Weekly Challenge #660 – Polar



Welcome to the 100 Word Stories podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com.

This is the Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.

We’ve got stories by:

Nardo under the tree

LIZZIE

“A polar front is approaching…” and I didn’t hear anything else.
Nowadays, it’s either too cold or too hot, too windy, too stormy, too something, too whatever.
The polar front is just another weather (aka stressful) event that comes for a visit to this quiet little country in the South of Europe.
The weather website mentions temperatures of 15C (that is 59F).
I think that’s OK. 15 degrees is not that polar.
Now that I think of it… if it starts to snow here, I’ll have to write something else about how silly I was for believing the Internet.

RICHARD

Attraction

They say opposites attract. I’m not so sure.

When I met my wife, we had plenty in common: Similar musical tastes, a shared passion for the same kinds of movies, and a range of interests we jointly pursued.

Now, according to her, we’ve somehow become polar opposites.

She’s an angel – I’m the devil incarnate. She’s always right – I’m always in the wrong. Her needs are paramount – mine, unimportant. And all her family and friends are wonderful, special people – mine are a bunch of losers and reprobates.

But I’ve learned one thing…

Opposites certainly do not attract!

SERENDIPIDY

I fed him to the polar bearsTo supplement their dietAnd soon I’ll do the same with youUnless you promise to stay quietKids really should be seen, not heardIf they want to keep their skinOr else it goes to the tigers‘ denTo stop them getting thinYour sister gave the lions a treatAll minced up for their teaThat’s what you get when you try it onAnd answer back to meSo let that be a lessonTo other children tooBe on your best behaviourWhen mum works at the zoo!

JERRY

Johnny looked out the window of his bedroom. 

Across the snow covered yards. 

Across the snow covered field. 

Across the line of leafless trees with snow outlining their branches. 

It was after midnight but something far away had awakened him. 

The iron tracks at the railroad crossing stretched north past the horizon. 

To the south a distant light wavered coming nearer. 

It was a powerful black engine with white steam poring into the sky above it. 

The passenger cars followed behind. 

Johnny smiled as he lifted the window and edged through to the ground below. 

It was the Polar Express.

TOM

Home From the Hill   

The polar coordinates showed he was high and outside. Ben executed multiple thruster corrections. A pulsing blue vector “X” nudged in line with a pulsing red vector “X”. The high pitched response speaker cut off, which made deep thought a bit easier. Ben feed the new polar coordinates in to his right input panel.  A green X appear on his heads up. “Not my favorite mode of descent,” he mused to ships board computer. “Like you had an opinion, monkey boy.” A tongue of flame set the landing pad a glow. “Me nail banana” hooted Ben. “Not impressed.” chided Sexy.

JON

Words

By

Jon DeCles

It’s easy to get obsessed with things you don’t understand.  Rond got obsessed with the word polar.  Thought at first that bipolar disorder meant having too much negative and positive energy at the same time.  Sat still for almost a month, doing absolutely nothing.  They took it for meditation, which it might have been. 

Found out the Earth had a north and a south pole and booked a tour of Antartica, then headed north.  The Inuit talked about polar bears, but Rond heard bare instead of bear, got confused about magnetic and geographic and was found meditating, polar and bare.

NORVAL JOE

Billbert scratched his head. “Are you telling me that you and Mom have superpowers?”His father blushed. “Well, actually, just your mother. Not me. I married into the family.“”Sorry, Dad. I still think your cool, but, what can mom do that’s super special?“”Haven’t you noticed?” his father asked. “She can go days without needing rest. When we were first dating, I thought she was bi-polar, but then I realized, she never had any of the down times.“”What about Uncle Sylvester and Aunt Eustashia?”His dad shrugged. “Sylvester turns into a cat and your aunt never smells bad.”

PLANET Z

Fierce winds ripped across the endless snow and ice.
Listen to the windmill generators creak as they power the station.
You can look out the window, but you won’t see anything.
The night never ends in June… it will be months before the sun rises again over the South Pole.
We walk through tunnels from one insulated hut to another, checking readings and conducting experiments and analysing samples.
At night… well, during the evenings, we cook dinner and play cards.
And no hiding any aces up your sleeve, either.
Cheating gets you one minute outside, where it’s a hundred below.

Weekly Challenge #659 – Too Much

Welcome to the 100 Word Stories podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com.

This is the Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.

We’ve got stories by:

Sleepy

LIZZIE

A mother came to me.
She was holding a photograph.
It was her daughter’s.
A mother came to me with tears in her eyes.
She wanted to tell me about the stories.
She wanted to tell me about the singing. The painting.
“My daughter, you see…”
And she held the photograph close to her chest as if that would bring her daughter back.
“I’m writing a book, you see…”
And she poured her soul into it.
A mother came to me and whispered.
“It was too much…”
And I thought, it was. It was too much pain.

RICHARD

#1 – Excess

“You can’t have too much of a good thing”, my dad used to say, and I took him at his word.

First it was an excess of sweets and chocolate. Then, as I grew older, I discovered sex, drugs and rock and roll, so true to my dad’s advice I binged on the lot.

These days as I lie, morbidly obese, toothless, deaf, and mentally destroyed by the excesses of my youth, unable to move from my bed, most of my time is taken up with sleep.

As dad always said, you can’t have too much of a good thing.

#2 – Well, would it?

“Would it be too much to ask you to put the toilet seat down after you’ve used it?” She’d complain every morning, “And, while you’re at it, is it too much hassle to replace the toothpaste cap?”

Every Thursday…  “Is it too much trouble for you to put the bins out?”

Then the constant nagging “I suppose it’s too much to expect you might attempt the washing up, the laundry, the housework, the shopping?”

Maybe I come across as lazy, but it’s part of my ploy to make her divorce me…

I’d divorce her myself… 

But it costs, too much!J


TOM

Late For Tea

I was lucky enough to grow into the Beatles. In 1963 I was a mere 10 years old, not old enough to be even a teeny-bopper. But by 1969 I had six years of Beatle-ness under my musical belt.  Sgt. Pepper’s was height of cool in its day. My favorite track on the LP was: It’s all too much. It totally capture the growing gash in suburban-culture. Story goes Harrison’s wrote the song about his LSD trips. Six years later in the warm California sun I dropped up first tab of acid. Damn if George wasn’t spot on.  Too much


SERENDIPITY



You’ll let me know when the pain becomes too much, won’t you?

Of course you will… You’ll shout, scream and thrash about in your bonds, begging me to stop and pleading for mercy. 

Then, as the pain does indeed become too much to bear, your jaw will clamp so tightly your teeth splinter and shatter; you’ll strain so hard, the restraining wires slice through your flesh to the bone.

Then I’ll stop…

Not to save you from further pain: Nothing is further from the truth.

On the contrary, I’m saving you…

So we can do it all over again, tomorrow!

JON

No Elf Eats…

By

Jon DeCles

“Any liver at all is too much!

“You’ve probably never had it cooked right.  You have to wash it thoroughly, then you put bacon on top and grill it for a few minutes, not too long, and then you drizzle maple syrup on it just before it’s done.”

“That is a total waste of bacon and maple syrup.  It still tastes like liver! In addition to the flavor, it has a texture that reminds me of dog shit.”

“Well what about pate´?  That’s delicious, and…”“It’s liver.  Too much iron.  It’s my Elf blood, on my mother’s side.  I’m Allergic!” 

Dug

By

Jon DeCles

Doug dug himself a hole in his backyard so that he could play at being a soldier in combat.  He thought of it as a foxhole because, like many boys, what he knew of war was a mashup of lingo from conflicts about which movies had been made, and a mixup of costume and equipment and technique and weaponry.  His parents did not discourage him.  It cost about the same as killing people in the endless series of first-person-shooter video games.

When he died his collection would have been worth a fortune had anyone been still alive to buy it.


NORVAL JOE

Billbert’s dad put an arm around his shoulders and walked him to his room. “Don’t worry about it too much, Billy. You’ll find, in time, that girls will become a very important part of your life.”
Billbert panicked when his father followed him into his room and said, “Have a seat, son. There are some things we probably should talk about.”
Billbert squirmed. “It’s okay, Dad. They teach us those things at school, now.”
“What? Oh. Of course, they do.” His dad cleared his throat. “But, the kids in our family line are different. When puberty arrives, they develop superpowers.”



PLANET Z

How much is too much?
Well, start with nothing.
A lot of people start with nothing.
Then, add a little.
Which is somewhere between not enough and nothing at all.
Then add some.
Not much, just a little more.
Which is more than a little.
And maybe just enough.
Then add some more to that.
Which is more than some ever have.
Add even more to that. And some more. A lot more.
More than you could possibly want. Or need.
At some point, you’ll wonder if you have too much.
That’s when you know you have too much.
Stop.

Weekly Challenge #658 – Don’t I feel stupid…

Welcome to the 100 Word Stories podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com.

This is the Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.

We’ve got stories by:

Tinny

RICHARD

#1 – Stupid?

Don’t I feel stupid? You’d think so, stood outside in the corridor while the rest of the class gets on with lessons; and I won’t feel stupid later in detention either.

I’m doing school on my own terms, and whilst all the other nerds and teachers’ pets are struggling with equations, grammar and historical facts, I’ll be chilling in the corridors and messing about after hours, inconveniencing the teachers and wasting their time.

I don’t feel stupid at all.

Just wait till I’m in my forties, with a minimum wage job, no prospects and no future…

Then I’ll feel stupid!

#2 – Breakdown

“That’s about the worst thing you can do”, laughed the mechanic. “Fill a diesel car with petrol, and it’s a complete drain and flush, and then prime the fuel system… Won’t be done until tomorrow!”

As he winched the car onto the flatbed, I was grateful for breakdown cover. I’d get a tow to my destination – a good four hundred miles down the road – and payment for a night in a hotel.

His last words as I jumped down from the truck: “Don’t you feel stupid?”

Nope.

I wouldn’t be coming back for the car… It’s not mine!

TOM

No need to apply pain, I can do that unaided

Don’t I feel stupid is pretty much the title of the home movies I run in my head on an unending time loop. I know shouting out out loud “Oh fuck” is a kin to blatantly admitting I’m bad shit crazy, but I got a lot screw ups to revisit at the most inopportune times, and each one it verbally cringe worthy. But of late I have found a sort of talisman, a purifying mantra, that oddly enough abates my person furies. With little thought at all I just internally muse, “ALL DEAD.” Seems to work like a champ.

SERENDIPITY

“Don’t!… I feel stupid”, you protested, as I dressed you up in my frilly underwear and scrawled ‘SLUT’ across your chest in bright red lipstick.

“Don’t be silly”, I murmured, “you said you wanted to try new things…”

I tied the blindfold, before slipping the noose around your neck, then waited until your struggles finally ceased, before scattering a handful of gay porn across the bed and heading back home.

You were found, next day, by the maid in that seedy hotel.

Death by sexual misadventure’ was the verdict.

‘The high life, by insurance payout’, made it all so worthwhile!

NORVAL JOE

Billbert’s parents waited for him in the living room when he got back from the party.

He swallowed.

His mother was all smiles. “How was the party, dear? Did you have fun?”

“Sure. I’m going to bed,” he said.

“Wait, son.” His father said. “Who else was there?”

“Just me.”

“Did you play any games?” His mother asked.

“Just one. And then she kissed me,” Billbert admitted.

“Oh? Billbert’s got a girl friend,” his father teased.

Billbert crossed his arms and scowled. “Don’t! I feel stupid enough as it is.”

His mother hugged him and said, “I think you’ll survive.”

PLANET Z

When Freddy doesn’t understand something, he’ll ask to slow things down a little.
I don’t see how slowing things down will make it easy for Freddy to understand.
If something is really complex, maybe he should be asking to dumb things down a little.
Or, in Freddy’s case, dumb things down a lot.
The problem is that there are some things too complicated to dumb down and simplify.
That’s when Freddy gets this glassy look on his face.
I’ve made the process of dumbing things down too complicated for him.
So, I stop, take a moment, and start again slower.

Weekly Challenge #657 – PICK TWO Bubbling Saffron Lime Axial Repetition Can Spaceship

Welcome to the 100 Word Stories podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com.

This is the Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.

We’ve got stories by:

Sleepy Tinny

EVA

The Story of Is

There was a beauty that radiated about her, penetrating the most solid of walls, the most bitter of men. I watched through impenetrable glass as the breeze lifted her hair, skin luminescent. I press a hand to my own. Cold. Lifeless. Gray.

The way of our worlds. Light and dark. Mine, devoid of life, of beauty. Of purpose. I sigh, gazing, as she plucks a flower and tucks it behind her ear.

This is the the divide, the unalterable conclusion. What is will be, what was will be no more. I am is. She is was, and someday will be…me.

RICHARD

Life?

‘Is this what my life has come to?’ I wondered, emptying the can of soup into the pan, and waiting for it to come to a bubbling heat.

I’d once had dreams and ambitions, goals to achieve and challenges to meet, but somewhere along the way, the daily grind took over.

Travelling the world, pushing my limits and living the dream somehow became less of a priority than paying the bills, putting out the bins and trying not to run out of milk.

They never warn you about this when you’re a kid.

And the soup’s not that good either.

LIZZIE

The Crow and the Spaceship

The crow muttered a few words. No one could understand him. He looked up and everyone mimicked him. They couldn’t see anything.
The crow flapped his wings. His nervousness was increasing.
Then, they saw it. It was blinding. It tinted the whole sky with an overwhelming tone of orange.
“What is that?”
“That, you idiots, is your end.”
They did understand the crow this time, but they stood there mesmerized, watching the spaceship fly over them, again and again.
It didn’t feel like the end.
The talking crow took off and hid.
They… they were never seen again.

TOM

Between a Rock and Hard Place

Bennie pulled back hard on the inertia damper. The Red Turtle dropped into the gravity well between Seti Alpha 5 and Drake’s debris field. Navigator Strobeck point out that if they didn’t pull a sufficient Z maneuver they’d likely end up fried by the dwarf binary suns of the Dawson cluster. Captain Winslow gave the order to engage the Repetition Drive. The spaceship commenced a near infinite series of braking actions. When the Turtle had finally come to a rest, they were orbiting between the suns. “Captain,” said Bennie noting the read out on the chronometer, “We overshot two millenniums.”

JON

But I Had That for Lunch!

By

Jon DeCles

The axial rotation of the spaceship meant that they had gravity of a sort, but they suffered from Repetition Disorder, which had been discovered first back on Earth by examining psychotics who had got that way from watching re-runs of “I Love Lucy.” The spaceship simulated day and night easily enough, but the seasons were harder, as seasons are pretty specific to the distance you live from the equator.

The mission was countering the disorder with culinary adventures to keep the awareness fresh. Hildemare sniffed and looked at the can, detecting both lime and saffron in the bubbling soupy stuff.

SERENDIPITY

People come from far and wide to visit my delicatessen, lured by my speciality black pudding.

It’s won prizes and accolades, and although it’s pretty expensive, you’d be amazed what foodies will pay for something of the quality that I make.

I’ve been asked many times to divulge my secret ingredient… “Is it saffron?” a customer will say as the inhale the rich, heady aroma from the freshly sliced sausage.

Another will take a guess… “It’s lime juice, I just know it is”

There’s no fancy ingredients in it.

Just blood and seasoning:

Rich, thick blood… Of the human variety.

NORVAL JOE

Billbert walked home from Linolimanda’s birthday party, new emotions bubbling up inside him from her unexpected kisses. The first kiss was surprising enough, but with the second repetition he was over the moon without a spaceship.
Of course, the weird part was how her father acted when she told him they’d been kissing. He looked like it bothered him, but that it was alright.
Bilbert planned on asking Linolimanda at school on Monday if he can come over again.
He was sure she would want to fly again. That would be fine with Billbert, if they could kiss again, too.

PLANET Z

Hector saw strange lights out in the cornfield, so he picked up his shotgun and flashlight.
It took a few flicks of the switch and a bit of shaking, but the flashlight came on, and Hector walked out into the field.
A bubbling, glowing orange slime lay in the middle of a clearing.
Hector walked back to his house, called the authorities, and packed a suitcase.
Leaving a note on the front door, he then drove to a hotel and got a room and waited for the authorities to tell him when it would be safe go to back home.

Weekly Challenge #656 – Flower

Welcome to the 100 Word Stories podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com.

This is the Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.

We’ve got stories by:

Tinny grooms Myst

LIZZIE

To my grandmother who loved daisies

Winter is coming, they say. The flowers will go to sleep.
But these daisies flourished on. They never gave up.
The rain flooded the flower pots. The snow stifled everything cold. And they still managed to bloom.
He plucked a few and placed them in a beautiful jar. They collapsed that same day.
It was strange but also somehow comforting.
Eric felt his grandmother had something to do with this because she loved daisies.
He sneered. “Yes, Granny is watching from heaven and all that.”
Heaven was a strange concept for him. But then again, resilient daisies were that too.

RICHARD

Jacked off

The day that Jack exchanged the cow for a bag of ‘magic’ beans was not one he’d look back on with any pleasure.

His mother was unimpressed and flung them out of the window, whilst Jack hid away in his room and hoped she’d forgive him.

Turns out the beans weren’t beans at all, but flower seeds, and the next morning the garden was full of gigantic sweet peas.

He picked a bunch for his mum to placate her.

It didn’t make her any happier though – she didn’t have a vase anywhere near large enough to display them in.

SERENDIPITY

It starts, almost imperceptibly; a tingling, pricking, stinging sensation that slowly grows and spreads.

Over time, the pain begins to blossom and grow, like a flower unfurling its petals reaching out towards the light. Tendrils enveloping your vitals, spreading throughout your body.

The pain fills every fibre of your being; poisoning you, destroying you – both body and mind.

Then, in the fullness of time, when the time is ripe, I burst forth from the husk of your body… An explosion of blood and gore.

My spores, flying through the fetid air, seek out new hosts to make their home.

TOM

A Dash of Panache

As I noted last week I began my forays into courtship in the last 60s and by way of the timing of said wooing had little to go on except the practices of the two decades before. Theirs humble epochs were informed by the machinations proposed by the film of that time. A care taken to impression a celluloid female was to produce from behind ones back a gathering of flowers. The choice of roses a premium, thus a more excellent level of the heart. The wrinkle I add to this was to give half the bouquet to the mother.

JON

Katheryn Hepburn

By

Jon DeCles

The Corpse Flower produces the largest unbranched inflorescence of any plant in the world. It blooms rarely and people travel long distances to see it, and inhale the pungent odor of decaying meat. Its dark burgundy color looks like meat, and it raises it temperature to 98 F. to further imitate the preferred diet of the carnivorous insects that come seeking a meal and leave disappointed: but covered with the pollen that ensures the survival of the species.

If you have a greenhouse and you are tired of saying “Oh Look, the Calla Lilies are in bloom,” try growing it.

Winner

By

Jon DeCles

Winning was going to be a combination of grinding, tedious patience coupled with a downright rustic simplicity, a mindset that would allow him to plow through the confusing maze of rules and exceptions to the rules that would have done justice to the devious mind of a writer for the Infernal Revenue Service. But Arthur wanted to be a winner: he wanted to be the only winner, the winner who gained all of the prize.

He looked at the perverse architecture of the pagoda, with its tentacle-faced idol set up in warning, and walked toward the entrance to the crypt.

NORVAL JOE

Linoliumanda’s father put his fists on his hips and waited for an answer.
She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. “We’ve been kissing, Dad.”
Billbert was considering what kind of flowers he would like at his funeral when her father opened his mouth, waggled his finger in the air, and then turned, descending the stairs. “It’s getting late.”
Billbert looked at the door. “I’d better go.”
Before he could, Linoliumanda grabbed him and kissed him again for a long time.
She took his hand and walked him out. “This was my best birthday ever. Thanks for everything.”

TURA

Flower
———
Plant breeders spent centuries trying to produce a blue rose. Nowadays, it’s a day’s work in the lab. Glow-in-the-dark harebells. Fluorescent pink lupins. I’ve designed pond lillies with leaf veining like fractal Tibetan mandalas — very popular with wealthy Japanese businessmen for their private Zen gardens. My latest creation is tartan roses. I designed software to model flower development, and used AI to design a genetic network, exploring millions of years of evolution in a few months.

Some people protest. They chant, “Roses are red! Violets are blue! God made them that way and so should you!”

PLANET Z

Ted wore a trick flower in his lapel.
He loved to invite people to sniff his flower, and he’d squeeze the bulb hidden in his hand to squirt them with water.
At first, people laughed. But after a while, the joke got old, and nobody laughed. A few got really mad.
Finally, one guy picked up Ted and threw him down the stairs.
Ted suffered massive brain damage and languished in a coma for months before he died.
It was an open casket funeral, and some people thought it would finally be safe to sniff Ted’s flower.
It didn’t squirt.

Weekly Challenge #655 – Brace

Welcome to the 100 Word Stories podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com.

This is the Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.

We’ve got stories by:

Home is where the Tinny is

LIZZIE

“Brace yourselves for the worst storm you have ever experienced. The winds will be cyclonic, the rain torrential. You may want to get these raincoats on. The waterproof boots will be extremely helpful too. Oh, and I advise you to wear these glasses to protect your eyes from flying debris. You’ll never forget this experience, I assure you.”
The group was skeptical, considering how beautiful and peaceful everything looked.
“It better be epic. We paid a lot of money for this.”
After a long wait, the only thing that flew was Steven, the guide of the weather-themed park.

RICHARD

Brace

I am what you might call a very frequent flyer. Almost every working day, and most weekends, will see me on a plane to some far flung destination.

There’s only so much you can do on a flight: Once you’ve seen all the in-flight movies, read the brochures from cover to cover, and spent far too much time sleeping, boredom becomes a huge problem.

Being something of an artist, I’ve taken to altering the emergency procedure cards.

Then, mid-flight, when no-one’s looking, I shout ‘Brace, brace!’ and laugh at the ridiculous and obscene poses I’ve instructed everyone to assume!

SERENDIPITY

I’m a great believer in transparency and openness: It can make such a refreshing change from the nonsense that’s constantly peddled as fact, every day, in every situation.

We all know politicians lie, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and no bargain is too good to be true. There are always strings attached and when we say, ‘with the greatest respect’, respect it couldn’t be further from the truth.

So why mess about and lie? Let’s be honest and tell it like it is.

That’s why I’m warning you…

This is going to hurt.

A lot!

Brace yourself.

ASPEN

A world at war…bombs, shootings, death surrounded the soldier. Much unknown to the family at home with little communications and the few that there was were weeks even months between. Nothing left but to wait and wonder if the dear loved one was wounded, captured, dead or alive.

The mother gazed down the dirt road day after day waiting for her son to return many of which she would turn in at night after not seeing her son walk the path. Finally, the day came, out the window, she saw her son but a different version limping wearing a brace.

TOM

Winking at Your Discords

“Have lost a brace of kinsmen,” said the Prince, “All are punished.” I was just 14, I’d like to have called it my first date, but it was actually a hook-up, decades before the term moved into modern American English. A brace of kinsmen, the language was somewhat fun, when we read it in freshmen English class, but when it was delivered on the wide silver screen it hammer home, lost, folly, and how damning social conventions can be. Before Zeffirelli I had mild interest in words, after 1968, a deep devotion. If words lose their meaning, all are punished.

JON

Salvation

By

Jon DeCles

Nomily braced the door open with Kevin’s body. She could not risk the growing wind blowing it closed and trapping her in the little bunker once she had finished.

She took out the small notebook in which she had written down Dr. Winslow’s instructions and began to carefully enter the complex pattern of numbers on the several keypads, breathing slowly and focusing her attention as completely as she could, despite the danger. In the back of her mind she retained the thought of how preposterous it was that she was, perhaps, going to be the savior of all of Humankind.

Dispute

By

Jon DeCles

No dispute was possible about the matter. The young upstart had rebelled against the crown and he must die before he did England any more damage. Moreover, he must not be allowed into the presence of the Queen. If once they were together he would look at her with those exquisite eyes, give her that smile, and she would commute his sentence of death. He held in thrall the heart of the most intelligent woman alive.

Therefore, the ring, which she had given Essex as final pleading against his pride, must not reach her. Stealing the salvatory ring, he fled.

NORVAL JOE

“Brace yourself,” Billbert told Linoliumanda as they landed on the eves. They crawled back through her bedroom window.
Billbert looked at the turtle clock by Linoliumanda’s bed. “We’ve been gone forty-five minutes. Your dad is going to freak out.”
As if on cue, a knock came at the door.
Linoliumanda said, “Brace yourself.”
She grabbed Billbert by the head and planted a kiss on his lips and held it until Billbert ran out of breath. She mussed his hair and then her own before she opened the door.
Her father took in the scene and demanded, “What’s going on here?”

PLANET Z

FDR’s legs were paralyzed by a bout of Polio.
So, he wore braces, and learned to drive a car by using hand controls.
He challenged himself to walk with braces and canes from his front door, down the road, to the mailbox at the front gate.
It was a quarter of a mile.
Despite trying day after day, putting himself through the grueling and painful exercise, he never managed to make it all the way there.
Oh, he pushed himself hard, but he never made it before finally giving up.
And even if he did, how would he get back?

Weekly Challenge #654 – Dispute

Welcome to the 100 Word Stories podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com.

This is the Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.

We’ve got stories by:

Tinnytoes

CHARLIE

I can’t recall a dispute I was ever engaged in. For my whole life, property, creative design ideas, legal issues, etc., were never anything I was concerned, nor enmeshed, in.

I’m afraid the day I am in a real dispute with someone, I will pick up a shovel, and smack the one I am in dispute with in the back of the head, dragging me into a manslaughter case.

Disputes hurt them more than they hurt me, but the effect on me is extreme. I dislike shouting, and spittle in the corners of an opponent’s mouth, and high blood pressure.

LIZZIE

The four men sat at the table surrounded by birds chirping.
“This racket is driving me crazy.”
The others shrugged and continued to talk about the plan.
“All weapons on deck?” he asked.
The others nodded.
A map appeared out of nowhere.
“What if he’s dead already?”
“Then, that’s it.”
And he thought, no, that’s not it. First, I’ll come back and kill these damn birds. Then, I’ll get rid of you cretins. And finally… Why not?
He pulled out two guns and shot the others right there and then.
Sometimes, there’s no point in waiting.

RICHARD

Insurance policy

I’ve been in dispute with my insurance company for the last few months. They maintain that being struck by lightning is an act of god, and therefore I can’t claim under my policy.

I, on the other hand, maintain that they’re just hiding behind a legal loophole and are unreasonably withholding the compensation I’m entitled to.

I won’t win though – I’ve made enough claims and seen enough refusals to know that the ‘act of god’ clause can cover pretty much anything they want it to.

So, I’m moving from Mount Olympus… Too many gods, and too many wild parties!

SERENDIPITY

I’ve always been a fan of the old fashioned methods of settling disputes – talking things through and getting counselling are all well and good, but they take too much time, and both sides always come away feeling they’ve had to give something up.

It’s much better to have a proper old fist fight, or if you’re feeling civilised, the traditional duel with pistols at dawn.

But, in my mind, you can’t beat the old ways: Trial by ordeal, fire and ducking stool.

Of course, even if you’re innocent, the chances you’ll survive are slim.

But, then again…

I survived!

TOM

Civility take a holiday

Oh for the days of civil dispute, when everything was dial back to a 4 at best. Reasonable voices voicing reasonable points of view. Who’d thought that the loudest screams would be coming from the black and white pixels that makeup computer text? If an army of moms where hovering just behind their recalcitrant off-spring I can assure you a snap to the back of the head would clear up a considerable amount of this rage-a-roma. It is sad we so easily confuse fighting for arguing. That winning is everything and at all costs mentality is norm. Too much red-meat.

JEFFREY

A Happy Ending
by Jeffrey Fischer

When Marty got through to a customer service rep, he explained in no uncertain terms why he was disputing the charge to the Happy Endings massage parlor. “But the business has your card number and code,” said the rep. “Has the card been out of your control?”

“Not that I know,” Marty said. “I’m just telling you the charge isn’t mine.” When the conversation was done, Marty turned to his wife, who had been listening to his end, and said, “See? It was all a mistake.” She nodded, though her icy expression didn’t change.

Marty made a mental note to be more careful with his credit cards in the future. He had to remember to use the card his wife didn’t know about.

NORVAL JOE

Billbert flew low over the houses of the neighborhood with Linoliumanda clinging to his back. He checked his watch. She had said they had a half hour before her father checked on them. He couldn’t dispute that. He didn’t know her father like she did.

Regardless. He would not have her back a minute late. He didn’t want to find himself in the middle of a family dispute.

By the time they returned to her room, the only part of him that wasn’t frozen was his back.

But it was worth it to see the smile frozen on her face.

PLANET Z

Dispute is the name of the fragrance.
The scent of anger.
To some, it’s a putoff. But to others, it’s a turnon.
The heat pours off of them like water in the shower over their body.
It’s hard to resist, but you have to try.
Fight it. Fight it with all you can.
That’s where the dispute happens.
Within you.
Fighting against yourself. Your instincts.
What you want… what you desire most.
But you know you shouldn’t have.
What you don’t deserve… don’t you?
Stop resisting. Stop punishing yourself.
Take it. Take it now.
And end the dispute, won’t you?

Weekly Challenge #653 – PICK TWO Pagoda Winner Rustic Confusing Grinding Patience Arthur Crypt

Welcome to the 100 Word Stories podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com.

This is the Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.

We’ve got stories by:

Baby panther

LIZZIE

Smart Move

The winner would be announced later. It was obvious that the blue boat had won, but they’d announce it later.
To announce something obvious, with great pomp and circumstance, hours after the event ended was confusing. But Peter believed there was some sort of live event logistics that determined that, until… he saw the crew looking rather suspicious.
He stormed over to the mic.
“There’s a lot more than people in that boat…”
The police rushed to the stage. Peter was arrested. The crew of the blue boat hurried away.
Smart move to traffic dope right under everyone’s noses.

CHARLIE

The architectural firm ran a worldwide design contest in Japan. The entrants were to design a new, three story, pagoda for Yamaguchi.

The winner would have to satisfy a couple of primary constraints. Among them, the requirement that a rustic, unassuming and non-confusing façade depict a modest image of a traditional sword maker hammering and grinding a katana sword blank.

Patience and diligence was required, but Arthur Codpeace won grand prize.

He didn’t follow the strict guidelines and the inducements the Yakuza demanded. He was deconstructed with a Stihl chainsaw and buried in a fifty gallon crypt beneath the pagoda.

RICHARD

‘In the eye of the beholder’

“Rustic and confusing” – that was the opinion of the so called art critics attending the opening of my latest exhibition.

I thought they were rather rude. After availing themselves of the rather good free wine and canapés, I expected a decent review… It’s only common courtesy, in my opinion.

Well, I wasn’t going to stand for it, and having cornered the art editor for the Evening Standard, blocking his escape path, with the Chardonnay tantalisingly just out of reach, I pressed him to explain.

“It’s the tractors” he said; “as religious iconography, they’re confusing.”

Maybe he had a point!

SERENDIPITY

Cruel and unusual torture is a much misunderstood phrase. It irritates me that people always imagine the most dramatic and outlandish scenarios when the topic is mentioned. Cruel and unusual doesn’t always mean exotic devices, ridiculous settings, blood and gore. Real cruel and inhuman torture is about taking mundane, everyday circumstances and giving them a twist; subtly grinding down your victim, until you’re left with a pathetic husk of a person, with no hope, and no will to live.

It takes great patience, but it works.

Like sitting in a dentist’s waiting room, for hours…

Now that’s cruel, and unusual!

TOM

Changga Trot

Rustic Pagoda was a K-Pop girl’s band out of Seoul. Lead singer was Kimmy Kim Park. Serious set of pipes on that smurf girl. The bass player Pearl Dive ripped up the bottom end while lead guitarist Mindy Max pounded out Anthem Stadium Power cords. The band had more drummers than Spinal Tap. Got tired of reprinting press posters so the new sticks girl was just called X. Margret Wong doubled on Sax and keyboards. She wasn’t Korean, but it wasn’t like the audience was sentience enough to notice. First band from Korean to broke into Billboard’s top 10.

TURA

Rustic pagoda
———
A traveller occasionally notices my rustic pagoda and stops to pray at the shrine. I may then come out and speak with him. My priestly wisdom is but simple, for I have not put in the level-grinding to become a great sage. I prefer this relaxed life after my previous one as a mercenary captain in the Hundred Years War. I had a glorious run of things, although in the end I was hacked to death on an obscure battlefield. But every life ends in failure, which is to say, that it ends. I am already considering my next one.

NORVAL JOE

Linoliumanda ran to the bedroom door, pressing her ear to it. “Silent as a crypt.”
A confusing evil grin spread across her face.
She locked the door.
Billbert gulped.
Linoliumanda turned on the radio to mask the grinding sound as she opened the bedroom window.
“Come on.” She climbed through, onto the eaves. “Let go flying.”
She wrapped her arms around him from behind and Billbert lifted off over the houses of the rustic neighborhood. Her body was warm against his back as the cool air rushed past.
“We have a half hour before dad comes to check on us.”

JEFFREY

The Proposal
by Jeffrey Fischer

The restaurant had a certain rustic charm and a menu with enough French words to confuse the average diner. Add to that a pianist playing traditional French songs in the style of Liberace and prices that nearly required a home equity loan, and one had the perfect locale to pop the question. Between dessert and coffee, Bryan scooted back his chair, fumbled in his jacket pocket for the ring case, and dropped to one knee.

Jessica sat transfixed, a look of horror on her face. “Bryan, no…” Too late. Bryan ran through his well-rehearsed lines. The poor fool even took her shaking head as a sign of acceptance. She fled to the ladies’ room and called a cab to meet her at the restaurant’s rear entrance.

PLANET Z

Unlike other crypts, Billy Arthur’s crypt was built in the style of a Japanese pagoda.
It was a delicate affair, surrounded by cherryblossoms and gardens and koi ponds and other fancery.
Billy had always dreamed of such tending such a beautiful garden.
But in his endless quest for money and power and fame, he never had the time to take a break and enjoy all he’d accumulated.
He died young, leaving instructions for he crypt and pagoda and gardens.
The people who come here to rest and relax and take photographs, to them, he’s just a name on a plaque.

Weekly Challenge #652 – Turtle

Welcome to the 100 Word Stories podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com.

This is the Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.

We’ve got stories by:

Tongues

RICHARD

The golden rule

Danny ‘Fries With That’ McDonaldson had earned a break; and now that his burger business was making a profit, he felt comfortable with taking some time off and leaving his brother, Dilbert, in charge.

Dilbert wasn’t the brightest, so Danny kept his instructions to a mere hundred words, and headed off to the beach.

When he returned, after two weeks, the business was failing. Dilbert in his wisdom had done away with steak, and was now selling turtle burgers instead!

“For crying out loud!” Danny ranted, “I can’t believe you broke the golden rule of burgers…”

“Always… Keep it beef!”

LIZZIE

“Pirates are turtles.”
The others at the table frowned. Most of them were pirates.
“Yes, turtles.”
“You drank too much, mate.”
“No, no. Turtles, they are.”
“Why turtles?”
The man prepared to stand up and walk away.
“Wait, wait. Have a seat. Explain why we’re turtles.”
“Parrots.”
The others frowned.
“Turtles or parrots?”
The man raised his beer mug and laughed.
“Another round for the boys!”
Everyone forgot about the turtle story.
When the man walked away he had several pouches of coins in his pocket.
“Slow blabbers,” he whispered.

CHARLIE

The turtle, as unique and well designed as it is, has never been employed as a means of mass transport. A quick bimble around the garden or across the river may suffice for the turtle, but once the scorpion is introduced into the story you know this did not turn out well for the turtle nor the scorpion.

I’ve never ridden a turtle, but I did take a ride on the back of a large, green, seat turtle while in the Galapagos on a vacation.

The turtle took me for a spin, as we dodged tour boats and scuba divers.

#2

We don’t know how it happened. The bottom of the shell was cracked and the plates were loose. Jimminy, the box turtle that lived in the garden, needed help, now. He had to stop dragging his shell across the ground. It was hurting him and it could do more damage to his organs if we didn’t do something.

Lani had some popsicle sticks, string, some rubber wheels, some cotton packing, and Leggo pieces.

We cobbled together a contraption that Jimminy could wear. It would keep his shell off the ground allowing him to pull himself along until his shell healed.

JEFFREY

Fear the Turtle
by Jeffrey Fischer

Sports team mascots tend to emphasize their ferocity: the Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Michigan Wolverines. Political correctness has forced some teams to replace mascots with watered-down versions: William and Mary is still the Tribe but can’t use the Indian logo. Similarly, the Atlanta Braves dropped long-time mascot Chief Noc-A-Homa. Fairfax High School, in Virginia, ditched Johnny Reb in the 1980s, opting to do without a mascot.

Here’s to the Maryland Terrapins, then. A school so splendidly confident that its mascot is the very definition of slowness combined with a knack for avoiding fights by hiding in its shell. A bold decision.

SERENDIPITY

Someone asked what my spirit animal might be. I suggested snapping turtle, because there’s much I have in common with that creature.

I hide away, only coming out of my shell if provoked, I’ve a thick impervious skin, and I’ll attack without warning. Like the turtle, once you’re in my grasp, I’ll draw blood and I’ll not let go.

And yet, I seem so inoffensive, you might even think I’m cute.

So, why don’t you come a little closer… Try to give me a cuddle. No need to be afraid.

But don’t be surprised when I tear your fingers off!

TOM

All the way down

Mitch was a turtle’s turtle. Totally hard sheller. Quick to snap at any dissent in the rank and file. He ran the race so slowly it was easy to miss the infinite course corrections. That reptile was will to given up any conservative creed to gain the greater goal. If is took 100 years, the Mitch, would make it the law of Turledom all turtle eggs will come to term. Well it didn’t quite work out the way Mitch had planned. The Turtle Two movement took him out of office, and a Mack truck took him out on the road.

JON

Turtle

By

Jon DeCles

Leonardo’s tank was based on his observations of a turtle in a pond near his home. Many of his inventions were based on natural phenomena, like the set of wings he designed to allow a man to fly like a bird. He noticed, on an outing at the seashore, that seals could swim underwater for a very long time while hunting fish and other delicacies, and so he designed a submersible ship that could do the same.

The sun heated stones and the stones held the heat, but that was not worth jotting down: even a fool could understand that.

——————

Chaos

By Jon DeCles

Chaos was what there was before the Big Bang. That’s an important part of Greek Cosmology. It is not Nothingness, it is a lack of Somethingness. What you might call substance without spiritual definition. A stage of complete lack of any kind of organization on any level.

The Tower of Babel is a Biblical depiction of Chaos brought about by linguistic disintigration. If Nobody can speak a common language Nobody can communicate. If even part of the people can speak more than one language then the Chaos begins to come under control. The more commonality, the less Chaos.

Speak Broadly!

NORVAL JOE

Linoliumanda pulled Billbert toward her bed.
“Um. I really don’t think,” Billbert began.
“What? Oh.” Linoliumanda blushed. “I just want to talk.”
Billbert perched on the edge of the bed, his hands in his lap. Linoliumanda sat next to him.
He looked around expecting to find decorations of unicorns or something magic related. To his surprise, everything was turtles — pink turtles.
There were turtle pillows on the bed, a pink and purple turtle pattern bedspread, turtle wallpaper, turtle posters and turtle ornaments.
“You like turtles?” Billbert asked.
“Yes. How did you know?” she asked, apparently surprised by his observation.

PLANET Z

Back when I could eat candy, I loved those turtle candies.
Chocolate, caramel, pralines, and…
Oh, I miss them so.
Now that I can’t eat them, I miss them that much more.
For a while, I’d put one in my mouth, chew it up, and spit it out.
But I was too tempted to swallow them, and I had to stop.
I’d try to breathe them in, or get turtle-flavored coffee, but I can’t have coffee, either.
Now, I just walk past the candy shop, not even looking in the window.
“Enjoy it while you can, kids,” I whisper quietly.

Weekly Challenge #651 – Mystery

Welcome to the 100 Word Stories podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com.

This is the Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.

We’ve got stories by:

Skeletinny

RICHARD

Scooby Don’t

It’s a mystery to me how Scooby Doo managed to stay so popular for so long.

Sure, I could understand the attraction of the geeky Velma, delectable Daphne and dependable Fred, but Shaggy didn’t have a lot going for him, even as a cartoon character.

And who wouldn’t be impressed by a talking dog?

But the stories themselves… Rubbish!

Dark spooky building, apparently haunted; Mystery Machine rolls up; much running around, screaming, and colossal sandwiches; fatal error by ghostly presence; cops arrive; janitor unmasked.

And he would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for them pesky kids!

CHARLIE

The mystery oil applied to her face was advertised as removing wrinkles deep in her cheeks, over her lips and on her neck. She had no idea what it was, but it costs as much as her car payment for a sixty day supply. She assumed it would work.

It worked. It tightened the skin so much on her face, that in order to appear curious, she had to raise her eyebrows with her fingers.

The oil seemed to dissolve her skin to the point that cosmetic fillers would not be necessary. Botox, of course, was out of the question.

#2

Chef Thomas drizzled the mystery sauce on the grilled steak. The sauce was his secret. Even the sous chefs had no idea what constituted the sauce.

Thomas learned about the sauce when he traveled in the orient, visiting various villages.

He was introduced to the sauce by an old woman. He slipped her three thousand Baht, and placed jars of sauce into his bag.

On the trail back, he noticed that there were dogs following him, sniffing and pawing his bag.

He had only seen this behavior once before. It was the day he cut his hand in the kitchen.

SERENDIPITY

I’m no fan of cop shows.

The plot twists and turns required to keep the final outcome a mystery irritate me. That’s not how it works in real life, where the cops usually know what they’ve got at the start and, spend the rest of the investigation gathering supporting evidence.

However, I do enjoy watching old episodes of Columbo, because unlike every other cop show, you see the crime being committed right at the beginning, you know who did it and how, right away.

So, for any cops listening, I’ll make it simple…

It was me: With my bare hands!

JEFFREY

The Lost Episode
by Jeffrey Fischer

“Crikey, it’s not a ghost at all, it’s Mr. Smithers!” cried Velma, pointing at the running man, his mask having slipped from his face.

“Rister Rithers?” Scooby said, confused as usual.

“Make sure he doesn’t get away!” Daphne said. Always the sharp one, that Daphne.

“Radical, man.” That was Shaggy’s contribution.

“Don’t worry, gang, we’ve got him. Get in the Mystery Machine,” Fred said. The fivesome piled into the van, slamming the doors shut. Flakes of rust rained on the pavement. Fred cranked the ignition a half-dozen times before the engine caught with a mighty backfire. He pushed down hard on the accelerator and the van… went nowhere. He adjusted the side mirror and saw a bright red boot clamped on the rear wheel of the van.

“Shaggy, did you pay those parking tickets that you said you would?” Fred asked.

Shaggy gave Fred a big, stoned smile and said, “I would have, but I had the munchies and spent the dough on a bag of hamburgers and fries.”

“Rut-row.”

TURA

Mystery – An Ekphrasis
———
In a certain undistinguished town in Argentina lies the Plaza del Infinidad.

You must enter it on a deserted summer afternoon, from the alley at the corner of the Curiñanca. Stare to the clock tower on the far side. It must be three o’clock. As you make toward it, it recedes, for after walking half way, always half the distance remains. The clock stands still at three o’clock. Here, in the mystery of the hour, somewhere there lies a mirror reflecting the entire universe, but only one has ever found it. The others wander still, lost in this infinite space.
———

TOM

My First Mystery

When I was a kid I uses to watch the Mickey Mouse Club on TV. Late 50’s stuff. They had this on goes section called The Mystery of the Applegate Treasure. It was Hardy Boys knock-off, but I was way too young to be able write, so the story was classic TV mind candy. There are this recurring scene in the series that never left me. A tight shoot of a gloved had tapping out a message on a phone so the boys could get this coded message. In the end it turn out to be the young female led.

NORVAL JOE

Billbert followed Mr. Withybottom up to Linoliumanda’s door.
Everything about the situation was a mystery.
Linoliumanda said she would only speak to him and Mr. and Mrs. Withybottom believed her.
“Go ahead.” Mr. Withybottom pointed to the door.
When Billbert reached for the doorknob Mr. Withybottom grabbed him by the wrist and growled, “Knock.”
“Oh. Sorry.” Billbert raised his hand to pound on the door.
Before he could, the door opened and Linoliumanda pulled him inside.
Billbert had never seen so much pink in his life.
“Um. What do we do now?” Billbert asked.
Linoliumanda pulled him toward the bed.

PLANET Z

When Inspector Fred arrived at the scene, he couldn’t help but mutter “This is such a cliche.”
A remote mansion, a long road and drive to the front door, a butler waiting at the front steps.
And a once-innocent dinner party had become a murder mystery.
The guests and staff were, of course, all suspects.
Inspector Fred interviewed all of them
They had reasons to kill the victim. But they also had alibis or reasons why they couldn’t have murdered the victim.
So, Fred chalked it up to suicide and let them all go.
“Asshole had it coming,” he said.