Weekly Challenge #27 – Pizza

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Welcome to the twenty-seventh Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.
The topic this week was selected by last week’s winner T.A. Marquette from Footnote: Pizza.
Fourteen stories were submitted this week.
Two rookies this week. Yay!
And, as always, the usual madness by Planet Z.
Go ahead and listen to them by clicking on the grammophone thingy there in the left column and then vote for your favorites (multiple selections are allowed):

Who had the best story for the 27th Weekly Challenge?
Caleb from Black Tie Martini Club
Gus from Rogue Radio
Patti
Lisa from Lemons and Lollipiops
Caroline
B
T.A. Marquette of Footnote
Laieanna from HodgePodge Point
Beck of Incite
P.J. from No Deep Thoughts
Kolek from The Kolektive
Houston Keys from Tater Tots For The Masses
Chris Doelle from Riding With The Window Down
Ted from Ted’s Podcast
The Twisted Bard From Planet Z
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com


The full text to each story…
CALEB

“Addams Pizza, this is Pugsley speaking.”
“Mr. Addams, this is Mrs. Rittenhouse”
“Mrs. Rittenhouse! How was the Halloween party?”
“Your gourmet pizzas were a hit.”
“We do our best ma’am.”
“The tex-mex zombie pizzas with the seasoned ground beef and red and green peppers were a smash as were the bleu cheese skeleton pizzas.”
“Thank you”
“But I was confused by the southwest chicken black cat pizzas and the barbecue chicken vampire bat pizzas. They weren’t shaped like animals at all”
“There weren’t any chicken pizzas. Oops! I’ve got to go now. Larry is being careless with the ingredients again.”

GUS

As I sit, alone, in my chair, I wonder to myself, “What happened? I was using protection. How could a thing like this happen?” Yet even still, it was happening right before my eyes.
I hadn’t planned on it, but it was here and I knew I had to do something to end it early before it grew into a larger annoyance.
I pondered, “My first attempts failed; maybe if I remove it manually?” It was a gruesome thought, but it might work.
No, no, there has to be an easier answer. That’s it! I’ll just format the damn thing!

PATTI

The acne left awful scars. At thirty-five, she finally accepted the fact that her skin was as good as it would get. She tried every kind of make up available but, at best, it only toned down the permanent kaleidoscope of red blotches on her chin, her cheeks. The scars, like the holes left by miniature ice picks, were impossible to conceal.
She sat at home on a Friday night, eating a large cheese pizza by herself, and blamed her complexion on the fact that she didn’t have a boyfriend. But the real problem was that she was a bitch.

LISA

Luigi was a bit of a sicko growing up. He had a bad reputation by the time he reached his teens for pulling some pretty twisted shit. Now a bit older, he decided to put all that behind him and start a new life.
He worked hard to establish himself in the new city. His restaurant, “Luigi’s Pizzeria” – became “the place” to get your favorite pie.
Luigi couldn’t seem to escape his old urges though, even though he had been trying hard. The house specialty was sausage and cheese…unfortunately, his patrons knew little about the contents of that sausage.

CAROLINE

Send me the pizza boy baby
Send me the pizza boy now
Send me the pizza boy baby
I gotta see him somehow
Ever since he came to my door my heart been’s pining I keep ordering more
I wanna see him and tell him and tell him I care, but when I go to the door there’s someone else there.
Send me the pizza boy baby
Send me the pizza boy now
Send me the pizza boy baby
I gotta see him somehow
My friends all say that he’s left the town
I get upset and sit and frown
I order more pizza to see if its true
There’s a new pizza boy and he likes me too
Send me the pizza boy baby
Send me the pizza boy now

B

For the 96th day in a row – Tom came home to pizza.
Would this madness never end?
Fran was sitting at the table, perusing the weekly ads.
With resolve, Tom slapped two pieces of extra mushroom with banana peppers on his plate and sat across from Fran.
They eyed each other. Neither blinked.
He took a bite. His stomach recoiled.
Could a person regurgitate without ever having swallowed?
Tom finally realized his resistance was futile.
“I give up. You win.”
“Oh, good.” Fran said calmly. “That stainless steel model with 6 burners and convection oven is back on sale.”

TA MARQUETTE

“Next “the gavel crack echoed through the senate chamber.
“The senator from New York yields 45secs
to the senator from Illinois.”
“We tire of decisive partisan deadlock
Texas argues for beans. New Mexico without.
Massachusetts argues beans but Boston.
Hot Dogs, Hoagies, Hamburgers.
All notable contributions
to the American culinary tapestry,
but small in stature.
We need a food that symbolizes
the bigness of our country.
That food is pizza!
What could be more democratic?
Slice equality, red blooded American
sauces. A possibility of infinite toppings
It is the daily bread of our age.
Let Pizza be our National Food

LAIEANNA

Earthly Delight Pizza promised to be the most interesting of pizzas
and even came with a cautionary note.
All flavors are unique and intense. Eat at your own risk.
So I did.
The first slice tasted of desert sand and made me thirst for a Pepsi. The second tasted of rich soil with added pebble crunch. The third was fire, flames scorching my mouth. The fourth tasted like saltwater. So much so I thought I was drowning. Then it was the wind, cool and light. I even swallowed a bug. The last piece was pepperoni with olives.
I hate olives.

BECK

There is good pizza and there is bad pizza. Thin or thick; round or square; topped or plain; sauced or dry. There’s traditional, iconic pizza recognizable even to the most isolated, media starved aboriginal, and there’s unrecognizable nouveau creations. And I love them all.
As such, I have taken the only possible logical course of action and decreed in my will that my body be donated to pizza. And while I leave the ultimate decision to pizza, I would like to suggest allocation of my liver to the “premium toping” category. And my nipples make excellent pepperoni substitutes. Trust me.

PJ

Things were going pretty well with Paula and her new Beau
She could not believe such a catch of a guy was not already taken.
He opened the door for her, sent flowers, and even on occasion…cooked her dinner.
Surely, at last, this was “the one”
They laughed and cuddled and had begun planning a future together.
Then one evening her dreams were shattered.
Paula walked into the kitchen to find a horrible site.
What in the hell are you doing?
She screeched, then burst into tears.
Oh, this could never work now.
He had cut the pizza into squares.

KOLEK

Times have been tough for a while now.
The government controls everything: The media, food,
literature, history, everything.
This pizza I just got came from the black market. I risked
get my tongue cut off, but the rations just don’t provide enough
food. And ration food tastes horrible.
Anyway, there seems to be a resistance movement going on.
The people here seem to secretly support them, and the
resistance connects to agents among the people through the black market.
I did something for them once, and they gave me counterfeit ration
cards, which was cool.
Interestingly something…
Uh-oh… Gotta go…

HOUSTON KEYS

It was the pizza dude’s first delivery and he was nervous.
Grabbing the pizza, he raced for the door and banged furiously. He only had two minutes to go until it was a freebie.
The sound of trash cans falling and breaking glass in the alley caught his attention.
The customer was getting away!
The slob was surprisingly nimble, hurdling hedges with the pizza dude hot on his heels until a low chain link fence and a vicious rottweiler drug him down.
“Save me!” he screamed, “I’m too young to die!”
“That depends,” said the pizza dude, “What’s my tip?”

CHRIS DOELLE

The North Korean diplomat spoke quietly into the phone, “Two extra rarge meat rovers with extra mozzarerra. Mozarerra! No, you idiot – meat rovers with extra mozarerra.”
He hung up the phone and returned to Kim Jong Il’s office. “The package is being derivered Dear Reader.”
“EXCERRENT,” answered the madman wringing his hands “MY PRAN IS FARRING RIGHT INTO PRACE!”
“But Dear Reader, how will you get the American food past all the starving citizens? And your critics in America – how will you hide the fact that you are importing meat rovers pizzas?”
“WE COULD SET OFF A NUCREAR EXPROSION.”

TED

The pizza guy, Jaime, never caught the spinning, whirling dough which he had been tossing into the air. Jaime’s body hit the floor with a wet splat. The pizza dough hit the floor with a dull thud.
The pizzeria patrons were as nervous as an airborne big league pitcher flying solo.
“Oh, I’m sorry” said Cecil, as he holstered his .357 Magnum. “When I asked if you were ready to take my order, you shouldn’t have said “shoot”.”
“My bad” he said, as he walked out and headed down the street to the other Pizza joint.

PLANET Z

Lord Morgan wanted to live forever.
So, he makes a deal with The Devil. He’d get another week of life for every pizza he’d eat.
But they had to have toppings he’d never eaten before.
So, Morgan started with his favorite: simple pepperoni. Then sausage. Then mushrooms. Then…
He did the math, some painstaking research, and things went along smoothly for a few years, decades, centuries.
Morgan had to get really exotic after a while: rhinoceros, marmoset, platypus.
Ancient, exhausted – he yearned for his favorite again.
Pure, simple pepperoni.
“It was worth it,” he said, while descending to Hell.


Thanks to everyone for sending in their stories, and I look forward to what you’ve got to write (and say) next week.
The theme for next week’s Weekly Challenge will be posted shortly.
(In case you’re interested, I’ve settled on “Clair de Lune” as the opening music and “Moonshine” by Michael Oldfield from the Tubular Bells II album.)

Weekly Challenge #26 – Sleeping Disorder

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Welcome to the twenty-sixth Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.
The topic this week was selected by last week’s winner Laieanna from HodgePodge Point: Sleeping Disorder.
Ten stories were submitted this week.
One rookie this week. Yay!
And, as always, the usual madness by Planet Z.
Go ahead and listen to them by clicking on the grammophone thingy there in the left column and then vote for your favorites (multiple selections are allowed):

Who had the best story for the 26th Weekly Challenge?
T.A. Marquette from Footnote Podcast
John W.
Lisa from Lemons and Lollipops
Andrew from Dodgeblogium
Houston Keys from Tater Tots
Caroline from Quadra
Laieanna from HodgePodge Point
Ted’s Podcast
Caleb from Black Tie Martini Club
Kolek from Kolek
The Mad Bard From Planet Z
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

The full text to each story…
T.A. MARQUETTE

I stair at the doorknob as I polish Master Simon’s blowing Ball. Later I’ll rearrange the newspapers and scrub out my latex boxer shorts.
I tried counting sheep earlier in the week but that just got Mr. Happy excited and you know how demanding that little guy can be.
Sometimes on sleepless night like this I wonder how different my life Would have been if I’d got that part in Pulp Fiction.
If I could dream, which I can’t cuss of this damn insomnia. I see me in a field of cover, surrounded by cute little pink bunnies.
Aaahhha Bunnies.

LISA:

In her twenty-five year practice, she’d never had a case like this. He exhibited all the classic signs of narcolepsy: overwhelming urges to sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, involuntary loss of muscle tone, hallucinations, and brief episodes of paralysis. Yet, it was more complex; there was something else happening while he slept. He often awoke with uncharacteristic, inexplicable, hand-shaped welts across his face.
She decided to conduct further tests. He spent three days in a sleep lab, where the doctor and three female lab assistants made the novel diagnosis. Her findings were published later that year: First Documented Case of “Nympholepsy”.

ANDREW:

His doctor told him he suffered from a sleeping disorder brought on by stress and all he needed was relaxation. Clive knew better than that; his last visit to the sea was when it all began. His recent visions of discordance and apocalyptical scenes made Bosch’s vision seem childish.
Even the thought of the sea made Clive break out into a cold sweat. His nose was suffering hallucinations of brackish sea-water and fish.
Bathing himself and showers reminded him of sinking in the sea.
He eyed the water far below and jumped…diving into the cold embrace of the tidal river.

JOHN W.

It was midnight with the mowing – this time. Other times it was late night hammering and power tools, for months now. When nagged out of bed the neighbor’s house would become suddenly quiet; and I could get no answer.
My wife told me to be ready next time, and I was. When I leapt straight from my sleeping bag and into their yard I knew it was a mistake even before I saw the teeth.
Who would associate vampires with good housekeeping?
But I smiled, knowing my wife would come to see what the hell was taking me so long.

HOUSTON KEYS:

Tossing and turning all night had become an all too familiar routine and there was no end in sight.
I lay at night gripping my soft and fluffy feather filled friend longing for sleep’s sweet embrace. Finally I could take no more as years of my sleeping disorder had driven me to the brink of insanity.
It had to end.
I finally decided to end it all. I gave away my finest possession, my relaxed fit parachute pants.
I grabbed a pill bottle and downed the whole thing.
Unfortunately it was laxative, so it’s going to be a long night.

CAROLINE:

Sleepwalking wasn’t normally Harry’s style. How on earth did he get here, on the road, far from anywhere? He’d dreamt about Alicia. He couldn’t very well tell the wife that -they only discussed the weather these days. Alicia, his friend from the net he’d never met yet knew he’d like a lot if he ever plucked up the courage. In bright red disordered dressing gown and bare feet he slowly plodded home. His wife opened the front door. ‘Where on earth…’she began. Her eyes bulging as she saw it. On his forehead was a large A written in red lipstick.

LAIEANNA:

“What a honeymoon,” Donna sighed. Alex drank almost a whole bottle of wine by himself and was now snoring. Their very first night together and she was unpleasantly kept awake.
She covered her ears till he stopped. Finally there was no snoring, and no breathing. She stayed acutely aware until he started again. This happened all through the night and she grew deeply concerned. Later, he stopped for far to long. Donna freaked, leaping onto his stomach and pushing on his chest.
Alex grabbed her suddenly and laughed, “I knew I could get you on top of me that way!”

TED:

The harsh reality of life, is that we must and some point, endure sleep disorders. My most problematic symptom is not sleep paralysis, although that can be terrifying. What I have is worse. Sheep paralysis. I lie awake, counting the damn things, and every time, somewhere around # 46 or #47, one of the stupid things trips and bonks me on the head! Then I have to start all over again. It wouldn’t be so bad, but I just hate waking up and stepping in sheep poop. Once in awhile though, it can be a really nice eye opener.

CALEB:

Ted never could believe it wasn’t butter. He asked his wife again and again but she continually reassured him that it wasn’t butter.
It kept him up nights.
He eventually went to a sleep clinic but they too said that it wasn’t butter. Ted just couldn’t believe it or sleep.
Finally the sleeplessness drove him over the edge. Literally. He drowned in his car in Lake Superior. The autopsy showed, one last time, that it had never been butter. It had been meth-amphetamine with some salt and yellow food coloring.
Ted’s wife always did have a strange sense of humor.

KOLEK:

His exhaustion gnawed at him, for he could not fall asleep last night. Or any night before then. He wondered how he would avoid falling asleep at the wheel. Perhaps his sleep disorder would help him stay awake.
Probably not.
He blearily stared down the winding grey road and a thought came to him. No medication has helped him yet, or likely ever would, but this one would.
He thought for a moment, and then made up his mind. He swerved his vehicle into oncoming traffic and smiled.
Finally he would get some sleep. A deep, peaceful, untroubled sleep.

PLANET Z:

When Superman dreams of flying, does he fly?
Based on simple Physiology, we believe he shouldn’t. Most dream-capable organisms have evolved mechanisms in their brains that prevent muscular action while asleep or unscionscious, reducing neural signals to the periphery. All they end up doing is twitching or rolling a bit.
But then, somnambulism is the result of a subconscious malfunction, I remind myself, watching the snoring caped superhero waft crazily against the moonlit sky.
He tumbles, zigs, and grazes a building.
I hope he wakes up soon. I don’t know what’s worse – the damage he’s causing or those window-shattering snores.


Thanks to everyone for sending in their stories, and I look forward to what you’ve got to write (and say) next week.
The theme for next week’s Weekly Challenge will be posted shortly.
(In case you’re interested, I’ve settled on “Clair de Lune” as the opening music and “Moonshine” by Michael Oldfield from the Tubular Bells II album.)

Weekly Challenge #25 – Lounge

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Welcome to the twenty-fifth Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.
The topic this week was selected by last week’s winner Caleb Bullen: Lounge.
Seven stories were submitted this week.
No rookies this wee. Boo!
And, as always, the usual madness by Planet Z.
Go ahead and listen to them by clicking on the grammophone thingy there in the left column and then vote for your favorites (multiple selections are allowed):

Who had the best story for the 25th Weekly Challenge?
Laieanna from Hodgepodge Point
Caroline from Quadra Island
T.A. Marquette from Footnote Podcast
Caleb from the Black Tie Martini Club
Rahel from Elms in the Yard
Andrew from Dodgeblogium
PJ from No Deep Thoughts
The Mad Bard From Planet Z
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com


The full text to each story…
CAROLINE

“Get into town and get some résumé’s in. It doesn’t matter where just go. If you lounge around in that bed any longer I’ll pour cold water on you head.” Yelled Nathan’s frustrated mother.
“I don’t have the money for the bus.”
“No excuses you’ve got a pair of legs. Look here’s $2 you’ll get the bus if you go now.”
Nathan arrived home in a taxi carrying an expensive looking guitar. Mum told him to leave right now. He did. He happily forgot to mention that he’d spent the $2 on lottery tickets and won the jackpot.

T.A. MARQUETTE

Morty and Ben run a small club outside of D. C.
One afternoon in walks Justice Sandra Day O’Connor carrying a guitar case.
Mort looks at Ben.
Ben looks at Mort.
They both look at Sandra.
“I’m looking for a new job as a lounge singer,” She says.
Mz O’Connor proceeds to deliver a gut wrenching rendition of the Beatles’ Yesterday.
She finishes Mort thanks her and tells her they will get in touch will her.
“Are you nuts that’s frign Sandra Day O’Connor” screams Ben.
Calmly Morty replies “Never book a judge by it cover.”

CALEB

A I like to lounge C#
D Lounge in a lounge A
A The price of drinks C#
B I usually can scrounge E
D Or maybe cash in E
A A favor or two D
A Lounge in a lounge E
E Just me and you A
A I like to play pool C#
D Or if there’s a band A
A I usually dance C#
B Given half a a chance E
D I look like a fool E
A But hey man that’s cool E
E I like to lounge in a lounge A
A A tavern’s okay C#
D So is a pub A
A Most bars are too loud C#
B Same thing with the clubs E
D A cabaret’s fine E
A If you’ve got the time E
E But I like to lounge
A In a lounge

LAIEANNA

For a lazy bastard, he was up early, lounging on the couch watching ESPN. God, another day of sports.
She grabbed the cleaning supplies, and sighed loudly for attention. Of course, there was no response. Another one woman day of chores.
Deliberately, she started with his surroundings…sweeping the rug, wiping equipment, and even sprinkling down dust from the fan.
He didn’t move. Fed up with his persistence to not help, she blocked his view. Still his eyes remained oddly fixed ahead, not blinking. Her hand came down hard on his cheek. Then she ran away hysterical. He was cold…and stiff.

RAHEL

When I found it lounging in the bathtub I held back a scream. (Do lizards hear?)
I thought of paging my friend’s furry lizard hunter, but he’s on another continent. No luck there.
Then I watched it lounge some more and wondered how on earth I was going to shower that night.
Later, I got my courage up and took some pictures of it.
Finally I caught it and released it outside.
I found another lounging in the kitchen sink the next week. They never stop.
They’re called “house geckos.” Sorry, fellas–no lounging around here. Out you go! Out!

ANDREW

It was called “the sea lounge” because it looked over the water near Bournemouth. It jutted quite a few feet over the sea on high cliff. It was this protrusion into the “sea realm” that so enraged the Deep Ones Front for the Protection of the Sea. The direct action group shunned the more secretive nature of their ancestors believing in taking “the war” to unbelieving land-people. The spectacular destruction of the Sea Lounge was their first act of aggression. They claimed responsibility in a rant to local radio that began with the words ‘Ia Ia Ftaggn Cthulhu! Heed!”

PJ

There was no expression on Paula’s face as she watched the flames engulf the Bayside Lounge.
As if in a trance, she stood quietly, oblivious to the activities around her.
The wind blew hot air into her face and smoke into her eyes, but still she stood.
Only moments before she was laughing and enjoying Friday Happy Hour with her friends.
Everyone had gotten out safely but were now pointing and whispering as if she had done something wrong.
This wasn’t her fault.
How could she have known daring a co-worker to light a fart could cause this much trouble?

PLANET Z

I stop by Casper’s Lounge for a drink.
There’s a woman at the bar, sipping bottled water.
She tells her story. I tell mine.
It turns out that her father ran over my father when we were both eight.
My dad was crossing the street when her dad was racing home to bring a
cake to her birthday party.
I remember spending my birthday in the hospital. The police said it was
a hit and run.
“Funny,” she says. “All these years, we never met up before.”
I pick up a bar stool and beat her to death with it.


Thanks to everyone for sending in their stories, and I look forward to what you’ve got to write (and say) next week.
The theme for next week’s Weekly Challenge will be posted shortly.
(In case you’re interested, I’ve settled on “Clair de Lune” as the opening music and “Moonshine” by Michael Oldfield from the Tubular Bells II album.)

Weekly Challenge #24 – Stone

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Welcome to the twenty-fourth Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.
The topic this week was selected by last week’s winner T.A. Marquette: Stone.
Fifteen stories were submitted this week.
One rookie this week. Yay!
Plus there’s an extra-special dedication to former competitor Marcus Tee
And, as always, the usual madness by Planet Z.
Go ahead and listen to them by clicking on the grammophone thingy there in the left column and then vote for your favorites (multiple selections are allowed):

# Who had the best story for the 24th Weekly Challenge?
Caleb from Black Tie Martini Club
Ted’s Podcast (no URL yet)
Caroline from Quadra
Lisa from Lemons and Lollipiops
Laieanna
Tomer Israeli the Ethnocentrist
T.A. Marquette of Footnote
Andrew from Dodgeblogium
Elisson from blog d’Elisson
Rahel of Elms In The Yard
P.J. from No Deep Thoughts
Kolek from The Kolektive
Houston Keys from Tater Tots For The Masses
B
William
Laurence Simon
The Brain-Damaged Bard From Planet Z
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com


The full text to each story…
CALEB

Ironically the people of PETS or People for the ethical treatment of stones, can’t abide by keeping stones as pets. They think they should all run free unfettered by man.
But I have a pet rock, and I’m not ashamed.
They’re a little hard to train at first. Why when I first got him, he would strain at the leash any time I tried taking him for a walk.
But then I took him to obedience school and now look at him.
Stony! Sit! Stay! Play dead! Roll over! Good Boy!
And you should see him fetch the morning paper.

TED’S PODCAST

Steve was born into proud family. Although his family didn’t have much, they knew where they came from. They were in fact, a cornerstone in their community. Steve’s brother Bob was quite successful in the catapult industry, so there was always pressure to do well, to make something of himself. To really be somebody.
It’s hard to become something you’re not, but Steve was determined. He had the genes. He was igneous. Although he lacked in viscosity, he was still born of magma. Steve was determined. Yes, one day, whatever it took, he would be taken for granite.

CAROLINE

Her marriage was great. Terry was loving, considerate and kind to the kids. From her friends perspective, she knew that much. What more could she want. Julie decided to take computer classes, showing Terry she could be more than just the nice little housewife and mother. She wanted him to be proud of her. It was their day out by themselves they walked around the old castle. She went alone to the top. She looked down. He was at his laptop. She knew what he was doing. The large stone in her hand would be enough. She let it fall.

LISA

Nathan had a gambling problem. This was why his girlfriend refused to marry him.
After a long period of reform, he presented Sylvie with a gorgeous ring. Feeling he’d redeemed himself, she accepted. Surely he couldn’t have afforded a stone this size if he’d still been gambling.
Sylvie took it to be cleaned. The presumptuous jeweller winked at her, “This is one of the finest Cubic Zirconia stones I’ve ever sold, you’d never know, would you?”
Later, sneaking home after a night of poker, Nathan found his mutilated belongings on the street, the ring on top. No explanations were necessary.

TOMER ISRAELI

NO TEXT SENT… kinda hard to hear… oh well.

STONE SOUP

There once was a famine.
People hoarded their food.
A soldier walked into their village
“No food here,” he was told. “Move along.”
“Can I make you some soup?”
Out came a cauldron, in went water.
With great ceremony he drew an ordinary stone
from a velvet bag and dropped it into the water.
“Mmmm,” said the soldier to himself quite loudly,
“I do like a tasty stone soup. BUT
stone soup with cabbage — better.”
A villager added a cabbage to the pot
Suddenly salt beef, potatoes,
onions, carrots, mushrooms appeared.
In the end there was food for all.

ANDREW IAN DODGE

The stone altar held the victim who had long since stopped resisting his bonds. He could see around but it was a blurry dream like vision. The man before him held a large ceremonial dagger the victim knew to be covered with ancient pre-deluvian symbols. He knew the chants that were wafting into his ears; knew them only too well as he’d sung them before the sacrifice of some unfortunate fellow. The chanting around him began to rise in volume, the guttural sounds becoming cacophonous with every word. Aziz would have sworn he heard it as it plunged towards his chest…

ELISSON

The summit was only fifty yards away. Sisyphus could practically taste it.
Heaving with all his strength, he struggled to keep pouring forward momentum into the massive round boulder. Droplets of sweat pattered in the dust around his feet.
Zeus, he could use a drink. But there would be no drink, no rest for him until he got that fucking boulder all the way to the top.
Ten more yards.
Suddenly, stabbing pain lanced through his left kidney. Gasping, he clutched his side and watched horrorstricken as the boulder rolled to the bottom.
Damn that stone. And damn that stone!

RAHEL

He awoke suddenly, his mind still hazy from the drug in his drink.
For one disoriented moment, he had no idea where he was. Then he saw the stone wall in front of him and stone walls on either side. When he tipped his head slightly backward, he saw the stone wall behind him.
He was lying on stone, too, his wrists and ankles held by four burly men. Even as he took this in, he saw the obsidian knife descending toward his chest.
He stayed calm, remembering that at times like these one always has a choice of attitude.

PJ

Looking around at her neighbor’s well manicured lawns, Paula decided she wanted to spruce things up a little bit.
She bought some plants at the local hardware store and spent the entire afternoon digging holes and planting an attractive assortment of greenery.
Then, she carefully chose just the right stepping stones and placed them in the dirt forming a lively little garden path.
Beautiful! Just like in a magazine” she smiled proudly.
The next morning (running late as usual) Paula caught her heel, then hit her head on those very stumbling blocks that she had so carefully created for herself.

KOLEK

Jebediah walked a stones throw along a stone lined path.
He threw a stone at a stone crab that had aroused his wrath.
He ate the stone crab and whatever’s at hand because he was stone broke,
a result of his hand being crushed years ago by a stony criminal bloke.
Rich folks, they wear stone-washed clothes to make a fashion statement,
But he was forced to wear old clothes ’cause he was no longer stonemason.
He cursed the bread, and went without meat and dreamed of precious stones,
And so he loved being stoned and being stone-deaf when living amongst the stones…

HOUSTON KEYS

The Sunday school teacher asked his class if they would like some bread. With a resounding yes they all cheered.
The teacher then gave each of them a round stone to emphasize the teachings of the Gospel of Matthew.
The teacher asked, “What kind of father gives you stones if you ask for bread?”
One of the kids piped up, “You would, you jerk!”
Taken aback by the sudden fury the teacher replied, “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”
The rest of his sayings were drowned out by a hail of stones thrown from angry little hands.

B

It can be a sound or smell that takes us back to a time or place.
The smell of Aramis cologne always made Fran retch when the wind wafted the stench in her direction. Bringing back ugly memories of a monster she should never have loved.
She would reach into her pocket when ugliness would press upon her. Her touchstone.
A small, white stone nature had inlaid with quartz in the shape of a Magnolia.
Magnolias meant “Be not discouraged; better days are coming.”
Moonlight had revealed it and as it did on that night, it always vanquished the ugliness.

WILLIAM

After Sherry’s fiancee, Sam, died in a gruesome winch mishap,
there remained the matter of selecting a gravestone.
When a consoling relative offered to make the arrangements,
Sherry was grateful to be spared that task.
“Just a modest stone”, she suggested, “with an appropriate message.”
On the day of the funeral, Sherry viewed the stone for the first time.
The words she read upon it struck her like an iceball to the side of the
head.
“Oh no! How AWFUL!”, she cried.
Deeply engraved into the stone, the epitaph read:
Here lies Sam,
Sherry tore his guts out.
RIP

LAURENCE SIMON

Battered and bruised from a nightmare of a weekend, Jesus remembered the advice his father gave him through the Angel Gabriel.
“Lift with the legs, not the arms,” said the angel. “Otherwise, you might get a hernia.”
“What if I wear a support garment under my robe?” asked Jesus.
“You might not always have one,” said the angel. “Trust in ergonomics.”
Breathing deeply, Jesus rubbed his belly until the pain subsided.
Then, he hunkered down, laid his shoulders into the stone, and thrusted with his legs until he could feel the heavy seal sliding from the front of his tomb.

PLANET Z

Don’t call Dwight “The Apeman” – he doesn’t like being called that.
Sure, it’s his last name. It spells out Apeman. And Apeman isn’t French or German or Swahili no matter how many dashes, umlauts, and squiggles you stick over it or dangle from it.
Then there’s the fact that Dwight physically resembles an ape-man hybrid. It’s as if his mother of father had a really good time in the Monkey House one night, or he escaped from some Mad Scientist’s lab.
Oh, and there’s the fact that he’ll brain you with his stone axe if you call him “Apeman.”


Thanks to everyone for sending in their stories, and I look forward to what you’ve got to write (and say) next week.
The theme for next week’s Weekly Challenge will be posted shortly.
(In case you’re interested, I’ve settled on “Clair de Lune” as the opening music and “Moonshine” by Michael Oldield from the Tubular Bells II album.)

Weekly Challenge #23 – Cat Burglar

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Welcome to the twenty-third Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.
The topic this week was selected by last week’s winner Rahel: Cat burglar.
Twelve stories were submitted this week.
No rookies this week. Boo!
And, as always, the usual madness by Planet Z.
Go ahead and listen to them by clicking on the grammophone thingy there in the left column and then vote for your favorites (multiple selections are allowed):

Who had the best story for the 23nd Weekly Challenge?
T.A. Marquette from Footnote Podcast
Caleb from Black Tie Martini Club Oddcast
Elisson from blog d’Elisson
Andrew from Dodgeblogium
Laieanna
Caroline from Quadra
Jim P.
Rahel from Elms In The Yard
Lisa from Lemons and Lollipops
Kolek from The Kolektive
Tommy from KAG Report
Cynthia
The Mystery Man from Planet Z
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com


The full text to each story…
TA MARQUETTE

Watson turned his head towards the violin.
“What is that your playing, Holmes?” ask the Doctor.
Without a glance of notice he replied
“The Cat Burglar’s Lament.”
“Oh Yes, it is February 25.” Quipped Watson.
“Pity poor Peace,” said Holmes.
“I will not,” huffed Watson “he stole the very violin your playing.”
“And all the while as you slept in that very chair.”
“Not the point Holmes. Charles Peace was a thief and murderer.
Marwood’s long drop was too kind an end.”
“Oh Watson, He was more than that and dissevered less.
For when he played he’d steal your heart.”

CALEB

“Why do they call this cat burglary anyway? We’re not stealing cats. There’s plenty of cats as it is, who the hell would buy a used cat much less a stolen used cat?”
“Shut up”
“And we’re certainly not stealing from cats. Cats don’t own anything. Cats don’t have pockets. Why would anyone try to burgle cats?”
“Would you please shut up?”
“Sure, I’ll shut up just as soon as you can tell me why they call this cat burglary when there’s no cats involved.”
“It’s because we’re supposed to be quiet. Like cats are.”
“Oh! Sorry about that.”
“yeah”

ELISSON

Cold wind rattled the bushes as Pak Rhee plastered himself against the side of the building, making himself invisible.
The street was empty. It was time for him to make his move.
He hoisted himself up and slid the pry-bar under the window’s edge. Ten seconds later, he was inside the elderly lady’s apartment. Working quickly, padding from room to room in complete silence, he filled his sack.
It was a good haul. Fifteen of ’em. Crazy old woman.
The manager of Korea House handed Rhee a fat envelope. “Dinner?”
Rhee declined politely. He had never cared for Seoul food.

ANDREW

Morris the cat burglar was pleased with himself when he got home from his latest foray. It was this challenge that led him off to a fortress-like house on the outskirts of Camden, Maine. He was on holiday and just needed to do a job. He’d not even bothered to look in the box he stole; merely assuming it was valuable on account of its location in the house. He barely had time to scream as the shape crashed through the roof and grabbed him by the shoulders lifting him out of the broken building. He never understood his fate.

LAIEANNA

“Where did you hide it?” the uniformed figure barked.
“Hide what, officer?” she purred.
“Lieutenant,” he growled back. “The necklace. We know you stole it.”
She playfully swatted at him. “Still don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Others in the room panted, excitedly, their eyes never leaving her.
“Very well,” he replied, baring his teeth. “Search her again, boys.”
With no valid charges, she was released. Barely out of the station, the convulsions began and up came a hairball. Smiling, she pulled away the wet fur to reveal her prize. She liked shiny things that dangled before her green eyes.

CAROLINE

Jake couldn’t believe he’d landed the red head. She was slinky and smart. His mate Barry always got the girl. This time it was him. What a great cook too. She’d stayed over last night – and that was a night to remember. Then he’d woken to frying bacon and steaming coffee. Wow he couldn’t believe his luck. What tales he’d have to brag about at the plant. She said she stay and clean up after he left. Nice. He got home around 5 with blissful anticipation. The door was a-jar. He’d been totally cleaned out. Cool cat burglar indeed.

JIM P.

With graceful ease, Raffles slid through the penthouse window and glided
silently across the marble floor.
Suddenly, the lights came on and a woman’s voice yelled, “Stop where you
are! Acts 2:38!”
(Repent and be baptized, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may
be forgiven.)
Raffles froze in place, not even daring to turn around. He stayed that way
until the police arrived.
“Why didn’t you just run away after the lady yelled a scripture at you?”
asked the cop cuffing Raffles.
“What scripture?” Raffles shot back. “She said she had an axe and two .38s!”

LISA

Myrtle didn’t know why the detectives were questioning her so harshly. She had no idea where the jewelry under her stairs had came from. She was a church-going woman, certainly not a criminal!
The detectives received a call about another similar robbery; the suspect was shot dead at the scene. Still suspecting Myrtle’s involvement, they brought in a picture of the deceased suspect and asked her if she knew him.
She cried out in shock as she recognized her old cat, Mr. Dickers behind that hole in his forehead and all the blood.
He had always loved things that sparkled.

TOMMY

Too much light, it was easier in the dark. At least the mark was looking the wrong way, maybe he’d be OK even without shadows. He crept silently away from the window, he’d learned you had to watch for everything the kids left on the floor. Toys were annoying, but it was the crunch of a candy wrapper that he worried about the most, you just couldn’t take that back when it happened. He made it across the room, grabbed his prize and silently worked his way back to the window unnoticed clutching the treat between his teeth. Stupid dog.

CYNTHIA

He peered into the room before venturing through the open window. He saw the object of his desire just a short distance from him.
He crawled into the dark room, careful as not to disturb his prey. On tiptoes he glided across the parquet floor. All he needed was just one more step and he would have it in his grubby hands.
As he reached out to grab his treasure, it hissed angrily and a claw swiped across his face. He yelped in pain and jumped back. Unfortunately this was the trials and tribulations of being a career cat burglar.

And it just wouldn’t be a Weekly Challenge without the Champion of the Planet of Mad Bards…
PLANET Z

In space, nobody can hear you breaking and entering.
It’s not so easy to be a cat burglar in the orbital colony stations. Cameras are everywhere, watching for leaks or stray repair robots.
One does not just pop in through an airlock. They’re damn noisy, with sirens and flashing lights.
If you piggyback on a cargo vessel, your additional mass along with the mass of your loot will be detected.
So how do I do it?
I’m not telling you. Because I don’t need any competition, and I don’t trust you enough at this point.
Now how much can I get for these titantium servopods?


Thanks to everyone for sending in their stories, and I look forward to what you’ve got to write (and say) next week.
The theme for next week’s Weekly Challenge will be posted shortly.
(In case you’re interested, I’ve settled on “Clair de Lune” as the opening music and “Moonshine” by Michael Oldield from the Tubular Bells II album.)

Weekly Challenge #22 – A Bloody Hook!

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Welcome to the twenty-second Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.
The topic this week was selected by last week’s winner Planet Z: a bloody hook.
Sixteen stories were submitted this week.
Two rookies this week. Yay!
And, as always, the usual madness by Planet Z.
Go ahead and listen to them by clicking on the grammophone thingy there in the left column and then vote for your favorites (multiple selections are allowed):

Who had the best story for the 22nd Weekly Challenge?
Rahel from Elms in the Yard
Sister Mary Edith
William W
Caleb from Black Tie Martini Club
TA Marquette from Footnote
Laieanna
Andrew from Dodgeblogium
Jim P.
Rona from Give The Dog A Blog
Caroline from Quadra
Houston Keys from Tater Tots For the Masses
Lisa from Lemons and Lolipops
Kolek from The Kolektive
Tommy from KAG Report
Cynthia
Elisson from blog d’Elisson
The Mystery Man From Planet Z
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com


The full text to each story…
RAHEL

The deed was done, and it looked like Albert would get away with it.
He took off his coat and inspected it. No blood. Nevertheless, he would give it to be dry-cleaned tomorrow, along with everything he was wearing.
Quickly Albert changed into a t-shirt and jeans, reaching for the baseball cap hanging on a brass hook near the door, accidentally brushing his little finger against it, not noticing the stain.
How strange, he thought as the metal door clanged shut behind him several days later, that such a tiny drop of blood should contain enough DNA to kill him.

SISTER MARY EDITH

Allison stabbed again and again until the sharp hook was bloody. She hissed with pain and squinted through the tears, desperately trying to hit the mark. She could feel blood trickling down her neck and over her hands, making the hook slippery and her stabs even more clumsy. Blotches of crimson spattered the white porcelain as at last the tip caught and she felt the ripping of flesh as the hook tore through her ear lobe. She slowly lowered her shaking hands and examined her ear in the mirror. “I am never letting my piercing grow closed again!” she resolved.

CALEB

As he lay dying his throat torn open by a bloody hook he remembered back to his fatal mistake earlier that night.
He was hosting an open mic and there was the most horrifyingly bad act up there playing this god-awful song. He said, “Oh for Christ’s sake, get a bloody hook and pull this clown off the stage!”
Ironically, the last thing he saw was a bloody hook as it tore him to pieces outside the bar.
Hell hath no fury like a singer-songwriter scorned.
I can’t blame him though. That song was terrible. It had no bloody hook!

T.A. MARQUETTE

The madman pounded on the windshield with his stump.
“My Hook’s caught in your car door”
“So.” Said Suzie
“Can you help me out here?”
“To HELL with your bloody hook!”
“Come On.” He begged
“Promise your not going to kill me.”
The madman crossed his heart with his stump
Smearing red goo all over his hoody.
Sue kicked open the door, catching stumpy square in the face
“I thought you were an Urban Myth, some sort of cautionary tale to instill minimal restrain during adolescent mating practices”
“Help,” cough stumpy.
“WHATEVER” sighed Suzie and kicked him in the balls.

LAIEANNA

He lost one in the side of a moving vehicle. He left one in a bedroom door with a note regarding his return. One even got stuck in the thigh of a fleeing teen.
The shopkeeper smiled up at him when the doorbell chimed. “Hiya Charlie! Back so soon?”
Charlie threw money down on the counter. “I need another one.”
“This’ll be your fourth one this week.” Said the shopkeeper, opening a drawer.
“I know. I just can’t seem to take that final step. Give me the bloody hook. Maybe they’ll see that and fall dead of a heart attack.”

ANDREW IAN DODGE

The bloody hook sat on the beach ready to be discovered by whomever ventured by. Its past covered in the midsts of time. Its path of death and the sea spanned several centuries. It helped many a sea-faring man defend himself against the kraken, the Deep Ones and whomever else tried to cross him. Many a pirate and cutthroat had tried to use it for ill over the millennia their demise hastened by its misuse. None ever examined the inside of the rusty hook…the ancient inscription it bore. For the hook only fought those who served the Great Old One.

JIM P.

Although I couldn’t see the hook, I felt it. The curved steel tore through my flesh; icy cold then warmed by a crimson sluice. My blood.
I could have avoided that fate if I’d only stopped to think. Then there were no thoughts, only red fear and shredding pain. I thrashed wildly while the hook relentlessly pulled.
Then I saw him – the man who chose to murder me. I gasped for breath as sausage fingers grabbed the hook.
Suddenly, he tossed me back in the water, leaving these scars to remind me that tasty minnows aren’t made from shiny metal.

RONA

“I can’t do it,” she said. “I know that ‘Peter Pan’ is a children’s story, but I can’t take my children to a show where there’s a pirate with a bloody hook at the end of his arm.”
“I understand,” he said. “We have to be very careful of what we allow the children to see. We don’t want them to grow up warped. We need to make sure that they feel secure and safe. We need to protect them from violence.”
“Agreed,” she said. “So turn off that football game and come in for dinner.”

CAROLINE OF QUADRA

I’m Caroline. Here is the news.
We have just had a report coming in of a tsunami about to hit Quadra Island. Everyone is advised to don green wellies, turn up at the hall and dance until you swim.
We shall be giving out reports of this as more news comes in.
And finally, breaking news is coming in from the palace. Reportedly the Queen found Prince Philip cavorting with the kitchen maid. She gave him a right bloody hook and sacked the maid.
That is all for tonight. Until next week thank you goodnight and God bless the Queen.

HOUSTON KEYS

It was boogie fever as the disco pulsed and throbbed into the night air. It had been placed a few hundred yards from the local pet hospital and kept the cats up all night causing them to wail into the cold London night air.
Finally the owner could take no more and stormed to the front of the disco demanding to see the owner. A hairy, gold medallion wearing stud met him and faced off.
“What do you mean a bloody hook? Do you mean like Bootsie Collins and George Clinton?”
Seconds later he found out what kind of hook.

LISA

The moment he laid eyes on her, he knew he wanted her more than he’d ever wanted another. But she was in love with that bastard Peter, who was always ruining things for him, running around showing off in his little tight clothes. Damn him!
He decided to challenge Peter to a duel. They fought furiously and finally, he defeated Peter once and for all.
Afterward, he still hesitated to ask Wendy out, for fear of rejection. When asked by his good pal why, he replied “I just have such a hard time with the ladies. It’s this bloody hook”

KOLEK

The General and his enemy have only been throwing feints at one another, but that was about to change. He saw an opportunity ahead; he quickly drew his plans.
The General moved his vanguard aside. As planned, his enemy threw a heavy assault straight at his exposed front in response.
He dodged as best he could, but still he took a painful blow. However, the enemy’s right flank was now exposed.
Mustering his reserves, The General released a bloody hook and his enemy collapsed in confusion.
Mike “The General” Bryant won the boxing match, knowing that even in close-quarters, strategy was crucial.

TOMMY

They cost five dollars each and he bought them by the dozen. The rest of his items, old shirts from goodwill, cheap roasts from the butcher, he only bought when needed.
His friends all thought he should find a better use for his time.
Maybe they were right. But they were his friends so he wasn’t sure he trusted their judgment.
He pulled the chair to the table. The assembly was the hard part, just the right amount of shirt sleeve and raw meat. But it was worth it on Saturday night, hanging a bloody hook on every car door.

CYNTHIA

As he arrived on the scene, the detective could tell from the forlorn expressions on the others faces that this was no ordinary homicide. As he walked into the bedroom where the murder had taken place, he gasped. He knew his response was quite audible as it reverberated off the walls into his ear.
The room was splattered in blood. The bedspread, which had been white, was now a deep crimson. He glanced at the covered lump in the middle of the floor. He could only imagine what horror lie beneath. Not 10 feet away, lay a glistening bloody hook

WILLIAM W

“Sherry!”
“Yes, love.”
“I need your help in the garage for a minute, OK?”
“OK.”
“I’m trying to straighten out this bent thingamajig.
I’ll just get under here and set it up.
You wait by the Jeep and start the winch when I say so…
-OK, now press the button!”
“Now?”
“Yes!”
“OK…”
“AAAAARGH!!!!, STOP! STOP! STOP!”
Franticly, she tried to halt the winch, but it just kept going!
Sherry watched in horror, as the spool continued slowly revolving until it was fully retracted.
It stopped unceremoniously with a clunk.
At the end of the cable, there dangled …A BLOODY HOOK!”

ELISSON

Charlie had been fishing all day without so much as a nibble.
He had been at his favorite spot since before dawn, casting. No luck.
Frustrated at the complete lack of action, he neglected his lunch. By late afternoon,his empty belly – and the dozen cans of beer he had swilled – made him nearly faint with hunger.
As he waded ashore, he saw the sandwich. Thick, bursting with meat and cheese, it was irresistible. Charlie grabbed it and bit in.
A hot bolt of pain shot through his cheek and an inexorable tug dragged him towards the water.

PLANET Z

Hanging from Dale’s rear view mirror was… a bloody hook.
Ned didn’t like it. “Why not have an air freshener?” he asked.
“I hate pine,” said Dale.
“Yankee Candle has so many scents,” said Ned. “I use Pumpkin Spice during the holidays.”
“I don’t want any scent,” said Dale.
“So why do you have a bloody hook instead of dice or Mardi Gras beads?” said Ned.
Dale put a flashlight under his face, turned to Ned, and said, “A long time ago, I-”
Then they crashed into a tree.
Paramedics arrived later, pulling their two corpses out of the wreck


Thanks to everyone for sending in their stories, and I look forward to what you’ve got to write (and say) next week.
The theme for next week’s Weekly Challenge will be posted shortly.

Weekly Challenge #21 – Time Travel

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Welcome to the twenty-first Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.
The topic this week was selected by last week’s winner Kolek of the Kolektive: time travel.
Seventeen stories were submitted this week.
No rookies this week. Do we need an advertising blitz in dorm rooms or something?
And, as always, the usual madness by Planet Z.
Go ahead and listen to them by clicking on the grammophone thingy there in the left column and then vote for your favorites (multiple selections are allowed):

Who had the best story for the 21st Weekly Challenge?
Planet Z
Caleb from Black Tie Martini Club
Lisa from Lemons and Lollipops
Andrew of Dodgeblogium
Laieanna
Caroline from Quadra
T.A. Marquette of Footnote
B
Elisson from blog d’Elisson
Rahel of Elms In The Yard
Kris of Gradual Dazzle
KDP
Gavriel from Abbagav
P.J. from No Deep Thoughts
Houston Keys
Tommy from KAG Report
Will Ross from Smart Bomb Radio
Justin from Justin’s Random Thoughts
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com


Here’s the text that people sent it accompanying their stories.
PLANET Z:

Cher’s on the stage, singing that “Turn back time” song.
Sure enough, POOF! she vanishes, and finds herself back in 1964.
Cher’s back with Sonny Bono, and he’s proposing to her.
“Hell no!” she shouts, thinking she’s doing so well without him in the future, right?
She sings the song, turns ahead time, POOF! back in the present.
A total unknown nobody. Sonny made her what she is today, you see.
So, she sings that song one more time, POOF! it’s 1964, and she marries him.
She doesn’t stop the skiing accident, though.
Didn’t she look stunning at the funeral?

CAROLINE FROM QUADRA:

“Mummy.” Said Lexi rubbing her eyes as she sat up in bed. “I dreamed I was on a time travel with Spock in his space machine.”
“Humm ” murmured Mum.
“Yes he had those pointy ears, he took me to see all the stars in space. We went to Mars.”
“Really!” Said Mum.
Lexi talked on and on about her dream, mostly to Dad as Mum had a busy day.
At bath time, Mum screamed out. Peter! Get here right now. Just before Mum fainted Dad caught her. He quickly took off Lexi’s imitation ears and burned them.

T.A> MARQUETTE:

Four calls to the secretarial pool produced
the quartet of 18-year-old women
now standing at the departure gate.
Each held a black envelope.
Dr Simon motioned them to break the seals.
“Play,” read Ann.
“Convertible,” read Evelyn
“Kuwait,” said Alyha
“Wall,” sighed Sophia.
Dr Simon bid them God’s speed
as the temporal attended checked
their names off the manifest.
Kennedy Lincoln Clinton Hussein.
Sophia took a double dose of time sickness pills.
With a single word she would place
President Chelsea Clinton at the Wailing Wall.
This was going to be a Ground Zero headache.
“Time Travel was a bitch.”

B:

The grand opening of ‘2nd Chances’ had been eagerly awaited. The appointment books already filled for the next 6 months. The owner didn’t want to schedule too far in advance – in this business, emergency bookings were a given.
The fee?
$5000 for 10 minutes and not a soul on Earth would argue that it wasn’t a bargain.
Her 10 minutes chosen long ago, Fran arrived for her 2 o’clock appointment.
She declined the offered cocktail and insisted that her partner use a condom.
Fran emerged from ‘2nd Chances’ childless and cancer free.
She’d finally achieved the life she’d always wanted.

ELISSON:

The biggest risk of time travel, George told his project managers, is that it may create causal singularities.
Explain, they said.
You travel into the past. Now, you can’t go back and shoot your grandfather, because then you would never be born to travel into the past. The classic paradox.
OK, they said.
But you might inadvertently change something – even something trivial – that could trigger big displacements in the worldline. And we would never know it!
No problem, they said.
George’s time probe materialized in the late Devonian, squashing a trilobite.
Nargh shoggoth, they said, engulfing their dinner.

RAHEL:

It’s a hard life, all this traveling. And there are different people in our caravan all the time. One group arrives, another leaves, and through it all we always keep moving. We never stop, not even for the night. I don’t even think we own any tents.
People ask us to stop all the time. They beg us to stay, some with tears, others with music and poetry. And some of the places we’ve seen have been very beautiful indeed. But we have no choice but to keep moving.
In the caravan of time, there is no time.
Or sleep.

KRIS OF GRADUAL DAZZLE:

The best idea anyone ever had, Sam thought, bringing the Easy Button into her SAT. Now I can extend the time limit if I need to.
She couldn’t resist pushing the red plastic disc, just once. “That was easy,” it chirped.
The glares of the others in the room went unheeded. Sam placed the Easy Button gingerly beside her blank exam paper, opened her booklet and began. After a few minutes, she stretched her arms, inadvertently bumping the Button.
“That was easy,” it chirped.
She blinked in the bright, heavenly light. Oh, crap, she thought. Stupid thing must’ve gotten stuck.

GAVRIEL:

Laurence’s story deadline loomed. My promised 100 word opus still unfinished, I dozed off at the computer. Waking later I discovered my story’s window gone, and trudged off to bed dejected, obsessing over unfullfiled promises.
47 years of guilt-driven research later, Eureka!
I hastily recorded these words to disk, gutted my toaster, added batteries, and activated my time machine.
Suddenly standing behind my younger, dozing self, I closed his abandoned story, inserted my CD and emailed this file.
Now home again, that old story contest’s results beckon. I hope 47 years’ labor was enough to at least finish second.

P.J.:

It was most unlikely that you would ever find Paula contemplating the theory of relativity.
She had met a handsome physics professor who invited her to take a ride in his newly constructed time machine.
He explained the workings of his great invention, and not being a deep thinker she eagerly accepted the invitation.
Would she prefer to travel forward or backwards? He asked with an evil grin?
Forward please she replied, and stepped into a looming metal box with double sliding doors.
After a few moments she realized her mistake and following a well placed slap, exited the elevator.

TOMMY:

He sat in front of the machine and checked everything was ready. Then he double checked the numbers making sure they were accurate. He was always paranoid he’d forget some minor thing and everything would be ruined but this time it was perfect. Stretching, he took a deep breath and closed his eyes because he could not do this with them open.
He sat up in a panic as the shrill whistle of the alarm rang out. Reactively he slammed the button hoping he wasn’t too late. Another eight hours already gone time to get up. Damn I hate mornings.

WILL ROSS:

The Unfortunate side effect of time travel is breast feeding. You sign up for test piloting, you take certain risks as occupational hazards. Explosions, crashes, some egghead puts the decimal point in the wrong place and BAM, they’re sending you home in an altoids box. But looking at my own Mother’s rack wasn’t part of the deal and frankly I’d rather starve. What the Einstien’s didn’t figure out when they made their little machine was that it only takes you back in your OWN timeline. So here I am in a god damned diaper. Someone better come get me soon.

JUSTIN:

It’s 2021 and the Weekly Challenge podcast now runs three hours long.
In the boardroom for a major accounting firm, they’re discussing what
to do about this “pest” that’s killing productivity in their offices.
“We could block the server so people can’t access it from here”
“Are you nuts? They’d revolt.”
“How about we fire people who are caught listening to it at work?”
“We’d lose everybody”
“We could ask time-traveler Steve to prevent the challenge from ever starting.”
“I’ll ask him in a couple hours. He’s listening to it right now”
Luckily for us, he didn’t accept the mission.


Thanks to everyone for sending in their stories, and I look forward to what you’ve got to write (and say) next week.
The theme for next week’s Weekly Challenge will be posted shortly.