The vote of lunch

We get catered lunches at work.
They’re not chafing-dish and violin concerto affairs, mind you. They’re just restaurant entrees and sides in large serving trays in a breakroom that we get served buffet-style.
Often it’s just sandwich boxes with chips, but that beats having to go out into traffic and pick something up, or having to remember to pack something every morning.
There’s also a deli order menu for folks who don’t want the buffet.
If the deli order is large, it’s a vote of no-confidence in the caterer, and they eventually vanish off of the schedule.
Isn’t democracy grand?

Weekly Challenge #577 – Thump

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 pillow cat

TOM

Thinking Outside of the Box

“Thump Thump.” “Shut up.” “THUMP THUMP.” “I’m not letting you out.” “thump.” “You can do this all day.” “Scratch scratch” “Good you have finally come to grips with the situation.” “thump thump thump thump thump.” “You’re going to wear yourself out, not to mention how much oxygen you’re crewing up in the box. Don’t want to bring unwanted eyes around.” “Tap Tap Tap.” “That’s more like it. Good you’re getting into the sprite. I’ll be going now, just got a text from you girlfriend. Wouldn’t want you to get lonely. Be back in jiffy.”

Tap tap tap tap tap tap

JON

In the Night

By

Jon DeCles

If you hear a creak in the dark hours of the night you can attribute it to the settling of the house, maybe to a nearby tree, if there is one. If you hear scratching, you can imagine that tree scraping against the windows, if there is a wind, or, less hopefully, to the presence of rats in the walls.

As you lie there in bed, even if there is a night light, your imagination can be a powerful adversary to sleep. Every small sound opens your inner gateways to avenues of horror.

None is so unwelcome as a thump.

JEFFREY

At the Grocery
by Jeffrey Fischer

I watched the woman with the child thump on a melon again and again. It wasn’t clear how much she was learning about the quality of the melon, at least until she punched a hole in the fruit. She put it back on the display and started thumping a second melon.

Later on, I saw her feeding grapes to her child. Hey, free food! In the bulk foods aisle, she let the kid run loose. He grabbed handfuls of candy from some bins, shoving food in his mouth, then grabbed nuts and trail mix, spitting out what he didn’t like.

Now I knew why my grocery bill was so high and why I got sick frequently after shopping trips.

JUSTIN

Jettisoned into space.

My whole entire life is a shrinking cracked wreck behind me. It’s not burning since there isn’t any oxygen to keep fire going. It’s already starting to freeze. I will too, eventually. There’s no one out here to rescue us.

I look back and I can’t even see the remains anyone it’s so dark. What happened? Why? Was it an accident? Did anyone else make it out?

Will it even matter? Maybe, just maybe I’ll find a place to land this thing. Or maybe I will just …

I hear a thump on the wall. It’s from … outside.

All Dharma Mining Worlds ship escape pods have calming nature sounds, lol

CHARLIE

I could hear Eddie booming across the room, headed for the hall bathroom. Every hour, like clockwork, he would thump across the floor, taking his weak, challenged bladder to the toilet. His haphazard lifestyle weakened some critical organs, sphincters, and orifices in his body.

He worked as a barista at Starbucks. At work, he would find a way to use the gents, and never leave anyone waiting at the counter.

Living well into his mid-eighties, he wore a collection bag strapped to his leg, allowing him to work longer shifts, and giving him more freedom on the dance floor.

RICHARD

P.I.

‘T. Hump – Private Investigator’, said the faded lettering.

Sighing, I turned the handle; had it really come to this?

A shabby waiting room, peeling paint falling to hide the damp patches, torn magazines littering the scratched coffee table. An overwhelmingly depressing feeling of loss and desperation.

Not just the room, me also – shabby, unkempt, desperate.

Here where the seedy side of existence was watched, documented and called to account.

Again, I wondered, how I’d arrived here? Then unlocked my office, sat behind my desk, and waited for my first client of the day to walk through the door.

LIZZIE

Thump, thump, thump, the little rabbit rushes on, thumping his little leg on the ground.
And he huffs and he puffs.
Thump, thump, thump. Away, farther away, the little rabbit thumps southbound, immersed in thoughts profound.
And he huffs and he puffs, harder and harder and kicks and kicks around.
“Where’s the playground? Where’s the foxhound?”
And the thumping little thumps, they abound.
Sick of this monotony of sounds, the thumping rabbit goes underground, still huffing, still puffing.
But, oh… what happened, what happened? He tripped, knocked his head on the ground, poor little thumping rabbit, said the wicked ultrasound.

SERENDIPITY

The thump of mortars, the chatter of automatic weapons, the screams and moans of the dead and dying: That’s the worst thing about warfare – it’s so noisy!

People wonder how someone responsible for atrocities and so much destruction can sleep at night. Well, believe me, it’s not easy, amongst that racket!

So I’m switching to unconventional weapons of mass destruction: Biological warfare being my weapon of choice.

Simple, deadly; but, most of all, quiet!

Just one gentle cough in your direction, and let nature get on with the job.

And I – finally – get a good night’s sleep!

TURA

Thump
———
Instantly on the thump of an explosion I move out, my software calculating the likely origin of the missile.

My image analyser detects an enemy and I dive into a doorway, ahead of a burst of bullets. I manoeuvre always closer, while the software shows my adversary’s likely movements as a diffusing probability cloud. I fire some mortar shells to blow that cloud into a tight spot.

What is free will, when all your choices lead to the place of my choice?

At the end, he surrenders. A single, efficient bullet answers him. I am not programmed to take prisoners.

MUNSI

Thump
By Christopher Munroe

Thump, thump, thump.

Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump, thump.

Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump, thump.

Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump, thump.

And then be bass kicks in and the whole thing continues like that for approximately nine minutes.

Which you’d think would become maddening in it’s repetitiveness, but it actually, weirdly, hasn’t.

Maybe it’s the club drugs, maybe gratitude that it’s not Dubstep, or maybe just pleasure at sharing in the energy of a crowd, but we do all love the soundtrack we’ve chosen, here on the party-bus.

There’s something about it that unifies us.

Oh, who the hell am I kidding? It’s the club drugs…

LAIEANNA

“Can’t Rattle My Chains”

Ear against wood, I listened intently to the hallway sounds outside my
apartment. Thump, thump, thump, groan, shuffle, and repeat. I was
warned about strange occurrences in the building, but hadn’t believed
it true. Steeling myself for a surprise, I swung the door open wide.

The dressed all in black fourth floor resident stopped dragging a
bloody soaked body to ask, “Can I help you?”

I sighed, sagging against the doorframe, “Oh thank god, I thought I
was hearing a ghost.”

He grinned. “Wouldn’t want any of those.”

“Not at all,” I agreed as I casually shut my door again.

NORVAL JOE

Every time I see the word, thump, I think of that jackass who got elected president of the United States.
Over the last few years I’ve tried to not say disparaging things about people or their opinions. There’s enough hate in our world. I don’t need to add to it.
I have consistently criticized our political system and said we need a break from career politicians and professional lobbyists.
We got our break. I guess I should be happy.
It would have been nice to get someone who would try to bring the country together instead of tearing it apart.

DANNY

I’ve lost faith in those I never should have had faith in to begin with. I’ve lost the ability to forgive, and maybe that’s a good thing in a world trying to cut my life. When your best friend curses you out on your death bed, because your unable to carry the weight of his world, then somebody needs to back off. Whoever wanted to play someone they never wanted to be to begin with? Life has this tendency to come back and slam you in the face in unexpected ways, till death. Yet my heart still beats with a….

PLANET Z

Sasha knew that you’re supposed to thump a melon to determine if it’s ripe, but she didn’t know what to listen for.
Only that you should thump the melon.
Like her mom used to, and then with a nod of her head, she’d put the melon in the cart.
Sasha never thought to ask… ask…
Google!
She pulled out her smartphone and Googled for the answer.
“Hollow and high pitched” was the answer.
She gently thumped the melon.
Again, the ghostly voice whispered “I will kill you.”
Sasha put the melon back and went with a prepared fruit tray instead.

Fantastic, Sam!

I haven’t gotten a haircut in over a year.
Instead, I use a trimmer at home, and I give myself a buzzcut.
Sometimes, I’ll get out a razor and shave myself down to the skin.
Still, I feel bad for the staff at Fantastic Sam’s where I used to get my hair cut.
So, I go by there and get an appointment every few months.
“Oh, just a little off of the top,” I say, and I take off my hat.
If they just say “Done” I give them a 10 dollar tip.
If they argue, I just walk out.

Flag and anthem

Two kingdoms at war.
One stole the other’s flag.
Every flag in that kingdom was blank.
So, in retaliation, the wronged kingdom stole the other’s anthem.
Musicians just stood there, holding their instruments, and looking somewhat bewildered.
Oh, there was a war. A great war.
Lots of people died. Warriors, soldiers, spies, and civilians alike.
All because of a flag and an anthem.
Oh, and mineral rights.
Not the minerals themselves, but the mineral rights.
And drilling rights.
And religions. And cultures.
Makes you wonder what anything is, anymore. What really matters.
We watch as fields burn, and we cry.

Walt

Walt had been coughing a lot recently. The doctor said “lung cancer.”
Walt didn’t have long.
He didn’t want to leave a corpse and a stack of bills to his wife and son.
He was just a teacher. Didn’t make much.
Around the same time, the gym teacher, physics teacher, math teacher, and the janitor all got lung cancer.
The school building contained asbestos. So, they sued the school district.
They got a lot of money in the settlement.
Except for Walt. He cooked meth with a former student, and got into all kinds of shit.
Man, what a jerk.

The dreamer dreams

The dreamer dreams.
The inventor invents.
The designer designs.
The developer develops.
The modeler models.
The maker makes.
The builder builds.
The tester tests.
The fixer fixes.
The planner plans.
The investor invests.
The producer produces.
The manufacturer manufactures.
The marketer markets.
The advertiser advertises.
The publisher publishes.
The packer packs.
The shipper ships.
The driver drives.
The trucker trucks.
The stocker stocks.
The pricer prices.
The seller sells.
The shopper shops.
The buyer buys.
The consumer consumes.
The user uses.
The sleeper sleeps.
The dancer dances.
The writer writes.
The painter paints.
The wisher wishes.
And the dreamer dreams.

Devil’s advocate

I like to argue. I argue constantly.
I argue so much, people call me The Devil’s Advocate.
So much so, that The Devil himself hired me as his advocate.
The job pays well, since he’s always got an opinion on things, and people are constantly asking for it.
It could be worse. I could be The Devil’s Barber. That guy has to cut around the horns, but still make The Devil look stylish.
And The Devil’s Tailor need to design pants that take into account the barbed tail and the cloven hooves.
Let’s not talk about The Devil’s Proctologist, okay?