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.

Weekly Challenge #20 – Exposition

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Welcome to the twentieth 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 of the Black Tie Martini Club Oddcast: exposition.
Nine stories were submitted this week.
No rookies this week.rookies joined in.
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 favorite:

Who had the best story for the 20th Weekly Challenge?
Kolek from The Kolektive
Lisa from Lemons and Lollipiops
Caleb from Black Tie Martini Club
Caroline from Quadra Island
T.A. Marquette from Footnote Podcast
Andrew of Dodgeblogium
Laieanna
Elisson from blog d’Elisson
P.J. from No Deep Thoughts
The Madman From Planet Z
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com


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 #19 – Moonlight

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Welcome to the nineteenth 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: moonlight.
An astounding fourteen stories stories were submitted this week.
Three rookies joined in – looking forward to more stories from y’all.
And, as always, the usual story 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 favorite:

Who sent in the best story this week?
Caleb from Black Tie Martini Club
El Capitan from Baboon Pirates
Lorna
Russel from Come Let Me Whisper
Lisa from Lemons And Lollipops
Andrew of Dodgeblogium
Elisson from blog d’Elisson
Laieanna
Caroline
Tom from Footnote Podcast
Stephen
Kolek from The Kolektive
Cynthia
Houston Keys
Planet Z
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com


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 #18 – Roosters & Hernias

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Welcome to the eighteenth 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 rooster and hernia.
Nine stories were submitted this week: one of them was a rookie. Oh, and there was one from Planet Z which… which…
I just can’t make myself say it.
Go ahead and listen to them by clicking on the grammophone thingy there in the left column and then vote for your favorite:

Who wrote the best story this week?
The Mystery Man from Planet Z
Libby from Last One Speaks
Lisa from Lemons and Lollipops
Caleb from Black Tie Martini Club Oddcast
Caroline
Andrew of Dodgeblogium
Elisson from blog d’Elisson
T.A. Marquette from Footnote Podcast
Kolek from The Kollektive
Houston Keys
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com


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 will be posted shortly, and for God’s sake don’t blame me for it. You’re the ones who voted.