Welcome to the 100 Word Stories podcast at podcasting.isfullofcrap.com. I’m your host, Laurence Simon.
This is Weekly Challenge Number Three Hundred and Thirty-Four, 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 Space.
And we’ve got stories by a lot of people:
- Serendipidy Haven
- Monday Jinx
- Bonchance and Sevi
- Cliff – Uncle Monster
- Steven the Nuclear Man
- Norval Joe
- Planet Z
And if you want to spam your social networks with this episode, use the Share buttons at the end of the post… this obligatory cat photo should help make the Internet go faster:
Just how much space does the average human require? Most answers I found said two square feet. I needed to find out before I started shopping for luggage and trunks for my new, out-of-the-way farmhouse in upstate Massachusetts. I am a quiet fellow. I am polite, keep to myself, and have never been in any trouble, although I hated my parents and wet my bed until I was seventeen. I plan to change that when I move to my new home. I’m tired of living day by day, and I want to spice things up a bit. A little bit.
“Space. I need more space!” She screamed, jumping up and down, tears flying from her red, swollen face. She was relentless until we caved and rearranged her cubicle. A long time employee of Metropolitan Insurance, she had a lot of pull, knowing the secrets the director had hidden in his closet, where the bodies were buried, and in possession of dozens of private, executive memoranda. We replaced her computer screen with a larger one, bought her a large, Hello Kitty wall clock, and gave her the new Herman Miller Embody office chair, in the brightest shades of pink she specified.
Space. The final frontier. These are the planned voyages of Thomas’ new gyrocopter. Its 5-year mission is to explore the strange new shopping center, the college, and the housing development. At night, running with no lights…to seek out new life and new neighbors to spy on with night goggles and photograph with infrared…to boldly go where no man has gone before, nor dared to go before…to a vantage point overlooking the girl’s dorm room of the university.
Two spaces after a period, one after a semicolon, and one after a comma. No spaces between the top, central incisors of movie stars and fashion models, unless they are the of the likes of Madonna, Natalie Cole, Laura San Giacomo and Laura Hutton. Supposedly oversexed and well-traveled, these gap-toothed women can whistle like song birds and put a steady stream of water into a container ten feet away. The envy of other women, and sought after by men because of the folklore that surrounds them, these unique beauties were once said to have “summer teeth”. Summer here, summer there.
Know what trope I miss? Attaching “Space” to things to make them more future-ey.
Writers used it for a good long while! People would take space-ships to space-stations, change into space-suits and space-walk to the spaceport. It was cheesy, I’ll grant you, but it had a certain space-charm.
Space = Future fell out of fashion once people started actually going to space, I think. But we’ve built awesome robots to send in our place now, so I think “Space” is due for a space-comeback. Who’s with me?
I hope you’ve enjoyed my space-story. Now: I’m off to eat my space-lunch.
Something crashed beyond the mountain.
“Don’t go,” they yelled. But she walked through the shallow waters all the way to the other side.
She wanted to run, but… They were grumbling about some technical failure and trying to cool the engine down.
“Need any help?” she asked amused at the scene.
“Yeah, a couple of you could hop in our energy processor so we can go back home. That would be great.”
“Like… burn to death?”
The aliens shrugged. “Whatever…” and got back to fixing the engine.
These days, you can’t even trust an alien to be scary anymore!
She waited. The storm would be the cover. It would not be an invasion of green oddballs with antennas; it would not be a hostile takeover by semi-invisible, deformed, zombie resembling beings. It was just… an arrival, a settling and hopefully a peaceful cooperation. They had heard a lot about humans… She waited. She waited a long time until they sent the message that they wouldn’t get there anymore. She got back in her car and drove home. It would be a long 100 years till that storm came round again. Perhaps then they would too. Till then, she waited.
She said she didn’t want to break up, she just wanted some space. Well, let me tell you, man, I’ve heard that before and I know what it means. It means she wants to break up but doesn’t have the guts to say so.
At least she told me in person. When you’re dumped with a phone call or a text message – how lame is that? Has that ever happened to you? – you feel like… like dirt, like she never cared enough about you to tell you face to face.
We were at the rooftop bar of the W, the one on 15th Street. Pricey drinks, but great views. Anyway. She told me she wanted her space, so I gave it to her. Just like that. One push, over the edge, eleven stories down. I yelled, “Is that enough space for you?” as she went.
Women, what can you do about them? Am I right, officer?
It’s been 20 years that we have been in the house. Or should I say it’s been 20 years since we sneaked into the house. Even though the house was sitting on our land, we had paid that off the year before, the manufactured home agent said until the bank loan cleared we could not go inside. I’ve never been shy about climbing through a window, should’ve been a second story man, anyway I open the front door for Gail and we sit down on the 3 foot high roll of carpet. Our whispers echoed off the vast empty space.
There I am – full load of shopping and some selfish idiot has parked in my allocated space… again!
I’m not normally a violent person, but something inside me snapped – I saw red, jumped out of my car with a banshee cry and went completely nuts.
Within minutes the offending vehicle was a write-off: smashed headlights, cracked windows, slashed tyres and – keyed into the paintwork along one side – ‘NEVER PARK IN MY SPACE AGAIN!’
I thought I’d bent my key, because I couldn’t open the front door… then I noticed the number, and my heart stopped.
This isn’t my apartment building!
He sat on his therapist’s couch boring her to tears. While he navigated through major life crises with remarkable aplomb for someone so damaged, he was easily caught up in the emotional flypaper of everyday life. Today, though, his worries crowded out his thoughts and he struggled for enough cognitive space with which to cultivate insight.
“How’s work going?” She’d chosen to not allow his current silence to resolve itself of its own accord.
“It’s still the worst job I’ve ever had,” he replied. “But I think I have an exit plan formulating. I feel I’ve moved beyond merely whining.”
“Why did you buy so many cans of chili? “ she rants.
“It was on sale.” explains her husband.
“Do you know how many things are past expiration dates?”
“That is only the Sell by Date not the expiration date.”
“Two thousand five! Why do we have things with that as the sell by date.”
“Because,” he admits “we moved twice in two thousand one.”
“We have no room for so much stores.”
“You just wait and see how prepared I am for the zombie apocalypse”
“I am guessing zombies will not want your pantry full of expired can
“Hi Honey, what are you doing with all those tin cans?”
“Well dear, Mrs Zackmann gave these to me to feed to the hogs since
they are past the sell by date. After I feed everything to the hogs, I
am going to build a spaceship like in that old radio drama. ”
“Really” She says.
“Well not the Spam. I think wild hogs might eat each other but that
sets a bad precedent.”
“No, the spaceship part?”
“Yeah really, What could possibly go wrong?”
“But I am not planning to commit insurance fraud like the radio
BONCHANCE AND SEVI
Thank you for shopping at Government. Your existence is important to us.
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Government is handling your request.
Everything is fine.
You can trust Government
All their civilization’s resources were utilized in building the ship prototype.
A setback would send the entire ant kingdom back to the stone age.
The crew were boarding. They would conquer vast distances of space!
The moment of truth!
Boner, the green swamp dog, liked to roll around in grass, hence his green fur.
He had one rule, if you don’t understand something, eat it!
He saw the Ant Ship, hundreds of armoured insects boarding the strange object. He lapped with his long tongue.
ate it all.
One lone ant remained raising his defiant fist!
An enemy born!
So I casually mentioned to Dave that he’d parked in my space again. He laughed, said he was sorry and that he didn’t realize it. The next day, the Kia was in number 42 again. I stopped by Dave’s desk, but he was on a conference call or so he said, so I left a note. Wednesday, I went in early but Dave had beaten me. Thursday, I swear he parked it at a cocky angle, just to tick me off. Friday, I set fire to the Kia in space number 42. Or was it 24? I having hate dyslexia.
“…and, BY GOD, you’ll give me MINE!” His fist hit the chair armrest with a thud. She tried to remember what she’d seen in him at the Academy, but she didn’t remember much from then. Too many parties. Too much Romulan Ale. He’d had disarming, boyish good looks, and that strange, sexy kind of halting speech. He’d encouraged her, till now. No hesitation as her hand slammed on the black button. A satisfying “schrump!” as he and the chair disappeared through the deck, and a distant scream out through the airlock. Smiling softly, she said, “I got yer ‘Final Frontier.’”
STEVEN THE NUCLEAR MAN
The speaker crackled and clicked on. “Everything good, Sergeant?”
The astronaut tied to the chair moaned through the gag.
“I know you’re not a man of science, so hopefully you’ll forgive a small lecture.”
The man strained against the plastic ropes, tipping the chair over.
“Sound is transmitted by molecules vibrating against one another. And space is a vacuum. No molecules.”
The man saw the bomb, just out of reach.
“Well, not quite a vacuum. Just very few molecules. They have to move a long way to hit another one.”
The bomb’s timer ticked down to zero.
“So scream loud.”
The newly affordable time machine had spurred strings of plaza and mall busineses. “Where today and yesteryear meet”, the sexy female voice purred from the speaker just inside the shop at Tower Place. People used to have to carry around their broken lives, patching what they could with words and good intentions which ultimately failed. That is, until now. A chance for a new beginning, to never utter those damnable words, to return before the ravages of disease and time took their toll.
It was over and done with in the space of three minutes. Death and rebirth.
Lola wakes up to rain tapping her bedroom windows. She sleep walks through her apartment, looking for her cell phone. Something feels different today.
“I guess I’m all alone.”
On the cluttered kitchen table an upside down pineapple cake rests with a fork in the middle. Lola pauses and can no longer hear the rain. Every time her grandmother has bad news, she bakes Lola’s favorite dessert. Lola takes a tiny bite and hurries back under the bed comforter. She tastes the memories of every problem and hears the rain again. She wishes she could run away to space, and scream her worries away.
“Give me some space,” Shareeka said, took a deep breath and relaxed her arms at her sides.
The company moved behind the wizardess.
Spleen waved his arms over his head and screemed as he ran toward them.
“I wish he’d get out of my way,” Shareeka said about the half-goblin.
“I can arrange that,” Elbownor said, knocking an arrow.
Shareeka raised her hands and Owen saw the meadow around them ripple with heat waves.
Fortunately for Spleen, he tripped. Shareeka sent a wave that sucked the air from the meadow. The demon giant was blasted to countless gobs of gore.
The new house is fine. The space is organized a little weirdly. All of the upstairs bedrooms are tiny, and all the ceilings are low. Meanwhile, the main floor ceilings are so much higher. We determined that we could finagle an acceptable amount of privacy in what’s probably meant to be the dining room on the main floor and made that the bedroom. We’ll just eat in the living room– once it’s not overflowing with boxes– or on nice days we’ll eat out on the porch. As for the tiny bedrooms, we’re using one of them as a walk-in closet.
I step through the church porch and close the heavy wooden door, hearing the echoes of the latch dropping into place. The nave runs eastward, to my right. No rood screen, I think. There is one aisle, on the north side. I walk up the nave and sit on one of the pews, listening to the silence. There is no-one else here.
Mathematicians have proved that you cannot hear the shape of a drum. But the three-dimensional case is not settled. Can you hear the shape of a space?
Well enough, I think, tapping my white cane on the stone.
When Neil Armstrong died, I wondered where he would be buried.
Would he be buried at the museum in his hometown of Wapakoneta, Ohio? Or would his final place of rest be in Arlington National Cemetery, another hero added to their collection?
Perhaps they would blast his ashes into space as payload, like Clyde Tombaugh, Pluto’s discoverer?
I unfolded the form letter his office had sent, declining my request for an autograph.
Neil was a Navy man, and he shunned the spotlight for self-promotion or enrichment.
Just a simple burial at sea for him, vanishing into the waves.