Weekly Challenge #592 – PICK TWO Washing, Hope, Downward, Nix, Lie, Thrive, Joy, Rhapsody

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 Tinny

TOM

Ladies and Gentlemen, Please ….

Rhapsody Hope was a pole dance from Barstow. A perennial favorite of the Marine Corps Logistics Base jarheads. Oorah. The money she earned in her youth paid for her degree at UCLA. The strength she gain server her well and brought home the gold in her back to back Olympic showings. In the end she return to Barstow to work with troubled youths. Dr. Hope exemplifies the best of Bastow, and tonight we call all present to stand to acknowledge her contribution to this city and nation. We confer upon Doctor Rhapsody Hope the Barstow City Council’s Medal of Honor.

JEFFREY

Genetic Washing
by Jeffrey Fischer

In 2017, Iceland announced that it had nearly “eradicated” Down Syndrome. This was a lie. A more accurate description would be that nearly 100% of women carrying a child with the Down gene had an abortion. Delighted with this success, the government “eradicated” hemophilia, cancer, hair loss – you name it. Pregnant women were happy to participate – after all, who hoped for a child prone to teenage acne?

One day in 2037, the government proudly announced the eradication of all “defective” children. The press conference took place in an elementary school, where youngsters had once thrived. Now there were plenty to choose among, as no child had come to term in two decades.

CHARLIE

While tasked with all the washing and pesky maintenance for the summer writing workshop, I was hoping that my downward plummeting mood would be nixed. One little lie, and I would thrive again. There would be joy in my life, and I could henceforth spin only rhapsodic yarns as I did before I joined up with this dull group of radish growers and feet pickers that fancy themselves a writing salon.

I lied and told them that I had been asked to teach at the local university, and my pay would be what I asked for the special, fall workshop.

RICHARD

In memoriam

I won’t lie to you… Since I did away with the other half, contrary to expectations, all the joy has left my life.

Now it’s just one long downward spiral of washing, cleaning and housework – how could anyone hope to thrive on that without something fun to redress the balance.

Things were going nowhere until I discovered an old pair of her nix, tucked behind the bedroom dresser.

I still have to put up with the housework, but it’s much more fun when done to a backing of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, wearing nothing but my dead wife’s undies!

LIZZIE

Letter to Nobody

My eyes roam the land, the short golden grass dancing in the wind as the purple clouds fly away softly, caressing a bright blue sky. A lonely seagull makes its way out to sea while the waves lap gently on the shoreline. I stand against an ancient tree and try not to blink fearful this picture-perfect moment would fade away too soon. I thought the busy, fast-paced life would suddenly gain some sort of meaning. I thought, one day, things would change. They never did. And a picture-perfect lie ends now at a picture-perfect place.
Signed,
Hope

SERENDIPITY

You find me sitting in the darkness, lost in my thoughts, a widening pool of blood spreading from my latest victim.

The tools of my trade – ligature and knife – rest in my lap; their work, like mine, complete.

Whilst I wait, the rain comes, cooling and refreshing; it’s rhythmic patter mingling with the blood, washing it slowly away into the darkness.

It is a perfect moment.

The sound of the rain, the red stain of blood and the calm quiet as the adrenalin slowly drains from my system combine…

I call it my symphony: A rhapsody of death.

JON

Be Careful What You Wish For

By

Jon DeCles

Washing my hands came first, then my clothes, in the hope that the blood would just go away.

It had been a downward spiral ever since my husband suggested we might kill the king. At first I tried to nix the idea, but it began to lie more easily on my conscience. I thought how we would thrive once he had the crown. What joy we would experience. Soon the vision of being queen sang like a rhapsody in my dreams.

After the deed my dreams were not so splendid. My hands felt sticky, and I took to sleep walking.

DUANE

Hair of the Downward Dog

I found a half dozen of those little bottles of whiskey pushed way back in the cupboard. They’d been there about five years.

I finished them off in a few minutes. A warm sensation washed over my body. I felt the tension leave my shoulders and my muscles began to relax. My breathing soon calmed to a steady rhythm. My mind was floating from one thought to the next without getting stuck. For a while all the worries and troubles of the day disappeared. I had a wonderful night’s sleep.

I had forgotten how much better booze is than yoga.

NORVAL JOE

Axelrod took the stairs, downward, to the lower levels of the Galactic Battle Base. Maybe he could find an unguarded airlock and freeze out.
Hope of becoming an Assault Frigate Commander had fled with his poor Astrogation final scores.
There was no joy in daily labor as a mechanic, launch technician, or one of the other menial jobs he’d qualled for. Not like the rhapsody the pilot feels when a frig streaks out from the Base and reaches point-two-eight of light speed or jumps through a gate to a star system light years away.
No lie. Axel’s future looked bad.

TURA

Hope; Downward
———
The elevator doors opened, and I found myself looking down an impossibly long liftshaft. I fell forwards… and awoke on the floor of the elevator, surrounded by anxious, unknowing colleagues.

The vision obsessed me. How large is the world? The elevators never go more than a hundred floors, but one can take another. How far up, or down? How large is the Building, the Universe?

Our scriptures preach a Foundation and a Penthouse, but now I see that these stories are to dull our curiosity, not sharpen it.

I must continue ever downwards, hoping one day to find the truth.

PLANET Z

Medieval life was hard, but Jane had it harder.
Raped by her father, pregnant at sixteen, kicked out of her home.
She stole a tub from a nunnery and took in washing.
When the baby came, she drowned it in the tub and secretly buried it in the cemetery.
Her last hope was to lie her way into that nunnery.
She couldn’t read or write, but she listened to their prayers and songs and memorized them.
Crushed by an oxcart, she died in the road.
When they dug a hole to bury her in, they dug up her baby’s corpse.

Weekly Challenge #591 – DRIVE

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 cave

TOM

Bodhisattva

Phil liked to drive at night. Less people. He wasn’t much for freeways, liked the city streets and county roads. Wasn’t into speed, just cruising. Rarely drove with anyone. Never saw him with a girl. It wasn’t because he was the anti-social type, hardly, party hardy as any of us. Driving was a deep meditate, he’d say. When blank stares and wobbling eyes met his words, he just order a round of beer, up went the cheers and everyone thought he was messing with them. I was stand outside Dunkin’ Donuts the night he and his car reached total enlightenment

JON

591

The Peloponnesian War, Part Two
By
Jon DeCles

“Now, looky here, Jack, it mightn’t be bad, Athenian women adopting some of the fashions of the Spartan women.”
“Are you out of your bleedin’ mind? We’re already forbidden to even mention their names without consequences! They keep to themselves except when they decide they want us! We have to hire hetaera if we want a woman to talk with. Imagine if, in addition to all that, they start taken’ off their clothes in public! This whole bloody war will turn into nothing but one enormous erection!”
“It’s pretty much like that already, down at the gym,” said Tom stiffly.

CHARLIE

The massive drive whirled away for a week, copying everything from the implant. The chip was tasked to collect the previous year’s data. The data included sound and images. This was the equivalent of storing about three million television shows.

The drive had to be cooled with extraordinary apparatus, including liquid nitrogen and elaborate heat sinks.

After the drive was filled and subsequently indexed, it was shared among the existing female members of the tribe and stored safely away for future use.
Stain McMillen was the oldest McMillen son, and was chosen to care for and maintain the storage cluster.

#2

Stain stored the cluster in the trunk of his Buick Electra. The top weather seal of the trunk had deteriorated and rain and the car wash allowed water to seep into Stain’s car trunk. In a short time, the family data was jeopardized and the danger was not discovered until Stain opened his trunk to check his spare.

Stain panicked, and took the bulky unit to his local computer store for inspection. The cluster was dried and packed in desiccant.

After powering up the drive, the techs ran integrity tests on the data and found everything intact. Thank you, God!

JEFFREY

The Right Prescription
by Jeffrey Fischer

I kept seeing ads for people with “Low T.” They caught my eye. I’m not saying I can’t… you know, but my sex drive hasn’t improved with age. Maybe I did have low T.

Several doses later, I was a new man. My wife didn’t know what overcame me, but she didn’t seem pleased. My mistress wasn’t happy, either, and both my girlfriends, while feigning delight at my regained prowess, were clearly more interested in nights out than nights in.

I complained to my doctor that the drug wasn’t helping. He squinted at the label and switched prescriptions. He said the original was in error. I now get endless refills of Lipton for my low tea. Decaf, of course.

RICHARD

#1 – Safari

You always get one on every game drive… The irritating, know it all idiot who ruins everything for the other guests, makes constant unreasonable demands, and thinks the whole experience revolves around them.

Today’s was the worst… Everyone in the vehicle hated him with a passion.

There we are, surrounded by a pride of lions, and he comes out with the inevitable question: “Are we safe?”

“As long as we stay in the vehicle”

I turned the key, with a secret smile, and nothing happened.

“So what do we do now?” he sneered.

“You”, I smiled, “Get out and push!”

#2 – Interview

“We’re looking for someone with drive and enthusiasm to be an inspirational leader in this company” said the guy behind the desk.

“Are you that someone?”

I opened my mouth to speak, but he cut me off…

“Don’t even answer that”, he barked, “I can tell already you have what it takes. Y’know, I’m going to take a risk – and I’m going to offer you the job right here on the spot”

“So what do you say?”

I placed the parcel on his desk…

“Package for you”, I said, “Sign here, and I can get back to my deliveries!”

#3 – Taxi

“Follow that car!”, I shouted, throwing myself into the back of the cab.

The driver, took off, tyres screeching – “I’ve waited years for someone to say that! So, are you a cop, or a gangster, or what?”

“No questions… Just drive!”

We tore through the city streets gradually gaining on the vehicle in front of us.

Finally, at a red light, I wrenched open my door, flung a handful of cash at the cabbie and calmly walked away.

No idea who was in that car, I’d just always wanted to jump into a cab and shout “follow that car!”

DUANE

Drive

This time I am going to get it done. I’ll finish it and submit it.

But I need a clean desk so I can concentrate. So, I’ll clean my desk and, then, I’ll get it done.

How did this desk get so messy? There sure a lot of icons on my desktop too. Messy. I guess desks and desktops have that in common. I’ll have to clean that up too. Clean my desk and my desktop and then I will get it done.

Okay, right after lunch I’ll clean my desk and desktop. Then I can finally get it done.

LIZZIE

She couldn’t walk but she had a very nice bike. It was parked outside the house and it was covered by flowers, violet, red, blue, and white. And she smiled. The bright colors made her smile. And the bicycle rusted away parked outside the house. Every now and then, she’d look at that bike. She’d close her eyes, and ride it, her legs completely paralyzed, but moving freely in her imagination. Whenever she got home and parked the bicycle outside the house, the flowers would sway back and take hold of her bike, becoming the sole guardians of her dreams.

SERENDIPITY

It was a long drive through the night, during the course of which the muffled thumps from the boot grew gradually more faint, until they ceased altogether.

Finally, in the grey pre-dawn light, I pulled off the desert road and found the spot I’d previously chosen. It was cold, but digging would soon warm me up.

Three hours later, the sun was climbing over the horizon and i was packing away the shovel and brushing the dust from my hands.

That was the potatoes planted… I’d be taking the body home with me to brew into fertiliser for future use.

NORVAL JOE

When I was a kid, my parents saved money on movies by piling us all in the station wagon and taking us to the drive in theater. You paid by the carload and not by the individual person.
On warm summer nights we would sit on the hood of the car and watch the latest Disney flick–like, The Love Bug, The Teenage Professor, or Song of the South.
I saw the beginning of a lot of movies. Since they couldn’t start until it was dark and the sun set around 9 pm, I was usually asleep before the show ended.

TURA

Drive
———
It began with the gene drive. It’s a mechanism to make a gene pass itself to all your descendants, even if you only inherited one copy. It was used against mosquitos, to stop malaria.

Trouble is, those genes can get mutations, like any other. The mosquitos evolved to handle it. Then it got into humans via mosquito bites. It incorporated retroviruses to copy itself between your cells, and learned infectiousness from the common cold virus.

The endgame is something that can turn a crowd into a giant blob of cancer in the time it takes to watch a football game.
———

PLANET Z

In Hebrew School, the rabbi taught us about The Golem of Prague.
“When you put a prayer in its mouth and whisper a name, the golem will hunt down that person.”
Every time I saw a statue, I’d put a hastily-scribbled prayer in its mouth.
“Hymie Schwatrz.” I’d whisper, imagining the fifth grade bully dragged from the schoolyard, kicking and screaming.
But the statues never moved an inch.
So, I put a garden gnome in my backpack, and the next day at school, I bashed in Hymie’s skull.
“It was the golem!” I screamed, as the teachers dragged me away.

Weekly Challenge #590 – PAPRIKA

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

TOM

Satoshi Kon
I’m by no means a deep-field anima fan. Sure I have been in the game since 1959, when Astro Boy hit America. I’ve done Vampire D, Full Metal Alchemist, Ghost Hound, Serial Experiments Lain and the Studio Ghibli films, actually all the Ghibli films. I drew the line at Fruits Basket. That was some pretty weird cultural stuff. But for over the top surreal eye candy you cannot beat: Paprika. There are random parades of rivers of cartoon characters like some kind of Japanize Hieronymus Bosch mash-up. Time Magazine included it in its top 25 animated films of all time.

JON

The Peloponnesian War
By
Jon DeCles

“Bert, what makes this stew taste like this?”
“Hits somefing my little kiksy wiksy got when she was wisiting the Afenians. Hits called paprika. I finks they gets hit from up in the Carpafian Basin. Some errant Kelts brings it down.”
“So, how is your kiksy wiksy, Bert? Mine has been eying some of the fashions from up in Athens. Wants one of them fancy himataeons the Athenian women wear.”
“Gor, hain’t it bad enough they keep us away except when they want us in bed? Now they gonna cover everyfing up? You wanna wank now, Sidney, or after mess?”

LIZZIE

A comedian added paprika to everything, to the food, the stove, the counter, the walls, even to his co-presenter who tried very hard not to burst out laughing before the cameras.
The day they ran out of paprika, he started using ketchup. It was a commercial nightmare. Shocked viewers complained and advertisers pulled the plug.
When they went back to paprika, everything got back to normal, except for the cameraman whose ketchup company was hoping to make a lot of money.
Why does a cameraman own a ketchup company and work as a cameraman? Rich people are odd… well, sometimes.

EMILY ANN

Escape
by Emily Ann

She woke, startled by the cool air on her face. Sleepily she rose and walked across the dewy grass into the grey mist that swirled along the edge of the forest. The pain she once felt, crippling her body from within, was gone. She raised a hand and ran it through her long, soft brown hair. Hair she thought she’d never touch again. Warm. Calm. Elevated. She knew now that a world she once thought to be imaginary was her new reality. Turning back, she blew a final kiss to those she left behind. Saved. Free. She smiled again.

JEFFREY

Cooking with Paprika (1)
by Jeffrey Fischer

My wife complained when I started cooking that the meals were bland, so I experimented with various herbs and spices. Cilantro tasted of soap, she said, while sage was too harsh, garlic too smelly, dill too pungent, basil too sweet. There were others, but you get the idea.

My spice cabinet was looking quite bare when I decided to open one of the few remaining jars: paprika. I made a lovely goulash, if I may say so. To my surprise, she actually liked it. Once. After that, it was the usual complaints. Well, I was almost out of ideas.

It turns out that she froze well, once I had dismembered the body and discarded the inedible bits. Now my friends agree that I make the best goulash they’ve ever had.

Cooking with Paprika (2)
by Jeffrey Fischer

When Frank started cooking occasionally for the family, he wasn’t very good. Stella gave him a Hungarian cookbook, hoping Frank would take the hint. He did improve, but not by much. “But I’m cooking with Paprika,” he’d say. “Surely you can’t get more Hungarian than that.” Eventually “cooking with Paprika” became his mantra.

One day Stella came home from work early and found Frank in bed with another woman. “Er, hi, Stella. This is, uh, Paprika.” The redhead blushed. Stella stormed out.

When it was Stella’s turn to cook, she also used the Hungarian cookbook, but substituted Old Bay seasoning for paprika. The two spices looked similar, and Old Bay had the advantage of being toxic to Frank.

NORVAL JOE

In a fit of nostalgia, Esme tried to recreate her high school persona from the mid 1980’s.
She searched every second hand store in her city and many within driving distance for a raspberry beret. According to the song, that’s where you should find one.
No such luck.
The closest she came to that type of hat was a floppy cotton sun hat of a rusty red color that reminded her of paprika.
The lady at the counter said they don’t carry many used hats because of hair lice. She said that Esme should try looking online for new one.

CHARLIE

Sally’s boobs jostled grandly as she jogged with her Cocker Spaniel. She ran every morning, and attracted attention as she moved along the main thoroughfare through town. Morning drivers honked and some catcalled. Older ladies tsk tsked, while modest old men averted their eyes or plunged their hands quickly into their pockets. Sally ran in place at stop lights, sometimes smearing her lips with a fresh coat of Dagget Ramsdell Shea Butter Lip Skin.

Sally sat on the bench at the bus stop and took a hard-boiled egg from her hoodie pocket, sprinkling it lightly with sea salt and paprika.

RICHARD

Smoked Paprika

Smoked paprika – it’s my favourite spice.

There’s little that can’t be improved by that wonderful flavour. Goulash, chilli, pasta: It makes all the difference.

Not everyone appreciates my taste. When I ask “One spoonful, or two?” I’m invariably met with: “No, I don’t want paprika in my coffee!”; and nobody ever wants it on their cornflakes.

It’s made finding a girlfriend who appreciates my culinary tastes tricky. Although I’m pretty discerning when it comes to my taste in women too, which hasn’t helped.

You see, I insist that my women – like my food – must be smoking hot!

TURA

Paprika
———
Everyone called the little old man Paprika, but no-one knew why. Some said it was because he was Hungarian, and the Hungarians put paprika in everything. Others said that it meant “little father”, and he had once been a priest. Which technically would mean he still was one, even if you never saw him in church. Some said that he used to have a market stall, and he had once given a whole village food poisoning from a contaminated crate of paprika peppers. But if you asked him, he would just say, “because that’s the name my parents gave me!”

SERENDIPITY

My favourite recipe isn’t something you can knock up on the spur of the moment, but believe me it’s worth the hard work involved in the preparation and cooking.

The secret is the marinade – red wine, lots of paprika, plenty of seasoning, and – the secret ingredient – a decent helping of quality, grated dark chocolate. Leave for a good two days to tenderise, then slow roast, until the meat is falling off the bone.
Trust me, it’s worth the effort.

The last time I made it, we had Aunt Susan here for dinner…

And she was absolutely delicious!

PLANET Z

Every spice and herb in the kitchen brings back memories of when my grandmother would cook.
The garlic. The onion powder. The paprika.
How she’d spend hours in there, preparing and cooking and boiling and baking.
Pots and pans clattering, bashing, clanging.
And then, the smoke alarm, and the burst of the fire extinguisher.
The white cloud engulfing everything.
When the smoke cleared, she’d pick up the phone and order pizza.
All she had to do was call.
They knew her number, knew it was Saturday family dinner.
They’d send a few extra, for the firemen, no charge for those.

Weekly Challenge #589 – LOOT

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:

pervert cats (3)

TOM

The Secret Langue of Beggars and Thieves

Honor amongst thieves. How exactly dose that work? How do you insure the loot arrives intact? Doc made this all work like clockwork with one simple proviso. His son Jimmy Two Fingers. Pretty much an excellent optic. As said worked like a champ for a decade. Then one day Doc noted a two ton crane had been parked at the meet-up “Jimmy what’s with the crane?” “Pay back Dad.” The crane release its load, promptly buried Doc under 1000 pounds of silver bars. “Here’s the loot dad.” No one was about to cross Jimmy. They just divide up the loot

JON

The Athenian Women
By
Jon DeCles

Loot was very well and good, as it contributed to luxury. But Athenian women were not about to give up the greatest luxury: power.
They certainly didn’t want men tromping about in the women’s quarters: and just let those Spartan trollops try and take away the himataeon that veiled one from the weather: warm in winter, shady in summer, preventing (long experience taught) that nasty sun blemish that could kill you so horribly.
Let some hetaera suffer the men babbling their philosophical nonsense over dinner! Let Athenian men tremble at what frightening mysteries their women concocted!
There must be War!

LIZZIE

The dark entrance to the tunnel was dimly lit. It was tempting to rush in, grab whatever he could and rush out. On the other hand, the dragon had parked himself in there. He took a deep breath and walked in.
The next greedy bastard found him bored out of his wits in a small cage. Apparently, the dragon had a terrible sense of humor and didn’t believe he was just visiting.
The real problem was that the cage got considerably cramped with the new arrival.
He didn’t even want to think what would happen if anyone else showed up.

JEFFREY

The Take
by Jeffrey Fischer

The loot was all I could think of. When the cops busted me, during my arraignment, throughout my trial – I wanted the loot. I *obsessed* over it. Piles of cash, handfuls of bearer bonds, pieces of jewelry. Mine.

My sentence was a long one. I can’t say I didn’t deserve it, but no way was I staying inside a minute longer than I had to. I was a good boy and got the max time off. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on what was mine.

At last I was free. I made a dash for the loot – and found my hiding place empty. In my mind, I heard the mocking laugh of my bastard lawyer. I should never have told him the truth.

RICHARD

#1 -Reunion

Boggins sat sadly in the corner of the bar, a glass of tapwater in his hand.

He couldn’t believe that after surviving encounters with dragons, trolls, and all the other trials he’d been through, he’d nothing to show for his adventures. Not even a beer!

A familiar voice interrupted his reverie…

“Well, if it isn’t Mr Boggins, alive and well and as miserable as ever!”

It was the wizard.

“The last I heard of you, you were dragon food, yet here you are, and surely you didn’t escape empty handed?”

Boggins sadly shook his head;

“Nope, no loot at all”.

#2 – Re-enactment

I needed to get out more and meet people, so I joined one of those Viking reenactment groups.

I hadn’t realised how serious these people are! Step out of line by wearing modern fibres or speaking out of character and the penalties can be pretty severe.

I know this from bitter experience, and it’s not pleasant being on the receiving end of one of those warhammers.

They caught me using a mobile phone at an event.

This weekend, it’s ‘loot, rape and pillage day’ – and I’ve a horrible feeling I’ve been put down to experience some authentic Viking rape!

CHARLIE

Hamlin Hummingshorts was flush with loot at the pawnshop. His associates thought of him as the prince of tossers, but he managed to serve them and they made a lot of money off the goods Hamlin fenced.

Today he passed a payment to the counter person at the Domino’s Pizza next door. He wrapped the bills inside a wad of celery stalks and passed it on, saying: “This is refreshing, Barbara, much better for you than grazing on raw pizza dough.”

Hamlin was busted soon thereafter, as a pizza patron’s spidey sense fired off and he alerted his detective friend.

EMILY ANN

Blood-stained Carpet
By Emily Ann

The 3 a.m. darkness was lit by a flickering porch light. Stinking of smoke and whisky she stumbled into apartment forty-seven. Alone again. Her eyes filled with angry tears. She undressed. Cursing the repetitive payback for choices she desperately tried to escape. A shadowy figure crept closer, until the cold knife blade felt the flesh of her throat. The dark figure whispered of his plans for her. She wept. Blood stained the carpet. He stood over her – vindicated. Blurry eyed, she watched as he left with her soul. Suffering no more.

TURA
(Editor’s Note: I love it when things take on new life… glad you had fun with George, and here’s to more madness!)

Loot
———
Nancy was a pirate, and she was a very good pirate. When George joined her ship, she had him keelhauled the very first day. But she kept him on, to make the rest of the crew shine like gold doubloons against the example of George’s tarnished penny.

She was such a good pirate, that when she was thirty, she had enough loot to retire to the life of a wealthy gentlewoman in a prosperous town on the Barbary Coast. For recreation, she wrote stories of George the Pirate (who wasn’t a very good pirate), and published them under a pseudonym.
———
When President Trump only narrowly won re-election, he was furious. “Fake votes! Maybe Putin could help throw them out?” he thundered on Twitter. He introduced three great new bills, the greatest bills ever, to fix matters.

The Limitation Of Outstanding Taxes act annulled all tax obligations on the President, applied retroactively. The Presidential Immunity Liquidating Legal Assault on General Enterprise act gave him the power to block legal action against any business that was being unfairly targetted, especially his own.

Finally, the Republicans Against Presidential Elections act ensured that never again would President Trump have to face such a crisis.

SERENDIPITY

You loot, I shoot!

That’s the sign I put on the security fence, and believe me, I intend enforcing it.

Since the breakdown of society, it’s everyone for themselves; and those who possess valuable commodities in demand, take whatever steps are necessary to protect them.

Hence the sign.

And I’m pretty sure that few will take the risk, because the commodity in my care clearly gives me the upper hand.

You see, you may have all the weapons in the world, but without ammunition, they’re practically useless…

And guess who has all the ammo!

And I always, shoot to kill!

NORVAL JOE

Chuckie stood outside Angelica’s door in a cold sweat. He would rather face Reptaar bare handed. The girl was going to tear him to pieces.
He took the loot sack from his shoulder and hefted it to guage its weight. Not a good haul today. Much less than Angelica expected.
Both Phil and Lil had given him lame excuses about their mother switching all of their snacks to raw vegetables. Tommy said he was cleaned out, but Chucky was sure he was holding back something in his diaper.
Whoever said taking candy from babies was easy, didn’t know these babies.

PLANET Z

After the hurricane, most of the flooded out residents fled to public shelters.
Others looted stores for food and survival supplies.
Then, there were the thieves who filled plastic bins with small electronics and floated them to a waiting pickup truck.
When the gangs went for houses, that’s when things got ugly.
The lights were off, but someone was home.
With a loaded shotgun.
“The first guy took my shotgun, the second guy took my Smith and Wesson,” said the homeowner. “They had an argument.”
The cops wrote it off.
And handed back the guns, to ruin any remaining evidence.

Weekly Challenge #588 – PICK TWO: Squad, Value, Callous, Iron, Bunk, Loner, Wispy, Divert

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:

Flopcat

TOM

Iron Bunk

We were hired to move the Batfloff from Bender’s Station to New Denman. Little more than a cluster of tents at the railhead pointed straight at the Transvelt. Timmy and Frank had crossed the northern riff last night and Morely’s boys had emerged from the last of the Simon Dust Storms a few souls light. The food was filling but by all accounts not what one might call tasty. Of courses this was not the last of the lack of amenities. No down filled beds. Augus Denman needed harden cowpokes. So the bunk house was outfitted with Iron bunks.

JON

The Spartan Women
By
Jon DeCles

They were not equal to their men: they were superior. They did the same athletics, ran around naked if they wanted to, kept their men away in military squads learning to be callous as iron; guys bunking with guys to divert desire unless summoned home to pleasure the women. Boys were sent away with the men at seven and trained to survive as loners, foraging in any enemy territory, learning to value only warfare, with only a wispy dream of ‘home’.
The Spartan Women could not tolerate in any way the stifling life of the Athenian Women.
That meant war.

JEFFREY

The Loner
by Jeffrey Fischer

The bum stood apart from his fellow homeless men, a wispy-haired but powerfully-built man, he was a loner among loners. He unsuccessfully tried to divert attention from himself as the police upended the shelter. They searched the bunk beds and the residents’ meager belongings. Their goal was a murder weapon, believed to be a hard, cylindrical object. The cops found nothing and the squad soon left.

The loner smiled inwardly. He waited until the other homeless cleared the room until evening. He then gave the iron bar providing a leg of his bunk bed a twist, ensuring a tight fit, and left the shelter, a callous sneer on his face.

LIZZIE

“The value of being a loner is difficult to explain, they tell me.”
The conversation went from bra sizes to philosophical states of mind in a heartbeat.
“In this job, we can’t be loners.”
The girls nodded. One sat in the back.
“Teamwork.”
More nodding.
“We have to stick together.”
Emphatic nodding.
Later that day, all dressed up for the graduation gala, each went about their lives, enjoying the moment.
They didn’t notice she was outside, watching the fiery sunset. That would be the first of many fiery sunsets she’d go through alone.
The Squad made her an undercover agent.

RICHARD

#1 – Stan

“I’ll have another glass of that wispy”

“Sorry pal, I’ve think you’ve had enough whisky for tonight – how about heading off home?”

Stan looked unsteadily at me through glazed eyes, nodded, then weaved his way through the bar to the door.

Sometimes I felt bad about Stan; sure he drank plenty, but it was only the cheap whisky, and he was always good to pay the bill.

Idly, I pocketed the hundred bucks, swapping it for five from my pocket, for the till.

Just as well Stan was always drunk…

And had no concept of the value of whisky!

#2 – Callous

I bought my wife an iron for her birthday – she called me callous; I thought it was the perfect gift: Practical, and far better than her old one.

If anything, it was her who was callous, when she smashed the iron into my temple, causing permanent, crippling brain damage.

Or so she thought.

I’m fine really.

I just make sure I drool when she’s around, flopping about when she’s dressing me, and having ‘accidents’ when she wipes my butt.

So, I’m fine, but she’s a mess; and maybe I have become callous myself…

But my shirts are never creased!

#3 – Jimmy

Jimmy ‘Iron Fist’ Thompson was the most feared member of Strike Team Alpha.

Unfortunately, he had a terrible drug problem… We joked that he’d put the crack into the Crack Strike Squad!

Not that the drugs affected his mastery of strategic command, if anything they sharpened his wits beyond human capabilities, or so it seemed.

So we tolerated it, turned a blind eye and played down his failings.

Of course it turned out those drugs were bad for him after all…

We may have called him ‘Iron Fist’, but unfortunately, one part of him would always remain… Permanently, humiliatingly soft!

CHARLIE

The Squad, although violent, held many items of value, in addition to a callous contempt for poseurs, indigents, and Free Masons.

They pined for the time when they could pump some hot iron into the bunks of the sleepy loners in the encampment.

Maddie, the wispy, teen queen, did her best to divert the squad from their malicious intentions but failed the night of the full moon.

The Squad racked their automatics and descended on the sleeping canvas colony. Shots rang out for several minutes, and when it was over, seventeen city council members there for observation and evaluation succumbed.

#2

Maddie failed to light the ceremonial smudge before the Squad settled into the new lodgings. The motel housed three other squads of bloodthirsty bikers. They were in their middle teens and rode customized Schwinns and Rawleighs.

Feeding and clothing themselves by crowd mobbing small stores and Seven Elevens in the morning, they retired to their hideout on Slab Camp Road mid day.

Days passed slowly in the summer months. Thousands of rounds were shot into trees, makeshift targets, and old appliances.

In spite of being dullards, the Squad saved a little money and bought a small bordello outside Las Vegas.

TURA

Callous; Vaue
———
A man walked by a pond, where he saw that a little girl had fallen in, and would drown. But he was wearing a fine suit and did not want to ruin it by wading into the pond to save her. He was not callous, for he was about to meet some very wealthy people, to solicit donations for the charity that he ran, and they would never take him seriously if he showed up muddy and bedraggled. With these funds he would save far more lives than that of one little girl. The decision was clear.

He told himself.
———

SERENDIPITY

Why is it they always describe us as ‘a loner’?

Someone with few friends; kept to themselves; the last person you’d expect to have scores of victims buried under the patio.

So, I’m here to set the record straight: I’m not a loner! I value the company of others; I like to have people around me.

So I prefer my friends to be dead and dismembered. Does that make me a bad person?

And, unlike you, my friends are always nearby, they never leave me, and I always know exactly where they are.

Can you say that about your friends?

LAIEANNA

I love Dorothy; don’t get me wrong. She saved OZ. There isn’t much
to complain about except her hosting skills. We crossed realms for a
visit, and as great as it was to see her, dinner was something by a
MacDonald and watching fields grow our entertainment. Okay. The
worst was sleeping arrangements. She gave me an iron bunk. Sure, I
can’t feel, but it’s kind of the principle of things. Scarecrow got a
bag of straw. I mean, isn’t that basically what he is? And the
lion…a rug, the skin of an old mate. Yeah. Poor guy hasn’t stopped

NORVAL JOE

The squad leader valued a good bologna and had several of them hanging from the iron springs of the bunk above his. Every night as he lay there, he counted them.
He jealously guarded them from his men, the platoon sergeants, and the company commander.
Callous to their hunger, he horded the preserved meat, refusing to share with any. At times his men tried to divert his attention and steal one of his giant sausages, but to no avail.
When he went on leave, he packed them all in his duffel bag.
He ate them, alone, in his mother’s basement.

PLANET Z

Everything that comes out of Mad Alfred’s mouth is absolute nonsense.
Today he’s sitting in a park, screaming “I’m drowning!” at passers-by.
I knew Alfred back when he worked in The Ironworks.
He rushed into the foundry to save a man, and took a blow to the head.
I still have the cracked helmet. I use it in safety lectures.
“This helped a man survive a blow that should have killed him,” I say.
But, in a way, it did kill him. Albert, my friend, is gone. Dead in spirit.
Killed, while helping me survive what should have killed me.

Weekly Challenge #587 – MONSTER

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

JEFFREY

Deceptive Advertising
by Jeffrey Fischer

I eyed the can with suspicion. “Monster” the can read. “Energy drink.” That was my goal: I wanted to be a real monster, scaring the living daylights out of people and not be responsible for my actions. I popped the can open and chugged it down. And waited. I felt jittery, but nothing more. How disappointing. I swallowed the contents of a second can and felt dizzy. Too much caffeine for sure, but I felt no more monstrous than before.

I looked in the mirror: scales, a forked tongue, a barbed tail. Sure I looked good, I looked the part, but I really couldn’t muster any rage. I considered myself a failure to my family. The company was getting a nasty letter for its deceptive advertising.

TOM

Not Tuff Enough

A long time ago in a movie theater far, far away I sat with my friend to view the second Alien film. We laughed, “How much scarier could it be then the acid dripping, face grabbing, chest erupting original monster?” Well, so said the seasoned boomer movie goers. There’s a scene when the Badie has trapped Ripple and the little girl in a med lap …. released the infant Alien on wheel who scream around the floor. I’d like to say we calmly remained in our seats snickering, no we screamed and fully jumped off the floor into our seats.

CHARLIE

Marcel was a monster. His idea of fun was to play practical jokes on everyone. His jokes were cruel and someone usually got hurt physically or emotionally.
Sometimes his jokes backfired, but never enough to discourage him from playing another joke on someone.

He would draw a full ounce of Super Glue into a syringe, and shoot it into someone’s car door lock or between the driver’s window and the rubber gasket so the mechanism would cease to open the window.

He was caught by a Samoan wrestler while vandalizing his Mercedes. An ounce of glue went up Marcel’s stern.

2.

The monster that dwelled inside demanded sugar and electricity. Cold maple syrup drenched a frozen banana, eaten with a fork. This was embellished by hooking wires from the socket to clamps affixed to a metal tub with an inch of water in it. The monster insisted that he step into the tub for as long as he could control his spasms, and then lie on the kitchen floor and abuse himself.

Lamont started the day like this. Every day. He lived a long life, friendless and detached until he visited the coffeehouse where he was the life of the party.

RICHARD

Bedtime

As I child, I was a terror – my parents despaired they would ever control my behaviour.

Eventually, they turned to cruel and inhuman means to get me to toe the line. They told me that I really should be afraid of the dark and the bogeyman was actively looking for me; they warned me the monster under the bed was real, and he wanted to trap me and kill me!

All attempts to get me into bed at night, and keep me there.

What they didn’t know, was that the monster under the bed, was absolutely terrified… of me!

JON

Carnivale
By
Jon DeCles

Clowns are monsters decked out so that we can laugh. The unexpected that would terrify us if we found one at the back door at midnight.
Carnivals always play on our fears and our desire to be frightened, just a little bit. Even the most cheerful pictures conceal a ride with heart-stopping disorientation.
If the ticket taker had worn a comical plaid suit, his presence in the mirror maze would have seemed explicable, part of the show.
It was late at night, and I didn’t recall many customers. His eyes held me as my heart beat faster. Could I escape?

SERENDIPITY

People call her a monster, but Brian Transeau’s music in the movie telling the Aileen Wuornos story is breathtakingly beautiful.

I listen to it as I drift off to sleep at night; it helps me relax; and it inspires me…
It plays quietly in the background as I plan my own killing spree.

Not because I’m a monster – far from it – I seek beauty and peace from life, just like the music as it fills my thoughts.

My only wish, is for Transeau to write an equally beautiful soundtrack when they make the movie of my own life.

TURA

Monster
———
Anna burst in and screamed, “There’s an alien monster on board!”

As captain, I knew exactly what to do. “Jenkins,” I said to the most annoying crew member, “investigate the mysterious noises in the sewer line on deck 27. Metal man” (I call our synthetic person that to annoy it), “secretly work against us. Everyone else, split up and wander into dark corners to get picked off one by one.”

Of course the monster would get me at some point (because War Is Hell), but in the end Ripley would succeed in blasting it into space.

What could go wrong?

LIZZIE

The slightly cross-eyed doll sat on the floor, her head rotating while a toy train inexplicably hovered nearby. No child was in sight and no one could tell who the doll belonged to.
They had paid a big chunk of money and everyone was fine with a bit of mystery.
When the monster jumped from behind a door, the guide screamed “Run!” and they all laughed nervously instead.
The guide later told the media that he did try to warn them.
The slightly cross-eyed doll still sits on the floor, her head rotating while a toy train inexplicably hovers nearby.

LAIEANNA

“Roadkill”

The third run at the monster truck rally was Albert’s time to shine.
He bolted into the muddy arena weaving among the moving vehicles.
Filth splashed, Albert flailed his arms and roared to get the crowd’s
attention. For several minutes, he danced with danger, dashing and
dodging until his foot slipped. Albert fell. Big Bertha rolled a
tire over him. The crowd voiced their horror and watched with morbid
fascination as Bertha slowly backed up to reveal Albert’s corpse, but
the rail thin man popped right up, already shouting his persona.
“Flat Jack available for parties, pranks, and general shocks.”

NORVAL JOE

Frankenstein was not the monster. He was a scientist, a doctor, who got caught up in the furor of his era. Everyone back then was trying to find an elixir of life, a universal solvent, and a cure for worts. Vivisection, grave robbing, and reanimating the dead was just something a guy did to gain a foothold in the scientific community.
The creature that Frankenstein created wasn’t a monster either. He was just multiple victims of circumstance, all rolled into one big guy.
The real monster is the liberal news media casting a negative slant on good old fashioned science.

PLANET Z

They say that the Universal Monster movies represent different stages of life.
Frankenstein represents our youth, because he is so innocent and fresh… until he throws a tantrum.
The Wolfman represents our adolescence, with hair growing out of weird unexpected places and unusual appetites.
Dracula represents the cool suave sex god we all wish to be in our adulthood.
And The Mummy represents the slow creepy horror of Death approaching.
All of the Bride and Son movies represent family obligations.
And then there’s the Abbott and Costello Meet movies.
They represent the need to do shameful things for a paycheck.

Weekly Challenge #586 – CREEPY

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:

Huggycat

JEFFREY

Barnacles
by Jeffrey Fischer

I looked at polo shirts on the Brooks Brothers web site. The shirts came in a myriad of colors but the prices required a second mortgage for a fistful of cloth. Reluctantly, I closed the window.

Later, as I opened a blog entry on the mating habits of arachnids – hey, it’s a long-standing passion – I saw an ad in the middle of the page, for none other than Brooks Brothers polo shirts. The same thing happened when I browsed for fountain pens and later read a lengthy piece on cross-dressing anarchists – NOT a passion, mind you, but broadening one’s horizons never hurts.

No, those barnacle ads are not creepy at all.

RICHARD

Creepy

It’s a little known fact that there were, in the beginning, eight dwarves sharing that cottage with Snow White.

Along with Sneezy, Dopey, Bashful, Doc and the others was another dwarf who was always a bit of an embarrassment – he was the really ugly one whose appearance made children cry and grown men cross to the other side of the street.

Which is precisely why Disney wrote Creepy completely out of the story, and nobody has ever seen him since.

But actually, he’s been doing rather well for himself.

Ever since he sealed a publishing deal with Stephen King!

CHARLIE

Nina Titwash was creepy. A lazy eyed, spongy gummed grandmother; she worked on Maggie’s Lunch Wagon on the West side. She’d sneeze and cough, light up another Camel, and throw Elk Burgers on the Grill.

She’d wash her hands once a day, but only incidentally if she got something icky on them when reaching into the back of the wagon’s reefer.

Titwash was a native Texan. Her family lived off things they drug out of the city dump. One day, her dad found a duffle bag full of money, and moved out, abandoning the family and its secrets and crimes.

2.

Romy Wovencrotch was a Seattle hippy. He spent an hour each morning doing his hair, tweezing his eyebrows, and putting on wristbands, analog watches, silver rings and ear jewelry.

The creepiest of creeps, he creeped around coffee bars, bicycle shops, Thai restaurants, and music venues. He was a picker of pockets and picked the pocket of pocked marked procurer at the produce market. He was caught, shaved head to toe, dipped in plaster, and planted puss down in a pig pen at the wildlife zoo, North of town.

He was found a month later, half eaten by the big sow.

JON

Something Creepy

By

Jon DeCles

There’s something sexy about something creepy. The frisson is not about something you should not do, it is about something you don’t want to do: only you do. The way your skin crawls at the guy in the Clive Barker movie where he is re-assembling without his skin, only you can feel why the girl is turned on.

There is also something erotic about fear, about surprise. The feeling that something could happen out of your control. Women and men both have rape fantasies, but almost nobody really wants to be raped.

Thus the ticket taker in the mirror maze.

TOM

Some People; You just Can’t Please.

“Smile!” I don’t like to smile, especially for someone trying to steal my soul for a momentarily tourist capture the moment as staged as the last 20 WrestleMania; and if I had a folding metal chair then I would be smiling for real. “No wider.” So I raise up my best 4th Grade Photo Day Smile. You know the one your parents show to perspective girlfriends “OOOOO that’s so creepy.” Not as creepy as what I am about to do with that camera of yours. “So serious.” I ponder how long it will take to find the body. Hope they take photos.

TURA

Creepy
———
“The first card represents the present,” said the fortune-teller. “The Astrogator, spying out the future.”

Well, no-brainer, here I was consulting her.

“The second is the immediate past. The Knight of Batons, reversed. A soldier defeated.”

A reference to my ignominious exit from my last assassination mission? The soothsayer continued.

“Then the three futures. 16 of Tentacles. Entrapment without escape. This is the best future.”

This was getting seriously creepy. I decided to postpone my current mission until the stars were once again right. But first, I shot the fortune-teller. One can’t be too careful in this line of work.

SERENDIPITY

People seem to think I’m creepy…

You could put it down to my fascination with blood and gore, or my fondness for stories of murder and mayhem.

Perhaps my unhealthy obsession with knives and the darker side of the soul causes them to wonder about my motives.

Or maybe, it’s just that I come across as something of a psychopath?

But, I don’t think that it’s really any of those things.

What really freaks people out, is that they’ve never heard my real voice, or seen my face… You have absolutely no idea who I really am.

And that’s creepy!

LIZZIE

She just waited there, wearing this huge hat while sitting between the over-sized figures of Death and a Bride.
The display was a performance, they said. All she had to do was sit down and be quiet. And that’s what she did. Well, at least until Death started coughing.
She stood up and peeked in through the eyes of Death, wondering if anyone was inside.
“Are you OK?”
To which Death replied, amidst intense coughing, “Help me.”
Everyone fled. Too creepy, the critics wrote.
Apparently, Death had planned to rob the jewelry-clad celebrities attending the opening, and Death almost died.

LAIEANNA

“Creepshow”

Shooting, stabbing, even setting fire -which almost burned down my
house- did nothing to eliminate the hideous creature dwelling inside.
I tried humane methods first, but authorities couldn’t see it and I
got fined for false calls. Invisible when attempting to evict and
invincible when trying to kill, if left alone, friends saw the
monstrosity.

I didn’t need to tend to it, but I couldn’t ignore it. So, I did the
next best thing and made a spectacle of it. You want to see something
unnatural and creepy? Ten dollars will get you a ticket for a half
hour viewing.

LILITH

She awoke in the bedroom to the sound of the bathtub faucet shutting off.

The bathroom had been dimmed and filled with flickering tea light
candles. Lavender and chamomile aromas were swept up with the
spiraling steam from the bubble bath. The tub was empty. She smiled.

Her husband called for her. “You home, babe?”

“Upstairs,” she called back, lowering herself into the bath. She so
felt sleepy as her head sank below the water. Blood swirled up from
her wrists.

He screamed her name when he saw her.

She awoke to the sound of the bathtub faucet shutting off.

NORVAL JOE

Back in my neighborhood, when I was a kid, no one ever invited Wendell along, but he always showed up anyway. No one cared.
He wore a cereal bowl haircut and didn’t seem to have any neck at all.
He never said anything. He just nodded his head in agreement to whatever I said and smiled his creepy smile.
He must have moved away. I never saw him after eighth grade.
At my twenty-fifth high school reunion I asked around among my old friends if anyone knew what had happened to him.
Funny. No one else remembered him at all.

PLANET Z

I named my first cat Mister Creepy.
His grey fur stuck out in all directions.
And his tail was a bent shock of fluff.
His claws were almost always out, gripping the carpet for dear life.
And his yellow eyes, as wide as can be.
He never walked anywhere. He always ran at full speed.
There were times that he jumped up on shelves and the tops of dressers.
Staring down at me, hissing and shrieking.
One day, I left the door open too long, and he escaped.
Crazy bastard never came back.
It was a relief to us all.