. I know that we haven’t exactly seen eye to eye in the past, but I’m the first person to admit that I’m by no means perfect, so in a way, I suppose you could call this a slice of humble pie on my part.

Although, your brother is rather tasty, don’t you think?

LIZZIE

The Brothers, the Tower and No Elephant

The brothers had a reputation that preceded them wherever they went. The day they decided to steal the gold statue of an elephant, they came up with a plan and managed to sneak inside the king’s tower. The problem was, they couldn’t find the damn elephant anywhere. They climbed all the way to the top in pitch black darkness. Exhausted, they sat down for a few seconds. No elephant, but the view was magnificent. They decided to watch the sunrise before resuming the search. Suddenly, evil laughter interrupted the dreamy moment. Watching the sunrise was lovely. Free flying was not.

NORVAL JOE

Wearing his grocery bag loincloth, Billbert crept to the edge of the roof, looking like an insane albino native American. He spied his clothes at the base of the tree, towering above the school grounds.

Inconspicuous on the roof, he would stand out like an elephant at a tea party if he flew down there to grab them, now. Too bad his new super power wasn’t like spider man.
Spidey could just shoot a web down to his clothes and snag them.

Once class started Billbert could fly down, snag clothes, and shoot into the locker room to get dressed.

TOM

Out of the Dark

The Brotherhood of Pi came to my village one day. Dressed in the pi-ionic red took their place under a tree said to be the exact spot that Dar Laktor had drawn his proof. The brothers were here to find inquiring souls who were capable of serious mathematic heavy lifting. Boy Who Runs With Elephant and his brother Zin Bok sat at the edge of first ring each morning the good brothers spoke. On the day of departing Boy handed the Brothers a leaf showing his work on a new irrational called Q.

So he left with the brothers.

JON

The Brothers Oyinlola
By
Jon DeCles

The Brothers Oyinlola had a drumroll announce the appearance of any native wildlife, so the tourists atop the tower they owned would not miss anything. They would serve you a slice of iyeye pie while you were waiting, and just in case nothing showed all day, you could have more than once slice. They also had a medical kit, and occasionally a doctor on call, in case some elderly visitor’s ticker conked out when an elephant got upset and charged and shook the tall wooden tower. Lack of funds meant they only advertised their safari on the world wide web.

LAST WEEK
Grab Bag
By
Jon DeCles
The sign said I could grab a bag and fill it with whatever I wanted for only five dollars, but I only had five minutes. I could see what a bargain that would be. I grabbed the bag and started to stuff things in, running up and down the aisles, and I finished on time.
Now I have a pound of walnuts, a pair of red-sequined slippers, a new jock strap, a Thing “As Advertised on TV” (I don’t know what it does), bicycle goggles, ten daffodil bulbs, a really bad hardback novel: but Wait! There’s More! A VCR tape…

DUANE

Pick Two – Tower & Drumroll

I was raised on fairy tales about the brave knight saving the beautiful princess from the tower. There was always an evil stepmother or fearful king keeping the princess hidden away. At eighteen I ventured off to find my fair princess. I heard her one day, singing like an angel from her castle tower. I scaled the wall that night and climbed onto the ledge. The beautiful maiden turned from the across the room and our eyes met… the silence soon broken as she screamed and screamed. The last sounds I heard were the drumroll and the falling of the guillotine.

PLANET Z

Simple Simon was a pieman.
So was his younger brother Saul.
Father left the bakery to Simon.
Even though Saul was the better pieman.
Simon renamed the shop Simon’s Pies.
Saul became very angry.
He started his own bakery, right across the street. Saul’s Pies.
And he tried to drive his brother out of business.
He nearly succeeded.
Instead of going bankrupt, Simon made a deal with some people.
And Saul’s Pies burned to the ground.
Saul was ruined.
Then, Simon’s Pies burned to the ground, too.
Simon’s new partners collected the insurance money.
The brothers manage a McDonalds now.

Weekly Challenge #617 – Grab a bag!

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

LIZZIE

Grab a bag and fill it with stars, one by one. One star for each day you’ve made it. One star for each doubt you’ve overcome. One star for each moment of loneliness, for each step you’ve taken. Grab a bag and fill it with dreams, one by one. One dream for each tomorrow, for each smile, for each doubt you’ve left behind. And when you open that bag, you won’t know which are the stars and which the dreams. While you carried them around, they talked and they smiled. They knew they would be free, as free as fireflies.

RICHARD

Baggage Retrieval

I hate waiting around at airports. It’s bad enough spending hours in the departure lounge, but being expected to do the same at the other end at baggage retrieval is maddening!

So these days I travel light; but hand luggage doesn’t really suffice for longer trips, so I’ve taken to wandering down to reclaim where I just grab a bag – any bag – off the nearest carousel.

It doesn’t always work: I once spent a week wearing women’s underwear, but usually I get by with other people’s luggage.

And the drugs I discover more than cover the cost of future trips!

Self Defence

My ex-wife, amongst her many other dubious talents, taught women’s self-defence classes at the local community centre.

Completely unqualified, she nevertheless devised a foolproof means of dealing with male attackers which she claimed would work every time.

Her method was simple: Reach between the legs, grab, and twist as violently as possible.

She was absolutely right too… It did work, every single time; I can personally attest to that, after the many practice runs she insisted on conducting at home.

People ask me why it took me so long to leave her…

Simple: I just didn’t have the balls!

TOM

A Little Help From a Friend

“Hey kid Grab a bag,” said the head suit. There was piles of them in the room. Heavy sucker. Who would of thought a bag of paper could weigh that much. The drive to the hanger at O’Hare was uneventful, when my counter parts at National did the unloading they noted they were a bag shy. This is how I ended up on the redeye to DC. I and the last bag took a taxi to Fener Building on Q Street. On the fifth floor a bunch on mid aged women where redistributing the last of Clement Stone’s contribution.

JEFFREY

Grabby Hands
by Jeffrey Fischer

The cashier scanned my handful of groceries: a half-dozen apples, some yogurts, and a box of cookies for balance. I wanted to speed things along, as the line behind me was substantial, so I grabbed a plastic bag and loaded the scanned items. “That’ll be 5 cents for the bag.”

“Say what?”

“The county charges a nickel for each plastic bag used to reduce waste.”

“I’m new here. I used to live somewhere civilized. But have it your way.” I took one apple in each hand and walked them to the car. On my third trip, the other customers looked ready for murder. The cashier grabbed a bag, loaded the remaining items, and shoved the bag at me. Me: 1, government 0.

DUANE

We had been hiking all day. It was already dark, so we settled down in the middle of a grove of small trees. We covered our packs with garbage bags to keep the dew off them, unrolled our sleeping bags and went to sleep. We awoke the next morning in the middle of a tall patch or marijuana.

“Oh shit! Oh shit! We have to get out here. Should we call the cops?”

“Hey!” I whispered loudly. “Right now you are going to do two things. One, you are going to shut the hell up!”

“And two?”

“Grab a bag.”

LAIEANNA

I sifted through the mystery grab bags of candy Mr. Johnson sold,
looking for the one filled with only the best. Testing the contents,
I manhandled bags and tried to see inside, holding the brown paper
bags to the light. They were stapled shut and refused to yield their
secret. Taking my best guess, I took one up to the counter. Mr.
Johnson shook my bag, then his head, and took it back to the box to
replace with another, adding a wink and smile. Sometimes my sweet
tooth benefited that Mr. Johnson was a little sweet on my mom.

PLANET Z

There’s always some kind of fundraiser drive going at the grocery store.
The Girl Scouts camp out at the entrance, selling cookies.
Is that the only camping they actually do?
Then there’s food drives.
For the holidays, they have a shelf of grocery bags.
You can buy one for a family in need, but who knows what crap is in there.
Certainly not meat or healthy things that require refrigeration.
Or you can tack on a few bucks at the register.
The nerve of them! Don’t they already donate the expired and overstocked food to homeless shelters and food pantries?

Weekly Challenge #616 – If only I had…

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:

Tinny on a Friday

RICHARD

If only I had…

If only I had more words than the measly hundred I’ve been allocated, I could do so much more…

Short stories, monologues and pulp fiction would flow from my keyboard like there was no tomorrow. Novels, trilogies even whole serialisations – great tomes of storytelling grandeur would spill from the creative forge of my mind, finding form in the written word.

Whole bookshops and libraries would be filled by the outpourings of my creativity.

But I’m stuck with these lousy one hundred words… And what the hell can you do with that?

You can’t even write a half decent dabble with just a

LIZZIE

If only I had a moment, one single moment…
I would close my eyes and listen to the languid swooshing of the old windmill.
I would be a seagull for a moment, one single moment, and feel the wind under my wings.
I would sway softly in a soothing flight of sheer weightlessness. I would be suspended in mid-air.
And I would forget everything. I would forget time. I would forget pain. I would forget the struggle.
I would just fly in a motionless sense of abandonment.
I would close my eyes and listen to that one single effortless moment.

SERENDIPITY

It’s not the first time that you’ll have found me, surrounded by the aftermath of my handy work, and yet looking strangely discontent.

You’d imagine that I’d be more than happy with my achievements – based on the sheer quantities of blood, guts and gore alone… But, if I’m honest, it’s really not enough.

You see, it’s just a little too transitory. I simply don’t have the luxury of lingering a while to enjoy the macabre show: That would be foolish and irresponsible.

And always, that same irritating voice in my head. “If only I had thought to bring a camera!”

TOM

No Regrets, Maybe One or Two

If I had to catalog all my galactic bad choices the mere index would take up a book shelf. But I guess the supreme “If only I had …” would have to have been following the siren’s call of Donald Henry Segretti. Though I didn’t end up in jail, so many had, I did become persona non grata in Republican circles. If only I had joined the merry band of Carl Rove I would have walked the hall of power like a god. And most likely become a major ass hole. Still it would have been one hell of a ride.

JEFFREY

If I Only had a Tank
by Jeffrey Fischer

Commuting in the DC metro area is a game with no good moves. Public transportation is a joke and driving any distance is both scary and an exercise in frustration. Oh, and parking in DC itself is eye-wateringly expensive.

If I only had a tank, the commute would improve. I’m sure of it. No one would cut me off on the highway – well, not more than once as the .50 caliber machine gun would remove the offender from the road. Once on the surface streets, I wouldn’t be the one worried about scrapes and dings. And you know where you park a tank? That’s right, anywhere you want to. Who cares if it burns 50 gallons of fuel each way and costs more than $8 million? We’ll be traveling in style!

JON

If Only…

By

Jon DeCles

If only I had jumped in the car and taken off when I saw her coming across the parking lot: but she looked so different; and Sociopaths are always charming. If I had let my brain uncover the horrible memories of damage to other couples… But Social Predators are graceful in their lies. In retrospect, I fell a second time into her web of surgical razors, this time the central victim rather than a secondary fool. She enticed me to dependency, then despondency, and then I found myself powerless, observing.

If only I had killed her then and there.

NORVAL JOE

Billbert clung to a tree branch forty feet above the school yard, hoping no one would look up and see him.
Naked, except for a loincloth made from a plastic grocery bag he wondered how he had allowed himself to be tricked into this situation.
No one did this at his last middle school. Why did he believe Roderick that everyone did it on their first day at this school?
“If only I had superpowers, I could fly away,” Billbert said, though he knew it was an empty wish. “Maybe I should jump. I can’t be embarrassed if I’m dead.”

DR. ALEX

Weekly Challenge for Feb 11th 2018 with the topic of “If only I had…”
by Dr. Alex

“I’m getting the band back together!” was my usual rally cry for the for the past month.

“Yes, yes, I know” was Seth’s usual reply.

Reviewing this week’s progress with Seth, “We have Alice set on maracas. Justin likes his high hat. Rachel on xylophone. Now, if only I had a kazoo player.”

“Seth! Really!? I didn’t know you knew how to play this whole time!”

Three weeks later, we were booked for a Thursday evening performance at the Tropicana.

Clearly, this had been some sort of a scheduling error, or a perhaps cruel joke by the departing events manager.

LAIEANNA

If only I had jumped when they all had. I would be soaring above in
the clouds with a pair of angel wings, the sound of my joyous laughter
ringing in the air. If only I had not been afraid. I didn’t have the
faith needed to follow the masses and blindly drop off the cliff. It
was insane. I tried to find someone who would side with me but I was
alone. Now, I’m alone, staring down at the pit of lava below as the
earth rumbles underneath me and I know I will be tossed into the
flames.

DUANE

If only I had…

Disneyland doesn’t have employees, they have cast members. Everyone from Goofy to that guy selling mouse ears are actors. Even the girl taking your ticket for the teacup ride has a back story.

If only I had fit the Mickey costume. I could have stood around waving and taking pictures with vacationing families and drunk college girls.

Instead, my character is a janitor. A pirate janitor. A pirate janitor with an eye for the ladies and an eye patch on the other eye. That eye used to be my eye for the ladies, but that’s a story for another time.

TURA

If only I had…

———

There was a knight of Arthur’s band

Who did great deeds by strength of hand

But no wise would he be content

Till Guinevere lay in his tent.

Disloyalty was his downfall

Without which he had had else all

“If only I had Guinevere”

Quoth he, “there’s nought else I hold dear.”

But all men know how that turned out

In Caxton’s book of Arthur’s Morte.

If Lancelot had not been false

Then things had not come to this pass.

But even in the courts of kings

Man’s fatal defect evil brings

And that’s why we can’t have nice things.

———

PLANET Z

Some people think that flu shots give you the flu.
For years, I’d get a flu shot, and feel bad afterwards.
So, this year, I didn’t get a flu shot.
And I got the flu. The real flu.
Not just feeling bad afterwards kind of feeling bad.
The real flu. The coughing, sneezing, vomiting, chills and fevers, shitting your guts out flu.
I crawl on the floor, covered in a blanket, leaving a trail of tissues and God knows what else.
Clutching the empty orange juice container to my aching chest, moaning “I’ll get one next year!” over and over.

Weekly Challenge #615 – Why Not?

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:

Tinny

THE KEEME

GOODBYE (Please Tiger)

Goodbyes are difficult. From getting dumped by text message, to just being ghosted. Excuses are all bullshit that become blurry after one realizes the truth of it all.
YOU HAVE NO MESSAGES
“Hello Mom, Pick up its me.”
“Hey Dude, its me again, Please pickup.”
“I’m sorry to bother you, but I need to talk to someone, anyone… even you.”
“Hi, Call me back bro, if you want.”
YOU HAVE ONE MESSAGE
“Whoever listens to this, I don’t blame anyone, it’s what I needed to do. Please tell mom I love her and I’ll always be her little tiger cub.”

RICHARD

I was rubbish in the scouts. I hated camping, orienteering, gang shows and all that other nonsense.

As for earning badges: I was the least decorated boy in the troop.

How ironic, that it was thanks to me one of the most challenging badge tasks ever was created.

I was attempting my knotwork badge, and when I handed my efforts – a terminally tangled mess of rope, never to be untangled again, to the troop leader, he told me… “That’s not how you tie a knot?”

“Why?” I responded.

And that’s how the ultimate knotwork challenge – The Why Knot – was created.

LIZZIE

“Why not the head first?” asked Paulie.
“That’s not the way we do it,” replied the boss.
“Why not?”
“Because. Go grab the leg for me and shut up.”
Paulie crossed the yard, grabbed the leg from a bucket, and dragged it back.
“Here.” And he dumped the leg on the kitchen table.
“Hey. Remember the arm.”
The acid would do wonders, but last time he had to deal with an arm, it flipped in such an odd way he didn’t sleep for a whole damn week.
“Why not the head…?”
“Paulie…”

TOM

In To The Words

I’m not inclined to take my clothing off in public, but when camping in the woods with a 100 or so pagans the line between public and semipublic sort of blurs out. And it wasn’t like I got buck naked. I was sort of half-naked. This allow me to keep a close watch on the fire circle without scorching Mr. Happy. Those around me were layering themselves with commercial grade clay. A particular earnest young woman approached with two fist full of clay. Why not, I thought. So I became a member of the Clay Tribe. Damn cold though.

DR. ALEX

A 100 word story – “Why not?”
By Dr. Alex

Around the bend came the first set of headlights I’d seen since starting this late night hours journey.
The unknown Packard slowed beside me. Yelling out, he called: “Hey, Buddy, need a lift?”
My socks – no dryer than a used kitchen sponge and the blisters about to pop before completing my walk ahead. “Sure,” I said, “why not?”
Then did I notice poking my right hip a bulge in the map holder. “What’s this?” I asked.
“Oh, that pistol it’s just in case I run into trouble.”
I wonder what sort of trouble we were now looking to find.

SERENDIPITY

You know how you sometimes get those feelings? You know… The ones where you toy with the idea of doing away with your partner, bumping off your boss, or wiping out the idiot who just cut you up in the street.

Everyone has them – those flights of fancy when we plan the perfect murder: Rat poison in the pudding; the severed brake pipe; the anonymous stabbing in a dark alleyway.

Don’t pretend that you haven’t.

We all have.

The only real difference between you and me, is that when you say “Why would I?”

I say, “Why not?”

JEFFREY

Tell them they’re all special. Make sure there are quotas for those who would otherwise not make the grade. Ensure they can take humanities classes – never mind exposing them to science – and the eliminate the traditional Western history and literature courses because they foster the “patriarchy.” Add Black Studies, Feminist Studies, Queer Studies, insisting that life is nothing but identity politics. Emphasize fantasty concepts such as “queer math,” or 72 genders. Provide safe spaces so students never have to come into contact with a countervailing idea. Tell them that they can change the world, then let them loose into it. Watch society go up in flames.

Why not? What could possibly go wrong?

NORVAL JOE

Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb Mount Everest, was asked why he climbed mountains.
His not so famous initial response was, “Why not?”
Vocal environmentalists and human rights activists responded on social media citing many reasons why people should not climb mountains. Such as: The irreversible damage caused to fragile alpine ecosystems, the accumulating detritus of climbing equipment, materials, and human waist, and the exploitation of local indigenous peoples.
Tenzing Norgay, Hillary’s Nepalese Sherpa guide was asked the same question.
His philosophical response, “Because it’s there”, was so much more succinct that Hillary claimed credit for the quote.

LAEIANNA

Unlike other children at the age of wonder, Dinah’s questions revolved
around why not each time I declined her demands, and what a range of
demands. If my reasoning was not satisfactory to her developing mind,
I felt her wrath. Not some standard child’s tantrum, but fire. Real
fire blazed from Dinah and I would receive the burn. After a year of
dealing with this demonic power, I realized I was ill equipped. I
took little Dinah to the fire station for a no questions asked
abandonment of my child. I mean, they have better tools for dealing
with her.

PLANET Z

We selectively bred plants and animals to improve them.
Make them useful. Better.
We gathered bacteria and viruses, tested them, to make medicines.
Why not humans?
The law? Really?
You expect me to believe that?
Once, alterations cost a fortune.
And those who could afford them were above the law.
Now, anyone can afford them.
Which makes it impossible to police them all.
Pure is so rare.
You and me, unaltered.
But we’re not pure.
After all, I’m a copy of you.
Or are you a copy of me?
It doesn’t matter.
After I eliminate you, I’ll be perfect again.