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:
You Never Know
Timmy was an Unfortunate Elephant. He never got the knack of marching in line with the other elephant in the circus. So regrettable the circus owner had to find someone willing to take him off his hand. In a small town in Iowa an elderly farmer spent a considerable time sizing Timmy up. After a fashion an agreement was reached, a fair amount of corn feed in exchange for Timmy. As the circus train pull out, Timmy shed a tear. When news of the circus train’s deadly destruction just outside of Chicago arrived Timmy was no longer an unfortunate elephant.
My mug was the result of an unfortunate accident. There was an profusion of global grime and chemicals in the atmosphere. My poor, expectant mother was exposed to such pollution, as the official elephant tender at the town zoo in Cape May. This was determined to be the most significant cause for my deformity.
My nose did not grow nor form naturally from the center of my face. It was more of a careless splat of flesh and gristle that “the dread designer” chose for me .
I survived as a bit player in off-off Broadway productions of Russian playwrights.
I came to dread the splat I would often hear on the walk outside my tent. They would parade the elephant by every morning on the grime covered walk, as they strove to raise funds for the global unfortunate that were addicted to drugs and were usually gathered on corners in the city to beg for change with an undernourished dog and a Starbuck’s Mug in their laps.
My time in Seattle as a volunteer was frustrating, as most of the homeless, drug addicted, and mentally deranged refused housing and counseling, preferring to get an airplane ticket home to Kansas.
Okay, I know it isn’t going to go away… Let’s talk about the elephant in the room.
I dread people asking how I became what Time Magazine called ‘The Self Made King of Dirt, Splat and Gunk’; because frankly, it was all down to an embarrassing mistake.
I’d planned to go into organised criminal activity – a mob to rival, if not better, the Mafia. I even had millions worth of promotional material made up, like this mug.
However, thanks to an unfortunate typo that wasn’t picked up by the proofreader…
Well, read it for yourself:
Richard’s Global Grime Syndicate’
The fast plane took off with ahhs and ohhs of exhilaration. It was the inaugural flight of a new model. Heads of state, ministers, members of parliament, journalists, an array of dubious reality TV personalities, even football players were invited. Each received a commemorative mug to display at home for curious visitors. When the plane crashed, a few miles short of the airport, the horror was only surpassed by the relief that there were no casualties. Except for the mugs. Nobody cared for the mugs. And no one noticed that each mug had a little spying device. Close call, huh?
Part 1: Battle Zone
by Jeffrey Fischer
The line “don’t take a knife to a gun fight” was never more accurate than the time I was robbed during the night shift at the convenience store. The guy sauntered in, asked for a pack of Kools, then pulled a knife on me. I handed him the contents of the till, but he had a surprise coming as I pulled my elephant gun from behind the counter. I say elephant gun, but it was really a toy modified to shoot elephant dung over the unfortunate victim. The police had to hose him off before taking him to the station.
Part 2: Cleanup
by Jeffrey Fischer
I’m no idiot: I chased the robber out of the store and waited until firing the dung gun. Splat! It was a very satisfying sound. I knew I’d have to wash away the grime before the morning shift arrived, but hosing down the parking lot was much easier than washing any affected merchandise inside. Our customers weren’t the pickiest. Nonetheless, even they would have objected to dung-covered malt liquor cans and snack food bags. I made a mental note to gather more ammunition from my contact at the zoo before my next shift. I love the global economy!
Two hundred years ago, there were around twenty six million elephants on the planet.
The total alive today, is around one point nine percent of that figure.
The majority: Hunted down, and killed for their ivory.
Let’s turn that on its head and imagine that elephants hunted people for their teeth, instead.
You, your family, friends and acquaintances would all, almost certainly have been killed, and this world of six billion human beings would number less than the population of Japan.
Twenty years, and the last elephant will be gone.
Far more sickening than any story I could make up.
Music credit: Louis Gordon – “The Anatomy of Melancholy – No Beginning and No End”
JON DE CLES
Swifter and Swifter Justice
It was unfortunate they had decided to show his ugly mug on the global feed one last time. There was dread on his face, and grime, and he was as gray as an elephant. He knew what was coming.
Yet he had persisted in his gross political crimes, opposing the rightful government of the unimaginably rich. What could he expect?
The planet watched in fascination as he stood under the lights atop the tallest tower of the city. They watched as he was pitched into the pit, and watched in flashes as he accelerated downward ever faster, and then..
Dressed in a bathrobe, round rimmed eyeglasses and a mascara lightning bolt drawn on his forehead, Billbert approached the door, his stomach filled with dread. He checked the address, 36 Dancing Elephant lane, as the door opened.
Mr. Withybotham glared at him.
“I’m here for Linoliumanda’s party. It’s tonight isn’t it?” He held up the handwritten invitation.
The man handed him a large mug of yellowish liquid, said, “Butter Beer”, and waved Billbert into the living room.
He sat to the crinkling of his hidden plastic bag.
Linoniumanda entered smiling like a myopic fairy princess wearing a single tennis shoe.
We used to call them terrorists. Violence from nowhere, to sow terror. They would be simple things. Set off bombs. Fly planes into skyscrapers. Drive trucks into people. Mail anthrax to politicians.
But that was before. Before smart contracts, decentralised crypto, autonomous vehicles, and not-quite-human AI. Now, anything can happen, anywhere. Mysterious outbreaks of deadly plagues. Random assassinations. Rogue vehicles. Some say that terrorists give missions to autonomous AIs, and they spiral out of control. Others blame secret government agencies. But nobody knows. All they know is we no longer have shocks of terror, but pervasive, global dread.
The global ivory trade is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of elephants a year.
That ivory mug you’re drinking from? Yes, Dave, that’s illegal.
The unfortunate grime you call coffee should be illegal, too.
I dread drinking this swill. Tastes like the reeking splat from the back of an elephant.
I’d throw it out, but I’d be cited for contaminating the water supply.
Why can’t you just get a pod coffee maker like everyone else?
Sure, brewing a whole pot traditionally is less expensive, but when nobody wants to drink this swill, it all goes to waste anyway, right?