The next topic is PICK TWO: to hell with the critics, selfie, jute, impossible, do the needful, icon

Hi there. This is Laurence Simon of the 100 Word Stories Podcast at

Every week, I post a topic for the Weekly Challenge, where you come up with the stories and I collect them up and share them.

Want to give it a try? The topic of the next 100 Word Stories Weekly Challenge is to hell with the critics, selfie, jute, impossible, do the needful, icon

Write a 100 word story on that topic. Then, send it in an email to isfullofcrap (at) with the subject line of WEEKLY CHALLENGE.

Also, suggest a topic or topics for future Weekly Challenges.

Do you have a website where people can learn more about you and your writing? Include the URL to that website.

Most importantly, include a recording of your story. Be sure to introduce yourself to the audience.

I put the episode together on Sunday morning. However, if you need more time, I can put your story up on the feed in a separate post.

Good luck, and as always… keep it brief.

JAN 5 crunch
JAN 12 fake
JAN 19 shark
JAN 26 PICK TWO: pulled from the water, quirk, pride, ploy, goof, exposed

FEB 2 hankering
FEB 9 lapse
FEB 16 hot potato
FEB 23 PICK TWO: contest, hop to it, toys, pain, treading water, protect

MAR 1 tinfoil
MAR 8 gate
MAR 15 gulf
MAR 22 device
MAR 29 PICK TWO: to hell with the critics, selfie, jute, impossible, do the needful, icon

APRIL 5 not
APRIL 12 dendrite
APRIL 19 sanitize
APRIL 26 PICK TWO: ecology, rash, aberration, plinth, mnemonic, wrought

MAY 3 chemistry
MAY 10 nobody gets out of here alive
MAY 17 empowered
MAY 24 illuminate
MAY 31 PICK TWO: null, smartphone, audio, alternative, hot, seek

JUN 7 We apologise for the inconvenience
JUN 14 mushroom
JUN 21 what’s that on the radar?
JUN 28 PICK TWO: mass, trade, headache, pick me, It’s not you it’s me,

JUL 5 cleave
JUL 12 soar
JUL 19 powder
JUL 26 PICK TWO: case, chewable, grasshopper, signals from outer space, here be monsters, deadly

AUG 2 who’s blood is that?
AUG 9 beans
AUG 16 traitor
AUG 23 pick a card… any card!
AUG 30 PICK TWO: removal, shopping, confused, tipsy, offer, early

SEP 6 camp
SEP 13 deploy
SEP 20 anchor
SEP 27 PICK TWO: indigo, anchor, shell, squeaky clean, jaw, amphibious

OCT 4 money
OCT 11 boxer
OCT 18 kitten
OCT 25 PICK TWO: piano, mongoose, tower, cartoon, evil, serve

NOV 1 revolution
NOV 8 plump
NOV 15 chainsaw
NOV 22 cluster
NOV 29 PICK TWO: reward, puppet, global, gear, shop, pit stop

DEC 6 still
DEC 13 pick one
DEC 20 fruitcake
DEC 27 PICK TWO: the hand that feeds you, scope, dresser, pit stop, quip, knave

Why is mother crying?
Get a life!
How does that grab you?
Spray Tan
A toast!
Name change
Behind a bush
Remember only this…
River crossing
When will it stop raining?
Stay safe
Don’t press the button!

My Morning Routine

Wake up.
Realize that the nightmares were nightmares.
They aren’t real.
Look at my whiteboard.
Take whatever pills, vitamins.
Lay out clothes for day.
Make more ice.
Fill water.
Check on the bunny.
Do my walk.
Turn on the TV and Fire stick.
Find something to watch while I walk.
And walk. And walk.
Keep doing my walk.
Don’t stop until I’m done.
Dry off.
Get dressed.
Play with the baby panther.
Water the plants.
Bagel and basil?
Refill cat water and kibble bowl.
Go to work.
Realize I’ve forgotten something.
Don’t turn back. You can never turn back.

Genie Lamp

Remember Aladdin and the magic lamp?
He found a magic lamp, and when he rubbed it, it released a genie who gave him three wishes.
Well, my friend Charlie always rubs lamps.
He hasn’t found a genie yet.
Until now.
It was a lava lamp.
A hot lava lamp.
Charlie rubbed it, and screamed from the burns.
The genie popped out, also screaming.
Trapped in there for years, in searing mineral oil and wax.
“I WISH FOR ALOE GEL!” screamed Charlie.
The genie filled a huge tub with it.
“Good idea,” he said, soaking and sighing.”This one’s on the house.”

You cannot buy your way out of hell

You cannot buy your way out of Hell, but you can buy in to one of the nicer timeshares there.
Sadly, one week out of a year is still fifty-one weeks immersed in the flames of perdition.
Although if you stretch that out to Eternity, that’s one week times infinity, which equals infinity.
Sure, fifty-one weeks times infinity is also infinity. A bigger infinity than the first infinity.
Cantor, Frege, and Dedekind could explain this with Alpeh Null and Beth One and other mathematical constructs.
They’re in the timeshare next door, proving to all that Mathematics is the ultimate Hell.

Vader’s Law

“The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.” Princess Leia said that to Grand Moff Tarkin.
I call it Vader’s Law, even though Leia says it to Tarkin.
It’s to remind me that control is an illusion, and to seek absolute control is futile.
Let there be plus or minus one. Let there be error. Let there be tolerances.
Just not enough to ruin the overall system.
After all, Burroughs said that control is controlled by its need to control.
It also serves as a reminder that I’m lousy at naming things.

Dr. Odd’s Rival

“The law clearly states that you cannot put artificial intelligence inside of a free-moving body,” said the lawyers.
“But I not!” said Dr. Parkins. “The AI in mainframe! The robot connect by tether!”
He’d found a loophole in law. How dare lawyers and judges disagree?
Instead, they side with rival: that bastard Doctor Odd.
He felt the all-too-familiar pain in his chest. Another heart attack?
Parkins flipped the switch, and brought the robot to life as his own ended.
The robot reached for Parkins, stroking his white hair.
“Not yet, but soon,” it said.
And it patiently turned itself off.

Amber Alert

The electronic signs on the highway display travel times to various interchanges.
Other times, they display accident information.
That way, you know why everything’s jammed up and not moving.
And then there’s the Amber Alert messages.
Those appear when someone abducts a kid and drives off.
They’re named after a girl named Amber who was kidnapped and murdered.
Thank God it was a girl named Amber and not a boy named Gaylord or Dick.
Imagine, getting Dick Alerts all the time.
Nobody would take it seriously.
Not that anyone does now, as we all disable them on our phones, right?

Weekly Challenge #726 – GULF



Breakfast betrayal

“I sense a gulf growing between us”, she said.

Lowering my newspaper, I looked at her quizzically, “I’m not sure what you mean…”

She sighed, placing the coffee pot on the table. “You’re not like you used to be; you’ve grown distant; you don’t want to talk to me anymore and when you look at me… It’s as if I mean nothing to you.”

I shrugged – “I don’t know what to say, but how about you rustle me up an omelette?”

It was time to change my breakfast diner – these waitresses were getting just a little too friendly.


The tour of the Gulf was such a nice idea. The fresh air, the birds flying close-by. The tour of the Gulf was also cheap. No one wanted fresh air and rain, birds flying close-by and pooping.
So, they embarked.
“Wonderful adventure”, “Unique opportunity”, “An experience you’ll never forget”.
Yes, it sure was unforgettable, especially when the boat tilted dramatically to one side and people screamed at the top of their lungs, scaring the poor birds away. Fresh air was something difficult to find too. Everyone was sick and bird poop was not exactly the worst thing happening that day.


I am the bridge.

I bridge the gulf between assurance and horror, between hope and desperation, between prosperity and poverty.

Take my hand and I will lead you across the abyss; let me show you a new life: A new world order, a world where nothing will ever be the same again.

Walk my pathway and let me educate you in my ways, allow me to release the inhumanity in your soul – permit me to break you and bend you to my will.

Submit to me and cower at my name.

My name is fear, my name is…



This is a gulf ball. Don’t you mean a golf ball? Nope a gulf ball. Looks like a golf ball, round, white, dimples. Look carefully, Closer, Clarisse. It says Tampa CC. Yup. So. Look at this one. It says Miami CC. Now you see. NO. This is an Atlantic Ball and this is a Gulf Ball. What? It’s the water. W-a-t-e-r? Did you flunk geography in High School? You’ve never been to Florida? Didn’t think so. Let me break this down, ocean big body of water, gulf small body of water. Oh I get it. That’s a gulf golf ball.


In my plane, I enjoyed imagining that the cloud layer below is actually land, vast continents with unfathomable gulfs between them. What civilisations flourish on those thousand-mile cliffs, and fight and decay and flourish again?

Then a bird strike took out an engine and half a wing. I was fighting for hours to bring it down. Those landscapes opened up like a fractal, detail within detail within detail. Finally I hit ground, and staggered from the wreck.

That was a long time ago. I can hardly believe now that I came from a tiny rocky ball orbiting a fusion reactor.


Marissa’s eyes went wide. “What do you mean by a memory wipe? Does it hurt?”

Billbert’s dad shrugged. “Yeah. It hurts a lot while it’s happening, but then, you don’t remember afterward. Thus, the term, memory wipe. It was a technique we developed during the gulf war and Desert Storm for people who learned what our government was really doing.”

Mr. Albraggetti sniffed. “He’s lying Marissa. They can’t do something like that.”

Billbert’s dad nodded. “Yup. It is a pretty far fetched idea. Kind of like being able to fly.”

Marissa gulped. “I think we should just go home, dad.”


On some maps, it’s called The Persian Gulf.
On other maps, it’s called The Arabian Gulf.
It depends where you’re from.
Arab governments that hate Iran call it the Arabian Gulf.
While most of the rest of the world call it the Persian Gulf.
Even though most of the rest of the world also hate Iran.
It’s also called The Gulf of Basra by a few.
And also, just The Gulf.
Which Gulf?
You know… The Gulf.
And then they whisper “The Persian Gulf.”
Or point to it on a map, put their finger on their nose, and they wink.


Jeff couldn’t believe it… he was sitting next to Carrie Fisher.
The Carrie Fisher. From Star Wars. And… well, Star Wars. And other stuff.
He introduced himself, shook her hand… did all the things you’re supposed to do with celebrities.
Show respect, give them space.
She looked tired, maybe a little wasted on something, so Jeff didn’t bother her. He let her sleep.
Maybe they’d chat a bit later?
Jeff wanted to take a nap, but Carrie snored a bit, so he put on his headphones and listened to an audiobook.
He barely noticed when she stopped snoring… and breathing.

Squealing in Oz

I realized something this morning.
The Three Little Pigs and The Big Bad Wolf lived in The Land of Oz.
After all, the Pigs and Wolf could talk.
And they were Pigs with a Capital P, and a Wolf with a capital W.
Animals with a Capital A, who lived in The Land of Oz.
Do you remember what The First Little Pig made his house out of?
That’s right. Straw.
Straw that he pulled from the guts of The Scarecrow.
The screaming, whimpering Scarecrow.
If only The Tin Man and Cowardly Lion had responded sooner, he’d still be alive.