Weekly Challenge #355 – Switch

Welcome to the 100 Word Stories podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com. I’m your host, Laurence Simon.

This is Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic. (You were also challenged to come up with a Single Frame Story on the same topic.)

The topic this week was Switch.

And we’ve got stories by a lot of people:

The next 100 word stories weekly challenge is on the topic of Suggestion.

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:

Fluffyboy says hi


CLAIRE

Teddy threw the switch. The heavy machine hummed and spun up to full speed. It drew a lot of power, and dimmed the lights for a moment in the great house. Teddy dropped in the first few items and the sharp blades did their work without bogging down. Next, a few more items, some sweetener, and a bit of liquid to thin the pink slurry. He poured the finished blend into some tall glasses, serving his unaware house guests most of the annoying neighbor that made the mistake of irritating Teddy by playing his dammed accordion so late every night.

###

“Better switch than fight.” The new motto was posted inside the door of the clubhouse. The Khaki Scouts voted to allow girls, homosexuals, and transgender members into their organization. They had fought long and hard, using the power of the national council and the great church in Utah to ban certain applicants, but there was so much pressure and press against them the last few years, they gave in and re-thought their initial ban and organizational policies. Rather than fight the courts and lawsuits, they opened their membership to anyone who applied, except of course, ignorant, bald-headed coffee house proprietors.

###

Miss Tuttinhamshrope made sure all students saw the willow switch hung behind her desk. She had permission from all the parents to apply the switch to the backside of any student that talked back, spat, smoked, swore, talked out of turn, was tardy, wore their pants low, acted slutty, misspelled words, texted during lectures, answered out of turn, lied, cheated on exams and quizzes, bullied, were late with assignments, got out of their seat, wet their pants, burped, farted, made faces or teased, picked their nose, pulled hair, made obscene gestures, or showed any sort of disrespect to an adult.

###

The squirrel’s switch wiggled and almost vibrated with excitement, as it discovered a bag of unsalted cashews on the little deck off the kitchen. Grandma was cooking and “absent mindedly” left the cashews on the table. The hungry squirrel tore at the cellophane bag and some cashews tumbled out. As he chattered and barked, his friends and his mate came running to gather up what they could, stuffing them in their mouths and retreating to the nest, high in the tree. The following week, the squirrels had bags of peanuts left on the table, then pecans, walnuts, hazels and brazils.

JEFFREY

Switched at Birth
by Jeffrey Fischer

Although I grew up in a loving household, I always felt a little out of place. Where my parents were short and squat, I was tall and lean. They had dark, smooth skin, while I was light-skinned and hairy. They insisted on a protein-heavy diet; I was a vegetarian.

One day my suspicions were confirmed. A wandering minstrel said I was switched at birth, and my real parents had raised another child.

“This is terrible!” I said.

He insisted I had the better of the deal. “You are the heir to the kingdom.”

“But it’s the frog kingdom. I’m the prince of the frogs! What could be worse?”

The minstrel strummed a chord. “Well, young princeling, your true parents are chefs in a French restaurant.” He licked his lips. “Truth be told, the lad’s legs were delicious.”

***

A Different Perspective
by Jeffrey Fischer

My boarding school was big on discipline. Minor misbehaving earned you extra chores. Medium-sized trouble, like being caught smoking, got the extra chores and additional hours of phys ed. But major infractions brought out the switch, an old, rough one, with a well-worn handle. As the punishment was public, this was both painful and embarrassing.

When the boys took control of the school and kept the faculty as prisoners, we decided that turn about was fair play. But seeing Mr. Melmick’s bare ass quickly dissuaded us of that. From then on, misbehaving teachers just earned demerits.

LIZZIE

The monster inside

Sometimes there’s a feeling that makes the mind stray away. He flipped a coin. The break-up was so sudden and most of all foolish. Heads. He would look her up and make amends. Valentine’s was coming up and it seemed to be the right moment. She would be impressed and would leap into his arms, an open smile on her beautiful face. When he showed up at her door, a rose in hand, she had already moved on. She was going out with someone else. His mind roamed away once more, this time desperately trying to avoid the switch over.

TOM

Hand Cranked

Grandmother was displeased with me. She told me to go find a switch in the backyard. I had no idea what I did wrong, but by the dead look in her eyes I knew I must find an appropriate switch or risk raising the level of her discontent. So I cut off a willow branch about the thickness of my thumb and hoped for the best. Grandmother exam it and laughed. “No child one of these switches.” She connected the weathered switch to the magneto. Grandmother had been a gegeneur is Sothern Algeria. I woke up with three broken teeth.

SERENDIPITY

Number two yawned, scratching his crotch reflectively.

Number Three looked at him critically: “You’re becoming a bit of a porker!”

“Hey, you shut it! You’re jealous, just because you do all the running around”

“Hardly a job, is it… flicking switches?”

Number Three looked longingly at the invitingly large switch on the control panel…

“Can I, just this once…?”

“Bugger off!”

The bickering was interrupted by the telephone’s ring; Number Two snatched the handset.

“Yes boss! Immediately!”

“What did he say?”, asked Number Three.

“He said”, replied Jesus, reaching across and flicking the switch to ‘ON’…

“Let there be light!”

AEQUITAS

We called her Sergeant Major due to her fondness for corporal punishment. We were lined up outside her classroom for dinner. I had a green ticket. A green ticket meant your father had died. I was embarrassed so i was acting out. Sergeant Major heard me and brought me in to stand in front of her class and receive punishment. She used a leather strap rather than a switch. She put her body in to the swing of the strap making for an effective cracking noise as she delivered.

MUNSI

After the Adventure

By Christopher Munroe

…I’d switched the idol for a forgery. So by the time Heinrich’s crew found the temple and deactivated its booby-traps, I’d long since absconded with the treasure.

That’s where my troubles began.

I don’t know the first thing about fencing ancient artifacts, and I’d financed the expedition on money borrowed from people who wouldn’t accept “…once I find a buyer” in lieu of cash.

And to make matters worse, Heinrich will definitely figure out that I have the thing eventually.

He’s not stupid.

I expect this isn’t over…

…also, there’s a horrible curse, but that’s a story for another day.

TURA

“Mr. Benn visits Second Life”

Mr. Benn arrived at the costume shop, and went in. As if by magic, the shopkeeper appeared. “I have something new today,” said the shopkeeper. “Would you like to switch bodies?”

“That sounds interesting,” said Mr. Benn. He chose a purple-haired anthropomorphic cat with a long, bushy tail. Then he went out by the other door, the one that might lead to adventures.

On the rolling green hills, all kinds of strange buildings popped into view around him. Some of them floated right up in the sky.

“Well,” he said, waving his new tail, “this will certainly be an adventure!”

DONDO

The bet was simple. If my team won, I decided on the date and what she’d wear, and if she won, she’d decide. Her team won, and I regret leaving the terms of the bet so open.
She said that we’d reverse roles tonight. She would hold the doors open, she’d pay for dinner, and she would wear the pants.
I went along with all of that, even wearing heels.
But I’m having trouble with her last request, how do I give up the one thing I’ve never shared?

I’ll cry when I hand her the keys to my Mustang.

WHISKEY

Switch on a Smile
“I learned at a young age how to tell truths cloaked in humor. If you can make someone laugh, you can say anything out loud. Even the darkest words aren’t so heavy when they’re framed in sarcasm or jest. And if I ever went too far, said too much, opened my mouth just a little too wide and let some of the scary stuff spill out, well, I could always switch on a smile and say, “I was just joking.” No matter. It was just a joke.”

STEVEN THE NUCLEAR MAN

“Daaaaaaad!”

I trudge half-asleep down the dark hallway. My feet are freezing on the hardwood floor.

“Daaaaaaaaa-”

I open the door mid-yell and survey the room. Nothing under the bed. Window closed. But there’s a red glow and hint of sulphur from the closet.

I grab the SuperSoaker from his shelf and open the closet door. A demon bares it’s teeth at me. I pull the trigger and cover it in holy water.

“Done,” I tell my son. “Now go back to sleep.”

“Can I have a drink of water?” he asks.

I raise the squirt gun again.

BOTGIRL

Screech! The car lurched to a halt. The acorn I’d thrown with all my might hit the driver in his face. I dropped from the tree and ran home. A minute later he pounded on our door. My father answered and took the brunt of the driver’s rage. Next thing I knew, I was getting spanked for the first time in my life. It didn’t go well. I was so upset that a blood vessel burst in my eye. My father sprained his wrist. That was also the last time I was spanked. Good thing he didn’t use a switch.

RICK

It all unfolded right there on the porch.
Them 5 bullies was goading the tall nerdy boys into a fight!
Both tall, skinny, wore glasses … and their mamas dressed them kinda funny!
The shorter nerd reckoned the taller boy was more scared and started in with some name callin and such.
The taller boy kept saying “I don’t wanna fight you”, then the mouthy nerd said “you’re just a damn yankee” …
… was like he’d flipped a switch!
The taller boy, lost it, punched him square in the face!
Knocked him out!
Blood everywhere!
Them bullies ought be ashamed of themselves!

CLIFF

You learn a lot when your parents are hillbillies. I’m sorry, Redneck Americans. Anyway, when I misbehaved as a kid, my dad would send me outside to get a switch off of one of the trees. He’d use it to raise welts on my backside. So this one time I thought I’d be funny. Instead of the woods, I went to the garage and brought back a light switch. Dad wired me up to a car battery and flipped the switch a few times. To this day, I can’t go in a hardware store without twitching just a little bit.

BONCHANCE AND SEVI

Bait N Switch

Pepe had a plan!
He knew that he was a born leader, he just needed followers!

Gain control of the minds of a bunch of troops and all else will fall into place.
Pepe traded his tea to a Chinaman for a thousand Hersey kisses.
How deep into the trenches could he get with these as his lure to join his plight.

I mean seriously, who can resist a milk chocolaty kiss?
Mind you these were specially laced milky kisses…
Just take out a bit of the center chocolate and switch it with the right drug and viola an army!

REDGODDESS

The hotel goes all out on Valentine’s Day. The penthouse suites are scattered in flower petals, couples with the Cupid Package get champagne. When did Valentine’s Day become a litmus test for relationships? Lola had made a switch to lower her expectations. No dates on February 14! Not sure when she lost the romance. Perhaps the thoughtless gifts of past lovers. She was almost in tears when she saw a book and a card leaning on her door. “I never liked poetry until I met you. I think of you when reading this.” Lola picked up a worn copy of Anais Nin. She smiled.

ZACKMANN

The villain tied her hostage to a railroad track then made the call “Give me a bazillion dollars or bad haircut boy has sung his last song”
The hostage started chanting “Oh baby baby baby Oh”
The young woman really really wished she had been able to gag her victim. She placed her phone where his screams could be heard, The train was coming at him fast or would have been if not changed directions at the switching station.
She asked “I won’t go overboard and kill you because then the radio would play your songs constantly for several months.”

NORVAL JOE

“Be ready to flip that switch when I shout ‘go'”, Flerdy told Borle, pointing to a silver toggle on the console.
Borle held out his hand, ready to act.
The hyperdrive capacitors screamed as they wound higher and higher.
Flerdy struck an ancient tuning fork and placed its base against the ship’s console. When the whining drives matched the fork’s tone, Flerdy screamed, “Go.”
With a flick, everything went black, inside the ship and out.
In the sudden silence, Flerdy said, “The switch engaged a string drive. It’s theoretical. We’ll have to wait to see if it takes us somewhere.”

Patrick groaned beneath a tremendous weight. He desperately sucked air into his burning lungs to keep from passing out.
“Do you give?” Mangus asked from his perch on his brother’s shoulder blades.
“No,” he wheezed.
“You’re a changeling, you know. Fairies came to switch the real Patrick for the worst kind of demon when you were just a wee babe.”
“You’re the demon,” Patrick cried at his brother.
The wiener dog smiled an evil grin. He knew he was the changeling. The malicious fairy who switched him with the Irish Wolf hound pup hadn’t been the cleverest of the bunch.

DANNY DWYER

“Do I hit the switch now?,” the conductor in training asked the experienced train conductor. “Ah, Ya, might be a good idea since we are speeding into the station.” The Trainee flicked the switch. The train suddenly slowed down, then calmly entered the subway platform, before coming to a swift, yet gentle stop. “What’s the trick to conducting a subway for as long as you have?,” the kid asked the senior. “Don’t become an alcoholic,” the conductor retorted. The Trainee replied, “Honestly, how did you conduct a subway for over 30 years without being an alcoholic?” “Just flick the damn switch.”

JUSTIN

Mars City, new foothold of the human race, and a new home of horror and death. The scientists unearthed something, and like any good scientist, they poked it, prodded it, and opened up a gate to Hell. Now Delta Labs is filled with demons and baby Satans, clawing at my armor, reaching for my soul. I hope this room has supplies. What? Lights switched off, I hear a door open… the hell? Demon with a chainsaw?! The only light is from the shotgun blasts, illuminating teeth, blood and chain. I’ve got to get a better post next tour of duty.

PLANET Z

We couldn’t trust Ted with a dog or cat.

Or a fish.
Or a mouse.
Or…

After we tried every pet in the pet store, we finally got Ted a pet can of soup.

That’s right. We gave Ted a pet can of soup.

It’s safe.
It’s cheap.
And we can always buy another.

Ted walked up and down the soup aisle, unable to select a can.

“I want to take them all home with me!” he cried.

“Just one,” I said.

In the end, he went with a packet of Lipton mix.

So it could fit in his pocket.

85 thoughts on “Weekly Challenge #355 – Switch”

      1. This is the truth. With a prompt and just one hundred words, you have to make your point concisely. It’s a wonderful exercise. And one that teaches me I don’t really know how to spell ecsersize.

  1. It’s always a treat coming here each week and seeing how many different ways a simple word can be interpreted. From a change of course to a new scouting motto to a squirrel’s tail. Zackman’s conclusion about the unfortunate result of killing a pop star was probably my favorite moment, although “Oh excuse me. Redneck Americans” runs a close second. Thank you for sharing these.

  2. Haahahaah! Especially the story of Daniel was funny! All other stories were fine and one very spooky (Justin)! Waiting for the next turn of stories!

  3. SERENDIPITY – Did not see the religious end of that at all…

    Going out and getting a switch brought back bad memories. . and switching bodies awesome.

    EVERYONE it was a pleasure reading… thank you.

    BTW. I did notice that the cat picture does make things go faster

    1. Hi Visual, i’ll often throw an unexpected twist in at the end, although with just 100 words to play with, it can be quite a challenge. Good to know i succeeded! Thanks for the feedback – it’s appreciated.

  4. What an interesting compilation of stories based on a central theme. It makes for a compelling Sunday read. Thanks for the creative outputs. I appreciate you.

  5. Another great week! Particularly enjoyed Cliff’s contribution … brought back memories. Still have a few more to read later … wife just called, there’s a snake in the lanai … gotta run …

  6. About a switch best ever I guess: Three Swedish switched witches watch three Swiss Swatch watch switches. Which Swedish switched witch watch which Swiss Swatch watch switch?

  7. Claire’s first story — Who hasn’t dreamed of offing the annoying neighbor? What a creative way to serve him up though! ;)

    I’m somewhat a fan of the kidnapped,but very clever, Zackmann!

    I thought Planet Z’s story was endearing. Yeah, Ted couldn’t keep a living pet, but he still wanted to carry his pet soup with him — adorable!

    1. Haven’t we all dreamed of that?

      I hope Zackmann doesn’t get into the habit of sending tet without audio, because hearing a story from the author’s own voice adds subtleties that a blind/cold read fails to achieve.

      -ls

  8. I can totally relate to Botgirl’s post, except that my item of choice was a Frisbee instead of an acorn. Also, there was no burst blood vessel in my eye. My dad did hurt his wrist but it wasn’t the last time I got spanked, hah.

  9. Not sure which one I like the most… I just enjoy the variety of your mix, always entertaining and surprising. Time for me to say “thanks for another great week” and to switch the light off… cheers

  10. Hi Laurence… Here it is Wednesday and I guess I missed my Sunday routine bigtime. I was out with a bunch of relatives and got really, really drunk. Took me two days to get over it. hehe. I’m not good at getting drunk.

    Anyway, I loved the stories. I wrote one of my own… but didn’t get it recorded and, well, those relatives messed up everything. I’ll send it anyway.

    Luv’d the most of the stories. Lizzie is my fav. Yay Lizzie. Tom always gives me a giggle too, altho I’m shivering at this weeks tale.

    And yes, Mr. C., god did create the universe, then turned on the light. hahahhaa

    Yay for AEQUITAS, cool story. And yay, Empire Avenue Rick! Oh yeah and yays for Norval Joe and Whiskey and Botgirl and Stephen. Ok, Cliff was great too. Geez, it’s not fair to pic favs. I listen to all of you, all of you, each Sunday or Wednesday when i’m drunk on Sunday (really, I rarely get drunk)!

    1. Folks can listen to it the day I post it, or they can wait until they need an hour’s worth of ramble and madness. Podcasting’s perfect for setting your own pace and schedule. Nobody tells you when you have to listen to it.

      Lizzie’s always good for a story. I wish I had her persistence, perseverence, and pumpkin pie.

      You’re welcome to get drunk any time, really… heck, do a recording while drunk. It’s fun.

      -ls/cm

      1. Wait. We can record drunk? Ok, there’s my challenge to my fellow writers. The next 100 word story you record, do it drunk.

  11. Thank you, Yordie and Lawrence :)

    Writing for the Weekly Challenge has now become a consistent part of my writing path. As any writer would say, reading/listening to others’ stories is as vital as writing, and this podcast sure brings a lot of familiar names together!

    As Yordie said it’s so unfair to pick favs, all are great, but I’ll say I’d pick Jeff’s, Tom’s and Sevi and Bonchance’s stories this week.

    Thanks for bringing everyone together every single week, Lawrence.

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