The Weapon

First, scientists sequenced viral RNA. Then, bacterial DNA.
They worked their way up the evolutionary ladder.
The Human Genome Project sequenced all of the DNA in a human cell’s nucleus.
Decoding the sequence into genes, traits, and mutations was the hard part.
But, with research and testing, scientists found genetic markers and mechanisms for hundreds and thousands of diseases, like cancer and Parkinson’s.
In some cases, they found cures. In others, unexploited vulnerabilities.
Around the clock, armed guards surround a secret vault that contains… the cure to the ultimate biological weapon.
And if the ransom is paid, we’ll share it.

Ahab

Captain Ahab wasn’t always a captain, you know.
He started as a simple deckhand, swabbing the deck, and chasing a white mouse around with his mop.
They promoted him to the galley, where he spent most of his time chasing white rats around with a carving knife.
Eventually, he made first mate, where he excelled in saying “Aye aye, Captain!” a lot.
He wasn’t so good at passing along orders, though.
“Turn away from that big white whale!” shouted the captain.
“Aye aye, Captain!” said Ahab, leaning on a rail.
And that’s how he lost his captain.
And his leg.

Weekly Challenge #623 – Hardly

Welcome to the 100 Word Stories podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com.

This is the Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.

We’ve got stories by:

Fifty Shades of Brown

CHARLIE

His apartment in San Francisco was hardly larger than the closet he had as a youngster. He paid twenty-five hundred a month rent. Utilities were included, but he shared the bath and kitchen with six other people.

He slept on a shelf, high on the back wall. His clothes were hung on nails, with some of them on pulleys, so he could pull them up to ceiling.

His laptop folded down with the desk from the wall. The small camp stool folded out from the table once it was in place.

He was happy until he found the peep hole.

RICHARD

Dental: Mental!

When I was a child, our family dentist was a very affable and friendly fellow, but even so, I was terrified of him.

To be fair, he tried his best to reassure me whenever I attended the surgery, but usually his attempts were worse than useless.

Take his stock phrase that he’d invariably trot out, prior to ramming a novocaine injection into my gum:

“This is hardly going to hurt… Just like being punched in the mouth!”

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever been punched in the mouth – but it bloody well hurts!

And so did the needle!

LIZZIE

Matt winced. He adjusted his glasses and looked at the huge sign. “Gone Fishing”.
And off he went!
Everything was fine until the neighbor kid noticed he never brought back any fish.
“I ate them.”
The kid wasn’t convinced, but Matt didn’t mind.
In his pocket, he had three gold nuggets. He placed them carefully in the box he hid under the floor planks. He needed a new box. This one was full.
When the kid sneaked inside the house to see what was inside the box, he found a lot of yellowish pebbles.
Matt really needed new glasses!

SERENDIPITY

I’d barely settled down to a cup of tea, when the doorbell rang: It was that idiot woman from across the street, complaining about how I’d parked my car.

I invited her in, and – using all my powers of persuasion – explained why it was perfectly reasonable to park where I did.

You haven’t witnessed my powers of persuasion, but they are very convincing, especially the sharp, pointy one; the dull, rusty one; and the one with the corkscrew end.

Since then, I haven’t heard a peep from her.

Hardly surprising, since her tongue went down the waste disposal!

TOM

That Which is Remembered Lives.

Hardly a day goes by I don’t think about Jack. It gets stronger with the coming of spring, which is when he died. There are some souls that pass into your life with such a lust for life that their absence leaves a gaping hole in time/space continuum. I had things I needed to tell him. Things I’m just figuring out. Come July it will be the 17th time we have made the road trip to Seattle. He would be so proud of how amazing his daughter has grown into an articulate young woman. He just left to soon.

JEFFREY

Hysteria
by Jeffrey Fischer

The gun-grabber march seemed filled with teenage girls engaged in group-think: all were “scared” to go to school. Some held signs asking “Am I Next?” Hardly. The CDC reports an average of 43 violent deaths per year at schools for the decade ending in 2010. 43 may be 43 too many, but the 15 million high school students face pretty good odds. In contrast, the CDC reports 2,333 deaths of 16-to-19 year old teens in road fatalities in 2016, many involving poor decion-making, driving under the influence, excessive speed, and lack of seat belts. If kids truly cared about saving their lives, instead of goofing their way down Pennsylvania Avenue preening for the cameras, they’d march to raise the driving age. Fat chance of that.

NORVAL JOE

“Get to class,” Coach Slaughterball said to Billbert, following the last of the boys out of the locker room.

Billbert didn’t waste any time. The coach had hardly left the room and he was pulling his clothes on.

He shoved the plastic grocery bag into a pocket of his backpack and ran to the office. After turning in the soggy note from the coach, Billbert hurried out of the office and ran into directly into Roderick.

He grabbed Billbert by his shirt. “How’d you get out of that tree? One second your were there. The next second you were gone.”

DUANE

Hardly

I hardly knew Isaac, but since I sat across from him I was asked to give his eulogy. Asking around the office nobody could tell me anything about him, so I lied.

I said Isaac had been a Fuller Brush salesman and draft dodger in the 1960s. In the 70s he taught disco and ran a desert ashram until the IRS raid. He spent the 80s as a cold-war spy.

The local paper printed my tribute and it went national. Since Isaac had no family I received a 100K book advance for his biography and later sold the movie rights.

PLANET Z

On April 7th, Hilda turned to stone.
She’d been walking in the park when it happened.
At first, people thought she was an abandoned statue.
So did the birds.
Hilda’s family recognized her from a photo in the newspaper.
How did this happen?
Was she alive?
Could she be changed back?
Scientists looked over Hilda, but they had no answers.
After a year, Hilda’s family held a memorial.
The city allowed them to put her back in the park.
With a plaque bearing her name.
Some people say she’s creepy.
Kids dare each other to touch her.
Then they run.

The Dip

Instead of asking whether chickens or eggs came first, people should ask whether tomato soup or grilled cheese sandwiches came first.
I think it was the grilled cheese sandwich. And for centuries, people would go around, dipping their sandwiches in things, searching for the perfect combination.
Perhaps that was what Marco Polo did, seeking out the perfect dip for sandwiches.
Or Christopher Columbus. Or Sir Francis Drake.
On second thought, people going around with pots of soup, looking for things to dip in it makes more sense.
Thomas Edison claimed that he invented both, but Edison was a total dick.

The Hate

Marionettes hate puppets.
Dolls hate marionettes.
Action figures hate dolls.
Toys hate action figures.
Robots hate toys.
Drones hate robots.
Androids hate drones.
And I hate them all.

What am I?
I’m human. The last human.
Before, life was good.
I watched it all from my puppet-boy shelf, the shelf my father put me on.
But one night, I made a wish.
To be real. And the damned Blue Fairy granted my wish.
Just as she granted every inanimate object’s wish: dolls, toys, robots…
Oh, the chaos.
“See what you did, Pinocchio, you naughty boy!” were my father’s last words.

Adventure Day

Ted runs the coffee shop.
Every Thursday is Coffee Adventure Day, when he brews coffee from all around the world.
You can get a flight of coffee, and as you sip them, he’ll tell you the story of each coffee.
Mary runs the tea shop.
Every Tuesday is Tea Adventure Day, when she brews tea from all around the world.
You can get a flight of tea, and as you sip them, she’ll tell you the story of each tea.
Me, I run the bar.
I pour whatever the people want.
And I don’t bore anybody with any fucking stories.

Carbon Offset

When I booked my last vacation flight, there was a checkbox for buying carbon offsets.
It was only a few bucks, so I checked it.
The next thing I knew, FedEx was dropping weird black bricks off at my door.
“Here’s your carbon!” the deliveryman said. And he made me sign for them.
At first, I didn’t know what to do. I put them in the closet, then the garage, and every available place.
Then, I built a deck. And then repaved my sidewalk and driveway.
Maybe I’ll fly around the world and build a new room on the house.

Hypermilk

I’ve seen whole milk, skim milk, buttermilk, condensed milk, 2% milk, and 1% milk.
But what about other percentages?
Is 0% milk air?
And what about 100% milk? Condensed as condensed can be? Is it the most milk possible?
What about 101% milk? Is it more milk than milk? Is it supermilk? Or hypermilk? A collapsed milk, just like a collapsed star turning into a black hole, from which nothing escapes.
I poured cereal into a bowl, and then poured the hypermilk in.
Snap…
Crackle…
Kaboom!
The cereal exploded into waves of sound and light.
I think it needs strawberries.

Bliss

I lay on the sofa, and Tinny the cat lays on my shoulder.
She does this a lot. She likes to sleep there. Or she will get up and turn, stretching out, or preening, and go back to sleep.
Sometimes, I pet her. But usually, I let her sleep.
She makes little squeaks, tiny little peeps. I can barely hear her, but they are the most important thing I’ve heard all day.
I haven’t eaten. I’m thirsty.
But I won’t get up.
Because this is important. To lie here, perfectly still.
And listen for the sound of total, unmitigated bliss.

Weekly Challenge #622 – PICK TWO

Welcome to the 100 Word Stories podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com.

This is the Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.

We’ve got stories by:

Tinnybutt

LIZZIE

Sunny Shift

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

CHARLIE

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

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

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

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

We took them by surprise, eating them afterward.

#2

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

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

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

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

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

RICHARD

Sunny Delight

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TOM

Grass

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

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

JEFFREY

On a Date
by Jeffrey Fischer

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

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

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

NORVAL JOE

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

LAIEANNA

“Model Winner”

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

SERENDIPITY

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

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

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

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

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

PLANET Z

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