Welcome to the 100 Word Stories podcast at podcasting.isfullofcrap.com. I’m your host, Laurence Simon.
This is Weekly Challenge Number Two Hundred and Ninety-Six, 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 Christmas
And we’ve got stories by a lot of people:
Chris the Nuclear Kid
Steven the Nuclear Man
And if you want to spam your social networks with this episode, use the Share buttons at the end of the post.
The more people see this on Google Plus, Facebook, and Twitter – the more explaining you’ll have to do with your loved ones, coworkers, and parole officers.
I am the sort of man that never buys socks, instead cursing the multitude of singles gathered in the drawer, only taking action if one tears top to toe. But one glorious Christmas, years ago, my in-laws started a tradition of gifting me sets of perfectly fitting socks.
I always accepted the socks enthusiastically, being certain to express my genuine gratitude. Then, a few Christmas’s later – inexplicably – they stopped. I was shocked, saddened, and stupefied. Seeing my sorrow, my wife whispered, “I’ll knit you some, dear.” and once more the season was worth celebrating
… I think she’s lost the pattern.
“okay Santa, Strip down, put on the gown and I’ll be right back. If you don’t mind we have a small group of interns I’d like to observe your annual Christmas physical if you don’t mind.”
“Ho! Ho! Ho! Not at all. More the merrier”
The doctor and 100 elves dressed in lab coats march into the room. By magic, they all fit in the examination room. The Doctor checks Santa’s vitals.
“Okay, Santa, let’s check that prostate,” The doctor pulls on a candy cane striped glove and dips it into a container of lube.
“Ho! Ho! Ho!” exclaimed Santa.
Dwayne thought he’d lost every bit of his misspent youth when he’d gotten married and settled down in Cleveland. The Flock of Seagulls bumper sticker had faded, a fleeting reminder of his days as a member of Albatross Love. At home with his wife and daughters, he drank his coffee while the girls tore into Christmas presents, squealing in delight. When the wrapping paper settled, one gift remained beneath the tree.
“Daddy, open it!” Jenny demanded.
He opened the box, and memories rushed back. He lifted the keytar reverently from the tissue paper. Truly, there was a Santa Claus.
The Grinch lay on the operating table. Green chest cracked open, ribs exposed; Santa Suit sliced down the middle.
Heart monitor: flat-lined.
Time of death: noted.
“Why?” asked Cindy Lou Who (Who was no more than two.) “Did you try?”
“An enlarged heart,” said Dr. Ray Spears (who’d been schooled for twelve years.) “Three sizes too big. We tried but… what rhymes with ‘his heart exploded?’” the doctor asked.
“It just isn’t fair, he just learned to care!” shouted Cindy Lou Who, (now on grief stage two.)
“It’s always hardest this time of year,” the doctor said.
Ayo didn’t know it was Christmas. Someone saw him along the side of the muddy road, and threw him a crust of bread. Ayo didn’t know his mother had died after she covered him and left him on the road. She was too sick to do anything for him, and she hoped that someone would feed him and give him a sip of water if they saw him there alone. Ayo’s mother didn’t know it was Christmas either. No one in the village knew it was Christmas. Everyone was so sick and delirious they were not sure of the month.
Baba’s family posed for their annual Christmas picture at their home. The resulting greeting card would be printed and mailed to all their friends and relatives. Over one hundred and fifty cards would be mailed out to Baba’s best automobile customers. Baba ran an Executive Lexus dealership in Seattle. He was top salesman of the year, and deeply involved in his church and the local Boy’s and Girl’s Club. Everyone admired his business acumen, and accepted him in spite of his addiction to nudity-no matter how he expressed it, and in spite of his appearance in the family Christmas card.
Her arch was nearly perfect. It was not just plain. It was not just
ordinary. It is a strong tented arch that allowed her to defy all
other challenges. Her whorls and loops rose and dipped as elegantly as
her hands flowed through the air pulling the silk scarf from one to
another. Her whorls although plain were astonishingly identifiable and
her loops doubled backward and forward to cause a distinctive
assertion known only to her. All of her natural beauty and designs
culminate to create a one of a kind masterpiece: fingerprints
belonging only to her.
We’re hungry all year, but around Christmas is the only time Mama comes back from the food pantry with enough for all of us.
When we get into the Wonder bread, it always smells like bananas. I ask Mama why that is. “I think they use old banana boxes to deliver the food,” she says. Her face is tired, lined from years of double shifts and collection calls, but she smiles at me.
She passes me a peanut butter sandwich and says, “You eat that, now, Johnny.”
I smell it. Bananas. “Aw, man, Mama,” I whine.
“Hush up,” she says.
I’m four foot two and weigh 317 pounds. You’re thinking he needs to go on a diet, but I’ve worked hard to get this way. I’m Santa’s BIG helper. You think he can scarf all those cookies and down all that milk alone? Heck no. So I spend all year training for Christmas Eve. I’ve won so many eating contests this year I’ve lost count, but I’m sick so my son is stepping up. What, you think he hasn’t picked up my eating habits? Let me tell you, when you’re full to the brim, determination can go a long way.
Every time he did this, the track seemed shorter than before. It was like the universe was contracting, like it didn’t want him to build up the speed he needed.
But he was going to do it. His father did it. His grandfather, his great—well… there were a lot of speedy runners in his family.
He started to trot. There was a clacking, pounding sound beneath him. The wind breezed past his face and gently ruffled his brown coat.
He pushed. He strained. He leapt.
He felt the ground vanish from beneath his hooves, and he began to fly.
I love Christmas. I was not good at it though. I tried wrapping
Christmas presents, but I didn’t have the gift. If I were to steal
Santa’s bag of gifts, I’d have the presents, but it would be a
SACKriledge! I thought of giving forks (as there is no tine like the
present)! I even had a dog breeder cross a setter and a pointer so I
could get a pointsetter! Not the same. So, I surrounded myself with
friends and family.
Know what I learned? To me, at least, Christmas is not about gifts but
about other people’s presence!
Timmy and Ebenezer headed briskly towards the docks despite the cold, snow, and throngs of Christmas celebrants. ‘My good lad at 16 you now have entered the edge of adulthood and as such it seems more than appropriate a present of equal appropriateness. As the door to Mad Sal’s swung wide Timmy’s eyes swung the wider. Scrooge ordered two triple malts, lit Timmy’s cigar, and pointed to a room upstairs. On Christmas morn Tim woke up with a blue bow tied around Mr. Happy. “Don’t know where you’ve been or what yee did, but I’m glad you took first place.”
I was raised catholic; you know those soulless pappas in league with the anti-Christ. Well actually if my parents were more inquiring they would have seen I was actually a Neo-Manichaean. And to that end I had a clear sense of the duality of Christmas. The birth of a miscellaneous messiah and the day free stuff arrived devoid of any substantial effort on my part. Guess which one an 11-year-old kid would choose as the real spirit of Christmas. Yes, dear friends Christmas is one big excuse to join the festive feeding frenzy of accumulation. So buy until it bleeds.
Rudy came from a family of eight kids, the same as both his mother and father. Every ten years all of his grandfather’s children gather for Christmas at the big house in Chicago. To manage the logistics a limit of three gifts per persons was set in place and nearly immediately ignored. Kids of any age weren’t allowed to place presents under the tree, which is how both Rudy and his dad bumped into each other on the stairs. Snow had fallen the dawn glowed off hundreds of shining packages. Half a century later that memory still warmed Rudy’s heart.
Carol loved to carol. Be it obscure 14th century French folk songs, Handel’s Messiah, or pop verses like Blue Christmas or chestnut roasting on an open fire. She was in great demand during the holiday singing in churches, hospitals and with the city orchestra. Her voice rang like cut crystal, like some far off bell just out of reach. She never sang so loud as to drown out the collective assembly of singers. Hey favorite carol was God Bless Yee Merry Gentleman which was taught to her by her father, just before the war. Oh tiding of comfort and joy
Santa is really fed up with the cookies and milk. He says he wants a Jack and a bratwurst. OooooK. How the fuck do we pull is one off? It took be 30 years to work out the chimney thing. Now I got to sell families on the idea of the Water of Life and sausage. Not easy, not easy. Maybe I could get Coca-Cola to put out a nice calendar with proper placements. Yup think that will work. “… and don’t forget the Cuban cigars.” “I really really hate the jolly old fat man. Ho Ho Ho my ass.”
Benny didn’t believe in Santa. He was 10. He had carefully worked the whole thing out with his brother Bill. “What do we do now?” “We play along as long as they keep giving us stuff.” “Why don’t we just tell them we know?”
“Are you crazy and risk losing everything?” “I’m going to tell them.”
After Benny finish burring Bill. He set out the stockings and the milk and cookies. In the morning much to his surprise there wasn’t a single present in the house just a small note under an empty milk glass. It said “You’ve been naughty.”
My mother had an amazing ability for picking trees with some cosmetic ailment. I think she saw the tree as a whole or maybe she could see beyond its limitations and see it arrayed with the fineries that had collecting in our home over more than a 100 years. All the same we would laugh and point out the bald spots and the decided pitch of the trunk. Then one Christmas: IT appeared in the living room and it was truly no less monstrous than Tim Curry in a clown suit. An aluminum artificial arbor. Mom smiles, we did not.
“Drape or Throw?”
“Garland or tinsel?”
“Tiny Italian lights or old big bulbs that when one blows out you have to check each one lights?”
“Angel or Star?”
“Shiny ornaments or Satin ornaments?”
“Flock or no Flock?”
“Three leg stand or Four leg stand?”
“By the window or in the corner?”
“Pine scent or potpourri?”
“cookies or brownies?”
“Milk or Eggnog?”
“Turkey or Goose?”
“Nativity or reindeer?”
“Popcorn and cranberries or spent nuclear rods?”
“Did you say spent nuclear rods?”
“Yes got them at Zmart for $5 a box.”
“You got decaying radioactive death in box?”
“They were on sale.”
All Joe want for Christmas was to see his Dad. Mom said that was highly unlikely. This didn’t stop Joe from writing a letter a day to Santa. He had been doing this for the past five years. This year he figured he would address the letters to different country, figuring Santa might not spend all his time at the North Pole. He sent them to Argentina, Moscow, Easter Island, a total of 356 nations. On Christmas morning there was no Dad, just an envelop with: For Joe written, on it. Inside a ticket to Paris, Texas singed love Mom.
It does snow often in Northern California which makes getting into the Christmas spirit a bid harder. Don’t get me wrong I don’t miss that flaky widow maker powder. Its just Christmas needs snow, which is a major inconsistency cuss my guess is Bethlehem not exactly in the Snow Belt. I hear in New Orleans they fire off fireworks on Christmas, guess it’s because they don’t have any snow. Last year we went to Tahoe for the snow, it didn’t, they had to use snow machines. Guess I’ll just have to get uses to … what that on the lawn?
There’s a term in the retail industry its call: Going Christmas. It’s sort of akin to Going Postal. It seems there is a maximum number of hours a person can listen to Christmas music before waving fire arms about and droning HO HO HO. With stores setting up their Christmas displays well in advance of Thanksgiving the condition has become more acute. The magic number hovers somewhere between 247 and 328. After 410 there is nearly a 100% chance of Christmas psychoses. The retail industry has taken appropriate steps to minimize lose, they employ elves equipped with candy cane tasers
Nothing says the holidays like a heartwarming Christmas movie. In keeping with this year’s economic downturn we have the follow for your viewing pleasure. You Call This A Wonderful Life the heartwarming story of an ex-bank manager who discovers his insurance policy is worthless. Pink Christmas a heartwarming music romp about a shelter for homeless generals staring Jim Carrey and Pink. Miracle On Wall Street a heartwarming stories of Pinkertons befriending the children of the Occupy. How The Grinch Sold Christmas the heartwarming story staring Mitt Romney. Zombie Christmas a
Heartwarming holiday reunion of the stars of Friend
He came upon a midnight clear, and as he looked upon me, I had no idea what I could possibly say.
So I sang.
Oh Mr. T, oh Mr. T.
Your golden chains delight us.
Oh Mr. T, oh Mr. T.
Your golden chains delight us.
Your triple Mohawk looks so cool.
You have such sympathy for fools.
Oh Mr. T, Oh Mr. T.
Your golden chains delight us.
….Mr. T listened, and once I finished he just stared, like he didn’t know what to make of what he’d heard.
“Wait,” he finally asked, “how’d you do the harmonies, fool?”
“The 486,231st Trans-dimensional court is called to order. The Honorable Judge Wapner presiding,” the bailiff said.
“The defendant will state his name,” the judge said.
“Charles Dickens. Your honor.”
“Mr. Dickens, you’re being charged with unregulated time continuum distortion and cross dimensional plagiarism of the 482nd century classic tale, ‘A Christmas Gerald’,” Judge Wapner said. “Do you understand the charges?”
“I can’t say I’ve understood a single thing you’ve said,” Dickens said.
“Don’t treat this lightly, Mr. Dickens,” Wapner said. “Prosecution, call your first witness.”
“Thank you, your honor,” The district attorney said. “Would Tiny Jim please take the stand?”
Wait. Don’t roll up your window. Listen to me. There’s not much time. It’s Christmas Eve. Santa Claus is coming to town.
I’m not crazy. That’s what they want you to believe. That’s why they’ve locked me away for all these years. I’ve seen the truth. Santa Claus is a fucking nightmare.
Forty years ago I crept down the stairs. Milk and cookies. Santa knelt by our tree. He inhaled sharply catching my scent, then looked up to capture my eyes in his predator’s gaze. “So you want to feed Santa”, he asked?
He killed them all. It wasn’t me.
“If they don’t get here soon, we’re eating without them.”
“We’ll wait. Stop shooting the nativity.”
“The food’s getting cold and I’m starving.”
“Why do you have a box of rubberbands?”
“They were a gift.”
“They could have at least called.”
“Score! I took out a donkey.”
“Ten bucks says you can’t hit baby Jesus.”
“The wisemen are protecting him. I’ll have to take them out first.”
“Shut-up, I know what I’m doing.”
“Give me one.”
I remember that night. Place was packed, so I let them doss down in a
shed. Then the portents start. New stars, angels, sorcerors wanting in
on the action. Something to tell my grandkids, I thought.
Later, though, I hear stories. Imagine having a two-year-old God in
your village! He killed people on a whim, no-one could touch him, he’d
just do worse. And the pranks, by Mithras! So, he grows up, gets some
sense but not enough, then it seems the juju’s going away. Didn’t take
long to get him nailed up then.
I just hope he stays dead.
Chris the Nuclear Kid
Timmy stamped his foot in the snow. “It was a big tree, with lots of decorations. When I got home from kindergarten, it was gone!”
The policeman raised his eyebrow. “You think there’s a Christmas tree thief?”
“Yes!” Timmy clenched his jaw. “It was the Grinch!”
The police officer chuckled. “The Grinch is imaginary.”
Timmy’s face grew hotter. “No he’s not!”
A green man jumped from the roof. “The kid’s right.” He took a sack off his shoulder, shoved the policeman into it, then looked at Timmy.
“Who needs roast beast?” he said, and shoved Timmy into the sack too.
Steven the Nuclear Man
“They don’t tell you that part,” the man says. He is a shabby olive-skinned man outside the store Christmas display, smelling slightly of wine.
I shiver in the cold, wanting to get on to the coffee shop in the office lobby, but I never quite got the hang of brushing past people. “What part?”
“In the stories. They don’t tell you about the dark side.”
I start to walk past as I talk. “Sure they do. Luke, I am your -”
He shifts in front of me. “The dark side of love. The part where you give yourself completely, you know?” He looks me over, hard. “No, you don’t.”
“Look, I gotta…”
“You can love them, and no matter how much you do, they might not love you back.”
I look around for a cop, someone, anyone, but they’re all used to the big city and ignore us.
“Sometimes it’s worse, and they they love you for a while – but then one day it’s all different and weird. And you try to go on, but it’s hard.”
I try bullying past, but he grabs my arm, eyes flashing, the twin wounds in his hands dripping onto my jacket.
“But you can’t let that stop you from trying to love again.” He stares at the little porcelain infant in the Nativity. “You can’t let that stop you from trying to love again.”
Dylan tells his little brother about Santa
“Do you know why Santa has been around for so long and rarely changes?”
“Is it magic?”
“No that is just silly. It is because Santa was replaced by a Steam Powered Robot secretly built by Axlerod Steamworks Incorporated.”
“That must be why he never runs out of coal for your stocking?”
“Santa has such a big belly for the boiler. He also has nine clockwork reindeer and has to spend six moths winding them before Christmas.”
“Does Santa come if Christmas Eve is a Spare The Air Night?”
“We can always hope”
The shop employee ask the man why he looked distrait.
“Well, I lost my wife.” he replied.
“Oh that is so sad for you to be alone this time of year.” Consoled the employee.
“No” the man said “She is not recently departed but currently misplaced. I am somewhat forgetful you see or I would have remembered.”
“Remembered what exactly?”
“Oh, sorry remember that a stop at a store I expect to be twenty minutes is often three hours if my wife is looking for gifts. I will try to call her”
Music plays right behind the man.
The enemies were engaged in battle, Santa Clause on one side, Jesus Crist on the other. It was a heated dual to the death, just like open mixed martial arts, except much more biblical. The bell rang, the gloves came off, and a head to head battle startd to the death. At stake, the spiritual or material survival of Christmas. After this epic battle, one ideal would permanently fall. Then, without warning, lawyers came running in with Cease and Desist orders obtained from an un-noticed emergency motion filed earlier today. It appears South Park already covered this story. Merry Christmas!
Claus stepped out of the advent towers feeling like he had missed something. He had gone in there to, to. To what, he couldn’t remember.
“What did you do?” The complex owner asked.
“He said the towers were going to have to come down, because he kept disappearing.”
“So what did you do?”
“Well I brought him in here to talk about turning the reality dampers down a bit…”
“Well I turned them all the way up. I think he lost part of his memory of the event. The part where he said the towers had to come down.”
Everyone in town remembers the year that Sally Muckinfutch got a goldfish for Christmas. Seems her Dad worked at the lab outside of town. Everyone pretty much knew about that place, but we all ignored it.
Well, until Joe Muckinfutch brought his work home with him as a present for his little girl. Under the lights of the Christmas tree, that thing grew thousands of times, and started rampaging, Goldzilla style.
Luckily, it was also the year Santa brought me my shiny new AK-47.
Of course, we were all picking gold fish scales out of our lawns come spring.
It was a rare year that Christmas – no snow on the ground, and unseasonably warm. That was the year his parents got him that red skateboard. No good would come of this.
The addition of a rather large driveway didn’t help matters. No, they didn’t help matters at all. The portly youngster mounted the board, and almost immediately found himself on the ground, staring at the gray grain of the concrete.
Undaunted, he mounted it again.
And yet again.
And yet again still.
It was also a very merry Christmas for all at the minor emergency clinic.
“Chris to the Pole. You reading me?”
“Hearing you loud and clear.”
“Reindeer Alpha’s light is completely Foxtrot. Visibility zero. Requesting backup.”
“I’m consulting the List, Boss. Two ticks.”
Static bled into the connection, but Chris waited patiently.
“Thanks for holding. We’re calling in the Hare. He’ll have operations in your quadrant on line before you can say ‘Ho, ho, ho.”
“My stars, is that the best we can do?”
Santa knew that it would have to do, but if kid’s got eggs instead of toys he’d have a new pair of bunny slippers by New Year’s Day.
The “holidays” haven’t been the same since they banned religion. It was hard to let go of were the crosses, stars, or candelabras as appropriate (but not anymore, I guess). Then we had to stop decorating trees, which wasn’t so bad since that was a pain. Then, more lights outside, which meant less embarrassing trips to the Emergency Room. Next, wreaths were swiftly abolished. Last year, some research-happy Grinch found an obscure reference to snowmen in a pagan text. Now there’s almost nothing we few old-timers recognize for late-December, with one notable exception: Cyber Monday, although it lasts three weeks.
Nobody at my house celebrates Christmas anymore.
You see there is a reason why they place warning labels on medication.
“Warning, may cause sleep walking”
Oh sure if I read it I would have locked the door.
“Warning may cause loose morals, dancing on table tops”.
When I woke up I told my family it was the medication.
Believe me. I would never tell Nana John that her breath stinks. Kiss your brother repeatedly and pose nude as a very naughty Santa Clause
What do you mean it’s all on the Internet?. 1 million views and counting. Oh, Ummm. Wow.
“We go to uncle Tim how tomorro eat together as family for christmas” Carly’s mom reminds her.
walking through her living room to get to her bedroom, Carly accidentally glances up straight ahead out of a window. Warm lights illuminate onto Her face. Shocked and offended She drops her pizza on the hardwood floor. She shrieks at her mom,
“why do they put it in the window?!!”
Her mom does not understand the big deal looking at the statement making christmas tree.
She whispers as she walks to her bedroom head down, “I do not celebrate Christmas”
Elrond irrationally hoped this winter would be different.
Yet when the first snowflake fell, each of the elves felt the dreadful tug. Over the course of the following week, the elves vanished – only the trail of their footprints leading north marked their departure. Rivendell lay empty.
When December 25th arrived, they were once again freed of their yearly burden – the curse that forced them to provide slave labor for Santa Claus.
“We must find a way to break the curse!” the elves cried out.
“Perhaps the answer,” Elrond ruminated, “is to sail to the west. There, we may be free…”
Long ago, Santa kept his Naughty and Nice lists in a ledger, but record-keeping issues came up.
Naughty kids getting on the Nice list.
Nice kids on the Naughty list.
Some kids were on both, which made deliveries even more confusing.
Millions of kids went unregistered, or their status changed because of a Buddhist stepfather or they were adopted by Jews.
Santa decided to go high-tech at that point, tapping into global databases for grade cards and juvenile police records.
The artificial intelligence monitoring system took one glance, decided everybody was naughty, and reached out for the nuclear launch codes.