Weekly Challenge #575 – 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

JEFFREY

The Marching Morons
by Jeffrey Fischer

The March for Science had the most ironic name for a protest. The distance between fantasy and reality for the marchers was a gorge. Persons of pallor pranced down the street holding signs about Commander Data and Kryptonite. One claimed that Hitler was a big supporter of science. If so, his interests were sharply limited to methods of destruction.

Although these people clearly had too much time on their hands, they had no time to spare for actual science. They tolerated no dissention, no questioning of their conclusions. Their closed minds exhibited the very opposite of the true scientific method.

CHARLIE

In Washington, The Gorge was the temporary home to the Tulalip Community College, field hockey games.

The emotions and pallor of the players suggested that the “quiz” they were mandated to take prior to the first field game was not the mellow and benign quiz they expected.

The team rogue, Duke, supplied the “clean” urine for the drug test. It came from the Girl Scout troop camped at the edge of the marsh. Caesar Disembogues brokered the deal.

They all passed the test and were allowed to continue the game, winning by 5 points in a very energetic, 2nd period.

TOM

Under the Sun
In the 1960s network executives were hard pressed to breathe a little more life into the hour drama. One of the formats they tried was the rotating hero. In the show the name of the game the three stars were rotated through the month Gene Barry, Robert Stack, and Anthony Franciosa. When Mr. Franciosa exited the show Robert Culp, Peter Falk and Robert Wagner filled in. Not to be out done NBC ran a show called The Rouges starting Gig Young, David Niven, and Charles Boyer. If you’ve never heard of any of these actors you’re probably a millennial

JON

El Presidente Says There Isn’t Any Problem
By
Jon DeCles

Caesar stared down the length of the gorge. He felt his own pallor. This was not some high school quiz, not some stupid hockey game. He was not going to feel mellow after this encounter: if he survived. This was a rogue monster from the haunted marsh, come to wreak havoc on his tiny town, where all the duly elected officials were pretending there was no problem and letting the bloodshed continue unabated.

He saw movement ahead. He struck a match, lit the cigar his invalid father had given him, and hefted his machete. He blew smoke, then headed in.

RICHARD

Chef’s Recommendation

There’s a rogue chef infiltrating local restaurants. Holding a grudge and out for revenge, but nobody knows who he is, or his motive.

He never uses the same tactic twice – today it might be listeria in the linguine; tomorrow, salmonella in the Caesar salad. You just can’t be sure where or how he’ll strike next.

Personally, I’m taking no risks – I only eat at McDonald’s… It’s crap, and I know it’s going to kill me, but at least I know what to expect.

Besides, it’s a cheaper death than eating a la carte at the local Michelin-starred joint!

LIZZIE

Rogue Quiz

Lilly studied a lot for the quiz about Nature. The prize was wonderful, a prize she had dreamed of for years. Well, she was only nine, but she had dreamed of it for quite a while.
There was only one problem. Tommy. Tommy was an expert cheater and he had won the last few prizes. She could barely look at his smirk.
While Mrs. Blake was not paying attention, Tommy sneaked a peek at his cheat notes and Lilly poked a finger in his ribs. He screeched in pain.
“Tommy!”
Yes, he was disqualified.
That was the best prize ever.

MUNSI

Autobiography
By Christopher Munroe

I’m writing this story on an unexpected day off.

I’ve just gotten a new tattoo, and while it does sting a little, it’s a good sting. I’m in a coffee shop looking out at the people passing by on 17th as I write.

In an hour I’ll be watching the Flames play the Kings. A friend unexpectedly turned up with tickets.

In the meantime, I’ll write stories about a party bus.

Overall, it’s been a good day. Relaxing. Mellow.

The sort I don’t get nearly often enough.

The sort I fancy I deserve.

Mental note to do this more often…

SERENDIPITY

Everybody wants me on their team on pub quiz night.

It’s not that I’m particularly good at general knowledge or that I know my stuff. If anything, I’m pretty useless at all things quiz-related, and a bit of a liability if you’re stupid enough to rely on my answers.

So, why would anyone want me in the first place?

Simple – I’m a sore loser, and I really don’t like being beaten. You’d never describe me as mellow, laid back or chilled… More like ‘homicidal maniac’…

So, when the punches start flying, you really want to be on my team!

TURA

Marsh; pallor
———
The boggaerts of the Great Marsh are nasty, brutish, and short. They live mainly on bog lampreys, which they catch in this way. A boggaert thrusts his bare arm into the mud. Lampreys bite on, and he hauls his arm out with the catch.

Their greatest delight is waylaid travellers, whom they bury naked, and neck-deep. Lampreys burrow into the victim, whose screams are sweetest music. When he is almost, but not quite dead, they haul him out, and eat lampreys and prisoner alike.

Men in the surrounding countryside know them by their ghostly pallor, and kill them on sight.

NORVAL JOE

I’m not going to quiz you on the episode which offended me. It should be pretty clear when I tell you I have a thirteen year old son who has autism and I don’t consider him retarded.
I realize the word ‘retard’ has different meanings to different people. Some people might even name their cat ‘Tard’ because of the physical abilities it was born with, but then tell everyone it’s actually short for Tarder Sauce, because the cat suddenly got famous.
I’m pretty mellow. So, I’ve been offended one time in nine years. That’s a good average for this podcast.

LAIEANNA

“Atomic Number 80”

Under the bright moonlight, Alan found Randy thrashing around in mucky
water that came up to his chest.

“Randy! What are you doing?”

Randy paused, pointed to the water, then violently banged his head
forward and back.

Alan sighed. “I said we were going to a mosh pit, not marsh. We’ve
been waiting for you.”

“Oh.” Randy put a wet hand to lips in thought.

“Concert’s over, man.”

“Oh,” Randy said again. He sank down until the water came to his
chin. “Guess, I’ll just mellow out here.”

Alan rolled his eyes. “You have got to lay off the hash.”

PLANET Z

Caesar lay outside the Theater of Pompey in a pool of blood, his face a sickly white pallor.
Sixty men with knives had attacked him.
Twenty-two wounds on his body, all superficial.
“You proved me right,” mumbled Caesar. “Out of sixty Senators, only twenty-two managed to nick me. It takes the firm hand of a dictator to land just one swift fatal blow.”
“That’s not a fair assumption,” said Brutus. “I’m pretty sure I hit you twice. Well, three times.”
And Brutus stabbed Caesar in the chest, severing his aorta.
“Much better,” said Caesar. “Wait, is that you, Brutus? Fucker.”

Weekly Challenge #574 – … what?

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:

Flumped Tinny

JEFFREY

Creepy Ads
by Jeffrey Fischer

I find those targeted ads that show up while you’re browsing the web to be creepy. Just searched for William S. Burroughs on Amazon? Here’s an ad for Naked Lunch, and another for a big bag of heroin. Looking for a nice dress for your wife? Now Google Ads thinks you’re a cross-dresser.

I buy a lot of Doctor Who books, but, even so, when an ad for a sonic screwdriver showed up on my screen I said, “What the heck?” and took a closer look. I didn’t recognize the specific model, but it sure looked authentic.

Imagine my disappointment when the product turned out to be a fancy tactical flashlight. Dumb, creepy ads.

CHARLIE

What is the cue word? Why? WTF? Where did this come from? What is going on? Maybe I am over reacting, but I question directives when given capriciously.

I would, of course, welcome some explanation for the choice of this cue, or at the least, the origin of the cue word or words.

No disrespect intended, as I am profoundly aware of the wrath I face, given the past punishment I endured publicly for questioning procedures and protocols, hereabouts.

Consequently, I was invited to “eat a bag of dicks” by management when I submitted a benign question and comment. Remember?

RICHARD

What?

“What?”, he practically shouted, “I can’t hear you… You’re breaking up”

I settled back into my seat and smiled, then tapped the icon that would quietly brick his phone.

You might consider me mean, but believe me, I’m providing an essential public service. Nobody wants to involuntarily become party to a complete stranger’s excessively loud conversation, especially when it’s first thing in the morning, with a long day in work ahead.

So, by all means, make the call, but keep it short, and do keep the volume down; and if you won’t… Then I’ll happily make sure you can’t!

LIZZIE

“Go up the hill, then left. Take ten steps and turn right. Walk straight forward for about twenty steps and then walk back ten steps, turn left and then right. Go around the fountain in the middle of the square twice and then forward a few steps, say 10. You should see it.”
“What?”
“You should see it there.”
“Wait a second. Why do I have to take twenty steps forward and ten back?”
“For the same reason you have to go around the fountain twice.”
“And why is that?”
“If you haven’t figured that out yet, you never will.”

TOM

In My Blue Heaven.

“What?” yell Frank. “He has to go.” “I’m sorry I’ll clean the box more regularly.” “Frank he’s an Elephant.” “A small one.” “There is no such thing as a small Elephant, and even if such a thing were possible a one room apartment is not the place for said Small Elephant.” “Look at those eyes, he adores you Sal.” “Not going to work this time Frank, its him or me.” Frank got a thousand yard stare in his eyes. “I said him or me Frank.” More staring, “Good, Fine, Whatever.” Timmy looped his trunk around the door and Sal was gone.

JON

Attention
By
Jon DeCles

“Women always say that men never pay any attention to them,” said Alfred to his wife.

“Well, that’s true,” said his wife, Marie.

“I specifically asked you to stop putting so much pepper in the soup.”

“It’s just a habit. I’ll try and remember next time.”

“I’ve noticed a lot of those habits over the years. I ask and you ignore.”

“I’ll try and pay more attention,” she sighed, turning on the television and sitting down to watch.

“I’m tired of being ignored,” Alfred said, sitting down next to her, “so I poisoned your coffee tonight.”

“…what?” she asked absently.

SERENDIPITY

Something wicked this way comes…

From the darkest recesses of your tortured mind, it oozes, slithers, creeps and stalks from deep within the murky shadows, seeking us out, hunting us down.

It lurks, waiting, watching intently and ever patient, ever present, feeding on our fear, waiting in the darkness, brooding and lurking.

The night grows longer, our fears grow stronger; whilst the knowledge that something in the shadows – something unspeakable and vile – is waiting, waiting for us, waiting for the moment of truth, growing ever more terrifying.

So, be afraid, for something wicked this way comes…

But what?

TURA

…what?
———
The interview dragged on, the HR droid going through some memorised checklist while I gave the standard box-ticking answers.

Then he asked, “What is the state and progress of your soul?”

“Er… what?” I smartly replied.

“That is,” he droned, “where do you see yourself in five years? Are your feet set on the narrow path to salvation, or the easy, broad road that leads only down into the Pit?”

“The narrow path to salvation, definitely,” I said, guessing the right answer.

He sulphurously frowned, and the horns I had not noticed before twitched. “We’ll keep your resume on file.”

NORVAL JOE

In junior high, no matter what amazing things anyone had accomplished, Albert always seemed to have done something more impressive.
Like the time I announced at lunch, “I sold five cases of chocolates for the fundraiser”. Supposedly, he sold twenty.
I ran the mile in six minutes. He ran it in five and a half.
We set him up and told him I drank a gallon of milk in ten minutes and he said he could do it in five.
We handed him a gallon of milk and said, “Prove it.”
The look on his face said it all, “…What?”

MUNSI

On Li’l Jon
By Christopher Munroe

And then; The question of Li’l Jon.

A thorny question indeed.

Yes, he’s dated, and perhaps a little ridiculous, and I do respect that opinions on the man and his music are sharply divided.

Some people hear him and are like: “What?”

Whilst others respond: “Okay…”

But I’m always like “Yeah!!!”

Because for my money, no artist embodies the boisterous aesthetic parties requires than Li’l Jon, and for that reason, arguments against him aside, there will always be a place for him on my Party Bus.

He really takes me back.

Ah, 2004.

We were all so crunk back then…

PLANET Z

I’m sure you’re familiar with Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s On First?” routine.
The second baseman was What.
What played shortstop in college, but the team already had I Don’t Give A Damn as a shortstop, so they brought up What as a utility infielder, and he eventually settled in at second base.
Good at hitting and fielding, but not All-Star numbers.
After a questionable “Neighborhood” slide that broke his leg, What never quite had the agility he once had.
He ended his career as a decent designated hitter, got released, and ended up coaching a college team in the Midwest.

Weekly Challenge #573 – OFFEND

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:

Myst

MUNSI

On Offensiveness
By Christopher Munroe

Although I never intend to offend, some do take offence when my Party Bus rolls into town.

It might be the near-naked go-go dancers atop of the bus, or the shockingly loud music we play, but whatever it is, time and again something, somehow, manages to offend a certain portion of the population.

Which is a shame, as like I said, this is never my intent.

I blame the offended parties.

After all, if I don’t mean to offend, yet you somehow draw offence, how can it be anything but your fault?

You need to learn to be less sensitive…

CHARLIE

Tasteless Instagram images offend me only slightly less than the number of people that insist on peppering their speech with “absolutely”. Bobkes mit kadokhes! [YID. Shivering shit balls.]

I don’t know what sex uses this word more frequently, but I think its women. They could use another word, like “yes”, or “completely” for a while and my brain and stress would subside-possibly heal enough, readying itself for the next onslaught of popular, spoken pap I see and hear in social media and on the radio and TV.

Little things like this annoy me, as does ignorant humans all around me.

~
Charlie LaCrosse
“A little consistency never hurt anyone.”

JEFFREY

Face the Media
by Jeffrey Fischer

“Frank, you stink.” Hmm, that didn’t seem like a normal greeting. Besides, we weren’t even in the same room.

“Hi, Bill. Nice to see you, too.” We were appearing on a segment of “Face the Media” to discuss the recent missile strike on Syria.

“Yeah, sure. Nice to see your lying face, too, even if you’re going to unload a steaming pile of shit on our viewers.”

Bill added, “Oh, and you’re a filthy, Christ-killing Jew, too.”

“Now wait a minute! There’s no need for this name-calling. Can’t we have a civilized discussion without resorting to insults? And, not that it matters, I’m not Jewish.”

The moderator nodded. “Bill, I think you owe Frank an apology.”

“Oh, fine. If I have offended anyone with my remarks, too bad, I mean, I’m sorry.”

And thus began another week of political talk shows.

RICHARD

PC

It seems you can’t say a damn thing these days without running the risk you’ll offend someone.

Even the most innocent comment or action can result in accusations of racism, insensitivity, being bigoted, or the latest trendy buzzwords: cultural appropriation. It’s a minefield!

I can’t say that I’m bothered – political correctness has gone way too far in my opinion. It’s about time people stopped getting offended, and started getting a sense of perspective and common sense.

And, if you don’t like it – I’ll happily tell you what you can do about it…

Except, I know you’d be offended!

LIZZIE

The family gathering was supposed to be a fun get-together, but it never was. Everyone pretended it to be great. Long time no see, you look great, and heavier, you’ve grown to look just like your mother, big nose and all. The usual remarks and the standard sarcasm. However, they would all go back, each year, for the family gathering.
Until that day when grandfather, whom they thought was hopelessly senile, put everyone back in their places.
“Have I offended anyone?”
The silence marked the end of the family get-togethers, well, until grandfather’s funeral, that is, where everyone met again.

TOM

The Retainer

“I don’t mean to offend,” said Sal Lowenstein “but you’ve run out of options here.” Maro Tissy spaded his weather hands across the table, stared his lawyer square in the eyes. “No offends taken, but I do not see a lack of options. Perhaps an associate of yours would be willing to go seek out Rubin?” The lawyer raised back open hands and turned his head to the right. “That is some heavy weight shit to set in motion We’re talking a federal judge, that come with a world on pain if … ” “Thanks Sal, but it is time.”

JON

How Shall I Offend Thee
By
Jon DeCles

How Shall I offend thee? Let me count the ways.

First, by using the wrong honorific.

Did I call you Miss when you are a Missus or a Mz? Call you Professor when you are a Doctor? Call you a She when you are a He, or a He when you are a She? –I’m sorry, I won’t call you They unless there is more than one of you. –But you are not stuck in an ungrammatical Otherness, because I have no desire to offend anyone. From now on I am using the non-gendered Japanese San, which covers everyone.

TURA

Offend
———
I stared gloomily at the next case file. Young offender, no education, employment, or training. Scrawny, wouldn’t last a week at a manual job. Two parents, although the man isn’t his father. But hell, none of them are worth a damn.

They live on Universal Basic Income, but what do you do all day if you’re not smart enough or strong enough to earn a living?

I’ll suggest he goes to university, like all the others. They’re not allowed to turn anyone away nowadays. Maybe one in a thousand gets something from it. But then, I always was an optimist.
———

SERENDIPITY

Here are the rules: You do as you’re told; you don’t draw attention to yourself; you do absolutely nothing to offend me.

You see, I have a badge and a uniform, a clear idea of my responsibilities, and I’ll never let down those who put their trust in me.

To you, I may just be a ticket inspector, but in reality, I’m the first – and last – line of defence against fare dodgers, cheats and con artists.

So, go ahead… Try your luck.

But you won’t be the first to meet their maker beneath the wheels of my train!

NORVAL JOE

In an attempt to increase national revenue, the landlocked pseudo-nation of Burgerslovegia invested in a luxury cruise liner.
Cost analysts recommended for the best profitability the ship should spend the least time in port possible. To achieve this they had passengers disembarking aft while new passengers boarded fore. The cleaning crew scurried between the two groups to get the compartments clean for the arriving passengers.
Not understanding the difference between fore and aft, confusion ensued when disembarking passengers tried to exit at the on-end and arriving passengers tried to board from the off-end.
Needless to say, everyone was quite annoyed.

PLANET Z

Every morning, I get up, get ready, and get in the truck to drive to work.
Rowdy Rob and The Radio Gang are talking to naked strippers or hookers again.
They’re going to prank some guy into thinking his wife’s dead, or sick, or leaving him.
They do this every Thursday.
Some people find it funny, but I think it’s sick and offensive.
Why the hell are these people on the air?
The only reason I have them turned in is to force me to play music from my phone.
So, I do… and Rowdy Rob is silenced once more.

Weekly Challenge #572 – CORRECT

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 trying to count to five

JEFFREY

Errata
by Jeffrey Fischer

Betsy was an efficient secretary but had difficulty adapting to new technologies. Her responsibilities included taking dictation and transcribing the dictation for signature. She made few typos, and those were easily corrected with a dab of White-Out.

When the office removed Betsy’s beloved Smith-Corona and replaced it with a word processor, Betsy was confused but soldiered on. Dictation, typing, correction fluid. Turns out that scraping White-Out from a CRT was no easy matter. Management wanted to fire Betsy on the spot, but HR insisted they give her another chance.

One day the computers were gone, replaced by technology that imprinted words directly on one’s retina. Head gestures replaced keyboard commands. Betsy was ready with her dictation equipment and her trusty bottle of White-Out. She retired on disability pay when the doctors said the blindness was permanent.

CHARLIE

As he drifted into the curb, his back wheels broke traction and he slid far to his right. He knew he had to correct and use the power to get out of the spot he was in.

He downshifted, and pushed his foot into the accelerator, hoping he could power out and still have control of the heavy sedan.

His Uber passenger in the back seat was screaming and trying to dial the office on her cell phone. She couldn’t dial, as her big ass was sliding back and forth across the leather seat.

Almo was fired the next day.

RICHARD

#1 – Tooth

When I was a youngster, I had an errant tooth – rather than grow in the correct place, it decided it would be fun to erupt right in the middle of my palate, like some bizarre enamel stalactite.

Two hours of orthodontic surgical torture, and three years of braces and retainers later, and now I have a snaggletooth that they never quite managed to correct.

Personally, I could have done without all the drama and pain – just yank the damn thing out is my attitude.

Which is probably why my kids are always so terrified about visiting the dentist!

#2 – Coffee

What’s the correct way to make coffee?

It depends who you ask – the Greeks, Lebanese, Italians and French all tell you something different. Ask an Aussie, and an Indonesian and they’ll have their own take, as do the Dutch and the Spanish.

Some will have nothing but a short, black espresso, whilst others think the perfect coffee requires copious squirts of flavoured syrups, a dash of Baileys, or beans that have travelled through the intestines of a rodent!

I have my own opinion, but I know one thing: No matter how you take it, Starbucks have got it wrong.

TOM

Pre-Post-Dystopia

If Jimmy had been correct once, just once, life might have worked out for the poor little urchin. It wasn’t so much as a lack of brain power, he had considerable street smarts. It was that refined social etiquette that let you move effortlessly through the maze of class land mines. In the decades since The Thinning you were pretty much on two side of the tracks or the other. Those on the side with the goodies, life was pretty good. Those on Jimmy’s side had to keep an ever consistent eye on the baddies. Jimmy was bad for good.

JON

The Correct Answer

By

Jon DeCles

“The correct answer is…

“No, wait, I’ve got it this time! The Thlacine! The Marsupial Wolf!”

“No, I’m afraid the correct answer is…”

“Wait now, this is really important. -The Smilodon! The Saber-Toothed Cat.”

“That’s not it either. The correct answer…”

“Look, you know my life depends on this. –I’ve got it: the Dire Wolf! That’s it!”

“That is not it. The correct…”

“The Demetrodon! That’s the answer!”

“That is not the answer. The correct answer is…”

“The Veloceraptor! Tyranosauros Rex!”

“Without the correct answer you are going through that door to meet…”

“Surely not a pack of Hesperonychus elizabethae?”

SERENDIPITY

The Haven Correctional Home for Beastly Children takes a firm approach to enforcing discipline.

We’ll happily employ flogging, shackles, waterboarding, and what critics might consider more extreme forms of control – the fact is, we’re incredibly successful at what we do: Once a child has been through our processes, they’ll never return to old habits.

So, what sort of deviant behaviours earn a place on our programme?

Nail-biting, speaking with their mouth full, nose picking, staying up past bedtime… You get the idea. These are the type of bad behaviours that we guarantee to correct… No matter what it takes!

LIZZIE

“Didn’t I tell you not to stand at the back of the room, staring at the ceiling? I find that extremely annoying, not to mention distracting. You cannot just stand there in silence. You haven’t said a word since the course started. Your attitude is totally unacceptable,” said the teacher, furious.
Without any sudden movements, the student pointed at the ceiling and everyone looked up.
A gigantic spider had built a massive spider web where huge flies were stuck and desperately fought for their lives.
“Correct me if I’m wrong, sir, but that’s quite the life lesson, wouldn’t you say?”

NORVAL JOE

Benny peered up at the man standing in the doorway. His Roman nose and strong jaw gave him a regal appearance.
“King Lear,” Benny said. “It was you all along.”
“Correct,” the man said, holstering his pistol and looking toward the door to the stairwell.
Suddenly it all made sense. Benny said, “You weren’t after me. You wanted to draw Juliet out of hiding.”
“Correct, again,” Lear said, and headed for the stairwell. “Thanks for your help, Benny.”
A bullet between the shoulder blades knocked Lear to his knees.
“You’re still in love with her?” Lear gasped.
“Correct,” Benny said.

LAIEANNA

Hank always imagined being on a game show. He didn’t care which one;
he watched them all. When Hank finally had an opportunity to really
play, he proved his worth, answering questions correctly and amassing
quite a sum, but Hank had never anticipated the additional pressure
and anxiety. Upon winning, down fell balloons and the host approached
to shake his hand. The stress became too much. Before millions, Hank
heaved and vomited over the horrified host. Despite his brilliance and
wealth, Hank was forever going to be remembered for one thing, and
from that was born his nickname Hurling Hank.

TURA

Correct
———
A tax official was subjected to an inspection. Clerks examined his accounts, the records of those who had paid taxes, and the records in the capital of remittances received. They found that his assessments and collections were correct in every detail. Not the smallest copper coin or bushel of rice was out of place.

General Wei pronounced, “When a story is perfectly correct, it cannot be true. Perfection is not to be found in the Middle World. Therefore, let this tax collector be sent to attain the perfection of the heavens.”

The tax collector confessed his crimes before being executed.

PLANET Z

Baron Otto Von Correct was the Grammarian of Bavaria, walking around and correcting other people’s grammar.
His staff would levy fines against serial offenders, who would complain to the local magistrate about the Baron’s behavior.
“There isn’t an actual Office of The Grammarian of Bavaria,” said the mayor, wadding up each ticket and throwing it in a wastebin.
The mayor ordered his men to round up the Baron’s men and lock them in the city jail.
The Baron himself was beaten to death and thrown into the river.
He had nothing to do with AutoCorrect.
I just don’t like Germans.

Weekly Challenge #571 – TUMBLE

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:

Sprawly Tin

CHARLIE

I forced my little sister into the tumble dryer after I caught her searching my laptop history and bookmarks. I secured the door with sheet metal screws and clicked on the switch.

Thirty minutes with the heat turned off should teach her not to fool with my favorite game machine.

Forty rotations a minute for thirty minutes is twelve hundred rotations. Twelve hundred bumps against the steel ribs inside the dryer would probably be enough to knock some sense into her and hammer a few concussive reminders into her skull.

My sister is forty years old and a crack addict.

JEFFREY

Mixed Load
by Jeffrey Fischer

I stared at the controls. My choices were “tumble dry,” “casuals,” and “cottons.” I stared at the load of wet laundry. Jeans, so that’s cottons, right? But the next handful of clothes were polyester shirts and women’s underwear. No cotton there, so maybe casuals? Can underwear be casual? Okay, surely tumble dry means something. I had the vision of one piece of clothing tumbling over another as the thing inside the machine rotates. Wait – isn’t that thing called a tumbler? So all the settings are really tumble dry, aren’t they?

I gave up. “Honey, it’s a nice day outside. Why don’t you hang the clothes on the line outside to dry?”

RICHARD

Happy New Year

New Year’s Day: I woke up, on my sister’s couch, with a raging headache and covered in blood – my own blood.

I had no idea what led to my unfortunate condition, other than it was almost certainly due to the now empty Wild Turkey bottle that lay on the floor next to me.

Eventually the story came out – I’d taken a tumble on the concrete driveway, whilst nipping outside for some fresh air.

Just to rub it in, my brother in law had drawn a chalk outline around my prone body, before dragging me back inside to recover.

TOM

She Never Gave Up, A Mere Mortal Would Have.

Her name was Sally. None of that foofoo, hippy stuff, like River or Willow. A sensible name for a sensible woman. So it was that when her cat Max wove between her legs sending her tumbling to the floor though it had jarred the tiny dot of Sunshine LSD from her hand she had the presence of mind to track its parabolic position relative to the rapidly approaching rug. Save the face, or follow the drug? Sadly the equally orange sag carpet swallowed the orange dot. “NO YOU DON’T” she screamed. Six hours later it was hers again. Sensible Woman.

JON

Vacation

By Jon DeCles

When she had asked him to join her he had been suspicious. Her invitations usually involved jibes at his record in the Senate: often about his staunch anti-environmentalist stance. His constituents back in the dome liked the quality of their air consistent! Her mercantile empire sold products that were so-called ‘Natural,’ which made money from their novelty and nothing more: mere gravy on top of the water sales.

Being outdoors gave him a headache, so took aspirin. His martini tasted wrong with the artificial juniper. Waiting for her, he stared out at the eggshell color of the dry polar clay.

—-

The Long Tumble Down
By
Jon DeCles

“I think it started the long tumble down when they invented emojis. –No, it was long before that. They were already using hieroglyphs to represent words on computers and stereo units and, oh, all kinds of things. But once the tumble had started it could not be stopped, any more than you can stop an avalanche with a whisper. And they were not consistent! They made up symbols as readily as they misappropriated words, so meanings got tumbled together and things stopped meaning things. People began to get even worse at communication, less able to convey even the simplest things…”

SERENDIPITY

They taught me to tumble as a child. One of my earliest memories is learning to forward roll, soon followed by somersaults and backflips.

Now I’m a coach for the Russian Olympic Squad, but times have changed. Competition has become ruthless and there’s no room for half measures.

When I was young, we’d force children into unnatural and painful positions, crippling their bodies to achieve gymnastic perfection, but there’s no time for that these days.
Instead, we take babies and surgically remove their connective tissue, replace bone with pliable plastic, and fix joints with titanium bolts.

All, with parental consent.

LIZZIE

Time tumbled the walls of the old theater. Abandoned for years, it became refuge for all sorts of animals, including good old Ronald. Ronald found a secret room underneath the stage and decided to hide there. This time he didn’t run too far. The only problem was the kid. He always kept half the money Ronald gave him to get food, and he was a dangerous blabber. When the kid’s mom showed up and dragged Ronald by the ear to the local police station, the kid waved the little flag Ronald had placed on the wall of his secret room.

LAIEANNA

Poor Sumbal Trumble took a tumble while she fumbled with her jumbal
and stumbled over the dumbbell in the jumbled mess that was her room.
The cake crumbled all over the umbel scrumble she had just crocheted
and her lumbal was in pain as she bumbled around to get upright again.
Oh did her stomach rumble at the loss of her dessert, but Sumbal
mumbled for it to behave. Still she grumbled about the tumble but
being humble, Sumbal knew she had to just do it all over again. It was
only her fifth trip that day. What a drumble.

NORVAL JOE

Juliet stumbled sideways, clutching her shoulder, and fell backwards out of site. Benny hoped she wouldn’t tumble down the stairwell.
But that wasn’t his biggest concern. Someone behind him had just shot his former partner. Was that intentional, or had they bumbled his assassination and hit Juliet instead? Wasting no more time, Benny tumbled to the floor and rolled sideways into a cubicle listening for sounds of his pursuer.
All was silent for several minutes and Benny thought his attacker must have left.
As he climbed to his feet, a man stepped into the doorway of the cubicle and smiled.

MUNSI

All Things Move Toward Their End
By Christopher Munroe

There will come a day when everything we’ve created tumbles to the ground, when the things we’d used to define ourselves are torn from us, leaving us naked and exposed before an uncaring, impassive universe…

It’s an unsustainable lifestyle, after all, built upon untenable foundations, and we knew when we began that none of it was meant to last.

And no talk of “Busses” and “Parties” changes that.

Yes, it will all collapse, and we’ll lose everything we value, some day, and some day soon.

But not today.

So: Back on the bus, we have a party to get to…

TURA

Tumble
———
The sun would soon rise, and in the glim of the pre-dawn a group of about a dozen people were walking down a rocky path. Among them was a woman with a two-year-old toddling along the path beside her. As toddlers do, she toddled, and wobbled, and fell down, going all her length on the ground, then burst into tears. Her mother bent down and swept her up into her arms, bouncing her on her shoulder to calm her, and walked on.

Just an everyday incident, in a tribe of Homo erectus, a million years ago in the Olduvai gorge.

PLANET Z

Jojo and Klaus were two German tumblers who toured the Old West with their strongman act.
Slim and muscular, the men went from town to town, challenging the strongest man in town to a fight.
Klaus would brain the challenger with an iron bar, while Jojo would finish off the sucker with a dagger to the heart.
Usually, the strongest man in town was a drug or a thug, and wouldn’t be missed.
So, the Germans wouldn’t be charged with a crime. Or, in some cases, they’d collect a reward.
Eventually, the two retired to a tree ranch in Oregon.

Weekly Challenge #570 – 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

CHARLIE

Hazing was tougher than ever this year. To join, the test was to ingest five Aspirin, chased with a full gravy boat, and run all the way to the Mercantile without tossing your cookies.

Once there, the inductee would drop ‘tro and sit on a block of ice, bare-assed, like a Polar bear, while juggling soft, clay balls and hard boiled eggs being careful to avoid cracking any of the egg shells.

After this. the pledge would have to chug a half pint of gin, flavored with juniper berries and orange clementine.

The hazing for the fraternities would be the same.

JEFFREY

Lost Afternoon
by Jeffrey Fischer

“Come join me in the bedroom,” my wife said. In some households, that could be an invitation to something good. I knew it was a demand to waste my afternoon and beyond.

“Okay, I’m here. What’s up?”

She pointed to the wall above the dresser. The wall contained five swathes of paint. I groaned inwardly. “I picked these up from the paint store. We have Polar White, Eggshell, Juniper, and Clay.” I looked. White, pretty much white, green, and gray.”

“Um, wonderful. You said five swathes, but mentioned only four. What’s that brownish stain to the right?”

She stared. “Oh, that’s just gravy from a snack I had last night.”

“Too bad. That was my first choice.”

RICHARD

#1 – Gin

I’d always fancied making my own tipple, and having juniper bushes at the bottom of the garden, gin seemed to be the logical choice.

I wasn’t really sure how to go about it, but a quick Google search armed me with all the necessary information. The only extra I’d need was a good quantity of cheap vodka.

I have friend – Ivan – who has connections down at the docks… He saw me right!

Although I’m not so sure after tasting – I’m seriously thinking of adding aspirin to the mix to combat the headache… As a pre-emptive measure!

#2 – TED

It’s not every day you get to join a Polar expedition.

That’s the trouble with TED Talks – you get all inspired by somebody else’s pursuit of freedom and success, and before you know it, you’ve quit your job, sold the house, and signed up for a six month trek across the frozen Arctic wastes.

And it all seemed such a good idea at the time.

Trust me, it’s not.

When you’ve lost your toes to frostbite, and are down to your last husky for protein, the only success you can focus on is surviving another day.

Don’t do it!

MUNSI

On Mornings After
By Christopher Munroe

One risk of the party bus lifestyle that nobody talks about is hangovers.

Good gravy, the hangovers.

Asprin won’t save you, and while keeping hydrated might mitigate things somewhat, you’ll still spend much of your mornings an utter human disaster, most days.

Which is fine. Nothing happens in the morning on a party bus, so you won’t miss anything.

Sleep til noon, many do, while the bus whisks you to the next town, for the next party.

Wake when you do, on your own time. There’s no pressure.

We’re all night owls here.

That’s why we joined a party bus…

SERENDIPITY

You have to pick your target area carefully – a baseball bat may be painful, but you must incapacitate your victim.

Leg bones are stronger than you might think; and although a good swing may break an arm, there’s no guarantee it’ll do serious damage. Broken collar bones and ribs are a better bet, but if you really want results, go for the skull.

To a baseball bat, the skull is eggshell thin – one good, hard whack, and it’s all over.

Trust me, to receive one of those will result in a headache no amount of aspirin will shift.

TOM

Just a Bunch of Words
Eggshell Juniper ran pell-mell down the long red corridor two picks in hand. The Polar Gravy was attacking joining with the Aspirin Feet of Clay. Both armed to the teeth with morning star and pole axe respectively. The Fight, a weekly challenge was always topical. This was billed as the next big thing, but always feel short, just like the picks and axes. “Mercantilism is the way.” The Eggshell yelled. “Works of the world unite you have nothing to lose but your chains.” The Gravy screamed. The groundlings pressed to post their last bets. The venters hawked their dubious wares.

LIZZIE

On Eggshells

New job, new goals, more money. That was great, right? Wrong.
Arthur’s supervisor, a wannabe vampire of sorts, decided to bite all the men in the company.
Arthur wasn’t fond of bites, especially of co-workers, even if they were female. So, he maneuvered cautiously through the intricate maze of corridors.
The day the supervisor caught him by the wrist, he smashed her face in with the lunch tray.
He told the police he feared for his life. They believe him.
And Arthur joined another company. This time, the goal was to find a quiet work environment… with no biting.

LAIEANNA

The three little pigs, everyone knows.
But what about the outcasts,
Two brothers, sadly disowned

One was dumb and a little cray.
He tried following in their footsteps,
But not with sticks, bricks, or even hay.

A house he built of eggshells, no wolf was required.
Just one attempt at entrance
Made his whole house crash and expire

The second pig, oh so into clay.
This wasn’t about building,
Just more shiek than mud to roll and lay.

Joke’s on us, you’d laugh if you could.
That pig now lives high on the hog,
As a pampered pet in Hollywood.

NORVAL JOE

Juliet smiled down the barrel of her pistol at Benny. Her teeth glistened, polar white between her blood red lips. Benny’s legs felt as if they had turned to gravy and his feet were mired in clay. He was painfully aware of his own handgun in the holster behind his back.
She read his mind.
“Reach for it and I’ll blow your head open like an eggshell.”
“Isn’t that why you’re here?” Benny asked.
She looked sincerely surprised. “Not if you join me.”
“Me join you?” he asked, as a bullet whistled past his ear, striking Juliet in the shoulder.

TURA

Clay; eggshells
———
Our Miracle Mineral Detox contains three magic ingredients. Two of them are clay and eggshells. Not just any clay, or
any eggshells, of course. Naturally formed diatomaceous kaolin with six nines purity, and sustainably harvested shells from hatched puffin chicks. There’s an authentic mediaeval recipe. “Take good black clay, two handfuls, and the shell of an egg that hath hatched in Its season, and by the rising light of dawn pound them together a sufficient time so they be well mixed” and so on. We leave out the claims that it will actually cure anything.

And the third ingredient? Gullibility.

PLANET Z

After the heart attack, Bob starting taking a daily dose of aspirin.
However, he never quite got used to the pill’s bitter taste.
He tried coated aspirin, but they tasted bad in a different way.
Syrups, candies… you name it, he tried it.
So, he started taking his aspirin with a cup of gravy.
And that tasted wonderful. Because, let’s face it… everything is better with gravy.
Of course, this ended up clogging Bob’s arteries even more, and eventually Bob had a second, fatal heart attack.
But the mortician had a hard time prying the smile off of Bob’s face.

Weekly Challenge #569 – Dry

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:

Myst

MUNSI

Our Darkest Hour
By Christopher Munroe

And then, in the middle of the desert, miles from refuge or civilization, the party bus went dry.

Oh, we didn’t run out of fuel, we’re better organized than that, we had plenty to get to the next town.

Similarly, plenty of water, we knew we’d be in the desert and had provisioned ourselves accordingly.

No, I’m referring to the on-bus bar. In the middle of the desert, we ran out of liquor.

And there was great wailing and gnashing of teeth, because this was the greatest tragedy a party bus could face.

I mean, it was noon, but still…

CHARLIE

He was an expert at promotions and artistic events, and his next exercise would be at one of his favorite coffee houses. He asked the owner permission, and was given the go-ahead to throw a dry humor party.

The dry humor wit describes the act of displaying a lack of, or no emotion. Delivery is meant to be blunt and sarcastic.

The exercise would be by invitation only, and those that wished to participate would join with the regular patrons, not indicating their participation.

They would speak a little louder than usual so everyone attending would be able to hear.

JEFFREY

The Perfect Martini
by Jeffrey Fischer

The waiter asked how I would like my martini. This is always a good sign: when they just write down “martini” on the order pad, what comes back is usuallty cheap gin drowned in cheaper vermouth.

“A measure of your best London Dry gin, a hint of Martini & Rossi dry vermouth, and three plump Spanish queen olives – no weird stuffings, either. Shaken well, please.”

“Yes, sir.” He scribbled.

I waited for the masterpiece. When the waiter returned, he shook the shaker vigorously and poured the concoction into the glass. It came out pink. I stared with horror. “Wha…what is this?”

The waiter said, “I did just what you said. I know that slow cooking is in vogue, so I figured the best gin we had was sloe gin.”

RICHARD

I Like…

I like my Martinis dry, my women hot and my cars clean.

It just wouldn’t work any other way – a hot Martini would just be disgusting; the best women are always dirty; and a hot car – whether in terms of temperature or being stolen – is just not cool to drive.

Dirty Martinis are pretentious; and dry women… Well, let’s not go there!

Some things just work – and if you ask me, there’s a natural order of things that you shouldn’t interfere with.

Sadly, I what I like and what I get, are two entirely different things!

JON

When I Say Dry

By

Jon DeCles

“This martini is wet,” said the man at the bar.

“Too much Vermouth?” asked the bartender. “I’ll make you another.”

Two sips and the customer shook his head.

“Wet!”

The bartender took down a clean shaker and a bottle of Bombay Sapphire, so beloved of his favorite Dr. Who character. He added ice and the gin. He rinsed a clean martini glass with vermouth, threw the vermouth away, shook the gin and ice, and poured.

The customer sipped, then said: “A dry martini is made by carrying the vermouth once a week past the closet where you keep the gin.”

TOM

Pay Back’s A Bitch
During Prohibition ever state was dry. After it was repealed some cities remained dry. But in the odd little town of Dinkton they actually had streets that chose to be dry. Realtors there tended to gloss over this salient fact to prospective buyers. Much to Dan, surprise, who found out about said hype-locale ordinance in the middle of a family reunion barbecue. The cops locked up the entire Bender family. Luckily Grandma was in the water closet at the time, and was able to bail them all out. No one ever found out who exactly burn down the Reality Office

SERENDIPITY

It’s all nice and dry at the moment; cosy, if a little uncomfortable, but kids will be kids. You have to let them have their fun, even if being buried up to your neck in sand isn’t quite as much fun for you as it is for them.

Wonder whose kids they were anyway? And where the heck have they disappeared to?

That sun is burning – you’d kill for a cooling wet towel on your face right now.

Not to worry though: The tide is coming in fast. Soon things are going to get very wet… Very wet indeed.

LIZZIE

No land in sight, no end in sight, no peace.
The ship sailed through the rough storm, and most disappeared quickly. The dread and the roar fought furiously as wind and rain slapped against the sides of this frail vessel, a growing fever of force subduing even the strongest will.
And the thunderous darkness fed on the fears inside, witness to an ominous dance of threats and horror.
And all she wanted was a warm, dry place where she could be in peace, an inner peace of rainless boredom, that carefree nothingness that without warning lets the warm sun through.

TURA

Dry
———
After painting the stroke, sit and examine it closely.

In the first few minutes, the surface “sets” into a liquid crystal. But the real drying process begins from the wall and proceeds outwards. As it approaches the surface, the appearance makes its second change, as the subsurface scattering is reduced in solid paint. Finally comes the moment that watchers live for, when the topmost layer, a few molecules deep, transitions into amorphous glass, giving the glossy reflection a rich, fractal complexity.

If you share our enthusiasm for Watching Paint Dry, help us lobby for it to become an Olympic sport!

NORVAL JOE

Clearing his dry throat sounded like a gunshot in the empty office. Benny wished he could unmake the sound which may have alerted his assassin to his location. He dried the sweat beading on his forehead with the back of his sleeve.
“Romeo. Oh, Romeo,” a dry, female, voice rasped over the intercom. “Wherefore art thou, Romeo?”
He knew that voice–his former partner, Juliet. She must have been assigned his elimination.
He also knew the only place to access the intercom system was three floors up.
Benny ran for the stairwell and burst through the door.
Juliet stood there, smiling.

LAIEANNA

The Story:

I have this dry flap at the back of my throat. Right there, do you
see? It’s been there since I got sick. I’ve tried all kinds of
tricks to fix it, but I can’t get moisture where it needs to be. When
I use a flashlight to get a good look, I swear I see the flap moving.
See? Just like that. Wait…is that a little man opening it?

“Hey turn that damn light off and stop slobbering on my house! This
damn neighborhood is going to hell.”

Oh my god, I think I need a doctor or exterminator.

PLANET Z

Is there a unit of dryness like there is for distance, time, and temperature?
What would it measure? Parts of moisture per million?
What would the unit of dryness be called?
Is there a scientist famous for experiments and research into dryness?
It would probably be named after them.
And you’d see it on clothes dryers and hair dryers and martini mixes.
And bath towels.
Oh, and humor. Dry humor.
Maybe the unit of measurement could be named after them?
Wrights, for Steven Wright.
The driest comedian in history.
Well, driest humor.
I bet he sweats like a goddamned pig.