He was once the king of the road, gracing every stage on the planet.
Now, the great showman Gooseman was a recluse.
Living off of his real estate investments.
He never left the house and never went out.
The hired help cleaned and cooked, but they never saw him.
Except for the dirty clothes in the hamper, the dirty dishes.
A stubbed out cigar in an ashtray.
And, of course, the checks every week.
This went on for years.
Even after going through every room, not a sign of Gooseman.
“What do we care?” said a maid. “He pays well.”
You know, there’s more than one barber in Seville.
And Figaro isn’t the best.
Juan is the best by far.
Figaro, well, he’s the best singer, but when you need a shave and a haircut, who gives a damn about how well your barber sings.
You want the best shave and the best haircut.
A smooth face with no nicks or cuts. A fine head of hair, coiffed properly.
You don’t want a towel on your face and a hat on your head, right?
But nobody performs operas about Juan.
Even though all the opera singers go to his barbershop.
Ted told the truth, and only the truth.
He could put his hand on a Bible, and swear to tell the truth, and people believed him.
Maybe he took it a little too far sometimes.
Doing it before ordering in a restaurant, the whole hand-on-Bible swearing thing.
Or when answering the phone.
It’s not like the person on the other end of the line could see him with his hand on the Bible.
When Ted died, he had a mirror as a headstone.
With the words “ONE DAY I WILL DIE” engraved on it.
True to the end, he was.
Where did you go, Superman?
Do you get homesick?
Wherever you went, we miss you.
And not just because you save us, all of us, so often.
But because you are so good.
A good person. A good soul.
Someone we all look up to.
Maybe fear a little, but still, we respect you.
There will always be a place for you.
Just come back, and everything will be okay.
We promise not to try to hurt you again.
That was a mistake.
No hard feelings, right?
Just put the moon back in orbit, and all is forgiven.
A developer announced their two weeks.
I’d noticed that they’d been de-decorating their office.
That’s usually a good sign that they’re clearing off soon.
And sure enough, they did.
Been noticing quite a bit of that as of late.
Me, when my time comes, I’m just going to take a few clocks home, maybe the hydroponics, and the baseball caps, of course.
Let ’em put the rest in a pile in the parking garage and burn it.
The fun is not in keeping things, but obtaining them.
Once you have it, you have to dust it.
I hate dusting.
Fat, tired, and sick… I can’t go on like this.
Doctor says I need to cut down on snacks and sweets.
So, instead of a whole package of Oreos, only one cookie for me.
And only one.
Even though you open the box, take one, and it’s so hard to stop with one.
Because doctor’s orders.
Which cookie will I get?
So many to choose from.
Know the place in the mall that makes those big cookies with the frosting?
Yeah, I got one of those.
But at least when I finish it, I don’t need a second one, right?
“Oh great!” Billbert grumbled, folding his arms and slouching down on the sofa. “You want to just trade away my happiness for your feeling of safety?”
His mother nodded her head slowly and sighed. “The same could be said for you, Billbert. Do you want to trade our safety, perhaps our lives, for a friendship which will most likely fade away before high school?”
Billbert looked to his father for support, but he only picked at his fingernails. “Will I be able to text Linoliamanda or send her emails?”
His mother began to speak, but then only shook her head.
I’ve been trading my soul with other’s to endlessly escape and outwit Death.
I’d leave one body when there was a little time left, and that body would die soon after. I leave before they wake. Pretty sure the existing soul went to wherever it would have gone anyways.
Something is wrong with this body. It should have had more time, but now I have a bullet hole in my chest.
Who…? You’re a hired a contractor and you followed the trail of confused dead people? You want me to meet someone? Can they fix this wound?
Oh, hello, Reaper.
Fun While It Lasted
I need a new job. The last four years where way cool. I sent my resume to
a mess of department in the gov. I thought I’d get a job in Department of
Ed, 25 years in the class. No, they had a quite different plan for me.
Trade Minister to Nigeria. One minute I’m in Oakland, the next Africa.
Very cool. A major part of my mission was to administer the email of the
Prince of Nigeria. Not only did I get a hefty pay check from the gov, I
got a percent of what the Prince racked in.
Contract killing is a trade like any other: You put in the hours, you get paid at the end of the day, and you take a pride in your job.
Just like any other profession, things don’t always run smoothly. There’s disputes over payments, unfair clauses in contracts and you never know when you might need legal assistance.
Which is why we formed a trade union.
We have our members’ interests at heart and will ensure your rights are protected, for a small monthly fee.
So why not join us?
Alternatively, you can suffer the consequences.
Know what I mean?
“College is bullshit! What you need to do is find a good trade school. Learn something useful.”
That’s the wisdom my father tried to impart on me. I never took his advice. Now I need help with everything. I take my car in for simple repairs. I call a plumber for clogged toilets. I even had to hire a gardener to cut the grass. A driver takes me to work, a team of writers provide me with words to say, and a director shows me which camera to look at. My father says I need to get a real job.
Trading vintage posters had become quite the busy activity.
John had a bunch of them hanging on the walls of his study.
He dusted them and created a website to sell them. Trading was for retards.
The phone rang a few days later.
A man was interested. And John was happy.
They met and John opened the trunk of his car.
The man sneered and walked away.
The man waved dismissively.
John went back home, updated the website, traded a bunch of posters for different ones.
Yup, John, just go with the flow. It’ll be less painful.
A great deal
“It’s a fair trade”
The Bedouin grunted a smile and shook my hand.
I was now the proud owner of three camels and a goat, whilst he in return, got custody of my wife.
I’d been trying to offload the old bat for years, and I thought the deal I’d managed to strike over several glasses of mint tea and a leisurely puff of fragrant apple tobacco, was definitely the best I’d ever made.
Getting them onto the flight through customs was surprisingly easy.
I just dressed them up in the wife’s clothes.
They were still more attractive than her!
After the war ended between Bondag and Griv, trade between the two kingdoms resumed.
Textiles and food from Griv, ores and machinery from Bondag.
Along with countless other resources and materials.
Oh, and elvish slaves.
I mean, those ores didn’t mine themselves, you know.
The Forest of Ool had plenty of elves for Griv to capture and send to Bondag to mine the ore.
To turn into the machinery to send to Griv.
Every now and then, the slaves would revolt.
Bondag soldiers putting down the rebellion.
Accusing Griv of starting it. War breaks out.
And the cycle begins anew.
Every week, I post a topic for the Weekly Challenge, where you come up with the stories and I collect them up and share them.
Want to give it a try? The topic of the next 100 Word Stories Weekly Challenge is TRADE
Write a 100 word story on that topic. Then, send it in an email to isfullofcrap (at) gmail.com with the subject line of WEEKLY CHALLENGE.
Include the following:
The text of your story.
A topic or topics for future Weekly Challenges.
A website where people can learn more about you and your writing, include the URL to that website.
A recording of your story. Be sure to introduce yourself to the audience.
I put the episode together on Sunday morning. But, if you need more time, I can put your story up on the feed in a separate post.
Good luck, and as always… keep it brief.
JAN 3 Fire
JAN 10 Why is mother crying?
JAN 17 Get a life!
JAN 24 How does that grab you?
JAN 31 Prowling, Canon, Everything, To/Too/Two, Risk, Delinquent, Spray Tan
FEB 7 Smalltalk
FEB 14 Pizza
FEB 21 Wine
FAN 28 Ruins, Cone, A toast!, Rebel, Dive, Name change, Glow
MAR 7 Tilting
MAR 14 Behind a bush
MAR 21 Unlimited
MAR 28 Remember only this…, Scope, Church, Melt, Fade, Bare
APR 4 River crossing
APR 11 Advanced
APR 18 Saint
APR 25 Fuming, Bean, When will it stop raining, Vaccine, Quarantine, Helmet, Tin
MAY 2 List
MAY 9 Stay safe
MAY 16 Don’t press the button!
MAY 23 Hand
MAY 30 Address, Blundering buffoon, Bunny, View, Wizard, What’s that on the horizon?, Bark
JUN 6 Trade
JUN 13 Riding shotgun
JUN 20 Prompt
JUN 27 Crystalline, Copper, Outbreak, Demure, Paper thin, Bonus, Bleach
JUL 4 So many questions
JUL 11 Needle
JUL 18 Letter
JUL 25 Can you help me?, Enough, Market, Trial, Bundle, The noise is driving me mad!, Inventory
AUG 1 Discard
AUG 8 Misnomer
AUG 15 If I had a nickel for every time
AUG 22 Where do I begin?
AUG 29 Full, Where did they go?, Barrel, Your call, Universally, Joint, Some might say…
SEP 5 Doubtful
SEP 12 Over to you…
SEP 19 The heat of the moment
SEP 26 Craft, Ceremoniously, Empty spaces, Clickbait, Disposal protocol, You saved my life, Level
OCT 3 Binge
OCT 10 After
OCT 17 Disintegration
OCT 24 …Since records began
OCT 31 Vase, Rub, Top, Spring fresh, Chime, The End, Crop
NOV 7 Unsure
NOV 14 Arson
NOV 21 What’s that on your face?
NOV 28 Square, Unexpected message, Formation, The door flew open, Fret, Prediction, Jelly fish
DEC 5 Bee
DEC 12 Store
DEC 19 Left
DEC 26 Don’t push me…, Animated, Compassion, Indifferent, Ally, Whale, A fork in the road
THE REST OF THE TOPICS
Fight fire with fire
A thin veneer
I was very young
Are we there yet?
I’ll be there
Too much to bear
The sweet smell of success
Every good intention
Thousands of years
What happens next?
The way we were
The wrong words
A word from an unknown language.
Put that thing down
Horror on the subway!
As far as the eye can see
Frozen in time
Riot of color
It’s a dirty job
Why should I?
Eaten by lions
The lion that ate cherries
Hard to believe
It’s a pattern
It’s nice to walk through the woods.
I go for a walk every night.
Sometimes, I walk into one woods and out of another.
It used to be confusing, trying to find out which woods I ended up at.
Looking for a sign. A marker.
And then I’d walk into those woods, trying to get back home.
Sometimes, it takes hours.
Other times, it takes days… weeks…
I got a phone with GPS.
Now I know where I end up.
But it still takes time to find my way home.
I just don’t feel as lost, knowing where I am.
The monks can teach you anything.
All it takes is one lesson.
Just knock on the door of the monastery, wait for the monks to open the door, and walk inside.
They’ll take it from there.
How long does a lesson take?
It depends on what you want to learn.
Maybe an hour.
Maybe a day.
Maybe a year.
Maybe the rest of your life.
But you won’t know until you go to the monastery and knock on the door.
So, what is it that you want to learn?
Where is the monastery?
Oh, that’s easy. Here is a map.