Weekly Challenge #36 – Christmas Stories

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Welcome to the thirty-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 supposed to be selected by Andrew Ian Dodge from Every Damn Blog And Podcast On Earth, but I screwed him over by calling this one, and I chose Christmas Stories.
Fourteen stories were submitted this week. Double digits!
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 in the 36th Weekly Challenge?
K Nine from Dead Dog Walkin
Blissful from Blissfully Unfulfilled
Lisa from Lemons and Lollipops
Caleb from the Black Tie Martini Club
Caroline from Quadra Island
Laieanna from Hodgepodge Point
Andrew of Dodgeblogium
Mark H.
Elisson from blog d’Elisson
Tom from Footnote Podcast
Sharon F.
Kolek from The Kolektive
Jim S. the Folderman
The IMAO Podcasters
The Mad Bard From Planet Z
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

WE GOTS PRIZES:
I will be sending the winner the cost of a cup of coffee through PayPal. And who’s on the five dollar bill? Heh heh heh…
So listen, vote, and tune in next week to find out who won!


The full text of each story:
K-NINE

I was a bartender once. I hated Christmas, so I always took the closing shift on December 24th.
It was usually a quiet night. One year, this old man wandered in just after midnight. Dirty white beard, paunchy and run down. He ordered peppermint schnapps.
“Laid me off, little bastards” he mumbled as I poured.
I tried to ignore him, but he kept on and on. “Whole thing’s automated, don’t need me anymore.”
Finally I said, “Happens to everyone eventually, old man”
His belly shook violently as he shouted, “Ho, ho, hold on there sonny! I was Santa Claus, damnit!”

BLISSFUL

She sat on the floor surrounded by presents wrapped in shiny, bright paper adorned with big bows. Her eyes were huge, her smile wide, and she bounced from sheer excitement. She paid little attention to the others in the room.
“Is it my turn yet?”
Every time she opened a gift, there was such hope and light in her eyes that the box in her little hands could have held any one of her dreams or desires. I looked down at the small box in my own and smiled to myself, “Is it my turn now?”

LISA

Christians had “Merry Christmas”,
Jewish people had “Happy Hanukah”,
PC people had “Happy Holidays”,
Africans had “Happy Kwanzaa”,
There was even: A Festivus for the rest of us
It was high time the Atheists got together to coin a phrase to celebrate another year on this planet. A planet they knew was not created by an intelligent designer.
The bigwigs got together and after a few heated debates and a couple bottles of brandy, they came to a consensus. From that day on, Atheists around the world would greet others during the holiday season with their own salutation:
REASON’S GREETINGS.

CALEB

Two men enter; one man leaves.
Santa Claus and Jesus Christ will once more enter the ring and battle for the meaning of Christmas.
Claus, the crowd favorite, comes in at 5’11” weighing 285 pounds and is surprisingly spry for a big man.
Christ, the challenger, weighs a scant 112 pounds and stands a diminutive 5’3″. He looks puny but has proven before to be able to take an enormous amount of punishment and keep going.
One offers eternal rewards in the afterlife while the other offers immediate commercial gratification.
They enter the ring…
Down Goes Jesus!
Down Goes Jesus!

CAROLINE

Harold wouldn’t see anyone this Christmastime. It was his own fault, grumpy and miserable he’d turned them all away, now they didn’t bother. On his nightly walk he looked in the church’s bay window. The nativity scene was set out. He stared for a time, suddenly the whole scene became surreal, the baby Jesus seemed to beckon him. He couldn’t pull himself away. With tears running down his face, he went home feeling joyful? Then a vehicle drew up outside his house. “Grampa Grampa” came the shouts; his children and grandchildren surrounded him. Tears of joy ran down his cheeks. He embraced them warmly.

LAIEANNA

Hank spit gristle out on the dusty road. “Sonofabitch tried to kill
my wife…barreling down like a lunatic.”
“Whadya do, Hank?” Teddy asked.
“I shot at the bastard. Near took his head off. Bullet just grazed
that goofy hat, but boy was he scared. Came down from the sky like a
shooting star.”
“Where’s he at now?”
“Hog tied in the back of my truck. Buried his sled out in the woods.”
Teddy grabbed another skewer and chomped on his supper, “Damn, these
sure are tender. Better than the usual deer.”
“That’s cause it’s exotic meat from the north.”

ANDREW

“What the hell is coming out of your arse?” I asked amused.
“Its me’ Christmas tail… I thought it might amuse de’ fans who are
sick of all the crap music at this time of year.”
“How’ll they see it…it’s a pretty big arena,” I queried my backing-singer.
“Oh I’ve made sure the camera-man knows about it!” She flirtingly cooed.
“I thought you’d taken up with some sort of S&M club after I saw that
tail,” She… didn’t get it.
I made a note to ask the tour manager to make sure cameras were on her
arse…only very briefly.

MARK

Xmas address by the world prime minister, 2046
Citizens, rediscover the true meaning of xmas this holiday. The winter solstice was once usurped as the birthday of a messiah. While enlightenment has not abolished gods, it has properly relegated them to the mythological realm with pseudoscience and astrology. Modern peoples enjoy xmas as a celebration of freedom from the tyranny of religion.
So, while you are shopping the internet world marketplaces, and partying with your avatars and friends, stop a moment to remember that your freedom from false beliefs is the result of thousands of years of evolution of your society, your species, and yourselves. Happy xmas, everyone!

ELISSON

Ho! Ho! Ho!
The visitor took the brightly wrapped gifts from his smoking sack, arranging them at the base of the tree.
He looked around. The children, no doubt, were cowering beneath their bedsheets.
On the mantel, cookies sat next to a glass of milk. He ate them, dumping the milk in the sink. A quick search through the liquor cabinet revealed a bottle of single malt; he drained half at one gulp.
He vanished up the chimney, trailing a faint pong of brimstone.
It was a one-time gig thanks to an unfilled straight, but they’d remember Satan Claus’s visit.

TOM

The image of the man did not match either mother or father’s description. If this was the man mother called the devil then his smile should have made him shiver. If this was the man father called one in need of redeemtion his smile should have been sadder.
The grace of his face was like an angle glowing in the Christmas morning snow. He pulled a chair next to the lad and warmed his hands by the fire.
“Have you come to take me away?” ask Tim.
“No I’ve come to help.” Said Ebenezer.
Tim closed his eyes and died.

SHARON

It was a family tradition that went back hundreds of years. On Christmas Eve the family gathered in the living room waiting for Grandma and her special eggnog. It was a guarded recipe that took weeks to make.
Grandma came in with a tray full of filled shot glasses. It was potent and no one dared asked for more. Each person took a glass and waited. Grandpa gave his speech and all downed the thick liquid quickly.
They went to bed wondering if they would be the lucky one. Wondering who would be wearing The Christmas Tail in the morning.

KOLEK

Inside the warm house, a man sat opposite a glowering fire, contemplating. Saint Nicholas always got credited for delivering gifts to everybody, which was not true.
“Santa” only delivered
gifts to the northern hemisphere. Nick would be overwhelmed if he had to do the whole world!
Yet, no thanks, no letters, nothing! Why didn’t he get any credit!?!
The blue robed man shrugged it off and rose from his armchair, ready to repeat the familiar Christmas traditions that no one appreciated.
Two days later, the “Southern Santa” was in jail… again.
“Why don’t you just take your medication?” his doctor asked.

JIM S THE FOLDERMAN

For years, the feud continued. Both of them believed that there was no way in HELL that the other could have any semblance of truth on their side.
After a long discussion with a third party, he became aware that none of it was nearly as important as he previously believed. After much soul-searching and self-examination, he came to a conclusion.
On Christmas day, he trudged through the snowdrifts and knocked on her door. A VERY long journey would end today. Christ was present in his heart when she opened the door and pulled the trigger, ending their long-overdue reconciliation.

IMAO
(FrankJ and SarahK as Eric and Susan
Right Wing Duck as Jimmy
Harvey as the Narrator
and a special guest appearance by Spacemonkey as Santa Claus)

Jimmy put the cookies and milk out on the mantelpiece.
“Isn’t that cute?” said Susan. “Our boy is so wonderful.”
“It’s insane,” said Eric. “There’s no such thing as Santa Claus.”
Later that night, Jimmy heard a jingle and a thud.
He jumped out of bed and ran downstairs, giggling.
Santa was in front of the fireplace, his hands on his throat, dead.
Jimmy screamed in horror.
When Susan and Eric came downstairs, they saw the dead Santa and tried to comfort Jimmy.
“I’m so sorry,” they told him.
“I am too,” said Jimmy. ” I was trying to poison Daddy.”

Z

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up


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 #35 – Monkey Business

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Welcome to the thirty-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 Lee from Read Strange and he chose Monkey Business.
Nine stories were submitted this week. Singe digits? Boo!
No rookies this week? Boo! Boo! Double 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 in the 35th Weekly Challenge?
Andrew Ian Dodge of Dodgeblogium
Tom from Footnote Podcast
Laieanna of HodgePodge Point
Lisa from Lemons and Lollipiops
Elisson of Blog d’Elisson
Alpha K-Nine from Dead Dog Walkin
Caroline from Quadra Island
Caleb from Black Tie Martini Club Oddcast
Houston Keys from Tater Tots For The Masses
The Deranged Bard From Planet Z
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com


WE GOTS PRIZES:
I will be sending the winner the cost of a cup of coffee through PayPal. And who’s on the five dollar bill? Heh heh heh…
So listen, vote, and tune in next week to find out who won!


The full text of each story:
T.A. MARQUETTE

Ben stood at the door and surveyed
the false paradises of his living room.
“No Monkey Business! Understand?”
he said to 3 sets of angelic kitty eyes.
Click when the door.
“What the hell is he talking about?”
“We don’t got no stink’n monkeys” moued Squeaks.
“Let’s get to work,” mewed Sukie
“Positions.” purred PityPat.
It was a Mexican standoff kitty style
ready to release feline fluids.
Gaaaact Piiissss Plooop
Squeaks throw up on Ben’s first edition of LOTR.
Sukie peed down Ben’s 27 in monitor.
PityPat pooped in Ben’s Air Jordans.
“Let’s go watch some Marx Brothers.”
“Why?”
“Research.”

LAIEANNA

“Welcome to Flying Monkey Express. What we don’t destroy, we ship.
What can I do for you?”
“I need to send this to my sister.”
“Region?”
“South.”
“Any perishables?”
“It’s a Fruitcake.”
“Oh, that should easily make the trip.”
“I’ll write down her address.”
“I need to send this a long distance.”
“Seems light enough to carry.”
“It’s a pair of shoes.”
“Destination?”
“Kansas.”
“Just fill out this form.”
“Welcome sir. Here for a package?”
“Yes, some straw. I’m running low in my legs.”
“Was that insured?”
“No.”
“I’m afraid we lost that in Poppy Field.”
“So now what?”
“Well…”

LISA

“You need to feed the ones down in cell seven,” Mr. B yelled to Phil, “and make sure you clean Mr. Tibbs up, someone’s rented him for a birthday party.”
Great, Phil thought. I get to clean up Mr. Tibbs, the one who always liked to throw his feces around the room. Phil never dreamed he’d end up working for an agency like this, but he really needed the paycheck.
Things were hard in Hollywood but Phil knew someday he would make it big himself – he wouldn’t always be looking after the occupants at Mr. Bubbles’ Human Rental Agency.

ANDREW

“Monkey business”? I paused before continuing, “you think the band
lark is monkey business!”
“You’re a bunch of 30-somethings in a mid-life crisis playing in a
band when you should be settling down and growing up,” she retorted
sneering.
“You mean giving up don’t you?” I blustered back. “Who says you can’t
be a grown up and have a band.”
Then I said something back at her as I walked on stage… “You know it
ain’t just about sex, drugs and rock & roll…there’s artistic merit in
doing your own music!”
“What the…” My brain screamed.
I’d become a musician.

ELISSON

Charley strode into the cavernous drafting room to announce the good news: Simionics had won the contract to design the DFW Airport!
Simionics, Incorporated was on a roll. The new job followed right on the heels of their last project – the Hartford, Connecticut interstate highway network.
Somebody once said that if you put an infinite number of monkeys at an infinite number of typewriters, eventually you’d end up with the complete works of Shakespeare. Simionics wasn’t quite that ambitious. They had 500 chimps, 500 drafting tables: just enough.
A hard-flung turd caught Charley on the chin. Fucking monkey business.

ALPHA K9

Brother Jerome smiled as he walked through the abbey.
It was the third Tuesday of the month. Vespers was
over, reverently he genuflected before the cross and
headed over to the dining hall. Once there he
dispensed with his robe and donned a Hawaiian shirt.
Grabbing a beer in a mug made from half a coconut, he
helped himself to a chunk of pineapple on a stick, and
made his way over to listen to Brother Silas play the
ukulele. Third Tuesday was luau night, the one day a
month when the brothers could dispense with all that
monky business.

CAROLINE

“Hello. Fran is that you?”
” Yea I dot a really bad told.”
” Sounds bad how did you get that?”
“Well young Brayden had one last week.”
“You won’t be party poopering by the sound of it.”
“Doh I won’t.”
” I was hoping you’d come to New Years but I guess you’re not fit.”
We love your hors-d-oeuvres.
” Sorry Sheila. Wouldn’t want to spread it.”
” Cold indeed!” Said Frank arriving home.
” I want to cosy up with just the two of us.” She lied. She was tired of Franks and Sheila’s monkey business.

CALEB

And now, the business report. An infinite number of monkeys successfully sued noted playwright William Shakespeare for one million pounds sterling claiming that he stole their script for Hamlet which been running successfully now for almost 500 years. Fortunately for Mr. Shakespeare because of the difficulty inherent in dividing one million pounds into an infinite number of equal payments, he will not have to make any payment until an infinite number of accountants and mathematicians work out this conundrum and take their 10 per cent. When asked for comment, Mr. Shakespeare said nothing as he has been dead for centuries.

HOUSTON KEYS

Old Hand- Hello there!
New Guy- Hi, I’m new here.
Old Hand- Obviously, since you aren’t covered in poo.
New Guy- What’s going on?
Old Hand- The boss figured out he could pay Pakistanis to do American’s jobs. Then he figured out he could pay Mexicans to do the Pakistani’s jobs. He kept going until it the work quality got so bad he found out he could get Monkeys to turn out the same crummy stuff, and, well, around here they aren’t kidding when they say the food by product hits the air circulation device.
New Guy- I don’t follow you.
Old Hand- You know, the hits the fan. I’ll show you around.

Z

Twenty years ago, Senator Gary Hart saw his presidential hopes run aground by a trip on a boat called Monkey Business.
Tonight, out on Lake Michigan, Barack Obahma orders the first mate of the “Jolly Roger” to scan the water for photographers with his skyglass.
“None of them scurvy dogs to be seen, Senator!” cries the grizzled pirate.
“When I’m on the boat, you’re supposed to call me captain,” says Obahma. “Call me Senator again, and I’ll have you keel-hauled.”
“Aye aye, Captain,” said the pirate. “Salmon trawler to Starboard. Shall we board her?”
“Aye,” said Obahma. “And take no prisoners. We dine well tonight!”


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 #34 – Rehab

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Welcome to the thirty-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 Steve from iLaugh and he chose Rehab.
Ten stories were submitted this week. Double digits!
No rookies this week? BOOOOOOOOOO!
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 in Weekly Challenge #34?
Elisson of blog d’Elisson
Caleb from Black Tie Martini Club Oddcast
Lisa from Lemons and Lollipops
Andrew of Dodgeblogium
Caroline from Quadra
T.A. Marquette of Footnote
B
Laieanna from HodgePodge Point
Lee from Read Strange
PJ from No Deep Thoughts
Planet Z
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com


WE GOTS PRIZES:
I will be sending the winner the cost of a cup of coffee through PayPal. And who’s on the five dollar bill? Heh heh heh…
So listen, vote, and tune in next week to find out who won!


The full text of each story:
ELISSON

Superman strained, sweat glistening on his brow. Nothing happened.
It had been two months since his last brush with Lex Luthor – ambushed in a cave lined with green kryptonite.
He was lucky to be alive – but he was still weak as a Super-kitten.
Sure, his X-ray vision was almost fully intact. He could even bend steel bars, leap buildings at a single bound. But not all of his muscles had recovered after eight weeks of rehab, and the wolf was at the door.
He tried again. Strain. Clink.
That takes care of the rent, he thought. I’m back!

CALEB

You told me to try art therapy; you said that playing a musical instrument would keep my mind off of my addiction and my hands busy. So I did.
I went for a walk along the sea side playing my axe when I heard someone playing along. I followed the sound and happened upon an octopus playing a xylophone.
So we jammed. Music knows no language; no inter-species bigotry.
And when I tell you about how I was horbgorbling along playing my sousaphone with a cephalopod, you want to keep me in rehab for an extra two months? I’m outraged!

LISA

“Hello, my name is Lisa.”
“Hello, Lisa.”
The crowd waited, anticipating more…
“Well, the holidays, and well, the little baby in the manger just looked so cute, all those lights, the music, my parents’ hopeful faces… I don’t know why I couldn’t control it, how it managed to seep into my brain. I can’t explain why or how I lost my reason. But it’s gone. All gone.”
After the meeting, she prepared herself for what was to come: three weeks of detox with a head full of electrodes, hooked up to the “de-jesus” machine at the Dawkins’ Atheist Rehab Centre.

ANDREW

Rehab, god I hate bloody rehab. I made the mistake of going last year.
Not because I was addicted to anything you see but for the schmoozing.
The damn place was full of music business types cleaning up because of
their employers latest campaign against drug use.
D.T.s didn’t stop the bragging about the girls and hitts, then there’s
Pete Doherty.
I never believed it but there is a lot of truth in believing that
people who behaved like arseholes on coke were no less arseholes
when they were sober.

Being in rehab damn near drove me to do drugs.

CAROLINE

Keeping up appearances was very important for the Brown’s. When John put himself in rehab, Mary kept up the sham that he was away on business. She even went for a week to her mothers on the pretext of visiting him. All was going well until he found out his dog had been hit by a car. He came out so that he could bury her. But half way through detox and unpredictable he ran through the neighbourhood in his PJ’s. Wearing only one sock and loudly proclaiming ‘diddle diddle dumpling my son John’ the game was up.

B

Granny’s addiction was getting way out of hand. At first, no one cared that she was hooked. The past 3 years had been her happiest since Grandpa passed away. Her depression had lifted as if by magic.
But the family had grown weary of having Granny hyped up all the time. Always anticipating her next fix. She no longer hosted holiday gatherings or made her signature cookies and pies, and, worst of all – she had ceased making quilts for the newborn grandchildren.
An intervention was in the works.
Fran called the Senior Travel Club….”Hello? I need to cancel a membership…..”

LAIEANNA

He stared outside the window, wishing his youth would return. The
substance did different things back then. It made him fly! What
changed? A girl. She wasn’t his first love, but she had shown him a
new use for the powder.
Friends hated his sour attitude. In no time, his boyish nature and
wild ways were reduced to a sad man huddled on the floor of a cold
manor.
Who knew pixie dust could become an addictive drug. The institute was
trying to help him quit, but he knew it was too late. He would never
go back to Neverland.

LEE

Five years after the operation, Lisa was still visiting her doctor.
“My eye doesn’t work.”
Dr. Borges sighed. “You’re eye works fine. Here, read these letters.”
“A-E-R-T-D-S-P-C”
“Told you. Eye works fine.”
“Eye does not work fine.”
“It does.”
“Doesn’t.”
“D…ok look. I’m gonna suggest you see a specialist friend of mine. There’s nothing else I can do for you.”
Lisa went home in a funk, made herself tea and picked up the phone.
“Rehab.”
“Hello, I’d like to make an appointment with Dr. Shank.”
“Specifically what for?”
Lisa took a deep breath. “Well, apparently, I have a blinking problem.”

PJ

Are you serious?
I don’t belong here!
But the woman who thought she was in charge of all things Paula had heard this all before… and only shook her head.
“It’s for your own good”, she said, in a condescending way.
Well..
The only thing Paula hated worse than being told what to do is being told what to do in a condescending way.
“Give me the credit cards dear, you’ll feel a lot better”, she sneered.
Paula quickly exited, leaving the now bloodied scissors on the floor behind her.
Shopping Addiction Rehab?
Shopping IS what makes her feel better.

Z

Hard drives die.
Memory banks forget.
Systems get infected with viruses.
Connections are healthy.
And so on.
As machinery becomes more lifelike, so does the terminology.
Take for instance, this robot. Ninth generation, limited artificial intelligence, but an extremely life-like carapace.
I mean skin.
We call it a “him.” We thank “him” for performing a task.
And if he fails to perform, we take him to the rehab clinic for rehabilitation, not the repair shop for diagnosis and calibration.
Of course, those with cybernetic prostheses now say they’re going in to the shop for repairs.
Fair’s fair, I suppose.


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 #33 – Cephalopod

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Welcome to the thirty-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 Lee from Readstrange and he chose Cephalopod.
stories were submitted this week. Double digits!
rookies this week? BOOOOOOOOOO!
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 wrote the best story for Weekly Challenge #33?
T.A. Marquette from Footnote Podcast
Steve from iLaugh
Laieanna of HodgePodge Point
Andrew of Dodgeblogium
K-9 from Dead Dog Blogging
Lee from Read Strange
Elisson from blog d’Elisson
Will Ross from Smart Bomb Radio
B
Houston Keys from Tater Tots for the Masses
The Twisted Bard From Planet Z
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com


WE GOTS PRIZES:
I will be sending the winner the cost of a cup of coffee through PayPal. And who’s on the five dollar bill? Heh heh heh…
So listen, vote, and tune in next week to find out who won!


The full text of each story:
TA MARQUETTE

Two cephalopods float into a bar.
After upping a dozen Marianna Whitefish
one cephalopods notes the other
is missing his Hectocotylus.
“You’re dickless dude, what happened?”
“It got snapped off in Rita.”
“Ouch, that’s got to hurt.”
“Not half as much as what she said.
Just before Mr. Happy went west I hear
‘I didn’t know you had such a small organ.’
“Man that’s cold. What did you say?”
“Nothing”
“What?”
“Listen if she ever loads it up again here’s what you say.
I didn’t know I had to play in a cathedral.”
You have dialed dial a dirty joke.

STEVE

Suddenly, a hush fell over the room.
“You all heard him, right? How many times did he say ‘mushroom’?”
“Um…I dunno Jen…seven?” squeaked John.
“SEVEN? Try 40! Son of a bitch had it coming!”
The argument ended there, as everyone’s eyes were still trained on the bloodied candlestick that Jen still clutched in her hands, and the growing pool of red forming beneath Tom’s head.
“Well then, what was it?” asked Kath.
“Cephalopod!”
“Oh,” replied the crowd.
“I kinda thought it was a mushroom too…” whispered Gary.
And with that, no one ever played Pictionary at the Anderson’s house again.

LAIEANNA

“God, this is rubbery. Can’t you cook them differently?”
“Like I have a wide selection of ingredients! Maybe you should go out and catch something else.”
“You know I can’t do that.”
“Then shut up about my cooking.”
“Shit, it’s happening again. Get me the axe!”
“Try not to damage the hull.”
“I’m chopping at it all day and it still gets through. That’s not my fault!”
“Maybe we should just go out there and let it kill us.”
“Oh no! We’ll eat it tentacle by tentacle before I let it have me! I don’t care how rubbery they are!”

DODGE

Prof Ali looked over the side of the ship. He was looking for the giant cephalopod he heard about in these waters, 300 miles off the coast of Guam. He did not fear the rumours of al Dagon or any tales of an evil sea djinn. He was a man of science who wanted to get the glory for this discovery for his Cairo University.
He did not notice that no others were on deck with him..
He did see the huge shape below the boat coming toward him. He didn’t fear it but itched to see it.
He did…

K-NINE

It was Captain Wook’s first command. He had risen through the ranks from trooper to officer with strategy and forethought.
As young as he was, he was surprised to have been given a battle commission and command of the first wave. He wasn’t worried though, the enemy had proven to be splintered by political factions and a populace with an overactive social conscience.
They would be easy to defeat.
As he reached out with one of his tentacles and shoved another screaming human into his mastication orifice he thought to himself, “Not bad for a Cephalopod from a small moon.”

LEE

Sergeant Miller stood in front of the suspect and frowned. This one was dressed as a milkman.
“They’re getting better,” said Miller to Dr. Bateman.
“Hey, look,” complained the milkman. “I got a route to deliver.”
“Not till we know for certain,” Miller replied and wheeled over the testing apparatus. The milkman gasped.
“This won’t take long,” said the doctor. Miller backed away.
Bateman opened a vial, removed a pinch of pepper and blew.
“PA-too-too-WHOO-PEE!”
Miller put a bullet through the milkman’s head and re-holstered his gun.
“Once the cephalopods learn how to sneeze…”
“Then god help us,” Bateman sighed.

ELISSON

Sidney the Squid was a cephalopod.
He was mighty odd for a cephalopod.
On his Undersea Tee-Vee he’d watch the CephaloMod Squad –
And the Mickey Mollusk Club: he loved Jimmie Cephalo-Dodd.
A Religi-Squidgy, he was a disciple of the CephaloGod.
He caught dinner (Boston scrod) with hook, line, and CephaloRod.
He was a Music Maven with his Cephalo-iPod.
He hung out at Gold’s Gym to buff his CephaloBod.
He’d watch Superman II and root for General CephaloZod.
He’d indicate approval with a wink and cephalo-nod.
Despite Sidney’s being so cephalo-odd,
His friends worshiped the ground ‘pon which he cephalo-trod.

WILL ROSS

Well, it’s that time of year again where you look into your Necronomicon and see which followers have been naughty and which followers have been nice. As I’ve been extra good this year, here is my list of presents I want from you. I would tell you in person but our mall is totally not politically correct and only has a santa claus.
A ten speed
Kill Tommy Stevens
GI-Joes
Invulnerability.
Legos
And a kid brother I can play with (My last one broke)
I long to feel the embrace of your dark tentacles,
Billy Sawyer (Age 10)

B

Sammy Cephalopod was a pretty even-tempered fellow. He never went looking for trouble. He stayed hidden, for the most part, in between rocks waiting for the next unsuspecting crab dinner to wander along.
Because he was small, cute, and had beautiful blue rings, there was always some creature passing by that just couldn’t resist the urge to say, “Oh look! How cute!”
That’s fine. But they’d better not try to pet him! He liked his personal space and the price for invading it would lethal. He might be small but in the world of Hapaloclaena maculosa, size really DOESN’T matter.

HOUSTON KEYS

“I should have flushed it” Cali mumbled.
The smoldering remains of her bathroom reflected the damage done to her psyche as she reviewed the cephalopod attack.
It had seemed cute at first. As it grew it became a problem.
When it ate the cat she knew something had to be done.
Taking the aquarium to the bathroom she decided on a burial at sea but the squid fought back. In the struggle a tentacle grabbed her cell phone pulling it into the toilet and ruining it.
“If I had flushed the cell phone, my insurance would have covered it. Crap!”

Z

Clem saw The Octopus on the auction block.
It was the fiercest amusement park ride of its day, but over the years, the thrill was gone.
After Clem bought it, he realized it would be hard to include in his traveling carnival because of its overall weight and complexity.
So, he had it assembled, and then stripped it down to reduce its travel burden and assembly time.
Stabilizers, safety bars, and other unessential components – all sold for scrap.
Yet, it looked the same, the menacing aluminum carapace, freshly-painted.
Didn’t fool the safety inspector, though.
Rejected.
Clem doubled his bribe.


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 #32 – Horbgorble

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Welcome to the thirty-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 Houston Keys from Houston Keys and he chose Horbgorble.
Ten stories were submitted this week. Double digits!
No rookies this week? BOOOOOOOOOO!
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 in the 32nd Weekly Challenge?
Alpha K Nine from Dead Dog Walkin
Lisa from Lemons and Lollipiops
Andrew Ian Dodge of Dogeblogium
Steve from iLaugh.com
Caroline from Quadra Island
Lee from Read Strange
Laieanna from HodgePodge Point
Mark
T.A. Marquette from Footnote
Houston Keys from Tater Tots for the Masses
The Disturbed Bard Of Planet Z
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

WE GOTS PRIZES:
I will be sending the winner the cost of a cup of coffee through PayPal. And who’s on the five dollar bill? Heh heh heh…
So listen, vote, and tune in next week to find out who won!


The full text to each story…
ALPHA K NINE

“Speak to me damn it! I said speak up! I need a damage report!”
The lights on the con of the new experimental submarine were fading. Communication with the other decks was nonexistent. Commander Squallier paced bulkhead to bulkhead chewing his lower lip, glaring at the microphone he had just thrown down and kicking at the rising puddles of water.
A very clinical and far away voice, from one of the control ships on the surface came across.
Squallier answered, much calmer than before. “Mission failure… We won’t be coming back this time.”
“Repeat message Commander, You’re breaking up”
“Horbgorble…”

LISA

She was surprised to hear this week’s topic would be “horbgoble”. Surely Houston Keys didn’t know what that word really meant, could he? She wasn’t aware that other people actually used it; she thought it was something only she and her man used.
How did he know?
She “Googled” it – nothin’.
Dictionary.com? Nothin’.
How in the world could Houston Keys possibly know this? Had she mistakenly left the webcam on?
She went to the last source she knew of that “might” have it – urbandictionary.com. Not finding it there either, she decided to bravely submit the real meaning for it there.

ANDREW IAN DODGE

“Oh my good he exclaimed I just saw a Horbgorble!”
“A what?” Exclaimed an exasperated Rupert.
“A bloody horbgorble! You know…one of them big and scary things that
is ugly and brutish.”
“You mean John Prescott MP?”
“Wha…” He got more upset. “No…horbgorble big, hairy and ugly with a big nose.”
“Oh you mean Hazel Blears?”
“No like off that ale from up North that is strong an’ dark.”
“Oh hobgoblin!.”
“Yeah one of dem’…”
“You in Leiscester Square mate?”
“Yeah…”
“Tonight is the premiere of the new Spiderman movie you pillock. That
is a bloke in a costume.”
“Ooh”

STEVE A

“AHA!”
Jeremy was startled out of his mood by a single word.
That would be his nickname.
How tough sounding! If this caught on, he’d be the coolest guy in school.
Plus, bullies don’t pick on guys with nicknames, even if they do have braces and acne.
Suddenly, there was a gentle knock on the door.
“Honey, are you OK? You’ve been in the washroom quite a while now.”
“I’m fine Mom! And, from now on, the name is…Horbgorble!”
“OK dear…dinner’s in 10 minutes.”
“Fine!”
And with that, Horbgorble returned to the bra section of the catalogue to finish masturbating.

CAROLINE

Instead of the usual ga ga and boo boo’s Thomas said ‘horble gorbles. The psychologist said he was a genius and would be very gifted. The doctor said what a clever baby you have. His father said, My son’s a bloody genius. His sister said my baby brother’s going to be a scientist.
Thomas became a truck driver. His mother asked ‘Why didn’t you become the genius we expected. What was the ‘horble gorbles word?’ That, said Thomas was “horrible Gargoyles.’ Besides I didn’t’ like the look of that psychologist with the furry eyebrows and wart on his left cheek.

LEE OF READSTRANGE

“What is it?”
“Dunno really. The box says it’s a Horbgorble, some kind of robot invader thing.”
“And that’s what you got Billy for Christmas?”
“It’s what he wanted.”
“What does it do?”
“I put batteries in. Turn it on here…there it goes!”
“…it just walks around like that…?”
“Hi! I’m Horbgorble. All useless lifeforms must be exterminated.”
“…a bit violent…”
“Seems locked on the cat…”
“Identified: felix domesticus. Verdict: useless.”
“What’s it pointing at Fluffy?”
Zzzz-AP!
“Oh my god! Fluffy!”
“It vaporised the cat, Peter!”
Zzzz-AP!
“…the Christmas tree!”
“Peter! It’s pointing at…”
“Identified: homo sapiens. Verdict: useless.”
Zzzz-AP!

LAIEANNA

“Oh, you think this is over, don’t you, big hero? You’re so wrong! I
have family and they won’t let me go to prison.” The villain boasted.
Bad guys…they never quit…kept him in business.
“You’re crazy.” Spiderman took a drag off the cigarette he had
stashed. MaryJane was going to kill him for this.
“Here comes my cousin right now!” Hobgoblin laughed. A sickly green
man in costume, looking lost, walked towards the two, then away, never
looking directly at them. “Horbgorble, you idiot, come back here and
help me!”
“Nice family tree,” Spiderman smiled and strung up his nemesis.

MARK H

Wizard explained to Apprentice, “Brownian motion is a random process that bounces sunlit specks of dust on the backs of molecular broncos. There is no controlling consciousness. Collisions usually occur between pairs, and rarely, there is a three way collision. No steering. No purpose.
“The activities of humans are similarly random, for the most part. Coincidences occur. Perceived significance is imposed by the observers, not inherent in the events themselves.
“So, if an extremely rare four way dust mote collision occurs, don’t think ‘miracle.’ Improbable events are not impossible. Miracles don’t occur. Things don’t ‘happen for a reason.’ Horbgorbling happens.”

TA MARQUETTE

We say kaddish at the bridge
Marilyn stood on her great aunts porch.
In the twilight her eyes noted
each tiny shadow on each doorpost.
Though painted often her fingers and eyes
moved across the hollows were rested the mezuzahs
In 1938 they burn her synagogue.
In 1940 they rename her street Hitlerstrasse
In 1942 they sent her to Theresienstadt
In 1952 they sent her body home.
The town of Horb lies on the edge of the Black Forest
and the Jewish cemetery lie within that forest,
in there lies Hedwig Schwarz survivor of TerezĂ­n
by the river in the town where no longer lives a Jew.

HOUSTON KEYS

The annual Thanksgiving fight, it’s a tradition in our house, this year, it was over scrabble.
-Chris- Here you go, triple score! I win!
——-Said my wonderful son.
-Me- No way! HORBGORBLE is not a word.
-Chris- Yes it is, it means “Wander aimlessly.”
——-He was good and crafty. I would have to be extra smart to defeat him.
-Me- Now that’s just silly. There is no way it means that!
-Chris- Look it up, Dad.
——-He called my bluff.
-Me- Fine! I will!
-Chris- Good, now, get this fork out of your forehead old man!
-Me- ARRRRGH!
The emotional scars still remain.

Z

Every Thanksgiving, right there in the middle of the table, it’s the same goofy Pilgrim centerpiece my mother crocheted from a magazine pattern years ago.
I don’t remember a Thanksgiving without it.
Over the years, it’s faded and gotten a bit dusty. There’s all sorts of stains on it.
But it keeps coming back.
I call it the “Horbgorble.” And I tell the grandkids, it goes around the world eating bad children during the rest of the year.
Those aren’t gravy stains. They’re blood.
So they break the wishbone, they wish the Horbgorble won’t get them.
And it hasn’t.
Yet.


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 #31 – Cheese

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Welcome to the thirty-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 Elisson from blog d’Elisson and he chose Cheese.
A whopping seventeen stories were submitted this week. Double digits!
An amazing six rookies this week! WOW! (Thank you, Pickle Tales!)
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 31st Weekly Challenge?
Houston Keys from Tater Tots For The Masses
Lee from Read Strange
Eric from Straight White Guy
Alpha K Nine from Dead Dog Walkin’
Toby from The Smart Patrol
Steve from iLaugh
Mark H.
Laieanna from HodgePodge Point
Andrew Ian Dodge from Dodgeblogium
Tom from Footnote Podcast
Kolek From The Kolektive
B
Elisson from blog d’Elisson
Caleb from Black Tie Martini Club
Caroline from Quadra Island
Lisa from Lemons and Lollipops
Rahel from Elms in the Yard
The Mad Bard From Planet Z
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

WE GOTS PRIZES:
Houston Keys
I will be sending the winner the cost of a cup of coffee through PayPal. And who’s on the five dollar bill? Heh heh heh…
So listen, vote, and tune in next week to find out who won!


The full text to each story…
HOUSTON KEYS

Elf 1: Hey Dude! What’s going on?
Elf2: Hey Man… Oh my GOSH! What is that smell?
Elf 1: What Smell?
Elf 2: Gang help!
Everyone: UUUUGH!!!!!
Elf 1: What’s up with you losers?
Elf 2: You CUT THE CHEESE MAN!
Elf 3: Here man, try these, they’ll make you cool.
Elf 1: Do you mean… DRUGS????
Elf 2: Yeah man, be cool.
Elf 3: You can be cool like us.
Elf 1: Cool Man.
Elf 1: This is so cool.
Elf 2: Are you tripping man?
Elf 1: Yeah, I’m tripping hard. Wow man, the colors!
Elf 2: You are so lame.
Elf 3: Yeah. What a dweeb.
Elf 1:What are you talking about? Don’t ruin my buzz.
Elf 2: You Dork. That was Beano!
Elf 3: At least you won’t be cutting the Cheese anymore!

LEE

It was 3pm before a delegation of workmates arrived at Oliver’s desk.
“Oliver…”
“Yes? Hello everyone.”
“Um…it’s about your head.”
Oliver sat back, frowning. “I’m sorry?”
Samantha held up a mirror. Oliver blinked. During the conference they’d watched Oliver’s head transform into cheese. Until now, they’d said nothing.
“My god!” Oliver exclaimed. “Is that…brie?”
“Camembert,” Bradley whispered.
Oliver ran hands over his creamy cheeks, relaxing ears and a scalp of cool, rubbery rind. He panicked. What would Jessica say? And Timmy! Would he recognise his goopy father?
Oliver ran wailing from the office, trailing a clutch of eager, twitching rats.

ERIC

The Cheese sat quietly in a hidden corner of the fridge. Broodingly, it shuddered slightly, feeling the vibrations of legions of tiny bacteria working their silent magic.
A damp funk sheathed the blue veins as they pulsed. The magnified movement of a myriad of millions made The Cheese smile inwardly and puff its chest.
The label bulged where a sweaty, white liquid had pooled behind the slick plastic.
The Cheese flexed and relaxed, flexed and relaxed, testing the confines of the wrappings. “My time is close,” it growled in the chilled darkness, “soon they will pay for having forgotten me.”

ALPHA K NINE

Detective Murray stared in disbelief at the murder weapon in his hands. This was, no doubt, the most bizarre homicide he had ever investigated.
The table was laden with cold cuts and appetizers for the 40th wedding anniversary of the deceased and of the killer. Even with witnesses aplenty, motive and the implement of destruction in his hands he knew this would be a tough one to prosecute.
Domestic violence was always a bad scene.
As the detective once again looked down at the huge block of Swiss cheese covered with blood, he knew his case was full of holes.

TOBY

No kind of job for a grown man.
Watching the machines that stole our future. Tanks of steel and vats, self churning, control the temperature, the consistency and the flavor.
Computers dictate the brining, the cheddaring, add the annatto with unwavering precision, no human could match.
I control only myself, for my sins, no more a part of this process than the fly stuck in this place with me.
But a man has to live, and so must I. Denied my birthright, a custodian of the curds, and whey.
I think I can sneak in a nap. Who’ll ever know?

STEVE

Writer’s block.
It hit Stanley like a ton of bricks. It was so easy when he was in his car, coming up with brilliant topics and soliloquies that would make Shakespeare say “Forsooth, you rock!”
But now, in front of his computer, he had nothing.
Nothing, that is, except that his protagonist was a magnanimous chunk of Swiss cheese named Carl.
Would Carl have magical powers? If so, what would they be?
That’s it! He can fly!
A half page in, Stanley re-read his work. His smile quickly faded.
Select all. Delete.
Swiss cheese in a story?
Too many holes.

MARK

The mold that will eventually give this cheese its name starts out a little green when you first open the package. Then, in the air, under the influence of some sort of oxygenation reaction that occurs while it warms up on a cool marble slab, the cracks and pocks go blue. The room begins to reek of feet and sour milk, but nevertheless, something in the air stimulates the parotids and forces a rush of saliva. You reach for a glass of red wine, and begin to decide between jazz and classical. Maybe there is an apple in the fridge.

LAIEANNA

I was really starting to stress over this week’s challenge. So I took a break and went down to the local carnival.
Lo and Behold, they were displaying a new game. Sitting on the dead grass was a big vat of melted Velveeta cheese with a man perched on top.
I paid my dues and started to hurl chunks of Swiss cheese at the little target on the side. Finally my pitches paid off with a bullseye and the man went down.
What was my prize for dunking Elisson in his own topic? Yep, a necklace of Limburger cheese. Great!

ANDREW IAN DODGE

“Cheese eating surrender Monkeys?” Gasped Clive. “What the hell does that mean?”
“Well it was coined several years ago for the French who seem to surrender to whomever they can…” I replied.
“So the local vicar is French?”
“Well no but I think he has a similar way of thinking…” I grunted. “I mean the idiot has publically said he wants a dialogue with the local Cthulhu cultists!”
“Oh,”
“Or it might be wanted, he announced to the local paper he was off to a meeting with them last night.”
“And…”
“He has not been heard from today…” I responded.

T A MARQUETTE

Who would have foreseen the bizarre chain of events upon the arrival of Patrick Michael Derry in our small-secluded wooded valley?
The depths of the farmer’s avarice was infectious. He stole a bride who in turn stole a child. The cry of the infant lured a nurse, who absconded with her mother’s cow.
The
braying lured a dog,
barking lured a cat,
mewing lured a rat.
Into the middle of the hamlet
strode the big cheese. He cried
“Good people of the dell
we must end this madness.
High Ho.” No one joined him.
Steely eyed the cheese stands alone.

KOLEK

Ah, this meal reminded him of home.
Garlic bread, lasagna with plenty of mozzarella cheese, and second helpings. Of course, he was not always leader of this company.
He frowned as he thought of the old days.
Menial labor, abusive, filthy conditions. Low pay. But now it was alright.
“What is wrong?”
“Nothing, Luigi. How is the shipment going?”
“All is well, brother.”
Of course, he never got to this position for free.
He had to eliminate some goofy enemies, clean a path to success, and finally, take care of his former masters.
It always made Mario laugh to think he now owned Nintendo.

B

Fran was tired of cheese. 50 to 100 times a day, every day, except Tuesdays and Thursdays for the past 6 years. Cheese didn’t really bother her when she first took the job but now her yearning for variety was all consuming.
The next time she heard the word ‘cheese’, she would be thinking, ‘Eat me!’ Heck, she might even suggest it!
She was well past her 40th cheese of the day when she snapped. An innocent 3-year-old boy. She stuffed the Elmo puppet into his mouth and beat the floor with the camera.
She’d become…lactose intolerant.

ELISSON

The rough hands of a dozen troops dragged the shackled Knight before his grotesque captor.
Jinn pondered his situation ruefully. He had escaped from a horde of Imperial Stormtroopers only to stumble into the clutches of the infamous Jabba, the crime syndicate’s Big Cheese.
He even looked like a cheese, an overripe Brie that had sat outdoors on a hot day. Feh.
But Jabba the Huttvarti was a businessman above all else. And now, Jinn was competition.
As they hauled him toward the Matter Convertor, Queso-Gon Jinn, Swiss Knight, felt an extra-sharp pang of regret at having left the Cheddi.

CALEB

Sivan grew up poor but eventually worked his way up through cunning and ruthless business practices. He emigrated from northern Iraq to America and began working in Rocket Science making sure that NASA always gave contracts to his company… Or else.
You know how there were all those failed Mars expeditions in the 90’s? That’s because they didn’t go with Sivan’s company and extreme measures had to be taken. They’ve since learned their lesson. Sivan made enough on that racket to retire comfortably to Florida.
Yes, he’s gone from being just a humble Kurd to a rich, mellow Mars Capone.

CAROLINE

“Get orf my face with your disgusting socks.
“Ah good old gorgonzola”
“I’m telling Mum on you when she gets back.”
“What for? I didn’t do nuthin. She’ll whack me with the copper stick again.”
“Serve you right. For putting your feet on me head.”
“I’ll make you a cheese sarny.”
“What with brown sauce on?”
“Sure I will.”
“Awright then. Call it quitsies.”
“Oh good Mum your back guess what Derek did?”
“No idea, you tell me.”
“I didn’t do nuthin on purpose.”
“He made me a nice cheese sarny?”

LISA

Margo works harder than everyone else and she’ll be the first one to tell you about it. In fact, she complains a LOT: crappy shifts, lumpy chairs, messy people, I’m feeling sick, nobody listens to me.
Needless to say, Margo didn’t have a lot of “friends”. When she found a gift waiting in her cubicle for her one day, she was elated, though somewhat perplexed to find a package of cheese-slices inside. This continued four days with Brie, Camembert, Gouda, and cheddar.
A note in the last package explained everything:
“We thought you might like some cheese with your whine.”

RAHEL

The nearby deli had a special that morning: extra-sharp cheddar at a fantastic price. My favorite! I grabbed half a pound of it, a whole-wheat roll, some lettuce and mustard and headed in to work.
Half past noon found me in the kitchen, making a sandwich. Just then, my boss raced over.
“We’ve got a situation,” she puffed. “Our deadline’s just been moved up.”
And then she saw what I was doing.
“This is no time to be fooling around with cheese,” she said. “Move it!”
I sighed. Suddenly, inspiration struck.
And that is how I became a best-selling author.

Z

It was an honest mistake. Just one checkbox to the left.
Aaron thought he was signing up for Jews For Jesus on the online form, but the membership packet that showed up in the mail said Jews For Cheeses.
He tried to return the badge and get his money back, but a week later he got a brochure for the Museum of Lactose Tolerance, founded by Simon Wisemmenthaler.
One cheese-related charity after another signed Aaron up.
The strain eventually got to him. Massive coronary.
So, the Magen David Edam showed up, put him on a stretcher, and carried
him off.


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 #30 – Leaf

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Welcome to the thirtieth 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 Caroline from Quadra Island: Leaf.
Ten stories were submitted this week. Double digits!
No rookies this week. I guess all those people reading the Pickle Tales who said they’d join in were just blowing smoke up my ass.
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 wrote the best story in the Weekly Challenge #30?
Elisson of blog d’Elisson
Caroline from Quadra Island
Laieanna of HodgePodge Point
Lisa from Lemons and Lollipiops
Beck from Incite
Caleb from The Black Tie Martini Club
T.A. Marquette of Footnote
Andrew from Dodgeblogium
B
Houston Keys from Tater Tots for the Masses
The Deranged Bard of Planet Z
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com


WE GOTS PRIZES:
I will be sending the winner the cost of a cup of coffee through PayPal. And who’s on the five dollar bill? Heh heh heh…
So listen, vote, and tune in next week to find out who won!


The full text to each story…
CAROLINE
Shattered like a broken pot, two many pieces to put together, I sit under the tree, pondering my fate. He left yesterday, this time for good. I have to get out. I need to be alone. It is not autumn, yet the leaf gently floats down. It is quite brown, and fully formed. Perfect. I look up. The sunlight twinkles through winking at me. Winking! At a time like this? And yet, and yet through it all I feel a quiet peace enveloping me. I would be all right, more joy. Taking the leaf, I lightly run home.

LAIEANNA
It wasn’t long before Allie found just the right pattern to fit her need. And it was a beauty. Everyone loved Allie’s leaf. It was a mixture of yellow, gold, orange, red, and even a bit of remaining green. Her leaf was admired no matter where she went. Strangers were constantly coming up to her at all times of the day. It was even photographed for a local magazine. Never did she plan on having her leaf become such a crowd pleasure. For Allie, she just wanted the tattoo to mask large, ugly veins on the back of her hand.

LISA
In a coma for fifteen years, Janie shocked staff and her family when she started to move one day.
For the next three days, she’d open one eye, look around, and agitatedly moan, “leeeeaaaaf”. Her family brought in leaves for her, consulted with psychologists; nobody could figure out what Janie wanted.
Her sister arrived from overseas and finally solved the mystery. She went back to her parents’ home, to the room she’d shared with her sister and brought Janie the last thing she’d seen in her own bed back in 1981, a 16X20 glossy of Leif Garrett.
Janie finally smiled.

BECK
You have clearly lost your fucking mind.
You honestly mean to tell me that for the past thousand years, generation after generation of your family has trained for the day when they would be called upon by God to assassinate the Leader of the greatest nation on earth?
You are aware that the United States has not existed for one thousand years? Just checking.
It’s too bad the leaves aren’t falling thickly enough to conceal the evidence of your manifest failure. Turns out, two years of correspondence classes in Criminal Law trump a thousand years of training. Gotta love Capitalism.

CALEB
“Hi Honey I’m Home”
“I’m going back to mothers!”
“But Pumpkin…”
“You told me you’d reform. You told me you’d give up your violent ways!”
“Baby, ever since we got married I spend my days playing with the Angels and sprinkling fairy dust”
“More like playing with fairies and selling angel dust you mean! Gladys said you was high as a kite and stomping the village again. You know that kind of thing just gives giants a bad name!”
“But it wasn’t me…”
“So you didn’t destroy the Rosenblatz-O’Shaugnessy reception?”
“No.”
“Then why’s this table leaf stuck in your boot?”

TOM
“Rudy give me a hand with that bag of leaf,” said Larry. “Don’t you mean leaves the plural form of the noun. Such a lovely confluence of Scandinavian and Saxon linguistic bases noted by the interpolation of the v over the f ,” droned Rudy. “No this is leaf,” declared Larry opening the black garage bag to Rudy’s ever widening eyes. “WOWie” said Rudy. “No Santa Cruz Sens,” returned Larry, “Grown on the slopes of Loma Prieta repelled 200 feet down a cliff to pick it.” “By the way where’s David?” Larry asked. ” Dave’s not here man.” puffed Rudy

ELISSON
John Rolfe surveyed the plantation, arms akimbo, forehead beaded with sweat in the Virginia sun.
The new crop was doing well. Every year, the quality improved and yields increased. Feeding the new European craze was making Rolfe a rich man.
A good thing, too, he thought. Pocahontas, for all her being an Indian maiden, had become a high-maintenance wife. A real Jamestown American Princess, that one.
Who would have imagined that inhaling the smoke from burning leaves would be so pleasurable to so many?
Rolfe smiled, thinking: Centuries from now, they’ll still remember the man who brought Ganja-Farming to Virginia.

ANDREW
I was leafing through a dusty tome of mine as the leaves fell outside on a cool autumn day.
It was a book I had neglected for many years, one of chaos magic that could be turgid at times. The book was on my shelf for all to see next to my collection of quantum theory texts and my grimoires.
As I reached the end of the tome and turned to read about the author a leaf of paper gently floated onto my feet.
I picked it up and began to read.
“My dearest coleague…Ordo Templaris Chaoticus invites you to…”

B

Thanksgiving dinner and 10 unexpected additional guests. Where the hell was
she going to put everyone? Fran whispered to her husband, “Would you please leave the table as quickly as possible? We need the extra room.”
30 minutes later she asked her brother, “Would YOU please leave the table? There’s just not enough table space. Hurry!”
Dinner’s ready and so are the guests but no one had done what she’d asked! Lazy bunch of assholes!
Looking all over, she finally found her husband and brother in the den, ‘You could have at least put ONE fucking leaf in the table?’

HOUSTON KEYS

Dispatch Dallas 911.
Caller Help! I got a leaf problem!
Dispatch Ma’am, did you say a leaf problem?
Caller YES! See here, I was over at Horace’s place and he had some plants. I was feeling kind of freaky so I grabbed a handful and rolled ’em up and smoked ’em!
Dispatch Ma’am, you smoked some leaves? What kind were they?
Caller I don’t know. I tried to remember the rhyme, “Leaves of three, leave them be, leaves of five, get you high,” but I might have screwed up.
Dispatch You smoked some poison ivy?
Caller Yeah, I think so, I’m really itchin’ for some twinkies! Hurry! Hurry!

PLANET Z

Sam pulled out his gun and pointed to the topmost leaf on the old maple tree.
“I bet I can shoot that leaf,” said Sam.
“I can do you one better,” said Oliver.
He pulled out… a boomerang.
Sam laughed when Oilver threw the boomerang away from the tree, but wasn’t laughing when it clipped off the leaf on the final turn.
The boomerang fell into one of Oliver’s hands, and the leaf fell into the other.
“I win,” said Oliver.
Sam shot the leaf, blowing a hole in Oliver’s hand.
“That wasn’t the bet,” said Sam. “Pay up, asshole.”


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.)